The awesome guest posting for The House of Caine continues with the man of mystery behind Isaacs Picture Conclusions, possibly called Isaac, possibly Eric, more likely it’s Chris Isaak, giving you the lowdown on Blood and Wine. Whatever you do, check out his site… after reading this review.
I remember watching Blood and Wine (1996) when it came out on cable – I had just graduated from college and was still living in my mum’s house getting ready to move in to a rental with my buddies. I had just gone through about ten years of not really watching movies – I spent most of that decade chasing chicks around – and the only reason I really watched this was because Jennifer Lopez was “new” and I hoped she was going to strip naked and slink around all over the place (it doesn’t happen, boys). I knew who Jack Nicholson was, sure, but this really had no other draw for me other than J Lo.
Looking at this the other week, for this project, as this started and that zen-ish 90s synthesizer fired up as Stephen Dorff paddled out into the ocean on a surfboard I thought, “oh man, what have I got myself into?” Then he and Harold Perrineau haul a freaking shark out of the ocean and I was prepared for something terrible. In the next scene Judy Davis (remember her) rolls off a couch in a hungover stupor and Dorff sasses his step-dad (Nicholson) and things still weren’t looking very good.
Shortly after that we are introduced to J Lo’s Mexican-Nanny-To-Rich-Assholes and her “Choo think I look like a nanny?” accent blah, blah, blah. And – in all honesty I have never been that interested in Michael Caine (I have no idea why) but about 15 minutes in we meet his character and things really changed for this movie. Shame on me, I suppose, but I really only know him as Alfred in The Dark Knight trilogy but he is EXCELLENT in this, doing his character act bit, as a chain smoking, coughing up blood safe cracker who’s not afraid to beat the crap out of anyone if he’s not getting his way.
I’m no professional but in my opinion when we talk about Film Noir, from what I’ve seen, they usually revolve around a hopeless sap who’s being manipulated by a woman into doing something nefarious and things get worse and worse and worse up until the end. This is similar to that style (even billed as Noir on the Netflix envelope) as things continue to get more hopeless, but there’s not really that particular feel of darkness to this. Caine and Nicholson character act all over the place, J Lo “Choos” her way around the joint and Stephen Dorff acts like a dude from the 90s (if that makes sense) as we watch an expensive diamond necklace robbery fencing go wrong.
This movie is very good, but it’s also kind of dated with it’s fashion and music and Jack Nicholson and his infamous Ray Bans (and Caine sports one of those veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery thin moustaches) but if you look past that type of thing, this is a pretty, pretty good little thriller.
Verdict: Stubby of Reschs
Thanks so much to Mr Pictures Conclusions for taking part. Please head on over to Isaacs Picture Conclusions and get involved with some of the fantastic stuff he has going on over there.