MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:56 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Til Schweiger, Gina Gershon
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 2001
Directed By: Renny Harlin

No, you’re not seeing things. That is Sylvester Stallone in that racing helmet. I know, I didn’t believe it either, and when I heard he was going to be doing a race car movie I figured there wouldn’t be much that would make me want to see the film, and then I read two words – Gina Gershon. No matter what the movie it can’t be that bad as long as she’s in it, and hopefully it will be rated R and she gets naked.

Anyway, the story looks like your typical race car story: New guy comes on the scene and learns from the old guy how to be truly great. Toss in a love story or a dude stealing another dude’s girl and you’ve got “explosive action mixed with compelling drama.” Blah, blah, blah.

The racing scenes in the trailer do look pretty kick-ass as I’m sure things have progressed a lot camera-wise since “Days of Thunder,” and even though it’s written by Stallone, I keep reminding myself that he did write “Rocky.”

Sometimes Stallone is fabulous (“Rocky,” “Cop Land”), sometimes not so fabulous (too many to list), so it’s a toss-up on the excitement to see this film. But, there is the Gina Gershon factor so you can rest assured I’ll see it anyway.

Cop Land

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:45 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Cop Land
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Lots of use of the “F” word, and a nudie bar scene so I’d say probably not.
Date Movie: It’s a good drama, bring them along.
Gratuitous Sex: Some boob shots in the nudie bar.
Gratuitous Violence: Some quality kills, blood, and a gory burn victim.
Action: No real high speed car chases in this one, but some pretty good suspense type scenes.
Laughs: Not really.
Memorable Scene: None stand out, just the whole movie is good.
Memorable Quote: Again, none stand out.
Directed By: James Mangold

I’ll be honest with you, when I first heard about “Cop Land” all I knew was that Sylvester Stallone was to star in the movie. Knowing this I honestly thought the movie was doomed to be cheesy. Let’s face it folks, Stallone has a knack, or maybe a curse, that in any movie he has top billing, although often action packed and entertaining, it tends to be over-acted and unbelievable. I call it the “Stallone Factor.” With that I wrote the movie off. But then I heard that Di Niro, Liotta, and Harvey “The Bad Lieutenant” Keitel were also in the movie. Hmm… maybe this movie would be good after all. You know what? It wasn’t good… It was GREAT! Best cop/mob drama I’ve seen in a long time, and maybe that Stallone curse is lifted!

Unlike other cop and mob movies, “Cop Land” doesn’t overdue stereotypes and avoids all those cliché high speed chase scenes that end up in monumental explosions. Instead, we are given an overweight, droopy Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Stallone) who desperately wants to be an NYPD Cop. Problem is he’s partially deaf, and therefore winds up being the patsy Sheriff of a podunk New Jersey town. This really doesn’t sit all that well with him, but what else is he to do? Harvey Keitel plays Ray Donlan – You can think of him as the “Godfather” of bad cops, and it’s a role he plays well. All of the bad cops in New York’s 34th precinct report to him, and he keeps the heat off them courtesy of mob money.

Now, in order to keep better tabs on his men and get some pretty safe housing at cheap interest rates, Ray and the mob boys have worked it out over the years so that the players in this cop game get the low interest loans, usually in exchange for bending the law and always keeping their mouths shut. Basically the cops of the 34th own Garrison, New Jersey (didn’t Pullman try something similar in Chicago?), and this land has its own rules, which Sheriff Freddy really has no control over. Anyway, “Cop Land” also has the likes of Gary “Figs” Figgis, played by Ray Liotta, as a coked out (and I’m not talkin’ soda) cop who wants out of it all. This doesn’t sit too well with Ray. And lastly, we have the smooth, NYPD Internal Affairs Investigator, Moe Tilden (Robert Di Niro), who knows what’s going on and desperately wants to expose it all, but he doesn’t have that one piece of evidence to put the case together. So, how does it all play out? Well… I don’t want to spoil it for. Just know this – Ray is one heartless mother-fucker, Sheriff Freddy gets a spine, and a lot of bad cops wind up dead.

For me the best way to describe “Cop Land” is “believable.” Sitting there in the theater I really felt sorry for poor, dim-witted Sheriff Freddy, I felt rage when I thought about what a ruthless bastard Ray was, and I just loved Di Niro’ s portrayal of a sneaky and cynical IA officer. With that being said I give “Cop Land” 4 of 5 stars. A great movie – ’nuff said, and I’m Stu Gotz.