Kansas City

1996

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.3

Synopsis


Downloaded 378 times
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2.21G
Normal
English
/
116 min
P/S 60 / 73
1.40G
Normal
English
/
116 min
P/S 26 / 32

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aimless-46 7

Bottom line, whether you love or hate &quot;Kansas City&quot; will depend on your reaction to Jennifer Jason Leigh&#39;s performance. Leigh&#39;s character Blondie anchors the story as a desperate wife trying to save her husband from the gangsters he tried to rob. Leigh looks great in this role, she is fit and trim which makes her face cuter and her character more fragile looking. The contrast between her almost angelic appearance and her tough persona is intentional because the toughness is an affectation, qualities she has adopted because she loves her husband and they are a turn-on for him. <br/><br/>Her&#39;s is the key performance of the film, the twist is her emulation of Kansas City native Jean Harlow (&quot;The Public Enemy&quot; and &quot;Girl from Missoui&quot;). Watch Harlow in &quot;Red Headed Woman&quot; and you will see the incredible physical resemblance between the two actresses. Personally I found it both touching and humorous; her character worthy of the brave heroine hall of fame. But it is almost a caricature and some viewer will be put off by this tiny woman talking so tough.<br/><br/>As in &quot;Nashville&quot;, there are great songs (but jazz rather than country) throughout the film. It is important to realize that &quot;Blondie&#39;s&quot; behavior is intended to mirror the &quot;cutting contests&quot; between the jazz musicians on-stage at the club. Just as the musicians borrow from one another and weave each others stuff into what they are improvising, &quot;Blondie&quot; borrows from the movies and weaves Harlow&#39;s tough girl phrases and expressions into her conversation.<br/><br/>Leigh and Miranda Richardson spend most of the film in each other&#39;s company. Although Richardson&#39;s character is doped up on laudanum (tincture of opium) most of the time, you get the idea that she is taking in a lot more of the situation than she is letting on. There is almost a &quot;Thelma and Louise&quot; quality to their relationship, in part because Leigh doing Harlow ends up sounding a lot like Geena Davis doing Geena Davis. The two women are polar opposites in the way they react to the desperation in their lives; one has lost all restraint, the other has lost everything but restraint.<br/><br/>Richardson&#39;s character is unexpectedly touching. An emotional bond is subtly forged between the two women as the film proceeds, with Richarson gradually becoming totally protective of her kidnapper. The ending is shocking but you understand the motivation, then looking back you pick up on the various foreshadowing devices that Altman placed throughout the film. He goes out with a bass duet of Duke Ellington&#39;s &quot;Solitude&quot; performed by Ron Carter and Christian McBride.<br/><br/>Like many films with downbeat endings, &quot;Kansas City&quot; is destined to be more appreciated 25 years after its release.

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Reviewed by sws-3 10

This film is so deceptively constructed that it took me a few<br/><br/>viewings to completely get it. Not the most inviting recommendation for a film, but even at first look, there is much<br/><br/>to enjoy. The music is superb, the performances outlandish and<br/><br/>entertaining, and the take on politics and race relations truly<br/><br/>incisive. For example, kidnapping really was a political tool in<br/><br/>1930&#39;s Kansas City; Blondie&#39;s (Jennifer Jason Leigh) real crime<br/><br/>is kidnapping a politician&#39;s wife for personal reasons. Though<br/><br/>his contempt for romanticism is truly bitter, this remains one<br/><br/>of Altman&#39;s best films.

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Reviewed by sekander 7

The music is superb. The movie is so-so. The period sets are perfect and its just like being back in KC during the infamous Pendergast era. Altman made this movie as a paean to his hometown and the music that came out of it. One cannot divorce the music from the movie. Either you are a jazz fan or you&#39;re not. If you&#39;re not, you won&#39;t like this movie. Its that simple. If you are, you are really in for a treat. The film features all of the &quot;new&quot; stars in jazz from the mid-90&#39;s (James Carter and Craig Handy on saxes, Mark Whitfield on guitar, Geri Allen and Cyrus Chestnut on piano....the list goes on and on. They all play the legends of jazz that came out of Kansas City-people like Count Basie, Joe Williams, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. A veritable treat for the in-the-know jazz fan but probably a bore for anyone else. Altman stays on the music longer than most directors would because this is a film about the music as much as it is about the plot. <br/><br/>And here&#39;s the real irony. Movie buffs will say they wished Altman wouldn&#39;t have devoted so much time to the music and jazz buffs will say they wished Altman would have done away with the ridiculous, annoying plot and grating performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh and focused entirely on the music. How to please everyone? The end result is uneven but there&#39;s enough here to keep all parties interested.<br/><br/>If any actor should be singled out, it should be Harry Belafonte. His turn as the underworld kingpin, Seldom Seen, is fantastic. He speaks in a low, gruff rasp but his dialogue is truly worth the effort to understand. When he goes off on the Marcus Garvey speech, its worth the price of admission. Of course, it helps to know who Marcus Garvey was. Jazz fans (and reggae fans, too) will get it. After all, this is a movie for them/us.

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