Tag Archives: James Foley

James Foley’s GLENGARY GLEN ROSS

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The deconstruction of the alpha male has never been so fierce as it is in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. The entire film is one pitfall after pitfall of brazen machoism being shed, and the true colors of all the characters are blatantly glowing by the end of the film. They are men who strive to be the best, without having any idea what that really means.

David Mamet is one of America’s most seminal playwrights, and James Foley has always been a filmmaking champion in regards to slow burning character studies. Mix both these auteurs with the greatest cinematic ensemble ever, and what we have is a masterclass of filmmaking in any and every aspect possible.

The blistering dialogue and fiery performances are so powerful that after each dialogue exchange we’re left completely gobsmacked by what we’ve just witnessed. Regardless of how many times you’ve seen the film, how many times you’ve quoted Alec Baldwin’s punchy lines; the film is still as fresh and potent as your first viewing.

The film strikes a very fine balance bewteen tearing down the archetypal 20th century man, yet shadows as a cautionary tale of how hollow and empty all these characters are. Beneath the ego and big talk, these are all men who have put up the ultimate eminence front (it’s a put on). They are all incredibly sad and broken people, who have lived lives of emptiness, regardless of the charade of their salesmen banter.

This film remains the benchmark for an acting ensemble. Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, and Jonathan Pryce all feed off each other so well, it is an awesome experience to absorb. There have been fantastic ensembles before this film and after this film, but there will never be an equivalent calibre of actors together on screen ever again.

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James Foley’s AFTER DARK MY SWEET – A Review by Frank Mengarelli

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James Foley is master of deception, blurred lines, and skeevy noir. AFTER DARK, MY SWEET is a taut and mischievous opus. Jason Patrick gives his finest performance as a mysterious and unstable drifter who crosses paths with Rachel Ward as the sexy femme fatale, and the always superb Bruce Dern who is as sleazy as ever with his mustache, floppy hair, and aviators/Hawaiian shirt/Members Only jacket combination that shows us all we need to know about his character without him having to say anything.

ADMS Patrick

The double, triple, and quadruple crosses that build in this film keep us unsure of how exactly this story of lies and desire will unfold; yet however the plot unravels, it is not going to end well for anyone. Jason Patrick is electrifying as a mentally and physically unstable former boxer who drifts into the wrong place at the wrong time, slowly being groomed by Ward who has a penchant for alcohol, cigarettes, and sexual control.

ADMS Dern

Bruce Dern is the smooth talking man with the devious plan, giving one of his finest performances. Dern has recently been reawakened with NEBRASKA and Quentin Tarantino’s use of him in THE HATEFUL EIGHT and DJANGO UNCHAINED. He remains one of the most underrated and undervalued actors of all time. He is able to blend together sleaziness, affability, and menace all at once in such a way that it is amazing to watch.

ADMS Ward

Foley’s strategically slow camera pans, David Brisbin’s production design, costumes by Hope Hanafin – all these elements are masterclass and create a world of dilapidation and deception. The environment of this film is carefully crafted, and the details of the visuals are so grabbing that you can smell the cigarette smoke and taste the cheap wine. AFTER DARK, MY SWEET is one of those films that anchors itself as not only a staple transition from the 1980’s into the 90’s, but also a one of the best erotic noirs that has ever been made.