04/23/2014  
One Direction: Reaching for the Stars Part 2 - The Next Chapter on DVD/VOD May 13Shelter Island on DVD May 13Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13Flying Tigers & Home of the Brave on Blu-ray & DVD May 13Stalingrad on Two-Disc Blu-ray with 3D, DVD & Digital May 13The Dave Clark Five And Beyond: Glad All Over on DVD & Blu-ray May 13Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Stephen Colbert visits David Letterman and new 'Late Sh...
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o named People's most beautif...
One Direction: Reaching for the Stars Part 2 - The Next...
Shelter Island on DVD May 13...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Apr 18- 20...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

HBO presents
Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981)

"I got no beef with these people. You're just making things worse."
- Murphy (Paul Newman)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: April 27, 2001

Stars: Paul Newman, Ed Asner, Ken Wahl
Other Stars: Rachel Ticotin, Danny Aiello, Pam Grier, Kathleen Beller
Director: Daniel Petrie

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, language, sexual situations, brief nudity)
Run Time: 02h:03m:23s
Release Date: February 13, 2001
UPC: 026359061028
Genre: crime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+DD+ D

DVD Review

Often cop movies degenerate into buddy movies, where there is an almost total exclusion of women except as window dressing. Fort Apache, The Bronx, while it has a strong central story, goes much too far the other way, getting bogged down in extraneous romances and thereby completely losing its momentum.

In the war zone of the South Bronx, the police of the 41st Precinct are both under siege and part of the system of crime on the streets. Taking bribes and shaking down the civilians is part of business as usual. Murphy (Paul Newman) is an essentially decent and honest cop trying to survive on the streets, with the help of his clotheshorse partner, Corelli (Ken Wahl). When two rookie cops are killed (by Pam Grier as an angel-dust-addicted hooker), things suddenly get tough as the police want to make it clear that it's not open season on the cops. Added to the mix is a new by-the-book captain, Dennis Connolly (Ed Asner) who doesn't know how to relate to the civilians of the precinct and makes waves at every turn within the precinct. Before long, there are riots in the streets, violence and arson. When fellow officer Morgan (Danny Aiello) blows his top and throws an innocent kid off a building, Murphy must face his conscience and deal with the code of silence that requires him not to rat on his fellow officers.

You'll notice that my synopsis skipped over the romances. Murphy starts dating a nurse (Rachel Ticotin) who happens to be a heroin addict, and Corelli is involved with a girl who may or may not be underage (Kathleen Beller). While some of these materials help flesh out the characters, it's taken to a ridiculous extreme here. We get endless, lengthy scenes of the two cops with their women friends, playing with children (whose, is not clear), etc. to the point of derailing the picture altogether. This is a shame, because the film has some strong sociopolitical statements to make and features an intriguing story with genuine moral dilemmas. This isn't simply a Stallone buddy flick that has two-dimensional characters. The added footage feels like padding that gets in the way of what's being said.

Newman puts on a decent performance as Murphy, the tormented, honest cop. Asner is his usual gruff and cranky self, although after all those years of Lou Grant, it's definitely hard to hear him adopt a Bronx accent through the cheesy mechanism of using 'axe' for 'ask.' Pam Grier is a lot of fun as the tripping hooker with a murderous streak, and she completely steals the show whenever she's onscreen. Unfortunately, that's not very often. The time spent focusing on Ticotin and Beller's characters would have been better served giving us background on Grier's Christine.

The cinematography is generally unimaginative, but there are some effective sequences of the bombed out, burned out Bronx that looks like a war zone. The worst part of the film is the trashy TV-cop jazz music that starts playing during the chase scenes. It's poorly done and sounds bad to boot, making these sequences seem utterly ridiculous.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The nonanamorphic picture is highly unsatisfactory. Many of the scenes are excessively dark and completely lacking in detail. Much of the film is very soft and definition is wanting. Color is decent. The scenes that take place in a smoky bar look terribly digital and are full of compression artifacts. The source print isn't in the best shape either, but an RSDL anamorphic presentation surely would have looked much better than what we have here.

Image Transfer Grade: D

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono track is undistinguished, noisy, hissy and tends to have significant distortion, often affecting the dialogue. While the hiss is the least prominent problem, it is still quite obvious and unpleasant.

Audio Transfer Grade: D+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only notable extra is a set of bios and filmographies for the principal cast, director Daniel Petrie and screenwriter Heywood Gould (who also wrote The Boys From Brazil). They are quite lengthy and the select filmographies rather thorough. The menu is designed to permit one to cruise these cast and crew materials with the finger on the enter button, which scores some bonus points. English, French and Spanish subtitles are also provided; they are mostly onscreen so viewers with 16:9 televisions will only lose descenders from a few letters with the subtitles on. Chaptering is very good as well.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

What could have been a compelling drama gets sidetracked by romantic interludes, though there are some noteworthy performances. Unfortunately, a poor transfer makes it a hard disc to watch or listen to. Worth a rental, maybe.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 





Covered California

Keywords

television, late show, david letterman, stephen colbert, cbs, comedy central, the colbert report, celebrity, lupita nyong'o, people mangazine, academy award, 12 years a slave, steve mcqueen, biography, documentary, box office, movies, good morning america, abc, lara spencer, josh elliot, nbc sports, george stephanopolous, robin roberts, movie, heaven is for real, connor corum, greg kinnear, thomas haden, books, gabriel garcia marquez, nobel laureate, one hundred years of solitude, war, cannes film festival, grace of monaco, nicole kidman, kristen stewart, robert pattinson, maps to the stars, julianne moore, foxcatcher, the homesman, tommy lee jones, hilary swank, mrs. doubtfire, robin williams, fox 2000, chris columbus, david berenhaum, drama, brad pitt, general stanley mcchrystal, the operators, afghanistan war film, david michod, gone girl gillian flynn, ben affleck, rosamund pike, elvis costello, she, nine inch nails, trent reznor, atticus ross, gone girl's score, ultimate warrior, james hellwig, wrestler, heart disease, world wrestling entertainment hall of fame, animation, hbo, game of thrones, jack gleeson, king joffrey baratheon, the purple wedding, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, shailene wookley, veronica roth, allegiant, divergent, insurgent, the croods, nicolas cage, joe, david gordon green, tye sheridan, late night

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact