By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on August 19, 2023)
The Big Easy (KL Studio Classics)
“Aw…come on, chère.” I can’t reckon why, you… but there was a mess of swampy Louisiana neo noirs bag daer in the 80s- Southern Comfort, Angel Heart, No Mercy, Cat People, Belizaire the Cajun, Down by Law, and (my favorite of the bunch) Jim McBride’s slick 1986 crime drama.
Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin star as a NOPD detective and a D.A., respectively who become enmeshed in a police corruption investigation. Initially adversarial, the pair’s professional relationship is quickly complicated by a mutual attraction (what…you’re going to cast Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin in a film and not let nature take its course? I mean, come on, chère!).
Admittedly, the twists and turns in Daniel Petrie, Jr.’s screenplay may not hold up to scrutiny, but you’ll be having too much fun watching Quaid and Barkin heat up the screen to care. Great supporting cast, featuring Ned Beatty, John Goodman and Grace Zabriskie. Image and audio are an improvement over a previous DVD release; the disc features a 2023 commentary track by McBride.