Romeo Is Bleeding (1994)
I'm not quite sure to what extent the corny extravagance of this semi-tarantinoesque neo-noir was a joke on the part of the filmmakers or simply an unsuccessful attempt at clever and violent epochal relevance. And seen in retrospect, I don't think it even matters that much. The film catches Gary Oldman confidently riding his mid-90s wave to cult-stardom, but he is not quite as vibrant or sexy here as he was in his best moments (True Romance, Leon, Immortal Beloved). And although he is easily matched in the overacting-department by the hilariously stylized villainesse Lena Olin (who is almost able to bring her wild character in on the right side of ridicule), the film nevertheless misses the point. Because even though director Peter Medak may think he's given himself the liberty to toy with conventions, style and our invested time and effort by including his femme fatale character, he negates this by trying to make valid dramatic points through the Annabella Sciorra and Juliette Lewis characters, both of whose fine work and well-written characters are ultimately disregarded by the film. There could have been potential in Hilary Henkin's story here, but it's not treated with either the respect nor skill it deserves and requires. Medak's direction is idealistic, but unfortunately not based on the best of ideas.