The Film: Heaven’s Prisoners, 1996
Director: Phil Joanou. Stars: Alec Baldwin, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kelly Lynch, Teri Hatcher, Eric Roberts, Vondie Curtis Hall
Premise: James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux (Alec) is a retired ex-alcoholic cop in the Bayou who witnesses the crash of a plane. Drugs are involved. Some people from Dave’s past are involved. Dave loses someone close to him. Then he loses his shit and decides to get to the bottom of things.
Good: Not as much as I remembered. Alec Baldwin is a very good actor but sometimes (this and Ghosts of Mississippi come to mind) he needs a little help in the accent department. Phil Joanou was a crackerjack out the gate but sadly got derailed. There’s some nice filmmaking here. Mary Stuart Masterson isn’t the most believable stripper in film history.
But it still has its charms.
I don’t remember it being as slow paced as it is. I don’t remember the silly little streak of white hair they give Alec (his character’s nickname is “Streak” and the character in James Lee Burke’s excellent series of novels has the patch but we don’t have to see how silly it is). I don’t remember the overboiled ending. I remember Alec being a badass in this and he’s contantly getting smashed around.
I remember thinking this was an underrated gem. It’s not. It’s ok. No one’s best movie, especially not Teri Hatcher’s bits:
Anecdotes: Little Hispanic girl cannot keep a mother figure alive for shit! I didn’t know great voiced Badja Djola died. That’s fucked. Alec’s jeans and pants are pulled up to his jawline. Not a good look, Mr. Sir. Eric Robert’s is good in this. Teri Hatcher might want to consider becoming a Never Nude.
Cinematic Soulmates: In the Electric Mist, State of Grace, other movies where Alec tells someone that he has their Dreamsicle hanging low.