A murderer with a bizarre formula and a thirst for revenge is loose in The Killing Gene, a trendy-looking thriller that has a few genuine surprises up its sleeve. In a dark, dank metropolis (shot in Belfast), hard-bitten veteran cop Stellan Skarsgard is paired with a svelte new partner (Melissa George) straight out of a hand-lotion ad. Their by-the-numbers bickering needs to end soon, because the killer is carving weird symbols in the flesh of the victims, and a Seven-like system is behind it all. There's no denying the oppressive atmosphere here, although by contrast Seven included recognizable signs of human life, such as humor and sadness, which this film noticeably lacks. More damagingly to the cop-movie point, the two leads are miscast, with George too deft for her one-note role and the able Skarsgard trying too hard to fit into the mold of the gruff American detective who gargles with rocks. He's an excellent actor, but the accent seems to have distracted him from concentrating on the performance. Selma Blair turns in an interesting turn as a woman connected with a former case, but her dark madness alone isn't enough to lift the film above its disagreeable level. --Robert Horton
You have my sympathy, Johnny. You have not yet learned that in this life you have to be like everyone else. The perfect mediocrity. No better, no worse. Individuality is a monster and it must be strangled in its cradle to make our friends feel comfortable. You know, I often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They are admired and hero-worshiped but there is always present the underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their growth.
I'd like you to call this number and ask for Mr. Stillman. Tell him that Maurice requires his services.
There are some things, my dear Fisher, which bear not much looking into. You have undoubtedly heard of the Siberian god Heather who tried to discover the true nature of the sun; he stared up at the heavenly body until it made him blind. There are many things of this sort, including love, and death, and... maybe we'll discuss this later today. Please remember to make that call if I'm not back at 6:30.
At exactly 3:45 on that Saturday afternoon in the last week of September, Marvin Unger was, perhaps, the only one among the hundred thousand people at the track who felt no thrill at the running of the fifth race. He was totally disinterested in horse racing and held a lifelong contempt for gambling. Nevertheless, he had a $5 win bet on every horse in the fifth race. He knew, of course, that this rather unique system of betting would more than likely result in a loss, but he didn't care. For after all, he thought, what would the loss of twenty or thirty dollars mean in comparison to the vast sum of money ultimately at stake.