Title: Rising Sun / Sugar Hill
Actors : Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Michael Wright, Harvey Keitel, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Rising Sun: Author Michael Crichton and director Philip Kaufman had a falling-out over the script for this film, based on Crichton's best-selling novel (which was controversial for its take on the Japanese invasion of American business in the early '90s). Kaufman ultimately won, doing an above-average job creating a murder mystery based on the culture clash between Los Angeles cops and Japanese multinational business interests. When a prostitute is murdered at the opening of a new L.A. headquarters for a Japanese company, detective Wesley Snipes is forced to call upon retired cop (and Japanophile) Sean Connery to help solve the murder. But he runs into obstruction from the Japanese, as well as a high-tech cover-up, while having to deal with anti-Japanese sentiments from people on his own team. Intriguing if overlong. --Marshall Fine
Sugar Hill: Roger Ebert tagged Sugar Hill as one of the best of 1994. Leon Ichaso's film is not an action flick; no, this stylish drama wants to be a small gangster epic. Call it Roemello's Way: a thoughtful drug lord (Wesley Snipes) wants to get out of his business but takes forever to do so. A Shakespearean tragedy slowly--far too slowly--evolves. While it has a definite street-smart sense, no new ground is covered. Snipes is worth watching, though, and Clarence Williams III (seen far too seldom on screen) is terrific as his doomed father.