Street Smart

1987

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 41%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 2102

Synopsis


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Cast

Morgan Freeman as Fast Black
Christopher Reeve as Jonathan Fisher
Mimi Rogers as Alison Parker
Kathy Baker as Punchy
720p 1080p
689.53 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 0 / 3
1.45 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scarecrow-88 8 / 10

Street Smart

A reporter, Jonathan Fisher(Christopher Reeve) who creates a story about a pimp to get himself out of a rut and into the prestige of the New Yorker magazine, becomes a hot commodity, and finds himself in hot water as a Harvard district attorney believes he has personal inside information on a real pimp being prepared for trial over a heinous murder(he kicked someone's face in). Fisher becomes immersed(more like embroiled, for lack of a better term) in the nightmarish world of Fast Black's life, discovering first hand his violent temper and short fuse for anyone(including/especially his working girls)who crosses him the wrong way. Fisher's involvement with Fast Black is the heart of this movie, what he endures for a fabrication and how his life evolves into a tumultuous state of affairs. Fast Black wants Fisher to cook up another story about how they were together when the murder took place. Threats from Fast Money are serious business and when Fisher says he will not comply with his demands, danger awaits the reporter..his career rises as he hits the streets exposing corruption and the city's welfare/plight.

How a work of fiction, pinned out of desperation, can send a reporter into the doldrums is the film's emotional arc and as is seeing how Fisher climbs himself out of the bleakest of situations, not to mention his getting even for the stabbing of his girlfriend Alison(Mimi Rogers). Boy, does the plot sure put Fisher in a bind..that, to me, is part of what makes Street Smart such an intriguing crime drama.

The electric Morgan Freeman, at times charismatic, charming, and other times ferocious and explosive, blows poor Christopher Reeve right off the screen, but the parts are really arranged this way. Reeve was picked on by critics for a supposed "non-performance" which I feel is unfair, because the other members of the cast, like Kathy Baker(..as Fast Money's foxy streetwalker, Punchy) and Freeman, have such colorful characters to portray.

Seeing a nervy Reeve riding along with the unpredictable Freeman who could turn crazy any moment is particularly effective. Certainly a highlight is Fast Black(and Punchy)being introduced to the big money crowd, a party hosted by Fisher's editor Ted(Andre Gregory; A DINNER WITH ANDRE) commingling with the New York elite, trying to score some new talent(!). Probably the most frightening scene has Punchy asking Fast Black to relieve her of duties for a while, sticking up for herself when he will not hear of it, scissors pulled as a tool to remind her of who's boss. Seeing Fisher turn the tables on Fast Black through manipulation in regards to Reggie(Black's enforcer)is quite gratifying, even though we must accept that this whole scenario grew from a fictional expose written out of a desire to find success. I imagine this had to be a relief for Reeve, a way of escape the shadow of the Man of Steele..this may very well be one of the Cannon group's most quality films.

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 7 / 10

the casting of Freeman, and even to an extent Reeve, make up for faults in Street Smart

Jerry Schatzberg (Scarecrow, Panic in Needle Park) can be an attentive director to the mundane and the types of people in urban environments left by the wayside, but he needs something of a really powerful script to work with. For some of its powerful and intriguing and sometimes oddly funny scenes, Street Smart doesn't have a great script. It is mostly conventional, in fact, tailored for Christopher Reeve's pet project (apparently he got to star in this thanks, and/or no thanks, to Superman 4), and it is also tailored for what Reeve can do as a somewhat limited actor. He's a great star in the sense of his presence and charm on camera, but can only be taken so far as to how he can work with other actors, or what he has to work with which is usually not very much. Thankfully, there's one actor that shoots to the moon and outshines everybody by a mile, particularly for this kind of project.

(Reeve's) character Jonathan in Street Smart is a journalist who's down on his luck with stories until he comes up with a sure-fire bet to spring him back: the day in the life of a pimp for New York magazine (yes, New York has done and still does these kind of profiles). At first, he just makes it up with a person named 'Tyrone'. But it turns out his story, which includes details of a murder, fits relatively (or a lot) with Fast Black (Morgan Freeman), a take-no-prisoners thug in the guise of a man of the streets who is a force of evil, but a devilishly charming one at that, turning on a dime from street-savvy pimp to ruthless abuser and, as it turns out, killer. Jonathan thinks it'll be alright despite what was or wasn't in the written piece, and meets with and follows along Fast Black for a day. It soon starts to go further down from here.

Schatzberg does best in capturing this now (thankfully) wiped-away street life and porno district along Times Square and in other parts of New York, going along at times casually- too casually perhaps- in getting this mood down. He also neglects certain things in the story, like the importance of Jonathan's own flaws and fooling around with a prostitute, and some details about him as a TV news reporter. And yet, even with faults in the writing, Schatzberg got one thing incredibly right: casting Freeman as Fast Black. This is a part that could have been played up, maybe even as an exploitation flick, but Freeman takes hold of it and creates his breakthrough film performance (it was shortly after this he got Lean on Me and Driving Miss Daisy). It would be one thing if he hammed it up, but somehow he doesn't; his Fast Black is a lucid, hot-headed, vicious but somehow human villain in Street Smart, and he ends up bringing out the best in Reeve and Kathy Baker and his other co-stars like his prostitutes, including one terrifying scene where one asks to quit.

Years from now, when Freeman likely will get some AFI tribute or something or lifetime achievement on TV, Street Smart might be neglected among his most famous parts but shouldn't be. It's a case of an actor raising material, which is neither spectacular or mediocre but just about alright 80s material, higher than it deserves to be, which is both a credit to him and to Schatzberg for reeling him along just right.

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 7 / 10

Very good movie. One of Morgan Freeman's best!

Jerry Schatzberg (Scarecrow, Panic in Needle Park) can be an attentive director to the mundane and the types of people in urban environments left by the wayside, but he needs something of a really powerful script to work with. For some of its powerful and intriguing and sometimes oddly funny scenes, Street Smart doesn't have a great script. It is mostly conventional, in fact, tailored for Christopher Reeve's pet project (apparently he got to star in this thanks, and/or no thanks, to Superman 4), and it is also tailored for what Reeve can do as a somewhat limited actor. He's a great star in the sense of his presence and charm on camera, but can only be taken so far as to how he can work with other actors, or what he has to work with which is usually not very much. Thankfully, there's one actor that shoots to the moon and outshines everybody by a mile, particularly for this kind of project.

(Reeve's) character Jonathan in Street Smart is a journalist who's down on his luck with stories until he comes up with a sure-fire bet to spring him back: the day in the life of a pimp for New York magazine (yes, New York has done and still does these kind of profiles). At first, he just makes it up with a person named 'Tyrone'. But it turns out his story, which includes details of a murder, fits relatively (or a lot) with Fast Black (Morgan Freeman), a take-no-prisoners thug in the guise of a man of the streets who is a force of evil, but a devilishly charming one at that, turning on a dime from street-savvy pimp to ruthless abuser and, as it turns out, killer. Jonathan thinks it'll be alright despite what was or wasn't in the written piece, and meets with and follows along Fast Black for a day. It soon starts to go further down from here.

Schatzberg does best in capturing this now (thankfully) wiped-away street life and porno district along Times Square and in other parts of New York, going along at times casually- too casually perhaps- in getting this mood down. He also neglects certain things in the story, like the importance of Jonathan's own flaws and fooling around with a prostitute, and some details about him as a TV news reporter. And yet, even with faults in the writing, Schatzberg got one thing incredibly right: casting Freeman as Fast Black. This is a part that could have been played up, maybe even as an exploitation flick, but Freeman takes hold of it and creates his breakthrough film performance (it was shortly after this he got Lean on Me and Driving Miss Daisy). It would be one thing if he hammed it up, but somehow he doesn't; his Fast Black is a lucid, hot-headed, vicious but somehow human villain in Street Smart, and he ends up bringing out the best in Reeve and Kathy Baker and his other co-stars like his prostitutes, including one terrifying scene where one asks to quit.

Years from now, when Freeman likely will get some AFI tribute or something or lifetime achievement on TV, Street Smart might be neglected among his most famous parts but shouldn't be. It's a case of an actor raising material, which is neither spectacular or mediocre but just about alright 80s material, higher than it deserves to be, which is both a credit to him and to Schatzberg for reeling him along just right.

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