It's hardly flawless, but this surprisingly grim comedy-drama is about as good as director Joel Schumacher gets. Abandoned by his wife and resigned to living among junkies, prostitutes and sundry lost souls at a seedy East Village residential hotel called El Palacio, retired security guard Walt Koontz (Robert De Niro) suffers a debilitating stroke when he confronts a gang of gun-wielding thugs who've invaded a neighbor's apartment. As part of his rehabilitation, Walt's doctor suggests he take singing lessons; they'll improve his speech and raise his
equally damaged spirits. So Walt — a gruff homophobe who never had more than two words to say to the flamboyant transv...