We hear Oscar calling. Not for director Lee Tamahori ( ONCE WERE WARRIORS), who bears much of the blame for this colossal misfire of a noir pastiche, but for costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, who somehow managed to squeeze one of the beefiest casts in recent memory (Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, Chris Penn and Michael Madsen) into a splendid array of 1950s suits and accessories. We haven't seen so many snugly nested kilos on screen since THE FRENCH CONNECTION. In a scenario that lifts its best plot points from TV's Crime Story, the four stars play L.A. plainclothesmen investigating the murder of party girl Jennifer Connelly and uncovering the requisite sinister conspiracy. Everything looks fabulous, but the fight scenes are stagy, the dialogue stilted, the characters underdeveloped and the tone superficially cynical.