Just purchased the Special Edition DVD with the Commentary and Deleted Scenes (which I thought some should have been left in the film). The director and actors on the commentary stated that even children enjoyed the film. Well, let me tell you my 8 year old daughter started to watch it with me during the Pinky/Mattarazzo scenes !! She was laughing. Anyway, a great talented cast that knew how to act natural contributed to an authentic film about a typical ethnic New York neighborhood. Complimenti ! Bellissimo film ! Established character actors such as Tony Sirico, Burt Young, Vincent Pastore, Frank Vincent bring an authenticity to the film which makes the viewers literally feel that they are right there on location in a close knit neighborhood. Even the great Judith Malina from the theater contributes in her portrayal as Mrs. Amico. This film should be viewed by any film lover as it is a light hearted comedy about any given day in a NY quarter.
On the Run (1999)INFLUENCED BY RISI AND SCORSESE
23 June 2003
Just watched this movie over the weekend, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The 2 Italo American actors are excellent as usual (Michael Imperioli and John Ventimiglia). It is obvious that the director was influenced by 2 great films of the past directed by Italians. Primarily he was influenced by Dino Risi and his film IL SORPASSO. It is the story of 2 young men who meet by chance and become friends. One is extroverted and the other is introverted. They enjoy the whole day together and by the end of the day, the shy one learns that there is more to life than his usual routine monotony. The same thing happens to Albert De Santi. Unfortunately, IL SORPASSO has a very similar ending and this apparently influenced the director of ON THE RUN because he uses the same technique but with a twist. I had expected something but was surprised to see that it turned out to be the opposite. If you watch both movies you will understand. The other film that influenced the director is AFTER HOURS directed by the great Italian American Scorsese. I highly recommend all 3 movies !!
My Brother Jack (1997)INTENSE AND EMOTIONAL
30 November 2002
I was truly impressed !! Marco Leonardi put in an extraordinary performance as Jack. The ending really moved me because of the tremendous impact this movie had on me. I kept thinking of the drama and had Jack's face in my mind. I can understand why the Naples Film Festival voted it the best movie. Just imagine watching it on the big screen! I am sure it captured the audience. This film contains such raw emotion. I can truly appreciate this film. It is about family. MY BROTHER JACK goes through this dilemma: the family is suffering because they love Jack. Mrs. Rose Casale is the focal point of the family, and if she suffers so do her children. It is difficult to kick somebody out if he is loved. Therefore, what the film analyzes is the turmoil the family goes through. We do not really know what Jack goes through. He states at various times "it's hard for me. You do not know what I go through everyday". He tells Sal "what have you given me? Money? How have you helped me?" This is his desperate cry for help. The film does not really expose completely what Jack encounters. In my opinion, the film studies the family's reaction and Jack's ultimate counter reaction (his final solution). He most probably felt that he did not receive full understanding, even though the family loved him. I am surprised that this film is not more well known and appreciated. This is a masterpiece.
Honor Thy Father (1973 TV Movie)Well Made TV Movie
29 November 2002
Considering that this was a made for TV movie without a high budget, I was impressed. What carries the movie forward is the great acting. Raf Vallone is one of the best Italian actors in Italian cinema history as any Italian film buff can attest to. He portrays Joseph Bonanno with intensity, emotion, calm demeanor, and gives a well rounded and balanced performance. Vallone must have studied how Mr. Bonanno carried himself in life. It is obvious that he was an honorable person trying to protect his family, and Vallone depicts this perfectly. As for the other actors, they are all veterans of the New York Italian American school of acting: Joseph Bologna and Richard Castellano (of GODFATHER fame) give authentic portrayals of Sal Bonanno and Frank LaBruzzo. They are just so natural and very New York. Apparently they do not even need to act....they are just being themselves. That is why this movie is so realistic and genuine. Sam Coppola (of Saturday Night Fever as Mr. Fusco) and Carmine Caridi (of Prince of the City) also give admirable performances. Overall I rate this movie at 9 out of 10. I recommend it.
One Deadly Road (1998)Realistic and Authentic
17 July 2001
This is one of the best independent Mafia movies I have ever seen. It is the tale of a local Italo-American kid from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn struggling to cope with tough decisions. Do you follow the natural insticts and obvious road or do you try to do what your heart wants? De Meo has grown up in the gangster environment and, yet, he has a passion for films and would love to be an actor. Simultaneously he falls in love for the first time with a nice local Italian-American girl. This movie also deals with the modern state of Cosa Nostra. It is in disarray. Rats are seen everywhere due to increased pressure from the feds. Loyal gangsters are, unfortunately, bumped off and whacked just because the underboss has nightmares. If Cosa Nostra needs to survive, its members need to be more united and trusting of each other. Cooperation between the hoods is fundemental otherwise Cosa Nostra will fall. This movie is shot on low budget, but the local filming is fantastic and any Mafia buff MUST SEE this flick!!!!
Lou, Pat & Joe D (1988)great, realistic film
31 January 2001
This movie came out on video titled Black and White. It is about a very warm friendship between an Italian-American and an Afro-American in Newark, New Jersey. We see great period detail of Newark from the 1940s to present times. It is also a political movie with racial overtones. Do we defend our nation in the name of liberty only to see that there is war within the country? I recommend this movie very highly.