Andrew Davoli

Andrew Davoli

Andrew Davoli Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS

Celebration of the Re-launch of Trent Vanegas' 'PinkIsTheNewBlog.com' at S Bar

Andrew Davoli Wednesday 11th June 2008 Celebration of the Re-launch of Trent Vanegas' 'PinkIsTheNewBlog.com' at S Bar Hollywood, California

Andrew Davoli
Andrew Davoli

Knockaround Guys Review


Grim
Warning to Vin Diesel fans: Regardless of what the marketing surrounding the crime drama Knockaround Guys may tell you, Diesel, Hollywood's new action hero, is not the star of this film. He, of the deep voice and bulging biceps, is a featured player but has only moderate screen time -- he's even billed after Barry Pepper (*61, Saving Private Ryan). If you're hoping or expecting to see something like XXX, well... then see XXX again.

What you'll get with Knockaround Guys is another knock-off of a gangster film, 90 minutes of phony tough guy bravado, stagy dialogue, laughably inaccurate accents and, most inexcusably, a slow-moving story. This may all explain why Diesel isn't the lead in this chest-thumper: The film was made before his breakout success and has reportedly been sitting on the shelf at New Line. It must now be time to take advantage of his star -- and box office -- power.

Continue reading: Knockaround Guys Review

Welcome to Collinwood Review


Excellent
Among the ever-impressive list of projects undertaken by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight production group (Ocean's Eleven, this year's Insomnia), the ironically titled Welcome to Collinwood is one of the best. Anthony and Joe Russo's lovable crime comedy, which boasts a talented comic cast -- including Clooney himself, in a small but invaluable role -- is the finest debut by a creative team since the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix) made Bound.

Basing their premiere feature on the little-seen Italian comedy Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958), the writing, directing Russos set their film -- a finely tuned, brilliantly designed, screwball romp -- in the Ohio city of the title, which they've drawn as decrepit, to say the least. Collinwood is painted as low rent, low wage, and low class, where every sidewalk square is cracked and so are the people that walk on them.

Continue reading: Welcome to Collinwood Review

The Yards Review


Extraordinary
The Yards begins with a rebirth of sorts. A subway train emerges from a tunnel into daylight. It is carrying Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg) out of the darkness and home, after his time in prison. He has taken the rap for an auto theft circle, one including close buddy Willie (Joaquin Phoenix), and is returning to a grateful homecoming. But The Yards is a dark crime drama, and Leo's future doesn't remain in the light for long in James Gray's impressive, classically styled mini-saga.

Gray, recently appearing with The Yards at the Boston Film Festival, based his tale of New York City subway vendor corruption on his own father's experiences. The filmmaker has given us a well-composed script, deftly flowing through intertwining relations of families, friends, enemies, and politicians. He sustains a hopelessly dim design throughout the film, even having the mind to steal wonderfully from a few Godfather scenes (he claims by accident), and lifting Gordon Willis' outstanding cinematography with his DP, Harris Savides (on purpose). Gray's direction gives us an overriding sense of doom that retains suspense far beyond that of a second-time filmmaker (his first being 1994's grim Little Odessa). But all that is nothing without Mark Wahlberg.

Continue reading: The Yards Review

Welcome To Collinwood Review


Weak

The entire, very talented cast of the caper comedy "Welcome to Collinwood" is clearly having a good time playing criminal washouts who know more about their own local-crook jargon than they do about breaking and entering. But you get the feeling watching it that having a good time took precedence over making anything more than an insubstantial romp designed to entertain themselves.

Amusing but otherwise forgettable, the flick stars Luis Guzman (also in this week's "Punch-Drunk Love") as an imprisoned petty thief who hears about a supposed dream heist opportunity from a lifer he's serving time with and says to himself, "This could be my Belini!" But he needs a Melinski to take the fall and someone who can pull a Krasner at the Shylock's office they'll break into, so the job doesn't turn into a real kaputchnick.

But in the process of trying to line up a patsy, his girlfriend on the outside (Patricia Clarkson) ends up with half a dozen hapless partners instead -- including a hopelessly amateur boxer (Sam Rockwell), an unemployed photographer (William H. Macy) who carts his infant son everywhere he goes because his can't afford his wife's bail, a frail old thief (Michael Jeter) who can't complete a sentence without pausing for breath, a dubiously "expert" safe-cracker in a wheelchair (George Clooney) who is a little cracked himself, and a couple more small-time hustlers (Isaiah Washington and Andrew Davoli).With stars such as these employing the cheeky comic instincts they've honed, often together, in flicks by David Mamet and/or Steven Soderbergh (who produced this picture with Clooney), the frivolity is contagious, even if the plot and the gags are, more often than not, obvious, broad and overused.

Continue reading: Welcome To Collinwood Review

Spartan Review


OK

David Mamet's "Spartan" is Tom Clancy without the pop-literature pretense. It's "24" for those who like more of a cerebral challenge -- a tense, tightly paced political action-thriller with provocatively elusive twists that don't feel contrived for shock value.

It's a movie in which intellect trumps exposition to the point that most of the characters aren't clearly identified, making all of them seem more shadowy and dangerous. The story counts on your ability to think for yourself and draw your own conclusions about evidence trails, incidents, alibis, motives and intentions -- then pulls those conclusions out from under you more than once with substantial surprises that make you think even harder. And it has a palpable atmosphere of pressure-cooker urgency, kept doggedly in check by government agents for whom eye-on-the-prize callousness is compulsory.

Val Kilmer stars as a terse military espionage operative called in by the Secret Service to work with a clandestine team searching for a missing -- likely abducted -- First Daughter before the headline-hungry press gets wind of the notoriously rebellious girl's disappearance.

Continue reading: Spartan Review

Knockaround Guys Review


Weak

In a reasonably fresh twist on the organized-crime genre, "Knockaround Guys" is a post-Tarantino-styled slick flick about a quartet of pampered gangsters' sons trying to prove their worth as wiseguys.

"To regular people we're stone f**ing goombahs," gripes sharp-dressed 20-something tough Matty Demaret (Barry Pepper), who has recently given up his dream of going legit as a sports agent because his last name scares the bejesus out of potential employers. "But to knockaround guys, to our fathers, we're nothing but errand boys."

Now Matty's plan for his crew to earn some respect within the mob has gone horribly haywire. Entrusted to deliver $500,000 cross-country, Matty enlists a paranoid, recovering cokehead buddy called Johnny Marbles (Seth Green) because he flies a small plane and can make the trip in a day or two. But while refueling at remote Wibaux, Montana airport, Marbles panics when eyed by the local law and lets the bag of money out of his sight.

Continue reading: Knockaround Guys Review

Andrew Davoli

Andrew Davoli Quick Links

Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Youth - Trailer

Youth - Trailer

Set in the beautiful Swiss Alps, Youth sees Michael Caine & Harvey Keitel in a fine piece of work.

Straight Outta Compton - Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton - Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through a checklist of the major events.

We Are Your Friends Resonated With Zac Efron

We Are Your Friends Resonated With Zac Efron

While talking about his new drama We Are Your Friends, Zac Efron has been unusually thoughtful.

Advertisement
New Adele And Coldplay Albums Due For Release In The Next Few Months?

New Adele And Coldplay Albums Due For Release In The Next Few Months?

New reports indicate that eagerly awaited albums by Adele and Coldplay are set...

45 Years - Movie Review

45 Years - Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a quiet conversation than any number of...

Z For Zachariah Pushed Robbie, Ejiofor And Pine As Actors

Z For Zachariah Pushed Robbie, Ejiofor And Pine As Actors

Z for Zachariah was a welcome challenge for high-profile stars Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine.

Daniel Craig Talks About The Pressures Of Celebrity Superstardom

Daniel Craig Talks About The Pressures Of Celebrity Superstardom

Ahead of his fourth turn as James Bond in Spectre later this year, Daniel Craig has spoken...

Advertisement