Arthur J. Nascarella

Arthur J. Nascarella

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Yonkers Joe Review


Good
Making a film about a scam artist is probably a lot like being one -- no matter how solid an idea seems, it's really all about the execution. The life of a cheat lends itself to high drama and conflict, but it can also be riddled with clichés. Throw in a mentally disabled son and a shot at the big score, and you've got a combination of storylines so obvious, they seem destined to fail. But Yonkers Joe doesn't fail. It's a spunky little indie that succeeds past its cheap conventions.

Both the credit and the blame go to writer-director Robert Celestino. His cornball plot shouldn't work, but his direction, especially with actors, does. Chazz Palminteri (Celestino's executive producer) is the title guy, a gambling stiff with an amazing ability to cheat crap games. He'll belly up to a table, pull some David Blaine-like moves to drop tainted dice into a game, and make a fortune. Unfortunately, Atlantic City security has his number, and private games are too small for his ambitions.

Continue reading: Yonkers Joe Review

Arthur J. Nascarella Sunday 10th June 2007 The cast of HBO's "Sopranos" at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to celebrate the final episode Hollywood, Florida

Arthur J. Nascarella
Arthur J. Nascarella
Arthur J. Nascarella

Wisegirls Review


Weak
Mariah Carey gives us another peek at some of the magic we saw in Glitter here in Wisegirls, a ridiculous look at three waitresses (Carey, Mira Sorvino, and Melora Walters) working in a New York Italian restaurant. Despite all the melodrama (Sorvino's got a dead boyfriend, and so on, and so on) these wisegirls are at least not totally horrific -- except, surprisingly, for Walters, who looks truly haggard here. Don't get me wrong, the movie is crap, but at least I didn't kill myself while I was watching it.

The Cooler Review


Good

Although the incomparable character actor William H. Macy is versatile enough to be as brilliant playing a fast-talking race track announcer in "Seabiscuit" as he is playing an ego-inflated ratings expert on the short-lived sitcom "Sports Night" or a goofball superhero in "Mystery Men," he's best known for bringing depth and bittersweet irony to sad sacks and milksops.

With his roles in "Fargo," "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia" and "Panic," among other films, Macy has always made a lasting impression, but the actor has recently said he's done with good-hearted losers, and if that's the case, he's sure going out on a virtuoso high note with "The Cooler."

Yes, nobody plays a rube as well as William H. Macy, and Bernie Lootz is a rube of epic proportions -- a guy with such an aura of ill fortune that he makes his living at a declining Las Vegas casino, bringing bad luck to hot-streak gamblers. The film's amusing and energizing opening is a tracking shot that follows Bernie simply walking through a forest of slot machines and a cluster of craps, cards and roulette tables as everybody in his wake -- everybody -- starts losing, and losing big.

Continue reading: The Cooler Review

Arthur J. Nascarella

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Arthur J. Nascarella Movies

The Cooler Movie Review

The Cooler Movie Review

Although the incomparable character actor William H. Macy is versatile enough to be as brilliant...

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