Tommy and Rosie are a young couple living in New York who are madly in love with one another - mad enough that they begin to pull off the most dangerous heists possible in order to make enough money to start a life together after their stints in prison. While Rosie attempts to make an honest living as a debt collector, Tommy is hell-bent on revenge after watching his father get beaten to a pulp by the Mafia when he was just a child. He follows a court trial of mobster Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano whose information in court about his recent exploits present Tommy with an idea to rob the gang's No-Guns social club with Rosie as the getaway driver. After getting away with it without a hit contract, they continue to rob the mob before discovering an important piece of inside information that could permanently bring down the world's most formidable criminals.
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Mike (Giamatti) is a New Jersey lawyer struggling to make ends meet when he discovers he can earn a bit extra as the guardian of senile client Leo (Young).
But his wife Jackie (Ryan) only finds out when Leo's 16-year-old grandson Kyle (Shaffer) turns up needing a place to stay while his mother (Lynskey) goes through rehab. To keep him busy, Mike invites Kyle along to the wrestling practice he coaches with his friends (Tambor and Cannavale). Surprise: Kyle's a gifted wrestler who may help the team win for a change.
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All of these stories take place in Manhattan, with only one or two brief forays into other boroughs, and they all centre around relatively well-off people, mainly white or Asian. They're also quite serious and emotional, with only brief moments of humour dotted here and there, although some make us smile more than others. Each is about a male-female relationship--marriages, brief encounters, possibilities, life-long companionship. Most have a somewhat gimmicky twist, and a few are intriguingly oblique.
Continue reading: New York, I Love You Review
In hindsight, the first chapter of the rigorous franchise has a healthy leg-up on the rest of the films and feels uniquely homegrown in tone. It's almost basic mythology at this point: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone at the peak of his durability) works for a two-bit loan shark as freelance muscle while he trains to become a boxer and does amateur bouts for 40 bucks a pop. It's his nickname, The Italian Stallion, which catches the eye of heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) when the champ is looking for a gimmick. Creed is more of an entrepreneur than an athlete: When someone calls the gimmick "American," he quips back, "No, it's smart."
Continue reading: Rocky Review
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The Italian Stallion may have triumphed that day, but the feel-good franchise long since had thrown in the towel. Rocky V did more damage to the character's legacy than Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang, and Apollo Creed combined. It issued a crushing TKO to a collection of films that celebrated victory in the face of impossible odds, and it left a horrible taste in fans' mouths. By all accounts, the final bell had rung on Rocky.
Continue reading: Rocky Balboa Review
Conceived by writer/director Duncan Tucker as the kind of wacky road movie being churned out by Sundance-grubbing indie studios about 10 years ago, Transamerica has a strong conception of Bree's character but little idea of what to do with it. Living in a small, rundown house and working two jobs to save money, Bree puts all her hopes and dreams into her long-awaited surgery, doing everything she can to convince her therapist (Elizabeth Peña) that she's ready for the change. All that gets put on hold, though, when she finds out that a relationship she had back when she was still living as a man resulted in a child, Toby (Kevin Zegers, hardly up to the task), now a teen runaway calling from a New York jail looking for his dad. Since her therapist won't consent to the surgery until she deals with her past, Bree hops a plane to New York. That's where the road trip comes in.
Continue reading: Transamerica Review
Kiss the Bride is the kind of vanity project that every Hollywood actor dreams of making, and when it's all said and done they wonder why it never got theatrical distribution.
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"Mickey Blue Eyes" is one of those movies that wouldn't last 20 minutes if the main character wasn't a certifiable moron.
A comedy of the uncomfortable, it's predicated on Hugh Grant, playing an tentative, English, auction house proprietor in New York, allowing himself to become embroiled in the mob when he unknowingly proposes to a mafia princess (Jeanne Tripplehorn).
She declines, crying her eyes out and explaining her background and the family she's tried to put behind her. Romantically, he says it doesn't matter. She exacts one promise from him: That he won't agree to do any favors for her family and won't accept any, either. "That's how they get you," she says. "Then you'll be one of them."
Continue reading: Mickey Blue Eyes Review
American Thighs was released on this day in 1994.
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A little meandering, a little lost, and a lot grim, Uli Edel's cult classic tells...