Lillo Brancato

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'R Xmas Review


Terrible
I presume the inscrutible title is meant to be read as "Our Christmas," but don't expect any Home for the Holidays-style amusement in this abysmally pathetic drug drama from long-since-out-of-it director Abel Ferrara.

Though it's a wisp of a movie at 83 minutes, Ferrara manages to bore us to tears with the film's dippy story of drug deals gone wrong. The spare dialogue is a place to start: What little the film has is drowned out by annoying music and the rest consists mainly of unbroken strings of swear words, sometimes in English.

Continue reading: 'R Xmas Review

Sticks Review


Good
I'm prepared to go out on a limb and deem Sticks to be the best cigar smuggling-action/drama movie of all time.

But seriously, Sticks is a good-looking movie, so well made you might not realize it's an independent production. The story sounds like Steven Seagal ought to be starring in it -- an everyday guy named Lenny (Lillo Brancato) makes his living selling illegal Cuban cigars to the rich and famous of L.A. Alas, he's soon robbed of his stash and finds himself embroiled in a mess that involves a local underground cigar club that wants Lenny dead, an FBI sting, and a plot to run guns back to Cuban freedom fighters. At the center of all this are 50 boxes of "El Mariposas," supposedly the most coveted cigar in all the world.

Continue reading: Sticks Review

The Florentine Review


Weak
The Florentine has that desperate desire to be Reservoir Dogs, with a rogues' gallery of ex-cons, mobsters, and sad sacks all trying to make a go at life and intersecting at their favorite bar. Alas, few of their stories are worth paying much attention to, though James Belushi is (unintentionally) hysterical as a scam artist taking advantage of poor Luke Perry.
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