With Speaking Parts, Atom Egoyan showed that his long-simmering promise as a great filmmaker had finally been fulfilled. Early movies like Family Viewing were earnest but rough. Here, Egoyan crafts a meticulous and dazzlingly confusing tale of love, prostitution, obsession, technology, coldness, death, and potential incest, all wrapped into a tight 90 minutes. A plot synopsis would consume the better part of your afternoon, and would spoil too much for you -- just figuring out what's going on is have the fun of the film. Solid performances by a band of unknowns improve the film beyond typical low-budget experiences.
To my knowledge, there's never been a Godfather spoof, let alone a good one. The cryptically-titled Jane Austen's Mafia! certainly isn't going to change that, but it isn't as bad as some recent spoofs (notably Mel Brooks' last 4 or 5 movies) have been. Thanks to the natural charm of Jay Mohr, an often-funny tale of corruption, casinos (offering Go Fish), showgirls, and the Macarena unfolds. The flip side is that much of Mafia! is not funny, resorting to fart and/or vomit humor to generate cheap laughs. The spoofs range from the obvious - Godfather, GoodFellas, Casino - to the unexpected - Forrest Gump, Jaws - which generally work well. Then again, maybe my expectations are so low I didn't notice how bad they really were.