Monday, February 7, 2011
Directed By: Barry Levinson
Written By: Barry Levinson
Based On the Book By: Lorenzo Carcaterra
Cinematography By: Michael Ballhaus
Editor: Stu Linder
Cast: Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Ron Eldard, Billy Crudup, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Brad Renfro, Kevin Bacon, Eugene Byrd, Dash Mihok, Wendell Pierce, Terry Kinney, John Slattery, Aida Turturro, James Pickens Jr., Bruno kirby, Vittorio Gassman
The film is about four friends who grew up together in new york and commit a prank that goes wrong leaving them to go to juvenile hall. While there they are raped and molested. They make a pact to never talk about what happened. Years later two of them become hitmen and run into one of the guards they execute him on the spot. While they go to jail one of them is the assistant D.A. assigned to the case which he plans to lose intentionally.
This film has a all-star cast and seems to position itself as a classic, but it falls short. The film based on a book that is supposedly a true story. The project was a hot property at the time. Though watching the film it shows the shallowness of the material. Not that the material is bad. It’s just not as illuminating as it or others see it to be. Surprisng the more impressie performances comes from Bruno Kirby whose character you would like to find out more about and Vittorio Gassman as the neighborhood mob boss menacing, Caring, Scary and charming at the same time.
The film feels more like it was based on a mass market paperback pot-boiler more then the intimate drama and thriller it tries to be. With all the stars involved the film tries to give them all relevant screen time to make their roles essential to the story and film. Which makes the film feel overcooked and over-boiled. As the film focuses on certain stories while neglecting others that may have been interesting, There are glimpses of brilliance in certain scenes but they are quickly squandered. Like the scenes showing the neighborhood they grew up in and the home lives they had that shaped them. Other scenes like the guards Vs. Inmates football match and it’s aftermath are riveting. I even wish there was more time spent of the old school neighborhood politics.
most for the actors are good in there roles. Except Brad Pitt who seems not to either be interested in his role or is bored by it. Minnie Driver is given the thankless role as the girl. She seems to be only a friend but in no way romantically linked to anyone which keeps her role from being the typical girlfriend role. As it more or less seems like he is only there for a paycheck and considering the talent both behind the scenes and in front. The film should be better. As it is here the material is treated like this greatly told tale. When it’s ok at best.
The film never really addresses or tries to clear up it’s own holes, Plot and logical. Leaving them there to fester. Which ends up leaving a lot of questions that will never be answered and make you begin to question more then follow.
It’s entertaining but I would suggest you wait for cable