1 item from 1998
According to the posters and ads, it's called "Mafia!" On the actual prints, the title is "Jane Austen's Mafia!"
Whatever the name, the product's still lame.
A two-decades-too-late spoof on "The Godfather" movies (with a little "Casino" and "GoodFellas" tossed in), the tediously sophomoric picture from the people who brought you "Hot Shots!" is more of the same, only this time without the funny bits.
Director/co-writer Jim Abrahams, who pioneered the Gatling gun gag format along with the Zucker brothers to side-splitting effect with the "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" movies, has applied the old formula here only to discover that the shtick no longer sticks.
Leaving a mess of misfired potty jokes and tired visual puns in its wake, "Mafia!" makes the Farrelly brothers look like auteurs by comparison. This is an offer audiences will likely refuse.
Sadly, the picture marks the final screen appearance of Lloyd Bridges, who, like Chris Farley ("Almost Heroes"), John Candy ("Wagons East!") and Peter Sellers ("The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu") before him does not exit on a triumphant note.
A ZAZ veteran who would serve as a major, career-reshaping influence on Leslie Nielsen, an obviously ailing Bridges plays Vincenzo Cortino, the befuddled Mob don whose hot-shot son Anthony (Jay Mohr) is being groomed to take over the family business.
The family in question also includes Olympia Dukakis as flatulent matriarch Sophia Cortino, Billy Burke as two-timing sibling Joey Cortino and Christina Applegate as Diane, more or less the Diane Keaton character from the Francis Ford Coppola pictures. Pamela Gidley pops up as Pepper, a Sharon Stone-"Casino" type, while Alex Trebek and the Jeffersons put in a couple of unbilled appearances.
While some of the early Vegas sequences are amusing, the majority of the jokes (credited to Abrahams, Greg Norberg and Michael McManus) -- including the obligatory O.J. reference and a "Lord of the Dance meets" The Full Monty" sequence -- are warmed over and flatly uninspired.
Production values, including the molto Italiano score courtesy of one Gianni Frizzelli (John Frizzell), are good enough, but one is still left wishing somebody would have taken out a hit on this movie, whatever it's called.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Touchstone Pictures presents
a Tapestry Films production
A Jim Abrahams film
Director: Jim Abrahams
Screenwriters: Jim Abrahams & Greg Norberg
& Michael McManus
Producer: Bill Badalato
Executive producers: Peter Abrams &
Robert L. Levy
Director of photography: Pierre Letarte
Production designer: William Elliott
Editor: Terry Stokes
Costume designer: Mary Malin
Music: Gianni Frizzelli
Vincenzo Cortino: Lloyd Bridges
Anthony Cortino: Jay Mohr
Sophia Cortino: Olympia Dukakis
Diane: Christina Applegate
Joey Cortino: Billy Burke
Pepper: Pamela Gidley
Marzoni: Tony Lo Bianco
Tiny Anthony: Seth Adkins
Running time -- 86 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
1 item from 1998
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