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The Family, 2013.
Directed by Luc Besson.
The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.
Once one of the most influential directors to break into Hollywood from Europe, filmmaker Luc Besson is now more recognisable as a producer of low to mid budget B movie action trash like Taken and The Transporter, but he has made some fantastic films as a director. The Family is not one of them; in fact, it’s the worst film of his I’ve seen by quite some margin.
Tired, lifeless, predictable, and utterly without purpose, Besson’s film is a cluster of clichés with maybe 45 minutes worth of story stretched over 100 minutes. Telling the story of the Blakes, »
- Gary Collinson
Comedy doesn't come much lazier than this 'effort' starring Robert De Niro in one of those roles that makes you shake your head in mourning for the immense talent squandered. As is his wont in recent years, De Niro sends up the tough guy persona that made him an icon, this time as a Brooklyn mobster shipped to rural France in an ostentatious gesture by the Witness Protection Programme.
Giovanni Manzoni has a $20 million contract on his head and the rest of his family are in the firing line, too. As wife Maggie, Michelle Pfeiffer is fun to watch in brassy blonde mode and certainly, she shows more signs of life than her co-star. Another highlight is John D'Leo as their son, a junior wise-guy »
Film: "Malavita"; Cast: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, John D'Leo, Vincent Pastore, Joseph Perrino, Paul Borghese, Jimmy Palumbo and Kresh Navakovic; Director: Luc Besson; Rating: **1/2
Billed as an action comedy and adapted from Tonino Benacquista's novel, director Luc Besson's film suffers from an identity crisis. Released elsewhere as "The Family", here in India, the film is called "Malavita". And if you were to ask, what's in a name? Well...
Well, the film gets its name after the faithful canine, which the family loses in a bloody fight.
But "Malavita" is not the dog's story. Unless it denotes, that every mobster leads a dog's life!
This is the tale of mobster Giovanni. »
- Lohit Reddy
We're the Millers…er…the Manzonis…er…the Blakes. In this dark action-comedy from director Luc Besson (Taken, Transporter), Mafia boss Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) enters the Witness Protection Program after ratting out his former mob associates. Adopting the name Fred Blake, he and his wife, Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), and two children (Dianna Agron, John D'Leo) relocate to a small, sleepy town in France. FBI agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to keep the family in line and on the Dl, but the Blakes blow their own cover with their violent criminal ways. Here's an offer you can't refuse—get more killer info about The Family: 1. Déjà Vu All Over »
FilmDistrict's Insidious: Chapter 2 directed by James Wan, starring Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, topped the box office easily with $41 million. The horror sequel posted the second best September debut of all time behind Sony's Hotel Transylvania which made $42.5 million, and topped Sweet Home Alabama's $35.6 million. This is massive jump from the opening weekend gross posted by the first Insidious of $13.2 million back on April 1st, 2011. That film topped out at $54 million domestically while the sequel should come close to the $100 million mark if all keeps going like this. Insidious 2 opened in 3,049 theaters, averaging a solid $13,463 per theater. Relativity Media's The Family starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo, debuted in second place with a decent $14.5 million from 3,091 theaters, averaging $4,691. Luc Besson directs the comedy crime pic. »
A favorite cable television series in recent years for me has been USA Network's In Plain Sight about U.S. Marshals charged with relocating and protecting federal witnesses. The dramatization of people who must adjust to a new life with a new identity is engaging and thought provoking. How does a person not only leave behind their friends and relations, but also change their occupation or interests to avoid detection?
Based on by French crime fiction author Tonino Benacquista, writer/director Luc Besson's The Family provides darkly humorous insight of a former Mafioso and his family's existence within a federal witness program. When extortion and illegal activities are all you've known for your entire life, it's not easy to adjust to a different lifestyle -- even in the idyllic setting of the French Riviera or the historic and slower-paced Normandy.
Robert De Niro portrays Fred Blake/Giovanni Manzoni, who »
- Debbie Cerda
Robert De Niro playing a former mobster is pretty badass in itself, but add Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo as more-than-capable family members and the Blake family (they originally are the Manzonis, but they're in the Witness Protection Program) is one group you definitely don't want to mess with. The Family arrives in theaters this weekend (get tickets here). The latest film from Luc Besson is executive produced by Martin Scorsese, features a cranky (does he have any other mode) Tommy Lee Jones and plenty of f-bombs and mob violence. We decided to see what other badass movie families are out there that could give the Blakes a run for their money. First, a taste of De Niro and the Blake family: That's one family you don't want to...
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"The Family" is described as a dark action comedy, and therein lies the problem.The ensemble film, which opens today, never finds the right tone. It's disturbing and thrilling and funny, but rarely at the right times or in the right amounts.Robert De Niro plays Fred Blake (originally Giovanni Manzoni), a New York gangster in the Witness Protection Program for snitching on the mob. Michelle Pfeiffer plays his long-suffering but loving wife Maggie, Dianna Agron his teen daughter Belle, and John D'Leo his son Warren. Tommy Lee Jones plays Stanfield, a FBI agent who is just as tired from moving from location to location as the family is.The Blakes end up in Normandy, France, and culture clash ensues. The Brooklyn-based Italian-American Blakes have a hard time integrating, often resorting to the "family" way -- aka violence and mayhem -- to get things their way.It's the over-the-top violence »
- tooFab Staff
Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones revisit some blasts from their pasts in "The Family," a violent action comedy about a mob family in France thanks to the witness protection program.
De Niro does a little "Analyze This" as Giovanni Manzoni, who ratted out his mob pals back in Brooklyn and now has a $20 million price on his head. He is, he narrates, "a nice guy" who just has to control "my sadistic urges" better. He's prone to beating people senseless or to death over things like poor service, "disrespect" and the like. And he's in France.
Pfeiffer tones down her "Married to the Mob" turn as Maggie, the long-suffering wife, moving to yet another town where these people -- "The Blakes," they're called this time -- need to fit in. But her encounters with rude French salesclerks bring out the practicing pyromaniac in her.
Robert De Niro playing a mobster is an act that will never get old, even if the movie he's in isn't quite up to snuff. De Niro puts on the gangster hat one more time for The Family, a flawed but enjoyable film about what happens after your mob days. Giovanni "Gio" Manzoni (De Niro) and his family have been relocated to a small town near Normandy, France. Having been in the witness protection program for over a decade, Gio has developed some serenity over the years, but his wife, Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their kids, Warren (John D'Leo) and Belle Glee's Dianna Agron), are another story. The whole family is calm and collected on the surface, but Maggie is prone to blowing up supermarkets (with the snooty locals inside) while Belle and Warren take turns busting kneecaps at school. They're an interesting, if underdeveloped, bunch. The film's tender »
- Maggie Pehanick
Glee's Dianna Agron and newcomer John D'Leo star as siblings in the new action-filed comedy The Family, which hits theaters today. Dianna and John also had the honor of sharing the big screen with big names Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, who played their parents in the mob flick. Dianna told us about being "terrified" for her audition with Robert, who she affectionately referred to as "Bobby," which ended in a long embrace. She also revealed the story of her hilarious first encounter with John on set. Watch the interview for more from Dianna and John. »
- Meghan Rooney
This Friday The Family, the latest action movie from director Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element), hits theaters around the nation. It stars Robert De Niro as an ex-Mafia boss who has to relocate his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), daughter (Dianna Agron) and son (John D'Leo) after they're placed into the Witness Protection Program. The CIA (represented by Tommy Lee Jones) decides that a small town in France is the family's best bet of laying low, but the criminal underworld still manages to catch wind of them, and so their peaceful French village is turned into a war zone. Sounds fun, right? Wouldn't it be even more fun if you had some sweet freebies to come home to after watching that great cast and that great director make a big mess of the pristine...
- Peter Hall
Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro star as husband and wife in the new mob flick, The Family, which hits the big screen tomorrow. We got to sit down with the iconic duo to chat about the film, in which they finally got to collaborate. After starring in many of the same titles without sharing scenes, Robert and Michelle were happy to "finally" get to know each other off the red carpet. The pair also opened up about the experience of filming overseas and establishing a family dynamic on set with their young costars Dianna Agron and John D'Leo. Watch to hear more from Michelle and Robert about their suspense-filled comedy, The Family. »
- Meghan Rooney
After Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) snitches on the New York mob, he and his family have to go into the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately for Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones), the FBI minder assigned to keep them out of trouble, the Manzonis can't seem to stay out of it. Now known as the Blakes, Fred (De Niro), Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), Belle (Dianna Agron), and Warren (John D'Leo) are soon up to their old criminal ways, with action, laughs, and a little bit 'o' heartbreak following them wherever they go.
Before you hit the theater this weekend, here are 10 things to know about "The Family."
1. Don't go to this film hungry.
Maggie's home cooking is a mouth-watering affair, even though she can't always find the ripest tomatoes in France. She »
- Jenni Miller
When most people conjure up an image of Dianna Agron, it's one of her in the halls of McKinley High, the fictitious school whose corridors she graced on five seasons of "Glee." The hit Fox musical-soap opera hybrid made her a household name playing Quinn Fabray, launching her into feature roles such as "I Am Number Four." For her latest work, Agron is again in the halls of academe, but this time with a decidedly darker bent.
In Luc Besson's "The Family," Agron plays Belle, the teenage daughter of a mob family relocated to the rural French area of Normandy while under witness protection. She may have a new name to shield her from the enemies of her father (played by Robert De Niro), but she can't suppress the clever and brutal instincts that come from years of growing up the offspring of a hitman. Belle manages to rustle »
- Kase Wickman
In the dark action comedy "The Family," a Mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the Witness Protection Program after snitching on the mob.Despite Agent Stansfield's (Tommy Lee Jones) best efforts to keep them in line, Fred Blake (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children, Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo), can't help resorting to old habits by handling their problems the "family" way.Chaos ensues as their former Mafia cronies try to track them down and scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings, in this subversively funny film by Luc Besson."The Family" open this Friday, September 13. To celebrate the film's opening, toofab is giving one (1) lucky winner a prize pack including a pair of Ray Bay Sunglasses (essential whether you're in or out of the Witness Protection Program), a branded apron and brass knuckle mug. »
- tooFab Staff
The mob genre takes a turn for the funny in the Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer crime comedy "The Family" this weekend, while James Wan's ("The Conjuring") horror sequel "Insidious: Chapter 2" aims to scare you out of your seats.
Luc Besson's ("Leon: The Professional," "The Fifth Element") "The Family" stars Robert De Niro as the head of the Manzoni crime family -- who could play it better? -- who move to France after entering the witness protection program. While a CIA agent (Tommy Lee Jones) works to keep them in line, the family, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron (TV's "Glee"), and John D'Leo, can't help but revert to their violent ways. Once a mobster, always a mobster.
- Erin Whitney
"The Family," co-written and directed by Luc Besson ("Leon: The Professional," "The Fifth Element"), stars De Niro as Giovanni Manzoni, a mob boss who moves his wife and kids to France (and changes their last name to Blake) under the witness protection program. But this seemingly sweet family is far from sweet, and when their violent tendencies come out, it threatens to blow their cover.
- Erin Whitney
Robert De Niro in the part of the mobster is nothing new. But Robert De Niro in the part of a snitch who ratted out his fellow bad dudes and has to move himself and his very New York family all the way to France to ensure their safety, well you can't say you've seen that before.
From the man who brought you Leon the Professional and The Fifth Element, Luc Besson, comes The Family, a crime-comedy that finds Giovanni (De Niro) and Maggie Manzoni (Michelle Pfeiffer) along with their tough-as-nails kids (Dianna Agron, John D'Leo) following the advice of CIA agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and end up in a sleepy French village where it seems, trouble will find them.
We were recently in New York to chat with the A-list cast about pretending to be a family and what happens when you cross the mob.
Watch our interview »
- Andrea Miller
In The Family, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo play Belle and Warren Blake, scions of an expatriate mafia family living in France under the protection of the U.S. government. Not unlike their parents (played by Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer), Belle and Warren have a difficult time adjusting to "normal" life in a foreign country - especially since they can't seem to help themselves when it comes to acting out. I sat down with Ms. Agron and Mr. D'Leo to talk about their awesome on-screen parents, their awkward first meeting on set and working with director Luc Besson. »
- Eric Walkuski
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