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The Real Thing More at IMDbPro »Livers Ain't Cheap (original title)

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Old Crooks Gather For One Last Heist In Order To Save A Dying Boy

Author: tony lefcourt
31 July 1999

Excellent low-budget feature. James Russo stars as a bank robber on parole attempting to reform himself. His brother gets into some trouble and is soon in need of a liver. Russo isn't able to come up with the amount of money needed to give his brother what he needs.

After Russo is fired from his factory job by his tough-as-nails boss, played by Gary Busey, things suddenly look hopeless. He hears a rumor about a local mobster, Rod Steiger, who hordes his money in a upstairs loft above a posh club and a plan is soon hatched. Russo gathers a group of guys whom he had pulled jobs with back in the day. Guys who have all done time and have been attempting to make a normal life for themselves.

There are some truly engaging moments as the ex-gangsters must dig deep inside themselves and find a way to justify getting back into that life. A pleading wife who begs her husband, Piven, not to go back to that, sticks out in my mind.

Eventually they all agree to this one last heist to help save their friend's brother. The film grows more complicated and the ending is violent and touching.

For a low-budget effort, I was amazed at the cast which was assembled on screen, Morales, Busey, Russo, and Piven, all guys who have carried films and television shows in the past. Busey and Steiger have smaller parts and are very good in them. Morales seems to have reprised his violent-bad seed character from Bad Boys for this one. He is truly slimy.

Russo, a guy who can't seem to shake that robber character he played in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, offers a sympathetic and thoughtful performance as a guy trying to do the right thing, for a change.

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Rented tape at Blockbuster on 3/3/99

1/10
Author: Mark Bruno (markevonne@sbcglobal.net) from Fremont, CA
4 March 1999

Unfortunately, I thought that this film was a real TURKEY. I rented it because the credits listed Gary Busey and Rod Steiger. Gary Busey had a bit part and Rod Steiger exited suddenly. The ending was predictable. The special effects were lacking. I feel that I wasted my money on the rental fee.

Maybe this movie would appeal to someone, but alas, not me. My wife slept through the whole movie.

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