In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he ...
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1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he finds his aunt married to Frank Olchin, one of the big contractors; he's battling with a minority-owned firm for contracts. Willie Gutierrez, Leo's best friend, is Frank's bag man and heads a crew of midnight saboteurs who ruin the work of the Puerto Rican-owned firm. Leo needs a job, so Willie pays him to be his back-up. Then things go badly wrong one night, a cop IDs Leo, and everyone now wants him out of the picture. Besides his ailing mom and his cousin Erica, to whom can Leo turn? Written by
The newscasters on the news that Leo watches are actual newscasters from the New York City area. See more »
When Leo looks in the rear view mirror and sees Willie and Granada taking off their clothes, they are on the driver's side of Granada's car. When he turns around and looks, they are now on the right side of the vehicle. See more »
. . . you know you've got a movie that tried something
Not NEW, necessarily, as The Yards is paced, structured and shot like it was
made before 1976. But you don't see that often these days.
The Yards is an entertaining and noble attempt at a tribute to crime films
of that era.
I have friends who don't have the attention span to sit through The
Godfather(on some days neither do I) - I wouldn't recommend this film to
them. Reared as our younger generation was on Spielbergian and MTV-cut
films, the pacing of both that film and The Yards are slow and deliberate -
sometimes hard to take. The Yards could have used a bit of tightening up in
editing, just seconds off of a scene here, a scene there to move things
along, but still, it's a strong film.
The first thing that caught my eye was the sparse dialogue. There's a lot
of acting going on here, and not of the scenery-chewing variety (recent
Pacino). The actors are given a lot of room to act with their eyes and
bodies. You're not hit over the head with 2-D stock characters, although it
may appear so at first. The story is genre: ex-con, returning to his New
York borough neighborhood falls right into the same circles that got him in
trouble in the first place. What follows is a story of corruption,
redemption and family; structured almost as a Greek Tragedy. But quietly.
There are no "good guys" or "bad guys", as almost everyone is on the make.
The overall impression projected is that everyone is protecting their own
and trying to succeed in a system that they live in - not one they created
Mark Wahlberg isn't a great actor, but he delivers what the character
requires. Charlize Theron isn't in her element playing a Queens-chick, but
aside from a faltering accent, she does pretty well.
Excellent acting is delivered by Joachin Phoenix, as well as veterans Caan,
Dunaway, and Ellen Burstyn.
The Yards is a good movie, although admittedly, not for the "average"
movie-going audience. It likely won't meet their expectations of what a
"good" movie is.
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