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|Index||73 reviews in total|
"Dinner Rush" has not been released in Germany --- which usually indicates
not very successful B-movie... In this case, it is a B-movie (shot in only
21 days!), but, uuhhh baby, it is one of the best B-movies ever
Elegant camera movements, a superb ensemble cast (Danny Aiello, John Corbett, Edoardo Ballerini, Vivian Wu, Sandra Bernhard, Mark Margolis, and beautiful Summer Phoenix), an intriguing story, marvelously directed ... they usually don't make movies like that anymore. Bob Giraldi did an excellent job with his actors, and production designer Andrew Bernard created a stunning atmosphere.
"Dinner Rush" ranks among my all-time favorite films. It might be not suitable for everyone, but then, what movie is? It's an entertaining, witty, thoughtful portrayal of New York of the millennium --- enchanting!
The film is about a trendy family restaurant in New York. As one
character says..."It's a joint with a buzz!" It's an apt expression,
for the film surely buzzes non-stop as the characters crowd into this
very popular restaurant noted for its delicious food. Down below the
restaurant is the kitchen where the meals are prepared. This is the
most stunning part of the film. Absolutely believable. Perfect cinema.
Among the steaming saucepans and oiled fry pans there is the clatter of
white plates on which the chefs and kitchen staff arrange the most
surprising little temptations at lightning speed. The hand of the
director is most noticeable here with superb choreographed movement of
the actors in the confined space. There is clatter and chatter,
laughter and fisticuffs.
The mood is different at the dining tables. Idle gossip among the clients and smart remarks to the staff about the appropriateness of hanging oil paintings in a restaurant. Then there is the presence of the food writers ready to criticize and gangster types insisting on a partnership with the management. It's all go...go...go...as the camera follows the dishes to the tables. There is a perpetual air of excitement.
The cameras constantly switch from dining room to kitchen and kitchen to dining room maintaining a lively feeling of urgency as the trays are carried up the stairs. The dialogue is fast too and I find it sometimes difficult to follow. The large cast requires some sorting out as well.
The ending comes unexpectedly with a surprising twist.
This film is really about revenge. Like some food preparations, revenge can simmer for a long time. One thing is made clear to me however. Revenge as a dish is best served cold.
Fan a fresh deck of cards with the spots up and the coherence is immediately apparent. Shuffle the deck and coherence is lost...the purpose of the shuffle. In "Dinner Rush", Giraldi and company manage to shuffle a deck of plots, personal issues, and cuisine with the controlled chaos of a restaurant during the dinner rush while never losing coherence, building characters and stories, and wrapping everything up with a bow in just over 1.5 hours. Masterfully crafted, "Dinner Rush" has a story to tell, offers solid performances, works well in claustrophobic conditions, sports a cosmopolitan cast, and is imbued with gourmet cooking and an ever present taste of "the Big Apple". Not for everyone, this flick will appeal most to those who can appreciate a film as much for its execution and style as for its story. (B+)
I didn't think they made movies like this anymore.
The only thing wrong with this movie is the lack of marketing. Otherwise, it's superb on so many levels, and the ending (even though I knew what was coming) was a happy surprise.
Every single performance is good, with most of them actually great. The script is faultless, as is the plot, the pacing, and the directing. Even though it's a less-flashy style than in 99% or the movies these days, it's wonderful to be able to appreciate really good camerawork, clear dialogue, perfect editing..
I don't want to go into great detail, because the movie is such a pleasure to watch. I just hope this may convince you to see Dinner Rush, because it's quite possibly the best film of the year. I am now going to pester friends & colleagues to rent it, until I can actually buy it and then force them to watch.
I found this gem in the bargain bin at Wal Mart. How it got there, I don't know. The film stars Danny Aiello (Do The Right Thing), Mike McGlone (The Brothers McMullen) and John Corbett (Sex and the City). Set in the fast paced New York Italian restaurant "Gigino", we follow a restaurant owner (Aiello) and his son, the head chef, on a busy Friday night. The film is comprised of witty banter from different tables in the restaurant, following a uptight art critic, a mafiosi from Queens, a food critic and a real mystery man in Corbett's character. The staff has to deal with a power outage, whiny tables and a line chef who is into a bookie 35 grand. The film carries itself with panache every second, and no matter how often I see this picture, be it on DVD or on IFC, I just can't get enough. Check it out!
This is one the rare gems of independent cinema.
I wish more people had seen this when it came out. It is a beautifully shot film about the life of a restaurant on a busy night. But there is so much more to this film. It combines a fascinating mob element that you don't fully understand until the end with the delicate flair of a master chef combining ingredients in a meal. The ending is immensely surprising and gratifying. All the performances are believable, especially Corbett who is in his best film. It is the dynamic of a trendy restaurant dealing with a record-breaking night, however that makes this film superb. It takes so many lives and elements and brings them together with aplomb. This is one of the best films in recent years.
This is really a hidden gem that should have had a major impact at the
cinemas everywhere. It truly is a loss to anyone who misses it.
The characters are charming, obnoxious, familiar, unexpected and with a great many stereotypes this offers a fascinating mix played out at a weird and wonderful pace that switches easily between relaxed and frantic. The character gallery on its own is reason to see this film but the various tracks of the story offers added value not seen as comfortably intertwined in other films for many years. The stories are steered by an amazing screenplay based on non-stop dialogue that places you right at the centre of affairs, or indeed inside the restaurant where 90% of the film is set.
If you enjoy the witty repartee of Smoke or Clerks (although nowhere near as vulgar) then you must see this film.
Danny Aiello is brilliant, so are the majority of the not so well known cast and the supporting role of John Corbett offers a new perspective on an otherwise strong stereotype, almost worth the ticket price itself.
This film crackles with authenticity. Danny Aiello is great in the lead
role as the owner of this eatery, rushed off its feet in the evening
rush after the day leading to it. He plays ironically opposite to his
oft gangster roles. Well structured with an interesting mix of
characters, showing their chemistry with each other, the boss, the son,
the dish hands, the restaraunts patrons, and food critic, the lust, and
the great character John Corbett plays.
Dinner Rush is well worth a look. I am sure you won't be disappointed if you like films that simmer at a medium temperature so it becomes cooked nicely at the end with a good surprise in the end how it turned out.
Excellent filmmaking and acting meshed so fine. Great character study of people too. Danny Aiello is wonderful as usual. Eduardo Ballerini ("Udo"), slammed such as impression on me! And Summer Phoenix is AMAZING as the patient but put upon waitress Marti. And I loved/hated the art critic jerk. Sandra Bernhardt as usual, a fun to watch bi*ch. I applauded John Corbett's character.As for the chefs' domain, the pace and stress in the kitchen's so palpable. (As someone who once got canned after 2 days in a nursing home kitchen of all places, I so appreciate the stress they endure!) Screw any mobster's presence, if I lived in NY, I'd wanna go down right now to a Tribeca restaurant like this after seeing Dinner Rush!
"Dinner Rush" will inevitably be compared to "Big Night," and other
food preparation/restaurant movies, but I think it holds its own as a
delicious slice of one night of New York life. As one character
plotzes: "When did eating out become theater?"
The wonderful, winsome multi-ethnic ensemble of mostly New York actors --many born in Brooklyn according to the IMDb--who have done a lot of TV work are clearly enjoying making a movie as a coordinated team. Danny Aiello has his best, and somewhat similar, role since "City Hall."
Many of the references may go over the heads of those West of the Hudson or East of the East River, whether to Tribeca (as a newly trendy neighborhood) or Danny Meyer (restaurant entrepreneur). Or even the digs at Queens as the home of mobsters, which were greeted by silence by the Queens audience I saw it with.
The upstairs/downstairs of the kitchen scrambles vs. the dining pleasures and everyone's personal spices are lots of fun. The actors playing obnoxious customers, like Sandra Bernhard, do so with relish but not overplayed.
Keep your palate clear by not looking at the ad campaign or reading the reviews, as I think they give the plot away and I was totally surprised by the ending, er, the dessert.
(originally written 9/29/2001)
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