The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.
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Dito, a writer in L.A., goes home to Astoria, Queens, after a 15-year absence when his mother calls to say his father's ill. In a series of flashbacks we see the young Dito, his parents, his four closest friends, and his girl Laurie, as each tries to navigate family, race, loyalty, sex, coming of age, violence, and wanting out. A ball falls onto the subway tracks at a station, small things get out of hand. Can Dito go home again? Written by
Dito Montiel was reluctant to cast Shia LaBeouf in the role of young Dito because Montiel was intent on casting an unknown. After the first rejection, however, LaBeouf pushed for one more audition. He came into the casting office, punched a hole in the wall, and convinced Montiel that he could bring a requisite amount of anger to the role. See more »
The song "New York Groove" is incorrectly credited to KISS. While he was a member of KISS at the time, and while KISS performed this song during their tours in the late 70's and early 80's, the song is actually from Ace Frehley's 1978 self titled solo album. See more »
My favorite movie of the year, thus far. While it might not leave any long-lasting impact on society or even win an Academy Award, it is one of the most impressive character-driven films that I have ever seen. Granted, there are a number of films in the same "coming of age" genre and some have done an even better job than this one, but such are rare and have probably come once in a generation. This one is ours.
Set in Brooklyn, New York, the story is about one man, Dito (Robert Downey Jr.), reflecting on his adolescence (Shia LeBouf) through a personal memoir. It continuously shifts between past and present as one moment we see an adult Dito paying a visit to his old neighborhood and the next we are in that very same place during his younger years with his friends, a group of rough teens with nothing better to do than cause trouble for everyone around them. It strikes at you emotionally, as you grow to like each of the characters only to see the majority of their lives worsen with every scene. It is a depressing movie.
It has the darker 80's feel to it. Like "The Warriors" kind of a backdrop. Grimy. I like those stupid old movies a lot, so this was just perfect.
I don't want to give anything away, because I don't want to ruin such a good movie for anyone that might want to see it. It originally came out for the Sundance Film Festival and was finally released in Washington nearly six months later. As far as I know, it's only playing at Lincoln Square, but without a doubt it's worth the trip and the extra dollar or so.
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