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A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
Brooklyn, 1988. Crime is rife, especially drugs and drug violence. A Russian thug is building his heroin trade, while everyone laughs at the cops. Brothers have chosen different paths: Joe has followed his father Bert into New York's Finest; he's a rising star. Bobby, who uses his mother's maiden name, manages a club. Bobby too is on the rise: he has a new girlfriend and a green-light to develop a Manhattan club. Joe and Bert ask him to help with intelligence gathering; he declines. Then, Joe raids Bobby's club to arrest the Russian. From there, things spiral out of control: the Russian puts out a hit on Joe, personal losses mount, and Bobby's loyalties face the test. Written by
Sony bought the film for a reported $11 million. See more »
In a scene where Bobby and Amada are sitting on a bed, Eva Mendes is wearing a Hanes a-shirt tank top. The label is visible through the fabric when the camera shows her back. The "tagless" style that she is wearing was not available in 1988. See more »
A thoughtful, unpredictable film about family love and crime. - A filmmaker review
In the spirit of the Yards (2000), Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix team up once again in this tale of family love and crime.
A filmmaker review.
The film echoes the story type of 1970's crime films. Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and Taxi (1976). As deadly drug dealers fill the city with chaos a relationship plot is played out between Police Chief Albert Grusinsky (Robert Duvall) and his two sons; police captain Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg) and night club manager Robert Green (Joaquin Phoenix). The family story is very powerful in its delivery. It plays on the typically family circumstance of the favorite son. The drama is raised when drugs and murder are introduced into Robert Green's club. Giving him a choice between helping his Police family and advancing his own career managing clubs for the Russian Mafia. The script works on many parallels between the two brothers, their lives and values. The story definitely is not typical, when the important turning point kicks in it doesn't follow the typical path which makes it a refreshing opening to further story development and plot twists.
Editing and Cinematography:
Again, the crime films of the 70's are evident in the editing style. Its very laid back allowing the intensity of the drama to flow nicely, it gives the audience absorbing time. No fancy shots like cranes moving through windows and into keyholes kind of thing. Just simple effective, laid back camera movements. A contrast from its few high action scenes which are rapid and use the P.O.V element to make the situation more real. The back and forward editing between the two brothers is essential to get the feeling of the two different worlds the characters inhabit. Its very well done with a nice pace.
The acting is very real but also the main cast don't stray too far from their signature characters. Joaquin Phoenix dropped the ball in a few scenes. Robert Duvall plays his Police role like he did Colors(1988). Mark Walhberg is well, Mark Malhberg...again. Overall it is not too bothersome in enjoying the film, but worth mentioning.
If you like 70's drama and crime flicks your going to enjoy this film. It's a family drama in which crime and action take a back seat. The slow drama and few action sequences makes it not appealing to those who wont a vicious-fast-paced-cop-action-flick unless your willing to wait out, cause the action sequences, although are few, are very good.
If you enjoy CSI stay away, if you want another Serpico then this is the film for you.
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