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At first we thought it was a parody of a mafia movie but quickly realized it is just a horrible flick with the worst plot and even worse acting. Didn't have the nerves to make it half way through it but what we did see was a bunch of awful acting, most of which around a poker table or the bathroom of "The Sinatra Club". It was really painful to watch and both me and my wife love mafia movies. Don't waste your time (even watching the trailer) or your money. The biggest actor they could find was from an 80's "The Heavenly Kid" as well as one backing actor with a very minor role from "The Sopranos". This is my first movie review on here and this is the movie that prompted me to Sign up because it was so bad (and there are plenty of awful movies in this genre).
It is 1972 and the Mafia crime families are at war, but that is not
enough to stop a young, unknown John Gotti (Danny Nucci), who has big
ideas and even bigger ambitions. In order to put an end to a two
decades' conflict, Gotti pulls together an unlikely crew made up of one
member from each crime family to pull off a silver bullion heist.
I appreciate that the film is narrated by the real Salvatore Polisi who wrote the book this film is based on. How much is true? How much is exaggerated? How much is cashing in on the name John Gotti? I do not know enough about the Gambino Family to really answer these questions. In fact, the Gambino group may be the one I know the least about (and I generally focus on the Midwest groups). I find it hard to believe they would freely walk around saying they were members of certain families as they do in this film, but I do like the use of slang (like "yeg" for "safe-cracker").
I do know there are some errors, such as saying that Carmine Galante was the Bonanno boss. In 1972, Galante had not taken over yet -- this job was filled by Natale Evola. But it is still a pretty good mob film, although clearly low budget and with Joey Lawrence.
With that heartfelt voice-over narration, those camera dissolves, and
the song "Cara Mia", the final ten-minute segment has great thematic
depth. "At The Sinatra Club" describes real people. I just wish the
entire film had been as good as the ending.
A reformed criminal, Salvatore Polisi, whose story this is, and who narrates, gives us one day in his life many years ago as a youthful New York City hoodlum affiliated with the mob, and with John Gotti (Danny Nucci) in particular. In this twenty-four hour period, youthful Mafia dudes argue, verbally duel, clash, growl, pose, shoot the bull, scope each other out, and generally act tough as they prepare for a big heist, only hours away. The plot moves along as a countdown of hours left before the heist.
And most of the action takes place inside the Sinatra Club, a real club back in the early 70s. Too bad that we hear so few Sinatra songs.
The ensemble script is very talky. Dialogue is immense. And almost every other word comes from the four-letter-word dictionary. Coarse language is necessary to make these people seem real. But when such words are overused they distract. Still, these dudes are tough, not just tough talking. With them, every moment, every hour, every day becomes a matter of physical survival, rendered a little easier by guns and strong fists.
The main problems here are a plot that doesn't go anywhere, unappealing characters, too much dialogue, and a legitimate "my beloved" theme that doesn't come through until those final ten minutes. All of which relate to the film's script, which may have been constrained by budget. Danny Nucci gives a fine performance as a young John Gotti. Costumes, sets, and cinematography are fine.
I started watching this unoriginal piece of schlock because I thought
it was a semi-documentary about John Gotti. At first, I was willing to
forgive the awful reenactment at the opening scene had they just gotten
to the documentary part. Then I realized, Oh Lord, this is it. This is
gonna be the movie! I soon realized it's like a high school play trying
to be Goodfellas. I wasted my time thinking it would get better. It
didn't. If you have any knowledge of the mafia, you will find yourself
asking; "WTF are they talking about?"
I wish I could give it a zero rating. However, the ratings for this movie needs to be rated with turds instead of stars. The only reason that I can see for some of the good reviews is....maybe the reviewers were given an offer they couldn't refuse. If you are thinking about watching it, don't bother. My friend made it through one minute of this laughable cinematic embarrassment. If this is an accurate portrayal of "wise guys", then I would be ashamed to be a mobster. Unless of course, I was Fredo.
Some former kid actors get to star in some real adult gangster roles as
the purported story of John Gotti in the years he was making his bones
as a criminal in Sinatra Club. Some Sinatra is heard, but not nearly
enough for my taste on the soundtrack.
Jason Gedrick narrates and plays Ubatz aka Sal Polisi, really aka Sammy 'the Bull' Gravano. Obviously Sammy the Bull who is still with us was not given any rights to use his name so it was changed to protect the very guilty, despite the disclaimer this film proudly sports.
The Sinatra Club is a kind of neutral turf where made members of the various crime families meet and socialize and talk shop. It's also where they can be reasonably assured that they won't start whacking each other on premise. Danny Nucci who plays the charismatic young Gotti sees to that.
Nucci as Gotti has the idea to get them all working on a really big heist involving a shipment of silver both in coin and bullion with all the various crews cooperating. The idea is getting a hearing from the bosses as Gotti sells the plan. Of course the inevitable happens as these guys are violent criminals and they've got a lot of their own issues, all played out in this film.
It's neither the best or far from the worst gangster film I've seen even if it was made without Sammy the Bull's consent.
Just recently watched this film and I just had to write a review. At first I wasn't sure about watching 'just another' mafia film, however as the story began to unravel I felt extremely drawn in. The actors were fantastic and the way they developed their characters took you on different sub-plots throughout. Although 'the heist' was the main objective of the film, we were able to watch behind enemy lines into the eyes and ears of the underground crime scene. In a lot of recent films I have found my mind wander off and end up missing most of the scenes however this did not happen even once during 'At The Sinatra Club'. In my opinion, films that completely take you out of everyday normal life and make you forget your surroundings deliver the best entertainment! Thanks for a very entertaining and believable account on the early dealings of the infamous John Gotti! Definitely worth a watch!
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