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Tom Arnold's Character Best Part of Movie
After watching Restitution, it seems the negative user reviews are more aimed at Mark Bierlein than at the overall movie. While definitely not a thought-provoking film that sticks with you, Restitution does have its moments, particularly Tom Arnold's character. Arnold's role combined with Suvari's presence somewhat offset the corny script and moments of amateur special effects editing.
After the first 20 minutes the plot picks up and is easy to follow. Similar elements to what one would expect of a Lifetime movie : mystery, a few too many cheesy lines, and an ending with closure.
Oh, and Mena is lovely as always.
Cocaine Cowboys 2 (2008)
An Addicting Surprise
While meant to be a documentary, I found the storyline portrayal to be more along the lines of a captivating series such as 'Intervention', drawing you in even though you may not have planned to watch it.
We have seen the drug trade glorified in countless movies, but what makes this docu-drama standout out is that its characters are real and portray themselves in raw form while speaking to the camera. Interviews with the dealers, police, former hit men, everyone except Griselda herself though we hear her voice on recorded prison calls replayed a few times throughout the film.
Footage is a mixture of old recordings, reenactments, interviews, photo montages, and whatever could not fall into one of those categories is therefore sketched out in a cartoon-like manner. There is even footage of how to cook crack.
Stereotypes of all kinds exist about Oakland, but not usually one of overnight local millionaires running an international multi-billion dollar operation. (though an illegal operation, but that's not the point). By the end of the movie a light is shed on a piece of history not widely known to most, of both Oakland and Griselda's empire.
The end of the movie ties up nicely with closure and laughter of the totally bizarre yet true series of events which saved the Godmother and others from prison or even the death penalty.
Raw, authentic, dramatic, slightly comedic, and definitely a movie appealing to viewers of several different genres.