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New York, 1957. SPIDER, a 17-year-old gang leader looking to make a rep, gets in way over his head when he blunders into the gambling nest of a notorious gangster. On the run, he's found and taken in by a sheltered young woman, TAMARA, who lives with her reclusive uncle, BIG DIDI, on the top floor of an abandoned hotel. She manages to keep Spider a secret from the bedridden Didi, an exiled crime lord who was gunned down and presumed dead 30 years earlier by the same gangster, CASKET MIKE, now pursuing Spider...Written by
This is a good movie. I would rather have a movie with loads of suspense and few special effects like this movie; than a movie with great special effects and no suspense. This movie shows that a low budget can be to the benefit of a film. These gun laden movies tend to be formulaic in many respects but there is enough here to keep you watching with empathy for the characters until the end. There are a lot of good elements in "A New York Heartbeat". I like the credible evocation of the era although I am sure you could find flaws if you looked hard. I liked the slangy throwaway quips of the era e.g. "snazzy" and "foxy chicks" ("wait around a dark corner and drill him") and the way the slang was delivered. I liked the line "if a fellah does some listening he learns things". So it was a very good screenplay in my humble opinion. I liked the muted evocative trumpet; made me feel kind of blue and was not overdone. I liked the little things like when the birds flew past as Spider and Tamara were talking. It was flock of them which was a common urban sight in past decades. And at certain points, a few birds would fly past to maintain the special ambiance of the film. The movie started well and hooked you in with immediate suspense with the guys swigging from a brown-paper covered bottle of booze. That was common as I remember in the 60's (I am quite old). Young folks of nowadays would not know about such small things as booze bottles covered with brown paper (maybe). But it lent credibility for me who does remember a less sophisticated texting-free era. This movie is convincing and relies on good acting and plot tension. But for a few holes that I thought I perceived in the plot I would have given it an 8. Probably 7 & 1/2 would be my real assessment. This is a very entertaining movie but possibly a few too many gun-solutions for my personal taste. The great thing was the unrelenting suspense and the affection you feel for the characters. The acting is good because you don't notice that it is good. And isn't that what we should aim for?
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