BROOKLYN RULES: DVD
On the mean streets of 1980s Brooklyn, three boyhood friends, Michael (Freddie Prinze Jr), Bobby (Jerry Ferrara) and Carmine (Scott Caan), struggle with relationships, responsibility and loyalty as John Gotti's rise to power in the Mafia triggers violence that impacts on their world.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Mafia in Brooklyn ... this is writer Terence Winter's territory (he wrote the Sopranos, for example) and this story is said to be based on his and his friends' experiences. How much of them are fantasy, though, remains in doubt. Opening sequence, for example, introduces us to the area when the boys are pre teens and running around looking to play on the water's edge. When they find a convertible parked in the grass and the driver shot to death, they steal the cigarettes and the gun from the glove-box, and walk away. All a bit too casual for basically middle class kids unused to that sort of serious gameplaying.
The story's genuinely dramatic elements are squeezed into the final third, and there is a melancholy note to the whole thing, as well as a sense of something missing. But it's not the performances.
Top cast delivers terrific characterisations, with all three leads showing deep talents, as does Mena Suvari in a small and thankless but important role. Alec Baldwin's tough guy weighs in well with a commanding screen presence, and the direction is as good as the screenplay allows. Limitations in story notwithstanding, Michael Corrente pieces together a great sense of place and time, his pacing is well accented between buddy movie and gangster thriller, and there are some stand out scenes - amidst some not so engaging ones.
The occasional violence is gritty and the tension flows and ebbs as we follow the journey of the three friends trying to figure out their individual futures in a setting that doesn't help them any.
Published February 28, 2008
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BROOKLYN RULES: DVD (MA)
CAST: Alec Baldwin, Freddie Prinze Jr, Scott Caan, Jerry Ferrara, Mena Suvari, Monica Keena, Robert Turano, Phyllis Kay
PRODUCER: Michael Corrente, Richard Barton Lewis, Marisa Polvino
DIRECTOR: Michael Corrente
SCRIPT: Terence Winter
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Richard Crudo
EDITOR: Kate Sanford
MUSIC: Benny Rietveld
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bob Shaw
RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes
PRESENTATION: 1.78:1 widescreen; DD 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary by Terence Winter & Michael Corrente
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
DVD RELEASE: February 6, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.