Brooklyn Lobster Reviews
Bickering family bickers at each other.
No compassion, no forgiveness, no laughter, no tears.
Just like diet pop - it should be sweet, but you can tell it's artificial, and any sweetness is overpowered by the bitter aftertaste.
Depressing small movie about a family business that is failing and the crumbling marriage of the parents who are otherwise trying to hold everything together.
They angrily cuss like sailors throughout at each other - the grown kids too, and there's nothing to endear Any of them.
So, sadly you don't care about the characters, the family or the business, so when the cliche ending comes together and all is well, you are left feeling glad it's over.
I hated it, stupid one note characters.
even tho I otherwise like Jane Curtin - in ANYTHING else.
Such a disappointment here.
It gets one star for the one note story, one note characters, and one note emotional response.
What is eerie about this 2005 film is that it is prescient, having a bank foreclosure as it's main plot device. As the story tells it, the Giorgio's lobster company goes to a bank for a loan in order to build a restaurant adjacent to their lobster market. When the bank goes belly up, the FDIC steps in and demands instant repayment of all outstanding loans. The film shows the arrogance and intractability of the feds, who force an auction on the family's property rather than attempting to work out some kind of repayment plan. This sounds so familiar in so many ways to what occurred 4 years later in the real world - I guess the signs were pretty obvious to those with their eyes open.
But while the bank drama plays out, there is the story of a family, headed by patriarch Danny Aiello who seems to excel at playing a tough guy with a heart. He doesn't disappoint here, all full of bluster, and yet still managing to give the impression that he is a real, feeling guy whose main failing is in thinking that working hard putting food on the table and keeping the rest of his family employed (and therefore under his thumb) is a sufficient show of love. His wife, in a so-so performance by Jane Curtain, doesn't think so, and uses the loss of their family home in the aforementioned bank fiasco to move away from Aiello. This aspect of the story isn't as fully developed as one may hope, and her ultimate declaration that throughout their marriage she was "alone" comes across as words on a page, without any real emotional underpinnings or fire - just a simple statement as if resigned to the fact of the matter. And yet, for her declaration to the contrary Curtain and Aiello seem to spend much of the film in the same frame.
Also into the mix is a father son relationship that is so typical and yet in this instance comes across as real and true, which is more than you can say concerning some of the goings on in the film; from the court proceedings to Aiello's confrontation with the uncle of his son's fiancÚ. In the end there is a great big happy ending and a celebration that places the entire extended family together (and implies that it may just stay that way). While the ending may satisfy emotionally, going a different direction may have made for a better film.
This indie film, written and directed by Kevin Jordan, is fairly well edited and paced, but suffers from some lighting and sound issues (that seem indigenous to the indie species), but overall there are a few too many superfluous scenes for its short run time, even when said scenes enhance the homey, familial feel. I feel that there was an interesting story to tell here, of a family business with all the trappings (many of which I've seen first hand), but, while good intentioned, the script utilized too many conventions and suffered from a lack of emotional depth.
The movie has a simple plot, and is not really going to excite you, but it is well written and acted. I recommend this to anyone that likes movies about old school families and small businesses.
Most movies dealing with my home borough seem to use it as a reason to create wild, over-the-top characters with wild, over-the-top accents. Here it actually felt as if the characters were people that I have known throughout my life. Danny Aiello's character in particular, might as well be my own grandfather.
Never before has Brooklyn been shot so painstakingly. The camera lingers on shots of Sheepshead bay and luxuriates in the grungy richness of its landscape, akin to what other movies do with sweeping shots of plains or vast forests.
It is this real sense of Brooklyness that carried the film for me throughout. Otherwise the film is a standard family drama, with run-of-the-mill acting, with the exception of Danny Aiello who is quite complex here.
If you are from the greatest borough and feeling a bit homesick, seek this one out. I guarantee that it will be a touch of home. If you aren't from Brooklyn, there is something still to enjoy here, but you won't get nearly as much out of it.