Brooklyn Lobster Reviews

Page 1 of 2
maxthesax
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2011
Brooklyn Lobster runs the parallel story of a struggling business that is mirrored by a crumbling family. For the most part it is real and honest, and yet, for all the honesty there are times that something smells fishy (not the lobsters, 'cause they're crustaceans...ahem).

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.
½ March 31, 2009
Real depiction about business financial struggles & warm family relationships. Danny Aiello was fantastic...
½ September 5, 2011
Totally worth it for Danny Aiello's performance alone.
maxthesax
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2011
Brooklyn Lobster runs the parallel story of a struggling business that is mirrored by a crumbling family. For the most part it is real and honest, and yet, for all the honesty there are times that something smells fishy (not the lobsters, 'cause they're crustaceans...ahem).

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.
February 1, 2011
Brooklyn Lobster is a really fun and interesting film about an Italian family that is running a lobster business in Brooklyn. I found the movie to be really interesting and kept my attention from the start. The characters were authentic and the dialog was well written.

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.
December 17, 2006
6.5/10. The well defined characters and the acting make this a very enjoyable film. Touchingly directed by Kevin Jordan. Very well written, Jane Curtin is particularly good. Solid all around.
½ May 6, 2006
"BROOKLYN LOBSTER"(2005) Famed director Martin Scorsese introduces this film as a tribute to its writer and director, Kevin Jordan, who is a past recipient of the Martin Scorsese Young Filmmaker Scholarship Award. Jordan returns the compliment with this delightful, heartwarming story about an Italian family in Brooklyn. It is an affectionate look at a family in crisis during one trying Christmas week where everything that could possibly go wrong, does.

The inestimable actor, Danny Aiello, stars as Frank Giorgio, a gruff Italian patriarch and the owner of Giorgio's Lobster Farm, a third-generation family owned and operated seafood supply business. The bank that had financed his new restaurant addition went under and now the FDIC wants to auction off his entire business to pay off the bank loan.

Frank's son, Michael (Daniel Sauli), returns home from Seattle for Christmas with a local girl that he hopes to marry only to find both the family and the business in turmoil. On top of the looming FDIC auction, he finds out that his long suffering mother, Maureen (Jane Curtin), has moved out of their family home and that the business has been effectively shut down due to a breakage in the sea water intake pipes. With his father fuming and fulminating in frustration, Michael is quickly reminded of why he had to get away in the first place. Grade: B+, Recommended? Yes!

Carl Zapffe,
The Cat's Meow Movie Critic

Please click on the links at left to read my full review
of this movie as well as those of other recent movies.
½ November 15, 2005
Great film - felt good leaving the theater. They don't make films like this anymore!
Page 1 of 2