Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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This uniquely presented mob centered biopic relies heavily on the acting and interplay between the two leads, Depp and Pacino, as much of the film involves conversational dialogue between the two. This film may not appear as unique today as two years after the release of Donnie Brasco we were introduced to Tony Soprano, along with his therapy sessions, hang ups and everyday struggles with fatherhood, which framed the wise guy in a fresh and original way as opposed to the cliche caricature of one dimensional tough guys who lack any vulnerability or deeper emotions. Al Pacino's Lefty appears as a precursor to Tony Soprano, and a breath of fresh air for mob based dramas, by bringing a level of humanity and pathos which amazingly made me sympathetic to his character at times, for example, as he continually lamented being passed over for a "promotion" despite the 26 guys he "clipped" for the bosses. Pacino could have just as easily been complaining about being passed over for a manager job at a supermarket, something many more of us could find relatable, and is just one small example of the normality he brought to a character with such an abnormal line of work.
AFI 100 Greatest Films - #31: The dialogue is where Annie Hall most earns its merit and the evidence of this films influence on the romantic comedy can be seen in countless films since. Allen, Keaton and the excellent supporting cast create engaging snapshots, illustrating different moments throughout a relationship, to which the actors bring a commendable level of authenticity and feeling.
This gets five stars when rating based on enjoyment and nostalgia and one star if rating on the actual quality of the film, as if I was viewing for the first time. Phil Hartman always gets my MVP.
Definitely enjoyed this more for the quirky comedy and satire, which I had not expected but was a welcome surprise. Somehow had never seen this film until now despite growing up listening to their music and taking a course in college titled "The Beatles". Revolver (released two years after this film release) will always be peak Beatles and, while enjoyable, the earlier stuff resonates less with me.
AFI 100 Greatest Films - #40: This revered member of the Hitchcock catalog was always going to have a tough task living up to the immense accolades but comes commendably close with eye popping scenery and set location, solid acting, and an always engaging story that was told in a wittier and more playful tone than I anticipated. On a side note this is also the second movie this week I have watched from the AFI 100 list involving the main character whistling "Singin in the Rain" (another AFI 100 list member) in a bathroom, albeit to very different ends.