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This might be a matter of taste, but "A Bronx Tale" remains Number 2 on list
of Favorite Movies of All Time. It just happens to be one of the most
deeply moving, powerful films I've ever encountered. Yes, some may consider
this a simple story, but that's the beauty of it. It's a down-to-earth,
coming-of-age story that perfectly mirrors the life of a boy like C growing
up in the Bronx at such a hectic time. Of course, this is based on Chazz
Palminteri's real life experiences, and I envy Chazz, being an aspiring
screenwriter/director. I wish I had life experiences like that to put on
film. And I have to commend my man Bobby D for bringing these images to
life in such a vibrant, engrossing way.
DeNiro captures every element of the 1960's Bronx, with a great opening
sequence featuring doo-wop singers sweetly singing the movie's theme. He
captures so many elements of the period, and it was nice to see only one
goof was captured. It was interesting to find out that most of the movie
was actually shot in Brooklyn--my hometown. Then again, the two places are
alike in their own simple ways.
Bobby D has a short, but memorable role (which is against type) as a
working-class bus driver. He's desperately trying to get by and support his
son, Cologero (I think that's how to spell it...LOL), and disapproves of his
son's new "job" with gangster Sonny (Chazz, who gives a landmark
performance). The interactions between DeNiro and his son are extraordinary
in the way they mirror the way a real father and son would argue in those
situations. As I said, it's the whole down-to-earth quality of this movie
that I think made it tick. It's nothing pretentious. This is a simple
movie about humanity. The gangster plot is merely a backdrop.
The only other movie I've seen him in was "Crimson Tide" in a very small
role, but Lillo Brancato (who plays DeNiro's son in the later years) is a
revalation! He gives one of the best performances I've ever seen and I'm
surprised I haven't seen him in any more recent movies. And I have to say
DeNiro did a dynamic job of casting. As far as I know, Brancato and Bobby
aren't related, but please tell me if I'm wrong, because they look EXACTLY
alike! If you've seen any of DeNiro's very early films, Brancato is a
mirror image of him. Is it coincidence or what? I've rarely seen a film
where the son/daughter even directly resembles the parents, but Brancato has
the DeNiro nose and everything. If you observe closely, there's a scene
where Brancato is wearing a black jacket and a black hat, and if you were to
see this in a split-screen with DeNiro in "Mean Streets" it would be
There are so many people I have to commend for this film. That also
includes the supporting cast. Taral Hicks as C's love interest was also
impressive. And of course, you can't have a movie directed by DeNiro and
starring DeNiro without his main amigo making an appearance. Hopefully, you
haven't read the cast list on the IMDB. Because I was surprised and
overjoyed when "the man" appeared in the final scene.
There are many lessons on life to be drawn out of this film, some of which
given by Chazz's character Sonny, who plays the most likeable gangster I've
seen in cinema. Yet at the same time, you can't consider him "too nice."
Which was a good move. Sonny was a nice guy in the core, yet he still has a
heart of a gangster. In a great monologue, he explains how he'd rather be
feared than loved. And of course there's the great monlogue that everyone
remembers: the car door scene. That was really an unforgettable speech.
Plus, there's funny moments, too. The gambling scene in the basement, for
example. "Get in the f**king bathroom!!!" LOL...that was hilarious.
To add to the emotional intensity, we have an interracial relationship
between Brancato and Hicks at a time when Bronx was heavily segregated and
whites wanted absolutely nothing to do with blacks. The scene where the
boys beat those innocent black boys down was an extremely powerful scene.
And through DeNiro's direction, we feel the characters' every emotion. I
like how he used the doo-wop music to contribute to the
By the end, I was almost at tears. I'm virtually tearing up just writing
this review and looking at this masterful drama in retrospect. This is
something ONLY Bobby D and Chazz could've done! No one could've done it
better! For me to be this deeply moved by a motion picture is
unprecedented. I wish I could be thanking the two guys in
If anyone hasn't seen this movie, please don't hesitate to pick it up! This
is one of those great, underrated masterpieces that you feel sad after
finding out about its poor success. A film like this really deserves more
And Bobby D....I think you owe a bunch of "thank yous" to your buddy
Scorcese. He's taught you well.
My score: A perfect 10! (out of 10)
Tags for A Bronx Tale Full Movie
, Francis Capra
, Lillo Brancato
, Robert De Niro
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