Sunday, August 31, 2008

Once Upon a Time in America

Dir: Sergio Leone, 1984, long version (9.3*)
This nearly 4-hr epic (avoid the short version like the plague!) was Leone’s tribute to the Godfather saga, and was the last film he made. Robert De Niro ("Noodles") and James Woods are boyhood friends who later become major Jewish Mafia figures. This film traces decades in their lives as a flashback from a middle-aged, portly De Niro who has received a mysterious message from his past. Look for a very young Jennifer Connally, who was 12 at the time, as a boyhood crush of Noodles who spies on her dance rehearsals and dress changes, and for Tuesday Weld as a robbery accomplice and later gangster mol, who liked 'the rough stuff'. Full of a cast of unforgettable characters, well worth the time - in fact, this is one film where its length works to artistic advantage, as the flashback structure allows the story to wander chronologically as it would from an elderly Robert de Niro's viewpoint of his entire life of crime.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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