A Bronx Tale (DVD)

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A Bronx Tale (DVD)

Robert DeNiro stars in his directorial debut as Lorenzo Anello, a dutiful father and blue-collar bus driver from the harsh New York City borough of th...

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Review of "A Bronx Tale (DVD)"

published 21/02/2012 | Wee_Jackie_163
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Excellent
Pro A great movie with excellent acting..!
Cons None for me..!
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"Father Vs Gangster..."


"A Bronx Tale" is a 1993 film Directed by Robert De Niro, who also stars in the film alongside Chazz Palminteri and Lillo Brancato. You can buy a copy of the DVD online at www.amazon.co.uk for £3.97 with free postage. (Price as @ February 2012).

** THE FILM **

Calogero Anello is a young Italian-American boy living in the Bronx with his parents. His father, Lorenzo, (De Niro) drives the local bus for a living and has a strong work ethic which he tries to instil on his son. He believes in discipline and has extremely strong principals about working hard and earning a living honestly.

Gangster Sonny (Palminteri) is the 'big man' in the neighbourhood and is feared by many. Calogero and his friends often imitate Sonny and his gang, copying their movements and actions. When Calogero witnesses Sonny shooting another man dead, apparently over a disagreement about a parking space, he finds himself faced with a choice... He can tell the truth, or he can lie about what he saw.

"Nobody ratted in The Bronx... It was worse than Dying."

The initial seeds of friendship are sown between Calogero and Sonny. His father disapproves of his son having any contact or involvement with gangsters and so Calogero finds himself torn as he grows up. He likes Sonny and looks up to him, but he does not want to disobey his father whom he loves dearly. As his friendship with Sonny grows and blossoms, Calogero finds himself in some unpleasant situations as a result of being in Sonny's company, but he also finds that the man has a huge influence on his opinion, his views, and ultimately his life......

** MY OPINION **

I have watched "A Bronx Tale" many times and it is a film that I find myself returning to quite often, even though of course, I know the ending and the ultimate outcome of the film's main characters. This doesn't spoil the movie in any way, or take anything from the storyline itself, but it has to be said that the twists in the film are much more enjoyable when they are unexpected the first time round.

All of the cast in the film are faultless. Robert De Niro delivers his usual impeccable performance, but with a much softer edge than is portrayed in other films. I found it interesting to see De Niro play the 'good guy' in this gangster film which offered a striking contrast to some of the other roles he has played in alternative gangster movies I have watched.

Chazz Palminteri too gives a faultless, entirely believable performance which I thought was delivered in such a way to make the whole film - and underlying story - completely plausible to the viewing audience. Indeed, the actor may as well have been a real gangster showing us his side of the story, such was the injection of gritty realism provided by Palminteri into the film that resulted in a completely powerful character able to convince the viewer of his authenticity.

There character of Calogero is played initially by Frances Capra who, despite his young age, gives a good performance and credibility to the role. In the second part of the film, (eight years later) we see Calogero as a young man and for the remainder of the film the character is played by Lillo Brancato Jr. It has to be said that there are one or two points in the movie that I felt Brancato's performance had a slightly wooden feel to it, particularly when the character was supposed to be feeling emotion. In other scenes, and in particular those with a violent tone or that were slightly more 'gangster-related' however, I thought that Brancato did a better job at portraying the story with more credibility. Perhaps the actor was slightly more uncomfortable with 'emotional' or 'love' scenes than those with a more 'traditional gangster' theme, or certainly this is the impression that I got from watching his performance throughout the film.

The film's plot covers a variety of subject matter, all expertly weaved together in the carefully constructed storyline. Issues such as love and relationships are explored, as well as racial tension and racism. The character of Calogero is the character who has to deal with most of these issues, particularly as he grows up and enters adulthood, but there are other issues explored too when the boy was younger, such as loyalty to his father and the very fact that the young Calogero KNEW he had to keep his mouth shut to protect Sonny is a very interesting point made by the film.

I thought that the overall story was very enjoyable to watch, and I found it refreshing to find a gangster film that explored more than the familiar 'gun battles' that are evident in other gangster films. True gangster fans need not be disappointed however, as "A Bronx Tale" is not without its share of violent scenes and shocking violence. But there is so much more to this film than just violence and mobsters knocking lumps out of each other.

I'm sure that it will be obvious by now that I absolutely love this movie and I do recommend it very highly. I think it deserves full marks as a result.

** BONUS FEATURES **

The DVD that I own (which doesn't appear to be a special edition) contains several special or bonus features such as a Stills Gallery, Filmographies and the Original Theatrical Trailer. I have watched the Trailer which I thought was quite interesting to see, even after watching the film itself. I have also had a quick look at the Stills Gallery which is basically just some 'shots' or 'stills' from the movie itself, as you would expect. I didn't think this feature was particularly interesting. There is a booklet enclosed with the DVD which actually made for some fairly interesting reading. The booklet provides some background information with regards to the casting of the movie and the fact that many "Bronx Natives" were cast in both minor and major roles.

There is also a foreword in the booklet, by Chazz Palminteri who gives a little background information about where the story of "A Bronx Tale" originates. It is a fictionalised story that is based around true incidents and events.

I thought that the booklet contained with the DVD made for some very interesting reading and I would whole-heartedly recommend giving it a read over... but of course, only AFTER you have watched the movie or you may find one or two spoilers have been revealed!

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Comments on this review

  • malihat published 24/02/2012
    Great review.
  • sarahbarrow published 23/02/2012
    This is one of my hubbys favourite films, really well reviewed xx
  • dawnymarie published 22/02/2012
    I've not seen this one and want to now ;) x
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Product Information : A Bronx Tale (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Robert DeNiro stars in his directorial debut as Lorenzo Anello, a dutiful father and blue-collar bus driver from the harsh New York City borough of the Bronx whom tries desperately to keep his son Calogero from surrendering to the temptation of organized crime. When Calogero witnesses Mafia kingpin Sonny (Chaz Palminteri) commit murder, he decides to honor the "code of the streets" and offers no information to the cops when interrogated. Consequently, a friendship is forged between Sonny and Calogero, and--against his father's wishes--the young man joins the Mafia. Calogero respects his father, though can not seem to shake his new lifestyle, but when push comes to shove it is his father who must confront the mob and save his son's life, leaving Calogero to re-examine the magnitude of his father's honest work ethics.

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