Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Crime Families


It's August! Wowzers!! Let's picture flowers, hazy days and crime families:) This week it is all about the bad families. Now I could have made it easy and just picked The Godfather 1, 2 and 3 but I am not picking this biggie at all. Sorry guys, but I am just not a lover of these films even though they are rated incredibly high in film land. In fact, they are not even my favourite and I can't stand Goodfellas. I know, I know how can I? Well, I can't stand Ray Liotta in this film nor do I care for any of the people, the violence or the F word every 2 seconds. I am all for the fun language but not to this excess. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen. Here are my 3....

1. PRIZZI'S HONOR-1985


OK this film has the language in it but not to excess. It is directed by the great John Huston who has constructed a clearly sweet, diabolical, nasty love story. Jack Nicholson plays a loyal hitman to the Prizzi family who is seeing the daughter (Angelica Huston, daughter of the director) of the Patriach of this mafia clan.  The Prizzi family hire another hitman...er woman, Kathleen Turner and this is where the fun starts when these 2 lovable hit people fall in love. It is a clever comedy with some romance and violence thrown in....thrown is the word for this film. Great anecdote- John Huston directed his dad, Walter Huston in Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and they both won Oscars. John Huston and Angelica Huston were both up for Oscars for this film but John didn't win..his daughter did though.

2. HEARTBREAKERS-2001


Talk about a sweet mom helping her daughter through life. Sigourney Weaver plays the mom to Jennifer Love Hewitt conning men out of their fortunes. Sigourney marries the old coots and Jenny seduces them with her mom catching them in the act. Sig proceeds to take her husband to the cleaners wiping them out before proceeding to the next man. They don't count on Ray Liotta's character tracking them down nor does Jen count on actually falling in love with a poor, nice guy. Hijinks ensues while they all try to con one another. It is not a great film by any means but it is fun flick and one  feels the stars had fun making this film too.

3. THE FAMILY-2013



Talk about a dysfunctional family! Robert De Niro (who else) is married to Michelle Pfeiffer and they have 2 sweet (HA!!) teenage kids living somewhere in France. They are on the run with the help of the FBI headed by Tommy Lee Jones since De Niro's character will be spilling the beans on the mob boss he had been working with for most of his life. Of course, the mob is trying to get to them and wipe them all out. They have no clue what this family is all about. Yes, there is violence and bad language and I love it because it doesn't bother me in this movie as it does in Goodfellas. Even though they are so screwed up you would never want to know them, they love each other and you realize the FBI men like them also. I consider this an enjoyable movie to watch.

Aside from the Obvious (Godfather movies and Goodfellas), what films would you choose?

57 comments:

  1. I haven't seen any of these

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  2. Seen all of them of course.
    Two picks. If you want dark and brooding, go for Michael Mann's Heat. If you want light, fun, and characters you can really root for, pick Serenity. (They're smugglers and Mal calls the crew his family.)

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    1. I have seen Heat which is great but not serenity. Have to see this

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  3. I saw Prizzi's Honor way back when it first came out on vhs. As a mindless teen it was way too slow for me. I need to rewatch it.

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    1. It is slow but well thought out. It is not action packed like some typical crime family movies

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  4. I think I saw parts of Prizzi's Honor, never even heard of the others. I like what you don't like though, especially Goodfellas which was based on a real family.

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    1. I could see you like the comedy, Heartbreakers. It`s fun. I know it`s based on a true story but I hate the movie

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  5. I hope they are available in Netflix.

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    1. I have no idea but I hope you can see them

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  6. Hi, Birgit!

    Crime families is not my favorite film category but I have seen my share including The Godfather and Goodfellas. I like Goodfellas a lot more than you do apparently. To me Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci make the film. I despise their macho characters' crude, violent behavior and their gangster world is repugnant, but they bring their characters to life, real as can be, and I always appreciate a film that can scare the pants off me. Goodfellas does. Coincidentally Mrs. Shady and I just watched Pesci a few days ago in Oliver Stone's JFK and we just watched Jack Nicholson in The Shining for the umpteenth time.

    I am well aware of Prizzi's Honor and like Nicholson and Turner, but I don't think I have seen the film all the way through. Now I want to. I have seen Heartbreakers and enjoyed it. As you might expect, JLH was the big draw for Shady. I also like Michelle Pfeiffer, Bob De Niro and Tommy Lee but have not seen The Family. The clip has me interested.

    It is a TV series, not a movie, but I highly recommend Fargo season two for a compelling crime family story.

    Have a good one, dear friend BB!

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    1. I know that Goodfellas is based on true events and Pesci and Liotta make the film but I can`t stand them in this film. Every time Liotta laughs, I want to smack him. I still have to see JFK and I love The Shining. I think you should watch the ending..It `throws`you. I also think you would like my other 2 picks

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  7. Seen all three at my sea. Never liked Heartbreakers much. Gene Hackman's character was just blah with his chimney smoking.

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    1. It`s a fun flick but not a stunner. I found it quite entertaining

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  8. I haven't seen any of these, though I think I may have seen parts of Heartbreakers, it sounds familiar.

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    1. I would have thought you would have seen The Family-wickedly good.

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  9. Don't think I've ever seen Prizzi's Honor. May need to check it out.

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    1. It is not a fav of mine but I do like it quite a bit

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  10. A much easier week than last. I liked but didn't love Prizzi's Honor though you really can't beat that cast.

    Heartbreakers was a whole lot of fun and obviously not geared to be anything else. Loved that Anne Bancroft showed up briefly as Sigourney's trainer.

    Haven't see The Family but with those three stars, and despite DeNiro's seeming determination to trash his legacy with abominable comedies, it's a least worth one look.

    I went a bit further back and my first I think might show up a couple of times today.

    Bonnie & Clyde (1967)-Seminal, trend-setting drama of the criminal pair who terrorized the heartland during the depression with Clyde’s brother and his wife. Stylish and ultra-violent this made Warren Beatty a major player in Hollywood, a star of Faye Dunaway, moved Gene Hackman considerably up the ladder as Buck Barrow and won Estelle Parsons a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Buck’s screeching wife Blanche.

    White Heat (1949)-James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett a psychotic gangster with a mother fixation in one of the best crime noirs of the 40’s. An utterly ruthless man who thinks nothing of gunning down an unarmed man he is prone to violent headaches, an incipient signal of total madness, that can only be soothed by sitting on Ma Jarrett’s (a chilling Margaret Wycherly) knee as she strokes his head. Sent to prison after being caught during their last job Cody is a targeted man both by the undercover agent (Edmund O’Brien) who has been planted to befriend him and one of his henchmen (Steven Cochran) and Cody’s grasping wife Verna (Virginia Mayo) who want to take over the gang. Breaking out he sets out to reassert his dominance during the robbery of a chemical plant payroll but things spiral out of control leading to a fiery climax. Classic Cagney.

    Ma Barker’s Killer Brood (1960)-Exploitation version of the Barker clan headed by the ruthlessly murderous Ma (Lurene Tuttle). Revisionist in the extreme showing the gang working with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson though there’s no proof that they knew any of them in reality. Still it’s a trim little crime caper with Lurene Tuttle, who usually played sweet best friends and sensible mothers, having a grand old time tearing into the merciless and deranged mastermind. She rules her boys with an iron fist mocking any sign of weakness and not sparing the corporeal punishment to all if she thinks it necessary.

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    1. I almost went with your first 2. I love Bonnie and Clyde...very stylish and one sees a snippet of Gene Wilder. Love, love, love White Heat!!! It is classic Cagney who truly is nuts and played this so well that I still have to find one who can match him. Mayo is also great and I loved it that Raoul Walsh decided she should snore when she sleeps. The mother is a controlled nutbar just like her son. I may have seen your 3rd pick and i think Baby Face did run with them for a short while. It has been mega years since I saw this and would need to revisit it.

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    1. Like I said above..Maybe one day...

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  12. I may be the only person on the planet who never saw any of the Godfather films. I remember there was some reference to a horse's head in a bed, but I'm not sure if it was true or not.

    I think I saw Prizzi's Honor, since I like Jack Nicholson. I guess I thought of it as a comedy or dramady, but I can't say I liked it as much as I thought I would. Odd, though, since I really only remember the title and not the action or the storyline as you portrayed it.

    I haven't seen the other two, but I remember the trailer for The Family. It was a hoot watching Pfeiffer when the grocery store blew up.

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    1. There is absolutely a horse's head found in a man's bed in the first Godfather film. Prizzi's Honor is different and not a typical comedy with some drama and action but I enjoyed it. That scene with Pfeiffer is hilarious

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  13. Well, BIRGIT, I agree with you about The Godfather. I'm not a fan. (Never bothered to see the third installment.)

    Although I also agree about the excessive profanity and violence in GoodFellas, I actually like that movie. Which is saying something because I rarely care for "Crime Family" movies, and especially about the Mafia. Also I totally disagree about Ray Liotta. He was PERFECT in that role and more than anything else, he really made that movie for me.

    So, I'll put GOODFELLAS on my list.

    Also, TOMBSTONE -- with the Clanton and McLaury clans.

    For my third choice, I think I'll take SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF with the Danby family of idiots. Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    [Link:) Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. Oh yes, Ray Liotta made the role...I just couldn't stand his laugh and the character and wanted to slap him. Love your next 2 picks!! Tombstone is great and love Support Your Local Sheriff and the brother to it Dupport your Local Gunfighter

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  14. I was going to say The Departed was my favourite mob movie, but I wouldn't really call it a "Crime family" movie. What about that one with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni, where the suburban couple turn to a life of crime (never mind, that was terrible).

    I dunno, I liked Goodfellas.

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    1. Hahahaaa I know the one you mean and it is bad.

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  15. I don't care too much for crime movies, especially dark, violent ones. I did see the Godfather trilogy. Once was enough. That horse head still gives me shivers if I think about it. I'd like to see Prizzi's Honor now that I know what it's about. Thank kind of movie I like.

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    1. I'm not sure you will like it due to the ending as I gave some clues.

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    2. You would like Heartbrekers more

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    3. I went back and read Heartbreakers review again. Maybe. I'll look for both.

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  16. Heartbreakers: It's all about team work. Grin.

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    1. It is all about teamwork and I do like this film

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  17. Wow, I haven't seen any of these! Heartbreakers sounds like fun, though.

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    1. It is a fun film and one I always enjoy because you don't need to think

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  18. My favorite crime family was on TV: the Sopranos. I thought Heartbreakers was very funny. It's been a long time since I saw Prizzi's Honor, but I remember it being good. I love Angelica Huston. The Family didn't impress me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. The Sopranos was good...his mother was just evil. I love the one episode where 2 of his goons end up lost in the snowy woods

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  19. This is off topic, Birgit, but here is a blogger friend who posted something you might enjoy.

    http://divers-and-sundry.blogspot.com/2017/08/film-history-on-video-online.html

    It takes very little time to read, but you might enjoy the links she provides, which will take longer (grin).

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  20. I remember enjoying Prizzi's Honor. I loved the Godfather book and the first film stuck pretty well to the story and I really enjoyed it, but I didn't enjoy the second two movies.

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  21. Ooh, The Family sounds good too!
    Hope you and your sis are having an amazing time.

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  22. I haven't seen any of these- though I have heard of Prizzi's honor. Can't believe I haven't hear of The Family. I will have to look for it. :)
    ~Jess

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  23. I haven't seen any of these and I think I'm the only person in the world who has never seen Goodfellas! I don't have any desire to at all. I guess it's safe to say I'm not a big fan of mob stories, although I did like the first two Godfathers.

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  24. Looks like three movies I will have to watch

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  25. The only one I've seen is Prizzi's Honor. I haven't seen Godfather. It never appealed to me.

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  26. Yeah, I figured you might do something more obvious like the Godfather series. I've actually not even heard of any of these three, despite having such big names in them.

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  27. Prizzi sounds like shades of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
    Hope you're having a great one.

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  28. I liked Heartbreakers. I think I probably saw bits of Prizzi's Honor back in the day. Not really my thing. (I'm not big on mobster movies, so I pretty much skip them.)

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  29. Birgit,

    Nice movie picks. I haven't seen the first two but I believe one of them is available for streaming on Netflix. I will check that out. We did see The Family. I remember thinking it was alright but we may have to re-watch it. The first film sounds intriguing and I'd definitely want to look for it, so thanks for the recommendation. My brain is coming up blank for bad family picks other than The Godfather or Goodfellas. Oh wait, there's Scar Face with Al Pacino. I think we saw that eons ago but I can't swear to it. I reckon when we get in a mobster movie mood then we'll have to try to see if it's available on Netflix. Boardwalk Empire is a great TV series about the gangsters in the 20s & 30s. We started that series on Amazon Prime but haven't completed it yet. I think it only has five seasons. It's really good!

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  30. Hope you've had a pleasant productive day and are feeling great.

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  31. If I can't choose the obvious...the Sopranos. So...Janie and I have the same taste.

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  32. I love JLH so I think I'm gonna go check that out.

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  33. I haven't seen the other two, but I did enjoy Heartbreakers. I am also going to go with the Sopranos as my favorite crime family. I just ate that series up!

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  34. I've seen your bottom two picks...unfortunately can't say I enjoyed them.

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