Friday, October 26, 2007

I love me some Gangster Movies!

The gangster movie. My favorite by far, no other genre can show the true emotion of warfare in society and put it in our terms. I’m not just talking about serious action movies, I’m talking about the "bloodletting between family members, love, death, destruction, riches and spoils, just to let it all crash and burn in the end" movie.

I have a funny feeling that “American Gangster” will be the next incarnation of that great movie. I’ve always said that trailers tells you a lot of a movie, and I have a feeling that this one is going to come out with guns blazing. Denzel was meant to play this role more than he was meant to play “Training Day”, although, that was a good movie as well, but not a Gangster movie in the least. “American Gangster” is coming out on MY BIRTHDAY, November 2nd, that is a testament to how much Hollywood knows I love Gangster movies!

I feel that in order to continue, I must address the monicker "Gangster movie". Typically, this would (for me) include any movie that included the Mafia world of organized crime, i.e. Italians doing what they do best, slicing up garlic with a small blade and killing people. Now I realize that there are lots of different "ethnicities", if you will, that must be included in the deathly fun of organized crime. And for that matter, lots of films that have decided to take the topic on hand. So organized crime and any of its many endeavors, i.e. money laundering enterprises, regular organized "thuggery", gambling, drug dealing, drug doing, murdering, assassinating, racketeering, prostituting, smugling, cheating, back-stabbing, etc. yet done within the premise of family and morality will qualify.

Anyway, I digress. In order to welcome “American Gangster” to the family of movies that I love, here is a list of my favorite gangster movies from 11 to 1. There's eleven because here at SPORTSKARMA, we turn things up to 11, that's just how we roll. For the record, without even seeing it, I feel like “American Gangster” would fall right on number 6. I hope it knocks me off my feet, and threatens the livelihood of the almighty “Top 5”, although when you read the list you will see that the "Top 5" will slip a wire around your neck while you're sitting on the passanger seat, put a car bomb on your Nissan Sentra, take a baseball bat to your head while you're sitting down having dinner, or mow you down with an M16 while on a coke induced rage, so if you are planning to enter the holy ground of the
"Top 5", "American Gangster", you better bring your A-game.

Peas. DV

11. "Bugsy" – A story of a man and a dream, though Bugsy is hardly the real story of Benjamin Siegal, the criminal mastermind who turned Las Vegas into a desert pleasure town, Warren Beatty has captured the essence of the man. Bugsy got several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Beatty. Unfortunately it came out during the year of Silence of the Lambs which was the Best Picture in 1991 and Anthony Hopkins beat Beatty for Best Actor. The scene when he's reading that newspaper, I knew something was going down. Anyway,if you love Vegas, then you have to watch this movie. Period. I couldn't find a good clip out there, so rent it if you want to check it out, it's worth it.

10. "A Bronx Tale" – Directed by Robert De Niro and written by Chazz Palmieri? Wow, I bet you didn’t know that one. Another great movie where Bobby plays the part of the aged old man, and Chazz plays the local gangster who owns the town and wants to corrupt the young son of Robert De Niro. While watching the movie, I had the itch to see Bobby De Niro go “Goodfellas” on this guy! Wail on him with a shovel! He’s a punk!

9. "Carlito's Way" - The story of Carlito Brigante and his fall from grace. For me, this was the "What if Scarface had actually survived and then someday decided to walk away from it all?" movie. Of course, Tony Montana was Cuban and in this movie, Carlito Brigante is Puerto Rican. But whatever, that's the way I like to think of it when I watch it. John Leguizamo and Sean Penn get major props, they almost stole the movie. Sean Penn has been on my “Top 5 People I want to kill” list since then, right between Jaleel "Urkel" White and Vanilla Ice. I don't care if he was playing a character! You must die Penn!!

8. "Blood in Blood Out: Bound by Honor
The Mexican Opus to end all. Rife with Mexican emblems, the mix of "East Los", the racial struggles of the Mexican versus the Chicanos, the entire life-span of three half-brothers, Miklo is the greatest-bad actor in the world, hands down. I always wanted to go to East Los Angeles to see that damn tree and throw my "Vatos Locos" signs. By a miracle of modern technology, you can see the ENTIRE MOVIE on YOU TUBE and MYSPACE. Here is the link to the 1st of 6 parts, you can see the rest by clicking the links once on YOUTUBE or MYSPACE.

Blood In Blood Out Part 1

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7. "Casino" Probably the bloodiest most violent deaths recorded on film. Man, everytime I watch it, it gives me chills to see Joe Pesci go down like that, but hey, it's a gangster movie, what do you expect. Sharon Stone plays the ultimate stone cold psycho wife, my goodness she was nuts!! Bobby just shake the crap out of her man! The only thing annoying about this movie was the constant narration, every person was thinking and talking, good lord, I was getting annoyed quickly.

6. "Donnie Brasco" - Al Pacino plays the part of an aged gangster waiting for his promotion, Johnny Depp plays the undercover cop that is supposed to bring them down. He was so damn good playing that part, everytime I watch it, I'm screaming at the screen "Hey, you're AL FUCKING PACINO man, get your balls and go tell that puto boss of yours to say hello to your little friend! Remember? DO SOMETHING!" Or pull the Ole "I know it was you, you broke my heart!" to Johnny Depp. Also, this movie started the craze of the “Fogedaboutit”, man that didn’t get old real fast…

5. "Scarface" - So many lines to pull from "He's a fuckin' cockroach" "Say hello to my little friend" Edged out by the following because it's my freaking countdown. I was more in line with the following on the list than by Scarface, although my friend Edgar is like a rapper with the Scarface references, I'm surprised he doesn't own a huge black leather chair with the "TM" inscribed in gold lettering. Amazing movie, Tony Montana is a coke fueled beast. Gotta love the ending when he snorts the whole pile of coke on his desk. Does everyone know that Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay??? DUH! No wonder it is what it is. The world is yours baby, it's yours.

4. "The Godfather Trilogy" What, NOT number one?? I know, Godfather III was bad, II would be number one, but by default it has to be associated with number III. Awesome movies, once a year I watch the whole thing while drinking a nice Glenlivet on the rocks. Godfather II was the best, I wish they could have worked a Robert De Niro and Al Pacino scene together, but that would have required Vito Corleone to travel forward in time to be with his grown son Michael, or Vice Versa.

3. "Untouchables" Damn it Sean Connery! Don't you know anything?? I thought you were supposed to be this great beat cop who had a sixth sense!! Man, that was a lot of bullets to put into one man, then he’s spitting out blood and drags himself to get his wife’s necklace. One of the greatest movies ever, period. Great cast, great story, great lines. Man, this could have been number one if it wasn't for the next two. Robert De Niro was the greatest Capone on screen. The man loves baseball, if you know the reference, then you're OK on my book.

2. "Goodfellas" The definition of Gangster movie, the rock and roll story pretty much, from the top to the bottom baby. I felt like this movie could have been titled "Behind the Music: Goodfellas". All the descriptions, inside the jail, the whole Joe Pesci killing the other mobster in the bar, what that means in the future, it was like several movies in one, lots of stories all intertwined. Very neat script, sharp like an exacto knife! This is one of the greatest scenes ever, you could cut the tension with a knife!

1."The Usual Suspects" I put this movie on one night not expecting much, (that I had to wait to rent it is a testament to how little I knew) It was about 10ish when I put it in, I saw the entire thing, went to get some cereal and watched the whole thing over again. True story. So good, it makes my balls itch. Absolutely the best crime gangster movie. Edges out Godfather Trilogy because Godfather III was a complete waste of time. Beats the trilogy by a nose. Kyzer Soze lives in my nightmares!!!

So there you are, I came back, edited some stuff, put in the clips, did it all for you, let me know what you think, we need some comments in the website so we can see if we’re going in the right direction!

Peace out,

Da Vinci


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