Monday, November 2, 2015

Friends and Romans (2015)

Michael Rispoli plays Nick Dimaio, an actor who can only get work as a mafioso. He aspires to be more than Mobster #3. Unable to get the roles he wants, he and his friends (all played by actors like Rispoli who make their living playing crooks) decide that the best thing to do is put on a play themselves. They choose Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Unfortunately so many "known mobsters" fumbling around at odd hours for rehearsals attracts the attention of the Feds who think they are tracking a major crime family.

I was kind of blackmailed into seeing this film. With my schedule largely booked for the next couple of weeks I didn't want to see anything that wasn't either something I really wanted to see or part of my plans. It was with great trepidation I said I'd see it....and I'm glad I did this is actually a pretty good little film.

FRIENDS AND ROMANS is very much a B film, or what we consider a B film. Full of actors you know from other places (in particular the Sopranos) this is a film where they all get to shine and be more than just the odd mafia guy. Its a funny send up of what these guys must really have to go through on a regular basis. While not perfect, it is entertaining despite the bumps in the road.

You will forgive me for not going into great detail about the film, but this isn't the sort of a film that really demands a long review. This is the sort of film you just need to know if its good (it is) or not and if it's worth paying to see (it is).  Its not high art, and I don't think it was ever intended to be that. Its a film you put on to just get away from your troubles for 90 minutes.

I liked it.

Frankly this is the sort of a film that Unseen was set up to highlight, small films that are in danger of getting lost. You know the ones that aren't the big blockbusters but the small hidden gems no one notices.

The film is slowly rolling out across the country. It began on October 23rd and it hits New York, New Jersey Friday before hitting other cities.

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