A "GoodFellas" with heart, A Bronx Tale represents a wonderfully vivid snapshot of a colorful place and time, as well as a very satisfying directorial debut by Robert De Niro. Overflowing with behavioral riches and the flavor of a deep-dyed New York Italian neighborhood, the film also trades intelligently in pertinent moral and social issues that raise it above the level of nostalgia or the mere memoir.
Matthew Alexander "Matt" Sinegar [SIN-NA-GAR] (An EXTREMELY Mature & EXTREMELY Heterosexual (Straight) African-American/Black Man):
A Bronx Tale Is Literally Always One Of My All-Time Favorite Mafia & Gangster Flicks.
"A Bronx Tale" is a labour of love that is guided by De Niro's excellent direction debut. De Niro wisely stays away from the main acting spotlight and lets the other actors, such as Chazz Palminteri and Lillo Brancato Jr./Francis Capra, shine bright as their colourful and likeable characters. In fact, the whole film is populated by colourful characters who have memorable things to say. They all live in a well-established depiction of The Bronx that is complete with a well-executed soundtrack. Lastly, they all play a part in telling a story that proudly walks the fine line between Comedy and Drama. Before seeing this picture, I was afraid that it was going to be De Niro taking a stab at being a poor man's Martin Scorsese, but instead he has created a film that stands on its own two feet because it is marked by a unique identity that makes it stand out from countless other films that involve gangs/mafias.
He lacks Scorsese's raw inventiveness, but there's no denying De Niro's skill in keeping this pungent street epic brimming over with action and laughs without sacrificing intimacy. He is a supreme director of actors.
The story is riddled with absurd coincidences and improbabilities. It doesn't have an original bone in its body. And no one's going to leave this film thinking De Niro should stay behind the camera. But none of these problems stops the movie from being enjoyable. If Bronx Tale feels too familiar, it's at least the familiarity of good Italian movies.
Despite some sentimentality and occasional directorial missteps, this is a respectable piece of work--evocative, very funny in spots, and obviously keenly felt. With Francis Capra, Taral Hicks, and Katherine Narducci.
Although it is a gangster movie there are not many action scenes, because the conflict is about the education of a young boy. So this movie is more psychological. Robert de Niro and Chazz Palminteri were great. Also the soundtrack is top.
If you`re looking for the typical Mob movie this isn`t what you`re looking for.A Bronx Tale has mob activities, but it`s much more than that. I`t teaches you how it was to live as an Italian in the **** decisions you have to make whether good or bad.
A Bronx Tale successfully brings out every emotion your system can handle. From anger, to joy, to laughter, to happiness, to sympathy, to empathy, to tears, and to, finally, satisfaction as the final scene fades into credits. This is De Niro's directorial debut and he handles the challenge exquisitely. Complimented by Chazz Palminteri's slick and fearless writing that documents the struggles, the gangs, and the racism of the Bronx streets with no sugarcoating and no easy ways out.
Adapted from its stage play counterpart, A Bronx Tale focuses on the famous area in New York where little nine year old Calogero (played by Francis Capra during his tender years) is growing up on the unapologetic streets with his bus driver father Lorenzo (De Niro) and his nervous mother. Lorenzo frequently warns Calogero that "the saddest thing in life is a wasted talent," hoping that his son will take the path of untold success later in life.
One day, while sitting idly on his stoop with his buddies, Calogero witnesses a murder. The murder was made by the area mafia boss Sonny (Palminteri). Him and his crew are respected, at the same time feared for their unpredictable actions and their checkered history. When called back to the scene by detectives looking for the murderer, young Calogero lies and refuses to confess. His father is subtly proud, but warns his son that he has just done a good thing for a bad person. The good news is their family won't be on the hit list. The bad news is their family is now on the suspicious list.
Eight years later, Calogero, now played by Lillo Brancato Jr., is nicknamed "C" by Sonny and has become his main-man. His second son as well as his partner in crime. His father is somewhat oblivious to what his son has been up to recently, but he believes he can take care of himself, while still nudging him in the right direction.
Sonny's philosophy is greatly different from Lorenzo's. It's "nobody really cares." When the chips are down, who's there to care? Nobody. You're a worthless human. The brutally honest, shameless half of the glass. Sonny's philosophy sticks with Calogero, but he also keeps his father's in mind. Do the two connect? Maybe in some ambiguous, unorthodox way, but it just seems they are two contradicting ways of life. Here's a film that also shows us that if we're lucky, we get two different outlooks on life from two very different people. A man who works in a town and a man who owns it.
De Niro was in a very rough position when it came time to grab a hold of the camera for this film. He could either take the easy way out and make a Goodfellas-style mobster flick or mimic his stellar character's lifestyle in Raging Bull. But he doesn't. He most likely was the go-to guy for help with the script and offered Palminteri advice, but in no way is this another mafia film. It's a unique kind of mafia film. It shows the long-lasting and life changing effects it has on a youth growing up on the wrong side of the streets.
This greatly reminds me of a phenomenal film from the eighties that tackles the same sort of subject. The film was John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood, setting its sights on three troubled youths growing up in the hood and getting caught in the mix of crime, drugs, and racism. The film was Singleton's directorial debut as well, featured stellar performances from every actor in it, a genius script, and some fantastic honesty about the life of the hood. A Bronx Tale does the same, but centers its story around the mafia. Not glorifying the violence, not acting pretentious over other classics of the same genre, but taking a cliche and turning it into a gritty reality.
What is important to learn from A Bronx Tale is that it's a movie with values. It believes that beliefs and values should be the first thing someone should consider when in a serious situation. Sometimes we don't think about the consequences and dive right into what we think will satisfy ourselves and turn out the way we want in no time. It too forms the question; is it better to be universally loved or feared? I'd rather be a little bit of both with a strong blend of respect.
Starring: Lillo Brancato, Jr., Chazz Palminteri, Robert De Niro, Taral Hicks, Francis Capra, Kathrine Narducci, Clem Caserta, and Joe Pesci. Directed by: Robert De Niro.
It's always great to see these actors in action, the story is the same you see in most Italian-American movies, how a good boy/man gets involved with the mob. Nothing fresh, there are no spectacular performances here. But it's a good weekend movie. Average
C'est tiré d'une pièce de théâtre de l'acteur principal Palminteri et réalisé par De Niro, pas très çà l'aise dans cet exercice périlleux et casse-gueule dont il ne sort certainement pas avec les honneurs... Il s'est accordé un petit rôle là-dedans mais c'est surtout "histoire de", car de toute façon, ça ne fait que singer les Affranchis de Scorsese, de façon pénible et complètement foireuse...
On suit donc l'enfance et l'adolescence du petit con dans le Bronx avant que ça ne devienne un territoire afro-américain, du temps que quelques mafieux contrôlaient soit-disant ce merdier sans vraiment y parvenir... mais on a de toute façon du mal à y croire vu -déjà- le relâchement sévère des moeurs (le petit con se tape en effet une jeune fille de couleur, carrément !).
On sent donc bien ce vivre_ensemble et la niaiserie larvée qui va avec, la morale à deux balles et toutes les conneries qui vont avec, la musique de merde et ses chansonnettes ringardes qui vont avec, et surtout l'ennui général du truc, lequel malgré ses ("seulement" !) deux heures donne l'impression d'en durer cinq ou six.
Donc, poubelle ce truc, un film à ne pas voir, quoi qu'il arrive !