Sunday, July 17, 2011

Top 25 Gangster Films: #10-8

  Here we are... the top 10.  These are the movies that are the CLASSICS.  Here's a review of where we stand right now: 
    Here we go.... check out numbers 10-8 after the jump.

10. Carlito's Way (1993)
    Starting off the Top Ten is the classic 1993 film Carlito's Way.  The film was directed by the great Brian DePalma (The Untouchables, Scarface) and had two of the greatest actors of all time: Al Pacino(The Godfather, Scarface, Donnie Brasco) and Sean Penn (State of Grace, Mystic River).  The film also starred a young John Leguizamo (Summer of Sam, Ice Age) playing the infamous role of Benny Blanco from the Bronx. 
    The film (based off of Judge Edwin Torres' two novels "Carlito's Way" and "After Hours") tells the story of a Puerto Rican ex con named Carlito Brigante (Pacino).  Once out of prison, he proclaims that he is quitting the buisness and staying away from drugs and violence. Carlito is an extremly loyal character; especially to his lawyer David Kleinfeld (Penn).  However, once Kleinfeld asks for a favor, he gets himself stuck right in the middle of his problems.  All Carlito wanted to do was open up his nightclub and live a violent and drug free life. Unfortunatly, things don't work out that way.
    This film is extremely well done and ends with a bang.  De Palma's way of taking a story and putting it on the screen is amazing.  What I really enjoyed about this film is the fact that its a gangster film without being your typical gangster film.  It does have the violence and drugs of your stereotypical "gangster film".  However, DePalma shows those aspects throught the film instead of being throughout the whole film. He also mixes in a love story that makes this film unlike a lot of your stereotypical "gangster films". 

Best Quote:
        "Hey remember me, Benny Blanco from The Bronx?"


9. Pulp Fiction (1994)
    There are some movies that come out of nowhere when they are released and make you relize you just watched something special on the screen; Pulp Fiction is one of those films.  Directed by the almighty himself, Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Basterds), Pulp Fiction has one of the best casts on this list.  Included in this cast was John Travolta (Grease, Face-Off) who desperatly needed a comeback film for his career more than ever (and man did Tarantino deliver). 
  Alongside Travolta's character Vincent Vega is his partner Jules Winnfield (played by Samuel L Jackson).  Jacksons' (True Romance, Star Wars Prequels) character Jules is probably the most famous character out of any film that came out in the Nineties.  Jules is one bad mother fucker (IT SAYS SO ON HIS WALLET) who will quote the bible (Ezekiel 25:17) to his victims before he kills them.  Rounding out the rest of the cast is Bruce Willis (Die Hard films), Uma Thurman (Kill Bill films), Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, The Bad Lieutenant), Christopher Walken (The King Of New York, Wedding Crashers) and Rosanna Arquette (The Whole Nine Yards, After Hours). 
    Without giving anything away, the movies shows the lives of two hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a couple who attempt a robbery of a diner.  All of their lives intertwine throughout the film and what comes out in the end is great.    
    Tarrantino created another masterpiece with Pulp Fiction (the prior being Reservoir Dogs).  The dialogues he writes for his films are some of the greatest dialogues within the history of movie cinema.  Nobody could have ever made this film other than Tarrantino.  The way he creates character driven complex plots while having fast and witty dialogue makes him on eof the greatest directors/writers of all time.... and makes Pulp Fiction one of the greatest gangster films of all time.       

Best Quote:
    "There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Now... I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You'd be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking: maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."


8. Mean Streets (1973)-
    A year after the classic "The Godfather",  Martin Scorsese released his first gangster film.  Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Casino, Goodfellas) found a certain guy for this film that was still unheard of; that actor being Robert DeNiro (The Godfather Part: II, Once Upon A Time In America, Goodfellas, Casino). The film takes place in the Little Italy section of New York City. 
  Throughout the film you follow the life of a young Italian-American named Charley played by Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction, Wedding Crashers).  Charley is trying to move his way up in the local New York City mafia.  However, he feels like he holds a responsibility towards his reckless friend Johnny Boy (DeNiro).  Johnny Boy has a small time gambler who owes money all over town to loan sharks.  Charley is a devout Catholic who is also having an affair with Johnny Boy's epileptic cousin, Teresa. Without giving much of the plot away, Charley has many choices he needs to make.
  Scorsese wrote this film based off of events he saw happen throughout his childhoold in Little Italy.  Mean Streets was Scorsese's first feature film and led to him directing future gangster classics like Goodfellas and Casino.  This film is a very dark and grainy film however a classic and deserves its rank at number 8.
Famous Tagline:
        "You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets..."


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