A gripping tale of three life-long friends struggling with relationships, responsibility and loyalty on the mean streets of 1980 s-era Brooklyn, NY. When the violent influence of the mafia becomes a factor in their friendship, lives will be threatened as the fond memories of the past begin to give way to a potentially grim future.
Produced and directed by Michael Corrente (Outside Providence, American Buffalo) and written by Emmy Award Winning writer Terence Winter (The Sopranos)
If Brooklyn Rules
, a tale about a trio of good fellas making their way through the mean streets of that New York borough, just happens to remind you of the work of Martin Scorsese, you're not the only one. But even if it's not the most original film in cinematic history, director Michael Corrente's 2007 effort is entertaining enough to hold one's attention for most of its 99 minute running time. Michael (Freddie Prinze Jr., who also supplies the voice-over narration), Bobby (Jerry Ferrara, Entourage
's Turtle), and Carmine (Scott Caan, son of James) are the kind of punks who stole money from the church collection plate when they were Catholic schoolboys. Cut to the 1980s, when they're in their twenties, still close pals but following divergent paths: Michael, a smart, ambitious Columbia undergrad, plans to become a lawyer, while nerdy skinflint Bobby ("You're so cheap, if you saw a sign that said 'free slaps in the face,' you'd be the first in line," says Mike) hopes to land a gig at the post office, and the narcissistic Carmine is falling in with the wrong crowd, courtesy of Caesar Manganaro (Alec Baldwin), a captain in the Gambino crime family. Needless to say, conflicts ensue, as Michael scores a WASP girlfriend (an underused Mena Suvari), a mob war breaks out (based on real events, including the murder of big boss Paul Castellano and the ascension of John Gotti), violence strikes tragically close to home, and the f-word is employed liberally. Corrente does a nice job of evoking an era in which Billy Idol and Culture Club ruled the airwaves and Cabbage Patch Dolls were all the rage; and writer Terence Winter, a veteran of The Sopranos
, has an ear for colorful, pithy dialogue ("That cardigan makes you look like the Italian Fred MacMurray"
"Depressed? She wouldn't be happy sitting in the lap of Jesus"). But a largely unsatisfying ending underscores the fact that Brooklyn Rules
is nothing to go to the mattresses for. Extras including commentary by Corrente and Winter and a video accompanying the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," which is featured on the soundtrack. --Sam Graham