Mr. Movies Kansas City - Mix 93.3

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The Family

The Family stars Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer. It's about a family who is in the Witness Protection Program after ratting out their mafia relatives.  They cause a big headache for the CIA when they are constantly being relocated after consistently blowing their cover.

This movie starts out with a bang and then winds its way down a path of subpar comedy and conveniences designed to drive the plot forward.  It has its moments, but nearly all of the good parts are in the previews.  I like to refer to these types of movies as "High Concept Films". Where someone came up with a fun concept (former mafia family can't stay in hiding because they handle their problems the mafia way) and they pumped out a thoughtless script, attached a mediocre director, and a couple of big name actors. How they got Scorsese's name on this film is beyond me.  I can't imagine he had much to do with actual production.
The dialogue wasn't bad and the acting was decent.  The storyline is what kills this movie.  There were  a lot of moments that set things in motion that were not plausible and was frustrating to watch.  It was entirely too predictable and anti-climactic.
Ordinarily, I don't like to give out spoilers, but there's one small part of the story that I want to mention.
There's a part in the movie where Robert DeNiro's character is invited to debate an American film with the locals in Normandy, France.  Trying to blend in, he accepts.  Originally they're scheduled to debate Some Came Running starring Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  When he arrives at the screening he is informed the wrong movie was sent by mistake.  At this point I was thinking, Please don't be Goodfellas... Please don't be Goodfellas... Nothing that DeNiro was actually in... Sure enough, Goodfellas. That was the nail in the coffin for me.  It reminded me of Ocean's Twelve when Julia Roberts' character acted like she was the actual Julia Roberts because they looked so much alike.  While it's meant to be funny, to me, doing this creates a paradox that destroys all plausibility in the fabric of the storyline and I can't stand it.
As far as the performances go, DeNiro was his usual self.  He does a good job in everything, but this is one of the worst movies I've seen him in.  Michelle Pfeiffer was actually great when she wasn't slipping in and out of her New York accent.  She was much darker in this film and captured the emotions of a mafia wife perfectly.
If you like Righteous Kill, you'll probably like this movie.  If you don't remember that movie,  it's the one DeNiro and Pacino made back in 2008 that was pretty awful.  I'd say this The Family is slightly more entertaining, but has all the same problems with the lack of style and run of the mill script.
My grade for this film: C-

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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : New YorkNormandy
People : Dean MartinFrank SinatraJulia RobertsMichelle PfeifferRobert DeNiro

09/12/2013 10:51AM
The Family
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