Brooklyn Rules (2007)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
City Lights Home Video || R - 99 minutes - $29.98 || September 18, 2007
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2007-09-27


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Michael Corrente
Writer(s): Terence Winter (written by)
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Freddie Prinze Jr., Scott Caan, Mena Suvari, Monica Keena, Robert Turano


Theatrical Release Date: May 18, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Writer & Director Commentary
  • Cast Interviews


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I first heard about "Brooklyn Rules" when I was watching Live with Regis and Kelly a few months ago. Freddie Prinze Jr., the star of the film, was on the show promoting it. I was curious about it for two reasons. The first being the opportunity to give Prinze, known for appearing in a lot of crappy teeny bopper films and for not being too much of an actor to boot, a chance to prove he can actually act and the second was the writer of the film, Terrence Winter. Winter had a great track record having written numerous episodes of the Sopranos and I was a fan. So with that being said, I was cautiously optimistic about the flick.

"Brooklyn Rules" is the true story (relatively, some parts have been a bit fictionalized) of how three friends grew up in Brooklyn and had their lives touched by the mob wars of the 1980's. Terrence Winter, writer of the film, had based the characters and their experiences on he and his 2 best buddies growing up at that time period. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Michael (Winters character of himself), a young pretty boy who's trying to get up out of the neighborhood by going to college.

While he's there, he also draws the attention of an upper class young student named Ellen (Mena Suvari). Michael's two buddies Bobby (Jerry Ferrarra of “Entourage”) and Carmine (Scott Caan) are always at his side and they always hang out together. Bobby is a good catholic guy who seldom gets into trouble and is thinking of asking his girlfriend (Monica Keena in a small role) to marry him while Carmine is an womanizer who's recently gotten involved with a mafia captain named Caesar (Alec Baldwin). The three friends slowly get more entangled in the mafia (mostly via Carmine) until their lives take a tragic turn.

How is it? Well... it's okay. Michael Corrente (whose work I hadn't seen before this) does a pretty good job of directing and Winter's script isn't bad but it just didn't grab me too much. Part of the problem is, with the exception of Ferrera (surprisingly enough), the acting is kind of weak. Suvari and Baldwin feel like they're phoning it in a little and Caan is underwhelming. The weakest link, I’m sad to say is easily Prinze, Jr. though. I guess the guy just isn't really much of an actor. He's always really likable in various interviews and things I’ve seen him in so I’m usually willing to give him a chance but I continue to be unimpressed by him. He's better here than I’ve seen him before but that's still not saying much and when most of your film rests almost entirely on one actor (as it does and him here), that actor has to be really great and he's just not.

Overall, it's a decent film and Ferrera is pretty good in it but it's not really as good as I felt it could've been.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with director Michael Corrente and writer Terrence Winter is pretty good but not great. A lot of the cliches and pitfalls I disliked during the film, I forgave after hearing Winter talk about how some of these things actually happened like that. It's an interesting, albeit somewhat slow commentary though and there a few too many pauses where the two simply watch the film, but it's worth a listen.

Cast Interviews are okay but there's just not enough here. It's only 6 minutes long and features brief interviews with the main cast (Baldwin, Prinze, Ferrera, Caan, and Suvari). I definitely didn't feel any kind of passion from Baldwin and I think this may've just been a paycheck for him and Suvari acts as if she had a much bigger, better part to play than we actually saw onscreen but the rest are okay.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The picture looks pretty good. It's appropriately dark during the nighttime scenes. I did think the lighting looked a bit funny during the opening scene at the church but I’m not sure if that was the DVD or just the film itself that made it look that way.

Audio quality was good, especially for such a small release.



.::OVERALL::.

“Brooklyn Rules” is an average film that could've been great. I can recommend it if you're an “Entourage” fan who wants to see if Turtle can be dramatic and to anyone who wants a rental to kill some time.