Thursday Movie Picks: Crime Family

This week’s topic could be a list of classics but I’m really lousy with watching and liking old movies.  And I know that I probably have seen many crime family movies from the late 80’s as well as 90’s, but most of them are a blur. And I guess I’m trying to find an excuse for this list not including the obvious choices one might mention under this theme. That being said, I think I make it up by at least recommending the most obvious one.

1. THE GODFATHER (1972)

If I’d go back and check all my Thursday Movie Pick recommendations, I’d probably realise that The Godfather is the oldest movie I’ve ever recommended. The thing is, I tend to be very impatient with classics (this one is almost 3 hours long), and it’s a shame to say so, because The Godfather is brilliant movie making and writing all rolled into one. The story of the infamous crime family spans through three movies, other two which I have not seen, and it heavily features violence and intrigue. Plus, it has stand out performances across the board. The praise the movie has, the hype, the meaning, is the reason why I watched it, and it was worth it.

2. THE DEPARTED (2006)

Though the family theme seems to be kind of a stretch, I feel like Frank Costello’s character serves as the father figure to our two main characters. Sort of. The movie itself is a cat and a mouse situation, with DiCaprio and Damon slaying it in all the best ways possible, and Jack Nicholson takes the lead effortlessly. Even Mark Wahlberg delivers an Oscar worthy performance! The Departed is no doubt one of those great thrillers that has everything working out for it, and say what you want, I think that in 2006, it truly was the best film!

3. ALPHA DOG (2006)

This one is a remention, which I feel like is acceptable here because I really don’t have many recommendations for the crime family theme. Alpha Dog is a great film, it has great characters and it is based on real events. It also features a father and a son character duo, both centred in the main story, which is why I decided to mention this movie during this week. The first time I mentioned Alpha Dog was because the movie features a performance by the late Anton Yelchin, and I will state it again, the movie is worth a watch for his performance alone.


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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16 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Crime Family”

  1. I expected The Godfather to be all over today. Very good film as is the second, the third…well you can’t hit a home run every time.

    Sorry to say I loathed The Departed. I think part of it was disappointed hopes, I’m variable on Scorsese but had loved his film before this, The Aviator so walked into Departed thinking we were finally on the same page but not at all. However I liked his next Shutter Island enormously.

    Haven’t seen Alpha Dog.

    My first pick was one I really had thought would make a showing but it didn’t. Still it was a game changing film when it premiered. My others are a classic and an exploitation flick with a very committed lead performance.

    Bonnie & Clyde (1967)-Seminal, trend-setting drama of the criminal pair who terrorized the heartland during the depression with Clyde’s brother and his wife. Stylish and ultra-violent this made Warren Beatty a major player in Hollywood, a star of Faye Dunaway, moved Gene Hackman considerably up the ladder as Buck Barrow and won Estelle Parsons a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Buck’s screeching wife Blanche.

    White Heat (1949)-James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett a psychotic gangster with a mother fixation in one of the best crime noirs of the 40’s. An utterly ruthless man who thinks nothing of gunning down an unarmed man he is prone to violent headaches, an incipient signal of total madness, that can only be soothed by sitting on Ma Jarrett’s (a chilling Margaret Wycherly) knee as she strokes his head. Sent to prison after being caught during their last job Cody is a targeted man both by the undercover agent (Edmund O’Brien) who has been planted to befriend him and one of his henchmen (Steven Cochran) and Cody’s grasping wife Verna (Virginia Mayo) who want to take over the gang. Breaking out he sets out to reassert his dominance during the robbery of a chemical plant payroll but things spiral out of control leading to a fiery climax. Classic Cagney.

    Ma Barker’s Killer Brood (1960)-Exploitation version of the Barker clan headed by the ruthlessly murderous Ma (Lurene Tuttle). Revisionist in the extreme showing the gang working with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson though there’s no proof that they knew any of them in reality. Still it’s a trim little crime caper with Lurene Tuttle, who usually played sweet best friends and sensible mothers, having a grand old time tearing into the merciless and deranged mastermind. She rules her boys with an iron fist mocking any sign of weakness and not sparing the corporeal punishment to all if she thinks it necessary.

    1. Man, I thought nobody really hated The Departed. Maybe disliked it, but like, hated it.. I thought it was good. I also liked Shutter Island.

  2. The Departed really has one of the best ensemble casts of all time. Ironically out of all of them Nicholson delivers one of the worse performances. Baldwin and Walhberg are hilarious in this one.

    1. I liked all their performances but the stand out in terms of context would be Wahlberg because he rarely shines as much as he does in The Departed.

  3. I haven’t seen Alpha Dog but I have seen the other 2. I expected everyone to choose one of the Godfather films. I don’t know, but I was never enamoured with the film which goes Giants the grain foe just about everyone. I really like The Departed because it is so gritty. It is actually quite sad and nasty but it works.

    1. I would not watch The Godfather again in a very long time myself. I just, I don’t do well with long and very that kind of heavy movies. But I’m glad I watched it. Same goes for Apocalypse Now, which I also struggled through, but glad I did it. The Departed, I think, is my favourite pick from the three.

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