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|10th and Wolf|
Actors: James Marsden, Giovanni Ribisi, Brad Renfro, Piper Perabo, Dennis Hopper
Director: Robert Moresco
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Marine sgt. Tommy santoro thought he had left his familys ties to the mafia behind. But a visit from the f.B.I. Sends him home to the tightly-knit south philly neighborhood of 10th & wolf to face the biggest dilemma of his... more »
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Reality based, worth seeing
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 07/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"10th and Wolf (2006) promises thrills and a story told in the first person,
concerning the ultra-dangerous living environment of those taking part in
the underworld, tempted by the millions of dollars in earnings from the import
of cocaine, and its distribution in night clubs; yet resolved in accepting the fate
reserved for those taking part in it: often a fast trip to the morgue, through gang
rivalry and jealousies.
One strength of this picture, is its consistent, calm, subtle, moody,
and nostalgic approach in laying out the point of view of the story teller,
concerning past life events. Although pigeon-holed mentally, as
a Marine veteran in terms of job skills, this might also stem somewhat from PTSD after
being released from service, from being user the pressure of being a paid
confidential informant for the government, based on an ease in approaching
childhood friends from the past, and capturing their dialog on tape, and relaying
news, plans, tactics from the underworld to the FBI, as hard evidence for use
in the courts against the gangs. As such, the realism is extreme, taking the
movie to the next level for viewers, who "buy into" the action.
Giovanni Ribisi, once again, (as in past films) does an outstanding job in
relaying to the audience, the psychological landscape of the gang leader,
who, as a third generation American, doesn't buy into the European - Sicilian
mob rules of his forefathers and rival in the city - not only culturally,
linguistically, - but also in not seeing past his own limitations. In fact, Ribisi
shows a leader fully conscious of his limited shelf life, so to speak,
in that operating environment, yet paradoxically is comforted and satisfied
with his modest ability to think things through, or the implications of certain
murders that are spontaneously and irrationally done, for trivial motives.
The film also builds a rapport with the audience, by recalling recent events (Desert
Storm deployment in the Middle East) as well as the mental conditioning that
is learned and stays with a person after they completed military training and also
after they have left active service. The "quid pro quo" as a survival mechanism is another
interesting theme in the work.
Overall, the picture is redeemed by its truth in face of brutal events
over the 90 minutes, such as multiple stabbings, stranglings, point blank
pistol executions, blood packs going off, guts spilling out, and a finale that has
a DOOM - style gaming sequence exceeding 10 minutes, along dark corridors.
Brian Dennehy is a plus to this picture, from his gravitas and clean cut look
in the FBI role, who admittedly, has to cross the line, into a grey area, to get
his job done, through the use of confidential informants, threats and more.
"You're up the creek, but maybe I've got a paddle for you!" he says.
The stigma of snitches, widely discussed among the encarcerated, is amply given
prominence, by Ribisi's torment in his own Father having been one, etc
Perhaps a weakness of this picture, is the suggestion that an individual having been shot
1 or 2 times, can still retain consciousness for 10 or 15 minutes longer, with no help,
and keep walking along, climbing stairs, moving - perhaps not quite rooted in reality,
or even, recovering from a blast to the stomach from a pistol, and other shots, in
separate events, with no repercussions.
Next, some eye candy is offered to the public, dancing girls manning the poles, bar
maids, drunks, bar fights, bouncers, the weakness in face of the need for sex,
plenty of inner city outdoor scenes, is shown.
The soundtrack is exactly as required, from its minimal role in the movie, further
emphasizing the subtlety of the picture, necessary to give meaning to other moments,
in terms of underlying feelings, emotions, human relationships, etc.
The filming is no-nonsense, excellent wide-screen and consistent high quality.
The acting, filming, the drawing of the audience into the action makes this DVD remarkable
and worth seeing, although James Marsden's acting might be an acquired taste, yet reminiscent
of the late Brad Davis."