Action adventure comedy. Five hapless misfits from the hard-luck streets of Cleveland band together to try and pull off the greatest job they've ever heard of. When their plans go awry, this army of eccentrics find themsel... more »ves gaining more than they lose.« less
Beth K. (callaflower) from CLIFTON HTS, PA Reviewed on 6/1/2008...
i bought and watched this movie solely because i lived in Cleveland when they filmed this movie and i walked down the street where they built the set every day. now i wish i hadn't even bothered. walking through the set and having William H. Macy run past me on the street was more exciting than the finished product.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Welcome to Palookaville; Delightful Heist Spoof
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 10/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This "small-heist-went-terribly-awry" film has its own charm, which might or might not appeal to you. It is not the story that counts; it's the characters you enjoy watching, and the terrific cast give this light-weight film some good reason for you to watch.The film's opening scene should not be missed; four guys in tattered and sooty clothes standing in the street, all staring vacantly in the air. What happened to them? The film goes back to the chain of events leading up to the first moment.
And the story is simple; Cosimo (Luiz Guzman) hears a story about a big deal from the guy in jail. The deal of stealing from a jewelry shop, and Cosimo knows how to break in there. Cosimo tells it to his love Rosalind, who tells it to another, who tells ... and finally, five guys in Colinwood get together around the plan. Now let me introduce these lovable guys. They are: down-and-out boxer Pero (Sam Rockwell, great as usual); Riley, failed artist who had to sell his camera to buy diapers (William H. Macy, never better with Mel Gibson-like sideburns); Leon, Dandy of Colinwood (Isaiah Washington); Toto, too kind and too old maybe for the job (Michael Jeter): and Basil, who falls in love with the sister of his buddy Leon at first sight (Andrew Davoli). And they are all broke. You got also the cameo of cast-against-type George Clooney (see his disguise), and Gabrielle Union ("Bring it on").The film's approach to the material is downplayed, so the humor is the kind of what you call 'dead-pan' or "off-beat.' You might not find the film not so amusing. After all, potentially the film is talking about the losers who remain losers. They are likable in spite of (and because of) their utter silliness, and their silliness is mingled with sadness. But that is exactly the charm of the film. To realize this, the actors did splendid job, especially Macy, Rockwell and Jeter.Another merit of the film is its music by Mark Mothersbaugh, ex-"DEVO." His bouncing jazzy guitar music gives another joy for watching the film. "Welcome to Colinwood" is, as its credit shows, a remake of Italian film "I Soliti Igonoti," usually called Vittorio Gassman's "Big Deal on Madonna Street." This old-Italian film, itself a parody of noir genre, has already spawned several similar films -- such as "Palookaville" and "Crackers." Compare them with "WTC.""
A great film on several levels
Robin Houchens | 07/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loving misfit comedies as I do ... (OK, loving George Clooney as I do) ... and being from Collinwood myself long ago, I decided to check out Welcome to Collinwood.
Bad news first ... I was disappointed in Clooney's role. Good news ... that was all I was disappointed in. THis movie was a laugh riot from beginning to end while at the same time conveying an endearing pathos. This is the first time I have ever seen a criminal caper movie and felt sorry for and touched by the lives of the criminals, even while I was laughing MAO. These guys "punch through" the problems in their lives with interesting results. Jeter and Macy are fantastic and if you ever wondered what was Sam Rockwells breakout role, this is it.
I was born and raised in Collinwood in the 60's, and attended OH Perry school as a kid. This is not the Slavinian-rich neighborhood I remember but I guess nothing stays the same in this life, not even Cleveland. Check out this unique movie about my old neighborhood, you'll be glad you did.
Five guys. One safe. No brains.
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 05/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great little movie. I had never heard of this, but it popped up on my recommendations and got good reviews, so I gave it a try. This so much reminded me of Donald Westlake's comic crime caper novels. A great little story with plenty of laughs. The plot involves a group of low rent, misfit criminals trying to pull of a heist of a lifetime, or as the call it, their 'Bellini'. Well, complications occur, problems arise, and the whole thing gets rather messy. William H. Macy is great along with Isaiah Washington, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, and Luis Guzman. A great ensemble cast in a highly enjoyable, funny movie. A sad note, I had heard Michael Jeter died recently, which is quite sad. I thought he was great in the Green Mile."
Laughed Out Loud!
Grndtea | Pittsburgh, PA | 06/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was delighted to find some of my favorite actors together in this film: Luis Guzman: Michael Jeter (who recently died)and William Macy. Luis is a scary-looking dude--that was the first thing I noticed about him--but he is a good actor. His reply to anyone he's mad at in this is "Your mother is a w_____! For some reason, I found that hilarious. Then at the end they say about his character--"poor guy, his mother was a w_____."
The movie has a lot of physical comedy that is well-done. Michael Jeter is such a natural--he is a pleasure to watch. (See "The Green Mile.") William Macy carrying that darling baby around with him added a quaint touch.
This movie will surprise you."
It'll make you keep pressing that REWIND button.
Film Noir Fedora | 03/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie had me laughing all the way.
It all takes place as a crook gets nabbed for grand theft auto. Right away he is hauled off and forced to share the cell with a man who has a funny secret and traditionally wants to pass it onto someone before he dies laughingly. But this is not a story about the old man. This is a story of a group of not-too-smart criminals in pulling off a master of a 'belini', what is referred to in the film as the Big Hiest.
But first, they need a 'Lavenski', a person to take the wrap for the man in jail, you'll find that the movie makes up a lot of words but you'll get the hang of understanding them all.
The group is formed when each member is requested to become the lavinski for the mere sum of 15,000 dollars. But, in telling that person, the word spreads, as they search for a lavinski, of the job and of it's grand total that racks into close to 300,000 dollars.
These bumbling knuckle heads pay tribute to the likes of THE THREE STOOGES and THE MARXX BROTHERS in their gags and criminal endeavors. Some of the humor is in your face at times but there are other times where it's just crossing wittiness and absoultely gut-busting funny. The best character in this movie would have to be The hunching old man with red hair. He's the classic old-timer crook who sometimes doesn't have a clue.
You'll fall in love with this homage to heist comedies. It has a 1930's flavor but the time period is never really annoucned in the movie. But the costumes play a role in dipicting the fictionalized town.
Also, be on the look out for GEORGE CLOONEY who plays a small role in the film, after all, of course he would, he's one of the executive producers.
This is a very funny movie that will have you laughing out loud. You may not like the ending but you'll love all of the gags in between.