The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Family

Director/writer Luc Besson is no stranger to the intense uber violent films with a sense of humor like The Professional, Transporter and Taken. Based on the novel Malavita (Badfellas) by Tonino Benacquista, the screenplay was co-written with Michael Caleo. Not sure how the novel reads, but the screen version is a big loud, riotous mess, held together by the talent of their lead actors.

Robert De Niro is a New York mob boss Giovanni Manzoni that has turned into an FBI informant living with his family in a Witness Protection Program. The family is watched over by agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) who has to keep very close tabs on them as they have had to move every 90 days because Gio can't seem to behave himself. His wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer, recycling her New Yawk accent from Married to the Mob), his teen kids Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo) seems like the typical “Americans” as they relocated in their new identities as the Blakes in Normandy, France. The kids go to school and Warren promptly gets bullied. Belle is hit on by the same kids who bullied her brother. Mom goes to get groceries and is insulted by the locals when she asks for peanut butter. Early on we are clued that his is not your normal family. Living with the mob as role models the family members have some anger and “acting out” issues.

Gio who has the alias of Fred, finds an old typewriter and begins to write his memoirs and tells the neighbor he's a writer. This is how we get some backstory on just who he is and why they are there. The mob family is not to happy with him and are doing everything, even from their prison cell to locate him and take him out. Meanwhile we are following the adventures of the family as they attempt to fit in with locals. Warren's rackets with his classmates to get revenge on the bullies, Bell's crush on the college aged substitute teacher, mom's blowing up the grocery store and dad taking up his complaint to the fertilizer plant that is making his tap water brown.

There's a lot going on in this movie. Besson keeps the action going and De Niro and Pfeiffer give it some heart. Despite their psychopathic tendencies, they are still a loving and close family. Mom even tells the kids not to swear. The last act involves the mob eventually finding them and it's like an old western and the big stand off. There's plot holes everywhere and the subplots arrive and fizzle on delivery. But the cast as always elevates the film to large sized popcorn and drink. Worth at least an early show.
(Review by reesa)

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