“City Island” Is A Clam-Digger In my Book
by Nicholas Robinson
The Rizzos, a family who doesn’t share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Steven Strait) brought home by Vince (Andy Garcia), the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private. – IMDB.com
I actually never even knew that this movie existed until I heard Andrew, Douglas and Damion review it on The Unnamed Movie Podcast (TUMP) from Gmanreviews. Ever since then I have wanted to watch it but it fell of my radar until a couple of weeks ago, I was going through the list of movies released in 2010 and this one came up and I remembered. So I took a trip to the local DVD rental store and rented a copy, popped it in the player and enjoyed. The story was all right, the acting was good, the comedy was good and the music was OK.
The story in this movie was all right. What I loved about it was not the entire story but how the story unfolded. The Rizzos lie to each other day in and day out, yet once Tony (the ex-con) is introduced into the household, all of their secrets seem to be put into his confidence and their web of lies is gradually unravelled. The way that the entire movie leads up to one point near the end was done very well. In fact if this was a movie where some famous franchise character (E.g. Indiana Jones) were to be killed off, it would probably be done very well by these guys.
The acting in this movie was good. Andy Garcia does very well as the struggling, in-the-closet actor with a rocky marriage who is trying to stay in control of his family. Julianna Marguiles was excellent as his wife who can’t seem to shake the feeling that Vince isn’t telling her the truth about anything that he does. Steven Strait is also very good as the ex-con who is thrown into a situation that he cannot control and is driving him crazy.
The comedy in this movie. What I really liked about it was that it was like Cyrus. It felt like it was funny without trying to be funny and a lot of the humour was drawn from the situations themselves instead of punch lines of a written joke. So I may not have been laughing all the time, but I was laughing quite a bit and it didn’t need what I like to call a “movie laugh track” where the actors laugh at their own jokes or just make sure they get the punch line right. All it needed was the actor to do his part in playing the character, nothing more, nothing less and it was done.
The music in the movie was OK. It was nothing to rave about and it also wasn’t bad either. It was just average in general. In fact some of the time you don’t even know that there is score in the background. You’re paying so much attention to the movie that the music is irrelevant. But, in some scenes the music was a nice break from the rest of the movie. In fact I think the music was meant to be used as interludes to the acts of the movie and it did its job.
Overall, it is a good movie that could do a bit better, but is definitely worth a rental.
IMDB says 7.6/10
RT says 81%
I say 7.5/10