Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: William H. Macy, Isaiah Washington, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, Luis Guzman, John Buck Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Andrew Davoli, Brett C. Leonard, Ray Calabrese, George Clooney, Maryanne Nagel, David Warshofsky, Jennifer Esposito, Gabrielle Union
Written by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 86
Date: 05/24/2002
IMDB

Welcome to Collinwood (2002)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Bellini-esque

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Of the five remakes coming out this fall, including The Ring, Red Dragon, Swept Away and The Truth About Charlie, only Welcome to Collinwood -- based on the 1955 Italian film Big Deal on Madonna Street -- works. Luis Guzman plays a lowbrow car thief named Cosimo who gets caught and sent to prison. Once there, he hears about a "Bellini" (a dream job to end all jobs) from a lifer: a safe that can be easily accessed from an abandoned building next door. Cosimo's outside connections, including William H. Macy (another great performance by our greatest living actor), Isaiah Washington, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, Patricia Clarkson and Andrew Davoli, attempt to pull off the job. And of course, every conceivable thing that could go wrong goes wrong. The biggest change from the original film is in moving the location from Italy to Cleveland, Ohio. In that capacity, the brothers successfully capture the feel of a long-gone neighborhood brimming with carefully-arranged squalor, but with a sense of combined community. Everyone's poor, so they all relate to one another. The writer/director brothers Anthony and Joe Russo carefully establish a sense of place and a truth of character at the base of it. Once there, the movie can spin off into ludicrous comedy without losing its truth or its edge. George Clooney co-produced and plays a small role as Jerzy, a wheelchair-bound safe-cracking expert. Steven Soderbergh also produced.

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