By The Sea
Starring: Robert DeNiro, James Franco, Frances McDormand,
Eliza Dushku and George Dzundza
Directed by: Michael Caton-Jones
City By The
Sea is a riveting true tale of a cop, Vincent LaMarca (Robert
- Mr. Talent - DeNiro) that just can't seem to escape his horrible
dark forgotten past that appears to be resurfacing in a new generation
of his family.
Beach New York was once a booming seaside town. A self- proclaimed
"city by the sea", filled with happy homemakers and
tourists wallowing in the surf. Times change and towns morph.
Now Long Beach is a shell of its past dotted with war-like storefronts
and street urchins searching for their next fix.
junkie Joey "Nova" (James Franco) is having a particularly
bad junkie day. He just wanted a quick fix to ease his growing
withdrawal. He found a his fix...along with a murder rap.
and his dealer 'Picasso' have a drug frenzied battle where Joey
ends up - accidentally - killing the equally strung out dealer
fellow. Great. As if this kid's life didn't suck enough
in deep trouble with Picasso's (Jay Boryea) uber boss Spider (William
Forsythe) and he better watch his back because the small neighborhood
he calls home is serving him up like a happy meal at a all-night
drive thru. These people are cold and been under the heat lamp
a tad too long and there aint a nanosecond of thought for the
wait Joey's not just some kid lost in a world without love hot
footing it to a quick dreamland, he's Detective Vincent LaMarca
(DeNiro) of the NYC bureau's son.
Sr. is a straight and narrow cop that is called in on the case
when Picasso's puffy body washes up on his turf miles from the
a day the "friends" of Joey Nova lead LaMarca to the
terrible truth that his son is a murderer. At least all
the evidence points in that direction. He has no quams about dragging
the kid in on murder. Nice dad...
this LaMarca's not winning any father of the year awards anyway,
ir-regardless of his cool cop demeaner- he's a bastard. He walked
out on the kid years ago and in some way is probably responsible
for the kid's troubles. Think? Yeah but it's even more than the
usual kid-gets-whacked- to-forget-his-woes-look-for-the-bad-parent-for-cause-and-reaction
scenario too we are to learn.
the hunt for Joey "Nova" LaMarca grows so does the buzz
around Vincent LaMarca's tragic past - an eerie past. Vin's
got a big old secret in the form of a executed-child-killing-
parent hidden in his closet of shame.
also, is the rap sheet on Joey as now it seems he's killed LaMarca's
partner Reg (George Dzundza) down in Long Beach too.
is this kid heading to hell in a handbag.
LaMarca starts to battle father LaMarca but not in some two-dimensional
way - in a DeNiro way. And that's what makes this sometimes-long
film actually work. DeNiro and Franco.
DeNiro is a legend and his abilities to effortlessly leak
soul into another man's skin shine through here, as always. Bob
is believable and unswerving as eventually regretful tough as
nails Vincent. Did you expect less? Me neither. This man is not
just one of our all-time greatest actors but he's one of the sexiest
men alive! Dear god is he put together right. This heaping helping
of man heroin makes a gal wanna forget all the years of etiquette
training and leap on him with girlish glee. Slurp.
Franco is wonderful as Joey the Junkie. You wouldn't know
it from his look in this that he's a studmuffin of extreme proportions
- but trust me this one's a yummatini with a twist of purrfection
folks. His acting abilities shine through the character and the
"kid" holds his own with DeNiro.
of my all time faves, Frances McDormand, plays Michele, Detective
LaMarca's gal pal. She didn't have too much to work with, but
as always, brought class and perfection to her role. I am not
alone in my adoration for this strong brilliant chickbabe! Find
anything with her name on it - like say Fargo or Blood
Simple - and you'll get a treat.
movie drags along sometimes, and wields a gooey typical melodramatic
soundtrack (almost as loud as Franco's dialog at times) apparently
erroneously added to orchestrate our feelings through out the
film. What, they didn't trust the legend and his protégé
to handle the material? Goons. And worst of all CBTS keeps Frances
McDormand as scenery - hence its three star tag. But, still the
caliber of performances in the meat of the film will keep your
interest firmly awaiting the out come. Hey! It's DeNiro 'nough
Recommendation: Bananas and a bowl of cereal.