June 24, 2011

Welcome to Collinwood - 2002

Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo
Writers: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Luis Guzman, Patricia Clarkson, Michael Jeter, Andy Davoli, William H. Macy, Isaiah Washington, Sam Rockwell, George Clooney

"This Bellini is starting to look like a real Kapuchnik." While in jail for attempted grand theft auto, Cossimo (Guzman) hears about the heist of a lifetime: an empty apartment separated from a jewelry store by an all-too-thin wall. When his lady on the outside (Clarkson) searches for a patsy to take the fall for his GTA charge, she ends up involving a ragtag band of crooks including a boxer (Rockwell), a virtually-single father with a newborn (Macy), and a wheelchair-bound safecracker (Clooney). Naturally, all does not go as planned.

I never would have heard of this film if it weren't for a brief mention in a film book I read, and I imagine many others haven't either. It played in less than 50 theaters in its widest release, and had the misfortune of being an ensemble heist film the year following Ocean's Eleven. However, the movie is the brainchild of the Russo brothers, later a partial creative force behind Arrested Development and Community, and while it's a humbler version of OE, sans frills, it's still an entertaining watch if you have a couple hours to kill. B

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