[MOVIE REVIEW]It'd be a crime to miss these lovable losersOne of the lovable lawbreakers in the comedy "Welcome to Collinwood says, "This safe, this job, is nothing. Money comes. Money goes. I'm an old man, I know. But to have someone to walk with ..."
My response: "These visuals, this dialogue, is nothing. Movies come. Movies go. But to laugh. Now that is pure pleasure."
"Welcome to Collinwood," written and directed by the brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, is a comedy of errors. It's a remake of a remake, produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, who also also produced the remake "Ocean's Eleven."
The 1958 heist film "Big Deal on Madonna Street" served as the basis for "Welcome to Collinwood." ("Big Deal," itself, was a satire of the 1955 film "Rififi," a movie inspired Louis Malle's "Crackers," Alan Taylor's "Palookaville" and the middle section of Woody Allen's "Small Time Crooks.")
In "Welcome to Collin-wood," the setting is suburban Cleveland, where the Russo brothers grew up. The characters are misfits, whose misfortunes are fodder for laughter.
There's Toto (Michael Jeter), an old man afraid of heights who loses his pants and underwear at a most vulnerable moment. There's Pero Mihailo-vic (Sam Rockwell), a boxer who has a knack for getting knocked out.
There's Riley (William H. Macy), a husband who needs $1,000 to spring his wife from jail; Basil (Andrew Davoli), a petty criminal who desperately wants go straight; and Leon (Isaiah Washington), who wears an ascot and wields a pocket knife, and wants to find a better life for his sister. Clooney has a cameo in a wheelchair. And they're only part of the crew.
The characters, visually, are also caricatures, creating some striking images when combined with the colorful background settings.
The cast comes together when a small-time thief, Cosimo (Luis Guzman), gets wind of a bellini, the mother of all deals. Cosimo, regrettably, is in jail and needs a mullinsky -- someone willing to confess to his crime -- and serve his time instead.
So Cosimo's girlfriend, Rosalind (Patricia Clarkson) starts combing the streets to find someone in need of $15,000 to take the fall. But each person she asks declines, although each offers to track down another prospect as long as he gets a share of the bellini.
Soon, Rosalind has a large number of losers trailing behind her, with the the Russos keeping tabs on each and managing to toss in a romance or two.
As the Cosimo's ragtag clan bumbles from one incident to the next, the enthusiasm never flags.
Each character has a chance to take center stage, and they do, from the young Basil to the old Toto. It makes for a lot of fun and plenty of laughter.
by Joe Yong-hee