Author Topic: Mean Streets  (Read 5748 times)

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filmcritic

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Mean Streets
« on: July 30, 2003, 11:20:22 AM »
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I'm shocked that this classic hasn't been talked about very much. It's my fourth favorite Scorsese movie. It's become "the film that started it all" in the gangster genre. I love Robert De Niro and Harvey Kietel in their roles. By the way, if you go to this movie on imdb.com and click under "posters", you'll scroll down and find a UK Quad poster of the movie. It's so great! I just wish I could find it for a reasonable price. I'd pay 50 dollars for it. I guess it's really rare.
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modage

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Mean Streets
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2003, 11:34:31 AM »
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you think Mean Streets did more for the "gangster genre" than the Godfather?
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Re: Mean Streets - appreciation thread
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2003, 11:35:00 AM »
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Quote from: filmcritic
It's become "the film that started it all" in the gangster genre.


What? Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, James Garfield and Paul Muni were making gangster films way before this.
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filmcritic

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Mean Streets
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2003, 12:14:50 PM »
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Alright, "Mean Streets" was one of the first movies to establish the gangster genre. It also started Martin Scorsese's career and Robert De Niro's and Harvey Kietel's. By the way, did anyone check out that poster?
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soixante

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Mean Streets
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2003, 12:27:32 AM »
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Mean Streets is my favorite film of all time.  There are so many wonderful moments in this film you have to see it multiple times to appreciate them all.  This film represents the first time Scorsese found his true cinematic voice, and it also launched the acting careers of De Niro and Keitel.  David Proval and Richard Romanus were also brilliant.  The ensemble is wonderfully balanced -- De Niro's hyperkinetic craziness is counter-balanced by Romanus' low-key sulking.  

As great as Taxi Driver, GoodFellas and Raging Bull are, I feel they get too much attention at the expense of Mean Streets.
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budgie

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Mean Streets
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2003, 07:21:45 AM »
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I had to see Mean Streets a couple of times before I could catch it all, the dialogue and banter. I love the slow motion shot of De Niro in the bar, especially because of the way it ends with a really awkward cut. His perfomance in this is my second favourite after King of Comedy. Seeing Harvey Keitel's body also always reminds me how hot he was. Still is.

Ah, where did all that rough energy go? So wish Scorsese would try to recapture his youth. Comparing his Top Ten list to Gangs of New York and watching Mean Streets makes me think he's lost it, that thing he loves.

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Mean Streets
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2003, 06:38:28 PM »
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I don't know if I can say this as criticism, but Mean Streets is very boring to me. The major positive to me is De Niro. He is magnificent. An easy way to identify his control of the character is that his performance feels like him as another person. It is harder to distinguish De Niro in this movie as being the man who played the roles he did in Raging Bull, Goodfellas and even Taxi Driver. I don't identify De Niro by De Niro in this movie. When I watch the movie, I see the character.

For criticism of the film, I definitely understand when people say this is Scorsese's most "personal" film. Structurally, it is. The movie feels like a never ending diary of these guys that skirts on convential storylines but hardly fulfills at all for much of anything besides what De Niro is able to offer. When the film seems to find a point of tension with De Niro and his troubles with everyone else, the movie continues on in general diary. When the story of Kietal and his girlfriend seems to be going down a path to a storyline where something may be achieved, the film just continues in general diary form. I guess the argument of defense for the film is that its a realistic film and just capturing the environment of the world in all its hope and unruliliness for these guys. I disagree. For so much of the movie, the film rides on points of interests very convential. The most obvious is De Niro and simply paying back the guy he owes money to. The movie focuses on this instead of the environment and it ends up dragging whole the situation past interest in continually repeating De Niro skipping out of paying and Kietal continually making apologies. I believe for the film to have captured a better air of realism and angst, its storyline would have been a bigger picture of the entire scene. Instead, its a very rambling story that addresses many things to the side, but finds a steady pace on following on a few situations without ditching them to gain higher realism of the environment or focus on them to gain satisfaction in what they could bring.

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Derek237

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Mean Streets
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2003, 08:11:14 PM »
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I loved Mean Streets. Simple fact is- it's some of DeNiro, Keitel, and Scorsese's oldest work, yet it's still amoung their best, too. Nobody can call themselves a fan of the 3 unless they've seen this.

I was wondering though...what's that italian song playing at the very end? I can't get that out of my head!

Finn

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Mean Streets
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2003, 08:29:16 PM »
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I believe that's Scapricciatiello by Renato Carosone

Luckily enough, I made the Mean Streets soundtrack for myself! 8)
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ElPandaRoyal

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Mean Streets
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2003, 06:23:50 AM »
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Mean Streets is amazing for the same reasons a film like Casino is amazing. You feel Scorsese all over the film having a blast with the music, with the moving camera, with the cuts... It's really great in technical terms. Plus it deals very well with the theme of guilt and friendship and has really good performances by everybody.
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Re: Mean Streets - appreciation thread
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2003, 01:37:58 PM »
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Quote from: filmcritic
I'm shocked that this classic hasn't been talked about very much. It's my fourth favorite Scorsese movie. It's become "the film that started it all" in the gangster genre. I love Robert De Niro and Harvey Kietel in their roles. By the way, if you go to this movie on imdb.com and click under "posters", you'll scroll down and find a UK Quad poster of the movie. It's so great! I just wish I could find it for a reasonable price. I'd pay 50 dollars for it. I guess it's really rare.


hhahahhah where is filmcritic..????.. :wink:

wonderful synopsis.....

soixante

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Mean Streets
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2003, 11:39:26 AM »
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Mean Streets is a very complex film, and needs to be seen more than once.  It has the same kind of atmospheric density as McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

For those who think there's no story, or that "nothing happens," there is a very strong, simple thread running through the entire film -- it is Charlie (Harvey Keitel) trying to serve two masters, God and man.  Charlie feels guilt about his lifestyle, and tries to have it both ways, reveling in the world of the flesh while trying to remain a good Catholic.  One moment he will go collect money for a bookie, the next moment he will put his hand in a flame to punish himself.  We see him sleeping with Theresa, which is fobidden by his powerful Uncle.  We see him helping his cousin Johnny Boy, and yet trying to appease the guys who have been burned by Johnny Boy.  He wants to be loyal to his Uncle Giovanni and yet he wants to help Johnny Boy, who is a hopeless case.  Charlie is torn between the Mafia and the Church, between his friends and Johnny Boy, between his powerful Uncle and Theresa.  Ultimately, he can't juggle all these balls, and disaster befalls him.
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soixante

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Mean Streets
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2003, 07:57:15 PM »
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I really appreciate this film.

Here's an example of some dialogue:

David Proval and Richard Romanus are trying to con two burn-outs into buying firecrackers --

"This stuff comes from Maryland -- you know what that means?"
"No."
"That means it's good shit."

Or how about the scene in which David Proval reveals his pet baby tiger in the back room of the bar?  Or when Proval drinks after shave during a drunken revel?  Or when the cop breaks up a poolroom brawl, and finds a nail file in someone's pocket, and says, "This is a very dangerous weapon."
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nix

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Mean Streets
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2003, 08:39:56 PM »
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The first time I saw it was in film history class. My roomate whined and complained about how booring it was.

I was simply blown away. If only I could make a film like this someday.
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SHAFTR

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Mean Streets
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2004, 12:16:32 AM »
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I'm behind but this is so far my favorite Scorsese film.  I think bigger budgets actually hurt Scorsese.  I first must point out that I haven't seen enough Scorese films (only Boxcar B ertha, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, GoodFellas, Casino & Gangs of New York).  Many great films are noticeably missing.  ANyways, this film just blew me away.  I wasn't expecting it to be this good.  The first 5 minutes is probably the best first 5 minutes I have ever seen.  The film is New York Breathless, although much of it filmed in LA.

Back to my bigger budget point, films like Gangs of New York & even Goodfellas seem staged.  These flicks feel like movies, which is fine but I prefer Taxi Driver, Mean Streets (and even King of Comedy) because the story and the characters surpass the film and it just seems like a documentary.  Marty's style really lends itself to this and when he hits it just right (perfectly in Mean Streets) it's brilliant.

This film fuckin' floored me and I was wondering if there is another DVD release in the future?
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