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City Island [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import]

4.2 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L1ZWA8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,933 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Never heard of this movie before? Me neither till I was sent it. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is a huge pity. This reminds me a lot of Little Miss Sunshine [DVD] [2006], in that it's all about a family who fundamentally love each other, but are all carrying their own secrets, quirks and hang-ups.

Andy Garcia plays a born-and-bred New Yorker, Vince Rizzo, who is a prison guard by day, but has ambitions of being the next Marlon Brando, so is taking acting classes on the side, telling his wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) that he's going to poker games.

While at the classes, Vince meets Molly (Emily Mortimer), who tries to help him see a way through his current crises.

Meanwhile, Vince also discovers that his son Tony (whose wife he ran out on) is banged up in his prison, so he brings him home without telling anyone who Tony really is (least of all Tony).

Add to that, Vince and Joyce's kids who have their own things going on and you have the set-up for what is effectively a cleverly-written, gentle farce, albeit one set in New York.

The unravelling of the various plot strands is not exactly subtle, but the gentle humour comes from the way that the dialogue is delivered (particularly Garcia, who I never realised was such a good comedy actor) and the performances from all the characters are all very believeable and well-judged.

It's a shame that this didn't get a proper release in cinemas in the UK, as it's the sort of film that would have done well through word of mouth. I chuckled consistently throughout and found it to be a great way to pass 90 minutes.

This isn't Oscar material, but it's a thoroughly feelgood movie and one that deserves a wider viewing. Highly recommended!
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Format: DVD
I watched this film as I had nothing else to do or watch on the TV, and boy, I was glad I did! This is a real gem of a film. One of them films you never really think is any good, but is actually very well made and funny. I'd watch it again. The sheer comedy value of the situation these guys are in, is hilarious. It's easy viewing too.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Andy Garcia is a correctional officer (i.e. a prison guard) named Vince Rizzo at the local jail on the island on which he lives - City Island - a small fishing village located in the Bronx (believe it or not). He heads up a slightly dysfunctional family who conceal their little secrets from one another. Both he and his wife smoke, but neither is aware the other does; the teenage son has some sort of weird feeding fetish for larger ladies; the daughter is supposed to be at college but is actually pole dancing. And Vonce is taking clandestine acting lessons and has a secret son...

No spoilers in any of the above, by the way; all this is established very early on, because there's quite an amount of exposition to cram into the ninety minutes of the movie.

The first time I encountered Andy was as a svelte, cool, extremely handsome gangster in `Things to do in Denver when You're Dead'. Time has marched on and Andy is now middle-aged, slightly paunchy and a bit too facially reminiscent of Paul Morley for comfort. But, he can still pass for handsome - and he can still act.

Billed as a comedy, 'City Island' is a bit too short on outright laughs, but it's a nice friendly drama that is fine on the small screen, but was possibly deemed just a little bit too lightweight to achieve success as a mainstream release at the UK cinema box office. Eminently watchable, it features nice performances from all concerned - including the great Alan Arkin as Vince's acting coach. He hilariously manages to deconstruct Brando's acting technique during one of his too short appearances on screen. And Emily Mortimer (daughter of Sir John) also plays her role as Vince's acting class friend without displaying her occasional penchant for overacting.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It could be said that, men lie because women nag so much, but women nag because men lie so much!! Where did it start? Or, more importantly, who is to blame? As De Felitta sees it, the answer is no one. Everyone just needs to stop lying. The Rizzo's are a dysfunctional family and everyone has a personal secret. They hide it from each until the secrets blows up causing considerable chaos and shame on each other. Rizzo's live in a sea-side town called City Island; the father Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) works as a corrections officer (prison guard) is interested to become an actor. Instead of discussing with his wife and family, he begins to take acting classes and allow his fiery wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) believe he has an extramarital affair. His son's secret is that he has is infatuated with full figured women and his daughter works as a stripper at a local club to pay for her education. His wife Joyce is attracted to a young ex-con on parole that Vince has brought to stay with them. When Joyce learns his secret girlfriend is his acting partner (Emily Mortimer) she becomes outraged and sets out to have a romantic evening with Vince's ex-con friend, it becomes evident that he is not interested in Joyce for some strange reason. He sets out to make things straight by abducting Vince's daughter from strip club and pressure her to reveal to the family about her secret. It turns out that this young ex-con is the son of Vince from another woman before he met Joyce. This plot could easily have been melodramatic or sentimental, but writer-director Raymond De Felitta turns this into a compelling dark comedy.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable film with some fine performance by Julianna Margulies with a performance of his lifetime for Andy Garcia. Haunting, poignant story telling engaging movingly with themes of truth, deception and recovery. Top stuff!
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