|City by the Sea (DVD)|
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Vincent LaMarca (Robert DiNero), a veteran NYC homicide detective, wrestles with his own demons. Though he doesn't expose it to others -- not even his girlfriend Michelle (Frances McDormand) to whom he can't truly commit -- he's saddened that he abandoned his young son after a particularly bitter divorce. His ex-wife (Patti LuPone) despises him and turned the boy against Vincent so it was pretty difficult to keep a relationship with the child as he grows up.
When a drug dealer's body washes ashore in NYC, Vince and his partner Reg (George Dzundza) follow the evidence to Long Beach, Long Island, where the man was murdered. Being in Long Beach brings back all sorts of memories for Vince as that's where he grew up and got his first start as a cop. Long Beach has deteriorated badly since Vince was there and is now a haven for druggies and crime.
The investigation leads to Vince's son, Joey (James Franco), an addict who lives in the deterioration of Long Beach and who now must be found by the cops. Of course, Vince is taken off the case but media gets wind of the fact that Vince's own father had been executed for the kidnapping and murder of a child on Long Beach when Vince was eight years old.
Things get even more complicated when a cop (actually, Vince's partner) is killed while trying to capture Joey.
Can Vince somehow save Joey from suicide-by-cops or redeem something of a relationship with his only child?
DeNiro gives the right degree of pensiveness and contemplation to his role as a troubled yet earnest man. McDormand is perfect as the woman who loves him but has never heard the truth about why he is such a complex and private man.
In this movie, City by the Sea, you will find that it starts out in 1970 with a nice photo of Long Beach, California. Young Joey has grown over the years and has turned into a junkie. Vince, played by Robert DeNiro is a Cop in New York who is investigating a murder. The findings of his investigation takes him to where he grew up in Long Beach, California. He was one who really never spoke of his past and returning to Long Beach brings back memories. His son Joey is identified as a suspect to the murder investigation. This takes a toll on Vincent as growing up as a cop, he watched his father get executed for kidnapping a child and now his son become a murderer.
We like Robert DeNiro ... Usually any movie he's in is top notch. This one failed miserable in the enjoyment category. It started out bright enough with the boardwalk. As we soon find out ... that was in its hayday. The neighborhood once bright with hopes, dreams, and success becomes abandonded over time. This abandonment ties to the abandonment of DeNiro as a kid and his subsequent abandonment of his son Joey. The movie becomes dark as Joey devoid of hope turns to drugs, abandons his son, and is eventually involved in murder. DeNiro as a NY city cop investigates the body that washes ashore in his beat. The body identified by drivers license brings DeNiro back to his old presinct and haunts. Soon, his son is fingered and before long his partner is also murdered. The NYPD is out to get Joey and won't look at any evidence to the contrary because Joey's print was on the gun. The cop who took over DeNiro's desk believes different and shares evidence with DeNiro. Eventually, it all comes out in the wash. It's not said if Joey goes to prison for his self defense murder or not but we're left with DeNiro on the beach with his grandson waiting for his dad. DeNero talks to the boy about he and his dad going to Florida one day. The cycle of abandonment ends.
The theme was too dark for us but for those of you who enjoy such ... have a go at it.
A review of two lives in the city of Venice Calif and how they compare, as
a father (Robert De Niro) who is a cop, trys to assist his son who still
lives in Venice in the present day. De Niro remembers his life-sometimes
shown in black and white type - and the enjoyment he went through during
the prime years of Venice, and compares them to what he sees as he investigates
the trouble his son is in. A dark side of present day Venice comes to light
as drugs and gangs rule the town in the present day. A good movie and will
fill an evening with entertainment.
Robert DeNiro. He's always good. Believable as a tough New York cop. As a former resident of Long Beach, N.Y., the city is not represented well in this movie. It's not as gritty (maybe one small section) but is much more suburban than depicted here. The story is entertaining, though. It's good but not good enough to pay those high theater prices. Watching it at home late at night or in a hotel room is the right venue. Have a couple of beers, some good New York pizza (a pie...), maybe some chinese and just lay back in the lounge chair and enjoy.