The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1 Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Shozo Hirono‘s giant fish tattoo
2) The main theme played during every major kill.
3) An epic guide for the uninitiated to know about the rise of the Yakuza
4) Exceptional editing and cinematography.
5) Wakasugi’s prison escape hara-kiri; Hirono’s yubitsume

 

CONS –
1) Generic gangster rise-and-fall plot with documentary-style storytelling.

 

QUOTE –
A sniper can never hide from another sniper.

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Peaky Blinders (Season 1)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The post-World War I saga of Shelby crime family. A definitive role for Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby, the head honcho of the gangster family also fighting his PTSD.
2) Sam Neill as Major Campbell, a no-nonsense officer on a mission under the order of Winston Churchill.
3) The greatest asset of this show is its fantastic cinematography and the brave soundtrack especially featuring Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, right from the opening theme song “Red Right Hand” to great tracks like “Brother, My Cup Is Empty.”
4) Great Costume Design.

 

CONS –
1) The primary run-of-the-mill theme of the rise of a gangster family is now done to death.

 

QUOTE –
Freddie Thorne: You think I can’t handle Tommy Shelby?
Aunt Polly: You can’t. I’m having trouble these days and I’m twice the man you are.

Mirzapur (Season 1)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Ep# 7: “Lions of Mirzapur” – Best episode of the series.
2) Geographical tour of Purvanchal for the uninitiated.
3) A good ensemble of actors.

 

CONS –
1) If this show would have released before Gangs Of Wasseypur and Sacred Games, this probably would’ve been a success. But this genre belongs to Anurag Kashyap and his team, and he already raised the bar too high for any run-of-the-mill copy.
2) Shallow characters and soulless plot. Entire Rasika Dugal’s plot seems forcefully shoved for cheap thrills.
3) Pankaj Tripathi is now seriously typecasted in this role. Just like in Gurgaon (2017), his performance is mediocre.

 
QUOTE –
“jab aadmi ko izzat ki ummeed na ho,aur wo mil jaye, to uski loyalty dus guna badh jaati hai.”

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) An epic Jewish gangster movie of epic length.
2) Sergio Leone crafting tension in the scene using sounds: that opening sequence with a telephone ring across different scenes – or that coffee stirring scene with De Niro.
2) That iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge before Dominic is killed.
3) Non-linear Rated-R screenplay and great cinematography.
4) Cockeye’s Song by Ennio Morricone
5) Secretary Bailey twist
6) The young actors playing the younger version of the main characters were equally brilliant.

 
CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Dominic: Noodles… I slipped.

Get Carter (1971)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 5/5

 

Pros –
1) Michael Caine as Jack Carter: The cold-blooded remorseless sadomasochistic anti-hero.
2) Quintessential Michael Caine film completed with his iconic black-trenchcoat and 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun
3) Music: “Carter Takes a Train” – Carter’s journey from London to Newcastle.
4) Final “J” plot twist. This elevates the movie reputation to a confirmed cult.
5) Definitive British gangster film.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

 

Quote –
Jack Carter: I’m the villain in the family, remember?

Get Shorty (1995)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

Verdict – 5/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Barry Sonnenfeld being a long time cinematographer of Coen Bros, the movie appears to be a Coen Bros movie.
2) John Travolta as Chili Palmer – The movie buff loan-shark
3) Outstanding cast
4) Smooth music & sleek fast paced screenplay

 

Cons –

 

N/A

 

Quote –

 

Harry Zimm: I once asked this literary agent, uh, what kind of writing paid the best… he said, “Ransom notes.”

Mean Streets (1973)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Movie explores the lower level of New York mafia with street-bosses and caporegimes.
2) An almost amateur gangster feature film from Martin Scorsese which is no doubt heavily influential in this genre for future films.

 

Cons –

 

1) Dark cinematography, under developed characters and boring screenplay

 

Quote –

 

Martin Scorsese: You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.