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Staten Island (DVD Review)

21 Dec, 2009 By: Angelique Flores

Staten Island

Street 12/22/09
$24.98 DVD or Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for violent content and language.
Stars Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Seymour Cassel, Julianne Nicholson.

This crime drama impressively dances in and out of genres, sometimes feeling like a black comedy, other times feeling like a sci-fi fantasy flick.

The story takes place in the titular city and is told from three characters’ point of view.

Parmie is played by Vincent D’Onofrio, who portrays the Italian mob boss as intense and quirky as his character on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Eschewing the stereotypical cinematic mobsters and the accompanying clichés, Parmie’s mob life takes a left turn after he survives an attempt on his life. Instead of seeking revenge, he sets up camp in a treehouse among a forest that is about to be leveled. Spending days and nights there, his quest to save the forest garners attention not only from his mob family but from environmentalists and the city.

Sully (Ethan Hawke) is a blue-collar worker devoted to his wife Maria, who is expecting their first child. Realizing he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, he wants his child to not suffer the same fate. In order to get money to pay for genetic altering, he robs Parmie’s mother’s house, with his cohort injuring Parmie’s mom in the process.

Jasper (Seymour Cassel) is a deaf-mute deli owner. Both Sully and Parmie are his clients. While Sully goes there for his meats, Parmie and his men go there to drop off bodies for Jasper to dispose of in his butcher house.

All three main actors did an amazing job, most notably Cassel who managed to portray so much without speaking one word.

Bonus materials include an interview with D’Onofrio, deleted scenes, and a pretty insightful audio commentary with director James Demanaco, D’Onofrio and Hawke.

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