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A Puerto-Rican ex-con, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of NYC.
Although Carlito's Way in a sense represents the falling motion to Scarface's rising action, it lacks the nervous, overstuffed agitation of Scarface, replacing it with a kind of wistful, elegaic burnout, a paean to uninvolement, to not-doing, or doing other-than. Carlito's Way is more of a piece with The Untouchables, both sweeping historical epics which have the time and space to collect themselves, develop characters, build whole worlds in which to enact tensely clever set-pieces, some of the best of De Palma's career. Carlito's Way and The Untouchables also share a grand, constructed artificiality. They know they are movies, hearkening back to an older-school vibe, when movies had to span the whole of what cinema could do, to offer suspense…
ESCAPE TO PARADISE
Carlito Brigante, the first drug lord, goes to prison through a legal technique engendered by his lawyer, and vows to lead a dignified life. By accepting the job of manager of a nightclub, he finds his old girlfriend and the promise of a change for the better, they reattach the novel. But his dream is interrupted by his former associates of crime and even new villains who commit homicide only to be recognized and feared by all. However, his biggest enemy is himself. Despite his good intentions, the misguided loyalty Carlito and his old fashioned code of honor will involve him in a violent world of life and death against the relentless forces that keep him from leaving.
Film #31 of Project 90
”Favor gonna kill you faster than a bullet.”
An excellent crime/gangster/noir movie from Brian De Palma who teams up with Al Pacino to create a classic hero who will remind you of the lonely and desperate men of film noirs who are trying to find redemption and happiness in a treacherous world of lies and betrayals where you can buy salvation only with blood. Carlito’s Way is without a doubt one of De Palma’s best films, here he narrates an engaging story of love, regret and misfortune without getting carried away or sentimental which makes the overall story more engaging and it becomes easy for us to have sympathy for the central character.
I thought the shootout on the escalator was an amazing bit of action cinema, and the film managed to avoid veering into any offensive territory. It felt like a very strong film for De Palma. It worked to this strengths, which is pretty much epitomized by the disco soundtrack. It's flashy, energetic, and doomed.
One of my main issues with gangster films is the machismo most of them are pervaded with. Even when the film is decidedly illustrating the down sides to a life of crime, the lead character(s) tend to come across as glorified or mythological*, captured by Truffaut's war film paradox as much as any war film's hero would be. The most significant offender here is De Palma's…
michael mann's Scarface
I cannot for the life of me understand why Scarface has the cult following when this film is infinitely superior in every respect.
Sean fuckin Penn is masterful in this. Just pure evil coked out devilish fun. My favorite De Palma film.
Other than "Casualties of War" this is the most "serious" film that Brian DePalma has ever made.
However, he still manages to bring some of his distinctive flair and energy to the proceedings, and the result is a great film.
While the length is definitely felt, and the pacing can drag, "Carlito's Way" is still a really well made and investing gangster flick thanks to very stylish direction from Brian De Palma, and great performances from the entire cast especially Pacino and Penn. Not the best gangster film out there or Pacino film for that matter but still a rock solid one.
"I bought you some cheesecake" + Sean Penn's hair + "Got to Be Real" = pure cinema
Never sellout your friends
DePalma could film the phone book and make it a visually stunning thrill ride.
A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.
It's Brian De Palma doing a gangster film (of sorts) it goes without saying I love it. It's just so entertaining, Pacino was still on the right side of being good and ably supported by Sean Penn and his wonderful wig. The final sequence in the train station is still great to watch.
"I know how this dream ends, Charlie…"
I have to preface this with a little story, even if it's just for me… I think I'm safe 'cos I'm pretty sure he'll never read it but, whatever. I have a memory of the time I'd first seen this, it was a while after but in the way time compresses and expands in memory we're probably talking a year or less… I just remember talking in general about movies I love with my stepdad, who I've never really seen eye to eye with, and I found myself gushing about how great Penelope Ann Miller is in this, and I don't know if it was paranoia or what but I still remember him…
Work in progress...
Every film from the 1990s rated with 4+ stars.
Films can possibly be dropped after a rewatch.…