Screen Junkies » gangsters Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 16 Dec 2014 01:54:36 +0000 en hourly 1 7 Famous Movie Bootleggers Tue, 28 Aug 2012 16:33:03 +0000 Wookie Johnson We raise a glass to these proud heroes.

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In Lawless, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke play the Bondurant Brothers, three bootleggers who find that law enforcement officials want a cut off their action. They join a storied film history of characters willing to run afoul of the law in order to help good citizens get all kinds of sh*tty. Thus, we salute the Bondurants as well as these other famous screen bootleggers.

Wendell Scott – Greased Lightning

Wendell Scott, a taxi cab driver in post-World War II, learns his craft for car racing by transporting illegal moonshine in the backwoods of Virginia. Before long, he becomes a veteran driver who wins his battles with the law and on the track.

Tony Camonte – Scarface

Before Al Pacino played a role that earned him a framed position on every rapper’s wall, the same role was actually played by Paul Muni in 1932. Al Capone was the inspiration for Muni’s Tony Camonte, who rose through the ranks of the Chicago mob after success with killing off his speakeasy rivals. However, the film is a little bland compared to the remake. Mountains of cocaine just make everything better.

Al Capone – The Untouchables

Robert De Niro’s portrayal of Al Capone is likely the most memorable on-screen bootlegger, thanks to scenes like this:

Leo O’Bannon – Miller’s Crossing

Actually, I’m going to have to take that back and give that distinction to Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon. I think you’ll agree:

Ernest Bilko – Sgt. Bilko

Just because you’re a Master Sergeant in the US Army doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Or a lot of fun. That’s exactly what Sgt. Bilko does, all beneath the nose of his unsuspecting Colonel and a Major from the Inspector-General’s Office. Bilko and his underlings in the motor pool successfully run a secret casino, bar, and also profit from renting out military vehicles. It takes a sharp mind to keep that many balls in the air and avoid being shipped to Greenland.

Young Larry Flynt – The People vs. Larry Flynt

Long before he was a pornography magnate, Larry Flynt still had to pay the bills. Hey, an ten-year old needs some walking around money. So, he got an early start by selling moonshine along with his brother, Jimmy. It wasn’t long until he entered the strip club business which would eventually lead to becoming a hero to many a teenage boy with the founding and publication of Hustler magazine.

Jay Hamilton – Walking Tall

This film was inspired by the true story of Buford Pusser. A small logging town has been caught in the grip of corruption when casino-owner and drug dealer Jay Hamilton is allowed to run wild. Until The Rock returns to town armed with a two-by-four. It might lack the sophistication and precision of an automatic weapon, but it gets results dammit.

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7 Movie Gangsters Who Tried To Go Straight (But Got Pulled Back In) Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:51:38 +0000 Wookie Johnson There's very little room for advancement in the field of murder.

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London Boulevard (On Blu-ray & DVD next week) stars Colin Farrell as a gangster who wants to put his gangster past behind after three years in prison. He takes up work as the bodyguard for a beautiful young starlet, but his old rivals see his value and insist that he work for them. This seems like a common position for a gangster to be in, but it’s true of any position. If you’re too good at what you do, why would anyone ever want to promote or release you? Trust me. I know. My old boss is still trying to woo me back to Subway. I have dreams, Ethan!

Here are seven other movie gangsters who found that getting out is not that easy.

Carlito Brigante – Carlito’s Way

Carlito Brigante gets out of prison wanting only to walk a straight path but he’s almost immediately pulled back into the life when his friends and cousins constantly beg for his help in their shady practices. Carlito, who is building his retirement fund, can’t say no and all of hte deals don’t go down as planned. This ends poorly for Carlito, who was inches away from tasting true freedom before his past came back to take him out.

Angelo “Snaps” Provolone – Oscar

Provolone promises his father on his deathbed that he’ll give up the life and go straight. His plan is to get into a legal version of crime — banking. However, when he realizes that the bankers aren’t giving him a good deal, he decides to stick to the world of illegal racketeering. What a half-hearted attempt. If I were his dad I would haunt the crap out of him.

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9 Most Ruthless Movie Gangsters Wed, 13 Jul 2011 23:09:00 +0000 Screen Junkies They'll gun you down and sleep like a baby.

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What makes a ruthless gangster? Is it a willingness to kill, and the ability to treat human life as nothing more than an a speed bump on the road to power and wealth? Yep, pretty much.

Well, that was an easy question, wasn’t it?

With that in mind, and in honor of the release of Boyz n the Hood on Blu-ray DVD, we present to you 9 of the most ruthless gangsters of the silver screen.

For more Sony “Action Unleashed” DVDs, click here.

Gangster 55 – Gangster No. 1 (2000)

How “gangster” is the main character from Gangster No. 1. He’s so gangster that he doesn’t even have a name. IMDB simply lists him as “Gangster 55.” Of course, what’s in a name? I can call myself the king of Spain, but that doesn’t make it so. However, this character more than lives up to his title, dishing out one of the most brutal beat downs in cinema history, and cutting his rival’s girlfriend’s throat without a second thought.

O-Dog – Menace II Society (1993)

Killing a rival gang member in a turf war is cold, but at the same time, it’s part of the game. Shooting a simple convenience store owner and his wife because he mentions your mother; that’s pretty damn ruthless. As such, O-Dog earned a place on this list.

Doughboy – Boyz n the Hood (1991)

When their friend Ricky is gunned down by gangbangers, both Doughboy and Tré vow to avenge his death. But when push comes to shove, only Doughboy has the ruthless nature necessary to carry out the act. Of course, that same willingness to kill made him a target, and two weeks later he was gunned down in a reprisal shooting, so maybe violence isn’t the answer after all. Just kidding. Kill or be killed, bitch.

Frank Lucas – American Gangster (2007)

Like Gangster No. 1, American Gangster has “gangster” in the title, which almost guarantees the film’s protagonist, Frank Lucas, a spot on the list. Well, even without the name, the film begins with Lucas burning and shooting a man to death, and goes down hill from there, leaving no doubt to his ruthless nature.

Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson – Hoodlum (1997)

Hoodlum is far from the best movie on the list, but there’s no questioning Bumpy Johnson’s ruthlessness. After all, Johnson was Frank Lucas’s mentor. And if Frank Lucas learned how to be a sociopath from you, you’re definitely not afraid to get your hands dirty.

Marcellus Wallace – Pulp Fiction (1994)

Does Marcellus Wallace look like a bitch? Well, in the picture above, he probably does, considering he’s about to get rapped by two deviant hillbillies. But Wallace manages to survive the ordeal, and ruthlessly shoots his attacker in the crotch with a shotgun. He then goes the extra mile, keeping the man alive in order to have him tortured with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. On a list about ruthless gangsters, it takes that type of creativity to get noticed.

Li’l Zé – City of God (2002)

How ruthless is Li’l Zé? As a child, even before his rise to power in the slums of Rio, he was responsible for a mass murder at a local motel. To make matters worse, the killings served no purpose, aside from Li’l Zé’s personal amusement. If you’re killing for fun while most kids your age are out playing soccer, you’ve earned a spot on this list.

Nino Brown – New Jack City (1991)

With Nino Brown, “It’s always business. Never personal.” This mantra allows him to carry out some truly ruthless acts, like killing an innocent woman as part of his gang initiation. But in the end, business becomes personal, as Brown is gunned down by an outraged member of the community who takes the law into his own hands.

Tony Montana – Scarface (1983)

Guns, chainsaws, car bombs: Tony Montana uses ever weapon available to control his drug empire. But what sets him apart from the rest is his willingness to kill his best friend and right-hand man after discovering he had been sleeping with his sister behind his back. Tony didn’t even wait around long enough to find out that the two were in love and planned to marry. Whoops!

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In Honor Of ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Arrest, 11 Classic Depictions Of Gangsters In Cinema Thu, 23 Jun 2011 21:26:03 +0000 Jame Gumb In honor of James 'Whitey' Bulger's arrest, here are 11 classic depictions of mobsters in cinema.

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After 16 years on the run, the notorious Boston-area mobster James “Whitey” Bulger has been captured by the FBI. Even if you’re not well versed in the mafia underworld, chances are you’ve heard of Bulger, if only indirectly. His life was used as the inspiration for Frank Costello, the character played by Jack Nicholson‘s in The Departed.

Although Nicholson’s role is arguably one of the most memorable depictions of a gangster, it is far from alone. Throughout the years, Hollywood has repeatedly turned to the underworld in search of inspiration. In fact, some legendary careers have been made while attempting to bring these criminal characters to the big screen. So in honor of ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s arrest, here are 11 classic depictions of mobsters in cinema.

Johnny Depp as James Dillinger

In 2009′s Public Enemies, Johnny Depp took on the role of “public enemy number 1,” James Dillinger. The Michael Mann film followed Dillinger’s depression-era crime spree, his legendary jai break, and ultimately, his less than heroic death outside a Chicago movie theater.

Andy Garcia as Charlie “Lucky” Luciano

In the 1997 film Hoodlum, Andy Garcia plays the notorious New York city crime boss Lucky Luciano. To be honest, this film is easily the worst on the list. But Garcia does a good job, all things considered. Film quality aside, both he and Luciano deserved a mention.

Michael Badalucco as Baby Face Nelson

While Michael Badalucco’s take on Baby Face Nelson in O Brother, Where Art Thou? is far from accurate, it certainly is memorable. Then again, maybe I’m just a softy when it comes to the senseless shooting of cows.

Warren Beatty as Bugsy Siegel

In Bugsy, Warren Beatty gives a compelling performance as the gangster, wannabe actor and father of Las Vegas, Bugsy Siegel. In fact, his performance was nominated for an Academy Award. Unfortunately, 1991 was the same year that Anthony Hopkins was nominated for The Silence of the Lambs, so in the end, much like Bugsy, Beatty didn’t have a chance.

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