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Rob the Mob (Blu-ray Review)

Rob the MobRob the Mob chronicles the lives of a real-life Bonnie and Clyde who made the bold move to rob and humiliate some of New York City’s most powerful mobsters. Fresh from prison for a small-time crime, reunited lovers Thomas (Pitt) and Rosie (Arianda) find themselves in need of cash. After hearing testimony from John Gotti’s high profile trial that mob social clubs are gun-free, Thomas and Rosie brazenly rob these underground spots operated by major crime families in the City. Unwittingly, they come across something much more valuable than money: a list of every mobster in the families. Now the feds, family members, and rival mobsters are on the hunt for the most notorious lovers since Romeo & Juliet.

 

Rob the Mob

Film 

More than twenty years ago when John Gotti was on trial in New York for various crimes Tommy Uva (Michael Pitt) got the bright idea that he and his girlfriend Rosie should rob from the many mobsters that gathered at their members only social clubs. Why would they rob a social club full of mobsters you ask? Well, because mobsters that go into their social club don’t carry weapons due to it being the last place a wise guy should be armed at. If you have to be armed at your own meeting club then are you not part of the problem. It’s a neutral zone that “made guys” should feel safe in, so weapons aren’t allowed.

The moment Uva heard this from a mobster testifying in the Gotti trial was all that he needed in order to set off a chain of evens that could end very badly for him and everyone he knows. I should back track just a tad bit and say that Tommy and Rosie aren’t angels by any means. Uva doesn’t just get that epiphany and decide to rob the mob. They’re both ex-cons who served time for robbery and what not some years before and now work at a debt collection agency making commissions. They’re trying to go straight but when the opportunity of robbing unarmed mobsters come into Uva’s head then that’s one offer he can’t refuse.

Tommy and Rosie go on about robbing various social clubs and stumble upon a “list” that in writing depicts the power chain of the mob organization that’s currently in power. The list tells who is at the bottom and who is the current kingpin. The current boss is Big Al (Andy Garcia) wonderfully and understatedly played by Garcia. The scenes in which Big Al and his grandson are in are beautiful written and acted. Big Al may be powerful but he’s not flashy or loud. Ray Romano is also in Rob the Mob and he plays journalist Jerry Cardozo who just wants to report the news on Tommy and Rosie’s antics and maybe get an exclusive interview with the couple.

As you can see by the marquee Rob the Mob has a terrific cast and a decent enough script to work from. The main problem(s) it suffers from is length and the fact that the way Tommy and Rosie you really can’t root for them to get away, because they’re not very likable or very smart. Rosie is hilarious, I will cop to that, and as much as I like Michael Pitt, he plays Tommy like a bonehead. This isn’t to say he’s not doing a good job playing a bonehead, because he is, but Tommy is pretty much the fourth member of The Three Stooges. There’s a clash of personalities there that makes the film slow to a crawl.

If I can speak frankly, I like about three quarters of the film. What I didn’t like was that I was supposed to sympathize with these two morons and I was never given a reason too, because it was their own fault that they kept getting into trouble. The way they were portrayed in the film as DUMB Bonnie and Clyde. I had to find other things that I liked in order for me to care about the film. I’m glad that the supporting cast picked up the slack and it was good too see some familiar faces there like Frank Whaley and Burt Young.

I can recommend Rob the Mob as a rental in that if you like gangster flicks then you may or may not like it but the fact that it’s also based on a true story may make you want to watch it. I was shocked to see and learn that as dumb as Tommy and Rosie were depicted in the film they were very successful in raking in a lot of money from mobsters and they did it all while hiding in plain sight. Rob the Mob is a throwback gangster flick that you may want to check out before buying. I’m neutral on the picture itself but lean towards a slight recommendation.

 

Rob the Mob

Video 

Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The image does retain some nice grain levels but the print is sort made to look a bit antiquated. It’s fine since the film jumps back and forth between timelines. Sharpness and contrast levels have tweaked only slightly.

Depth: There are scenes that look a bit washed out that quickly shift into really good-looking shots. It all depends on who is being focused on at the moment I supposed. When Pitt and Arianda’s characters are the main focus everything looks grimy and a bit gritty. When Andy Garcia is onscreen he’s either at his deli or palatial estate and everything looks bright and colorful. It’s subtle and a very nice touch. Is that what they call juxtaposition?

Black Levels: Black levels are fine and I didn’t spot any crush. Everything was nice and inky during those nighttime scenes.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is a bit bi-polar but in a good way. During some scenes the colors mute out and during other scenes they actually get filled with color. The aesthetics are very pleasing on this Blu-ray.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks healthy as the film moves forward but when Pitt and Arianda are introduced they’re a bit of a pasty mess.

Noise/Artifacts: There are quite a few scenes that have some debris and noise artifacts, which is why the rating falls a bit but it’s not a deal breaker.

Rob the Mob

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: This lossless TrueHD soundtrack is no slouch and you’ll hear that from the opening dance intro and segue into New York gangster politics. It’s a very dynamic soundtrack that knows when to kick it up a notch and when to bring down a bit.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE is great and the low-end rumble help give the meant streets a bit of a shake when it had to.

Surround Sound Presentation: Ambience is taken care of and bullets and debris can be heard splintering about in those scenes. It’s been taken care of.

Dialogue Reproduction: This is primarily a dialogue driven film and you may rest without worry that that translated into a great sounding Blu-ray. I heard everyone loud and clear.

Rob the Mob

Extras 

Rob the Mob has a pretty entertaining and informative audio commentary by director Raymond De Felitta and a three deleted scenes.

  • Audio Commentary by Director Raymond de Felitta – Here’s a very cool and entertaining director’s commentary where no stone is left unturned. I appreciate commentaries like this, because they’re like going to film school at home.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 18:00) – Under twenty minutes of deleted scenes are included that were ultimately trimmed out.

Rob the Mob

Summary 

Rob the Mob is an interesting and frantic look at a true story that involved the mob and what not. Outside of a few grating moments from out bumbling protagonists the film is actually very entertaining and I appreciated the ensemble cast gathered to make this project a reality. The Blu-ray is above average when you add up all the pros and cons and I would recommend this film if you’re at all curious about this case.

Order Rob the Mob on Blu-ray!

Rob the Mob-

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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