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113. Once Upon a Time In America (#70)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America.

Drawn back to New York City from a decades-long exile, retired gangster David “Noodles” Aaronson discovers that the past is not buried nearly as well as he might like. Navigating a complex web of secrets and betrayals, “Noodles” is forced to confront sins past; both his own and those dearest to him.

At time of recording, it was ranked the 70th best movie of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Non-Review Review: Dead Man Down

This is intriguing. Dead Man Down feels like a blend of a European revenge thriller with a more straight-forward American crime film. Director  Niels Arden Oplev has established his credibility with his work on the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, even it I am less fond of the film than most. His first America film is an interesting experiment, even if Oplev can’t quite pull it off as seamlessly as the material requires.

Dead Man Down buckles a bit under the weight of two sets of genre requirements. It is by turns quiet, withdrawn and introspective, but also loud, overwhelming and exposition-filled. These two facets of the film – feeling like the demands of a European film against an American mainstream release – seem to be at war with one another. The result is something that is more interesting than entirely satisfying.

They do make a bloody mess...

They do make a bloody mess…

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