Rob the Mob Blu-ray Review
Mob movies have been done to death. You have seen them in all shapes and sizes. ROB THE MOB has the based on a true story stamp of approval. And this is one whopper of a story that I had not heard of. This will grip you until the tense end.
Michael Pitt has done some fine work over the years. Early on he made his mark in such films as “The Dreamers” and “Murder by Numbers”. Recently he has graced the small screen in “Boardwalk Empire” and “Hannibal”. He has a quiet intensity that is hard to match. You just can’t take your eyes off him when he is on the screen. It is put to good use in ROB THE MOB. Pitt plays small time crook Tommy who gets caught on video robbing a flower store with his girlfriend Rosie (Nina Arianda) as the getaway driver.
Tommy gets out of prison after a year and a half. It is the early 90s in New York and the city is abuzz with the trial of John Gotti, the Mob boss of the Gambino family. Tommy is especially interested in the trial since the Mob harassed his father and it ultimately led to his early death. This has stuck with Tommy all these years and is shown in flashbacks. It is what drives Tommy to do what he does. New York in those days was a bit rougher. The streets were more dangerous and the subway wasn’t as clean. You get that feel here.
Rosie got out before Tommy and got a job at a collection agency. She gets Tommy a job there as well. The place is run by Dave Lovell (Griffin Dunne), a former convict himself. All the positions are held by former convicts. Dave has the enthusiasm of twenty people and he tries to instill that in everyone who works there. Tommy though is restless. He wants a better life for him and Rosie. When the two get their low paychecks, they know something must change.
Tommy sits in the audience for Gotti’s trial. He’s very astute and takes notes on various social clubs that are mentioned. His ears perk up when Sammy the Bull Gravano states that the wise guys don’t carry guns in these clubs. Tommy thinks he can rob these social clubs without them reporting these robberies to the police. It would be about pride and honor with these guys.
After Tommy had gotten out, he tried to make peace with his brother and mother. This did not go well as Tommy hasn’t been around much the last decade. The times he has been around has been for money and that sort of thing. Robbing the Mob might be looked at as redemption for Tommy for his father, abandoning his family in a tough spot and of course lining his pockets.
Tommy and Rosie then venture out to rob the clubs. Tommy has an Uzi for such operations. It’s quite comical seeing him use it the first time and seeing him fumble around with it. While Tommy and Rosie are doing these robberies, they get nicknames like the modern day Bonnie and Clyde. The FBI is listening in when they take down one of the clubs. They are very much interested in the day to day of these criminals. Tommy gets a key piece of paper in the form of the organization of a Mob family. The FBI needs this to show there is indeed a criminal enterprise afloat.
MOB THE ROB has some nice supporting work from Ray Romano, Frank Whaley and Andy Garcia. Romano plays a newspaper columnist Jerry Cordozo, who interviews the robbing duo and sympathizes with their plight. Whaley is FBI agent Frank Hurd who supplies Romano with information. He doesn’t care about the lovers and thinks they are just as bad as the mobsters. Garcia is the Mob boss Big Al. He has some good scenes with his grandson and he teaches him how to cook.
Director Raymond De Felitta and Screenwriter Jonathan Fernandez have created a compelling story that keeps your interest throughout. The movie does not succeed if several factors are not at work. You need the gravitas that Michael Pitt brings to the part. You also need the chemistry between Tommy and Rosie to be genuine and true. Pitt and Arianda have smoking chemistry and you believe that these two lost souls are fully in love and willing to do anything for each other.
The Mob does not like to be embarrassed. They are determined to find Tommy and Rosie and kill them. Jerry realizes that they are in trouble and tries to get them out of town. Tommy and Rosie are headstrong in their ways and don’t listen to the warning. The music in the last 10 minutes is so compelling. You are biting your nails to whether Tommy and Rosie will get out of town in time. It is fantastic theater.
ROB THE MOB is a good untold mob story that has great acting and will have you on the edge of your seat. This is one film that was forgotten at the box office, but should be discovered on video.
ROB THE MOB BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The film has nice bright energy that comes through here. It is a nice looking transfer.
Audio: The sound could have been better. It was hard at times to hear the characters speak.
Deleted Scenes: Coney (6:13): Here’s a scene with Dave and his employs with them going to Coney Island instead of Atlantic City. It shows more of the love between Rosie and Tommy.
Just Wanted to Tell Your Story-Extended (7:35): This is more of the interview between Jerry, Tommy and Rosie. It fills in some of the blanks of Tommy’s motivation behind the robberies. It’s not essential.
Post Robbery/Mom’s Christmas (4:02): Here’s one scene right after the flower shop robbery. It also has a scene one year later after the duo gets out of prison and they eat at Rosie’s mother’s house. It might have been good to see Rosie’s family dynamic in the final product.
Feature Commentary with Director Raymond De Felitta: The director doesn’t waste many words. He states how he put some actors in the film for New York flair. He encouraged improvisation and he wasn’t too concerned with continuity. He wanted everything to be spontaneous, impulsive and loose.