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There are exactly three interesting choices in “Gotti,” Kevin Connolly’s amateurish biopic about the late and legendary New York mobster, John Gotti. (Yes, E from “Entourage” directs movies. No, this isn’t the first one).
The first comes at you right off the top: Inverting an exhausted trend, Connolly opens the movie with footage of the actual people in the story, rather than saving it for the closing credits as per usual. It’s a smart move, if only because John Travolta’s performance is hammy enough that we need hard evidence he’s playing a real person (he plays the Teflon Don like a cross between Ray Liotta and Alec Baldwin’s impression of Donald Trump).
Choice - Music - Superstar - Pitbull - Mr
The second interesting choice is that some of the music was written by global superstar Pitbull. That’s right, the one and only Mr. Worldwide lends his talents to the film, which helps to explain why his hit 2012 song “Don’t Stop the Party” plays over a scene that takes place in 1984 (a deliberate anachronism in a cheap-looking film that expends zero energy attempting to capture accurate period detail). It doesn’t explain why the rest of the music in “Gotti” sounds like it was lifted from a daytime soap, but this isn’t really one of those movies where “things” make “sense.”
The third and final interesting choice here is that almost no shot in the film lasts for more than a couple seconds, and almost no scene goes on for more than a minute. Sure, that approach reduces “Gotti” to an incoherent jumble of mob history, but at least it doesn’t dawdle — it’s the “7-Minute Abs” version of “Goodfellas,” but somehow so much worse than that sounds.
Lem - Dobbs - Leo - Rossi - Way
Written by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi, and finding its way to screens after a long and circuitous process that peaked with Lionsgate selling...
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