My „Mafia and the meaning of family“ post already explored the mafia/gangster genre. However, with Mafia Definitive Edition I’m going to explore the modern gangster movies. The more current and „out of the box“ gangster movies that I’m hoping that will appeal to a lot more people.
Re-Defining The Gangster Genre With Mafia Definitive Edition
Indeed in my previous post, I touched on my all-time favorite movie Godfather Part II, and particularly on my favorite scene from that movie. Check it out here if you’re interested. But these few movies are exploring the different aspects of the gangster movie. Yes, I know the game in question, is set in the Prohibition era, but that particular time has been done so many times now. No, I think a more modern approach is the best way to go here.
Not to mention, the movies I’ve picked, come from different parts of the world. UK, USA, Brazil and so on. I hope that you’ll enjoy some of my picks. However, before I dive into the dangerous, seedy and volatile world of gangster movies, I believe that a word or two is in order about the game in question. Mafia Definitive Edition.
What’s Mafia Definitive Edition All About You Might Ask?
Developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K, Mafia: Definitive Edition is a remake of the 2002 video game Mafia. However, at the same time, it’s the fourth main installment in the Mafia series.
Set within the fictional city of Lost Heaven during the 1930s, the story follows the rise and fall of taxi driver-turned-mobster Tommy Angelo within the Salieri crime family. But this particular remake is faithfully recreated, with an expanded story, game-play and original score. This is the Mafia you remembered and much more. And in the end the very positive customer reviews on Steam speak for themselves. Not to mention there are over 7000 comments left on Steam, but yeah. They do give you a better understanding of the game and the reception from the fans. Oh, and if you’re not particularly interested in the Mafia: Definitive Edition game, we have plenty of other Mafia games to choose from. Just click here and take your pick.
So, without further ado, let’s break down the modern gangster movies. Which ones did I choose here? Well, scroll down to find out. Let’s begin, shall we?
Gangsters? Check. Predominately male cast? Check. Charlie Hunnam and Hugh Grant are also part of that cast? Double-check. Not to mention, convoluted plot, colorful characters with fantastic yet bonkers dialogue? Oh hell, yeah. This is a Guy Ritchie movie all right. The Gentlemen is also the most recent movie on this list, but whether it’s the best I’ll leave it to you to decide. Personally, I think this is getting back into the usual shape for Guy Ritchie, and back to doing what he does best. Making awesome, violent, crime movies.
But aside from the many great performances, the thing that made the movie click for me was Hugh Grant and his fantastic acting. His slimy character, his accent, his long dialogue scenes. In fact, Hugh Grant filmed his scenes with Charlie Hunnam in five days. And even had to deliver over 40 pages of dialogue during the shoot. However, I feel that this is a movie that deserves a second viewing. You’re not entirely satisfied with just one.
Killing Them Softly
Killing Them Softly is more or less about a Mob’s revenge on a couple of small-time crooks. It’s also a great gangster movie with incredible performances from Brad Pitt, Ben Mendelsohn, Rey Liotta and the late James Gandolfini. Oh, and the direction from Andrew Dominik is not too shabby either.
I’ve been a fan of Dominik since Chopper, and of course The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. But I can safely say that I’ve managed to check one thing off my bucket list with the latter movie. To tell Roger Deakins how incredibly beautiful his nighttime shot at the railway is. But although fairly simple, the narrative of Killing Them Softly exudes with style and grace amid all the violence. It’s a must-watch of a movie.
City Of God
I remember watching the City Of God in my Portuguese class. Yes, I studied the Portuguese language for a while, and sadly Portugal is the only place I’ve visited. Brazil is a trip for the future that’s also on my bucket list. But I remember how stylish and beautiful this movie was, despite being gritty and brutal.
And the fact that some of the actors came from the favelas (slums) in Rio, while Alexandre Rodrigues came from the notorious City Of God favela. Oh and speaking of the grittiness, check this out. Fernando Meirelles, (aka the director) said that if he knew the dangers of filming the movie in a Rio favela, he wouldn’t have done the movie. But it’s an incredible movie nonetheless, and it perfectly captures two different character’s two different life paths. In one very dangerous place. I highly recommend it.
And I leave this post with a dash of the notorious, the infamous Russian mafia. And probably with the finest performance from Viggo Mortensen to date. But at the same time, Eastern Promises is David Cronenberg’s true masterpiece that is both captivating and frightening at the same time. It’s violent, dark, and brutal and deals with themes like sex trafficking, career criminals, the London criminal underground. Not to mention the seedy „modus operandi“ of the Russian mob in London. But aside from Mortensen, Naomi Watts is also stellar and so is Vincent Cassel in the role of Kiril. Damn, this movie is a tough watch.
Oh, and small trivia fact that I found. To prepare for his role, Viggo Mortensen traveled alone to Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Ural Mountain region of Siberia. He spent five days driving around without a translator, and he also read books on the gangs of the Vory v Zakone. Furthermore, he read books about the Russian prison culture and the importance of prison tattoos as criminal résumés. Not to mention, he perfected his character’s Siberian accent and learned lines in Russian, Ukrainian and English. That’s dedication indeed.
Mafia Definitive Edition: Which Movie Would You Add Here?
Tell us which other movies you would add to this list. Tell us about your favorite gangster/mafia movies. We’d love to know all about them.