thouxanbandjack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Really enjoyed this, good gangster film. I know ‘Boxcar Bertha’ is officially Marty’s first feature film but this definitely gave first film vibes and reminded me a lot of ‘Resevoir Dogs’ in that you can see so much off the directors vision and film making abilities that just aren’t quite refined yet.
I’m not sure why Robert De Niro was given leading credit for this on this by Letterboxd and the Blu ray box, Harvey Keitel stole the show with his performance and he was on screen for like double the time. De Niro was good too, but there was such a leap in improvent in his next two performances as Young Vito and Travis Bickle. I really like the authentic feel of this, it looks like it was shot on a handheld camera at times and it has such an amateur aspect too it (which shows in some of the editing and volume mixing, even on the Blu ray) and the soundtrack is such good vibes too. I also thought the pacing was good mostly, but it slows down towards the end.
I think Marty showed some really good aspects of his film making here that he subsequently improves over his career. This is a very good gangster film, but in his next real stab at the genre, he made the (in my opinion) perfect film, let alone gangster film, in 1990 with ‘Goodfellas’. Also with his interpretation of New York here, it’s very good but I believe he perfects it 3 years later with ‘Taxi Driver’. It’s a great starting point and he builds really well off everything later on.
Finally some other notes, the fight scenes are so so bad that they’re hilarious and I both like and dislike that lmao. The comedy is really good throughout, especially the ‘Mook’ scene I found that very funny.
8/10, Harvey Keitel moved me