Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Al Pacino as Grandpa
TWO BITS (1995). Director: James Foley.

In 1933 Philadelphia young Genarro (Jerry Barone) hopes to get a quarter so he can go to the opening of the new movie house. While he plots and pleads for the two bits, Grandpa (Al Pacino) and his widowed daughter Luisa (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) deal with his health issues. Then there's the strange doctor Bruna (Andy Romano) and his even stranger wife (Donna Mitchell), with whom Genarro has unpleasant encounters. Grandpa asks his grandson to do him a slight favor, and promises him the quarter if he does it, but will the poor kid ever make it to the movies? Screenwriter Joseph Psycho Stefano based the story on childhood reminiscences, but it's all rather slight, with too many sequences that don't ring true. A much too young and vital Pacino [The Humbling] is miscast as Grandpa. Barone is excellent as young Genarro.

Verdict: A nice attempt at something different, but ultimately a failure. **.

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