2017 Blind Spot Series: Sleepers


What I knew going in: The entire plot. 

Shakes(Joseph Perrino), Michael (Brad Renfro), Tommy (Jonathan Tucker), and John (Geoffrey Wigdor) are four friends growing up in Hell's Kitchen. When a prank they play goes disastrously wrong, they're sent to a reform school where they are subjected to an unspeakable amount of violence. We cut to more than 10 years later and they're all grown up. (and played by Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, Billy Cudup and Ron Eldnard) They plan on taking revenge against the guards at the reform school, but they need the help of the one stable adult in their lives, Father Bobby. (Robert De Niro)

This was one of those films where I had heard so much about it and had seen bits and pieces that I felt like I had already watched the entire thing. I'm glad I finally sat down and got it in one sitting, but man is this film long. They could've shaved off about 30 minutes of it.

The story was harrowing but so fascinating. They did a good job of balancing the story between past and present, even though it got a bit long. Personally, I wanted more from the court room scenes. What I loved was the use of narration. I know that gimmick isn't popular but I love it, especially when it's done right like it is here.

Despite the strong cast, acting wise the only one that really stood out to me was Robert DeNiro. His face when Shakes tells him what happened at the reform school was heartbreaking. Watching him try to keep it straight while processing all of that information was extraordinary. Don't get me wrong, everyone is good. But De Niro knocked it out of the park.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I always keep the stubs." - Father Bobby (Robert De Niro)

14 comments:

  1. Nice review here. I hear everything you're saying about the length and wanting more from the court scenes, but this will always be one of my favorite films. I've never seen a film tackle the repression of violence quite like this one does. There's so much in it that works for me. That scene you mentioned, where it just stays on De Niro's face, is astounding. And the conclusion via narration always slays me, especially how Brad Pitt's character is described. I'm glad you watched it after having heard so much about it!

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    1. Yeah, how he moved far away and never married. That got me too. I'm glad I watched it too, and to hear it's one of your favorites!

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  2. Do love this film as de Niro in top form in this film. The way he hears everything as well as be this moral compass for the film. It is just incredible and certainly one of my favorite films of the 1990s.

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    1. He is wonderful in this. Definitely the MVP.

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  3. I think I saw this movie ages ago. Is this the one where Kevin Bacon plays the bullying pervert staff member at the reform school?

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  4. I've seen only bits of this film but want to see it. It does sound like a film to see despite its length

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    1. The length isn't too bad, it's not like a few of my other long Blind Spots, like Fanny and Alexander where it was almost torturous.

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  5. I haven't seen this in years. But I remember loving it, despite, as you mentioned, its overlong runtime. Such great performances. Kevin Bacon's work in this thing haunts me to this day.

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    1. Kevin Bacon was so scary in this. He's good at playing those characters.

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  6. I remember Bacon in this most vividly, I need to rewatch it sometime, seen it years ago and I know I liked it a lot

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    1. Dude I live in a fucking cave I don't have HBO GO :P I could watch it tonight via various streaming sites that are free we have here in lawless wasteland but yet again it's time for Scoop and Hugh in the pool

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    2. Scoop (aside from Hugh in he pool) is so bad though lol.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.