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A blurred reflection of the Mob

July 25, 2003|Kevin Thomas | Times Staff Writer

"This Thing of Ours" is a decently crafted, standard Mafia blood bath with a few new wrinkles and an aura of authenticity. It centers on Nick Santini (Danny Provenzano, who also directed and co-wrote the script), the cocky nephew of a high-level Mafioso (Frank Vincent). Nick and some pals have hit on an Internet scheme to rob banks and win Mob backing for their project, only to see its success set off a chain of double-crosses. Nick may represent a new way of doing underworld business, but he learns the violent old rules still apply.

None of this is overly interesting, thanks to murky plotting and the fact that there's nothing involving about these bad guys. When they start knocking each other off, it might play as good riddance to bad rubbish, except in the world of criminal professionals, it seems new thugs always replace the old. The innate dignity of Vincent, who like a number of other actors in the film has made a virtual career of playing Mafiosi, lends "This Thing of Ours" what gravitas it possesses.

As for the film's aura of authenticity, a July 10 article in the New York Times describes Provenzano as the grandnephew of Anthony (Tony Pro) Provenzano, a Teamster boss and a suspect in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. On Aug. 15, Danny Provenzano faces sentencing, having pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and tax evasion.


'This Thing of Ours'

MPAA rating: Unrated

Times guidelines: Strong language, many killings, some torture

Danny Provenzano...Nicholas Santini

Frank Vincent...Danny Santini

Vincent Pastore...Skippy

Edward Lynch...Johnny Irish

James Caan...Jimmy

A dylan and skyler's releasing corp. presentation in association with Small Planet Pictures. Director Danny Provenzano. Producers Ted A. Bohus, Michael DelGaizo, Daniel Farash. Screenplay Bohus and Provenzano. Cinematographer George Mitas. Editor Andy Keir. Music Jack Douglas, Lawrence Manchester, Joe Perry. Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Exclusively at the Fairfax Cinemas, Beverly Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, (323) 655-4010.

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