Stars: Peter Facinelli, Jaimie Alexander, Michael Madsen, Christy Carlson Romano, William Forsythe, Joe Pantoliano, Vincent Gallo
A young pickpocket in the New York subways, living a fast, free, lifestyle is confronted by a woman whom he had a one night affair with, she informs him that she is now pregnant with his child, he must now choose between continuing the lifestyle he lead or take responsibility for his actions.
"Loosies" tries something that I wish more indies would try. It’s an independent movie that strives for mass appeal. Just because a movie’s budget is miniscule doesn’t mean it can’t please the general public. Independent can have a place in wide theater releases.
"Loosies" is the story of a New York pick pocket named Bobby (Peter Facinelli). He’s slick, charming, and fast paced, but he still lives with his mother. Most of his stolen merchandise goes to a lethargic and flippant mob boss named Jax (Vincent Gallo) to pay off a gambling debt that was started by his late father. Even though Bobby’s tethered to his father’s gambling addiction, he seems to enjoy his life of crime, and will most likely continue it when the debt is paid. One day, out for a pick pocketing, he’s approached by the lovely lucy. Lucy and Bobby had a one-night-stand not too long ago, and Lucy turns out to be pregnant from it.
There’s also a side plot with Michael Madsen playing a police Lieutenant with a goofy dilemma. His badge was stolen from Bobby, and that act of failure is what is stopping him from becoming commissioner. I’m not sure how good of a police officer he is for he is constantly foiled by Bobby, he doesn’t seem to do any police work, and he seems apathetic to the world around him. That may be due to Madsen’s performance, and Madsen does make a sociopath, but this character doesn’t seem to be written as one.
The bulk of the movie is Bobby trying to juggle the pregnancy, his debt, evading the police, and deciding between a life of crime or something a bit more stable and morally fluffy. He seems like a nice guy overall as he claims to only steal from the people whom could live without their stolen property.
This movie is clearly made with a budget. The camera work is shaky, the lighting is harsh, and the audio is muffled from background noise. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, for it works with this movie. It has a lot of potential for it’s content is charming, but some of that charm is diluted by its editing. Whoever edited this movie should be punched in the genitals. It’s so fast paced and sporadic that it becomes jarring and hard to follow.
Is this a good movie? No, not really, and it’s not because of its financial situation. It has all the tools it needs to be something pretty cool, but the loose story structure is what hurts it the most. Some dialog comes off as goofy, problems are solved fairly easily, and never do I feel that the stakes are all that high.
Revealing that Bobby is a pickpocket so that he can even his dead father’s gambling debt really waters down the character. Pick pocketing isn’t a harsh enough crime for me to find the character irredeemable. He also reveals that he is totally infatuated with Lucy and that he didn’t want to drag her down to his world. What? Really? I didn’t get any sense of that throughout the entire movie. He seemed semi ambivalent towards her. It wasn’t until the movie had to reveal something along those lines for the story to continue. It seemed out of place.
I was the most interested in Bobby when I thought he was a self centered and morally wobbly character. Once it turns out he has a heart of gold, I lost some interest. The leap from narcissistic thief to good guy is a much more interesting leap than a pretty good guy becoming a regular good guy.
All in all, Loosies isn’t bad, but it doesn’t do anything to make it memorable. I’m probably not going to think about after I’m done writing this review. I zoned out a few times and I had trouble remembering certain scenes in order to write this review. That’s not a good sign. Re-watching a scene because it was just that engaging is what movies should strive for. Re-watching a scene because I can’t remember what I watch 30 seconds ago is what they should avoid.