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Fingers
DVD disk
10.10.2004 By: Scott Weinberg
Fingers order
Director:
James Toback

Actors:
Harvey Keitel
Tisa Farrow
Danny Aiello

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
By day, Jimmy Fingers is a “collections specialist” for his Shylock father. By night, he’s a phenomenal pianist who dreams of playing at Carnegie Hall. Needless to say, these two professions don’t exactly gel, resulting in a whole lot of stress for poor Jimmy.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Debut film of celebrated indie director James Toback (BLACK AND WHITE), FINGERS works for a handful of reasons – not the least of which is a phenomenal early performance by Harvey Keitel. Movie fans remember the 1970’s as a classic time for crime flicks, and though this one isn’t as fondly remembered as a DOG DAY AFTERNOON or a MEAN STREETS, I’d wager that fans of this type of film will definitely enjoy it.

Not surprisingly, Keitel is pitch-perfect as the desperate (and gradually insane) protagonist, but the background is littered with colorfully urbane – and enjoyably gritty – performances. Character actor Michael Gazzo steals a few scenes as Jimmy’s desperate Dad, and Danny Aiello pops in briefly as a sardonic hood. FINGERS is a brief, effective, and altogether enjoyable little indie flick; the sort of movie you ‘discover’ on your own – and then wonder why you’d never heard of it before. The flick easily holds its own with the ‘powerhouse’ classics from Hollywood’s last great age (the 70’s, of course), and is absolutely worth a look to fans of streetwise gang flicks, well-conceived indie flicks, or (especially) fans of the illustrious Mr. Keitel.
THE EXTRAS
First up is a fantastic full-length audio commentary with writer/director James Toback, a track that proves some filmmakers actually have something to SAY about their early films. Overloaded with trivia, set anecdotes, and fascinating information about the movie, this commentary is considerably cooler than I expected. Fingers: A Conversation About Independent Film runs about 6 minutes and delivers a few short interview segments with the filmmakers. A nice inclusion, though this feature could have run a bit longer. Also included is the original theatrical trailer, and trailers from the mid-70’s are always worth a look!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Once again, the DVD format allows modern movie fans to appreciate some ‘buried treasure’ from back in the day. WB has done a bang-up job with this obscure flick, and I’d absolutely recommend it for at least a rental.
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