Welcome to Collinwood


Sam Rockwell as Pero
William H. Macy as Riley
Isaiah Washington as Leon
Michael Jeter as Toto
Jennifer Esposito as Carmela
Luis Guzmán as Cosimo
Patricia Clarkson as Rosalind
Andrew Davoli as Basil
George Clooney as Jerzy
Gabrielle Union as Michelle

Special Features:
“Welcome to Collinwood”: Uncensored
Definitions and Etymologies
Theatrical Trailer
Cast/Director Film Highlights

Other Info:
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Track
English, French, and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 86 Minutes

In the 1970s, Cosimo is arrested and throw in jail for grand theft auto. While in jail, a “lifer” tells him about the perfect opportunity to break into a safe and make off with $300,000. Cosimo believes it’s his “Bellini”. He asks his fiancée Rosalind to find someone to take the fall for his crime so that he can get out and break into the safe.

Rosalind starts making the rounds looking for a “Mullinski” for Cosimo. However, by the time she finds someone to take the fall, she has committed to split the money with Riley, Leon, Toto, Basil, and Pero. Pero steps in to take the fall, but he ends up getting himself thrown in jail, too. After tricking Cosimo into telling him where the “Bellini” is, he gets out of jail and teams with the rest of the thieves to get the loot.

However, breaking into the safe ends up being more complicated than Pero thought. He must woo a maid and get training from an expert safe cracker, Jerzy, while also dodging the local police who are onto him. Unfortunately, the group may lack the brains and luck it takes to pull it off successfully.

“Welcome to Collinwood” is rated R for language.

The Movie:
“Welcome to Collinwood” has everything you’d want in a movie. There’s comedy, romance, great acting, and a fun plot. It starts out a bit slow, but by the end it really gets rolling. The final scenes featuring the big heist had me laughing out loud. Murphy’s Law rules and everything that can go wrong for our hapless heroes does go wrong. The final result is some great comedy.

The cast is what really makes this movie worthwhile. They make these losers lovable and really help make the characters come alive. Sam Rockwell leads the cast as dimwitted Pero. I think Rockwell is one of the greatest actors working today simply because every character he plays is so different from his others. You rarely recognize him between roles. His character in Collinwood is another unique addition to his filmography. Pero acts cool and thinks he’s an intelligent ladies man, but everything proves otherwise. Despite him being a moron, you root for him to win the girl played by Jennifer Esposito. She is also quirky and sweet.

Following Rockwell is another favorite of mine, William H. Macy. He plays Riley whose wife is in jail. He needs money to get her out and reunite his family. As they plot the heist, he carries his infant son around everywhere. It seems pretty odd for a criminal to be casing a joint with a baby carrier strapped to his chest.

Rounding out the cast is Isiah Washington, Michael Jeter, Patricia Clarkston, and Andrew Davoli. All of their characters have bizarre quirks and are also losers in one way or another. Luis Guzman has a small role as Cosimo, the stupid career criminal who finds the “bellini”. Full of hostility, his catch phrase is “Your mother’s a whore!!” which he yells at anyone who crosses him.

George Clooney really steals the show in his cameos as Jerzy. Not only did he produce this film, but he plays the bitter safe cracker who gives our heroes dubious instructions on how to crack a safe. He pops up later in the film in a hilarious rabbi disguise.

The final heist scene reminds me a lot of “Home Alone”. The thieves get horribly beat up and eventually thwarted in their efforts to crack the safe. Their ultimate undoing is so moronic that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry for them.

Overall the movie offers some fun laughs though it does take a little while to get going good. Give it a chance and you should be pleasantly surprised.

The Extras:
Films like this generally don’t have many extras, and that’s the case here as well. However, the extras that it does include are well done and are worth checking out:

“Welcome to Collinwood”: Uncensored – This is a hilarious behind the scenes documentary on the making of the movie. Completely ad-libbed, Sam Rockwell interviews the cast and crew under the persona of “Guy Storm”. While asking the cast about their fellow actors, there are running gags about the rarely seen directors, a “Songus” (whatever that is), and more. The cast plays along and gives wacky answers to the equally wacky questions. It’s really quite funny. Also included are shots of George Clooney and crew playing basketball, an impromptu rap music video entitled “You’re Mother’s A Whore” (based on Cosimo’s catch phrase), and other hi-jinks from the set. It ends up being one of the funnier behind-the-scenes features I’ve seen on a DVD.

Definitions and Etymologies – The film is filled with phrases like “Bellini”, “Mullinski”, and more that, if you’re like me, you have no idea what they mean. This extra tells you what the words mean and the history behind them. It’s actually quite interesting since there are colorful criminal stories behind each word. From a crooked construction worker building bad walls to the ultimate demise of Eliot Ness, you’ll want to read up on this trivia in case you’re ever on Jeopardy.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, this is a fun DVD worth checking out. If you’re a fan of any of the actors or you’re looking for a good comedy, this is one you’ll want to see.