Only now does it occur to me... four quick things. WISE GUYS is a sorta mediocre mobster comedy from Brian De Palma starring Danny DeVito and Joe Piscapo. Laugh-worthy and groan-worthy moments appear in equal measure; approach at your own risk, depending on your tolerance level for zany Italian-American hijinks. But here are four quick things that I appreciated:
#1. "The De Palma Shot." One of De Palma's trademark shots is the composite of two different shots so that characters in the foreground and the distance both appear in focus without sacrificing the depth of field he likes. Danny DeVito at this point in time was most famous for playing a character on TV's TAXI named "Louie De Palma." So here, in all of it's glory is Louie De Palma in a De Palma movie in a De Palma shot:
That's a lotta De Palma, but that's the way I like it.
#2. DeVito's De Niro impersonation. Because no comedy would be complete without a groundbreaking send-up of the "You Talkin' To Me?" sequence from TAXI DRIVER. Ordinarily I'd roll my eyes at this– but DeVito's De Niro is actually pretty good!
#3. The many loves of Rhea Perlman. WISE GUYS features real-life Perlman husband DeVito, as well as fictional husband Dan Hedaya (who played "Nick Tortelli" on CHEERS). How 'bout that?
#4. WISE GUYS features a scene which I shall describe without comment:
A mob Fixer (wrestling's "Captain" Lou Albano) throws a profanity-laced hissy fit in the presence of casino owner Harvey Keitel.
Keitel shuts him down by saying this isn't Newark and he should watch his language,
which leads to the exquisite mortification of Captain Lou
and the shit-eating brilliance of Harvey Keitel.
Carry on. WISE GUYS, ladies and gentlemen.