REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — April 7, 2012 at 7:40 am

REVIEW: This is Who I Am (2010)

Nick Romano (actor/producer Nino Cimino) is a young Italian American who is under heavy pressure, trying to keep his balance in life. Teamed with his crazy but always loyal partner Carlo (an Italian clone of Hugh Jackman, named Marco Arras), the two small time hoods are on the streets trying to hustle and make a living.

Nick seems to feel comfortable in this underworld lifestyle that he’s been caught up in, however this lifestyle has caused a riff between Nick and his girlfriend Vanessa (stunning Elizabeth Mae).

Nick fights hard not to lose Vanessa, while trying to stay in good grace with the very powerful local crime boss Marco Leone (Robert Miano).

Vanessa at the same time is asking Nick to leave the business and go work in a restaurant of his uncle Tony (Frank Stallone). And while Nick decides what to do with his life, time just might not be on his side anymore.

I decided to give this “mobster flick” a look after seeing Robert Miano and Frank Stallone among the cast members.

Both Stallone and Miano are solid actors, and I can say they are valuable assets to every movie. Here, Miano portrays a crime boss, and he’s been playing similar characters for so long, that I doubt he even had “to act” in “This is Who I Am”.

Stallone has a rather small part, as a “very positive, artistic uncle”. I believe I am in minority here, but I’ve always liked Frank’s acting, he’s a much better actor than people think. Too bad he’s being assessed by the quality of his low-budget movies.

“This Is Who I Am”, a feature film which Nino Cimino began filming in May of 2009. Cimino wrote the film, took the main part, and provided financing for the entire project.

The main “star” of the film is Nino Cimino, who plays lead character Nick. While, according to the man’s bio, he studied acting and filmmaking at the Piero Dusa Conservatory, the film clearly shows his lack of acting abilities.

Since he’s the main character, viewer is forced to watch him deliver his cheesy lines, behave like a tough Italian, and look cool, while his facial expressions are no better than those of Steven Seagal.

I believe, since Cimino was also the writer, he wrote the character Nick with himself in mind, and the result was catastrophic. Cimino’s acting make Robert Miano and Frank Stallone look like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

The story of the film is as dry as it can be – we’ve seen these a thousands of times before. “This is who I am” focuses mostly on “Nick fighting his demons”, and since “Nick” couldn’t act to save his life, and there’s no action, the film simply doesn’t have anything to offer.

The film obviously had a very tight budget, but there’s one scene, that simply has to be seen to be believed. I’ll give a brief description below.

Nick and Carlo are in some hotel room, having fun with two prostitutes. While Carlo is on the couch, working hard on one of the girls (with lots of moans and similar sounds), Nick is sitting in a chair, talking to the other girl.Nick starts telling the girl a story of how he and Carlo met, and at this moment, Carlo says something, while still pumping the girl…and while he TALKS, the MOANS don’t stop…meaning that while actors were performing this couch scene, there were two more, behind the camera, doing “voice over” work, and they didn’t realize that actor is going to talk now.

I had to pause the film, because I couldn’t stop laughing. I nearly choked on my cigarette. My compliments to the editor!

Jokes aside, the film isn’t really worth your time, even if you like thrillers or criminal dramas. Neither Miano nor Stallone are able to save the film, and aside from them, the scene described above is the only worthy thing in the whole movie.



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