DVD The Return of Joe Rich

DVD The Return of Joe Rich
DVD The Return of Joe Rich

Rating: 4.2
Genres: Comedy | Drama
Director: Sam Auster
Writers: Sam Auster
Stars: Sam Witwer, Armand Assante, Talia Shire
Joe believed in right and wrong until… His job outsourced to India. His teaser rate spiked. His wife bailed. But Joe has a plan…to get it all back, and more. Joe returns home, to the last place on planet Earth where real men can be found…Chicago. Joe’s Uncle Dominic is “connected”. Joe wants in…to The Mob, or “The Outfit”, as it is called in Chicago. And he’ll do anything to make it happen. Can a wanna-be wise guy live a long and happy life ? A way cool element of The Return of Joe Rich is amazing HD documentary footage of 10 real-life “Chicago Guys” ages 73 to 89. These “guys” found themselves in the same predicament, in real life, in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s, that Joe does today. They form a “Greek Chorus” which inter-cuts with the present day narrative of The Return of Joe Rich. Written by Sam Auster
Plot Keywords: the outfit, the mob, mobster, chicago illinois, american dream
Country: USA
Release Date: 12 October 2011 (USA)
Box Office
Budget: $2,000,000 (estimated)


  1. I didn't think this film worked on any level and is a complete mess in my opinion.

    Sam Witmer stars as Joe Neiderman, AKA Joe Rich, who's caught in the throes of the Big Recession, with his job outsourced, his home foreclosed on, his girlfriend disappearing, and his bank account drained to nothing. Joe decides to hit the road and leave California to go back to his roots in Chicago, where his mother (Talia Shire) and his Uncle Dom reside.

    Uncle Dom, well portrayed by Armand Assante who thrives on these types of roles, is shall we say "well connected", and perhaps one of the last "honorable" mob figures left. However, he's can also be brutally vicious and violent to those that go against him.

    Joe, with his life crumbling, wants to join Uncle Dom in what Joe calls "The Outfit", or the mob. After much cajoling Dom reluctantly gives him a chance, but on his first job, Joe, along with his friend Bernard (Joe Minoso), messes up quite miserably.

    With this failure, Joe gets another idea. He'll steal Uncle Dom's couriered mob money and hold Dom captive as well. I don't have to tell you that this is going to lead to all kinds of bloody mayhem and violence.

    Just to mention Joe is also trying to re-establish himself with his old girlfriend Terri, in Chicago. after leaving her seven years ago. She's played by Vanessa Vander Pluyn, and will play a fairly important role as the film winds down.

    I won't go into any further plot details, other than to say there's plenty of gruesome violence with fingers and hands being forced into kitchen sink garbage disposals, baseball bat beatings, graphic descriptions of torture, hints of mother/son incest, and of course the revolting scene where a filled bedpan is thrown onto Joe.

    Some movies like this somehow get a little better as they go along, but unfortunately this one got even worse as it completely deteriorated into a nonsensical mess. The film also utilizes somewhat confusing flash forwards and flashbacks. Also, it's filled with situational commentary from apparently former mob figures.

    In summary, I found this movie to be a grim waste of time and to have absolutely no redeeming value.

  2. "The Return of Joe Rich" is set in Chicago where every mob story should be set. Joe Rich is a story about a son/nephew, Joe (Sam Witwer) returning to Chicago to live with his mother after the financial crisis hits him and he has lost everything. Joe's family is "connected." His Uncle Dom (Armand Assante) is the patriarch of this connected family and Joe "wants in". As he says, "Crime does pay." How far will Joe go? Is this type of work truly in his blood?

    As Joe moves back in to his childhood home, we see the immediate struggles any man moving back home would have. These struggles are compounded by a very strong mother in an intimidating family. Joe's relationships with his mother and other family members appear to pick up right where they left off when Joe was young. He also reunites with his long lost love adding the necessary love story in a rather brutal mob tale. Joe sees first hand where loyalties truly lie and what kind of a person he actually is.

    Violence is a big part of this movie, but there are also some great comedic lines thrown in to balance the film. The rolling meatballs across the screen to segue from one scene into the next are reminiscent of Batman, taking the tension of the film down a level. The home movies and the interviews with the "retired connected men" were the two aspects that keep this movie grounded and real. These men were truly a part of "The Family." These old guys tell it like it was back in the day. The scenes of Joe pretending to shoot a gun in the bathroom add yet another level of entertainment in this film. No, not just because he shows off his six pack abs (although, that is a bonus!), but because it's funny and immature in a serious movie. He shows us that moving back home and living with mom in your late 20's has it's drawbacks!

    The cast is outstanding. Talia Shire plays Joe's mom with a sense of ease and reality. Armand Assante is perfectly cast as the mob boss. He is exactly how I imagine one to be. Sam Witwer takes on this rather complex role effortlessly. The writing, directing and acting seem to meld seamlessly to give us a compelling story not just about the mob, but about people.

Leave a Reply

Lost Password