Loosies Review: Fascinelli Exits as Bloodsucker to Steal Wallets and Hearts

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Twilight’s baby-faced perpetual patriarch Peter Facinelli impresses in Loosies, as having a lot more going for him than just being stuck in neutral as a repeatedly born-again typecast vampire. Making his screenwriting debut with Loosies, Facinelli likewise stars as a big Apple mean streets maven pickpocket, who’s got the brains to match his brawn. That is, until an overload of cocky self-confidence kicks in, and his con game world comes crashing down.

Facinelli is Bobby, son of a set of parents with unhealthy gambling habits. Though Dad is the worst of the pair, with Mom sticking to Bingo nights. While his father who just passed away, has racked up half a million dollars in unpaid gambling debts to Jax (Vincent Gallo), a ruthless loan shark. And Jax has forced Bobby into the petty theft business full time or else, to pay off his father’s outstanding tab.

But even though a death threat looms over his head to bring in the stolen cash and valuables on a daily basis, a little Stockholm Syndrome materializes along the way too. In other words, Bobby begins to get a rush out of the risk and danger of the indictable deed, and injects a bit of creative fun into the proceedings. Including dressing up as a Wall Street player when primarily roaming the elite vicinity for the pockets of gullible swells and tourists to dip into.

Which leads to an encounter and one night stand from his strictly commitment-challenged stud perspective, with Lucy (Jaimie Alexander). A barmaid over at a boutique neighborhood bar called Loosies (which is also what single cigarettes bought at bodegas are called), Lucy is not only infatuated with Bobby and tries without success to track him down, but finds herself pregnant after this brief encounter.

Directed with raw, comedic flair and seedy inner city atmospheric perfection by Michael Corrente (American Buffalo, Federal Hill), Loosies may be on the predictable and sudsy narrative side when dealing with brooding baby mam issues. But

the parallel pretty crime caper – with Facinelli simultaneously and stylishly eluding his victims, Gallo’s crazed slacker stay-at-home head thug and Michael Madsen’s peeved cop in pursuit of Bobby to reclaim his stolen badge – is packed with gritty flavor. Along with never disappointing Joe Pantoliano who always takes over center stage whether anybody likes it or not, as Mom’s new boyfriend much to Bobby’s possessive dismay.

As for Facinelli, alias well behaved bloodsucker Dr. Carlisle Cullen, let’s just say his moves on screen in Loosies display a notable talent for extending that previous narrow range. But the unremarkable romance in the story could have definitely benefited from a lot more bite.

IFC Films

Rated PG-13

2 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express.