Review by James Lindorf
Making his feature film debut with “Team Marco” is director Julio Vincent Gambuto who also co-wrote the film with B.R. Uzun. “Team Marco” has been shown at over 50 film festivals before it hit digital platforms this weekend. It won the audience award for Favorite Family Film at the 42nd Mill Valley Film Festival and Best Feature at the 2020 Seattle Children’s Film Festival. This coming of age story centers on video game obsessed 11-year-old Marco. Haven recently moved from Manhattan to Staten Island after his parents’ divorce life isn’t going great for Marco. Still, things get further turned upside down when his 76-year-old grandfather moves in. Marco’s Nonno forces him to go outside so he can introduce him to bocce ball and to the neighborhood crew of old-school seniors who play daily at the local court. Generations butt heads in this passionate but formulaic family film perfect for people getting together for the holidays.
Owen Vaccaro plays reclusive Marco, who’s being raised by single mother Anna (Anastasia Ganias), and Anthony Patellis is his bombastic Nonno, known to his friends as Cheech. They are each fully committed to their roles, which is a credit to Gambuto as a director. His future may lay more in that world than as writer/director because his film is predictable, and not all of the dialogue and characterizations are on point. The filmmaker grew up in Staten Island, and the often-neglected borough and its large Italian American population are prominently showcased. Unfortunately, the spotlight isn’t always positive as Nonno is a gigantic Italian stereotype. If he were younger, he would have been on Jersey Shore or some other obnoxious MTV show. Once the abrasiveness of that character wears off you are left with a tale about love and the different ways people try to form connections.
While “Team Marco” may not have the big-name actors as the recent “The War with Grandpa,” the two would make a great double feature. You can see how different creative teams’ approach very similar stories. Whether you watch it on its own or as part of a set, “Team Marco” is a four+-quadrant film that will appeal on some level to people of all genders and ages.
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Original Language: English
Director: Julio Vincent Gambuto
Producer: Samuel Sandweiss
Writer: Julio Vincent Gambuto
Release Date (Streaming): Nov 20th, 2020
Runtime: 1h 32m
Production Co: Boro Five
- Los Angeles: Win Passes ToAn Advance Screening Of ‘Migration’ - December 1, 2023
- St. Louis: Win Passes To An Advance Screening Of ‘Merry Little Batman’ Saturday Morning, December 2nd - December 1, 2023
- Watch Trailer For ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ In Theaters Friday, May 24th - December 1, 2023