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Real lives are always souped up for cinematic consumption, often to a astonishing degree, like the way former Long Beach, New York, cop Vincent La Marca's has been for the film "City By the Sea."La Marca's true story is that his father was executed for the kidnapping, ransom and murder of a baby in the 1950s, yet he grew up to join the police force under the wing of one of his father's arresting officers.Then after he retired to Florida, his own estranged son was arrested and convicted of a ruthless murder.


Similar relationships are presented in City by the Sea; however, this film explores the opposite phenomenon.But two post-production revamps -- one without writer-director Steve Carpenter -- left the film with laughably conspicuous trims for the sake of a belated, teen-friendly PG-13 declawing (now that theaters are enforcing the R rating).All that remains of the story's slight creative promise is a transparent and very pedestrian chiller without chills.A veteran of the police force, La Marca (Robert De Niro) returns to the boardwalks of Long Beach, Long Island (a.k.a.


City by the Sea), where he grew up, to investigate a homicide that his son Joey (James Franco) is under suspicion of committing.Continue reading: City By The Sea Review The concept (which owes a debt to Adrian Lyne's mind-melting "Jacob's Ladder") is that an angelic coed (Melissa Sagemiller, "Get Over It") becomes haunted by nightmares and vision of her dead boyfriend (Casey Affleck) after he's killed in a car wreck while she was behind the wheel.


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