The Many Saints of Newark review 10/1/21 A Sopranos story

Nostalgia…the most weaponized feeling that movie companies use to lure us in by to getting you to pay $15 and then for overpriced and under quality food items. Although TERRIBLE for you to eat, AMC’s pretzel bites in chemical created nacho cheese are a thing of beauty that a white trash Michaelangelo would marvel upon this with a look of bemusement and jealousy that he didn’t create it. And when we all read that they were doing a Sopranos prequel, that sent MAJOR shivers up our collective buttholes. And when we saw Michael Gandolfini was playing a young Tony, we gave a collective eyebrow arch but said, “let’s see what the kid has” to reserve judgement upon viewing. The first preview was pretty cool and if seeing Vera Farmiga do a fantastic Livia Soprano didn’t move the needle for you, you weren’t really a true Sopranos fan. Not many films are circled on my calendar this year but this along with Bond, Halloween, Spiderman, and Jackass (goddamn you, Paramount…moving that to February as well as Mission Impossible and Top Gun to next year.) Fast forward to yesterday where my wife DEMANDED that I wait to watch this with her. So we began the story of Dickie Multisanti (Christopher’s dad and Michael Imperioli does narrate in the film) and his family. It takes place during the race riots of Newark which used to be predominantly Italian. Dickie is a mid level criminal whose father (Ray Liotta) runs crime in said town while his young nephew, Tony Soprano, hangs on his every word and action. We see a lot of the old gang: Lydia Soprano (Vera Farmiga KILLS this role), Junior (Corey Stoll doing a solid job and with a callback catchphrase that will make you smile) Big Pussy, Silvio, Paulie Walnuts (but not enough for my liking), even Carmela and a baby Christopher.

The biggest problem is the plot; a lot of it are a collection of “who gives a shit scenes.” We were led to believe the riots were a focal point but they are not and that’s too bad. I truly wanted to learn more about them but they were just an afterthought with little impact. Another problem is you get tastes of the characters we all love but this is truly Dickie Multisanti’s story (Alessandro Nivola). I’ll wager the other fans wanted to see more intermingling with Silvio, Paulie, Jackie Aprielle, Hesh, Pussy, etc. Vera Farmiga had a couple of solid scenes with Tony including but again, we all wanted to see more and how she mentally fucks up Tony that forces him to see Dr. Melfie. One of the most impactful scenes is where Livia meets with Tony’s guidance counselor where learn more about Tony’s wiring as well as his feelings for his mother. So what else do we get? Ray Liotta playing Dickie’s dad, Hollywood Dickie. And through the oddest turn of events, we find out that Hollywood had a twin brother. Yeah, I was shaking my head in a slow, WTF fashion.

This story draaaaaags. A. LOT. I just didn’t care about a lot of the goings on. Leslie Odom plays a numbers runner for Dickie and sets up a for a possible confrontation down the road for a Black mafia/Italian mafia showdown. But the scenes he had as well as some of the black mafia stuff had me saying, “who gives a shit?” Wayyy too much time spent on something that I felt was inconsequential to the story at hand. We didn’t get enough of Johnny Boy Soprano (Tony’s dad) as he went to jail in the film but think it would’ve been more fun to see him in the family dynamic. And the guy who played Silvio, awful. I mean, bottom shelf well vodka AWFUL. I feet the scenes where Tony does bad stuff were disingenuous, like it was being forced. What else is awful? Dickie kills someone and sets his body on fire that looked about as real as special effects in the 1994 Fantastic Four movie. Go give that a googs; it redefines the meaning for “awful.” It looked as real as Robert DeNiro curb stomping that guy in the Irishman with the speed of a 3 toed sloth. SPOILER ALERT: Dickie gets killed and the motive is quite opaque. Was it because of a personal offense, was it for a power struggle? Another cliff hanger by David Chase, put it on the boarrrrd, YES! And a lot of the foreshadowing is as subtle as a kick to the nuts. Yes, Tony visits Holsten’s (where he gets shot) in the final episode several times. No, they don’t play the Journey song as that obviously wouldn’t have fit the timeframe when the song came out vs where we were in the movie. You get a couple of quotes from the show that will make you smile as I said before but they were repeated often enough which must have made the audience say, “we get it, you’re nodding to the show.”

I’d love to hear from non-Sopranos fans thoughts are on this as a pair of completely neutral eyes would have a much more interesting take. And when you watch this film, tell me that this sound mix is wayyyyy off. When they play music, it BLASTED through the speakers. When it’s just dialogue, you have to pump up the volume 7 notches. In summary, this really felt hastily thrown together. Vera Farmiga steals the show, Alessandro Nivola is solid, Michael Gandolfini is ok, and Corey Stoll was good. I was really disappointed as was my wife. And from what I’ve seen on my social media timeline, the people HATED this film. Just 2 people defended this film and the critics have their heads up their asses on this one as well, 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. You’re going to want to watch this film out of curiosity and I don’t blame you. But I’d set me expectations lower than a fallen G-string at the Bada Bing.

4/10

NFL Divisional Playoffs 2018 Picks ATS

I’ll take my usual bow at the beginning of the column and say yet again, another fantastic week for Herr Gootee.  3-0 last week as the Jax first half under, Saints over, and KC under (thought I had a clenched asshole for the last hour of that game) all came in to cover.  This week, I think it’s a harder crop of games as the numbers are a bit wonky.  Does Tom Brady and the Pats take all the bulletin board material (Discourse in the Pats locker room and Titans safety talking shit) and go into pure, “fuck you” mode?   Do the Vikings take one more step to becoming the first team in a Super Bowl that hosts the game?  Do Eagle fans continue their streak of shitting the bed while their white trash, vile fans create a riot after their backup QB loses the game?  I’ll bet the ranch and your ranch that they’ll do that if Philly loses well because, a tiger doesn’t change his stripes.  Onto the picks.

The aforementioned white trash wasteland known as Philadelphia hosts the red hot (yes, you read that right) Atlanta Falcons at the Stink this weekend.  Atlanta has had to damn near win out while Philly has been on autopilot for 3 weeks, including a bye.  But, in the 2 games Philly has played, they’ve combined for 19 points.  Yes, one was meaningless in week 17 but not a good look when you’re prepping for the playoffs, especially with a backup QB.  The line is 3 so let’s break that down: Home field is 3 points so what this is saying to me is that on a neutral field Matt Ryan and Nick Foles are considered even?  Get the fuck out of here.  Yes, I know it’s a dome team out in the cold where those teams are 4-24 in January.  And I know Atlanta has been on the road for 4/5 of their last games.  But the Atlanta defense can hold down NICK FOLES.  And can you say with confidence that you’re going to put money.  On Nick Foles.  In a playoff game?

I think people are afraid to call Philly a paper tiger as there has never been #1 seed that’s an underdog.  But, let’s also look at numbers: Atlanta under, 5/5.  4/5 under on the road. 9/12 under against Philly and 5/7 under in Philly.  Lastly, Philly has been under in 5/7. Let’s also add that it’s cold there today in the city that considers grade D shaved meat with synthetic cheese a “gourmet experience.”  I think both teams start off slow and try to figure each other out so…

I took first half under 20 and I’ll buy the .5 to get Atlanta at -2.5

Tom Brady is butthurt that Jimmy Garrapolo could have been a threat to his legacy so he had him shipped off.  This is some real Sopranos shit here; didn’t Tony debate about having Christopher knocked off because he also viewed him as a threat?  Don’t flood my inbox with corrections because I haven’t watched the show since it unceremoniously ended in one of the laziest endings ever written.  I know Montana was getting upset that Steve Young was about to and did take his job.  But only time will tell if Jimmy G meets up to everyone’s lofty expectations.  And why does every male sportscaster have to swoon about his looks.  Guys, calm down with that.  Women went gaga over Derek Jeter.  I went gaga because he delivered clutch hits in October so let’s leave it at that.  

The 13.5 is quite lofty and the Pats rarely get backdoored (go ahead and insert your lazy butt sex reference in here, I’m trying to bang out this column before I appear on a podcast to talk about Comics Watching Comics for the umpteenth time this week.  Fuck it, I’ll shoehorn a plug into my own column.)  The Pats have outscored opponents in the 2nd half, 66-18, in their last 3 playoff games.  Meaning they don’t take the foot off the gas.  BUT the Pats against the run are like Alabama fans in SAT scores, dead last.  Derrick Henry ran all over the Chiefs so expect the Pats to key in on him.  That leaves Corey Davis, Erick Decker, and Delanie Walker left as the main options for Marcus Mariota.  Do any of them get your dick hard?  Me neither but I think the Titans can chase points and keep it closer and make Brady throw it late in the game; facing the Titans 24th ranked pass D.  But would I be shocked if this game ends up 35-14?  Nope.  So what am I saying?  I’m saying the Pats are 7/10 over at home, I’m saying Tenn in NE has been over 6/7.  I’m saying Tenn and NE has gone over 7/10 at home.

Pats/Titans over 48 is the play.

Pittsburgh gets a chance to redeem themselves after Ben gave it up more than a black family at a high school graduation.  Jesus, I wish my parents hooted and yelled that loud.  The only thing they yelled was, “Get a fucking job because interns don’t get paid shit.”  This next handicap is really based on the eye test and some stats.  Blake Bortles was fucking ghastly last week, having more rushing yards than throwing yards.  At home.  In 60 degree weather.  Only time that’s ever happened is when I played as Michael Vick in Madden.  And this was against a mediocre Bills defense.  So what do you think is going to happen when he’s in Pittsburgh.  In 20 degree weather.  Facing a team with a solid pass rush.  Yeah, not much.  

I see both teams running the ball as each team’s rush defense isn’t stellar.  In fact, Jax run d is 30th!  Plus, I think they’ll want to slowly dip their toes in the water and not air it out early as Bortles is always a nanosecond from going full Bortles.  And Ben got picked 5 times.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  Jax is surprisingly successful in Pittsburgh, 12-5 and recently 4-1 ATS.  Pitt is 1-5 of late and 1-4 at home.  Again, the eye test screams Pitt but they’ve also been known to play to the level of their competition.  Jax under has hit 4/6 on the road and 15/23.  Pitt at home has gone over 5/6 and 5/7 recently.  I think Pitt is going to win and probably cover as well as go under but I’m going to go with my gut when I put my money down.

And my gut says take the first half under again.  I don’t have a number yet but I’m taking it.

Lastly, the Saints head to Minnesota where everyone and their mothers love the Vikings. And why not?  The numbers of the Vikings have been insanely 1 sided.  Vikes are 11-4-1 ATS and I’ve made a ton of money betting on them.  They have a great defense: 276 ypg average, 10.6 pig, and +137 yds over an opponent at home.  But the Saints (who I have to win the NFC at 6/1) despite being 1-4 ATS of late, do have some success on the road, 12-5-1 on the road ATS.  They are 2-4 in Minnesota, and 2-7 against Minnesota.  If this game gets to 6 or more, I may take it.  I may take the over 48 as recently, 4/6 have gone over and 6/7 over in Minnesota.  BUT the Saints are under 4/6 on the road.  Man, so many conflicting stats.  I just may see how I do and then go on my gut.  But there’s one stat that stares at me square in the eyes, THIS IS THE BIGGEST GAME THAT CASE KEENUM HAS PLAYED IN.

Probably the over and possibly the Saints…depending on the numbers.