Many Saints Of Newark Has Disappointed The Ever Living Hell Out Of Me- My Official Review
Now before I get into this there will OBVIOUSLY BE SPOILERS IN THIS BLOG! DO NOT READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE & PLAN TO WATCH IT! (unless you're a sick puppy that likes spoilers)
ALRIGHTY! Well- that was interesting. Interesting is what I have to say. I am stunned. I took notes as I sat in the theater so I'm just gonna go through some of those and then give some thoughts on the end. Apologies as this is my first movie blog!
The kick-off of the movie was pretty fucking cool and there's no 2 ways around that. Panning through the cemetery to other deceased folks telling stories about where they are only to end up at Chrissy detailing how he died at the hands of Tony was awesome. We then met the obvious main character of the movie in Dickie Moltisanti as he went to pick his dad Hollywood Dick (Shoutout Ray Liotta) with his new wife from Italy, Giuseppina. We then meet Leslie Odom Jr's character in Harold who I'd say was definitely the main character of the movie aside from Dickie. He was a friggen amazing villain if you could even call him one considering he had a beef with Dickie who very clearly was a world class trashbag. The main focus of the first half hour or so is the Newark Race Riots of 1967 which lead Harold to start going against the Italians after he moves down South then returns to Jersey. More on that later.
It was then time to meet the whole squad which obviously we were all looking forward. They were at fucking Janice's confirmation so there we saw Johnny Boy, Livia, Pussy, and Silvio for the first time in which the local pastor is quite shocked when he's sitting at a table with a man named Pussy. And then in true Sopranos fashion before we knew it Dickie was banging his dad's new wife after killing Hollywood Dick for being a big ole douche to Giuseppina. After that Johnny Boy goes away to prison which pretty much means this wonderful role model of a man in Dickie becomes Tony's main father figure for a few years and in the midst of that Dickie goes to visit someone in prison. We have no idea who it is until it's fucking RAY LIOTTA again! What a moment! Turns out Hollywood Dick has a brother and he basically became Dickie's Melfi for the rest of the flick.
Next thing we know Tony is running a numbers game at school. Just beautiful stuff. Basically like seeing Hank Aaron hit a homerun in little league. And then before we know it we got a time jump for the introduction of the wonderful Michael Gandolfini on the day Johnny Boy comes home from prison. This scene was interesting cause we got really the first time we got Livia being Livia, Junior dropping that Tony doesn't have the makings of a varsity athlete, and a baby Chrissy crying when he sees Tony only for some elderly lady at the table to say "Some babies come in the world know all kinds of things from the other side". Kinda creepy. It was then time to see Tony become some sort of a dairy Robinhood as him, Tony B, and Jackie Aprile steal an ice cream truck to give out free ice cream to kids. That's MY boss. That led to one of the best scenes in the movie IMO as Dickie, his wife, Johnny Boy, and Livia discuss Tony as Livia is shockingly so extremely negative about Tony playing football that Johnny Boy shoots the tip of her hair out of frustration.
The Harold storyline then ramped up as he returned back to Jersey fully prepared to go to war with Dickie and co. Not only does he sleep with Giuseppina, but he kills one of Dickie's guys after a collection and in response to that Dickie, Silvio, Paulie, and Pussy torture Harold's cousin only for him to reveal that Harold acted alone and it wasn't another mobster like Angelo Salerno as they thought. That's the recipe for a full blown war. The movie then died down for a bit as Tony moved to the suburbs which results in him almost getting kicked out of school in a discussion with his guidance counselor before the counselor calls in Livia to speak with her solo. They then cut to a full blown shootout between Dickie and co. & Harold and co. I can confirm there were casualties. Sad.
The acting then amped up in a scene with Vera Farmiga and Michael Gandolfini as they have a pleasant conversation only for them to explode as Tony suggests for her to take some medicine. For my money this was probably the most interesting scene in the movie as it really, really, really did remind you of James Gandolfini & Nancy Marchand. Awesome scene especially when she dropped the patented "poor you". At the funeral for Joey Diaz's character Junior falls down in the rain only for Dickie to laugh at him which would eventually lead to Dickie's demise. I don't wanna sound mean, but that's where this flick went downhill. Tony then meets Dickie at a warehouse where he makes Tony steal JBL speakers before mentioning our good buddy Hesh. Everyone loves a Hesh mention!
It's then time to wind down the flick in a very cool scene as Harold goes down to meet Frank Lucas where he mentions his intention to kill Dickie before Frank offers to help so it's not looking all too hot for Dickie at this point. We then shoot right over to a very tense scene as Dickie & Giuseppina have a nice romantic day at the beach where we don't know if Giuseppina could possibly be setting Dickie up with Harold only for her to pledge her allegiance to Dickie as she TELLS HIM she had sex with Harold. Not the best move telling a deranged murderer you fucked his rival!!!! Sadly this led to her end as Dickie drowned her in the ocean.
As Dickie goes back to Ray Liotta to ask for more advice he tells him to leave Tony out of his life so he doesn't caught up in everything which Dickie does by ignoring him multiple times...even when poor Tony was trying to get a couple brewskis for him and Carmela! Horrible Uncle! Eventually Dickie agrees to meet Tony at 9am at Holsten's only for him to be killed that night by a guy hired by fucking JUNIOR!!!!! The movie finally closes with everyone at his funeral for Dickie's (dead) finger to be locked with Tony as Chrissy comes back on narration to say that's the man he went to hell for.
My apologies if that was too long but now let's get into my THOUGHTS on this.
I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. That sure was NO Goodfellas. That sure was NO Shawshank Redemption. That sure was NO Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. It was simply alright. I'm giving an A-OK and 3.1 Balls for the first 3/4 of the movie. The last half hour truly may be a 0 Balls. Having fucking JUNIOR be the man who killed Dickie over him falling on steps which utterly INSANE. I was stunned. And to top it off there was that fucking weird 4th wall break when Dickie's dead body joins forces with Tony's finger...What the actual FUCK! So goddamn weird that I almost thought it was fake. All that only for Uncle fucking Junior to be the man behind this. Whatever. I need to get a men in black-esque memory wipe after seeing that. Not to mention some of the easter eggs were a little too much. Hearing just names we've heard of like Hesh and Ercoli mentioned was cool, though some were simply too blatant. You can't get too mad at that though as it's a prequel- stuff like that is obviously going to happen.
Although I definitely don't think it was all bad as that last line by Chrissy was fucking cool since he very blatantly dropped that same line in the show. Silvio was hilarious. The Pussy actor was on point. Billy Magnussen played a pretty damn good Paulie so it would've been cool to see a lot more of him. Seeing Ray Liotta do his classic mob laugh was a delight. Jon Bernthal was a stud as always. Vera Farmiga is consistently just a fucking awesome actress. And of course Michael Gandolfini was amazing as teenage Tony.
I was also disappointed that there was no scene of Tony & Jackie robbing Feech La Manna's card game. If that was a post credit scene or something I would've forgotten all of David Chase's sins for this. A HUGE miss because I know a whole bunch of Sopranos fans really wanted to see that.
Overall I may watch a few more times, though that ending really bugged me. My jaw is still on the floor and not in a good way. Please excuse me while I go be sad. I will now leave you with a Sopranos video that always puts a smile on my face. Enjoy your weekends.