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The Many Saints of Newark

wilberfan · 16 · 336

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wilberfan

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on: October 02, 2021, 11:57:09 PM


New Line Cinema’s “The Many Saints of Newark” is the much-anticipated feature film prequel to David Chase’s groundbreaking, award-winning HBO drama series “The Sopranos.”
 
Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.


wilberfan

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Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 01:29:05 PM


polkablues

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Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 01:41:19 PM
I think that’s less of a symptom of our changing culture and more that the movie simply isn’t good or interesting enough to spur discourse.
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Reelist

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Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 01:50:21 PM
The way it was shot made it look like an Amazon prime series. The drab, washed out colors, it felt overwhelmingly grey and green to me. Didn’t have any of the slice of life qualities of the show.


Drenk

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Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 04:05:40 PM
What does the nothing-reaction to the nothing-movie means?  :ponder:

It means that I'm rewatching the last episodes of The Sopranos.
Ascension.


wilberfan

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Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 01:47:47 PM
For the record, I thought it was...OK.   I was nice to spend some more time with these characters--as their younger selves, but I was never dazzled.  Micheal G. didn't have a lot to do, and his performance was serviceable, I guess.  Such a high bar set by his Dad, almost unfair to judge him, somehow.  (And hard not to keep fingers crossed for Cooper H.)

My favorite part was
Spoiler: ShowHide
a sequence in which he enjoys a pair of top-of-the-line JBL speakers, gifted to him (which he accepts reluctantly). It resonated so strongly because I'd laid down on the floor between them, like he does, many times--especially the couple of times I was stoned (which didn't happen very often).


But I guess the film is not being considered a success?

What went wrong with the ‘Sopranos’ prequel: Our experts break it down


polkablues

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Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 01:56:52 PM
The biggest hurdle the movie had to overcome was answering the question "Why does this story need to be told?" And I didn't get the sense that anyone involved had a good answer.
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WorldForgot

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Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 01:59:31 PM
Maybe I liked it more than the lot of viewers because I went in expecting something way worse. It's totally serviceable, but it ain't the authentic powerhouse that the series invokes.

It isn't as good as El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story. But it's leagues more evocative of emotive cinema than fkn Thor: The Dark World, or Terminator Genisys. Who knows if it would have fared better under David Chase's direction - considering the script itself feels like it's made up of abrupt vignettes.

A Moltisanti Story - which nobody asked for. But you get to see Billy Magnussen as Paulie, and that's p funny.


polkablues

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Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 02:21:59 PM
I feel like part of the problem is that The Sopranos' strength was in demythologizing the Mafia narrative, but prequels are all about building the mythology of existing characters. The prequel's intentions are fully at odds with that of the work being prequeled.
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Reelist

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Reply #9 on: October 05, 2021, 03:32:14 PM
Good point


Drenk

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Reply #10 on: October 05, 2021, 04:35:52 PM
Not Fade Away wasn’t good either. Maybe David Chase isn’t good on his own, or movies don’t fit him? But the whole entreprise of that prequel is sketchy—he didn’t want to make it and only capitulated because he isn’t getting any younger. Ironically, he couldn’t direct the movie and it got dropped on HBO Max…
Ascension.


Shughes

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Reply #11 on: October 05, 2021, 07:49:47 PM
For me it didn't really gel. I love Alessandro Nivola and he did well with poor material. It had a few memorable moments but is mostly a misfire that struggles to justify its own existence.

Spoiler: ShowHide
I found Tony's character a distraction - the film was pulling in two directions and felt like it would have been better if it didn't have the weight of establishing Tony - this to me was the least interesting area of the story. Gandolfini Jnr felt like stunt casting. The film should have been centred around young Tony completely, or not at all. Personally I'd have preferred a tighter 90 mins focussing purely on the Nivola character.


Spoiler: ShowHide
Also, why on earth is it narrated by Christopher?! Another strand that felt crowbarred in. Apart from the title (and Moltisanti translating to Many Saints) I see no reason to make this choice.


Drenk

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Reply #12 on: October 05, 2021, 07:55:58 PM
Alessandro Nivola was great. I wish it would have been centered on Dickie visiting his uncle in jail, just that, and mostly because the actors are great...A less cartoonish desire for good deeds wouldn't hurt either...

I don't buy the way Tony isn't interested in this lifestyle, but jumps into it. It seems contrived because this isn't the focus of the movie.

Everything about passing your shit on the next generation is already on the Sopranos. Ironically, the episode I watched after the movie is the one where Janice related the incident in the car with her mother, and it has more weight since Tony is embarrassed by it. "This makes us look like a dysfunctional family!"

Chase signed a new contract with HBO. We'll get more Sopranos Stories.
Ascension.


wrongright

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Reply #13 on: October 05, 2021, 09:07:46 PM
Yeah, this was not good. He clearly wanted to make a film about the Newark riots, but had to shoehorn the Sopranos into it. It wasn't much different from Joker in that sense.


Drenk

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Reply #14 on: October 05, 2021, 09:13:23 PM
He said that he was interested in the riots. There’s enough in the movie to prove that he isn’t interested in the riots.
Ascension.