The Chicago Syndicate: TV
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer #BTKConfession

Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer.

In 1974, Dennis Rader stalked and murdered a family of four in Wichita, Kansas. Since adolescence, he had read about serial killers and imagined becoming one. Soon after killing the family, he murdered a young woman and then another, until he had ten victims. He named himself “B.T.K.” (bind, torture, kill) and wrote notes that terrorized the city. He remained on the loose for thirty years. No one who knew him guessed his dark secret. He nearly got away with his crimes, but in 2004, he began to play risky games with the police. He made a mistake.

When he was arrested, Rader’s family, friends, and coworkers were shocked to discover that B.T.K. had been among them, going to work, raising his children, and acting normal. This case stands out both for the brutal treatment of victims and for the ordinary public face that Rader, a church council president, had shown to the outside world. Through jailhouse visits, telephone calls, and written correspondence, Katherine Ramsland worked with Rader himself to analyze the layers of his psyche. Using his drawings, letters, interviews, and Rader’s unique codes, she presents in meticulous detail the childhood roots and development of one man’s motivation to stalk, torture, and kill. She reveals aspects of the dark motivations of this most famous of living serial killers that have never before been revealed. In this book Katherine Ramsland presents an intelligent, original, and rare glimpse into the making of a serial killer and the potential darkness that lives next door.

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Iconic Series Cops, Returns Tonight on Fox Nation #CopsNation #FoxNation #BackTheBlue

FOX Nation has greenlit the return of the iconic series COPS and will premiere season 33 on October 1st.

The debut will include the first four episodes and each new installment of COPS thereafter will drop weekly on Friday nights. The deal also includes 15 episodes from season 32.

As part of the COPS launch, FOX Nation will offer all first responders, including police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics (EMS personnel), a one-year free subscription to the service beginning on Monday, September 13th.

FOX Nation said that COPS is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base. We wanted to show our appreciation to all first responders by combining the launch with a free one-year subscription to give back in a small way to those who place their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.

FOX Nation also debuted a new slate of first responder-themed programming beginning September 13th in conjunction with the launch of COPS, including:

  • 911: On Scene — This ride-along show goes behind the scenes with firefighters, EMTs and paramedics from different agencies across the country as they embark on their dangerous jobs of saving lives.
  • When Seconds Count — Anchored by FOX News Channel’s Harris Faulkner, this special will showcase dramatic footage of various rescues caught on tape, featuring the actual rescuers and the victims involved, telling the emotional stories behind each video.
  • Protect and Serve — Hosted by FOX News Channel contributor and former homicide detective Ted Williams, this program will spotlight the good deeds and the truly heroic and impactful interactions that police officers often perform in the communities they serve.
  • Answer The Call — Centered on the charity by the same name, this special will focus on children of fallen first responders as they recount stories of their loved ones who died in service and discuss how the charity has helped them following the tragedy of 9/11. Answer the Call was formed after 9/11 to support the families of the NYPD, NYFD, PAPD and EMS Personnel who were killed in the line of duty on 9/11.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sopranos star Joseph Siravo, who played Tony Soprano's father, has died

“Sopranos” star Joseph Siravo, who played Tony Soprano’s father, has died following a battle with cancer. He was 66.

Siravo’s agent confirmed the actor’s death to Variety, noting that he died on Sunday following a “long, courageous” battle with colon cancer.

Siravo is best known for work in television as well as theater. On HBO’s “Sopranos,” he played Johnny Soprano — featuring prominently in flashback episodes to the 1960s — and later portrayed Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman, in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Other recent credits include TV series such as “For Life,” “The Blacklist,” “Made in Jersey,” “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Law and Order.” In film, he appeared in the Adam Driver-led “The Report” and Meera Menon’s 2016 film “Equity, as well as “Motherless Brooklyn,” “The Wannabe,” “Shark Tale” and “Night Falls on Manhattan.”

Born and raised in Washington D.C., the actor did his BA at Stanford before completing an MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts theatre program. He made his screen debut in “Carlito’s Way” (1993) and soon landed the Johnny Soprano role in HBO hit “The Sopranos,” which ran for six seasons.

Siravo also starred in Broadway productions of the Tony Award-winning “Oslo” and “The Light in the Piazza.” Earlier in his career, he performed in a national tour of “Jersey Boys.” The actor has countless off-Broadway and regional theater credits to his name, including Off-Broadway New York productions of “Mad Forest” and “Up Against the Wind,” as well as “My Night With Reg” and “The Root.” Regional credits include “Hamlet” at the Long Wharf, “Anthony & Cleopatra” at Berkeley Rep and “Last of the Boys” at the McCarter Theatre.

Siravo was also highly regarded as a teacher at various actor training programs in New York. After studying at NYU, where he trained under Ron Van Lieu, Olympia Dukakis and Nora Dunfee, he eventually joined the faculty of NYU Grad Acting, where he taught Shakespeare.

Siravo is survived by his daughter Allegra Okarmus; son-in-law Aaron Okarmus; grandson Atticus Okarmus; his sister Maria Siravo; and brothers Mario Siravo, Ernest Siravo and Michael Siravo.

A memorial service will soon be held for the actor.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Who Rode the Most Expensive Bike On Sons Of Anarchy and How Much Did it Cost?

The winning formula for creator Kurt Sutter's Sons of Anarchy consists of a few key things: murder, mayhem, and motorcycles. Sure, there are other facets of the show that begin with different letters of the alphabet, but much of the series chronicling the goings-on in an outlaw motorcycle club revolved around those three concepts. Murder? Many of the personal relationships and conflicts ended in death, namely those surrounding series protagonist Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), whose father was murdered by his future stepdad Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman); whose wife Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff) was murdered by his own mother, Gemma Morrow (Katey Sagal); and who, in turn, murdered his own mother and stepfather, thus completing the circle of death. Wait, should we have included a spoiler warning? Because, like, that's pretty much the show.

Onto mayhem; obviously crazy action factored prominently into the show's plot points, when it came to conceptualizing seasons as a whole. The Sons had dealings with the Galindo cartel, the Cacuzza crime family, the Irish Republican Army, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Lin Triad, the Russian mafia, and the militia movement, most of which ended badly and ended big.

And, of course, motorcycles are central to the premise of a show about the fictional motorcycle club from which the series takes its name, and Sons of Anarchy featured some sweet bikes. Most members favored a version of the Harley-Davidson Dyna line, like Jax's 2003 H-D Dyna Super Glide Sport (via HotCars), for which the National Automobile Dealers Association's guide lists a suggested price of $14,510. But that pales in comparison to the price tag — and honestly, the bike itself — for one of the other cast member's rides.

One might think that the best, most expensive bike on Sons of Anarchy would be reserved for the club's president, in which case one would be wrong. Clay Morrow rode a Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide, like Jax. In fact, the Son with the sickest ride isn't even a member of the SAMCRO chapter when we first meet him. That distinction goes to Rane Quinn, introduced as president of the Nomad chapter of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. And why, we ask, would a Nomad have the best, most expensive bike on the show? The answer is simple: the actor who played Quinn built the bike himself.

Quinn rocked a 2013 custom Hellrazor, built in real life by Illusion Motorsports, the custom cycle shop co-owned by actor Rusty Coones, who plays Quinn on Sons of Anarchy. If that's all starting to make sense, here's a bit more context: Coones is a real-life member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and, according to the OC Register, was at one point president of the San Fernando Valley and Orange County chapters. So, when you know all the details, Quinn having the baddest bike on the show actually makes perfect sense.

Price-wise, reports conflict, but the Hellrazor is valued at $80,000 on the low end, a figure which comes courtesy of the OC Register. According to HotCars, Coones' motorcycle was valued at $90,000. The Hellrazor was the featured item at the inaugural Street Vibrations Motorcycle Auction in 2018, one of 65 lots at the event, the proceeds of which went to charity. According to auctioneer Hudson Stremmel of Stremmel Auctions (via BikeBound), the Hellrazor was expected to fetch more than $100,000 (the winning bid was not disclosed), a sum that almost would have allowed Jax to buy seven of his Harleys.

Thanks to Andrew Jameson.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Mafia Boss Don Pauly Learns about being #Woke in Crime #BillBurr @SNL

A lot has changed in the organized crime landscape since a mafia don (Bill Burr) spent 20 years in prison, so much so that his loyal crew of capos and consiglieres have to spend their reunion dinner explaining just why, exactly, chastising his mafia family as “a bunch of queers” is grounds for swimmin’ with the fishes. But yeah, shooting people in their skulls is still totally fine and encouraged.

“Representation is very important, even in crime,” he’s advised about embracing a new Wokefather persona. “We got slammed on Twitter for our lack of diversity.” One of the capos, triggered by a comment, even gets so worked up that he leaves to “take a mental health day and work from home.” For his sake, we hope his home is adjacent to the Hudson River.

Thanks to Devon Ivie.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Chris Meloni, @Chris_Meloni, Confirmed for Law & Order: Organized Crime

Chris Meloni of Law & Order: Organized Crime
NBC made it official on Tuesday: Det. Elliot Stabler is coming back to TVs everywhere sometime this fall. The character, once again played by Christopher Meloni, will head up a new Law & Order spinoff, titled Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Rumors of Meloni's return to the procedural mega-franchise has been talked about since February, nearly a decade after he departed from Law & Order: SVU after Season 12. Although fans never stopped hoping he'd return to the show, and for good reason. When SVU premiered in 1999, Meloni's portrayal of Stabler was one of the things that drew viewers in those early episodes, along with his rapport with co-star Mariska Hargitay, who played Captain Olivia Benson.

While SVU managed to succeed in the wake of Meloni's absence, Season 22 will be premiering sometime this fall, the show's dedicated viewers never let go of the possibility of his character's eventual return. Even though the actor previously insisted he had "no plans" to return to the Law & Order fold, that appears to have changed. Other than the fact that Organized Crime will follow SVU on Thursday nights, there aren't a lot of details at the moment, including a premiere date for the show. However, here's a rundown of what we do know about Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Law & Order: SVU premiered in September of 1999, and was itself a spinoff of Dick Wolf's drama Law & Order. Meloni's Elliot Stabler was a dedicated family man who often took his department's grim cases to heart, oftentimes complicating the investigations along the way. This was regularly at odds with Hargitay's Captain Benson, who often took the opposite perspective, and created a dynamic that drove the show for more than a decade.

After helping anchor SVU for 12 seasons, Stabler's absence was casually explained away in an off-screen retirement. Given that he never received a proper send-off, which is why so many fans have been yearning to see him come back. It turns out, the actor left the show simply because he was unable to reach terms with NBC on a contract extension.

In an interview with PEOPLE back in February, Hargitay mentioned there had been "conversations" about Stabler being brought out of retirement, though she was also scarce on the details. "I can't tell you that; I'm taking the Fifth!" Hargitay said. "There have been conversations, many a conversation." Back in August of last year, showrunner Warren Leight told TVLine that he was hopeful that Stabler would return, though he pointed out that the decision was "above my pay grade."

After rumors started gaining steam in March, Meloni himself confirmed the news on Twitter, albeit indirectly. He did have a "small quibble" about the announcement, which was just that he's "not on Facebook." While the actor does have a verified page on the platform, he later clarified that someone else runs it. Regardless, fans were beside themselves over the news.

Law & Order: Organized Crime will see Stabler return to the NYPD to battle organized crime, which comes with some extra motivation due to a personal loss. His triumphant comeback also comes during dramatic changes in the city's police department, not to mention the city at large. The series will follow Stabler as he attempts to rebuild his life as he leads a new elite task force tasked with taking apart the city's most powerful crime syndicates. In addition to the new series, Stabler will also appear in SVU's Season 22 premiere.

Along with Tuesday's announcement, NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy addressed how Organized Crime, as well as the rest of its cop dramas and comedies, will fit into a world being reframed by Civil Rights protests. Telegdy stated that "the events of this year have allowed us the time to take pause, examine our business with a new lens and take some immediate action."

He added that they're using the temporary shutdown as an "opportunity to offer all of this season's showrunners the chance to enrich their team with an additional diverse writer at any level." While he admits that it's "not the solution by any means, but it is something we can do right now to take a positive step."

Thanks to Christian Long.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Trailer Released for #FamiliesOfTheMafia - They're done with the Mafia, but now it's time to find out if the Mafia is done with them

“Families of the Mafia,” which is billed as a six-part series, is set to premiere Thursday, April 9, on MTV following “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.” The network describes the show as “the gripping realities of four mafia-tied families on Staten Island as they navigate a divide between parents attempting to guide their children to a better life, and their offspring who want to write their own stories. With one lifestyle and two generations, tensions run high as they decide whether to embrace their families’ legacy or break generational curses.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Making of the Mob: Chicago - Discover the Rise and Fall of Infamous Gangster Al Capone as He and His Successors in the Chicago Outfit Dominate the Chicago Underworld.

The Making of the Mob: Chicago, is an eight-episode docu-drama chronicling the rise and fall of iconic gangster Al Capone, as well as the story of his successors, collectively known as “The Chicago Outfit.”

Spanning the better part of a century, the series begins with Capone’s early days in New York and continues through his move to Chicago - to work with his childhood mentor in the underworld.

When Prohibition hits, battles break out as the city’s gangs rush to set up bootlegging operations and Capone decides to go up against his rivals.

As he consolidates power, he achieves legendary status for his ruthless tactics and over-the-top lifestyle that attracts the wrath of President Herbert Hoover.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco #NationalPastaDay

Nuovo Vesuvio. The "family" restaurant, redefined. Home to the finest in Napolitan' cuisine and Essex County's best kept secret. Now Artie Bucco, la cucina's master chef and your personal host, invites you to a special feast...with a little help from his friends, The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco. From arancini to zabaglione, from baccala to Quail Sinatra-style, Artie Bucco and his guests, the Sopranos and their associates, offer food lovers one hundred Avellinese-style recipes and valuable preparation tips. But that's not all!

Artie also brings you a cornucopia of precious Sopranos artifacts that includes photos from the old country; the first Bucco's Vesuvio's menu from 1926; AJ's school essay on "Why I Like Food"; Bobby Bacala's style tips for big eaters, and much, much more.

So share the big table with:

  • Tony Soprano, waste management executive "Most people soak a bagful of discount briquettes with lighter fluid and cook a pork chop until it's shoe leather and think they're Wolfgang Puck." Enjoy his tender Grilled Sausages sizzling with fennel or cheese. Warning: Piercing the skin is a fire hazard. 
  • Corrado "Junior" Soprano, Tony's uncle "Mama always cooked. No one died of too much cholesterol or some such crap." Savor his Pasta Fazool, a toothsome marriage of cannellini beans and ditalini pasta, or Giambott', a grand-operatic vegetable medley. 
  • Carmela Soprano, Tony's wife "If someone were sick, my inclination would be to send over a pastina and ricotta. It's healing food." Try her Baked Ziti, sinfully enriched with three cheeses, and her earthy 'Shcarole with Garlic. 
  • Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri, associate of Tony Soprano "I have heard that Eskimos have fifty words for snow. We have five hundred words for food." Sink your teeth into his Eggs in Purgatory-eight eggs, bubbling tomato sauce, and an experience that's pure heaven. 

As Artie says, "Enjoy, with a thousand meals and a thousand laughs. Buon' appetito!"

The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Prequel to #TheSopranos - The Many Saints of Newark - Hires Thor Director Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor of Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys will be taking the helm of a feature film set prior to hit early 2000s TV crime drama series The Sopranos. Broadcast between 1999 and 2007, HBO’s The Sopranos won 21 Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes over the course of its impactful nine-year run.

James Gandolfini, who played conflicted crime family patriarch Tony Soprano, passed away in 2013, but The Sopranos creator David Chase and co-writer Lawrence Konner have found a way to continue the series’ legacy, through a prequel film directed by Thor: The Dark World’s Alan Taylor.

According to The Wrap, The Many Saints of Newark will be set in the 1960s in New Jersey, north-eastern US, during a time of extreme tension between Newark city’s Italian and African-American communities. Other than that, New Line Cinema is keeping tight-lipped about plot details, leaving fans to wonder which characters from the series will be found within the movie treatment.

Taylor’s own background was in TV, working his way through a slew of episodic dramas — Homicide: Life on the Street, The West Wing, Sex and the City, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and more.

In fact, he has previous experience with The Sopranos, having directed nine of its episodes, including one of its final episodes, the Emmy-winning season six Kennedy and Heidi.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Larcenous Romani crime boss Rita Marks Unleashed on #ShutEye

Isabella Rossellini’s TV alter ego, brooding, larcenous Romani crime boss Rita Marks, paced around “Shut Eye” last season like a caged tiger waiting to strike — and now she’s been unleashed.

The Season 2 premiere of Hulu’s quirky drama, premiering Wednesday, finds Rita dealing with a murder rap and the possibility of turning against her vengeful family — as we finally learn what’s been fueling her simmering fury and how it will impact everyone in her orbit.

“Rita is an interesting character,” says Rossellini, 65. “We’ve developed more of her background [this season] and we show where she comes from and why she became that way.” The season opener focuses on Rita’s history back in her native Yugoslavia (now Serbia) vis a vis the violence and harshness that accompanied her Romani upbringing — and how that shaped her character. “I always knew who she was. She’s very cold and calculating,” Rossellini says. “But Rita has bloomed much more this season.”

For the uninitiated, “Shut Eye” revolves around Charlie Haverford (Jeffrey Donovan) and his wife Linda (KaDee Strickland), Vegas-trained con artists who work for an insular Romani crime syndicate run by Rita and her volatile son, Fonso (Angus Sampson). They oversee an empire of shady fortune-teller franchises in LA with one goal in mind: swindling their wealthy clients. At the end of Season One, Charlie, plagued by psychic visions (turns out he really can see the future), stole nearly $2 million from his employers in a bid to start a new life, leading to a murder implicating Rita — and setting her on a path of revenge.

“In the series we’re Romani, or gypsies, but they don’t like to be called ‘gypsies,’” says Rossellini. “But it could be the story of any ethnicity. What amuses me the most about going back to the ‘old country’ [with Rita’s back story] is that women do have power, but it’s not overt or declared. In Italy, where I come from, it’s the land of machismo and men, but women run it — everyone is terrified of the grandmother, the mother, the wife. If they speak, they speak with a very soft voice.

“And that’s the part I love the most about Rita,” she says. “She’s the boss of an organized crime family but she’s not hot-headed. To me, she’s completely ruthless and immoral and a criminal … but she’s also a grandmother [to Fonso’s teenage daughter, Drina, played by Havana Guppy]. I think that makes her much more interesting. She really loves her family and protects them. She’s dedicated and attentive and tender and warm and that makes it more difficult because she’s a criminal.”

“Shut Eye” marks Rossellini’s first regular TV role after years of guest spots on shows including “30 Rock,” “Treme” and “The Blacklist.” (She snared a 1994 Emmy nomination for her guest-starring role on “Chicago Hope.”) She says she’s avoided being a series regular for several specific reasons. “It’s partially because it’s a very big commitment,” she says. “It’s five-to-six months a year and when my kids were small and I was offered a series it was not often that it was shot in New York City where we live. I didn’t accept [the roles] because I didn’t want to be separated from my family for six months at a time. “But now my kids are grown up — one is 24 (son Roberto) and one is 34 (daughter Elettra) — and they’re happy that I’m out of the house,” she says. “I’m kidding, but they don’t need me on a daily basis.”

Thanks to Michael Starr.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Goodfella's Henry Hill Plays Central Part in ESPN's "Playing for the Mob" 30 for 30

Some of it happened almost by accident, and some of it happened after years of determined work.

A chance meeting in prison. A failed minor league baseball player from Pittsburgh turned college basketball player in Boston. A talkative informant.

The combination thereof led to the downfall of a previously untouchable New York crime boss responsible for multiple murders and the largest cash heist in U.S. history, via cronies in Pittsburgh who ran a point-shaving scheme that paid a few players to keep scores within the spread at Boston College during the 1978-79 college basketball season.

That’s the story chronicled by the latest edition of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary seriesPlaying for the Mob ESPN 30 for 30, “Playing for the Mob,” which premiered Tuesday night on ESPN.

The film represented something of a white whale for executive producer and co-director Joe Lavine, who for years attempted and failed to get the project green-lighted before finally landing at ESPN.

A Trenton, New Jersey, native, Lavine grew up there about the same time as Jim Sweeney -- a schoolboy legend in Trenton who went on to star at BC. So Lavine was fascinated when he found out that Sweeney was one of a handful of Eagles players accused in connection with a the point-shaving scandal that was making national headlines in 1981.

That fascination only increased when the mobster who fingered Sweeney hit the big screen years later in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.”

“Every year I would pitch this story,” Lavine said. “I really wanted to get to the bottom of it from a personal curiosity [standpoint], and then also knowing that this had to be a great story.”

The highlights of the film are the interviews with the former mobsters, now all well past their primes after serving their time, including the gangster Ray Liotta made famous in “Goodfellas” -- Henry Hill.

At one point Hill curses, apologizes sheepishly to the camera, and then falls right back into his expletive-laden speech. It’s one of several seeming contradictions the gangster-turned-informant offers during the film, right along with this doozy early on: “I didn’t threaten him or nothin’,” Hill says in the film, “I just said, ‘It’s hard to play basketball with a broken arm.’”

Once a gangster, always a gangster.

“Playing for the Mob” makes good use of Scorsese’s classic, splicing in “Goodfellas” clips between interviews and using Liotta as the film’s narrator. The tone is set by black-and-white mug shots and film strips from surveillance of mobsters interspersed with BC team photos and action shots from newspaper coverage of the season. And, of course, there are betting lines with the pick circled and handwritten box scores with the names of the alleged conspirators highlighted.

The film also benefits from the fact that most of those involved agreed to speak on camera, including Sweeney, fellow accused BC players Ernie Cobb and Michael Bowie (who were completely vindicated), law enforcement officials and all the principals on the organized crime side of the story.

“As a matter of fact, one thing I’m really happy with in this film, is we really did get to everybody,” Lavine said. “We spoke to everybody, whether they ended up in the film or not.”

That includes Rick Kuhn, the former minor league baseball player who started the scandal and who Sweeney says got him involved in it. Kuhn was the only player convicted -- receiving a record 10-year sentence -- and served 28 months in prison. Lavine said Kuhn was “very open” but declined to go on camera, so his side of the story is told instead mostly through court testimony.

Sweeney said he decided to cooperate with Lavine and co-director Cayman Grant because he believed they would treat the subject fairly. “These people [in the mob] get glamorized or sensationalized,” Sweeney said. “And unfortunately, if you see a real-life situation that involves people like myself and others, then you say, ‘Wow, that’s the type of effect that whatever [the gangsters] do can have on others’ lives.’”

As for his role in what happened, Sweeney says he’s never run from the truth. He acknowledges taking $500, but says he never did anything to fix games. He says he believes his experience could serve as a test case for others, to help prevent anything like it from happening in the future.

“Obviously, I could’ve done things differently,” Sweeney said. “You can’t change things in life. And I never go there, like, coulda, woulda, shoulda, because that would only lead to frustration. That only leads to animosity. And I don’t have that. “I moved on many, many years ago, and I think the worst thing you can do is blame others or even blame yourself because that’s kinda like a poison that just stays with you. And I don’t think it ever stayed with me.”

The filmmakers ultimately don’t take a side on who did what, instead presenting at times conflicting accounts and letting the audience decide. “Obviously, the huge message is don’t get involved with point-shaving,” Lavine said with a laugh. “Don’t get involved with organized crime people.”

After more than a decade spent trying to make “Playing with the Mob” happen, Lavine is ready to move on to a new project. “We’re really happy with it. I think it tells a great story, I think the story is told in an entertaining fashion,” he said. “Will I ever totally leave Boston College? I don’t know. I think it will always be in the back of my mind somewhere.

“It really was over 10 years that I’ve been trying to do this, so I don’t know that I can just turn the page on it and go on to something else. I’m ready to move on from the actual filmmaking process. But I’ll always be curious about certain things that went on.”

Thanks to Jack McCluskey.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Frank Vincent's A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man

A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man.

These days, it’s harder than ever to know how to act like a real man. We’re not talking about the touchy-feely, ultra-sensitive, emotion-sharing, not-afraid-to-cry version of manhood that Oprah and Dr. Phil have been spouting for years. We’re talking about the though, smart, confident, charming, classy, all-around good fella that upholds the true ideal of what is known as “a man’s man.”

Now, renowned actor and true-life man’s man Frank Vincent, famed for his unforgettable tough-guy roles in such classic films as Raging Bull, Goodfellas and HBO’s The Sopranos, is going to show how any man can be all that he can be in love, work, play, and life. Everything you need to know is covered here, including, getting the best women by being the best man, dressing like a champ and taking on the world, winning big money and big respect in Las Vegas, selecting, smoking, and savoring a great cigar, and much more.

If you want to learn how to be a man’s man, you gotta learn from a man’s man. And with the great Frank Vincent vouching for you, you’ll be on your way to getting everything you ever wanted outta life.

A Guy's Guide to Being a Man's Man.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Making of the Mob: Chicago

The Making of the Mob: Chicago, is an eight-episode docu-drama chronicling the rise and fall of iconic gangster Al Capone, as well as the story of his successors, collectively known as “The Chicago Outfit.” Spanning the better part of a century, the series begins with Capone’s early days in New York and continues through his move to Chicago - to work with his childhood mentor in the underworld. When Prohibition hits, battles break out as the city’s gangs rush to set up bootlegging operations and Capone decides to go up against his rivals. As he consolidates power, he achieves legendary status for his ruthless tactics and over-the-top lifestyle that attracts the wrath of President Herbert Hoover.

Episode 1
Capone’s First Kill
Capone gets a taste of the underworld in Brooklyn with Johnny Torrio. Reuniting in Chicago, they start bootlegging and anger local Irish gangsters.

Episode 2
A Death in the Family
A new mayor forces Torrio and Capone outside Chicago to nearby Cicero. There, Capone's brother Frank fixes an election, placing himself in jeopardy.

Episode 3
Blood Filled Streets
A betrayal destroys peace in Chicago, and Torrio and Capone seek revenge against the Irish gangs. The "Beer Wars" make Capone Chicago's top gangster.

Episode 4
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Capone uses the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to assert his power over his enemies. President Hoover takes notice, and Eliot Ness takes on Capone.

Episode 5
Judgment Day
Al Capone outwits Eliot Ness, but Capone's criminal empire remains in jeopardy when the IRS plants an undercover agent in his gang.

Episode 6
New Blood
With Capone in jail, Frank Nitti, Paul Ricca and Tony Accardo take over. A Hollywood scandal presents Sam Giancana with a chance to prove himself.

Episode 7
Sin City
Tony Accardo sets his sights on Las Vegas, but when Sam Giancana incurs the wrath of young attorney Robert F. Kennedy, The Outfit is threatened.

Episode 8
Last Man Standing
Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana have a falling out, and the fate of the Outfit rests on the outcome. Tony Accardo cleans up loose ends before retiring.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Mafia in Gomorrah, Reminiscent of The Wire and The Sopranos

A pair of Mafia lieutenants, filling a jerry can at a Naples gas station, pass the time discussing the foibles of modern youth. “She put a picture of me and her mom on ‘book,’” the older one says. “Facebook,” his younger colleague tells him. “All the kids have it.” Gangsters — they’re just like us!

That’s the opening scene of “Gomorrah,” the highly popular Italian television series that makes its American debut on SundanceTV on Wednesday. Based on a 2007 nonfiction investigative work by Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System, that has also been adapted into a well-known film, the series arrives with a deserved reputation for unrelenting violence — the gas in that can is quickly put to use in a vivid and unpleasant way. But brutality isn’t the whole story. “Gomorrah” operates on two planes. It’s a grim, detailed, quotidian drama about the inner workings of organized crime (which has drawn comparisons to “The Wire”) and at the same time it’s a traditional Mafia saga, a clan melodrama centering on succession and the ups and downs of the family business (which has drawn comparisons to “The Sopranos” and “The Godfather”). Either of these by itself might not be very interesting, but the combination is handled so adroitly that the show sucks you in. It doesn’t have the emotional or stylistic highs of those predecessors, but it carries you along like one of the sleek Italian motorcycles preferred by its wealthier characters.

The 12-episode first season (a second has already been shown in Europe) centers on two members of a drug gang in the Naples suburbs who are like a foster-family version of Sonny and Michael Corleone. Gennaro (Salvatore Esposito) is a Sonny-like hothead, unfit to be in charge but eventually thrust into the role because he’s the only son of the boss. Ciro (Marco D’Amore, whose quiet charisma holds your attention) is a coldly efficient killer and canny strategist — he’s the Michael, but because he’s not in the family, he has to work with Gennaro, or appear to.

The relationship of these two up-and-comers, playing out amid a large cast of other familiar Mafia-drama types (the ruthless but declining boss, the calculating mother, the good soldier, the aggrieved wife), proceeds through an arc of increasingly operatic violence, as rival clans fight for turf and one massacre begets another. The story line is dark, and so is the screen. Under the guidance of the showrunner, Stefano Sollima, the show makes a fetish of low light and shadow. Its most characteristic scenes are not chases and shootouts but small groups of nervous or celebratory men meeting in the dark. They gather on street corners, in crowded discos and in abandoned buildings that serve as drug markets, their faces obscured or invisible. Even during the day, they’re in curtained rooms or prison cells.

The cinematography and lighting fit with the show’s overall sense of desolation, a depiction of the Neapolitan environment as rubble-filled, overgrown and derelict. (Scenes set in Milan offer a pointed comparison to the less prosperous south.) Much of the action is set in faceless, towering apartment blocks that recall the settings of Italian neorealist films, though touches of lyricism creep in, like a beach scene in which a pair of horse carts passing in the background feel like early Fellini.

Mr. Sollima and his colleagues are certainly aware of the many influences to be sorted through in making a modern gangster tale. At one point a young hood, describing the botched job that got him imprisoned, says that cops and helicopters arrived “just like an American movie.” In “Gomorrah,” they’ve achieved a satisfying international blend.

Thanks to Mike Hale.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chop Shop is Now Available on DvD & Digital HD

Chop Shop"Chop Shop" follows a group of car thieves in Los Angeles as they rise from the criminal underground to become big-time international players.

Stars: Ana Ayora, John Bregar, Luis Moncada

Friday, August 07, 2015

Return of The Untouchables

Chicago, 1930, time of the prohibition. And it is the great time for the organized crime, the so called Mafia. One of the big bosses is Al Capone. He is the best know but at least, he was only one in a dirty game of sex, crime and corruption. People are willing to pay any price to drink alcohol, and sometimes it is their life they have to pay with. Special agent Eliot Ness and his team are trying to defeat the alcohol Mafia, but in this job, you don't have any friends.

That is the plot summary for the classic TV hit, "Untouchables: The Complete Series". The show, which starred Robert Stack, out on DVD.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mobster and Las Vegas Casino Owner Moe Greene Actor from The Godfather, Alex Rocco, Has Died

Alex Rocco, the veteran tough-guy character actor with the gravelly voice best known for playing mobster and Las Vegas casino owner Moe Greene in The Godfather, has died. He was 79.

Rocco died Saturday, his daughter, Jennifer, announced on Facebook.

No other details of his death were immediately available. Rocco, who studied acting with the late Leonard Nimoy, a fellow Boston-area transplant, also was the voice of Roger Meyers Jr., the cigar-smoking chairman of the studio behind “Itchy and Scratchy” on The Simpsons, and he played Arthur Evans, the father of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, on the stylish Starz series Magic City.

Rocco starred as a white Detroit detective who is reluctantly paired with a black detective (Hari Rhodes) in Arthur Marks’ Detroit 9000 (1973) and voiced an ant in A Bug’s Life (1998). “That was my greatest prize ever in life, because I did about eight lines as an ant, and I think I made over a million dollars,” he said in a 2012 interview.

Rocco won an Emmy Award in 1990 for best supporting actor in a comedy for playing sneaky Hollywood talent agent Al Floss on the short-lived CBS series The Famous Teddy Z, starring Jon Cryer.

He also had regular roles on The Facts of Life (as Charlie Polniaczek, the father of Nancy McKeon’s character, Jo), The George Carlin Show, Three for the Road, Sibs and The Division.

In the 2012 interview, Rocco said that landing the role of Jewish mobster Moe in The Godfather (1972) was “without a doubt, my biggest ticket anywhere. I mean that literally.” “When I got the part, I went in to Francis Ford Coppola, and in those days, the word was, ‘Read [Mazio Puzo’s] book,’ which I already did, and then the actor would suggest to him which part they would like. Well, I went for … I dunno, one of the Italian parts. Maybe the Richard Bright part [Al Neri]. But Coppola goes, ‘I got my Jew!’ And I went, ‘Oh no, Mr. Coppola, I’m Italian. I wouldn’t know how to play a Jew.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, shut up.’ [Laughs.] He says, ‘The Italians do this,’ and he punches his fingers up. ‘And the Jews do this,’ and his hand’s extended, the palm flat. Greatest piece of direction I ever got. I’ve been playing Jews ever since."

"And people on the golf course will say, ‘Hey, Alex, would you call my dad and leave a line from The Godfather?’ I say, ‘OK. “I buy you out, you don’t buy me out!” “He was bangin’ cocktail waitresses two at a time …” “Don’t you know who I am?” ’ [Laughs.] But I enjoy doing it. It’s fun. I’ve been leaving Moe Greene messages for 40 years.”

Born Alexander Federico Petricone in Cambridge, Mass., Rocco came to L.A. in the early 1960s and made his movie debut in Motorpsycho! (1965), directed by Russ Meyer, and he was a henchman on Batman in 1967 in the episodes in which the Dynamic Duo meet up with the Green Hornet and Kato. Rocco worked frequently with Alan Arkin, being paired with him on such films as Freebie and the Bean (1974), Hearts of The West (1975), Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (1975) and Fire Sale (1977).

His film résumé also includes The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Joan Rivers’ Rabbit Test (1978), The Stunt Man (1980), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), The Pope Must Diet (1991), Get Shorty (1995), That Thing You Do! (1996), The Wedding Planner (2001), Smokin’ Aces (2006) and Find Me Guilty (2006). He recently showed up on Episodes and Maron, where he played another agent.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Crime Story - The Complete Series Special Edition on DVD

Set in 1963, Crime Story is the story of the Chicago Police Major Crime Unit headed by tough-as-nails Lieutenant Mike Torello (Dennis Farina, Get Shorty) and his obsessive pursuit of slick and ruthless gangster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison, The Closer), one of organized crime’s brightest young hoods. As Luca murders, steals, and extorts his way to the top from the mean streets of Chicago to the glitter of Las Vegas, Torello remains hot on his trail. From Michael Mann (Miami Vice, Heat) comes Crime Story, one of the most influential action dramas in television history.

Featuring a stellar supporting cast that includes Stephen Lang, Bill Campbell, Ted Levine, Darlanne Fluegel and Joseph Wiseman.

Guest stars include David Caruso, Julia Roberts, Gary Sinise, Kevin Spacey, Ving Rhames, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Madsen, Pam Grier, Steven Weber, Laura San Giacomo, Stanley Tucci, David Hyde Pierce, Andrew Dice Clay, Deborah Harry, and more. This special collection includes the two hour pilot and both seasons from the cult classic television series.

Episodes: Pilot, Final Transmission, Shadow Dancer, The Saint Louis Book of Blues, The War, Abrams for the Defense, Pursuit of a Wanted Felon, Old Friends Dead Ends, Justice Hits the Skids, For Love or Money, Crime Pays, Hide and Go Thief, Strange Bedfellows, Fatal Crossroads, Torello on Trial, Kingdom of Money, The Battle of Las Vegas, The Survivor, The Pinnacle, Top of the World, Ground Zero, The Senator the Movie Star and the Mob, Blast from the Past, Always a Blonde, Atomic Fallout, Shockwaves, Robbery Armed, Little Girl Lost, Love Hurts, MIG-21, Moulin Rouge, Seize the Time, Femme Fatale, Protected Witness, Last Rites, Pauli Taglia's Dream, Roadrunner, The Brothel Wars, Byline, The Hearings, Pursuit, Escape, Going Home


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