Richard joins NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about to talk about the much anticipated “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark,” the latest adventures of the Gomez, Morticia and Company in the animated “The Addams Family 2” and the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “The Guilty.”
“The Many Saints of Newark,” the sprawling big-screen prequel to the iconic television series “The Sopranos,” feels more like a pilot for a new show than the origin story of one of television’s most famous families.
Broken into three parts, “The Many Saints of Newark,” uses narration, courtesy of Tony Soprano’s late associate Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), to break down the movie’s interconnected story shards.
Firstly, there is Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), Soprano Family soldier, father of Christopher, cousin to Carmela Soprano, uncle to Tony. He’s hooked up, wily and impulsive but also treacherous. When his father, the slick sociopath ‘Hollywood Dick’ (Ray Liotta), returns from Italy with a new bride (Michela De Rossi), it triggers chaos in the Moltisanti family.
In Dickie’s orbit is Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.), an African-American numbers runner for the Mob, galvanized by the 1967 Newark race riots to go out on his own and, finally, Tony Soprano, played by William Ludwig as a youngster, Michael Gandolfini, the late James Gandolfini’s son, as a teenager. As Dickie’s thirst for power spins out of control, he becomes a surrogate father to Tony, hoping to pass along something good to the impressionable younger man as a way to atone for his sins.
“The Many Saints of Newark” is vivid in its portrayal of the period. Covering roughly four years, from 1967 to 1971, it uses the turmoil of that time in American life as a backdrop for the explosive nature of Dickie’s world. That atmosphere of uncertainty makes up for a story that, despite some glorious moments, often feels rushed as it careens toward an ending that doesn’t mine the rich psychological landscape of these characters, which is what we expect from David Chase and “The Sopranos.”
The actors are game.
Nivola brings equal parts charisma, danger and depth to a flawed character who is the ringmaster to the action. Unlike many of the other characters, like the conniving Junior Soprano (Corey Stoll), henchman Paulie Walnuts (Blly Magnussen) or consigliere Silvio Dante (John Magaro), who come with eighty-six episodes of baggage, Dickie is new and can be viewed through fresh eyes.
Michael Gandolfini takes on the Herculean task of revisiting a character his father made one of the most famous in television history and brings it home by showcasing the character’s volatility and, more importantly, his vulnerability. He’s a troubled kid, on the edge of turning one way or the other, and even though we know how the story goes, Gandolfini’s performance suggests there is more to know about Tony Soprano.
If there is a complaint, it’s that both Tony and McBrayer, two of the main cogs that keep this engine running, get lost in “The Many Saints of Newark’s” elaborate plotting. Ditto for the female characters. Despite tremendous work from Vera Farmiga as Tony’s poisonous mother Livia and De Rossi as Dickie’s step-mom, the women often feel peripheral to the tale, in service only to the men’s stories.
“The Many Saints of Newark” brings with it high expectations but falls short of coming close to the greatness of its source material. “The Sopranos” broke new ground, changing the way gangster stories (and all sorts of other stories) were told on television. “The Many Saints of Newark” settles for less as an exercise in nostalgia.
Richard joins Ryan Doyle and guest host Tamara Cherry of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show to talk about Squirt soda and the origin of the tequila-based cocktail the Paloma, and some movies to watch on the weekend, including “Black Widow” and “No Sudden Move.”
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Marvel family drama “Black Widow” (on Disney+ with premium access), the all-star Crave film “No Sudden Move” and the Netflix slasher flick “Fear Street Part 2: 1978.”
“No Sudden Move,” a new Steven Soderbergh film starring Don Cheadle and Benicio del Toro and now playing on Crave, is a film noir that gets lost in its knotty plot, but is kept on track by a top-notch cast.
Set in 1954 Detroit, the action begins with Jones, a shady character played by Brendan Fraser, recruiting three low level criminals, Curt (Cheadle), Ronald (del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin), for a job that pays too much to be as easy as he says it will be. They all agree, just so long as someone named Frank (Ray Liotta) won’t be involved.
Their job is to invade General Motors accountant Matt Wertz’s (David Harbour) home, keep his family quiet for an hour while he retrieves a document from his boss’s safe.
Sounds simple, but this is Detroit in 1954. Industrial espionage between the Big Three car companies is a dangerous game, and, of course, Frank is involved. “Everybody has a problem with Frank these days.”
As things spin out of control, greed kicks in and the fast cash the small-time criminals hoped to make causes big time problems.
Soderbergh immerses his characters and the viewer in a world that where secrets propel the action. No one is who they seem and motives are even murkier. It makes for a twisty-turny story that is part crime story, part social history of the spark that ignited the slow decline of Detroit.
To add to the disorientation, Soderbergh shoots the action through a fish eye lens that blurs the edges of the screen, mimicking the script’s moral fog.
“No Sudden Move” almost bites off more than it can chew. It’s occasionally clunky, with too many double-crosses and characters vying for screen time, but the star-studded cast cuts through the script’s noise with ease. The result is a caper that flier by, buoyed by surprises (including a big-name uncredited cameo), snappy dialogue and a great debt to Elmore Leonard.