Tag Archives: mafia

BLACK MASS (2015) – My rating: 8.7/10

BlackMassBeing a big Johnny Depp fan, I didn’t want to see Black Mass.  I didn’t like the way he looked with the receding hairline and slicked back hairdo, nor did I want to see him as a villain.  Of course that’s ridiculous because Johnny Depp is an excellent actor who can play many different genres.  Black Mass is a long, long, way from Captain Jack Sparrow or Edward Scissorhands.  Not a hint of Johnny Depp’s brand of silliness is anywhere to be found in Black Mass.  This is not Depp’s first go round as a mobster type character (Public Enemies & Donnie Brasco) to name a couple.  Black Mass is a true story about James “Whitey” Bulger, (Johnny Depp) a small time gangster who reined on the South side of Boston in the 1970s .  Bulger controlled an Irish-American gang called the Winter Hill Gang along with his right hand man, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi (Rory Cochrane), Kevin Weeks (Jesse Piemons) and hitman, Johnny Martorano (W. Earl Brown).  Whitey has a brother, William “Billy” Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) who was a Boston senator and not tied to any type of crime.  A lot of this film surrounds the details of a relationship between Whitey and a FBI agent who was also a childhood friend named John Connolly (Joel Edgerton).  Connolly became corrupt as he grew closer and closer to Whitey and the gang.   The Angiulo Brothers, a powerful family with ties to the Mafia controlled the Northern side of Boston and killed one of the members of Whitey’s gang.  After some pressure from Connolly, Whitey became a FBI informant against the Angiulo Brothers.  The plot runs deep, the crime and violence runs deep and the corruption runs deep.  I found Black Mass to be quite entertaining and a solid story about organized crime.  The end is wrapped up nicely, the acting was superb, the story was real and I heard some talk about Oscar.  BTW, Kevin Bacon plays one of the FBI bosses at odds with Connolly.  I didn’t know he was in the film, so it was a surprise and a treat to see him perform.  This was one of the better movies of 2015.  Definitely worth seeing!

JERSEY BOYS (2014) – My rating: 8.5/10

JerseyBoysJersey Boys is the story of The Four Seasons.  4 kids from New Jersey who started out singing arcapella under the street light and grew into one of the biggest names in the music business today.  Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) are the members of this successful group.  Their story is directed by Clint Eastwood and ranges from the 1950s to the present.  While Jersey Boys opened to mixed feelings, I thought it was basically a very good movie.  The Jersey Boys’ story was well told and entertaining.  The music was fantastic and the cast was spot on.  Christopher Walken played Gyp De Carlo, who was a mafia figure, appeared to tremendously smooth the mafia connection.  The group went through many trails and tribulations including $150,000 owed to a loan shark for a gambling debt incurred by Tommy.  The group took responsibility for Tommy’s debt but also  bought him out.  The Four Seasons split up and Frankie went solo.   Frankie Valli’s and his wife Mary (Renée Marino), although divorced, ended up having the biggest tragedy when they lost their talented daughter, Francine (Grace Fitzgerald) to drugs.  Overall, I enjoyed the music and the story of Jersey Boys, now on DVD.