For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to watch gangster movies. There is just something about the mafia that is - while completely and utterly deplorable - really quite fascinating. It's not that they are the best at what they do, or the smartest, or even the toughest; it's that they know what they want and they just take it. And you’d better give it to them or you’ll wind up with both your legs broken. If you are lucky.
While most of us shirk from everyday confrontation, gangsters thrive on it. They are willing to risk a beatdown, knowing they have a dozen more to give, if it has a chance to get them what they want. There’s something really kind of wonderful about that. I mean horrible, and awful, and utterly foul, but kind of amazing too.
I’ll never get anywhere near guys like that. Nor would I want to. I’d piss my pants if I ever met a real gangster, but I do love watching them in the movies. I don’t keep up with the mob as much as I used to (and there’s not as much of the mob to keep up with) but I’ve known the name Whitey Bulger for awhile now. His is a truly captivating story. Here’s a guy who works his way up the ranks of the Irish Mob in Boston to become boss, did time in Alcatraz, lands himself on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, all the while working for the Feds as an informant. They give him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted, including extortion, drug trafficking, and murder as long as he fed them information on his rival gang.
It's so crazy, that story is, you wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t true. If you made up a movie like that, nobody would watch it because it's so far fetched, and yet it's real. It's true. And now it's a movie starring Johnny Depp.
I can’t wait to see it.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The 33: Tells the real life story of the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days. Stars Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Trumbo: By the books film about the blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo. Worth seeing for Bryan Cranston’s fantastic performance.
Steve Jobs: Danny Boyle, who I love, directs a script by Aaron Sorkin, whom I also love about Jobs, whose products I own a lot of, so why don’t I care anything about seeing this film?
Girls: The Complete Fourth Season: I want to like this show, but I’ve tried several times and can never get past the first few episodes of Season 1.
The Kid (Criterion Collection): Gorgeous-looking upgrade of Charles Chaplin’s classic.
Death By Hanging (Criterion Collection): Japanese film about a botched hanging in which the prison officials must try to make the prisoner regain consciousness, lift his amnesia, and then execute him again. Sounds fascinating.