Categories
Film

When Vito Goes Back to Newark: A Review of Many Saints of Newark

By Maya (@oocsopranos)

Twenty-two years after The Sopranos premiered on HBO and became the underpinning of dramatic television as we know it, creator David Chase has picked us up in a burgundy 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, taken us through the Holland Tunnel, onto the New Jersey turnpike back to the DiMeo crime family. 

Many Saints of Newark takes place in the 1960s and was sold to the public as a Tony Soprano origin story, telling us how Tony became the Prozac-taking, duck-feeding fat fuck from New Jersey we all know and love. While the origin story sentiment rings true, the film utilizes at least 70% of its screen time teaching us about Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), uncle by marriage to Tony and father to Christopher. At first, It’s unclear why he is so important to Tony’s ultimate dive into organized crime. But David Chase doesn’t miss and in the second half of the movie, the handful of smaller subplots are woven together and you get the “OHHHHH!” moment, and the buildup is worth it. It’s like when your friend lays the groundwork for a juicy story by telling you four mini stories first. 

Many Saints of Newark was a perfect amalgamation of the dark, dramatic hour-long drama we were blessed with for the first time in 1999, and the bright, newness of modern television and film. The performances of the cast were phenomenal and uncanny. If you hadn’t seen Sopranos before you saw this, you’d probably think both versions of the characters were played by the same people.The younger versions of our fan favorites, Tony, Paulie, Silvio, Uncle Jun, Big Pussy fit seamlessly with the new characters we were introduced to. Michael Gandolfini put up a performance that would make his father proud, nailing all of Tony’s mannerisms. Their performances were phenomenal and uncanny.

Many Saints of Newark also tackles race relations in a way I was not at all expecting. The film perfectly captured the sociopolitical climate of 1960s Newark and makes these happenings a significant part of the plot. I admire Chase for depicting these times, and how his characters behaved in them, honestly and realistically. 

As a media snob and media purist, I am vehemently anti any new reiteration of a popular, beloved television show or movie whose heyday has since passed. Many Saints of Newark set sail on murky waters, as a modern-day prequel of what is one of the greatest television shows of all time. I gotta give it to em, it was fucking fantastic. I will be rewatching it again with my girls, a la the Sopranos women.

Categories
Food

GateCrashers: Happy Hour Presents Jersey Sunrise, A Sopranos Cocktail

“Those who want respect, give respect.”Tony Soprano

My father had just finished watching The Wire when a friend at work suggested The Sopranos. He was not very interested in shows about the Mafia, as he had grown up in South Philadelphia with actual Mobsters, and felt that their lifestyle did not need any glorification. Reluctantly, we put on the first episode and I distinctly remember being captivated by James Gandolfini. His presence was unrivaled, and we quickly flew through the first season. As I was only home every so often from college, and my father was not a patient man, my viewings of the show were sporadic. It feels unfair to not allow a true fan to examine their own relationship with the show, so I relinquish the next part to Dan.

I grew up with a parent who basically watched The Godfather more than anyone I know. Many people encouraged me to watch The Sopranos, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I picked it up. What appealed to me the most is that it never idolizes their lives. Instead, it portrays this really sad story of a family caught in this world at the tail end of this Mafia lifestyle. For every ounce of humanity you see in Tony Soprano, or any character, the show never once lets you forget that they are all monsters.

We encourage you to try an episode of The Sopranos, or even watch the upcoming film The Many Saints of Newark, but don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of a Jersey Sunrise. Not too much pulp though, some pulp is fine.

INGREDIENTS

Vodka

Orange Juice (Level of Pulp,Your Choice!)

Grenadine

Ice

MATERIALS

Ten ounce highball glass

Measured Shot Glass

Cocktail Shaker

Strainer

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour Ice into a Shaker and set aside.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 shots of Vodka into shaker.
  3. Pour 3 shots of Orange Juice into shaker.
  4. Stir all the ingredients in the shaker for 10 seconds.
  5. Strain ingredients into chilled highball glass.
  6. Pour 1/4 shot of Grenadine in center of drink.
  7. Let it settle.
  8. Enjoy!