Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Sopranos Season 5 (2004)

Name that sweet necro ass!

Genre: Gangster Crime Drama

Starring: James Gandolfini (True Romance; 8MM), Lorraine Bracco (The Basketball Diaries; Even Cowgirls Get The Blues), so many others...

Directed By: Timothy Van Patten ("The Wire"; "Sex And The City"), Allan Coulter ("Sex And The City"; "Millenium"), so many others...

Overview: This HBO hit series tells the tale of a New Jersey Mob Boss in his work, his life and his underworld doings. 5 years going, and still going strong.

Acting: The acting in this is more than exquisite. Gandolfini is one of our favorite characters. As a boss he's terrific. As a father and husband, he's believable. As a man torn up in therapy, he's human. The characters, from Christopher and all that crew to the sensuous Doctor, from the Gardener to the restaurant owner, even to his wife who only has two-lines, everyone plays such a part as to be memorable. If you haven't watched this, I'm surprised. Honestly, what are you waiting for? I know it's a commitment, but it's a worthy one.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The images too are simple yet bleak. That overwhelming undeveloped bland look of a turnpike and a reservoir with some nice houses strewn about. Tony and his criminal counterparts drive around in Maseratis, Hum Vees and Escalades, while around them the world they sow and reap remains dark and molested. The look of this show is impressive. The ultra-common seems to make it less about the mood and more about the reality that all this could be taking place. And man, what a house.
Rating: 8

Script: The dialogue is consistently funny, poignant, important and ridiculous while always telling and serious. HBO has always had amazing writers, and they don't stop here.
Rating: 8

Plot: The fifth season, and it's still good? It's better than good. I actually prefer it to the last one. They're doing such an amazing job. HBO also seems to know when to stop a good thing. They never seek to jump the shark... Except for Adabissi in Oz. Why?! why?! But enough of "Oz", we're talking about Sopranos. Great beginning, great middle, terrific last 3 episodes, OH MY GOD SO GOOD! The Meadow plot though, einh, they seemed to have left her out of this one. She'll be back with a vengeance though, I can feel it.
Rating: 8

Mood: Crime pays, or does it? Always the conflict between the two. Life in organized crime is dangerous and exciting. It's like nothing else in the world, it's dramatic and exacerbating. Mood goes a long way in my books, and this is rife with high quality soundtracks et al. Can't go wrong here.
Rating: 8

"You wanna run him over again!?" "...kinda..." "Yeah me too..."

Overall Rating: 82% (Marone, That's Effin' Good!)

Aftertaste: I am so impressed with this show in general. Season one was quaint and almost a comedy. Season two and three seemed to follow a tale of character creation and mood building. Four even more of the same with more heavy drama. You'd almost think that they were out of ideas with season five. Well Hell, let me tell you that this is full of surprises and high-art. This show makes me realize what television is all about, and thank God for the DVD Season explosion. I can watch all this stuff as my leisure, commercial free. What I liked best about this is that every episode is it's own and you're not waiting for what happens in the end like you may be with other HBO presentations like "Oz" or especially "Carnivale". Amazing stuff, really immersive. Seriously.