Oh Yeah

#11
I thought tha Frank Vincent (Phillip Leotardo)'s joke about Jesus was pretty funny.
I loved the entire argument between Johnny Sack and Carmine Junior. The medallion was priceless.
"Just last week you said I was like a son to him"
"He was on his deathbed"
"I should have written it down".
I thought all that was pretty funny, even though it was just setting up there respective feud. And then Tony, "body's not even cold yet".

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Tony and crew trying to be a family

#12
Another thing I didn't notice, was Tony, Carmella, AJ, and Meadow, trying to act like a family around Blundetto. All the tension was great. Especially when AJ and Meadow left, and then Carm and Tony stood alone, neither having anything to say to the other.

It's almost like the writers gave there opinion on Blundetto's sudden appearance through Bobby Jr.
"How come we've never heard of you" Or something along those lines. Blundetto just sits there, and no one has an answer.


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fast

#14
Does anyone think the first two episodes are moving rather quickly? Not in a time sense of us watching it because that always goes fast! <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/smile.gif ALT=":)"> But rather that the episodes are moving really fast from scene to scene. I don't remember any of the other episodes from any of the other seasons moving this quickly.

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My two cents

#15
Just watched it... All in all it was a solid episode, but definitely a set up episode. The introduction of Tony B was a little strange, because we hadn't heard anything about this guy and now he's like a brother to Tony. I really liked all the stuff about his daughter and the parallels between him and Tony S. Meadow is probably the same age as Tony B's daughter and she is in university, it probably wouldn't be that way if Tony S had been in jail for 15 years. Tony B has a reason to be a little bitter towards Tony. On the other hand, Tony S is a little jealous to him, because he has the opportunity to leave the mob-life for good.

Junior had too little screentime again, but he was great. His "crack the whip" -speech was really emotional, and the way they cut that scene to Carmine's funeral was superb. I smell an Emmy for Dominic Chianese this year, I really wish that Junior had more screentime this year.

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Heightened Expectations

#16
Wow... haven't seen a group of fans with such high expectations of a piece of popular culture since the Phantom Menace.

Jack Masserone's corpse hasn't even cooled and people are ripping apart the show, the writer, Buscemi's character. Personally, I think this was a great episode for all the right reasons. We had confrontation between Tony and Carmela, introduction of what could be a very cool character in Tony B, a lot of exposition that in my opinion was handled very efficiently and moved swiftly without getting boring, and two deaths of supporting characters, one a pivotal plot point for the season (Carmine), the other a completely unexpected development (Masserone). The show surprised me once again, and that's why I love it.

I think that sometimes as fans, especially as fans who've been bathing in spoilers for months and months, we expect too much. Try to watch the show from the point of view of someone who doesn't know what's going to happen. I always watch the show with a group of friends, none of whom look at these message boards, and it's always refreshing to see just how surprised, entertained and captivated they become with each development.

You cringe because you see an unfamiliar writer's name in the opening credits? IMHO, that sounds rather jaded. What, are only a select handful of writers able to write for this show? I also pay attention to who writes what, being a writer myself, but when I see a name I don't know working on a show of this caliber, it excites me. Here's someone who could have some new ideas and take the show in a fresh direction.

I understand being a huge fan and the weird love/hate relationship you build with any new developments on a show like this... but we've got 11 episodes left. Just let them happen and enjoy it while it's here.

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Re: Heightened Expectations

#17
Moth, it seems like at least part of your pep talk is aimed at me, specifically at telling me how I should react to the show. So let me correct some misimpressions on your part.

(1) I am not "ripping apart the show", by which I'm talking about the series as a whole. I am not one of these Sopranos "declinists" who equate the quality of an episode with the amount of bloodshed during the hour or the number of topless dancers given chest closeups. Quite the opposite, in fact. I simply found this episode to be well below the quality, structurally and on the script-writing level, of last week's outstanding episode, which I felt was absolutely the best season opener since the pilot and which understandably had me anxiously awaiting ep 2.

(2) And about my expectations. Of course they are high. I regard the Sopranos as the greatest television series of all time and easily one of the greatest artistic accomplishments ever on film. There have only been about 5 episodes in the 4 plus seasons that disappointed me, and this is one of them. That averages to one per season, so hopefully this is the weak episode of season 5, out of the way early.

(3) I haven't been "bathing in spoilers". As a matter of fact, I've gone to great lengths to avoid them because I WANT to see everything with no preconceptions and as a matter of absolute first impression.

(4) I wasn?t at all ?cringing? when the opening credits rolled (and I know you were directing those remarks primarily to another poster). I was quite willing to give this new writer a chance to prove himself, but he simply impressed me in all the wrong ways. Examples:

-- Maserone remarks, out of the blue, that he only wishes his mother could have lived to see him make his speech. Tony's perfunctory response then elicits a complete 180 from Maserone in both word and demeanor, to the effect that he knows where she is and that "it's pretty f---ing hot".

This was simply an unnatural and idiotically rapid progression from one idea to a totally contradictory idea. If the scene was just insignificant small talk, then it was blatantly bad writing.

OTOH, if it's purpose was to show Maserone trying to forge some kind of personal rapport out of shared experiences with Tony to gain greater trust, I could think of about 10 better ways in 10 minutes to have had Maserone do the same thing, ways that would have been much less clunky and awkward and that would have at least afforded Maserone a modicum of outward credibility.

Contrast this with the similar scene from season 4 where Tony tries to elicit from Ralph whether his mother ever abused him, given a segue from Ralph's offhand quote of an aphorism he learned from his mom. Night and day in terms of the realism and credibility of the exchange and from how one thought or remark led seamlessly to the next.

I suppose you could argue that the Maserone exchange was intentionally awkward and that we are to take from that that Maserone was nervous and uncomfortable and Tony too insensitive to pick up on it. But I contend there's no need for the point of the dialog to be THAT unclear. The writer has to help the audience a little . . . not spoon feed but at least provide a fork and knife so we can do our own cutting and chewing.

-- the whole Citizen Kane sequence was a snoozer. Yes, I know the women were really bored by the movie (and I couldn't blame them, there) and it was only Carm's charming artsy pretension that got them all there in the first place. But in the hands of Terrence Winter or Robin Green/Mitch Burgess or some of the other fine freelance writers the show has used through the years (e.g., Lawrence Konner) or Chase himself, I suspect that scene would have really been hilarious. Instead we get the forced, sitcom level joke from Janice that Bobby hadn't found her "rosebud" after six months marriage.

-- the second, aborted movie night was even worse, with such exchanges as ?I guess you guys are all just really important to me?, which prompts an equally eye-rolling lump of saccharine from Silvio?s wife, ?you?d do the same for us Carm? and Janice?s ?we love you so much?. The problem with these exchanges is that they were apparently intended to be taken seriously, yet the emotional setup was so poor that the actors were clearly unable to really sell it.

-- the worst moment last night IMO was when the female FBI agent suddenly decided to indulge Ade?s need for a little bonding and related her marital woes and later her reason for becoming an agent.

Again, what was the intent of the story about the paraplegic sister? It?s just impossible to tell. On it?s face, it was an earnest tale of tragedy that ostensibly explains why this agent would pursue an FBI career. But on closer examination, a guy stealing a TV, buying guns, and splitting a coconut with one of them, resulting in an accidental discharge that left a girl a paraplegic, is hardly top ten most wanted behavior and actually makes the agent?s stated motives sound comical. Yet she?s apparently quite serious.

So was she serious and was this personal tale really supposed to inspire understanding of her motives as an agent? Was she making it up and floundering with a half-assed justification? Was she serious about the FBI being the clearest place you could separate good guys from bad, because she sure sounded serious? Was that the whole point of the scene . . . to leave the viewer totally confused as to her honesty, even with herself, thus ?unable? to tell the good guys from the bad guys?

I just don?t think [leaving the viewer confused] was the point, which again is the fault of the writer. I don?t regard myself as requiring hand-holding to understand subtext or subtlety, so if I don?t get it even after several viewings, I feel it?s a failure by the one communicating, not the one listening.

In short, I just don?t feel this writer provided much of anything memorable to the episode, other than a couple of decent one-liners (?the apostle protection program?). I liked Tony?s speech at Vesuvio, but probably more for Gandolfini?s outstanding acting than anything in the script itself. And I also don?t think Tony B was given the kind of striking introduction that he would seem to rate based on what Chase described the character to be. And I don?t AT ALL mean something relating to striking physical action. I was looking for a real glimpse inside the guy that would crystallize at the outset the marked difference from the Tony crew that this character is supposed to represent.

I also was not pleased with the shotgun-style -- lots-of-short-scenes -- approach of the episode, although editing probably had a small influence on that.

So I hope that you better appreciate the reasons for my criticisms. I don?t expect you or anyone else to necessarily agree with them. But on the other hand, I don?t really need to be told (somewhat sarcastically) how to watch the show or that my expectations are too high.


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Editing

#18
The editing of this episode was cut to "tight". Delete
dialogue and allow only soundtrack and this piece of
film passes for a music video. As others have mentioned,
this one was a throw away. Sacrificied at the alter of Plot
Development.
In no way am I an expert in film or film making. However,
Would flashback scenes have not worked nicely to introduce
Feech, Tony B. to the viewer?
If a bear had been seen in my backyard twice. I would bet
dollars to doughnuts that no member of my family would be
out there in the evening( smoking) till the bear was caught.
( Ro and Aid ).


Regards,
Art

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Re:Ratpack

#19
I'm very ambivalent concerning this episode of the Sopranos. The writing was uneven and the pacing was to slow. I did thoroughly enjoy the background information concerning Tony Blundetto and a crime that Tony could have gone to jail for. I know that this episode was just to move the story forward but I am disappointed that it could not have been done in a way more befitting of a Soprano's episode. evil

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub132.ezboard.com/bsopranolandforum.showUserPublicProfile?gid=twogunsgiancarlo>TWO GUNS GIANCARLO</A>
Image
at: 3/15/04 6:10 pm

FOMW says it best

#20
I'm glad Fly said it because I couldn't quite put words with it but she said that the episode was "shotgun style" and I completely agree.

I love the Sopranos so I'm dreadfully reluctant to say that the episode was disappointing so I won't, but the episode seemed to move really fast from scene to scene.

One thing I will say that is getting sort of on my nerves is the women in the show. Here they all are, Carmella, Janice, Gabby, Rose, Ade, and they are all there and none of them seemingly are on to Carmella about getting rid of Tony. Even Rose tells Ade about the whole "Apostle Protection Program" and how they wouldn't want Sal's former wife their because Sal flipped, but what would they say if Carmella all of a sudden started dating a guy not connecting and divorced herself even further and further away from Tony?

To me it just doesn't make sense. I know that Chase said in his commentary on "WHITECAPS" that there really was a mob wife who wanted a divorce but the mafioso wouldn't give it to her, but this is totally different.

The blaring contradiction is that Tony was absolutely right when he said, "Carmella, who did you think I was when you married me?"

I just can't get over it because Carmella did know which is something else Chase said in his "WHITECAPS" commentary.

Carmella and Tony are old-school and I think Carmella knew exactly what she was doing. She made her bed and now she should have to lie in it. Plain and simple.

I'm rooting for Carm and Tony to get back together, but the irony just seemed to miss Carmella when at the end of "WHITECAPS" she called tony a fucking hypocrite yet that is what she's being in wanting to get rid of Tony.

Who knows? Back to the point though. I just don't understand the relationships of the other mob wives and Carmella. Carmella is an outsider to some degree now wanting "OUT" so why would they see her as still an equal?

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