The Many Saints of Newark

Dickie (far right) and family

The pre-publicity for The Many Saints of Newark made much – all, actually – of the fact that this was the origin story of Tony Soprano, fictional mob boss and kingpin of the TV show The Sopranos. Take a quick look at the IMDb page and there, at the very top, the blurb says – “Witness the making of Tony Soprano.” The casting of Michael Gandolfini, son of James (who played Tony Soprano in the TV series), reinforced the idea – here’s how Tony Soprano became Tony Soprano. But. But. But. Whatever The Many Saints of Newark is, what it certainly isn’t is a film about Tony Soprano. He’s at best peripheral to … Read more

One Night in Miami

Sam, Cassius, Malcom and Jim

  What did Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Malcolm X all talk about when they met to celebrate on the night of Ali’s victory over Sonny Liston in January 1964? It’s a fascinating  question that One Night in Miami asks. The answer, in reality, is nothing, since the meeting never took place. But Kemp Powers’s  play imagined that it did, and it didn’t do the box office any harm. Now Regina King’s silky and understated direction brings it to a wider audience. Ali wasn’t called Ali back then. He was still using his birth name, Cassius Clay, a fact that boomers will already know since Ali is part of their programming. … Read more