REVIEW: MONEYBALL

Starring

Brad Pitt (Ad Astra)
Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (God’s Pocket)
Robin Wright (Wonder Woman)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Reed Diamond (Bones)
Brent Jennings (Witness)
Tammy Blanchard (Tallulah)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Vyto Ruginis (The Insider)
Nick Searcy (Gone)
Glenn Morshower (Transformers)

Jonah Hill in Moneyball (2011)Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane is hurt by his team’s loss to the New York Yankees in the 2001 American League Division Series. With the impending departure of star players Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Jason Isringhausen to free agency, Beane needs to assemble a competitive team for 2002 with Oakland’s limited budget.Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball (2011)During a scouting visit to the Cleveland Indians, Beane meets Peter Brand, a young Yale economics graduate with radical ideas about how to assess player value. Beane tests Brand’s theory by asking whether he would have drafted Beane out of high school; though scouts considered Beane hugely promising, his career in the major leagues was disappointing. Brand admits that, based on his method of assessing player value, he would not have drafted him until the ninth round. Impressed, Beane hires Brand as his assistant GM.Brad Pitt in Moneyball (2011)Rather than relying on scouts’ experience and intuition, Brand uses sabermetrics, selecting players based on their on-base percentage (OBP) while ignoring their perceived weaknesses. Brand and Beane use this methodology to hire undervalued players such as unorthodox submarine pitcher Chad Bradford, aging outfielder David Justice, and injured catcher Scott Hatteberg. Oakland scouts are hostile toward the strategy, and Beane fires head scout Grady Fuson after he accuses Beane of destroying the team. Beane also faces opposition from Art Howe, the Athletics’ manager. With tensions already high between them due to a contract dispute, Howe disregards Beane’s and Brand’s strategy and plays a more traditional lineup that he prefers.Brad Pitt in Moneyball (2011)Early in the season, the Athletics are already 10 games behind first, leading critics to dismiss the new method as a failure. Brand argues their sample size is too small to conclude the method does not work, and Beane convinces team owner Stephen Schott to stay the course. He trades away the lone traditional first baseman, Carlos Peña, to force Howe to use Hatteberg, making similar deals so Howe has no choice but to play the team Beane and Brand have designed. Three weeks later, the Athletics are only 4 games behind first.Brad Pitt and Kerris Dorsey in Moneyball (2011)Two months later, the team starts an amazing winning streak. Beane famously does not watch games, but when they tie the American League record of 19 consecutive wins, his daughter persuades him to attend the next game, against the Kansas City Royals. Oakland is leading 11–0 when Beane arrives in the fourth inning, only to watch the Royals even the score. Thanks to a walk-off home run by Hatteberg, the Athletics achieve a record-breaking 20th consecutive win. Beane tells Brand he will not be satisfied until they have “changed the game” by winning the World Series using their system.Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball (2011)The Athletics eventually clinch the 2002 American League West title, but lose to the Minnesota Twins in the 2002 American League Division Series. Beane is contacted by the owner of the Boston Red Sox, who realizes that sabermetrics is the future of baseball. Beane declines an offer to become the Red Sox general manager, despite the $12.5 million salary, which would have made him the highest-paid general manager in history. He returns to Oakland, and two years later the Red Sox win the 2004 World Series using the model the Athletics pioneered.Brad Pitt in Moneyball (2011)Overall, Moneyball is your typical crowd pleaser, but it is incredibly high quality. It is so well directed, so superbly acted, and Sorkin and Zaillian’s script is practically flawless. Personally this isn’t the film I will go crazy about. Rather, it is a film that I will enjoy so sincerely and with all my heart. I really did love this film and my respect for it is eternal. It may be typical and straightforward in its overall themes, but the quality of the film outshines this. Moneyball is just an excellent film.

REVIEW: ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

Starring

Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Michelle Williams (Venom)
Christopher Plummer (Knives Out)
Romain Duris (Black Tide)
Timothy Hutton (The Ghost)
Charlie Plummer (King Jack)
Andrew Buchan (The GReat Fire)
Kevin Spacey (Baby Driver)
Clive Wood (In The Dark)

Michelle Williams in All the Money in the World (2017)In 1973, 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) (AKA Paul), grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) who was at that time the world’s richest private citizen, is kidnapped in Rome by an organized crime ring. The kidnappers demand a ransom of $17 million. Flashbacks show that Paul’s parents, Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) and John Paul Getty Jr. (Andrew Buchan), were divorced in 1971 due to Getty Jr.’s drug addiction and that Gail rejected any alimony in exchange for full custody of her children in the divorce settlement; therefore she does not have the means to pay the ransom. She travels to Getty’s estate to beseech him to pay the ransom but he refuses, stating that it would encourage further kidnappings on his family members. The media picks up on the story, with many believing Gail to be rich herself and blaming her for the refusal to pay the ransom. Meanwhile, Getty asks Fletcher Chace (Mark Wahlberg), a Getty Oil negotiator and former CIA operative, to investigate the case and secure Paul’s release.Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World (2017)Paul is kept hostage in a remote location in Italy. Initially his captors, particularly Cinquanta (Romain Duris), are tolerant with him because his quiet and submissive demeanor causes them few problems. However, things grow increasingly tense as weeks go by without the ransom being paid, far longer than the captors anticipated. Arguments arise over whether to move Paul to a new location as winter is approaching and their hideout is not suitable for cold conditions. Things get worse when one of the kidnappers accidentally shows his face to Paul, prompting one of the others to kill the man for his foolish mistake. His burned and disfigured body is recovered in the river; investigators erroneously identify the body as Paul’s, but Gail examines the body and refutes this.Mark Wahlberg in All the Money in the World (2017)Using the new lead of the body, Chace is able to pinpoint the hideout where Paul is being held. A raid is conducted with several kidnappers being killed, but Paul is no longer there; he had been sold on to a new crime organization. The new captors are much less patient with Paul and negotiate more aggressively with the Getty family to receive their payment. The kidnappers cut off one of Paul’s ears and mail it to a major newspaper, claiming that they will continue mutilating him until the ransom is paid.Mark Wahlberg and Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World (2017)After repeated negotiations with Gail and Chace, and frustration from the captors at how long the process was taking, they lower the asking price to $4 million. Getty finally decides to contribute to the ransom, but only $1 million – this being the maximum amount that he can claim as tax deductible. Moreover, he also will only do so if Gail signs a legal document waiving her parental access rights to Paul and her other children, giving them to Getty’s son, her ex-husband. She reluctantly signs them. Berated by an exasperated Chace, Getty finally relents and agrees to pay the full ransom, also voiding the parental agreement with Gail. Gail and Chace take the money to Italy and follow specific instructions from the captors, leaving the money in a remote location and receiving orders to pick up Paul from a construction site. Based on Cinquanta’s advice, Paul runs away from the site towards the nearest town, miles away. Meanwhile the captors realize that Chace has broken his word and led the police to them; angry, they decide to find and kill Paul. Chace, Gail, and the captors arrive at the town to look for Paul. One of the kidnappers finds Paul first, but Cinquanta attacks the man (from behind so Cinquanta can’t be identified) in order to allow Paul to escape. With Paul wrapped tightly in Gail’s arms, they escape the scene, and quickly smuggle Paul out of the country to safety.Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams in All the Money in the World (2017)When Getty dies in 1976, Gail is tasked with managing her children’s inherited wealth until they are of age. The company was set up as a charitable trust, which meant that Getty’s income was tax-free but also not spendable. He had invested much of it in paintings, sculptures and other artifacts, most of them now reside in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.Ultimately, All the Money in the World is a fascinating tale of greed, frugality, power, and the differences in people’s approach in high stress situations. From great performances to an impressive and important feat from Scott’s last minute direction, I quite appreciated All the Money in the World.

REVIEW: DICKINSON – SEASON 1

Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson (2019)

Starring

Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee)
Toby Huss (Halloween 2018)
Jane Krakowski (Pixels)
Adrian Enscoe (Seeds)
Anna Baryshnikov (Manchester By The Sea)
Ella Hunt (Anna and The Apocalypse)

Recurring / Notable Guest Stars

Darlene Hunt (The Big C)
Matt Lauria (Shaft)
Wiz Khalifa (Gangs of Roses 2)
John Mulaney (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Sophie Zucker (Late Night)
Samuel Farnsworth (Signing Time!)
Amanda Warren (The Purge TV)
Gus Halper (Cold Pursuit)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Jason Mantzoukas (The Good Place)

Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson (2019)This is such bullshit. That’s how 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld) feels – as Apple TV+ series Dickinson would have it – about being asked to fetch water at four in the morning. Never mind that the expletive wasn’t invented until nearly a century later. And never mind that “pretty psyched”, “nailed it” and “yo” weren’t exactly kicking around then, either. Dickinson is a peculiar, messy, anachronistic delight.Hailee Steinfeld in Dickinson (2019)Some reviews have taken issue with Alena Smith’s comedy series, one of the first batch of original shows from the newly launched Apple TV+, for its strangely contemporary language. But it makes a kind of sense, given that its hero was out of step with the order of the day. The real-life Massachusetts poet had her ambitions scuppered by a father (played here by Toby Huss) who did “not approve of a woman seeking to build herself a literary reputation”. In that respect, Steinfeld is perfectly cast. She has a face – and a set of elastic expressions – that feels both well-suited to a period piece (as first displayed in her Oscar-nominated role in True Grit in 2010), and resolutely out of place in it. Just as Emily Dickinson was. Steinfeld crackles with charm and impropriety.dickinson-hailee-steinfeld-orchard-600x311When we meet Emily, her mother (30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski, sweetly cruel as ever) is unsuccessfully attempting to marry her off to any man available. Emily is is as uninterested as her mother is desperate, partly because she wants to become a great writer, and “a husband would put a stop to that”, and partly because she’s in love with her best friend Sue (Ella Hunt), who is engaged to her brother Austin (Adrian Enscoe) but who steals clandestine kisses with Emily in the rain.s-l300That part actually is historically accurate. Or at least, based in truth – the real-life Dickinson would write long, unmistakably romantic love letters to Susan: “Susie, will you indeed come home next Saturday, and be my own again, and kiss me as you used to?” The solemn, elegant 2016 film A Quiet Passion, in which Cynthia Nixon played a far more timid version of Dickinson than Steinfeld portrays, omitted this relationship. Another recent adaptation (Dickinson’s having a comeback, it seems), 2018’s Wild Nights With Emily, made it its focus. It’s to Dickinson’s credit that it neither shies away from, nor ogles at, the affair between the two.1_o4tiFPgmX8XOsD7Wk_pliwBut there is another great love in Emily’s life – death. This is where things gets really weird. Making very literal the immortalised line, “Because I could not stop for death/ He kindly stopped for me”, Emily is visited at night, to the strains of Billie Eilish’s “Bury A Friend” no less, by a carriage containing the human embodiment of death. And who better to play the part than a gold-toothed, top-hatted Wiz Khalifa? Surprisingly, the rapper and Steinfeld shares a wry, roiling chemistry. “You’ll be the only Dickinson they’ll talk about in 200 years,” he tells her. I don’t think they’ll be talking about this Dickinson in 200 years. But it’s very fun nonetheless.

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: SKINWALKERS

CAST

Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force)
Britani Bateman (Forever Strong)
Steve Berg (Unicorn City)
Kyle Davis (Dexter)
Jon Gries (Men In Black)
Michael Horse (Roswell)

Image result for SKINWALKER RANCH FILM

The directorial debut of actor Devin McGinn (“Crash Course with Shaun White”), our latest offering is yet another found footage film. Skinwalkers utilizes events of historical record as a launching pad for it’s story. The property does exist (named after the Native American shape-shifter legend), on a large parcel of land in Utah known throughout the years for various paranormal events. Livestock mutilations, crop circles, unexplainable lights, the list goes on for all that has been reported in this region. The film for the most part pulls off a decent movie.

A lion’s share of the credit for this minor miracle rests upon veteran character actor Jon Gries, who portrays owner of the titular homestead Hoyt Miller. Gries is what I refer to as a “that one guy” actor, who you know you’ve seen hundreds of times but cannot place. Gries has one of his largest parts to date here as a desperate father who allows investigators into his house following the disappearance of his ten year-old son Cody. It’s an effective moment to begin with (following the perfunctory title card blah-blah, of course), the boy vanishing as his mother films him playing on his birthday.

That’s all we see of Hoyt’s wife, as she is written off to the loony bin when the film picks up months after the incident. The individuals who make up the research team are eggheads and technicians (not one psychic in the bunch, thankfully), sent from the corporation Modern Defense Enterprises (MDE). Along the way, they stop in a nearby town to speak with citizens who know of the Millers. McGinn also appears in front of the camera as newcomer to the party Cameron, a journalist brought in as an objective set of eyes. He is introduced to the rest of the crew by team leader Sam (Steve Berg) once he arrives on site. The film wastes not in getting to the supernatural shenanigans. A deafening feedback squeal awakens them the first night, and they find the roof covered with dead bats as a result. Medicine man Ahote (Michael Horse of “Twin Peaks”) is brought in to bless the property, which culminates in his minor freak-out and hasty exit, warning them to do the same.

So much is thrown at the audience after Ahote’s episode, it would be understandable for one to become overwhelmed. From the appearance of Cody’s ghost (astral projection, mass hallucination, what have you) in the kitchen each night to an enormous wolf creature that receives much more screen time in the latter half than you’d expect, McGinn and screenwriter Adam Ohler bombard with disparate elements. Nothing is brought together in any true cohesive fashion, and you have to admire the consistency of leaving every single end loose. Even the closing moments add yet another unrelated dimension to the piece, as if the boys just couldn’t help themselves before rolling credits.

The Main reason to buy this is for Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Time Force) who provides and excellent performance.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE POSSESSION

Starring

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead)
Kyra Sedgwick (Man On A Ledge)
Madison Davenport (Sharp Objects)
Natasha Calis (Daydream Nation)
Grant Show (Born To Race)
Matisyahu (A Buddy Story)
Jay Brazeau (Bates Motel)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)
Ned Bellamy (Terminator: TSCC)

A newly separated couple Clyde Brenek (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) live in different homes. After Clyde picks up their two children, Emily “Em” (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport), for the weekend, they stop at a yard sale where Em becomes intrigued by an old wooden box that has Hebrew letters engraved on it. Clyde buys the box for Em, and they later find that there seems no way to open it. That night, Em hears whispering coming from the box. She is able to open it, and finds a tooth, a dead moth, a wooden figurine, and a ring, which she begins to wear. Em becomes solitary, and her behavior becomes increasingly sinister; she stabs her father in the hand with a fork during breakfast. That night, the house, especially Em’s bedroom, becomes infested with moths.Kyra Sedgwick and Madison Davenport in The Possession (2012)At school, Em violently attacks a classmate when he takes her box, resulting in a meeting with Clyde, Stephanie, the principal and the teacher. Em’s teacher recommends that she spend time away from the box, so it is left in the classroom. That night, curious about the mysterious noises from the box, the teacher tries to open it, but a malevolent force, the dybbuk, murders her by violently throwing her out a window. Em tells Clyde about an invisible hag who lives in her box who says that Em is “special”. Alarmed by her behavior, Clyde attempts to dispose of the box. During their next weekend at Clyde’s, Emily gets progressively more upset with the disappearance of the box. She begins yelling at Clyde in the hall with Hannah watching in the back. The dybbuk seems to slap Em across the face. She begins yelling, asking why she’s hitting her, from Hannah’s perspective it looks like her father actually does. Em flees the house, recovers the box and the dybbuk begins conversing with her in a strange language.Natasha Calis in The Possession (2012)Clyde takes the box to a university professor who tells him that it is a dybbuk box that dates back to the 1920s; it was used to contain a dybbuk, a dislocated spirit as powerful as a devil. Clyde enters Em’s room and reads Psalm 91; a dark but invisible force throws the Tanakh across the room. Clyde then travels to a Hasidic community in Brooklyn and learns from a Jewish priest named Tzadok (Matisyahu) that the possession has three main stages; in the third stage, the dybbuk latches onto its human host, becoming one entity with it. The only way to defeat the dybbuk is to lock it back inside the box via a forced ritual. Upon further examination on the box, Tzadok learns that the dybbuk’s name is “Abyzou”, or the “Taker of Children”.Em has a seizure and is taken to the hospital for an MRI. During the procedure, Stephanie and Hannah are horrified when they see the dybbuk’s face in the MRI scans next to Em’s heart. Clyde and Tzadok join the family at the hospital and attempt to conduct an exorcism. Where Em is taken to a room that has a tub full of water and a stretcher to keep Em stable during the exorcism. During the exorcism, the possessed Em attacks Tzadok. Clyde grabs Em from him, and Em runs out of the room. Clyde follows her out and finally finds her in the morgue where the lights are off. As he nears her, she starts to attack him. Clyde survives the attack, but the dybbuk is passed from Em to him. Tzadok performs a successful exorcism; Abyzou emerges from Clyde and crawls back into the box. The family is reunited, with Clyde and Stephanie’s love rekindled. Tzadok drives away with the box in Clyde’s vehicle. The car is hit by a truck, killing him. The box lands safely from the wreckage, and Abyzou’s whispering is heard from it, the same Polish rhyme heard at the beginning of the film.Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matisyahu, and Natasha Calis in The Possession (2012)It is a well written, acted, and executed movie that while it may seem slow moving is well worth the watch.

REVIEW: TOLKIEN

Starring

Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite)
Lily Collins (MIrror Mirror)
Colm Meaney (Star Trek: DS9)
Derek Jacobi (Tomb Raider)
Anthony Boyle (The Lost City of Z)
Patrick Gibson (Neverland)
Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk)
Craig Roberts (Kill Your Friends)
Pam Ferris (Children of Men)
Laura Donnelly (Dread)
Genevieve O’Reilly (The Snowman)
Owen Teale (Game of Thrones)
Harry Gilby (Just Charlie)
Mimi Keene (Sex Education)

Nicholas Hoult in Tolkien (2019)As young children being raised by a single mother, Tolkien and his brother receive help from a local priest who must relocate them from their home to small apartments in Birmingham due to financial hardships. Their mother is supportive and loving, filling her sons’ minds with narrated stories of adventure and mystery which she recites by the fireplace at night to the boys. She is ill, however, and one day on return from school, Tolkien finds his mother slumped in her chair in an unusual position and upon touching her shoulder, discovers that his mother has died. The local priest returns again to try to find a local home or orphanage that will take the boys in.Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins in Tolkien (2019)A kindly rich woman is found in town who will support Tolkien and his brother with room and board while they continue their childhood education. There, Tolkien meets Edith Bratt, who lives in the same home into which he has been adopted and who loves music. She and Tolkien bond as friends because of their mutual passion for music, and the two attend local concerts and musical events.Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins in Tolkien (2019)When he is sent to school, J. R. R. Tolkien befriends a group of three fellow students, with whom he finds inspiration and courage. Their bond of fellowship grows with the years, as they experience life together. Meanwhile, Tolkien continues his relationship with Edith, with whom he falls in love. When the priest who has been supporting Tolkien finds out about their affair, he reminds Tolkien that she is not a Roman Catholic. He further states that as Tolkien’s legal guardian after the death of Tolkien’s mother, he forbids Tolkien from having a relationship with Edith until Tolkien is 21 years of age. The news is devastating to Tolkien, though he does not want to lose his financial aid from the priest without which he would be forced to withdraw from college.When WWI breaks out, the four friends all enlist for military service. The consequences of their loyal military service is devastating to them. Two of the friends die, and one is handicapped by shell shock and is no longer functional after the war due to his mental incapacity. Tolkien himself is gravely injured, though he is evacuated to hospital in England, and he remains unconscious for many weeks. When he awakens, he finds that Edith has been faithfully attending him on a daily basis while he has been in hospital never leaving his side. Deeply moved by her loyalty to him, Tolkien proposes marriage to her as his only true love. The two survive to older age when Tolkien becomes a professor at his old school teaching the young students now enrolled in his classes.Tolkien works well as a film showing the early years of the life of the titular writer. The actors nail their performances, and Tolkien fans will have a good time with it, despite some pacing problems. However, it doesn’t really offer enough for non-fans to get into the film, so it would likely be boring to anyone not interested in Tolkien or his work. Otherwise, it’s a good depiction of the life of one of the greatest writers ever.

REVIEW: KILL THE IRISHMAN

CAST

Ray Stevenson (Punisher Warzone)
Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil)
Vinnie Jones (Arrow)
Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Tony Darrow (The Sopranos)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Fionnula Flanagan (Yes man)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Laura Ramsey (The Covenant)
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas)
Mike Starr (Radio Days)

In 1960, Danny Greene and his childhood friends Billy McComber and Art Sneperger are longshoremen at the Cleveland docks. Meanwhile, the members are exploited by corrupt union boss, Jerry Merke and the leadership of the ILA union urges Greene to run against him. Meanwhile, Sneperger can’t pay a gambling debt to Cleveland Mafia Capo John Nardi. In return for Sneperger’s debt being forgiven, Greene supplies Nardi’s crew with goods stolen from the docks. Merke finds out, demands a cut of Greene’s profits, and then sends an enforcer to kill him. Instead, Greene beats up the enforcer, then beats up Merke, throws the union leader out of his office, and is later elected union president. He improves the working conditions at the docks while continuing his dealings with Nardi.Greene’s corruption is exposed by the Plain Dealer newspaper and Cleveland Police Detective Joe Manditski, who grew up with Greene in Collinwood, arrests him. Bankrupt and facing prison, Greene plea bargains to lesser charges in return for becoming an FBI informant and being banned for life from organized labor. Greene is released and moves his unhappy wife and daughters back to Collinwood. Nardi gets him work as an enforcer for Hungarian Jewish loan shark Shondor Birns, and later helps pitch a deal to Mafia Capo Jack Licavoli: Greene will force the city’s garbage haulers to join the union Licavoli controls. Greene, McComber, Sneperger, and ex-Hells Angel Keith Ritson terrorize many into joining, but Greene’s friend Mike Frato refuses. Licavoli orders Greene to kill Frato, but Greene balks because Frato has ten children. Nardi tells him privately, though, that, “You wanted to play in the big leagues. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t wanna do.”As Greene prepare’s to kill Frato with a car bomb, he learns from the FBI that Sneperger has returned to gambling, and has become an informant for Manditsky. That night, Greene assigns Sneperger to set the bomb under Frato’s car and presses the detonator as he does it. An enraged Frato later shoots at Greene in a park. Greene returns fire, kills Frato, and is arrested for murder, but released after Frato’s driver tells Manditski that Greene acted in self-defense. Having had enough, Greene’s long suffering wife leaves him and takes the children. Greene sees his elderly Irish neighbor, Grace O’Keefe, being evicted. He intervenes, pays her rent, and she gratefully gives him her father’s gold Celtic cross to wear for protection. Greene begins to use his money and connections to help other Irish-Americans in need, and earns the nickname “The Robin Hood of Collinwood”.Greene wants to open his own restaurant, and asks Shondor Birns to help him. Birns arranges a $70,000 loan from the Gambinos, but Birns’ courier buys cocaine with the money and gets arrested. Birns and Greene argue over which of them should pay back the money; when Greene refuses to pay, Birns hires a hitman to kill him. Greene narrowly escapes, and later kills Birns with a car bomb. After Mafia boss John Scalish dies, both Nardi and Licavoli are considered for succession. Licavoli is chosen due to his closer ties to the Five Families and decides to charge Greene 30% “street tax” for doing business in Cleveland. Greene refuses to pay, crudely mocks Licavoli’s Italian heritage, and vows, “The Irishman’s in business for himself now.” An outraged Licavoli has Greene’s house blown up, but he survives. He then attempts to demote Nardi and take away his crew, only to have the latter join forces with Greene. Vowing to take over Cleveland together, Greene and Nardi start by organizing the murders of Licavoli’s associates, many of whom are blown up. Thirty-six car bombings occur during the summer of 1976, drawing national attention and humiliating Licavoli. After failing multiple times to kill Greene, Licavoli is forced to humbly ask Genovese boss Anthony Salerno to help him kill Nardi and Greene.Having learned of this from the FBI, Greene claims that he wants to leave Cleveland and buy a ranch in Texas, but needs to raise $2 million. Wishing to size up their enemies, Greene and Nardi travel to New York and invite Salerno to invest in the ranch. After they leave, Salerno orders his associates to hire professional hitman Ray Ferritto to kill them both. Nardi is killed in a car explosion, McComber dies in a bombing at the Cleveland docks, and Ritson is shot near his house. Detective Manditski lets Greene know that a master killer is after him. He offers Greene protection, but is told, “My enemies will be taken care of.” After a dentist’s appointment on October 6, 1977, Greene notices Ferritto driving by slowly, and accepts that he is about to die, giving his gold cross to an admiring boy. Ferritto detonates a bomb on the car next to Greene’s, killing Greene instantly. An epilogue, by Manditski, reveals that the investigation of Danny Greene’s murder led to the collapse of the Mafia, not only in Cleveland, but all over the United States.I’m not a big fan of biopics or mobster films like this.  With that said the film is more fascinating and entertaining than most others of it’s type. The actors are all good and well cast, especially Stevenson. He’s always been a cool action bad ass in films before but here he’s really given a chance to show off his acting abilities and range. His performance combined with Hensleigh’s better than average directing make the film one definitely worth checking out. Probably especially if you’re a fan of the genre.