‘The Drop’ (2014) Summary and Thoughts


SPOILER ALERT

“The Drop” was a mafia film that was released to theaters in 2014. It was based on Dennis Lehane’s novel “Animal Rescue”.

It was a significant release since it was the late James Gandolfini’s final film. This film is a sad reminder of how great an actor we lost in Gandolfini. Gandolfini plays the Tony Soprano type character, except in this story, instead of being the boss, he’s at the bottom of the crime world. It is very interesting how they cast him in this role, since he was well known as the Don of the DiMeo crime family in the “Sopranos”. My favorite quote from Gandolfini’s character Marv in “The Drop” is “We’re fuckin’ dead already we’re just still walkin’ around.” This brought back memories for me of the last couple episodes of The Sopranos, where the family has to go into hiding from the New York family.

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Gandolfini stars as Marv, who runs the bar “Cousin Marvs'” in Brooklyn. He previously owned the bar 10 years ago, but lost ownership to the Chechen mafia. His real cousin Bob (Tom Hardy) is tends bar for him. Bob and Marv have quite an interesting relationship.

Cousin Marvs’ is a “drop bar”, which is a bar that the local crime bosses choose at random each night to act as the safe for the entire criminal underworld of the city. The bar operators never know the night their bar will be used as the drop bar. This is a security measure to make it harder for people to rob the drop bar.

One night, while walking, Bob hears a dog crying in a trashcan. He opens it up and its a bloody, beaten pitbull. The owner of the garbage, Nadia (Noomi Rapace) yells out to Bob to get out of her garbage. The two of them decide to care for the dog, Nadia will hold him for a few days, then Bob will take over. They name the dog Rocco.

A couple days later, Cousin Marvs’ is robbed at gunpoint by two guys in masks. Later, it shows that Marv actually set up the robbery. It is implied he needed extra money to help pay his father’s medical bills (his father is on life support). The robbers got away with $5,000 and some change.

A day or so after the robbery, Bob is shown walking his dog in a park. While walking the dog, a strange man named Eric Deeds comes up and says he’s got a really nice looking dog. A couple scenes later, this same man shows up at Bob’s house and says the dog is really his dog.

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Next, while Bob and Marv are shoveling snow in front of the bar, the Chechens pull up. They come in a van, and in the back of the van, one of the robbers is being held, and his leg was impaled by a spike.

Bob later finds a plastic bag on the fence. Opening it up reveals a grim scene. He finds the money that was stolen and a severed arm, with a broken watch (one of the tidbits of info Bob gave to the detective). Bob returns this money to the Chechens, since it was really their money that was stolen since they own the bar.

This Eric Deeds guy also claims to have killed a man named Richie Whelan. Which is impossible because it was actually Bob who killed Richie Whelan. Wheelman was killed because he owed Marv a large sum of money. He hit in slots and came back to give Marv his money. In the mean time, Marv owed many other people money. So he had Whelan pay him back, and had Bob kill him. This way he looked stronger in other’s eyes and also was able to pay back the people he owed. Also, Deeds was in a psych ward at the same time Whelan was killed, making it impossible for him to have done that.

Back to the severed arm, Bob wraps it up like a piece of meat and sticks a wrench to it. He tosses this in the ocean. Shortly after tossing it in, the detective rolls up. The detective is an interesting character. I’m not sure what he really contributes to the story. The only important bit of info he supplies is that Deeds was in a psych ward when Whelan was murdered. But the Whelan murder was a small detail that could have been left out of the movie to begin with. He doesn’t solve any crime, he’s just an annoyance to everyone. Very odd character. Anyways, the detective says he has been going to the same church as Bob for awhile and has never seen him take communion. You cannot receive communion if you have committed a mortal sin, which includes murder. So, the detective is implying that he thinks Bob is a murderer.

Later on, Deeds appears before Bob once again. He says now he would like 10k for his dog. If Bob doesn’t give him the 10k, he will report the dog stolen to the police, and when he gets the dog back he will beat it up.

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Then the Chechens come in and say Cousin Marv’s will be the drop bar for the super bowl. When the super bowl comes, Marv says he is sick, and this is suspicious to Bob because it is the biggest tip day of the year. A next scene shows Marv talking to Deeds and planning for Deeds to rob the bar on super bowl Sunday.

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On the day of the super bowl, Deeds breaks into Nadia’s house and tells her she is coming with him to Cousin Marv’s for the game. When Deeds and Nadia walk in the bar, Bob is visibly startled. After the bar clears out, Bob tells Deeds the story of how he killed Richie Whelan, since Deeds has been walking around taking credit for the hit. Bob gives Deeds the 10k for the dog, then Deeds says he needs more money or else he’ll kill Nadia. Then Bob draws his gun and kills Deeds.

He tells Nadia he had to kill Deeds because he was going to hurt Rocco. Nadia promises to keep quiet that Bob killed Deeds. Then the Chechens come and get the drop money, and they help Bob clean up the murder scene. They say cousin Marv is retiring and that Bob is now all alone and can run the bar by himself. They make Bob say “You have to be alone forever”. Then Marv is shown getting shot and killed.

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Overall, I give this movie 3/5 stars. If Gandolfini wasn’t in it, I would give it 2/5. I know it has been universally praised by critics, but there was too many things that did not make sense to me. The story is just too weak. I don’t understand what the story about the Richie Whelan murder really had to do with anything. And how did Marv already know Deeds.

Also, the detective did not have to be in the movie at all, he served no purpose whatsoever. What did the dog Rocco have to do with anything? Another question is, did Bob have a further relationship with Nadia? To me this was the story of a connected drop bar, along with some random side stories that had nothing to do with the main plot. Unanswered questions aside, definitely strong performances by Gandolfini and Hardy.

‘KingPin’ (1996) Review


Hello friendz! Jules is back and with a new film review. This week I’m going to take a look at the comedy classic starring Bill Murray and woody Harrelson,  Kingpin! I decided to pick this one to review in honor of my newest tablet game obsession, PBA Challenge. I’ve been playing it non stop this past week and it’s gotten me into a bowling mood.
Here’s the app logo:

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LOL, I’m such a minivan.

Well anyhoo let’s get started and happy sticky Saturday! Let me begin by saying some of the best comedy movies came out in the 90s, with kingpin, which was released in 1996, being one of the best in my eyes. Kingpin was directed by the farrellys. They had to be good since these goof balls also brought us dumb and dumber. Woody Harrelson (who happens to be the film’s star) is, hands down, a member of the most underrated actors ever. Some of his best performances are in cheers, white boi won’t jump, and natural born killers. I think he’s a type of actor with which common men can relate. As opposed to a George clooney or Brad Pitt who have too much of a pretty boy/rich boy appearance.
Here is the film’s poster:

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Gotta love Randy quaid’s priceless face!

Kingpin has a strong intro, showing you Roy Munson (Harrelson) as a child. His father Calvert Munson (Danny green) is shown teaching young Roy (will Rothhaar) how to bowl. This shows the viewer immediately that Roy has been raised to be a career bowlman. His natural talent is also exposed, with a highlight showing Roy getting a strike on the back yard bowling alley Calvert built. In my opinion, this scene is symbolic of 2 things. First the future sexuality Roy possesses.  Next, the utter devastation Roy feels about his future tragedy.
“O brother why me”:

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So, the story fast forwards to the adult roy. Obviously he is a great bowler having won enough money to float by. One day he hustles people and Ernie “Big Ern” McCracken (bill Murray) leaves Roy hanging. Needless to say the kidnappers grind Roy’s hand in the bowling ball return.  This leaves Roy’s hand replaced with a hook. His life goes to shambles since he is no longer able to pursue his life’s passion,  bowling. My favorite quote from this scene is “my names not boy, it’s roy”. Roy says this to one of the thugs like a hard ass!

After Roy loses his hand and ability to bowl, he goes through great lengths to find a protege that he can coach to fame. Kind of like the guy who bought LeBron James A hummer when he was in high school. Roy goes through great ordeals, to include becoming Amish for a brief period of time, to find Ishmael Boorg (Randy Quaid) who will fill the role of protege.

“Flossin? Where’d I get Munson?” Ishmael’s most memorable quote.

The greatest scene starring good old Ismael involved him and roy in the bathroom, and ishmael takes a poop poop in a urinal! The original urinal deuce mind you! Wow, gotta love that story development! Also gotta love roy claiming to be from an Amish family from ohio! What a great beautiful state. I’m proud to call it home!
Ishmael and Roy in Amish country:

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And now for the Sexiest scene of the movie. This prestigious award goes to claudia (Vanessa angel). She grabs alcohol for the men and she gets cold from the fridge. This forces her nipples to stand erect at the top of the mountain!  It’s glorious my friend!
The beautiful Vanessa Angel,  straight out england:

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One of my personal favorite scenes in kingpin features comedic actor chris Elliott as a degenerate gambler. You might remember chris elliot from something about Mary LOL. Chris Elliott, you rock:

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The final scene of this epic movie has what could quite possibly be the greatest bowling game ever played. No joke, it goes down as one of the top 5 in history (the game from the big lebowski is somewhere on that list, too). I don’t want to write any spoilers on here, so all you noobs out there that haven’t seen kingpin yet, go see it! The ending is tragic with wild twists and turns. Bravo, writing team!

In reflection, I believe kingpin influenced a great movie that will be released in coming years. Obviously it is the big lebowski, because of the bowling theme. Another coincidence between these infamous films is they were both directed by a team of brothers. The coens with lebowski and the farrellys with kingpin. I also think kingpin influenced the TV show south park. Specifically the episode with the urinal deuce in the school. This reflects upon Ishmael’s shit in the urinal.
Here is one of the famous scenes from that harrowing south park episode:

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Recent picture of the original whiteman who couldn’t jump good, Woody Harrelson:

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Some other notable characters also include:
William Jordan as Mr. Boorg
Richard Tyson as Stiffy’s owner
Lin Shaye as Landlady
Zen Gesner as Thomas
Prudence Wright Holmes as Mrs. Boorg
Steve Tyler as Gas Station Attendant
Rob Moran as Stanley Osmanski
Willie Garson as Purse snatcher
Chris Schenkel as Himself

All in all I rate this an 8.5/10. I think it is a cult classic due to woody Harrelson and bill Murray’s dark comedy. Also Randy quaid’s A+ performance. Another strong point to kingpin is its angelic soundtrack. Two of my favorite songs from the movie were but anyway by blues traveler and like a virgin by Madonna.

Blues travler:

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America’s favorite virgin,  Madonna:

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Comedian/actor woody Harrelson in one last, mysterious picture:

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Thanks again all you people out there who took the time to read my opinion! I’m planning to move away from movies for my next post and review the famous Steve King novel,  ‘salem’s lot.

-ya boy julian!

PS check out my YouTube page! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxDenti-j8Ytw_l28_1NMCQ

‘Nothing but Trouble’ (1991) Film Review/Summary


Hello peeps! This is my first movie review but I am planning to do a new one every week. I mean, not a just a movie review, but some type of review. It might be a movie, TV show, album, book, or some other cultural event! Let me know if you have any requests and I will consider reviewing it.

Well, by now you are probably wondering, Jules, what movie did you review?!

Well, friend, the answer to that is the infamous Nothing but Trouble. This movie is goofy as hell bottom line. Even the fact that the late great John Candy had two roles in the movie couldn’t hide the idiocy of the plot and story. 
Movie poster:

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Chris Thorne (Chevy chase) starts off strong with some savvy financial advice for the driver of his taxi and offers him a “complement”. In the building a Sexy hispanic woman, Renalda (Bertila Damas), wants to save the Elevator for Chris. A Creepy man, Fausto (Taylor negron) …. (yes, you guessed it, from Fast times at Ridgemont high fame) comments, “ah she says that to all guys….”? Um okay Fausto,  you wild and crazy thang! Needless to say, Chris denies Renalda’s advance.

Chris then meets Diane lightston (Demi Moore) while waiting for the next elevator. After a little wait, the elevator arrives. On the elevator Diane tells Chris she’s missing out on a huge business deal in Atlantic City. She then bizarrely starts crying. Diane then goes down to party and sees chris again. They talk again and hit it off. Eventually they Get drinks together. Chris offers to drive diane to her business meeting in Atlantic city. Fausto and renalda are then formally introduced to diane as the “Brazilianaires” – brother and sister – chris gives financial advice to. After Chris announces their imminent trip to Atlantic city, Fausto and Renalda insist they come too. Chris and Diane reluctantly agree.

The group finally departs the next day at noon, as planned. They meet up in the parking garage in the same clothes they were wearing the night before at the party. I think this is haggard as hell! As a matter of fact they wear the same clothes the whole movie…ewwies! (Except for Demi more – in her case, YUMMM!!). Also, Renalda hits on chris before they leave, hee hee!

A hungover picture of chris wearing the same grimy clothes:

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Finally, they are off on their journey of epic proportions. On the trip, Diane gets personal asking chris about his divorce, and if he’s over his ex lover. Eventually the group stumbles upon a weird city named valkenvania. Chris makes a strong entrance in the backwards town, shouting financial advice to local townies. He receives a cold response to this gesture.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for, Dennis Valkenheiser (John candy), makes his first appearance in the movie. Dennis is a cop in valkenvania and is sitting in his squad car as he sees chris roll through a stop sign. Although this is, in my opinion, a minor crime, Dennis begins his pursuit. The pursuit contains one of what I think is the funniest scenes in the movie. This scene has Fausto convince chris to drive 90 to escape Dennis. Fausto finally persuades chris by scolding him and saying to act like he has a bmw. Good job Fausto! Unfortunately,  Dennis puts it in turbo and easily keeps pace.

This chase scene is epic to say the least. They Almost get run over by a semi! And chris uses racial slurs against fausto, mocking his south American accent. Wow times have changed, jim!

The Brazilianaires in action:

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After a long chase that had me on the edge of my seat for sure, dennis finally gets chris to pull over. Dennis is visibly mad and explains to chris that high speeds are not advised around here. After some smart alecky comments from Chris to dennis, Dennis says that they will have to follow him to the court house to stand trial immediately. They are virtually silent on the way to court following dennis. Although diane does tell chris to let her do all the talking since she’s a good talkman. She thinks she will be able to get them out of court quick since she is also a lawmen and they will still be able to make it to Atlantic City. Pretty woman, but silly woman indeed. Furthermore, two of my favorite quotes occur in this very scene, first:
“Theres a Lotta toasters on the side of the road” – chris
Second:
“There’s a funky karma here, Mon” – fausto

After a very odd ride through town, they finally arrive at court. Here chris asks dennis if he can make a phone call. Chris is horrified to hear valkenvania does not own a telephone. Dennis then summons his father, Alvin Valkenheiser (Dan Aykroyd), who is the “town reeve” not sure what that means exactly but it must be some type of judge. the Trial starts immediately. on a side note, Alvin is a very odd looking old man. The Brazilianaires announce they have diplomatic immunity, but Alvin informs them it does not apply.

The rascals face their fate:

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In simultaneous unwise moves, Chris disrespects Alvin’s court; first by lighting up a cigar then swearing. This earns Alvin’s wrath and he activates the trap door and the group falls down it. Ahhhh! Also, Chris reveals to Alvin that he is a financial reporter; little does he know, Alvin hates everyone in that industry. Goes back to the 30s coal dispute. This coal tragedy ruined valkenvania.

I personally Love one of the next scenes of the movie. This is the scene where dennis pulls over a group of young adults drinking while driving. The funniest thing that happens is dennis says “Afraid you’ll have to to blow” and the group of young adults dog him! Classic moment in cinema history, folks!

Call me crazy but I can see this as an early Rob zombie film crossed with the hangover. It definitely must have had a profound influence on these later films.

Next, my personal favorite character in Nothing but Trouble (as well as one of my favorite characters from a 90s movie, i should have dressed as this for Halloween – next year, jules, note to self!), Eldona (candy) makes her first appearance of the movie. She interrupts the wacky, hot-dog-laden dinner Alvin is sharing with chris and his group and says her and chris would make perfect couple! Chris is like ew gross.

Alvin, Eldona, and chris, respectively:

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I must say candy looks dazzling!

This putrid dinner includes an exotically gross main course of large, grey, hot dogs. Although, the dinner table struck me as ahead of the time for the family. It had a nifty Choo-choo train with hot dog toppings and everyone could help themselves to toppings for their dog. This was cool to me.

Alvin eating a grey long dog:

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During dinner, Fausto has a nervous breakdown. Him and renalda escape through the window and evade being shot at. The Brazilianaires approach a gross, polluted river. They don’t know how else to cross it and decide the best way is to swim even though they will get all dirty. After crossing the river, dennis helps the Brazilianaires escape being captured by the dogs. This is the most treacherous scene in the movie, in my opinion!

Next is the greatest love scene of the movie. It begins with chris and Diane smooching in their bed. What kind of jail is this people?! It sounds rather luxurious to me! Like a real country club. This scene contains a good quote also: “you are nothing but trouble” – diane to chris after making out with him. I believe it is this exact quote that the title comes from. Well, long story short, Chris and Diane have rough sex and wake up in the same bed (in the same clothes, by the way). A series of unfortunate events follow concluding with chris and diane finding themselves in the attic and getting some wild news!

The Sexiest scene of the whole movie occurs in the attic, this is diane smoking a cigar. American woman indeed! The pair the fall Down another random shoot; this scene has a good cleavage shot of diane so it qualifies as another Sexy scene.

The Best scene of the movie is where alvin passes gas in bed while chris and Diane watch from the wall. you knew everyone had to have gas after those weird dogs. And also diane and chris just met so experiencing an old guy’s fart must have been akward for them since they just met. Diane in particular looked like she had to fart!

My favorite characters in the movie are the troll black smiths that spot diane. They are fast little buggers for how fat they are!

The trolls talking to diane:

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The most bizarre scene of the movie is where dennis packs to leave with the Brazilianaires and one of the main possessions he owns is a military picture of himself. He stares at this picture for a little while. This scene is just weird. Is there a deeper meaning to it?
Yes kids, you too can have an authentic autographed dennis picture, too:

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Also of note is the appearance of digital underground, including tupac. They perform a song for Alvin and he let’s the band off the hook.
Tupac chilling like John cusack:

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Another one for the legend, rip pac!

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Well, I’ll let you take it upon yourself to check out this movie and see how wild the ending is!

No spoilers here.

I grade Nothing but Trouble 8.5/10 because of its comedic, kafka-esque style.

Please comment or email me at farley3689@gmail.com if you would like to discuss!

Thanks for taking your time to read my blog,
-your boy, jules