‘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.

ap_james_gandolfini_the_drop_jc_140912_16x9_992

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.

f3e01b50e8af94f945ba34aae84f9f44

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.

the-drop-movie-4

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.

james-gandolfini-in-the-drop-movie-3

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.

The-Drop-Movie-Poster-Wallpaper-516x340-1409671100

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.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard, The Legendary Folk Hero of our Generation


Hello everyone! It has been almost 2 years since I have posted something on here. I have been working on a novel and some short stories so I have not had any time for this. I am glad to be back.

This post contains examples that prove why I believe Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones (ODB), of the Wu Tang Clan, is our generation’s preeminent folk hero. The dictionary definition of “folk hero” is a type of hero–real, or fictional–that has left a significant collective memory in the people of a society through his or her personality or deeds. ODB has absolutely left a “significant collective memory” through both his personality and deeds over the course of his very short 35 year life. And although he only lived a short 35 years, he probably had more action and achieved more in his life than most 90 year olds. The upcoming ODB biopic will definitely be something that we won’t want to miss.

  • ODB was born in 1968 in the projects of Brooklyn. He was very poor growing up and on welfare. He and his cousins RZA and GZA had a strong interest in Rap music as well as martial arts movies. ODB never said much in interviews about his childhood, but RZA had the following memories:

“Me and [ODB] ran through this city, man, cutting school, stealin’ pretzels from the hot dog stand, being vagabonds, sleeping on the trains, drinking 40s on the back of the A Train, rapping, getting chased by the police.”

  • My personal favorite ODB story was from 1998. He was recording in the studio and saw a four year old girl get hit by a car. He ran out and with the help of some friends, lifted the car off the girl and saved her life. Here is a link to the story:

ODB Saves 4 Year Old Girl’s Life

Notice this story is from 2/24/1998. The next day, was 2/25/1998 which was the 1998 Grammys, when this gem happened:

Unhappy that Wu Tang lost to Diddy, ODB went onstage and taught Kanye how its done. Onstage, ODB says, “I don’t know how ya’ll see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu Tang is for the children. We teach the children.” Obviously he was intoxicated, but the previous day he saved a four year old girl’s life, so this was most likely a reference to that event. Shows karma probably does not exist either.

  • Another fabled ODB story comes from Ghostface:  

ODB had friction burns on his Johnson, but just to get some pussy he wrapped gauze around it then put a condom on and “still fucked a bitch”. Classic. However, not surprising to hear this about a person who had 13 kids (before the age of 35 at that).

  • This whole 33 minute interview is pure gold as well.

 The highlights occur at: 2:28, 7:11 (best moment), 9:30, 11:39, 16:24, 17:36, 18:15, 22:56, 25:10,  30:32, and 31:40.

  • Then there was the revelation the FBI had a file on him.

ODB’s FBI File Summary

Some of the highlights are:

  1. In 1999, ODB was stopped in a car with Jersey plates in Steubenville, Ohio; the same day a man was murdered in Steubenville. There was a shotgun, ammo, and a gun holster in the car. All people in the car were detained but only one was given weapons charges (not ODB).
  2. In 1999, ODB fired 2 shots at NYPD officers. He was acquitted by grand jury for attempted murder charge.
  3. ODB was robbed many times in the late 90’s.
  4. The NYPD considered the Wu Tang Clan a mafia-like organization and brought the FBI in for assistance in their investigation.
  • Then there was the time ODB escaped from his drug treatment program to record songs with RZA and attend the “The W” album release party. He was rearrested in Philadelphia when a crowd surrounded him signing autographs:

ODB Escape Story

  • One of Howard Stern’s best interviews was of ODB (occurred the day after the Grammy interruption, it was an eventful week for ODB):

The whole interview is classic. No specific times of the interview are better than others, in my opinion. But it is very interesting to hear how Diddy’s entourage responded to his interruption (where he says Wu Tang is better than Diddy’s crew). Good thing this interview happened before Stern moved to Sirius and lost his edge.

  • My top five personal favorite ODB lyrics (there’s many, many more, but these are my top five):
    • I put my dick in her womb/she blew my head like a balloon, I had her walking on the moon
    • Dip my Dunkin between your Donut/Don’t want it if it ain’t no slut, bitch
    • For any emcee in any fifty-two states/I get psycho killer, Norman Bates
    • Bitch you got herpes in ya ass/Every time you fuck a nigga, he dies fast/And you won’t be last/The pussy break down from a rash/It’s hard for you to walk, cuz you stuck up in your ass
    • Beer belly, I chuckle like Kris Kringle/Put four grams of cocaine, crushed up in the single
  • And last, but not least we can’t forget about the famous video of ODB going with his baby momma and some of his kids to get cash his welfare and get food stamps. Keep in mind he just received an advance from his label:

Overall, you may not agree with how the man lived his life; but you have to respect his attitude and how he had total disregard for societal norms and government authority. We lost a legend in 2004.

In the intro, I gave the dictionary definition of “folk hero” as ‘…a type of hero–real, or fictional–that has left a significant collective memory in the people of a society through his or her personality or deeds’. The two main ways I believe that ODB lived up to this definition and is our generation’s folk hero is (1) how he interrupted the Grammy’s (personality).  Kanye West copied Mr. Bastard’s when he stole the mic from Taylor Swift, although he could have studied ODB a little more and done it in a more tactful way. And (2) he saved a four year old girl’s life after she was hit by a car (deeds). If you can’t respect the man for this alone, then you have issues.

Its interesting to think of what more he could have done since he passed. If there is anything I may have missed, please comment. Also thank you for taking the time to read my post!

ol-dirty-bastard-300