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The Sopranos: Isabella (Review)

With Isabella, the first season of The Sopranos comes to a head. It’s all been building and building since the pilot, and the penultimate episode is the point where things really start to pay off. It’s amazing how structured the first season of The Sopranos is, dedicated to build-up and pay-off. Despite the show is about the randomness of life and how stuff just sort of happens, there’s a very clear internal structure and logic to the first season.

Those frustrated by the ending (or arguable non-ending) of Made in America may have missed the point of the larger show, but it’s not an unreasonable expectation when the first season was so careful about paying off all of its plot points and thread. Isabella is the point where things go wrong for Tony in a big way. It’s the episode where Junior and Livia’s scheming puts a bullet in him (and – in one of the show’s countless references to The Godfather – through his orange juice).

At the same time, it remains a story driven by Tony, focused on his character and his own psychology.

Let sleeping mobsters lie...

Let sleeping mobsters lie…

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Non-Review Review: The Devil Inside

The Devil Inside is a cocktail of fascination, frustration and infuriation. Unfortunately it’s not a balanced one – though there’s just enough interesting ingredients to pique our curiosity, but the delivery is so slapdash and haphazard that these intriguing elements are swiftly brushed aside. The Devil Inside confuses provocative drama with shallow sensationalism, but the biggest flaw with the film is that – quite simply – it doesn’t work. I don’t mean that it doesn’t work as a film. The problem is more fundamental than that. I mean that it doesn’t work as a story.

No need to get bent out of shape...

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