Man, that Martin Scorsese is something else. One day he’s finally winning that elusive Oscar and the next day he’s presenting a new TV series on NBC. The Black Donnellys has all of those classic touches you’d expect from a gritty crime drama by Marty: the wiseguy narrator (complete with the…um…”cool” nickname of “Joey Ice Cream”), the freeze-frame cuts into and out of flashbacks, the hustling thugs trying to make a living on the mean streets, the tough guy dialogue (“What did you do with the body?” “You don’t wanna know”), the lovingly atmospheric cinematography that makes the hardscrabble streets look nostalgically inviting and only vaguely threatening, the staccato bursts of violence (lots of bullets and baseball bats and kicking…gotta have the kicking), the soundtrack featuring a blend of classical/operatic music and pop music (interesting choice to replace some of the classic rock Marty usually favors with the kind of emo pop that would feel comfortable on any given episode of Grey’s Anatomy…that Marty is a flexible guy, I guess.)
I presume that the result…an admixture of Goodfellas and (a low rent) Entourage with a heaping helping of the Irish-American vibe from the old soap opera Ryan’s Hope thrown in for good measure…is still a work in progress (the characters are all one-note ciphers thus far, for example, and the overall feeling is a bit more soapy than I expect from a good Marty crime drama) but I’m sure that Scorsese will…huh? What’s that? Marty didn’t do this? The guys who wrote Crash and Million Dollar Baby are responsible for it?
Nevermind. (Sorry, Marty.)
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More MKW Blogstuff: Bread and Roses