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Gotti (2018)


J.A.A. Purves
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I've read about him in the past only because crime and courtroom stories interest me. I don't know who else here knows much about John Gotti, but this should be interesting. Armand Assante played Gotti last back in 1996, but I can't say I've ever really thought Assante was a very good actor. Nick Cassavetes is not a favorite director of mine by any stretch of the imagination, but I will give him points for writing the screenplay to Blow.

Looks like now John Travolta could take on the role (with maybe James Franco as Gotti Jr.?)

The Mobster/Mafia/Gangster film genre has always fascinated me. Not the least because some of my friends believe most of these films glorify the mafia and turn murderers and criminals into heroes. The stories in these films always end up with characters that you want to cheer for. The Godfather films, Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed, Scarface and even Public Enemies all have a weight to them that borders on the Shakespearean. Miller's Crossing shows this too, if even with a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone. There's a reason that James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Muni, John Garfield and Edward G. Robinson were as popular as they were years ago - and that would be their roles as mobsters. Some mobster films glorify the mobsters, others seriously question what a life a crime does to a character's soul - like, oh say, Angels with Dirty Faces, Carlito's Way, Donnie Brasco, City of God, Mean Streets and Road to Perdition. I enjoy both kinds of films. There's a good argument for The Sopranos being one of the greatest TV shows ever made, and Boardwalk Empire definitely has the potential to turn into another. Another thing I haven't completely thought through yet is the one film all my friends seem to somehow love is The Untouchables, but that one has always bothered me. Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and the government are all doing all this work and killing to stop mobsters from selling alcohol to Americans. I have a hard time viewing them as heroes for doing that. But then, does that mean I more easily find the mobsters as the heroes instead? But mobsters kill people.

Funny, but I'd understand objections to glorifying the mobster on film more than I do objections to glorifying the sport of boxing on film. And yet, I still can't help loving mobster movies.

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  • 2 months later...

John Travolta set for 'Gotti'

It's official -- John Travolta will portray John Gotti Jr. in Fiore Films biopic, "Gotti: Three Generations."

The indie producer announced Wednesday that it's set an April 12 news conference in New York with Travolta, Gotti, director Nick Cassavetes and Fiore Films topper and producer Marc Fiore. . . .

Gotti was born in 1964 in Brooklyn, with his mother attempting to shield him and his three siblings from their father's life of crime. As a young man, Gotti worked in trucking and construction but eventually worked his way up within the Gambino crime family and became a "made man" in 1988.

The younger Gotti served jail sentences of about nine years for a variety of charges, including racketeering, gambling and loan sharking, but was never convicted as a defendant in four racketeering prosecutions between 2004 and 2009. He asserts he's turned his life around and believes that a feature film is a good means to move beyond his past. . . .

Variety, March 30

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 6 months later...

John Travolta “Gotti” Movie On Hold After All

I’m told that the John Travolta “Gotti” movie is on hold again after posting so many casting notices– over 82 roles including someone nicknamed “Veal Chop.” Readers of this column know the history of this precarious project. The fear was that Marco Fiore aka Marc Fiore was not able to raise sufficient funds to actually make the movie happen. This week several of the principals involved including Travolta, Barry Levinson and Al Pacino were supposed to be paid. Now sources say that the casting office is saying the movie is on hold again. . . .

Roger Friedman, October 5

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 month later...

Travolta “Gotti” Movie Gets New Producer to Look for Dough

The long aborning movie about John Gotti, starring John Travolta, is still in financial turmoil. There are some new twists and turns, however. “Gotti” producer Marc Fiore, aka Marco Fiore, has apparently decided to take a new secondary role in the film’s financing. He’s turning over his lead position to film and record producer Ted Field, heir to the Marshall Field department stores and the man who gave us the original Interscope Records. Field was running Radar Pictures. Field’s said to be worth about $1 billion, which means he’s been able to take losses on such flops as “All About Steve,” “Twelve,” “The Invention of Lying” and other films that fell short of awards buzz like the dreadful but profitable “Bad Teacher.” . . .

Roger Friedman, November 22

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 7 years later...

GOTTI has been streaming on Amazon Prime (apparently within weeks of its disastrous 2018 release). Is it as bad as its critical drubbing would lead you to believe? No... That’s not saying it isn’t a bad movie (it definitely is), but if you go in with a certain frame of mind, and a good history of mafia movies under your belt, it has certain entertainment value. It does pull out every cliche from the Hollywood mafioso playbook, and it’s kind of fun to check them off the list in the moments before they actually happen onscreen.  

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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