Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Growing Up Gotti - 10/24/2005

This week's episode gives us John Gotti Agnello at a crossroads. If only Lil' Kim had covered "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" for this week's soundtrack! John needs to make his college decision. He wants to go to Northeastern, but his mother and the rest of his family want him to go somewhere local. Uncle Pete tells John he wants to start a record label and wants John to be his partner - but only if John stays in NYC. I had such hopes for John and was saddened to see him cave to the family pressure and decide to stay at home. And then Victoria has the nerve to muse in her voiceover that she doesn't know what made John change his mind, after we've seen her yelling at him and Pete bullying him! She has the same kind of amnesia her father and brother had when testifying in court. Meanwhile, Gotti Hotti groupies besiege the house, loitering in hopes of seeing the boys and leaving lewd notes with their phone numbers in the mailbox. They get a surprise when Victoria calls them and lectures them about what constitutes ladylike behavior. In another subplot, Luigi works very slowly on building a home theater for the family. Victoria expresses her rage and has Robert refuse to pay him. I have to wonder if he's the only contractor on Long Island. You'd think he'd be a little more industrious after enjoying the free trip to Italy, but it's clear that Luigi answers to only two people - himself and any Gotti Hotti Groupie who asks for his autograph.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

There's Got To Be a Morning After for Shelley Winters

85-year-old actress Shelley Winters suffered a heart attack last Friday, but is recovering. "Over the past few days, she has become much stronger, and Shelley is nearly back to her normal self. We are so thankful to Shelley's fans for their support and words of encouragement," the family said. If Shelley is back to her normal self, does that mean she is whipping both her Oscars out of the back of her hospital gown in order to show she has the clout to merit extra helpings of Jell-O? Shelley is one tough broad, as exemplified by her valiant but ill-fated swim to the surface in The Poseidon Adventure, and ApeBlog wishes her a speedy recovery.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Growing Up Gotti - 10/17/05

Coolia thinks I should understand life's harsh realities. She's always saying things like "milk bones don't grow on trees" and "your poop doesn't pick itself up." So, she forced me to confront my own mortality and watch this week's Growing Up Gotti in which Victoria's beloved pooch, Sebastian Gotti, crossed over the rainbow bridge. I felt sad for Sebastian, but really he wasn't a proper dog. They said he was a "teacup maltese". That is sure a long way from the wolf. Maybe dogs weren't meant to be that tiny? Or maybe too many carbs did him in? I bet he ate a lot of pasta that dropped to the floor. Victoria wanted to give Sebastian a grand burial, so she spent $285 on a casket and vault and then made Luigi dig a hole in the front yard. The ground was hard but I think I could have done a better job with my paws than Luigi did with the shovel. Victoria then brought in some of Frankie's friends who claimed to be professional gravediggers (Coolia told me that knowing people like that is considered networking in the Gotti world). They dug a hole that only appeared to be slightly deeper than Luigi's hole, however they did complete some lovely landscaping and installed a pond by the grave. Meanwhile, Carmine, John, and Robert went to get tattoos supposedly to honor Sebastian. Robert ended up getting one for his parents and I never saw what John got, but Carmine did get the initials SG on his chest and a "Jesus head" on his arm. Carmine had to repeat "Jesus head" about 3 times to get Victoria to understand what he was saying when she asked what tattoo he got. Coolia can understand my barking better than Victoria can understand her own son. He got subtitled in every scene due to his unintelligible speech. It appeared the boys got their tattoos for free because the tattoo artists shooed them away with the comment: "Your father never took any money from the neighborhood." I wish I could get that kind of deal. I'd get a "Lassie head" on my rear.

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Philip Seymour Hoffman Show

Saw Capote over the weekend and was wowed. It's a tour de force performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and he really pulls it off. It would have been easy to do a SNL-type effeminate cariacture, but he keeps it very real. He's great at showing the man's extremes - from the highs where he's the life of the party to the lows when he struggles with the book and his conscience. I've never read In Cold Blood but it's now on my list. Catherine Keener is also good as Harper Lee, Capote's childhood friend who keeps him grounded and gives him courage. I've been a fan of Hoffman since he was the Dirk-Diggler-obsessed grip in Boogie Nights, and I'm glad he's found a role that will finally give him the acclaim and hopefully the Oscar he deserves. Hoffman's nuanced performance shows all the negatives of the self-absorbed Capote, yet somehow keeps him sympathetic. And this movie really shows how grueling writing can be, without boring the audience with long sequences of the writer typing or staring at the blank page. All work and no play never makes Truman a dull boy.

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