Posts Tagged ‘Michael Imperioli’

The Wannabe, Crimezine, Tony Bulmer

The Wannabe star Thomas, [Vincent Piazza] goes postal. Patricia Arquette recommends the Weaver stance.

Oh dear, Crimeziners. You know how excited we get when a gangster film pops off the Hollyweird production line. Plenty excited. More excited than NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre waking up on xmas morning to find out that he has a big box of full-auto M16s under the xmas tree.

The fact that Mr. LaPierre gets a big box of guns under his Christmas tree every single Xmas is as existentially meaningless as the life of The Wannabe star Thomas, [Vincent Piazza] a young man whose moonish existence is consumed by dreams of becoming an associate of New York Crime boss John Gotti.

Poor Thomas. The kid is an inveterate loser with zero charm, whose delusional outlook conjures a fleeting nexus with that giant of existential psychosis Travis Bickle. Unlike De Niro’s Bickle, Thomas is a gutless bottom feeder, who quite literally pisses in his pants at the first sign of gunplay. This film is relentlessly depressing, with few—if any, redeeming moments.

That’s right Crimeziners, you are going to have to dry-swallow a handful of happy pills to make your world come good again after watching this cavalcade of doom and gloom. Based on a true story, screams the headline, as though this somehow gives the story legitimacy. Do we care? Frankly No.

The big barrel of New York gangster crime was scraped clean decades ago. The Wannabe licks hungrily at the lid of that empty barrel and the result is cinematic halitosis of a quite unappetizing variety.

Even the appearance of the gorgeous and prodigiously talented Patricia Arquette fails to raise the pulse of this flat-lining farce of a movie. The fact that she is forced throughout, to wear a wig so unlikely that not even John Travolta would be caught down the morgue in it is emblematic of the level of disaster that we are dealing with.

On the bright side, Crimeziners will be excited to note that the awesome Michael, Sopranos, Detroit 187 Imperioli is involved; but unfortunately, only in a cameo capacity. In Los Angeles this week Imperioli was in town with actor/director Nick Sandow and Vinnie Piazza to promote The Wannabe. He mumbled valiantly about Marty Scorsese and classic crime films, going to so far as to bracket Sandow in the same cinematic category. Unfortunately, that just ain’t the case.

You just know that Mean Streets and Bonnie and Clyde came up at the pitch meeting for this film; trouble is The Wannabe doesn’t come close to either. Gangsters. We love them, there used to be a time they stood for something—an outlaw breed, fierce and loyal, their lives filled with dangerous glamour—their bright and deadly career trajectory filled with excitement—something anyone who wanted it bad enough could achieve. The Wannabe tells us that is no longer possible. It tells us gangsters are no longer sexy. No one likes being told they aren’t sexy. Right Crimeziners?

One-eighty-seven is an LA thing, LAPD radio code for murder, an expression long ago adopted into trans-national gangster speak, as in: I am going to one eighty seven your ass… Detroit  provides a post industrial back drop to this hard hitting police procedural’s gritty plot lines. That and the state of Illinois gave the production company tax rate incentives unequaled in other states. It has been claimed that this show is authentic like NYPD Blue, a throw back to an era when steel-edged realism  still seemed possible. The show provides Michael Imperioli with his first post Soprano’s role of substance. Imperioli is marvelous as the brooding and misunderstood Detective Fitch, as are the strong ensemble cast that includes Natalie Martinez, Jon Michael Hill, James McDaniel and Aisha Hinds. Plots to the show regularly showcase two murder investigations, of a complex and unexpected nature, featuring the kind of puzzles that will keep crime fans guessing to the very end. Much of the shaky camera styled sub plotting revolves around Imperioli’ s loner status and his edgy relationships with his partner played by Jon Michael Hill, fellow cop the pulchritudinous Natalie Martinez and his steely faced superior Lt Maureen Mason, Played by the fantastic Aisha Hinds.