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Matt Dillon
Jean Reno
Laurence Fishburne
Amaury Nolasco
Fred Ward
Milo Ventimiglia
Skeet Ulrich
and Columbus Short as Ty

I've always been rather fond of heist-gone-wrong style movies, I've always found them to be significantly more entertaining than their close relation the prim, proper 'look at how clever I am' heist movie. I don't know about yourselves but I always find more enjoyment in watching a group of people attempt to think their way out of a situation off the cuff. Armored, a film about a rookie van security man called Ty who is convinced to go along with his veteran colleagues and steal forty two million dollars from their own vans.

Sounds like a simple enough exercise doesn't it? Drive the two vans to a disused industrial plant, hide all the money, report a fake heist and then torch the vans. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? A plan that will work perfectly as long as absolutely nothing goes wrong at all, nothing like say - a bum sleeping in the building they plan to use for example. That kind of thing just can't happen, someone is bound to have swept the building before they use it right? Wrong.

From here things spiral rapidly out of control thanks to a combination of hot heads, cold guns and Ty's conscious - resulting in a situation where Ty is locked inside one of the vans with the rest of the crew trying to either coax him out or pry the doors open.

The cast is a pretty great one, there are plenty of names here from films I've enjoyed in the past and on the whole they perform admirably, Lawrence Fishburne is solid as the itchy trigger finger guard Blaine, Jean Russo and Matt Dillion are as good as they always are and Amaury Nolasco provides more of the charm that made me like Sucre (Prison Break) so much.

The movie is fast paced and filled with tension throughout, there's a little action but it's far more low-key than most movies of it's type. And that's something you could almost accuse the film of being, it's a little too low-key; the plan is pretty weak and the characters aren't adaptable enough to have contingencies. When things go wrong they're left scrambling - which is part of the charm - but don't expect any huge sprawling fights, extended gun play, rooftop races or anything you might have come to associate with heists. In

Now as much fun as the movie itself is I was a little disappointed with the ending, I found myself wondering at numberous times how badly Ty was going to 'get it' at the end, because no matter his change of heart once murder was committed and no matter his honourable background/dependant brother/rookie status; he did agree to go along with this plan, without really looking into the details of it either. He kind of deserved more than he ended up with. It's a minor quibble really, but as the last thing you take away from a movie is it's ending - it could have been stronger.

It's no Reservoir Dogs or Heat, but Armored was an enjoyable 88 minutes of tension and uncertainty.

Armored is out on general release in both DVD and Bluray formats on 31st May.

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Doctor Who, "Amy’s Choice"

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[Mirrored, as always, from the original review over at]

Billions of blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon, can you believe we’re over halfway through the series already? It seems like only yesterday that we were just being introduced to the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond (of course, if you just started watching the latest series yesterday then that would explain the feeling completely).

We’ve seen Amy and the Doctor face the Weeping Angels, the Daleks, fish from space (like pigs in space, but not as cool), a space whale (who wasn’t really a bad guy, just misunderstood and fed humans in a point which was rather glossed over in the episode) and flying snowflakes with eyeballs. We also come to learn about the ball of crazy that is Amy Pond, the newest incarnation of The Doctor and in the last episode – Amy’s fiancé Rory.

"Amy's Choice" is a character piece; it’s an exploration of all three current cast members with a focus on Miss Pond in particular. The episode opens “five years later” with the Doctor stumbling back into Amy and Rory’s blissful married life in a sleepy English village. Amy is now pregnant and Rory has a terrible ponytail. What’s happened?

The story takes a rapid left turn by having the trio fall asleep on a bench and wake up back on the TARDIS, convinced that everything was a dream. Until they fall asleep again and wake up back in the village of the future. It quickly transpires that an individual named ‘The Dream Lord’ is manipulating them, giving our travelling time jockey’s a simple choice. Two scenarios, one real, one a dream – choose to die in one of them – if it’s the dream you wake up, if it’s reality... Well I think everyone (except Rory) can figure that one out immediately.

In the village all of the old people turn out to be inhabited by aliens that can see by sticking an eyestalk out of pensioner mouths and spit a gas that turns people into sand. On the TARDIS everything has failed and they’re falling towards a cold star, an impossible stellar body even in the world of Doctor Who.

From here the story flips back and forth between the two ‘realities’ with increasing danger and urgency. Our three chronologically advantaged heroes know they have to choose one ‘reality’ to die in but they’re divided over which – until events choose for them.

Amy’s Choice isn’t the strongest of episodes where its plot is concerned – the resolution of the episode is somewhat predictable and the explanation of events at the end smells suspiciously of the science fiction equivalent of “magic”; but like last week the episode isn’t designed with the story at the forefront. Instead it’s an episode that is meant to give us an insight into the timey-wimey Doctor and his latest companions; it’s unsurprising for an episode named "Amy’s Choice" to provide an examination of Amy and her relationships with ‘her pancho boys’, but it does do an excellent job.

The surprise comes in the form of The Dream Lord, who is revealed to be a facet of The Doctor’s darker side; it’s not an original concept for the series (see The Valeyard – who shares many characteristics), but it is always an interesting one to experience, a being as long lived and almost perpetually steeped in violence as The Doctor would be hard pressed to not carry some baggage. The Dream Lord was quite an enjoyable creation for a one off story and was one of the strongest elements – funny, creepy and thought provoking, just about right for the episode’s tone.

Amy’s Choice was a solid episode that held a lot of tension in it, but I suspect that it won’t hold up as well on repeated viewings as there’s not a lot of depth to it once you know the important outcomes of the story. But it is a vital piece of the season and has added an extra layer of complexity to the already vibrant character of Amy and that’s something to be welcomed.

Other Observations:

  • Finally I can believe in Amy and Rory as a couple, the chemistry isn’t completely there but they’ve kindled a bit of a spark.
  • Karen/Amy looked absolutely terrible in the pregnancy suit, I’m sure that was the point – but she really looked like she was smuggling a small planetoid under her shirt.
  • I’m still concerned that Rory is going to become another one of Moffat’s man-child characters (Coupling has no less than four of them over its run, that’s all the main male characters), but he’s still functioning as comic relief and that’s somewhat unacceptable for me. I like him more when he’s being serious, like his observations about the Doctor last week.
  • “Me pancho boys” – best dialog of the episode by miles.

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    Doctor Who, "The Vampires of Venice"

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    [As always this is mirrored from my original post over at (located here).]

    In recent times vampires have become something of a joke in the media. As this is about Doctor Who I shall not go into the subject here, but suffice to say I could write thousands of derogatory words about the current state of the modern vampire and not even breach the tip of that particular iceberg.

    Fortunately "The Vampires of Venice" is not about vampires, except in the vaguest of terms; instead the villains of the piece are something quite different, if rather forgettable.

    Let’s get the important bit out of the way first: was The Vampires of Venice any good? Well, that’s not actually an easy question to answer, because on one level it was a fantastic piece filled with enjoyable moments and fun banter. But on other levels it was a weakly plotted story, containing sub-par enemies, uneven character development and a conclusion that I can only hope was a deliberate parody of the Rusty years (more on that later on).

    Last week ended with a rather saucy scene that had the pulses of a whole generation of Doctor/Amy writers racing so fast that they probably fell over in the rush to get to their keyboards. This week’s episode? It follows on from that scene with the Doctor popping out of Rory’s stag-do stripper cake and telling the lad he’s been snogged by his fiancé Amy.

    What’s the Doctor’s solution to this dilemma? Take the happy (if lacking in chemistry) couple to be to Venice, 'cause everyone knows Venice is dead romantic - second most romantic city in the world is Venice, don’t you know. They’re going to enjoy a romantic get-away together at the Doctor’s expense, and we all know that means we’re going to see the pair engage in long walks, midnight supper in an alleyway (spaghetti al la nose!) and gondola rides with the Doctor punting whilst singing in Italian. That’s exactly what’s going to happen!

    Of course it isn’t, you’d think after spending even thirty minutes with the Doctor that both Amy and Rory would be prepared for a situation that doesn’t even involve the least bit of romance. You’d think that instead they’d be prepared for running around, being attacked and nasty monsters. Because that’s all that happens when the Doctor is about; he’s like a walking lightning-rod for trouble he is, and sure enough they’re soon embroiled in the local events, helping a father try and rescue his daughter from a school of vampires who aren’t really vampires and are in fact fish people from the stars (how very Lovecraftian!).

    So what about Rory? Is he any good as a companion? Well yes and no. The bad news is that he has very little chemistry with Amy at all. This might be the intention, as after all Amy has effectively ‘run’ away from her marriage to him. But you do want to believe that the two are at least attracted enough to each other to be engaged, and I’m not sold on that.

    On the other hand Rory’s personality was a great fit for the series, able to be both serious and amusing he reminded me of Mickey - the one character from the Rose companion arc that I really came to change my opinion of (originally I disliked Mickey, but he became a favourite after his ‘I’m the tin dog’ observation, it’s where the character grew a pair). So I honestly hope Rory is around for a while to come as his presence has added a lot to the show, returning the feeling of a team to the Doctor’s adventures, providing light relief and allowing us to experience Amy’s personality separate from the Doctor’s presence.

    Unfortunately, for every bit of success on the character front the episode failed on the plotting. The story was about fish from space pretending to be vampires with the plan of flooding Venice and providing brides for the sons of the ‘mother-fish’ in order to save their race from extinction. They’d come to Earth in order to flee ‘the silence in the cracks’ another nice piece of natural meta-plotting, but unfortunately that’s about it. The rest of the episode isn’t exactly bad, but it’s not memorable at all - a genuine filler episode with a few nice ideas, but ultimately forgettable.

    Onto the bit I’m not sure about, the space-fish’s weather device. The first device was pretty decent, a chair filled with glowing lights that was pulled to pieces by Amy and Rory. But the main device had me feeling a little, let down. It turned out to be a globe on top of steeple filled with cogs, balls and whirly bits - and an on/off switch.

    An on/off switch...

    Either that’s some remarkably lazy “crikey we need something to end this episode and we’re running out of time” writing, or it’s a direct dig at one of the major complaints about Russell T. Davies’ writing. To whit, old Rusty was very reliant on the magic button / deus ex machina solution to problems. Dropping a simple, forced solution into the story in order to wrap things up - and on one occasion (Doomsday) actually having a button that undid everything (I still recall throwing the remote at the screen when that happened). As a consequence I’m not sure if this was lazy writing or it was a machine, on top of a steeple with an on/off switch as an inside joke about Rusty’s science fiction writing methods. Even if it was, it wasn’t a very good joke - so either way I wasn’t that impressed with the resolution of the episode.

    "The Vampires of Venice" was pretty much the definition of a filler episode; a fun, romp of an episode with dialog that sparkled that was ultimately let down by a weak main plot and forgettable villains.

    The first forgettable episode of Eleven’s tour, but thank goodness they weren’t vampires that sparkled in the sunlight.

    Other observations:

  • Rory’s stag-do T-Shirt. Just brilliant.
  • I was thrilled to see William Hartnell’s (the first Doctor) picture on the Doctor’s library card. A wonderful call back to the origins of the show and an amusing joke in its own right - the idea that the Doctor still carries his library card with an out of date picture is hilarious.
  • The city of Trogir in Croatia made for a beautiful backdrop to this episode. I’m a little surprised the BBC didn’t just use Venice instead.
  • Amy Pond is wonderfully batty and now we’ve had a chance to see just how badly damaged her mental goods are. She’s as mad as a March hare and delightful to watch as a consequence.

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    DVDs in Review (Film Edition): Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day

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    Around eight years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a film that he described as "something you've just got to watch". He told me that it was called 'The Boondock Saints' and said he'd bring it around to watch on DVD. I must admit to being a little put off by the title as I wasn't sure what to expect from that film title.

    So it would be fair to say that when I finally sat down to watch the film I wasn't expecting that much from it, but, to cut a long story short, I was blown away by the film in a matter of minutes. The Boondock Saints combined fun dialog, great characters and superb action into a film that dealt with it's subject matter in a lighthearted manner. It wasn't a perfect creation by any means, but it's easy to see why the film has established cult status for itself.

    It's ten years since the original movie first came out, and All Saints Day is the surprising sequel. I say surprising because The Boondock Saints was a somewhat complete creation in itself, it was left slightly open ended but without any plot threads hanging at all, and as time passed I'd just assumed that was it.

    All Saint's Day returns to the MacManus brothers Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery - who I loved watching in The Dead Zone), Murphy (Norman Reedus) along with their father (Billy Connolly) who are now living an idyllic life after their accidental vigilante rampage. They were previously assisted in their disappearance by Detective Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe); who has sadly passed away - a genuine shame, because Dafoe's performance in the first film was one of the greatest elements of it.

    The two lads have their peaceful beard growing existence in Ireland is shattered when a priest is murdered in Boston, executed in a similar fashion to the way they killed criminals during their own spree. It's enough to force them into cutting their hair, shaving their beards and heading back for retribution. On the way they meet a diminutive Mexican named Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.) who teams up with them for the excitement.

    In Boston itself the police are investigating the murder, Detective's Greenly, Duffy and Dolly (all returning from the first movie) are terrified that their involvement with the Saints will be uncovered by the investigation. An investigation headed by the southern belle Eunice (Julie Benz), a woman with powers of deduction that are nearly the equal of Smeckers.

    The two story lines twist around each other much like the first movie, with Eunice providing the flashbacks that tell the story of how each encounter between the mafia and the Saints unfolded. Just like the first film, these story lines converge together before the end. But there is also a third story, initially told in simple flashbacks, and it's that story which comes to the forefront as the film progresses.

    Connor and Murphy are as interchangeable as always, neither individual has much character - existing as little more than implements of revenge, snarky dialog and exciting set pieces. But the other characters surrounding them, especially Romeo, Eunice and Poppa (Connelly) more than make up for this, in fact the shallow nature of the Saints is essential to the story of both films; they're Irish, they fight, they kill criminals, they berate each other repeatedly. That's all you need from them, they don't require extra depth.

    Romeo fills the role that Rocco did in the original movie, he's the offbeat comedy sidekick and in some ways he actually fills the role out with more success than Rocco did. His description of his plan to assault a drug warehouse is just unbelievably funny, made even funnier when it's contrasted against the reality of the plan unfolding.

    All Saints Day has the same brilliant crude, hilarious dialog combined with fast, exciting action and the religious imagery of the first film. In fact it doesn't even try to evolve from beyond the first movie's premise for around two thirds of it, and that's where it's at his best. When Connor, Murphy and Romeo are bickering with each other the strengths of the script shine and you'll find it laugh out loud hilarious.

    But, it is fair to say that this movie is not as strong as the original one was, a large part of that is due to the huge gap left by Dafoe and David Della Rocco, both of whom played characters not present in the second film. Rocco does makes a reappearance in a strange dream sequence that is funny, it's totally redundant to the main part of the film and seems to be little more than an independent rant/speech put in because Troy Duffy wanted to give Rocco a part in the film and had something he wanted to say about being a man. It's a great piece to watch, but after it's over you are left wondering "what the heck was that about?"

    The film is also a lot better in the earlier acts, the original Boondock Saints had this problem as well. They both start out as a hilarious tongue in cheek vigilante action movie and then turn serious near the end. It's the serious section where the films struggle to maintain interest, in the first one that's just the last half an hour or so, but in All Saints Day it's more like a third of the film that turns serious.

    But, having said that I did thoroughly enjoy All Saints Day and I'm eagerly anticipating a third movie in the franchise. Because where would we be without our fecking rope?

    So I can give The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day a hearty recommendation for everyone who enjoyed the first movie. And for those of you who haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favour and get both of these films on DVD.
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    Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone

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    Mirrored from my review over at (located here)

    As I mentioned last week, it’s difficult to judge a two part story on a show like Doctor Who until you’ve seen the second part. This is in part because nu-Who tends to use the second episode to shift gears and drive the narrative in a different direction and in part because some of the ‘second parts’ have been pretty disappointing (“Daleks in Manhattan” anyone?).

    I did feel quite confident that “Flesh and Stone” would be handled well; Moffat does seem to have a strong handle on the various tropes that work together well in order to produce a solid and enjoyable tale. “Flesh and Stone” continues this trend, delivering an episode that closes up “The Time of Angels” well and expands the storyline for the season by bringing certain key facts into focus for both the characters in the show and the audience.

    First up, I guess that my concerns about ‘the cracks in time and space’ turning out to be a weakly designed plot device in the vein of the Russell T. Davies era have turned out to be unfounded. I’m a huge fan of shows doing something unexpected, and Doctor Who has delivered by having the crack become a major part of “Flesh and Stone”, both by bringing the Doctor more aware of their nature and by involving the crack in the resolution of the episode in quite a natural fashion.

    I still feel that the break between the two episodes wasn’t handled quite right, there’s no real sense of danger between last week’s and this weeks. The pre-2000 Doctor Who series would have had everyone standing, huddled together and panicking about their fate - with only the Doctor looking calm and measured. I do miss that week of anticipation, it was far more tantalising than the ‘next week on Doctor Who’ teasers we’re getting now.

    That said, the start of “Flesh and Stone” was superb, providing a believable (in the context of the show’s history) escape, some fun moments and a change in the feel of the story. Gone was the claustrophobic feel of the surrounding Angels in a cave and instead we’re treated to a classic ‘flight from the gribbly monsters’ scenario that then opens up into a two-fold story. The first of these continuing to deal with the Weeping Angels and the second with the crack in time and space and its relationship with Amy Pond - a story that has opened up the rest of the season and started to set the future, but also gave us some exceptionally subtle moments that will pay off later on.

    That said, the episode was also a little uneven, there’s an awful lot going on in the story. You have the Angels, the clerics, River, Amy, The Doctor and the crack in the wall and they’re all competing with each other for time on screen. I know I’ve said it before quite a few times, but I really believe that Doctor Who would be better off moving back to a half hour show format with longer stories. Despite being involved in a two part story “Flesh and Stone” was very much it’s own narrative and it did suffer because some of the story elements had to be either drawn back from the forefront or underdeveloped.

    The clerics were one of the things left mostly undeveloped, there wasn’t much to tie them in as clerics really - they were mostly generic soldiers who existed to be killed off (or written out of existence). Now in my opinion that was a real missed opportunity - one of the things that made Aliens such a success is the shear accessibility of the marines. True this was achieved by creating stereotyped personalities that were loud and instantly identifiable, but doing this gave us some big characters that confidently walked into a fall - it made the situation where the brown stuff hit the fan stronger because we felt like we knew these people and had always known them. The clerics on the other hand were little more than the usual Doctor Who soldiers, they could have been members of UNIT, or any British armed forces for all the personality they had outside of the bishop. I did like the symbolism of the clerics (and later Angels) “going into the light”, but that’s not enough - bumping off nameless mooks is just not as potent as killing a character that people have had time to identify with. The bishop’s end at the hands of an Angel did work, but it also felt like he had extra characterisation that ended up on the cutting room floor.

    The Angels also became victims of this ‘overstuffed’ effect, they turned from a terrifying threat into the secondary minor threat and finally they ended up something that (if I’m honest) evoked pity. I think it was the combination of giving them a voice (through Angel Bob) and as such having them essentially plead with the Doctor, asking him to throw himself into the crack in order to save them. It had the effect of humanising them and then lowering their status from something that was alien and terrifying into something to be pitied. As great as the Angels falling into the light was to see, it wasn’t worth the price they paid as villains. I think that Moffat has made a decision to not use the Weeping Angels again in the future and that’s why he did this.

    I’m also not sure about actually seeing the Angels move, I think I preferred it when they just suddenly changed poses when the camera wasn’t looking at them. That made the Angels seem more threatening to the viewer because the camera was functioning as an eye itself. Once we could see them move we were divorced from the situation and the perceived threat the Angels posed to the audience was almost removed - in fact I’ve read more than a few people’s comments elsewhere expressing a feeling of pity for the Angels by the end of the episode - not sure about that, I preferred the Angels as an object of terror.

    I do have to congratulate Moffat on the method he used when dealing with the Doctor defeating the Angels mind you. It was a completely natural and understandable moment that did feel made sense and most importantly did not feel forced at all. We knew that the Angels were feeding off the ship’s power source, we knew that everyone was standing on a vertical plane thanks to the artificial gravity - so when it failed and the Angels plummeted into the bright light (bright light!), it all just worked.

    Last of all we have the aftermath to look at - the bit that’s going to have the romance seekers (and those terrible slash fiction writers) dribbling all over the upholstery in excitement. I am of course referring to Amy’s reaction towards the Doctor and the addressing of the inevitable sexual tension (on her part at least) between them. It was, frankly, hilarious. Matt Smith is able to play the role of an uncomfortable man fending off advances exceptionally well, and Karen’s delivery of her lines ensured that the sauciest scene in Doctor Who’s history didn’t get too far away from ‘child friendly’. It was something that played well for laughs, provided plot advancement and wasn’t so overtly sexual that it could cause offence (it was like one of the tamer Carry On films). It gave us a great end to the episode and more importantly an early introduction towards the construction of the series finale.

    (Even if it does mean that some people are going to interpret the ending as being ‘The Doctor and Amy doing it in the TARDIS.)

    Other observations:

  • Sorry, I’ve decided I don’t like River Song. She’s become a character who has outstayed her welcome as far as I’m concerned. Much like Captain Jack did previously. Now there are some interesting concepts and neat parts of foreshadowing floating around her, but I just do not like Alex Kingston’s performance opposite Matt Smith. I’m beginning to hope that the River Song story is wrapped up as soon as possible.

  • I rather liked Octavian, he was a character with considerable gravity and I can’t help but feel he would have been a far more important and central character if River Song hadn’t been present in the episode. I truth I’m beginning to wonder if River Song’s presence was the weakest part of the two episodes, it seems it was.

  • This one is a huge one. Did anyone else notice The Doctor’s returning jacket? It was done in an exceptionally subtle fashion. Watch the scene where he asks Amy to wait and trust him after she’s been forced to keep her eyes closed, keep an eye on him when he returns. He tells her “later” and departs without a jacket, but then he returns - wearing his jacket and talking in a different manner, a calmer tone - and he asks her to remember the conversation from when she was seven. If you watch the rest of the episode you’ll see he still doesn’t have his jacket on as he lost it to the Angels. It’s quite possibly The Doctor from the future crossing back on his own time stream in order to deliver an important message to her. This is the kind of stuff that I adore Moffat for. (Or it could be a wardrobe error, but given the context of the conversation this seems less likely - or at least one hopes so - only time will tell).

  • Finally; I’m going to apologise in advance for the way I’ll most likely be about next week’s episode “The Vampires of Venice”. The way vampires are portrayed in modern media tends to irk me greatly, and just the appearance of their teeth has woken up the snark centre of my brain. So the episode will have to be very good to placate it.

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    Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day

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    I have quite a soft spot fot the original Boondock Saints movie. The sequel was released on DVD this week and there will be a review of it on (film) Friday. Until then here's the release trailer for the film.

    Remember to bring yer fecking rope!

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    DVDs in Review #106: The Sopranos - Season 6 (Part 1)

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    The final season of any show often feels like the last leg of a marathon to myself, it needs to be the season which brings everything to a head and closes the stories it wants to close (not all stories have to be closed, sometimes it's more interesting to leave threads hanging open). The Sopranos Season 6 Part 1 (here to referenced as Part One) in some ways manages to walk into this while also avoiding it. I'm not sure exactly how it gets away with being the first half of the last season, pacing and story-wise there's no doubt that it is half of a construct that is only completed with the second part. But it's also a dominant season with exceptionally strong moments that stand alone.

    At the end of the last season Tony fled from Johnny Sack's home as the feds closed in on the head of the New York family. The final season opens with the episode 'Members Only' and delivers one of the biggest moments of the show - Junior Soprano - who started to slip with Alzhiemer's last season - takes a huge step further into his illness by shooting Tony at the end of the epsidoe, making this the second time Tony has been shot during the series. His coma, his experiences in it and the attitudes of the New Jersey crew form a huge part of early episodes.

    One of the other main threads of the season follows the gradual decline of Johnny Sack and the rise of Phil Leotardo as a dangerous threat to Tony and his boys (Philly still unwilling to let Tony Blundetto's killing of Angelo go as he was unable to extract revenge from Tony B because Tony S had already killed him to spare the man being tortured to death - and to try and close the issue between New York and New Jersey).

    Another character brought to the front of the season is Vito, one of Tony's highest earners - he moves from being a supporting character with a few unusual, interesting and notable traits (his rapid weight loss and suppressed/concealed homosexuality being the primary two) into the limelight when he is outed. I was rather surprised by the expertise and skill involved in the entire story. Vito comes across very strongly as a sympathetic and likeable individual during his time away from New Jersey, which is not to say that you'll forget this is the man who killed Jackie Jr. But you do come to appreciate him a a rounded personality.

    The show is as tight and superb as ever, this season has a stronger direction than any before as it's building up towards the final block of episodes. Providing plenty of foreshadowing, metaphors and hints at the storm brewing between the New Jersey and New York families in the final part.

    It's a great season that is followed by an amazing one.
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