Leave It To Cleaver

 photo cleaversopranos_zps24bc81ba.jpgIf you were ever yearning for a direct to DVD mafia slasher movie within an HBO show, Cleaver is the way to go, especially because it might be the only one to fit that very specific category. As a huge fan of The Sopranos and a horror fanatic, I was amused when the two worlds began to merge in the 6th season.

 
Christopher Moltisanti wrote the film’s story which seems to mirror his own life. His ideas for the film were inspired by his tensions with his mob contemporaries and the possibility of an affair between his fiance Adriana and his boss Tony Soprano.
 
The premise of Cleaver revolves around a mafia killer who gets betrayed by his people and they kill him and cut him into pieces that they leave all over the city. The body parts come back together (possibly supernaturally) and he comes back to life to exact revenge on those who f*cked him over. Every slasher needs a memorable killer and in Cleaver it was The Butcher, who was aptly named for a movie originally titled Pork Store Killer. Sounds like an upcoming Asylum picture.
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWZehc-K2O4]

Described in the show as “SAW meets Godfather II” or “The Ring Meets The Godfather,” the mob/slasher movie eventually got it’s own mockumentary which is included in The Sopranos complete series DVD set and posted above thanks to YouTube user bufflo. There’s also a cult following for the film which spawned memorabilia like t-shirts and mugs.
 
Horror fans not acquainted with The Sopranos would appreciate it because it never held back from showing explicit violence and gore. Some scenes in the series were pretty horrific at times, especially when Christopher’s movie project was getting the spotlight. After the series ended there were tons of rumors floating around about a Sopranos movie, but instead, a real Cleaver movie would’ve reached beyond just viewers of the show and into the massive horror audience all over the world. Are you reading this Michael Imperioli?

The Ghastly Side of Boardwalk Empire: A Gallery

richardharrow
Tonight is the Season 4 premiere of HBO’s incredible series Boardwalk Empire. Set in Atlantic City during the prohibition period, the superbly acted show brings you into the life of politician/gangster Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Often, his world isn’t as glamorous as you might think.

Such as with most of the shows on HBO, many beautiful women have starred in Boardwalk Empire such as Gretchen Mol, Aleksa Palladino, Kelly Mcdonald, and Heather Lind. The beauty ends there because most of the time, the show isn’t pretty. Brutal killing is common practice, so if you are faint-of-heart, you’ll be looking away often. Richard Harrow’s mangled face might also prove to be unsettling for you as well.

Events that take place in Boardwalk Empire can be considered shocking and gruesome so let’s take a look at the dark side of the show. I’ve scoured the Internet to bring you an array of ghastly, grotesque and downright creepy interpretations of some characters featured in Boardwalk Empire.

boardwalk_empirepearl_by_steverolston 
I own this piece – couldn’t resist getting it a while back: 
pearlBWempireredchurippu 
I never knew it existed but it’s f*cking awesome: Pearl Cosplay! via RedChurippu on Deviant Art
JonFreestRichardHarrowMask 
This Richard Harrow mask has made the rounds all over the Internet thanks to one of my favorite artists Jon Defreest via the original Vulture link

richard_by_nastynoser 
Richard Harrow Fan Art via NastyNoser on Deviant Art
phantomoftheboardwalkJhanquaza1 
Phantom of the Boardwalk via Jhanquaza on Deviant Art
vanaldendummy 
Ventriloquist dummies are almost ALWAYS creepy so here is Nelson Van Alden (a.k.a ZOD) as a ventriloquist dummy via artist Micro on Society 6

Thanks for checking out this post. Pay a visit to all the amazing artists featured here. I leave you with Van Alden’s eye bugging out. Your welcome.

VanAldenBugEyehttp://www.hbo.com/boardwalk-empire/index.html

TRIBUTE TO A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY: JAMES GANDOLFINI 1961-2013 by Nick “NJ” Holden

 photo sopranoslast-supper_zps9edf789e.jpg
Our feature writer Nick “NJ” Holden pays respect to Jersey icon 
James Gandolfini a.k. Tony Soprano
Governor Chris Christie called James Gandolfini, who died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 51, “a true Jersey guy”, and while the governor has made some questionable statements and decisions as the head of the state, he really hit the nail on the head. Not only was Gandolfini a true New Jerseyan (born in Westwood, raised in Park Ridge, and graduate of Rutgers University), he took a murdering, lying, cheating, neurotic gangster named Tony Soprano and have him a soul on the HBO show The Sopranos. But he was much more than a gangster on television, for he was a true character actor capable of roles on Broadway and on the big screen.

James Gandolfini first came to prominence as a violent enforcer in True Romance, where he had a memorable (albeit brutal and bloody) encounter with Patricia Arquette. Given his size (6’1”), it would be easy to typecast him as the heavy. But his acting ability and charm won him a variety of roles: a kind-hearted Hollywood stuntman (Get Shorty opposite fellow NJ’er John Travolta), a gruff working-class stiff babysitting a spoiled ad exec (Surviving Christmas), and even the Mayor of New York (The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3). 
I remember watching Zero Dark Thirty in a packed AMC Theater at the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall, totally immersed in the action, when about mid-way through the movie, Gandolfini pops up. The audience was stunned, whispering in hushed tones “It’s Tony Soprano!”, but stopped once he began speaking. Gone was the heavy bravado and Italian accent made famous every Sunday night and on-screen was a strict but open-minded CIA director inquiring about a compound that may or may not house the most wanted man on the face of the earth. A personal favorite of mine is his role as Woody Dumas, a tough DEA agent with a lisp and unfortunate habit of getting hit by cars in the little-seen horror/action/romance/comedy Perdita Durango, also known as Dance with the Devil from Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia. Acting alongside Rosie Perez and a then-unknown Javier Bardem, Gandolfini manages to steal every scene he’s in while keeping his tongue firmly in cheek among the madness.

James Gandolfini isn’t the only successful Jersey-born actor (Abbott and Costello, Ed Harris, Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson), but he was the first to fully embrace his roots as well as his fame and keep a balance on both. He rooted for the Scarlet Knights and would appear on the sidelines. He produced the documentaries Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq in which he interviewed 10 injured Iraq War veterans and Wartorn. He was also a fixture in the Tri-State area, appearing at dinners, lectures, and other public functions, all the while smiling and keeping his feet planted on the ground. And despite the credit that was showered upon Jersey Shore for revitalizing New Jersey, especially Seaside Heights, The Sopranos was really responsible for putting the Garden State back on the map, using locals in Kearny, Wayne, North Caldwell, and most notably Lodi (the strip club on the series Bada Bing! is actually Satin Dolls). Even after the show’s finale in 2007, fans from all parts of the globe can still see the actual shooting locations and other points of interest via The Sopranos Sites Tour (http://onlocationtours.com/tour/sopranos/), an four-hour bus tour. 
So with a heavy heart, the Sexy Armpit and I bid James Gandolfini a fond farewell and extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and co-stars.

Anthony of House Soprano, Lord of New Jersey

Photobucket

Counting the days until Game of Thrones Season 3? ME TOO! We still have a bit of time until March 31st, 2013, so in the mean time, I found this awesome Photoshop mash-up of two of HBO’s best shows ever: Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. If Jersey puts anyone on that throne, it would have to be Tony!

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 94: Eastbound & Down

Photobucket
An I LOVE NJ T-Shirt appears in Chapter 18 of Eastbound & Down

Kenny f’n Powers! Just when I thought his antics couldn’t get any more offensive, deplorable, and insanely hysterical, he sinks to new depths in the 3rd and final season of Eastbound & Down on HBO.

As Kenny deals with April deserting him and the challenges of being a father, his quest to get back to the major league still consumes him. Filming took place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Kenny plays on the Myrtle Beach Mermen.

The end of Chapter 18, which aired last Sunday, gave us a sample of what kind of loony performance we can expect from Lily Tomlin who is playing Kenny’s mother. I’m sad to see the show come to an end, but I’m anxious to see Danny McBride show up in other movie and TV roles.

AD JERSEUM 13: Boardwalk Empire in Atlantic City

Boardwalk Empire NJ
For last year’s premiere of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the ad campaign was seen all over Atlantic City. The series of posters for the first season were beautifully painted and appeared in magazines, blogs, and naturally, along the boardwalk in Atlantic City. You might have also seen these posters while you were baking on the beach because they were all over the pier.
Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City
Not too long ago Miss Sexy Armpit and I saw a couple of billboards for the 2nd season of Boardwalk Empire on the Atlantic City Expressway. These were more of a viral type ad campaign in contrast to the lavish artwork used in the 1st season’s campaign. The Atlantic City Beautification Project is a bit of a ruse if you don’t bother to look at the rest of the billboard. Since Atlantic City has actually made progress in beautifying it’s central area with new landscaping, upscale outdoor shopping, various restaurants, and Jay Z’s 40/40 Club, one might think that the A.C Beautification Project was a real municipal initiative. Either way, the ad indicates that we have Nucky Thompson to thank for it.
Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City
When seen from your car before you split off to go to your casino, this smaller version of the billboard is even more realistic. It’s like one of those homemade signs stuck in someone’s lawn promoting a candidate for a spot in the local government. Props to HBO for another cool localized ad campaign. The only thing that could make it feel more real is if it said Nucky Johnson!

DISNEY’S Boardwalk Empire?

Photobucket


What’s most likely the furthest thing from your mind when visiting Disney World: New Jersaaayyyy. The idea of taking a trip to Disney World is usually to get away from all the hustle and bustle. But, as many times as I’ve been to the happiest place on earth, I never realized that one of Disney’s deluxe resorts is inspired by early 20th century Atlantic City and Ocean City NJ. So much for a magical getaway from The Garden State!

It seems the mouse house capitlized on their own “Boardwalk Empire” nearly 15 years before HBO aired their period drama. Opened in 1996 and located near Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios, The Boardwalk Inn and its boardwalk have been compared to shore towns along the Northeastern coast of the U.S in the 20th century, but Disney specifically mentions Atlantic City in the description on their website.

The Boardwalk itself is an actual stretch of boardwalk on Crescent Lake built in the style of Coney Island and Atlantic City in their heyday. The Boardwalk features unique shops, restaurants, and the only microbrewery in Walt Disney World. Also, one of the restaurants is the ESPN Club, a modern sports bar. Got to give Disney points for accuracy. There’s a couple of things you’ll never have a problem finding in New Jersey: beer and sports bars.

Trip Advisor reviews for The Boardwalk resort are pretty high, but one complaint seems to come from people who stayed in rooms overlooking the actual boardwalk. Noise from Disney’s Boardwalk is common since occasionally there are bands playing. There’s also a boat that will transport you to the nearby parks and it blows a horn when it pulls in to the dock located on the boardwalk. If none of that bothers you then you might want to stay there on your next Disney adventure.

From the Disney World website:

“Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a Disney Deluxe Resort that captures the charm, whimsy and elegance of 1940s Atlantic City. Sitting along a boardwalk packed with amusements, the Resort offers dynamic views of activity below and of the glittering waters of Crescent Lake.”

“Stroll along Disney’s BoardWalk during the day to explore the unusual shops and restaurants. When the sun cools down, the nightlife heats up with street performers, food vendors, midway games and lots of live entertainment.”

Lady GaGa Likes THE BOSS

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zz5wxYj7RY?rel=0]
Lady GaGa’s enthralling Monster Ball Tour stopped at the Prudential Center in Newark on April 22nd, 2011 and The Sexy Armpit was there to witness the spectacle. Since I previously saw GaGa in Atlantic City, I wasn’t surprised when I saw her dramatic Monster Ballads type performance of “You and I,” during which she pounded away on the keys of her flaming piano, even occasionally foregoing her fingers to use her stiletto heel. She usually dedicates “You and I” to someone and this night it went out to her grandfather, a New Jersey native. I’m glad that YouTube member music4life324 captured GaGa’s intro to this song because here GaGa elaborates on her other associations with New Jersey. GaGa always makes it well known that she’s from New York, but it’s interesting to see how many New Yorkers have plenty Jersey connections as well.
Even several years after her debut, GaGa is still winning fans over. Recently, HBO premiered their presentation of The Monster Ball Tour taped at Madison Square Garden. Even the queen of glam rock on the Internet, Allyson from Bring Back Glam recently described GaGa’s latest video for “Judas” as “Metal,” and I fully agree. Of course there was a barrage of comments left on her post, many of which took exception to putting the pop icon in this category. Unfortunately, there aren’t many rock or metal bands who are badass enough to be called METAL nowadays! Isn’t it sad when our pop icons have more metal attitude in their petite 5’1 firecracker of a body than most actual metal bands today? I’ll take GaGa’s stiletto heels, pyro, and exposed butt cheeks any day.
It’s also pretty cool to know that GaGa knows who the BOSS is and I’m not talking about Judith Light. Many of the tracks on GaGa’s latest album “Born This Way” (available today) are influenced by Bruce Springsteen. She even had “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons do a guest spot on “Edge of Glory.” The following GaGa quote from an article on Billboard.com is taken from an upcoming MTV documentary, Inside the Outside, airing 5/26:

“Springsteen had such an influence on our home,” she says. “My father gave me, I believe it was for Christmas, a Bruce Springsteen songbook for the piano and on it was ‘Thunder Road,’ which is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song. My dad said, ‘If you learn how to play this song we will take out a loan for a grand piano, a baby grand.’ So I remember it was the hardest thing for me. I was playing these huge (classical) pieces, like 15 pages long, … and then there was this Bruce Springsteen song. I opened up the book and there was like chords, guitar chords. I was so confused. I didn’t understand it, so I just started to read it and eventually, eventually I got it down.” – Lady Gaga Reflects on Springsteen Influence for ‘Inside the Outside’ Doc by Phil Gallo 5/18/2011 Billboard.com

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 10: The Sopranos T-Shirts

I woke up this morning…had a T-Shirt idea in my eyes. Allright, so the lyrics to Alabama 3’s Sopranos theme song don’t necessarily translate into a winning blog post joke. But it has been on my mind that The Sopranos has not been represented here on T-Shirt Tuesday. What a crime! One might think that I was roughed up a little by Mr. Silvio Dante in order to keep my mouth shut, but who cares? Do you think I’m going to listen to those guys? Let them try beating me again because I have a mind of my own, one that veers off frequently throughout the day into daydreams where I am a guy named Kevin Finnerty. Jeez, maybe all those beatings have taken their toll! Now fix me a capicola sand. with peppers so we can get down to business, and make sure this room isn’t tapped!

Word has come down that ChasingTheFrog.com has assembled quite a haul of links to stores that sell Sopranos shirts, hats, and other collectibles. This stuff fell off a truck so it’s hot! Let’s take a look at some of the T-Shirts they’re featuring:
Photobucket
You can find about a hundred different Bada Bing variations on Cafe Press, but this version is from the store Funny T-Shirts from seller “ybiaw.” Next is the Barone Sanitation shirt from Cafe Press seller “strk3.” One of my personal favorite T-Shirts shops is Stylin’ Online. They can be a little pricey at times but they’ve got an awesome selection. This Sopranos shirt they are offering specifically mentions New Jersey! Of course these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Sopranos tees, so we’ll delve deeper in future posts.