Arts

New to stream: The Many Saints of Newark and And Just Like That...

The Many Saints Of Newark: Billy Magnussen as Paulie Walnuts, Jon Bernthal as Johnny Soprano, Corey Stoll as Junior Soprano, John Magaro as Silvio Dante, Ray Liotta as "Hollywood Dick" Moltisanti and Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti
Damon Smith

THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK (Cert 15, 119 mins, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Drama/Thriller/Romance, available from December 6 on BT TV Store/iTunes/Prime Video/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from December 13 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £26.99/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray £34.99)

Starring: Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Michael Gandolfini, Michela De Rossi, Ray Liotta, John Magaro, Billy Magnussen, Samson Moeakiola, Germar Terrell Gardner.

THE DiMeo crime family led by Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) struggles to maintain a vice-like grip on 1960s New Jersey as black citizens loot stores and set streets ablaze in response to police brutality.

Dickie's loyal lieutenants Silvio Dante (John Magaro), Walnuts (Billy Magnussen) and Big Pussy (Samson Moeakiola) follow their boss's lead.

However, small-time runner Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr) sets up a rival numbers racket with his cousin Cyril (Germar Terrell Gardner) and ignites a turf war with Dickie.

Impressionable teenager Anthony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini) idolises Dickie, more so than his father Johnny Boy (Jon Bernthal), who has just returned home to wife Livia (Vera Farmiga) after a four-year stretch behind bars.

Tony watches intently as rival gangsters jostle for supremacy and blood ties are severed.

The Many Saints Of Newark is a feature-length prequel to David Chase's sprawling crime drama The Sopranos.

Alan Taylor's film is a slow-burning multigenerational study of toxic masculinity and criminal enterprise with unsettling echoes of the Black Lives Matter protests.

Gandolfini possesses some of his father's mannerisms, tethering the two timelines as production designer Bob Shaw and costume designer Amy Westcott elegantly step back in time to an era of sharp suits and bouffant updos.

Characters take tragic tumbles but a script penned by series creator Chase and Lawrence Konner assuredly strains fraternal bonds, nodding to Goodfellas by casting Ray Liotta as a hot-headed brute who expresses love through his fists.

Bruised egos and torn muscles set in motion the brutality including a wince-inducing torture sequence using a car mechanic's drill.

Rating: 3/5

AND JUST LIKE THAT… (10 episodes, starts streaming from December 9 exclusively on Now, Comedy/Drama/Romance)

IT HAS been a little over 23 years since Sarah Jessica Parker took her first steps as columnist Carrie Bradshaw in Sex & The City based on Candace Bushnell's celebrated book.

She returns to the signature role alongside Kristin Davis as Charlotte and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda for the eagerly awaited 10-part sequel, which explores the trials and tribulations of life in New York for the friends in their fabulous 50s.

And Just Like That… premieres the first two episodes this week on Sky Comedy, which streams exclusively on Now, and further chapters sashay on to the service every Thursday.

While Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is noticeably absent, other characters from the original series are welcomed back into the fold including Aiden (John Corbett), Mr Big (Chris Noth) and Stanford (Willie Garson).

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Arts