Monday, January 7, 2013

“Kill the Irishman” with Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken (2011)

In this gritty story based upon the true life exploits of gangster Danny Greene,played by Ray Stevenson, an Irish immigrant who worked on the docks in Cleveland during the early 1970’s. The old “pay to work” racket was rampant, with men routinely passed over for work in rotation if they did not pay a “kickback” to the bosses who ran the hiring. The times, as well as the environment of the waterfront, soon convinced Danny to take action on his own, taking over his local and putting himself squarely at odds with a local loan shark named Shondor Birns, played with the usual coolness of Christopher Walken.

In order to battle the forces at the disposal of Birns; who made the bulk of his money through the “pay for work” scheme; Danny is forced to make an alliance with local gangster John Nardi, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, in a role with much more depth than any of his work on the “Law and Order” television series. Danny and John blaze their way across the waterfront, taking on the gangsters who control it, only to try and control it themselves.

With the government attempting to turn him into an informant; something which he refused to do; and the mob trying to assassinate him, blow him up, and otherwise do away with him; Danny is caught between the forces of good and evil, where he finds that the two are not always dissimilar with one another.
I was living in Cleveland at the time that some of these events took place. There was almost never a day that went by in which someone got killed on; or disappeared from; the waterfront. Though Danny Greene’s story has been legendary amongst the union hiring hall for decades; this is the first movie about the legendary and seemingly indestructible Danny Greene. Tightly written and directed by Johnathan Heinsleigh, this is one movie which will keep you in your seat for the entire film without ever wanting to take a break. Val Kilmer and Paul Servino, along with Linda Cardellini all turn in great performances in this film which rivals “Goodfellas” in almost every respect. And that alone is high praise indeed.
 Overseas Reymar Meets the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

This TV video shows the Overseas Reymar on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, shortly after it struck the westernmost  support of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As a former navigator on oil tankers, all I can say is that it never would have happened on my watch!

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