Joe Bruno on the Mob – Two Movies On Whitey Bulger in the Works — Why???

Instead of rats deserting a sinking ship, this is a case of Hollywood deserting it’s morals to do movies on a rat.

It seems ever since Whitey Bulger got arrested early this year after 16 years on the run, Hollywood flunkies are beating the walls down to do a movie on the life of a man, who could reasonably be called one of the 20 most despicable human beings in the last 50 years.

The most prominent of these Hollywood types are Matt Damon and his Beantown pal Ben Affleck. The only good news about these two attempting a movie about Bulger’s life, is that Affleck, truly a horrible actor (remember Gigli?) will not pollute the screen with his presence. Instead, Affleck will direct the movie, while Damon, who has done some decent stuff (but not much) on the big screen, will portray Bulger.

People in the know in Boston think it’s career suicide spearheading a movie about a man who was involved in more than 19 murders. Prominent attorney Anthony Cardinale, who represented Bulger’s old pal Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme said, “If it’s done honestly, Damon will look like an idiot, a treacherous piece of junk. It’ll be a bad career move for him. If not done accurately, it’s a worse career move.”

Some people who were once close to Bulger don’t feel Damon is the right actor to play Bulger. Former Bulger flunky Kevin Weeks, who became a rat himself and wrote “Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob,” doesn’t think Damon can pull it off. Weeks said, “If Damon wants to portray a fictional Whitey Bulger, maybe. But I think an actor like Ed Harris could pull it off better.”

No kidding Weeks. Harris is ten times the actor Damon ever was, and will ever be.

The second Hollywood stooge (is it becoming clear I don’t like Hollywood or anything about Hollywood?) who is planning a Bulger movie is Peter Facinelli, a co-star of HBO’s Nurse Jackie, an actor who has also appeared in the Twilight movies. Facinelli reportedly has a script already in hand, based on the book “Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob,” written by another former Bulger associate Edward Mackenzie Jr., with authors Phyllis Karas and Ross Muscato.

At least in Facinelli’s case, the script he uses will be based on a book written by someone who was intimately involved with Bulger, and who knew his dealings, his habits, and his mannerisms. The closest Damon ever got to Bulger was when he appeared in the Martin Scorsese movie “The Departed,” loosely based on Bulger’s life.

Very loosely.

If it was up to me, I’d can both movies. A new Three Stooges movie would make more sense.

What’s next? A movie on another rat like Sammy “The Bull” Gravano?

Hollywood, and its phony self-righteousness, makes me want to puke.

You can view the two articles below at:

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon’s Whitey Bulger Film Project Gets Mixed Response in Boston

The duo announced earlier this week that they are tackling the story of the notorious Beantown-based gangster, with Affleck directing and Damon starring.

The news that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are developing a movie about the notorious Boston-based gangster Whitey Bulger was met with mixed emotions in Beantown.

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As The Hollywood Reporter reported earlier this week, Affleck would direct the project, with Damon portraying the man through several decades, including his rise and local Robin Hood-style infamy, his alleged 19 murders and racketeering, his acting as an FBI informant, and his years on the run.

Bulger was caught earlier this year in California at the age of 81 after 16 years on the run. He had been wanted for his alleged role numerous crimes, including 19 murders.

And although Affleck and Damon grew up in the Boston area, their new project is being met with some trepidation from other residents there, according to the Boston Globe.

If anyone makes this movie, I’m pleased it’s these two. They’re brilliant,” Tommy Donahue, whose father was allegedly killed by Bulger and his henchmen, “But I definitely have mixed emotions about this. Hopefully they can depict Whitey Bulger for what he is. They’ll need to do their homework, though.”

Added attorney Anthony Cardinale, who represented former New England mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme in a case that helped expose Bulger’s corrupt ties with the FBI: “If it’s done honestly, [Damon] will look like an idiot, a treacherous piece of junk. It’ll be a bad career move for him. [If not done accurately], it’s a worse career move.”

Defense attorney Joseph Oteri, a longtime family friend of Bulger, believes that Affleck and Damon will be able to “capture the mentality” of the area accurately, but Thomas Foley, the former Massachusetts State Police colonel who played a key role in building the case against Bulger, is worried that the project might not be able to accurately portray the facts in the case — including that Bulger became an FBI informant in the 1970s — without “making [Bulger] any more of a celebrity than he is now.”

What angle will they take?” said Foley, who is writing a book about the case. “I don’t know, but this happened over many years. It’s hard to get your arms around all that in a two-hour movie.’’

Dick Lehr, who wrote Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob with Gerard O’Neill, believes the project — and any other movie about Bulger that focuses on FBI corruption — is “a good thing, a public service.’’

But former Bulger henchman Kevin Weeks, who wrote Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob with Phyllis Karas, doesn’t think Damon “can pull it off. … If he wants to portray a fictional [Whitey] Bulger, maybe. But I think an actor like Ed Harris could pull it off better.”

And Robert Fitzpatrick, a former FBI Boston officer supervisor whose book comes out in January, is concerned about how the FBI will be portrayed in the movie, adding that “the Bulger affair was as complicated an affair as I’ve ever seen in the bureau.”

‘Twilight’ Actor Peter Facinelli to Produce Whitey Bulger Biopic

Peter Facinelli, a co-star of TV’s Nurse Jackie and a key actor in the Twilight movies, jumped on the Whitey Bulger bandwagon on Tuesday when he unveiled plans for a Hollywood film about the Boston mobster.

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Producer Graham King Fast-tracking Crime Movie Featuring Whitey Bulger

“I’m producing a Whitey Bulger movie based on book Street Soldier with Brookstreet Pictures,” Facinelli said on his Facebook page.

Bulger, the former mob kingpin accused of 19 murders from the 1970s and 1980s and a raft of other crimes, was arrested last week in California after being on the run for 16 years.

The long-time leader of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gang has been the subject of several books, and inspired Jack Nicholson’s sadistic gangster character in the 2006 Oscar-winning Martin Scorcese film, The Departed.

On its website, independent film production company Brookstreet said it would team with Facinelli Films to produce an adaptation of the 2003 book.

Brookstreet CEO Trevor Matthews will be one of the co-producers with Facinelli.

Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob was written by one-time boxer and drug-dealer Edward Mackenzie Jr., with authors Phyllis Karas and Ross Muscato. A script based on the book, which was optioned by Facinelli last year, is already in hand.


4 Responses to “Joe Bruno on the Mob – Two Movies On Whitey Bulger in the Works — Why???”

  1. Joe – Blow, Goodfellas, American Gangster were all films about RATS – But currently, Not all the films about the Boston Mob are about RATS! JOHN RED SHEA – STOOD UP AND TOOK HIS PUNISHMENT AND DIDN’T RAT, EVEN ON WHITEY – AS STATED IN HIS NY TIMES BEST SELLING BOOK “RAT BASTARDS”

  2. I read John Shea’s book. He’s a standup guy. One of the few in Boston during Bulger’s reign. I think he’s working in construction right now.

    I didn’t like any of the three films you mentioned. Especially Goodfellas, which was a crock. Plain bull and half-truths told through the eyes of a complete dirtbag.

  3. Remarkably there have been few mob films that I respect… I eventually turn the film off when I learn it’s gives favorable light to a rat. Where I come from integrity means everything, honor dictates all and being a man of your word is number one. For this reason when it comes to Boston mob talk, my conversation is on John Red Shea.

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