A former mafia associate hired by disgraced Goodfellas star Tony Darrow to break a debtor's jaw has been sentenced to probation. Giovanni Monteleone was one of two thugs recruited by actor Darrow, real name Anthony Borgese, in 2009 to savagely beat a New York man who owed him $5,000 (£3,330).
The 45 year old, who had ties to the Gambino crime family, faced a charge of extortion but agreed to co-operate with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to avoid prison time.
His evidence helped to land a conviction for the actor in 2011, when Darrow, now 74, was sentenced to six months under house arrest, in addition to two years probation and 250 hours of community service, while Monteleone's partner in crime, Gambino mobster Joey Orlando, was placed behind bars for 51 months.
Monteleone was sentenced to probation on Friday (22Nov13).
During the hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court, Monteleone said, "I basically hit an innocent man. If he was in front of me (now) I would apologise to him. It still bothers me 'til this day."
In February (11), Darrow, who also starred in several episodes of TV gangster series The Sopranos, admitted orchestrating an attack on an unidentified debtor, who was savagely beaten by two thugs linked to New York's Gambino crime family.
He was back in court to receive his punishment on Wednesday (07Dec11), and a judge at Brooklyn Federal Court in New York ordered Darrow - real name Anthony Borgese - to spend six months under house arrest for the crime.
Darrow, 73, was also handed two years probation and 250 hours of "non-physically taxing" community service.
The actor was given a lighter sentence after he made a video warning young people to stay away from gang crime.
It was only a matter of time before the Gotti's made their way to the big screen. The family became a media sensation with the A&E show Growing Up Gotti, despite the death of John Gotti Sr. in 2002 and the incarceration of John Gotti Jr. earlier in the decade. Now they're going to be the subject of a feature film from director Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog) that will dramatize the relationship between Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family, and his son, who had the torch passed to him when his father headed to prison.
John Travolta will play the elder gangster in the film, which was penned by Leo Rossi. Marc Fiore is producing for his Fiore Films and Gotti Jr. has given his blessing for the picture. The plan is to shoot entirely on location in New York, where Gotti plans on joining Cassavetes, Travolta and Fiore for a press conference on April 12 to talk about the project.
The Gambino crime family's story is one riddled with violence, jealousy, double crosses and crime, which will undoubtedly make for a compelling piece of eye-opening entertainment. America has always had a fascination with gangsters real (like John Dilliger, subject of 2009's Public Enemies) and imaginary (like Tony Montana from Scarface, who was representative of the Cuban cocaine dealers of 1980s Miami), so there's no reason to think that with a wonderful filmmaker like Cassavetes at the helm this film won't be worthy of your attention.
Source: Fiore Films
Darrow, who also starred in 14 episodes of gangster-themed TV series The Sopranos, is facing a possible prison sentence after pleading guilty earlier this month (Feb11) to asking a mob boss to help him collect a debt as a "favour".
The unidentified debtor was later savagely beaten by two thugs linked to New York's Gambino crime family, and suffered a broken jaw and ribs.
Now Darrow - real name Anthony Borgese - has told of his terror after he was thrown in a cell with hardened crooks, and has filmed a public service announcement in a bid to help troubled youngsters stay away from a life of crime.
He tells the New York Post, "I'm very sorry for what I did. The only way I can change it is by trying to help other people."
Darrow reveals he decided to film a public service announcement to send a positive message to youngsters after a conversation about his conviction with his teenage son.
He says, "(My son) said, 'The guy owed you money; you tried to collect it. You didn't do anything.' It made me feel worse. It was not the message I wanted to give him."
And the actor is determined to put his past behind him after the trauma of his arrest.
He adds, "They threw me into a cage with 70... criminals. I was the only one who got arrested for the first time... I was so frightened I thought I was going to pee myself."
Darrow, who played restaurant owner Sonny Bunz in Martin Scorsese's 1990 mobster classic, pleaded guilty to taking part in an attempt to collect a debt.
The actor, who also starred in 14 episodes of gangster-themed TV series The Sopranos, was asked for help in recovering the cash by the owner of a New York car dealership.
The unidentified victim was later savagely beaten by two enforcers with links to the Gambino crime family, suffering a broken jaw and ribs in the 2004 attack.
On Wednesday (09Feb11), Darrow - real name Anthony Borgese - appeared at Brooklyn Federal Court and pleaded guilty to participation in the extortion plot.
He told the hearing, "I used extortionate means to collect a debt from a person who lived near Monticello."
Outside court, Darrow's lawyer Kevin Faga added, "(He) did not lay a hand on anybody. It's a difficult day for him. He's embarrassed and he's concerned for his family's privacy."
The actor is facing up to 41 months in prison. Last year (10) Darrow's pal, Joseph 'Joey Boy' Orlando, was jailed for 51 months for his part in the plot.
Joseph 'Joey Boy' Orlando, linked to the Gambino organised crime family, was handed the jail term after prosecutors provided a recording in which he can be heard describing the vicious 2004 assault, according to the New York Daily News.
Darrow, real name Anthony Borgese, had asked for Orlando's help after the victim failed to pay back a large sum to a loan shark.
Orlando then sent two men to attack the debtor, who has not been identified, leaving him with a broken jaw and ribs.
In a transcript of the conversation, Orlando says, "Tony (Borgese) says he’s got this Jew in New York State that owes him a few dollars. They go to the house... The guy opens the door. He didn’t even have the door open, punches are going through the door. The wife comes out. They gave her a beating.”
Darrow pleaded not guilty last year (09) to a charge of extortion stemming from the incident.
What no "giant sea pods" this time? Instead The Invasion skews the Body Snatchers scenario by making the alien invasion a virus rather than plant life. Said virus which comes to Earth via a mysterious crash of a space shuttle is transmitted by some form of bodily fluid-to-bodily fluid connection. For example throwing up into people's faces or coffee cups is a fun way to spread the disease. The end result however is the same: Once the infected person falls asleep they undergo a transformation and wake up looking the same but are unfeeling and inhuman—and ready to organize. As the infection spreads and more and more people are altered there are a few humans left fighting for their lives including psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her doctor friend Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig). Carol’s only hope is to stay awake long enough to find her young son who may hold the key to stopping the devastating invasion. But we won’t tell you how. OK it has something to do with an immunity but that’s all we are going to say. Nicole Kidman has had a string of bad luck since winning that damn Oscar for The Hours. One wonders if maybe the golden statuette might actually be a curse (Cuba Gooding Jr. anyone?). Still regardless of the movie--be it Bewitched The Stepford Wives or Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus--Kidman manages to turn in a decent performance. The same goes for The Invasion. Her mother bear act is quite believable as she races to find her son (played with spunk by Jackson Bond) while trying to stay awake and pretending to be cold and unemotional among the pod people--oh excuse me the virally infected people. You root for her all the way. Craig doesn’t have as much to do but still delivers when it counts. In a supporting role Jeremy Northam does a nice job as Carol’s ex-husband a CDC doctor who is one of the first to get infected. As does the always good Jeffrey Wright as a very clever genetic scientist. Even Veronica Cartwright one of the survivors in the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers makes a cameo as one of Carol’s patients who tells her “My husband isn’t my husband!” Famous last words. Body snatching must be a popular water-cooler topic at the movie studios. Starting with the 1956 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which Kevin McCarthy barely escapes his small town with his life running into highway traffic screaming “They're here already! You're next! You're next You're next...” there have been at least two other versions including the above-mentioned 1978 film and the 1993 film Body Snatchers. To its credit The Invasion switches things up a bit nixing the pods and making it more relevant to our current socio-political climate. It even begs the question: Could we be better off if we didn’t have emotions? But the movie is still mired by its derivativeness and too-pat ending—and it also apparently had problems getting off the shelf. Originally wrapped in early 2006 rumor has it the studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s original cut and brought in Matrix’s Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski for rewrites and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to direct the new scenes. Again to its credit The Invasion surprisingly feels cohesive despite all the different influences. Let’s just say whoever came up with the tense car chase in which Carol tries to throw off the pod people (it's just more effective calling them that) draped all over the car kudos to them.
Halle Berry stars as Dr. Miranda Grey a well liked and respected psychotherapist happily married to the beloved head of the psychiatric ward at an old damp women's penitentiary (Charles S. Dutton). One stormy night taking a detour on her drive home she's involved in a terrifying encounter with a young girl that causes her car to go off the road and the impact of the crash knocks Miranda out cold. She wakes up on the wrong side of a Plexiglas cell door in the very prison where she and her husband work (apparently this the only prison in the state) to find her husband's been killed and she is the prime suspect in his gruesome murder. With no memory of the past few days she is confined alongside her former patients like the Satan-paranoid Chloe (Penelope Cruz) and scrutinized by her once-flirtatious coworker Dr. Graham (Robert Downey Jr.). Miranda insists she didn't kill her husband but quickly starts to doubt her own sanity when a violent force from the not-so-sweet hereafter turns her into a Spirit World conduit. Meanwhile the good doctor wants desperately to prove her sane and innocent even as unseen forces bizarre sightings and bad lines get in the way.
You can practically see Berry's slight shoulders hunching under the weight of this oppressive wet flapdoodle of a psycho-mystic mystery that has The Ring written all over it. Berry gets the baffled/terrified/uncontrollable prisoner thing right says "Shit!" a lot and gets plenty of screen time to flesh out her character (no not THAT kind of flesh; she's drenched in the shower and submerged in the swimming pool but Berry never once pulls a Swordfish). Still cute after years of hard living Downey Jr. as Miranda's skeptical doctor ably smarms his way in and out of scenes in which he says little but raises much doubt about his true motivations--just one of several intriguing concepts abandoned in the face of a progressively trite storyline and escalating hoo-haw. Where it all just goes wrong--so so wrong--is in Cruz's greasy raving crackbird who shrieks lines like "He opened me like a flower of paaaain!" while trying to convince Miranda the Devil rapes her nightly in her cell.
Auteur Mathieu Kassovitz admirably sets the stage for a spooky thriller in the massive turn-of-the-century St. Vincent-de-Paul Prison an abandoned maximum-security facility near Montreal that serves as his women's prison. The setting is the only part of the film that holds any interest--it almost develops a life of its own which is more than can be said of the characters. Though Kassovitz resorts to Horror 101 (flickering lights suddenly appearing figures things that go bump in the night) these elements inspire dread and trigger a jolt regardless. So if the setting is suitably hair-raising the first few scenes effectively suck you in and the acting is passable what's the problem? Screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez's script that's what. After an auspicious start the film drowns in nonsense and plot holes the size of which rival Michael Jackson's legal troubles until finally sinking like a stone with a truly pedestrian and ridiculous finale that unravels any interesting question raised in the two hours prior followed by a real howler of a denouement. "I don't believe in ghosts but they believe in me " says Miranda. Sorry we don't believe a bit of Gothika.