We had such a radical time with last week’s Point Break-style weekend preview that we’re back for more.
This time, we drop science with Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed,” an appropriate-themed movie as the MLS season turns to Fall and teams start tumbling out off the playoff ladder and into the offseason.
Who will become the The Departed in the MLS playoff race this weekend?
Truth be told, we wanted to use another Beantown cops-and-robbers flick here, the underrated and under-appreciated Ben Affleck vehicle “The Town,” but the dialogue just doesn’t crank up the sarcasm and pithy character-count that we needed to make a preview go around. (Note: “The Town…should easily have taken down a few awards last year in an Oscar’s season when “The King’s Speech”–a solid if ultimately unspectacular movie–won Best Picture.)
Let’s stay on point. Always a challenge for the TSG crew.
This week, we go with “The Departed,” a 2006 remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Internal Affairs.”
“The Departed” pits Irish mob boss Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, against an undercover cop who infiltrates his gang, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio). Matt Damon plays police rat Colin Sullivan–a mixed-up grab bag of swashbuckling cop bravado, blood-brother sellout, Costello order taker–with near perfect pace to complete the criminal triangle. Sullivan’s and Costigan’s search for the rat in the other unit runs parallel throughout the drama.
“The Departed” is also the third film of four that Martin Scorsese has cast one-time heart throb Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role (1: The Gangs of New York, 2: The Aviator, 4: Shutter Island.) and is widely considered their best collaboration as Scorsese brought surrounded DiCaprio with his most talent to date in Nicholson and Damon.
Heiress to the Meg Ryan throne?
By the way, if Matt Damon were a footie player, he’d be Dirk Kuyt, a superstar that blends into the background and nails any role he’s tasked with. Scorer, passer, defender, linker, etc.
Oh, and can’t mention “The Departed” without the object of affection, Vera Farmiga. Farmiga was on track to quietly become the Meg Ryan-girl-next-door of her her generation–only she has more talent and more ambition. Farmiga just finished directing her first movie.
On to our preview we go as MLS teams begin to depart the playoff race:
• Match-up: The Union head southwest in a big-time showdown with the Sporting Wizards of Kansas City.
Costello: I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.
We open our preview column with an excerpt from the opening monologue of Nicholson’s Frank Costello which sets the stage for the movie in a voiceover with historic shots of the growth of the downtrodden proletariat in Boston.
Head up, Freddy boy....
Yes the writer sheepishly and slowly writing that name, he’s the same one that penned this column too.
6 games played, 4 started, 1 goal, 351 minutes, 7 shots, 1 on goal.
Got to be honest, after the Gold Cup flair we saw, I expected Freddy to #Aduit a little more, didn’t you?
Now it’s off to a major contest (between two teams that could face each other in the first round of the playoffs) in Kansas City for Peter Nowak’s Union. It should be an upbeat and free flowing game; precisely the type of game where Adu should excel.
Big test of worth here for Adu.
With more on Adu, LeToux and the Union, we turn over this segment to the experts on all things in and around the Liberty Bell, Adam Cann from the Philly Soccer Page:
Current Real Salt Lake assistant coach CJ Brown said that when he played on the Chicago Fire with Peter Nowak, his goal was to win the ball and get it to Nowak. Over and over. One imagines Nowak expects Freddy Adu to play the same way: Demanding the ball, moving it, dictating the action. Instead, Adu has been more like Colin Sullivan, Costello’s BPD plan: Hiding in plain sight.
It ain’t easy going back to your old ‘hood. After learning to pass, move, and hold possession in Europe, Adu joins a Philadelphia team that has a predilection for the vertical direction. To see Freddy Adu in the Union offense is to see the undercover Costigan run with Costello’s gang–he goes through the motions, but his motivation and heart are completely alternative.
Against Kansas City, Adu needs to go “method.” Time to access that inner Brando and accept a few Union truisms: 1) Sebastien Le Toux is running. Usually forward. Kick it to him. 2) If Sheanon Williams passes you on the right at full speed: Kick it to him. 3) If Sheanon isn’t there, there is no width. Draw a foul or do something special. 4) You and Roger Torres play on the same team. Be assured that passing to each other has been approved at the highest levels of management. 5) Demand the ball. You haven’t done much with it yet but if you don’t do this there is really no justification for having Freddy Adu on the field.
Many expected Freddy Adu to knock Roger Torres down the pecking order. Instead, Torres has flourished since Adu’s arrival and Freddy will need to work with the young Colombian if the Union expect to survive a tough road match against a talented KC team. and talented KC team.
Big stakes for Adu Friday night in the Land of Livestrong.
The supporting actors are half the fun in "The Departed"
• Match-up: The Chelsea of the EPL drop the drawbridge and welcome the Barca of the EPL, Swansea City.
Staff Sargent Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) enters for his second scene in the movie–he’s called in at the request of Captain Ellerby (Alec Baldwin) to brief the feds on the status of the “microprocessor case” against Costello. Dignam works with Captain Olivier McQueenan (Martin Sheen) in the state deep undercover division.
Ellerby: Go f*ck yourself.
Dignam: I’m tired from f*cking your wife.
Ellerby: How is your mother?
Dignam: Good, she’s tired from f*cking my father.
Same old Chelsea powerhouse?
Perhaps the most fascinating match Saturday in the Barclays.
Folks thought I was too harsh on Chelsea as they looked a step late all day against Manchester United last Saturday.
While I think that Villa-Boas’s system is more profound than Scolari’s or Ancelotti’s….and takes some getting used to, the Chelsea midfield (and yes John Terry too) cannot hide its awful performance. They were sloppy on defensive organization, negligent in man-marking and lacking ideas in the attack on Sunday.
Part of that is Chelsea being a work-in-progress, but the other part is still lacking that #10.
Why couldn't Arteta wear Chelsea blue?
You have to wonder with the sale of Benayoun and subsequent purchase of Raul Mereiles from Liverpool if they didn’t miss this past transfer season with not making a serious bid for Mikel Arteta–a move that would have disrupted a major London-based competitor and one that would have strengthened them in the middle of the pitch.
Arteta is not a true #10 and excels when playing from deep in the midfield, but might he just have been the perfect replacement for Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge?
Chelsea should play with a vengeance this weekend and win, but the match-up against the possession-oriented Swansea City should be of the edge-of-the-seat nature.
The conclusion of Dignam’s scene….
• Match-up: Manchester City looks to crunch down on some sweet Toffees
FBI Agent Lazio: Without asking for too many details, do you have anyone in with Costello presently?
Staff Sgt. Dignam: Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe f*ck yourself.
Best part about this scene? Lazio by the way. Yeah, he’s played by Robert Wahlberg, Marky Mark’s real-life brother.
One blood brother telling another brother to “go f*ck himself” on the big screen. Think they use that around the dinner table at Thanksgiving time?
Robert: “Hey Mark, mind grabbing me a beer from the kitchen?”
Mark: “Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe f*ck yourself.”
Meanwhile City is staring straight across the Manchester horizon at United at flipping them the bird as they continue to stride towards superclub status. Not a good week for United.
News earlier this week that Manchester United’s plans to raise $1B on the Singapore Exchange has hit a snag: the volatile world markets.
Didn’t see that one coming, did you?