The Sopranos : Complete HBO Season 3  -
The Sopranos is more than just a suburban Godfather, it's a modern-day I, Claudius with all the consanguineous conflict of the Caesars translated to New Jersey. At the beginning of the third series--just as brilliant and compelling as the first two--the Soprano clan are under close surveillance from the FBI; but, as ever, that's the least of their problems. Anthony Jnr is getting into trouble at school, Meadow's romantic liaisons at college are a cause of friction, Carmela is having a crisis of conscience and Tony trades one dangerously neurotic mistress for another. Livia's death does nothing to help Tony's psychological problems, and his relationship with therapist Dr Melfi is increasingly strained, especially after she undergoes a shocking ordeal of her own.
There's tension in Tony's other "family", too, as Christopher finally gets made but then chafes at the extra responsibility, much to Paulie's disgust. In one magnificent episode (directed by Steve Buscemi) the two become stranded in the snow-filled woods overnight where all their mutual resentment boils over even as they both freeze. But Tony's real problems emerge from the Aprile family: Jackie Jnr is becoming a dangerous loose cannon, actively encouraged by his borderline psychotic stepfather Ralphie (a marvellous Joe Pantoliano), whose erratic behaviour threatens to ignite a deadly feud ("He disrespected the Bing", says Tony after punching him). When Jackie Jnr and Meadow become an item, both of Tony's dysfunctional families collide with devastating consequences.
On the DVD: The Sopranos, Series 3 arrives in a neat fold-out four-disc set, with four episodes on a double-sided first disc and three each on the remainder. The contents are an improvement on previous releases, with three separate episode commentaries, which are all informative and worthwhile: costar and sometime writer Michael Imperioli (Christopher) talks us through his own script for "The Telltale Moozadell"; Steve Buscemi appears on his directorial effort, "Pine Barrens"; and series creator David Chase chooses the penultimate episode, "Amour Fou". In addition there's a tiny three-minute backstage featurette. Picture and sound are up to par as ever. --Mark Walker
Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):
Faith Restored : No matter that the world is a place of anger, revenge, relentless profit and concommitant need - The Sopranos present it all for our greedy appetite to glory over. Each series unfolds at a wonderfully unhurried pace, allowing the eccentricities to manifest, and the dialogue to enrichen our own speech with the occassional gems that litter the screenplay. Stereotypes are hung on the line to drip which merely strengthens our appreciation of a very American institute. It is one we welcome and would not suffer to have undermined by inferior copies.
The acting gives life to vivid writing. James Gandolfini and Edie Falco are the epitome of a married couple who love and resent each other in the same breath, whilst remaining standard bearers for the institute of family. The supporting cast, each given their own stake and moment of attention, elevate the series to one that will long live in the memory and regard of the appreciative viewer.
Watch out for Steve Buscemi's "Pine Barrens". Think the bizarre moments of 'Fargo' mixed with the familiar of the Sopranos, and you have a piece of television that resonates long after the credits have rolled. Enjoy the series and give profuse thanks to David Chase's vision in creating a work that rivals anything on our screens.
out of this world : Series one and two of sopranos were different class,but what superlative can i throw at series 3 for it puts those two to bed,this is tv that is best described as godly,tv that defies logic in as much as how can it be so good,well readers series 3 destroys all who challenge it in the same genre.
So much happens in series three that it would take me a week to write it all down but then i would be giving the game away and i wouldnt want to do that,but if you are reading this then you have series 1 and 2 and maybe just want to make sure that series 3 is a fitting follow up,well worry no longer for it is.
i aint in the practice of reviewing of blowing the lid on plots,however in series 3 tonys mum dies,well its hardly a secret,she died in real life prior to this,however the cgi used to end her part in this properly is a shambles and looks cheaper than a ripped jumper,however the funeral that she gets on the show is a moving and tense affair.Also we are introduced to a new character in ralphie who has a few problems with tony along the way and we also see a tension building between pauly and tony that the show could never have hinted at before,the stories involving tonys wife and kids also progress in style among others.
Special tribute must be given to the episode 'pine barrens' which is as good as the majority of films you may ever see and thats some praise and with 13 episodes and more drama and comical moments than you coulld shake a stick at this is again the very meaning of class.
'the best TV show ,,, ever' : I notice the comparison to 'I, Claudius' in the Amazon review - interesting, particularly as Tony's mother is Livia, almost certainly a reference to Augustus's scheming wife. The idea that the Sopranos are a kind of modern equivalent to the Ceasars with all the power and lack of responsibility that some of them showed but in a modern context is interesting too. And here in this series Livia takes her leave of us. The wonderful actress, Nancy Marchand, who played her died, and she was written out, necessarily, giving rise to one of the funniest after-funeral get-togethers I have ever seen, with Janice inappropriately (and typically) insisting that the guests say a few words about a woman they all mistrusted or even hated. There is a lot of humour in this series (another wonderful episode in which Chris and Paulie get lost overnight in a frozen wood comes to mind), but also the usual mix of the unexpected, including an unforgettable scene where a concerned but puzzled Tony offers to help Jennifer Melfi, a victim of rape, and she has to turn him away, even though he is the only one who can dispense a kind of justice, brutal as it would be, after the law and the justice system have proved incompetent and worthless. The whole basis of 'The Sopranos' is dramatic irony, and it is never better seen than here. There is so much more in the series - it would be possible to write a book in its praise. I've been watching TV since 1953, when I was 7. I've seen all the great drama series on UK TV and some of those from the States. I have to agree with Q Magazine, quoted in the box which encloses these DVDs, that this is 'the best TV show .... ever'.
Great Show Poor Packaging : You can't beat Sopranos for a quality watch. However, SORT OUT THE PACKAGING. Series 1 and 2 was much better in this respect. Having disc 1 as a 2-sided disc without a label just looks out of place. The way the box opens isn't as user friendly and the menus on the disc look like they have had little time spent on them. Especially absent are the episode summaries. Still worth it for the content though. If the above points were addressed I would give it 5 stars as series 1 and 2 a worth.
Better then 1 & 2..... : If your looking at buying this, you probably already own the first two series' of this brilliant show. If your wondering whether or not to purchase, don't hesitate because you won't be dissapointed! The great mafia-family drama is back and this is the best, funniest and grittiest one of them all!
The FBI plant microphones in the Soprano household to try and get a confession by Tony that he ordered the clip of Sal (Pussy) for working with the FBI. Tony is still seeing Dr. melfi for his panic attacks, but now carmela has decided to pop along too. Meanwhile, a new made guy has joined the Soprano crew, causing trouble and offering countless justifications to get himself whacked by Tony. Uncle Junior is staying quite after the hassle with the FBI whilst meadow is dating and experimenting 'new things' with jackie Aprile. And luck just isn't floating Anthony Junior's way after he's caught vandalising school property.
Plus, Tony's got a new mistress...or two. What's new?
This really is a great gangster drama, with bloodbaths galore in episode 5, and some great acting by everyone!
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