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TIT

'The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 2'
(James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2007 / HBO)

Overview: Last year, Tony Soprano cheated death when he was shot by his now institutionalized Uncle Junior. While Tony continues to muse about his second chance at life, he faces a myriad of immediate, stress-inducing crises at home, at work and from the law. Tony's wife Carmela plans for a future she's not sure will arrive, and son AJ and daughter Meadow find that adulthood holds its own surprises. Meanwhile, at work, Tony comes to doubt the allegiances of many of those closest to him ? no one, not Paulie, Bobby, Silvio or even Christopher is above suspicion. The clock is ticking. Time is running out. But on who?

DVD Verdict: So much of what's said about the final season of The Sopranos refers to the last five minutes, as people unfortunately overlook the best nine episode string of the entire series. David Chase's last season of television's finest program is full of all the qualities that attracted viewers and critics for the past decade. Characters live in a world where death is a possibility each day, but aren't shown to be gods or royalty. Rather, viewers see in them all of the emotions experienced in every family, as Tony, Carmela, Christopher and the rest of the cast share their memorable loves, hates, dreams, failures...and meals.

Season 6.2 has three distinct parts. The first four episodes are "last moments in the sun" for some of the more important characters. Bobby and Janice retreat for a weekend on a lake with Tony and Carm; Johnny Sack battles a new enemy in prison; institutionalized Uncle Junior spends his last moments of sanity running a card game and mentoring a young killer; and Hesh fears for his safety when Tony owes him money and seems reluctant to pay.

Next, the season moves to the difficulties of AJ and Christopher and how both problems affect Tony. Tony takes a backseat to other characters in the opening episodes of the season, but he's never been more laid bare than in how he deals with his literal and figurative sons. As with the ambiguous nature of the show, Tony at times appears to be a heroic, thoughtful and brave, while other times, he's a monster.

Finally, the last two episodes end in the much anticipated war with New York, as successful and unsuccessful hits are targeted at the show's biggest players. A sense of closure is reached with Tony's relationships with his rivals, his crew, his family and the FBI, but as everyone in America knows, nothing concrete is declared about his future. Does he live? Does he go to prison? Will his crew survive? Those questions aren't answered, Chase`s last gift to his viewers, as people can continue turning this show over in their heads for years.

So yeah, the ending ... yes, it was heartbreaking, but not because it seemed to be an un-ending, but because it was the END, badda bing, badda boom. The End! Seeing Tony, Carmella and their kids at that little hole-in-the-wall eatery, just sitting down at a modest table with the juke box on the side, when he could afford to go to the finest places in town, was just perfect. This was the real, Italian Tony Soprano, the simple, devoted family man - and boy will he be missed!!

Bravo and Belissimo to James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and the entire Sopranos cast!! And to James and Edie, I want to give you my personal appreciation for the depth and truth you put into your acting, especially during this final season. My heart was touched. Thank you.

I wasn't there when The Tempest first played at the Globe, and I didn't see The Beatles at Candlestick Park. But Sunday Nights at 9pm on HBO, I saw my generation's finest contribution to pop culture and to literature, with the final season providing a closing act worthy of such a masterpiece. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Making "Cleaver: Behind-The-Scenes of Christopher's horror film
The Music of The Sopranos: Ceator David Chase, Cast and Crew discuss the songs from the show
Four audio commentaries with cast members: Dominic Chianese, Robert Iler, Arthur Nascarella, Steev R. Schirripa and Stevie Van Zant!

www.HBO.com





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