Black Mass rating: B+ Posted on September 19, 2015 at 11:05:44 PM by Jeff "Laca" Conway
Black Mass opened this weekend, the true life story of Whitey Bulger. Without giving away too much information, the fast paced movie does feature several mentions of jai-alai and a reenactment of the murder of Roger Wheeler.
About a year and a half ago, several producers of the movie contacted me regarding jai-alai information, and wanting footage to jai-alai and logos of World Jai-alai. With the help of Mark K., I gave them all photos, logos and details they could have wanted. I contacted Benny and Marty about acquiring jai-alai footage, but the producers refused to use any of it because of copyright issues. They thought someone would come back to get them. I tried to assure them nobody owned the rights anymore, but they would not budge, and said he will recreate the logo and footage themselves.
What you see in the movie is two terrible and phony looking jai-alai action scenes that could have been better produced at Puryear Park! There is one quick scene of the World Jai-alai logo in a big walkway, but even that seemed phony. There is even two mentions of "who would pay money to see that #### game!" Jai-alai is mentioned about 15 times in the part about the owner of World Jai-alai at a Tulsa golf course.
What I didn't know: A couple of murder scenes of people I didn't want to spoil to those who have not seen the movie yet and the fact that Johnny Depp, I mean James "Whitey Bulger" shared in the winnings of a $14 million dollar Mass. state lottery. Outside of about a 5 second shot from a Boston Globe article, the movie fails to give any details on this. I was wondering how he was able to furnish the FBI with loads of money and trips everywhere.
Overall, the movie is excellent, but I can see it as confusing to those who are not as familiar with the details as some of us jai-alai fans. I have some manufacturing reps for my company in Mass. and when the details of this movie first came out nearly two years ago, these reps told us that if you ever ran into Mr. Bulger in a restaurant or on the street back then, you did not even want to give this guy a dirty look - or risk getting killed. From watching the superb acting by Depp, one can see exactly what they are saying. In one scene over a home cooked dinner, Depp wanted to know the secret of what he said was the best cooked steak he ever had. After replying it was a longtime family secret, the FBI dude having dinner with them spills the beans - marinated in soy sauce. After a minute Depp scares everyone at the table with threats that he would have the guy buried underground with his teeth pulled like the others. He had broken a secret, and if he would tell him something like a recipe over dinner, what would the guy have done if he were to later rat on Bulger. After another minute, he breaks up laughing that he was just kidding. But nobody sitting at the table seemed to believe it. In other words, Bulger was a ruthless #### that no one could take for granted. Bulger is now serving two life terms after being on the run for a long time. Replies: There have been no replies.
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