Big pile of garbage
Benjamin Kopel | Chicago IL United States | 02/03/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If only there was a rating for 0 stars. This is quite possibly the worst product on the face of the earth. While watching these dvd's, I actually had to hold back the vomit. Not because it was gruesome in any way - it is just THAT bad. Whoever produced this DVD should be banished from this planet.
Their "so-called" mafia member is nothing but an amateur actor who couldn't land an acting role if he was Al Pacino's son. PLEASE - DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER BUYING THIS DVD SET!!! If you want to waste your money, give it to me and I will send you a box of vomit. I guarantee you would enjoy that more."
Not That Bad; Educational
"Johnny Salzone" | 02/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I am a regular Amazon.com customer, I must admit, I bought my DVD set for $21 at a base in Sicily. I visited this sight to see what others had written, and I disagreed. The silhouetted and blacked out narrator, with the cigar that never burns down, is obviously a fake - not the ex-Mafia guy we are supposed to think he is. What he has to say though, is well scripted and pertinent. The editing quality is somewhere near acceptable, but not as crappie as a porn movie. The audio is functional, if you adjust your player accordingly. Some scenes are reenacted by actors, but most footage has historical quality and is authentic.Someone did do their historical homework, and was able to compile very interesting actual footage. The report was well written and performs like Amazing Videos crossed with 1970s 60 Minutes. Strangely presented, but the information was valuable. I was pleasantly surprised too, when I found that the set had much more than the standard regurgitation of the New York and Chicago mob history, that we all have seen before. This covered the Russian Mafia, the sale and transport of nuclear materials, drug cartels and much more. Chapters I would like to see in the next edition include; Dixie Mafia and US Governmental Corruption, such as the Clinton Mafia in Arkansas, and other such concealed facts, and one disk devoted to street gangs, their proliferation and affiliation with established organized crime. Bottom line, I liked it. I devoured the whole thing and was sad when it was over. If I accidentally lost my set, I'd order another before they became unavailable."
Not the best but not that bad
"Johnny Salzone" | Brooklyn, NY United States | 06/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all let's get something straight: (1) I'm an Infantry Officer in the US Army Reserve; (2) My family is Colombian and I grew up all around the "Italian-American" mob; (3) I studied Organized Crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and (4) I plan to soon begin Law School. I have also done extensive independent research on the phenomenom of "organized crime." That having been said, yes, this documentary set might not be the best, but hey, I don't regret buying it. Yes, it is rather humorous at times due to its sillyness, but there is some useful information on here. There's so much more they could have done, though. They could have done so much to make this better.For one they could have left out the retarded phone interviews with the horrible actors (very funny). They could have made more references to leading books on the subject. They could have also expanded their "up-to-date" analysis on Global Organized Crime by including Escobar's threat to the kids of George Bush I, the Gambino family's recent involvement with the governments of certain African nations, the Pizza-Connection case in which Giuliani single-handedly brought down all 5 of the NY families, the Russian Mafya's extortion of Russian-born NHL stars (echoing the Black Sox scandal of 1919), the use of Hell's Angels in Europe as enforcers, the fear of a 3-way alliance between the Chinese Triads, Colombian Drug Cartels, and Russian Mafya, the contruction of airports in Russia to facilitate the flow of drugs into the country from Colombia, the fascination Russian gangsters had with Escobar, the participation of US Special Forces in the Assassination of Escobar (with references to the books Killing Pablo and Black Hawk Down), the complicity of the CIA to allow Heroine exports from Afghanistan so that the local warlords continue to support Hamid Karzai, the alledged CIA-Cocaine operation in the United States during the 1980s, the Black Organized Crime Operations of the 1970s that almost formed into a National Syndicate, former Vietnamese Navy SEALS that were granted asylum in the US after the fall of Saigon which then went on to become a gang called the Frogmen (which performed commando-style raids on jewelry businesses), the Yakuza's growing presence in New York City, the powerful Cuban Organized Crime family operating out of Miami and the New York Area, the list is endless.So yes, this series wasn't all that great, but I still get a kick out of watching it. A much better series than this one would be Lords of The Mafia, which I would give 4.25 stars."