I’ve been asked to remove yesterday’s riff about Capone (Vertical, 5.12), which I saw the night before last. It wasn’t a “review” but I called it “a trip…plotless but flavorful and quirky as fuck thanks to Tom Hardy, and with one terrific, stand-up-and-cheer scene.” I was referring to the “If I Was King Of The Forest” sing-along. Nonetheless a Vertical rep asked me not to “react” to Capone until Monday, 5.11 at 9 am Pacific. The film opens (i.e., begins streaming) on Tuesday, 5.12.
So I’ve substituted the post for a comment-thread riff about why the producers dumped the original title, Fonzo. Which, trust me, is what the film should be called. Capone is nothing — a generic chickenshit title.
No doubt a certain percentage of the potential viewing public might have presumed that this now-discarded title had something to do with Henry Winkler’s Happy Days character, Fonzie. (Who was famously referred to, don’t forget, by Samuel L. Jackson’s hitman character in 1994’s Pulp Fiction).
Perhaps another group might have wondered if Fonzo might be somehow related to Ronald Reagan‘s Bedtime for Bonzo chimpanzee, perhaps a great-great-great grandson with a life and an identity all his own.
Still another demographic might have speculated that “fonzo” is a 21st Century manifestation of gonzo journalism a la Hunter S. Thompson.
Or perhaps a new kind of pasta (i.e., “fonzoni”) created by the people behind Rice-a-Roni, “the San Francisco treat,”
We can play these stupid word association games all day long. The American viewing public is brilliant at this.
Then again there’s always the remote possibility that prospective viewers might regard or respect “Fonzo” as a new permutation of the Al Capone legend — simply an Italian-American nickname used by friends of the famous Chicago gangster in the same way that “Fonzie” was a nickname for Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli.
Naahh, scratch that — too challenging.