The Sopranos Is Getting Its Own Fan Convention in New Jersey

Getty Images
Getty Images

While San Diego Comic-Con still rules the fandom roost, a number of more specialized conventions attract fans of specific properties. In early October, Chicago's Stranger Con will celebrate Netflix’s Stranger Things; later that month, Supernatural followers will gather in Toronto. And soon, viewers of HBO’s The Sopranos will be able to walk a con floor.

The inaugural SopranosCon to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary is scheduled for November 23 and 24 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Fans of the series, which ran from 1999 to 2007, will be able to meet and attend panels with cast members like Tony Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts, and Federico Castelluccio, who portrayed Furio Giunta. Actors Vincent Pastore and David Proval will also be in attendance, as well as a number of supporting performers or guest stars. Only one of them may refuse to sign an autograph: Goldee, the horse who played Pie-O-My.

The convention’s organizers say the event will be “visually inspired” by The Feast of St. Elzéar, which is a street festival depicted in the sixth season episode, "The Ride." Trivia, fan art galleries, and related celebrations of local Italian culture will also be featured.

Tickets are priced from $50 for basic one-day admission to $750 for a VIP experience for two guests that includes an overnight hotel stay and an after-party trip to Satin Dolls, the strip club that stood in for the Bada Bing on the series. A $150 ticket includes a reception with cast members and a meet and greet.

There is no word on whether series creator David Chase might appear, but it's possible his schedule might not allow for it. Chase is currently working on The Many Saints of Newark, a feature film prequel to the show set in 1967 that will feature a young Tony Soprano played by Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini. That film is set for release in September 2020.

[h/t The A.V. Club]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]