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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Thursday, November 18

Steven Rattner nailed by Cuomo over "Chooch" distrubution deal

I just couldn't help using such a Post-esque headline for this post.

NYS AG and Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo's office just announced that two lawsuits have been filed against Steven Rattner, former head of President Obama's auto industry task force and a player in the "pay-to-play" scandal of former NYS Comptroller Alan Hevesi. [WSJ]

Among the charges leveled by Cuomo, which consist mostly of huge campaign contributions to Hevesi, one sticks out: Rattner allegedly "arranged a DVD distribution deal for a movie, 'Chooch,' produced by (NYS Common Retirement Investment Fund Chief Investment Officer David) Loglisci's brother."

Maybe the distribution deal - arranged between the film producers and a portfolio company of Rattner managed private equity firm Quadrangle Group - sent up red flags because the movie was such a bomb.

According to IMDB, the film grossed just over $35,000 total with almost two months in release.

And, here is the synopsis, pulled from the press kit, found on the official "Chooch" website:

The life of Queens resident Dino Condito (Carmine Famiglietti) is about to take a surprising turn. After letting down his softball team by striking out in the bottom of the ninth against Hoboken, his crew brands him “the chooch.” Trying to cheer up his cousin, Jubilene Condito (Joseph Summa) cashes in his savings from his first holy communion and springs for a vacation to Cancun. “You mean leave Queens?” asks Dino, as if the thought had never occurred to him.

But there’s a mix-up on the way to the airport involving a mysterious bag of money. As soon as Dino and Jube land in Mexico, they’re abducted by a pair of thugs and left in the desert at the mercy of a trio of soldiers. It takes reuniting Dino’s old Queens “crew,” including Dino’s beloved pet dachshund, to save the two cousins. Only after a jail bust, donkey ride, chicken coop explosion, and a life-changing love affair at the local bordello does the crew finally arrive to save the day. Returning home in triumphant glory with his reunited crew and newfound love Ladonna (Paola Walker), Dino discovers the meaning of family, friendship and neighborhood.
I couldn't even make it through those two paragraphs without bursting into uncontrollable laughter. Once you're hero loses in the bottom of the ninth to the team from Hoboken, the movie should probably end, right?

Needless to say, with six reviews (check out what Post reviewer Lou Lumenick said), "Chooch" holds a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But, there may be a silver lining, the flick is a shoe in for this year's Razzie awards.


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