Tony Soprano, eat your heart out

Miami Vice — the TV show and the recent movie — had nothing, really, on how things actually went down in the city in the ’70s and ’80s, drugwise. For that matter, some of the real-life characters who pop up in the new documentary Cocaine Cowboys (in theaters next Friday, 10/27) make Tony Soprano seem like a girlieman.

Cocaine chronicles the making of a $20-billion global enterprise by interviewing many key players themselves — heavies like drug-running pilot Mickey Munday, hit man Jorge “Rivi” Ayala, and Medellin cartel intermediary Jon Roberts — who did their time (except Ayala, who speaks from jail) and now freely talk in often astonishing detail.

The narrative moves along smartly, propelled by a synth-drenched score by Jan Hammer — yes, the Miami Vice composer. Elaborate business fronts are set up, competitors gunned down — particularly at the behest of psychopathic cocaine godmother Griselda “The Black Widow” Blanco — and obscene fortunes made (Roberts took to burying literally millions in his backyard).

And it’s all way more thrilling — and authentically terrifying — than anything Crockett and Tubbs ever got mixed up in.

VIEW the trailer for Cocaine Cowboys

CHECK theater information (click on the small “theater listings” link near the bottom on the far right)

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

Tony Soprano, eat your heart out