The Irishman is an epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese. It is written by Steven Zaillian and based on the 2004 nonfiction book, I Heard You Paint Houses, by Charles Brandt. The film follows Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who becomes a hitman. The film includes Frank’s involvement with mobster Russell Bufalino and his crime family, plus his time working for the powerful Teamster, Jimmy Hoffa.
From a nursing home while sitting in his wheelchair, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), an elderly World War II veteran, recounts his time as a hitman for a crime syndicate; during the 1950s in Philadelphia, Frank worked as a delivery truck driver. Seeing an opportunity to make extra money, he starts to sell some of the contents of his shipments to local gangster Felix “Skinny Razor” DiTullio (Bobby Cannavale). After his company accuses him of theft, union lawyer Bill Bufalino (Ray Romano) gets him off after Sheeran refuses to name his customers to the judge. Bill introduces Frank to his cousin Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), who is head of the Northeastern Pennsylvania crime family. Frank begins to do small jobs for Russell and members of the local South Philadelphia underworld, including “painting houses,” a euphemism for murder. Soon, Russell introduces Frank to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who has financial ties with the Bufalino crime family and is struggling to deal with fellow rising Teamster Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano (Stephen Graham), as well as mounting pressure from the federal government. Hoffa becomes close with Frank and his family, especially his daughter Peggy (Anna Paquin), and Frank becomes Hoffa’s chief bodyguard, while on the road.
I’m not sure why The Irishman received so many Oscar nominations, I am sure of one thing, the movie was one of the longest movies I’ve seen in some time. I felt the last half hour of the movie could have been eliminated. It didn’t really contribute anything to the story. While De Niro (who was snubbed by the Academy), Pesci and Pacino are truly among the very best actors in Hollywood, they came off as pretty advanced, age-wise, for their familiar role of mob characters. In their defense, Scenes were filmed with a custom three-camera rig to help facilitate the extensive de-aging digital effects that made De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci appear younger. Having said that, The Irishman was well-acted, despite their ages and well told. However, the film was too long and at times, tad bit slow-paced. I almost feel as though we’ve seen it all when it comes to the topic of the mafia. With a production budget of $159 million and a runtime of 209 minutes, it is among the most expensive and longest films of Scorsese’s career. The film received critical acclaim, with particular praise for Scorsese’s direction and the performances of De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, The Irishman was nominated for five awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, while it earned 10 nominations at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film. The Irishman is now streaming on Netflix — Check It Out!
[THE IRISHMAN is Oscar-nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, twice for Best Supporting Actor, followed by BEST: Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay, and Costume Design — TOTALLING 10 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in STREAMING
Tagged "Crazy" Joe Gallo, Al Linea, Al Pacino, Albert Anastasia, Aleksa Palladino, Allen Dorfman, Angelo Bruno, Anna Paquin, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone, Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano, Bertram B. Beveridge, Bill Bufalino, Bo Dietl, bobby cannavale, Carrie Bufalino, Cecil B. Moore, Chuckie O'Brien, Connie Sheeran, Craig Vincent, Daniel Jenkins, David Ferrie, Dolores Sheeran, domenick lombardozzi, Don Rickles, E. Howard "Big Ears" Hunt, Edward "Ed" Partin, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, Felix "Skinny Razor" Ditullio, Frank "Fitz" Fitzsimmons, Frank Church, Frank Rizzo, Frank Sheeran, Frank Sindone, Garry Pastore, Gary Basaraba, Gino Cafarelli, harvey keitel, India Ennenga, Irene Sheeran, j c mackenzie, Jack Huston, Jake Gottlieb, Jake Hoffman, James F. Neal, James P. Hoffa, Jeff Moore, Jennifer Mudge, Jeremy Luke, Jerry Vale, jesse plemons, jim norton, Jimmy Hoffa, Joe Pesci, Joey Glimco, John McCullough, John Scurti, Johnny, Jordyn DiNatale, Joseph Bono, Josephine "Jo" Hoffa, Kate Arrington, Kathrine Narducci, Ken Clark, Kevin O'Rourke, Larry Romano, Louis Cancelmi, Louis Vanaria, Lucy Gallina, Marco Rossi, Marin Ireland, Mary Sheeran, Maryanne Sheeran, Patrick Gallo, Paul Ben-Victor, Paul Herman, Peggy Sheeran, Peter Jay Fernandez, Philip Testa, Ray Romano, robert de niro, Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Funaro, Russell Bufalino, Salvatore "Sally Bugs" Briguglio, Sam "Momo" Giancana, sebastian maniscalco, Stephanie Kurtzuba, stephen graham, Stephen Mailer, Steve Witting, Steven Van Zandt, Tess Price, THE IRISHMAN, Welker White, Whispers DiTullio, William Miller, young Connie Sheeran, young Dolores, young Maryanne Sheeran
Ant-Man and the Wasp is categorized as a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. Ant-Man and the Wasp focuses on retrieving Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm. I truly liked the original film, Ant-Man, so I was psyched about seeing the Wasp officially added to the series. I only have good things to say about Ant-Man and the Wasp — it was fun!
Janet van Dyne / Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer) shrinks between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile, successfully disabling it but becoming trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realm for 30 years. Her husband, Hank Pym / Ant-Man (Michael Douglas) raises their daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), by himself, believing that Janet is dead. Years later, former criminal Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) takes up the mantle of Ant-Man and discovers a way to both enter and return from the quantum realm. Pym and Hope begin work on repeating this feat, believing they may find Janet alive. Lang and Hope also start a romantic relationship and begin training to fight together as Ant-Man and the Wasp, until Lang secretly helps Captain America during a skirmish between the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords. Lang is placed under house arrest, while Pym and Hope go into hiding and cut ties with Lang.
— SPOILERS BELOW —
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – (2018)
Two years later, Pym and Hope briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. However, Lang receives an apparent message from Janet with whom he is quantumly entangled. Despite only having a few days left of house arrest, Lang decides to call Pym and share the message. Hope kidnaps Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). Seeing the message as confirmation that Janet is alive, Pym and Hope work to create a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve Janet. Hope arranges to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), but Sonny realizes the potential profit that can be earned from Pym and Hope’s research and double-crosses them. Hope fights Burch and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman, Ava Starr / Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Lang tries to help fight off this “ghost”, but she escapes with Pym’s portable lab, causing Pym to reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) for help locating the lab.
From this point, the adventure goes to unimaginable places. The special effects are fantastic as well as the performance of each actor. The plot is also excellent, as there are several stories happening at once. The twist and turns are great and will have you on the edge of your seat. Overall, I really enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp. Although it was technical most of the ride, it was understandable. This movie is appropriate for all ages and is well worth your time and money to see it. 3D is nice but not necessary to enjoy the film.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged abby ryder fortson, ant-man, ant-man and the wasp, ava starr, bill foster, bobby cannavale, cassie, catherine starr, david dastmalchian, elihas starr, evangeline lilly, Ghost, hank pym, hannah john-kamen, hope van dyne, janet van dyne, jim paxton, jimmy woo, kurt, laurence fishburne, luis, michael douglas, michael peña, michelle pfeiffer, paul rudd, randall park, riann steel, scott lang, sonny burch, walton goggins, wasp
Ferdinand is a 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha. Ferdinand is another animated movie I was obligated to see because of the Oscars. Ferdinand is also another animated movie I was happy to have seen because it was excellent with a beautiful message. I must say, animation story telling is getting better and better.
Ferdinand opens in Spain on a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) called Casa del Toro that trains bulls for bullfighting. There is where a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) lives. He is ridiculed by his fellow calves, Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and for his habit of smelling and protecting flowers. After months and months of ridicule, a melon collie Ferdinand runs away from home after his father, Raf (Jeremy Sisto) doesn’t return to the ranch after being chosen for a bull fight, plus a flower Ferdinand was fond of was flattened by Valiente after his own father was defeated by Raf. Running away eventually lands Ferdinand at a florist’s farm, where he is lovingly accepted and adopted into the family.
Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when his new family, Juan (Juanes), Nina (Lily Day), and their dog, Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), goes to the town of Ronda for an annual flower festival. Against the family’s decision that Ferdinand stay home for his own protection, he decides to go to the festival anyway. As a result, Ferdinand gets stung by a bee and unintentionally causes much chaos around town that results in him being sent back to Casa del Toro, much to his and the family’s sadness.
Once back at his old ranch, Ferdinand finds his old friends, Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the bulls, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon).
Ferdinand goes on to bigger and more exciting adventures. The message projected in Ferdinand is extremely profound. Between Ferdinand’s beginnings at Casa del Toro to the Florist farm and back to Casa del Toro, there are many plots to explore. I am unable to find anything negative about this film. Ferdinand is brilliantly smart, beautifully illustrated and well acted with lessens to be had by all. Or course, the actors only lend their voices to the characters. I highly recommend Ferdinand, which is now on DVD and Blu-Ray and is also streaming on Amazon. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one, the kids will love it!
[Ferdinand is Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature.]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged angus, anthony anderson, belita moreno, bobby cannavale, bones, casa del toro, colin h. Murphy, david tennant, ferdinand, guapo, jack gore, jeremy sisto, jerrod carmichael, jet jurgens meyer, john cena, Juan, juanes, julia scarpa saldanha, kate mckinnon, lily day, lupe, maquina, moreno, nile diaz, nina, paco, peyton manning, raúl esparza, raf, tim nordquist, valiente
I expected a good remake of Annie and I got one. Jamie Foxx delivered a fantastic performance of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, renamed Will Stacks. The real draw was Quvenzhané Wallis who is absolutely adorable. She plays Annie Bennett and is currently the youngest nominated Oscar candidate in the history of the Academy of Arts and Science. She was nominated 2 years ago for “Beast of the Southern Wild”. She was mesmerizing then and mesmerizing now. She is talented and charismatic. In Annie, Quvenzhané sang and danced her way through scene after scene in search of her real parents, a slight twist from the original Annie. Cameron Diaz also delivered a brilliant performance as the always drunken Miss Colleen Hannigan who is the foster parent responsible for a house filled with orphan children. Foxx is a billionaire who is running for mayor of New York City. Bobby Cannavale plays Guy, Stacks campaign adviser and Rose Byrne plays Grace, Stack’s love interest and personal assistant. Original favorites like “It’s a Hard Knock Life” were performed to a tee. I don’t think Quvenzhané Wallis is the best singer in the pack but I do believe she is the total package and will charm her way right into your hearts. Nice job!