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
Vice is a biographical comedy/drama written and directed by Adam McKay. It is the second theatrical film to depict the presidency of George W. Bush, following Oliver Stone’s “W” and the third collaboration between Bale and Adams, following The Fighter and American Hustle. The plot follows Cheney in his pursuit to become the most powerful Vice President in American history. All I can say is, this film is brilliant and well put together and true.
**** SOILERS ****
Vice is narrated by Kurt (Jesse Plemons), a fictitious veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and opens with Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) along with White House officials responding to the September 11 attacks. The film then flashes back to Wyoming, 1963, where Cheney finds work as a lineman but struggles with alcoholism, which led him to drop out of Yale. After a traffic cop stopped Cheney for driving while intoxicated, his wife Lynne Cheney (Amy Adams) convinces him to clean up his life, using powerful verbiage and ultimatums. The film then flashes forward to 1969 when Cheney finds work as a White House intern during the Nixon Administration. Working under Nixon’s economic advisor Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell), Cheney becomes a savvy political operative as he juggles commitments to Lynne and his two daughters Liz (Lily Rabe) and Mary Cheney (Alison Pill). While working at the White House, Cheney overhears Henry Kissinger (Kirk Bovill) discussing the secret bombing of Cambodia with President Richard Nixon (himself on film), which revealed the true power of the executive branch. Rumsfeld’s abrasive attitude leads to a suddal detachment between the two men from Nixon that worked in their favor; after Nixon’s resignation, Cheney rises to the position of White House Chief of Staff under President Gerald Ford (Bill Camp) while Rumsfeld becomes Secretary of Defense.
After Ford is voted out of office, Cheney runs to be representative for Wyoming. After giving an awkward and uncharismatic campaign speech, Cheney suffers his first heart attack. While he recovers, Lynne campaigns on her husband’s behalf, helping him to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the Reagan Administration, Cheney supports a raft of conservative, pro-business policies favoring the fossil fuel industries. Cheney next serves as Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) during the Gulf War. Outside of politics, Cheney and Lynne come to terms with their younger daughter Mary coming out as gay. Though Cheney develops ambitions to run for president, he decides to retire from public life to spare Mary from media scrutiny.
During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Cheney becomes the CEO of Halliburton while his wife Lynne raises golden retrievers and writes books. A false epilogue claims that Cheney lived the rest of his life healthy and happy in the private sector and the credits roll, only for the film to continue. Cheney is invited to become running mate to George W. Bush during the 2000 United States presidential election. Recognizing that the younger Bush is more interested in pleasing his father than attaining power for himself, Cheney agrees on the condition that Bush delegates “mundane” executive responsibilities like energy and foreign policy to him. As Vice President, Cheney works with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, legal counsel David Addington (Don McManus) and Chief of Staff Scooter Libby (Justin Kirk) to exercise control of key foreign policy and defense decisions throughout Washington.
I especially enjoyed Vice because I am sort of a political junky. I th0ught Vice was well thought out and outlined Cheney’s agenda as close to the truth as possible. For those who are not that political, Vice was easy to understand and delivered it’s message for all to process. 44 year old Christian Bale had to gain 40 pounds for the role of Cheney and was barely recognizable. I’ve provided a picture of the transformation from Bale to Cheney — now that’s dedication. I think Vice is worth seeing, you will learn a lot of not so good historical events such as the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq, caused by Cheney. There is also a monologue at the end of the film you wouldn’t want to miss. Vice will probably be nominated for an Oscar. Check it Out!
[Vice is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Supporting Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Original Screenplay, Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Film Editing]
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Tagged adam barley, aidan gail, alex macnicoll, alfred molina, alison pill, amy adams, antonin scalia, Bill Camp, cailee spaeny, christian bale, colin powell, colyse harger, condoleezza rice, david addinton, dick cheney, don mcmanus, donald rumsfeld, eddie marsan, edna vincent, fay materson, frank luntz, george tenet, george w bush, gerald ford, henry kissinger, jesse plemons, jillian armenante, joan, joseph beck, justin kirk, karen hughes, karl rove, kirk bovill, kurt, lily rabe, lisa Gay Hamilton, liz cheney, lynne cheney, mary cheney, matthew jacobs, naomi watts, paul perri, paul wolfowitz, sam rockwell, scooter libby, shea whigham, stefania lavie owens, stephen adly guirgis, steve carell, trent lott, tyler perry, vice, violet hicks, wayne vincent
American Made is based on a true story, which was hard to believe but given the state of America at this time, anything is possible. The film is a biographical crime film directed by Doug Liman and written by Gary Spinelli about a former TWA pilot who became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s then in order to avoid jail time, approached United States government officials about serving as an informant for the DEA. American Made is one of the craziest stories told. If this tall tale actually happened, America is more unstable than I ever thought. American Made is definitely over the top crazy but very entertaining.
In the late 1970s, Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), a pilot for TWA, a commercial airline, is contacted by CIA case officer, Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) and asked to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over Central America using a small plane with cameras installed. Soon after the operation was started, Schafer asks Seal to also start acting as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellín Cartel approaches Seal with another proposal to fly cocaine on his return flights to the USA. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA tracks Seal down. To avoid the authorities, Schafer moves Seal and his family to a remote town in Arkansas called Mena where he is asked to run guns to the Nicaraguan Contras based in Honduras, Central America. Seal soon realizes that the Contras are not serious about the war and starts trading the guns to the cartel instead. The CIA set up a Contra training base in Mena and Seal flies the Contras in, but most of them escape soon after they arrive.
If you think this plot sounds crazy, things get even crazier when Seal’s wife Lucy’s (Sarah Wright) freeloading brother JB (Caleb Landry Jones) moves in, needing a job from Seal. Eventually, he starts stealing money from the Seals and is caught by the town’s Sheriff Downing (Jesse Plemons) with a briefcase full of laundered cash and is arrested. Seal gives him money and a plane ticket to Bora Bora so he can leave but JB demands weekly cash and insults Lucy. Seal tries to chase him but JB’s car explodes; it’s implied Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda), a drug lord and member of the cartel, had JB’s car rigged with explosives, killing him so that he wouldn’t snitch.
Eventually, the CIA shuts the program down and abandons Seal to be arrested by the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies. Seal escapes prosecution by making a deal with the White House, which wants evidence the Sandinistas are drug traffickers.
Believe it or not, this story gets even wilder which is hard to believe. If truly based on a true story, we should probably be more frightened than anything else because it’s our tax payers money that funds operations like this. Tom Cruise did a fantastic job playing Barry Seal — American Made was more entertaining than anything else, as I really found it hard to believe. It was fun to watch.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alejandro edda, american made, barry seal, Caleb landry Jones, domhnall gleeson, jb, jesse plemons, jorge ochoa, lucy seal, medellin cartel, monty schafer, sandinistas, sarah wright, sheriff downing