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
Rocketman is a biographical musical based on the life of Elton John. The film is directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall. The movie follows Elton from his early days as a child prodigy to his slightly older years at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership and success with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John’s 1972 song called “Rocketman”. I wasn’t quite sure the film was going to be any good because the trailer appeared to show the movie a little on the silly side. To my surprise, not only is it a serious movie, I also found it to be really good.
As a very young child, Reginald “Reggie” Dwight (Matthew Illesley) is raised by his cold hearted mother, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard) and more caring grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones), while his father Stanley (Steven Mackintoch), is away serving in the Royal Air Force. Young Reggie (Kit Connor) shows interest in playing the piano, and soon begins studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Reggie’s father Stanley, who has never shown any love towards his son, eventually abandons his family after Sheila has an affair with another man. An older Reggie (Taron Egerton) takes up an interest in rock music artists like Elvis Presley and begins performing in local pubs, before joining a band called Bluesology.
As an adult, Reggie changes his name to Elton John and tries to find success with Dick James’ (Stephen Graham) publishing company under the management of Ray Williams (Charlie Rowe). Williams introduces Elton to songwriter Bernie Taupin (James Bell) and the two quickly form a friendship, with Bernie accepting both Elton and the fact that he is homosexual. The duo impress Dick with the song “Your Song” so he sets up a performance for them at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The audience loves Elton’s performance. At a party afterwards, Elton feels abandoned when Bernie leaves him to be with a woman. Elton is approached by a very attractive man named John Reid (Richard Madden), who is a music manager attracted to Elton. The two sleep together, being careful not to reunite until later, as Elton had not come out as gay yet.
Reid’s influence over Elton causes him to spiral into a life of debauchery as his career takes off and he becomes a successful musician, embracing a flamboyant stage persona. After Elton appoints Reid as his new manager, Reid starts to manipulate him and insists that he come out to his mother and father as gay so they can help hide Reid and Elton’s sexual relationship from the press. Elton’s mother bluntly informs Elton that she was already aware of his sexuality and doesn’t care, telling him that he’s facing a life of being alone forever. Elton finds his father but doesn’t tell him that he’s gay, upset by his father’s happiness with his new family and ignorance of his old one. Struggling with his parental issues, as well as Reid’s increasing abuse, Elton becomes addicted to alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, and sex. Making matters worse, Elton witnesses Reid cheating on him with another man, and at a house party later that day, consumes a dangerous amount of drugs and alcohol. Elton attempts suicide by jumping into his pool while drugged to the nth degree. He is rushed to the hospital and not long after is forced back on stage to continue his performances.
Rocketman is an extremely entertaining movie. It is well acted and Elton John’s music “rocks”. Elton John’s life was pretty complex and Rocketman revealed many aspects of his life. All three actors who portrayed Elton were brilliant. Between the very, very young Reggie and the oldest Elton, I can’t say who was the better actor. Before Elton John started wearing such flamboyant outfits, I don’t think a large amount of the population knew he was gay. I’m not sure his lousy upbringing and his depression was evident either. Despite the omission of the Queen of England Knighting Elton, the movie was pretty accurate and definitely exciting as well as entertaining. Rocketman sort of took on the flavor of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. However, Rocketman was released at a most inopportune time, amidst “Godzilla” and “Ma”, which were two anticipated films and one week after Walt Disney’s Aladdin, as well as two weeks after the very hot John Wick: Chapter 3. This meant box office sales would be shared between all four of these movies. None the less, I highly recommend “Rocketman” — Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged arthur, bernie taupin, bryce dallas howard, celinde schoenmaker, charlie rowe, dick james, doug weston, dr. maverick, elton john, elton's, fred, gemma jones, ivy, jamie bell, jason pennycooke, jimmy vee, john reid, kamil lemieszewski, kiki dee, kit connor, matthew illesley, rachel muldoon, ray williams, renate blauel, richard madden, sharon d. clarke, sheila eileen, stanley, stephen graham, steven mackintosh, taron egerton, Tate Donovan, tom bennett, wilson