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Comments 1 - 15 of 16

WanderingSoul's avatar

WanderingSoul

I'm really curious as to how this fares on the small screen, because it starts slow and a little confusing. It ultimately morphs into a really great film, but definitely takes its time - given this is a film that has a framing device within a framing device, Marty is in no rush to get to the meat of things.

As soon as Pacino shows up, though, we're into vintage territory. Certainly the opening hours have the feel of the classics... but things are rather slower and more sedate, right down to the music. We see Frank's long induction into the mob and ultimately Jimmy Hoffa's immediate circle. Pacino as Hoffa is a goddamn sensation - he gives the film the kickstart it needs as it enters into its second hour, and the energy propels it throughout, even when it transitions into a deeply melancholic, funereal final act.

Oldfellas... No Country for Goodfellas... whatever you want to call it, this has a deeply autumnal feeling that makes it feel like something that can't be dismissed as Scorsese shutting up and playing the hits. The colour palette, the music cues, even the actors themselves ('cept Pacino, who's firing on all cylinders) - this is a subdued film, and its reflections on mortality are strangely moving even in the context of these murderous goons. There's still some super, pure Scorsese stuff in here spoiler but the textures are different, and the film's all the richer for it.

So... the de-aging. It's a strange one. It's for the most part fairly seamless in a pure technological sense, but as is often the way with these things there's often strange quirks with the lighting or slightly off angles that lend an uncanny valley effect. The biggest problem IMO is that it's still clear there's a 75-year-old De Niro playing a much younger man. Pesci and Pacino get away with it, but there's one scene in particular - a beating outside a shop - where it's jarringly obvious that Bobby doesn't have the physical presence or posture of a 30-year-old (roughly). It doesn't hurt the film by any stretch and most of the film we're dealing with substantially older characters. But there's a definite disconnect there that made me wonder whether casting an older and younger generation might have worked better. Regardless, it is what it is, and it works well most of the time - and frankly always a pleasure to see such acting powerhouses give it their all. There's one scene late in the film : spoiler- it's beautiful, sad and shocking all at once, with some superb acting from a man so rarely given this sort of material these days.

Anyway, overall we're dealing with a strong, thoughtful, reflective beast here - no doubt Scorsese et al (a retired Joe Pesci maybe excluded) have much more to say in the coming years, but this nonetheless has the lovely autumn - even crossing into winter - feeling of old masters reflecting on the passage of time. It's a sweeping epic that's intimate and melancholic, but honestly didn't feel the 3.5 hours go by at all. It's great filmmakers (Scorsese, Schoonmaker etc...) getting together with some of their great actors and friends. It is septuagenarians making the great septuagenarian mob movie.
3 months 1 week ago
badblokebob's avatar

badblokebob

The best bit of its long three-and-a-half hours comes when it doesn’t force you onto Netflix’s “WATCH SOMETHING ELSE NOW” screen until the credits have actually finished.

Innovative.
1 month 3 weeks ago
Cherif Fadaly's avatar

Cherif Fadaly

“Do me a favour, don't shut the door all the way, I don't like that. Just leave it open a little bit."

God damn! that was soul crushing...
1 month 3 weeks ago
Withnail33's avatar

Withnail33

Slow and subtle is how I would describe this one. The first act is Scorcese's signature "how-I-came-to-be" montage/plot but it turns into a very personal and almost intimate look into the protagonist's life in the third act, which surprised me. Themes of human mortality and loneliness are explored and it's something you don't see in a lot of crime-mob films. Violence isn't too over-the-top (which is something you normally see in mob movies) but I wish Scorcese went the traditional route and used squibs, blood bags, etc. The 3-D blood was very obvious and really took me out of the moment.

Overall, I liked this one. Hits all the marks you would expect in a Scorcese film while adding a few themes that make this movie unique among films of the genre.
1 month 3 weeks ago
baraka92's avatar

baraka92

A fun and violent but ultimately sad ride that ends on a soul crushing note. Time comes for everything and everyone.

And people complaining about Anna Paquin's lack of dialogue missed the point.
2 months ago
jmarasco's avatar

jmarasco

I’ve read reviews that complain that The Irishman is too long and too slow compared to the gangster films of Scorsese’s prime. Where were the operatic character introductions, the sudden explosions of violence? But I think that was the point. This is Scorsese putting the gangster film to rest, dramatizing not the violence and glory of the gangster life, but the slow decay of all meaning that life provided. It’s framed as the reminiscences of an old man, and last half hour puts the whole film in perspective: eventually everyone is incarcerated, loses their teeth, is forgotten and dies. By using Deniro, Pesci and Pacino throughout the whole film Scorsese couldn’t have said it any louder - for that reason the de-aging effects are justified, as distracting and flawed as they are. This is a meditation on aging and death. Scorsese and his old guard of collaborators are nearing their end, and I think that scares him. Deniro’s character ends up alone and scared. He didn’t want to be buried in the ground, didn’t want the door closed in the nursing home. Scorsese is staring down the same destination. Devastating.
1 week 3 days ago
karic's avatar

karic

It was already 1/4 of the movie when i realized i had been smiling like an idiot the whole time. It definitely is a special one, we might never see the gang back at it again in another movie. After some questionable roles i'm happy to see my man Deniro is in one where he can show his true potential again.
1 month 3 weeks ago
Earring72's avatar

Earring72

Slow, adult crime drama. Great cast, engrossing family, trust and friendship story and direction. The effects are good but I was never fooled, these are old man playing younger guys. Still masterclass in storytelling and acting. Pacino, DeNiro and Pesci….just wow.
1 month 1 week ago
tweet_tweet's avatar

tweet_tweet

I found it to be an overlong, average movie. I can't understand all the rave reviews.
1 month 3 weeks ago
dajmasta94's avatar

dajmasta94

Stick with this one! The first half can at times feel a bit too much like Scorsese’s other films in this same category but the back half is a real heartbreaker. I do wonder if the material might have been served even better if this was a 5 part miniseries. I think what this is missing is a little more of a look into his relationships with his family and also perhaps the luxuries of the lifestyle. I understand why these things aren’t in a movie version when there’s so much else going on but as is it’s still a great watch. Pesci kills it, so good and so glad his role is unique and not too much like the other roles he has with Scorsese. De Niro is wonderful as well and I even thought Al Pacino was good! It’s been too long! But the CG is still in my opinion distracting a lot of the time, it doesn’t ruin anything but I definitely was less engaged during the scenes with CG than not. If I know it’s a CG fave my mind immediately begins analyzing it and very rarely is it that I don’t find it to feel odd looking and then I realize I haven’t been paying attention to dialogue as much. Maybe this isn’t a problem for most people which I totally understand, it doesn’t look terrible but I bet you in 5 years it’ll look dates to a lot of eyes. I am very glad I was able to see this on the big screen, I don’t think I would have had the same amount of commitment level. Pausing would have been apart of my watch and I like that a theater forces you to commit and pay attention. A story like this requires that in order for it to hit hardest which is a plus for the decision to make a movie and not a miniseries.
2 months ago
Michael31's avatar

Michael31

This movie is definitely not for everyone, and I certainly can understand complaints regarding the films almost 4 hour runtime and the potentially off putting de-aging effects. That being said this film is a master class in acting and directing. Pesci steals the show in my opinion, and it’s so great to see him on the silver screen again. The film is also a return to form for Pacino and De Niro, featuring their best performances in years (Shame De Niro wasn’t nominated for the Oscar). Of course Scorsese’s direction is top notch like always. Is this Scorsese’s best film? No. Is it better than Goodfellas? Not even close (I don’t think it’s trying to be, but that’s another topic). That being said this is one of the better films of 2019 and worth the praise.
4 days ago
C-3PO's avatar

C-3PO

I ended up watching this movie in 4 parts but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It's really good and hits all the marks you would expect for a Scorsese film.
I'm still not completely sold on the de-aging technology. I mean, it is really well made... but you can sorta tell the actors' age by the way they move and walk... but, then again, that's just me being super picky. =P
3 weeks 2 days ago
frankqb's avatar

frankqb

If Goodfellas was a classic modern recipe, The Irishman is the microwave dinner version. Scorsese ends up trying to make the same film and proves he may in fact be past his prime. The film rambles on in great detail for 2.5 hours as a dry, historical narrative with little to no purpose set to an occasional baby boomer tune, and then attempts to spurt out a platitude or two at the end of the film. It feels flat, boring and generally undercooked - like a microwave dinner. De Niro and Pacino are fine, but generally nothing special. Pesci on the other hand has moments of brilliance.

Overall, The Irishman may as well have been called “Oldfellas”.

3 stars out of 5
1 month 2 weeks ago
chunkylefunga's avatar

chunkylefunga

I think at this point in his career, critics are too scared to criticise Scorsese.

This movies is too long, slow and just a mistake to de-age the characters as it's weird to see them with youngish faces when they still move like old men :D
1 month 3 weeks ago
Adrian B AWESOME's avatar

Adrian B AWESOME

One of the best of the year, easily. It's definitely built to be Scorsese's final word on mob stories, and boy does he ever load the film up. It does feel about twenty minutes too long but I'm not sure what you cut out of it. Pesci is a revelation.
1 month 3 weeks ago

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