A mob hitman tells the story of his possible involvement with the hit on Jimmy Hoffa – THE IRISHMAN is Martin Scorsese’s 25th feature film and is now on Netflix (and showing at limited cinema’s throughout the country) – the movie starts in beautiful, typical Scorsese fashion, with the camera creeping effortlessly along some corridors and into a small room where Robert De Niro’s character Frank aka: The Irishman who looks old and life beaten starts to tell his story….. due to the quality of storytelling the film’s 209min run-time flies by, you get so engrossed by it all, I mean this is one of cinema’s greatest directors with a bunch of actors who are LEGENDS of the screen in a gangster movie no less what’s not to piss your movie loving pants over – THE IRISHMAN is a towering movie experience that shows more restraint, is more personal & certainly more tragic than Scorsese’s recent films – the de-aging of it’s cast is sublime and actually mind blowing if you’ve followed these actors since their early days, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci roll back the years giving outstanding performances with the likes of Stephen Graham & Ray Romano joining the big boys league in fine fashion, Graham’s character Tony Pro has some riveting and funny exchanges with Pacino’s Hoffa that are certainly amongst the film’s highlights – Overall The Irishman may not be Scorsese’s best work but a love letter to the genre & a tribute to Four Giants of the screen it most certainly is ★★★★½
Top Right: 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery – Top Left: 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with Steven Spielberg & Henry Thomas – Bottom Right: 1976’s Taxi Driver with Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro – Bottom Left: filming 1939’s Gone with the Wind
We’re all guilty of it, shamelessly looking at an actors body of working and criticizing them for not living up to their high standards of yesteryear – recently I compared the careers of movie legends Al Pacino with Robert De Niro, in their hay day their movies were sublime and their performances staggering yet in the last 12-15yrs both actors have lost their way, both have failed to ignite the screen with the same level of passion, intensity & quality – remember when Pacino was shouting “Say hello to my little friend” in De Palma’s classic Scarface and De Niro was cracking a baseball bat over someone’s skull in the wonderful Untouchables – they were the days, both starred in so many amazing films so I wonder why it is that these 2 stars are now settling for pretty average roles in lets face it pretty average movies? Maybe the great roles of today (of which there are few) are now falling to a younger generation of movie talent such as DiCaprio and Bale? Or maybe their happy with their lot, they’re still regarded as 2 of the greatest living actors so why not do roles as a favor for a friend or simply for the bigger payout? Whatever the reason, good news could be around the corner – the pair could soon reunite on Martin Scorsese’s gangster thriller The Irishman and with veteran Joe Pesci rumored to be on board this will have any film fan worth their salt purring like a cat in heat – so although the last 15yrs have been a mixed bag for Pacino and De Niro, I’m sure you will agree the movie world is still a brighter place with these two legends of our screen in it….
Happy 65th Birthday to one of the screen’s great actresses MERYL STREEP – to celebrate I’ve posted this small collage of movie stills of Meryl with some of her leading men, the 6 I felt had that chemistry, that spark, that made that particular movie an incredible viewing experience – amazingly Meryl has been nominated for an an Academy Award more times than any other actor or actress out there – she has won 3 of her 18 Oscar Nominations and has also won 8 of her 28 Golden Globe nominations – next up for Meryl is a small role in Tommy Lee Jones western The Homesman, then playing a Witch in Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods and she has just signed up to play an aging rocker in Diablo Cody‘s Ricky and the Flash – it’s hard to believe that Meryl is 65 today, she still commands the screen churning out incredible performances whilst looking as beautiful and graceful as she did bursting onto our screens back in the late 70’s – once again Happy Birthday Meryl Streep the queen of the screen your truly one of a kind !!
THE BAG MAN is a taut crime thriller that follows JACK (John Cusack), a tough guy with chronic bad luck but human touches, and legendary crime boss DRAGNA (Robert De Niro). DRAGNA has summoned JACK and a host of shady characters to a remote bayou motel for unknown reasons, and over the course of a long and violently eventful night, Jack’s path crosses with the stunningly beautiful RIVKA (Rebecca Da Costa). All of their fates intertwine, and when Dragna arrives on the scene there are sudden and extreme consequences for everyone involved – David Grovic makes his directorial debut working with a cast that includes Robert De Niro, John Cusack, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell, Sticky Fingaz and Rebecca Da Costa – here’s some new character posters and the trailer…. Enjoy!
GRUDGE MATCH (2014) – Movie Review ★★★½
“I’ll be a fighter. I was born to be a fighter.”
Grudge Match stars Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart & Jon Bernthal – From Peter Segal the director of 50 First Dates & Get Smart comes a sports comedy following a pair of aging & bitter Boxing rivals that are coaxed out of retirement for one final dance around the ring 30 years after their last match ended in controversy and resentment VERDICT I grew up watching these two acting heavy weight’s in the likes of Rocky and Raging Bull and was captivated by their performance in Copland so when it was announced that Stallone and De Niro would return to the ring and reunite for this movie I was quite excited – I wish I could be as enthusiastic about this review as I was taking my seat at the films recent screening – the film wasn’t as good as I had hoped for, the best bits seemed to have been shown in the trailer and although the onscreen sparring of two of my favorite actors was deliciously fun at times, a mediocre Rothman & Kelleher’s script, the annoying Kevin Hart who’s rubbish in pretty much everything I have seen and a pretty lack luster performance from Kim Basinger only helped the picture in becoming a lightweight affair – Grudge Match is not a bad movie but one that I had high hopes for and although I found myself enjoying certain aspects of the film like the movies many homages to Stallone’s Rocky I still left the theater feeling slightly disappointed – overall if your after a break from the glut of serious & dramatic themed movies of late then Peter Segal’s Grudge Match may be what your after – it’s a far cry from being a knockout but I’m pretty sure you will be entertained and even leave the cinema with a little smile – stay after the credits for a couple of superb outtakes….
LAST VEGAS (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Last Vegas stars Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Mary Steenburgen & Romany Malco – In their childhood four friends Paddy, Billy, Archie & Sam known as the Flat Bush Four did everything together, they were inseparable – picking up the story 58 years later the friends are now living separate lives & coming to terms with old age when out of the blue Billy played by Michael Douglas announces he is to marry – Sam convinces the other two that this is a great opportunity to get them altogether again for one last hoorah – VERDICT I pretty much love everything Jon Turteltaub has been involved with from his early days behind the camera directing movies such as Cool Runnings, Whilst You Were Sleeping and The Kid to his two National Treasure movies and even 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Turteltaub always seems to deliver a fun night at the flicks and 2013’s Last Vegas is no different – along with the four main leads there’s also another chance for us to see the lovely Mary Steenburgen at work, her delicious charm blended with undoubted talent playing a Vegas singer who catches the eye of Billy & Paddy adds greatly to the solid storyline written by the super talented Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) – with all the movies out there with endless violence, hard hitting subject matters & gross out comedy it’s so refreshing to see four movie veterans entertain the old fashion way and doing it with a swagger – from the dancing of Freeman, the grace of Steenburgen, the hilarity of Kline, the seriousness of De Niro and the charm of Douglas LAST VEGAS is a touching delightful tale of friendship & one that reminds us that we’re never too old to live our life and be kids once more….