The Irishman (2019) (mini-review++)

the-irishman-netflix-movie-HD-stills-5(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 7

directing 7

effects 8

editing 6

writing 6


3.5 out of 5 🐙


I don’t see anything new from Scorcese here. Like with Goodfellas, it is an epic about a man in the mob. The difference is the slice of time seems to have been shifted. In Goodfellas, we start from the protagonist’s childhood and end at his middle-aged self as he is exiled. In the Irishman, we see another non-Italian making his way as a trusted member of an Italian crime family but his service STARTS in his middle age. it’s almost as if it’s a spiritual sequel to Goodfellas. But both end the same way. Both are true stories. Both end in the ancient cliche: they reap what they sow. It was also a pretty transparent task to elicit sympathy for monsters by showing them when they are old and infirm and abandoned by their families. They don’ deserve any sympathy or any comforting twilight. They paid for their cold end with the blood on their hands. There’s no question the acting is fine (excellent in Joe Pesci’s case. And Scorcese could direct well in his sleep. But I just don’t see what new I learned here. It’s The senior tour instead of the PGA. Yeah, maybe I’m being a dick and philistine. That’s fine. It won’t be the last or the first time.

And, fuck, I really, really wanted to avoid talking about this but I guess now’s as good a time as any. I saw Scorcese’s and Coppola’s comments on cinema. They, no matter who they are, are no one to determine what art is or is not. No one is. Not me. Not you. Not even Pam Grier, who is perfect. And their dismissal of modern purveyors of their craft is such an old cliche. Every generation is rife with old masters who bad mouth the young Turks. it’s such transparent myopathy. There are certainly elderly sages who eschew this tired pattern. Lawrence Kasdan, another man who has enjoyed wonderful success in film, doesn’t feel any need to anoint himself the arbiter of what is or isn’t art. All that said, I found it especially ironic that Scorcese was so dismissive of MCU films when he relied heavily on modern visual effects to enable his actors to play younger versions of themselves. Why not cast bright new talents to play these younger ages? Hey Marty: OK boomer.







(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)


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