video review : The Irishman

video review : The Irishman

The Irishman is Frank Sheeran; a steak deliverer turned Mafia hitman. This is the story of that latter part of his life, which begins with him befriending crime boss Russell Bufalino. Russ eventually introduces him to Jimmy Hoffa, whose mysterious disappearance is explained in great detail.

The liberties director Martin Scorsese takes in regard to what really happened is part of what makes the plot thoroughly interesting for all of its three and a half hours. It’s his longest movie and one of his best; vintage Scorsese mob canon along with The Departed, Casino and Goodfellas.

my rating : 4 of 5

2019

video review : Casino

video review : Casino

This story takes place in Las Vegas back when most of the dirt wasn’t confined to its surrounding deserts. The Tangiers (Casino) is run by The Mafia, a secret organization of criminals working together for one common goal; to make money, illegally and abundantly. The figurehead boss is a guy named Ace Rothstein. It’s his “love” life, with a woman named Ginger, that stretches thin your suspension of disbelief. As wise as he is when it comes to making money, you’re supposed to believe he’d be stupid enough to fall for (trust/marry) such a leech.

The most interesting character though is his best friend Nicky Santoro, or Joe Pesci playing (basically) the same mobster he played in Goodfellas. With Robert De Niro by his side and Martin Scorsese at the helm, this feels like a sequel; a great one that does an even better job of watching relationships deteriorate over time. Non-diegetic monologues set the tone right from the beginning. Ace Rothstein is, at one point, on top of the world. By the end, it’s the two closest people in his life, and their selfish traits, that set the inevitable downfall into motion.

my rating : 5 of 5

1995

video review : Goodfellas

video review : Goodfellas

These “good” fellas are ruthless mobsters. When they need money, they take it and dare whoever it is they’re taking it from to go to the cops. If you cross them, they’ll whack you, bury your body and go out for drinks. They’re organized criminals, wiseguys, above the law in more than enough ways to keep things running smoothly for themselves. As a kid, Henry Hill always wanted to be one of them.

Goodfellas focuses on him doing just that. The first third is mainly backstory and the plot doesn’t really shoot-up until the final third. That’s when the Lufthansa heist goes down and things begin to fall apart. The movie is too long and some of the acting seems caricatural; Karen is particularly annoying; but it’s an interesting glimpse into the (real) life of the Lucchese crime family.

my rating : 4 of 5

1990

video review : The Departed

video review : The Departed

Under the wing of crime boss Frank Costello, Colin Sullivan manages to infiltrate the Massachusetts police force as an informant for the Irish Mob. At the same time, the police manage to plant an undercover rookie in with Costello’s crew to bust him from the inside. It’s when the two rats start tailing each other that the plot starts to captivate.

my rating : 4 of 5

2006