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T O P I C R E V I E W
Posted - 04/12/2019 : 07:20:35 When De Niro played that Spanish guy in "The Mission," he was just miscast. When he played the musician in "New York New York," it just fell flat. But "The Godfather, Part II," "Goodfellas," Casino" -- these films showcase De Niro in his quintessential mob best. And I don't mean to leave out "Mean Streets," Raging Bull," Taxi Driver" or "The Deer Hunter" -- all films wherein De Niro is the essence of Oscar gold!! So "The Irishman" proves that De Niro is pretty much done in the mob genre and has no business trying to act younger than 60; he's done everything he can do in those veins, so now it's time to stop milking at least that.
The film is too long, and its length merely highlights just how poorly De Niro is suited for this role. His characterization of hitman Frank Sheeran is terribly uneven. Is he the strong, silent type, or is a personable union politician? Why does Sheeran move like a 70-year-old man during a scene where he's supposed to be around 40? Oh right: because De Niro can't move like a 40 year-old any more. Look: De Niro is a god; so it really sucks to try and get a 30-to-40 year age span out of him in a film, because the CGI doesn't mask the deficiency. And there is simply not much to the character.
Pairing him with Pacino doesn't save it. Pacino does a solid job as Jimmy Hoffa, even if he plays it somewhat two-dimensionally. The problem with Pacino in this film is that the story is not about his character, so we never really get to see him develop Hoffa. And that's a shame, because Pacino pulls off a good Hoffa. The pairing of De Niro and Pacino is also a shame in this vehicle, because it has none of the epic matchup this same duo gave us in "Heat," where their mutually well-developed characters squared off and showcased the treasure of each actor's art. It's not as bad as the Lugosi casting in "Plan 9," but it bothers me that I even have that thought
Joe Pesci, however, is fucking sublime. As mob boss Russell Buffalino, Pesci gives us a character full of story and drama that knowingly hides beneath the surface. Here's a characterization that says everything by saying only what he needs to say. Pesci had better get best supporting actor for this or I might cancel all of my movie subscription services.
As for Scorsese, he needs to move on. His New York nostalgia soundtracks all sound the same now. Maybe he should try something new? Like a musical or sumpin? This film failed, and not because people didn't try. It just didn't work, and it just doesn't justify its own length.
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Posted - 04/12/2019 : 14:27:05 Thanks Mguy. I think you just saved me 3 1/2 hours.