The Irishman

by Alan Rapp on November 15, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Irishman
  • IMDb: link

The Irishman movie reviewDirector Martin Scorsese assembles several familiar faces in examining the life of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (Robert De Niro). While the structure of the film is a tad odd, flashbacks within flashbacks, the story (adapted from Charles Brandt’s book) slowly peels the onion of Sheeran’s life and his close connection to both Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

Despite it’s 209-minute running time, there’s little I would cut from Steven Zaillian‘s screenplay, although an argument could be made for trimming the outer layer of the film focused on Sheeran’s elderly years. However, even that plays into the film’s larger narrative about what kind a man the Irishman was and the toll of living the life he did took both on himself and his family.

While there some minor issues (such as De Niro not exactly moving like a young man in the earliest flashbacks), the story Scorsese weaves is a fascinating one that includes some pleasant surprises along the way (such as casting Pesci against type as the level-headed negotiator of the group).

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Scandalous

by Alan Rapp on November 15, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer
  • IMDb: link

Scandalous movie reviewScandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer examines the creation of and the highs and lows of the National Enquirer over the years starting with the paper’s purchase and relaunch under owner Generoso Pope Jr. in 1952. It’s a fascinating look at the paper’s turn from gore to celebrity-based stories to its more recent entry to politics and how it played a role in public perception of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s run for Governor of California to Donald Trump’s presidential bid in 2016 (the later being something many are still quite conflicted about).

The documentary contains interviews with several former editors and reporters for the paper who all seem to have a mix of pride and shame for their association with the magazine. Neither they nor the documentary shies away from the stories of the paper pushing limits of good taste and legality in exploring news stories. The film also includes anecdotes of the magazine extorting subjects of their exposées and making deals shelf stories for a profitable ongoing relationship (such as ignoring several reports of Bill Cosby and Bob Hope’s behavior towards women in favor of puff pieces with the celebrities).

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Ford v Ferrari

by Alan Rapp on November 14, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Ford v Ferrari
  • IMDb: link

Ford v Ferrari movie reviewWhile I’m not much of a fan of racing, I do love a good racing movie. Based on true events, Ford v Ferrari centers around the friendship of a pair of outcasts who went to work for Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts). Looking to liven-up his brand, and after being embarrassed by failing to buy Ferrari, Ford greenlit plans to develop a Ford racing car capable of beating the dominant Ferrari racing team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (an event which Ferrari had won four out of the previous five years).

Built on the backs of performances by Matt Damon as former racer turned car designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as race car driver and mechanic Ken Miles, Ford v Ferrari is a little different than many racing films as the main characters aren’t rivals but friends (who, admittedly, occasionally attack each other in public). Despite their disagreements and spats, the screenplay works by selling the audience fairly early on how similar the two men were in their love of cars and racing. Although it relies on a familiar formula, Ford v Ferrari does offer some unpredictable moments, including an ending those unfamiliar with the story may be surprised by.

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Jack Ryan – Orinoco

by Alan Rapp on November 14, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – Orinoco
  • wiki: link

Jack Ryan - Orinoco television review

A couple of storylines converge in “Orinoco” as Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) and Greer (Wendell Pierce) join-up with Matice’s (John Hoogenakker) team to investigate the cargo containers transported from the docks to a secret facility in the Venezuelan jungle. Not finding the evidence in the first container, Jack risks the operation to continue looking which leads to a reunion with a familiar face (Arnold Vosloo) and one member (Jovan Adepo) of the expedition getting left behind. His actions in the episode further underline Jack’s personal stake in the mission and possibly foreshadow more trouble in his path if his reckless behavior continues.

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Scarlett Johansson - Elle (November 2019)

Scarlett Johansson is one of the cover girls for Elle’s November issue. You can find her pics inside.

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