Tag Archives: Al Pacino

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019): The Things I Liked…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Brad Pitt, Sony Pictures Entertainment

I don’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a movie and thought to myself ‘Yep. This definitely wasn’t made for me’, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019’s Quentin Tarantino film that landed the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Brad Pitt is one such film.

As a long time fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, Pitt and Tarantino, I knew, having seen the trailer months prior that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would be technically good, but also different from Tarantino’s previous films.

What I didn’t know is that as much as I appreciate Pitt and DiCaprio’s acting, the pace of this new movie would prove quite the challenge at times. I actually had to reach for my phone (then put it back quickly because I must focus) once or twice as the film played. All in search of something that worked a little harder to keep my impatient brain engaged and entertained. I’m quite sure that the pace of all that happened made sense for the look, feel, and period of this movie. I simply wish that I could have forgotten that my phone existed during the viewing process.

Thankfully things did become more interesting once we hit the one hour, fifteen minute point. Besides the aforementioned pacing plus the one or two tension-filled moments that seemed to drag on for a little longer than necessary, all else was well with Tarantino’s movie. A story about a specific period in Hollywood (1969) where a TV actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) go about  their lives navigating their roles and place in the industry. We get to see an enviably close partnership / friendship captured in a way that gives the movie a kind of behind the scenes / documentary feel. One that shows us a glimpse into the middle aged actor experience; along with the experience of a few other Hollywood residents – unsavoury or otherwise.

In terms of great scenes, DiCaprio has some. Overall though, my favourites mostly feature Pitt’s Cliff Booth character. It makes sense since Pitt’s scenes contained a little more of what I love about Tarantino films. Including beautifully choreographed ‘badassery,’ undeniable cool, great dialogue, tension, music and so on.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one to watch for fans of Tarantino, those curious about his creative evolution and fans of the great actors involved. Even though this one isn’t my favourite Tarantino film, there are scenes I’ll remember fondly. Especially the choreography of a specific scene involving a beautiful pit bull named Brandy.

What’s your your favourite Tarantino classic?

Happy Film Loving

G

THE IRISHMAN (2019): The Things I Liked…

The Irishman (2019), Al Pacino, Netflix
The Irishman (2019), Al Pacino, Netflix

I was never going to forego watching celebrated director Martin Scorsese’s latest, The Irishman; even with the arguably ‘offensive’ three and a half hour runtime.

Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and centred around a mob hitman’s recollection of his possible involvement in the killing of American Labour Union leader Jimmy Hoffa in 1975; the dialogue, style and great performances are all reasons why I find The Irishman most memorable. 

As De Niro’s Frank Sheeran (the Irishman), who’s now living in a retirement home recalls his story, there’s definitely a high volume of information shared, some of which you’ll likely soon forget; in part because of the pace of events. Nevertheless, the story, acting and editing still managed to keep me engaged. And just before the one hour, thirty minutes point, that’s when things get especially interesting. It’s when all the great performances start to reveal themselves fully. 

The Irishman (2019), Robert De Niro, Netflix
The Irishman (2019), Robert De Niro, Netflix

Pacino as the incredibly stubborn Hoffa and Stephen Graham as the equally stubborn Tony Pro are two of my favourites, and their scenes together are among the very best. However, the most memorable performance and my overall favourite thing about The Irishman is De Niro’s turn as Frank. I particularly appreciated the moments Frank didn’t have to speak for the audience to grasp a fair amount of the depth of his experience. So impactful were these quiet moments that I can’t hide my disappointed that De Niro didn’t get an acting Academy Award nomination.

I like how Scorsese’s film provides a kind of ‘inside look’ at the life of a mob hitman. The daily realities, the impact on family and the weight of loyalty. Still, a part of me wonders how different The Irishman would be had Scorsese taken the mini-series or multiple part feature film route instead of squeezing so much into one feature. I wonder.

The Irishman is a film to watch because of the great film making team and for a handful of truly memorable, high tension and often humorous scenes that will remind you of just why Scorsese is so highly celebrated. Just make sure you’re fully rested though, and ready to watch and truly listen before committing to the hefty three hours and thirty minutes.

Happy Film Loving 

G

THE IRISHMAN (2019): New Official Trailer For The Latest Martin Scorsese Movie Starring Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino…

The Irishman (2019), Robert De Niro, Netflix
The Irishman (2019), Robert De Niro, Netflix

Read my spoiler-free movie review of The Irishman (2019).


The new official trailer for The Irishman, the latest Martin Scorsese movie starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino is finally here.

The Irishman tells the story of a hitman’s recollection of his possible involvement with the slaying of Jimmy Hoffa, an American former Labour Union leader…

I’m quite certain that this is one of the most highly anticipated Netflix releases. With Scorsese’s track record and a cast of legends. I look forward to seeing how well this turns out.

Anna Paquin, Jack Huston, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Jesse Plemons and Stephen Graham also star.

The Irishman Release Dates: November 27th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

PATERNO (2018): New Trailer From Al Pacino, Riley Keough, Tess Frazer…

Paterno (2018), Al Pacino
Paterno (2018), Al Pacino

Paterno is a Barry Levinson directed drama / biography about Joe Paterno, the most successful coach in college football history and how he became embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Riley Keough and Tess Frazer co-star…

I’ve been ready for a great Al Pacino performance. I’ve been waiting (for far too long in my opinion) and finally, it looks like this movie may just be what I’ve been waiting for. The scenes where Paterno is forced to face tough questions about institutional failure should be a highlight…. fingers crossed.

Paterno Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

HANGMAN (2017) Movie Review: Its…

Hangman (2017), Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Karl Urban
Hangman (2017), Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Karl Urban

Hangman, the thriller about a homicide detective and a criminal profiler hunting a serial killer is not a great movie. Starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban and Brittany Snow; within the first quarter of the film, it was already clear to me that the story wasn’t flowing as well as a thriller of this sort ought to, in order to be good – let alone great.

Something didn’t quite gel for me between the characters played by Urban and Pacino. Maybe it’s a lack of chemistry, perhaps the writing, or all the above and then some. I just knew that this wasn’t going to be a serial killer movie that would make me forget even for a second about Se7en (1995), one of the best of the genre.

As awkward as the story set up felt initially, things did pick up somewhat in terms of happenings that had me paying attention. Still, overall there really isn’t anything in Hangman that will having you insisting that others must watch. I’d usually say ‘watch it if you absolutely must’ at this point. However in this case, by ‘absolutely must’ I’d mean, so you can see for yourself how the film missed the mark in terms of story structure, seamless character background introductions and awkward dialogue that played a part in making generally good actors look bad.

Have you seen Hangman? If so, do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE PIRATES OF SOMALIA (2017): New Trailer Starring Evan Peters, Al Pacino, Barkhad Abdi…

The Pirates Of Somalia (2017) Evan Peters, Barkhad Abdi
The Pirates Of Somalia (2017) Evan Peters, Barkhad Abdi

The Pirates Of Somalia is based on the true story of rookie journalist Jay Bahadur’s time with Somali pirates. Bahadur spent time with the pirates for the purpose of providing the first close-up look into who they are, the way they live and the forces that drive them. Directed by Bryan Buckley; Evan Peters, Al Pacino and Barkhad Abdi star..

This could be interesting. Though, at the same time this trailer could have done a better job of selling the movie. I’m not in love with the way it ends. On a separate note, it’s good to see Abdi of Captain Philips (2013) playing a non-pirate role, as far as I can tell.

Melanie Griffith and Russell Posner also star.

The Pirates Of Somalia Release Dates: December 8th, 2017 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

HANGMAN (2017): New Trailer From Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow…

Hangman (2017), Karl Urban, Al Pacino
Hangman (2017), Karl Urban, Al Pacino

Al Pacino, Karl Urban and Brittany Snow are the stars of Hangman, a Johnny Martin directed thriller about a homicide detective and a criminal profiler on the hunt for a serial killer…

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman’s Se7en (1995) has me believing that in every serial killer movie, a member of the investigative team is going to die, or at the very least be targeted by the serial killer. I’m tuning in because of Pacino and the story. I actually haven’t watched a good serial killer drama since the earlier seasons of The Mentalist. I live in hope.

Hangman Release Dates: December 22nd (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

JULIAN SCHNABEL – A PRIVATE PORTRAIT (2017): New Documentary About American Painter & Filmmaker Julian Schnabel…

Julian Schnabel - A Private Portrait (2017), Julian Schnabel
Julian Schnabel – A Private Portrait (2017), Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel – A Private Portrait is new Pappi Corsicato directed documentary about the personal life and public career of New York artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino and Schnabel’s children are some of the featured friends and people closest to him…

I have to confess that the name Julian Schnabel is one I only vaguely recognised before now. It’s news to me that Schnabel cast Javier Bardem in his first big film role (Before Night Falls (2000). How interesting it is to think that without Schnabel, we may not have had the pleasure of enjoying the talents of Bardem quite in the same way as we’ve been able to.

I’m disappointed that this trailer makes it seem as though Schnabel isn’t actually alive but he is, thank goodness. Bring on more of the beautiful art at 0:34 in the trailer.

Julian Schnabel – A Private Portrait  Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G