Tag Archives: Martin Scorsese

PRETEND IT’S A CITY (2021): The Things I Liked…

Pretend it’s a City (2021): Fran Lebowitz, Netflix

What to say about Pretend it’s a City; the new Martin Scorsese presented series about humorist and raconteur Fran Lebowitz.

First of all, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. And by ‘it’ I mean the first episode of a seven-part series. I wish I could have watched more than five minutes of episode two, but I had to stop because I couldn’t get into it.

The use of cinematic music to set the tone as the camera focused on Lebowitz walking through New York City was charming, at first. The charm quickly disappeared for me when I started noticing things that made me enjoy the show less.

I had a specific interview structure in mind for how the show would go and had hoped for a more thorough introduction of Lebowitz at the start. I thought that by the end of episode one, I’d at least have learned about who Lebowitz truly is; besides being known for her humorous observations of life in New York City.

I cannot deny that the way Lebowitz’s mind works is interesting. Yet, unfortunately, the structure of Pretend it’s a City didn’t result in an engaging enough result to keep me watching. I may also have tired of the ‘complaining’ – something Lebowitz is perhaps best known for doing – and doing well.

Even though the show’s focus is Lebowitz, I wanted to see presenter/ interviewer, Scorsese’s face more than once. I mean, it’s been three days since my viewing experience and I’m not even sure that I saw his face at all.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the details I feel are missing from episode one will come in the episodes that follow; in which case, perhaps I’ll give Pretend it’s a City another try. It is presented by the one and only Scorsese, after all. Give it a chance if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving


PRETEND IT’S A CITY (2021): New Trailer For Martin Scorsese Docuseries Starring Fran Lebowitz…

Pretend it's a City (2021): Fran Lebowitz, Netflix
Pretend it’s a City (2021): Fran Lebowitz, Netflix

Read my spoiler-free movie review of  Pretend it’s a City (2021).

Pretend it’s a City is a new Netflix series presented by legendary film director Martin Scorsese.

Episode one features wry writer, humorist and raconteur Fran Lebowitz. We get to learn more about her fascinating mind as she wanders the New York City streets and sits down with Scorsese.

Similarly to the clueless man in the trailer, Fran Lebowitz is one of those famous people whose faces I recognise; yet I ha no idea what she really did until today.

Now is as good a time to learn as any. Especially since I feel I can never spend enough time with smart, funny women. There’s also the fact that the highly respected Scorsese is the one interviewing her.

Pretend it’s a City Release Dates: January 8th, 2021 (US), Netflix

Happy Film Loving


THE DEPARTED (2006): The Things I Liked…

The Departed (2006), Leonardo DiCaprio, Warner Bros. Entertainment
The Departed (2006), Leonardo DiCaprio, Warner Bros. Entertainment

I remember watching Martin Scorsese’s The Departed when it was released in 2006. A film I just had to see because of Scorsese, but also thanks to the triple A-list acting talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. 

It’s been more than 10 years since then, and Scorsese’s highly rated crime/thriller about an undercover cop and a mole in the police who are trying to identify each other, while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston remains a notable film.

As good as it is, I’m not sure if The Departed is the kind of movie that loses a portion of its shine over time. Or, myself being caught up in ‘Leo Mania‘ in 2006 made me rate it a little more highly than it may have deserved, because I did rate it VERY highly indeed. It could also just be that this isn’t the first time I’ve seen the film; therefore, chances are, I won’t feel it’s as great as it was at first viewing. Either way, today I’d say that the first half of the movie is good, but it’s really in the second act that things get most thrilling.

Can I continue to call The Departed my favourite Scorsese movie? Maybe not. Even though I still think it’s one of his best. And besides the example of what a good crime/thriller can look like, I’ll also remember The Departed for being the first time I heard a croissant referred to as ‘a French doughnut.’ 

For anyone who’s never watched The Departed, part of what makes the movie notable, besides the great story and cast is it doesn’t end the way you expect. Thank goodness that ten-plus years was enough for me to forget the ending, almost entirely. I mean, I did remember the rat on the window sill, but that’s it.

Watch it because it’s good and it is definitely a classic after all.

Happy Film Loving


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, plus ready to watch and truly listen before committing to the hefty three hours and thirty minutes.

Happy Film Loving 


ROLLING THUNDER REVUE (2019): New Trailer For Documentary About Bob Dylan By Martin Scorsese…

Rolling Thunder Revue - A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019), Netflix
Rolling Thunder Revue – A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019), Netflix

The spirit of America in 1975 and the joyous music that Bob Dylan performed during the fall of that year is the focus of Rolling Thunder Revue – A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.

It is both a documentary and concert film that features , besides Dylan himself,  Allen Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Joan Baez…

You know when you hear of an older artist who’s highly celebrated by so many people, especially by a particular generation and a few young- old heads? Yet you yourself know little to none of that artist’s music. Some of their songs may sound familiar but you can’t really name any of it because you’ve never been pulled to purposefully listen. That artist for me is s Bob Dylan. Michael Hutchence of INXS is another and it just so happens Hutchence also has a documentary trailer released in the same week

A part of me is quite curious about both artists, but I think they’ll probably remain the kind I’ll need a super fan to convince me to listen to. Then, before you know it, I’m a serious fan!

It could happen. It may not but it could.

Do you happen to be a Dylan and / or Hutchence fan? Am I really missing out?

Rolling Thunder Release Dates: June 12th, 2019 (US) / Internet…

Happy Film Loving


SPIELBERG (2017): New Trailer For Documentary About Steven Spielberg, Featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, Cate Blanchett…

Spielberg (2017), Steven Spielberg.png

Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Martin Scorsese, Christian Bale and Tom Hanks – to name just a few; Spielberg is a new Susan Lacy directed documentary about the highly respected director Steven Spielberg’s career…

I’ll watch to learn more about Spielberg. I also just want to listen to a bunch of my favourite filmmakers talk about movies.

Spielberg Release Dates: October 7th, 2017 (US)…

Happy Film Loving




HITCHCOCK / TRUFFAUT (2015: New Trailer For Documentary About The One That Inspired Your Favourite Movie Directors

Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015),  Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015), Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock is a name all fans of film learn about sooner or later. He is the most famous British director and has inspired many directors after him.

In this Kent Jones directed documentary, a selection of some of the best film directors of today talk about how much Hitchcock influenced their own work. Particularly what they learned of Hitchcock’s approach to film making, in French director Francoise Truffaut’s 1966 publication, Cinema According to Hitchcock…

Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Wes Anderson are three of the directors who share their experience in Hitchcock / Truffaut.

Release date(s)… 

Happy Film Loving 🙂


THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013): Who Knew Greed Could Be So Entertaining?

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill

Martin Scorsese’s Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) is absolutely dripping with testosterone, not that this should be surprising.

Typical of all other popular accounts of life on Wall Street, there’s plenty, and then some – of the expected excess and debauchery.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio

Based on a true story about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (Dicaprio’s character), the audience, particularly the ambitious will relate to the protagonist’s determination to succeed, as well as get some insight into the many ways the American dream can go very wrong indeed.

With  plenty of well written male banter (one of my favourite things), and great performances all round, you will spend a surprising amount of time laughing. Leonardo Dicaprio and his more than qualified supporting cast absolutely deliver.

The Mark Hanna character played by Matthew McConaughey is so entertaining that you’ll find yourself wanting more.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013), Matthew McConaughey
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013), Matthew McConaughey

Jonah Hill, an Actor better known for comedy hits including Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Superbad (2007) is great as Donny Azoff. Azoff’s teeth and hair may be highly questionable, but you’ll see that Hill’s performance certainly isn’t.

Girls will definitely enjoy the film but I have a strong suspicion that boys will love it more.

Happy Wolf Of Wall Street 🙂