Tag Archives: Robert De Niro

JOKER (2019): The Things I Liked…

Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures
Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures

I’ve liked Joaquin Phoenix ever since his brilliant performance in Ridley Scott’s much loved Gladiator (2000). I therefore had no doubt he’d deliver a truly memorable performance as Joker, Gotham City’s most iconic villain.

Watching Aurthur Fleck’s journey from social outcast to psychopathic murderer is a viewing experience I enjoyed for more than just Phoenix’s brilliant physical and emotional performance. Before Joker, I don’t think I’d truly paid attention to the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life. The clever use of this song, the film’s musical score and soundtrack is another key highlight. 

Joker (2020), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures
Joker (2020), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures

Joker is undeniably a good film. Yet, for me personally, there is something about it that meant I found myself not particularly overly enthusiastic post viewing. One might even say that Joker is quite depressing because it’s almost ‘too real,’ when compared with what’s been happening in the US. Another reason it seemed something of a downer is the film’s heavy focus on people who are, to put it lightly, ‘unpleasant’. I of course understand director Todd Phillip’s reasons considering the nature of the story being told. Yet it’s never easy for me when the protagonist is also an anti-hero of the most insane and murderous kind, particularly when there’s no humour involved. 

Overall, what I like most about Phillip’s film, is how well mapped Joker’s journey from victim to anti-hero is. From powerless to fully empowered and in control. From ‘how much more can he take?’ ‘Where can he go from here?’ to ‘There it is’. ‘The camel’s back has completely snapped and there’s no going back

Lastly, I can’t deny that my colour loving self rather enjoyed the red suit, yellow vest, plus  green shirt and hair look. Especially while Joker was on those famous stairs.

You’ve probably already seen it. If not, do it for Phoenix’s performance and all else that’s good about it.

Happy Film

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

JOKER (2019): New Trailer From Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro…

Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures
Joker (2019), Joaquin Phoenix, Warner Bros. Pictures

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


Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz and Robert De Niro, Joker is an exploration of Aurthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society and eventually driven insane until he become’s Gotham City’s best known psychopathic murderer.

Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover (2009), other key cast includes Bryan Callen, Shea Whigham, Frances Conroy…

I’m going to start by addressing the rather humongous and certainly beautiful elephant in the room. ‘Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger, Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight , The Dark Knight , The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight.’ OK. I’m done.

To clarify, my intention is certainly not to take anything away from Phoenix who I also appreciate, especially since his great work in Gladiator (2000). However, I just had to do the above because Ledger’s performance was pure magic and permanently fixed in my memory as one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

I’m still definitely looking forward to watching this deep-dive into Joker’s journey, from failed comic to psychopathic murderer. Additionally, I actually can’t wait to compare both Phoenix and Ledger’s performances – just to see which I prefer.

Glenn Fleshler, Brett Cullen, Marc Maron, Douglas Hodge and Josh Pais also star.

Joker Release Dates: October 4th, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE COMEDIAN (2016): The Thing I Liked…

The Comedian (2016), Robert De Niro
The Comedian (2016), Robert De Niro

I recall someone saying that The Comedian, a comedy starring Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Danny DeVito and Leslie Mann wasn’t great. This surprised me considering the very talented cast. I of course watched it anyway and can say that there were moments where I laughed and smiled.

Directed by Taylor Hackford and with De Niro playing a sort of lovable rogue in the shape of an ageing insult comic named Jack Burke, I wouldn’t call this film one of the most memorable movies in De Niro’s filmography. It reminded me a little of what I love most about Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm; a situation comedy series where Larry David plays a version of himself. David’s character says what he truly thinks and does precisely as he wishes even if it makes everyone around him, especially his loved ones extremely uncomfortable therefore keeping them in an almost constant state of ‘suffering’ – to great comic effect.

The Comedian is no where near as funny as Curb but it was tolerable enough for me to watch the entire thing. If anything about this movie can be described as forced, it’s perhaps the comedy element. When considering the events that take place in the film and how they unfold, I certainly wouldn’t describe much of it as ‘bursting at the seams with cliches’ at least not from my pesrpective – and that’s a good thing.

I say watch it if you must but only if you must.

Happy Film Loving .

G

THE WIZARD OF LIES (2017): New Trailer For Bernie Madoff Movie Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hank Azaria, Alessandro Nivola…

The Wizzard Of Lies (2017), Robert De Niro
The Wizzard Of Lies (2017), Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hank Azaria and Alessandro Nivola are the stars of The Wizard Of Lies, an HBO movie about Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme. A scheme specifically known as the largest  financial fraud in United States history…

Of course I’ll be tuning in! De Niro is as watchable as ever, I’m excited to see Michelle Pfeiffer in a movie again and the story is so very intriguing. Even more so because I didn’t really pay close attention to the news when Madoff was all over it back in 2008.

I’m so ready for a good drama like this.

The Wizard Of Lies is directed by Barry Levinson.

The Wizard Of Lies Release Dates: May 20th, 2017 (HBO)…

Happy Film Loving

G

DIRTY GRANDPA (2016): The Things I Liked…

 

Dirty Grandpa (2016), Robert De Niro, Zac Efron
Dirty Grandpa (2016), Robert De Niro, Zac Efron

Dirty Grandpa is a comedy about a lecherous grandfather and his uptight grandson who go on a road trip that one of them really wishes wasn’t happening.

Starring Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza and directed by Dan Mazer, this is one of those movies that has a good number of funny moments. The only thing is, those great moments are unfortunately followed by a few ill-advised scenes with dialogue and story development that needed more work/ editing.

I enjoyed watching De Niro in the role of an outrageous and expletive filled senior citizen, the opposite of what he did most recently in The Intern (2015) but the writing let him down.

Dirty Grandpa (2016), Aubrey Plaza (r)
Dirty Grandpa (2016), Aubrey Plaza (r)

As for the other characters, Caricaturish is sadly the word that comes to mind for Julianne Hough’s role as Meredith. I don’t know if my objection is to the type of person she portrays, the way she played her or both. Lenore, (Plaza) is probably the only one that didn’t make me cringe in parts. I’m not quite sure what some might think that suggests about me; hopefully it says that I enjoy language and love to see it used creatively.

Dirty Grandpa for me, is a story of bonding between a grandson and grandfather. I as though there was no need for the clichéd young romance. But then again, I’m not a teenager, or a Zac Efron fangirl or both.

It’s probably fair to say that the actors did the best they could with the material at hand. I certainly wouldn’t tell someone looking for a really great comedy to make time for Dirty Grandpa. But, if you’re a big fan of at least one of the actors, even I know that I can’t stop you.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G

THE INTERN (2015): For The Comedy & Unexpected Friendship

The Intern (2015), Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway
The Intern (2015), Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway

Written and directed by Nancy Meyers, the person behind other popular and well-executed comedies such as The Holiday (2006) and Something’s Gotta Give (2003), I had high hopes for The Intern.

Starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, my favourite thing about Meyers’ movie has to be the story of the unexpected friendship between De Niro’s senior intern character and the successful, young online fashion business founder played by Hathaway. 

A big part of what makes the relationship between the two main characters great to watch is De Niro’s portrayal of Ben; the comic timing and particularly the kind of person Ben represents.

An inspiring story of young people in charge doing what they love and doing it well is also what The Intern is about. I tuned in because the mood for a good light comedy struck and good is definitely what I found.

If you were after more reasons to watch, there’s the New York City setting, good soundtrack and the other cast members. Zack Pearlman’s character Davis is particularly fun.  Adam DeVine, Christina Scherer, Anders Holm, Rene Russo and JoJo Kushner also star.

Watch it if you’re curious.

Happy Film Loving 🙂

G