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Netflix's The Irishman Review & Comments

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Despite the positive reviews I found the performances overwrought, the pace painfully glacial and the young/old CG/make-up, and the fact the 76 YEAR OLDS were playing men in their 30s incredibly distracting. I would give it 6/10 at best, which I suppose makes me some sort of film Cro-Magnon. But I just didn’t enjoy it. I had the same issues with Silence – struggled to stay awake.
 
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Steve Withers

Reviewer
It certainly didn't need to be three and a half hours long. As great as it was to see De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Keitel together, they are all in their 70s now but spend the majority of the film playing 30-40 year-olds. So while you can de-age their faces (to a degree), they still move like old men. Pesci keeps calling De Niro 'kid' when he looks about 50, and in one scene a 30-40 year old De Niro is beating a guy up, and I was concerned he was about to put his hip out.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
It certainly didn't need to be three and a half hours long. As great as it was to see De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Keitel together, they are all in their 70s now but spend the majority of the film playing 30-40 year-olds. So while you can de-age their faces (to a degree), they still move like old men. Pesci keeps calling De Niro 'kid' when he looks about 50, and in one scene a 30-40 year old De Niro is beating a guy up, and I was concerned he was about to put his hip out.
Steve, you've just said everything I was thinking. The film was HUGELY hampered by very old men trying to portray guys in their 30s and 40s. I found it so distracting. Particularly during the scene with the corner shop owner, but pretty much throughout. I'm afraid I'm going to have to be of the opinion that younger actors should have occupied these roles, then aged up for certain scenes. As much as I respct these guys, they were all poorly cast.
 

mb3195

Well-known Member
thanks for the review Cas.

Got an hour in, thought to myself “can I sit through another 2 1/2 hours” so promptly switched it off!

everyone looked old, even when they were young. Pace was very slow, in fact I was pretty bored after just an hour, certainly didn’t grab me like Goodfellas or Casino.
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Steve, you've just said everything I was thinking. The film was HUGELY hampered by very old men trying to portray guys in their 30s and 40s. I found it so distracting. Particularly during the scene with the corner shop owner, but pretty much throughout. I'm afraid I'm going to have to be of the opinion that younger actors should have occupied these roles, then aged up for certain scenes. As much as I respct these guys, they were all poorly cast.
Hmmm, I see your point, but I think the difficulty is that who would that younger cast be?

As much as I like Bobby Cannavale and Stephen Graham, they're hardly replacements for De Niro and Pesci, which was perhaps even more obvious here. If they perfected the technology though, then the answer is yes, I'd prefer to watch De Niro, Pacino, Keitel and Pesci in action as opposed to anybody else I can think of. And even if this is their last time around the block in something epic, it's a nice bookend.
 

gadget man

Active Member
When i looked at my watch and saw only 1hr 20mins had gone by i thought oh my this is going to be a hard slog. Something strange then happened i got into it and the rest flew by so those who get bored at first stick with it. I like the de-aging and did not distract just the scene outside the shop looked odd the physical movements. overall i agree with the review and i would give an 8.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The last 30 minutes of The Irishman felt like a commentary on the film itself. The existence of digital de-ageing allowed Scorsese to cast his 70+ year-old mates, whereas before he would have simply cast 30-40 year-olds and used make-up to make them look younger or older. As an example of how it should have been done look at Once Upon a Time in America, where younger actors play the protagonists as kids, and then 30 year-olds play themselves (including an in-his-prime De Niro) and then superb old-age make-up is applied for when they're old men. De Niro playing a 60+ version of himself in that film is considerably more believable than his efforts at portraying a younger man in The Irishman.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Hmmm, I see your point, but I think the difficulty is that who would that younger cast be?

As much as I like Bobby Cannavale and Stephen Graham, they're hardly replacements for De Niro and Pesci, which was perhaps even more obvious here. If they perfected the technology though, then the answer is yes, I'd prefer to watch De Niro, Pacino, Keitel and Pesci in action as opposed to anybody else I can think of. And even if this is their last time around the block in something epic, it's a nice bookend.
The problem is Cas that I know what Pacino, De Niro, Keitel and Pesci look like as younger men, so the de-aging is never believable. However the real problem is the complete lack of energy from all concerned, even Scorsese's direction felt flat. It was like the entire film was tired and out of breath, with a bunch of very old men trying to recreate their glory days. It was fantastic to see them all together again, especially Pesci who was absolutely brilliant, but I wish they'd picked a subject where they could simply play closer to their actual ages for the entire story.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Hmmm, I see your point, but I think the difficulty is that who would that younger cast be?

As much as I like Bobby Cannavale and Stephen Graham, they're hardly replacements for De Niro and Pesci, which was perhaps even more obvious here. If they perfected the technology though, then the answer is yes, I'd prefer to watch De Niro, Pacino, Keitel and Pesci in action as opposed to anybody else I can think of. And even if this is their last time around the block in something epic, it's a nice bookend.
I think there are any number of younger actors who could have better filled these shoes. They don't need to be Italian-American – just look at Stephen Graham playing Tony Pro. He's from Lancashire!

I think they were cast for reasons of misplaced nostalgia. And I wouldn't be complaining if I didn't think their age hugely hampered the ability to suspend disbelief, but it did. I found myself watching nothing but these old bodies pretending to be young bodies and performances made bizarre and off-putting by the digital treatments applied to their faces.

Of course, it's not at all helped by the fact that I have always thought Al Pacino to be one of the worst actors in the history of American cinema. That's no different here. I actually thought he would never supercede the sheer badness of the scene in Heat where he interrogates Ricky Harris in the junkyard, but I think The Irishman provides a new contender – the one where he's chewing out his lackies. I wanted to cover my eyes and I cringed so hard a little bit of sick came up.
 

davema1kin

Well-known Member
I really enjoyed it for what it was, but it was a long film and felt like it was a long film as it wasn't a particularly fast moving one to watch. Like above I paused it about an hour 10 in to make a brew and thought jeez this is going to be a hard one to watch, but then the rest of it wasn't as difficult to get through as I thought it might be.

As difficult as the scene with the corner shop owner was to believe how old he was supposed to be, I didn't find the rest of the aging/de-aging too distracting. Overall I'd agree with the 8/10, and when else are you going to get so many great gangster actors/directors all in one film again?
 

JimboH

Well-known Member
....
Of course, it's not at all helped by the fact that I have always thought Al Pacino to be one of the worst actors in the history of American cinema. That's no different here. I actually thought he would never supercede the sheer badness of the scene in Heat where he interrogates Ricky Harris in the junkyard, but I think The Irishman provides a new contender – the one where he's chewing out his lackies. I wanted to cover my eyes and I cringed so hard a little bit of sick came up.
Oh.... I mean oh wow.

I gets its subjective, but.... Really? Or hyperbole?
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
I thought it was really good, a genuine old fashioned Scorsese gangster film.
I agree it was over-long and they could easily have just ditched the last half hour.

I also found the de-ageing CGI very distracting at first... brilliantly done in places, a bit iffy here and there.

Enjoyable though, and always a rare treat to see De Niro and Pacino together.
Pesci was superb too.
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
Thanks for the Review Cas, & thanks for everyone's comments after seeing this. Don't do Netflix, so I'll be waiting until this pops up for Rent.
Funny aside - I was looking in case my German Rental Service, or one of the German based online sellers, had a possible general release date - they all returned "Bulletproof Gangster" as the Search hit :laugh:
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
I think there are any number of younger actors who could have better filled these shoes. They don't need to be Italian-American – just look at Stephen Graham playing Tony Pro. He's from Lancashire!

I think they were cast for reasons of misplaced nostalgia. And I wouldn't be complaining if I didn't think their age hugely hampered the ability to suspend disbelief, but it did. I found myself watching nothing but these old bodies pretending to be young bodies and performances made bizarre and off-putting by the digital treatments applied to their faces.

Of course, it's not at all helped by the fact that I have always thought Al Pacino to be one of the worst actors in the history of American cinema. That's no different here. I actually thought he would never supercede the sheer badness of the scene in Heat where he interrogates Ricky Harris in the junkyard, but I think The Irishman provides a new contender – the one where he's chewing out his lackies. I wanted to cover my eyes and I cringed so hard a little bit of sick came up.
Yeah, but that's my point. I mentioned Graham, and don't think he stood his own against the heavyweights. He was supposed to be the Joe Pesci/Goodfellas contingent, but opposite the masters, he didn't have the weight.

As for Pacino and Heat. Fair enough, that's clearly your personal taste. I agree that he has a distinctive form of acting, but I think he is superb. He can do dialled down, and it works for him, but I absolutely love it when he goes 110%, and Heat is just perfection for me. So many quotable lines from him.

"She's got a great ass, and you've got your head all the way up it."

I actually thought The Irishman had some great lines too, and I thought there was some nice humour, like the "Tony" conversations.

"Who's gonna be there?"
" Everyone"
"You mean Tony, Tony, Tony and... er... Tony?"

If it wasn't 46 hours long I'd rewatch it to pick up on more of them.
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
Oh.... I mean oh wow.

I gets its subjective, but.... Really? Or hyperbole?
Well, no. I genuiney believe he is a terrible actor. I'm not alone there. It is widely believed by a great many, but like Cas just said, perhaps this comes down to personal taste. He's too much for me.
 

moedeeb

Active Member
I have to say that after re watching Casino a few weeks ago and enjoying it more than ever, I found this underwhelming. Bob's eyes looked like they had been made up using some left over prosthetics from Raging Bull.

Have to agree with Steve Withers - go watch Once upon a time in America and sign a petition for a 4K release of the best gangster film ever!
 

Evinger

Well-known Member

Tim2049

Well-known Member
Well, no. I genuiney believe he is a terrible actor. I'm not alone there. It is widely believed by a great many, but like Cas just said, perhaps this comes down to personal taste. He's too much for me.
We're in a minority, but I agree. Heat is one of my all-time favourites but I really struggle with Pacino in places. That overly self-conscious need he has to turn everything 'up to eleven' is...well, frequently distracting.

Hes got a lot of screen presence for a little guy, and I thought he was decent in Scarface, but...personally, i have no idea why he's held in such high regard. Not a popular opinion of course...(!)

Looking forward to seeing The Irishman, but I'm extremely sceptical about the CG stuff. In the trailers I found it a constant distraction...
 

JimboH

Well-known Member
Well, no. I genuiney believe he is a terrible actor. I'm not alone there. It is widely believed by a great many, but like Cas just said, perhaps this comes down to personal taste. He's too much for me.
"Widely believed by a great many":clap:
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
"Widely believed by a great many":clap:
Sure. It's not the most *popular* opinion. But it's out there in spades. He is awful for some. Worse than smallpox.

 

MarkNorton1

Well-known Member
Thanks for the review Cas, kinda looking forward to this however regular film viewing for me can often take 2 and worse case 3 nights given I have a young family to contend with, this could well take a week!
 

hitman2411

Well-known Member
I found it difficult to get through the full 3.5hrs, pacing too slow and trying to keep track of the when/where/who. Would have most certainly preferred younger actors to be given at chance as the earlier versions of the characters. No where near Goodfellas/Casino in my opinion. 6/10 here
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
It certainly didn't need to be three and a half hours long. As great as it was to see De Niro, Pesci, Pacino and Keitel together, they are all in their 70s now but spend the majority of the film playing 30-40 year-olds. So while you can de-age their faces (to a degree), they still move like old men. Pesci keeps calling De Niro 'kid' when he looks about 50, and in one scene a 30-40 year old De Niro is beating a guy up, and I was concerned he was about to put his hip out.
Agreed. Had they played older men and had other actors portray them as younger guys it would’ve been so much better. I saw the bit you refer to and it was never going to hurt that guy’s hand like it insinuates. Lol
 

ozzzy189

Well-known Member
The problem is Cas that I know what Pacino, De Niro, Keitel and Pesci look like as younger men, so the de-aging is never believable. However the real problem is the complete lack of energy from all concerned, even Scorsese's direction felt flat. It was like the entire film was tired and out of breath, with a bunch of very old men trying to recreate their glory days. It was fantastic to see them all together again, especially Pesci who was absolutely brilliant, but I wish they'd picked a subject where they could simply play closer to their actual ages for the entire story.
Maybe Scorsese’s version of last of the summer wine?
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
Can we all agree then, that this film didn't necessarily need to be in the cinemas after all??! Those taking breaks etc or even just stopping watching thankful they didn't pay up cinema prices?

Will watch this Friday night I think, despite the majority here not liking it that much. The deaging is definitely getting some cop which is no bad thing tbo. Bad tech imo.
 

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