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  #51  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
It was nominated for some Golden Globes including best picture drama

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/09/enter...ons/index.html
What I don't get, is why opinions here on the SDMB are so different from everywhere else.

In the rest of the world, it seems that close to 100% of professional movie critics liked it, and the audience rating is about 85%. Here, it seems that 85% disliked it.

Why?

Is it that people here are so much smarter and more perceptive than both movie critics and the general public?

Is it that people here are so much dumber than both movie critics and the general public, and are unable to see the subtler aspects of the movie?

Is it that people here are want to appear much smarter and more perceptive than both movie critics and the general public, and they think they will achieve that by being extra cynical and negative?

  #52  
Old 12-09-2019, 11:46 PM
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I like what I like and dislike what I dislike. It never has to do with posturing and in this case it has nothing to do with smarts or lack of, or perceptiveness. It exclusively has to do with personal taste and grabs me emotionally and what leaves me cold. This left me cold.

Maybe there is a selection bias here to people who respond in similar ways. Lots of people liked it. You did. Accusing those who don’t of lying about what they think though, in order to impress pixels like you? That is a bit much. Smilie does not change that.
  #53  
Old 12-10-2019, 12:40 AM
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Yes, much of the very high cost was due to the extensive CGI.
The worst part is, I can’t tell if you’re joking. I mean, I wish you were, but then I can’t tell anymore. My sarcometer is busted from overexposure.

Did anyone else not realize who the titular Irishman was until, like the last half hour or so of the movie? Because the script didn’t seem to really highlight the main characters Irish heritage, even when Kennedy and the Irish were getting badmouthed by Hoffa, and I don’t remember him being specifically referred to as Irish until Joe Pesci's character gave him the ring, and, again, De Niro is one of the two best known Italian American actors now living, and quite possibly in cinematic history. I actually found out Jimmy Hoffa was Pennsylvania Dutch (and not Irish) while checking wiki just to be sure that he wasn’t supposed to be "the Irishman" (going off the possibility that he was Protestant, and so badmouthing Kennedy et al for being Catholic, rather than for being Irish). The casting was just that bad.

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This left me cold.
Me as well. It made me feel sad, thinking back to De Niro and Pacino in films like Casino and The Godfather respectively, and then seeing them in this. It’s not that they’ve grown old, it’s that they’ve grown old but for some reason Scorsese just could move past them and so had to cast them as men aged roughly on par with who they were in those earlier, better films.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 12-10-2019 at 12:44 AM.
  #54  
Old 12-10-2019, 12:51 AM
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And they moved as if they were old men.

Indeed. I quite literally laughed out loud during the scene where DeNiro beats up the grocer.
  #55  
Old 12-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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What I don't get, is why opinions here on the SDMB are so different from everywhere else.

In the rest of the world, it seems that close to 100% of professional movie critics liked it, and the audience rating is about 85%. Here, it seems that 85% disliked it.

Why?

...
I think there is at least some element of "lifetime achievement" phenomenon, where late-career work receives undue praise, reflecting a prior body of work. This is a BIG film by a supposedly GREAT director, w/ multiple supposedly GREAT actors - therefore, the film MUST be GREAT!

But I also suspect there is at least some degree of contrariness (is that a word) around these parts, by folk who like to consider themselves independent thinkers.

And I agree, tho I was aware of the title, I never really thought of DeNiro as being Irish, other than when dialogue specifically mentioned it.
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  #56  
Old 12-10-2019, 09:51 AM
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What I don't get, is why opinions here on the SDMB are so different from everywhere else.

In the rest of the world, it seems that close to 100% of professional movie critics liked it, and the audience rating is about 85%. Here, it seems that 85% disliked it.

Why? . . .
It's nothing nefarious GreenWyvern, some people just didn't like it.

It reminded me of the late Star Trek films in some ways. If this was made my Martin Jones, starring Al Smith and Robert Washington with the exact same performances, I don't think it would have gotten the reviews that it did. It seemed like a C- film, but one we seen done better before. We loved the actors, loved the plot, and felt a fair amount of nostalgia, especially knowing we weren't going to see our friends back together again. It gets a lot of benefits of the doubt due to that.

But YMMV, - obviously does - and that's fine.
  #57  
Old 12-10-2019, 05:18 PM
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DeNiro beating up the grocer took me out of it. He just moved like a brittle old man. I loved these actors in much of what they have done, and as such this movie is excellent in that it is a good argument for why these guys should hang it up, at least hang up playing tough guys. (None of this applies to Joe Pesci, who was consistently excellent). This movie with actors younger than 76-79 could have been really good - it is still a Scorsese movie, with many of his special touches. But even then, that’s not a sure thing - the characters were not written in way that made you care about them, unlike, say, The Godfather movies, or Goodfellas. Perhaps because these were real, historical people. But then Tarantino showed that you can make a perfectly engrossing movie featuring “real” people. And yes, Tarantino wrote alternate history. But then so did this movie.

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  #58  
Old 12-10-2019, 07:24 PM
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The grocer scene and the one at the waterside should have been more artistically shot. As Chaplin said: Close up for tragedy and long shot for comedy.

You can make anything you want happen on screen. You don't have to film your 75 year old leading man in long shots in an action scene.
  #59  
Old 12-11-2019, 12:47 AM
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The grocer scene and the one at the waterside should have been more artistically shot. As Chaplin said: Close up for tragedy and long shot for comedy.
The distancing from the violence was DELIBERATE. It was done for a reason. Do you really think Scorsese doesn't know how to film violence for maximum emotional effect... and for MINIMUM emotional effect? Have you not considered WHY he made that choice?


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This is NOT a standard gangster movie. This is deliberately NOT another Goodfellas, or Casino, or Godfather, or whatever. This is a movie satirizing and commenting on and undercutting the standard tropes of a gangster movie. You're comparing apples with oranges.


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While the Hoffa murder set up bit made little sense to me I did find Frank’s refusal to sit in the front knowing who would be behind him and what we know from a past scene as a bit funny.
A bit funny? It was hilarious... and DELIBERATELY so. Like a lot of other funny bits in the movie. Scorsese is taking standard gangster movie tropes and making fun of them, riffing on them, looking at them from the outside, showing the inherent ridiculousness of them.

But for all the humor, it's a very serious and very moral movie. Instead of romanticizing gangsters like so many movies, it's doing the exact opposite.
  #60  
Old 12-11-2019, 06:41 AM
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It was funny. Clearly intended so. Hilarious? To you okay.

Whereas the choice made on the grocer scene distance made made the scene a bit funny not “distant”. Analyzing what is in the filmmaker’s mind as an intellectual exercise is not what I want to be doing. It gets me feeling and thinking one way or it doesn’t. Like I said my first comment, worth seeing as an item of technique, in that “intellectual” sense, but boring emotionally and otherwise. Maybe it stands as a meta commentary on the genre? I am no expert in that. Critics are I guess and care about that. It just doesn’t work as entertainment ... to me.
  #61  
Old 12-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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This is NOT a standard gangster movie. This is deliberately NOT another Goodfellas, or Casino, or Godfather, or whatever. This is a movie satirizing and commenting on and undercutting the standard tropes of a gangster movie. You're comparing apples with oranges.
Please, not this.

While I agree that there was some intentional subversion of the standard gangster-movie tropes, that doesn’t mean every flaw (or even the specific flaw being discussed—the grocer beating) can be shrugged off as "satire." For it to be satire, it needs to be intentional, and I’m not quite satisfied it was, as opposed to yet another consequence of using old men to portray middle-aged men.

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  #62  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:22 PM
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The distancing from the violence was DELIBERATE. It was done for a reason. Do you really think Scorsese doesn't know how to film violence for maximum emotional effect... and for MINIMUM emotional effect? Have you not considered WHY he made that choice?


I told them once, I told them twice,
They would not listen to advice.
 

This is NOT a standard gangster movie. This is deliberately NOT another Goodfellas, or Casino, or Godfather, or whatever. This is a movie satirizing and commenting on and undercutting the standard tropes of a gangster movie. You're comparing apples with oranges.




A bit funny? It was hilarious... and DELIBERATELY so. Like a lot of other funny bits in the movie. Scorsese is taking standard gangster movie tropes and making fun of them, riffing on them, looking at them from the outside, showing the inherent ridiculousness of them.

But for all the humor, it's a very serious and very moral movie. Instead of romanticizing gangsters like so many movies, it's doing the exact opposite.
My head is spinning. Every gangster movie that came out in the last 50 years has been advertised as "another take" on it. The flicks from the 70s were another take on the ones from the 30s. Yet all of the sudden in 2019 this is the "real" other take. I guess we should be grateful to be alive for it.

The things you are saying about this movie were also said about goodfellas. But after goodfellas becomes a culture meme and phenomenon, and people were attracted to the violence, it lost that meaning.

People have objections to the film but you don't answer those. You just say that we're hipster snobs. But it feels like you are retrofitting all your arguments to defend what's on screen no matter what. You can have your opinion about what scorcese is doing but it sounds like you are scrambling to be honest.
  #63  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:48 PM
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All I can say is that those criticizing the movie seem to be in a tiny minority.

And it's certainly not because of the big names. Plenty of big name movies have been panned by critics and public alike.
  #64  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:08 PM
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Hey, I gave it a 6 out of 10. That’s mildly watchable (just not re-watchable) in my book. If it had been properly edited and cut down to size, I might even be calling it great (though, probably not with the miscast leads—do you suppose that supposed to be satire, too?).

But it wasn’t, so I’m not.

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  #65  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:12 PM
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Okay, lots of people agree with you. Or are pretentiously pretending to because they want to appear hip enough to understand why this boring dreg was great ...

Seriously your telling those of us unimpressed that we are lying about our opinions is ... weird. I do not like green thug and mob. I do not like them Bob you slob.
  #66  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:17 PM
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All I can say is that those criticizing the movie seem to be in a tiny minority.

And it's certainly not because of the big names. Plenty of big name movies have been panned by critics and public alike.
Why are you so concerned that people agree with your personal opinion?
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:31 PM
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Why are you so concerned that people agree with your personal opinion?
I'm not.

I asked why opinion on the SDMB seems to be overwhelmingly negative while opinion elsewhere is overwhelmingly positive. I haven't had any credible answer to this yet.

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  #68  
Old 12-11-2019, 05:49 PM
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I'm not.

I asked why opinion on the SDMB seems to be overwhelmingly negative while opinion elsewhere is overwhelmingly positive. I haven't had any credible answer to this yet.
Who do you think owes you this credible answer? We’ve told you our own various reasons for not liking it (correction, not loving it), and a few have even posited an explanation for why it might have been so well reviewed (brand recognition) even if it’s not truly great, so I’m really not sure what else you would expect.

It’s essentially a straight to Netflix film with a limited theatrical release so that it could be hyped up by the studio to garner awards nominations (typical Oscarbait) and on the viewer side, it’s as much a self-selecting audience as any other film, possibly more so than your usual Scorsese production since you really have to go out of your way to see it if you don't have Netflix.

Kind of like Mudbound (2017). Another film that is passable for a single viewing, even managed to get some Oscar nominations, but otherwise just kind of passed by unnoticed (which, on reviewing my IMDb account, I see I also rated a 6 out of 10).

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 12-11-2019 at 05:51 PM.
  #69  
Old 12-11-2019, 08:28 PM
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I'm not.

I asked why opinion on the SDMB seems to be overwhelmingly negative while opinion elsewhere is overwhelmingly positive. I haven't had any credible answer to this yet.
To be specific you asked this very odd (and quite insulting) question:
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern View Post
What I don't get, is why opinions here on the SDMB are so different from everywhere else.

In the rest of the world, it seems that close to 100% of professional movie critics liked it, and the audience rating is about 85%. Here, it seems that 85% disliked it.

Why?

Is it that people here are so much smarter and more perceptive than both movie critics and the general public?

Is it that people here are so much dumber than both movie critics and the general public, and are unable to see the subtler aspects of the movie?

Is it that people here are want to appear much smarter and more perceptive than both movie critics and the general public, and they think they will achieve that by being extra cynical and negative?

What I want to know is why anyone would think those are the three choices, and why anyone would ever expect any specific subgroup of self-selected people to have the same distribution of opinions as the subgroups that are users of Rotten Tomato or Metacritic?

Liking a movie or not is rarely a matter of being smarter or dumber or more or less perceptive. It is a matter of taste. Probably this movie is a big hit with those who ave been huge fans of Scorcese's other gangster movies, and maybe of the mob movie in general. Maybe those who reviewed on those sites are mostly those people and fewer of us are? I'm not. I did not see his other gangster movies in the theater, haven't even bothered to stream them, and only watched this because of the press it was getting and it was no special effort other than moving it ahead of more Parks and Rec episodes since Mrs. Maisel's hadn't yet dropped. I would never have seen this in a theater even if it was a 90 minute movie.

Its value as a meta-commentary on the genre and as a capstone to his past work is of no interest to me. I view it as something on its own.

To me it is a bit like a recent era in modern art. The works' meanings were only in their meta-commentary on art historically - the idea of a painting that had no visible brushstrokes of a large brushstroke - made sense if one understood the history involved. And I can understand why those with that knowledge base felt those works were of value. But my viewing of art is not one that is that informed always, and if the work does not evoke something significant out of me, either emotionally or intellectually, then it is a fail for me. That meta-commentary I even understood but to me still was a not anything significant intellectually or emotionally.

Speaking for myself I get that those with a strong connection to Scorcese's past works, his big fans who likely posted lots of those reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and include many critics, found serious meaning in his meta-commentaries, felt emotional resonances based on the actors playing the parts, and allusions to his past works I presume.

What I can tell you is that the movie did NOT work for this individual without that established knowledge base, fan status, and existing emotional connections to the actors playing these sorts of parts. Naive to those things it was a fail ... for me and I suspect to many others who were not already huge Scorcese fanbois.

So maybe that means I am "dumber" because I do not have the requisite knowledge of the genre and of Scorcese's past works "to see the subtler aspects of the movie"? Could be. And maybe some others here are in that way "dumb" like me? Could be. Maybe it works as a great movie for Scorcese fanbois and others lack the knowledge base to appreciate it. If that is who the movie is for then fine. It just wasn't for me.

The message that a life of crime is not so glamorous and that in the end an amoral person ended up with no meaningful relationships, outliving the person who he possibly actually cared most about, his mob mentor, and maybe with a few (too few) regrets by the end just does not strike me as all that profound or even well made. The final 20 minutes that Scorcese apparently thinks has such emotional impact just had none on me. Again maybe because I lacked the requisite knowledge base, but it was just a meh. Hell I've known real people with meaningful lives lived well with value added to the world still sad and lonely in nursing homes at the ends of their lives no one appreciating who they were and what they accomplished. That such happened to a thug whose only skill was a near complete lack of morals and empathy? Yawn.

But tastes vary and it resonated for you. And others who are "smart" enough I guess. Okay.
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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FWIW, I’ve seen and enjoyed many/most of Scorsese's other works, including all of his gangster films and every one of his feature films of the last 20 years, including Hugo. Even so, well... I've already expressed my "meh" feelings on this upthread.

All that to say, I don’t think just being familiar with his most closely related works guarantees much appreciation for this new film, either.

ETA: Casino... now THAT had a great scene with old men beating on someone.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 12-11-2019 at 09:05 PM.
  #71  
Old 12-11-2019, 09:53 PM
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I watched Goodfellas the other day, even though I've seen it a million times. The "You think I'm a clown?" scene gets me every time. Despite how despicable Henry Hill is, you can't help but sympathize with him when he thinks Tommy is serious.

There's no scene like that The Irishman for me. I can't think of a scene in the whole movie that I would want to sit through again.
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:38 AM
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Well GreenWyveen, you are not alone, I thought the film was excellent and moved much faster than 3 1/2 hours. I was never bored for a minute and I thought all of the leads gave excellent performers. I will fault the film for the de-aging, when they try to show DeNiro and Pesci as younger I think it was a complete failure. DeNiro’s eyes were way to bright blue and his face did not look real. And some of the timelines with the flashbacks within flashbacks were a bit confusing (we see RFK talking to Joe Gallo in one scene, then Gallo is in a scene at a club where Frank’s daughter Peggy is still a kid, then after Frank kills Gallo we see Peggy watching it on the news and all of a sudden she’s a young woman? What year is this now!?)

But aside from the de-aging and the timelines I thought the rest was great!
  #73  
Old 12-18-2019, 12:58 PM
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Not as “fun” as Goodfellas or Casino in that 20 years from now bros are going to be repeating lines with glee from the movie.
I thought Pacino's Hoffa was more just "loud Pacino", and less of a portrayal.
But I think the "10 minutes late - that's traffic. But 15 minutes, that's saying something" may be quoted (I have already started ;-)

Overall I thought it was a good movie, but not Scorcese's "best" as it is being touted.

It was really refreshing to see Joe Pesci not play the same, brash, violent mobster as in "Goodfellas" or "Casino".
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:04 PM
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I watched Goodfellas the other day, even though I've seen it a million times. The "You think I'm a clown?" scene gets me every time. Despite how despicable Henry Hill is, you can't help but sympathize with him when he thinks Tommy is serious.
Tommy IS serious.

Sure, at the end he breaks character and it's all a big laugh. But he isn't just joshing around; he is trying to scare Henry (and everyone) on purpose, to demonstrate his dominance. And he wants to make sure everyone knows he really isn't a clown.
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  #75  
Old 12-18-2019, 09:03 PM
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Rewatched it, with mrAru this time around. He also liked it as entertainment not documentary history. He agreed that the unaging was too uncanny valley, and they still moved like old farts. While we both agree with the faults, we did agree it was entertaining with no deep inner meaning.

We had a discussion with the disposal of Hoffa, and we both agree - if we were to dispose of him in that time period, we would haul him off to a restaurant or meat packing plant, stash m in a deep freeze long enough to render him solid, then off to a boat with a gasoline powered wood chipper and a chain saw. WE would chop him into convenient grinding size, chip him into the water then drop the chipper and saw over the side, and then thoroughly wash the boat down, we had a side discussion of tarp vs those huge clear plastic sheets one used when painting rooms for draping around to keep the worse of the goop off the boat. We certainly wouldn't leave the body interred anywhere someone could find him ...
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:16 PM
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We had a discussion with the disposal of Hoffa, and we both agree - if we were to dispose of him in that time period, we would haul him off to a restaurant or meat packing plant, stash m in a deep freeze long enough to render him solid, then off to a boat with a gasoline powered wood chipper and a chain saw. WE would chop him into convenient grinding size, chip him into the water then drop the chipper and saw over the side, and then thoroughly wash the boat down, we had a side discussion of tarp vs those huge clear plastic sheets one used when painting rooms for draping around to keep the worse of the goop off the boat. We certainly wouldn't leave the body interred anywhere someone could find him ...
I'm pretty sure they cremated him, not just interred.
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:34 PM
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We had a discussion with the disposal of Hoffa, and we both agree - if we were to dispose of him in that time period, we would haul him off to a restaurant or meat packing plant, stash m in a deep freeze long enough to render him solid, then off to a boat with a gasoline powered wood chipper and a chain saw. WE would chop him into convenient grinding size, chip him into the water then drop the chipper and saw over the side, and then thoroughly wash the boat down, we had a side discussion of tarp vs those huge clear plastic sheets one used when painting rooms for draping around to keep the worse of the goop off the boat. We certainly wouldn't leave the body interred anywhere someone could find him ...
Maybe he took a little trip.
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:10 PM
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Rewatched it, with mrAru this time around. He also liked it as entertainment not documentary history. He agreed that the unaging was too uncanny valley, and they still moved like old farts. While we both agree with the faults, we did agree it was entertaining with no deep inner meaning.

We had a discussion with the disposal of Hoffa, and we both agree - if we were to dispose of him in that time period, we would haul him off to a restaurant or meat packing plant, stash m in a deep freeze long enough to render him solid, then off to a boat with a gasoline powered wood chipper and a chain saw. WE would chop him into convenient grinding size, chip him into the water then drop the chipper and saw over the side, and then thoroughly wash the boat down, we had a side discussion of tarp vs those huge clear plastic sheets one used when painting rooms for draping around to keep the worse of the goop off the boat. We certainly wouldn't leave the body interred anywhere someone could find him ...
I grew up in the Detroit area and was in high school when Hoffa's disappearance happened. Our take was to rename our school lunches as "Hoffa-burgers".
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Old 12-21-2019, 01:42 PM
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I watched Goodfellas the other day, even though I've seen it a million times. The "You think I'm a clown?" scene gets me every time. Despite how despicable Henry Hill is, you can't help but sympathize with him when he thinks Tommy is serious.

There's no scene like that The Irishman for me. I can't think of a scene in the whole movie that I would want to sit through again.
That scene was based on a real life incident that happened to Joe Pesci. It was not in the script it was mostly ad lib

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/...out-goodfellas
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Old 12-21-2019, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
I grew up in the Detroit area and was in high school when Hoffa's disappearance happened. Our take was to rename our school lunches as "Hoffa-burgers".
LOL... remember the ground meat that was redder than normal beef that we nicknamed 'monkey meat'? Turns out it was horse meat =)

Though I have to admit, I actually like properly knacked and processed horse meat - for a while there was a horse knackers here in CT that would sell out the back door - I used to get the most wonderful tenderloins and one year had a 4 bone prime rib that was amazing, we had to bard it with a slice of beef tallow to get it to roast properly [horse is amazingly lean]
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:54 AM
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Interview with stepson of Chuckie O'Brien about Hoffa and other topics

https://conversationswithbillkristol...goldsmith-iii/
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:06 AM
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So I finally got around to seeing this film, and I have to say, I agree with the majority of posters in this thread. It was a well-made film with a void at its center. I get it - it's about the banality of evil, about how some of the worst things in the world are done by men who are just following orders given by other men who have convinced themselves that they have no choice. The thing about the banality of evil, though, is that it's, well, banal. It's interesting at the intellectual level, but not the emotional. Now maybe you could make an interesting movie about such a fundamentally dull, uninteresting person this film was about. In fact, if anyone could do it, it's Martin Scorceses. But he didn't.



Also, if you've got Harvey Keitel in your movie, can't you at least give him something to do? This is the guy who can make telling a simple story over lunch more interesting than your entire film!
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