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The Irishman (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Reggie W, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    I do find her article more than a bit of a joke and I do agree they were fishing for attention with it. She has no valid criticism of the picture and it is quite obviously not a horrible film. It's not Scorsese's best film, in my opinion, but it is a well made picture with excellent actors and acting. I have no doubt that people can find things they don't like in it but to say it is terrible seems to indicate you have not seen any of the crap that's been shoved out in the last 15 years or so.
     
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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Which shows how amazingly good Scorsese's output has been. The man basically either makes masterpieces or extremely good movies.
     
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  3. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker
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    Contrarian journalism will always be part of the landscape with respect to 'news' - especially on the internet.

    Anyone with a set of working organs, a dictionary (sometimes) and an internet connection is a journalist now.
     
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  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    One can like or dislike Scorsese’s film without automatically making everyone else’s work crap. It’s such a boring argument that only Scorsese and a handful of others make real movies and that everything else is crap or not a real movie.
     
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  5. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Forgive my ignorance, I don't carry a mobster encyclopedia and I just started watching this film (in the 82%) but I assume Frank and Russ are invented characters - Frank is essentially a Zelig-type character weaving through this timeline and events?
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  7. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    Frank Sheeran has an Wikipedia entry saying that he was born October 25th 1920 and died on December 13, 2003.

    Russell Bufalino was born September 25 1903 and died February 25 1994.
     
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  8. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Thanks Robert and Wayne. I don't know why I never heard about this Sheeran confession having been around and having been a news junkie when Hoffa supposedly went into the cement foundations at Giants Stadium. ;) But I see his confession and version of events was never confirmed or proven, and it goes to remind me of several other 'confession' books that later came out about famous crimes. There's one claiming their father was the Zodiac killer.

    The piece of evidence that really threw me off that this was unlikely how the event occurred was that Hoffa's stepson or foster kid, who is not part of the murder conspiracy plot, and is there specifically to ease Hoffa's mind about the supposed meeting with Tony Pro LEFT HIM OFF AT THE HOUSE WITH FRANK. And Hoffa is never seen again. Why wouldn't Chuck O'Brien put two and two together on that? It just seemed in obvious miscalculation if this was the way the hit really went down. Plus he would have known Frank was mysteriously and suddenly in town (though briefly).

    And as logical and simple as cremation was the way to go to dispose of the body, I still prefer all the colorful theories that somehow play more into the intense hatred and... intentional sacrilege that would go into the body disposal that may have occurred.
     
  9. Message #309 of 341 Dec 13, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    It may be because a lot of people did not take it seriously and so it was not promoted as anything that should be news. Most people that know about the Hoffa case believe that Sheeran made this all up to try to make some money selling his story because he was broke. Bottom line is Sheeran's story is most likely not true. Law enforcement did piece together how they thought Hoffa was killed and how the body was disposed of and the people that worked on the case did not believe Sheeran's tale.

    If that's the one from the former cop that managed to discover his father was the guy (or one of the guys) that committed the Black Dahlia murder I think he solidly proved his dad was behind that but has not quite proven his dad was the Zodiac.
     
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  10. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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    So, I loved the slow unfolding of the story, and it is a great movie, but I have one question, that I'll spoilertag since I guess this thread is suposed to be spoilerfree.
    So when did Frank realize he was the hitman? Was it when they went to the airport? When he was alone on the plane? When he found the gun in the car?
    When he picked up Hoffa? When he was alone with Hoffa in the house? When he realized the gun, and the situation was a setup?
    Or did he know even earlier?
     
  11. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    I think he knew in the scene with his mob sponsor Russell telling him basically, "It is what it is." Frank's long reaction says he knows what has to happen and who has to do it.
     
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  12. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Russell lays it out to him over breakfast that morning...

    He says to him that he feels Frank has to be in on it as it is the only way Frank can be alright with it and remain on the team. If they just kill Hoffa and let Frank find out after it is done he thinks Frank would be too upset by that and who knows what he might do.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Or:

    It doesn’t matter because Frank Sheeran probably didn’t kill him :D
     
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  14. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Or

    He’s still alive, living in Miami as Jim Schmo, constantly watching double feature reruns of Norma Rae and Scarface. ;)
     
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  15. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Well...

    In real life that's true. Sheeran invented the story to make a buck. In the movie, the story he made up, Bufalino tells him over breakfast and the ride to the airport Frank has to do it.
     
  16. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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  17. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    That little article is a bit misleading. Scorsese says working with Netflix was wonderful, which is the same thing other directors have said, like Dan Gilroy. So, yes, they did go to Netflix and there may have been some desperation in that they felt they were running out of time, they would all soon be too old, to make the movie. Really, it would have been better had they been able to make it 15 years or more earlier.

    The thing was when they first started developing the idea for another crime film together the initial idea was they were going to do a completely fictional film about an older hit man living in California that was looking back on his life. That was the story that Scorsese was working on developing. Then people got the book I Heard You Paint Houses to De Niro. He read it and then told Scorsese, I've got the story we should do.

    Scorsese did have some sort of deal set up to make the film at Paramount but when they switched over to the Frank Sheeran story they got into looking at having the same actors play the characters at all the different ages. When things got to the point where Scorsese and De Niro wanted to do CGI tests to see how that would work to make the actors look younger somebody had to pay for the tests. I believe Paramount did but when they got the estimate back for what it may cost to do this to make the picture, Paramount got cold feet.

    In the end when they made the film I believe the CGI took way longer and cost even more than they expected. To be fair to Paramount you would have to say that the bean counter that made the choice to pass was basically right to do so from a financial standpoint.

    When Paramount backed out they had to shop it but that was a problem because in the last 15 years the people that pay to make motion pictures have grown a lot less interested in doing any sort of original film...particularly if it is R-rated and geared toward an adult audience. This is part of why you see all these comments from Scorsese about Marvel type films. He's more than a little miffed that getting one of those green-lit is no problem but you can't get pictures he wants to make financed anymore...unless you now go to a streaming service.

    De Niro liked I Heard You Paint Houses because he felt the story had a lot of emotional resonance and liked the idea (which did play off their original California hit man idea) of this older guy with a lot of regrets looking back at a life filled with mistakes but mistakes that he felt were the best way to move forward in the moment he was making them. It also seemed as if De Niro found emotional attachment to this story because it was told by a real person, I guess, rather than just making up a story about a California hit man.

    I think it was De Niro that was pushing to play the character at all the different ages and did not want to bend on this because he thought it would give the story more emotional weight if the same actors played the characters at all the different ages. De Niro must have liked the CGI tests a lot because they would not change course once they saw them.

    So, the picture was close to being sunk because the CGI cost too much IF you were investing in that CGI for a film geared toward adults. This did, I believe, piss off Scorsese. If they were asking for the CGI money for a super hero film...well...they would have got it.

    I would not say really that they worked with Netflix only out of desperation though. That seems untrue. They got complete creative freedom to make the film they wanted to make the way they wanted to make it. Having done all the work to get to where they were ready to make it they did not want to give up on the picture. That seems more determined than desperate.
     
  18. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    That’s exactly what he’s saying.

    But not in a bad way of course. He was desperate to get the film made and Netflix came to the rescue when he was desperate.
     
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  19. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    If he believed in the project so much, he was free to open his wallet and self-finance the film. This gets me when filmmakers, most of whom could finance their own projects, get upset when they can't get someone else to give them wheelbarrows of money to play around with. If you're not willing to risk your own money, why should anyone else?

    The studios will give the money to superhero and action films because those are the films grossing potentially a billion dollars or more because they play well worldwide. A small American crime drama is not going to make that amount. Simple business decision.

    I'm sure Scorsese would have had no problem striking a distribution deal with a major studio. They just did not want to risk that much money on production.
     
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  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    So let me ask this question: are we more or less in agreement that given the realities of today’s box office, that it would have been extremely unlikely that The Irishman would have grossed the $500 million or so it would have needed to make, in about three or four weeks, to break even based on theatrical release accounting?

    If we do agree on that, do we still believe that a studio should have financed the film for theatrical release?

    That’s the piece of this conversation I don’t understand. There’s all this talk that it should have been a conventional theatrical release without much acknowledgment that the film’s prohibitive cost would have made it a money losing proposition.

    The movie got made and that’s a good thing.

    And I’m a fan of Scorsese.

    But in some of these articles, it’s almost as if he’s being spun as a victim, and I don’t get why that’s a fair look at the situation. He wanted to make a film that had no financial pathway to viability in theatrical release, and his theatrical release partner decided that was something they couldn’t do.

    I’m just so sick and tired of everyone else being the bad guy here. Disney’s the bad guy for making movies audiences want to pay to see theatrically. Audiences are the bad guy for wanting to see those films. It goes on and on again and again. There doesn’t have to be a bad guy. It’s simply a different world in 2019 than it was when Taxi Driver or Raging Bull were made (films which cost a fraction of what The Irishman did).

    We live in a world where a filmmaker wanted to make a film that was so expensive that there was no pathway to viability via conventional methods (something which has happened to filmmakers working in all eras), and rather than being forced to abandon the project, he got to make the film he wanted anyway for a different outlet that did offer a pathway towards viability. Why is this a bad thing?

    I think Scorsese is presenting a false choice. It wasn’t “Marvel movies make so much that there’s no room for my movie.” Fifty years ago, this project could easily have become something like Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon, a project acknowledged to be worthwhile but unaffordable. That got the plug pulled on it, just like Paramount pulled the plug on Scorsese. The difference is, there are other options now. Scorsese’s complaints about it not being the good old days ring false to me because I don’t think The Irishman would have been made then either. The difference is, it would have been dead, like Kubrick’s Napoleon.
     
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