In 2004, a non-fiction book titled, “I Heard You Paint Houses” published nationwide. The book is about the life of a man named, Frank Sheeran. A gangster who has connections to the late Jimmy Hoffa. A labor union leader of “The Teamsters” who mysteriously disappeared. Both men are linked to “The Bufalino Crime Family.” I Heard You Paint Houses chronicles Sheeran’s life story as a mobster and family man.
Legendary director Martin Scorsese began development of adapting the book since it first published when longtime friend/partner Robert De Niro wanted to work on this project as he was fascinated with Jimmy Hoffa’s unconfirmed whereabouts. It took a decade for the duo to make their pet project a reality due to scheduling conflicts of their careers and how are they gonna pinpoint certain aspects of Sheeran’s life.
After a complicated decade, Al Pacino & Joe Pesci were enlisted to portray Jimmy Hoffa & Russell Bufalino. This time the pair and Bobby De Niro’s age are digitally altered using cutting edge technology by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM for short) to make them younger. Netflix eventually picked up I Heard You Paint Houses renamed as “The Irishman” for distribution.
The Irishman is currently streaming on Netflix. It received critical acclaim from critics and viewers alike. Besides universal praise, it became an eligible nominee in upcoming award ceremonies including “77th Golden Globe Awards” and “26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG for short) Awards.” The Globes announced Al Pacino & Joe Pesci are nominated for “Best Supporting Actor,” Martin Scorsese for “Best Director” and “Best Drama.”
To prepare for the 2020 Golden Globes airing on January 5th, I’d like to share what’s good or bad about Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited movie. The 26th SAG Awards will air on January 19th so don’t forget to mark your calendars.
Today’s review doesn’t contain any crucial SPOILERS whatsoever. If you haven’t read the book, I Heard You Paint Houses or the film based on it, feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Is it a masterpiece like “Goodfellas” and The Departed?” Let’s find out?
Good & Bad Elements
Good: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino & Joe Pesci all did an excellent job for their respective performances as Frank Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa & Russell Bufalino.
Other Cast Members such as Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Jesse Plemons & Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante from The Sopranos) all did a great job for their respective performances.
Martin Scorsese did an amazing job organizing every single scene to match the book’s source material.
Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster, Gangs Of New York) wrote the screenplay. He made sure certain chapters were properly translated in visual form.
The Three Leads were digitally de-aged using cutting edge technology by Industrial Light & Magic. (ILM for short) Computer Animation managed to make Bob, Al & Joe look younger. Marty mentioned the effects from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” encouraged him and his longtime friends to teach themselves about complex de-aging. As you probably know, ILM is founded by Marty’s pal, George Lucas.
The Irishman is the first collaboration between Bob & Marty since “Casino.”
Cinematography never suffered from gimmicky Shaky Cam.
Time Periods span a total of six decades spanning from the 1950s to the 2000’s. Fully detailing Sheeran’s career both professionally and personally.
I can’t tell you the fate of Hoffa’s disappearance, your gonna have to see four yourself. Without giving anything away, I’m not absolutely sure if this was told in Sheeran’s words or actually true.
Set Pieces and Costumes reflect a specific time period. Each one is truly accurate with certain true events mentioned in the background.
Bad: I know some viewers claim the film has pacing issues due to its three and a half hours long. Understandable, they have a point. Slow pacing can be annoying at the times. Could be worse, if Peter Jackson directed The Irishman, he would’ve expanded it as a trilogy. Does “The Hobbit” ring any bells? If I were you, watch The Irishman if you don’t have anything on your plate, because it’s gonna be a long sitting with your buddies.
The Final Verdict: A-
The Irishman is a film of the year contender and also one of my favorite movies of 2019. If it weren’t for its slow pacing problem, I would have given it an A, FOR APEX next to my favorites related to Marty’s work like “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed” & “The Wolf of Wall Street.” If you’re preparing for the upcoming 2020 Golden Globe Awards, I highly recommend The Irishman.