What would it be like to sit at a table with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci? Well, first it would be hugely intimidating, as those movie legends have all left such a profound mark on cinema over the last 50 years. But mostly, it would be enlightening and utterly delightful, as evidenced by the 20-minute roundtable with all four men in the newly released The Irishman featurette from the Criterion Collection.
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So far we’ve gotten to read several of the alternate cameos that were pitched for Zombieland before Bill Murray came aboard the project and gave us one of the best cameos in movie history. There was Patrick Swayze in the very first draft of the movie, which unfortunately never got offered to the actor before he was diagnosed with cancer. Then Sylvester Stallone had to pass due to scheduling, and Mark Hamill’s people just flat out said no (read those pages here). Now we’ve come to one of the Goodfellas.
Joe Pesci was offered the big cameo in Zombieland. When the offer came through to his agent, co-writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese explained that it was “a small part.” That’s when Joe Pesci’s agent put a Hollywood spin on a common phrase in the industry by saying, “There are no small parts, only small money.” Apparently this part came with small money, so Joe Pesci passed. But now we get to read how the scene would have played out. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, director Martin Scorsese provides insight into a scene from The Irishman involving a meaningful exchange between Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Plus, an astrobiologist breaks down apocalyptic scenes from movies like I Am Legend and Waterworld to look at their accuracy and likelihood of actually happening, and Andy Samberg, John Mulaney and Kenan Thompson stop by Late Night with Seth Myers to act out an aired sketch on Saturday Night Live. Read More »
It was a long road for Martin Scorsese to get his crime drama The Irishman off the ground. The film was in development for nearly a decade before Netflix gave the legendary filmmaker the money he needed in order to make the multi-generational-spanning story come together properly, largely due to the visual effects technology needed to digitally de-age Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Now you can get a taste of the film from those early development years with a clip from the very first table read back in 2013, and then you can see how Martin Scorsese brought it to life on set, earning the film 10 nominations at the Oscars. Read More »
In recent years, the visual effects used to de-age actors has produced impressive results. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Michael Douglas have all been made young again in the movies of Marvel Studios. But those are blockbuster movies. Could the same digital technology be effectively used to craft an award-worthy drama featuring de-aged actors? Director Martin Scorsese wasn’t entirely sure it was possible for his long-gesting movie The Irishman, but Industrial Light & Magic visual effects wizard Pablo Helman made it work with an entirely new approach to digital de-aging.
Learn how The Irishman VFX came together below. Read More »
The Irishman brings together Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci with director Martin Scorsese for the first (and probably last?) time, and that’s a big deal. These guys are all legends, and they’re also all well into their twilight years. The prospect of them coming together for one last hurrah is exciting, and it helps that The Irishman is one of the year’s best movies, too. A new The Irishman featurette highlights how crazy and cool it is to have all these actors together in a new Scorsese epic.
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Martin Scorsese’s sprawling new mob epic, The Irishman, opens with a tracking shot through a nursing home. We’re a long way from the Copacabana in Goodfellas, but that nightclub, too, makes an appearance later, and the shot in question here is still soundtracked by a golden oldie. “In the Still of the Night” takes the place of “Then He Kissed Me.” The camera glides past senior citizens with cane walkers to a place where a white-haired old man in tinted glasses sits, looking like a shadow of his former Casino self.
Scorsese’s nine-time feature film collaborator, Robert De Niro, plays Frank Sheeran, a war veteran turned trucker turned labor union official turned nostalgic wheelchair occupant who paints himself as a Mafia assassin in flashbacks. That’s not the only “painting” we’ll see him do, either. “When I was young, I thought house painters painted houses,” Sheeran says at the top of his voiceover. Hearing these words in this context, it’s not hard to think of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, narrating, “As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a gangster.” In Sheeran’s world, it turns out painting houses entails splattering their walls red with people’s blood.
Without delving into spoilers beyond the opening shot, it’s enough to say that cinephiles versed in the visual language of Scorsese’s films will be able to pinpoint many such callbacks when The Irishman hits Netflix on November 27 (it’s playing in limited theatrical release right now). Among other things, the movie serves as the summation of cinema’s greatest director-and-actor collaboration. Critics have described it in almost oxymoronic terms, calling it “a bold and shattering epic of old age.” Beyond the hype lies a film about human frailty, with one foot in the grave and one foot in the almighty past.
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So far, the footage released for The Irishman, Martin Scorsese‘s crime epic starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, has played up the film’s macabre sense of humor. And it’s true: The Irishman is often very funny. But it’s also a surprisingly melancholy, somber affair – and that’s what this latest trailer is trying to convey. It’s a much slower burn, playing up the darkness and regret that plagues many of the characters. Watch the latest The Irishman trailer below.
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Zombieland: Double Tap is in theaters now, bringing back Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin for more zombie apocalypse action. It’s been 10 years since the original movie hit theaters, but writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the duo behind the Deadpool franchise) were hired almost immediately to write the sequel. Since it took a decade to finally get this movie finished, the script went through plenty of changes as time passed, and one of those changes resulted in nixing a hilarious but tragic scene that would have given us a Ghostbusters reunion.
Beware, in order to discuss this scene in question, we’re providing a spoiler alert for a certain cameo made in the sequel. But if you saw the most recent theatrical trailer for Zombieland: Double Tap, then you already know what we’re talking about. Either way, you’ve been warned. Read More »
Digital de-aging is either the scourge of cinema or an exciting new tool for filmmakers, depending on whom you ask. But the effects in Martin Scorsese‘s new gangster epic The Irishman lie somewhere in between. This conversation comes on the heels of the technology’s busiest year yet, with studios smoothing out the faces of their stars in Captain Marvel, It Chapter 2, and Ang Lee’s upcoming Gemini Man. In each of the aforementioned films apart from Captain Marvel (thanks to Marvel Studios having almost perfected the tech), the de-aging has been roundly criticized, though perhaps not nearly as much as the effects in The Irishman.
When the first trailers for The Irishman were released by Netflix, the grumblings over Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci‘s silky-smooth skin and uncanny valley faces began, and were amplified when the streaming giant released stills of De Niro looking like a PS2-era video game character. But rest assured, the de-aging effects in The Irishman (mostly) work. At the very least, there is no other way that Scorsese could have made his latest masterwork.
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