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The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman (2019)

An old man recalls his time painting houses for his friend, Jimmy Hoffa, through the 1950-70s.

It's also the mob movie with the Action Bronson cameo!

He does his role alright. Sells a casket. Seems like himself, but his regular self works well here. I'm curious how he'd do with acting someone else, but it's good to see he may be a natural at least with natural cameos like this. Always with that Action charisma. Always nice to see.

As for the rest of this it's sad how every mob movie ever made somehow seems to become an anti-mob movie. Even ones as classy as this one. And it's sad how everyone ages, and dies, and how some people live on.

Not that it's sad that anyone lives on - it's just sad they age and live on as everybody else dies.

I like the ambiguity though. I like how it started, but when it's all over I'm missing the point.

It had to be for something. It might be the point is there is none, but what kind of movie would that make this? Anti-mob propaganda? It's all said and done now anyway. It is what it is.

In a way you could say the age plays on or pays homage to the longevity of the mob, but on the other hand there's always an element of certain people losing their grip as they do, of not keeping with times, of the world changing and the mobsters being lost in their own little realm of loyalty when in the real world it no longer matters at all.

Maybe I should see that more a testament to how crappy our time is. To strive to bring back what we had back in the old days.

A new mob? Unity that matters? Loyalty, family, respect, and an unquestioning and uncompromising raison d'ĂȘtre over all? Until your time is gone and lost upon you.

I'm as always fascinated by the culture, and by the code, and both acting and filming is great as ever here. Robert De Niro's still got it. I just wish it all ended a happier way, whatever reason they might have had for making it not so, be it a nod to the mob or not.

But that's why this doesn't get a top score in my book.

To escape reality is at least why I usually watch a movie, and though this might not really be my reality, my reality currently correlates all too closely to age and death - not my own necessarily but to that of those I hold close - and thus this doesn't feel like the escape I'm looking for in a movie, and I'm not sure it's the kind of reality anyone who was in or is in the mob would like to see either.

Or maybe I'm wrong? Maybe this shows them the way. Maybe this is a silent testament to the values of a culture and honor by most unknown.

Basically I guess I chose the wrong movie to watch. I don't like the age and/or losing grip thing, but can't nobody say this wasn't good.

It was what it was.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Glimmer Man (1996)

The Glimmer Man (1996)

Two cops are forced to work together to solve a chain of mysterious killings by a killer nicknamed "The Family Man".

If there's a reason Seagal's still getting all those roles this might be it!

It's a solid movie. Witticism. Punchlines. Solid action sequences, a somewhat predictable but still exciting plot that moves you through the motions and explosions, and Keenen Ivory Wayans is the perfect counter to Seagal's trademark poker face. Some other well-known names here too: Brian Cox, Bob Gunton, John M. Jackson...

If I didn't know his mannerisms so well already this'd be the kind of movie that'd make me go looking for more, thinking his appearance here might've been an act, and a good one at that. But that's just how he is. With this one it worked. I'm glad.

The movie though... can't say a bad thing about it. In the end I even forget about his somewhat predictable speech patterns and potential impediments. It's just a blast all the way.

Great pace. Great filmography. Great action, most of all.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Death And Return Of Superman (2019)

The Death And Return Of Superman (2019)

This one's all about relations! Clark Kent and Louise Lane. The great secret. The great reveal.

Justice League, Teen Titans and Lex Luther and Superman's new son are all there on the sidelines complicating the plot, but when Superman's involved you know there's really no need for anyone else. So of course they bring in Doomsday, the new Superman kryptonite, and all hell breaks lose.

Spoiler: Darkseid's involved too.

It all escalates well, the tension rises, impending crisis, there's plenty of surprises, but when the showdown finally comes... it's a letdown. It's barely a fair battle even with everybody's vices, and the plot jumps this way and that and no longer feels as carefully sculpted as it did in the beginning.

I'm also a bit annoyed with some of the painfully obvious 3D mixed in with the otherwise more 2D-type animation. It all feels... simpler somehow. The computers popping up in Steel's lab is the perfect example. The lack of detail on the street with the tanker's another.

There's a lot of battle. There are some strong women. There's a good intrigue. I enjoyed it, but I'm not all thrilled with the end. It's all too much, and all too sudden a turn. All too little a threat when it's all done and over.

Clark and Louise's embrace is really the only good part at the endpoint.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Downfalls High (2021)

Downfalls High (2021)

Was hoping this would be a full movie (saw the trailers before there was an IMDB page or duration for it), but it feels more like a collection of songs from the album tied together with a somewhat make-shift plot, than a story in its own regard. The moments from the trailer without music are some of the only moments of that kind, and the acting's not all perfect but... the music does help. It's a journey, real 'movie' or no.

I feel like this had potential to be so much more though. To be both a real movie and a real music video. Where the songs fit better in. Where they give things time and don't have the bits of acting more like skits between the tracks, but the tracks the occasional bits that really amplify the plot. Where they showcase the main character more so than MGK. Or have him act main character if he really wants to be the showcase.

In the end he and Travis are everywhere, and the actual story falls short. Gets sidelined. Comes second.

And I really wish he'd had a crowd at the end there. Depressing end or no. It's art. Simplified or no. Van Gogh or mo. All I know is I don't know nothing.

This hybrid album/movie thing can be seen for free here btw.

And hey, first 2021 movie review right here.

 rated 3.5/5: not bad at all

Backflash (2001)

Backflash (2001)

A woman is released from prison and heads home to help outwit a local mob boss and pull off the scam of a lifetime.

Don't think I've ever seen a bad movie with Robert Patrick in it, and this one was no exception.

I take to these desert getaways too. The ending has me thinking of the winding countryside in GTA San Andreas. The music seemed a bit slow at the start, but when it's over I've tuned in to the pace. I like it!

Take your time and savor the moments in this unconventional action romance, without all too much action, or too big a cast, but all done well.

Surprised I hadn't stumbled upon this old gem earlier.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Waist Deep (2006)

Waist Deep (2006)

The greatest ghetto movie ever... it just might be this one.

It's like a modern day Bonnie & Clyde, with an ending like The Shawshank Redemption, and a plot device that shines even though it might be - like most movies of the type - somewhat stereotypical.

Feels like that first job is lost and forgotten all too quickly too, and whatever happened to cops maybe patrolling outside a parking building even after a suspect's clearly driven in and spent some time there? Like maybe they left something, person or no?

Never mind the details though. Tyrese Gibbons puts on the best performance I've ever seen him do here, and Meagan Good too.

I mean her name is Megan Good. She good too.

Didn't realize how good this was the first time I watched this, back when it came out. I didn't even realize The Game played the big bad wolf! He's convincing. And Larenz Tate has a minor but well-played role too, as an ironically not very lucky sidekick and story progressor.

The shaky cam's a bit much sometimes, but that first chase (Bad Boy vibes) and the final one... god damn. Got me in tears. I don't think I felt as much or the same way at all about this the first time around...

It's not perfection, but it's a roller coaster of both emotions and events that doesn't ever leave you hanging, but doesn't stress you out either. Well-balanced and weighted with both heart and violence - not to mention full of social satire (is that the right word?) and suitable contrast.

Still great. Hope people don't forget this.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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