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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year! 

We're taking a break today and will be back tomorrow. Meantime, here's a film review for your enjoyment from reader Eric Lucero. Happy New Year!

The Irishman (R) Drama ****1/2 Stars out of 5--available via Netflix

Legendary film maker Martin Scorsese’s 3.5 hour plus opus is carefully adapted from Charles Brandt’s 2004 eye opening ‘true crime novel’ which details mob hitman Frank Sheeran’s self-confessed, murderous working life and his alleged involvement with one of the 20th century’s great unsolved disappearances, that of bombastic UAW Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, 1993) should win a second Oscar for his work here. Needless to say, Scorsese will get nods as well. The performances by Hollywood icons Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, as well as by a memorable supporting cast, were compelling and do justice to the source material.

This mob time capsule is brilliantly realized, researched, executed, acted and based on detailed interviews undertaken by Brandt, the bestselling author who is also a former homicide investigator, prosecutor and defense attorney.

“The Irishman” is the short title of Brandt’s longer and more revealing title: I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa."

The phrase “I heard you paint houses” is said to be mob lingo, with the ‘paint’ being the blood that splatters when bullets are fired into a body. I shudder to think. Well, you get the point.

As for what really happened to Sheeran’s buddy, Jimmy Hoffa, I liken it to the Occam's Razor principle that "simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones"--as you shall see. You will be challenged by this revised and informed view of American history. Enjoy!

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