‘The Irishman’ turns a Hoffa bio and mob flick into a meditation on what’s important in life (Movie review)

T

he Irishman” (2019, Netflix) pairs nicely as the back half of a double feature with 1992’s “Hoffa.” That film, which was likewise Oscar-nominated, focuses on Jimmy Hoffa’s creation and popularization of a workers’ union, whereas director Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” digs into the darker corners of the mobsters who circled around Hoffa. Both films are from the point of view of one of Hoffa’s trusted seconds: Danny DeVito’s Bobby Ciaro in “Hoffa” and Robert De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, the titular Irishman.

Continue reading “‘The Irishman’ turns a Hoffa bio and mob flick into a meditation on what’s important in life (Movie review)”

Throwback Thursday: ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) pounded the mean streets of ‘Joker’ 43 years before it was comic-book cool (Movie review)

T

he Oscar-nominated “Joker” has brought a key question about art front and center, perhaps most prominently since the early part of this century when sample-laden songs started to become radio hits. Where is the line that separates homages from ripoffs? Inspiration from theft? Two Martin Scorsese films are regularly mentioned as the most obvious forbearers to Todd Phillips’ “Joker”: “Taxi Driver” (1976) and “The King of Comedy” (1982). I’ll look at “Taxi Driver” here.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) pounded the mean streets of ‘Joker’ 43 years before it was comic-book cool (Movie review)”