The Irishman (2019): Jack Does a Short Review of Martin’s Long Film

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“The Irishman” is directed by Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence) and stars Robert De Niro (Meet the Parents, The Godfather: Part II), Joe Pesci (Home Alone, Raging Bull), and Al Pacino (Heat, Insomnia). This is a return to form for critically acclaimed director Martin Scorsese, who is well-known for his gangster movies including “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” and “Mean Streets.” In this film inspired by Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” Robert De Niro’s character, Frank Sheeren recalls events of his past as he gets involved with Russell Bufalino and dissects into his involvement with Jimmy Hoffa.

I will be completely honest with you. There was a time, going back two or three years ago that I did not think I was going to check out this movie as all. After all, I don’t personally pay for Netflix, which I heard this movie was going to be on. I did not realize at the time that they were getting a bit more serious with their theatrical releases. To this day, my family uses Netflix, but I just never jumped on the train. I’m just not a streamer, it’s not my style. The only services I use today happen to be Prime and Crackle. When I heard this was getting a theatrical release, my curiosity levels shot into the air and almost splattered like glittery fireworks. Even though I am rather late to the party, I did make a trip to one of my local theaters to go see “The Irishman.” I’d say it was worth the trip. To be honest with you, even though some of the most well-regarded movies ever made are gangster flicks, that type of film has never been my style. With that being said, my experience of witnessing this film was still a good use of my time.

Speaking of time, “The Irishman” is three and a half hours long, making it my most extended watch of the year. This is both a blessing and a curse. I say that because the movie for the most part is entertaining and rather investing. The downside is that perhaps both the first thirty minutes and last thirty minutes happen to be the points where the film manages to fizzle. I may be exaggerating on the first thirty minutes because for one thing, the film was just beginning, therefore it was nearly impossible for me to divert my eyes away from the screen. But, for the last thirty minutes or so, I felt like I was watching something that was four hours as opposed to three and a half.

I did something I don’t normally do when I work on my reviews, but I jotted down some short notes after watching the film. I was in the middle of a double feature, because I watched both this and “Marriage Story” in the same day. Before my second movie started, I stated that “I enjoyed the little things.” There are a few scenes in this movie that sort of add something to the film, but almost feel like they belong on an extended cut. There is a scene towards the end of the movie, that I won’t entirely go into that involves a conversation about the delivery of a fish. It’s undoubtedly entertaining, and in the moment, it kind of put a smile on my face, but the more I think about it, it almost does not really add anything to the film overall aside from some random laughs. It just feels like wasted time. I mean, it sort of reminded me of “Pulp Fiction,” which has random conversations about uncomfortable silences and foot massages. These are two random topics that somehow got in the script in the first place, but most amazing of all, worked. However, “Pulp Fiction” feels like it uses every minute wisely whereas “The Irishman” almost overstays its welcome. The pacing drags at a point, which considering the runtime, is not that surprising.

While this movie may suffer in terms of pacing, I think it is nevertheless one of the best directed and acted films I have seen all year. Martin Scorsese manages to deliver a technically competent film on all levels ranging from camerawork, lighting, and delivering the best performances possible. This movie also contains what may be my favorite child performance of the year, given by Lucy Gallina. Her performance is very subtle, and any scene involving her was either entertaining or simply charming.

Speaking of surprise performances, I want to talk about Ray Romano. Do not get me wrong, I liked Ray Romano long before he signed onto this movie, but I never thought Romano had the acting range he does today. After all, he was the lead role on one of my favorite sitcoms, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” where he basically plays an exaggerated, alternate version of himself. In this movie he plays a lawyer by the name of Bill Bufalino, and honestly, it’s the best performance of his career. Looking at his past work, it might not say too much, but it’s still worth pointing out.

However, Romano is not part of the big three. Specifically, De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino. And while I do admire the portrayals given by the entire trio, Pacino, personally, cannot be beat. Pacino was perfectly cast as Jimmy Hoffa. This is a role that I honestly do not see anybody else playing, except maybe John Tuturro, not specifically because of his acting ability or anything, but at one point, I thought Pacino looked like Tuturro during the film. Out of all the characters, Hoffa was by the far the most charismatic and interesting of all. He’s bombastic, wacky, and quirky. He’s basically what you need out of a proper Pacino role.

I don’t have much more to say on “The Irishman,” but as I watched this film, one of the things I almost forgot about going in that I eventually reminded myself of is the de-aging processes that can be seen throughout this flick. De-aging through digital tech is a seemingly increasing trend. We’ve seen it so far in films like “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Tron: Legacy,” and “Gemini Man.” I think one of the best de-aging jobs that has been done recently is for Samuel L. Jackson in “Captain Marvel.” YES, I JUST BROUGHT UP A MARVEL MOVIE IN A REVIEW FOR A MARTIN SCORSESE FILM. REMIND HIM NOT TO READ THIS IN ORDER TO AVOID NIGHT TERRORS. As for this film, I could barely even notice the digital makeup applied to everybody. I’d probably have to watch the film again, and I have no plans to watch it again in the near future, but if I were to watch it again it would be for one reason only. Because the main actors are not that young, and I want to remind myself of how they move. They may look younger in the film than they do in real life, but do they move like younger people should? It’s a question that is still on my mind.

In the end, “The Irishman” is entertaining, but a tad too long. Although at the same time, this brings up a dilemma, because one of the most entertaining factors of “The Irishman” are some little additions that do not need to necessarily be in the final cut, but are entertaining nonetheless. This movie is a solid piece of work, and not exactly a waste of my time (maybe except for somewhere between ten and thirty minutes worth), so I’d still recommend it. I’d recommend it to a good number of people, unless you are an easily offended vegetarian. This film has a lot of steak consumption. I really liked Jimmy Hoffa’s story overall, and basically any scene involving him made the movie twice as swell as it already was. I’m going to give “The Irishman” a 7/10. One reminder to Martin Scorsese, there are two Marvel films I saw this year that I liked better than this. Just being real.

Thanks for reading this review! I just want to remind everyone, as mentioned earlier, I went to see “Marriage Story.” I will have my review up for that as soon as possible, and stay tuned at the rise of the new year for my countdowns on the best and worst movies of 2019! If you want to see more great content like this, follow Scene Before! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “The Irishman?” What did you think about it? Did you see it in theaters or at home? Tell me about your experience! Or, do you consider comic book movies like those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe “cinema?” Yes? No? Maybe? I don’t know? Part yes part no? State your case, defend your opinion, the universe depends on it! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019): There Lived an Actor and His Stunt Double

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is directed by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained) and stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Titanic), Brad Pitt (World War Z, Allied), Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad, The Wolf of Wall Street), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Speed Racer), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers, Death Note), Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet, Live Free or Die Hard), Austin Butler (Switched at Birth, Arrow), Dakota Fanning (Coraline, The Twilight Saga: New Moon), Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The ‘Burbs), and Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman, Heat). This film takes place in Hollywood around the time of the Manson murders during 1969. The story focuses on the dynamic duo of the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio (Rick Dalton) and Brad Pitt (Cliff Booth). Dalton is an actor and Booth is Dalton’s stunt double. Together, they have a hunger for fame and fortune as the Golden Age of Hollywood comes to a close.

If you have been following this blog in recent weeks, you may have gotten the implication that I have just recently introduced myself to the masterful works of Quentin Tarantino, a director known for his quirky style, gritty scripts, and his enthusiasm to deliver a rather nostalgic vibe to his films. And this film is no exception. It is shot using 35mm film, it takes place in 1969, and it is designed to be presented as a love letter to ancient Hollywood. It has callbacks to real life Hollywood figures including Roman Polanski, Bruce Lee, James Stacy, and Sharon Tate. There are tons of throwback cars that can be seen that truly highlight the automobile culture of California that seems to continue to exist today. It kind of reminded me of “Amercian Graffiti” a little bit.

My excitement for this film was through the roof as soon as the tickets went on sale. I called my dad, he and I agreed to go on opening Thursday, I picked to go to the 7:30 show at the Somerville Theatre, which if you are not from Massachusetts, it is a 100 year old theatre that has a few screens, but one of them is in a grand auditorium that shows a lot of event-type films. I was there last year for the 70mm film festival, more specifically, for when they showed John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” It was my second time watching the film, and the atmosphere was turned up to an 11 when it came to how lively the crowd happened to be. I thought we were going to get a few people to show up for this film, because let’s face it, “The Lion King” is out right now, everyone’s going to see that, and unlike “The Thing,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was playing for more than one night. Plus, it didn’t have reserved or reclined seating. People seem to flock to those two things nowadays.

And I’ll let you in on a little something about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It’s the single best movie experience I had this year. Yes, better than “Endgame.” The atmosphere was almost dead during “Endgame,” there are several moments in this movie where people would shout, yell, laugh, applaud, it felt like I went to the world premiere of a “Star Wars” film. It was the very definition of exhilerating! The theater might have been sold out, if not super close to being sold out. I got to chat to a guy in the row in front of me about Tarantino films, there was a lovely lady I got to talk to about his work and other people’s films. This was clearly going to be an experience to remember. OK… maybe this has to do with the atmosphere of the film. But how was the movie you ask? F*cking nuts! It’s a special kind of awesome! I mean, could you expect anything less from Tarantino? This is the fourth movie I have seen from him, and this is probably my 2nd favorite. This film is full of excellent scenes with great characters, lines of dialogue that made me laugh and cheer, and fantastic setpieces.

For those of you who don’t know, part of the production of this movie involved transforming Hollywood as if it were presented in the 1960s, and I think the movie did a really good job with it. All of the neon lights shining everywhere and the plethora of signs set the mood, I dug the driving scenes that really had that flair of fun attached to it, and I felt immersed into the world that happened to be presented almost to the point that I imagined myself as a part of it, and I think from watching “Pulp Fiction” and this film, that is something that I think Tarantino can do very well. And this may be a big reason why I enjoyed this film so much. No matter what movie I have seen from Tarantino so far, the appropriate vibe is automatically set. But I feel that Tarantino, from what I have seen so far, has done a better job with his films when they are slightly more grounded in reality. Even though I saw “The Hateful Eight” and there can be a definite argument that that film grounds itself in reality a little bit, it doesn’t really have characters that I can latch onto. The characters in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” feel raw, they feel like people I would probably run into at one point in my life. Maybe I’m biased since this takes place in Hollywood and I am an aspiring filmmaker and I can picture myself working with people who are similar in some ways to these characters, but my case still stands. “The Hateful Eight” has characters that at times are interesting, but for one reason or another, I just can’t relate to all of them.

And this is why I really enjoyed the main characters of the film, Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. The two legitimately feel like a best friend pair, and seeing a number of scenes with the two together happened to be entertaining. Whether they were working or hanging out, they just made the movie worth watching. If I had to be honest, when it comes to acting, it’s almost difficult declaring whether DiCaprio or Pitt had the better performance because for one thing they’re both great actors. Not to mention, when you put the two together, they have the perfect recipe for a friendship. Plus, it kind of makes sense since in the movie Booth has to emulate Dalton in productions together, so in a way they have to act like they’re the same person. I’m not saying they are in real life. Both have their individual characteristics and storylines and they hypnotized me. I’ll also point out that the proper execution and quirkiness of said storylines are part of why I would want to go see this in the theater a second time.

And you want to know the best part about this movie? I can’t speak for everybody, but pretty much the entire theater, and this is a lot of people, happened to be dying laughing. This is why I enjoy going to movies with crowds, not to mention in cities (which I did technically for this film) because recent experiences have shown that my urban movie experiences (mainly during early access screenings) have usually gotten better reactions than ones I’d traditionally experience elsewhere. It felt like I was part of the worldwide Tarantino cult, they just accepted me after introducing me to their rituals, and we all came together for an experience of a lifetime.

As for myself, I am kind of in an unfortunate position because I have been exposed to tons of content, and as much as I enjoy watching certain comedies, I often feel like I have “seen it all” or seen enough to know what to expect. Here, I was laughing through a number of scenes, I was appreciating a lot of the dialogue that has been uttered, and it never felt like the movie lost its groove. It was one interesting moment after another. And this all builds up to the big. F*cking. Climax of a lifetime! It is quite literally a Tarantinogasm of super f*cked-up awesomeness on a stick! Is it the best climax or ending in movie history? No, it’s not, but it is by far one of the wildest. I cannot recall the last time, or at least the last recent time, that I laughed as hard as I did during this climax with all the s*it that was going down. I cannot go into it, but the climax alone is worth the price of admission, everything else feels like an appetizer. I, like pretty much everyone else in the world, saw “Avengers: Endgame” this year, and I thought the climax to that, especially as a geek, was fantastic. This ending, to me, wasn’t fantastic. It was bloody phenomenal!

And by the way, speaking of movies I saw this year, one of my other highlights happens to be “John Wick: Chapter 3.” That franchise, as you may know, has a lot of emphasis put on dogs, and the most recent installment manages to continue highlighting their importance to everything that’s going on. In my review for that film, I said it had my favorite dog-related scene of the year. That thought has since changed because “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has a scene that I really cannot go into involving a dog. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I am talking about. It’s almost out of left field in the best possible way. Talking about it feels like a sin because it’s something I really want to do, but it feels wrong because, well in this case, spoilers could flood out of my mouth.

Just… See this movie, my gosh it’s f*cking ride.

I will say though…

The film is not perfect.

Yes, I have raved about this movie to death. Both in person and on here, but there is one single, solitary flaw that I have with the film.

And to my disappointment, it kind of involves Margot Robbie’s character of Sharon Tate, because despite how she may have cool scenes, and how she has a relation to one of the film’s characters who is mentioned by name, she almost had no real part in this movie, or at least one that contributes to the bigger picture of what is happening. And I will admit, it was sad to see her in this film after realizing she is watching the last film she will be alive to see herself in. But even with that, her character could have had more depth to her. She didn’t feel lifeless, Robbie portrayed the character very well, and she was charming. Kind of like how in “Suicide Squad,” the movie itself wasn’t the greatest, but Robbie did an excellent job portraying Harley Quinn. I’d probably have to watch the movie again to decide whether or not this storyline was necessary because there is a part of me that does think it is compelling and is a part of this old Hollywood love letter, but also begs to question how needed it really is.

Nevertheless, the movie is still an excitement bomb. It is still one of my favorite movies of the year, and I would INSTANTLY go back to the theater and watch this film again because I saw this film with my dad, we couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home, and he made an interesting comment. He was laughing so hard that he must have missed something. When your film is good enough to possibly allow that to happen, a repeat viewing is inevitable. Will I go back and see the film one more time? Hopefully, but only time will tell. And if I do, I will be really damn excited.

In the end, the hype is real for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Tarantino once again presents himself as the cinematic mastermind he has always been made out to be. The film utilizes a lot of practical effects to turn Hollywood back fifty years, to say the acting is solid is an understatement, and there are several scenes I will be looking forward to viewing once I see this movie again, because it is absolutely phenomenal. And again, the Sharon Tate thing, I liked certain scenes she was in, but her character almost felt tacked on. I could grow in appreciation for her. After all she’s played by Margot Robbie, who is one of the most beautiful women working in film right now, so who knows? This is not to say she can’t act, because again, she was charming. And there are several films that I have seen this year that are funny. A couple of examples include “Long Shot” and “Fighting with My Family.” But when it comes to comedic timing and writing, this film is most likely going to be the absolute best we are going to get this year in terms of comedy. Between the awesome and brilliantly written final act, the investing opening scenes where we get to know our lovely main duo, and a gag involving dog food, there is so much to enjoy in this one film. I cannot wait to talk more about this film with other people and I cannot wait for this film to come out on Blu-ray. I’m going to give “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” a very high 9/10. I have a feeling, and it’s just a feeling for now, depending on replay value and how I feel about certain aspects of this film over time, this could increase to a 10. I’m not sure, but this was one of the best looking films of the year, one of the most well shot movies of the year, one of the most interestingly written scripts of the year despite my flak given to Sharon Tate, and one of the most compelling ensembles of the year. But seriously, Tarantino, you are a god and we do not deserve you. Thank you for this orgasmic movie! And if it means anything, I’m pretty sure this has to be the best “9” movie of the decade so far. So a score change may be possible, who knows?

Thanks for reading this review! I just want to let everyone know that next weekend is the release of the “Fast & Furious” spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw.” I probably won’t see the film right away because I’m going out of state for a night, but I will likely make a commitment to get my ass in the theater at some point. It is a movie that I am looking forward to simply because it looks absurd for all the right reasons, so once I can see it, I will take that opportunity. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Do you have a Facebook? Check out my Facebook page! You can get all the latest info from your favorite movie reviewing moron regarding upcoming content, new posts, and more! I want to know, did you see “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Quentin Tarantino movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Insomnia (2002): A Movie That’s Better The Second Time Watching It

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have read my blog at all last week, it’s possible that you may have come across my review for “Interstellar.” If you never heard of the film before or don’t know when it came out, that’s not a new release, that’s actually from 2014. I reviewed it because the guy who directed that movie, Christopher Nolan, has a new film coming out on July 21st. It’s gonna be in theaters everywhere including special presentations in various film formats. Today, we’re gonna review yet another one of his movies. But before we get into that, I want to say if you actually want to read my review for “Interstellar,” click the link down below and that will take you to the review.

https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/interstellar-a-beautiful-intense-breathtaking-brilliant-sci-fi-marvel/

Today we’re gonna be talking about one of Christopher Nolan’s earliest films, “Insomnia.” This film came out in 2002 and considered by many to be one of Christopher Nolan’s worst movies. Although based on ratings I’ve gathered for this movie, that doesn’t mean much of anything because it’s still got a good rating of 7.2 on IMDb with most of the individual ratings coming in around the 7/10 range, which can suggest that the movie’s watchable. Without further ado, let’s start the review!

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“Insomnia” is as mentioned recently, is directed by Christopher Nolan, and stars Al Pacino (Scarface, The Godfather), Robin Williams (Jumanji, Aladdin), and Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, The Gift). This film is a thriller and is about homicide detectives who are investigating the murder of a local teenager.

A couple things before we dive into this film, I have watched this movie once before, I thought it was alright but it definitely could have been better. But then I kinda remember doing two things at once (maybe, I don’t know). Although I thought I’d give it another shot because it is a Christopher Nolan movie and that is what I intend on reviewing for the next few weeks before “Dunkirk” hits theaters. Also, in case you didn’t know, this is actually a remake of a 1997 Norwegian film which has the same name as this one. I can’t really compare this movie to that one because I haven’t seen the other interpretation, but IMDb says it has an overall slightly higher score compared to the 2002 movie of 7.3/10 with most ratings coming in the 7/10 range, although it also suggests less people, at least those who use IMDb, saw the 1997 film and more saw the 2002 film. Now let’s dive into some characters, starting with Al Pacino.

In Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of “Insomnia,” I took a glance at the cast for this movie, and noticed the characters overall have different names, and I can understand that. This is based on a Norwegian film and this is kind of being directed to other audiences. Al Pacino plays a character named Will Dormer. Al Pacino is playing another lead role who occasionally uses a gun. And that’s not the only recurrence of an Al Pacino role. In fact, to even support what I said, you know how in some movies Al Pacino would do this over the top voice that sounds like Nicolas Cage if he knew which movies to actually be a part of? For example, in “Heat,” when he shouts “She got a GREAT ASS!” Yep, he does it here. Here if it were some other actor, it probably would have taken me out of the movie, but Al Pacino made it work because it’s almost like his trademark. Also, the way his character was written was rather investing throughout the film, and once it concludes, it totally works.

Next up, we’re gonna talk about Robin Williams in this movie, who gives a good performance as his character, Walter Finch. One minor complaint I have when it comes to this movie is something I noticed on the cover of my Blu-Ray I own for it, along with the poster. Robin Williams’s name is on it. And yeah, I get it, Robin Williams is a pretty big name, but he’s not really in the movie at all until the runtime approaches the second half. If Williams’s name was gonna be on the poster, I’d personally put it on the end, where Hilary Swank’s name is. After all, Hilary Swank is pretty much in the movie from beginning to end, much like Al Pacino. It reminds me of when I watched “You Can’t Have It” back in March. Rob Gronkowski, the tight end of the New England Patriots, was supposed to be in the movie, he was even in the center of one of the posters which contained a lot of characters, but he doesn’t even show up until like the final seven minutes. It just felt unnecessary and ruined a movie that while technically incompetent, still had an interesting story and a lot of likable characters. Although despite what I said Williams’s character wasn’t all that bad. When I was watching this movie for the first time almost two months ago, Walter Finch may have been my favorite character after finishing the movie. Speaking of which, let’s dive into a little more depth.

I want to talk about something I saw in the film and connect it to reality. In the movie, the murdered teen girl had a personal connection with Robin Williams’s character. Now Williams is playing a writer, he makes books. He mentions at one point, he was at a signing which the girl attended, they eventually talked, and they met a few more times after the signing. This scene actually got me thinking and made me ask a few questions to myself. Now, if you didn’t already know, one of my personal biggest idols is Curtis Armstrong, who you may know from content including “Revenge of the Nerds” and “Supernatural.” I met the guy in person before, he’s a fun dude, and personally, if I could hang around with him more, I would. After all, we have some stuff in common when it comes to our personalities. In fact, I’m actually meeting him again in just one day after this is posted. At one point, Robin Williams reveals that the girl showed him her writing when she became comfortable with that idea. For the record, she was interested in writing and a big focal point for her as a writer was poetry. He’s soon asked how the poetry was as a whole, and he replies to the person asking, saying it wasn’t good. Not long after he says the girl never knew his true thoughts about it, and he doesn’t know why he would spit something like that out of his mouth. Now I’m an aspiring screenwriter, I also enjoy writing on this blog, and I’ve been told these reviews, when it comes to my overall writing ability, have proven to be some decent material. If I wanted someone to judge me as a reviewer or as a screenwriter, I would want them to be as honest with me as possible. I would want to know if I’m the skyrocketing overlord of my craft or if I’m the pathetic ass of my craft. Although when it comes to this movie, I could understand where Walter Finch, the character played by Robin Williams, was coming from. Let’s say if I were a celebrity and I were at a convention as a special guest signing autographs and doing photo ops, I would love to meet my fans, I would love to see the stuff that they put all of their time and effort into. However, one thing I don’t want to do to my fans, is let them down. If I had a fan that came up to me at a convention, and they showed me a short review or something like that, I would love it if they’d ask for constructive criticism. I mean, heck, you guys know Doug Walker? The Nostalgia Critic? He’s at conventions all the time! If I showed him a review of mine, I’d want him to respond back to me with full honesty. I want him to tell me if it sucks, I want him to tell me if it’s awesome, I want him to tell me if it’s OK. A big thing I wondered about this movie, is what this girl was like as a person. Was she too shy to ask for constructive criticism? Did she ask for constructive criticism and never receive the truth? I’m actually curious about this. In fact, I’m even aware of my own mistakes without anyone else pointing them out. I make numerous errors on here. Here are some actual examples you may or may not have noticed from reading this blog.

Top 10 WORST Movies of 2016
“How does movie exist?!”
CORRECTION: How does this movie exist?!

“Transformers: The Last Knight” Review
(ON THE TOPIC OF CHARACTERS BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL BY PLAYING MUSIC IN SOME WAY) “I don’t recall seeing that type of humor anywhere. The closest I can say that has come to this, is during one scene from a “Family Guy” episode called “Baby, You Knock Me Out,””
CORRECTION: More than one “Family Guy” episode I witnessed was like this, “Blue Harvest” is another example.

“The Fate of the Furious” Review
“As far as other news goes, there is a TV movie coming out on HBO this Sunday, that movie is called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” it’s based on a book by Rebecca Skloot, and focuses on the true story on the discovery of and research dedicated towards the HeLa cell, which changed cancer research forever. I MIGHT review it, I might not, I don’t even know if I’ll even see it, but if I do see it, there may be a possibility of an upcoming review concerning the film.”
CORRECTION: The movie premiered on a Saturday (By the way, I did see it, never reviewed it)

And yes, I know WordPress allows you to edit these things, at the moment I have no intentions to, because I feel I should reveal that I, am human, and I’m fallible.

Now let’s talk about Hilary Swank. She plays a character named Ellie Burr. I don’t have many complaints with this character. Some things that stood out about her is her outgoing presence and her name. And while I do think she may be the weakest of the three big names on the poster, I did enjoy her character in the movie. Although she did remind me of Optimus Prime from “Transformers,” a little bit. Weird comparison, I know. But believe me, you know how I mentioned her name stands out to me? She said her name multiple times during the movie, I mean it was necessary, but still, before she said it on multiple occasions, it almost felt like I just heard it not too long ago. You could almost dub in Optimus Prime’s voice in multiple moments of the movie and you will either hear something like “Optimus Prime,” or “My name is Optimus Prime,” or “I am Optimus Prime.” In fact, despite remembering how I technically enjoyed Hilary Swank’s character in the movie, moments containing her throughout are starting to fade from my memory.

Another minor complaint I have about this movie is the score, which is done by David Julyan, who also composed music for other Christopher Nolan flicks including “Following,” “Memento,” and “The Prestige.” I’m rather disappointed to say this because this is a Christopher Nolan movie and I usually like the scores I hear in them. At times in this movie, the score totally works and it matches perfectly with a scene, especially at the very end. But at other times, it feels like a scene should have no music whatsoever and yet there is music playing. Also, at times, the music played in certain scenes that are paced faster than others don’t really give any fast paced vibes and feel more like music that belongs in a particular segment of “Manchester by the Sea” or something.

I’ll say this and this isn’t really a spoiler or anything, but at one moment in the film, Al Pacino shoots his partner. It was kind of intense when I saw that and it felt extremely realistic given the circumstances the characters were going through. Seeing Al Pacino try to deal with this in the aftermath was rather compelling and added a bit to the overall story in terms of benefits. This leads to something else in the film that almost sounded illogical at first, but from the purpose of storytelling, it made the overall story a little more compelling than it already was.

If I have any other compliments to give towards the film, I’d say that the final shootout was awesome. I won’t go into detail, but this is one of the moments where the music (or lack of music) worked. Seeing the two sides going against each other in battle was investing and it had me glued to the screen. It was a very short fight, but it was also sweet. Some of the cinematography in this movie was pretty cool too, especially during the opening. From what I can gather, none of this film was done on a green screen, and I could definitely tell, and films like these are why I love when films are shot on location. Granted, I do enjoy all of the popcorn superhero films, but when a director wants to shoot a movie in the real world, only good things in my mind would come as a result.

In the end, “Insomnia” is definitely not Christopher Nolan’s best work, but that doesn’t mean the movie’s bad. There’s a lot to like about it. The cinematography, the characters, the performances, the editing, the dialogue. Although the film has numerous flaws, and some of them in my view, happen to be character quirks, but despite those quirks and flaws, I had a good time watching this movie. Watching this movie the second time was definitely more enjoyable than it was the first time. I’m gonna give “Insomnia” a very high 7/10. I was almost gonna give this an 8, but given time to marinate, this isn’t a movie I’d watch over and over again. Sure, it was an enjoyable ride, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t feel like something I’d be putting on in my Blu-Ray player in a week from now. Thanks for reading this review. I’m not sure if I’m gonna be seeing any movies this upcoming weekend, after all, I am going away to a family reunion. However there is a theater nearby in the town I’m staying in for a few nights, and who knows, it’s possible I could catch a movie there if there’s nothing else to do. Like, if it’s a rainy day or something.

Also, next week, I will be doing my final review in my Christopher Nolan series leading up to “Dunkirk.” That review is going to be for the 2010 flick, “Inception,” the film about a thief who is experienced in stealing ideas from others in dreams. Stay tuned for that along with more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and before I end this post, here’s a funny line from “Insomnia.”

What has two thumbs and likes blowjobs? (POINTS TO HIMSELF WITH BOTH THUMBS) This guy! -Fred Duggar