28Nov5:04 pmEST

Thanksgiving Night at Market Chess Cinemas

It has been a while since we have discussed recommended films and television series.

Frankly, I am a tough critic when it comes to what I enjoy watching. Mind you, I am open to various genres and do not thumb my nose at comedy or any kind of fantasy. But it must be entertaining and not rely on tired formulas or regurgitated comic book storylines. 

Two recent films I have seen are: Joker (2019) and The Irishman (2019). 

Both films received plenty of hype surrounding their respective releases, with the latter currently available on Netflix. 

Regarding Joker, despite a strong performance from Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, this is categorically not a groundbreaking film, nor is it an epic or masterpiece.

It is a slightly better than middle-of-the-road film which comes off as a hybrid between Taxi Driver (1976) and American Psycho (2000), both of which are superior films to Joker. The film's attempts to offer social commentary come off as too contrived for my liking. 

As for The Irishman, the three hour and thirty minute run time is (and always will be, regardless of the genre) incompatible with a good but not great film. The Irishman is not Goodfellas (1990), a far superior film which was also directed by Martin Scorsese and also starred Robert De Niro (who had a role in Joker, too, by the way). Scorsese actually pays homage to Goodfellas in a few scenes and with a few lines of dialogue in The Irishman.

But the better comparison in terms of overall film quality would be Casino (1995), another good-but-not-great Scorsese/De Niro/Pesci production. I will say that Al Pacino's portray of Jimmy Hoffa was impressive. However, most Jimmy Hoffa films simply are not as engaging nor charismatic as the filmmakers seem to think they would be. 

Of those two films, I would recommend The Irishman as the better one. Joker is not a bad film but it just does not come close to meeting expectations. 

Thus, my free time of late has been spent re-watching some of my favorite all-time television series which I have been waiting to get around to after taking a few years away from them: Justified and Turn: Washington's Spies, on Amazon Prime and Netflix, respectively. Both are still excellent even after repeat viewings and are good example of what I consider to be the best of the best in terms of quality. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you are your loved ones, friends and family! 


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