30 November 2019

It's What It Is

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Podcasts
I squeezed a blob of mayonnaise onto my chips the other day and ended up sinking into a full-blown existential crisis. What the fuck is the point of being alive I wondered? At the most basic level, it's to pass on my genetics by having children, right? But if that bottle of mayonnaise had cost me a couple of quid, then each small blob is worth a fraction of that overall price. Obviously. But to pay for that bottle I'd had to go to work where I'd exchanged a percentage of my very limited time on this planet for the life-coupons that we call money. The mayonnaise may have only cost two pounds but that cash was a representation of the life that I'd given up to acquire it. Each blob that went onto my chips suddenly felt like a manifestation of all that I am, have been, and ever will be. Is that too dramatic a claim? Because that mayonnaise was a condiment that I'd apparently decided was more important to my very existence than literally anything else that I could have done with the time that it had cost me. So maybe the point of life is for me to shoot a couple of kids out of my dick. But whether you're having a child or buying a bottle of mayonnaise it seems that you're only going to end up squirting your fucking life away regardless.

Unfortunately, this psychotic way of viewing the world has only gotten worse since I watched Martin Scorsese's latest film The Irishman. Re-teaming with his old muse, Robert DeNiro plays Frank Sheeran, the real-life hitman that eventually claimed to have been involved in the disappearance of the American labour union leader Jimmy Hoffa. I don't mean to spoil things either, but when it's a film from the director and star of Goodfellas and Casino I'm sure you can imagine what is meant by 'disappearance'. The code that's used for killing a person in this movie is to “paint houses”. So when being introduced to Sheeran, Hoffa inquires, “I hear you paint houses?” Which is his way of asking if Sheeran is essentially a hitman? If you associate with this crowd and actually do want your house painting though I have no idea what you're meant to ask for. It'd be pretty annoying if you'd hoped somebody would re-do the colour of your living room only to find that you'd accidentally paid to have your families brains shot all over the fucking wall. I guess this use of code isn't unique to them though. I once saw a short film online in which a man dressed as a plumber arrived at a ladies house and it turns out that “do you want me to hand-pump your shit pipe?” is a euphemism too. Who'd have thought?

All of that really does simplify The Irishman though, which spans several decades throughout its three and a half hour running time. "How fucking long is it?", I hear you ask. Yes. Three and a half fucking hours. Or as I call that now that I'm in my thirties, four fucking toilet breaks. We see Frank in the army in his twenties, getting involved with the mafia, rising through their ranks, and ultimately becoming an old man alone in a retirement home. Suddenly my life being represented by a blob of mayonnaise seems even more fucking pathetic. You've probably also heard at this point that how this man's vast life is depicted here is by having DeNiro play him throughout the entire movie and then using our modern techniques to make him look younger. The CG techniques, I mean. Not the baby foreskin thing. Have you heard about that? It's nothing to do with the film but apparently, we're now putting babies discarded foreskins into beauty cosmetics and then rubbing them onto our face to stay younger looking. If a future super-race ever adapts the history of planet Earth into a movie then at what point do you think it'd be revealed that our species are the fucking monsters? I reckon it'd be a scene in which somebody asks a chemist for 'the penis facial' and he responds by spaffing into their face. Can't a person just get a jar of babies dicks without having to deal with perverts?!

Some people have criticised the de-ageing techniques in this movie as looking a little too much like a computer game cut-scene. Although as we've just discussed there are definitely more controversial ways that we're de-ageing people that could probably do with some criticism first. Unless you're actually suggesting that this movie would be better if we over-dosed Robert DeNiro's forehead on fucking smashed up children's dicks? But I personally thought that the movie did a pretty good job of showing the character at different ages. Was I aware that I was looking at a severely CG'd version of the actor? At times, sure. For some reason, they'd aged his eyes up by about a hundred years and he spent most of the film with the greyed overglaze of a blind dog staring at a lamppost. And there was one fight outside a shop in which DeNiro's real ageing body exposed his true age as he moved like a WWE Wrestler with an over-sized butt-plug wedged up his arse. But there were definitely times that they got away with it and it's honestly no less distracting than any other way of showing a character age. Do you really believe it when multiple actors play the same character over a period of time? I really like X-Men: Days Of Future Past but if you're saying that James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as the same character requires less suspension of belief than a de-aged Robert DeNiro then you can squeeze the mayo bottle that is your life right into the bin. Not even onto some chips where you might be able to enjoy it. Just squeeze it straight into the fucking bin because clearly, you're a fucking idiot.

Not that DeNiro is the only actor to undergo the de-ageing process with Martin Scorsese having recruited an Avengers super-team up of acting titans for this film. Sorry. I didn't mean to mention Marvel what with the internet having just pissed its collective pants over Scorsese's comments about comic book movies 'not being cinema'. To conclude that issue, I couldn't give a shit. I love Marvel movies and nothing will change that. But Martin Scorsese is arguably the worlds greatest living filmmaker and if he has an opinion then I feel I have to respect it. Assuming it's an opinion on a film of course. If he tells me that I'm adopted and actually the biological brother of that really fit girl that I ended up in bed with last year then I'm not going to just believe him. I'll ask what proof he has and then I'll burn it into oblivion before it can taint a memory that my mind palace has projected onto its walls on a fucking loop. The point is that the cast of The Irishman is genuinely incredible with acting deities such as Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and that guy from Everybody Loves Raymond all turning up to bring their absolute fucking a-game. Most of those actors have been churning out proper crap of late too and so this movie really does feel like an absolute gift. DeNiro is my all-time favourite actor and The Irishman is what happens when the old guard remember who they are and turn up to knock it out of the park. This movie is a glass of fresh water after a tough few decades of wandering through the endless desert of dross that started with Rocky And Bullwinkle, and peaked with the burning hot shit of Dirty Grandpa.

Not that this has appeased the online mob of dimwitted wankers that are persistently trying to take Scorsese down right now, of course. Their current criticism of the movie is that it lacks any decent female characters with Anna Paquin's role as DeNiro's daughter being offensively dialogue-free. But this is to miss the entire point of the movie. Yes, it's a story that focuses on straight white men. And yes it's a shame that most films still only seem to focus on straight white men. I'm a straight white man myself and even I'm getting bored at constantly seeing myself represented on screen. Don't forget that since the mayonnaise incident I'm now at a point where I view my life as a blob of white slop and I feel bad that women are being encouraged to inject dicks into their skin to stay young. But the lack of women here is a representation of all that these characters have given up to maintain their own crooked piece of shit lives. All they have is each other and even then there's a chance that they'll end up shooting each other in the head. Anna Paquin's lack of dialogue isn't a slight against women but a judgement on the male characters that she's forced to know. Paquin's character might not say much but her presence is felt throughout the entire movie. Counting dialogue seems pretty reductive to me unless you're claiming that Charlie Chaplin's silent career made less of an impact on cinema than Rob Schneider did in Deuce Bigalow. Sure, Chaplin might have had that one speech about fascism in The Great Dictator but did he ever have dialogue in a scene with a woman who has a dick for a nose? Because I know a Deuce Bigalow sequel in which Rob Schneider did!

Whereas most gangster films put an emphasis on the riches that being a criminal will get you, The Irishman seems way more interested in the things that are lacking from these peoples lives. Although it doesn't really deal with the real tragedy of being rich in a decade before the Nintendo Switch was invented. Of course Goodfellas showed Henry Hill and his gang get their comeuppance by the end but it still had fun depicting the excess of their lives beforehand. With their big fur coats and their faces constantly pressed into a mountain of cocaine, there were scenes in Goodfellas that looked like the trailer for fucking Cats. But with Scorsese and the gang all now in their seventies and eighties, they have a more reflective and melancholic view of the chaos. The film is told in flashback with DeNiro's Frank Sheeran now old and abandoned and with death knocking at the door the fight for power, money and respect is suddenly made even more pathetic. Where The Irishman begins as Scorsese's return to the gangster genre, it ends as a sad musing about the pointlessness of life and the futility of all of our actions. It essentially asks, what the fuck was the point of it all? And as a result of this economic alchemy I may now only view my life as blobs of mayo and at three and a half hours long The Irishman will have used a good few bottles of the stuff. But the film is a fucking masterpiece and it was unquestionably worth every dollop that it cost me to watch. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

No comments :

Post a Comment