I’ve written on here before about being a Martin Scorsese fan. In recent years, Scorsese has moved away from the organized crime movies he became known for, and though I’ve enjoyed a lot of those movies, I’ll always have a soft spot for his iconic mob movies. Scorsese’s 2019 effort–The Irishman–generated a lot of buzz when it was being made. The buzz tended to be less about the movie itself and more about the process/circumstances surrounding the making of the movie. It marks Scorsese’s return to the organized crime genre, reunited him with two longtime collaborators (Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, the latter coming out of retirement), included his first collaboration with Al Pacino, employed de-aging effects to the cast, was released on Netflix, and clocked in at 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Much less attention was paid to the story the movie told, that of Frank Sheeran. A trucker who worked as a hit man for Pennsylvania mobster Russell Bufalino, he claimed to know the real story behind the 1970s disappearance of mob-connected union leader Jimmy Hoffa.
Could any movie live up to all this hype?
Continue reading “Movie Review: The Irishman (2019)”
Last week, I wrote jokingly about non-professional authors trying their hand at writing a book. This week, we’re looking at an excellent book written by a professional journalist about a very serious (and timely) topic: the opioid crisis.
A few weeks ago, Mary-Esther suggested Sam Quinones’ Dreamland to me. As I suppose is true of many people, I have been following the news about the opioid crisis, but I must confess, that it’s something I knew relatively little about. (Thanks for the wonderful suggestion, Mary Esther!)
Continue reading “Sam Quinones’ Dreamland (2015)”
It’s October! Time for spooky stories full of skeletons and secrets. When these tales are about metaphorical skeletons in a family’s closet, we think it makes for a great prelude to a horror-ific Halloween. We hope you agree!
Thanks to Julie and Mary-Esther for helping me with research for this post!
Continue reading “Oddly-Specific Genres: Skeletons in the Closet”
Hope you were able to join us at Books in Bloom this weekend! I had a great time–got to hear some wonderful talks from talented authors and even acquired a few signed books. I’m already looking forward to next year!
On that note, last week, when we were chatting about authors we’d like to see at Books in Bloom in the future, I promised to unveil two of my picks over the next couple of weeks.
One author I would love to meet and listen to is Nicholas Pileggi. He was a crime reporter in New York City for 30 years, with a special focus on the Mafia. But most people, myself included, are most familiar with him through his books about the Mafia, Wiseguys and Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. He adapted both of them into Martin Scorsese movies in the 1990s, Goodfellas and Casino, respectively.
I’ve been a Scorsese fan since I was a teenager, and though my personal favorites of his movies is probably a tie between Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, I really do enjoy both Goodfellas and Casino.
And because I’ve also found organized crime interesting since I was a child–it’s a little embarrassing how many books I own about the mob–when I found out those movies were based on nonfiction books, I read Pileggi’s books and quickly became a fan of his work in its own right.
Honestly, I’d like to meet and talk to Pileggi just because I’d like to his pick his brain and hear inside stories from his days as a reporter, his research for his books, and his experiences in Hollywood. I’d love to hear his thoughts on what it is like to be both the writer of the original source and the adaptation.
And to that end, I thought we might as well compare his book and his movie about the mob’s fall from power in Las Vegas.
Continue reading “From Page to Screen: Casino”