Variety

What to binge-watch this weekend

Jinoy Jose | Updated on November 29, 2019 Published on November 29, 2019

The talk of the town is, yes, The Irishman. The Martin Scorsese arrived on Netflix this Wednesday and is getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike. This is a long film; it has a running time of 209 mintues and the pace is lyrically slow. The photography is enchanting and the musical score is beautifully vintage. For the fans of Scorsese’s films, The Irishman, which is titled on screen I Heard You Paint Houses, is a dream come true. It is written by Steven Zaillian, based on a book by Charles Brandt and stars icons such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci with Ray Romano, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel et al. The plotline is simple: A truck driver, Frank Sheeran, becomes a hitman for mobsters and, then, life happens.

 

Watch the movie and enjoy some great old-school filmmaking during the weekend. We have also picked for you a few cool, skull-cracking gangster movies you can binge on this weekend, from Scorsese and others.

The Untouchables, Netflix, 1hr 59 mins

This 1987 American gangster film directed by Brian De Palma is now considered a classic thanks to its impeccable film making and pristine screenplay. In fact, the script by David Mamet is so great that it has become study material at several film schools and art institutes. The film has an ensemble cast: Kevin Costner, Andy García, Robert De Niro and Sean Connery. For starters, it is the story of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Costner) and his gang of officers who try to bring mobster Al Capone (played by De Niro) to justice during the infamous Prohibition Era. The film’s music score composed by Italian composer Ennio Morricone won the Grammys that year. 

Gangster Squad, Netflix, 1hr 53 mins

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, written by Will Beall, and starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Michael Peña and Sean Penn, this film is a nice visual treat for those who love gangster dramas. The 2013 American crime thriller film is set in 1949, and is based on the fictionalised accounts of a few LAPD officers called the “Gangster Squad” who fight mobster Mickey Cohen and his gang in Los Angeles. Penn has delivered a great performance as the psychopath gangster. The film has a lot of similarities to The Untouchables but you can’t call it a copy thanks to a fresh storyline and arresting twists.

 

Legend, Netflix, 2 hrs 11 mins

Inarguably one of the best performances from British actor Tom Hardy, Legend follows the rise and fall of gangsters Kray Twins. Ronald "Ronnie" Kray and Reginald "Reggie" Kray were twin brothers who controlled organised crime in London during the 1950s and 1960s. The 2015 biographical crime drama is written and directed by Brian Helgeland and is adapted from The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, written by John Pearson. Tom Hardy plays both twins. While Reggie is a confident gangster, Ronnie is a neurotic, sadistic, schizophrenic. The film’s script is tight and cinematography natural and emotional. Watch to get a non-American perspective of the gangster genre.

 

Peaky Blinders, Netflix, 5 seasons (30 episodes)

Like Legend, Peaky Blinders is also set in the London underworld. The gangster family epic takes place in Birmingham, England in the early 1900s, after the end of World War 1. The story reveolves around the Peaky Blinders gang and their boss Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and their altercations with Chief Inspector Major Chester Campbell (Sam Neill). But this is not your run of the mill gagster drama. It is a high-voltage political series where you meet men and women of the Irish Republican Army, English Communists, politicians, rights activists and more. The gang is loosely based on a gang of the same name who operated in Birmingham during the 1890s till the early 20th century. The series is set for more seasons according to the producer and many call it the Game of Thrones of vintage gangster drama.

 

The Departed, Hotstar, 2 hrs 31 mins

If you are a fan of Scorsese, you’d have already seen this one; in which case you can watch it again to enjoy the sheer excellence of method acting by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. Also, I’d recommend you to watch along with this Infernal Affairs, the superb Hong Kong drama that the Socrsese film is based on. The 2002 crime thriller is directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak and written by Mak and Felix Chong. The film is the first in the popular Infernal Affairs series. So, make sure you catch Infernal Affairs II and Infernal Affairs III before the weekend ends.

Watch | Departed trailer here

Enjoy your drinks, it’s a lovely winter everywhere, even in Chennai.

Published on November 29, 2019
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