Why Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ doesn’t work

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

This week’s episode tackles the film that lit up Netflix accounts over the Thanksgiving weekend, Martin Scorsese’s mafia epic “The Irishman.” Stream and read about it below.

“The Irishman” | Courtesy Netflix

Kpolly is out this week, so it’s just me (Justin) reviewing Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

“The Irishman” is Martin Scorsese at his Scorsese-ist. It’s a big ode to New York and a certain kind of man. It features three Martin Scorsese classic actors, Robert DiNero, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci (not to mention Ray Romano and Harvey Keitel, among others.) It clocks in at a whopping 209 minutes, or three and a half hours. It spent about a week in “select” theaters (including Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre!) before moving to Netflix, where plenty of people, including me, watched it over Thanksgiving recess.

“The Irishman” is based on “I Heard You Paint Houses,” the narrative non-fiction book written by former homicide prosecutor, investigator, and defense attorney Charles Brandt. The screenplay is written by Steven Zaillian who has written “Schindler’s List,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Gangs of New York.” “The Irishman” tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a hitman for the mob as he recalls his activity in ’60s and ’70s New York and the relationship between him, the mafia and Jimmy Hoffa.

I did not like this movie. I go into exactly why I didn’t in the podcast. Listen below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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‘Jojo Rabbit’ gracefully navigates thorny, Hitler-based comedy

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We’re 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We’re buds, we like cinema — we’re Cinebuds.

This week, we’re reviewing the divisive comedy “Jojo Rabbit,” about a young boy in the Hitler Youth who becomes imaginary friends with Adolf Hitler. It’s a bright and funny movie, but it never minimizes the horrors of the Holocaust. It’s sort of a Nazi “Moonrise Kingdom.” Hear our thoughts on it below.

Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis in “Jojo Rabbit.” | Photo by Kimberley French. © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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In stark black and white, ‘The Lighthouse’ descends into madness

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Who doesn’t love a good descent into madness? Just the phrase “descent into madness.” It’s so dramatic and theatrical. “The Lighthouse,” director Robert Eggers’ new movie features two lighthouse keepers in the late 1800’s as the meet and then, well… descend.

“The Lighthouse” is Robert Eggers’ second movie. His first was “The Witch” in 2015 which was dark and stylish and strange. Here Eggers sticks to a similar timeframe and place. For “The Lighthouse” he essentially rebuilt the language of the day by reading Melville and diary writers from the time. The language is Shakespearean and the action is physical. The whole thing is filmed in a way that makes it stand out immediately. It’s almost an exact square on the screen and it’s in black and white. It’s weird, it’s wild, it’s wonderful.

Check the hot takes in the podcast below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our long-form podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Is ‘Parasite’ the best film of the year?

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This week on Cinebuds, we discuss the new film from Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite.” The director, whose previous work includes “Snowpiercer” and “The Host,” debuted his new film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and won the top prize by a unanimous decision. Not an easy feat!

Photograph Courtesy NEON.

The film follows a poor South Korean family, particularly a young man who begins a new job as a tutor for a rich family. He sees opportunity there and begins a series of plots to get his entire family hired with this affluent group. And, of course, some high end hijinks ensue! 

The film is a dark comedy. And a thriller. And touch of horror on occasion. And a look at classism. Can it roll all these into one film and still be coherent and, dare we expect it, really, really good? Well, listen in to see what we have to say on the matter. 

We can say that the film has been an incredible success in the states and around the world and has a lot of buzz for this year’s awards season. 

Photograph Courtesy NEON.

Also, at the end of the podcast, listen to our Milwaukee Film Festival recap. We highlight our favorite films and moments from the recently adjourned 2019 festival. We liked it so much, we’ve decided to do it again next year!  Huzzah!  

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The magic of the Milwaukee Film Festival

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My favorite parts of the Milwaukee Film Festival are the little parts. It’s a big event with a lot of big moments, but the little tiny ones are my favorite so I jotted them down through out the festival this year. It’s written but there is also an audio player under this ad block where I have recorded what is written. I worked hard on reading it in the way that reflects what is written and I think it’s the best way to take in this little poem so that might be a nice way to experience this piece. Okay here we go.

The magic of the Film Festival
Justin Barney

This is the magic of the Film Festival

The director of the opening night film
unveiling a picture of his wife
who he met
at the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival
and a picture of the child they now have together

Chris Abele going on for far too long
explaining a Spinal Tap reference
that the audience clearly knew

A packed theater
seeing a black and white movie from 1928
about a woman’s resistance
to a group of powerful men

A real Delorean parked in front of the Oriental Theatre
before the screening of Framing John DeLorean

Audiences uncontrollably clapping for short films that they love
and no one having the courage to start a courtesy round of applause
for ones with sad endings

Jeff Goldblum as the world’s most charming lobotomist

Making time to see something
that is beautiful
and slow
and for the sake of seeing art that is beautiful and slow

15 seconds of sustained applause
for Milwaukee rapper Twan Mac’s hair
at the Milwaukee Muisc Video Showcase

The producer of The Apollo
telling a story
of how she loves Milwaukee
because it’s the first place that he ever had
a tuna melt

Mark Borchardt telling the crowd that it’s raining and if they want to go home
but they want something signed
they should bring it up to him as he’s doing the Q&A
and an audience member named Trevor taking him up on it

A man
looking out at the line around the block before Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
with his hands in his front pockets
bouncing from the balls of his feet onto his heels
and musing to himself out loud
Milwaukee is booming

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Cinebuds’ Milwaukee Film Festival closing-day picks: ‘The Apollo” and ‘Everything is Terrible’

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With more than 300 film over 15 days, you’ve got seemingly endless options during the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. If you need a little help deciding which films to see, the Cinebuds are here to help! Every day during the festival they’re sharing a daily pick.

On today’s episode, they’re cheating a little bit by sharing two picks. There’s the official closing night film, “The Apollo.” It’s a documentary about the iconic theater in Harlem, which hosted some of the most legendary performances ever. It plays at the Oriental Theatre’s main house at 7 p.m.

But if you want something a little wilder, since it’s Halloween, there’s also “Everything is Terrible: LIVE.” Expect a hybrid of puppets, VHS tapes and camp. Both promise very different experiences.

Stream their quickie episode below, and find the complete 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival daily schedule here.

“Everything is Terrible: LIVE”
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Cinebuds’ Milwaukee Film Festival Wednesday pick: ‘The Lodge’

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With more than 300 film over 15 days, you’ve got seemingly endless options during the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. If you need a little help deciding which films to see, the Cinebuds are here to help! Every day during the festival they’re sharing a daily pick.

On today’s episode, they’re previewing a movie you won’t find in the film festival guidebook, since it was listed as TBA. It’s “The Lodge,” a horror movie perfect for Halloween that’s already earning comparisons to “Hereditary.” It’ll screen at the Avalon Theater at 10 p.m.

Stream their quickie episode below, and find the complete 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival daily schedule here.

“The Lodge”

From the Milwaukee Film Festival website:

“The aunt/nephew duo behind Goodnight Mommy return with this twisty, dread-soaked story of a family forced to reckon with past trauma harkening back to Hereditary. Grace (Mad Max Fury Road‘s Riley Keough) retreats to a remote winter cabin to spend the holidays with her new boyfriend (Richard Armitage) and his two young children (including IT‘s Jaeden Martell). When dad is forced to abruptly leave for a work emergency, he leaves behind a chilly relationship in desperate need of thawing. Complicating things is the raging blizzard that traps them indoors as a series of increasingly terrifying events dredge up the specters of Grace’s troubled past. A slow-burn descent into paranoid madness, The Lodge mines its isolated setting for all its worth, amping up the tension through its harrowing exploration of unprocessed grief.”

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Cinebuds’ Tuesday Milwaukee Film Festival pick: ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’

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With more than 300 film over 15 days, you’ve got seemingly endless options during the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. If you need a little help deciding which films to see, the Cinebuds are here to help! Every day during the festival they’re sharing a daily pick.

On today’s episode, they’re previewing “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me,” David Lynch’s strange, nightmarish continuation of his iconic TV show. Not only will the film play in the main house of the Oriental Theatre at 6:15 p.m., but Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee, will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A, joined by her co-star Ray Wise. This is going to be one of the most popular screenings of the entire festival.

Stream their quickie episode below, and find the complete 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival daily schedule here.

“Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Cinebuds’ Monday Milwaukee Film Festival pick: ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’

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With more than 300 film over 15 days, you’ve got seemingly endless options during the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. If you need a little help deciding which films to see, the Cinebuds are here to help! Every day during the festival they’re sharing a daily pick.

On today’s episode, they’re previewing “Who Let the Dogs Out,” and, yes, it is a documentary about the Baha Men and that song. It turns out that song has a wild history.  “In an NPR-like pop-culture history excavation, Ben Sisto weaves a tale about gender, race, cultural appropriation, showbiz, and (of course) legal battles,” according to the Milwaukee Film Festival description. “But most of all, this is a story about the power of influence, and how it often stretches back much further than we realize.” Who knew? The movie is playing Monday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre.

Stream their quickie episode below, and find the complete 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival daily schedule here.

“Who Let The Dogs Out”
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Cinebuds’ Sunday Milwaukee Film Festival pick: ‘The Last Unicorn’

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With more than 300 film over 15 days, you’ve got seemingly endless options during the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival. If you need a little help deciding which films to see, the Cinebuds are here to help! Every day during the festival they’re sharing a daily pick.

On today’s episode, they’re previewing “The Last Unicorn,” a huge 1982 animated hit about the last unicorn on earth battling a villain named Red Bull. Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin and Angela Lansbury lend their voices to it (yes, that’s a very ’80s cast). This is a great pick for the kids. It screens at 2 p.m. at the Oriental Theatre.

Stream their quickie episode below, and find the complete 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival daily schedule here.

“The Last Unicorn”
88Nine Radio Milwaukee