Tag Archives: Robert De Niro

Martin Scorsese is Finally Making a Western

As distinct as Martin Scorsese’s style is, his filmography reveals a comfort with genre that may surprise the casual fan. Disregarding the gangster pics for which he’s most well-known, Scorsese has traversed comedy, romance, horror, costume drama, documentary, and biopic without skipping a beat. But – and this is surprising considering his list of favorite movies – the one thing we haven’t seen Scorsese do is a western.

Early reports of Scorsese’s latest film confirm that’s about to change. With DiCaprio and DeNiro in tow, the GoodFellas director is set to embark on Killers of the Flower Moon, an adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 book. Grann’s acclaimed non-fiction account details a string of murders orchestrated by a cattleman named William Hale in the early 1920s, who organized the killings against members of the Osage Nation, a Native American tribe who reside mostly in the midwest, for oil that was discovered on their land.

The official description from Penguin Random House reveals:

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.

As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

It’s been reported that Scorsese’s adaptation – which is filming in Tulsa, Oklahoma from a script by Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth – will have Robert De Niro occupying the William Hale role, with DiCaprio’s role still unconfirmed. It’s worth noting that DiCaprio himself has played J. Edgar Hoover in the past, as the lead of Clint Eastwood’s 2011 biopic. It would be interesting to see DiCaprio reprise his role with another director, but it’s more likely that DiCaprio will play Tom White, the Texas Ranger who helped Hoover crack the case.

In a recent interview with Cahiers du Cinema, Scorsese explained his motivations behind making the film. A portion of the interview reported on by Tulsa World reveals:

“We think it’s a Western. It happened in 1921, 1922, in Oklahoma. They are certainly cowboys, but they have cars, and also horses. The film mainly talks about Osages, an Indian tribe with which we gave a horrible territory, but which they loved because they said to themselves that the whites would never be interested in it. Then we discovered oil there and for about 10 years, the Osages became the people richest in the world, per capita. Then as with the Yukon and the mining regions of Colorado, the vultures disembark, the white man, the European arrives, and all that is lost. … There, the underworld had such control over everything that you were more likely to go to jail for killing a dog than killing an Indian.”

He added: “It’s so interesting to think about the mentality that leads us to that. The history of civilization goes back to Mesopotamia. The Hittites are invaded by another people, they disappear and later, it is said that they have been assimilated, or rather, absorbed. … It is fascinating to see this mentality which is reproduced in other cultures, through two world wars. And which is therefore timeless, I think. Finally, this is the film we are going to try to make.”

When Killers of the Flower Moon is released in 2021, it will be the fifth adaptation of David Grann’s work in just five years. The acclaimed journalist has seen his stories on-screen quite a bit recently, with James Gray’s The Lost City of Z and David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun garnering particularly positive responses upon release. He’s probably got another hit on his hands now that Scorsese’s involved, and the director’s love of classic westerns will almost certainly have an influence on this new project.

Killers of the Flower Moon is scheduled for a 2021 release.

Images: Penguin Random House, Netflix, Warner Bros. 
Featured Image2006 Peabody Awards via Flickr (cropped)

The Irishman Full Trailer: De Niro, Pacino and Pesci Show Us The Lifetime Of Mobsters

Netflix has revealed the full-length trailer for Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated next film The Irishman, a few days ahead of its big premiere at the New York Film Festival.

Continue reading The Irishman Full Trailer: De Niro, Pacino and Pesci Show Us The Lifetime Of Mobsters

The Irishman: First Trailer For Scorsese’s Massive Gangster Epic Starring De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino

Martin Scorsese and Netflix’s long-anticipated gangster film The Irishman has been given its first trailer and it’s a doozy.

Continue reading The Irishman: First Trailer For Scorsese’s Massive Gangster Epic Starring De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino

Grizzly Review: Killer Elite

Last night I saw the newest Statham movie, and I have to say I was surprised. Not at all what I was expecting. In the trailer (which we talked about in June) we heard ’80s rock and got lots of punching and shooting and all around violent types of imagery. So naturally I expected your general type of Statham movie. However, we were rewarded with something even better (Well, depending on your mood), a real movie with an actual plot.

Taking place in 1980, Killer Elite revolves around the desired redemption of the disgraced Sheikh Amr. For Amr to gain said redemption and lift his exile to return home, the men who murdered his 3 sons must confess and be killed themselves. That seems straight forward enough, but where the twist comes in, and what seemed to confuse others in the audience, was just how exactly Jason Statham gets sucked into this vendetta. And as it turns out, it’s all a result of multiple betrayals, as well as his own loyalty.

From the trailer it looks like a movie full of Statham vs. Owen, but in truth they are little more than pawns, neither really knowing the real reason they are there. And that reason is something I don’t really want to give away, because I’m gonna go ahead and recommend  you see this movie, so I don’t want to ruin anything. I can say this though – the trailer is not the most accurate representation of a movie that I’ve seen.

The vague overview: De Niro takes the job from the Sheikh blindly, and then upon learning further details tries to back out. This doesn’t go over well with the powers that be, so old Bobby D is held captive. This forces his old friend (the Stath) to end his freshly begun retirement, and complete the job in exchange for De Niro’s release. Statham puts together a team and proceeds to hunt down the men responsible – all Ex-SAS officers that were under orders at the time of their crimes.

Enter Clive Owen, an ex-SAS soldier in his own right, acting out on the behalf of ‘The Feathermen’, a much older group of retired SAS. He’s looking to stop Statham, and in the background is all sorts of politicking our principles don’t know about.

Overall I found the movie quite enjoyable, though if I had to nitpick there is one thing that bugged me, which was the camera work during the fight scenes. So of Director Gary McKendry I might ask that next time – pan out. The super fast extreme closeup angles during the  action scenes make it hard to see the action. But that’s really about it. I liked the movie more than expected. DeNiro had a scene so badass the audience cheered, ‘Mr. MFWIC’ – [Mother F–ker Whats In Charge] was amusing, and Dominic Purcell‘s mustache was too awesome to criticize. I went to see a mindless action movie and instead got an action movie that actually stimulated the brain as well…

I’ll give it a 4/5 Bears. Booyah.

Also, for the Chuck fans out there, I should mention that Statham’s girl is played by Yvonne Strahovski