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Netflix gives perfect response to viewers hating on The Irishman

Martin Scorsese and his Netflix original film The Irishman are getting dragged quite a bit online — so the official Twitter account Netflix Film decided to do a little good-natured dragging back.

According to The Guardian, the legendary director recently made a comment during an interview with famed film critic Peter Travers suggesting that The Irishman should be viewed on the biggest screen possible.

"I would suggest," Scorsese said, "if you ever want to see one of my pictures, or most films — please, please don't look at it on a phone, please. An iPad, a big iPad, maybe."

In response, throngs of cheeky Twitter users took to the platform to post pictures of themselves watching the flick on everything from an Apple Watch to an old-school Nintendo Game Boy. Eventually, Comic Book Debate lead writer Donnia Harrington tweeted, "Debated watching The Irishman on my phone for this four hour bus ride but I feel like Scorsese will magically appear and beat my ass if I do."

Her tweet earned the attention of the Netflix Film twitter account, which wrote this in reply:

"He absolutely WILL appear but instead of a beating he will simply sit across from you for the entire film and twinkle his eyes in a grandfatherly way that says 'it's ok my child, formats and presentation matter, but your experience of art is valid no matter how you receive it.'"

Pretty funny, sure... but somehow, this doesn't sound to us much like anything that Scorsese would say. Perhaps this is because in recent months, the man widely considered to be the greatest living filmmaker has had a lot to say about a lot of things — and his opinions about the current state of mainstream film haven't exactly been warmly received.

Why has The Irishman been so controversial?

The Great Scorsese Blowback of 2019 began with three little words, uttered during an interview with Empire magazine in early October: "That's not cinema." The director was referring to superhero films in general, and the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in particular, when issuing this blanket verdict — one which the franchise's millions of fans (not to mention more than a few of its filmmakers and featured players) took slight issue with.

Scorsese's attempts to "clarify" his remarks didn't go well. At a presser before a screening of The Irishman a couple weeks later, he doubled down super-hard, saying, "Theaters have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good, but don't invade everything else... It's not my kind of thing, it simply is not. It's creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that."

In response to the continued steady torrent of virtual heckling in the wake of these comments, Scorsese penned an editorial in the New York Times in early November entitled, "I said Marvel movies aren't cinema. Let me explain." His piece basically just dragged his "not cinema" statement out into 1,000 words or so, with the gist of his argument being that Marvel films don't take risks in the way that the his works, and the works of his "New Hollywood" peers, do. 

Once again, everybody from anonymous Marvel fans on Twitter to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to Disney CEO Bob Iger found themselves slinging disses at one of the greatest filmmakers who has ever lived, and in the time since he decided to slander the entirety of the highest-grossing film franchise in history, Scorsese has continued to make himself appear cranky and out of touch with comments like the one beseeching film fans not to watch movies — any movies — on their phones. The director also managed to draw more of the internet's ire with his response to film journalist Alexander Dunerfors' viral tweet suggesting how The Irishman — with its nearly four-hour run time — could be broken up into slightly more manageable chunks for busy viewers.

"You could say, 'This is a long story, you [could] play it out over two seasons' — I saw somebody mention that," Scorsese said during a sitdown with Entertainment Weekly. "Absolutely no. I've never even thought of it. Because the point of this picture is the accumulation of detail."

Of course, it must be said that The Irishman — which stars Scorsese mainstays Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel, and pairs Al Pacino with the director for the first time — is a very good film, drawing some of the best reviews of Scorsese's storied career. It's safe to say that there likely wouldn't have been any controversy surrounding it at all, had Scorsese simply stuck to talking about the movie, his actors, and his process while making the press rounds for it. 

Instead, he chose to slam the most popular film franchise going, dismissing the efforts of the thousands of men and women who work on those films; then, with that brouhaha fresh in the mind of the moviegoing public, he decided it would be a good time to criticize said public for the ways in which they might choose to view his movie. It's not that The Irishman isn't great, Marty; it's that to some of your fans, especially the younger ones, you're appearing less like a kindly grandfather and more like a cantankerous old dude who is extremely vocal about wanting everybody to stay off his lawn.