The curtain finally comes up on Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman on Friday morning 9.27), followed by the L.A. premiere of Todd PhillipsJoker on Saturday evening. Quite the double-header.

The Irishman review embargo lifts at 8 pm eastern, 5 pm Pacific.

Message to those who’ve groaned about The Irishman‘s 209-minute running time: This is a movie about a man’s life, comprising some 60 years and covering a lot of bad business all through the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, etc. The decisions, events, history and the weight of same. How could this film be short or compact?

This morning a journo pally confided concerns about the de-aging CG and whether it’ll pass muster or prove distracting. My reply, more or less, was that all movies are unreal in this or that way. They all lay out their basic schemes and requirements, and you either buy into them or you don’t. Some movies feature actors with ornate makeup or wigs or moustaches. Black-and-white movies aren’t “real”, but no one’s ever called this a hurdle. Movies always pretend but we often buy what they’re selling regardless. The Irishman is no different.