Tag Archives: Robert De Niro

[Oscars 2013] – Predicting The Nominations

9 Jan

An actual Oscar statuette to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sits in a display case in Hollywood

I still have a few 2013 releases to catch up with, and I though I wanted to make my Oscar nominations predictions post having seen all of them, the nods are due early tomorrow morning so I’ll have to post them now.

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[Review] – Silver Linings Playbook

21 Nov

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell, based on the novel by Matthew Quick
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker
MPAA Rating: R, language and some sexual content/nudity
Runtime: 122 min
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Metacritic: 82

A lot has already been said about Silver Linings Playbook after it surprised virtually everyone when it won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s TIFF over Argo. It’s been said that it’s now one of the five front-runners to win the Best Picture Oscar, that Jennifer Lawrence is the front-runner to win Best Actress, that Bradley Cooper gives the best performance of his career, that Robert De Niro gives the best one he’s given in over a decade. All of that, by the way, is actually true. This is a tremendously successful film that walks a tightrope that’s been walked on by more than a few films before it, but that walks it way better than them because of his cast and this exceedingly talented director.

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[Review] – Red Lights

6 Aug

Title: Red Lights
Year: 2012
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Writer: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Elizabeth Olsen, Joely Richardson, Toby Jones
MPAA Rating: R, language and some violence
Runtime: 113 min
IMDb Rating: 6.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Metacritic: 36

My first encounter with the work of director Rodrigo Cortés happened in 2010, the first year I started reviewing movies. It was a film named Buried, which was truly spectacular, and I ended up giving an A- to, ranking 29th out of the 210 films I saw that year. So I was looking forward to see what he did next, and as the cast started shaping out for this project I grew more excited.

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[Trailer] – Silver Linings Playbook

28 Jun

The trailer for a movie that’s sure to get some pondering over come the awards season, Silver Linings Playbook, is now out, and you can watch it after the cut.

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[Trailer] – Red Lights

31 May

The psychological thriller Red Lights is gearing up for release later in the summer, and as a result we just got a brand new trailer for the movie, which you can watch after the cut.

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[Review] – Being Flynn

25 Mar

Title: Being Flynn
Year: 2012
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz, based on the book by Nick Flynn
Starring: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore, Olivia Thirlby, Lili Taylor, Dale Dickey, Victor Rasuk
MPAA Rating: R, language throughout, some sexual content, drug use, and brief nudity
Runtime: 102 min
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Metacritic: 53

Paul Weitz has directed such films like In Good Company and About A Boy (the latter with his brother Chris), both of those are seriously splendid little films that I happen to adore; Paul Weitz, however, has also directed Little Fockers, and that film I gave a measly C- to. Robert De Niro has given some of the most iconic performances in the history of film with his roles in movies such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II; Robert De Niro, however, hasn’t delivered one of those great performances in far too long, and he also was in Little Fockers. Though their partnership in the third installment of that particular franchise was pretty bad, this time around they’ve delivered Being Flynn, a film that, while far from perfect, does deliver on some of its promises. The film even has a shot of Robert De Niro driving a New York City Yellow Cab, and that alone kind of gets your hopes up.

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New Year’s Eve

24 Dec

Title: New Year’s Eve
Year: 2011
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Katherine Fugate
Starring: James Belushi, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Cary Elwes, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Alyssa Milano, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Ryan Seacrest, Yeardley Smith, Hilary Swank, Sofía Vergara
MPAA Rating: PG-13, language including some sexual references
Runtime: 118 min
IMDb Rating: 5.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 7%
Metacritic: 22

 

Well, there was never really any doubt that New Year’s Eve would be a bad film, was there? I gave last year’s Valentine’s Day, which inspired this type of film made out of vignettes depicting several romances, a lousy C-, and this one is even worse. You looked at the trailers and the posters of it and they were just awful, counting on the huge ensemble of stars to make for the lack of any actual plot. Because the ensemble here is pretty damn talented, even if every single one does absolutely nothing worth considering acting here; you have Robert De Niro and Hilary Swank here who are two-time Oscar winners (though both are actors that for the past few years have done absolutely nothing decent), you have Halle Berry, another Oscar winner, and Abigail Breslin and Michelle Pfeiffer who are nominees, not to mention every other actor that has headlined a rom-com in the past decade, including, of course, Katherin Heigl. But it’s as though the film has assembled these guys for absolutely no reason whatsoever other than to have a lot of names to throw in a poster, because this film is just incredibly shallow and clichéd.

It’s just a horrible film to withstand, made from not so much a screenplay as just little blocks of action that follow the most basic screenwriting rules by the letter, one interconnected to the next, switching storylines every so often in order to make way for the latest celebrity of the roster to appear, collect a paycheck and leave, guiding us through stuff that’s supposedly funny but never even comes close except for those times in which you laugh at how bad it is, and then being just horribly sappy, trying to manipulate smiles and tears out of us, and failing at it. The fact that people are consuming this stuff, that we are the ones giving the money to fund those paychecks is just dumb, though thankfully this one’s barely made back its budget of $56 million, unlike Valentine’s Day which made over $215 million. So maybe people are learning, maybe we won’t get a Thanksgiving Day movie in 2012.

It’s still quite sad to watch, though. I mean, it’s really bad that you have so many stars in one movie and have them do absolutely nothing, this is just a cliché dumped on top of another one, and it hurts to see that Robert De Niro is doing stuff like this, he should just pick up the phone and call Marty, get himself back on track. I mean, really, you can’t care even a tiny bit about whether Seth Meyers’ baby will be 2012’s firstborn at the hospital his wife is in; or whether Katherine Heigl will forgive Jon Bon Jovi who already offended Lea Michele’s character by confusing her for a groupie and not a backup singer and now she’s stuck in an elevator with Ashton Kutcher, probably not making it to the big midnight perfroamnce; there’s Sarah Jessica Parker being overprotective of her daughter Abigail Breslin and not wanting her to spend midnight at Times Square; the aforementioned Mr. De Niro as a dying man who’s nursed by Halle Berry and who wants to see the ball drop on Times Square one last time. The fact that I used the actors names is mostly because I don’t even remember the name of any character.

Every little thing about this film is bad, and makes me think less of everyone involved in it as they try to make us believe that New Year’s is really the best night of the year in which there’s apparently not one really visible drunk. That’s kind of a thing about this film, everything is just peachy, there’s no hardship, people all look pretty happy, Times Square really looks like the place to be even though it’s probably not at all, and you just know that even Robert De Niro will get his happy ending and watch the ball drop one last time from the hospital rooftop. Everything is just horribly cheesy here, and you really do get the impression that it’s just a lot of famous people asked to smile, say some lines without an ounce of believability (both because of their lack of trying and the horrible script), look and sometimes kiss the other beautiful person standing in front of them, grab a bite and then get paid.

Avoid New Year’s Eve, that’s my best advice. It’s just a horrible film that plays it awfully safe and that kind of disrespects us an audience to be honest; there’s no real dialogue and no one here is encouraged to even try to act, which may be why Ryan Seacrest, who’s a TV host and not an actor, fares better in this film than one of the all-time greats, Mr. De Niro. There’s not a frame of this film that I can recommend, it’s just a display of schmaltz, everyone looks happy with their hats sponsored by Nivea, and not a single line of dialogue with even a hint of substance being uttered.

Grade: D