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Robert De Niro

Two Old Stars Roast Their Images in ‘Grudge Match’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro – between them they have over 150 film credits in careers stretching back to the 1960s. Two of their most famous roles, boxers Rocky and the Raging Bull, get the full make-fun-of treatment in the Christmas Day Film “Grudge Match.”

‘The Family’ Whacks Obsession with Mafia Movies

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Godfather” saga, “Goodfellas,” “Donnie Brasco,” “The Departed” – the list of America’s obsessive adoration of organized crime and mafia movies goes on and on. Finally, one film comes along to virtually kill the genre, the almost-unwatchable “The Family.”

Turn Down the Invitation to ‘The Big Wedding’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “The Big Wedding” begins with Robert De Niro performing a particular love making maneuver on Susan Sarandon, and is caught in the act by Diane Keaton. What could have happened in a cutting-edge indie feature in 1981 is the basis of a lame bit in 2013, and so it goes for the rest of the film.

Cillian Murphy, Robert De Niro in Messy ‘Red Lights’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Red Lights” is a mess. And yet it’s also not messy enough. Allow me to explain. Rodrigo Cortes’ follows up his vastly superior “Buried” with this supernatural tale filled with plot contrivances that would make M. Night Shyamalan call bullshit and yet he does so with a direct, straightforward style when a bit less polish would have given the piece the character it is missing.

Robert De Niro Triumphs Again in ‘Being Flynn’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The intensity that Robert De Niro puts into his movie characters had slackened a bit, as he bent his reputation on more commercial roles. But Director Paul Weitz has revived the old legend with a meaty, purposeful character, and De Niro delivers it with his old fire. ‘Being Flynn’ is not a comeback, but a gratefully received reboot.

Shallow, Garish ‘New Year’s Eve’ Ruins Your Holiday

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “New Year’s Eve” is so garish and manipulative that it doesn’t really qualify as a film – it’s a product, no more an actual movie than a Hallmark card is a piece of poetry. It is corporate junk at its worst, so shallow that it’s almost remarkably thin, as if director Garry Marshall were trying to win a contest for lack of subtlety.

‘Killer Elite’ Mistakes Cliché For Action

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Killer Elite” is an exhausting, nonsensical, illogical, loud collection of action clichés masquerading as a modern action film. It features characters less three-dimensional than most cartoons doing and saying things that are only done and said in movies. Bad movies. Really bad movies.

Bradley Cooper’s ‘Limitless’ Unlocks 100% of Hollywood’s Ridiculousness

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – If you’re not easily susceptible to vertigo and can survive the intro cut scene, “Limitless” proceeds to treat you to one part thrill ride and one part exercise in ridiculousness. While we often go to the movies to escape, “Limitless” manipulatively exploits our deepest and darkest desires for wealth, power and Google-like global conquests.

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller Seem Bored in Tepid ‘Little Fockers’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The Law of Diminishing Returns is alive and well in the “Meet the Parents” Franchise, as the third film in the series, “Little Fockers,” has a lazy, we-did-it-for-the-money veneer. They got the gang back together, Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Barbra Streisand and the rest, but with few exceptions they all seem bored with it all.

Ed Norton, Robert De Niro Misfire in Pretentious ‘Stone’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Ed Norton and Robert De Niro used to be two of the most consistent actors alive, both with streaks of amazing, Oscar-nominated films that guarantee them places in the history books. Sadly, their reunion in the overcooked “Stone” presents merely a shadow of what these talented stars used to deliver.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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