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Posts Tagged ‘Robert De Niro’

A Bronx Tale – Directed by & starring Robert De Niro

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Bronx Tale (1993)  Directed by and starring Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, who also wrote the screenplay based on his play of the same name, Lillo Brancato, Jr., Francis Capra and others.  A Bronx Tale is a bildungsroman of a film, following the life of a young Italian-American, Calogero Anello, from the age of about 8 to 16 years old, who looks up to both his father, Lorenzo (De Niro), a bus driver, and Sonny (Palmenteri), the local Mafia strong man, the two often in counterpoint, but not as entirely as one may imagine.  Though the setting is the Bronx rather than downtown New York City’s Little Italy, there are, quite understandably, echoes of Martin Scorsese‘s Italian-American mobsters, met in his iconic classic Mean Streets, and in his film Goodfellas, and so much the better.  Funny, touching and sad, filled with colorful characters and fine dialogue, A Bronx Tale is set in the 1960s, notably from 1960 to 1968, starting with a-capella do-wop and ending with, among others, the Beatles classic Come Together and passing through Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, John Coltrane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s rendition of All Along the Watchtower, a wonderful musical context, indicative of the social changes at work in the epoch.  De Niro is excellent, subtle, solid, sensitive and modest both behind (A Bronx Tale is his first film as director) and in front of the camera, Palminteri’s writing and acting are inspired as well, as is the strong yet sensitive performance of Lillo Brancato Jr., and, as the young Calogero, Francis Capra; in fact the entire cast offers commendable performances.  A Bronx Tale is a gangster film, yes, in a way, but much more a film about the choices and values at work in a young man’s life.  Definitely a must-see film. (PR)

(Note: A sad, and ironic note, Lillo Brancato Jr. is currently in prison, convicted of armed robbery, narrowly escaping murder charges.  He is up for parole in 2014. The Editors.)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro, Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel, and Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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15 Minutes – Starring Robert De Niro & Edward Burns

Posted by the editors on Monday, 16 January 2012

15 Minutes (2001)  Directed by John Herzfeld, starring Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter (1978), Awakenings (1990), Cape Fear (1991) and many other excellent films) and Edward Burns (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Man on a Ledge (2012)).  This crime thriller, a well-merited condemnation of tabloid, sensationalist journalism features a solid Robert De Niro as a sharp, but sentimental, media-star New York City police detective, a correct Edward Burns as a somewhat naive investigative New York City fire marshal and two media- and money-hungry, brutally violent, frankly insane “eastern European” villains; there is no other word for them.  Perhaps simplistic in premise, 15 Minutes, obviously a reference to Andy Warhol‘s famous sound-bite “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes“, is energetically well-meaning with distinctly fast-paced directing by John Herzfeld, good, strong and subtle acting on the part of De Niro, and ridiculous, yet frighteningly plausible villains portrayed with charm and violent insanity by Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov.  The best of intentions, however, do not necessarily make for the best of films, unfortunately, and 15 Minutes falls short of its possibilities:  some shallow writing, stereotypical characters, disappointing ending and perhaps an insufficient mastery of the attempted elevated pace of the film, could be its short-comings.  Nevertheless, there are some wonderfully filmed sequences, some interesting premises, and characters, and an always valid denunciation of the motivations and methods of sensationalist journalism. (PR)

See our previous posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro, and The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

top image: Wikipedia

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Mean Streets – Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro & Harvey Keitel

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mean Streets (1973) Directed by Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and many other excellent films), starring Robert De Niro (The Untouchables (1987), Cape Fear (1991), Meet the Parents (2000) and, of course, many other excellent filmsand Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Piano (1993), U-571 (2000) and many others).  This truly outstanding film, at the time of its release and still today, follows Charlie, portrayed with endearing clarity by Harvey Keitel, a young, up and coming mafioso, confused by the failure of his Catholic religious morality to have credibility in the mean streets ruled by the hard cruelty of gangsters large and small, who, at significant risk to himself, is in love with a young woman ostracised for her epilepsy, and is, as well, and at even greater risk to himself, the grand protector of her cousin, Johnny Boy, portrayed by an inspired Robert De Niro,  a maniacally self-destructive young man in deeper and deeper trouble with loan sharks.  Mean Streets is a gripping and truly original tour-de-force of film-making, shot in New York’s Little Italy, there is a vibrant, fresh, honest immediacy, to the film.  The writing (co-written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin), the light, the color, the grainy quality of the images, the captivating camera movement and excellent editing and, of course, the superlative acting, all unite to put you with the characters, in their actions, in their world; there is no explaining, there is no need, you are there.  Bursting with a physical, visual, cinematic sensuality, Mean Streets, is a masterpiece and not only worth watching, and re-watching, but a film that you simply must have in your own film library. (PR)

See our posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion and What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, The Good Shepherd, directed by De Niro, and City of Industry starring Harvey Keitel.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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Guilty by Suspicion – Starring Robert De Niro & Annette Bening

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 29 December 2011

Guilty by Suspicion (1991)  Written and directed by Irwin Winkler (The Net (1995), Home of the Brave (2006)), starring Robert De Niro (Analyze This (1999), The Good Shepherd (2006), Limitless (2011) and many others), Annette Bening (American Beauty (1999), The Kids Are All Right (2010)) and others.  Robert De Niro is superb in this drama about a successful Hollywood film director, David Merrill, portrayed with great humanism by De Niro, in the midst of the Hollywood Blacklist and the U.S. Congress‘s House Un-American Activities Committee‘s witch-hunt for Communists in the film and television industry in the 1950s.  Merrill (De Niro) goes from high-flying, Hollywood insider to joblessness, tracked incessantly by the FBI, as are many of his friends and colleagues in the film industry, as we watch the devastating effects on individuals and families, and the anguish of their impossible moral dilemmas, brought about by the government in its fanatical pursuit of Communists, real or imagined.  The atmosphere of the film, and the detailed care given to its creation, is highly effective, the writing is almost always excellent, and the acting really very good; De Niro as Merrill is outstanding, naturally enough, but Annette Bening as Ruth Merrill, his estranged wife, is also, frankly, close to perfect.  Guilty by Suspicion is a must-see film, not simply for the atmosphere and the acting, but also as a relatively unsentimental look at a horrific chapter in American history. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper with Robert De Niro, and What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

top image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Good Shepherd – Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon & Angelina Jolie

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Good Shepherd (2006)  Directed by Robert De Niro, starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, William Hurt, Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, John Turturro and many excellent others in a large supporting cast.  This very good spy drama, about the origins of the intelligence and counter-intelligence services through to the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs, though rather long, is never dull.  A complex, and even today, secretive story, one moves from the Skull and Bones Society at Yale, through the OSS and British/American intelligence cooperation, to the cold war, double agents and disaster in the years of JFK‘s presidency.  An ambitious slice of spy history, to say the least, De Niro’s directing and sense of cold darkness sets the tone for a fascinating look into the life of one man, Edward Wilson, modeled somewhat on James Jesus Angleton, head of Counter-Intelligence for the CIA from 1954 to 1974, and portrayed, consummately, by Matt Damon, as he treads a virtually soulless and secretive path through a twisted, dangerous, error-prone world.  Of course, with such ambitions, the film has some weaknesses, notably in the writing of the sub-plot involving Wilson’s (Damon) son Edward Jr. and in the actor chosen to portray this character.  Nevertheless, there is so much else to be appreciated, from the fine acting of a vast exemplary supporting cast, to the look and tone and feel of the film, that The Good Shepherd, as a tense, cold look at a complex and often horrible reality is a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts on the films What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Syriana, The Informant! and Invictus starring Matt Damon, Vantage Point with William Hurt and The Bone Collector starring Angelina Jolie.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library…  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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