Tag Archives: Robert De Niro

The King of Comedy

IT’S NO LAUGHING MATTER.  Autograph hunter Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) idolizes the legendary late-night TV host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) and does everything in his power to launch a standup-comedy career on Langford’s show. After Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese turned to comedy with a story partly inspired by a Johnny Carson stalker. Following … Continue reading The King of Comedy

The Wizard of Lies

ONLY THOSE YOU TRUST CAN TRULY BETRAY YOU.  After the ABC miniseries Madoff (2016) came this HBO movie that also paints a portrait of the admired Wall Street tycoon who turned out to have built a Ponzi scheme over decades, the greatest financial fraud in U.S. history. We learn how Madoff orchestrated his scheme and … Continue reading The Wizard of Lies

Mean Streets

WELCOME… BUT DON’T BREAK THE RULES! Charlie Cappa (Harvey Keitel) is looking forward to a career in the Mafia with help from his uncle (Cesare Danova), but his relationships with best friend Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), a perpetual screw-up, and an epileptic girl (Amy Robinson) stand in the way. Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough is considered … Continue reading Mean Streets

Awakenings

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SIMPLE MIRACLE.  In 1969, physician Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams) arrives at a Bronx hospital; after successfully using a different drug for catatonic patients, he sees them miraculously ”wake up”. This adaptation of Oliver Sacks’s experiences depicts the obvious anxiety and joy of coming back to life after being … Continue reading Awakenings

Happy 200th, Frankenstein

On a dark and stormy night 200 years ago, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. Traveling through Europe, visiting among other places Frankenstein Castle near Darmstadt, Germany, together with her future husband Percy, Lord Byron and the writer John Polidori, Shelley came up with the idea of a scientist who finds a way to reanimate a corpse. … Continue reading Happy 200th, Frankenstein

The Mission

In the 1750s, a South American Jesuit community led by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) resist a Madrid decision to transfer the area to Portugal, which allows slavery. Two years after The Killing Fields (1984), director Roland Joffé received a lot of attention for another emotional, reality-based drama depicting colonialism and a conflict played out in … Continue reading The Mission

Jackie Brown

SIX PLAYERS ON THE TRAIL OF A HALF A MILLION IN CASH. THERE’S ONLY ONE QUESTION… WHO’S PLAYING WHO? At the same time as she’s having an affair with her bondsman (Robert Forster), flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) makes deals with a gun runner (Samuel L. Jackson) and an ATF agent (Michael Keaton). Quentin … Continue reading Jackie Brown

Joy

After the wacky American Hustle (2013), director David O. Russell reverted to a more solid kind of storytelling along the lines of his The Fighter (2011). This is the real-life story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), the hard-luck, single mom who invented the Miracle Mop and struggled to get her business off the ground. The … Continue reading Joy

The Intern

EXPERIENCE NEVER GETS OLD. 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is hired as an intern at a fresh New York City company that sells clothes online, but its founder (Anne Hathaway) is less than thrilled… One of Nancy Meyers’s least satisfying comedies is an attempt to bridge generations. Its two stars deserve kudos for … Continue reading The Intern

Heat: Cops and Robbers

A LOS ANGELES CRIME SAGA. I remember watching this movie in a theater back in 1995. After about two hours, a woman asked someone sitting close to her, “Do you know how long this movie is?”. He did know, told her and the woman just left. Some people don’t have the stomach for a story … Continue reading Heat: Cops and Robbers

Trespassing Bergman

Edited together (with partly new material) from a documentary series, this film examines (in chronological order) the career and films of Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of numerous prominent filmmakers and actors who have been more or less touched by the Master’s work. Some of them also visit the stark island in Sweden where Bergman … Continue reading Trespassing Bergman