Tag Archives: robert de niro

“Joy” by David O. Russel (2015)

Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper in a slightly different combination than in “Silver Linings Playbook” – this time De Niro is Lawrence’s father rather than Cooper’s. Why the switch? Just a bow to the previous film? Maybe.

Based on a true story, the film shows a struggle to make dreams come true – when you’re a woman – divorced, with children and a complicated living situation (grandma, mother, parents, who are divorced and ex-husband + plumber – all live under one roof. And Joy has a business idea.

It’s less absorbing than the above mentioned “Silver Linings Playbook”. Perhaps because there is no love theme.

Interesting story, but not the most successful presentation.  There are other, more interesting films to watch this season.

 

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Filed under 2015 cinema releases, film reviews

Limitless by Neil Burger (2011)

I saw a great drawing depicting a film journalist sitting down at his computer to write down a review having watched “Limitless”. He just sits there. In all three pics of the comic.

I had the same problem. Here is why.

The film touches upon the creative inability/writer’s block. Initially this sets off as a story of a sad person who cannot cope with his life, is being dumped by his girlfriend and unable to produce a sensible few pages of the novel he already signed a contract for. When he is at the bottom and cannot really get any lower, he bumps into an old acquaintance in the street. There goes the breakthrough. Former brother-in-law buys our writer a drink and drops in a freebie – a pill of a supposedly licensed drug enhancing human brains.

Only the drug isn’t licensed. And the supplier gets shot the next day. And … it really works.

What sets off for Eddie Morra is a journey on the rollercoaster as he finds a fair amount stuck in Vernon’s flat. He finishes his book in no time (and it’s good), takes control over his life, and basically as long as he remembers to eat and stays away from alcohol, he is invincible.

The downsides? Well – the limited amount of the magic drug for one thing, another is definitely that once the Russian mafia finds out about it, Eddie’s in danger.

Overall impression? I want that drug! Don’t we all? Imagine, you can sit down at your computer and produce whatever you wanted to produce and it’s good. Or you can learn easily how the stock markets work and make money that way. Or you can get into politics and become the US president. You can learn as many languages as you want in no time… It is mentioned at the beginning of the film that this drug works better on smart people. Is that a drop of irony? Is that a wink at the audience strengthened by the final few scenes when Eddie openly states he no longer uses the drug? My understanding of the overall message is that if you really know what you want and focus on that, you can do miracles, hence why it works on smart people. It’s not the pill that we need, just confidence and belief in our own strengths.

I like films with a moral. And I really liked this one.

I will watch it again and again – every time I feel I am unable to move on with something I want to be reminded it is all in my head. And once I realise that, all I need to do is get my stuff together and act.

Great performance by Bradley Cooper, fantastic supporting role of Robert de Niro.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, Catching Up, film reviews

Wag the Dog by Barry Levinson (1997)

“Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail.” goes the opening quote.

The main question in this fine piece of cinematic feast seems to be – who is the most important person/shaker in the film industry? Is it the director? No. Is it the writer? No. It’s the producer!

Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman – two old classics accompanied by blondely bobbed Anne Heche – deliver a fictitious war on Albania to stop the leak from the White House two weeks before the presidential elections – for the second term. All that to cover up a sexual harassment case that did or did not happen, but certainly got created as a story.

The main message delivered through the mouths of Mr Fix-It (De Niro) is that no matter the truth, people believe in what’s on TV.

It is finely written, delivered and full of golden quotes and thoughts for our times of media/news industry running our reality. A definite must watch every 5 years.

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Filed under Cult Classics, film reviews