Tag: robert de niro

MOVIE REVIEW | Joy (2015)

Joy 1
Never speak, on my behalf, about my business, again.

In the last half a dozen or so years, David O Russell has specialised in a very specific kind of prestige movie.  They’re dark but funny, dramatic but silly, gritty but quirky.  It’s worked well for him, with The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle all cleaning up at the box office and when it comes to award nominations.  It seems like it’s a formula he’s sticking with, because he’s back with another movie that ticks all of those boxes with Joy.


It’s the 80s and Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is living a pretty shit life.  Her house is overrun by her soap opera addicted, shut in mother (Virginia Madsen as Terry), her deadbeat ex husband (Edgar Ramierez as Tony), her grandmother (Diane Ladd as Mimi) and her two young children. Things get even more stressful when her father (Robert De Niro as Rudy) returns to live in the basement after being kicked out by his second wife. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #4. Raging Bull (1980)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.

Bull 1

“You’re very smart, Joey. You’re giving me a lot of answers, but you ain’t giving me the right answer. I’m gonna ask you again: did you or did you not?”

Ordinary People was the second ever review I posted here on Bored and Dangerous. That was around two and half years and 1,200 odd reviews ago. In that time, I’ve never missed an opportunity to shoehorn in a reference to the fact that the tele-movie, cheap emotional manipulations of Ordinary People somehow managed to win the Best Picture Oscar over Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. There have been reviews that had nothing to do with either movie or a single person involved with them, and I have found a way to bitch about Ordinary People and its Academy Award win. And now that I have just re-watched Raging Bull, that Oscar cock up pisses me off more than ever.


In the 60s, a fat, old, washed up Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) awkwardly rehearses corny jokes, bad puns and an overall terrible cabaret act backstage somewhere that you can just tell is low rent. Forcing the words through his mangled nose, this is obviously s man who has fallen from grace. Cut to the early 40s when LaMotta was lean, rock hard fit and taking on all comers in the ring as professional boxer, the Bronx Bull. Always at his side is trainer, manager, sparring partner and brother, Joey (Joe Pesci). At home, LaMotta is dismissive to his wife at best, abusive at worst. When the teenaged Vickie (Cathy Moriarty) catches his eye at the local pool, Jake has to have her. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #32. The Godfather Part II (1974)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Godfather II
“Do me this favor. I won’t forget it. Ask your friends in the neighborhood about me. They’ll tell you I know how to return a favor.”

With The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola accomplished two pretty amazing things.   He turned an entertaining, but ultimately pretty trashy novel into a filmic masterpiece.  And fought a major movie studio all along the way that hated him, his casting choices and pretty much every artistic decision he made, and he came out the other end with an a multiple Oscar winning blockbuster.  But what’s even more impressive than all of that?  Making a sequel that many would argue is even better than the original.  I love them both too much to declare one better than the other, but I also have no problem with people who firmly believe that The Godfather Part II is the superior film.  That’s how amazing this movie is.


After settling all family business at the end of the first movie and fully succumbing to his darker side, the once idealistic Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has taken his already powerful crime family to new heights. Where they were once a strong New York organisation whose leader carried senators and judges in his pocket like so much loose change, Michael has taken the Corleones international, with gambling concerns in Las Vegas and the soon to be overthrown Cuba. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #52. Taxi Driver (1976)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.

 Taxidriver3

“Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

Martin Scorsese has a real knack for bringing iconic characters to the screen.  Joe Pesci’s benefitted from this more than once, Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio have several each under their belts, and there are notable one offs like Ray Liotta and Willam Dafoe.  But one man is responsible for more memorable Scorsese characters than anyone else.  Robert De Niro steals Mean Streets from Harvey Keitel, he won the Oscar for Raging Bull and is one of the most bizarrely sympathetic, terrifying, and goofy characters ever committed to film in The King of Comedy.  But above all of those, one De Niro role in a Scorsese movie reigns supreme; Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.


Plagued by headaches and insomnia, Travis Bickle (De Niro) takes a job working 12 hour shifts, six days a week, driving a cab. This is 70s New York at its dirtiest, seediest and most dangerous, and Bickle is one of the few drivers who’ll go to any neighbourhood and pick up any kind of passenger.  The people and places he sees fuel monologues about the filth of the city needing to be washed away.  But he does see the odd bright spot, including Cybill Shepherd as Betsy. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #92. Goodfellas (1990)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Goodfellas-SD-O_ring_Af
“You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?”

Bored and Dangerous is usually all about movies I’ve watched of the first time. Sometimes I’ll cheat and re-watch something I haven’t seen in years and remember nothing about.   But as I make my way through the AFI 100, it’s inevitable that I’ll run across a few things I’ve seen multiple times. Some, maybe dozens of times. Not only is this one that definitely ranks in the “dozens” category, it’s a movie that only gets better with age. I would even go as far as to say it may be, in my opinion, the greatest film ever made. Screenplay, acting, direction, music, editing… Top to bottom, I love every single detail of Goodfellas.


It’s 1950s New York, and while his father works a thankless, low playing job, young Henry Hill (Christopher Serrone) is obsessed with the local gangsters in his neighbourhood. It’s not long before he’s taken under the wing of local street boss Paul Sicero (Paul Sorvino) and notorious street soldier and killer, Jimmy “the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro). By the time he’s a young adult played by Ray Liotta, Henry is living the wise guy dream, taking and doing whatever he wants, along with Jimmy and fellow gangster wunderkind, Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito. (more…)