Once Upon a Time in America (1983)

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Review by Abbi of Where The Wild Things Are

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I have to admit when I picked Once Upon a Time in America from the list of available De Niro films I had no idea it was 229 minutes long… and I probably wouldn’t have picked it if I did. I am not a great believer in the idea that longer is better when it comes to films, because it normally isn’t and also I can’t sit still for very long because I have a short attention span. With all of that in mind, I guess the theme of this review is going to be, was it worth the time investment?

But first… a synopsis…

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Cape Fear (1991)

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Review by Smash of Smashing Through Life

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Wow, what a wild ride this movie is. Going into it I had some preconceived notions about what was going to happen based on numerous cultural references, most notably the episode of The Simpsons that parodied it. But I was still pleasantly surprised. Mostly by Scorsese’s pacing, it was a lot quicker than I expected, but also by De Niro’s character. The thing that struck me the most was how intelligent and balanced Max Cady was despite his warped morality and misplaced sense of justice. I was expecting a lunatic stalker, but I got something much more complex and it was immensely gratifying.

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Heat (1995)

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Review by Joseph of The Cinema Monster

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Bobby De Niro, is there anyone with a face more recognizable? How about a voice? One so memorable that it’s assisted countless lines of film dialogue into becoming the most quoted and imitated in cinematic history. This is a man who’s performances on screen have literally transcended their fictitious origins to become part of his aura, you know, his personality and reputation. You can’t mention his name without it sending a deathly chill through your bones, as if he was watching you from a far at that very moment, waiting patiently to quietly end your life. But of course, this isn’t the truth. Robert De Niro merely portrays the mafioso lifestyle and nothing more. It just so happens that he does his job so well that the killer, ruthless mentality has followed him, become entangled and melded to his existence. In all honesty though, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It merely adds to his legend and signifies the unfathomably power of his talent and how he has perfected his craft.

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The Untouchables (1987)

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Review by Luke of Oracle of Film

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Plot: When Federal agent, Eliot Ness (Costner) realises his case against crime lord, Al Capone (De Niro) is going nowhere, he assembles a team of cops prepared to go outside the law to catch him.

When looking back at the classic movies, the genre that really sticks out for me is Noir. Noir movies are important for American cinema and often become the landmark films of long ago (Double Indemnity, Chinatown, LA Confidential). Many films look up to the clever direction and writing of these classics. It took me a while to get around to checking it out, but The Untouchables is up there with the best of them.

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Ronin (1998)

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Review by Eric of The Ipc

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So, I have to be honest here, since I am an honest guy and admit that I fudged a little bit when it came to this blogathon and I volunteered to do Ronin. The specs for entry were that it had to be something with DeNiro in it that you’ve never seen before. But I had seen this. I remember the day fondly. I was still working at that fucking restaurant, seven days a week, 16 hours a day, but I finally had a day off for the first time in a month so, I was friends with one of the bartenders there and we decided to hang around and drink beer all morning. Later, when his girlfriend got off work, we all decided to go see Ronin at the theater.

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Casino (1995)

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Review by ckckred of Cinematic

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Few directors, if any, can move a camera the way Martin Scorsese can. Scorsese is a filmmaker who has always exhibited incredible energy in his pictures, marking him as one of cinema’s greatest figures. In 1990, Scorsese delivered the decade’s best movie with GoodFellas, a film that defined an era of fast-action crime dramas. Five years later, Scorsese returned to the mob genre with Casino, but this time instead of examining the life of a young gangster in New York, Scorsese turns his eye to a high-profile mafia man based on Frank Rosenthal who ran a big casino in Las Vegas for a decade from 1973 to 1983.

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Analyze This (1999)

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Review by Elina of Films and Coke

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Plot: What if one of gangland’s Dons suddenly started having anxiety attacks because of past problems. When he decides to see a shrink, what can he tell him without giving away the gang’s secrets and reveal too much about his own situations? Add to the fact that this type of individual is used to everyone catering to his whims and he expects the psychiatrist to do the same, neglecting his regular practice and his attempts to get married. (Source: IMDb.com)

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A Bronx Tale (1993)

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Review by Chris Walker of ClockWalkerOrange

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After watching a production of Chazz Paliminteri’s autobiographical one-man show, Robert De Niro approached Paliminteri about purchasing the film rights and directing a film based on his play. Paliminteri agreed provided he could write the script and play Sonny. This would be Robert De Niro’s first venture behind the camera and he would prove that he is just as adept behind the camera as he is in front.

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Sleepers (1996)

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Reviewed by Jesse from Film Reverse

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When a harmless prank takes a turn for the worse, four close friends are sent away to serve time at the Wilkinson Home, a prison for boys. The Home is a disturbing place where its guests are tortured, sexually assaulted and live day to day at the mercy of the guards. Traumatized upon release, the boys have no choice but to attempt to move on with their lives and forget their experience. However, one day they run into an old friend that gives them an opportunity for the revenge they desire.

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Taxi Driver (1976)

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Reviewed by Rob from Guys Film Quest

Taxi Driver – Too Much Substance  FQ13  106    Guys Film Quest

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There’s no doubting the quality of the movie in terms of acting and directing, but the flow of the film just detracted from the overall experience for me. It would have worked better as a mini-series.

Memorable Performances:

There’s a reason people praise Robert De Niro for his work in this film. It’s certainly top notch. Apart from that, there’s no one in the film long enough to make much of an impression.

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