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Blu-ray Review: The Family
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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The Family

The Family
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy l DVD l Streaming
Directed by Luc Besson
Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, John D’Leo, Dianna Agron, Tommy Lee Jones, and Stan Carp
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 17, 2013

Giovanni Manzoni (Robert DeNiro) was once one of the most feared and respected mob bosses in New York. Times have certainly changed. For some unexplained reason Manzoni turned stoolie for the FBI and was moved into the Witness Relocation Program under the supervision of veteran agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones). Now he’s Fred Blake, a nondescript writer living in a small town in Normandy, France with his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), son Warren (John D’Leo), and daughter Bella (Dianna Agron). The family hates being so far removed from their familiar Brooklyn neighborhood and all of their friends and relatives, but they try to make the best of a lousy situation.

Their efforts don’t last though; unable to deal with the dual pressures of maintaining a false identity and the inquisitive, somewhat hostile townspeople, the Blakes soon revert to their old ways of violence and corruption, with Stansfield working desperately to keep them in line so their cover isn’t blown. Fred’s obsession with getting rid of the brown water that runs through the pipes of their quaint French home and Warren’s escalating criminal behavior at school eventually bring down the full wrath of Don Luchese (Stan Carp), the imprisoned rival Mafia boss Fred snitched on. The don dispatches a team of heavily armed assassins to Normandy to make the Blakes a blood-stained memory. Unable to depend on further protection from Stansfield and the other Feds, Fred and his family must show the mob back home that a simple name change doesn’t make the Blakes any less dangerous than before.

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Movie Review: Ride Along
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Ride Along Film PosterRide Along
Director: Tim Story
Cast: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo, Laurence Fishburne
Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 100 Minutes
Release Date: January 17, 2013

Directed by Tim Story (Think Like a Man), Ride Along stars Kevin Hart as Ben, a hyperactive hardcore gamer who joins his potential brother-in-law James (Ice Cube), a detective, on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta in order to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela (Tika Sumpter), James’ sister.

Tim Story is the filmmaker responsible for such cinematic atrocities as Taxi, Fantastic Four, and Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The director came onto the scene in 2002 with the well-received comedy Barbershop, which also stars Ice Cube, but hasn’t made a decent movie since.

I’d like to tell you that Ride Along serves as a set of shock paddles to Story’s flatlining career, but this contrived mess of clichés is dead on arrival. An odd-couple comedy starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart has a lot of potential – just look at this clip from Conan – but Ride Along is such a colossal misfire because of its uninspired, unfunny script.

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Three D’s Top 30 Movies Of 2013
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Three-D   |  
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Top 30 Movies of 2013

Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, stated that “experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” This quote lingered within my thoughts for the majority of the 2013 movie year because there is a remarkable number of films that confirm Huxley’s statement with shocking clarity. During 2013 the majority of characters in cinema experienced a relentless assault of either irrepressible physical violence or emotional turmoil, resulting in each character clinging to their lives, praying that they won’t become defeated. Characters had to either sink or swim. No film provided for them a middle ground that would grant them an easy way out or provide a buoy for them. Characters had to act, and act fast.

In Gravity, becoming disconnected from her partner in the infinite void of space, Dr. Stone had to gain composure quickly or endure an onslaught of debris and isolation. In The Place Beyond the Pines, a cop had to rely on his survival instincts and the ramifications of his decision reverberated throughout generations. In Blue is the Warmest Color, a confused teenage woman, utterly love-sick, discovers the throes and pangs of first love and is left even more confused after the indelible experience. In Dallas Buyers Club, an AIDs victim with a guaranteed death-sentence uses his situation to give hope to thousands of other AIDs victims. And in The Counselor, a man’s experience overwhelms him and he is soon exposed to the most unsavory circumstances that are beyond his control and the most heinous individuals.

Without further hesitance, the best 2013 had to offer.

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Streaming Review: Jackie Brown
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cGt2099   |  
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Streaming Review: Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown based on Rum Punch by Elmore LeonardJackie Brown
Netflix | Amazon | Hulu | iTunes | Vudu | Xbox | YouTube
DVD | Blu-ray
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro
Miramax Films
Originally Released: December 25, 1997

It was with great sadness to learn that Elmore Leonard died this week. The great American novelist contributed some thorough and comprehensive work that was both engrossing and entertaining. From 3:10 to Yuma to Get Shorty to Out Of Sight, many of the author’s publications got the movie treatment, some with mixed results.

In tribute to the writer, I decided this week to look at Quentin Tarantino’s adaptation of the phenomenal book Rum Punch, retitled after the primary central character Jackie Brown.

Before jumping into the review, the first thing that I want to point out concerning Jackie Brown is the amazing soundtrack Tarantino uses for the movie. While the director has a reputation for outstanding music selection in his films, for me, Jackie Brown always stood out in many ways.

Not only does the music reflect the plot, the characters, and the setting magnificently – the movie also introduced me to some of the finest soul, funk, and R&B I’ve ever come across; and being a music addict, I have a somewhat sentimental attachment to Jackie Brown. For me, the soundtrack is so meticulously focused; it is reason enough for viewing the movie alone.

But Jackie Brown has so much more to offer than just the tunes.

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Check Out These 1950’s Style Posters Based On Robert De Niro Films
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Robert De Niro

[Robert De Niro image courtesy of Shutterstock. Used with permission.]

Today marks the 70th birthday of Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro, best known for his roles in classic films like The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and The Deer Hunter, and better known to today’s younger audiences for his comedic turns in the Meet The Parents movies.

There will likely be a wide array of tributes and celebratory revelry for the man all day today. One of the coolest ones so far has to be the collection of newly realized movie posters, which takes three of De Niro’s most popular pictures — The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, and Meet the Parents — and presents them in a 1950’s style, utilizing a sort of stark, bold colorization on the backdrop of a key image from each respective film.

Check out all the posters here below.

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Happy 70th Birthday To Consummate Actor Robert De Niro
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Robert De Niro

[Robert De Niro image courtesy of Shutterstock. Used with permission.]

A big milestone today in Hollywood for Robert De Niro, who, after nearly 50 years is one of Tinseltown’s most revered and vaunted cinematic heirlooms: the filmdom pioneer who remains of the slim few of his generation who bridges the gap of Old Hollywood and the New Hollywood, which he was hugely instrumental in helping shape, turns 70 years old.

Born on August 17, 1943 in New York City, Robert De Niro’s career spans an arc over many different eras and tastes in American history, film history, and world history. He has made an absolute and finite art of the character of the tough guy, who harbors an emotionally stilted, bottled-up rage inside the color of the darkest of spectrums, within his characters. His style is from an old school, yet a school which teaches the approach of its technique well into the perpetuity. The man’s resume is like a rundown of some of the all-time top American films. With influence that runs deep like an electrical current to all involved with cinema, be it his co-workers, craftsmen, artists, and fans, Robert De Niro sits high atop a mighty short shortlist of actors who have reached zeniths again and again and continue to stimulate, accentuate, gravitate, and mediate to all parties involved in the Tinseltown game.

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‘Lemmy’ Director Working On Doc Of Boxing Champ and Raging Bull Jake LaMotta
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Jake LaMotta

Former Middleweight Champion and colorful and controversial pugilist Jake LaMotta, best known to film going audiences for the gritty, hard-nosed bio pic that showcased his life, Raging Bull, is now the subject of a full-length feature documentary.

LaMotta, 92, is collaborating with Greg Olliver, best known for co-directing and producing Lemmy, the much-lauded film about the Motorhead frontman Ace of Spades, Lemmy Kilmister. Oliver also has projects such as a documentary about a WWII Commando and blues stalwart Johnny Winter in the works.

The LaMotta project, which already started filming in Arizona back in January of this year, will feature interviews with fellow athletes such as Mike Tyson, as well as actors, family, and friends, all whom are sure to give a keen insight to the complex and emotional boxer.

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Harvey Weinstein & Walt Disney Studios To Develop Film Adaptation Of ‘Artemis Fowl’
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Artemis Fowl Header

Walt Disney Studios and Harvey Weinstein haven’t worked together on a project since Mirimax closed its doors in 2005. But now the two are getting ready to reunite for a film adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s novel Artemis Fowl.

Described as fairies meet Die Hard, the live-action feature will be based on the first and second installments in Disney Publishing Worldwide’s best-selling children’s fiction series. Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) will pen the screenplay, and Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will executive produce.

Hit the jump for more info.

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Trailer: Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas & Kevin Kline Head To ‘Last Vegas’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Last Vegas Image

The first trailer for Last Vegas, a new movie starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline has been released.

In the movie, four men in their senior years head to Las Vegas to throw a bachelor party for the last of them to get married…to a woman half his age. It’s directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), and scheduled for release on November 1, 2013.

Click on over to the other side now to check out the trailer.

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Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Silver Linings PlaybookSilver Linings Playbook
Directed by David O. Russell
Written by David O. Russell
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker
The Weinstein Company
Rated R | 122 Minutes
Release Date: November 21, 2012
Purchase Tickets on Fandango

Written and directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter), Silver Linings Playbook is based on the 2008 novel by Matthew Quick and stars (Bradley Cooper) as Pat Solitano, a troubled man who has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife.

After spending eight months in a Baltimore mental institution, Pat finds himself back in Philadelphia, living with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert De Niro). Despite a restraining order, Pat is determined to remain positive, rebuild his life, and reunite with his estranged wife Nikki (Brea Bee).

Meanwhile, Pat’s parents hope he’ll get back on his feet and take part in the family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. Things take an unexpected turn when he meets kindred crazy person Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman trying to cope with her husband’s death by sleeping with everyone at her work.

Pat and Tiffany bond over their issues and idiosyncrasies, with ‘crazy person’ topics like the types of medication they’ve taken. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll return the favor by doing something very important for her – be her partner in a freestyle dance competition.

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