robert de niro

Film Legends De Niro, Pacino, Pesci Aren’t Enough to Save ‘The Irishman’ From Itself

Christopher Karr

The shortsightedness of the filmmakers is on display in an unsettling way; they didn’t take into account two fundamental aspects of acting that make all the difference: eyes and physicality. Scorsese expressed concerns about how the de-aging affected the eyes of the performers earlier this year on A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, saying, “Certain shots need more work on the eyes.” But an even bigger problem is the fact that the actors, now in their mid-70s or older, don’t have the physicality of their younger selves.

‘August: Osage County,’ ‘The Hobbit’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Two films into the trilogy, Jackson’s vision has been vindicated, as his “Hobbit” movies, particularly “The Desolation of Smaug,” are nearly as exciting and well-rendered as his “Rings” interpretations. Jackson maintains the serious tone that he set in the “Rings” films, and he takes pains to tie the events of the two trilogies together. The result is a continuing Middle Earth epic that should delight both Tolkien aficionados and newcomers alike. 

‘Prisoners,’ ‘The Lone Ranger’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Dennis Villeneuve moves the 153-minute film with precision, leading viewers through a thriller that bolsters its clever, surface-level twists with deep thematic roots that force viewers to identify with multiple characters. This should stimulate debate about everything from vigilantism to torture, and it allows the movie to live in one’s mind long after it has played out. “Prisoners” could have been even better if Villeneuve had addressed a few underplayed plot points, but focusing on minor flaws in an otherwise masterful film is neither fair nor productive. 

‘The Big Wedding,’ ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

The best of the two is “White House Down,” a picture that balances wild action sequences with a healthy sense of humor. “Olympus Has Fallen,” on the other hand, takes things deadly serious. It centers on Mike Banning (Gerard Butler), a U.S. Secret Service agent who loses favor by failing to save the first lady (Ashley Judd) in the aftermath of an automobile accident. Mike gets an opportunity to redeem himself when the White House is taken over by well-organized attackers. 

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