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Tag: Robert de Niro

Dirty Grandpa (2016)

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Starts With Va, Ends With Na.

It’s never a good sign when a movie poster sells you the exact opposite of what the movie actually tells. Erratum: it’s “Lose your manhood. Find your way.”, not the other way round. At the beginning of the thing, Jason (Zzzzzac Efron) is a preppy heterosexual corporate lawyer goody-two-shoes, engaged to an uptight harpy; by its end, he has become his dissolute grandfather’s toy boy, wearing hustler clothes while getting drunk, stone and promiscuous. But considering it’s a Springbreak comedy, all will end well for all involved. Obviously, the grandfather’s name is Dick and he’s played by Robert de Niro, exploring yet uncharted abysses.

How much of a closeted homosexual are you? It’s the exact measure of how long you can cope with Dirty Grandpa. Being white and a bit of a prick can help, too. Its blatant homoeroticism, nurtured by a constant flow of gay innuendo, is thinly veiled by the clockwork use of the word “vagina”. It’s one of these drinking game movies, see. Springing out of the woodwork, a rabbi suddenly says “swastika of penises”. Hey, why not?

There is no plot to speak of but (butt?) a series of sketches between a puritan jock and his sex-crazed elder. Grandpa has been married and faithful for 40 years so now he just wants to “f*** f*** f***”. Vaginas. More vaginas. Even more vaginas. The camera rapturously leaps up de Niro’s expressing nothing but grinning priapism. Efron vaguely emotes when he stumbles on his grandpa jerking off, inadvertently smokes crack or finds himself forced to participate in a dance off contest (“Cirque du So Gay”, his grandpa calls it), during which he’s easily over-abbed by a zombi-eyed frat boy.

Vaginas, pardon, women characters are non existent, being “lower half Cuban” at best. There is of course a funeral, a karaoke and a golf course; come on, golf balls, what do think of, dude? All endless improv, pedophile gags, law for dummies, fart jokes and cheap crooners inadvertently revealing that its demographics is more old men in raincoats than frat boys, Dirty Grandpa is a guilty pleasure for its chosen few and a complete waste of time and brainpower for everybody else.

It’s endlessly quotable, though. “Don’t panic. It’s organic. It’s a vagina.”

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Heist (2015)

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MONSTROMETER
MONEY    Monstrometer3
LONELINESS    Monstrometer2
BOREDOM    Monstrometer1
FEAR    Monstrometer1
TIME    Monstrometer1

 

Duckling, You’re Not A Swan

Titled the way a roadside motel could name itself The Ritz (the French title, Bus 657, is spot on), Heist is all consequences with no cause to speak of, if you except Cancer Child, that is. I mean, come on, CANCER CHILD? This, ladies and gentlemen, is a feel-good movie disguised as crime caper, so know that no one will get hurt but spectacularly dumb villains, that all included support cast will act unexpectedly smart/brave/noble, and that Robert de Niro has super powers. Oh, and Cancer Child will survive to her much needed operation. What?!

Family here is both royal jelly, his secretive support and surveillance system dripping sustenance, and proletarian Jell’O, a compact morass, wobbly but unshakable. On one side Cancer Child, on the other Poor Rich Girl.

In the middle stands Robert the Niro, accomplishing any Italian American’s dream by playing a father and the Pope, ruling his empire (a steamboat casino called Swan) by crude rules, of which we are told three, a far cry from the Ten Commandments. Not in the Holy See yet, Bob.

Commenting on his e-smoke as if his main minion has switched flavour from menthol to sodium sulfate, Bob pouts a lot, wears a ring the size of a coffee table and a neck chain which he doubtlessly uses to anchor the Swan when he leaves the premises. On the side, he launders dirty Chinese money with clockwork regularity, which has never drawn attention to the police before but hey, comes to the Chinese, mafia and dry-cleaning go hand in hand, eh?

Us, the audience, are treated to a collage of scenes heisted from all kinds of superior movies, Ocean’s Eleven and Speed being the more obvious. Bob can stay cool smoking in a gasoline-saturated vehicle, he’s that good. Sweet Jesus.

The brainpower not allocated to plot reigns supreme on christening characters so there is no need to develop them. Around Pope gravitates Mr Tao (Mao, come on, too obvious!), Dante (who goes through hell) and Cox (who, well, sucks). More cryptic is Detective Bauhaus, or it is an elaborate joke at form over function?

33% action, 33% drama, 33% nothing and only 1% its titular genre, Heist is nevertheless aiming at getting the money. Yours.

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