Robert De Niro

Watch the Trailer for David O. Russel’s ‘Joy,’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence

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It was hard to imagine exactly the angle David O. Russell would be going for with Joy, the film loosely based on Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop, Huggable Hangers and Forever Fragrant: would it be a straightforward semi-inspirational biopic à la La Vie en Rose, but where the cathartic moment of swelling artistry came from the construction “of the original cotton self-wringing mop that’ll clean that mess again and again and again?” Likely not (I’ve been told, in fact, that it’s “not a biopic”).
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Test Your Knowledge of the Direct-to-Video Vehicles of Yesterday’s Movie Stars!

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Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a little something called Absolution, an action thriller that teams Vinnie Jones (remember him?) with Steven Seagal. It’s the third film in which the former Under Siege star plays contract killer John Alexander, and if you’re not familiar with the series, don’t worry — you probably aren’t aware of of most of Mr. Seagal’s recent filmography, which (with the exception of his jokey cameo in 2010’s Machete) has consisted of low-profile movies, usually shot in Europe or Asia, and released straight to home video.
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The Best Celebrity Graduation Speeches of 2015

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It’s after Memorial Day, which means that across the country, grills have been rolled out, beach towels unfurled, and thousands of college grads unleashed into the real world. Helping them make the transition are big-name commencement speakers dispensing advice with varying degrees of seriousness. Robert De Niro’s grabbed headlines with his already-infamous “yeah, you’re fucked” address at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (though his follow-up — “the good news is that’s not a bad place to start” — got slightly less attention). Here are some other highlights from the 2015 commencement season, from tongue-in-cheek to earnest to everything in …Read More

10 Actors Who Played Against Type — and Failed

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This Friday, Arnold Schwarzenegger does something you’d have never quite predicted: he plays the leading role in an indie drama. Even more surprisingly, he’s very good in it. His quiet turn as a Midwestern farmer in the family drama/zombie flick Maggie is both a strong performance and a smart move for the aging actor, whose action vehicles haven’t exactly burned up the box office lately; when what you do isn’t working anymore, it’s a good idea to try something new. But for every Robin Williams, Matthew McConaughey, or Albert Brooks who transformed their screen persona successfully, there’s another who didn’t quite pull it …Read More

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Selma,’ ‘Goodfellas’

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The “double dip” — when a movie is reissued on DVD or Blu-ray, without much in the way of new bonus features — is the bane of the home media owner’s existence. Three of this week’s five new releases of note qualify for that label, and while none may warrant a replacement purchase, all take over for earlier editions (some of them hard to find) at a reasonable price, and, in many cases, with sparkling new transfers to boot. Meanwhile, we’ve got a must-see documentary on Netflix, and a home video debut for this writer’s best film of 2014.
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Jon Stewart Flies His Fanboy Flag at ‘Goodfellas’ Tribeca Screening

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Though one of New York’s favorite sons and a friend of the fest, Martin Scorsese was unable to attend Saturday’s Tribeca Film Festival closing night movie, a 25th anniversary presentation of his 1990 classic Goodfellas (timed to the film’s forthcoming Blu-ray re-release). But Scorsese had two good excuses: 1) he’s making a movie, and 2) he’s making it in Taipei. However, he taped a brief introduction that ran before the movie — which, true to Scorsese’s chatty persona, ran nearly ten minutes (with edits!). He talked about the production, the music, the reception, and the panel that he was missing — including a shout-out that must’ve warmed moderator Jon Stewart’s heart. “I mean Jon, if you were around at the time, we would’ve put you in the picture,” Scorsese grinned. “I’m not exactly sure where, but…”
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‘Live From New York!’ Documentary Is More Than Just a History of ‘SNL’

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When the Tribeca Film Festival announced this year’s opening night selection was Live From New York!, a documentary about the history and impact of Saturday Night Live, your correspondent felt a mixture of excitement and concern — the former as a longtime fan and aficionado of the show, the latter as someone who, as a longtime fan and aficionado of the show, wonders what the hell’s left to say about it. We are, after all, celebrating (and, it seems, celebrating and celebrating and celebrating) the 40th year of its existence, and between the anniversary pieces and books and that ragtag mess of an SNL 40 special, we’re flirting with a serious case of burnout, and the anniversary itself is still several months away. So it’s a relief to report that Live From New York!, which kicked off the fest last night with a raucous screening at New York’s Beacon Theatre, isn’t just a rehash of the same old stories and clips. It’s a stylish and entertaining examination of why it’s still on the air, 40 years on — and why we’re still talking about it.
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