Thursday, April 7, 2011

Straight To DVD De Niro

Last summer a trailer was released for an upcoming thriller that would re-unite Robert De Niro and Edward Norton nearly ten years after they starred in The Score. Stone was it's name. It looked like an interesting enough idea - Norton is a criminal looking to get paroled by sending his wife (played by Milla Jovovich) to seduce De Niro's parole officer. The release date was given for sometime in the autumn. Those of us who still cling on to the hope that De Niro will emerge from the mire of the dull and stupid he seems to have found in waited patiently to see if this was the moment. And then nothing.

On a trip to my local supermarket the other day imagine my shock to see Stone sitting on the shelf. Did I miss it? Had it just popped up, not done the business and vanished like a phantom in the night. No. There's a much more disturbing answer. It was released straight-to-DVD.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a straight-to-DVD snob, not entirely, but the thought that the great Robert De Niro is no longer reason enough for a film to get a cinematic release is cause for concern. It's no secret that in the last decade he's appeared in films of dubious quality. Sometimes he's turned up game for a laugh or trying to inject some gravitas. Most of the time though he seems either bored out his gored or hammier than something that involves lots of pigs listening to ham radio.

I haven't got round to seeing Stone yet but the fact it's turned up in my Asda before the Cineworld leads me to think it's another one for the crap pile. At this rate will the hallowed name that is De Niro start turning up on more DVD fodder, with regurgitated pictures of him pulling the same face, holding the same pose are used over and over. Will he descend into Segal and Snipes territory. My God De Niro and Segal just did a film together! I have to say though that excites me on a geek level. What do you think is it too late for the man so many of us hold so precious. Will he always be our Jake La Motta, Jimmy Conway and Travis Bickle. Or will he be remembered as the former great who ended his career in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Showtime, Analyze That, Godsend, Shark Tale, Meet the Fockers, Hide and Seek, Arthur and The Invisibles and Little Fockers to name a handful.

My favourite piece of De Niro acting comes in at around 01:13 on this trailer

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