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June 04, 2014


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Tom Block

Shoot, I *liked* him in "15 Minutes"--a lot more than I expected to going in.

It's unclear to me, though: Did you interview De Niro himself, Glenn?


"But the fulcrum of my thesis has to do with how we mythologize great performers, and how in so doing we're almost doomed to be eventually disappointed in them."

The word "almost" does a lot of work in that sentence.

See Bill Murray as one current opposing case, among many.


Only the silliest person would begrudge De Niro selling out after a long, incredible run. But let's call it what it is. I mean:

"after noting that in making Rocky and Bullwinkle and Shark Tale, De Niro was at least in part motivated by a desire to be in something that his young kids could see "

The phrase "at least in part motivated" does a lot of work in that sentence.

"What I try to do in the book, true to its title, is examine De Niro's work and his choices, and also to dig up some satisfying answers to questions that seem to torment some of his one-time admirers."

Do we really need a slatepitch that it's something other than 'wanted to build TriBeCa into an empire, and needed capital'?

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Genuinely. I mean, he was selling out to do something more interesting than buying an island. And the heart wants what the heart wants.

Plus, I'll buy your book.

Now go home and get your fucking shine box.


It's not that it's a Rocky and Bullwinkle film that's the problem; it's that it's such a *bad* Rocky and Bullwinkle film. Had De Niro cameoed as a movie mogul in 'Roger Rabbit', say, or voiced Mr. Incredible, no-one would've complained.

"I'm doing it for the kids" -- I don't have kids, but if I did they'd sure as heck deserve better than some nightmare-fuelling fish with Will Smith's face.


This sounds great.

I'd really love a full bio of Richard Quine, too, but I'm guessing I'd be among the few to pony up for it.


Hey, "Rocky & Bullwinkle"'s pretty darn good, and it has both a terrific line from Whoopi Goldberg as a corrupt judge--"Don't you know celebrities are always above the law?"--and one of the best self-deprecating puns of all time: When asked if Bullwinkle can rappel [down a wall], the moose replies, "Why, sure! We've been repelling audiences for years!"

Glenn Kenny

Cadavra, your experience of the motion picture was clearly very different from my own.


Cadavra gave me my own horrible experience of the movie just with his pullquotes alone.

stuck working

Boy, that's pretty generous, calling Nicholson's piece "intriguing." This Techdirt piece gets at some of the weirdness of her thesis (see https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140603/12104527444/why-has-tom-cruises-reputation-faltered-pshh-because-internet-course.shtml), but I think just stating it shows how goofy it is. She writes, "Cruise's talent and clout were responsible for an unparalleled string of critical and commercial hits. We gave that up for a gif." Uh...no, neither part of that is plausible.

Glenn Kenny

Yeah, "stuck working," I am being pretty generous. Usually if one is promoting a book, it's considered questionable form to trash another book in the same series, from the same publisher, being released the same day. Please advise.


"it's considered questionable form to trash another book in the same series, from the same publisher, being released the same day. Please advise."

Replace "intriguing" with "a novel take"?

Brian Dauth

Congratulations Glenn. I look forward to reading it.


Looking at the list, I suppose the most striking absence is THE DEER HUNTER. I suppose one could joke about the Self Styled Siren vetoing ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.

Glenn Kenny

Heh. Choosing ten was way tough, especially as I was obliged to limn a whole career, not just go according to my own taste. For some reason I consider "Deer Hunter" to be more Walken's film than De Niro's. And while I yield to no one in my admiration of "Once Upon A Time In America" (sorry Siren!) it's more Leone's film than De Niro's...and I actually believe there are some odd weaknesses in his performance. Given the movie's peculiar distribution history it's also hard to look at it as a De Niro career milestone.

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