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Robert De Niro is one of our greatest living actors. The history of American film simply cannot be told without including a number of his films. He has seven Academy Award nominations for acting – five in Best Actor, two in Best Supporting Actor, with one win in each. He is a titan of cinema.

However, he is ALSO a working actor who has long shown willingness to undertake projects that won’t get him anywhere near the Oscar stage, making loads of films that are far more populist than prestigious.

His latest film is “The War with Grandpa” … and you can probably guess into which category this one falls.

The family-friendly comedy – directed by Tim Hill from a screenplay by Tom Astle and Matt Ember (adapted from Robert Kimmel Smith’s book of the same name) – is pretty standard fare, tame kid stuff that aims to be inoffensively entertaining. It’s the kind of film that young viewers will likely find delightful and that older audiences will find more or less tolerable.

That said, the film sports a shockingly strong cast; De Niro leads the way, but we also have Uma Thurman and Christopher Walken, among others. While the quality of the performers can’t fully make up for the generally generic quality of the film, it certainly doesn’t hurt – in lesser hands, this movie could have been just plain bad. Instead, we get a perfectly pleasant, albeit forgettable 90ish minutes.

Published in Buzz
Sunday, 07 August 2016 17:54

'Nine Lives' a cat-astrophe

Family 'comedy' unfunny, insulting to kids and adults

One of the delightful side effects of the summer blockbuster season is the fact that every once in a while, a film comes along that is such an obvious misfire that you almost want to see it simply to find out if it could possibly be as terrible as it appears to be.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 13:12

The Family Fang' has bite

Film explores familial dysfunction, artistic expression

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 11:32

Welcome to the Jungle'

'The Jungle Book' a triumph of CGI storytelling

Published in Buzz

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