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Guardians of the Galaxy

In many respects, “Guardians,” directed and co-written by indie wit James Gunn, and starring buffed-up former schlub Chris Pratt and Really Big Sci-Fi Blockbuster vet…

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War Story

Director Mark Jackson’s drama is a chilly study in grief starring Catherine Keener as a war-zone photographer shattered by her experiences in Libya.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Robert De Niro and the rubber chicken

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Funny guy. (photo by Jason South)


"Exclusive Video: Comedy Genius Robert De Niro Dazzles Us with Best Performance in Years." That was the headline at Defamer after De Niro's speech Monday night at the Film Society of Lincoln Center tribute to Meryl Streep.

Comedy genius? Defamer facetiousness? You decide. The words "De Niro" and "comedy" do not generally belong in the same sentence because (with the notable exception of "The King of Comedy," "Hi, Mom!," "Midnight Run" and moments in "New York, New York" — all of which get good laughs from extreme discomfort) he couldn't be funny if he tried — and that's precisely the problem. He tries so very hard. In this speech, read from index cards, he tossed off canned one-liners like a bored celeb hired to appear at an industrial — say, the Upper West Side Association of Farsighted Florists.

Wasn't he funnier in "Cape Fear"?

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