ONCE you typecast a person you essentially are telling them they cannot evolve. Look at the examples we have seen in the celebrity world. Child performers can have a solid career playing a limited range of roles that suit their current personas; however, when they reach puberty and start exerting their independence a majority of viewers/followers turn on them. There are 2 musical artists I can think of immediately who acted out outrageously to break the mold they were boxed into by fans’ perceptions. I can understand how some of us do not want to see our celebrities grow up; but it is a natural part of life. Heck I get it since I still think of myself as a younger version of who I used to be. Asking my friends and family I am sure they will say I certainly do not act my age; however here is a question for you, who decided how we are supposed to act based on our birth age? My philosophy has always been, “young at heart, young in mind.” WHEN I first started out teaching fitness I soon saw signs that I was being typecast in a certain way. From some of the remarks I would get to comments I said in class I realized members assumed I only studied PE courses and was teaching full time. The first time I told someone my educational background I remember how stunned they were that I had studied in the fields of animal science and photography. Even to this day it is not unusual for someone in my yoga class to be surprised when they hear I am a credit manager. The majority of the time the first response to me is, “You are so nice; how are you a credit manager?” I guess there is a stereotype associated with being a credit manager. Speaking of stereotypes and typecasting I am concerned the main actor in this comedy is trying to break the typecast of him being a great actor. HAVING been a famous former TV star Jackie Burke, played by Robert De Niro (Dirty Grandpa, Casino) had a hard time convincing the public he was something more than just his television character. No matter how outrageous he would get his fans wanted the old TV character. This film festival winner had an amazing cast that included Leslie Mann (The Other Woman, Knocked Up) as Harmony Schiltz, Harvey Keitel (The Piano, Reservoir Dogs) as Mac Schiltz, Danny DeVito (When in Rome, L.A. Confidential) as Jimmy Berkowitz and Patti LuPone (Parker, Driving Miss Daisy) as Florence Berkowitz. The story may not have been anything special; but with such a cast, if the script had been a whole lot better then maybe this would have been a decent movie. As it turned out this picture was bad. Put aside the foul language, there was so little that seemed realistic that I was bored through most of the film besides being embarrassed for all the actors. Nothing got developed story wise, the script was a series of skits in my opinion. It would not be fair for me to say but with Robert’s recent film choices he is in a downward spiral. Having seen this and his film Dirty Grandpa makes me think he wants to break some mold he feels he has been placed in.
1 ½ stars
An idyllic setting of a good old fashioned state fair was a wonderful opening to this action crime film. Having been born and raised in a large city, seeing the activities and events at the fair were a bit foreign to me. What I found attractive was the sense of peaceful camaraderie among the people. Not that I would ever go on an amusement ride that would spin me around or enter a pie eating contest. You may be surprised by that but I do not eat food from someone I do not know. As a result I never partake in potluck dinners and absolutely no buffets. I am not eating any food that has been guarded by a sneeze guard. But I can do a whole post on my neuroses; let me get back to the movie. From this opening scene the main character Parker, played by Jason Statham (Safe, The Transporter franchise), was walking through the fair, dressed as a priest. The opening scene was the best this film had to offer. It pretty much is a given what type of movie to expect with Jason as the star. A smattering of witty lines, bloody tough fight scenes and Jason doing the same type of role he has done before in his films. In this movie he was a thief in a gang led by Melander, played by Michael Chiklis (The Shield-TV, Fantastic Four franchise). After being double crossed, Parker followed the group to Palm Beach to take what was rightfully due him. To put his plan in place, Parker would need the help of desperate realtor Leslie Rodgers, played by Jennifer Lopez (Out of Sight, Maid in Manhattan). Seeing Jennifer in this role, all I kept thinking was she left American Idol for this? It was an odd role and I did not think it was anything special. Just as strange was seeing Patti LuPone (Heist, City by the Sea) playing Leslie’s mother. If you enjoy Jason’s other movies, this one will probably satisfy you. For me there was nothing new in this predictable story.
1 3/4 stars