n Silver Linings Playbook,
we get Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a former teacher, newly released
from a mental institution after a violent psychotic incident, heading
back into the hornet’s nest that he calls home, the South Philly
domicile of his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki
Rather than devoting time to tracking what could have been the comic evolution of the relationship between male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his former CIA agent father-in-law Frank (Robert De Niro), director Paul Weitz seemingly ended up dangling money before his performers to get them to react on cue in this rote, terribly unfunny exercise. Grade: D-.
Robert De Niro and Edward Norton have one previous team-up under their belt, 'The Score,' which wanted to be a thrillingly gripping caper but ended up being a crime because it criminally misused these two performers. So, like the hard-nosed wiseguys they are, De Niro and Norton try it again — and, of course, it's a crime uniting them in John Curran's meditative exploration of two men seemingly on opposite sides of the law-and-order divide. Grade: B-plus.
Robert Rodriguez, sharing directing duties with longtime editing assistant Ethan Maniquis, expands the mock-trailer from Grindhouse about an ex-Federale (Danny Trejo) taking on corruption all over the place into a mash-up of what, in the hands of his buddy Quentin Tarantino, would have been epic proportions. But Rodriguez lacks the focus to bring his large-scale vision to inglorious life. Grade: D-plus.