Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection/Entertainment One via Everett Collection
Things are probably going to get a tad confusing on the set of Idol's Eye. Robert De Niro has joined the cast of Olivier Assayas' new film, starring opposite his fellow Robert, Twilight's own Robert Pattinson, via The Playlist. While much is still unknown about Assayas' follow-up to Clouds of Sils Maria, the film has been described as a sophisticated action-thriller.
The two Roberts make a curious pair of leads for a film, and while they share a first name, they couldn't be further apart on the Hollywood spectrum. One is an industry veteran that many would argue is the greatest living actor today, and the other made two Meet the Parents sequels. It's definitely an interesting match up.
Because arbitrarily comparing two things is the life blood of the Internet, there's only one thing left to do: it's time for a face-off. After all, there can only be one Robert. (Think about it. Do you know two Roberts? No, of course not!) We've decided to match up these two acting heavyweights in several categories from best reviewed film to best shirtless scene in a movie, in order to see which actor reigns supreme. The gauntlet has been thrown. Who is the best Robert in Hollywood?
HIGHEST GROSSING FILM
De NiroMeet the Fockers: $279,261,160
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: $896,911,078
WinnerPattinson. The numbers don't lie.
De NiroEvery second of Little Fockers
PattinsonSalvador Dali's mustache in Little Ashes
WinnerPattonson, whose career low is slightly less low. RPatz made a mockery of Dali in Little Ashes, but at least hardly anyone even remembers that one. A ton of people paid actual money to see Little Fockers. They were all very disappointed.
BEST REVIEWED FILM
De Niro The Godfather, Part II
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
WinnerDe Niro. The Godfather, Part II has an impeccable 99 percent on the Tomatometer while Robert Pattinson's best reviewed film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, only manages an 88 percent.
WORST REVIEWED FILM
WinnerPattinson. While Pattinson's Little Ashes sits at 24 percent on the Tomatometer, De Niro's horror-thriller Godsend has a dismal 4 percent of fresh reviews.
De NiroThe Creature from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
PattinsonEdward Cullen from Twilight
WinnerPattinson. Neither role would be considered a classic by any stretch, but Edward the sparkly vampire is definitely the more memorable of the two... for better or worse.
De NiroMax Caddy's grizzled, tatted up torso in Cape Fear
PattinsonEdward's shimmery vampire abs in Twilight
WinnterDe Niro. A shirtless Max Caddy manages to be way scarier than a bedazzled vampire, so this points go to Bobby D.
De NiroRaging Bull
WinnerDe Niro. Pattinson is surprisingly good in Cosmopolis, but Raging Bull is nothing short of an acting tour de force for De Niro.
But alas, Pattinson takes inherets the Robertian throne from the great Bobby D. But don't let that settle it for you; sound off with your thoughts below! Here's hoping Idol's Eye shows us something majestic from both of its stars.
S5E3: Either I’ve accepted that though Californication should have called it quits at the end of its fourth season, it’s still trucking, or these episodes are getting a little better. I’m going to play it safe and call it a bit of both. I basically don’t hate it as much as I have been. It helps that by the end of the episode, even Hank starts to realize how ridiculous his “true dats” and “mos defs” sound. It also helps that it was fun seeing Hank stick it to that little philanderer Becca’s dating and that he Becca still have a core relationship that I can’t help appreciate.
“I came, I saw, I turned some words into cash.” –Hank
Hank finishes his script for Santa Monica Cop in record time, and prints it without even using spell check. He’s prepared to deliver the steaming pile, say goodbye to Becca and fly back to New York. Of course it won’t be that easy. As he’s trying to leave, Charlie confesses that he’s lonely and that (imagine this) all the sexual promiscuity and internet porn isn’t cutting it, so we can tell this is going to be a messed up episode.
“Knowing that you were in great pain did make me smile.” –Hank
Even while he’s laid up, Tyler is being a little brat. He got into Richard’s 40 year-old bottle of Chivas – a standing symbol of his sobriety. Plus, he’s taken up residence in Karen’s house and is yelling at her to make him lunch. Hank has a little heart-to-heart with the idiot, telling him not to hurt his daughter and to come clean about his cheating ways. I honestly didn’t think it would be as effective as it was, but I did get a little kick out seeing Hank grab the little jerk’s broken middle finger when he had the audacity to flip him off.
“Not too much boob tube okay?” –Marcy
Charlie is just sitting down to take care of himself with some 70s porn when Marcy and Stu come by with baby Stuart. The kid immediately turns the television on to see the porn, causing his mother to flip a gasket (oh, but that moment in the first episode of Season 5 when Stuart walked into the bedroom is no big deal). After Marcy lectures Charlie, Stuart starts crying because Stu and Marcy forgot the kid’s baby blankie. They ditch Charlie to deal with the temper tantrums on his own.
The British nanny, Lizzie, stops by Charlie’s house with the baby blanket and finds him crying like, well, a baby. He hugs her and takes the baby blanket to Stuart before begging her to stick around. Charlie and Lizzie share a drink and he tells her what a failure he is – and of course adds in how unlucky he is in love. Somehow, this is common ground for the two of them because Lizzie says she’s only approached by creeps and she can’t figure out her direction in life. They start kissing and he just immediately goes for sex. Rather than freaking out, Lizzie seems to understand why he’s doing this and she tells him real girls aren’t like the ones in the porn he’s been watching. While most girls would have fled, it’s like she feels sorry for the poor, lost schmuck. I don’t understand what he did to get this lucky – especially after the soiled napkin he accidentally handed her.
“He almost chopped off one his body guard’s fingers for looking at me in an impure manner.” –Kali
“Like there’s any other way to look at you.” –Hank
Samurai offers for Hank to call him Calvin, says he’s going read the script that day and that he takes this very seriously. There’s going to be hell to pay when he finishes the script and sees how careless Hank was. Hank tries to peace, but Kali walks in disappointed that Calvin is ditching her to read a script. Calvin tells Hank to take her out citing that he “took care” of Tyler for Hank, but when Hank agrees Calvin threatens him with a Samurai sword and makes him promise he won’t sleep with Kali. Because she’s evil, Kali takes Hank to a lesbian club with burlesque dancers and she starts teasing him, but he resists saying Calvin threatened him. Kali says she wants him to put his hands on her and that Calvin doesn’t own her. She’s with him because he’s making her career possible and she says they’re not exclusive.
Later, Kali is getting hit on by some hipster kid, and she’s obviously using it to make Hank jealous. Through some conversation about pubic hair, they escape the short hipster and share a romantic dinner of In and Out Burgers on a hill overlooking Los Angeles. She convinces him to kiss her since he’s leaving and of course they end up doing way more than that. Luckily, Calvin loves Santa Monica Cop – despite the typos – and he keeps playing with Hank, holding a gun to his head and asking if he slept with Kali. Calvin’s just playing with him, but it seems pretty clear that he’s pretty dumb (he didn’t catch the typos or smell Hanks bull – and he believes that Kali didn’t sleep with him). “He fessed up to being a lying, cheating skull-duggerous little man-whore.” –Becca Karen calls Hank because Becca is torn up after Tyler admits he was cheating on her. Hank stops by to see Becca and she says she finally gets why her mom was so taken with Hank – she thinks Tyler is a jerk and she hates him but she still loves him. And then she says “And man, he was a great lover.” And Hank reacts the same way the rest of would, with unintelligible sounds. You don’t say that to your dad. EVER. What is wrong with her? “Sorry, thought I was talking to a friend for a minute there.” Well, that was sweet. Hank misses his plane to comfort Becca and the series shows its heart. Let’s hope it keeps going in this direction, even if it’s nothing new. Are you enjoying this season of Californication? Do you think it’s past its prime? Let me know in the comments or find me on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
As with seemingly every other tentpole release to hit the multiplex this summer the action thriller Cowboys & Aliens is based on a comic book – albeit a lesser-known one. It’s directed by Jon Favreau whose previous comic-book adaptations Iron Man and Iron Man 2 proved how much better those films can be when they’re grounded in character. Unfortunately his latest effort is grounded not in character but a hook an alt-history scenario best expressed in the language of the average twelve-year-old: “Like wouldn’t it be awesome if like a bunch of 1870s cowboys had to fight a bunch of crazy aliens with exoskeletons and spaceships and super-advanced weapons?”
Like perhaps. The hook was compelling enough to get someone to pony up a reported $160 million to find out and the result is a film in which the western and science-fiction genres don’t so much blend as violently collide. After the wreckage is cleared both emerge worse for wear.
Daniel Craig stars as Jake Lonergan a stranger who awakens in the New Mexico Territory with a case of amnesia a wound in his side and a strange contraption strapped to his wrist. After dispatching a trio of bandits with Bourne-like efficiency he rides to the nearby town of Absolution where he stumbles on what appears to be an elaborate Western Iconography exhibit presented by the local historical preservation society. There’s the well-meaning town Sheriff Taggart (Keith Carradine) struggling to enforce order amidst lawlessness; the greedy rancher Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) who really runs things; his debaucherous cowardly son Percy (Paul Dano); the timid saloonkeeper Doc (Sam Rockwell) who’s going to stand up for himself one of these days; the humble preacher Meacham (Clancy Brown) dispensing homespun spiritual advice; et al.
Jake of course has his own part to play – the fugitive train-robber – as we discover when his face shows up on a wanted poster and a sneering Dolarhyde fingers him for the theft of his gold. The only character who doesn’t quite conform to type is Ella (Olivia Wilde) who as neither a prostitute nor some man’s wife – the traditional female occupations in westerns – immediately arouses suspicion.
Jake is arrested and ordered to stand trial in Federal court but before he can be shipped off a squadron of alien planes appears in the sky besieging Absolution and making off with several of its terrified citizenry. In the course of the melee Jake’s wrist contraption wherever it came from reveals itself to be quite useful in defense against the alien invaders. Thrown by circumstances into an uneasy alliance with Dolarhyde he helps organize a posse to counter the otherworldly threat – and bring back the abductees if possible.
Cowboys & Aliens has many of the ingredients of a solid summer blockbuster but none in sufficient amounts to rate in a summer season crowded with bigger-budget (and better-crafted) spectacle. For a film with five credited screenwriters Cowboys & Aliens’ script is sorely lacking for verve or imagination. And what happened to the Favreau of Iron Man? The playful cheekiness that made those films so much fun is all but absent in this film which takes itself much more seriously than any film called Cowboys & Aliens has a right to. Dude you’ve got men on horses with six-shooters battling laser-powered alien crab people. Lighten up.
Craig certainly looks the part of the western anti-hero – his only rival in the area of rugged handsomeness is Viggo Mortensen – but his character is reduced to little more than an angry glare. And Wilde the poor girl is burdened with loads of clunky exposition. The two show promising glimpses of a romantic spark but their relationship remains woefully underdeveloped. Faring far better is Ford who gets not only the bulk of the film’s choicest lines but also its only touching subplot in which his character’s adopted Indian son played by Adam Beach quietly coaxes the humanity out of the grizzled old man.
A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.