HTF REVIEW: "Analyze That" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Analyze That

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 2002
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 96 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

    Back in therapy

    It's only fair to let all of you know right off
    the bat that I hated Analyze This, the mess
    of a film that should have been castrated so it
    would not have the opportunity to reproduce a sequel.

    I know I'll be with the minority when I say that
    Analyze This was a slow, uneven and only
    intermittently humorous film. It was obvious from
    the start that Robert De Niro, one of the greatest
    actors of all time, had no idea how to approach the
    material he was given. There's nothing worse than
    going to the theater to watch a comedy only to have
    to sit in pain while you watch a man like De Niro
    force a cry.

    As you would expect, I had lowest of expectations
    for last year's sequel, Analyze That, which
    is a good thing, for I was not disappointed. It
    didn't take long for me to see the dud of a movie I
    was up against -- for within the first 30 minutes of
    the film I found myself cringing in pain as I watched
    De Niro jumping on a table and singing selections
    from West Side Story. This is supposed to be funny?!

    What has happened to Robert De Niro's career? With
    films like Showtime, The Adventures of Rocky
    and Bullwinkle, The Score, 15 Minutes
    Meet the Parents it's obvious that the actor's
    career has been spiraling downward. Is there not
    one piece of crap script the actor will not accept?
    How much longer must we suffer alongside this
    actor as we watch the decline of his career?

    Knowing how much I would probably hate this film,
    I set myself up with some small activities I could
    perform if it turned out I wasn't enjoying what I
    was watching. As a special * added feature * to
    this review, I'll discuss some of those activities
    and thoughts that I involved myself with during
    various points of the film. I hope you enjoy this
    bonus feature.


    As the film opens, we find ourselves at Sing-Sing
    prison where mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) is
    serving time. Someone is trying to kill him and the
    only way to figure out who, is for him to get released.
    Vitti begins calling his psychiatrist friend Ben
    Sobel (Billy Crystal) requesting his aid in his
    release. Crystal, having just lost his father,
    is wrestling with how to deal with his own emotions
    concerning the loss. With no help in sight, Vitti
    concocts a scam. He does this by pretending to go
    totally mad, starting a mess hall riot and singing
    tunes from "West Side Story."

    * At this point I decided to jab myself endlessly
    with the fork that was sitting on my end table *


    Sobel becomes entrusted by the FBI with custody of
    Paul Vitti, placing the Mafia wise-guy under house
    arrest in the psychiatrist's own home. Their real
    intent is to get Paul out with his old cronies to
    figure out the "big heist" that's supposed to "go
    down" soon. Of course, as you would expect, Ben's
    wife Laura (Lisa Kudrow), isn't very happy with the
    arrangement -- especially when she finds Paul in
    a bathrobe flashing her relatives.

    * Decided to do something creative at this point.
    I recreated the Kennedy assassination using a can
    of spam luncheon meat. It was kind of cool. *


    For the next hour or so we watch Paul try to
    get the Feds off his back by trying his hand at
    some odd jobs that include a car salesman, a
    restaurant maitre d' and jewelry store worker. Of
    course all these jobs seem to clash with Paul's
    demanding personality.

    * I was a little bored at this point. Thought it
    would be a good time to make a few prank phone
    calls...collect *


    Paul finally gets his big opportunity as a
    consultant on a cable Mob show called Little Caesar.
    You see, its lead Aussie actor (Anthony LaPalgia) is
    in need of some authenticity. Paul uses this
    opportunity of making the show more authentic by
    inviting his old crew to hang around which in turn
    acts as a front to perfect the "big heist."

    * I made up my mind! I am going to date a
    Morman girl! *

    Just when you thought nothing could be worse than
    Analyze This, Analyze That once again
    proves that Hollywood will make anything for the
    promise of an oversized paycheck. This film uses
    the exact same color-by-numbers book that it did in
    Analyze This, except that any comedic balance
    present in the original is now totally absent from
    this sequel. The only encouraging words I can offer
    is that actress Lisa Kudrow (who has a paragraph of
    dialogue in this film) is no longer as "wooden" as
    she was in the first film -- and Robert De Niro has
    actually gotten better at forcing a good cry.

    How is the transfer?

    Nothing wrong here. First of all, this is Warner
    Brothers we are talking about here, so you know
    their "A" title product is going to look as good
    as can be. Images are razor sharp and highly
    detailed. The transfer sports excellent color
    balance and deep rich blacks. There is the
    appearance of background mosquito noise during
    the film's exterior establishing shots, but that
    aside, this is just about as good as can be.


    The film's 5.1 Dolby Digital is about as good
    as you would expect. Dialogue and score are
    faithfully reproduced across the front three
    channels. David Holme's upbeat jazzy score plays
    with a good deal of fidelity and dynamics. Surrounds
    are very limited in their activity, only offering
    a few ambient effect noises such as "echo" during
    an early church sequence, and later, effects noise
    during a high-speed car chase.

    Special Features


    First up is a full-length commentary from a
    man I really admire, director Harold Ramis (Stripes,
    Caddyshack, Ghostbusters). The director begins
    by pointing out the various film locales (a bar
    in Kearny NJ and a mess hall in Riker's Island) as
    well as a whose who list of actors that begin
    appearing on screen. The problem with this
    commentary is that Ramis just doesn't seem to be
    getting into what he is doing. He likes to sit
    and point out locales and actors as well as
    describing what is happening in each scene, but
    there isn't much substance here beyond that.
    I would love to had heard some stories about
    tomfoolery on the set, but instead we get the
    sort of "trivia" information that would be best
    represented in a pop-up text track.


    It's sort of hard to watch a promotional featurette
    for a movie as bad as this, but as a reviewer I
    found myself forced to watch The making of Analyze
    . As you would expect, the only function
    of this marketing piece is to try to convince dolts
    like myself that this movie is actually funny. There
    are interviews with cast members Billy Crystal,
    Robert De Niro and Lisa Kudrow as well as director
    Harold Ramis and producer Jane Rosenthal who give
    us a background on the film and its various characters.
    It's interesting to hear Ramis say that he would
    never return to this film unless he had a unique
    and original story to tell for the sequel. All I can
    say to that is, well...he returned anyway.
    (length: approx. 11 minutes)


    Do you have what it takes to be part of the mob?
    Take the Mafioso Associate Degree Exam and
    find out. Through various word association and
    identify that ink blot questions, you can put your
    Mafioso knowledge skills to the test. Rack up at
    least 60 points and you'll be a Made Man.
    Definitely worth wasting a few minutes of your
    time to look at.

    A cast and crew page offers extensive
    filmographies for many of the principles involved
    with the film.

    The original theatrical trailer is also
    presented here.

    Final Thoughts


    It's a real shame to know that the only reason
    that Analyze That will receive any sort of
    attention on DVD is solely due to the success of the
    original Analyze This. May I just forewarn
    all of you that this is a totally unnecessary sequel
    that provides shallow laughs that you won't be able
    to remember once you eject the DVD.

    Fuh'get about it! Really....FORGET ABOUT IT!

    Release Date: May 13, 2003

    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Oct 31, 1997
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    You know, it seems like Robert De Niro is going the opposite direction of most comedy actors - those who go from comedy to "serious" acting. Take Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey. Both went from comedic fame to try and tackle more serious roles. Bobby D looks like he's trying the opposite tact - with mixed results.

    I, however, did enjoy Analyze This, but missed "That" in the theaters. I will probably pick this up if it is a loss-leader because...well just because! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the review Ron!
  3. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

    Nov 30, 1998
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    Carlo, you might be interested to know that I really liked Analyze This, but I thoroughly hated Analyze That. I strongly advise you rent this one now and buy one in a month or two on eBay at a fraction of the cost [​IMG]
    Ron, I laughed a lot harder reading about your special activities than I did watching the movie!
  4. Tom De Rosa

    Tom De Rosa Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I agree.


    As for Ron, I don't know but everyone I know thinks that MEET THE PARENTS is some funny stuff.

    I also thought THE SCORE was good, if uneven.
  5. Chris Farmer

    Chris Farmer Screenwriter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    Loved Analyze This, loved Meet the Parents. Analyze That was strictly mediocre. I laughed my butt off during the movie, but afterwards, it didn't leave an impact. It was like I knew I'd laughed, but I couldn't remember a single good joke from the film. Pure vapor, worth a rental, but no way I'll be buying.
  6. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

    May 24, 2001
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    I hated Analyze This as well, Ron. I thought it sucked and couldn't understand why everyone thought it was so funny.

    I did like Meet The Parents (and The Score, of the ones you mentioned) and DeNiro should've held out for a sequel to that instead of Analyze This.
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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  8. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

    Dec 29, 2002
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    I haven't seen Analyize That, but both Meet the Parents and Analyze this are superb comedies in my opinion. I would have to disagree about Robert De Niros carrerr, I think to say it is going downhill fast is really quite bizarre. This is a man that has paid his dues and then some, and he can afford a few duds, which Showtime, I will agree, was.

    As for a sequal to Meet the Parents, as far as I know one is still on the way, by the name of Meet the Fockers.... Don't know if De Niro will be in it, but it would seem likely...
  9. Dean Kousoulas

    Dean Kousoulas Second Unit

    Jul 15, 2002
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    Thanks alot for the review Ron, although I thought The Score and Meet the Parents were very good DeNiro films, and the same goes for Analyze This/That. The theater crowd (and myself) was laughing their asses off from start to finish.
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Feb 8, 2002
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  11. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2001
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    Hey, I actually really liked The Score (I think it's because Edward Norton was in it.) and enjoyed Meet the Parents...

    I'll give this one a rent first...
  12. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

    May 11, 2001
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    Well, it is the "it" thing to do right now to bash De Niro, but I am certainly not going to jump on that bandwagon. His performance in CITY BY THE SEA was great (even though the film was not), and THE SCORE, 15 MINUTES and MEET THE PARENTS were very good films. I liked ANALYZE THIS when I saw it in theatres, and I liked ANALYZE THAT just as much. Yeah, it ain't TAXI DRIVER, but it made me laugh, and that is all that matters.

    You guys can bash De Niro all you want, I'd be more than happy to keep seeing De Niro in his "downward spiral" if he keeps making movies like THE SCORE and CITY BY THE SEA.
  13. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2001
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    I have to agree Rhett, I don't see what Robert Deniro has been doing that's so bad. While I haven't seen City by the Sea yet (I dunno...the plot doesn't really appeal to me much) I did like Analyze This, Meet the Parents, The Score (like I said before, it's got Edward Norton in it too, which always helps) and Rocky and Bullwinkle is a bit of a guilty pleasure. (I don't care what the rest of you think. That movie captured the same wicked sense of humor as the cartoon show.)
  14. Jeff D Han

    Jeff D Han Supporting Actor

    Mar 2, 2003
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    Hey Ron, what did you REALLY think of ANALYZE THAT? [​IMG]

    I liked ANALYZE THIS, and I wasnt expecting much when
    I went to the theater for the sequel. It wasn't awful,
    but it wasn't nearly as good as the first. De Niro and
    Crystal's chemistry carries the film (they had to because
    the script sucked). As for other recent De Niro films-
    I liked THE SCORE and CITY BY THE SEA. I thought MEET
    THE PARENTS and SHOWTIME were mediocre, and I hated
    15 MINUTES (what was he thinking?). I don't think
    I'll get ANALYZE THAT.
  15. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

    Oct 17, 1998
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    Jason Hughes
    Don't buy this one, only rent. The characters didnt even seem to be the same from the first one (which I thought was a classic). I usually will buy anything on DVD, even if I never watch it, but I'll pass on this one.
  16. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

    Sep 13, 1999
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    release date come and gone, no comments?

    picture - amazing! pop!
    sound is a bit low.

    movie - I liked it! not as contrived as first I found. more relaxed and 'realistic' in terms of drama.

    quite a few laughs and in-jokes.
    Anthony LaPaglia's appearance was a welcome aspect, showcasing his Australian roots. go Crows!

    guess it's time to watch West Side Story.


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