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HTF REVIEW: "Analyze That" (with screenshots) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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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
and
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
That
. 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
 

Carlo Medina

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
12,709
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! :)

Thanks for the review Ron!
 

Dmitry

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 30, 1998
Messages
740
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 ;)
Ron, I laughed a lot harder reading about your special activities than I did watching the movie!
 

Tom De Rosa

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
77
I agree.

This=Good
That=Bad

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.
 

Chris Farmer

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
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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.
 

streeter

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May 24, 2001
Messages
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Real Name
Michael
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.
 

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
11,179
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.
I thought they were making a sequel to Parents, but apparently it's not such a sure thing. It's still listed as Meet the Fokkers on IMDB, but it doesn't look like it's actually in production and it might never be...
 

Jonathan Dagmar

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
723
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...
 

Dean Kousoulas

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
332
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.
 

Nate Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
1,152
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...
 

rhett

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 11, 2001
Messages
571
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.
 

Nate Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Messages
1,152
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.)
 

Jeff D Han

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
566
Hey Ron, what did you REALLY think of ANALYZE THAT? :D

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.
 

Jason Hughes

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 17, 1998
Messages
884
Real Name
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.
 

Yumbo

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 13, 1999
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2,227
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Chris Caine
hmmm,

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.

recommended!
 

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