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PCR # 142  (Vol. 3, No. 50)  This edition is for the week of December 9--15, 2002.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Analyze That"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two and a half stars!

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Warner Brothers     
Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Anthony LaPaglia and Cathy Moriarty-Gentile
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

A few years ago, mainstream Hollywood discovered something: Robert DeNiro is a funny guy. Funny how? You mean like a clown? Like he amuses us? Yes, indeed. After showing his humorous side in "Analyze This," DeNiro rode the comedy train to such films as "Meet The Parents" and "Showtime." Now, in "Analyze That," DeNiro shows the funny bone is still intact.

The film begins with mobster Paul Vitti (DeNiro) in prison. With his parole hearing coming up soon, he begins to channel show tunes, singing the entire score of "West Side Story" while in his cell, eating breakfast or visiting with other prisoners. His old psychiatrist (Crystal) is called to see what the problem is. He, too, is shocked that Vitti is doing Broadway. "Stick around," one of the guards tells him, "he does an excellent 'Officer Krupke'." With his hearing approaching soon, and a rumor of problems in the organized crime world Vitti left, the feds place Vitti in his doctor's custody, where he must rehabilitate him on his own. Once out of prison, it is apparent that Vitti has plans of his own about reentering the crime scene.

The story of "Analyze That" is very similar to it's predecessor with one major twist. In the first film, Crystal helped DeNiro deal with his issues with his late father. This film begins at the funeral of Crystal's father, with ensuing scenes showing that he, too, had problems. The funniest parts of the film feature DeNiro trying to go straight by taking "ordinary" jobs, including a car salesman and a maitre' d. He finally finds his niche as the technical consultant for a "Soprano's" type television show. His scenes with head gangster LaPaglia are quite funny. It also is odd to hear LaPaglia, who is originally from Australia, speak with his accent intact. Film fans will also enjoy the "Raging Bull" reunion between DeNiro and Moriarty. My only disappointment was that Viterelli, who was SO funny as Jelly in the first film, doesn't have as much to do in this one.

Though not as consistently funny as it's predecessor, "Analyze That" shows that both DeNiro and Crystal have their comic timing down pat. It's obvious that they are having fun and that makes it an adequate cure for the holiday blues.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Analyze That"  

This week's movie review of "Analyze That" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith.   All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2002, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova.