Friday, July 12, 2024

Robert DeNiro Making 2nd Movie with “Grandpa” in Title, With Writer of “SpongeBob SquarePants”


Robert DeNiro will not stop making terrible movies no matter what anyone says. He’s now signed to star in “War with Grandpa,” his second movie with the word Grandpa in the title in a year. The first one was “Dirty Grandpa,” which had an 11 rating on RottenTomatoes. Eleven.

DeNiro is currently starring in “Hands of Stone,” which has struggled to earn $5 million at the box office. He goes a very good job in it, but the movie has not connected with audiences.

“War with Grandpa” is not directed by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, or David O. Russell, or any other ‘name’ director. It’s by someone named Tim Hill, whose last feature credit is for a TV movieĀ called “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” made in 2014. He is best known as the creator and writer of the “SpongeBob Square Pants” TV series.

As the unofficial president of the Robert DeNiro fan club, I am chagrined. For every decent film DeNiro makes, there are five like this one. There is “Analyze This,” but also “Analyze That.” There’s “Meet the Parents,” plus the two sequels. “Grudge Match”? “Heist”? “The Bag Man”? Hello? “The Big Wedding”? “The Family”? The list goes on and on.

Even when the movie is bad, DeNiro is good. And when the movie is a surprise and DeNiro is top notch– as in “Silver Linings” or “Joy”– it’s a pleasure to see him. But these terrible films now weigh down the Oscar winner’s really great films with Scorsese, Michael MannĀ  (“Heat”), Barry Levinson (sublime “Wag the Dog”), Nancy Meyers (the charming “The Intern”) and so on.

DeNiro should be spending this time of his career working with great writers and directors, making important films. “The War with Grandpa”? Please, no.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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