Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Terrifying First Look Set Pic Of 'Grudge Match' Is A Chilling Reminder Of Where De Niro's Career Can Go

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist February 24, 2013 at 6:36PM

Will all of Robert De Niro's great "Silver Linings Playbook" work be undone in a blink of an eye? The actor has a solid shot at winning Best Supporting Actor tonight despite the fact that Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG award for "Lincoln" earlier this year (the best Oscar augur there is). But his work in David O. Russell's film will go down as one of his finest whether or not he wins. It was an incredibly authentic and charged performance imbued with the anger, frustration and heartache of being a parent struggling with a problem child, on top of the the realization he may have failed said offspring.
7
Grudge Match, De Niro, Stallone, Set image

Will all of Robert De Niro's great "Silver Linings Playbook" work be undone in a blink of an eye? The actor has a solid shot at winning Best Supporting Actor tonight despite the fact that Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG award for "Lincoln" earlier this year (the best Oscar augur there is). But his work in David O. Russell's film will go down as one of his finest whether or not he wins. It was an incredibly authentic and charged performance imbued with the anger, frustration and heartache of being a parent struggling with a problem child, on top of the the realization he may have failed said offspring. 

De Niro's career in the aughts has gone dangerously close to Marlon Brando's late-career arc, which was hard to watch ("The Island of Dr. Moreau," "Don Juan DeMarco," "The Brave" which never even came out). There have been too many "Meet the Parents," "Analyze That" and "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" roles and not enough turns like "The Good Shepherd" (which he directed) or well, "Silver Linings Playbook." Everything else has felt like a paycheck gig or film that never felt terribly inspired. In short, the choices were enough to make you worry.

So on the eve of possibly winning an Oscar, a set photo  – via New Orleans Hornets' Robin Lopez's Twitter account of all people – has surfaced with De Niro and co-star Sylvester Stallone on the set of the boxing film, "Grudge Match." But don't expect "Raging Bull" meets "Rocky" (which would actually be better than what's in store). This is a, gulp, boxing comedy about a  pair of aging rival pugilists who are coaxed out of retirement for one final bout – 50 years after their last match.  More frightening: it's directed by Peter Segal, the filmmaker behind such classics like "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" and "Anger Management." It's the kind of thing we've become used to seeing these days from De Niro, sadly, and a sign that the conventional wisdom believing his career might be back on track thanks to 'Playbook' is a touch optimistic.

Sure, every actor needs to keep it light, but De Niro's had a whole decade of these forgettable films and starring opposite the meathead hack Stallone, it just feels like a career nadir. We'll see if De Niro is down for the KO when "Grudge Match" opens on November 15th.

Grudge Match, set photo (skip)

This article is related to: Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Grudge Match


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates