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Analyze This (DVD)

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Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1999 / Director: Harold Ramis / Actors: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal ... / DVD released 17 August, 1999 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      26.08.2009 10:32
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      Great comedy film

      I'm not a big Billy Crystal fan which for me is a problem as he is one of the stars in this film however he is ideal to play the psychiatrist with little back bone who finds himself being the therapist for a mob boss played by the excellent Robert De Niro. A follow up was made to this but it is not a patch on the original which is a very funny movie indeed.

      This is a good intelligent comedy with the excellent Robert De Niro showing that he is as comfortable in a comedy role as he is in an action role, the guy is one seriously good actor.

      In the film De Niro plays crime boss Paul Vitti who heads up one of the New York families however after an attempt on his life he has panic attacks and is an emotional wreck so decided to see a therapist however this must be kept secret from his enemies and people in his own family as it would put his life at risk if they think he is disclosing family secrets or is not strong enough to lead the crime family. This s not good news for the poor therapist played by Billy Crystal in the role of Dr Sobel who is also in the middle of planning his wedding and now has a patient he is very scared of and has high expectations of what he can achieve.

      This is a very funny film, De Niro and Crystal on screen together work so well and I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions at the clever and intelligent dialogue between the two. The script is well crafted and the performances are excellent.

      I like the fact that one minte you have De Niro breaking down and the next he is full of menace and unresonable demands on Crystal, the scenes where he interposes on Crystal relationship with his fiancee are hilarious.

      A film I would definately recommend and the follow up is pretty good as well.

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        18.05.2009 02:41
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        Worth watching for a night of laughs

        Some of Robert DeNiro's greatest performances have been in films about Gangsters, Goodfella's, A Bronx Tale, but both of those movies were serious dramas, this time around Analyze This takes the Gangster formula and turns into a Comedy, so it was with that in mind that when I first watched Analyze this I thought it would be tough to have Deniro be anything else besides a straight man to Billy Crystal

        The Film opens with a Montage of mob killings during past mob wars and with a discussion between feared Mob Boss Paul Vitti ( Robert DeNiro ) and Dominic ( Joe Rigano ) about an upcoming Mob meeting that will settle everyones futures , Dominic warns Vitti to be aware of rival Mob boss Primo Sindone ( Chazz Palminteri ), while leaving they are attacked by gunman and Dominic is killed, a Distraught Vitti vows revenge.
        Meanwhile a Psychiatrist Ben Sobel ( Billy Crystal ) is facing some personal issues, his patients are annoying him and proving unchallenging and his second marriage to his fiance ( Lisa Kudrow ) is coming up, a chance encounter with Vitti's right hand man "Jelly" ( Joe Viterelli ) turns his life upside down as it begins a sequence of events that connect Ben with Paul Vitti and he quickly becomes Vitti's shrink, and also ends up involved in Vitti's affairs.

        Billy Crystal is a funny man, that much has been proven over the years, however what is surprising about this movie is that given the right person to star with Robert DeNiro can also be very funny, its apparent that Crystal and DeNiro have some great chemistry and that makes the humour and the interaction more realistic and sharp, the story is good with some great scenes and gags and overall it does a very good job of mixing the traditional Mafia movie, with a Comedy, certainly much better than some other movies have done.

        Is this one of the greatest comedies of all time...no, but is it a good funny movie with some great comic acting and some funny scenes...yes. Definitely worth an evenings viewing.

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          01.03.2009 16:12
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          Good mob comedy

          I'm not a big Billy Crystal fan which for me is a problem as he is one of the stars in this film however he is ideal to play the psychiatrist with little back bone who finds himself being the therapist for a mob boss played by the excellent Robert De Niro. A follow up was made to this but it is not a patch on the original which is a very funny movie indeed.

          De Niro plays crime boss Paul Vitti who heads up one of the New York families however the pressure of his work and the constant risk of assassination means he is having a mental breakdown and so he terms to a therapist however his visits must be kept secret from his associates otherwise his life would be in danger. Crystal is his unfortunate choice playing the role of Dr Sobel who is in the middle of planning his wedding.

          I guess similarities to the plot line in the Sopranos is pretty obvious however this is a straight up comedy that relies on the excellence of De Niro, the laughs are all the more obvious given his previous film roles as mafia bosses and hoodlums.

          I like the blend of humour in this film, the threatening menace of De Niro one minute and the next he is crying like a baby, the plot is well constructed and Crystal is the perfect foil while De Niro hams it up as Vitti.

          A nice intelligent comedy that has a good quota of laughs and while not quite to the same standard as Meet the Fockers it is still a good comedy.

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            15.07.2008 12:01
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            Fun movie to watch

            Analyze This released in 1998 is a story about a Mob boss played by Robert DeNiro & Psychiatrist Billy Crystal, directed by Harold Ramis.

            Cast:

            Robert DeNiro (As Paul Vitti)
            Billy Crystal (As Ben Sobol)
            Lisa Kudrow (As Laura MacNamara)

            Plot:

            Paul Vitti is the head of crime gang in New York, for last few days he feels that he has been having Heart Attacks, but doctor suggests him that there are Panic Attacks. There is a big crime meeting in 2 weeks time where every big name from the crime world will be there to discuss about how to go further. A meeting like this had taken place earlier in 1957 when Paul was a child. Vitti is also in war with his arch rival Primo Sindone (Played by Palminteri), so this is also taking on him and his stress out.

            Dr. Ben Sobol is a Psychiatrist who by accidentally meets with one of the right arm of Paul Vitti, Paul is looking out for a shrink who can help him cure from this problem and then he Meets Dr. Ben. Dr Ben is about to get married with Laura in Florida in two weeks time and had taken a leave and wont be seeing any patient, but after meeting Ben, Paul feels good and decides that Ben would treat him. Ben had no choice but ask him that he will start his treatment once he is back from his wedding. But Paul follows him to Florida and now he requires Ben 24 hours a day.

            Will Ben be able to cure Paul in 2 weeks time? What happens with Ben Wedding?

            My Analysis:

            I enjoyed this movie, its lot of fun, and at least better then other Mafia parody. The film is great just because of DeNiro & Billy crystals performance. Its also supported by good screenplay and dialogues and the delivery of it by these two actors.

            The climax of the movie is really good to watch, there is this one scene in which DeNiro says to Billy (You, you,you) its quite funny the way he says and the expression he gives just make you laugh.

            DeNiro once again was at his best and is surely the one for whom you should give a try to this movie & Billy Crystal was very good. Lisa Kudrow was not used much as she didn't have enough for her in the film. Although she did justice to her part in the movie.

            Other gangsters were good with their part in the movie.

            Director Harold Ramis has done a good job in execution of this movies.

            Analyze This is surely a good movie to watch, with good story, funny situations, and top comic performances by everyone. It's a funny movie.

            You can get this movie for better deals even from 99p if you shop around.

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              03.07.2008 10:44
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              De Niro and Crystal make a good comedy film

              This DVD was another of my bargain buys to watch during the football. Me and my hubby were both very impressed with it.

              THE FILM

              The film involves Paul Vitti,. Played by De Niro who is involved with the mob, he has been suffering panic attacks and seeks the help of a shrink so he can get better for a big meeting which is taking place with all the main men of the gangs. Ben Sobel, played by Billy Crystal is the unlucky shrink who Vitti chooses to off load his problems to.

              Bill tells Vitti that he is unable to treat him for 2 weeks as he is going on vacation and getting married, his wife to be is played by Lisa Kudrow. As he sets off on vacation Vitti follows him. Ben is finding that everywhere he goes Vitti is there and in need of help.

              Ben's wedding day arrives but all does not go to plan, did Vitti have anything to do with it? Ben finally agrees to give Vitti the help that he needs but all does not go to plan and the FBI and other gangsters start to watch the pair and Ben finds himself in all kinds of scrapes.

              Will Ben ever get married and will he be able to cure Vitti so he can attend the big meeting of all the heads of the big gangs?

              MY OPINION

              This film states that it is a comedy so I was expecting good things from it, I definitely was not disappointed. Crystal and De Niro are great together on screen and the supporting actors also work well with the pair. At times during the film both me and my hubby were laughing out loud

              The film was packed with funny bits, from Ben rear-ending a mob car and the boot popping open to reveal and bundled up body to the giant wedding present Vitti sent to Ben.

              I would have liked Lisa Kudrow's character to have had more of a part in the film as I do like her as an actress and I feel she could have bought more to the film with her great comic acting.

              The one thing I did not like in the film was the giant collars the mob men wore, for some reason I personally thought they looked horrid, but then again it was easy to spot the gang members.

              The story was very good and it kept me entertained throughout. I found that the run time of 99 minutes was just right.

              EXTRAS

              The DVD contains some extras which are:-

              Commentary by Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro
              Gag Reel / Out Takes

              I personally have not watched these but if I do get round to finding the time then I will return and update the review.

              INFO

              The film was produced by Paula Weinstein and Jane Rosenthal, Directed by Harold Ramis. It was released by Warner Brother in 1999.

              The film has a run time of 99 minutes, which is just right and it has a 15 certificate which is very appropriate as there is quite a lot of swearing in the film.

              I picked my copy up for a bargain price of 99p on eBay so do shop around and find yourself a good bargain.

              Overall I would highly recommend this film to all as it is a great funny comedy.

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                26.04.2008 17:08
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                Analyze This (1999)

                Analyze This is the 1999 film from director Harold Ramis (Egon from Ghostbusters), a comedy that combines a shrink with a mafia boss to comic effect.

                The Plot

                Mafia boss Paul Vitti finds himself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Ben Sobel is the shrink who has only days to cure him of his nervous disposition before a big mafia meeting. If Sobel can't find a trigger to bring Vitti back to his gritty mean self.

                The Cast and Performances

                Robert De Niro plays Vitti, and does so with brilliant presence. He spoofs his own characters in a very wise guy fashion, in a 'Are you lookin at me?!' way. He is on top form here, and combines well with Billy Crystal, acting here as shrink Ben Sobel. His character is a very intensely nervous shrink, understandable when are faced with the top mafia boss and have a time limit in which to cure him.

                The support cast are very good, with Lisa Kudrow providing even more pressure as Laura MacNamara Sobel, and mafia actors Chazz Palminteri and Joe Viterelli giving an authentic mafioso feel to the film. The remainder of the cast do well.

                My Opinion

                This film is hilarious, particularly with De Niro spoofing his own mafia characters. Crystal is the more nervous of the two, and it is funny that he is the one doing the treating. The acting is helped by some clever direction from Harold Ramis, and the dramatic background music helps provide a good mood for the film.

                I like this film. It is very clever all the way through, and doesn't let up once. The intensity is constant, as is the humour, and the two lead actors are outstanding.

                Conclusion

                A hilarious mafia comedy.

                I rate this film at 4 stars out of 5.

                The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.48.

                This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.

                Thanks for reading.

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                  02.09.2007 20:27
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                  Very good movie

                  Oh no, another DVD review by Iama, what a shame as they all suck... >_>

                  Anyway, I got Analyze this/Analyze that from Morrisons for £5 recently and watched them the following few nights (whilst admittedly mildly drunk) so this is the first of a two part review. Despite wanting these for a while it took me around 18 months to finally decide to actually get the bloody things (and at that sort of a price who can refuse?)

                  The movies order is Analyze This then Analyze that (if you want to watch them chronologically anyway), so thats the way I'll review them.

                  Analyze this-
                  The movie opens with a shoot out between rival mobsters and quickly introduces you to Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) and the overall ganster themes that the series has.

                  Then the movie introduces us to psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Bill Crystal) talking to a client and introduces us to some of the surreal humour that we soon get used to. The conversation with the client goes from him listening to the client to him 'snapping' and telling them to get real. Soon after this we see more of the odd humour when a Sobel on the way to his fathers crashes into gangster Vitti's car and the first meeting between the two (and one of the funniest scenes) occurs.

                  After the car crash Sobel hands Jelly (Joe Viterelli) his business card, which really begins the comedy caper. With Vitti being under a fair bit of pressure and it seemingly all on top of him (with panic attacks, an inability to kill people, and erm an inability to use another member his problems just seem to keep growing). So what better for an insecure mob boss then a pyschiatrist.

                  Before long Vitti begins to slowly drive Sobel mad and with Sobel's fiance (Lisa Kudrow) frustrated at Ben and angry at Vitti the comedy just keeps coming. With Michael Sobel (Ben's son played by Kyle Sabihy) beginning to obsess with Paul and Paul almost destroying Ben's life the movie's light hearted humour with gangster undertones really does bode wonderfully well.

                  With a humour storyline, great acting and a wonderful script the movie sits well to me, though I do feel it is aimed more at guys and Lisa Kudrows role does seem a little bit minimal. Though Joe Vitterelli is an addittion to the movie that would sit well in any film.

                  The lack of explosions and killings for a gangster film would perhaps turn some off but easily one of the best movies I've seen all year.

                  The DVD extras are:
                  Wide Screen version (the Disk is double sided with 1 side being full screen, the other being wide-screen)
                  A commentary by Crystal and DeNiro
                  A gag reel

                  The movie does seem to continue DeNiro's gangster role from the likes of Goodfellas, Casino and Godfather and keeps Kudrows ditzy blonde person from friends. However I can't mention much about Crystal as I've never seen him in anything in the past (amazingly I know). Joe Viterrelli really does amaze with his own wonderful comic timing which really helps make the movie.

                  Best moment:
                  The Godfather scene.

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                    19.09.2006 22:12
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                    GREAT FILM FOR ALL DE NIRO FANS

                    Great comedy from Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro of all people. Still playing his gangster roll De niro needs Billy to talk to as he is a phyciatrist, De Niro tells Billy all his problems and he somehow gets too deeply involved and ends up being in the mob hehe! De Niro and Billy become good friends throughout the film tho they are an unlikely pair but is De Niro been to friendly? Liza Kudrow plays Billys fiance who gets extremly fed up with gangster De Niro

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                      16.10.2003 01:47
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                      A few years ago I noticed a film coming onto Sky Movies starring none other than Robert De Niro. It looked like his normal gangster role, which he does so well, but then I noticed one other thing, it also had Lisa Kudrow and Billy Crystal in it. Now that didn?t quite seem to fit but I thought its got De Niro in it and although I?m not a big fan of Crystal I decided to sit down and watch it. When mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert de Niro) starts to suffer from Panic Attacks it cause him great stress. He needs to see a shrink. Luckily whilst on the freeway his driver Jelly (Joe Viterelli) is rear ended by Dr Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). However Jelly happens to have a body in the trunk and doesn?t want to take matters any further but Sobel insists and gives him a Business Card with his address on it. So when Vitti tells Jelly to find him a Head Doctor, the chance collision on the free way happens to have been ideal for Vitti. Of course live isn?t easy for Sobel either, his parents aren?t going to be at his up coming wedding as his father has a book signing. His son listens in on private sessions with his patients, whom he feels don?t over him a challenge any more. However his forthcoming marriage to TV presenter Laura McNamara (Lisa Kudrow) is going to change everything for Ben. That is of course until Vitti turns up at his office without an appointment to see the Doc in order to get his head straight. There?s only two weeks till the big meeting of the Bosses and Vitti needs to be back to his old self by then. However none of the other gangsters in town can find out about this and Vitti only tells his closest friends. However Sobel is being pestered by the FBI to let them spy on Vitti through him, so they can find out about this meeting. In order to make sure Sobel cures him Vitti clears Sobel?s schedule so that he is his only client for the next 2 weeks. This causes problems for Ben as he?s worried about his other patients and the fact Vit
                      ti seems to believe he?s on 24 hour call doesn?t help matters. However when his wife to be finds out who Ben is treating, this causes further problems for him. This is one of those films, that the basic plot summary really doesn?t get across the feeling of just how funny it actually is. In places it?s subtle humour that works well in others it?s the blatantly obvious type but no matter, which type of humour it is the end result is a thoroughly enjoyable film, that really didn?t appeal to me when first released back in 1999. The film comes from Director/Actor Harold Ramis, who was one of the stars of the Ghostbuster films and as a director brought us the classic Groundhog Day. It was important with this film to get the script right not only to suit the characters he had in mind but also the actors playing them. As a result the mafia dialogue is pretty close to what you would expect in a gangster film. The locations work well and for what special effects there are, they are done in such a way not to be over the top, making the film more enjoyable. However it?s the casting choice where I feel Ramis got it right, De Niro although famed for the more serious roles is superb as Vitti. His timing is spot on and he is very believable as a comedy actor. In fact De Niro really steals the show, but that shouldn?t take anything away from Crystal. As I?ve already said I?m not his biggest fan however he really is rather good in this, not his normal smug self. Nowhere near as impressive as De Niro but they do work well together. The main let down for me however is Lisa Kudrow, she seem to have been type cast into that Pheobe from Friends type of character. She seems to always have that over the top kind of style and this film is no different, which is a great let down as I imagine if the character had been written a little differently she would have been really good. This really is a film worth seeing and along with the follow up Analyz
                      e That, De Niro and Crystal seem to have built up quite a partnership during this film, which I think really shows through during their time on screen together. This really is a must see if like me you are a De Niro fan, or if your not it?s a whole new side to the man who continues to make good films.

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                        31.05.2002 03:09
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                        Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal are the stars of this sideswipe at the classic mobster genre with a difference. Lisa Kudrow also features as Crystal's fiancee, but takes very much a backseat as the two male leads bounce off each other to great comic effect. De Niro, of course, is a past master at playing hoods, with the chief memory being the younger version of Marlon Brando's Don in The Godfather Part II. However, Analyze This finds De Niro playing Paul Vitti and demonstrating exactly how great his touch for light comedy is. Most of the plaudits go to De Niro, but Crystal playing Dr Ben Sobol is probably as bearable as he is in anything to date. Vitti is the hoodlum who starts suffering from panic attacks just at the wrong time in his nefarious career, when things are starting to get pretty fraught in Mobster World, and he sends his hoods round to force Sobol to provide him with some very focused and very speedy counselling to help him deal with his affliction. Of course, Vitti, the quintessential Italian American hard man can't accept that anyone as tough as he is can possibly be suffering panic attacks, so Sobol has to tread very carefully to massage his slicked back ego. The stereotyped mobster flick is satirised from start to finish and De Niro gets all the best lines, including "You turn me into a fag, you die." The famous Roger Ebert's review at http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/1999/03/030501.html captures it all really with his first few paragraphs - "Do you know who I am?" the mobster asks the shrink. "Yes, I do." "No, you don't." "No, I don't." "You're good." "Well, I ... " "No! You're good!" "I'm good." It's all richly entertaining and huge fun, although things lag noticea
                        bly when De Niro ain't around and the action is left to Crystal. Take for instance when Crystal is pretending to be the mobster and starts roughing up his hired mobster and talking MOBTALK - it's just lame and embarrassment and a clear reminder of why we always hated Crystal in the first place. De Niro, on the other hand, is good, very, very good and a genius at comic timing. You may find Analyze This a bit predictable and shallow, but I loved it, but only when Crystal is content to stay playing the straight man.

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                          26.02.2002 18:22

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                          a good sunday night film - Advantages: Funny - Disadvantages: Could be funnier

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                          24.11.2001 19:17
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                          Harold Ramis is a director who knows a little about comic timing. His previous work has included the excellent Groundhog Day and he also had a hand in writing the smash hit comic blockbuster Ghostbusters. Fine credentials indeed. Here in this movie he brings together two great names of the silver screen in Billy Crystal(When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers) and a man not exactly know for his comedy - Robert De Niro. You would be forgiven for expecting big things from a movie with credentials such as these to its name. You wouldn't be disappointed. Analyse This is another movie which seeks comedy amongst the murky world of the Mafia and gangsters in the US. There have been plenty of others which have tried to do the same and failed miserably - 'Mafia!' springs to mind straight away but there are plenty of others so I was a little dubious about whether this one would hit the mark or not...the subject matter is certainly a rich picking ground for a director, scriptwriter etc. with some talent to produce an excellent movie, but the past shows that it is so easy to produce unadulterated cr*p from the material. Anyalyse This doesn't do that although to be fair its actual plot is all rather incidental to the proceedings. Mafia Boss Paul Vitti(De Niro) is not a happy mobster. Once able to mame, kill and mutilate without a care in the world he now finds that he is suffering from panic attacks, he cries at sentimental television commercials, life is not what it once was. A mob boss with a heart is a mob bss who ain't gonna live too long, so De Niro seeks the fast track to recovery...Therapy! Wise cracking psychiatrist Ben Sobel(Billy Crystal) finds himself on Vitti's payroll, on call whenever he needs him (or face the consequences) charged with the task of recreating the psychopath within Vitti...not exactly the usual psychiatrist duty! All this needs to be done fast before Vitti's rival Sindone(Chazz Palminteri) finds out
                          and takes full advantage... De Niro plays the straight man in his role of mab boss set against the comic character of Billy Crystal. He basically recreates the same role he has played in gangster movies over the last 20+ years, but here the situations he is involved in are blantantly absurd and often downright hilarious. He plays it straight throughout, complete with the dangerous scowl and beligerent chin-thrusting which has become something of a trademark of his and the deadpan reactions to these situations simply adds to the comic tone. Billy Crystal has the funny lines, but doesn't overplay the comedy aspect of his role so much as to spoil the integrity of the part he is playing. His are more wisecracks than out and out gags, the laughs coming from the situations and his exasperation at them. Ramis doesn't need to feed us a diet of over-used stale gangster jokes throughout this movie but rather just lets the movie run and the humour flow out of the situations and his two perfectly cast leads handling of them. This is why this movie succeeds where virtually every other gangster comedy I have seen doesn't. Around these two are the other mobsters, equally well cast, tough gangster characters such as Palminteri who played the mob boss in 'A Bornx Tale'(which incidentally De Niro himself directed) who all play their parts deadpan and straight as opposed to camping it up. It all works perfectly in this respect. In fact its hard to fault at all. Its not going to be the most hilarious comedy you'll see all years but it could easily be the most intelligent one you'll see. The interplay between the characters is often hilarious, the acting superb as you would expect, so too the comic timing and whilst the plot might be all very incidental to all this, you'll no doubt find that you really do not care one little bit. Just sit back and enjoy, especially if you do like gangster movies and want a little bit of a laugh at thei
                          r expense.

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                            10.09.2001 02:05
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                            Robert De Niro appears along side Billy Crystal in this 1999 comedy where he takes on a familiar role as a New York mob boss, only this time he’s playing it strictly for laughs. The film is director by Harold Ramis who’s other works include ‘ Bedazzled’, ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’. The story is about Paul Vitti (De Niro), one of New York’s most powerful mafia bosses who’s scheduled to attend an important meeting with other members of the mob from around the country. Things are going well for Vitti until he finds himself under fire from another mobster, after which he begins to suffer from panic attacks. Psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) is due to go on vacation where he will marry his fiancé Laura (Lisa Kudrow). Prior to leaving he bumps his car into the back of a car driven by a couple of Vitti’s henchmen and this results with him leaving them his business card. When Vitti confides in one of his men that he would like to speak to a psychiatrist about a friend his man promptly hands Vitti the card given to him by Sobel. Of course Sobel is less than keen to treat him but he soon learns that Vitti is not a man used to hearing the word no. Now I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I didn’t find the film as funny as I’d expected. If anything it reminded me very much of the 1990 film ‘What About Bob’ which starred Richard Dreyfuss as a shrink who is followed on vacation by one of his patients played by Bill Murray. In all honesty I found that film better than this one. The acting and on screen partnership between De Niro and Crystal are excellent and there are a lot of funny moments between the two of them. Crystal is fine despite me not being a big fan of his and DeNiro of course is great. The only exception concerning De Niro are the scenes in which he has cry, I don’t know whether these were made
                            to look intentionally bad or that he’s simple unable to cry convincingly on camera. Sadly we have to put up with the god awful acting of Lisa Kudrow who for some reason I find horrendous to watch, perhaps it’s just me but I find her dreadful in everything she does. One of the films stand out roles has to be that of Vitti’s henchman Jelly. He’s played by Joe Viterelli and appears in the some of the films funniest moments. Personally I don’t feel the film reaches its full potential and I did expect a little bit more from writer/director Ramis. Don’t let me put anyone off watching this, just don’t get carried away with thinking it’s going to be something special, because it isn’t.

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                              08.07.2001 04:45

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                              Analyze This" is not just a title but an invitation--it does indeed deserve some analysis. But none of our hard-earned money. It starts out hilarious and believable, but half-way through it rapidly degrades into caricature and silliness, and just plain runs out of gas. Even DeNiro sounds off his feed; I didn't buy those crying jags for even a second. Other than Lisa Kudrow the only consistent brightness is the juvenile-jolly wit of Kyle Sabihy (as Michael Sobol), but the chance of a rollicking train-wreck (or rollicking anything) between future step-mom and step-son is frittered away, alas. And Billy Crystal? Well, he does with it the best he can, no flies on him. Which is all just too bad. "Analyze This" has a terrific premise (a mobster who muscles up some therapy) and an acerbic, under-used and achingly luscious Kudrow, who not once sports anything briefer than skirt-and-blouse--oh, come on! Some of this takes place in Bal Harbour, so stuff that delicious babe in a bikini! (And some more-serious roles. She deserves them.)

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                              06.07.2001 17:54
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                              What a revelation this film turned out to be. I'd never thought of Robert De Nero as a king of comedy, but this film shows that the man's talents are boundless. The plot is a simple and intriguing one. Robert De Nero plays a mafia mobster called Paul Vitti. Finding himself running into emotional problems which leaves him unable to 'whack' his victims, his cohorts seek help for him via the services of a Psychiatrist called Ben Sobel, played by Billy Crystal. Ben Sobel is an average, run of the mill shrink. His life is starting to sort itself out after a divorce, with plans for a new marriage and settling back down to a peaceful and happy existence. (His future wife is played by Lisa Kudrow, who is Pheobe in 'Friends' and you'll recognise this because I found her to be eerily similar in character to Pheobe. Good job that I like her as that). After meeting the mob by chance, he is introduced to Paul Vitti who takes a shine to him. As with any involvement with the mafia, trouble soon follows and Ben finds himself caught up with world of violence and dishonesty. The film is hilarious. Full to bursting point with snappy one-liners and laid thick with irony, I sat happily spellbound as the story unfolded. The humour is both obvious and surprising, with magical performances from both De Nero and Crystal, whose comedic talents synchronised perfectly for the job. In one scene, Paul Vitti has just survived an assassination attempt and Ben is in the room whilst he's making a phone call to the guy he's feels is responsible. Ben tries to guide Vitti through the conversation, getting him to use words like "closure" and to explain that the situation has upset him. Eventually Vitti reverts to his mobster mentality, hurling invectives and threats down the phone before hurling it across the room. They eye each other as Vitti asks Ben how he coped with dealing with his anger on the phone, and Ben
                              tries to pussyfoot his way round the shambles by suggesting that when he's feeling angry he hits a cushion instead. At which point Vitti takes out his gun and blasts one to smithereens. He then agrees that he feels better for it, and thus one more misinterpretation of Ben's attempts to help Vitti is laid on the road of their relationship. Any fans of the Godfather films will catch onto some of the scenes replayed in this movie, adding an extra comedy diversion to the already extremely funny plot. Timing is the key to good comedy, and this film never misses a beat. It doesn't have weak spots or poor links, and flows flawlessly along, suspending disbeliefs for the duration. Even for the brief snatch of serious acting that occurs towards the end, it doesn't seem out of place and the skills of De Nero keeps it plausible and necessary to the film. Even though it is called the lowest form of wit, I find sarcasm very amusing and I thought it was used well throughout. The film has cleverly and observantly also picked up on the traits displayed by the differing lifestyles. Ben is laconic and shrewdly Jewish. Vitti the passionate, angry and terse Italian. At almost opposite ends of the scales in everything, they actually find they do have a common ground, and that it is also at the core of their beings. Excellent. Thouroughly enjoyable, watchable and genuinely, genuinely funny, this is a film you should go out of your way to catch. Currently doing the rounds on Sky Movies. Tape this.

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                            • Product Details

                              Cast Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal together in a film and it should be a sucker's bet as to who's going to be funnier and who's going to give the more nuanced performance. Somehow, though, De Niro walks away with most of the laughs, mugging gleefully through Analyze This, a buddy action-comedy about a mob boss (De Niro, naturally) suffering from panic attacks who makes a shrink (Crystal, naturally) an offer he can't refuse--actually, it's not really an offer, it's a command. The good doctor is forced to help the gangster get in touch with his feelings. Had the brilliant TV series The Sopranos not underscored how thin and formulaic director-cowriter Harold Ramis's approach to such potentially rich material actually is, the movie--a hit in cinemas (and De Niro's biggest film ever)--would seem more fresh. De Niro is definitely a hoot as the ever milder menace and Crystal actually concentrates on giving a credible performance opposite the acting legend (alas, he doesn't turn his character's fear of his patient into inspired comedy, as Alan Arkin did in Grosse Pointe Blank). The conclusion devolves into the requisite gunplay and Chazz Palminteri and Lisa Kudrow are criminally wasted as an opposing mob boss and Crystal's fiancée, respectively, but overall, Analyze This is breezy fun. --David Kronke