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The mixing of genre isn't confusing, it's just not palpable for either of the soundtrack.
New York, New York
Scorsese's take on the musical genre is so Scorsese that I find it amusing at first rather than impressed. For almost three hours, each frame, characters and elements are yelling proudly that they are in the director Martin Scorsese's film. Yet, with his signature method and skillful techniques, this is a troubling and unsettling film. In a way, it is orchestrated to be. But then it is also orchestrated to be a delightfully eye opening adventure. This is how he treats this love story as. An adventure. Thrilling. Conning his way out, Jimmy Doyle played Robert De Niro is told to be up front on the stage as the manager who controls the energy of the room.
He holds an incredible amount of energy in him, and is bouncing across the frame like an energy ball ready to rock, roll and burst. And if he is holding that impressively attracting part of the argument. Francine Evans played by Liza Minnelli gets a better deal. Whatever Jimmy is doing to himself, others and the film, it is affecting majorly to her just like an audience. The only difference is that she gets to speak up.
Which then creates this intensely throbbing and stereotypical couple's fight keeping us at the end of our seats, satisfied. To pack a gusto, in his work, Scorsese has embedded issues like personally or physically unstable and professionally vulnerable situations to checkmate his characters as much as he can. And it works. The only thing that we forget in that moment, is that it is a musical. And every now and then, it has to groove, either with a sad air in the room or a celebratory champagne in the hand. New York, New York is probably titled for the best, it couldn't have craved for more drama and got away with it, by any other name.
This is one of the few truly awful films that Martin Scorsese has made, it's up there with Gangs of New York (2002) and Shutter Island (2010), and it's a pity that it directly succeeds Taxi Driver (1976), one of his best. Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro have no chemistry and Scorsese' intended loving homage to 1940s musicals gets buried under incompetent direction and unfortunate pacing.
Two of the best musicals of the 1940s, You Were Never Lovelier (1942) and Cover Girl (1944), run at 97 minutes and 107 minutes respectively. These run times are fitting but the films are more about catchy songs and extravagant set pieces than plotting and spending only 90 minutes with these thinly written characters allows you to enjoy being in their presence without being bored by them. New York, New York decides not to follow this successful blueprint and stretch it's thin plot out to a whopping 163 minutes of De Niro's saxophonist abusing a hapless, mouth agape Minnelli.
The reason that we very quickly tire of the relationship between Minnelli and De Niro is that they have almost no chemistry, there are several uncomfortable pauses in conversations that are clearly meant to be flirty banter. In addition to this we spend far too much time on each scene, the first scene of the film stretches on for 25 minutes during which De Niro's "humor" is meant to carry the scene, I understand he would later become a comedic actor but his skills are significantly lacking here. This issue continues throughout the rest of the film with protracted scenes of the central couple flirting with a strange sense of disconnect between the two of them.
The film is also nominally a musical, because De Niro can't sing or dance he plays the saxophone whilst Minnelli croons love ballads. I would consider Minnelli to be one of the most overrated actresses of the 1970s, up there with Diane Keaton, but I will admit she has a strong voice and can dance well, as seen in Cabaret (1972). The film utilizes her talents briefly during the New York, New York and But the World Goes Round musical numbers but the music seems randomly dropped in instead of being fully integrated into the story like a proper musical. If Scorsese wanted to make a serious drama about an abusive relationship it would have worked much better with the musical element cut out, the same goes for the musical, if he had fully committed to either of these concepts the film could have worked but as it stands the film seems muddled and unsure of itself.
The titular theme is an iconic song but not in the form that is seen on screen but coming from the lips of Frank Sinatra in his 1980 album â~Trilogy: Past, Present and Future." This is because the performance of songs in this film, an essential element of a good musical, is flat and uninteresting, Scorsese usually so good at choreographing action appears to not have the same abilities when it comes to dance choreography. Almost all music numbers occur onstage but unlike Cabaret (1972), Minnelli's most iconic film, this does not add a realistic texture to the film it just makes Scorsese seem uninventive. The Singin' in the Rain dance number in the eponymous film is my benchmark for a great dance number in a musical, nothing in New York, New York even nips at the heels of Gene Kelly and his delightful umbrella.
I would not recommend this film to anybody unless they were extremely patient, loved Liza Minnelli or were desperately trying to find musicals to watch. The film does not work other than two 3 minute performances of songs and even these are just competent. This is a very disappointing outing from Scorsese and only his 23rd best film when considering this is one of his most productive periods and is wedged between two of his masterpieces, Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980), I was expecting something great. Alas, even Scorsese has had his missteps and I am grateful for the fact that he continued to make films after this major setback, clearly returning to character-driven dramas allowed him to make more interesting, consistent films.
As always, her singing voice can break bowling balls.
The best musical movie ever made! With the best movie song ever sung: the title song!
Here's a great tragedy in the history of cinema, a film that had so much going for it, but ends up just being an absolutely dreadful and boring film, depressing and dreary, with some occasionally great shots yet overall it's nothing but a pathetic mess.
Scorsese delivers a stylish period piece, the actors are good, but the script has serious flaws. A good picture overall.
Seen yesterday , but don't remember that this movie did take that long....Strange ! Nothing wrong with De Niro's Performence ...but the songs and cabaret-stuff from Liza Minnelli was not my cup of Tea ! SOMDVD
New York, New York has that Scorcese feel-Robert DeNiro, great cinematography, New York as its own character. The real difference here pops up in the second half, when Liza Minnelli gives a very long, uneven musical number. Overall, it's a decent film with nostalgia that affects the director, but leaves little impact with me.
Liza and Robert were good together here but you kinda wonder why they didn't get together again. Good but becomes a little stale after some time.
I really tend to appreciate some of the lesser known or less appreciated Scorsese movies and I really appreciated this different movie in his catalog. Scorsese incorporates a lot of music in his films but this is the only time he really made a musical. DeNiro and Minnelli surprised me with how much great chemistry they have in this movie. Minnelli is always a ball of energy in any movie she appears in but she brings out a much warmer side from DeNiro. The music is great, the art direction, costumes, hair/make up, and sound are all great as well though it has some stretched out parts that may have needed some fine tuning