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Martin Scorsese took a daring turn from the mean streets that made his reputation in the early 70s with New York, New York, his homage to the big-band era. And what a homage it is: the dazzling production design by Boris Leven continues to impress over the film's nearly three-hour length. And there's no denying the anthemic appeal of Kander and Ebb's title song, belted with winning bravado by costar Liza Minnelli in a show-stopping finale. But as valiantly as Minnelli and Robert De Niro try, they can't elevate the shaky plot beyond its two-dimensional construct. It purports to be a Star Is Born-like tragedy of colliding careers but too often it feels like inadvertently eavesdropping on a marriage counsellor's most truculent clients. (There are times you want someone--anyone--to slap Minnelli upside the head with a copy of Women WhoLove Too Much.) The film is for diehard Minnelli (or Scorsese) fans only.