Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy birthday Al Pacino

Things have been synchronous lately. Latest example: I've been marinating in all things Al Pacino for the past week -- an inaugural viewing of Heat, an immersion in the two-disc Dog Day Afternoon DVD, a casual dip into The Godfathers (which the whore network has been showing in between ample commercialage). Lo and behold, today is the good sir's 66th birthday. For me, Al always wins in a faceoff with De Niro. There's no question, in terms of range and intensity, and Pacino hasn't dwindled into self-parody, despite what people may think (no one is better at yelling). Recommended viewing? Watch Serpico, then Insomnia. The two performances are separated by 30 years, a hoarsened voice and a fermented talent, but you will see very clearly a sustained and exquisite work ethic. [For discussion: Pacino or De Niro, and why?]

9 comments:

t.k. said...

De Niro. Two words: Devil's Advocate.

Write Or said...

Both of them really scare me. I always think of them as angry men who wouldn't think twice about killing me.

Anonymous said...

Hard to choose. The scene with the both of them in Heat is really cool. They're perfectly matched. -Mac

RC said...

And pacino's got good birthday press...he's joining the cast of Oceans 13!

Check it out on my blog!

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

Alanna said...

Ocean's Umpteenth is good press? Oy.

J.J. said...

Yeah, sounds like a paycheck.

Beedow said...

and who can complain about a paycheck? (not this Toy Soldier, that's for sure)

cattleworks said...

Sorry, this is beside the point, but I was slightly confused by your mention of "the whore network", and then I thought, oh, he must mean Bravo.
Then I see you meant AMC.
Then I remembered you referred to Bravo as a "brothel," during Beedow's (understandable) rant about how they were mangling their broadcast of CHICAGO.
Sorry.
Don't mind me, I tend towards the tangential occasionally (the other times I sleep).

Re: I'd have to think about this De niro vs. Pacino thing...

cattleworks said...

Yet ANOTHER reason why I suck:
I've yet to see HEAT.
Between DeNiro and Pacino, I think Pacino's a little more charismatic on-screen. Maybe because some of De Niro's best characters are social outcasts (Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, even his depiction of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull feels that way to me). Although, having said that, I think he's funny in the few comedies he's been in.
Oh, this is a ridiculous thought: I wish DeNiro would do a film with Kevin Spacey just for an opportunity to see Spacey do an impression of him.
A remarkable mimic, Spacey did some impressions on his In The Studio on Bravo some time back and he did great takes on Brando (before he even says anything, watching Spacey's FACE change/morph in front of you is AMAZING) but his version of Pacino is, just incredible, not only because it's Pacino, but with so little: "Aw, funny! Funny guy!"
That's it! He reduces Pacino to those 4 words and yet, Spacey still nails him. So, I'm wondering how Spacey would distill De Niro down...

Another rambling thought: HEAT being memorable for the two acting greats/Godfathers meeting together... I was thinking of how much I LOVE Gene Hackman, too, and now I want to see SCARECROW, with Hackman and Pacino together.