I Have to Step in Here

YEAH, HE SUCKS.

There is just too much Pacino bashing in the last thread.

He’s over-rated and over-hyped? I read that shit and then I realize how Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas in what I will consider the greatest Oscar crime forever.

Fer fuck’s sake. Dog Day Afternoon? The Godfather I and II? Scent of a Woman? Donnie Brasco? Scarface? Carlito’s Way? Serpico? The Insider? Sea of Love with the most fantastic Ellen Barkin? Angels in America?

I’ll give you Gigli and 88 Minutes, but his soliloquy at the end of the Devil’s Advocate and Scent of a Woman alone are screenfilm accomplishments.

If Pacino is overrated in your eyes, I don’t want to hear what you think about Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Alan Arkin or Sean Penn or Robert Redford or Jack Nicholson or FSM forbid DeNiro. Al Pacino is a gift to the country we probably don’t deserve.

Hoo-ah. And I do not claim to be an expert, but his performances have been great. Although, just to give you a baseline, I think John Lithgow as Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp is one of my favorite all time performances. Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie is good, too. And Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.

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257 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    I support Pacino. But Di Nero hasn’t done anything original in decades.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Pacinobot.

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    All I can say is I despised ‘Scent of a Woman’. His voice drove me insane.

  4. 4
    eemom says:

    The fuuuuh? I posted one positive comment about Pacino, went off to fold some laundry, and…..

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    How much is too much bashing?

  6. 6

    Al Pacino is alright, I prefer British thespians. *ducks*

  7. 7
    mdblanche says:

    I think I missed something. What does Pacino have to do with the Olympics?

  8. 8
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Don’t forget You Don’t Know Jack.

    Sure, he goes for the caricature Pacino performance at times. But he’s still got it going on. And that’s probably why people dis him at times – because he has reached so high and attained.

  9. 9
    gogol's wife says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Me too.

    He is good in Sea of Love and Godfather I and II. And Panic in Needle Park, although that movie made me faint.

  10. 10
    Ronnie P says:

    Scent of a Woman sucked. Glengarry Glen Ross not even mentioned? Wtf?

  11. 11
    ed says:

    Pacino is beyond self-parody. (De Niro and Nicholson are too.)

  12. 12

    @ed: Nicholson plays himself in every movie.

  13. 13
    hugely says:

    @Ronnie P: yup Ricky Roma takes the cake

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    As far old bulls of the cinema go, I’d like to add Robert Duval and Gene Hackman. I’m trying to remember the last new thing I saw Nicholson in. I guess The Departed, which I liked more than just about everybody.

  15. 15
    eemom says:

    um, Pacino wasn’t in Goodfellas, also too.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    He’s a national treasure. Period. End of story. Godfather alone, FFS.

  17. 17
    Redshirt says:

    Pacino plays Pacino and gets rave reviews. Bra-fucking-vo.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    @eemom:

    I think that was just another example of the injustice of the cold, cruel, universe.

  19. 19
    Billy Dilly says:

    Since football season is coming, I would like to give a plug for Pacino in Any Given Sunday. And Thank You John for saying about how GoodFellas was robbed, though Joe Pesci got the Best Supporting Award.

  20. 20
    Steeplejack says:

    @Cole:

    What blog are you reading?! There was one comment that disparaged Pacino’s scenery-chewing—a well-known but not career-killing tendency—and the other handful of comments that responded were pretty mild and mostly pro-Pacino. Jee-sus. Yeah, people did point out which Pacino movies they like better than others, but that’s not a crime.

    I think the key to Pacino is that he needs other strong actors to play off against, but when he is put in the “big star solo showcase” mode his worst habits come out. Maybe it’s the writing, maybe it’s the direction; I don’t know. I think he’s a great actor, but some Pacino movies are definitely more equal than others.

  21. 21
    Hunter Gathers says:

    You forgot Heat. If Samuel L. Jackson gets a quarter for every time somebody utters the word motherfucker, he should get a dime.

  22. 22
    Heliopause says:

    I didn’t read the last thread but, yeah, Pacino is overrated. That doesn’t mean he’s bad, he’s a decent enough actor, but certain career breaks can ensure that you get cast in good roles for a long time regardless of your actual talent.

  23. 23
    Keith P says:

    I read that shit and then I realize how Dances with Wolves beat Goodfellas in what I will consider the greatest Oscar crime forever

    I was trying to think of bigger crimes but am struggling. I could have sworn Shakespeare In Love stole it from another film, but I’m not seeing anything on par with Goodfellas. There’s The Color Purple getting totally shut out, I guess. I know I’m missing something, though…maybe any of Jack Nicholson’s Oscars.

    I’ll throw Sean Penn out there as one our truly great transformative actors. When he’s in a role, he’s the character, not Sean Penn playing the guy (ala DiCaprio, who I can barely watch). Penn in Carlito’s Way was an incredible performance where I always forget who I’m watching.

  24. 24
    John Cole says:

    @eemom: no screaming eagle shit. I never said he was.

  25. 25
    efgoldman says:

    Before Pacino became Pacino!!, I saw him in the Boston Shakespeare Company’s low-budget production of Richard III at Church of the Covenant in the Back Bay, early 1970s. It was the only live version of the play I’ve seen, and at the time, the only version I’d ever seen besides Olivier’s film. It was a revelation.
    [The production also featured Paul Benedict, the lantern-jawed guy in the bowler hat who would show up randomly on Sesame Street and paint letters or numbers on the wall. Best known as a regular on The Jeffersons.]

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    @Keith P: Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan. I was furious.

  27. 27
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Me too but I am a tad biased. I could watch Anthony Hopkins read the phone book, ditto Johnathan Pryce (wait I seem to have a fondness for Welsh actors). My current fav is David Tennant, loving him in Broadchurch, absolutely adored his performance in Much Ado About Nothing, and I have recently become aware that his Hamlet has been called one for the ages (and he is the sexiest Dr. Who ever). Also have to admit loving Devils Advocate because my poor, beloved, much maligned Keanu is in it. Pacino has an “eat the scenery” quality about him that some find impressive but I much prefer the understated performances of other actors. Morgan Freeman is god in that regard.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’ve never been a huge Dustin Hoffman fan, but he was just getting in good that HBO/David Milch racetrack series when they cancelled it, playing a heavy role out of the DeNiro/Pacino model, and he could be a scary fuck. Dennis Farina, too, RIP.

    @Betty Cracker: I started out watching football and looking at The Godfather on AMC during commercials, but it kept pulling me back in! Michael’s about to me with the Turk.

  29. 29
    Botsplainer says:

    My secretary used to be Philip Seymour Hoffman’s personal assistant.

    From an A list guy to me. Hah!

  30. 30
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: This is why you have a drinking problem. You let this kind of thing make you furious.

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Nicholson plays himself in every movie.

    So did Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and John Wayne, also too.[/grandpa simpson]

  32. 32
    SectarianSofa says:

    I AM GONNA CHEW SOME CURTAINS, MOTHERFUCKERS!

    I didn’t read beyond the first line in the post, so I totally agree with John that Pacino sucks.

    Am I the only one here that doesn’t give two rats asses about the Mob stuff (Godfather, Sopranos, etc.)?
    (Really, I can appreciate they’re well done, that’s not the issue … theme I don’t care much for.)
    I kind of liked Ghost Dog, though.

  33. 33
    srv says:

    And Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.

    Another guy who hasn’t played another character in 30 years. Who are the Gary Oldman’s of that generation?

  34. 34
    Billy Dilly says:

    @Keith P: When Martin Scorsese wo best director for The Departed, it was more of the Academy’s apology to him for screwing him out of the other films he was nominated.

  35. 35
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    no screaming eagle shit. I never said he was.

    ok, ok. It was just the context was a bit confusing, ‘zall.

    And Jayzus Kroost, calm down. I’m on your side here, ferfuxsake.

  36. 36
    srv says:

    @SectarianSofa: > Ghost Dog

    That was a samurai movie with the Yakuza replaced by the American equivalent.

  37. 37

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Currently, I love Cumberbatch like the majority of the female population. I also like Gary Oldman, the way he disappears into a role. I recently saw Smiley’s People and Guinness was great in it. I could go on, but you get the idea.

  38. 38
    efgoldman says:

    @cathyx:

    This is why you have a drinking problem. You let this kind of thing make you furious.

    I think maybe you’ve reversed cause and effect, there.

  39. 39
    Billy Dilly says:

    @srv: Christopher Walken?

  40. 40

    @efgoldman: I have seen one movie with Clark Gable in it, Gone With the Wind and one with Spencer Tracy, Judgment at Nuremberg and none with Wayne. So I can neither agree nor disagree.

  41. 41
    cathyx says:

    @efgoldman: I think that people who let every little thing get to them use drinking as an excuse to escape the emotions. First you get riled up, then you drink to cope with that feeling.

  42. 42
    srv says:

    @cathyx: You people can’t handle the truth.

    This is John when he isn’t drunk. Angry John is the best blogger in the blogosphere.

  43. 43
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Ever since Scarface, he’s been terribly uneven. Scent of a Woman sucks donkey balls.

  44. 44
    Lee says:

    Scent of a Woman is AWESOME!!!

    Suck it all you haters :)

  45. 45

    I think Matt Damon is overrated. He is good in action movies that’s all.

  46. 46
    Maeve says:

    Since I’m really bad at names, I once described Pacino as “that actor who used to be really good but now over-acts” . This was in attempting to desCribe the movie “Insomnia”, in whiCh Robin Williamms play.s the villian and underacts.

    Sorry for the mixed caps I’m on my ipad.

    The Swedish/Norwegian version of insomnia is better.

  47. 47
    Suffern ACE says:

    Meh. I still think he’s too short to be a leading man.

  48. 48
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Speaking of good acting (voice only). If anyone has the chance to get the new (as in 10 years ago or so) Under Milk Wood recording starring Anthony Hopkins as first voice and Johnathan Pryce as second voice do get it. It has a host of veritable giants of the Welch entertainment industry and is brilliant. I had it on cassette (eeek) and loaned it to someone once that never returned it. I used to love lying on the couch listening to it while sipping a glass of wine.

  49. 49
    SectarianSofa says:

    @srv:

    Well, yeah, sorta. Which is why I mentioned it, as, I think, in keeping with something that one might have also mentioned if one were, like me, so stupid as to not like Goodfellas, Godfather(s), etc..
    Self-deprecating troldhaugen humor.

  50. 50
    cathyx says:

    @Lee: How could you stand his voice in that movie? It grated on every nerve in my body.

  51. 51
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    I think there’s degrees of that “playing yourself” problem. On one end you’ve got Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery, who just don’t step out of what they’ve always done (no I never watched Bridges of Madison County, so if that’s your exception I’ll just go ahead and take your word for it) and always sound the same and carry themselves in a similar way. On the other you have people like Pacino and DeNiro and heck, Will Smith, who have such strong, iconic personalities that shine through whatever role they’re in that to a certain extent they will always look like they’re playing themselves. What Pacino and DeNiro did in Godfather II was incredible, and Smith can be terrific at times (Pursuit of Happiness was a pretty compelling performance, for one), but you always know you’re watching them. I’ve seen people get cranky about Denzel Washington getting raves for Training Day because he played the angry black man so well (though honestly that complaint would make a lot more sense if Samuel L Jackson got an Oscar for yelling at the camera). There just aren’t that many people who can play any character and make it work. Tom Cruise tries, but he’ll always be Maverick and Daniel Caffey in my eyes because outside of that character type he’s just not nearly as convincing.

    I guess the short version is that every actor plays himself in every role and just tweaks his identity to fit his (and the director’s) interpretation of the part. Some just have a wider range than others, and are more suited to some characters over others. Playing real-life figures rather than fictional ones can help too (Hopkins as Hitchcock and Streep as Thatcher are just two really good recent examples that come to mind) because the characters are often more developed. That’s also why doing a great acting job as part of a great movie is the kind of thing that only happens a few times for even the greatest actors.

  52. 52
    eemom says:

    @cathyx:

    This is why you have a drinking problem. You let this kind of thing make you furious.

    This is why you’re an asshole. You make a smug, condescending and utterly fucking clueless comment like that on a thread that has nothing the fuck to do with his drinking problem.

    Yo genius, since you’re so brilliant at divining the hidden truth about everything — tell us more about how I’m Cole’s secret Lady Friend.

  53. 53
    patroclus says:

    Cruising, Gigli, Two for the Money, Panic in Needle Park, Me, Natalie, Frankie and Johnny, S1mOne, People I Know, Gigli, Two for the Money, 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill, Jack and Jill, The Son of No One, Wilde Salome and Stand Up Guys all stunk. I liked And Justice for All, Any Given Sunday, The Godfathers, GlenGarry Glenn Close and, of course, Scarface a lot.

  54. 54
    Steeplejack says:

    @Maeve:

    The Swedish/Norwegian version of everything is better. Wallander, The Killing, etc., etc.

  55. 55
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Keith P:

    I was trying to think of bigger crimes but am struggling.

    Titanic over LA Confidential.

    Driving Miss Daisy over Do the Right Thing, which wasn’t even nominated.

    A Beautiful Mind over just about all the other nominees, especially Gosford Park.

    Those are all worse injustices, just in recent memory.

    Gladiator is one of the worst recent winners, but that was a weak year so the injustice wasn’t as great.

  56. 56
    Keith P says:

    @Billy Dilly: I’ve got a friend who thinks The Departed is one of the greatest movies ever. I told her that it’s not even close to being Scorcese’s best and loaned her Goodfellas. Came back with a “meh”. Unfreakin’ believable (and I really don’t like The Departed; I think it’s extremely overrated due to my aforementioned dislike of DiCaprio, my opinion of Nicholson’s acting chops, and the stupid – STUPID – rat scene at the end.)

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @patroclus: GlenGarry Glenn Close

    A great concept for an SNL skit, Alex Forrest in the Alec Baldwin part, or the Marquise de Mertuil, but it went on too long.

  58. 58
    cathyx says:

    @eemom: And I think you have an anger problem.

  59. 59
    Mike in NC says:

    Adam Sandler is America’s modern answer to Lawrence Olivier.

  60. 60
    srv says:

    @Billy Dilly: For years, I just assumed Walken was a foreigner. So yeah, him.

  61. 61
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @efgoldman: I think you’re right, I quit reading GOS and quit drinking.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    Tom Cruise tries, but he’ll always be Maverick and Daniel Caffey in my eyes because outside of that character type he’s just not nearly as convincing.

    When Cruise is actually called on to act, he is capable of putting on a very good performance. Most of the time, though, he’s asked to be a movie star rather than an actor, and he winds up trying to get along on charisma rather than acting.

    And as for actors always playing themselves, please tell me who the real Daniel Day Lewis is.

  63. 63
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Steeplejack:

    You mean the untranslated versions? I always felt fine watching Bergman movies with subtitles…

    Pacino with subtitles would be nice. Pacino as Death in the Seventh Seal.

  64. 64
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think that is what I love about British actors is that they “disappear” into the role, whereas American actors always appear to be playing themselves. I would be more than happy to be disproved of that opinion but it always seems to be the case. I bet if you ask the majority of Americans who absolutely love “House” if Hugh Laurie is American or British they would overwhelmingly say that he is American, because they cannot imagine an actor being able to play a part so well. It does not seem to happen in the reverse (do not GET ME STARTED on Kevin Costner as Robin Hood, do not go there, do not even). You can ask the majority of Americans who saw “SWAT” if Colin Farrell was American and the result would be the same.

  65. 65
    Ronnie P says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Forrest Gump isn’t even worth a mention for most undeserving?

    The truth is, it’s rare that the a oscars pick a winner. He’ll, I don’t even think Argo is going to be remembered decades from now.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bobby Thomson:
    Crash over Brokeback Mountain?

  67. 67
    TomG says:

    I definitely agree with you on Pacino. And I’m glad that you mentioned “Angels in America”, what a great adaptation that was, Pacino was great, everyone else in it was great.
    I single that mini-series out because Sully hated it. I’ll never understand what he had against it, but I remember being puzzled by his attitude towards it.

  68. 68
    patroclus says:

    Oh. and I forgot Tropic Thunder! Alpa Chino was great in that!

    Recently, I thought he did well in creating a believable Phil Spector, but the HBO film stunk.

    John Wayne was fantastic in the Searchers! But if you want a GREAT read, get Empire of the Summer Moon about the real Comanche Raid on the Parkers upon which the Searchers was based. Riveting, fantastic book! Read it!

  69. 69
    Anton Sirius says:

    I would like to give a plug for Pacino in Any Given Sunday.

    Umm, he got out-acted by Cameron Diaz in that one. Yeah, the Gipper speech is good, but that’s not due to his delivery of it.

    …And Justice For All was the beginning of the end for Pacino. A thoroughly mediocre movie, but all anyone remembered was “You’re out of order!!!” You can trace the arc of his career down from that, straight through “Say hello to my little friend!”, and then the Oscar for “Hoo-ah!” just cinched it. He became a sound bite actor, and when he does try to reclaim his acting chops he winds up doing embarrassing crap like Merchant of Venice.

    Ricky Roma’s weary bluster was the last time Pacino was within spitting distance of great, and that was 20 years ago. The subtle, searing, inevitable fall of Michael Corleone has vanished in the rear view and isn’t coming back.

  70. 70
    Suzyq says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Forrest Gump over Pulp Fiction.

  71. 71
    srv says:

    @Keith P: The Hong Kong version was better (Infernal Affairs).

    Honestly, any US remake of anything shouldn’t be eligible for any award.

  72. 72
    SectarianSofa says:

    @cathyx:

    The name of that movie, with the preview shot with blind Al Pacino sitting at a table looking creepy, was enough to keep me away. Also, Pacino can overact the shit out of some shit, so there was that. Also, Blind! Al! Pacino! Oscar! Contender! Material!

  73. 73
    Billy Dilly says:

    @Keith P: Oh man I would have to be contained in cuffs if anyone told me The Departed was better than GoodFellas, hell The Departed was Scorsese’s weakest gangster film, and IIRC it was an American version of a Chinese film Infernal Affairs.

  74. 74
    patroclus says:

    @Roger Moore: Cruise is very good in Valkyrie. I was originall very negative towards it because of the Scientology stuff, but the film is actually very goos and Cruise does a good job with Stauffenberg.

  75. 75
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Ronnie P:
    I don’t remember it and I just saw it last week….

  76. 76
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Roger Moore: Bill the Butcher.

  77. 77
    SectarianSofa says:

    @patroclus:

    Cruise really does all right considering what a freaky motherfucker he is in real life.

  78. 78
    burnspbesq says:

    If you think all DeNiro does is be DeNiro, you need to see Ronin.

  79. 79
    Comrade Nimrod Humperdink says:

    @Roger Moore: Well played sir. Lewis is a bit of a hole in the theory.

  80. 80

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Believe it or not, I have never seen House, but I am big fan of Hugh Laurie, loved his Bertie Wooster, he has a great talent for comedy. Also 40 something, bonus, it has baby Batch. I agree with your characterization in general about British and American actors. There are probably some exceptions that I can’t think about right now.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Thanks! Just ordered the CD from Amazon. Looking forward to it.

  82. 82
    Ronnie P says:

    Cruise was fine in Magnolia. And The Outsiders.

  83. 83
    Narcissus says:

    Here I thought the Russian anti-gay pogrom was a pretty important topic for discussion but then I guess Pacino isn’t in that one

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    For the biggest travesty in Academy Awards history, you have to go back to 1942.

    How Green Was My Valley over Citizen Kane for Best Picture.

  85. 85
    SectarianSofa says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If anyone rates him over what you said, yes, he’s over-rated. He’s the smartest kid in a class of dummies.

  86. 86
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Titanic over LA Confidential.

    That one was considered a grave injustice at the time, but history’s on the Academy’s side on that one.

    Titanic, for better or for worse, is the modern Gone With the Wind.

    Most people wouldn’t even remember LA Confidential happened unless you reminded them.

  87. 87
    SectarianSofa says:

    @SectarianSofa:
    And I don’t mean that in a good way. Because he’s at least half moron.

  88. 88
    srv says:

    @burnspbesq: Ronin is an awesome movie, but it wasn’t a stretch. Interchangable with Heat, The Score, Righteous Kill, Cop Land…

  89. 89
    raven says:

    None of you dopes ever saw him in Scarecrow. Great fucking performance.

  90. 90
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Ronnie P: Pulp Fiction is the better movie, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Forrest Gump for personal reasons.

    @Roger Moore: Didn’t see either one of them so I can’t comment.

    @patroclus: Tropic Thunder was also one of the good Cruise movies, but as in Magnolia, I think he was just playing himself.

    @Anton Sirius: …

    And Justice For All was the beginning of the end for Pacino. A thoroughly mediocre movie, but all anyone remembered was “You’re out of order!!!” You can trace the arc of his career down from that, straight through “Say hello to my little friend!”, and then the Oscar for “Hoo-ah!” just cinched it. He became a sound bite actor, and when he does try to reclaim his acting chops he winds up doing embarrassing crap like Merchant of Venice.

    Agree that And Justice for All is a terrible, overrated movie, like virtually every movie about lawyers – and is a perfect example of Bad Pacino, but he’s still capable of more understated stuff.

  91. 91
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    Titanic, for better or for worse, is the modern Gone With the Wind.

    Crack kills, son.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Anton Sirius: You have to be fucking kidding. That bullshit piece of tripe was so bad it didn’t even deserve a razzie. Jesus.

  93. 93
    danielx says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Seconded. Yeah, it’s a Michael Mann movie, but the scene where Pacino the cop and DeNiro the bank robber are having coffee in the diner is truly a classic.

  94. 94
    lojasmo says:

    Ugh. Yatsuno was going to pick me up at SEA at 8:15, but I missed my flight, and won’t get there until 9:15. I lost his number in the facebook chaos. If anybody knows his email address or phone number, please let him know I’ll be late.

    My number is in my facebook profile.

  95. 95
    Alison says:

    Love Pacino, if for no other reason than Heat gave me and my friend our favorite response anytime someone says something could kill you/you could die from something/etc.

    “You could get killed walking your doggie!”

    I do not know why, but we cracked the fuck up at that line every time.

  96. 96
    drkrick says:

    Marisi Tomei over Jessica Tandy?

    Insert the story about a studio exec telling Harrison Ford he “didn’t see a star” when he was in a bit part and Ford replying “I thought you were supposed to see a bag boy.” Which resulted in Ford spending the next five years as a carpenter before he could get another acting job.

  97. 97
    patroclus says:

    Robert DeNiro was recently in a movie with Paul Dano called “Being Flynn” which is a real downer of a film, but DeNiro did a great acting job in creating this really annoying loser – he’s still got some acting chops in him.

  98. 98
    SectarianSofa says:

    And since I’m picking on everyone … hmm, good performances. I thought Mark Wahlberg in I Heart Huckabees was quite good. Most everyone in Zoolander was stellar. Or am I thinking of Moonrise Kingdom? Either way, casting was excellent in both.

  99. 99
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I have to agree about Keanu. His greatest role was in The Watcher. Very creepy. Still, who didn’t eventually want to punch Neo in the throat during the Matrix movies?

  100. 100
    Roxy says:

    Samuel Jackson was great in Shaft. Loved the movie. Loved him in that long leather coat.

  101. 101
    raven says:

    @lojasmo: I facebooked him

  102. 102
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Crack kills, son.

    That’s better than the response I had in mind. AFAIC, L.A. Confidential was the best movie of the 1990s.

  103. 103
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @srv: Ghost Dog! Can’t believe I forgot about that film! Forrest Whitaker should be given more complex roles like that. Grossly underrated actor.

  104. 104
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Crack kills, son.

    I know more about movies than you ever will, SON. If you want to throw down about film history, bring it. I will own you.

    And your opinion is very, very wrong about Titanic.

  105. 105
    Redshirt says:

    DeNiro is a hundred times the actor Pacino is.

  106. 106
    patroclus says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees: Nah, his greatest role was as Scotty Favor in My Own Private Idaho. But he’ll always be known for Bill and Ted…

  107. 107
    lamh36 says:

    wait you forgot to add Pacino playing himself as the love interest of one Adam Sandler in drag in that movie about twins, Jack and Jill.

    Or maybe ya’ll want to wipe that role from your memory…lol

  108. 108
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @SectarianSofa:

    Most everyone in Zoolander was stellar. Or am I thinking of Moonrise Kingdom?

    I’m…wondering how you can confuse those two.

  109. 109
    eemom says:

    @Keith P:

    I was trying to think of bigger crimes but am struggling.

    Here, let me help ya — that a bunch of supposedly intelligent people think that what wins Teh Oscar actually is any kind of metric of the quality of a film that is worth giving a shit about.

    meh, fuck it…..imma go see what mclaren’s up to on Betty’s Assange thread and chill out.

  110. 110
    raven says:

    Pete Postlethwaite got robbed for In the Name of the Father in 93. The Fugtive was tripe.

  111. 111
    burnspbesq says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    I know more about movies than you ever will, SON

    Aww, not that shit. Get a grip.

  112. 112
    lamh36 says:

    oh and the biggest tragedy is that Color Purple was shut out of Oscar contention…period.

    And Do The Right Thing never got its do.

    Oh and I’ma let ya’ll finish, but Denzel Washington is the BEST American actor of his generation. And he was robbed for both Malcolm X and The Hurricane!

  113. 113
    Steeplejack says:

    @SectarianSofa:

    You mean the untranslated versions?

    Not sure exactly what you mean. I usually prefer subtitles, but I don’t automatically freak out over dubbing.

    What I meant was that I prefer Swedish Wallander to Kenneth Branagh Wallander, Swedish Forbrydelsen to American adaptation The Killing, Norwegian/whatever Insomnia to Pacino Insomnia, etc.

  114. 114
    zmullls says:

    100 posts and *nobody* but *nobody* has mentioned THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.

    See that film and try to bash Pacino, Philistines.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eemom: meh, fuck it…..imma go see what mclaren’s up to on Betty’s Assange thread and chill out.

    Re-enacting Russell Crowe’s part in A Beautiful mind. Just read the first letter of every line.

  116. 116
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Lay on the couch with a glass of wine and let it wash over you. It is absolutely wonderful.

  117. 117
    raven says:

    @Anton Sirius: Motherfucker you are worse than Ted and Helen. Get the fuck out of here with that weak bullshit before I come down there and slap the shit out of you.

  118. 118
    RSA says:

    @efgoldman:

    Before Pacino became Pacino!!, I saw him in the Boston Shakespeare Company’s low-budget production of Richard III at Church of the Covenant in the Back Bay, early 1970s. It was the only live version of the play I’ve seen, and at the time, the only version I’d ever seen besides Olivier’s film. It was a revelation.

    I haven’t seen a lot of Pacino movies, but I thought Looking for Richard was remarkable. Actors are often much more impressive on the screen than off; Pacino is definitely an exception.

  119. 119
    raven says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Things goin ok?

  120. 120
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    But it would be an interesting universe in which it *was* possible to confuse the two. So, I chose that one.

  121. 121
    I Heart Breitbartbees says:

    @srv: Speaking of American remakes that suck (bonus points because Tom Cruise sucked in it too), Vanilla Sky was horrible! Abre los ojos was superior in every way. Also, use subtitles if you don’t know the language, or don’t bother watching it. Those who choose dubs are posers who hate movies.

  122. 122

    We’re watching “Compliance.” Deeply disturbing, all the more so when you remember that THIS SHIT REALLY HAPPENED.

  123. 123
    The Dangerman says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    And your opinion is very, very wrong about Titanic.

    You CAN’T be sirious.

    Sorry, had to; Dodgers won and I’m +? now….

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees: What about Sliding Doors?

  125. 125
    Joel says:

    No love for Paul Newman?

  126. 126
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I was trying to think of a better way to ask that, but you have clarified — thank you. Yeah, didn’t know if you meant original versions, non-US/American versions, etc..

  127. 127
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Anton Sirius: And after I agreed with you (in part) about And Justice for All? Oh, right. That comment’s still in moderation hell.

  128. 128
    Anton Sirius says:

    @The Dangerman:

    You CAN’T be sirious.

    I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

    Wait, sorry. Wrong gag.

  129. 129
    Culture of Truth says:

    I didn’t see the last thread. But I was just about to say Looking for Richard was excellent. Also that football movie. And Scarface!

  130. 130
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: I guess if 12 year old girls want to be at BJ we can’t do anything about it.

  131. 131
    burnspbesq says:

    @lamh36:

    And Do The Right Thing never got its do.

    Yeah it did. It got exactly its due. Mo Better Blues, Girl 6, and Jungle Fever are all better than Do the Right Thing. All of the aforementioned have real people in them, not cartoon characters.

    And School Daze was a better cartoon. At least that’s what the Spelman and Howard grads I know said.

  132. 132
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Joel:

    No love for Paul Newman?

    Only sociopaths don’t love Paul Newman.

    True fact: Somebody Up There Likes Me is better than Rocky.

  133. 133
    Ronnie P says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    I’ll stick up for you Anton Sirius. Titanic was the GotW of our times (which isn’t to say it was great). And LA Confidential isn’t all that.

  134. 134
    Joel says:

    @Keith P: Shakespeare in Love wasn’t even the best period piece up that year (Elizabeth). Saving Private Ryan was up, as was the Thin Red Line.

    A huge crime was Do the Right Thing being ignored by the Axademy. I don’t love Spike lee, but that was an awesome movie.

  135. 135
    Culture of Truth says:

    I liked Vanilla Sky. I never saw the original so I can’t say how much better it was. But just because another film is better doesn’t make another one terrible. Indeed if the first film was good, it suggests the opposite.

  136. 136
    raven says:

    @burnspbesq: Basketball Jones is the best cartoon EVAH!

  137. 137
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    I guess if 12 year old girls want to be at BJ we can’t do anything about it.

    Great, now I have a Winger song in my head (yeah, that was 17, but it fired off anyway).

    College football twop weeks out (for my team anyway).

  138. 138
    SectarianSofa says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    American remakes…. I liked Wings of Desire a lot back in the day (not so sure now), but didn’t bother to see the American remake. And I guess the way La Femme Nikita went was predictable. Hmm, actually looks like there have been more Nikitas since I last looked (imdb).

  139. 139
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: 12 days till SC and NC and Vandy and Ole Miss.

  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:

    @lamh36:

    Denzel’s a movie star, not an actor. I saw him in Julius Caesar in New York. Nuh-uh. Couldn’t do it.

  141. 141
    The Other Chuck says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    Those who choose dubs are posers who hate movies.

    Unless it’s Miyazaki, whose english dubs are first rate. Well, except for Spirited Away, but he was fairly new on the scene then.

  142. 142
    Anton Sirius says:

    @raven:

    I guess if 12 year old girls want to be at BJ we can’t do anything about it.

    I apologize for being secure enough in my manhood to acknowledge that what Titanic does well, it hits out of the park.

    Maybe someday you’ll grow up too and not feel so threatened by emotions, raven.

  143. 143
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @I Heart Breitbartbees:

    Yep, he was brilliant in that, but have to agree with

    @patroclus:

    My Own Private Idaho was gutwrenching, as was his performance in that. Unfortunately everyone remembers him for Bill and Ted and that is it.

    I always talk about Much Ado About Nothing and how Kenneth Branagh, Kenneth Fucking Branagh, put together a stellar cast, you know Denzel Washington, Brian Blessed you name it and suddenly while sitting around the kitchen table talking with Emma about the cast decided to put Keanu in there just to fuck the whole thing up. If Kenneth Branagh thinks you can act then the rest of the critics can just shut the fuck up.

  144. 144
    patroclus says:

    Spike Lee’s documentaries are superb – especially 4 Little Girls! Thankfully, the Academy did the right thing and ignored Do the Right Thing, which was almost as unwatchable as an Adam Sandler movie.

  145. 145
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: Hear hear. Guiseppe was amazingly performed, and Postlethwaite was robbed and pistolwhipped in that voting.

  146. 146
    Culture of Truth says:

    You really can’t go wrong (1) praising the original foreign version (2) bashing the Oscars

    it’s a little too easy

  147. 147
    HinTN says:

    @Comrade Nimrod HumperdinkJeff Bridges disappeared into Rooster Cgoburn. O.M.G

  148. 148
    Culture of Truth says:

    I hate to break it to ya but Gone With the Wind is overrated also

  149. 149
    raven says:

    @burnspbesq: See him in For Queen & Country?

  150. 150
    zmullls says:

    SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE was a subtle delight of a movie. A wonderful script given every advantage by the production. Farce, let alone romantic farce, is really hard to do and it came off light as a souffle. That’s an accomplishment. Great script by Stoppard, performances to die for for (Judi Dench, et. al.)

    SAVING PRIVATE RYAN had a brilliantly staged battle scene at the beginning and end, with a few exceptional sequences. It had an embarassing framing device and a thuddingly obvious middle.

    I think the Academy got it right when they gave Spielberg credit for his directing work but gave Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love. That was fair.

  151. 151
    Keith G says:

    My little part of Houston is still without lights. That was a heck of a storm.

    80 degrees inside. The cats are looking at me like, “What the fuck?”

  152. 152
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): My bride hadn’t seen it and we watched it the other night.

  153. 153
    SectarianSofa says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Well, come on now. You must be looking for the ‘reasonable’ thread. This one here’s for the regular stuff. (You’re right, of course….)

  154. 154
    zmullls says:

    And while DO THE RIGHT THING should have been nominated for director/picture, it at least got its due with Best Screenplay.

    I always tell people, if you’re looking for a good movie to watch, pick any film that won Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) that did not also win Best Picture. Those are the interesting films.

  155. 155
    raven says:

    @zmullls: The Thin Red Line was great.

  156. 156
    Tripod says:

    I thought Hoffman had cashed out until I saw his work in Luck. It’s hard for older actors to find work, and increasingly difficult to find straight dramatic roles at all. Unless a film is going to clear $100 million in China… well, Hollywood just doesn’t give a fuck about making films where actors can show their skills. So it’s either do some stupid rom-com roles or spandex movies and get paid or take a flyer on an indie production or cable TV show and hope that works out.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I always talk about Much Ado About Nothing and how Kenneth Branagh, Kenneth Fucking Branagh, put together a stellar cast, you know Denzel Washington, Brian Blessed you name it and suddenly while sitting around the kitchen table talking with Emma about the cast decided to put Keanu in there just to fuck the whole thing up. If Kenneth Branagh thinks you can act then the rest of the critics can just shut the fuck up.

    Michael Keaton, man. Just,,, Michael Keaton.

    I really wish he worked more these days. One The Other Guys every few years or so just isn’t enough.

  159. 159
    burnspbesq says:

    @raven:

    Never saw it.

    Somebody mentioned Forest Whitaker above. He was so f’in good in The Crying Game.

  160. 160
    Yatsuno says:

    @Roger Moore: Oh brother. I do NOT want to get started on that fucking cinematic atrocity.

    (Crash I mean. Holy fuckballs what a mess.)

  161. 161
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @raven:

    Yeah, Mum is right now waiting to find out if she is going to Blackpool for a stent replacement and DH is at home having been put out of work for a week to let the infection get better. Been a very stressful week (got a brief due in Federal Court next week) so I am really looking forward to my Saturday morning chill out tomorrow watching stupid TV and drinking gallons of tea.

  162. 162
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Aw, hell no. The Disney dubs of Miyazaki’s films are awful. The (little) kids are way too screechy. The only one I like is Kiki’s Delivery Service, because Phil Hartman gets to deliver the line “Hello, kitty” (which is not in the original).

  163. 163
    raven says:

    @Anton Sirius: Emma sweating.

  164. 164
    SectarianSofa says:

    @zmullls:

    I agree with you completely on those. Haven’t seen it again, but I thought the Stoppard script was great. Saving Private Ryan was OK.

  165. 165
    mai naem says:

    I don’t know if you’re limiting this to American actors or not but I think Russell Crowe is a great actor. Al Pacino is a good actor but Robert DeNiro is one of the very few actors who can play different parts and you buy it. Nicholson/Eastwood/Cruise/Hanks/Harrison/Affleck/Damon Ford play the same roles over and over again. I think Mark Wahlberg will get only better down the road. I also think Paul Dano is a good actor. I think Greg Kinnear is a pretty good actor. Little Miss Sunshine and As Good As it Gets are pretty different roles. I think The Mission was robbed of an Oscar too. Also too, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons.

  166. 166
    burnspbesq says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Pete was so good in The Town that I didn’t realize it was him until the closing credits. That’s a vastly underrated movie, BTW. Even Blake Lively was good in it.

  167. 167
    patroclus says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Kenneth Branagh’s greatest roles were Shackleton and Conspiracy, but he’s excellent in just about everything. I’m a huge Wallander fan – he’s just too into the whole catching serial killers thang that I fear for his emotional well-being.

  168. 168
    raven says:

    @Yatsuno: Did you get the message?

  169. 169
    raven says:

    @burnspbesq: No one has. I have a copy I liked it so much. It’s not that great but he was good as a British Paratrooper.

    BRAVES WIN IN THE BOTTOM OF 10!

  170. 170
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: Go Braves. Reds up by a run against the Brewers at the moment.
    O/T, if anyone has a spare dollar to help NAMI provide support to folks with mental illness and their families, there’s a Team Bella Q that will be most grateful, and see that you get a tax letter.

  171. 171
    SectarianSofa says:

    @zmullls:

    I always tell people, if you’re looking for a good movie to watch, pick any film that won Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) that did not also win Best Picture. Those are the interesting films.

    You know, I like, and think I will take that suggestion.

  172. 172
    Redshirt says:

    Now, Christopher Walken. That’s an actor.

  173. 173
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Scarface (the Pacino one) was the only movie I ever called “obscene.” I stand by that judgement.

  174. 174
    Culture of Truth says:

    Cruise is pretty much perfect for certain roles – Top Gun, Vanilla Sky. He was surprisingly good in Born on the 4th of July.

    I saw The Thin Red Line again recently. It wasn’t as good as I’d remembered, but still pretty great. I keep re-watching Saving Private Ryan again and being blown away at certain parts and cringing at others. And yet I keep watching. It’s so manipulative, it’s like a crack pie of a movie.

  175. 175
    Steeplejack says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Since you’re an Anthony Hopkins fan, let me recommend Selected Exits (1993), in which he plays the Welsh writer Gwyn Thomas. Can’t remember where I saw it—PBS, probably—but it was mesmerizing. I’ll see if I can figure out where it’s available.

    A clip.

  176. 176
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @patroclus:

    Personally I think Branagh’s greatest moment was the moment when he confronts Benedict in Much Ado, his passion and his fire in that speech just totally floored me. It was brilliant.

  177. 177
    SectarianSofa says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Ah, ‘Stigma Busting Stroll’. Cool idea.

  178. 178
    Anton Sirius says:

    I don’t know if you’re limiting this to American actors or not but I think Russell Crowe is a great actor.

    And, umm, Australian. ;)

  179. 179
    patroclus says:

    @Tripod: Check out “Last Chance Harry” if you want to see a fairly recent Dustin Hoffman gem. Also, if you like older actors, watch “The Company You Keep,” directed by Redford, with him as star, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Julie Christie, among others. It’s just out on cable and video. Also, the “Beautiful Exotic Marigold Hotel” with all the older British actors.

  180. 180
    Culture of Truth says:

    @mai naem: I agree. I would put Dustin Hoffman in that former category. Jimmy Stewart in the latter.

  181. 181
    Culture of Truth says:

    Ralph Fiennes is another uncanny actor. I still maintain he would have been much better than Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.

  182. 182
    LT says:

    WTF? Did not see last thread. Pacino is God.

    That God scene was fucking awesome.

    The fucking Godfather(s), fuck me. He WAS ONE OF COPPOLA’S SHADOWS in those films. He was *lighting* in those films. He was a MOUNTAIN next to a molehill called Hollywood in those films. Forever.

    Shut up.

  183. 183

    @Culture of Truth: *Yawn* he puts me to sleep.

  184. 184
    Keith P says:

    @Ronnie P: Forrest Gump was the big robbery I was thinking of. It was a soundtrack wrapped around a movie and had no business beating out Pulp Fiction…or Shawshank, for that matter.

  185. 185
    Joel says:

    @Anton Sirius: This comment is funniest when imagining Sick Boy describing Sean Connery’s career trajectory.

  186. 186
    Yatsuno says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I still maintain he would have been much better than Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.

    Wars have been started for less.

    @raven: Message received and responded to. No answer yet but not a surprise since he’s about 30K feet up.

  187. 187
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Dude, are you free for dinner on 8/25?

  188. 188
  189. 189
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    since he’s about 30K feet up

    I think a tad bit more than that. Doesn’t AK Air have WiFi?

  190. 190
    zmullls says:

    As long as we’re trashing and praising films, let’s trash THE COLOR PURPLE. That was an abysmal movie. Disney color scheme and it was directed as if it were childrens’ theatre. The scene where Danny Glover pulled Whoopi Goldberg and (her sister?) apart was staged like a kids’ show. Watch it again.

    And you can’t forgive the way Spielberg elided the lesbian relationship — the scene with Shug and Whoopi was sniggeringly juvenile.

    No knock on the book, the book is its own thing, but the movie was feel-good tripe. I totally wrote off Spielberg as an adult director until SCHINDLER’S LIST when he proved that he had something to say.

    Loved MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and totally agree about Keanu. Good lord, what a lox.

    Pacino has certainly phoned it in and done PACINO! to pick up a paycheck, but he continues to do interesting work and some stage work. He keeps his hand in the right places, and doesn’t skate through Mr. Magoriums Magic Emporium (or whatever shite Dustin Hoffman was doing last year).

    Look at it this way. Even bad Pacino is better than the best Nicolas Cage.

    Dustin Hoffman is only now realizing that he has wasted about 20 years of his life and trying to regain what he used to have. Pacino keeps it fresh. (And you *could* get killed walking your doggie!)

  191. 191
    askew says:

    While Goodfellas losing to Dances With Wolves was tragic, it was nowhere near as bad as Gwyneth Paltrow beating Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, Meryl Streep beating Viola Davis in The Help, Holly Hunter beating Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do With It, or Hilary Swank beating Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria, Full of Grace.

    And unlike Scorsese, Davis, Bassett and Moreno will never get a chance for a make-up Oscar.

  192. 192
    Lojasmo says:

    Sigh. Waiting on the Tarmac, and the entire electrical system on the plane shut down. Now waiting for the nav system to boot.

    I blame Obama.

  193. 193
    Arclite says:

    I dunno, Saving Private Ryan is still watched, show, and talked about today. Shakespeare in Love, not so much.

  194. 194
    giterdone says:

    Can always count on wr0ng way Cole to get it wr0ng.

    Lumping old Pacino in with young Godfather/Scarface Pacino is like lumping Vegas Elvis with Young blue sued shoes Elvis. Two completely different people.

  195. 195
    SFAW says:

    @burnspbesq:
    Just tryin’ to steer it back to Jonathan Pryce?

    @burnspbesq:

    Yeah, but the Citizen Kane things was for reasons other than stupidity or playing it safe, wasn’t it?

  196. 196
    Joel says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Scarface holds up badly. It’s racist garbage, in hindsight. I like Pacino, but he has a lot of hammy stinkers in his résumé.

  197. 197
    Joel says:

    FWIW, Tom Cruise was parodying Sumner Redstone in “Tropic Thunder”. At least according to Lawrence Wright (Going Clear).

  198. 198
    Lojasmo says:

    @raven:

    LOL. So did I. He can’t get Facebook at work. Might be taking off now. FML

  199. 199
    angelfoot says:

    Harry Dean Stanton is an American treasure.

  200. 200
    LT says:

    @giterdone: “Two completely different people.”

    Muhammad Ali was a terrible boxer! Because…

    Fucking hilarious.

  201. 201
    Lojasmo says:

    Signing off. Hope to be in SEA BY 10:45

  202. 202
    MomSense says:

    @Ronnie P:

    Jack Lemmon turned in a fantastic performance in Glengarry Glen Ross. He is another actor who was so good and so overlooked.

  203. 203
    divF says:

    @angelfoot:
    I think it was Roger Ebert who said that a movie with either Harry Dean Stanton (Repo Man) or M. Emmett Walsh (Blade Runner) in it can’t be a bad one.

    Someone else actually found one stinker apiece (but only one).

  204. 204
    burnspbesq says:

    @SFAW:

    Just tryin’ to steer it back to Jonathan Pryce?

    He did a lot with not much of a role in Ronin, which is the only movie I can think of in which Sean Bean didn’t die. But that movie really belonged to DeNiro and Reno.

  205. 205
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LT: Ah, but young Cassius…

  206. 206
    burnspbesq says:

    SNY, for some unknown reason, has decided to use the original Dixieland version of “Meet the Mets,” complete with massed clarinets and four-string banjo, when going to commercial tonight. I really didn’t need that as an earworm.

  207. 207
    angelfoot says:

    @divF: I just saw Repo Man again and loved it after all these years. His starring role in Paris, Texas, was great, too. But I can’t think of a single scene he’s done in any crappy bit part where he didn’t bring it.

  208. 208
    hamletta says:

    @divF: For the analog to older movies, take a look at Thomas Mitchell.

    Other than Howard Hughes’s folly The Outlaw, the man mostly showed up in great films, and when they weren’t great, his performance was worth watching.

  209. 209
    MomSense says:

    @Lee:

    Yeah the haters can totally suck it! I love the tango scene with the lovely Gabrielle Anwar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2zTd_YwTvo

  210. 210
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Branagh’s work. Loved his Henry Vee (as the local video bootleggers used to call it) and his Gilderoy Lockhart has always seemed to me a better take on George Walker Bush than Josh Brolin’s portrayal of the actual person.

    It seems to me that what people people dislike about Pacino is those obnoxious acting tics, rather any lack of talent or range or commitment to a role. His greatness as an actor is surely beyond any real dispute.

    @Culture of Truth:
    I’m rather curious to see what Fiennes will do as M, now that Dame Judi has retired from the role. He has a tough act to follow.

  211. 211
    SFAW says:

    @srv:

    Who are the Gary Oldman’s of that generation?

    Am I the only one here who thinks Ewan McGregor is different for most of his films?

    Oldman is pretty amazing, in any event.

  212. 212
    SFAW says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Ain’t disagreeing.

  213. 213
    burnspbesq says:

    Cast includes: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Danny Aiello.

    Name the movie.

  214. 214
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m rather curious to see what Fiennes will do as M,

    One hopes they found a plastic surgeon to give him a prosthetic nose. Maybe Jose Ferrer can loan him one?

  215. 215
    burnspbesq says:

    Trivia Question 2:

    Long before The West Wing, John Spencer and Bradley Whitford were in a hit movie together. Name the movie.

  216. 216
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Arclite:
    Aside from the D-Day part at the beginning and the final battle scene, Saving Private Ryan feels like a long and rambling episode of Combat!, that old WWII show starring Vic Morrow as an infantry sergeant wandering the French countryside.

  217. 217
    SFAW says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Name the movie.

    Plan Nine from Outer Space? Andrei Rublev? Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron? Judge Dredd (“Je suis le droit!)?

  218. 218
    Steeplejack says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The Professional. Just on TV (again) the other night.

  219. 219
    burnspbesq says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Yup. Love that movie. Natalie Portman’s film debut.

  220. 220
    MomSense says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And the best score ever. The Professional.

  221. 221
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Well, yeah. Except in Combat, none of the main characters died. (For obvious reasons, I guess.)

    “Can we hide in your barn?”
    “Mais oui!
    “Can we, may we – whatever!”

  222. 222
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SFAW:
    Je suis la loi,, I think.

  223. 223
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I ‘spects you’re right. The risks of a monoglot using Babelfish.

  224. 224
    Steeplejack says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Great ending. Ingenious solution to painting the plot into a corner.

  225. 225
    hamletta says:

    @SFAW: Ewan McGregor is amazing. I’m rather fond of Down With Love, where he embodies both Rock Hudson and Steve Lawrence (Eydie Gorme, RIP).

    If you ever watched an early-’60s sex/no-sex comedy, you will love this movie.

    The composer and the costume designer were in heaven, and it shows.

  226. 226
    zmullls says:

    Jack Lemmon turned in a fantastic performance in Glengarry Glen Ross. He is another actor who was so good and so overlooked.

    Other than winning two Oscars, perhaps….

  227. 227
    burnspbesq says:

    @MomSense:

    Score by Eric Serra, who also did La Femme Nikita and Goldeneye.

  228. 228
    SFAW says:

    @hamletta:
    I liked him in Big Fish, among others.

    In a way, he reminds me of Alec Guinness, which is even more interesting, considering McGregor’s C.V.

  229. 229
    SFAW says:

    @zmullls:

    Other than winning two Oscars, perhaps….

    Well, nobody’s perfect.

  230. 230
    Roxy says:

    Val Kilmer was another actor that was robbed of an academy award. “I’m your huckleberry!”

  231. 231
    Steeplejack says:

    @hamletta:

    Down with Love is hilarious. I really liked the woman who played the Paula Prentiss supporting role. Can’t think of her name right now. The one who was devoured by the bachelor-pad sofa.

  232. 232
    SFAW says:

    @Roxy:
    Kilmer starred in a Lindsey Graham biopic?

  233. 233
    burnspbesq says:

    Answer to Question 2 is Presumed Innocent. Whitford was on screen for about 30 seconds, playing Sandy Stern’s associate.

  234. 234
    hamletta says:

    @MomSense: I’m rather partial to The Best Years of Our Lives.

    The score, by Hugh Friedhofer, is incredible. It made me hurt for the characters.

  235. 235
    Honus says:

    @Keith P: Kramer v Kramer beating Apocalypse Now.

  236. 236
    SFAW says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Boy, Whitford’s co-stars have a habit of dying young. Hmmm.

  237. 237
    Roxy says:

    @SFAW: Tombstone – Doc Holiday

  238. 238
    Honus says:

    @burnspbesq: the one with the little girl

  239. 239
    hamletta says:

    @Steeplejack: It’s Sarah Paulson, who should not be confused with Sarah Polley.

  240. 240
    AxelFoley says:

    Who the fuck are these fools who think Pacino is overrated? Line up so I can pimpslap all you muhfuckas in a row.

  241. 241
    fuckwit says:

    I have to throw a turd in the punchbowl by mentioning that I can’t tell good acting from shitty acting and couldn’t care less.

    Aren’t actors profesional liars? Kinda like politicians or salesmen? Aren’t the most convincing and therefore “best” actors, therefore, basically sociopaths?

    I have to conclude that a society that glorifies lying and pays the best liars the most outrageous sums of money is, basically, sick.

    Something about the worship of actors and acting just seems wrong to me.

  242. 242
    TriassicSands says:

    @Comrade Nimrod Humperdink:

    I guess the short version is that every actor plays himself in every role and just tweaks his identity to fit his (and the director’s) interpretation of the part.

    You might consider replacing “every” with “many” or “most.” Daniel Day Lewis does not play himself — although he would if they made a biopic of his life and he starred as himself.

    Raven mentioned this in comment 89 — For Pacino fans (I am not among them), if you haven’t seen it, you should try to find Scarecrow. He stars with Gene Hackman and although Pacino was in his early thirties, I remember him as seeming younger (though I haven’t seen the film since it was in theaters in 1973). He’d already done The Godfather (the year before), but Brando won the Best Actor Oscar and Pacino shared supporting actor nomination honors with both James Caan and Robert Duval, so he couldn’t be called the “star” of the film. As often happens when there are multiple actors from the same movie nominated, none of the three won (Joel Grey for Cabaret). Anyway, I don’t know if I’d still like Scarecrow (I’ve grown extremely tired of Pacino over the decades), but at the time I was impressed with his performance.

    Who knows, maybe Raven and I are both wrong about Scarecrow, but long ago i decided that arguing about things like music, movies, acting, and the like is about as fruitful as two people arguing about which one of them will be the first to visit the Andromeda Galaxy (only about 2500 lights years from Earth). Today, I wouldn’t spend a single minute trying to convince someone they should like a film or song they don’t like.

  243. 243
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Billy Dilly: @srv:

    Walken is incapable of disappearing into a role- he won’t give up that unique style of delivering a line.

    I’ll go with Martin Sheen. He’s no Oldman, but he’s probably as close as that generation of actors gets to Oldman.

  244. 244
    John Cole says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The Postman Always Rings Twice

  245. 245
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @patroclus: @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Henry V– he’ll never be better.

  246. 246
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @fuckwit:

    Something about the worship of actors and acting just seems wrong to me.

    “Acting is an empty and useless profession.” –Marlon Brando

  247. 247
    TriassicSands says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Walken is incapable of disappearing into a role- he won’t give up that unique style of delivering a line.

    It’s not his fault — he’s insane now, and has been since the Viet Cong made him play all that Russian Roulette. Word has it that every night he goes up to his room in The Contenental, puts on his silk smoking jacket, and plays Russian Roulette until dawn.

  248. 248
    Aimai says:

    @Arclite: depends on your social circle.

  249. 249
    SFAW says:

    @John Cole:

    The Postman Always Rings Twice

    Ah, but which one? One assumes Nicholson, but …

  250. 250
    SFAW says:

    @fuckwit:

    I have to conclude that a society that glorifies lying and pays the best liars the most outrageous sums of money is, basically, sick.

    One hopes you were attempting to be either ironic or otherwise humorous.

  251. 251
    Dan says:

    Brad Pitt anyone??? Twelve Monkeys? That Tarantino movie?

  252. 252
    Dan says:

    Brad Pitt anyone??? Twelve Monkeys? That Tarantino movie?

  253. 253
    gogol's wife says:

    @zmullls:

    YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR.

  254. 254
    Watership says:

    @patroclus:

    Academy did the right thing and ignored Do the Right Thing

    Oh, I’d say give it another try. Let it wrap around you like a radio play and watch it in the context of the times. I know it inspired reactions of love and hate as clear and defined as Radio Rahib’s accessories, but there were moments of reality lifted right from daily life in the neighborhood and the hyper-real elements cast an almost fairy tale glow over these lives lived entirely inside four city blocks. And like most fairy tales, it’s suffused with darkness, sometimes aimless and cruel and sometimes spirited by a rightous rage.

    Plus, after loving Giancarlo in Breaking Bad, it’s fun to remember him as the dreded black Brooklyn youth with pristine Jordan’s and a cause, however misguided.

  255. 255
    Roxy says:

    @Dan: Brad Pitt was excellent in 12 Monkeys, so was Bruce Willis. One of my favorite sci-fi movies.

  256. 256
    Mark Lass says:

    worst oscar crime, no way
    Raging Bull (on every top ten of that decade) losing to Terms Of Endearment

  257. 257
    cwolf says:

    Your list is pretty good, but not sure what Alan Arkin is doing there. He’s good but really…

    Anyhow for greatest single performance in any movie award ?
    You gotta consider Malcom McDowell for his interstellar performance in A Clockwork Orange.

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