Check out some of this legend's claims
Al Pacino turned down the major talk shows and newspapers, who were dying for an interview with the legendary actor. Instead, he hosted a Q&A show in New York, Sydney and now London.
The show would never be recreated; would never be screened. It was well and truly a one-off. Some of the things he said, though, have escaped the walls of the London Palladium. It turns out, Pacino, best known for his roles in The Godfather, Scarface and Dog Day Afternoon, could have been known for his roles in Star Wars and Die Hard. "Star Wars was mine for the taking but I didn’t understand the script," he admitted, according to The Evening Standard. "I’m not a very good judge of what’s good," he also said. We can’t really see it, Al, not in Star Wars, anyway. A role as the bad guy in Die Hard may have worked, but Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis nailed Han and John for us. He denied being offered the leading roles in Goodfellas, Midnight Cowboy and Misery, made famous by Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and James Caan, though.
The insider gossip didn’t stop there. Apprently, "Michelle was a good kisser, Michelle Pfeiffer," he said, referring to their time on 1991's Frankie and Johnny. All in all, fans of film will have been enthralled by his talk, which included some off the cuff acting and his classic, dry sense of humour.
Continue reading: Al Pacino Could Have Been A Star Wars Star – If He’d Understood The Plot
We’re going to ease in to our round-up of this week’s movie releases, by starting with the ‘above average’ and moving gently down the quality scale, to the truly awful. We already know, by the fact that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is riding high at the top of the box office, that there is literally no accounting for taste, so we will no longer try to influence your movie-going habits. We will simply present you with the facts and leave you to queue for your popcorn.
First up, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer star in Warm Bodies, a zombie comedy that gets the laughs from Hoult’s slightly unusual zombie character who decides to save a living human, rather than chomp down on her arteries for a nice snack. Of course, that living human happens to be an attractive young female, in the form of Teresa Palmer (who, for the record, looks a lot like Kristen Stewart in this movie). John Malkovich also stars in this zom-com, which is a little bit ‘Shaun of the Dead,’ (pretending to be a zombie? Been there, done that) but looks like an entertaining way to pass a couple of hours.
Richard Roper of Chicago Sun-Times came up trumps with the most enthusiastic review so far, writing “I kinda love this movie. "Warm Bodies" is a well-paced, nicely directed, post-apocalyptic love story with a terrific sense of humor and the, um, guts to be unabashedly romantic and unapologetically optimistic.”
This week’s movie releases are an even-handed mix of big budget blockbuster, gentle rom-com and moving documentary.
Obviously, the big chatter is all about Peter Jackson’s latest movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which has arrived to a great fanfare but received a mixed response, thus far. Thanks to the legions of fans hooked on the very thought of a Tolkein adaptation, The Hobbit will undoubtedly attract enough over-excited cinemagoers to bump it up the box office ratings and we will most likely see Skyfall slipping down the ratings chart.
Despite reports of movie fans vomiting in the aisles of their local movie theatres, with their stomachs unsettled by Jackson’s decision to film The Hobbit at 48 frames per second as opposed to the standard 24 frames per second, the film has just about escaped the wrath of the critics. Although the response to The Hobbit has hardly been a case of anyone shouting from the rooftops, bursting with praise, Martin Freeman has been widely praised for his performance as Bilbo Baggins, balancing the fine line that his character must tread between comedic and heroic.
Doc is lifelong criminal who goes to meet his best friend Val when he leaves prison following a long sentence, but little does Val know that his crime companion has been forced to kill him by his crook boss Hirsch. It doesn't take him long to realise, however, with Doc's sheepish presence constantly giving him away. The pair decide to enjoy themselves in the only ways they know how; theft, drugs and alcohol, before the time comes when Doc has to do the deed to save his own life. As the time draws nearer, he pleads with Hirsch for mercy, unwilling to shoot dead his best and only friend while Val repents for his sins in confession for the first time in 60 years in a bid to make his peace with God before he dies.
This crime comedy highlights friendship, unbreakable promises and sin as the main themes played out by a star-studded main cast. It has been directed by the Oscar winning actor Fisher Stevens in his second feature film after his 'Just a Kiss', and written by Noah Haidle in his first full length feature film and Dave Weasel his first ever feature film. It is set for release in the US on January 11th 2013.
Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Katheryn Winnick, Vanessa Ferlito, Addison Timlin, Bill Burr, Rick Gomez, Weronika Rosati, Eric Etebari, Courtney Galiano, Yorgo Constantine & Brandon Scott.
Continue: Stand Up Guys - Trailer Trailer
Daniel Sullivan, Bobby Cannavale, David Harbour, Al Pacino, Richard Schiff, Jeremy Shamos, John C, Meet, Broadway, Glengarry Glen Ross, Ballet Hispanico. New York and City Wednesday 12th September 2012 Daniel Sullivan, Bobby Cannavale, David Harbour, Al Pacino, Richard Schiff, Jeremy Shamos and John C. McGinley Meet and greet with the cast of the Broadway play Glengarry Glen Ross, held at Ballet Hispanico. New York City, USA
Al Pacino and Palm Springs Convention Center Saturday 7th January 2012 The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at The Palm Springs Convention Center - Press Room Los Angeles, California
Al Pacino and Palm Springs Convention Center Saturday 7th January 2012 The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at The Palm Springs Convention Center - Arrivals Los Angeles, California
Al Pacino Tuesday 3rd January 2012 A dishevelled Al Pacino wearing an ill-fitting blue satin trimmed tuxedo dinner jacket holds a brown paper bag while out and about in Beverly Hills. Los Angeles, California
The actual line that Al Pacino bellows out in the film's final scene, in case you're wondering, is this: "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" Nah, doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same way, does it?
Continue reading: ...and Justice For All. Review
The story is, by and large, traditional serial killer fare: Someone is stabbing gay men to death, often in lewd situations. The NYPD captain (Paul Sorvino) sends in Steve Burns (Al Pacino) undercover to ferret out the killer. The straight-edge Steve learns all about gay culture, in which pocket to put bandanas to indicate your proclivities, and so on. But by and large he's just supposed to "go out there and find the killer." But the undercover activity takes its toll on his psyche, most notably in his (non-gay) relationship with Nancy (Karen Allen, virtually the only woman in the film at all).
Continue reading: Cruising Review
Returning to the stage, the Ocean crew: Rusty (Brad Pitt) puts on scraggly facial hair to play a seismologist. Linus (Matt Damon) prepares to seduce a casino employee (Ellen Barkin), a task that, he insists, requires a prosthetic nose. Basher (Don Cheadle) mostly minds a giant piece of construction equipment, but impersonates a motorcycle daredevil on the fly as an elaborate distraction. The brothers Malloy (Casey Affleck and Scott Caan) are off to Mexico. George Clooney's Billy Ocean, as usual, acts as ringleader, which means a lot of standing around looking fabulous in suits, as well as one spectacularly well-timed eyeroll.
Continue reading: Ocean's Thirteen Review
I'd say they don't make 'em like Dog Day Afternoon anymore, but, you know, they sure do try to. Bank robbers under fire, hostage negotiations, panic in the streets. Why, moviedom is littered with films like Heat, Mad City, The Negotiator... some good, some bad.
Continue reading: Dog Day Afternoon Review
Okay, I'm joking about the backwards part, but to tell you the truth, this retread could have used it. It certainly needs a lot more than Pacino's overacting and cinematographer Wally Pfister's mood lighting to be watchable.
Continue reading: Insomnia (2002) Review
It's a rebuke to the environment-nurtures-criminals mentality that infused the previous De Palma/Pacino collaboration from 10 years earlier, Scarface, which stands as the bloody and exciting but frankly pretty immature younger brother to the more stately and ultimately more affecting Carlito's Way. The differences are obvious right from the film's opening gunshot: Carlito's been popped and is being wheeled away to the hospital, musing as he dies, "Don't take me to no hospital... Some bitch always pops you at midnight when all they got is a Chinese intern with a wooden spoon." The rest of the film is in flashback, starting with Carlito being let out of jail after serving only five years of a 30-year-sentence and leading back up to that gunshot.
Continue reading: Carlito's Way Review
Based on a true story of rampant corruption and internal affairs in New York City (where else?), Serpico stands as the consummate cop movie, right up there with The French Connection. But while The French Connection is a standard cops-and-robbers movie, Serpico is pretty much cops-and-cops, as Al Pacino's title character hunts out corruption inside the department even though it means all but signing his death warrant.
Continue reading: Serpico Review
Heat is the instantly gripping tale of a large-scale heist leader and die-hard loner named Neil McCauley (De Niro). As the film opens, he and his team of brutal, precision thieves (including Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) knock over (literally) an armored car for a stash of bearer bonds. On the case is Detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), a troubled, angst-ridden veteran of the LAPD. Over the course of the film, McCauley and Hanna develop a strange sort of kinship, even as McCauley's crimes increasingly raise the stakes and Hanna's efforts to stop him become more and more desperate.
Continue reading: Heat Review
At its core, Any Given Sunday is the story of Miami Sharks coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino - The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon) and his two quarterbacks, Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx - The Great White Hype, Booty Call) and Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid - The Big Easy, Innerspace). The quarterback is the most vital position in the game. He is the team spokesperson and field chief, and he serves as a crucial link between coaches, administration, and players. When legendary two-time Pantheon Cup (aka: Super Bowl) champion Cap Bowman ruptures a disk after a bone crushing hit, coach Tony is left with Willie Beamen (Foxx), an athletic, yet untested QB. His team has lost four straight and appears to be plummeting in a downward spiral with the playoffs right around the corner. He's got delusional team owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz) and sports analyst Jack Rose (John McGinley, doing his best Jim Rome impersonation) breathing down his neck because of his outdated coaching style, and a team of players he's losing control of.
Continue reading: Any Given Sunday Review
City Hall is a drama/thriller with most of the thrill sucked out of it. After a ridiculously convoluted opening, filled with the weak voice-over of the Deputy Mayor of New York City, Kevin Calhoun (John Cusack), we find ourselves embroiled in the world of Mayor John Pappas (Pacino). As the film opens, we find a cop and mobster killed in a shoot-out, taking with them the life of a six-year old boy.
Continue reading: City Hall Review
For those who never tune into E! (shame on you), here's the backstory. Ben and Jen fell in love on the Gigli set. Fireworks off-screen, though, didn't translate to chemistry on-screen, and the movie was shredded by test audiences. Columbia originally planned to open Gigli in November 2002, but hesitated and shelved the film until now, which usually signifies disaster.
Continue reading: Gigli Review
The film starts with entrenched Big Apple dweller Al Pacino affecting a Georgia accent -- interesting, but no more required by the plotline than if he had come from Florida or North Dakota. About all the southern background does for his character, Eli Wurman, is provide an exaggeration to his promotional pushiness at one time, and slow, slurry speech to befit his character's drug-induced degradation at other times.
Continue reading: People I Know Review
It's been a crap shoot with the great actor for some time. Watching Pacino is like watching a beloved, over the hill athlete sticking around. He hobbles, the crispness of his movements isn't there, and the mixture of luck and confidence he once had is just a pleasant memory. More often than not, you just hope he just doesn't stumble. You just want a glimmer of what once was.
Continue reading: The Merchant Of Venice Review
While the film is well-acted (with the surprising exception of Diane Keaton reprising a role that wasn't all that interesting to begin with), masterfully lighted, and gorgeously photographed -- most notably the various shootout scenes -- it ultimately treads over old ground: material from the first two movies as well as repeating itself. This is most telling in the aforementioned shootouts -- the Atlantic City shoot-'em-up (courtesy of a helicopter outside) is horrifyingly grotesque (in a good way), but it seems more fitting for the histrionics of Scarface than the subtle and jaw-dropping one-two punch of Michael Corleone's assassination work at Louis' Italian-American Restaurant in The Godfather. Ultimately, the movie is simply one assassination after another -- and in Coppola's commentary track, he acknowledges this, placing much of the blame at the foot of the studio. It's also a testament to the amount of power that Coppola lost in the intervening decades -- again, something he acknowledges in the commentary.
Continue reading: The Godfather: Part III Review
In Italian: Molto bene.
Continue reading: The Godfather Review
They say you should never see two things being made: Sausage and legislation. Add journalism to that list. I've been in this racket long enough to know that objectivity is painfully lacking in the places you expect to find it the most. Backroom deals make strange bedfellows of interest-conflicted parties (e.g. Time-Warner owns Entertainment Weekly magazine, which reviews Warner Bros. films, etc.) So when 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Pacino) decided to do a story about the hazards of cigarettes in 1996, he found himself embroiled in controversy.
Continue reading: The Insider Review
Who knew director James Foley had this movie in him. With credits from Who's That Girl? to Fear to The Corruptor, Foley hasn't made a passable movie before or since this 1992 production. Having a script by David Mamet (based on his stage play) doesn't hurt, nor does having at least two screen legends in the cast. Hell, even the minor characters are stellar. Jonathan Pryce's beaten-down mark is one of the most memorably pathetic losers on celluloid. Alec Baldwin's five minutes of screen time here is his greatest work ever.
Continue reading: Glengarry Glen Ross Review
None of these leads really grabbed me, but then again, neither did The Recruit. It's a glossy and well-massaged thriller, designed to give you two hours of eye candy and gently massage your brain -- but not too much! After all, a fickle mass audience might be weighing their investment against the simplicity of Kangaroo Jack.
Continue reading: The Recruit Review
Matthew McConaughey plays Brandon Lang, an ex-college quarterback whose ability to pick winning football teams grabs the attention of Walter Abrams (Al Pacino), a big-time New York City gambling advisor, whose apparent wealth and power is enough to convince Lang to skip Las Vegas for the Big Apple.
Continue reading: Two For The Money Review
Pacino and producer Martin Bregman had a good idea in wanting to make an updated version of the original 1932 Scarface, which chronicled the rise and fall of a Prohibition-era Capone-like criminal overlord (screenwriter Ben Hecht was a Chicago journalist with a lot of intimate knowledge of Capone). Handing it over to director Brian De Palma (who had specialized mostly in psychosexual thrillers like Dressed to Kill and The Fury), and screenwriter Oliver Stone (whose credits included an Oscar for 1978's Midnight Express but also Conan the Barbarian), was a daring move. Stone did a lot of research for the screenplay, hanging out and doing coke with drug lords all over Latin America, and De Palma promised to bring a certain visual flair to the proceedings.
Continue reading: Scarface Review
In his bold, brusque re-imagining of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," screenwriter and director Michael Radford ("1984," "Il Postino") has successfully solved one of the play's two inherent impediments -- its insensitive, arguably anti-Semitic caricature of the greedy, vengeful Jewish creditor Shylock, who demands a literal pound of flesh as payment for a defaulted loan.
Applying audacious creative license, Radford has reinvented the character as a tragic and more central figure -- played by no less than Al Pacino -- whose villainy is motivated by a sense of indignation for his treatment at the hands of bigoted gentiles. This "Merchant" is no longer a farce, but a drama thick with implications about the dangers of religious power in society.
Unfortunately, Radford's creativity with the Bard's narrative doesn't extend to renovating the film's weightless, transparently contrived primary plot about Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes), a young man who wishes to woo beautiful heiress Portia (uncommonly lovely Lynn Collins), but fears he hasn't the wealth to make the proper impression. These romantic aspirations lead his merchant-shipper best friend Antonio (Jeremy Irons) to securing the sinister, high-risk loan from Shylock on Bassanio's behalf.
Continue reading: The Merchant Of Venice Review
In what may go down as the most embarrassing, imprudent attempt at cleverly sexy dialogue in the history of cinema, the gangland romantic comedy catastrophe entitled "Gigli" features Jennifer Lopez coming on to Ben Affleck by asking to be orally pleasured with the line, "Turkey time! Gobble, gobble."
But it's not the line all by itself that makes this moment the cherry atop this dung-heap sundae of a movie that is nothing but bad moments. It's also the fact that Lopez is playing a lesbian -- one of those gorgeous, male-fantasy movie lesbians who just needed the right man to straighten her out.
And it's also the idea that this "right man" for a straight-curious, street-smart sappho could be an angry, dimwitted, pompadoured mook and inept mob-enforcer, played by Affleck with a bad Brooklyn accent (even though the character grew up in southern California) and the stink of churlish masculinity that comes from over-active testosterone glands and beer-deadened brain cells.
Continue reading: Gigli Review
After a hit as inventive and novel as last year's narrative-bending "Memento," following up with a remake of something as commonplace as a cop vs. killer cat-and-mouser might seem a step down for director Christopher Nolan. But "Insomnia" was an unusual story before he even got his hands on it.
The 1997 original from Norway starred Stellan Skarsgaard ("The Glass House," "Good Will Hunting") as a detective whose ongoing sleep disorder became a psychological burden while investigating the cryptic murder of a teenage girl above the Arctic Circle, during summer when the sun is up 24 hours a day.
In Nolan's remake, Al Pacino plays the cop as a graying, threadbare detective with still-sharp instincts who has been given an extra bag of metaphorical bricks to carry around: He's in Alaska helping with this murder case until the heat of an ugly Internal Affairs inquiry dies down in his native Los Angeles.
Continue reading: Insomnia Review
Spy movies generally fall into two categories: Intellectual thrillers or gadgets-and-stunts actioners. There's no point in expecting much more than amusement-park entertainment from the latter. But in a picture as ostensibly cunning as "The Recruit" -- about a rookie CIA spook hunting down a mole within the Agency -- the very least the filmmakers could do is not give away their supposed surprises with billboard-sized clues in every other scene.
From almost his first line of dialogue, secret agent headhunter Al Pacino drums home two points -- "nothing is what it seems" and "everything is a test" -- with such deliberateness that long before any real intrigue begins, the film's litany of elementary plot twists is stretched out on the screen like a road map.
Since Pacino's purportedly promising young apprentice, a pretty-boy MIT programming genius played by Colin Farrell ("Minority Report"), can't seem to read these signs, he spends most of the movie three steps behind any astute moviegoer. So it's more than a little hard to believe it when he's plucked from spy school to go undercover at CIA headquarters, working to weed out a double agent while pretending to be a washout trainee who settled for a data-entry job.
Continue reading: The Recruit Review
Leave it to "Heat" director Michael Mann to make a seat-gripping near-thriller about something as inherently dull as corporate whistle-blowing.
"The Insider" is a freely fictionalized retelling of the events that really got the ball rolling in the current attack on the tobacco industry: When a medical researcher for cigarette maker Brown and Williamson spills his guts to "60 Minutes," it puts CBS into in an ethical tailspin as lawyers come knocking with a broken confidentiality agreement in one hand and a lawsuit in the other.
I know what you're thinking: Yawn!
Continue reading: The Insider Review
Date of birth
25th April, 1940
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