Pacino made the revelation during a 45th anniversary cast-and-crew reunion of the legendary film at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The Godfather is pretty much universally held to be one of the finest movies in cinema history, but its lead star Al Pacino has made a surprising revelation: he thought it was “the worst film ever made” while he was filming it, and frequently got drunk as a result.
Many surviving members of the cast of the iconic 1972 film attended a 45th anniversary celebration of its release in a New York theater on Saturday (April 29th) as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to Pacino, fellow stars Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, James Caan and Talia Shire, as well as director Francis Ford Coppola, were in attendance.
Al Pacino initially thought 'The Godfather' would fail
Continue reading: Al Pacino Reveals He Thought 'The Godfather' Would Fail
‘The Colony’ was released in three UK cinemas on Friday (July 1).
The Colony, Emma Watson’s latest film, took just £47 at the UK box office after it was released in three UK cinemas on Friday, according to The Guardian. The film is Watson’s first leading role since the Harry Potter franchise and is a thriller set in Pinochet-era Chile.
Emma Watson’s new film made just £47 at the UK box office.
Watson stars as a Western woman who attempts to infiltrate a cult in order to rescue her husband who was abducted and is being held in religious community, Colonia Dignidad. The film was directed by Oscar-winning German director Florian Gallenberger.
Continue reading: Emma Watson's New Film Makes Just £47 At UK Box Office
‘Misconduct’ managed to make just £97 during its limited UK release.
With 12 Oscar nominations between them, you would think that any film which boasts Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins among its cast would be a sure fire success. But sadly this wasn't the case for thriller Misconduct, which manage to take less than £100 during its opening weekend at the UK box office.
Al Pacino stars in Misconduct.
Alongside Pacino and Hopkins, the film also stars Josh Duhamel and Julia Stiles. It follows an ambitious lawyer (Duhamel) who finds himself caught between a corrupt pharmaceutical executive and his firm's senior partner (Hopkins and Pacino). As the case takes a deadly turn, lawyer Ben must search to uncover the truth before he loses everything.
Ben Cahill is an ambitious lawyer with an overwhelming urge to see justice for those who often can't fight for themselves and he has a new target in his sight. Pearson pharmaceuticals are a huge global corporation and the chief at the top of the company is the founder Arthur Denning. When Ben learns about some possible manipulation in drug trails, he goes to his bosses and tells them that he can convict Denning of fraud.
Continue: Misconduct Trailer
Natalie Portman has paid tribute to the late director Mike Nichols in a statement. She joins the likes of Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Steven Spielberg in expressing her grief via social media or in a media statement.
Natalie Portman at the Childrens' Hospital Gala in Los Angeles in October 2014.
1970s rocker Danny Collins (Al Pacino) has earned a reputation for himself as a sell-out. He hasn't written a song for years, and his family has been left behind while he embarks upon the life of a true rock star. But when his manager reveals a previously lost handwritten letter from John Lennon, instructing Collins to remember who he is and not lose himself. Wondering what could have happened if he had actually received the letter 40-years-ago, Collins embarks on a journey to rediscover his family and find out just what made him famous in the first place.
Continue: Danny Collins - Trailer
What happens when Christopher Nolan moves away from his usual thriller genre to make a sci-fi? 'Interstellar'; that's what.
Over the past 15 years, Christopher Nolan has proven himself as a master of intelligent filmmaking, generally sticking to the psychological thriller genre while mixing in action and brain-bending flourishes. And now with Interstellar he has left the confines of Earth's gravity to head into science-fiction for the first time.
Intriguingly, Nolan has still maintained his commitment to in-camera effects even in this genre, refusing to indulge in flashy digital trickery just because he can. Like his last few films, he has also shot portions of the film in Imax, massive screen imagery photographed on film, not digitally, which gives the entire movie an earthy texture that's intriguingly realistic. This also focusses even the most existential and scientific discussions squarely on the characters.
Continue reading: Interstellar Is A New Genre For Nolan
After a 30-year wait, the classic actor will delight London audiences again from 2016
Al Pacino has exclusively revealed to the Daily Mail that he will be returning to the West End in a production of Oscar Wilde’s play, Salome, in 2016. This will mark a return to the London stage for the American actor for the first time in 30 years, although he has dipped his toe in the Wilde water before with productions of Salome in New York and Los Angeles.
The latter was filmed in 2006 as a cinema version that is currently on release, starring Jessica Chastain in the title role. This new British outing for Pacino will serve to be more than the rehearsed readings in the states and the star has promised: "We’ll be wearing clothes for London".
Continue reading: Pacino To Return To West End For Salome
As Venice Film Festival closes, Toronto takes the spotlight, complete with starry red carpets. Cameras catch Zac Efron filming in L.A. and the Criminal set in East London. There's also a glimpse of Lava and trailers for Night at the Museum 3 and Horrible Bosses 2...
The Venice Film Festival came to a close this week with a flurry of star-studded premieres and the glitzy awards ceremony. Al Pacino was on hand with his film Manglehorn, Owen Wilson premiered his new comedy She's Funny That Way, Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon walked the red carpet for 99 Homes, and Ethan Hawke and January Jones turned up for the screening of Good Kill.
Robin Williams was famous for bringing the characters of Mrs Doubtfire and Aladdin's Genie to life. But what other, lesser-known projects did he appear in?
The late Robin Williams was well-known for a number of iconic roles and had spread his talent liberally across comedy, thriller, drama and animation. From the fantastically eccentric Mrs Doubtfire, to the troubled and unhappy Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting and the inescapable comedic brilliance of the Genie in Aladdin, Robin Williams stamped his presence on so many films that audiences will never forget.
Robin Williams tragically took his own life on Monday 11 August
But he also featured in a lot of motion pictures that people have forgotten: perhaps there’s only room in the human brain for so many brilliant movies. As a tribute to the actor, who was found dead as a result of suicide on Monday 11 August, we look at some of his lesser known projects.
Continue reading: The Lesser Known Films Of Robin Williams
The Emmy Award nominations were revealed yesterday (Thursday 11th July). Breaking Bad; House of Cards; Modern Family; Game of Thrones and Mad Men all received multiple nominations. Netflix made history by becoming the first internet network to be nominated for a number of awards.
The Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced yesterday (Thursday 18th July). The nomination ceremony was presented by Kate Mara and Aaron Paul via a live video stream on the Emmy's website.
Kate Mara at the Vanity Fair and Juicy Couture's Celebration of 2013 in L.A.
Netflix has managed to triumph with nominations for their shows: House of Cards; Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development. The company are developing this aspect of their business, which is proving hugely popular and profitable. The future does seem bright for the company which announced it was expanding into its 64th country. It also seems likely their awards over the next few years will increase especially with recent praise of Orange is the New Black.
Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Awards 2013: How Accurate Were Nomination Predictions?
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
Tom Hanks will have to beat Tom Sturridge should he want to win the Tony Award for Best Actor.
Tom Hanks has been nominated for a Tony Award for his role as late tabloid reporter Mike McAlary in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy. The play, written by Ephron before she died last June, follows McAlary's life and career as he goes from ambitious reporter to Pulitzer Prize winning columnist. The play took six nominations in the announcement this week, including the big one - Best Play.
"She [Ephron] was nominated for a few other things throughout her career, but I think that because she was at heart perhaps the most quintessential of all New Yorkers," Hanks told the Wall Street Journal after the announcement "...to have this happen in the town that she viewed as her celestial home, that she would have probably been cowed into silence. Which would have been rare for Nora."
Hanks is one of the most decorated actors in the world, having won two Oscars for Best Actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump and Emmy Awards for his television series' Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Though the latter awards were for producing credits, Hanks still holds the statuettes and a Tony Award win would see him complete the 'grand slam' of awards. One man to have already achieved the same feat is Al Pacino, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992 for Scent of a Woman. He went on to win Tonys for Does A Tiger Wear A Necklace? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, later winning an Emmy for his role in the HBO movie You Don't Know Jack. Jeremy Irons, Liza Minnelli, Christopher Plummer, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith and Geoffrey Rush are others to have won an Oscar, Emmy and Tony award. Whoopi Goldberg has all three awards, PLUS a Grammy award.
Continue reading: Tony Awards: Can Tom Hanks Complete Grand Slam Of Major Awards?
New book from Exorcist director reveals his struggles with his lead actors in the past
William Friedkin’s career rose to pretty heady heights in the 1970s, with the highly revered French Connection, followed by The Exorcist – one of the most successful horror movies of the era (though Friedkin himself refuses to classify the movie as ‘horror’). However, his career plummeted quite dramatically, with the critical and financial failure of 1977’s ‘Sorcerer,’ which only recouped around half of its then-staggering $22 million production budget. In a new book from the director, he reveals in brutally honest account of his own successes and failures.
In the book, Friedkin also describes the struggles that he had with some of the best known actors with whom he worked throughout his career. Having clashed with the star of his controversial movie, Cruising – Al Pacino – he tells The Wrap that he never really got a chance to make amends with the actor. “I have not seen him a lot. We never moved in the same circles. I wanted Richard Gere for the role. Having seen the film at special screenings, I've come to realize he is still pretty damn effective in it, but he gave me a rough time for reasons other than the normal actor-director relationship. He wasn't on time and often didn't know what we were doing on a particular day.”
And it wasn’t just Pacino that gets a pasting from Friedkin. There’s not much love lost between him and Gene Hackman either: “I had a strained relationship with Gene. The important thing is he gave a damn good performance even though we had a rocky time of it.” Friedman also revealed in the interview that a new BluRay version of The Exorcist will be released this year, with an hour and a half of new extras.
Continue reading: William Friedkin Book Reveals Struggles With Al Pacino, Gene Hackman
Acting legend brings an onstage interview and Q&A session to the Palladium
Ever fancied a night with Al Pacino? Of course you have. And now that dream can come true (as long as you’re savvy enough to snap up a ticket), because the movie legend is bringing a one-man show to London’s iconic Palladium theatre in June. According to The Mirror, the show will be entitled 'A Night With Pacino' (no need for first names when you’re as famous as Pacino) and will include an interview with the 72 year old about his life and his illustrious career in Hollywood.
He’ll be talking about his time working off-Broadway in the 1960s, right up to the present day and audience members will also get a chance to partake in a question & answer session. The event takes place on Sunday June 2, 2013. Details for the show are not yet available on the theatre’s website. Pacino himself has commented on the special one-off event, saying “I am really looking forward to coming to London… I have always felt at home there. I consider it an honour to be appearing at the Palladium and I will be glad to be back on the boards in your great city.”
Al Pacino has been nominated for an Academy Award no fewer than eight times. He finally landed his very own statuette in 1992, for his performance in Scent of a Woman.
Al Pacino will tread the boards at the London Palladium on June 2, 2013.
Al Pacino is bringing his acclaimed one-man show to London's West End this summer, performing at the London Palladium on June 2, 2013. 'A Night With Al Pacino' will feature an on-stage interview with the actor about his career in the movie business, followed by a question and answer session with the no-doubt sold out audience.
The 72-year-old, nominated for 8 Oscars in his career, is still best known for his portrayal of Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, though was peerless between 1973 and 1990 when he made such classics as Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, Bobby Deerfield, And Justice for All, and, of course, Serpico. With stunning turns were to come after his golden era, in the likes of Dick Tracy, Glengarry Glen Ross, Carlito's Way, Donnie Brasco and Heat, he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor that he was long overdue for The Scent of a Woman in 1992.
"I am really looking forward to coming to London," said in a statement announcing the UK show, "I have always felt at home there. I consider it an honour to be appearing at the Palladium and I will be glad to be back on the boards in your great city."
Continue reading: Al Pacino Bringing One-Man Show To London's West End
Good reviews for the TV movie biopic
It’s been a good return on the reviews front for Al Pacino’s turn as the hugely successful and controversial music producer Phil Spector, in the eponymous HBO film about the temperamental figure.
The big haired big tempered producer has produced everyone from The Beatles to The Righteous Brothers and, erm, Starsailor in his time (no, us either). However he was convicted of second-degree murder in 2009, for shooting actress Lana Clarkson in his California home in 2003. He’s currently serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life. Pacino is playing the part of Spector in the HBO biopic, and it has to be said he’s going down very well indeed. Also starring Helen Mirren, the New York Post said of it “Mirren and Pacino are fantastic, and Tambor rightfully underplays the larger-than-life Cutler, who rivals Spector himself.”
Entertainment Weekly says, meanwhile, “The film co-stars an on-form Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector's real-life defense attorneys.... Pacino too is excellent.” The Hollywood Reporter meanwhile references Spector’s recent jail time, by saying “Even though the movie is loaded with enough to satisfy those who believe Spector did it, as Mirren’s role is written and Pacino’s performance hints at, the film seems eager to suggest Spector was found guilty mostly of being a freak.” It continues to add “That have-it-both-ways storytelling doesn’t make Phil Spector a great legal movie, but it allows two exceptional actors and a talented writer a chance to play with reality.” The television premiere for this is on March 24th.
Continue reading: Al Pacino's Phil Spector Role Gets Rave Reviews Ahead Of HBO Premiere
Having hatched an evil plot to steal the moon in the first movie, Gru appears to have let fatherhood take over from his dastardly passions after the adoption of Agnes, Edith and Margo. However, his bad deeds have not been forgotten. As his new daughters get older, he is forced to join Agent Lucy Wilde of the Anti-Villain League in their plot to overthrow a new evil rival with plans way beyond their competency. While his minions attempt to rescue him from this difficult new project, he is ultimately forced to agree to the mission after facing formidable, if ridiculously named, company director Silas Ramsbottom. It's Gru's first time on the side of good - but will he find it a suitable career move from his former immoral ways? Or will this new evil give him plenty of new ideas?
'Despicable Me 2' was the hugely anticipated follow-up to Golden Globe nominated animation 'Despicable Me'. From the producers of 'Ice Age' and 'Shark Tale', it has been directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud ('The Lorax') alongside writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio ('The Santa Clause 2', 'Horton Hears a Who!', 'Hop'). Featuring that smash hit single 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams, the film was released in July 2013.
Continue: Despicable Me 2 Trailer
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.”
Thank god for James Franco, huh? Everyone's favourite actor-turned-student-turned-performance-artist had two films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday evening (January 19, 2013), though one of them caused more of a stir than the other. Franco is co-director of Interior. Leather Bar, a movie purporting to be a re-creation of "40 minutes of hardcore gay sex that director William Friedkin cut out of his controversial 1980 movie Cruising," reports Hollywood.com.
The original film starred Al Pacino who goes undercover in the New York leather scene to resolve a number of grisly murders. Had Friedkin kept in the gay scenes, the movie would have almost certainly been rated X and not reached an extensive audience. With "oral sex, masturbation, and erect penises galore," it seems Interior, Leather Bar is going to be pretty hard to screen too.
Though not as controversial as 'Interior..', James Franco's other Sundance effort still contained plenty of pornography. The actor serves as co-producer of Christina Voros' Kink, a straightforward documentary about the porn website Kink.com. The film explores how the multi-million dollar company goes about managing the world's largest collection of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.)
Continue reading: Sundance 2013: James Franco Brings The Leather-Clad, X-Rated Gay Scenes
In intriguing news, Al Pacino and Brian De Palma are to hook up again for the third time to appear in the film Happy Family, the film based on the real-life story of the late American football coach Joe Paterno, whose successful reign at Penn State was undone after it became public that he’d been aware of defensive co-ordinator Jerry Sanduvsky molesting children, and had done little to stop it for fear of tarnishing their legacy.
A dark story, it was one made for the team of Pacino and De Palma, who – you should know – teamed up most famously in the gritty gangster film Scarface in the 1970’s. They pair also teamed up for the critically acclaimed Carlito’s Way, which gives plenty of cause for excitement ahead of this new project. Pacino’s name first became linked to the project last year, though was never officially confirmed; however Deadline is now reporting that Wallstreet producer Edward R. Pressman has optioned the bestselling book Paterno by Joe Posnansk, based on the subject, and it’s Pressman who has spilt the beans.
“Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma and Pacino for the third time and I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” said the producer. Having racked up the most wins in college football history, Paterno was a man with nationwide love and respect, that is until allegations about Sanduvsky got out, and the full extent of the cover up was revealed. Sacked from his role at Penn State, Paterno lived the last years of his life with a huge cloud of sadness hanging over him before his death in January last year, aged 85. Sanduvsky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse against young boys.
Al Pacino can certainly be described as a method actor when it comes to getting under the skin of the characters he is about to portray.
However, despite taking on the role of former record producer and convicted killer Phil Spector for an HBO movie, Pacino decided against visiting the man in prison. Instead, he opted for watching video tapes of the man in order to get into character. Reason being that, according to Pacino, the man he would be portraying – the Spector before conviction - would not be the same man that he would be visiting in prison.
His decision didn’t make much of a difference, however, as it turned out that the actor had already met Spector about 20 years prior. A friend showed Pacino a photograph, in which he was standing next to the producer, dated a couple of decades back. The actor said he had no memory of the event. The film, entitled Phil Spector, is set to debut sometime in March and is going to focus on Spector’s relationship with his lawyer Linda Baden. In the flick, Baden will be played by Helen Miren. All in all, with such a star-studded cast, this might be one to watch out for in 2013.
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
Following the evil schemes of Gru in 'Despicable Me' involving the hijacking of the moon with his little yellow minions and wicked cohort Dr. Nefario, 'Despicable Me 2' sees their anticipated return in the summer of 2013. Having competed against his rival Vector by going one up from his Egyptian Pyramid theft and successfully stealing the moon, the first film saw Gru adopting three young girls and giving up the stolen rock to rescue them from the ruthless super-villain. Does his success make Gru learn his lesson and become a decent man after his newfound fatherly affection for his girls, or will he and his minions return with an even more abominable plot to become the most notorious super-villain in the world?
Continue: Despicable Me 2 Trailer
Jack Sadelstein loves his family. He loves his wife, Erin and he loves his two children, Sofia and Gary. But the one family member he truly hates is his sister, Jill. Which is why Jack dreads Thanksgiving every year; it's the one time of the year where Jill travels up to see him to stay for a few days.
Continue: Jack And Jill Trailer
When hard-boiled rapists, pedophiles, murders, and drug lords slip through the legal system, are people who take the law into their own hands criminals or heroes? Righteous Kill explores the familiar subject of vigilante killers with a slight twist. This time, the killer is a cop.
Continue reading: Righteous Kill 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
Unlike many critics, I don't feel the sequel has the weight of the original -- many feel it to be better than the first film -- but it certainly is a necessary and extremely good follow-up, adding a wealth of information about "the family" that only serves to enhance the experience of the original movie. The problem, of course, is how could you measure up to The Godfather? The truly memorable scenes from the series -- the spilling cart of oranges, the horse's head, Michael's vengeance in the Italian restaurant, "an offer he couldn't refuse" -- are all found in the original, not here (or at best, they are simply repeated in the sequel). Godfather 2's most memorable moments -- the Senator's private meeting with Michael ("My offer is this: Nothing."), the denouement of Fredo -- pale in comparison. Well, not exactly pale, but you can't say that Godfather 2 is as good as Numero Uno.
Continue reading: The Godfather: Part II Review
Part one, "Millennium Approaches" is full of ominous portents, plague and destruction, the rampant spread of AIDS in the chilly clime of '80s conservatism, while the second, "Perestroika" makes the political issues bandied about earlier in the film devastatingly personal. The story runs from 1985 to 1990 and takes in a broad sweep of characters, but not nearly as many as other writers would have packed in, simply to give a broader demographic sampling. Central to the film is Prior Walter (Justin Kirk), a 30-year-old AIDS sufferer whose boyfriend Louis (Ben Shenkman) leaves him in an astonishingly heartless manner, only to take up soon after with recently uncloseted U.S. attorney Joe Pitt (Patrick Wilson). Left mostly to his own devices, with only his friend Belize (Jeffery Wright) to help, as Walter gets sicker, he begins to have visions of an angel (Emma Thompson, odd, arrogant and completely captivating), determined to make him a prophet, claiming that God has deserted the world and that humans are at fault.
Continue reading: Angels In America Review
And not "fake," like some butt-kissing movie actress, but really fake. Simone (or S1m0ne, as Niccol sharply titles the film) is the perfect pixilated creation of a Microsoft-age mad scientist, who's created his flawless CGI actress specifically for floundering moviemaker Viktor Taransky (a truly entertaining Al Pacino). Viktor needs a hit badly and the lead actress on his new feature -- played by Winona Ryder, in a painfully ironic appearance -- has just stormed off his new movie due to "creative differences." Nine months later (human gestation period, if I'm not mistaken) Simone is born to take her place. And since our obsessive inventor has quickly died from an eye tumor, contracted from too much computer use(!), only Viktor knows the true secret of his new lead actress.
Continue reading: Simone Review
There's only about 22 minutes of plot in "Any Given Sunday," Oliver Stone's innovative, bone-crunching ballet of sound and fury football, so lets get that out of the way right now:
Al Pacino stars as the embattled, old-school coach of a fictitious pro football team. Cameron Diaz, is the willful, profit-zealous daughter of the franchise's recently deceased owner. Jamie Foxx is a hotshot young quarterback whose know-it-all attitude and colossal ego threaten team unity. He's just replaced the injured, aging, Elway-esque veteran QB Dennis Quaid, whose compound back injury has spelled curtains for his career -- if only his ruthlessly ambitious, harpy of a wife (Lauren Holly) would accept that fact.
During the last two minutes of the fourth quarter of the Big Playoff Game that serves as the film's climax, each of these characters (especially the selfish ones) will have an epiphany about what's really important in their lives.
Continue reading: Any Given Sunday Review
Beneath the uncanny, inevitable and seemingly shrewd facade of the movie-biz farce "Simone" -- about a computer-generated actress taking Hollywood by storm because nobody knows she's not real -- lies a plot cobbled together from largely flat and uncreative moments.
The brainchild of inventive and otherworldly writer-director Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca," "The Truman Show" screenplay), who plucked the picture's concept out of the film industry's paranoid collective subconscious, "Simone" stars Al Pacino as Viktor Taransky, a washed-up and somewhat neurotic director whose last chance at making a big studio film has just walked off the set along with his petulant leading lady (Winona Ryder in a cameo).
But just as he envisions his career going off a cliff, a dying wacko computer genius and Taransky fan (Elias Koteas) brings the director a computer hard drive containing the culmination of his life's work: a program that creates a near-perfect, completely malleable, realistic simulation of beautiful girl. Called Simone (a contraction of Simulation One), in the confines of a computer she can walk, talk, flirt and cry with a single keystroke. She has a database of famous actresses' best performances to draw from for mannerisms and moods. She's utterly at Taransky's control and, of course, her fabricated "performances" can be digitally inserted into any scene of his movie, any way he chooses.
Continue reading: S1m0ne Review
Date of birth
25th April, 1940
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