Al Pacino

Last week’s discussion on the sex appeal of animated characters sparked a little offline controversy. Why did we forget to include sexy villains in our list, when everyone knows they can be just as mouthwatering? Now we could spend an entire novel talking about the awkward crushes we have on certain animated villains, just as we could in the opposite direction, however I’m more interested in the modern rejection of Hollywood’s traditional “uglying up” the bad guy. See, this is where movies have always lost me. A true villain, one who is charming, relies on henchmen, and has a bevy of beauties would never be a disgusting, rotted, warted-up mess. In fact, no matter how determined a villain is to get his or her way, their tinge of crazy (read: psychotic levels) often makes them more attractive to those sharing screen time.  This is probably why you feel the need to shower after watching anything starring Vincent Cassel. But recently mainstream films have taken a page out of the indie playbook and started making their villains just a touch more delicious. Movies.com’s Jenni Miller wrote earlier this week about the sexification of the rapist in next month’s Straw Dogs remake. She discusses her discomfort with the film’s marketing decision to highlight the sexiness of the gang of deviants and how the film’s “down home” feel will get lost with such good looking villains. I have to disagree. Although Alexander Skarsgard (Charlie) has made a career of playing a hot Viking […]

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Al Pacino seems like he took a couple years off from acting. Ever since 2008’s Righteous Kill we haven’t seen much from the legendary actor. But now news of his next career moves have suddenly started trickling in pretty steadily. Last week it was revealed that he’s negotiating to make a movie about an aging rocker with Dan Fogelman, and we already know he’s set to be in Barry Levinson’s eventual Gotti movie; but new word is that before the troubled but headline grabbing Gotti pic gets off the ground Levinson and Pacino are going to work together on something else first. Levinson is set to adapt the Philip Roth novel “The Humbling” from a screenplay written by Buck Henry, Michal Zebede, and Levinson himself. Pacino would star as the book’s protagonist, Simon Axler. The inside cover of the novel describes the story like so: “Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. … Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counter-plot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of […]

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Writer Dan Fogelman is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in Hollywood. He started his career strong by penning hugely successful animated film like Cars and Tangled, and recently he has upped his game by getting a lot of live action projects going. He has written a script for the Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand road trip comedy My Mother’s Curse, he made big money selling the script Crazy, Stupid, Love which is becoming a Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling comedy, and recently he even sold a script for a political comedy with Tom Cruise attached to star. That’s a lot of successful screenwriting he’s got going on. But, not content with just being a titan in the writing game, Fogelman is now looking to get his directorial debut together. The film will be called Imagine, and it’s about one of those old guy rockers who’s still hanging on to the lifestyle, but who wants to become a better person. In this film the catalyst for change is a letter from John Lennon that was sent 40 years earlier but never successfully delivered until recently. Whatever Lennon says in that letter sets the protagonist off on a path that leads to him reconnecting with an estranged son. Originally, Steve Carell was going to play the adult son, but he has had to drop out of the project in an acting capacity due to being Steve Carell. He’s a busy man. Someone who may be able to fit this film […]

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When Lindsay Lohan acted in Machete with Robert De Niro, it was like a dream come true, and now the countdown begins until we see her complete the circle by acting alongside Al Pacino in Gotti: Three Generations. Start carving notches on your cell wall. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pacino has signed on for the project which stars John Travolta as mob boss John Gotti Sr. The obvious story here is the gangland connection, especially considering Pacino’s shining acting achievements in the underworld and his involvement here as mentor figure Neil Dellacroce. But the real story is that Lindsay Lohan has closed the six degrees gap for Heat Barry Levinson is stepping in to direct the project. That’s an interesting call, especially considering Levinson hasn’t directed a solid film since 1996′s Sleepers. Okay, maybe Wag the Dog, but he’s got a serious drought going. This story needs to be more than a pound of hair gel slathered on a fancy suit, so hopefully Rain Man-level Levinson can come out of retirement for this one.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; all your candy are belong to us. How many words do I really need expend on this introduction? If you’re a frequent reader of the column, who hasn’t managed to blow himself up building a working replica of Bill & Ted’s phone booth, you are already aware of my affinity for terrible movies and you have wasted more time than you dare admit reading this insufferable column. For those of you who haplessly wandered in hoping to find the nutritional content of the KFC Double-Down or creative Junior Mint recipes, my condolences. But now that you’re here, you should know that the JFC system is threefold. First, I point out the film’s numerous faults; heckling it from the cyberspace balcony like Statler and Waldorf. But then, on a dime, I switch it up and sing the film’s inexplicable praises like a banjo-wielding frog expounding on the merits of rainbows. Finally I will pair the film with an appropriate snack food item upon which you can feverishly chow down like a furry blue monster well on his way to crippling obesity. This week’s delicacy (which is likely to be brought to you by the words cease & desist): Dick Tracy

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At what point does Nic Cage crossover from actor to Internet meme? Cage’s distinct brand of emotional overdosing, that would send Lee Strasberg himself into a coma, has been fueling the web for the past few years like gasoline on a steadily burning wildfire. Every film that sees release (barely) continues to showcase what the man does best: send reality into the stratosphere. He’s a walking, talking grindhouse film. That doesn’t mean it’s not serious art. Far from it. For every Wicker Man, Vampire’s Kiss or Season of the Witch, movies easier digested in two minute YouTube clips than in their full theatrical glory, Cage spins his explosive techniques into watchable films, like Kick-Ass, Bad Lieutenant and Adaptation. Whether his latest, Drive Angry 3D, fits into the first or second categories, there’s no doubt the man has had successful run thus far. This success puts Cage in the spotlight, but frankly, he’s not the only one (or the craziest) to make a career out of acting nuts. That’s right: I believe there are people more outlandish than Nic Cage in the world and, dagnabbit, the Internet needs to start acknowledging them for the loony performances they deliver:

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As if a better cast could be assembled. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino will all find themselves lookin’ at each other under the direction of Martin Scorsese for The Irishman. The plot could involve three out-of-work plumbers sitting around talking about the glory days, and it would still be a hell of a cast, but the film boasts mob ties, hit men, and conspiracy connections to JFK’s assassination. Plus, they might all solve where Jimmy Hoffa is buried so we can all finally get on with our lives. It’s possible that the only way to make this better is to include Harvey Keitel. Fortunately, he’s involved as well. The only challenge for the film will be keeping the curse words in the low thousands. [Cinematical]

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I’m robbing a bank because they got money here. That’s why I’m robbing it. On Aug. 22, 1972, would-be criminal mastermind Sonny (Al Pacino) walks into a Brooklyn bank with his two inept accomplices. The instant the robbery is under way, one of the accomplices gets cold feet and bails. Then, Sonny discovers most of money has already left the bank. Plus, the security guard is having an asthma attack and the tellers want to go potty. It’s going to be a long night. Why We Love It Remember Pontius Pilate? He famously asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus didn’t answer, so Pontius was like, “OK, wiseguy. It’s the cross for you!” (At least, that’s how I remember the story. It’s been a while since I read it.)

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by examining a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t fly us to the country of Wyoming. Part 20 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Crimes of Love” with Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.

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Culture Warrior

With all the invention, intriguing plot webs, and overall solid cinematic storytelling that Christopher Nolan’s films are credited for, yet another innovative characteristic of his signature narrative approach is often looked over: his own special brand of antihero. A thread that has connected Nolan’s films (scripted often in collaboration with his brother Jonathan) is the presence of a central male character who possesses some combination of destructive egotism, desperate selfishness at the risk of others, aggressive self-righteousness, willful delusion, or even the first signs of a messiah complex (“asshole” is used in the title of this post simply as an umbrella term for all the negative traits connecting these protagonists). I credit this aspect of storytelling and character development to the brothers Nolan, for filmmakers who work so successfully in Hollywood aren’t often able to bring to the screen characters who contain so many obvious flaws, and further credit goes to them for actually immersing us in their characters’ subconscious (figuratively in the case of all their films not titled Inception), making us give a damn about these characters to the point that sometimes these otherwise obvious personality flaws are only visible upon reflection after the film has been experienced. Nolan’s characters are often complex and intelligent, but beneath any confident exterior resides a deeply troubled psychology – some more obvious than others.

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We all know that alcohol is a depressant, so it’s one of those things that if you drink too much of it, you might just fall asleep. And with Christopher Nolan’s Inception sure to be the sleeper hit of the summer, you might be worried about people trying to steal your thoughts while you sleep. The cure for this would be a sure case of insomnia. Fortunately, Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia has hit Blu-ray this week. So after watching Leonardo DiCaprio and company sleep through Inception, come home and knock a few back while you watch Al Pacino have Insomnia.

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Scorsese says he wants Al Pacino as Sinatra and Robert De Niro as Dean Martin. Well duh.

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You don’t hear from Dr. Jack Kevorkian as much since he’s been paroled from prison in 2007. But with Al Pacino along for the ride, it’s likely that you’ll hear a bit more about him this year.

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mwl-heat

A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.”

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YouDontKnowJack

It turns out that Al Pacino has some new company for the biopic of Dr. Death chronicling his battle to legalize euthanasia.

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pacino-1

For some reason, Al Pacino has long been interested in playing the role of Napoleon Bonaparte of France, the infamous French Emperor who nearly conquered the world. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they’re both 5′ 7″.

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Pacino = King Lear. Hoo-ah!

“Who is it that can tell me who I am?” asks King Lear. Now we know that answer is “Al Pacino.” Can an iconic actor experiencing a career downfall play a King who watches the downfall of his reign?

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Salvador Dali

Antonio Banderas is in negotiations to play Salvador Dali in Dali, a look at the life of the surrealist painter. And it would appear that he isn’t the only one.

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Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Heat

While everyone is busy lambasting Righteous Kill, head to your favorite video spot and rent Michael Mann’s amazing Heat this weekend. You won’t miss going to the theater if you do.

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Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino from Righteous Kill

Die-hard Pacino and De Niro fans will enjoy seeing their favorite actors on the screen, but my suggestion for this movie is to go in with as low of expectations as you can.

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