Posts Tagged ‘Al Pacino’

“Righteous Kill” Great Duo + Lousy Movie = Lousy Movie

September 17, 2008
Long time partners have an amusing conversation.

Long time partners have an amusing conversation.

The performances in Righteous Kill are so nuanced that the already weak story becomes that much more transparent.

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino play police partners who are on the trail of a serial killer that’s killing bad guys whom they believe is one of their own. At one point a psychologist says, “A serial killer cop, never heard of such a thing.” Guess he hasn’t seen Dexter.

After thirty years on the force, the two detectives, can finish each others sentences, but a psychological rift is created as they get closer to the killer. What transpires is supposed to be a mystery, but unless you’ve never seen a movie before you’ll know what the director, Jon Avnet, and screenwriter are up to long before they show their final card.

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“There Will Be Blood”: Jack Torrence is “Shining” Through

February 19, 2008

There Will Be Blood Oil

While “There Will Be Blood” hasn’t been a box office stud it’s being called a movie that will never be forgotten, which it may become, whether anyone has seen it or not.

The ShiningThe people that do never see it will think that it has something to do with milkshakes and bowling pins. Of course those that never saw The Shining will always remember that movie being something about an axe and Johnny Carson. It’s no surprise to me that Blood has entered into the public consciousness as The Shining did, as through my eyes I can confidently say that the former has influenced the latter exponentially.

Aside from quotable lines some of the other similarities include a larger than life performance by a highly regarded actor; performances that while the films were still fresh people complained they were perhaps too exaggerated. Then there’s the unsettling Bowling Pinwide shots and long takes with drawn out silences and the post modern music that heightens the tension; some incidental moments are even by the same composer. When P.T. Anderson claimed his movie was more like a horror film in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly it’s obvious he wasn’t lying.

It’s one of the things I love about Blood. Its willingness to really let loose and unhinge itself from anything human. These character’s represent the worst of their kinds.

Over at Jim Emerson’s Scanners (“Biggest Acting, Best and Worst; Over the Top, Ma!”) there’s talk about over acting and when it’s applicable and when it isn’t. (He also makes comparisons to The Shining.) I responded to the article with this: “If there’s a level of truth in the performance, and when I say truth, I mean emotional truth, then as far as I’m concerned the actor can be as over the top as he wants.” In some instances it’s left up to the viewer to find that truth. It doesn’t help if the creator of the films cheats…will come back to this. Being truthful and unlikable are two different things. Truth can sometimes be even more poignant when the character isn’t likable in the least.

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