Single Status Update
Happy Birthday Al Pacino! Happy you are still with us at 77!
My top 3 films of his are as follows: 1. HEAT, 2. The Insider, & 3. Insomnia. "Carlito's Way" co-starring Sean Penn gets an honorable mention too with it's retro 70's vibe.
"Scent Of A Woman'...I liked the blind colonel driving the red Ferrari & the young college kid on scholarship talking the Col. down from suicide with his piece. A very powerful scene:
"What life? I ain't got no life!" Al was a Kennedy Center honoree this past February too.
I tend to divide Pacino's career into 3 categories -
#1 The prime era (1973 to 1983); great movies include The Godfather, Godfather Part II, Scarecrow, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, ...And Justice For All, and Scarface. All of those movies you could argue he should've won an Oscar for (my money will forever be on 'Justice For All' being the one he got biggest snub for. Pacino carried that movie on his back and covered up the few issues the movie has, all with his acting skills).
#2 The fading career era (1983-1990); he didn't make any great movies in this period, but Sea of Love was entertaining, and it was cool he got to make a movie with Ellen Barkin back when she was considered an upcoming sex bomb in Hollywood.
#3. Career resurgence (1991-2002); Al Pacino was on fire in the 90's. Not as great as his prime era where he got snubbed multiple Oscars, but still a damn good actor resurrected; GlennGary Glenn Rose, Carlito's Way, Heat, Devil's Advocate, and Insomnia are my picks of this era.
I don't count anything from the past 10+ years cause Al Pacino these days is a laughing stock who just sleepwalks through movies for a paycheck while putting little effort into anything in his old age. The only credit I can give him is that he's not the only one doing this (cough, cough...Robert De Niro)
IMO Scent of a Woman is like the diet coke 'Justice For All'. The fact he won his Oscar for that, to me, means that someone knew they screwed it up back in 1979 when he lost.
The big famous court room speech is a chilled version of this scene.
Carlito's Way is probably my favorite movie of his. Carlito is what I consider the unofficial sequel to Scarface. Carlito recycles a lot of the smaller actors from Scarface, giving them guest roles here and there. The entire movie is like a "what if" version of Scarface where the question of the mater is, "what if Tony had went to prison and/or changed as a person?". Carlito was a monster drug lord, who comes out of prison and wants to change that about himself, while also being stuck in the same lifestyle with the same scum bags. He's just like Tony Montana, except older, wiser, but naive. It's a redemption tale, and unlike Scarface, his character is very likable in that. You want to root for Carlito, where as with Tony Montana, he pretty much got what was coming to him at the end of the movie.
With Carlito though, you really knew beforehand it wasn't going to end well....The writing was on the wall already enough for his girlfriend to tell him. But he was too naive to listen.
I like Penelope Ann Miller in this movie too. She was greatly cast in this. The arguing she has with him felt real, IMO greatly underrated actress.
Carlito's Way may not have the cultural impact that Scarface had, but it's a great character driven story and I feel it's a criminally underrated film. That film actually has a bit of a cult following today. It don't have the fan base that Scarface has, but there is a pretty good sized cult following of people I've seen that hold that film up on the pedestal.