Posts Tagged ‘Al Pacino’

This week’s releases include: a sci-fi tour de force; a famous, tragic love story; a plunge into darkness; the true story of a kind-hearted drug dealer; the ultimate public, political betrayal; an entrancing mafia tale; a new Charlie Brown narrative; an amazing crime drama; an appalling future; an HBO series about the New Orleans; and a documentary that demonstrates one man’s trash is another’s treasure. (more…)

A season of thrills and chills calls for the release of equally spine-tingling entertainment. The inclusion of a few laughs, animation and some film classics makes for a well-rounded and notable month of releases. (more…)

Chloe (DVD)
When Catherine (Julianne Moore), a successful doctor, begins to question her husband David’s (Liam Neeson) fidelity, she sets out to resolve her suspicions with the help of an alluring young woman, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried). Soon caught in a web of sexual desire, Catherine finds herself on a journey that places her family in great danger.

Special features include: commentary by Egoyan, Seyfried and writer Erin Cressida Wilson; a making-of featurette; and deleted scenes. (E1 Entertainment) (more…)

Heat was a revelation – it was the first time heavyweight actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino took the screen together (they’ve since repeated the milestone event in Righteous Kill). Though they only shared the screen for one incredibly performed conversation, the cat and mouse drama still lived up to all expectations.

Neil McCauley (De Niro) is an expert thief with a cutthroat philosophy: don’t become attached to anything you can’t walk away from in 30 seconds if the cops get too close. His crew (Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) gains the attention of Detective Vince Hanna (Pacino) with a series of professional robberies that culminate in a shootout outside a federal bank. However, both men have met their match and are determined to win at the expense of their personal relationships.

In addition to the stellar performances put forward by Pacino and De Niro, Kilmer records one of the best portrayals of his career. In fact, there is not a single weak performer amongst the entire cast, which also includes Jon Voight, Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman.

At just under three hours, writer/director Michael Mann ensures there is never a dull moment whether through daylight shootouts, struggling relationships or life-changing decisions. While Heat is at heart a crime drama, it is captivatingly heavy in the drama department, taking full advantage of the calibre of actors involved. Characters are constantly facing difficult decisions, often forcing them to choose one love or another.

Blu-ray special features include: additional film content, commentary by Mann, 11 additional scenes and five documentaries: “True Crime,” which recalls the lives of the story’s inspirations; “Crime Stories,” which explores the film’s history and start; “Into the Fire,” a production featurette; “Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation”; and “Return to the Scene of the Crime,” revisiting the real-life Los Angeles filming locations years later.

Heat was one of the most anticipated movies of 1995, as it was the first to bring film icons Robert De Niro and Al Pacino together on screen. However, the pair only shared one scene as they played a game of cat and mouse. Righteous Kill reunites the movie heavyweights, but this time they’re partners with a lot more shared screen time.

Rooster (Pacino) and Turk (De Niro) are New York cops. They’ve been partners for a long time and more than have each other’s backs. When a vigilante starts ridding the streets of criminals who failed to be convicted and leaving poetry to mark his work, the duo team with a pair young cops (John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg) to find the serial killer. However, evidence starts to point to a cop and the newer detectives have no qualms about following the trail to one of their teammates.

Writer Russell Gewirtz made his feature debut with The Inside Man, an unorthodox heist film with an unexpected finish. He’s followed this up by penning the screenplay for Righteous Kill, a cop drama with an incredible ending. Other than creating captivating narratives, Gewirtz has been blessed with great star power.

Once again, the draw of seeing Pacino and De Niro perform together is magnetic; but the quality of the story must also be worthy of their talents. Luckily, it is. Each is perfectly suited to his character: Turk is an instinct-driven loose cannon, while Rooster is an eloquent, level-headed thinker. While everyone else somewhat exists in the shadows of these two, Leguizamo and Wahlberg hold their own. Additionally, Curtis Jackson (a.k.a. 50 Cent) plays a drug dealing thug, which is not a far stretch for the performer.

There are three DVD bonus features but they are relatively interesting. The “behind-the-scenes” featurette contains numerous interviews with cast, producers and the director, most of which praise the greatness of Pacino and De Niro, although an interview with Pacino is noticeably absent. “Thin Blue Line” explores the psychology and corruption of the police force, interviewing former officers who came up against the “blue wall of silence.” The audio commentary is provided by producer/director Jon Avnet, who talks about shooting and working with the actors.