Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pacino or DeNiro?

Which one is better? I'm still formulating my opinion. I'd love to read yours in the Comments.

I have to get back to work (lunch is over). But, briefly, I think DeNiro has taken a few more risks, and shown a bit more range more often. However, I think Pacino has been more consistently entertaining.

It's basically splitting hairs anyway, since they are both excellent. Pacino benefited greatly early in his career by working with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather saga. He also has worked with Sidney Lumet and Harold Becker on some good-to-great films. But, has anyone benefited more, or more often, in an actor-director relationship than DeNiro has from working with Scorsese? Or, was DeNiro great anyway (and Scorsese just smart for continuing to cast him)? And, goodness, has anyone turned "overacting" into an art form more than Al Pacino?

14 Comments:

Blogger Saxdrop said...

You're right, they're both excellent but I don't think it's splitting hairs. DeNiro has, as you mention, without a doubt taken more risks and explored more breadth in characters. Even leaving out the Scorsese films:
--Deer Hunter
--Brazil
--The Mission
--Awakenings
--This Boy's Life
--Cop Land
--Wag the Dog
throw in his recent foray into comedies (as cringe-inducing as they may be) and it's clear.

For all the good Pacino films, how many of them, at first blush, make you think of him yelling and accenting bizarre parts of sentences?

2:04 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

"For all the good Pacino films, how many of them, at first blush, make you think of him yelling and accenting bizarre parts of sentences?"

Basically every one I've seen starting with ...And Justice For All.

4:25 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Beth said...

I gotta go with DeNiro. He's consistently a better actor ... and, well, he's sexy as damn hell.

4:30 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger mat said...

I'll jump on the bandwagon. DeNiro it is. I think I have enjoyed every one of his performances, even in some sub-par movies. Pacino, on the other hand, has had a few which I can't stomach to well. I will probably take a bunch of shit for this, but I thought Scarface was stupid. I never did get the facination with it. If you want over the top, how about "The Devil's Advocate"? He was awesome as Satan(?) .

5:14 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

I could never decide on the basis of their best material, it's too close to call. If I go to their worst material? Pacino has done mediocre stuff, but DeNiro?

Did you ever hear that story Dennis Hopper told on "Inside The Actors Studio?" Hopper's son asked him why did he do such a bad movie as "Super Mario Brothers" and Hopper told him, "that movie paid for the shoes on your feet."

Hopper's son replied, "dad, I don't need shoes that badly."

10:18 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Old Lady said...

'Frankie and Johnny at the Claire De Lune'

Pacino is more of a character actor who has reached great success as one. I would like to see him to a sensitive role. Now his 'Angels in America' role was excellent.

6:34 AM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Thank you, Mat! Scarface is stupid! Though actually that's mostly screenwriter Oliver Stone's fault, and Pacino's Cuban accent is pretty great...

2:35 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

Let me underscore that Pacino's Cuban accent is dead on. I mean p-e-r-f-e-c-t!

At least, based on my Spanish teacher from Freshman year, Mr. Hernandez (a Cuban refugee).

8:22 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Bubs said...

DeNiro. His worst scenery-chewing is small-time compared to the wild overacting Pacino has engaged in.

I like em both though.

12:23 AM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Saxdrop said...

This should be a regular feature. Bubs' picture prompts another one:

Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt?

3:55 AM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Dale said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:04 AM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger Dale said...

DeNiro for all the reasons above. I think part of the blame for Pacino losing this contest lies with the directors, why aren't they reigning him in a little and helping him showcase a quieter intensity?

11:06 AM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Wait, they're different actors?

9:42 PM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger Saxdrop said...

all that having been said, I forgot what a memorable, reigned in job Christopher Nolan was able to get out of Pacino in Insomnia.

6:10 AM, December 04, 2006  

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