Tag Archive: al pacino


A couple of days ago I posted The Best Actors Over the Age of 65. It was a list that put together eight of the most talented older actors still working in movies together. However, there were a few people that I didn’t have room for. A lot of wonderful readers reacted positively and wanted a sequel so I thought… if it’s good enough for Hollywood, then it’s good enough for me! Here comes the second part…

Michael Douglas – Born: 25th September, 1944 – 68 years old.

Douglas appeared to slow down in terms of his acting at the turn of the 21st century but in the past twelve months and in the coming year he looks to be speeding up once more. Most famously known for his role as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, a role he recently took on again for the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. In the past few years he has continued to star in relatively good films such as The Sentinel and Haywire.

Al Pacino – Born: 25th April, 1940 – 72 years old.

Along with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino is synonymous with the crime genre. Appearances in The Godfather trilogy, a legendary role in Scarface and alongside the former in Heat have cemented his place as an acting legend. However, his two Oscar nominations have come for two of his most dramatic roles in Glengarry Glen Ross and Scent of a Woman (for which he won the Oscar). Recently he did his reputation a lot of harm and became a target for many jokes after a cameo in the disaster that was Jack & Jill but he looks set to get his reputation back playing the lead in King Lear.

Sir Patrick Stewart – Born: 13th July, 1940 – 72 years old.

One of the finest thespians ever seen. Patrick Stewart seems like an icon of maturity and has a voice as smooth as Morgan Freeman – a voice he has lent to American Dad which shows off his light hearted side too. He’s the man who was made in the mould exactly to fit the role of Professor X and it has become his most iconic role of recent times. Although he does more voice work these days he is returning to the wheelchair for Days of Future Past next year.

Martin Sheen – Born: 3rd August, 1940 – 72 years old.

Martin Sheen proved he still had the acting chops to cut it with the young’uns in The Amazing Spider-Man, in which he put in the best performance of the film as loveable Uncle Ben, contributing to one of the saddest/mood effecting scenes of summer 2012. He’s no stranger to brilliant films either, appearing in Catch Me If You Can and The Departed as well as, earlier in his career, Wall Street and Gandhi.

Dustin Hoffman – Born: 8th August, 1937 – 75 years old.

Hoffman is a really incredible actor. I don’t think that has ever been in doubt since he made his name in 1967 in The Graduate. He has had a career of terrific films right from the get go: Straw Dogs, All The President’s Men, Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man are just a few. In recent years he took a little move to comedy for Meet the Fockers but continues to do voice work for DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda series.

Burt Reynolds – Born: 11th February, 1936 – 77 years old.

Burt Reynolds’ film career has taken a bit of a back seat over the past few years with him focussing more on television roles, but his acting talent is still obvious. He was nominated for an Oscar back in 1998 for his supporting role in Boogie Nights and appeared in Adam Sandler’s last (probably ever) good film The Longest Yard. He’s been acting since the 1950s and has given no indication that he is ready to stop just yet.

Clint Eastwood – Born: 31st May, 1930 – 82 years old.

A list like this wouldn’t be complete without Clint Eastwood. He is one of the most popular movie legends of all tine thanks to his roles in Westerns such as A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and his role as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry and its sequels. Although he has now given up acting to focus more on directing he did return for Trouble With the Curve last year to remind everyone what they were missing.

Sir Christopher Lee – Born: 27th May, 1922 – 90 years old.

At 90 years old Christopher Lee is an actor who is just as great to watch now as he was at the beginning of his career. Incredibly, Lee has been acting since the 1940s, meaning this is the seventh decade that we will have seen him on screen for. If any young actors are looking for inspiration then this man has to be at the top of the list. He helped to make British horror films popular with his role as Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films and he went on to star in two of the most popular franchises of all time: The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) and Star Wars.

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He is considered by many to be one of the greatest directors of the modern world and by the time he eventually retires his name will undoubtedly be up there with the all time true greats of film making. By comic book fans he is thought of as the man who saved Batman from it’s earlier embarrassments in the cinema and Warner Bros. now have him producing Man of Steel, the new Superman movie, in hope that he can bring another hero back from the cinema dead zone. However, Christopher Nolan does have his haters, but why? Is he really THAT good?

Without exception every single one of the feature length films directed by Christopher Nolan has been a critical success. Whether it be the small scale Memento or the huge big budget summer blockbuster that is Inception, Nolan never fails to impress the critics. Nolan has been nominated for three Oscars (one for directing, another two for writing) and despite not yet winning the award he is being recognised by his peers as one of the best directors around.

Nolan’s writing prides itself upon it’s mysteries. Memento was something new, something brilliant. And the mystery was kept going by the fact that the film played out backwards and nobody, not even the main character, knew what was going on. The Prestige had a fantastic shock ending that nobody had predicted upon first watch, yet when watching again it becomes clear that Nolan has left some clues along the way for any viewer intelligent enough to spot them. All the while, Nolan is teaching the arts of a magic trick whilst creating his own in The Prestige at the same time. The essence of mystery is something Nolan followed through with Inception and I think everyone who left the cinema after seeing Inception got confused at least once whilst watching and the ending still causes arguments a couple of years on (even though it is pretty clear what the ending actually is if you look for the clues).

However, one of Nolan’s biggest downfalls is his writing of female characters. This is a criticism that is levelled at the director again and again, upon the release of every one of his films and audiences have a point. The female characters in Nolan’s films have very little purpose but to act as plot devices and have an effect on the main character; in themselves they have little story and virtually no development. Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige is a good example of this and Ariadne in Inception too, along with the women in his Batman films. There really seems no need for them to be there and they add next to nothing to the story. With the inclusion of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises it seems maybe Nolan is trying to prove that he can write a captivating female character to compete with the men of his films.

It has been said that Nolan gets the best out of all the actors he works with, but look at the people he has worked with: Guy Pearce, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, the brilliant Hilary Swank, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine… the list goes on. Point is, every one of the aforementioned actors was already established and thought of as a very good, if not some of the best, performers at the time. Even I could have made a film with Michael Caine and Leonardo DiCaprio and got good performances from them because they are already brilliant actors! Nolan doesn’t seem to challenge himself, but then again, if you can work with the best around then you’re going to do that and who can really blame him.

As briefly mentioned earlier, Christopher Nolan has brought a new life and new energy to an otherwise dead and buried franchise in the form of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the latter being described as one of the best films of all time. It may be a stretch but Nolan could be seen as the saviour of comic book films. Before him, of course, there was already Spider-Man and X-men that had been successful but Nolan showed what successes comic book movies have the potential to be.

Whether you like him or not nobody with a sensible view on movies can argue that Christopher Nolan is not a good director. His films are among the best of modern cinema and he is definitely one of my top three directors of all time. With The Dark Knight Rises coming out this year it seems certain that Nolan is set to rise yet again and receive even more praise as he brings the curtain down on one of the best trilogies of all time.

The hype surrounding this man is definitely justified.

2012 Razzie Nominees Announced

What on Earth has happened to Adam Sandler?

With the Oscars just around the corner everbody in the movie industry has their eyes on the Academy Awards. However, this awards season, I am more bothered about the Golden Raspberries or the Razzies, as they are better known, which acknowledge the actors and films that are deemed the worst of the year. This year Adam Sandler has set a record at the Razzies with ELEVEN nominations. Here is the full list of nominations in the main categories and my predictions for the winners (or losers, however you see fit).

Worst Picture

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Jack and Jill

New Year’s Eve

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

Whilst I would love to see Transformers or Twilight go home with the Worst Picture award as I cannot stand either of the two franchises I think Jack and Jill seems nailed on to win this, but it could face tough competition from Bucky Larson which managed to acheive an incredible 0% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

Worst Actor

Russel Brand (Arthur)

Nicholas Cage (Drive Angry, Trespass and Season of the Witch)

Taylor Lautner (Abduction and Twilight)

Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

Nick Swardson (Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star)

I can’t say I’m surprised to see any of these actors on the nominees shortlist but with all the negativity surrounding Adam Sandler over the past year it would be daft to put your money on anyone else.

Worst Actress

Martin Lawrence (Big Momma’s House: Like Father, Like Son)

Sarah Palin (Sarah Palin: The Undefeated)

Sarah Jessica Parker (I Don’t Know How She Does It and New Year’s Eve)

Adam Sandler (Jack and Jill)

Kristen Stewart (Twilight)

In true spirit of the Razzies two men are up for the worst actress award and one politician. It would not be unheard of for one of the men to win it but Kristen Stewart does seem to be a favourite of the Razzies making the nominees every year so I’m backing Kristen Stewart to win this one.

Worst Supporting Actor

Patrick Dempsey (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

James Franco (Your Highness)

Ken Jeong (Big Momma’s House, Hangover Part 2, Transformers and Zookeeper)

Al Pacino (Jack and Jill)

Nick Swardson (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

There are a couple of big name actors on this list which is a shock. With all the horrible performances he has put in over the past year Ken Jeong seems nailed on to win this award. His main competition will be Al Pacino who’s cameo in Jack and Jill was critically panned. Although how Orlando Bloom managed to escape being nominated is beyond me.

Worst Supporting Actress

Katie Holmes (Jack and Jill)

Brandon T. Jackson (Big Momma’s House 3)

Nicole Kidman (Just Go With It)

David Spade (Jack and Jill)

Rosie Huntington-Whitely (Transformers 3)

I think this one will be going to Katie Holmes who is real Razzie bait. Unfortunately, I can see Rosie Huntington-Whitely being awarded with this too which I think would be unfair because she cannot have done any worse than the ‘actress’ she replaced, Megan Fox.

Worst Screen Ensemble

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Jack and Jill

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

New Year’s Eve

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Unfortunately, whilst I would be delighted to see Twilight take this award I think it is clear from the nominations in the other category that Jack and Jill will be taking this home. It looks as though Adam Sandler will have a lot of Razzies to throw away in a couple of months.

Worst Director

Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

Tom Brady (Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star)

Bill Condon (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn)

Dennis Dugan (Jack and Jill and Just Go With It)

Gerry Marshall (New Year’s Eve)

I will not be happy until Michael Bay wins a Worst Director award. Blowing things up a lot does not make for good directing. Quit. Seriously.

 

Whilst the Academy Awards attracts all the stars of Hollywood, the Razzies does not usually attract the big names. After all, who would want to accept an award which pans their performance? Sometimes, though, celebrities do turn up and in 2004 Halle Berry turned up to accept her award for Worst Actress for her performace in Catwoman. The speech was hilarious and Halle Berry gave a performance infinitely better than her acting in the film.

Enjoy.