I know I’m taking my life in my own hands with the title of this post, but if you’ll hang in there with me, you’ll see where I’m coming from. A few months ago I posted my top 10 actors living today list. Like any list it was totally subjective. However, I left Pacino and DeNiro off the list and several people have commented that it was a mistake to do so. Just today someone left this in the comments section:
Pathetic!! where’s Pacino and Da Niro?? Watch these films then re-do the list: Scarface (watch it about 10 times), Godfather parts 1 and 11 (about 8 times each), Carlito’s Way (about 4 times should do), Dog Day Afternoon (you’ll want to watch it again and again, Taxi Driver, Casino, The Deer Hunter. Respects for including Jack Nicholson, totally agree there. But come on – Robbin Williams??? If you don’t enjoy my listed movies you need to get your priorities right man!!
I’ll agree that both Pacino and Deniro have given some great performances and been in some remarkable films. HOWEVER, just because an actor is in a great film doesn’t mean he’s a great actor. Not to mention neither Pacino or Deniro have given a really good performance since Heat in 1995 (9 years ago).
How about these stinkers given to us by Pacino and Deniro over the last few years:
- City by the Sea (Deniro)
- Gigli (Pacino)
- Showtime (Deniro)
- The Recruit (Pacino)
- Analyze That (Deniro)
- Sim0ne (Oh gag) (Pacino)
- The Score (Deniro)
- The Devil’s Advocate (Pacino)
- 15 Minutes (gag gag gag) (Deniro)
Here’s something else to keep in mind about Pacino and Deniro. They are both essentially the SAME FRIGGING GUY in almost every film they’re in. They’re like Kevin Costner that way. Pacino always talks the same, moves the same… he’s the same frigging character with a different name in almost all his credits. Same with Deniro. Its all they can do! Granted, they both do it VERY well… but it’s still all they can do.
Contrast that with someone like Robin Williams. Williams can play almost ANY role with a shocking diversity you rarely see on screen. An unassuming killer in Insomnia, a disturbed and misunderstood loner in 1 Hour Photo, A psychotic maniacal kids show host in Death to Smoochy, the professor in Dead Poets Society (Which he SHOULD have won an Oscar for), the psychologist in Good Will Hunting (which he DID win an Oscar for)… and on and on and on. Williams has never been in a film as good as The Godfather and he’s never given a single performance as good as Pacino in Scarface or Deniro in Heat, but he is vastly more talented an actor when it comes to playing diverse rolls and different kinds of films. Deniro and Pacino have both shown they can’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I really like Pacino and Deniro both! As a matter of fact I think they’re great! They’ve given us some of the most memorable characters on the screen in the history of film. It’s just that most of those characters are all usually alike. You may leave your differing opinions (hate mail) in the comments section below.