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Written by Matthew Pejkovic

Al Pacino

With a career spanning over 30 years on stage and screen, master thespian Al Pacino has hit an extremely messy patch starring in one woeful film after another and lamenting a spot on a TV talent show.

I remember a time when a film starring Al Pacino was an anticipated event. He was hands down the best actor of the 1970's, the star of the two Godfather films, Serpico, Scarecrow and Dog Day Afternoon.

He was the f-bomb dropping volcano of cocaine fuelled aggression known as Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's classic gangster epic Scarface. And finally, after a 4 year hiatus, he was the comeback kid of the 1990's, starring in Glengarry Glen Ross, Carlito's Way, Heat, Donnie Brasco, The Insider, and finally snagging the Oscar for his role as a blind man in Scent of a Woman.

In short, he was bankable, credible, and entertaining.

And now? Now he is seriously considering becoming apart of the popular talent novelty show, Dancing with the Stars whilst promoting one of the worst films of his career in Jon Avnet's over bloated crime/thriller 88 Minutes, (which has gone straight to DVD in a number of countries).

Whoa, did you say Dancing with the Stars, the haven where every B-list celebrity (and lower) from Steve Guttenburg to George Hamilton can go to rejuvenate their flagging careers? Yep, the one and only.

It did not always seem this way. Only a few years ago Pacino was on top of the world with Emmy and Golden Globe wins for his role as Roy Cohn in the acclaimed mini series Angels in America (placing him in a small group of actors to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Tony award). He followed this with a mesmerizing turn as Shylock in Michael Radford's adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Then came a number of clunkers. He tried to out do Matthew McConaughey's chest in Two for the Money, failed to impress in crime caper Oceans Thirteen, and now must suffer the duty of promoting a film not even worth his talents in 88 Minutes. Add those to the list of his post 2000 stinkers (Gigli, People I Know, S1m0ne), and it is pretty evident that Pacino is not having a good run at it lately.

Hopefully, the future will be much brighter for Pacino and his fans. His next film has him re-unite with The Godfather Pt II and Heat co-star Robert De Niro in Righteous Kill (although with Jon Avnet behind the lens it may not be all that Righteous), his decision to take on the role of an aging Salvador Dali in Andrew Niccol's Dali and I holds much promise, and his supposed involvement in the remake of classic French heist film Rififi could put him back on top of Hollywood, where he rightfully belongs.

Until then, Pacino is going to have to endure the storm brought on by 88 Minutes, and hopefully will not waste his or our time as a novelty act on a talent show. He is too good for it.


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