Films featuring
Jon Voight

Pacino buys DeNiro a cup of coffee

Heat

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Poor old Michael Mann. Here he was getting ready to make what was going to be the Lawrence of Arabia/Citizen Kane of cops-and-robbers movies, and he thought he had the legendary Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino working together for the first time. What happens? They pull a switcheroo on him and stick him with the world’s worst Pacino impersonator. Continue reading

Pearl Harbor

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If Fox’s 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! was a little too academic and dry, then Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor is simply all wet. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve rarely seen a movie find more ways to put the wrong foot forward. The tacked-on romantic triangle makes Titanic look like Jane Austen and Shakespeare combined. The historical accuracy is slightly more suspect than O.J. Simpson. The special effects turn one of the most solemn moments in American history into a video game.

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Transformers

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When Hasbro gets a production credit, you probably shouldn’t expect a deep, introspective, emotionally fulfilling cinematic experience. Combine that with direction by Michael Bay, and you have the movie-going equivalent of eating all of your little brother’s Halloween candy. It’s nutritionally empty and, after you come down off your sugar buzz, you feel guilty about enjoying yourself.

While everyone involved but the special effects teams will probably keep their Oscar acceptance speeches on ice for another year, the truth is that Transformers succeeds in being exactly what it tries to be. Of course, when you aim low, hitting your target is often just a matter of gravity.

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