Al Pacino; GodfatherThough his article is frustratingly conclusion-free, John Hartl nevertheless does a nice job of assessing the bizarre ebb and flow of Al Pacino's career at MSN today. Pacino's work in the 70s - particularly in The Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon - established him as an actor of rare talent, but also left him with the impossible task of having to live up to those expectations with every performance. As a result, though there are tons of actors making odd choices every day, Pacino is so famous and well-regarded that when he makes things like Gigli, or gleefully devours every bit of scenery in The Devil's Advocate, everyone notices. Being a Pacino fan must be so stressful - with every new movie that comes out, you're on pins and needles, wondering if it's going to be the sweaty, insanely aggressive Al or the subtle, graceful one who only yells when it's actually, you know, necessary.

The current suspense will be broken on Friday when Two for the Moneyopens. According to Hartl, Pacino's role as a sports-gambling expert in the film "combines elements of  Scarface and The Devil's Advocate." Ah. So this will be the yelling Al, then.