Early in his career, the name Brian De Palma meant something different than it does now. Same can be said for the name Al Pacino. You heard those names and your ears perked up because you wanted to see whatever movie they were involved in. For some (loyal fans) the meanings have not changed (although I hope no one really wanted to see Jack and Jill), but for the masses those names carry a different weight; a lighter weight. Al Pacino has been doing the same thing (phoning it in) for nearly two decades now and De Palma has been making glorified smut for nearly as long. It seems as if these two individuals have lost their way.
They are teaming up for a third time to tackle a very interesting subject (not only that the subject itself is interesting but that the fact they want to tackle it is interesting). Yes, they are teaming up to make a film about Joe Paterno. I'm not sure why they want to go there right now, but they do. For those of you wondering why that name is significant, remember that Paterno was the Penn State football coach who was aware and hid the fact that Sandusky was molesting kids.
I'm glad the focus of the film isn't Sandusky (I don't want to see another film where child molesters are humanized), and I actually think that this premise has promise, but I'm just hoping that these two can get their act together in time. I'm more worried about Pacino. De Palma has visual style and individuality that could lend itself to material with strength. My issues with De Palma usually lie in the material he chooses, so if the script is etched out with enough depth of character, I can see him making this his own. Pacino, on the other hand, needs to reign it in here. I'm just wondering if he'll be yelling throughout 90% of the film, which is what he likes to do now. Paterno is a very different character than the one he's used to playing as of late, so this will be a stretch for him. If he can pull this off, maybe he'll get his show back in the Oscar limelight like his buddy De Niro did this year.
I honestly would have rather seen De Niro get the role here than Pacino, despite the fact that Pacino is a better fit physically, although honestly they should have tracked down Joe Pesci for the role.
We'll see what happens.