Friday, March 18, 2005

Using My Rare Breath to Ramble: Still no let up; it'll be a while before I get back to normal. The only encouraging thing is that Sunday is the first day of Spring. I will have made numerous trips this winter in attempts to find some warmth and each time I ended up with tepid temps and sporadic sunshine. Never again. The lesson: Go Further South -- Caribbean, Mexico, or even Hawaii if I can swing it. No more of this namby-pamby stuff.

Anyway, I did manage to write up some quick comments on the Ritz-Carlton for Hotel Chatter (I appear there under the handle of dzot), where I stayed all too briefly while I was "down The Quartah." Do take a look. Don't worry, you'll still get a full write-up on Nawlins, this is just a preview. I also should mention a review I wrote previously about the hotel where I stayed in South Beach last; can’t remember if I linked it up before.

Right at this moment, Heat is playing on one of the 978 channels I get on digital cable. It contains a famous scene where Al Pacino (the cop) and Robert DeNiro (the crook) and have a cup of coffee in a diner -- two sworn adversaries respectfully sizing each other up. It’s a famous scene because it's the only time DeNiro and Pacino shared a scene in their entire careers (although now that they are both backsliding into self-parody it could easily happen again). The scene itself is not that good. The dialog is uninspired, but the two actors do their typically excellent job of lending it weight. There has always been some debate as to whether they were actually together during the shooting of this sequence since there is never a shot where both faces are in the screen. Every shot is an angle on one of them from behind the other so you see the back of the head of one and the face of the other. My guess is they were together but I can't really say definitively. In any event, the movie is stylish but the subject matter is pretty standard cop story where we have a neglected cop spouse, we have a crook with a sliver of a lonely heart, and we dwell on the parallel personality traits between cop and crook. It's about as good as that kind of movie can get. Worth watching, but it wouldn’t it have been nicer if DeNiro and Pacino worked together in something more dramatically significant?

BTW, I've never thought as highly of Pacino as others. Any time he has been in proximity of DeNiro he gets his clock cleaned. In The Godfather II Pacino acted like a zombie except for bursts of anger. DeNiro remarkably took a character that spoke very little English and whose older self was pre-defined by another actor (Brando) and made himself into a perfect early version of that character. DeNiro in GII, Raging Bull, Goodfellas -- the guy was absolutely incomparable.

Good grief. Why am I going on for paragraphs about irrelevant crap? I need to get to sleep. I'll check back in a few days.