The common complaint (amongst idiots) about Michael Mann’s Heat is that the heavyweight acting showdown between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro is a dud because the two banter almost exclusively via over-the-shoulder shots in their one substantial scene together. When the film hit home video in pan-and-scan format, a bogus theory cropped up claiming that the two never even exchanged a line of dialogue during the shoot (in other words, the backs of the heads occupying the foreground belonged to stand-ins). Well, for those of you who needed to see Pacino and De Niro squaring off in the same frame for the duration of an entire movie, here is the teaser for Jon Avnet’s Righteous Kill.
As I said in my June 20th, 2007 Crop Report, I’d love to see these guys hook up a few more times before they’re geriatrics, but thes screenplay by the talented Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man) is derivative and utterly preposterous. The basic idea of a serial killer targeting perps previously collared by Pacino and De Niro isn’t a terrible idea, but the execution was way off (and the major plot twist heavily telegraphed). Still, I’m interested to hear how this trailer works for those of you who haven’t read the screenplay. If it weren’t for Carla Gugino, I’d declare this a highly ineffective piece of advertising (which means anything is salable with a dollop of the Gugino).
Overture Films plans to release Righteous Kill on September 12th. That’s the same day Focus Features opens the Coens’ Burn After Reading. One of those films will blink.