He's got a good future if he can live past next week.
A Puerto-Rican ex-con, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of NYC.
Damn, I forgot how much I loved this film. The first time I saw this years ago, I fell in love with it instantly and saw it many countless times afterwards. I have'nt seen it in so long, I forgot I loved it so much and I was reminded just how much this still manages to blow my mind.
First, I gotta talk about the acting, but this mght take a while...
Al Pacino is fucking incredible. Every emotion he expresses and every movement he makes nails it over the head. Even the narration is amazing. Like his narration, this performance helps you believe that Carlito Brigante is this tired, broken down gangster who wants to find peace in not…
Ten years after the perfect combination between Brian De Palma and Al Pacino in Scarface, the duo returned to another crime story, Carlito's Way. While Scarface was a tale about the ascencion of a crime lord, Carlito's Way tells an atempt of life change by one big gangster, Carlito Brigante.
It's needless to say that Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors ever lived, and his role in this movie is for sure one to be among the very best of his career. Actually, the whole cast is remarkable, a fantastic interpretation of a unrecognizable Sean Penn, a terrific and sexy Penelope Ann Miller and lots of great actors in small roles, like Viggo Mortensen in one of his…
I appreciated Carlito's Way more than the first time I saw it. Seeing it in the correct aspect ratio this time made a big difference; this is one of De Palma's most visually expressive movies, which is saying a lot. The meticulous widescreen compositions and bold use of color (the red brick wall in the first shootout!) reminded me of Nicholas Ray and Vincente Minnelli; it's a movie from 1993, set in 1975, and it looks like it could have been released in 1958. The action sequences are among De Palma's best, Pacino and the supporting cast are excellent (Paul Clark pointed out that Viggo Mortensen's performance is one of the best one-scene roles), and it's fascinating to see Pacino…
Wow, dated a little in places but one of Pacino's best performances and typically excellent steadicam work from De Palma. The 2 hours plus never drags, all leading up to a superb climax. I'd always had this in my head that it was a "lesser" work from the period but its easily as good as the best movies of the era.
Reformed well-meaning stereotypical ethnic fellow vows to stay away from drugs and violence; except when he's directly involved with drugs and violence. This film is also known as That Other Film That Dudes Who Like Scarface and The Godfather Rarely Mention Because "Scarface, bro!" But Still Love. The studio opted to not go with that title, though, because it doesn't fit so great on posters.
once it was "The World is Yours", now it's "Escape to Paradise". shit ain't what it used to be.
Tony Montana, reformed, cursed to live in a world where everyone thinks they're Scarface. Or maybe that's just his version of hell.
Carlito's Way > Scarface
Had to include the fat guy in the pursuit group (& continually cut back to him huffing & puffing), didn't you, Brian? Credit where credit's due, though; the things BDP usually does to irk me are thankfully in short supply here. He's working in service of the story, going to his bag of tricks only when required (cf. going overhead in the club bathroom to reveal Kleinfeld enjoying himself, or going to the camera tilts during that 360 spin around the strip club when centering on the stage), & even getting his Hitchcock rocks off in a pretty subtle & effective way (though it feels like John Ortiz is reaching for that beer for a long long time). I guess I like this guy most when he's least like himself, or at least exercises some restraint.
& oh yeah a balding jittery conniving Sean Penn yelling at someone to stop fucking a girl out in the open during a party.
One thing I took away from a second viewing was how much this film needed De Palma's touch. First viewing I just thought it would need a really good director and it would be a great film no matter what. Though after seeing more of De palm's filmography I could tell how much of De Palma was in this. It obviously never gets to the point of Dressed to Kill or Femme Fatale, but in much of Carlito's Way you can tell De Palma was behind it.
Pacino's greatest performance? De Palma's greatest film? Yes and yes, probably. This is one lush, lush, romantic and (as usual) gorgeously directed film. The score, by Patrick Doyle, is also astounding. Whereas the point of Scarface was the cold, unfeeling lust of Capital, Carlito is a chronicle of a man trying to escape that world: it's a gangster movie with a beating heart. Romantic with a capital R, with a sinuous, sensual camera and an enormously powerful last act that's rarely been matched in cinema history: those crazy French at Cahiers were right about this one.
Another great work from Brian de Palma and Al Pacino. It maybe similar to Scarface, because it's also a rise and fall story, but in this Carlito's motivation is not to become more powerful and rich, he only wants to be better than he is. Yet step by step and scene by scene, his fate is sealed.
While enjoyable, the movie didn't seem to be 100% sure where it was going, so it suffered with pacing issues - particularly in the middle. De Palma has a beautiful visual style (though he adores his left tilting camera shots), his movies just don't live up to their "classic" reputations.
Carlito's Way hinges on how much you believe in the bone-headed move scumbag attorney David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) makes, ultimately and tidily dooming Pacino's Carlito. I didn't, but that affects my opinion of the brilliant Brian De Palma little. Given his past, the rules of the street can't leave Carlito unscathed.
De Palma's crime thriller with a conscience, while overshadowed by Scarface, still delivers the Hitchcockian suspense and over-the-top visuals that the director has become known for. A drug deal-gone-wrong and self-plagiarized train station shoot-out should be admired by any student of film. But, Carlito's relationship with Gail (Penelope Ann Miller) needed some context, while the movie is more bogged down by a subplot involving gangster John Leguizamo, who, I'm sorry, is just not a scary dude. And Viggo Mortensen as a Latino? Come on now.
Carlito`s Way ist ein Film mit vielen Problemen. Auch wenn er handwerklich gut gemacht ist und mit eigentlich guten Darstellern aufwarten kann, funktioniert wenig in Brian de Palmas Gangstergeschichte: Die Dialoge sind plump und wenig geschliffen, die Musik ist offensichtlich und aufdringlich. Vor allem Penelope Ann Miller neigt zum melodramatischen übersteigern ihrer Zeilen, Sean Penn spielt erstaunlich inkonsistent. Der Liebesgeschichte des Films fehlen Herz, Charme und Chemie.
Al Pacino spielt solide, die unpassend und wenig eleganten Expositions-Voicover wirken allerdings befremdlich und unpassend.
So bleibt in der Summe wenig mehr als ein nettes Action-Finale, das allerdings vom stellenweise fragwürdigen Spannungsaufbau unterminiert wird und ein moralisierendes Ende in dem der böse Gangster seine gerechte Strafe bekommt. Schade.