For some reason, I seem to mix up Al Pacino with Robert De Niro. The former I agree with; the latter is pretty darn good (even if I'm not into all his movies.)
I disagree about Robin Williams, if he's given the right part. I think he's a really talented actor and is just beginning to show it. Take a look at Doubtfire, Birdcage, Jack, Awakenings, and even Alladin.
I can see the Pacino/De Niro problems. If I remember correctly they were the main characters in Heat and I had trouble keeping them straight in my mind even in the same movie.
I completely agree with your decision to add Sharon Stone to this list. Although a very glamorous looking woman, her acting has all the emotion of a soap dish. And what a monotone voice! I may be a little quick to judge, but I'm basing this off of the only movies of her I've seen: Basic Instinct, Diabolique, and The Quick and the Dead.
Robin Williams may not be a first class actor, but he is one of the funniest comedians ever.
Agree with you fully on Al Pacino: I've never been able to see what others apparently see in him. He's a mugger: he mugs, he mugs, he mugs. Why are so few people able to see that?
and he makes any movie entertaining and watchable. Except Scent of a Woman. I really couldn't deal with Chris O'Donnell. He thinks he's the shit.
Pacino cannot be overrated. Seen The Insider yet?
I haven't seen The Insider, but I am eagerly looking forward to it. But I'm more looking forward to Russell Crowe than Al Pacino, who can be overrated, in my book. I've really enjoyed some stuff he's done, but more often than not I am hyper-conscious of his performance. I can't recall ever getting lost in one of his characters. He's always Al Pacino, and (almost) never the character he is supposed to embody. Maybe that's why Looking for Richard was one of his better recent works.
Of course, it's still possible that The Insider will turn me around on him.
Thanks for being on my side about the Al Pacino thing--I've been looking all my life to find someone besides myself who thinks he's waayyy overrated. I don't know about the post-Scent of a Woman thing, though. I recently saw the Godfather trilogy and Marlon Brando was the only good one up there. :-)
I agree that Al Pacino has been typecast as over-the-top, highly emotionable characters. However, that does not mean that he is not a very good actor. The following is his pre-Scent of a Woman resume: Godfather series, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface, Serpico, And Justice For All, Dick Tracy, and Frankie and Johnny. These roles are relatively diverse and some of the performances are great. His 90's resume is strong as well: Glengarry Glen Ross, Carlito's Way, Heat, Looking for Richard, Two Bits, City Hall, Donnie Brasco, Devil's Advocate, Insider, and Any Given Sunday. Once again, the characters often have forceful, aggressive aspects, but many have endearing and emotional sides as well. I just feel that Hollywood has overall typecast Pacino, and that in no way means he is overrated.
I also disagree about Robin Williams. He is not only a great comic actor: Birdcage, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Aladdin (voice). He may be an even better dramatic actor: Fisher King, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet's Society, Awakenings, World According to Garp, Toys, Patch Adams, Jack, and Dead Again (cameo). He has another drama on video, Jacob the Liar. All of these roles incorporate his comedic ability into the performances, but comedy is what people are most familiar with him. I feel that his Fisher King was a standout performance, and could have won him the Oscar, if it weren't for the overwelming popularity of Silence of the Lambs.