ARTICLE IS INTERVIEW/REVIEW OF 'CARLITO'S WAY' - "TEDIOUS MELODRAMA"
Michael Cartel, whose 1982 movie, Runaway Nightmare, was remastered and released on Blu-ray last year, was not a fan of Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way when he interviewed Al Pacino upon the film's release. Cartel recently posted the 1993 interview/review on his Runaway Nightmare website. In the interview, Pacino tells Cartel that he read the Edwin Torres books "long before I did Scarface," and worked on the idea of a movie adaptation for years. Meanwhile, Cartel writes in the article that he was "miffed" that Pacino took on this project just after his Oscar win for Scent Of A Woman.
Elsewhere, Cartel asks Pacino what it is like to be a method actor and work within De Palma's complicated setups. "Suppose you were in a scene," Pacino responds, "and you have to do something and you go through this whole thing and you do it and then the camera had to go through it. So that can be a little nerve wracking from time to time. But you know, you get over it and understand these movies and you can see how they pay off... He [De Palma] did a shot... It was about a five-minute straight shot and he choreographed the whole thing. He set up for weeks just to choreograph it. And you wonder why he is doing it. You think, why doesn't he just shoot it in cuts? This is movie. Remember Griffith? He discovered the cut. You see the picture and you realize that sometimes those things really work because they put you in the movie in a certain way and you don't even know it. It works on your unconscious. I saw the movie and didn't realize that he didn't make one cut, five minutes... But when you don't know that's what is going on, when it is just happening, then I think it has served a purpose... I don't think he's showing off."
Cartel then states in the article that he disagrees, adding, "De Palma often calls attention to himself like some mad Roman emperor sitting atop a crab dolly." A bit later, Cartel discusses Sean Penn, writing that "Penn is the superb standout in this tedious melodrama." And Cartel shows disdain for the ending of the film: "David Koepp adapted the books into a script and swiftly got stuck for an ending. Producer Martin Bregman worked with Koepp for two years on this project and decided to tie up the denouement by having a mysterious character reappear and perform an unbelievable solution for the production company.
"Script analyzers for literary agencies are unpublished scriptwriters with jealous, heartless souls. But they do keep film stories with gaping holes from going further than their own desks. Apparently the messenger was shot in Bergman's office before she could escape with the bad script news."
While Cartel felt at the time that "Carlito certainly won't be Pacino's defining role," he predicted that "Sean Penn will garnish several awards for his performance in this film."