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09.17.2008by: Jim Law

Top 10 De Niro vs. Pacino

I knew I had to celebrate the teaming of my two favourite actors this weekend one way or another. It might not ever happen again and I could care less if RIGHTEOUS KILL ends up being dog shit (I haven't seen it yet), their first two films together were two of the best I'll ever see. I didn't know how to approach the article at first. Best movies? Too boring. Best performances? Too hard. Worst Movies? Too easy. At some point I started wondering what would happen if they fought each other (the FIGHT CLUB poster above my desk talks to me) and that eventually led to if they fought each other in character. Ten times. Using ten different characters each. And that, friends, is how a Ten Spot is born. I picked ten of their most memorable rolls and pitted them against one another to see who, in fact, has the most badass resume. Don't mind the rankings on either side, I had to move some around to make sure the fights were fair. If you're still reading this and wondering who's art I stole for the title picture, wonder no more.

10. Neil McCauley (HEAT) vs. Vincent Hanna (HEAT)

I started easy. So easy, in fact, I didn't even have to play this one out in my head - Hollywood already did it for me. Still, these two characters and this film deserve to be mentioned somewhere on here. De Niro has never looked cooler but it's AP that takes the early lead. In some subliminal way, I just spoiled this movie for you. That's okay though because if you haven't scene this film yet I don't like you anyway. DENIRO-0, PACINO-1

9. Rupert Pupkin (THE KING OF COMEDY) vs. Will Dormer (INSOMNIA)

All Will wants to do is sleep and Pupkin won't stop with his fucking half-assed comedy routine in the mirror. Enter the gun. Will empties his barrel deep within the his proud chest and downs a bottle Nyquil. Just as he's about to fall asleep Hilary Swank shows up and talks about nothing for four hours.DENIRO-0, PACINO-2

8. Johnny Boy (MEAN STREETS) vs. Lefty Ruggiero (DONNIE BRASCO)

Both guys prove to be a thorn in the Mafia's ass. Johnny Boy because he's lunatic and Lefty because he introduced them to Donnie. Johnny doesn't really care about anything though so this shit is over quick. I don't even think he knew they were supposed to fight, he just killed him for walking by. This shit is really happening in my head folks. Keep up. DENIRO-1, PACINO-2

7. Michael (THE DEER HUNTER) vs. Tony D'Amato (ANY GIVEN SUNDAY)

Tony sets the tone early with intimidation. He screams so long and so hard Michael ends up doing push-ups in the corner for half an hour. Then the flashbacks set in. Michael remembers the yelling. Michael remembers the slapping. The gun to his head. The echo of the trigger. Tony tries to run from the look in his eyes but it's too late. His headset is split in two as the bullet finds his finely groomed skull. Somewhere, Jamie Fox says "Ahhhhh hell no!" DENIRO-2, PACINO-2

6. Jimmy Conway (GOODFELLAS) vs. Frank Serpico (SERPICO)

There's nothing Jimmy hates more than a rat. When he sees Frank whispering to some shady looking individuals outside of the police station he knows it's time to rub him out. Even if it has nothing to do with him and Frank is a cop in another movie. Work with with me here. Serpico moves to Switzerland to start a new, safe life but Jimmy and his goons track him down and bury him in seventeen different graves in and around the mountains. Yaaaaay Mob guys! DENIRO-3, PACINO-2

5. Max Cady (CAPE FEAR) vs. Carlito Brigante (CARLITO'S WAY)

I had to skip this one my first time through the list. These are two of my favourite characters ever going head to head in an imaginary fight in which I determine the outcome. I needed some time, and a couple shots of courage. After three boxes of wine and a cherry hooker I found myself uncomfortably staring at that picture of De Niro and wondering if he was looking at me. He was, and that was all I needed. DENIRO-4, PACINO-2


Al desperately needs to stop the bleeding so he goes all out here. Capone shows up with his trusty bat but forgets his bible as Horn Head obliterates him with nothing more than a couple fireballs and a pitchfork. Predictably, there's a price put on Satan's head and Charlize Theron gets naked. DENIRO-4, PACINO-3

3. Travis Bickle (TAXI DRIVER) vs. Frank Slade (SCENT OF A WOMAN)

Ninety-five percent of this fight is spent with Bickle asking Slade if he's talking to him. The glassy-eyed stare into the distance is messing with Travis' mind and Frank doesn't help matters by ending each sentence with "Whoo-ahhh!" Bick finally snaps and takes out the guns as Shady Slady makes a run for it and gets run down in the street by a taxi. Ironic. DENIRO-5, PACINO-3

2. Jake La Motta (RAGING BULL) vs. Tony Montana (SCARFACE)

Jake starts out by working the ribs and opening things up for his powerful right. Tony seems spent as he heads back to his corner after round two. He passes on the spit bucket and grabs a machine gun. Round three explodes into a messy blood bath as Tony kills everybody in the building. Pictures of the event hang on the walls of college students and hardcore rap artists for years. DENIRO- 5, Pacino-4

1. Vito Corleone (THE GODFATHER II) vs. Michael Corleone (THE GODFATHER I,II,III)

Michael thinks twice before fighting this younger version of his father knowing that if he kills him he will cease to exist (he just got done watching BACK TO THE FUTURE) and that's all the opportunity Vito needs. Without the slightest bit of emotion, Vito slits Michaels throat and lets him bleed out in front of his brothers. Fredo shits himself. FINAL RESULTS: DENIRO-6, PACINO-4 It was a good battle but Pacino's boys spent a little bit too much time with the yelling and the carrying on while De Niro's legacy is made up of guys that enjoy killing people. They're two of the greatest actors we'll ever see. I hope you get a chance to appreciate that.



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