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Pacino Goes On Mercy Killing Spree

By Brian Prisco | Industry | March 25, 2010 |

By Brian Prisco | Industry | March 25, 2010 |

Below is the trailer for the new Dr. Jack Kevorkian biopic set to air on HBO. Al Pacino stars as the white-haired “doctor o’ death” who stirred a national uproar when he created the Mercitron — a device that helped patients commit assisted suicide. I kept waiting for Billy Mays to start hawking it on late night, but alas, it would never come to be.

Barry Levinson directed the pic, and it’s got kind of a killer supporting cast: Susan Sarandon, Brenda Vaccaro, Danny Huston, John Goodman, and James “Dr. Venture” Urbaniak. The trailer itself has a serious Wes Anderson vibe, though it could just be the seventies-title graphics.

I can’t remember the last good Pacino film. I mean, he’s been in plenty of mediocre shit as of late. I’m pretty sure the last time Pacino impressed me was when he played Roy Cohn in HBO’s Angels in America. And Levinson’s gotta be up for a record. Every two or three years, he just drops an absolute bomb — a hardboiled egg and broccoli fart in a funeral home — at the box office. Seriously: What Just Happened, Man of the Year, Envy, Bandits.

But I’m feeling pretty fucking good about the prospects of the film. HBO kills with their made for TV films, especially anything with mild political rhetoric about it. And with the casting of Urbaniak as Jack Lessenberry, the Michigan journalist who was right in the thick of things with Kevorkian, and Danny Huston’s ridiculous wig, I’m feeling like Levinson’s gonna land strong with this one. And if it does suck, we need to consider euthanizing the prick.

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