When I heard that Al Pacino was playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, part of me was extremely skeptical. I was fearful he would bellow every other word ("If YOU prick US!"), which has been his acting technique for over a decade. Or, perhaps he would lapse into the Foghorn Leghorn accent that made The Recruit such a hoot.

It's been a crap shoot with the great actor for some time. Watching Pacino is like watching a beloved, over the hill athlete sticking around. He hobbles, the crispness of his movements isn't there, and the mixture of luck and confidence he once had is just a pleasant memory. More often than not, you just hope he just doesn't stumble. You just want a glimmer of what once was.

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