I was on my way home from the gym tonight and was thinking about my very favorite characters from television and film. Most of them are from films, obviously- but not all. Here are some of my very favorites…
1. Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz: NYPD Blue) There was no real contest when it came to this top slot. Maybe it’s because I actually watched all 270 episodes of the BLUE, but I think it had more to do with the fact that I really, really loved his character. Through the series, you really see Andy evolve and pass through so many life-altering events that you just feel like you know him so well. He’s so good in this, that he makes the actors around him good too. Solid cast, great writing, and Andy Sipowicz. That is the absolute genius of the show, they focused so heavily on developing the characters that you felt invested in their stories. And there was a big emotional payoff when you see how things ended up. I’ll admit, I actually felt very emotional toward the end- and I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Or since.
2. Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni: La Vita e bella / Life is Beautiful) This character was very cool. The story is just a very deep and multi-layered one that was written so well. Guido is just a great central figure that really drives not only the plot, but also the funny and softer moments in the story. Balances out all that is going on, with what the story is really about.
3. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack: Say Anything) I love Lloyd. One line sums up his whole character. When asked “how did you get Diane Cort to go out with you?” he simplies, “I’m Lloyd Dobler.” Straight faced and serious. Script available here.
4. Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell: Tombstone) Can you say INTENSE? Single best line in the movie- “Tell ’em I’m coming and I’m bringing hell with me!” Worth another re-watch or ten. Images here
5. George Kaplan (Carey Grant: North by Northwest) This is seriously Grant at perhaps his best. I love his smooth-talking way with the ladies that only George Clooney comes close to replicating. A gentleman (tall, too- he was well over 6 feet tall) Hitchcock did some good work with this film, directed a really exciting picture.
6. Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell: Miracle) This movie gave me a newly-found respect for Kurt Russell doing drama. Performed in a way that I just didn’t know he could. (By the way, based on this role I think he would have been the best pick for Robert Langdon if Ron Howard wasn’t such a coward)
7. The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid) Robert Redford. Need we say more? His natural charisma & charm make him a great outlaw. It seems Russell Crowe must have taken notes while watching this movie while preparing for 310 to Yuma.
8. John Bender (Judd Nelson: the Breakfast Club) How can you just not absolutely love the dialogue in this movie? Seriously. “Does Barry Manilow know you raided his wardrobe?”
9. Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart, Mr Smith Goes to Washington) Wow. This is Jimmy Stewart. Its almost like you see through the character right into Jimmy. Just this pure, honest, idealistic man who puts himself out there for the viewer. Truly amazing. It’s probably the only time I have ever experienced that while watching a film. You really feel like you understand Mr. Stewart as a person after seeing this incredible film.
10. Roger “Verbal Kint/ Kaiser Soze (Kevin Spacey : The Usual Suspects) Genius. Suspense like you don’t see often. wow.
So this weekend Allie was out of town, and I decided to rent a couple of movies. Quick stop to the local Redbox and I came away with Oceans 13 and Spiderman 3.
First- the good news. Oceans 13 was pretty great. Cast pretty well, VERY well written. Great script, no silly subtexts that got the story off-track. It’s a bit like they had a story to tell, and they just went to work. Great editing, kept things moving fast. In a way, it’s like we saw an abbreviated version of the whole story. Kept things tight, I thought it worked well. Didn’t seem like it was trying to pitch any character as the central figure. In the first 2, it seemed like maybe it was trying to showcase Pitt and Clooney. Not true this time. They were just characters with a part in a bigger story. Very cool. Also loved the visual effects. Always doing really unique things like cool titles, crazy stuff like when you can see the pheremones coming off the neck of Mr. Damon. Loved it. Worth the rent.
The bad news. The whole thing about Redbox is that it makes it very quick, accessible, easy. You can pop over, grab your dvd, pay your buck. No big thing. You get the chance to see the big movies (if you can find it in stock or if the machine isnt broken- again.) and also some that are either indie films or very risky. Generally it’s ok, because even if you didnt like it much you just tell yourself that it was only a dollar and you only had to go around the corner to get it anyway.
Spiderman 3…. not true. I was telling myself WHY COULDNT I HAVE JUST LEFT WELL ENOUGH ALONE? There are a few things I feel that I do really want to get back. My dollar, for starters. Next, 2 1/2 hours of my life. And sleep I gave up to sit through that trash. And how about my self-respect for having thought it was a good idea to give it a try. Maybe the embarassment of others knowing I actually broke down and contributed to that enormous failure of a film. So it goes way beyond a bad review.
Seriously, I have pretty much always had issue with Ms. Dunst. She is by no stretch of the imagination a respectable actress. Not capable of making anything convincing. Even breathing looks fake for this hack. Anyway- the crazy thing is, she actually fit right into this picture. She wasn’t even the worst part of the movie for a change. That’s serious.
The animation was way over the top. The script may have not even existed. They may have just improvised as they went along for the whole story. If I had advice for those involved in its production, it may sound something like this:
T. McGuire- Get yourself a good attorney and get out of that franchise. The longer you stay in it, the greater your chances of ending your career. You may have to go start making movies in Indonesia or something if you keep going. Somewhere they don’t understand English, and they think that the movies don’t make sense because of a bad translation or something. That’s your only hope.
Sam Raimi- what have you done? Are you serious about spending that much money and effort to pretty much obliterate all credibility? You, sir are screwed. Can’t even fix what you’ve just managed to jack up. Get out. Get the H out now. You are worthless. Cash in those checks and go live somewhere. Doesn’t even matter where, nobody will really recognize you anyway. Probably wont even have to worry about being unlisted in the phonebook either because there isnt anybody that would bother looking you up. Can’t even believe you have done this.
I’ll admit I havent ever been a big comic book reader but I think I can tell when something is seriously screwed up. For this, I think that Sam Raimi is a clown. And he has now make the web-slinger a clown too. And we all hate creepy clowns.
After reviewing some of my past posts, I find that it’s pretty obvious that I am a pop culture junkie. Not the same kind as Allie- she is really into the celebrity gossip. You know what I mean, US Weekly, E!, stuff like that. My interests are more like new music, movies, technology, world events, etc. So I suppose that translates into YouTube videos posted on my blog, photos, etc. Stuff I think is cool to share. That might get me less traffic, but it’s more my style.
I may not be as funny or clever as some of the writers whose posts I frequent- but it’s ok with me.
I do, however, have a pretty cool post I am working on. I think it will be a really fun one to look at.
By the way, this one is a Blake Lewis video I really liked. In celebration of his debut album release next month.
The other night, I watched Jerry on Conan. He did a stand-up segment that I thought was really, really funny. But hey- it’s garbage humor (not to be mistaken for trash humor). Take a look. Funny stuff.