Friday, February 16, 2007

Outstanding performances in relatively shitty movies

Looking back on my sports career, a time between 1979-1991 when I didn't have such a predisposition for pre-ejaculation and snacks, I always regret the fact that I was never the bona fide star on a winning team. I mean, I was often a marginal piece in a championship puzzle, sometimes even being an important piece, but I was never the one getting carried on the shoulders of my teammates as I lifted the championship trophy in shit eating glee. More times than not I found myself being an absolute stud on a team full of science geeks who were only there because their father's probably thought that playing sports would be the ultimate kyrptonite to them having multiple penises finding their cheeks a safe haven as an adult. There was that one Little League year that I hit .450, sure I was a decent hitter, but because we had so many kids on the team that couldn't hit a hanging pinata, the coach would often have me skip kids in the rotation because I could hit the hanging curve. There was little league Football, our team was so bad that the coach had me playing linebacker and running back, most games I didn't get one moments break!(I thought that my father would intervene, a coach overusing his precious son and all, the only thing my father said as I exhaustively wept to him post game was "Now you know how it was to grow up in the deep south during segregation, you little son of a bitch!!".)

Whenever I see an amazing performance in a bad movie, I immediately think back to those days when I was the only little league football player in the world to average 3 touchdowns and 8 tackles.

Actor: James Gandolfini
Movie: "The Mexican"(2001)
The same way I feel that Black Thought is a premiere MC who gets taken for granted, I feel the exact way about Brad Pitt, an amazing actor who gets taken for granted simply because people think that his looks provide him the unique opportunity to fuck your girlfriend, in front of you that is. I mean, "12 Monkeys", "Snatch", "Se7en", "Sleepers", "Fight Club", Brad Pitt is one of the few actors that I would pay for one of his movies sight unseen. That being said, that particular ideology is what landed my miserable black ass in a theater watching a flick as horrible as "The Mexican". Its not that it offended my sensibilities or anything, I don't have the urge to find the writer or director and ask for my money back at gunpoint, I'm just indifferent about it the same way I am about one of my bowel movements. The one sun wray in this overcast of a movie was James Gandolfini, Tony Soprano himself, playing a homosexual hit-man. Any other actor would have made that role a mockery, but Gandolfini plays this ruthless dispatcher of lives with a bit of heart, randomly reminding you that his sexual orientation doesn't mean that he lacks the ability to rip your fucking heart out!!

Actor: Edward Norton
Movie: "Death to Smoochy"(2002)
Another guy who I'd see in almost anything is Ed Norton, but "Death to Smoochy" turned out to be a clusterfuck of epic proportions, a flick that I rank up there with "Citizen Kane" only after I've imbibed alcohol and had my lips intimately acquainted with a bong. I know this is supposed to be a dark comedy about the seedy world of children's programming, but it seemed like one big inside joke that I wasn't aware of. I must say, Edward Norton plays "Smoochy" with a child like innocence, but his cookie cutter image and brief flashes of rage make you feel that he was once an entirely different person, a dude who mercilessly throat-chopped motherfuckers and left loose change on nightstands after sex. My bad, that's me.

Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Movie: "Along Came Polly"
I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to Ben Stiller movies, I love "There's something about Mary" and pretty much hate everything else. OK the guy isn't that bad, I do like a few of flicks, but what makes a great comic actor is their ability to have the audience feel that his penchant for tickling your funny bone comes rather easy to him. I always get the feeling that Stiller tries so hard to make us laugh that you can almost see him straining, and sometimes when you strain too hard you shit yourself and make a stinker like "Along Came Polly". It seems so slap-sticky to me that I feel that the "The Three Stooges" are somewhere saying, "Now that's some Hacky bullshit!!!" The bright spot was Phillip Seymore Hoffman playing Stiller's friend, a washed up ex-child actor who can't let go of a time where people thought his chubby cheeks were adorable. From him embarrassingly admitting to Stiller that he shit himself, the way in which he ate pizza, the way he tried to play the lead in a local play that he was only a minor cast member in, and I can't forget the horrible display of basketball skills in which he put up so many bricks that he could have built a miles worth of project housing.

Actor: Jim Brown
Movie: "She Hate Me"(2004)
One of my best friends is a huge Quentin Tarantino fan, and every time a fast pace movie thats predominately violent comes out, like "Lock Stock and two smoking barrels", "Crank", or "Smokin' Aces", he bores the piss out of me with these long diatribes about how the directors of each of those films was desperately trying to rip off Tarantino. This gets him mad, but I explain to him since Quentin borrows from so many people when making his films, that "Quentin isn't even Quentin!!!" Of course he gets angered and tries to attack Spike Lee, a guy who I consider a genius, but after a few minutes of me breaking down the angles he uses, that moving dolly shot that is dominant in all of his films, the fact that the guy is an exceptional writer, and the pure brilliance of "Bamboozled", he pretty much does everything but waive the white flag in defeat. Yes, I'm one of his biggest fan's, I just wasn't a huge fan of the movie "She hate me". Listen, I'm a pig, so the thought of scores of hot lesbians wanting to come to me so I can unload my demon seed inside them is a comforting thought akin to going to heaven in the afterlife, I just felt this movie was a mess when it comes to the high standards that Lee has set.

I even get the parallel to the slave trade, the women checking out the protagonist's body the same way slave masters would seek out the strongest slave for labor purposes, I still didn't give a fuck. I did enjoy the pretty subdued performance of possible the most famous man who to ever throw a woman over a balcony, Jim Brown himself. He played the main character's father, a dependent diabetic who drops jewels of wisdom whenever his son seeks his advice. I never cared too much about Jim Brown's roles back in the day, the gun slinging characters who would anger the white masses when he would sodomize white women on camera with a cheese eating grin on his face, I tend to think this is the best acting performance of his career.


Justin said...

Lock, Stock doesn't belong on that list at all. Guy Richie has his own thing going.

Rose said...

With Jim Brown I don't remember ever looking at a movie he was in and saying dang, he played the role well.

Amadeo said...

Now I'll spend the rest of the day hearing "RAINDROPS!"

Gandolfini did kill it in the Mexican...especially when he kills the other hitman.

melette said...

I loved She Hate Me. I thought Jim Brown's performance was great as well. I also agree with you about James Gandolfini's performance in the Mexican. He did really well.

DJ Black Adam said...

Well, I agree Ed Norton is always good, but I guess you have to have children to get "Death to Smoochy", I found the movie hilarious.

Brother OMi said...

The MExican sucked ass. I thought i was the only one that watched "Along came Polly" ... whew...