There was a time, oh so very long ago, when Johnny Depp just made indie movies. His casting in a movie about a ride at Disneyland was odd. This was during barrel scraping days when they were making movies about their rides (Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion ring a bell?). Pirates of the Caribbean was getting rave reviews though. I know the sequels have dulled the magic of the first film, and likely the fifth (which comes six years after the fourth and no one seems to be excited over it) won’t help. However, remember back to 2003 when you first beheld Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: the worst/best pirate to grace the screen. His character’s entrance is rivaled only by Wilder’s Wonka as the best of all-time. One of my favorite shots period is the slow descent of his boat to perfectly time his lurch on to the dock. The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of the best action/adventure films of the 21st Century. Nothing that followed can change that, and that this film inadvertently sent Depp on a career plunging spiral of self-indulgent nonsense, doesn’t take away from this performance and this moment. I could watch it a thousand times. Never fails to make me smile.
Though it’s not going to pass the box office juggernaut that is Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still looks like it will be the biggest film of the summer and certainly was a hit with the fans. KT asked readers to dub the most awesome Guardian of them all and thus began one of the most furiously contested polls we’ve ever had. In the beginning, there was Star Lord. Peter Quill was dominating this poll through week one, and then it became a three-way race for the next two weeks as Rocket and Groot pulled right alongside him locking it into a virtual three-way tie. However, last week saw a surge of support for the Galaxy’s most gun-obsessed trash panda, and Rocket is the pick as KT’s Favorite Guardian of the Galaxy with Groot at #2 and Star Lord at #3. Absolutely no love for Gamora or Mantis? I get Gamora had really nothing to do in the last film but how do you not love Mantis? Fickle horde. A new poll should be up in a week. Thanks to all for the frenzied voting.
Sigourney Weaver has the best resume of any actress in the science fiction genre (including impressive turns in the Aliens franchise, Galaxy Quest, The Cabin in the Woods, Avatar) in addition to being one of the best dramatic and comedic actresses in Hollywood for three decades. She is THE template for a female action star for her work in Alien and Aliens, and she’s done some very covert work as a voice actor in two of Pixar’s gems (WALL-E and Finding Dory…ok, not so covert in Finding Dory). Her body of work is even more impressive than I realized when I began putting her list together and was forced to leave off things like Gorillas in the Mist or The Year of Living Dangerously that would easily make most actresses’ lists. Continue reading Sigourney Weaver’s 10 Best Movies→
Kurt Russell has been in show business since was 12 and did a guest spot on Dennis the Menace. Russell is still going strong at 66, having just starred in The Fate of the Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which will-whatever else happens in 2017-end the year as two of the biggest blockbusters. From his early work in TV, to nearly a decade of work as the poster child for Disney’s live action film division in the 1960’s to 1970’s, to Captain Ron, Escape from New York, and Big Trouble in Little China in the 1980’s and the action movie 1990’s, best marked by Tombstone. There are some people who understand Tombstone is fundamentally awesome, and some people who are clearly wrong. Russell has several Westerns among his best films, and does his best work in the shoes of the everyman in an extraordinary situation. Deepwater Horizon, Backdraft, and-what I believe is the best acting of his career-as hockey coach Herb Brooks in Miracle all show Russell not as a glamorous movie star, but as the audience’s point of view into an incredible situation. It’s an exceedingly underrated talent in an actor. He’s tremendously likable and (admittedly he skates on this at times) there are movie stars you sometimes just want to spend two hours with, and Russell’s 50 plus years in Hollywood stand as a testament to his efficacy in connecting with filmgoers. Continue reading Kurt Russell’s 10 Best Movies→