“For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”
You could have an extremely entertaining argument over exactly when in Breaking Bad Walter White stopped being a decent man in a bad situation making extraordinarily bad decisions and became an evil person. For me, the point of no return for Walt occurs both in the second season’s finale, but also brilliantly teased out over the course of the entire second season. Through the whole season you kept getting expanding clues that we were headed toward a calamity….then it became more clear that calamity was a plane crash…but it wasn’t until the finale that it became clear that Walt’s decision not to save his partner’s girlfriend (Krysten Ritter) from her drug overdose was not only a clear case of murder by inaction, but would cause a chain of events that would cost hundreds of people their lives.
Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Breaking Bad Season 2 (2009) “Cause and Effect”
Rachel McAdams will probably spend the rest of her career trying to shed The Notebook, but she’s doing a pretty good job. The film that made her a star also gave her a slight reputation as a serious actress; the kind the gets consigned to rom coms for the rest of their career (Meg Ryan Syndrome). McAdams has bucked hard against that preconception of her, turning in excellent dramatic work in State of Play, True Detective, and her Oscar-nominated turn in Spotlight. She’s a gifted comedienne and extremely likable in films like Game Night and Morning Glory. Those dual gifts are on full display i my favorite film of her’s (Spotlight is better, but you don’t really watch it on a lark): the very underrated About Time. She’s also joined Doctor Strange’s corner of the MCU and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes franchises in recurring roles. Continue reading Rachel McAdams’s 10 Best Movies
Jason Bateman has had more success at making a career out of being hilariously deadpan since anyone since Bob Newhart. Bateman was a child star, first appearing way back in 1981 in Little House in the Prairie before, more famously, in Silver Spoons from 1982-1984, and in Valerie from 1986-1991, growing up on the small screen. Bateman was a journeyman, but quality TV actor until the cult-turned-mainstream success of the wonderfully subversive Arrested Development made him a huge star and also made him in-demand for film roles as well. He’s had some great comedies, most lately the awesome Game Night, as well as surprising by showing dramatic range in films like Juno, Up in the Air, and The Gift. As his career nears 40 years already, Bateman has become extremely good at picking projects that showcase his type of laconic humor and expect him to continue to be a fixture on TV and film as long as he wants to act. Continue reading Jason Bateman’s 10 Best Movies
Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy is one of my favorite TV characters of all-time. Baldwin’s megalomaniacal, prescient, manipulative, eccentric NBC executive was a hit from the pilot, but really had his first moment of pure “Jacktasticness” (trademark pending) in 30 Rock’s sixth episode. Jack has his overworked showrunner Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) pulling extra duty during an especially busy time writing jokes for a conservative fundraiser at which he’ll be speaking. This scene is the culmination of an episode of Donaghy messing with Lemon for his own amusement, plus it contains the greatest one-line explanation for why a character SHOULDN’T be wearing a tuxedo in entertainment history. 30 Rock went on to become one of the seminal sitcoms of the last 25 years, and in the sixth episode you can already see why.
Martin Freeman looks like an accountant more than he does a major star, but Freeman’s star has catapulted from the early days of the BBC’s version of The Office to roles in the biggest films Hollywood has to offer. Freeman has always bounced back and forth between television and films. He redefined Dr. Watson for a new generation in Sherlock, starred in a better Fargo than the film, and began The Office revolution. He’s also traversed Middle-Earth, traveled the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and starred in a trilogy of Edgar Wright’s most bizarre comedies. He has astounding range for someone who looks like a midwestern insurance salesman (he just changed careers from accountancy), and while is terrifically funny, can be menacing, charming, or heart-breaking in turns. Anything that has Martin Freeman in it is instantly worth watching, because if it’s good, he’s going to make it great, and even if it’s bad; he’ll make it tolerable. Continue reading Martin Freeman’s 10 Best Movies