Tag Archives: la confidential

Russell Crowe’s 10 Best Movies

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe had about as good a five years as any actor has in the late 1990s – 2000s with films like The Insider, LA Confidential, A Beautiful Mind, and Gladiator.  Not only is Crowe a chameleon as a dramatic actor, he’s an outstanding action star, and if the sometimes temperamental star is in the right setting, he has a very sardonic, dry comedic prowess.  He helped kick off the DC Extended Universe, doing a better Jor-El than Marlon Brando (granted it helped that no one ever cared less about a part than Brando did being Jor-El) in Man of Steel, but aside from that and 2016’s The Nice Guys, good parts have been rare for Crowe in the last decade.  I’m not sure if the Australian star has lost his desire, or if he’s burned too many bridges, but when you can light a fire under him, he’s one of the best actors alive, so hopefully the right part will come his way soon. Continue reading Russell Crowe’s 10 Best Movies

Russell Crowe’s Latest 10 Movies vs. Greatest 10 Movies

Latest vs. Greatest looks at directors, actors, actresses, screenwriters and composers to assess the state of their career as it stands.  We’ll look back at the latest 10 movies the artist has done, rate them and then average them out to see where they stand today.  We’ll also rank their 10 greatest movies and give them the same treatment to compare what they have been doing to their very best work.  (A quick side-note: if an artist is/has been a regular on a TV show we’ll also grade the seasons individually; artists need 10 projects to qualify).

Russell Crowe, Noah

Roughly ten years ago, if you wanted a prestige actor to anchor your film, you really could do no better than Russell Crowe.  Ten years later, Crowe seems to have lost all passion for acting, mostly sleepwalking woodenly through a series of mediocre films.  It’s not something that you can put your finger on and trace as easily as Johnny Depp’s descent into addictive twitchiness, but the decline is just as steep.  Crowe just seems to have lost the passion to act.  I saw a little of that fire back in Noah and it made me think that possibly the right project could turn things around, but then I watched Winter’s Tale last night and so I’m really trying hard not to let that color my entire article. Continue reading Russell Crowe’s Latest 10 Movies vs. Greatest 10 Movies

Oscar Week Top 5: Worst Best Picture Decisions

Top 5: TV Episodes of All-Time (Comedy Edition)

If it seems this week like I’m taking a bat to the Academy’s pinata….it’s because it’s an annual tradition.  I love the Oscars in theory, but in practice they make me a little bit more unbalanced than I traditionally am (which is wobbly at best).  The nominating process is probably the worst.  Seeing movies that I love (and I think I clearly have demonstrated that I love movies) totally ignored is why I consume more ibuprofen during the week the nominations come out than food. 

But ok, we’ve gotten past that, past most of the show.  We’re at the goal line.  We’re hailing the new BEST PICTURE!  That which will be engraved outside the Kodak Theater and included in endless montages for decades to come.  And then a drunk Elizabeth Taylor slurs out, “gllllllllllllaDIATOR!!!”  I like Gladiator.  I don’t mean to pick on it, but it was the perfect combination of bad choice mixed with jaw-dropping presentation.  It has been awhile though.  Don’t recall?

Ok so it was the Golden Globes.  They picked the same thing at the Oscars and I got to show that clip again.  In chronological order, here are the five worst decisions.

1. 1941 – How Green Was My Valley
I’m not sure.  Was it greener that CITIZEN KANE?  Or even Sergeant York or
The Maltese Falcoln?  It’s nice to see that horrid decisions are nothing new since what is unanimously regarded as the greatest picture ever made didn’t win.

2. 1956 – Around the World in 80 Days
The King & I and The Ten Commandments or this.  Have you seen this?  Read the book.  Wonderful book.  Rex Harrison made some incredibly bad movies.

3. 1981 – Chariots of Fire
I don’t care if you wanted to go serious with On Golden Pond or frigging awesome with Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Both are way more deserving than one of the most overrated and slllllllllllllllowest movies ever made.

4. 1997 – Titanic
I had to take a stand on this or Forrest Gump (Shawshank should have won) and I think I’ll get less hate mail for pointing out that the other four nominees were
Good Will Hunting, The Full Monty, As Good As It Gets, and-what should have won-LA Confidential.  Plus we’d have all been spared James Cameron’s “king of the world” moment.

5. 1998 – Shakespeare in Love
Saving Private Ryan.  This is one of the only times in my life that I’ve thrown    something at the TV set.  Literally thrown something.  Shakespeare is a cute  movie.  Saving Private Ryan was arguably the best film of the decade and one  of the most important films in cinema.  Miramax did literally buy this one and fifteen years later it’s still the worst one I’ve ever watched.

Believe me, we could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.  The Academy screws up.  I can’t believe Crash and Million Dollar Baby are Best Pictures, but in those years they didn’t even nominate the best pictures.  This year is fairly hopeful in that most of the films nominated ARE worthy of the honor.  What I’m saying really is, the odds of an alarm clock being embedded in my flatscreen come Sunday night are lower than normal.

Top 5: Kevin Spacey Movies

Top 5: TV Episodes of All-Time (Comedy Edition)

I have been recovering from a bout of food poisoning (tomato soup, we are breaking up for life) the last two days.  During that time, I was fortunate enough to discover Kevin Spacey’s new drama on Netflix, House of Cards.  I watched the first six episodes in one sitting and I would very much like to get back to it (plus I can feel my ability to stay vertical waning) so a special shout out to someone I’m glad to see doing good work once more: Kevin Spacey.
1. The Usual Suspects
2. LA Confidential
3. Margin Call (one of the most underrated films of the last five years)
4. Recount
5. Superman Returns*
* Yeah…don’t like American Beauty or Glengarry Glen Ross.  Discuss.