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
While the Oscars were embarrassing themselves yesterday, we lost one of the great character actors of the last 30 years. Bill Paxton passed away yesterday after complications from heart surgery at the all-too-young age of 61. I am so tired of writing obituaries, so my new policy is that unless it’s someone with whom I have a special connection (Robin Williams or Mary Tyler Moore, for example), obituaries go on the Facebook page and the deceased’s career will be celebrated in the next Their 10 Best.
From the mid-1980’s through the end of the 1990’s, Bill Paxton was in some of the most memorable films of the era: The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic, Apollo 13, and a host of others. Just recently, he turned in one of my favorite of his performances in Edge of Tomorrow, taking a role that literally does nothing but repeat a speech over and over and making it new each time. I have never watched Paxton’s successful HBO series, Big Love, but he was a brief part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serving as the “Big Bad” in season one of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Like the also recently lost John Hurt, Paxton was seldom the leading man (the exception being what I think is his best performance in A Simple Plan), but he made ensembles great, and he’ll be sorely missed.
Continue reading Bill Paxton’s 10 Best Movies
Val Kilmer has had a….varied career to be generous. Undeniably talented, the star has veered all over the map in his thirty years on the screen. What other man could have given us Iceman, Batman with nipples, a corpulent Dr. Moreau doing a Brando impression, and Tombstone’s brilliant Doc Holliday. Some people think Tombstone isn’t an awesome movie. Those people are WRONG: FACT. With Kurt Russell starring in The Hateful Eight and his critically-acclaimed Bone Tommahawk on Blu Ray, I thought we’d examine the awesomeness that is Tombstone.
Russell is great (he’s Kurt Russell), but Val Kilmer steals this movie with his lascivious, TB-stricken, gunslinger Doc Holliday. Sometimes all it takes is just one line to make a performance iconic, and Kilmer achieves that in his “I’m Your Huckleberry” scene. By the way, should I use this phrase in everyday life (and I do), you gain instant friend points for recognizing how awesome I am to randomly quote a western from 1993.