Tag Archives: Tropic Thunder

Matthew McConaughey’s 10 Best Movies

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey has had two phases to his career.  Bursting on the scene with 1996’s A Time to Kill, he seemed like the next superstar, but battles with substance abuse and a chronic lack of focus (probably not unconnected) left him nearly written off.  However in the last decade McConaughey has climbed back into the top rungs of leading men, culminating in his Oscar for The Dallas Buyers Club and his astonishing performance in HBO’s True Detective’s first season (which would have won him an Emmy any other year than Bryan Cranston’s last on Breaking Bad).  Since, he has kept up a steady stream of successes, and is always someone to pay attention to now in whatever projects he chooses to pursue. Continue reading Matthew McConaughey’s 10 Best Movies

Tom Cruise’s 10 Best Movies

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is a throwback in that he’s a movie star of the old Hollywood pedigree.  He’s almost larger-than-life, and though he’s very capable of disappearing into roles at times, he’s nearly always TOM CRUISE in whatever film he’s headlining.  There are other actors who essentially play themselves at every turn, but what differentiates Cruise is that, even if the project doesn’t work, you never feel like he phoned it in.  Cruise has a scary focus and dedication to his craft that, when married to the right part, can result in explosive performances and memorable films.  Cruise is currently in the midst of an action movie only groove that has lasted a good 15 years already, and I think will continue until he’s physically unable to turn out gems like the Mission Impossible films, Edge of Tomorrow, Collateral, etc.  I’m hoping that when that time comes, Cruise focuses more on character parts, much as Harrison Ford did when he reached that point in his career.  Until then, even if he may be past his box office peak, his name still has considerable clout with moviegoers.

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Robert Downey Jr.’s 10 Best Movies

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. managed to do what few actors have: overcome his personal demons and even use them to become one of, if not the, most popular actors in the world.  Downey was an acting prodigy, and earned early praise, most notably for his astounding performance in 1992’s Chaplin, but then was laid low by drug and alcohol problems.  He began his climb back with small parts in great films like Bowfinger and Good Night and Good Luck and the massively overlooked Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, as well as contributing to David Fincher’s masterful Zodiac in 2007.  However, it was the next year that his ascent culminated when he took on the role of Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man (a character who he essentially IS) and jump-started the most successful franchise in movie history: The Marvel Cinematic Universe.  His character has been the fulcrum of that universe (he’s appeared in some capacity in 10 of the 19 films at time of writing), and it’s hard to imagine what the MCU will look like when Downey finally hangs up the armor.  Before 2008, Iron Man was a B-level hero at Marvel with little public recognition.  Now the character is as recognizable worldwide as Spider-Man, Captain America or Wolverine.
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My Favorite Scene: Tropic Thunder (2008) “Sgt. Lincoln Osiris: I’m A Dude!!!”

Though it’s not the home run I wanted it to be, Tropic Thunder is easily one of the best comedies of the last decade.  The cast is astounding, and Ben Stiller (who directed and starred in the film) got everyone in the cast to mercilessly mock their own public personas either through thinly veiled self-parody (Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Nick Nolte), doing something so outrageously against the normal grain of their career (Tom Crusie’s unrecognizable bald, pot-bellied studio executive), or by handing Robert Downey Jr. the keys to the greatest comedic character of this century: Kirk Lazarus/Sgt. Lincoln Osiris. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Tropic Thunder (2008) “Sgt. Lincoln Osiris: I’m A Dude!!!”