Sunday, 20 August 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1992: Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper

Russell Crowe did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Hando in Romper Stomper.

Romper Stomper follows a neo-nazi gang who launches their own personal war against a group of Vietnamese Australians.

I have previously covered two other actors having played neo-nazis those being Ryan Gosling in The Believer and Edward Norton in American History X. Both films dealt with treacherous subject matter with both actors taking on the role of such morally reprehensible men. In both instances though there was perhaps a safety net of sorts for the films, for the actors and really for the audience watching the film. In American History X, after the opening sequence we cross cut between Norton playing a full blown neo-nazi, a man seeking redemption and showing remorse for his previous actions. In The Believer we know from the outset that that Ryan Gosling's character is more complicated since we immediately learn of his Jewish heritage and upbringing. There is no such "safety net" for Romper Stomper or Crowe in the role Hando, perhaps that has helped keep this film fairly obscure outside of Australia, and likely it would be even more forgotten if not for Crowe's later career being of such notoriety. There are no truly sympathetic character within the film, the closest the film comes is one of neo-nazis showing some minor regrets yet not doing anything about it, and the young woman Gabrielle who joins the group, who is broken from years of abuse, yet still participates in the gang's horrible acts.

The film in no way hides the brutality of the group as we open with them beating a few teenagers, we see that the worst of them is their leader played by Crowe. The character of Hando is a wholly despicable sort, and perhaps made all the terrible because he's played by Russell Crowe. Crowe's considerable presence as an actor is wholly evident this early in his career as he does command the screen as Hando. Crowe realizes the charisma of Hando quite effectively, and even though this won't really work on any sensible viewer since we know what he is from the start, Crowe makes it absolutely convincing that Hando would command the men as he does. Crowe carries himself with such swagger as though Hando firmly believes himself to be this leader of men for a greater cause, and is so determined in this that he easily convinces his followers of this as well. When he speaks of his philosophy, which is complete garbage, Crowe though does infuse every word with such a palatable passion that again would be most effective in rallying his men to his demented cause.

Again this film is not easily digested, and part of this is how many scenes it has of Hando and his men being the horrible people they are. Crowe perhaps makes them even harder to watch then they are in conception because of how good he is in the role. Crowe brings such a intensity in every hateful word and act that makes every moment of it utterly chilling to watch. Crowe does not hold back for a moment in making the hate truly so venomous as it seems to exist in every pour. Every part of his performance in his eyes, his physical manner that always carries an aggressiveness, asserts Hando as this hate filled man. There is no goodness underlying the man, or some hidden pain to try to alleviate the motivation some way. He's a hateful man, and that's all there is to it. Crowe does not ever make this seem simplistic though and again this is what makes the film all the more difficult. He's not a cartoon of a neo-nazi, rather Crowe's method of fully embodying the vileness grants it a terrible honesty, the honesty that this man is just a rotten man to his core.

Crowe's portrayal works within technically the one note as he does show that Hando is always defined by his hate at every point. He avoids caricature though by always showing that this evil man is still a man who does these things. Crowe does not try to make us sympathize with Hando in these moments, but rather just shows that Hando has a depth though only in terms that he isn't just a detached personification of cruelty. Crowe shows there is more to him, but that more isn't any better than the man at his most violent. We follow his relationship with Gabrielle. Crowe in these moments shows Hando a little quieter as he romances, well more of has sex with her, yet the nature of the man isn't any different. Crowe still depicts this always as self-centered act, as he speaks only still as things concern himself, and when he randomly lashes out against her it seems to make sure attention is directed back to himself. There is a moment late in the film where Hando finds Davey has slept with Gabrielle. Crowe's great in this scene where he has Hando not lash out, only because he's concerned with his own safety as the police are looking for him. Crowe though in that moment reveals all the desperation of a man with not only his freedom on his late, but also the sense of personal betrayal. It's a terrific moment though as it does not create any sympathy for the man, but it humanizes him just in terms of showing he's human. One needs to remember though this is as the worst of humanity but still humanity. This performance isn't about making a good man, just a horrible one, but still a man. Crowe's performance throughout the film lends nuance and complexity but only in terms of emotions we see in Hando. He's not a complex person in any way, he's Neo-nazi who does what he does because he's a barbaric monster, but since he's a person there is at least some complexity in his emotional state at any given point, Crowe realizes that. Although this isn't an appealing performance in any way, it is a very good one, and an early indication of Crowe's considerable talent.

136 comments:

Charles Heiston said...

Despite my higher opinion. Glad he got a positive rating.

Michael McCarthy said...

I can get behind a 4.5. Still don't care for the film though, even as a "brutally realistic" movie it didn't quite work for me.

Matt Mustin said...

Yeah, I pretty much agree. And I gotta say the writing in this review seems very...can I say cathartic? Is that the right word, because that's how it feels to me.

Matt Mustin said...

And I agree with Michael.

94dfk1 said...

Saw both Blue Velvet and Kingdom of Heaven.

It seems like I'm not a fan of Lynch so far, as Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet both didn't do much for me. Honestly, the movie just seems as it's weird for weird's sake. However, I did lov every second of Hopper's performance as Frank Booth, and he's truly deserving of a 5.

Hopper-5
Rossellini-4
Maclachlan-3.5
Dern-3.5


Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut) is quite impressive, with the action scenes handled pretty well. I don't think Bloom is really that bad but it does seem like there was more potential in the part at the same time. The pacing is pretty good as well.

Bloom-3.5
Green-3.5
Norton-5
Thewlis-4
Neeson-4
Sheen-3
Irons-3.5
Gleeson-3
Csokas-3
Massoud-4

Omar Franini said...

Louis: Your ratings and thoughts on the rest of the cast?

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 edward norton and morgan freeman acting moments

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: How would you rank Norton, Gosling and Crowe's performances as Neo-Nazis?
Also, perhaps this maybe a narrow question, but which 5 actors do you feel are the best at giving the 'death stare'?

Calvin Law said...

Tahmeed: for me, it's

Lee Van Cleef
Kathleen Bryon
Bryan Cranston
Aubrey Plaza
Robert de Niro

Calvin Law said...

And honourable mentions to Russell Crowe and Samuel L. Jackson.

Calvin Law said...

What's everyone's predictions for the final top 10 of 1992? Assuming that Stoltz doesn't pull an upset (though I'm predicting a 4.5 nevertheless), I'm expecting:

1. Eastwood
2. Keitel (Bad Lieutenant)
3. Rea
4. Lemmon
5. Downey Jr.
6. Dafoe
7. Caine
8. Crowe
9. Coyote
10. Could be anyone, especially if Leung and Oldman get upgrades.

Anonymous said...

Luke Higham

Louis: Your thoughts on the remaining Amadeus scenes from the previous review.

And your thoughts on GOT later tonight.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: My top 5 would be the same as yours though I'd put Coyote above Crowe.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 burt reynolds acting moments

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your #11-20 De Niro moments.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your MVP of the Game of Thrones episode when you see it tonight.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I had a hard time choosing mine. :)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous:
Louis's Top Ten for Norton:
1. "Good for you Marty" - Primal Fear
2. Baldwin's Goodbye - Kingdom of Heaven
3. Shiner's intro - Birdman
4. Balian meets Baldwin - Kingdom of Heaven
5. Curb Stomp - American History X
6. Meeting Aaron the first time - Primal Fear
7. Drunk Shiner - Birdman
8. Parlay - Kingdom of Heaven
9. Scout Master Ward saves the day - Moonrise Kingdom
10. After the first preview - Birdman

For Freeman-
1. The Box - Seven
2. Which eye? - Street Smart
3. Rehabilitated - The Shawshank Redemption
4. Spoil that kid - Seven
5. Fast Black at a party - Street Smart
6. Ned Can't Shoot - Unforgiven
7. Mozart Narration - The Shawshank Redemption
8. Sloth - Seven
9. "Just Looking" - Driving Miss Daisy
10. Kicking out the kids - Lean on Me

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Same here, to be honest. :)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could De Niro possibly go up for Angel Heart.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Do you think either of everyone's two favorite fallen giants on GOT, have been/could be resurrected as wights.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Hodor, for sure. No to Wun-Wun, his body would've been burnt.

Anonymous said...

Louis: what would be your cast and director for a 2010s version of Glengarry Glen Ross and A Fish Called Wanda?

Charles Heiston said...

Louis' Top 10 for 92' lead prediction.
1. Eastwood
2. Rea(Could take the win)
3. Keitel (Lieutenant)
4. Lemmon
5. Downey Jr.
6. Dafoe
7. Caine
8. Coyote
9. Crowe
10. Leung

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Woody Strode in The Professionals.

Luke Higham said...

Yeah, I think Rea will come 2nd. I'm expecting Crowe to finish outside the top 10. If Leung and Oldman go up, then I expect them and Poelvoorde to finish ahead of him.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Matthew Valencia as Tim Drake.

Calvin Law said...

Man, Detroit was amazing. Bigelow really nailed it with tihs one with the rising tensions, heightened emotions, and foolish action all culminating in that extended sequence at the Algiers which is just great. I'll need the night to ruminate but it could well be my favourite of the year so far.

Boyega - 4.5 (actually in it less than I'd expected, but it didn't matter because he was great with what he had. He's such a charming and likeable presence as the good-natured security guard doing his job, and doing his best to keep the peace between police and civilians, but with the right sort of unease at being somewhat at odds with the black community. Then he does so much with often just silent reaction shots, contributing so much to the emotional crux of the film by showing the different way his character goes through the wringer and becomes a victim himself)

Poulter - 5 (an amazing performance. He plays a walking pile of racist shit with absolutely no conscience, never excusing his heinous actions. Yet he always feels like a very human and horrifyingly believable character, and his twisted belief system of justice gets under your skin. He orchestrates the whole Algiers with Bigelow incredibly well, and the more I think about his performance the more I really, really love what he did with this hateful and pathetic man.)

Smith - 4.5 (he's absolutely heartbreaking. The sweet young man with a great voice could've been a cliche, but Smith makes Larry such a loveable fellow you'd love to follow on his journey to stardom. That it never happens and instead, the film putting him in the horrible situation of fighting for his life, is terrifically portrayed by Smith, and his final few scenes showing the effect of the Algiers incident on the man are also very effective)

Latimore - 4 (could go up, as I loved what he did as an counterpoint to Smith. Latimore portrays a less charismatic, and more awkward individual, who's so in awe of his friend's talent that it's pretty sweet himself. He more than matches the rest of the cast in his reactionary work to the horros, particularly in the realization of his character's fear stunting his thinking process, and his final scene is terrific)

Reynor - 3.5 (his performance is pretty interesting as he almost tricks you into thinking he might be the goofy one with a bit of a conscience, before showing that really his character is just a complete idiot, who ends up becoming just as much of a scumbag as the other officers)

O'Toole - 3.5 (he goes full-on sleaze with his performance as the Don Harvey of the policeman, and he's relentlessly despicable throughout. I thought his performance worked especially well in his scenes with the girls as he portrayed such a strange sort of twisted affection for them that manifested into vile racism and violence)

Calvin Law said...

Mitchell - 3.5 (effective in showing not just a stupid man, but rather a man who does stupid things. He made some sense of where his character was coming from even if his actions are fatally foolish, and like the other actors so effectively bridges it with the growing intensity)

Murray and Denver - 3.5 (this is probably the only regard I disagree with Louis on, as I thought Murray was particularly on point, particularly in some of the most disturbing scenes with her being grilled by the officers. Together, the two create a sympathetic duo who end up inadvertently infuriating the officers by the officers, just by their friendliness with people outside of their race)

Mackie - 4 (agree completely with Louis as I thought he was exceptional in his brief screentime, as a man with a sense of honour and moral code, but who ends up betraying these not out of cowardice or self-preservation, but simply because there is no other way. Despite the film spending little time with him, I was really invested in his little story within)

Krasinski - 3 (he's actually effectively sleazy and hateful when making all those ludicrous allegations, but I have to deduct a mark slightly for his entrance scene, which come to think of it wasn't really his fault, but for a moment the camera angle and his line delivery suggested that I just saw Jim Halpert pulling yet another wacky prank on the Detroit cops)

Peyton Smith - 3.5 (out of the smaller supporting players, all of whom were at the very least effective, I thought he stood out particularly well as one of the more defiant men at the hotel)

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: As of now, I guess Poulter's favourite to win the Supporting overall this year.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: He's truly amazing, so not a bad start.

I have a bad feeling about Detroit's overall chances at the Oscars though. I kind of see some resemblance to the situation with Silence last year, underperforming at the box-office, controversial subject matter, except that it's been released too early as opposed to campaigned too late like Silence. On that note, however, it could raise Poulter's chances, since if it gets largely shut out by the Academy but they still want to acknowledge it, he could be their outlet for rewarding the film.

RatedRStar said...

RIP Jerry Lewis

Luke Higham said...

RIP Jerry Lewis

Charles Heiston said...

I didn't think Poulter could be capable of doing something actually good.

RIP Jerry Lewis.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Detroit's not sticking with me that much outside of Poulter. I have more complaints about it than anyone else here.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Will Poulter in Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.

Calvin Law said...

RIP Jerry Lewis.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: what were your complaints?

Charles: It's actually amazing how hateful he was compared to most of his previous roles I've seen him in, where he's the most endearing fellow you could imagine.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'd say his roles in Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and Son Of Rambow aren't wholly endearing.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: that's true, I always forget he was a bit of a brat in those two. It's more that the last two films I saw him in, We're the Millers and The Revenant, he plays the most likeable characters in both.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Calvin: I just felt like it was subtextually lacking. The awkward structure didn't help. Also hated the cinematography.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Lastly, your ratings for William Hurt in A.I. and Dark City.

Michael McCarthy said...

Boyega is still as strong as ever in my mind, and I'm glad to say Poulter and Smith have only gotten better for me. Also I agree with Calvin on Hannah Murray, I think the lack of severity in her performance was intentional in suggesting very subtle white privilege.

Michael McCarthy said...

RIP Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis

Anonymous said...

RIP Jerry Lewis.

94dfk1 said...

Anonymous: I'd pick Ryan Gosling as Baldwin's role in a 2010s version of Glengarry Glen Ross. However, I am stumped as to who would play Kline's role nowadays in A Fish Called Wanda haha.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Chris Pine for Otto. He's got the right sensibilities for a role that absurd.

94dfk1 said...

Actually, Keegan Michael-Key could work as Otto, since he's pretty good at broad comedy, which can be hard to pull off, and he's only a couple of years older than Kline was when the movie came out.

Louis Morgan said...

Omar:

Pollock - 3.5(It's unfortunate to find out that he committed suicide before this film was even released. Perhaps overshadowed by Crowe yet he gives a good performance portraying effectively that same brutality of Crowe, but in that portraying not a charisma rather finding his attachment to him as the underlying dynamic. He always portrays a certain adjustment in Davey as he watches Hando waiting basically for a command just before the end. In addition he is fairly affecting in portraying his only scene of showing just a bit of remorse for his actions.)

McKenzie - 4(She does well in the role by always emphasizing what a mess her character is in every step. Nothing that she does really has a consistency as she randomly shows remorse, a greater aggression, or suddenly a meeker side. McKenzie does manage to make sense of the various extreme sides of the character by portraying them as all inherent to her mental disarray within the character. McKenzie does well to make every action so sudden finding this as instinctual reactions of a person who has no idea what she is doing.)

Tahmeed:

Gosling
Norton
Crowe

but really they are on an even keel for me.

Daniel Day-Lewis (His one to Paul Dano is perhaps the best of all time.)
Clint Eastwood
Lee Van Cleef
Gene Hackman
Toshiro Mifune

Anonymous:

Top Ten Feels more fitting:

1. The Rescue - Deliverance
2. Limo - Boogie Nights
3. The Ability to Survive - Deliverance
4. Debating format - Boogie Nights
5. Wrong Driving - Deliverance
6. Just a few minutes Baby - Boogie Nights
7. Do What you have to do - Deliverance
8. Audition - Boogie Nights
9. I don't remember anything - Deliverance
10. I love the names - Boogie Nights

Luke:

Play Salieri - (Brilliant moment again that makes such a powerful use of the set up involving the story telling in the film. As we get Mozart at his most exuberant, in full joy of his joke against Salieri, so perfectly steaming behind that mask. My favorite moment though within that is the cut to Salieri's "laugh, laugh" before giving Mozart another giggle at his expense. In that though we also see the very specific torment in Salieri as he not only can never be Mozart, yet feels pestered by him not as a man but rather some divine cruelty.)

Louis Morgan said...

Marriage of Figaro - (A terrific light moment for the film, though not so happy for Mozart, but just in that thrill in Salieri's face as the yawn occurs, along with the other court members. The return of "a miracle" again is perfection particularly down to Abraham's enthusiastic delivery of it as though he's achieved some great victory over God. All rounded out though by Salieri's more down to earth, and rather amusing rumination on what a single yawn would mean for the opera.)

Don Giovanni - (The greatest Opera scene in the film, which is saying something. Now it has to be said, even if it is almost taken for granted, the operas are impeccably staged within the film itself, I especially love the costume of the dead General that amplifies the sense of dread within the music of the opera. This continues though through the darker atmosphere of the scene, in Hulce no longer showing joy in Mozart's conducting and the fact that the theater is sparsely populated. The best part though is the overlay of Salieri's words that build to this wonderful climax as the opera itself does. It's fascinating though as we see perhaps a growing madness in Mozart, Salieri's describes the same in his realization of what can be done. It is such an ambitious moment that is so flawlessly executed by the script, Foreman, the editing and of course Abraham.)

Salieri's Plan - (A powerhouse moment right after Don Giovanni as we are now given Salieri's insane plan, that is delivered with such passion with Abarham's performance. I love though how effective is creating this severity of Salieri's idea of essentially stealing the divine intervention, in Salieri's eyes, right out from God, by using his "creature" against. The delivery of the monologue, which is so brilliantly written in itself, is truly mesmerizing. I love though that it successfully switches to such a sudden comedic moment though so suddenly, aided by Abraham's performance of it of course, when Salieri's kind of says that it's one thing to talk about such a plan, quite another to actually do it.)

Writing the Requiem - (The greatest cinematic scene of all time, maybe. It's certainly up there for me. It is such an amazing original climax for the film as it gives us finally gives the rivals working together, though perhaps not with such a pure motivation when it comes to Salieri. I love everything about this scene though. The performances are both amazing with Abraham playing so many layers in his relationship with Mozart, and Hulce realizing the genius of the man while also showing that he is on death's door. This is amplified by the musical realization of the requiem breaking down every part of the section, then building together in such a profound and stunning fashion. It's something truly remarkable though that there is still a moment of levity there in Salieri not being able to transpose as quickly as Mozart needs him to, a love the way he freezes up like a kid who hasn't done his homework. Anyway though the relationship between the two is the core of it and we see all that has been build up to payoff in such heart wrenching detail with first Mozart's apology, then Salieri's genuine moment of revealing his true feelings towards Mozart's work.)

Louis Morgan said...

Ending - (One of the all time great film endings I will say it's again such a magnificent work as it begins on such a powerful note as one ought to be overwhelmed as the priest with the ending of the past story, again Richard Frank's reactionary work should never be forgotten. It thought manages not to leave the film as dour as it could be, though it remains an unforgettable experience, as it suddenly switches, flawlessly, as we see Salieri's essentially embracing his madness but more his place as the "patron saint of mediocrity". It's such somehow lovely moment of the man accepting his fate with calm reserve capped off though by Mozart still getting that last laugh with one more giggle to remind us of him.)

11. I got a dress for you - Goodfellas
12. Meeting the Green Beret - The Deer Hunter
13. Comedy Recording - The King of Comedy
14. You Talkin to me - Taxi Driver
15. Meeting the old don - The Godfather Part II
16. On the waterfront - Raging Bull
17. Egg Eating - Angel Heart
18. "Yesterday" - Once Upon a Time in America
19. Story of a Watch - Midnight Run
20. Breakfast with Iris - Taxi Driver

2.5
3.5
3

Anonymous:

Norton:

11. Meeting the family after Prison - American History X
12. Courtroom breakdown - Primal Fear
13. Making the Rounds - Moonrise Kingdom
14. Basketball - American History X
15. Hatred - 25th Hour
16. Random Appearance - Rounders
17. Reconciliation - The Painted Veil
18. Words of Wisdom - Moonrise Kingdom
19. Supreme Court Appeal - The People vs Larry Flynt
20. Meeting the leader again - American History X

Freeman:

11. Final Conversation with Andy - The Shawshank Redemption
12. A Ride Along - Street Smart
13. Research - Seven
14. Confronting Tripp - Glory
15. Longest Night - The Shawshank Redemption
16. First Murder - Seven
17. Visiting Miss Daisy - Driving Miss Daisy
18. Ride with Doe - Seven
19. Interrogation - Unforgiven
20. Mills's Story - Seven

Louis Morgan said...

RIP JERRY LEWIS

John Smith said...

Louis, your thoughts om the ending to 'Scenes From A Marriage'.

Also your top 10 Liv Ullmann acting moments.

94dfk1 said...

Robert: He'd also be pretty good as Otto. I could picture him doing the line "Don't ever call me stupid!" justice.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Glengarry Glen Ross directed by Armando Iannucii:

Shelley Levene: Brendan Gleeson
Ricky Roma: Mark Strong
Blake: Benedict Cumberbatch
Moss: Paul Bettany
Aaronow: Peter Capaldi
Williamson: Domhnall Gleeson
Lingk: Rhys Ifans

A Fish Called Wanda directed by Edgar Wright:

Archie: Michael Sheen
Wanda: Emma Stone
Otto: Chris Pine
Ken: Simon Pegg
George: Paddy Considine
Wendy: Olivia Colman

Robert MacFarlane said...

Well that was kind of a letdown.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis: Could Cromwell go up for Babe.

Louis Morgan said...

Okay in regards to Game of Thrones, I'll start and say that I did enjoy the episode, but it did not live up to essentially the setup from the previous episode. This episode more than any other, though it was true for all others, this season seemed to say "SLOW DOWN". This season should have been ten episodes that's all there to it. The showrunners should stop rushing off to their next series, which certainly will not be as successful, and finish this one off properly. Although I still found the episode often intense imagine how it could have been if there had been a far stronger build up. Instead we reached an instant climax twice in a episode. The expedition should have been spread between two episodes, imagine the cliffhanger of the remaining group just sitting on the middle of the peak? It could have had so much more if they just took a little more time, and build up the attack in several steps, rather than two. The big moments still had a strong impact I'll admit but it could have been even stronger if they just took it a bit slower. Too much honestly happened in a single episode and we had no time to take any moment in. Again though I'll say I liked it, for those big moments, the character interactions between the group, and all the performances were on point. This could have been two AMAZING episodes though instead of just one good but very rushed episode.

John Smith:

Will get you those soon.

Charles:

Probably not.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I thought it was the stupidest episode they've had since season 5. It's a well-acted and well-directed episode, but it was such an obvious rush job. The Sansa/Arya plot in particular feels entirely unearned (though Inassume there's some sort of Ocean's 11 gotcha twist to Sansa's decisions).

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 jon voight acting moments

Louis Morgan said...

Also one thing I absolutely HATED in the episode was the use of Benjen.

Robert:

I'd say that's a fair statement.

Anonymous:

Will get you that soon.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Cell Block Tango scene.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your MVP for Beyond The Wall.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

My MVP of the episode was Kit Harington. I have particular affection for his death glare+panicked reaction the Night King after a certain character's demise.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 michael keaton acting moments

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Mine's probably Richard Dormer, with Harington and McCann not far behind.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 kevin kline acting moments

Anonymous said...

Are we all agreed that Littlefinger will die in the next episode.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Yes.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Littlefinger is so laughably dead next week.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Anonymous: Oh hell yeah.

Really hope the finale is more like "The Winds of Winter" or "The Children" instead of the other set-up-the-next season/political fall-out ones.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: I watched the preview and it looks like, it'll be the latter.

Michael McCarthy said...

Louis: Since two of the other lead nominees from 1992 have bumped up I was wondering, are there any performances by Denzel Washington that could be upgraded? At all I mean, not necessarily to a 4.5 or 5.

RatedRStar said...

Littlefinger is 100% gone, I am so dissapointed in Littlefingers character, there has been this, oh what part does Littlefinger play in this, what secrets does he hold, is he a dark horse in all this and there basically is no secrets or mission, what a wasted character.

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: Your top 5 performances by Denzel Washington.

Mine are:
1. Fences (5)
2. Man On Fire (4.5)
3. Glory (4)
4. Malcolm X (4)
5. American Gangster (4)

Anonymous said...

Louis: How would you compare David Michael Scott and Richard Dormers performances as Beric?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: There's absolutely no comparison. Scott had just 1 scene in A Golden Crown and you hardly remember him. He was just a stand in until Dormer got cast.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Woody Strode in The Professionals. Only got Poulter and Hurt's ratings.

Louis Morgan said...

John Smith:

1. Final Scene - The New Land
2. Nightmare - Scenes From a Marriage
3. Confrontation of self - Persona
4. Her Dream - Shame
5. Loss of Anna - The Emigrants
6. Finalizing the Divorce - Scenes From a Marriage
7. After "meeting with Jacobi - Shame
8. Welcoming Karl-Oskar back to her bed - The New Land
9. Someone there? - Face to Face
10. Argument with Urlika - The Emigrants

It's a great final moment for the series as it feels some representation of the central idea of the relationship as she seeks some sort of comfort in Johan's love then, even as we see all that is broken within it there is still something hopeful within the tenderness in the end.

Anonymous:

Voight:

1. Ending - Midnight Cowboy
2. Helping sick Ratso - Midnight Cowboy
3. School Speech - Coming Home
4. Arguing for his act - Midnight Cowboy
5. Meeting the Zealot - Midnight Cowboy
6. Killing the Hillbilly - Deliverance
7. Not being paid - Midnight Cowboy
8. First Meeting - Coming Home
9. Bad Costumer
10. First Costumer - Midnight Cowboy
11. Capture - Deliverance
12. Trying to help Bob - Coming Home
13. Deciding What to do - Deliverance
14. In the cell with the General - The General
15. Disposition Negotiation - The Rainmmaker
16. Biting Kramer - Seinfeld
17. Nightmare - Deliverance
18. After the General's Death - The General
19. Accepting the Alibi - The General
20. Losing - Tropic Thunder

Anonymous:

I don't love the scene by the virtue of not really caring for Marshall's entire style. This is perhaps the purest in that in its saturation of red, and intensity the Fosse influence. It's not Fosse, and I don't necessarily love all of Fosse. It's the purest form of the style so I understand if one loves the film they'd love this scene, but I don't.

Luke:

Richard Dormer

Anonymous:

Keaton:

1. Fight of Fancy - Birdman
2. Confronting a critic - Birdman
3. Arguing with himself - Birdman
4. Bathroom meeting - The Founder
5. Seeing his wife before the show - Birdman
6. New American Church - The Founder
7. Admitting his past - Spotlight
8. First meeting with Mike - Birdman
9. Dogberry's arrival - Much Ado About Nothing
10. Bed Bath and Beyond - the Other Guys
11. After first preview - Birdman
12. Getting Confirmation - Spotlight
13. Business Plan - Night Shift
14. Confronting Sam - Birdman
15. Meeting Beetlejuice - Beetlejuice
16. Dealing justice - Much Ado About Nothing
17. "I want a divorce" - The Founder
18. Finishing the monologue on love - Birdman
19. Times Square - Birdman
20. "I know what you're thinking" - The Founder

Purposefully left off anything from Spider-man.

Anonymous:

Kline:

1. Kkkken is coming to kkkill me - A Fish Called Wanda
2. Fish and Chips - A Fish Called Wanda
3. "Apologize" - A Fish Called Wanda
4. Beating a Burglar - A Fish Called Wanda
5. Speaking Italian - A Fish Called Wanda
6. Don't Call Me Stupid - A Fish Called Wanda
7. Traffic cursing - A Fish Called Wanda
8. CIA - A Fish Called Wanda
9. Meeting Ken - A Fish Called Wanda
10. Airplane - A Fish Called Wanda
11. An Old Man - Chaplin
12. Presidential Speech - Dave
13. Tennis with Chaplin - Chaplin
14. Breakdown - The Ice Storm
15. Pirate "attack" - The Pirates of Penzance
16. Simple apology - Sophie's Choice
17. Figuring the budget - Dave
18. Explaining his whereabouts - The Ice Storm
19. Pirate King Intro - The Pirates of Penzance
20. Meeting with Steve - Cry, Freedom

Anonymous:

Scott was just an extra more or less.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

3

Luke Higham said...

I very much liked Beyond The Wall on its own though I agree with Louis, that in the grand scheme of things it was incredibly rushed. It would've been even stronger if they split the expedition storyline into two episodes and it couldn't be that difficult to come up with some diversions from the main objective or even have a camp fire scene where some of the characters share stories of their pasts like Beric and Thoros.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought that Beric would also die in this episode, being that he is on his last life.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I thought so too, there were quite a few signs pointing to both Beric and Thoros meeting their end and many were predicting it once the shot of Beric ready for action with his flaming sword was shown in promotional material.

Calvin Law said...

I'll have to agree with Louis on Kline's performance in A Fish Called Wanda being in pretty much every way the pinnacle of his career.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 10 mark wahlberg acting moments

Charles Heiston said...

I no doubt agree with Louis & Calvin. Kline's work in A Fish Called Wanda is his riskiest performance. And one of the most riskiest performances to ever win an Oscar.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Yeesh, these Death Note reviews. At least Stanfield is getting some good notices, but I was still hoping they wouldn't fuck up this badly.

Charles Heiston said...

At least Dafoe is getting early attention from few critics. But yeah, they fucked up.

Robert MacFarlane said...

You know, I keep thinking about ways they could have made it work. By every account, Light is a gormless wimp in this version. The morality of the story hinges on the protagonist being an irredeemable sociopath, otherwise it makes the same mistakes the last seasons of Dexter did. Hell, they could have even justified the whitewashing by creating subtext to it. Have Light become a metaphor for privilege gone wildly out of control. Make him into a right-wing lunatic like Dylan Roof. Or maybe they could have went with a Get Out-like angle and had him be a well-meaning liberal in the most extreme and literal case of White Savior Complex. I assumed they were doing that when they cast a black actor as L, but no, any sort of subtext seems to be lost.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis, what's your thoughts on Laurence Tierney's guest appearance on Seinfeld?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Wahlberg:

1. Assault - Boogie Nights
2. Fight with Jack - Boogie Nights
3. Going to Rahad's - Boogie Nights
4. Tommy's views - I Heart Huckabees
5. Interviewing Costigan - The Departed
6. The Touch - Boogie Nights
7. Fight with Sullivan - The Departed
8. "I'm a star" - Boogie Nights
9. Being angry with Albert - I Heart Huckabees
10. Surprise Visit - The Departed

Matt:

A highlight of the very early Seinfeld given that nothing else really is quite on point there with Seinfeld not being able to act at all still, Alexander still doing his Woody Allen approach to George, and even Richards isn't QUITE there yet. However Tierney is hilarious in his role by playing with such vicious intensity, the same type of intensity he brought to Reservoir Dogs or Born To Kill. He's great really because he has no adjustment and is genuinely scary in the role, even though his character technically means no real harm.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Deep Freeze and Cold Comfort episodes.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten Alan Rickman moments.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: most of these are pretty minor roles, but your thoughts on Joe DeRosa, Mark Proksch, Barry Shabaka Henley, and Mel Rodríguez in Better Call Saul? And for the bigger cast members, Patrick Fabian, and Michael Mando?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Deep Freeze - (This episode is bizarre in that it has an excessively expansive plot. A plot that would be worthy of an entire film, unlike Sub-Zero which could have been handled in an episode. This though introduces its whole evil-Walt Disney his underworld "utopia", all in about five seconds, it gives this conflict in Freeze, whether or not he will help Batman or let his own world get destroyed. Freeze's make up his mind in a few seconds. This episode should have been the film or at least a two-parter. As it stands it's not a bad episode, the character of Freeze still works as does Ansara's performance but certainly a missed opportunity. It also does not help that it is not one of the best animated episode being in that certain slump the series got into where the animation became less refined.)

Cold Comfort - (HATE this episode for what it does to Freeze. Although there could have been some real pathos behind the idea of Freeze's character here, they really don't get into it making it just a way to cheapen the character to a far more standard villain than he had been in his previous two episodes and Sub-Zero. I particularly hate his themed henchwoman as they don't fit the character in the least. They drop almost all of his considerable depth from his previous appearances and it is such a waste. Thankfully his Batman Beyond appearance did redeem this sour point.)

Luke:

1. American - Die Hard
2. By Grabthar's Hammer with Heart - Galaxy Quest
3. Final confrontation - Die Hard
4. "Never tell a soldier" - Eye in the Sky
5. The Prince's Story - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part II
6. John Phillips, London - Die Hard
7. By Grabthar's Hammer what a savings - Galaxy Quest
8. Demands - Die Hard
9. Fake fight - Galaxy Quest
10. Intro to Potions - Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

DeRosa - (He's not really bad but say comparing him to a Jim Beaver he leaves a little to be desired. He could still exist though in Breaking Bad, but just as a fairly forgettable sort there. He at least belongs in the same room as Banks's Mike, something I can't say for everyone on this list.)

Proksch - (Speaking of. He's awful going full caricature the whole time. Even in his scene that tries to imply a little depth, where he asks Mike if he's doing a bad thing, he brings no nuance to. He's a cartoon that would never belong in Breaking Bad. I suppose I would be less annoyed if he were at least funny, but he's not in the least. He's ridiculous every moment he's onscreen, even more than intended I feel since there isn't a genuine thing about his act that would be much more fitting in comedy sketch.)

Henley - (Horribly wasted. I actually love his first scene with his line delivery of "You and me both", that suggests some rich history between the characters, but that's all there really is to the role. The rest of the time he's just sort of there with nothing to do, and it's a shame since that first moment suggests that if he had been given a little more he could have delivered a lot more.)

Rodriguez - (His performance actually isn't bad but it doesn't quite live up to his importance. His chemistry with Odenkirk just isn't quite there, as you don't feel much beyond just kind of an acquaintanceship. His moment of revealing that he has nothing, could have been pretty heartbreaking but his work just never takes it beyond a fairly limited surface realization of the character. Again not bad, but lacks the nuance in his work to make the impression needed for the role.)

Fabian - (He's actually pretty good particularly in season 1. As we first see him he seems like he might just be this smug jerk, which Fabian does well yet he plays this with this seemingly strange stiffness at times, particularly when he undercuts Jimmy. He makes it a natural realization that in those moments he's essentially under orders to be so. When that happens he's not a completely different person, he's perhaps till a bit of smug jerk, but Fabian is good in being a more natural and honest one.)

Mando - (I'll admit his performance at first made me think, who's this guy who thinks he's a Tuco, but that ends up being the point of his performance. This becomes more and more evident in every season. With the first Mando portrays Nacho seemingly at his toughest, but more of with his most bluster. He then in every moment we learn more about Nacho Mando is extremely effective in revealing that the guy just really isn't cut out. He wears that bluster down effective to reveal it basically as a facade of a man whose frankly to sympathetic to be in the same world as a Tuco or a Hector. He's especially great in season 3, where I think he also should have been nominated over Banks, in revealing the full extent of this transformation, and ends up giving a rather moving portrayal of the guy desperately doing what he needs to do in order to save his father.)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What are Rickman's best moments in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves & Sense and Sensibility.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well for Robin Hood, which again is a film I have not seen in a long time, would be Cancelling Christmas, but really I need to re-watch the film, or at least his performance anyway. Probably when he gets the letter in Sense and Sensibility.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I hope you'll upgrade him for Robin Hood. :)

Luke Higham said...

And a review would be nice as well.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 eddie murphy acting moments

Luke Higham said...

With 1991 Supporting, I only have Rickman and Courtenay (Let Him Have It).

Luke Higham said...

And Pesci in JFK.

Calvin Law said...

Glad we agree on Proksch and Henley.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the death of Superman in Batman v. Superman.

Calvin Law said...

Also, Louis, your thoughts and rating for James Shigeta in Die Hard?

Anonymous said...

Louis and everyone: Who do you think could play the Joker instead Jared Leto?

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: I honestly don't care.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: Jesse Plemons.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'd rather not see another Joker again when the bar was set so high by Ledger's portrayal that it's near impossible to match it.

Charles Heiston said...

I can't think of a modern day actor to play Joker.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I aggressively don't want this movie to happen. Retire the Joker like a sports jersey.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Murphy:

1. Final Speech - The Nutty Professor
2. Bar Scene - 48 Hours
3. Dealing with Reggie - The Nutty Professor
4. Bottle apology - Life
5. Breaking the fourth wall - Trading Places
6. Barber Shop - Coming to America
7. Being ridiculed by Reggie - The Nutty Professor
8. Getting into the restaurant - Beverly Hills Cop
9. The right type of Pie - Life
10. Football - Trading Places
11. "Yes I can" - The Nutty Professor
12. Beating the Dukes - Trading Places
13. Introducing James Thunder Early - Dreamgirls
14. Jack and Reggie work together - 48 Hours
15. Fake Santa - Trading Places
16. Super cops - Beverly Hill Cop
17. Morning after - The Nutty Professor
18. Daddy's watch - Life
19. Promise - 48 Hours
20. Apology - Trading Places

Anonymous:

I often mention about a film earning moment, well here's an example of a film not earning anything. It tries so hard to make this very dramatic moment yet fails miserably because of how little you've become invested in Superman's story, since he's been such a sourpuss the whole time. The relationship with Lois is not there, nor is the idea of Superman finally being Superman since it never made sense why he hated saving people so much. Not to mention it comes from stopping such a ridiculous villain, then its diminished even further by its instant retcon at the end of the film.

Calvin:

Shigeta - 3(It's a good performance as he at least makes Takagi feel like a real person in just a matter of a few minutes. It's a good performance as he manages to be at least a minor cut above just being cannon fodder to show that Hans Gruber means business, he humanizes his victim fairly well.)

Anonymous:

Phone call performance only played by Mark Hamill.

Seriously though it is a pointless endeavor twice over. First being that Ledger really can't be topped, and second being that everything around Leto's Joker in terms of conception is as bad as his performance is. Besides Batman has such a good rogues gallery there is no reason to go back to the Joker again at this point, I'm still waiting for Toby Jones as the penguin.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast for a 40's Glengarry Glen Ross.

Psifonian said...

So with Venice beginning in just a short week, for shits and giggles, what are your predictions?

Here's the jury:

Annette Bening, American actress (President of Jury)
Ildikó Enyedi, Hungarian film director and screenwriter
Michel Franco, Mexican film director, producer and screenwriter
Rebecca Hall, English actress
Anna Mouglalis, French actress
David Stratton, Anglo-Australian film critic
Jasmine Trinca, Italian actress
Edgar Wright, English film director and screenwriter
Yonfan, Taiwanese-Hong Kong film director, producer and screenwriter

Here are the films in competition:

Ammore e malavita (Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti)
Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu)
Custody (Xavier Legrand)
Downsizing (Alexander Payne)
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (Frederick Wiseman)
Una Famiglia (Sebastiano Riso)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz)
Hannah (Andrea Pallaoro)
The House by the Sea (Robert Guédiguian)
Human Flow (Ai Weiwei)
The Insult (Ziad Doueiri)
Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh)
The Leisure Seeker (Paolo Virzì)
Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (Abdellatif Kechiche)
mother! (Darren Aronofsky)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo Del Toro)
Suburbicon (George Clooney)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton)
The Third Murder (Koreeda Hirokazu)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

Here are the categories:

Golden Lion:
Grand Jury Prize:
Silver Lion for Best Director:
Volpi Cup for Best Actor:
Volpi Cup for Best Actress:
Best Screenplay Award:
Special Jury Prize:
Marcello Mastroianni Award:

---

My pre-review predictions, many of which are completely flying blind:

Golden Lion: The Insult
Grand Jury Prize: The Shape of Water
Silver Lion for Best Director: Vivian Qu, Angels Wear White
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Sam Neill, Sweet Country
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Screenplay Award: The Leisure Seeker
Special Jury Prize: Human Flow
Marcello Mastroianni Award: Charlie Plummer, Lean On Pete

Mitchell Murray said...

Finally caught "Logan Lucky". As someone who wasn't over the moon about the Oceans trilogy, i'm not over the moon of this movie. Still, I found it to be a more than decent heist thriller; reasonably fun and endearing to its setting.

Tatum - 3.5 (Tatum has really proven himself more confident and more likable with his recent performances, and this is more of the same. I bought the accent, the father-daughter bond and his balance of comedy and emotion.)

Driver - 3.5 (Goes for straight comedy here but his deadpan delivery is a nice counterpoint to his co-stars. Definitely inspired by Tim Blake Nelson.)

Craig - 4 (Clear MVP. Accent is a tad wonky towards the end but Craig is absolutely spirited and enthusiastic in his performance here. Its a really different role for him and he is hysterical in every scene.)

Keough/Waterson/Holmes - 3 (All fine, nothing of note though)

MacFarlane - 3 (Honestly didn't annoy me as much as I thought. Far from the worst actor they could have chosen for the part.)

Swank - 2 (Yah she just doesn't work here. Tries to hard to be that tough, scowling type and it comes off as laughable. Wasted opportunity not just because of the limited screen time but also because her performance sticks out like a sore thumb.)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Ricky Roma: William Powell
Shelley Levene: John Barrymore
Blake: Robert Ryan
Aaronow: Walter Huston
Moss: Humphrey Bogart
Williamson: Dana Andrews
Lingk: John Qualen

Robert MacFarlane said...

Was I really the only person on the blog who thought Logan Lucky was one of the best of the year?

Mitchell Murray said...

(Robert) - Its a good movie for sure, certainly a highlight of August, but I guess I was expecting it to be "The Nice Guys" of this year. Not that the movies are similar at all, but just in that vein of energized, laugh a minute fun.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I thought it was way, way better than The Nice Guys.

94dfk1 said...

I'd like to see another take on The Riddler, since we've only had one and there's already been 3 Jokers so far, though he's more or less similar to The Joker.

Robert MacFarlane said...

After Legion, Dan Stevens became my ideal Riddler.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 forest whitaker acting moments

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 john malkovich acting moments

Giuseppe Fadda said...

I've just rewatched Damage and I take back everything I said about Irons.

Michael McCarthy said...

Robert: Logan Lucky is actually in my Top 10 of the year so far, although it's only be at like #8.

Robert MacFarlane said...

It's my #3 for the year so far, and could genuinely stay in my top 5.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: what's your top 5 now?

Calvin Law said...

And Michael et everyone else.

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Get Out
2. Your Name
3. Logan Lucky
4. Atomic Blonde
5. Dunkirk

Luke Higham said...

1. Dunkirk
2. Logan
3. Wonder Woman
4. Baby Driver
5. Okja

Calvin Law said...

For me,

1. Detroit
2. Get Out
3. Dunkirk
4. Logan
5. The Big Sick

Top 3 could switch around at any point, and I'm planning to re-watch Get Out tonight (have also bumped Kaluuya up to a 5).

Omar Franini said...

Louis:

What are your rating and thoughts on Maurice Bénichou in Caché? And what are your ratings for Madsen, Penn and Tierney in Reservoi Dogs? Could Buscemi or anyone from the cast go up?

Calvin:

1. How to Talk to Girls at Parties
2. Get Out
3. Okja
4. Logan
5. Loveless

Charles Heiston said...

1. Dunkirk
2. Get Out
3. Logan
4. Baby Driver
5. Wonder Woman

Luke Higham said...

I need to re-watch Get Out again. I liked it quite alot though Kaluuya and Williams' performances left the biggest impression on me.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Whitaker:

1. This is reality - The Last King of Scotland
2. Press Conference - The Last King of Scotland
3. Assault on the gangster - Ghost Dog
4. "You did not persuade me" - The Last King of Scotland
5. Explaining his arm - Smoke
6. Meeting Nicholas - The Last King of Scotland
7. Ending - Ghost Dog
8. Bird's Death - Bird
9. Nicholas informing - The Last King of Scotland
10. Practicing his code - Ghost Dog
11. Meeting his son - Smoke
12. Addiction - Bird
13. Insulting his minister - The Last King of Scotland
14. After his interrogation - Phenomenom
15. Running from Fergus - The Crying Game
16. Eddie's Practice DJing - Good Morning Vietnam
17. Hustle - The Color of Money
18. Lending a book - Ghost Dog
19. Party - The Last King of Scotland
20. Speaking to the Sheriff - The Great Debaters

Malkovich:

1. Home invasion - In the Line of Fire
2. False Rejection - Dangerous Liaisons
3. Apology to Dith Pran - The Killing Fields
4. Car Confrontation - Burn After Reading
5. Duck Hunting - In the Line of Fire
6. False Seduction - Dangerous Liaisons
7. First call - In the Line of Fire
8. Axe murder - Burn After Reading
9. Too many Malkoviches - Being John Malkovich
10. Lost - The Great Buck Howard
11. Being tricked - Dangerous Liaisons
12. Confronting Sydney - The Killing Fields
13. Final words - Dangerous Liaisons
14. Being upstaged - The Great Buck Howard
15. Finale - In the Line of Fire
16. Crazy Old Man - Red
17. Basie's Collection - Empire of the Sun
18. Saving Frank - In the Line of Fire
19. Lennie does something wrong - Of Mice and Men
20. Asking for a description - Places in the Heart

Omar:

Benichou - 3.5(His performance works in creating exactly what it is that Auteuil's character did as a child. Benichou effectively portrays a man who has been through a wringer in life and he portrays so well a man just controlled by this intense bitterness and despair. When that moment happens it is brutal partially because Benichou's performance suggested it almost as though only place for the man to go.)

3.5 for all of them, and I'd say unlikely.