Monday, 23 April 2018

Alternate Best Actor 1957: Rod Steiger in Across the Bridge

Rod Steiger did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Carl Schaffner in Across the Bridge.

Across the Bridge is a decent thriller about a European embezzler trying to hide out near the Mexican/American border only by stealing the identity of a lookalike only to find that man is a wanted assassin, a problem I think most of us know all too well.

Rod Steiger I will admit quite worried me as the film opened in a scene where his character is fielding pressing questions about his troubling business history as well as his wife's suicide. In that I've found more recently in my exploration of Rod Steiger's career that there are certain problematic tendencies that are common in his lesser performances. These Steigerisms are on display a bit here early most notably his way of doing this strange loud high pitched yell to signify anger. Thankfully though these are only very briefly used by Steiger, and in context of the entire performance it isn't too egregious as this representation of a man as a pressure cooker just on the edge of letting out his emotions given his situation. That is where his Carl Schaffner is just on the edge of being discovered and about to be liable for a prison sentence. I'll admit though I had a bit further worry, this one a bit more unfounded, in his portrayal of the German Schaffner given his future success in The Pawnbroker. Steiger uses a similair accent here, that actually just becomes a natural part of the character, and successfully further entrenches himself into the role through it.

The strength of this performance quickly became more obvious to me as soon as the plot really kick starts as Schaffner finds himself on a train in his attempt to escape to Mexico in order to escape his prison sentence. Steiger does not portray this initially as a man on the run in a traditional sense. In that he does not portray an overt desperation within the character at first. He subtly exudes just a bit of it enough to be believable, however he introduces well the idea of the cutthroat businessman here on the run as well. This is seen through his portrayal of his initial actions which carry this definite calm in Steiger's performance, and successfully distinguishes the man from the pressure of facing actual consequences. We see the man distinctly running away from them, and the ease that Steiger depicts effectively reveals the man's amorality early on. This personal attitude continuing even as he steals the identity of a fellow passenger who closely resembles him. When Steiger first tricks the man directly, then later directly hectors him for his identity, Steiger carries this intensity with right assurance within this behavior. He delivers this cold efficiency to these two important scenes showing a man ready to avoid taking any responsibility for his actions, in fact rather determined to do so.

Schaffner's choice in identity theft though quickly leads him into trouble as he is sent packing towards Mexico to take the fall as an assassin. Steiger keeps this calm in the moments of the wrongful identification though successfully reveals this certain glint in his eye, a sense of slyness as though this is initially just part of the plan for the man to easily cross over the border. This becomes slightly more complex when the process of correcting his identity takes longer than expected. Steiger still does not depict an obvious breakdown though just a minor frustration in every one of Schaffner's claims of wrongful identification.There is still that cold incisive stare though once the opportunity for bribery and avoiding of responsibility appears. Steiger delivers the needed incisiveness through this bit of smugness in every moment as Schaffner ease away his obstacles and seems to once again avoid his real mistakes. The arrival of Scotland Yard in addition to the local authorities growing exasperation with the man requires further maneuvering from Schaffner. Steiger is consistently compelling in that he captures again that manipulators charisma in that while he is not truly charming, how much command Steiger says with every word is with the authority of a brilliant criminal.

The authorities do not stop trying to catch Schaffner though and Steiger is very good in portraying the growing exasperation in himself which he realizes well in a growing subtle desperation in his performance. This change in the man though goes further though as he sees the results of his actions where the local Mexican populace begin to openly reject any hospitality towards the man due to the fate of the man's identity he stole. The one source of consistent support comes from an unlikely place that being the dog of the same mann. Although Schaffner initially coldly shoos the dog away, which Steiger portrays with the same indifference the same way he treats any human with as well. The dog, being a dog, doesn't reject Schaffner though coming to support him even as all the humans around him having nothing but disdain for him. This relationship oddly enough is the heart of the film, and quite frankly the best part of the film. This is due to Steiger's portrayal of this relationship where he slowly depicts this quietly growing warmth in each subsequent interaction to the dog that insists on taking a liking to the man. This warmth becoming almost a direct need for any tenderness, once all other reject him for his amorality, portraying as this full attention towards the dog. Steiger's quite moving in giving it his all and finally revealing just a bit of a soul in the character. This is often just in his silent performance though in bringing such delicate and earnest physical interaction with the dog that only becomes all the more heartwarming, as the rest of Schaffner's existence becomes all the bleaker. Eventually the dog is used as a last resort by the authorities to catch Schaffner as they tie the dog just across the border where he can be arrested. This idea could have potentially been ridiculous however Steiger makes it honestly heartbreaking by having created such a convincing connection between man and dog. This culminates finally where the dog cries for the man's help, and we only see Steiger's silent reaction where he reveals such a genuine anguish that naturally finally reveals a better man than the one we saw that opened the film. In turn this leaves this performance by Steiger on quite the high note, despite my initial concerns.

141 comments:

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 best shot films of the 1930's.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Grand Illusion
3. M
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. All Quiet on the Western Front
6. Bride of Frankenstein
7. City Lights
8. Frankenstein
9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
10. Mad Love

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography and editing of Notorious.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 25 most hateful characters in film

Bryan L said...

Louis: How do you think Bradley Cooper would do in the roles of Terry Malloy and Randle McMurphy? I think he could be an interesting choice for the former (based on his work in American Sniper).

Anonymous said...

What does everyone reckon to the new Venom trailer?

Bryan L said...

Louis: Also, your Top 10 Acting Moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films?

Anonymous: It feels...off.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top ten favorite antiheroes in film.

Calvin Law said...

Venom looks awful.

Anonymous said...

Bryan: Pre American Sniper, I would have said Cooper’s bro-y, humorous presence might not work well with the “internalised rage” mould of Terry Malloy, but after watching Sniper I think Cooper would be effective as Malloy. I think he’s a great fit for Randle btw.

Louis: For a 2010s This Sporting Life, who should play Frank Machin and why? Plus your top ten original scores of the decade?

Luke Higham said...

Saw the Venom trailer and I have to agree with you guys. I didn't like the forced humour at all and I have some doubt whether Hardy's gonna excel in the role. The CGI is horrid as well.

RatedRStar: What's your 1975 Lead lineup. I'm struggling to find any contenders that excite me aside from perhaps the leads of Dersu Uzala. And I don't know whether Oliver Reed is Lead or Supporting for Tommy.

Omar Franini said...

Like: i'd suggest Richard Dreyfuss is Inserts for the 1975 lineup.

Luke Higham said...

Omar: Thanks

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I will say, I look forward more to getting an opinion on films and their performances such as Mirror, Dersu Uzala, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, Salo, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom, The Story Of Adele H, Bergman's The Magic Flute, Tommy and The Naked Civil Servant (I wish it was a theatrical release, since Hurt is fantastic as Quentin Crisp) than for the Lead lineup itself.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Amitabh Bachchan could be in contention for Sholay for 75 Supporting. I'll rewatch it after my exams before making a decision.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: Definitely looking forward to supporting more since we'll at least have Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws, John Cleese in Holy Grail and perhaps Reed in Tommy.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could either Fletcher or Dourif go up for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Calvin Law said...

Really hope Fletcher ends up as a 5.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 most charismatic actors.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: excited for Jojo Rabbit?

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Sam Rockwell as a Hitler Youth leader, interesting.

Luke Higham said...

Thinking about it more, I'll put Cleese in Lead. I wouldn't mind both him and Chapman being reviewed.

Luke Higham said...

And have Palin in Supporting, though he's better in Life Of Brian.

Mitchell Murray said...

Well this is the first time I've heard of Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit and - I honestly never imagined the movie its going to be. Rockwell as a Nazi captain and Scarlet Johansson as the titular Jojo's mother, and Waititi as Hitler himself. I can't begin to think of what tone there going for here.

Calvin Law said...

I've read the script. Not to spoil anything but if he pulls it off it'll be phenomenal, if he doesn't it could be an utter disaster. Personally, I can't wait.

Calvin Law said...

Also, I know Louis considers him supporting but I actually think Dreyfuss in Jaws verges on co-lead (though just barely).

Luke Higham said...

BTW, if Poitier's lead, I just want 1 or 2 reviews max for Supporting.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: For 1963 Lead, I really think you should do a lineup of 10 for that year.
Gunnar Bjornstrand in Winter Light
Burt Lancaster in The Leopard
Robert Shaw and Donald Pleasence in The Caretaker
Marcello Mastroianni in The Organizer (I've read many reviews saying it's rather against type for him and his greatest performance)
Maurice Ronet in The Fire Within (It's been compared to The Lost Weekend and he's really great by all accounts)
Michael Redgrave and Laurence Olivier in Uncle Vanya (The former has been labeled the best ever in the title role and Olivier gives one of his greatest)
Steve McQueen in Love Is A Proper Stranger (McQueen at his most charming)
Carlo Fermariello in Hands Over The City (He's just as great as Steiger by all accounts. Steiger's absent for extended periods so he's Supporting)

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Oliver Reed I think would be classed as supporting, he appears a lot in the film but only occasional in the second half, but he might as well be lead, since for me he is one of the only good things about the film.

Discounting Reed if he isnt lead than I have Mitchum, Dern, Hackman, Munzuk and I dont have a fifth at the moment, Reed might be it.

RatedRStar said...

Ann Margret being nominated for Best Actress is just ridiculous, she is 100% supporting.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: And where would you put Cleese for Holy Grail.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: What about Charles Bronson in Hard Times.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Need a rewatch.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Have only seen bits of it

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could Attenborough go up for either Morning Departure or The Great Escape. Same for McQueen in The Great Escape.

Anonymous said...

Louis: An unconventional choice, but do you think Mitchum could have pulled off Atticus Finch?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Notorious is well shot, as to be expected from most of Hitchcock's efforts, yet I'd say this is one of the more notable efforts when it comes to the cinematography in his films. Hitchcock obviously loves some strong contrasts, yet this is perhaps the most notable efforts in that regard. The lighting of every shot is particularly important here, not just in terms of creating a dynamic look for the film, which is particularly remarkable here with just how it really emphasizes so well the lie laden world of lies. It goes even further though in terms of expressing the characters themselves in certain moments by either bringing the character into light, or putting them into even further darkness. I especially love the final shot of the darkened Alex going towards the final light he'll ever see with the camera slowly following him until it is stopped as is the light, so effectively realizing his demise in a purely metaphorical sense.

Editing also tends to be quite great with Hitchcock, and this film is no exception. It actually is probably one of his more brilliantly edited films, without having a specific sequence to make you go "wow" like say shower scene in Psycho. The film is well paced, and well edited in that sense. The editing goes far beyond that though and is particularly essential in creating the unique tension realized in this film. As it is less about obvious threats of say a bomb, or a weapon, but rather the threats the discovery of secrets. The editing becomes essential in creating this sense through every scene in such carefully chosen shots of juxtaposition, and reaction in a given sequence. A masterclass in this is in particularly the ending which heightens the tension with every cut from the central couple, to Alex, to his mother, to his guests to realize the tension of the secret coming out through realizing this through the sheer precision of these reactions realized within the editing.

Anonymous:

Hateful in terms of actions, or in terms of audience perception?

Bryan:

Terry I could potentially see him as though I haven't seen the sort modest vulnerability in a performance of his that is needed for the character. I can't say he can't do it, I just haven't seen it. He's the right type for McMurphy in a general sense, but finding the right tone of likability within the character's unpredictability would be difficult for him I think. As the last time he went with sort of a manic character it didn't go well in my mind. McMurphy's a bit more subtle by nature however there's a balance there that could be off because of the way he plays flamboyance.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

That trailer is more than a little worrying. The action looks bad, and it looks almost like a throwback 90's or early 00's superhero film, which is not a good thing. I will say though it would have been hilarious if the Venom voice was his Bane voice. I feel someone needs to do that dub.

1. Phantom Thread
2. Cloud Atlas
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. La La Land
5. Dunkirk
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
7. Jackie
8. Blade Runner 2049
9. The Social Network
10. I Saw the Devil

Bryan:

1. Dad Talk - Spider-Man: Homecoming
2. Cap and Tony on the Accords - Civil War
3. Drax without pretense - Guardians of the Galaxy
4. The Tape - Civil War
5. Loki revealing his plan - Thor
6. I am Iron Man - Iron Man
7. The Ancient one's final moments - Dr. Strange
8. Truth of about Yondu - Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
9. Meeting the Grandmaster - Thor: Ragnarok
10. Zemo and Black Panther - Civil War

Tahmeed:

1. The Samurai - Yojimbo/Sanjuro
2. Bill "Manco" Blondie
3. The Driver
4. Rocky Sullivan
5. Randle McMurphy
6. Bennie
7. Dirty Harry Callahan
8. Mad Max
9. Jef Costello
10. Sgt. Major Lauderdale

Anonymous:

Tom Hardy, without a second thought, especially since in some ways I see him as an heir of sorts to Harris, just as Fassbender is to Peter O'Toole. The role frankly seems made for Hardy who can bring that needed physicality to the role but also that specific brutish charm.

Calvin:

Very much so, Waititi is certainly one my favorite directors who has come to prominence in this decade. Obviously the material is going to need a deft hand, which based on Boy in particular, I think he could pull it off.

Luke:

Possibly.

I won't be doing a five for supporting 57. Special reviews with an update, if even that.

Also I'd say everyone is supporting in the Holy Grail.

Probably not.

Anonymous:

Yes, Mitchum's range was consistently underestimated. He could have been a great Atticus, I think.

Calvin Law said...

Some 1957 retro castings:

2010s Wild Strawberries directed by Tomas Alfredsin
Professor Borg: Max Von Sydow
Sara: Noomi Rapace
Marianne: Alicia Vikander

1980s Bridge on the River Kwai directed by Peter Weir
Shears: Harrison Ford
Nicholson: Terrence Stamp
Warden: Brian Blessed
Saito: Pat Morita

1990s Sweet Smell of Success directed by Wong Kar-wai
Hunsecker: John Lone
Sidney Falco: Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Susan: Faye Wong

Calvin Law said...

Louis: when you're doing lead 1958, I recommend you watch Ice Cold in Alex during then and if you reckon Quayle is co lead, review him during then. Though I so consider him supporting.

Bryan L said...

Calvin: That Bridge on the River Kwai cast is gold. I also wish Weir would come back and do one more film.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hardy seems to be playing Eddie Brock the same way he played his role in The Drop... which is *incredibly* questionable.

Also, challenge accepted on the Bane thing. My Bane impression kicks ass and I will gladly dub over the trailer.

Matt Mustin said...

Caught up with Thor Ragnarok, which is *exactly* what I expected a superhero movie directed by Taika Waititi would be.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Unpopular opinion: I like Graham Chapman's work in Holy Grail more than Life of Brian, as he didn't get overshadowed as much.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your Top 10 Ray Liotta acting moments?

Michael McCarthy said...

Tahmeed: Oh I totally agree, I think the comedically commanding nature of the role did him a lot of favors. Although I think he had the best individual moment in Life of Brian (OHHH SHUT UP).

Anonymous said...

Louis: Before Lawrence, Lean was interested in directing a Gandhi biopic with Guinness playing Gandhi and Pressburger writing the screenplay.

I've also read that back in the 40's, Alexander Korda was interested in adapting The Seven Pillars of Wisdom for the screen with either Olivier, Donat and Leslie Howard as Lawrence. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Louis: And also in the late 60's, Attenborough approached Lean again to direct the Gandhi biopic with Attenborough playing the role.

Mitchell Murray said...

No doubt this has been discussed before, but for the immediate future I'm just going to list some of upcoming movies I think look promising, and the actors I'm most intrigued by.)

Boy Erased (Lucas Hedges, Joel Edgerton, Nicole Kidman)

First Man (Ryan Gosling and the rest)

Backseat (Christian Bale and the rest) - Just on a side note this has a real "W." vibe right out the gate so it may hurt it chances just like that movie.

The Front Runner (Hugh Jackman and the rest) - Hopefully this will be better than the last time Jackman attempted a biopic.

You Were Never Really Here (Joaquin Phoenix)

Mary Queen of Scots (Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie) - I don't think I need to elaborate.

Widows (Just about everyone really except Michelle Rodriguez)

Wildlife (Carey Mulligan) - Initial reception has been very strong.

The Favourite (Emma Stone) - Her second go at a biopic, but like Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots I'm not sure its a style she's demonstrated yet.

Beautiful Boy (Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell)

Luke Higham said...

Mitchell: If Phoenix doesn't get nominated, he'll be reviewed for the 2017 bonus round. You Were Never Really Here had it's initial release in France last year.

Also, I don't think we should discount Crowe in Boy Erased since he's playing the father of Hedges character.

Luke Higham said...

Right now though, my 5 most anticipated performances are Matthias Schoenaerts in Kursk, August Diehl in Radegund, Jonathan Pryce in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and Ronan & Robbie in Mary, Queen Of Scots.

Bryan L said...

Don't forget Ben Foster in Galveston and Leave no Trace!

I'm really looking forward to the former.

Luke Higham said...

Bryan L: I'm really looking forward to both of his performances yet I expect greatness from him all the time now.

I'm also really looking forward to Chris Pine in Outlaw King.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Meryl Streep's guest performance on The Simpsons?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Do you plan on watching Brideshead Revisited during 1981.

Anonymous said...

Luke: He should definitely watch Brideshead for Gielgud's performance.
Louis: When you get to 1981, also watch Death Hunt with Bronson and Marvin.

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

Louis: Out of curiosity, may I have your ranking of the Anne Boleyn performances you've seen (film and otherwise)?

ruthiehenshallfan99 said...

*Portrayals

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your best cinematography winners for these years:
1938:
1946:
1970:
1982:
1991:
2009:

Anonymous said...

Also your winner for 1948 best cinematography.

Anonymous said...

Louis: For a 2000s On the Waterfront, who should play Terry and Edie and why?
Also, and all you guys can chip in, can you name some actors who you feel get an unearned bad rap for only one particularly bad performance? For example Don Cheadle in the Ocean’s movie was bad, but he seems to be an actor with a lot of untapped power beyond that one bad performance.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

1. The tunnel - Narc
2. Saving the girl - Narc
3. One Day - Goodfellas
4. First meeting with Oak - Narc
5. Karen with a gun - Goodfellas
6. Final confrontation - Something Wild
7. "Where's the Cocaine" - Goodfellas
8. Intense Interrogation - Narc
9. Funny How - Goodfellas
10. Arrival - Field of Dreams

Anonymous:

A Lean directed biopic on Gandhi would've been interesting I think, and I probably would have preferred it to the film Attenborough made, although I do think that is a fine film as is. Lean likely would have been a more daring examination of the man, and his influence I think. Perhaps less historically accurate I imagine, but perhaps a greater cinematic achievement. Although Kingsley was perfectly cast in the role, I do think Guinness could have pulled it off based on his work in Lawrence.

Attenborough in the 60's would've been a stranger choice, though he probably could have pulled it off given his talent, with Omar Sharif having already been a Lean leading man.

Speaking of Lawrence I doubt a Korda film would have been near the achievement that was the final product, given that is one of the greatest films of all time. Having said that it probably would have been a good, far smaller scale examination of his life. Out of those three choices I think Olivier would have been the only one who could have worked. I've never seen Donat have the needed harder edge for Lawrence, and Howard was always best when he could really use his natural charm which wouldn't have been right for Lawrence. Olivier could have been great though.

Matt:

I feel she really should do more voice acting work, because when she it is always great, invisible, work on her part. That's certainly the case there where she not only seems completely believable as a little girl in the role, but so effectively always realizes this certain false naive duplicity within the evil "good" minister's daughter. It is probably one of the more expressive vocal performances in the Simpsons, and she absolutely pulls it off beautifully.

Luke:

With Irons, Olivier, and Gielgud? I'll certainly try to give it a go.

ruthiehenshallfan99:

1. Claire Foy
2. Merle Oberon
3. Genevieve Bujold
4. Vanessa Redgrave
5. Natalie Portman

1938: The Human Beast
1946: Notorious
1948: The Red Shoes
1970: The Conformist
1982: Blade Runner
1991: Barton Fink
2009: Inglourious Basterds

Anonymous:

Joaquin Phoenix who can deliver both the needed inherent intensity, but also the right type of vulnerability needed for Terry. And to cheat, given their chemistry in Two Lovers, I think Gwyneth Paltrow would work if she taped into more of her nineties acting sensibilities, which she also did in Two Lovers.

Hmm for a single performance? Maybe Barry Pepper in Battlefield Earth, and given his company he's not even that bad, however I've noticed many refer to him as "that guy from Battlefield Earth" despite the great performances he's given since then.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of The Red Shoes.

Luke Higham said...

An hour to go until Infinity War. I've heard Brolin's the highlight.

Calvin Law said...

I might be seeing it tomorrow, if not maybe next week.

John Smith said...

Louis, is Stallone still a 3.5 for his performance in 'Rocky'?

Matt Mustin said...

John Smith: He should be at least a 4, I think.

Luke Higham said...

Saw Infinity War. Top 5 MCU film. Easily the best Avengers film thus far.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke: Cast ratings? (if possible, it's a big cast)

Luke Higham said...

Matt: I'll try my best. :)
Downey Jr. - 4
Hemsworth - 3.5
Ruffalo - 3.5/4
Evans - 3 (Doesn't have much to do)
Johansson - 3
Cumberbatch - 3.5/4
Holland - 3.5/4
Bettany - 3.5
Olsen - 3.5
Dinklage - 3
Bautista - 3.5
Saldana - 3.5
Cooper - 3.5
Pratt - 3.5
Brolin - 4.5 (My favourite MCU villain and if Marvel didn't deliver on Thanos then I'd be calling the MCU a failure)
Vaughn-Lawlor - 3.5

Everyone else have very little to do.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke: I'm assuming it's pure ensemble, right?

Luke Higham said...

Matt: I'd say so though interestingly enough, the closest to a Lead in this film is Brolin.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke: Yeah, I've heard Feige say he really wanted to make Thanos the central character.

Louis Morgan said...

Saw Infinity War delivered as intended is all that I'll say for now.

Saving Brolin.

Downey - 4
Hemsworth - 4
Ruffalo - 3.5
Evans - 3
Johansson - 3
Cumberbatch - 3.5
Cheadle - 3
Holland - 4
Boseman - 3
Bettany - 3.5
Olsen - 4
Mackie - 3
Stan - 3
Hiddleston - 3
Dinklage - 3
Klementieff - 3
Gillan - 3
Saldana - 3.5
Cooper - 3
Pratt - 3.5
Gurira - 3
Wright - 3
Notary - 3
Bautista - 3.5

Anonymous said...

Nice. Can't wait to see it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Do you have a rating for Vaughn-Lawlor as Ebony Maw. Your thoughts on the film. I'll ask for thoughts on the cast tomorrow or Sunday just to give Robert, Michael, Calvin and Tahmeed a chance to see it.

Luke Higham said...

Also with Brolin, I'm actually considering giving him a 5.

Louis: Is the film an Ensemble piece or do you consider Brolin Lead.

Matt Mustin said...

Luke and Louis: Yeah, actually, hold off on specific cast thoughts A LOT longer than that, please.

Luke Higham said...

Matt: That's fine with me. Might just give it a week instead.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I won't get a chance to see it till at least the 13th of May, but I don't mind if you guys give thoughts far earlier than that. Don't really care about spoilers. :)

Calvin Law said...

Saw Infinity War, few things really bugged me (more story- wise and some dialogue), but overall it was pretty much everything I wanted.

Brolin - 4.5
Downey - 3.5/4
Hemsworth - 4/4.5
Ruffalo - 3.5
Evans - 3.5
Johansson - 2.5
Cumberbatch - 3.5
Cheadle - 3
Holland - 4
Boseman - 3
Bettany - 3.5
Olsen - 4
Mackie - 3
Stan - 3
Hiddleston - 3
Dinklage - 2.5
Klementieff - 3
Gillan - 3
Saldana - 4
Cooper - 3
Pratt - 3.5
Gurira - 3
Wright - 3
Notary - 3
Vaughn Lawlor - 3
Coon - 3
Bautista - 3.5

Mitchell Murray said...

Olsen seems to be somewhat of a standout with you guys. Could someone explain why that is without getting too spoiler heavy? I only ask because I've never really taken to her Scarlett Witch all that much - I like her acting but the accent always ruins it for me.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know Dinklage was in the movie. What does he do?

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

3. It's definitely a true ensemble, the perspective wavers too much for there to be true lead, though Thanos is obviously the driving force. Brolin is close to being lead, but still supporting to me.

Mitchell:

Hard to do that. I will say though that the accent is completely gone, which I'm probably going to say was all Joss Whedon's idea.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8DXE5Sx5m8

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm glad you have him in Supporting, much better chance of getting reviewed.

Luke Higham said...

Louis & Calvin: Is Infinity War your favourite Avengers film.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar & Calvin: Chicken Run 2 has been announced. :)

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I think so. I had issues but far less than the previous two.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Just outstanding work when it comes to the use of hard lighting typical for any color Powell/Pressburger film. This one though is particularly special though in terms of just how lush and vibrant every color is in the film. This is used to such perfection though within the context of the film to create this beautiful nearly fantastical element through the sheer grandeur of the cinematographic technique of every single shot, especially those on the stage.

Luke:

Yes.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your past film roles for Chris Pine and Guy Pearce?

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 alan arkin acting moments

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 10 Martin Landau acting moments.

Anonymous said...

Tahmeed:
1. "I have no Home" - Ed Wood
2. Suicide attempt - Ed Wood
3. "Pull the Strings" - Ed Wood
4. "I could have played Frankenstein" - Ed Wood
5. "I plan on dying soon" - Ed Wood
6. Film Idea - Crimes and Misdemeanors
7. Plan 9 scene - Ed Wood
8. Confronting Jack - Crimes and Misdemeanors
9. Family Dinner - Crimes and Misdemeanors
10. Catching Dreams - Tucker

Anonymous said...

Louis: what would be your cast and director for a 90s version of Infinity War?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Saw Infinity War. Was not crazy about it. Reminded me a lot of Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I did like Brolin, Hemsworth, and Saldana, though. Really all it did was make me appreciate Ragnarok and Black Panther even more.

Calvin Law said...

My personal top 5 of 2018 so far:

1. Isle of Dogs
2. Thoroughbreds
3. Avengers: Infinity War
4. You Were Never Really Here
5. Black Panther

Bryan L said...

I'm not just saying this because he's one of the greats, but I think Daniel-Day Lewis would've been a perfect fit for Dr. Strange back in the 90s.

Calvin Law said...

DDL would be perfect. Just to throw a few other picks in:

Thanos - John Goodman (I think it could work)

Bruce Banner - Gary Sinise

Vision - Charles Dance

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Chris Pine:

Hud
Elmer Gantry
Fred C. Dobbs

Guy Pearce:

Henry Higgins
Scottie Ferguson
Bill McKay

Anonymous:

Arkin:

1. "Musta had my fingers crossed" - Wait Until Dark
2. Final time with Spiros - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
3. Diner - Little Miss Sunshine
4. Roat arrives - Wait Until Dark
5. Final Practice - Little Miss Sunshine
6. Theoretical discussion - Glengarry Glen Ross
7. On the plane - The In-Laws
8. "Politics" - Little Miss Sunshine
9. Silent plea - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
10. Grave - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
11. "Roat Junior" - Wait Until Dark
12. Record connection - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
13. Steps lunch - Argo
14. Meeting Vince - The In-Laws
15. Blount's goodbye - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
16. Dinner - Little Miss Sunshine
17. Meeting the dictator - The In-Laws
18. "Roat Senior" - Wait Until Dark
19. Meeting with WGA - Argo
20. "Gunfight" - The Russians Are Coming

Anonymous:

Infinity War 90's directed by James Cameron:

Tony Stark: James Woods
Black Panther: Denzel Washington
Thor: Brad Pitt
Bruce Banner/Hulk: Richard Dreyfuss/Lou Ferrigno
Steve Rogers: Val Kilmer
Black Widow: Diane Lane
Dr. Strange: Gary Oldman
Rhodey: Ernie Hudson
Spider-man: Leonardo DiCaprio
Vision: Jonathan Pryce
Scarlet Witch: Mia Sara
Falcon: Reg E. Cathey
Loki: Kenneth Branagh
Eltri: Danny DeVito
Nebula: Gillian Anderson
Drax: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Groot: Sylvester Stallone
Gamora: Lena Olin
Rocket: Bruce Willis
Peter Quill: Bruce Campbell
Ebony-maw: Peter Capaldi
Thanos: Ron Perlman

Bryan L said...

Calvin: I was also thinking John Goodman for Thanos, in Barton Fink mode of course.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 jonathan pryce acting moments

Anonymous said...

Black Panther or Infinity War, which does everyone think was better?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Louis will choose Infinity War, I need abit of time to decide. I give Thanos the edge over Killmonger even though Jordan was terrific in the role.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I am quite happy about Chicken Run 2, shame that Tony Haygarth (Mr Tweedy)passed away.

I quite liked Infinity War as a glorious overblown epic that it is, it is great to see these characters interact with each other, it reminds of me the classic comedy moments from WWE, when you saw the likes of The Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Stone Cold and Chris Jericho interacting.

Luke Higham said...

I saw Infinity War again last night and I'm upgrading Hemsworth, Cumberbatch, Holland, Olsen and Saldana.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: What did you think of Brolin without spoiling.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I thought he was great, I was quite worried at the beginning of the film where I thought he was going to just be the big bad guy for everyone to stop but I found his motivations to well done and one where like most of the great villains you kinda agree to an extent with his reasons and his development and even interaction with certain characters (Iron Man, Gamora, Scarlet Woman and Star Lord my favorite interactions)

Robert MacFarlane said...

You guys actually thought Pratt was good in Infinity War? Because I thought he totally bombed what were supposed to be his dramatic moments.

Michael McCarthy said...

I think I really liked Infinity War but for the moment I’m gonna pick Black Panther since it works better as a stand-alone movie. And I’d easily put Jordan’s performance above Brolin’s.

As for Infinty War in general, I might go as high as 4.5 for Hemsworth. I’m about the same as Louis for the rest of them, though I might be inclined to go a little higher for Saldana and Cooper.

Luke Higham said...

Michael: Your rating for Brolin.

Luke Higham said...

I think Louis will give Brolin a 4.5 and I hope the same for Jordan though I got the impression then that he wasn't as complimentary as we were.

RatedRStar said...

I liked Pratt in Infinity War because I felt his dramatic scenes were basically him breaking down but still attempting to be jokey and struggling to angrily react.

Calvin Law said...

I thought Pratt was good but I thoroughly hated Star-Lord after this. He's got a lot to make up for.

Michael McCarthy said...

Come to think of it I’d probably give Pratt a 4 as well, I think he showed a lot more range in this one.

RatedRStar said...

Calvin: I am not sure I would go that far and say you could hate Star-Lord for his mistake, keeping in mind, obviously spoiler free that in the heat of the moment when you have like mere seconds to react to something, your not exactly gonna be reasonable.

Calvin Law said...

RatedRStar: True I guess. I understand what and why, but still.

Acting-wise I thought Cumberbatch and Downey Jr. had a few off moments towards the beginning, but nothing too problematic. I also enjoyed the little bit of Wong we got.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Pryce:

1. "Brazil" - Brazil
2. A truly unburdened Soul - Game of Thrones
3. Moving Table - Brazil
4. Wolsey's Failures - Wolf Hall
5. Confrontation with Queen of Thorns - Game of Thrones
6. Attempted rescue - Brazil
7. New Ally - Game of Thrones
8. Wolsey's final moments - Wolf Hall
9. First Meeting with his mother - Brazil
10. Final Trial - Game of Thrones
11. Revelation of Feelings - Carrington
12. The Engineers - Brazil
13. A garden - Game of Thrones
14. Torture - Brazil
15. Trying to solve the King's Dilemma - Wolf Hall
16. Seeing Delaney - Taboo
17. A certain arrangement - Carrington
18. Wanting his check back - Glengarry Glen Ross
19. Blowing up London - G.I. Joe: Retaliation
20. Meeting Tuttle - Brazil

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Whar are your more detailed thoughts on Infinity War.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well I'll still stay spoiler free for those who have not seen it. The one thing I will say is I loved how the final minutes were directed particularly that last shot. For the rest of the film I said it "delivered as intended" for a reason. As I get it, for those who feel it wouldn't work as a stand alone film, but this was the whole point of the MCU and as an almost sort "season finale" style culmination I really enjoyed it. It brings that proper comic book crossover style on screen, and I thought it did it quite well. RatedRStar's comparison I think was rather apt, in that I did just find the enjoyment partially in just how big it was, right down to the ways all the personalities clashed.

It is a cinematic representation of a comic book crossover, which for and better or worse, as those really aren't for everybody either. I got mostly what I expected out of it which was an entertaining and always explosive film long climax essentially. That was in terms of most of the character interactions, which were funny, entertaining and occasionally moving. The one thing I did not expect though was Thanos (who I think they spent Black Panther and Spider-Man Homecoming's CGI budget on), and just how far they went in terms of crafting the narrative really around his story, which I think was the film's greatest success. Is the film perfect, no (I particularly *get* the Star-Lord complaint), but I thought it was one fun ride and I am looking forward very much to part 2.

Michael McCarthy said...

I would't honestly say I have a complaint with Star-Lord's scene. It was upsetting to be sure, but I think it was a crucial moment for Quill's character that could be driving at something really interesting.

I just saw it again today, and honestly it really works for me. It's not a perfect standalone movie but it reminds me of what Louis said about Sicario, the emotional impact made up for it. Also the score was astounding, and none of the past MCU movies had scores that stood out much to me at all.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for a 90's The Proposition.

Robert MacFarlane said...

The more I think about Infinity War, the less I like it. It's just as soulless as Age of Ultron, but somehow even more overstuffed and unstructured. How can I care about an "audacious" ending if I know it'll be reversed in the sequel? Even before that, few emotional beats felt earned. There's no build up or tension, the plot just... happens. It's more D&D campaign than storytelling.

Also, fuck Star Lord forever.

Michael McCarthy said...

Robert: I was initially hoping that it wouldn't end the way it did for the same reason as you, but for me there were a couple of things that justified it.

Also Luke, to answer your question I'll just give ratings for the whole cast.

Brolin: 4.5
Downey: 4
Hemsworth: 4.5
Ruffalo: 3.5
Evans: 3
Johansson: 3
Cumberbatch: 3.5
Cheadle: 3
Holland: 4 (mostly for his last scene)
Bettany: 3.5
Olsen: 3.5
Mackie: 3
Stan: 3
Hiddleston: 3
Dinklage: 3
Klementieff: 3
Gillan: 3
Bautista: 3
Saldana: 4
Cooper: 3.5
Pratt: 4

Robert MacFarlane said...

Hemsworth was probably my choice for MVP, though I did admire Brolin's restraint and nuance to a role that frankly should have been played like Raul Julia as M. Bison. Saldana did great as well, including her rather wonkily-written last speech. The rest of the cast was either good or, just there. Except Chris Pratt, I genuinely thought failed spectacularly at any of his serious moments. He is the worst Chris playing the worst MCU character.

Robert MacFarlane said...

(I can't believe you guys thought Last Jedi was the one with problems and not this.)

Louis Morgan said...

Well Infinity War, as I wrote before, is indeed a film long climax, but I'll argue for the stakes and payoff. Much of it was harvested among the characters that were made beloved by the other films, and naturally kept them going here. It also was evident completely within the film itself when it came to Thor(Hemsworth really delivered by the way) and Thanos himself.

This is opposed to some other film that rejected and contradicted its predecessors...but I won't get into it.

Anonymous:

The Proposition directed by 1990's Bruce Beresford:

Captain Stanley: Bob Hoskins
Charlie Burns: Mel Gibson
Martha Stanley: Kristin Scott Thomas
Eden Fletcher: John Noble
Arthur Burns: Geoffrey Rush
Jellon Lamb: Nigel Hawthorne

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could Hemsworth go up to a 4.5 for Infinity War.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the voice of Casey Affleck?

Anonymous said...

Bryan: Affleck’s voice is very similar to Marlon Brando in The Godfather in that his voice is very whiny and catlike. He mumbles wayyyy too much though. At some points during the Assassination of Jesse James, I just had to put the volume up all the way.

Louis: Your top ten actors who have made a living playing shady guys or loners?
And your thoughts on Daniel Day-Lewis as an actor in the 80s-90s?

Anonymous said...

Any of you guys ever been to a film festival? Just asking.

Calvin Law said...

Anonymous: the BFI film festival last year.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Tsutomu Yamazaki as an actor.

Luke Higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: If you hypothetically placed Ben Foster as lead in Hell or High Water, would he be your win?

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: I agree. He did mumble a lot as Robert Ford but I don't remember being it too distracting.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Oh and your past film projects for Christopher Nolan? (Movies he'd knock out of the park if he were to remake them)

Alex Marqués said...

I just saw Infinity War, and I kind of agree with Robert overall (haven't seen the Star Wars film). But it was interesting to see how the audience for these movies was so shocked, there were many parents saying they weren't going to take their kids to the next one hahaha

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Which of the cast from Branagh's Hamlet would you switch and your picks for those roles. I think Kevin Kline would've been a better choice in Williams' role or even Laertes.

Calvin Law said...

Not what Luke was asking for, but a 2010s Hamlet directed by Taika Waititi:

Hamlet: Andrew Garfield
Claudius: Robert Downey Jr.
Gertrude: Cate Blanchett
Polonius: Brendan Gleeson
Ophelia: Rose Leslie
Horatio: George MacKay
Laertes: Domhnall Gleeson
Gravedigger: Taika Waititi
Main Player: Jermaine Clement

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

Yes.

In a way I have not even scratched the surface of Yamazaki's career. I've only seen a handful of performances, and as typical for a lot of Japanese performers he's extremely prolific even now. From what I have seen though is Yamazaki is an extremely dynamic performer. Kurosawa clearly had an eye for young performers, and that is evident in his work with him. In all three performances Yamazaki delivers such a incredible emotional potency to his work in either a more grandiose or smaller scale sense. His range though extends with a comedic grace as well as seen in Kagemusha, Go, The Funeral and even Departures. He's a fascinating performer as is, who works both as the intense character or the casually charming leading man. He is one I certainly would love to find all of the hidden gems within his vast filmography.

No, as Jeff Bridges gave my favorite performance in that film.

Bryan:

He's without a doubt a mumbler, however I think a very naturalistic mumbler so to speak. In that it never feels like a put on, but actually just helps to make his performances have an effortless character to them from it in a way.

Nolan:

Magic
War of the Worlds

Anonymous:

Day-Lewis in the early part of his career was one of the most dynamic performers around with that incredible range of a performer. Whether it be his two-fer in 85/86, or his 93 one as specific examples of his great ability. There was so much in-between there where Day-Lewis rather consistently was compelling and I think not given enough credit in a few places. He crafted such idiosyncratic yet natural characters, but also could so effortlessly realize such individual needs in unique ways. For example his truly comedic approach for Cecil Vyse for example is never given enough credit. Although these performances were pre-event Day-Lewis, that devotion to his craft was still evident in the results of his performances that have always been about the creation of individual people that we could truly know.

Luke:

I'll agree with Kline for Osric, a character actor for Reynaldo (as he's not at all important having a "name" play him at all is what made it distracting), put Sewell as Laertes instead of Baloney, I mean Maloney, and Peter Ustinov as Marcellus.