Thursday, 3 May 2018

Alternate Best Actor 1957: Robert Mitchum in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Robert Mitchum did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Corporal Allison in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is a rather enjoyable film about a marine and nun stuck on an island in the Pacific in enemy territory during World War II.

It must be said that Robert Mitchum was a great actor, with such an ease onscreen that is perhaps what lead to him being such an underrated commodity. I must say I take a certain joy in finding each and every one of Mitchum's notable turns as they reveal such a remarkable performer who had such a notable idiosyncratic personal style yet had a tremendous and somewhat under exploited range. Of course again even this in some circumstances was almost hard to notice just in terms of how easily Mitchum slipped in a different type of role. The role of Allison here, a marine who finds himself marooned on an island, Mitchum does not use as an excuse just to deliver a performance similair to say his hard boiled P.I. from Out of the Past. Of course that probably almost would have been fine, but Mitchum doesn't go for that approach which is rather impressive to begin with, but also leads to a very special turn from him. Now this isn't just in his New York accent he fashions for his character. That's just part of it, an easy part of it that Mitchum just makes it part of himself. Mitchum with accents is always rather fascinating since he's not an actor who'd strike you as using accents, but you barely notice them when he does use them since he does so in such an effective fashion.

That accent though is only a stepping stone in his portrayal of Allison which I might say is perhaps Mitchum at his most charming. A notable distinction needs to be made in this though in that Mitchum is always a charismatic performer, however this is a time where his considerable charm really comes to the forefront with his approach to Allison as a character. Allison is after all a marine who had a none too pleasant childhood before he reached this rough patch created by his time in the war. Mitchum however does not present this as some sort of horrendous wound by any means. This is not inconsistent though which is so interesting in his work. In that Mitchum delivers the lines on Allison's past rather bluntly with certainly the right hardened attitude in this explanation. There is no sense that these are good memories however they do not truly pain him in Mitchum's presentation. He does this though through a careful, and brilliant, workaround where he reveals this as basically assuaged through his time with the marines. When he speaks of the chapter, even when explaining a harsh drill sergeant, Mitchum infuses this considerable pride in every word. In his eyes he brings this sense of purpose within the marines creating this core within Allison, and this belief essentially towards his duty in the armed forces.

Now the reason Mitchum's choice there is particularly important is because there was a potential possibility for Allison to be this terrible brooder, however his approach to avoid that really opens up the film to frankly a more enjoyable experience in general. Mitchum uses this that allows him to be far more expressive in his charm, of course with such ease as always by portraying Allison very much as a man at ease with himself. Mitchum's approach and turn here actually reminded me a bit of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. In that captures that sort of action hero you can approach. This is in part that charm to be sure that makes Allison just this very likable sort, but it goes further than that. In that Mitchum really allows you in on Allison's endeavors to subvert the Japanese efforts to find him, and his companion as well as to later sabotage their defenses against his fellow marines. Mitchum's so good in the action scenes not just by being charming, but also bringing this certain haplessness to moments. In that just his physicality in the moments and his reactions are not of this superman, but just a guy winging it at times. This in turn makes him so very easy to watch in every moment since he never seems too far gone, but is so very endearing in every moment by showing Allison essentially just doing his very best to survive, serve the marines, and help his nun companion.

Speaking of his nun companion who is an essential part of this performance. As in the story the marooned marine Allison comes across a nun who also happened to be marooned there, the nun Sister Angela played by Deborah Kerr. Now I already covered Kerr and Mitchum later showed their considerable chemistry in The Sundowners, but this was their first film together. The chemistry here also is a bit more complicated given the nature of the relationship whereas in that later film the two where they are already a married couple as the film opens. That is not quite the case obviously for Allison and Sister Angela. Kerr and Mitchum evidently developed a real life friendship through this film, and that sort of ease together is quite obvious through their work together here. What is so important about this though is this film is essentially a two person show between the two. What I love is how even though there is the nun/soldier juxtaposition from the start the sense of ease actually comes quite quickly. Now this is with each fulfilling their roles so well, Mitchum naturally being more expressive against Kerr who stays a bit demure. Their interactions from their opening scene though has just something so remarkable in how genuinely they speak with one another. There is just such earned sweetness and warmth in it that makes the two such entertaining duo from the outset.

The two use that as this basis for the two that certainly makes the film all the more compelling in itself. The two go much further than that though, and I love how both performers so eloquently realize their own arcs in tandem yet separately in approach. Kerr giving the more subtle and introverted portrayal, well Mitchum giving the more extroverted, although I wouldn't quite say broad. Mitchum does well though to convey really just the outgoing nature in every scene making some of Allison's blunt statements seem so honest to the character. When Allison just for example states being unaware of pretty nuns, clearly referring to Sister Angela, there is such a earnest sincerity in Mitchum's delivery that so effectively just reveals this as just the way Allison is. He uses this idea though particularly well in creating what Allison's story is within as the non-church going soldier, interacts with the devote nun. Mitchum does this carefully in presenting really an idea of kind of showing Allison's initial attraction essentially slowly falling into love with the Sister. Mitchum brings this purity through how he so well finds that directness of Allison. His rather uncompromising statements early on about her choice to be nun Mitchum refines always through such clear, and rather pure tenderness for her. What helps all the more though is just how good their chemistry is in every interaction, and to the point the two seem right together, even if this must be in a specific way.

Mitchum gradually delivers this to a tipping point which he importantly portrays not as a mental breaking point, but rather Allison's blunt attitude taking him too far, amplified due to drink. When he reveals his feelings for her I love the definite vulnerability in Mitchum's eyes that allude to really only a most sincere reasoning in the man's mind, even if it was perhaps not in the right circumstances or taken with the right considerations. When the Sister rejects this Mitchum doesn't show the love Allison has for her diminish instead he actually presents as growing after she becomes ill. When he treats her there is perhaps the most powerful affection in every moment as Mitchum brings such a striking compassion in every moment. As he treats her, and then later asks for her forgiveness for his previous statements, Mitchum though has one major difference though which is in his face he carries this considerable sense of empathy. When he asks for her forgiveness Mitchum makes Allison as straight forward as ever, but now with such solemness in his voice evoking such a convincing act of contrition and understanding towards her. The relationship between the two is so beautifully realized as we see both change through it, and come together in what is technically not a romantic love in the most traditional sense, however it is not unrequited in the end. Of course this all naturally woven within their interactions throughout that create such a winning duo throughout the film. I love both of their performances here that manage to find the dramatic potential within the central relationship, but at the same time are just a pair I simply liked spending time with.

84 comments:

GM said...

The best I've seen from him and Kerr.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Is there any chance River Phoenix can get upgraded for Stand By Me?

Calvin Law said...

I agree with GM completely.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Rating and thoughts on Kerr.

Charles H said...

Brilliant performance honestly. One of my favorites from him. I preferred him in Cape Fear & Night of the Hunter

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Why did Mitchum only get 1 Oscar nomination? lol you reckon it was because he had that Cary Grant problem where the Academy thought he had a too easy job on screen?

Matt Mustin said...

RatedRStar: I think that's probably exactly it.

Anonymous said...

RatedRStar: I don't think Mitchum was that well-regarded as an actor back in those days. I think he really started to get his reputation as being underrated after he passed away.
Louis: Your 40's and 50's Bonnie and Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid casts.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Where would this rank among Mitchum's best performances.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: 3rd I reckon.

RatedRStar said...

I am not particularly confident about Gazzara in The Strange One, I reckon he will get a 4 but the film will probably be very meh.

Luke Higham said...

I predict a 4 as well, Daniel.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Present film roles you see Steve McQueen being great in back in his prime? I can practically see him as Luke Glanton.

Anonymous said...

Bryan L: It's painfully obvious that he'd be great as The Driver in Drive. And here's something interesting for thought: Louis thinks he would have worked in Pacino's Oscar-winning role for Scent of a Woman.

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: Him as The Driver is a must. McQueen as Frank Slade does sound very intriguing, since I also think he would've become more of a character actor in the 90s.

Louis Morgan said...

Robert:

Yes, as that is another film I haven't seen since the nineties.

Anonymous:

Kerr - 5(Obviously no need to repeat in regards to her overall chemistry with Mitchum which is so wonderful. Her performance though works so well in terms of that contrast of her own work compared to Mitchum's that just comes together so perfectly. Kerr is terrific in giving such a subdued yet still very charming performance in her own right. Kerr reveals this even in such an effective way by making just this slightly cheeky quality about the sister when she makes a joke with the Allison, that is just naturally realized as a bit of extra life to the character. She finds this so well within her overarching portrayal of the devote sister which she portrays so earnestly and with such a real yet understated passion whenever she speaks of her vows and her faith. I love how Kerr portrays this yet doesn't, much like Mitchum, let it override her whole performance which is so vibrant in general. Now again like Mitchum she does so well to portray her own arc through the relationship with Allison. This is within again her subtle yet rather powerful portrayal of dealing with Allison's attraction to her, but also his questions of her. Kerr is great in that she develops this to show that there is a sense of the sister having moments of truly thinking, and perhaps even doubt over her position, yet makes both the moment of reaffirmation of her choice, but also her way of also expressing her own type of love to Allison quite poignant actually. She manages to find such a delicate balance in the role, and again like Mitchum she simple is entertaining while also so effectively realizing that dramatic arc. Also loved her cork accent.)

Tahmeed:

Probably third, however his work in "Eddie Coyle" really has stayed with me.

RatedRStar:

In part that, in part his appreciation did come late. After all Night of the Hunter itself took a long time to become appreciated. I think it probably also could have been related to his general casual attitude, which means I highly doubt he ever really campaigned.

Anonymous:

Bonnie and Clyde 40's:

Clyde: Kirk Douglas
Bonnie: Ava Gardner
C.W.: Jackie Cooper
Buck: Lee J. Cobb
Blanche: Claire Trevor
Eugene Grizzard: Danny Kaye

50's:

Clyde: Paul Newman
Bonnie: Carroll Baker
C.W.: Sal Mineo
Buck: Ben Johnson
Blanche: Gloria Grahame
Eugene Grizzard: Jack Lemmon

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid 40's:

Butch: Clark Gable
Sundance: William Holden
Etta: Rita Hayworth

50's:

Butch: Robert Mitchum
Sundance: Tony Curtis
Etta: Janet Leigh

Bryan:

Most Gosling roles honestly, as I could have seen him as a great Officer K as well.

Also:

Cory Lambert
Toby Howard
Curtis (Snowpiercer)

Anonymous:

I very much stand by that, and I think he probably would have been great as Slade. Look at this way, McQueen would never have gone broad yet instead would have carried that big personality through his always considerable natural presence which could have been something special.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Even Sebastian in La La Land?

Aside from Officer Dixon, what present film roles can you see Cagney in?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

No, hence the use of "most" rather than all.

Although speaking I could see Cagney as him based on Yankee Doodle Dandy and The Strawberry Blonde.

Also:

Gerry from Mississippi Grind
Sgt. Boyle from the Guard

Anonymous said...

Louis: Is Raoul Walsh your choice for director of that 40's Bonnie and Clyde? I'm sure he would have loved to direct such a film.

And would De Havilland be your choice for Mia in that La La Land version with Cagney playing Sebastian?

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm hoping you review Phoenix for 1986 Actor. I just watched Stand By Me last night for the first time and I think he might have dethroned Goldblum for my win. Such an empathetic, warm performance for a young actor to conceivably give.

Anonymous said...

Louis: How do you feel Henry Fonda would fare in the following present film roles:

Jesse James
Robert Ford
Theodore Twombly

And how do you feel younger Marlon Brando would fare in the following film roles (during his good performance years 1951-1954):

Jacky (Bullhead) since Jacky seems a cinematic grandson of Terry Malloy in a lot of respects
Randy “The Ram” Robinson
Leonard Kraditor
Luke (The Place Beyond the Pines)

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: Randy "The Ram" Robinson- He would've been too young for the part in that time period. In the 70s however...

Jacky- I could see it, although I believe Louis did choose Anthony Quinn for a 50s cast for Bullhead.

Luke- Seems like more of a role for Montgomery Clift or Kirk Douglas, since Brando is better with more expressive characters.

RatedRStar said...

Clearly the audience in 1957 had great taste in actors, listen to this reaction Robert Mitchum gets on Whats My Line at 16:33, screaming audience =D lol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yBp5xuxxNg

Anonymous said...

Bryan L: Louis also thinks that McQueen would have worked in James Coburn's Oscar-winning role. And interestingly enough, Louis chose Charles Bronson for Robinson in a 70's The Wrestler.
Anonymous: I'm not really sure if Fonda would work well as Theodore. I think Joel McCrea would work better.

For Jesse James, I think Burt Lancaster would be a better fit while for Robert Ford, Montgomery Clift.

Luke Higham said...

Guys, as of now, are there any actors or actresses who already have at least 1 five that you personally feel Louis has yet to see their career bests. 2 examples I have are Max Von Sydow (I really don't see Three Days Of The Condor remaining his career best when Hamsun appears to be the most complex role he's ever played) and Robert Duvall (Lonesome Dove).

Luke Higham said...

Also, I'm pretty sure Bjornstrand's career best is Winter Light.

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: Yes indeed. I could've seen McQueen winning the Oscar in Coburns part if he had lived, since he could've achieved "overdue" status by then.

Bryan L said...

Anonymous: I'm assuming Cagney would've played Sebastian in the 30s, since he was born in 1899 and would've been the right age during that decade. Having said that, I think someone like Katharine Hepburn (born 1907) would've been the better choice, since Havilland was born in 1916.

Charles H said...

Louis: Your thoughts & ratings on the cast of Battle Royale(2000)?

Michael McCarthy said...

Does anyone know where to find Louis’s thoughts on The World’s End? Because I’m watching it for the second time, and for the life of me I can’t think of a reason not to name it as my best picture of 2013.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: http://deservingperformances.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/the-worlds-end.html?m=1

RatedRStar said...

Michael McCarthy: I think the film is good but it has a rather underwhelming ending, compared to the endings from Shaun and Hot Fuzz, as well as some underwhelming performances from Pierce Brosman and Martin Freeman.

Calvin Law said...

Happy birthday Michael!

Luke Higham said...

Happy Birthday Michael

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your Top 10 Thomas Jane acting moments?

And Happy birthday, Michael.

Anonymous said...

Bryan L: Cagney and Hepburn would have been an interesting pairing. I can also see Cagney pulling off Bill the Butcher.

Charles H said...

Happy Birthday, Michael

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Happy birthday Michael!

Luke Higham said...

When's your birthday Louis.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 malcolm mcdowell acting moments

Michael McCarthy said...

Thanks everyone!

And yeah, as far as The World's End I thought the ending totally fit with the rest of the movie, both tonally and thematically. What I loved most about it were probably the King Arthur allegories and the way the story was outlined by the names of the pubs, sort of like that one scene in the beginning of Shaun of the Dead but more complex and on a larger scale.

Calvin Law said...

What's everyone's thoughts on Alec Baldwin's Trump? Just watching the last SNL skit and it got me thinking. Technically his impression is pretty all over the place, but there's just something about it that's both entertaining and you can easily see how it gets under the skin of the man himself.

Anonymous said...

Oh, happy birthday, Michael.
Calvin: Don't really care for SNL, but I do like his Trump impression.

Bryan L said...

Calvin: I think the impression is quite solid, but I also like how they've been focusing more on the other "personalities" in the White House this season.

RatedRStar said...

Happy birthday, Michael, bit late but ah well.

RatedRStar said...

I never really got the appeal of SNL if I am honest lol

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw Tully. I’m... not sure how I feel about it, but I will say it’s definitely the most interesting film Reitman or Diablo Cody have come out with.

Mitchell Murray said...

(Calvin) I'm with Robert on this one in that I never found SNL all that enjoyable. I will admit, however, Baldwin does a good Trump. It helps that they grew up in the same region of the country (Trump - New York City, Baldwin - Amityville), so there's little if any trouble with the accent itself. What Baldwin has done though, and done very well I might add, is find Trump's specific quirks and dialed them up to eleven: The trumpet lips, the erratic pacing of speech, the effusive hand gestures - there all there, and there all cranked up to the highest register. Its not an impression thats going to win oscars (Though if they ever made a movie about Trump, Baldwin would be my first choice for the part), but its a neat party trick that serves its purpose.

Mitchell Murray said...

Also, happy birthday Michael.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: It works in the sense that it pisses Trump off, but it's really not a very good impression if you ask me. Also, remember when SNL actually had Trump host the show? I'm not gonna forgive them for that.

Charles H said...

Yeah i'm with almost everyone else really, SNL isn't funny to me, i'm not a fan of stand up comedy and so on. So SNL isn't a favorite of mine.

Michael McCarthy said...

Well, I guess I'm in the minority because I'm pathetically devoted to SNL.

Calvin Law said...

I love Snl too haha

Matt Mustin said...

I actually don't dislike the show at all, I'm just a bit sour that they had Trump host.

Mitchell Murray said...

Also on a different note, I'm reviewing 2016 best actor on my blog. Just thought I'd mention it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Before you move on to 1999, could you watch Les Sorcières de Salem (The Crucible) with Simone Signoret and Yves Montand.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: I'd suggest asking Louis Jane's top 10 acting moments when he gets to 2007 Best Actor.
Louis: Your cast for a 2000's All the President's Men. I was thinking of Schreiber for Hoffman's role.

Giuseppe Fadda said...

Les Sorcières de Salem is an excellent film with two brilliant performances from Signoret and Mylene Demongeot. Montad is very strong too. Unfortunately, it’s basically impossible to find it in a decent quality.

Omar Franini said...

Louis: your cast rankings for the four seasons of Silicon Valley?

Luke Higham said...

Giuseppe & Louis: I do see a copy of it on Youtube though there's about 30 minutes cut from it and it's low quality too.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: You could buy it on Amazon France with English subs though you wouldn't have the time. You should give it a viewing after the bonus rounds are over.

Luke Higham said...

Also, I'm not sure if Gazzara's being reviewed at all.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: yeah it was a stupid judgement call even if they weren't banking on him becoming President.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I think Anthony Perkins for Fear Strikes Out would have been a good replacement for Gazzara, 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and with a consensus as well.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you ready to give thoughts on the Infinity War cast.

Calvin Law said...

I think I'll take the opportunity to give mine, though I think I'll save thoughts on Hemsworth (who is definitely my MVP now) and Brolin.

Downey Jr. - (thought the banter near the beginning of the film wasn't really clicking, but he soon found his way back into prime Tony and his final few scenes were fantastic)

Ruffalo - (giving technically one of the 'lighter' performances in the film and every comic beat was very good, while still granting enough gravity to Banner's unique struggle with the Hulk)

Evans - (limited but honestly I thought he was just as rock solid as always, and he had some great reactionary moments in that finale)

Johansson - (few off deliveries but otherwise pretty solid as per usual)

Cumberbatch - (much improved accent, his pairing with Tony I thought took some time to click but when it did it was great, and I thought he was pretty fascinating in the second half of the film as you see the weight of the many possibilities weigh on his mind)

Cheadle - (I actually felt like he got more to do this time round as he felt fairly present, still limited but I particularly liked his first scene)

Holland - (charming, hilarious ball of energy like his last two outings, and his last scene is indeed pretty great)

Boseman - (very limited, I feel like Civil War really was his best shining moment so far, but he did well to grant the action sequences the right amount of gravitas)

Bettany - (rewatching the film I thought Vision's story, while actually a bit shortchanged by the past few outings, was pretty powerful despite limited time, and I thought Bettany's portrayal of an individual bravely insisting upon his own destruction for the greater good to be rather great)

Olsen - (same with Bettany, found her final scene particularly devastating and she's the main reason why)

Mackie, Stan - (doing their usual thing, can't say I noticed them too much but they were good as usual)

Elba - (as underwritten Heimdall was as a character I actually found his sendoff to be particularly effective)

Hiddleston - (SPOILERS. Right, so this was one of my initial problems with the film, the way Loki was disposed of, but rewatching it only seemed right. I guess Ragnarok just made it a bit more unsatisfying in retrospect but that was probably the point, and to Hiddleston's credit he does give every last line the right amount of Loki-ness and his final attempt at mischief was quite great)

Dinklage - (hate to say it but I found him very distracting, not bad though and he does help set up the best scene of the film)

Wong - (actually wouldn't mind more of him next time round as he brings the humour and gravitas in very quick measure)

Klementieff, Gillan - (good and consistent with their portrayals in the last film)

Bautista - (it's all about the comic relief here and he is an absolute riot in every one, in the scenes I could see him in that is, and I lost it at his 'I can take it' line)

Pratt - (eh I have to go a bit lower for some of the earlier comedic scenes which just didn't flow as well as usual, strangely enough, but I'm of the crowd that thinks he nailed his big dramatic moments pretty well)

Cooper - (limited but loved his chemistry of sorts with Hemsworth)

Saldana - (consistently great throughout, I thought she did a lot to help sell a rather difficult sense of history with Thanos in her recollections of the past, and she had some pretty impressive emotional moments particularly with Brolin)

Vaughan-Lawlor - (stood out pretty well as this pretentious creep alien and I could have gone for a lot more of him)

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Yes, yes.

Anonymous:

Jesse James - (Well he played Frank James, and perhaps he would have been a better fit for Jesse all things considered. He certainly had the right type of charisma as well as could go darker when needed.)

Ford - (All wrong for the part as I've never seen Fonda really play a regressing sort.)

Twombly - (Again he's played shy well enough, but never a quite a true introvert so I'm not sure I see it.)

Jacky - (Not quite right even if he is Terryesque, Jacky is perhaps just a bit too quiet for Brando.)

The Ram - (I could see it as he could go in that more overt fashion pretty effectively, as one could kind of see him reformat his Marc Antony speech to proper wrestling type of charisma.)

Leonard - (A Montgomery Clift role all the way. Brando did best with a more extroverted desperation, whereas Leonard needs that more internalized work.)

Luke - (Same as Jacky really, he could have been decent enough, a la The Wild One, but not great. Dean would've been the better theoretical fit.)

Charles:

I believe I've given those thoughts somewhere.

Anonymous:

Let me hang onto those until I review him for Gangster No. 1.

Anonymous:

All the President's Men 2000's:

Woodward: Guy Pearce
Bernstein: Liev Schreiber
Rosenfeld: Bryan Cranston
Simons: Stanley Tucci
Ben Bradlee: David Strathairn
Deep Throat: Michael Parks

Omar:

1. Zach Woods
2. Matt Ross
3. T.J. Miller
4. Martin Starr
5. Kumail Nanjiani
6. Bernard White
7. Matt McCoy
8. Chris Diamantopoulos
9. Thomas Middleditch
10. Josh Brener
11. Christopher Evan Welch
12. Chris Williams
13. Andy Daly
14. Amanda Crew
15. Stephen Tobolowsky
16. Jimmy O. Yang
17. Suzanne Cryer
18. Haley Joel Osment

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Still will avoid spoilers.

Downey - (In general still strong charismatic work from him as to be expected. Couldn't disagree with Calvin more when it came to him and Strange together. I loved the intensity of their banter as they both played it as the two genuinely not liking each other, and I felt it was great clashing of egos fitting towards the two similar men. Furthermore I thought it gave Downey some new ground to work with, which is what he always needs to thrive with Stark. He also builds so well from his work in Homecoming to have some great little moments with Holland in their brief interactions early on, where he finds the right balance between a certain genuine warmth and a certain unease at finding himself as a father figure. This is capitalized so well with his final moments in the film where he is genuinely rather moving in his reaction to his final situation.)

Hemsworth - (Ragnarok was such a good thing for him as he is continuing from that point to such great benefit. Hemsworth has a natural comedic energy to him and it is so good to see him really being able to embrace that here. It has allowed him to make his Thor such a more dynamic character in general as making him this sort of hapless Waititi style lead rather than just a bland warrior type. What so remarkable about this transformation though is Hemsworth by creating this overarching comedic blend managed to really find some genuinely dramatic moments by bringing them within his work in a more subtle way as this underlying foundation of heartbreak that he essentially covers up through his more comical attitude. It's terrific work that really deserves credit since he got me completely invested in his subplot even though it is in technical terms a true video game side quest.)

Ruffalo - (Also continuing off Ragnarok and mostly successful in that sense with some nice comic moments in there again. He's good though in bringing down in the right moments to show a more honest wear particularly in his first moment of meeting Tony and later describing the threat of Thanos.)

Evans - (Rock solid work as to be expected despite the limits, particularly good in a few very brief moments such as the moment of directly confronting Thanos, and his final delivery.)

Johansson, Boseman, Cheadle, Mackie, Guirira, Wright, Stan, Wong, - (All have very limited roles however they step right back into their roles effectively, and do their absolute best with the few chances they have.)

Dinklage - (His casting really is there for a single visual joke, though he himself is fine otherwise.)

Louis Morgan said...

Holland - (I'm glad they toned down just how many lines they gave him per second from Homecoming which was excessive though to Holland's credit he kept up with them. Here they allowed him to be a bit more tolerable and once again he delivered in a more Civil Waresque way. In that he's very entertaining with every comic one liner, and just really that overly earnest attitude in general. Of course in just making this so genuine adds so much to his final moment where he is legitimately great.)

Bettany & Olsen - (They deserve a great deal of credit for really making up a whole lot of ground in not a great deal of time, given they were only given a few minutes in Civil war as well. Both deliver though in striking up the needed chemistry and the needed emotion between the directly. They managed to give weight to these side character as every moment both of them are wholly on point, particularly their last scene together. Plus it helps that Olsen completely dropped that nonsensical accent.)

Cooper - (Very much appreciated they cut just how many times he had to laugh at his own jokes from Vol. 2. This time it was primo Rocket it again with his actual jokes which Cooper delivers so well but also in those dramatic moments with Thor whether it be his pep talk or his last "Groot".)

Bautista - (I will say it is a shame we can't quite get the pathos he had in the first film however as the more overly comedic Drax Bautista is still just great. His timing is just impeccable once again and he is consistently hilarious. Also to his credit the one very brief moment he actually gets to call upon that old pathos he does deliver it.)

Saldana - (Easily her best work in the franchise as she finally delivered I felt wholly on the idea of the character's heritage which felt a bit underdeveloped in Vol. 2 in particular. Saldana here though excels within in every one of her scenes with Brolin since she does not simplify it as a blunt hatred. She manages to convey that but also something a bit more complex in creating this since of that perhaps not every moment the two shared together, alone, was horrible, even if her experience in general should have been.)

Pratt - (Again couldn't disagree with Calvin more thought his portrayal of trying to match Thor were consistently very funny whether it be his disbelief at his inadequacy or his fake voice. Past that though there were his dramatic moments which were a slightly mixed bag for me. I thought he was quite effective in his two moments in that regard with Saldana, but his final main moment was more than a bit iffy particularly when compared to those that came before.)

Cumberbatch - (Again wholly enjoyed his interactions with Stark. Cumberbatch though really has made Strange his own, going so far now as to be fully comfortable with the accent as well. He just owns the role though in terms of bringing that certain "spiritual" sort of gravitas as he delivers that presence of the man who is on a different plan of thinking in terms of the way he views reality itself.)

Vaughan-Lawlor - (A proper creeper syncopate in the best sense of that description. I agree we should have had more of him, SPOILERS *he should have been the LAST of the dark order to go*SPOILERS.)

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your director for a 2010s The Bridge on the River Kwai?

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Should be Peter Weir, but since he seems to be retired I'll say Werner Herzog.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Aside from X-Men, that Wizard magazine also made their casts for Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Captain America.

Here's some of these casting choices that they wanted:
Brad Pitt as Daredevil
John Rhys-Davies as Kingpin
Lance Henriksen as Stick
Tom Berenger as Nick Fury
Christopher Walken as Red Skull
Jeremy Irons as Dr. Doom
John Vernon as Apocalypse

Thoughts on these choices?

Matt Mustin said...

Anonymous: It's so weird, because I know that outside the Ultimate comics, Nick Fury's always been white, but I just can't picture anyone but Samuel L. Jackson in that role now.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Brad Pitt as Daredevil - (Not a terrible choice in terms of physicality needed for the role, but it would easy to see him just falling into bland Pitt. Daredevil though can have a bit more to him a la Seven, so I think it potentially could have worked out.)

John Rhys-Davies as Kingpin - (Well if he pulled the modern "pumped up" that D'Onofrio did I actually could see it even if it would be a British King-pin.)

Lance Henriksen as Stick - (Perfect just perfect.)

Tom Berenger as Nick Fury - (As classic Fury, who is a very different character regardless of race, Berenger would seem an appropriate fit in bringing that sort of seasoned pseudo Clint Eastwood type of presence.)

Christopher Walken as Red Skull - (I obviously like Walken a lot but hearing his voice coming out of the typical Red Skull look would probably be a bit distracting.)

Jeremy Irons as Dr. Doom - (Kind of a standard choice in some ways, but it's a role certainly would have been able to pull off.)

John Vernon as Apocalypse - (Actually this is a rather great choice as his voice really could embody such an evil character that is sort of a darkness incarnate.)

Calvin Law said...

I was more referring to the first scene or so between Strange and Stark, by the time they got into space I think I completely concur with you. As for Pratt, guess we'll just agree to disagree.

Hemsworth was truly phenomenal though and I honestly think his little breakdown about the tragedies he'd encountered while keeping a brave face to Rocket was the best acted scene in the whole film.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on 'You're the Best Around' from The Karate Kid.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your 80's casts for Public Enemies, No Country For Old Men and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

Bryan L said...

80s Llewelyn Moss MUST be Tommy Lee Jones.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

I know that's what you were referring to, and my disagreement stands.

Tahmeed:

Best Rocky montage song that was never in a Rocky movie, though it almost most. The song is indeed pure cheese in a sense, and one could argue that the lyrics are more than a little repetitive given how often used the chorus is. Not even all the lyrics make perfect sense for that matter. Although to that I would say, who cares, the song is the only way to win a proper karate tournament, and wildly entertaining in this intention. The lyrics that are all platitudes, amplified by the most positive of guitar riffs, and a kicking solo, is proper 80's inspiration incarnate.

Anonymous:

Public Enemies:

John Dillinger: James Woods
Melvin Purvis: Kevin Bacon
Billie Frechette: Isabelle Adjani
J. Edgar Hoover: Sam Neill
Charles Winstead: Rip Torn
Baby Face Nelson: Michael Badalucco
Pretty Boy Floyd: Mickey Rourke
Alvin Karpis: Michael Keaton

No Country For Old Men:

Llewelyn Moss: Tommy Lee Jones
Sheriff Bell: Gene Hackman
Anton Chigurh: Raul Julia
Carson Wells: Sam Shepard
Wendell: Fred Ward
Ellis: Clifton James
Man Who Hires Wells: Dabney Coleman
Carla Jean Moss: Tess Harper

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada:

Pete Perkins: Harry Dean Stanton
Mike Norton: Ed Harris
Melquiades Estrada: Joaquin Garrido
Sheriff Belmont: Ronny Cox
Lou Ann Norton: Frances McDormand
Rachel: Grace Zabriskie

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Is the next review coming tonight.

I'd love to see an Iron Man/Doctor Strange film.

Calvin Law said...

This is pretty much the first time I've been less positive about a MCU film than most of you guys (Robert and Alex exempted) haha

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your thoughts on these 'what would have been' casting choices.

Emily Blunt as Black Widow
Glen Howerton as Peter Quill/Star-Lord
Sam Rockwell as Tony Stark/Iron Man

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your directors and screewriters for those 80's versions of those films.
Calvin: Blunt would have been so much better than Johansson.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Blunt - (I think she would have just been better in every way judging by her other performances in action or semi-action oriented roles. I think she would have offered a far more dynamic presence also would have given the character's dramatic moments a lot more weight.)

Howerton - (The mere idea of Howerton in a superhero film is something I'd very much like to see. I think his Star-lord would have worked, but would have resulted in a very different character. In that rather than the man-child in the purest sense we got from Pratt he would have been much more of an overt scoundrel at least in the opening more akin to say Han Solo in the original Star Wars.)

Rockwell - (Rockwell has the right energy certainly for Stark however, as much as I love him as a performer, he doesn't have that specific star wattage needed for the role that Downey has in spades. I think he would have been successful in the role but I don't think it would have made Iron Man the anchor to an expanded universe the way Downey did with his performance.)

Anonymous:

Public Enemies - Sergio Leone (both)

No Country For Old Men - Technically could just stick with the Coens though alternate Kubrick for both.

Three Burials - David Lynch (both)