Thursday, 7 June 2018

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 1991: William Sadler in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

William Sadler did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying death aka the grim reaper in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey though certainly isn't a great film is perhaps the somewhat underappreciated sequel to the original film about two dofus wannabe rockers as pivotal as John Conner to the future of mankind. Or to be more fitting to the movie it's a totally tubular romp back with the dudes, dude.

Now a great deal of affection for the film comes with the creativity of the sequel which in no way rehashes the original, despite also being a designation of travel in the title. The very idea that they literally kill the protagonists in the first half hour alone is hardly the choice you'll find in the "two dumb guys" genre of films. Now another one of these choices is the inclusion of death in the film, specifically referencing the Bengt Ekerot's version of the character from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. The part here being played by William Sadler then probably best known for playing villain in Die Hard 2. Sadler first appears in the film after Bill and Ted (Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves) have been murdered by their evilrobotusis, a common ailment we all may face one day. Sadler initially actually appears as though he is replicating Ekerot's performance more or less with his dark and solemn stare, even some generalized Norwegian accent. A man of little to no emotion, but there is something ominous within the presence that he exudes. Of course this is quickly broken when the boys, to get away from death, give him a "Melvin", aka a forward aimed weaponized wedgie. Sadler's impeccably delivered comical cry of anguish at this assault though rather shatters such an image as he is briefly taken out of the picture.

Death returns when Bill and Ted try to escape hell by challenging the Reaper to game. A game initially it seems may have just a bit of that slightly more intense style to it as Sadler initially reappears again with that same ominous style, though perhaps a bit less effective in this attempt now we've seen him melvined. Of course it isn't one game, but several children's board games they play to challenge death to which Sadler is hilarious in very trying to stay somewhat in the realm of Ekerot, while also playing battleship. Sadler's approach is especially entertaining because he brings so much conviction within death being completely within a wholly inappropriate situation, and speaking rather inappropriate phrases. One being after his loss at battleship demanding another game to which the boys say "No way", then Sadler is comedic gold by delivering with such intensity in his eyes and his voice as retorts "yes way". The game sequence is honestly probably my favorite in the film as it focuses so closely on Sadler. Whether it be his timing of "I said plumb" when claiming to have guessed the right answer to Clue, or his frustrations as he attempts to contort impossibly while playing twister. Sadler is an absolute delight in being completely silly, yet still with the sense of some rather deeply hidden gravitas at this point.

Now again I must give credit to the film for its creativity, which doesn't only have death as a character, but then decides to keep him on as an ally of the boys after they best him just one too many times. This thankfully gives us more of Sadler as he goes along with the boys to support them in their quest to destroy their evilrobotusis, and of course make it to the battle of the bands. I will say on re-watch I don't think the film used that as much as it could have in terms of making death part of the action however Sadler's little moments throughout the last act of the film are typically the highlights of the scenes. I thoroughly enjoy the way he plays death begrudgingly losing his more stern manner both in these amusing moments of frustrations at the boys, but also eventually in getting enjoyment out of their adventure as well. Although nothing is really made of it within the story, other than death Melvining the main villain, Sadler actually does create an arc for death in that he naturally portrays death finding his smile, and enjoying himself along with the boys. Most importantly though his realization of this is actually just funny. I also would be remiss if I didn't mention though the little gems sprinkled of Sadler throughout that are just hilarious little bit so well delivered by Sadler. My favorites being his over eagerness when guessing "Butch and Sundance: The Early Year" before switching to shame for having mentioned that film, or his so perfectly blunt yet casual way of saying "see you really soon" to a smoker he passes by. This is just an altogether, for the lack of a better word, fun performance that adds a needed extra element to this bodacious sequel. Hopefully Sadler will also "face the music" along with the boys if that third film is actually getting made.

82 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you seen A Brighter Summer Day or Father Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the trailers to Serenity and Bad Times at the El Royale?

Anonymous said...

Louis: You said you’d answer this here so here it is:

What are your thoughts on the directorial styles of Tomas Alfredson and Sidney Lumet?

And your top films that are very realism oriented.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Yes to the latter.

Anonymous:

Sidney Lumet is an interesting director to look at as he had some of the biggest highs and lows of any famed director however these were not defined strictly by periods. The same year he made the bland Deathtrap he made the brilliant The Verdict, Equus came right after Network and Dog Day. This a quality that is often associated with a workmanlike director, but I would never describe Lumet as such. I think what defined his career overall was his prolific nature, and the speed in which he filmed, often only doing a few takes. I wouldn't define him as someone completely based around the quality of the screenplay he working with, as his direction for certain film is also a bit baffling. He was capable of such greatness though it is interesting, and I'd almost describe Lumet as a first time director with every film. Mind you a first time director who made 12 Angry Men. In this way you get the same man who made 12 Angry Men, made The Devil Knows You're Dead, a constant in both films is they are brilliantly directed. You however wouldn't necessarily say the same guy made both films, or an obvious representation of the start then the end of a career. It is that way I would say he was very much the successor of William Wyler. In that Lumet, like Wyler, seemed to go about making a vision to fit the film he was making, which was often of a true visionary. It is obvious sometimes he couldn't find it, or maybe it wasn't the right vision, but when he did it was something rather remarkable. He knew how to experiment with styles, tone, and take risks even though he worked within a certain set border. There was usually some set realism, which probably why the Wiz didn't work out, that you argue defined his work, though never in an obvious way, but never limited him from making masterpieces.

Well I have yet to see his first two films, however I have seen his two brilliant films, and his one atrocious one. When it comes to Tomas Alfredson The Snowman is far more interesting as a mystery in terms of how that film was made and how it turned out than the actual mystery in the film. That film is fascinating in that I have no idea to explain how it exists, because you put it against his other two films, which other than the CGI cats, are so impeccably made. The elements of the film excel together fitting of true craftsman and visionary. He achieves something notable, remarkable, and crafts an idiosyncratic style. A style that is quite the marvelous feat in that both he films with a distance in terms of the use of sound, score, cinematography, and even within the performances to an extent. What I love about those films though is how this is a captivating surface, that also has a double meaning within it in terms of such striking emotion. The emotion is something Alfredson almost weaponizes, and makes all the more powerful because of that. He is careful to turn his hands in these moments but when he does they hit all the harder perhaps because of that. Whether that be Eli's near death entrance from Let the Right One In or "La Mer" from Tinker Tailor. Both films are haunting through this daring approach, and show the greatness of Alfredson as a director. Again the Snowman, the subject matter even, should have fit this style yet it all fell apart, and I wish I knew why.

Louis Morgan said...

Realism in film is difficult to create clear distinctions in terms of what that means, for example I don't believe slow=realism, nor does nothing happens=realism (things happen in real life) nor does real story=realism but I'll give it a shot.

1. 10 Rillington Place
2. Dog Day Afternoon
3. In Cold Blood
4. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
5. Das Boot
6. A Separation
7. The Hustler
8. Zero Dark Thirty
9. Marty
10. The Salesman

Anonymous:

Man it really is trailer week.

I really hope McConaughey finds another great project since he's working with the "right" directors, they just end up being the "wrong" projects. Steven Knight, is yet another potentially right person, but man this trailer was a strange one. Very much 90's thriller trailer vibe to it, and I ponder if the film is as strange as this trailer, those films rarely were. This was odd though and I don't know what to make of it other than why have Jeremy Strong do his best Bob Balaban when you could probably get Bob Balaban?

Bad Times At El Royale looks like it could be a lot of stylish fun, I do have a natural affection for "strangers at a remote hotel" plot, hopefully Goddard avoids any sophomore slump. Side question "Will we ever hear Jeff Bridge's real accent again?".

Robert MacFarlane said...

Okay, to those of you who know my tastes well enough by now: Just how much will I hate Jurassic World? I’ve never had the courage to actually watch it.

Calvin Law said...

You will hate it a lot.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Well, case closed.

Charles H said...

Louis: Your top ten Akira Kurosawa directing moments.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Even though it doesn't really make a sense and it's just for fun, who would be the other actors for that Spotlight cast with William Powell as Mitchell Garabedian?

Anonymous said...

Louis: The voice actor who voices Optimus Prime in most Transformers media in Japanese also voiced Cable in the Japanese dub of X-Men TAS. Think Peter Cullen might have worked as Cable?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Father Christmas and did you watch the version with Mel Smith.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: When you review performances in the bonus rounds, do you watch the director's cut or the original theatrical release.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: He'll probably watch the most recommended version of a film. I don't know whether people consider the extended cut of A Knight's Tale better than the theatrical version. Not much is missing from the initial version yet the extended version is more important when it comes to reviewing Bettany's performance.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your Thoughts on this scene.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=26s&v=tQzzfmMc9fU

RatedRStar said...

Luke: How odd does this football lineup for Soccer Aid 2018 look?, Usain Bolt, Gordan Ramsay, Hayden Christensen.... lol =D.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Damian Lewis, Jack O'Connell and Mo Farah for England. And Michael Sheen's coaching instead of captaining the ROTW side.

To be honest, the weirdest selection that I could think of in prior matches was Woody Harrelson in 2010. You also had Will Ferrell and Mike Myers but they're known to be Soccer fans.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Harrelson even scored the winning penalty that year.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Edward Norton as well lol, I think it was the Soccer Aid before his Oscar nomination (2012)

Calvin Law said...

Not sure what to make of that Halloween trailer. There were some really promising touches and Curtis looks like she'll be great, but there was something a bit off about it.

Calvin Law said...

Also, Louis: your thoughts on the episode of It's Sunny 'The Gang Saves the Day' and your favourite segment of the lot? It used to be Charlie's UP segment for me which is great and oddly moving, but now I think Dennis' completely messed up fantasy is most brilliant part of that episode.

RatedRStar said...

I thought William Sadler was kinda decent in Die Hard 2 but he wasn't really given too much to do really.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Your thoughts on "Real Human Being" from Drive? And the production design of the film? Both of them have stayed a lot with me.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Bryan: Louis's thought's on "A Real Hero"
A Real Hero - (One of the best song discoveries, rather than original song, I think you'll hear in a film, it could not be more fitting to the theme and style of the film. I love the song itself from its descending synth, to the underlay, and the echoing lyrics until the quietly rousing main verses.)

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Have you seen Only Yesterday yet. If you have, could I have your thoughts on the film.

Louis Morgan said...

Saw Hotel Artemis, thought it was kind of bad sadly.

Foster - 3.5
Brown - 2.5
Boutella - 2.5
Goldblum - 3.5(despite being wasted)
Slate - 2.4
Henry - 3
Quinto - 2
Day - 2
Bautista - 3.5

Charles:

Refer to Mikkelsen in Flame and Citron.

Anonymous:

Mike: Burgess Meredith
Robby: Fredric March
Sacha: Shelley Winters
Marty Baron: Joseph Cotten
Ben: Robert Montgomery
Matt: Karl Malden
Sipe: John Carradine

Anonymous:

Yes I would say so.

Tahmeed:

I typically go with whatever cut I personally prefer (for example I completely disregard the extended version of Amadeus), if I have not seen multiple versions I typically research whatever version is considered to be the better cut.

Luke:

Shame it was deleted as we are given more over the top goodness by Rickman, but it also bothers to explain Mortianna's motivation.

I watched the Mel Smith version. It is an enjoyable, if decidedly less poetic approach as its pseudo Snowman sequel. It works in its approach, while also still being absolutely beautifully animated, in just having a lot of fun with basically the "Santa on vacation" idea. It does well though in kind of "losing the magic" in an entertaining way during the vacation before gaining it back again for the finale which is wonderfully done. It isn't as good as the Snowman, but it certainly works in its own way.

Calvin:

In regards to the Halloween trailer, I actually loved the look of the pure Michael stuff, it was the Laurie scenes that seemed off, not due to Curtis though.

Entertaining episode in each segment giving a different style with each character, sans Frank's funny quick side bit which is technically more traditional Sunny. Each one is mad, though in Charlie's actually a bit sad, in their own right, and effectively so in each example. I enjoy them all but my favorite is probably Mac's Kung Fu action picture "Say Cheese".

Bryan:

Drive's production design is an example of some great location scouting and set dressing. It isn't heavy on sets, nor is the dressing overly elaborate, however it is very carefully and beautifully realized to have this very low key yet pivotal styling for given scenes.

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on the cast of Hotel Artemis and the film overall? Not surprised if I'm honest reception hasn't been great.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

The potential in the central concept, though quite obviously rip-offed from John Wick, is wholly wasted in its excessively serious approach to the material. It has no fun with the concept or the characters which seems bizarre given the setup, which they go even broader with by setting the film in the future as well. It is made worse though by its extremely sloppy storytelling where all the character arcs are both far too vague yet also excessively on the nose in terms of their execution. It randomly demands investment of certain characters, introduces and resolves plot points in a single scenes, has far too many contrivances and just completely flops in its dramatic intentions.

Foster - (Her accent grates a bit at times however I will give her credit for portraying the needed emotion within the idea of her arc. She doesn't make it truly resonate, because how underwhelming it is as written, but she hits the emotional marks of it even if they are poorly realized in the script.)

Brown - (He plays it far too cool for school for his own good and in certain emotional moments seems detached when that doesn't seem to be the point for his character. It also does not help that he has absolutely no chemistry with Boutella.)

Boutella - (Doing her usual thing, which is okay, but nothing special. Again the chemistry problem with Brown, there's just nothing there when they interact.)

Slate - (Her character is horribly written, especially in terms of how she is put within the film. She does alright with that horrible writing, but she can't make her character seem like a natural aspect within the film.)

Goldblum - (Wasted, why do so many waste the Goldblum??? He still manages to make an impact even with having so little to do. He delivers a nice bit of humor and the right presence for the role, as poorly written as it is.)

Henry - (He actually picks up the slack for Brown, despite having a thankless role, and delivers the major emotional moments even as Brown seems a bit too indifferent in his role.)

Quinto - (He isn't helped by the tone of the film, where this role really needed to be far more comedic, but he doesn't help things either. He just sort does some one note overacting for awhile that gets tiresome even as it starts.)

Day - (Eh hard to take seriously when trying to be serious, and rare is he allowed to be funny here. He is occasionally funny, but often times this is when he is suppose to be serious. He fails as a proper "Wildcard" here, but again the writing doesn't help him.)

Bautista - (Best part of the film without question. His stoic, if not somewhat pleasant delivery, brings some much needed humor to the film, and his whole presence as the gentle-in-spirit giant is the one consistently entertaining part of the film. Bautista is fun and I'll say when he was onscreen the film worked at least a little bit.)

Calvin Law said...

Thoughts on the First Man trailer, Louis?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well as a big fan of Chazelle, Gosling and The Right Stuff, I loved it. It looks like Chazelle's visual sense is being applied well, Gosling looks like a great fit for the low key Armstrong, and I'll admit I'm already a mark for the film based on the story alone. This could potentially form the bridge to create a proper informal trilogy on American space exploration of The Right Stuff, this and Apollo 13.

Mitchell Murray said...

Calvin and Louis:

Its strange how, despite my great anticipation for the film, it kind of skipped my mind that Gosling would be doing an impression of someone else. Granted, Armstrong was from Ohio if I'm not mistaken, so its not the hardest dialect in the world. In all honesty, though, the movie looks terrific, and I hope Gosling delivers in the role.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: That scene is in the extended cut which you may want to watch sometime as there's more OTT greatness from Rickman. :)

I can't wait for First Man as well.

Luke Higham said...

Also, it's great to see Bautista shine in a lackluster/bad film.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cinematography of Network and Three Days of the Condor.

Anonymous said...

Louis: How would have you improved The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne? I think that Tim Curry, Tony Jay or Donald Sutherland would have made for a better Hugo Strange voice.

Bryan L said...

Louis: Based on his last two outings as Thor, could Chris Hemsworth work as Reed Rothchild in a 2010s version of Boogie Nights?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

There's a lot of ways. Strange is frankly more interesting than a pretty simple blackmailer who gets overshadowed in his own episode. For the guys who gave us such a dynamic and tragic Mr. Freeze, they really were pretty boring with him. If you keep the episode mostly the same though try to keep Strange involved the whole time, but also those voices would likely be an improvement as well. Also, a real pet annoyance of mine, is Joker's moment with the valet, where the true Joker should have said "YOU COULD LOSE YOUR HEAD, not to mention your tip." rather than the other way around.

Bryan:

Although I actually do think he has the right sensibilities for the part, he's too overtly handsome for it.

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 sissy spacek acting moments

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are there any Alec Guinness performances that could go up to a five.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Think Gillian Anderson could have pulled off Emma Frost back in the late 90's/early 00's?

Also, you forgot to post your thoughts on the cinematography of Network and Three Days of the Condor.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw Hereditary. Outside of the last 60 seconds, I thought it was great.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: Your thoughts on Toni Collette.

Omar Franini said...

Robert: your thoughts on Milly Shapiro?

Anonymous said...

Louis: your top 20 donald sutherland acting moments

RatedRStar said...

Luke: You watch Soccer Aid? was quite fun actually lol.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I've been watching E3.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: I have 2 =D what you reckon so far, I am so happy that Kingdom Hearts finally has a release date, I will happily wait until January 29th.

RatedRStar said...

I am never too bovered about reveals, more bovered about the actual release dates.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Looks incredible. :)

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Did you see EA's conference. It was horrendous.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: What did you think of Microsoft's conference. I was quite impressed though if I had a disappointment, they didn't announce Fable 4.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Only heard about EAs I knew it would be meh, interested to hear how frank they were though about lootboxs, I thought Microsofts was good, I am not to sure what to make of a Fable 4 announcement, since I was pretty disappointed with Fable III in terms of length and difficulty, good thing is that Peter Molyneux wont be anywhere near it when it does finally get made.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your thoughts on this scene from The People vs OJ Simpson-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8csHtGRHUM

Michael McCarthy said...

Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield!

Matt Mustin said...

@Michael: Doesn't surprise me in the least. Angels in America is an amazing play and he's a great actor, I'm sure he did a phenomenal job.

Michael McCarthy said...

Yeah I love Angels in America too, I'm glad to see Garfield did well in it.

Calvin Law said...

My friend went to see it, he's not a fan of Garfield in general and found him exceptional.

Robert MacFarlane said...

So, Zahn McClarnon just gave my favorite performance on Westworld.

Robert MacFarlane said...

As for the questions concerning Collette and Shapiro: Collette is wonderful, but I don't want to give anything away outside of that. I also feel like saying ANYTHING about Shapiro is a spoiler.

Bryan L said...

Louis: May I have your thoughts on the performances of Gervais, Jensen, Merchant and Williamson in Extras?

Louis Morgan said...

I'll get to the rest of those thoughts/comments soon.

But I just wanted to chime on Westworld, give all the guest Emmys to Zahn McClarnon. He was astonishing, and I'm so glad, after thinking he had just a thankless role, he wasn't being wasted after all.

Calvin Law said...

McClarnon was amazing, and actually I felt the same way about the episode as a whole. The build up to this storyline has been long time coming and the execution was exceptional.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Since you're reviewing Paul Dano in Swiss Army Man and There Will Be Blood, could you possibly review him for Love & Mercy. Having watched it again lately, I think it's his best film work to date and would like a review before you go on to watch his Career-Best in War & Peace during 2016.

Luke Higham said...

And I'm very happy Andrew Garfield won a Tony Award. He's now two thirds away from the Triple Crown. I highly doubt he'll achieve an EGOT.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: In terms of TV Shows, have you considered watching Patrick Melrose with Benedict Cumberbatch, I've read that he's extraordinary as an addict and it's his greatest work.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: when did Louis say he was going to review Dano in Swiss Army Man? I agree though, Love and Mercy is probably his best film work. Still need to see War and Peace.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Emi Grant requested him for Swiss Army Man.

Calvin Law said...

I've heard that apparently one can't be submitted for the Guest category if they've appeared in over 50% of the episodes in the season. I'm not sure if McClarnon just misses the cut, depending on how he's featured in the last two episodes, but hope it doesn't count against him. I think it might be my favourite episode of the season.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Does anyone here watch The Good Doctor? Because from what I've seen of it, Freddie Highmore is very, very good in it.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Spacek:

1. Saying goodbye - Badlands
2. Prom - Carrie
3. After the murder - Badlands
4. First Performance - Coal Miner's Daughter
5. The fight - In the Bedroom
6. Unusual crucifixion - Carrie
7. After sex - Badlands
8. Interview - Coal Miner's Daughter
9. Meeting him - Badlands
10. Wedding Night - Coal Miner's Daughter
11. Opening - Carrie
12. The Random murder - Badlands
13. Accidental confrontation - In the Bedroom
14. Initial hideout - Badlands
15. Trying to talk her father out of the trip - Straight Story
17. Mother's first sermon - Carrie
18. Under the tractor - The River
19. Felix disclosing to Mattie - Get Low
20. Identifying the corpse - Missing

Luke:

Maybe Cromwell.

Anonymous:

Yes, although I'd actually suggest Jean Grey for her.

Three Days of the Condor and Network are both extremely well shot by Owen Roizman, and you could argue he, Gordon Willis along with a few others sort of defined a certain type of prestige "pristine" look for that time, at the very least for films set in NY. Although that look is very different from the pristine prestige of today focusing much more with working with darkness as nearly a constant. In both film this is a naturalistic, yet dynamic look that doesn't bring attention to itself for the most part, yet both are extremely efficient in terms of not only that lighting but also in terms of crafting dynamic shots in terms of framing and composition. This is purest in Three Days of Condor, which like the French Connection, offers an energy to the film, and a lack of pretense within the camerawork, despite always being engaging and occasionally having some truly striking shots in there.

Network is a little different, but only slightly. Much of the film you could say takes place in the same exact NY as Condor as they are shot the same way most of the time, that is except for scenes that involve Howard Beale heavily. In these scenes Roizman does tilt his hand, and effectively so. These scenes are all brilliantly shot, but in a way that purposefully takes notice, since they very much are there to make Beale the star. They do that in the use of heavier light that make not only Beale stand out, but the scenes themselves separately from the rest of the film. The one scene that also shares this sort of more "intense" cinematography is the Arthur Jensen scene, though still with Beale, who is a similair sort to Beale in a way. It also magnifies the personality through the camera both in terms of how Beale is put in that fearful darkness, but also that genius shot of the "towering" illuminated Jensen at the end of the table. These little strokes of a more overt style are used so flawlessly by making them specific highlights among a more straight forward, though still well shot, film.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Ask again in the JFK review.

Tahmeed:

It's a great scene in the series that certainly "amplifies" the "truth" however does so in quite an effective way that does sufficiently get to a truth essentially through expansion of the information and the drama. More than anything it is a brilliantly realized cathartic tipping point, and a prime example of the greatness of Brown's performance in the series which delivers a stunning portrayal of volcanic anger that is about to burst, yet doesn't quite.

Bryan:

Calvin:

The whole episode was great.

Dealing with a performance like this shows the flaws of the rule though since though he has been in several episodes his combined screentime was probably less than five minutes before this. A better rule would consider the screentime as well if they are over the "half episodes" maximum.

Bryan:

Gervais - (Gervais is better than say a Jerry Seinfeld in terms of playing himself in that while he can be funny as himself, which he frequently is here, he actually can pull of a decent dramatic scene if need by as well. Obviously much of his work is comedic which he does well though. His reactions to the "deranged" guests are usually highlights of a given episode. What really makes it funnier, but also a bit more is the degree of pathos he creates within the character's most pathetic moments. These are his best moments throughout though where he either successfully takes it to a real moving moment, such as his final speech, or just is really quite entertaining in his portrayal of the man wallowing in his shame such as during David Bowie's song. Also extra points for doing a terrible sitcom performance quite well, as well.)

Jensen - (Her performance works best as a contrast really to Gervais's much of the time in terms of emphasizing a frequently upbeat demeanor even when in as dire of moments. Her work is quite funny though then as this mirror really to Gervais in so many moments in quite amplifying his more pessimistic reaction by offering an optimistic one, though which she fills with a similair sort of pathos in the end. This idea though is one that she actually works with as the series progresses to portray sort of decay in that optimism to being more of an overtly dramatic performance, and effectively so. To the point she actually is rather moving in the final special in particular by gradually losing that more positive spirit and turning into a more directly painful sadness.)

Merchant - (Merchant's performance is very much working in what is sort of Merchant's shtick, which is a hilarious shtick by the way, sort of Stan Laurel style of the extremely well mannered, at least in terms of diction and such, yet extremely stupid and technically crass in terms of actual behavior. Merchant properly milks this for all its worth in his hilarious sort of stunted timing of being perpetually awkward yet with a certain marvelous confidence he brings to all of it by showing it to be such a purity of what the character is.)

Williamson - (Don't you mean Barry from EastEnders? Anyway Williamson is hilarious in essentially being an extreme version of Gervais's character in terms of Williamson amplifying the pathetic qualities yet completely removing even a hint of self-awareness. Williamson is hilarious in every moment in bringing this misguided devotion of sorts to the idea of his talent whether it is showing off his "talents", explaining his pride in leaving his one show, or being caught lifting off kraft services. The lack of change is what makes it all of Williamson does so hilarious.)

Luke Higham said...

Never thought in a million years, Eastenders would be mentioned on here.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Who was your favorite guest off of Extras.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: I agree, especially since so many of the 'main cast' in WW are basically guest stars.

Matt Mustin said...

Tahmeed: I saw the first episode of The Good Doctor and I thought Highmore was really kinda bad. But I also thought it was atrociously written, so that probably didn't help.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Although I'll assume it is a soap opera, I'll admit I have no knowledge of it outside of Barry.

Tahmeed:

Patrick Stewart followed by Ian McKellen followed by David Bowie.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: your MVPs for each episode of Westworld Season 2.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Save yourself the bother, It's crap like any other Soap Opera and I feel embarrassed when it comes on my television screen.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

1 - Ed Harris
2 - Jimmi Simpson
3 - Jeffrey Wright
4 - Peter Mullan
5 - Thandie Newton
6 - Thandie Newton
7 - Anthony Hopkins
8 - Zahn McClarnon

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Matt: His approach in the first episode was a bit over the top for an autistic person, but he eased up on it later for the better.

Calvin Law said...

I actually wasn't a huge fan of Hopkins' appearance in 7 (though he was great I felt it could have been handled in more Bob in Season 3 Twin Peaks fashion) but loved him in 8.

Also, your thoughts on Jonathan Tucker's work this season.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well I have no reservations with the use of Ford, I always expected to get more Hopkins.

I think Tucker's performance was one of the better aspect of first the somewhat rote Dolores scenes, and then much better scenes involving Harris. I found he captured a pretty effective combination in terms of his performance as one part this vicious southern racist type, though within this intensity that goes a bit further to revealing the madness of a zealot. He finds the right sleazy combination of the two to create a unique presence, despite being essentially fodder for two different characters.