The Acting Brick Road

Now and then I’m going to hover a magnifying glass over actors past and present and use the good ol’ Yellow Brick Road as a guideline to highlight their performing careers.

From the movies that I have seen I will look at their best performance, a performance of theirs that’s not so great, something they’ve done that’s family friendly and something more adult orientated to try and show how diverse the actor can be, if they haven’t done something NSFW or a kiddy sort of film then I’ll leave that out. I will also look to TV, chat shows and sketches they may have done to look outside the film world to see how they appear off the big screen and on something smaller.

I may also put my favourite film that they happen to be in into the mix too just because I can.

It will basically let you follow follow follow follow follow the acting brick road of certain actors.

BRADLEY COOPER

posted 22/02/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: Bradley Cooper’s best acting role so far is definitely ‘The Place Beyond the Pines.’ He plays the troubled cop with a confidence and vulnerability that give layers to a character that could have seemed 2 dimensional at times. There seems to be something in his performance, in his eyes perhaps that tells you a story about him that words can’t manage. The film is one that splits into thirds with each section telling the story from one viewpoint. Avery Cross (Cooper) is introduced in the first story and then his role is explored further in the second part. The first and second pieces are better than the final segment of the film and Bradley Cooper’s presence does go a long way to making it more interesting. He plays the worrier well, showing guilt across his face and after seeing him do the comedy thing for so long this proves he can do a straight man act the entirety of the movie.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: I haven’t even seen all of ‘All About Steve’ but the film is bad and it shouldn’t have been made. Cringe, a horrible idea and a pairing that didn’t suit because it was creepy. At least in the 2nd and 3rd Hangover films which aren’t as great he still plays the lovable douche with a charm and hilarity that keeps you interested and not gawping at the screen wanting it to end, which it did as I stopped watching so I have no idea how it ended. I’m sure it’s not worth finding out.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Cooper hasn’t really done a film as of yet that could be deemed as wholly suitable for a family to sit down and watch together. Closest to this ideal could possibly be ‘Yes Man’ but then that has some adult themes which could prove unsuitable for little ‘uns. Even another lower certification movie in ‘Valentines Day’ is something more romantically based that smaller ones wouldn’t be interested in. I’m sure there’ll be a voice over role soon in some cartoon that he’ll take. I can see it. Heck Rocket Raccoon will feature in a film that families don’t mind showing their children as Marvel is never too extreme in terms of violence or swearing.

MATURE ROLE: ‘American Hustle’ is one film that uses style and sex of the 70’s to tell it’s con story and the open dress fashion displayed by Amy Adams and the busty nightgown worn by the curvy Jennifer Lawrence are clear flesh showing moments that lean towards a more adult film. There’s illegal activities, drugs, violence, sex and the basic story of a hustle is a grown up sort of idea, everyone would like to be cool and calm enough to carry out a perfectly executed hustle and it’s a more adult fantasy to have that dream. There’s swearing too, a lot of swearing. It certainly is an adult film, Hangover 1, 2 and 3 are also filled with sex and drugs but then these films seem to be watched by underaged brutes more than I can see AH being captured by young eyes.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I have to say that ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is my favourite film he’s involved in. It’s a beautiful yet dangerous world filled with trouble and lack of connections. Hardship and heartache follow every character in some way and apart from the slow ending of the third act it’s a feat of gritty filmmaking. Gosling and Cooper are two heavyweights in this film showing brooding without words and emotion along the way.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: 

This on purposely awkward chat show made for online audiences is brilliantly played by the bored Galifianakis. Cooper plays the exasperated well and the payoff at the end is superb. The whole series of this internet show is brilliant anyway but Cooper’s one is one of the better episodes.

Bradley Cooper playing charades, not looking like he’s enjoying it and not particularly good at it either. The show is stolen by the wonderfully batty Emma Thompson.

Third and final link, a terrible ice cream advert with hilarious face-pulling from Cooper that isn’t intentional.

Bradley Cooper seems like a mixed bag, known for comedy but with good enough chops for dramatic roles if he’d take more. Perhaps now he’s been nominated twice for an Academy Award he’ll step away from the sillier roles and show he can do something better. He seems like a humble guy but he isn’t quite up to par to take a golden statuette just yet and I think he knows that too.

JONAH HILL

posted 23/02/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: I haven’t seen ‘Moneyball’ which he was nominated for but I have seen ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and he is brilliant in the film. He is crazy and off the chain, he even said he wanted to eat a goldfish for real just to try and keep up with the brilliance of DiCaprio. You can see he’s trying to do different things and he has indeed moved away from the teen comedy buddy sort of pictures. Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio together are hilarious and their being under the influence acting is class. A committed role still with the comedy backdrop that he can revel in with ease. He is also great as obsessed stalker sort of waiter in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: I saw ‘Accepted’ which wasn’t that great at all and then there’s ‘Click’ where he was paraded around fatter than before with an awful script and another Adam Sandler feature that was dire. This is more on here because I can’t stand Sandler and not because Hill is to blame though his performance is pretty standard and forgettable.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Jonah Hill has done some good family orientated movies unlike Bradley Cooper (above.) The best of this in my opinion is ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ which is a glorious animation with an amazing story and the ending was truly unexpected when I watched it first time around, a brave and smart move to bond boy and dragon. I haven’t seen ‘Megamind’  or ‘Horton Hears a Who’ but they are just another set of examples of films watchable by adults and children alike. He’s even in ‘The Lego Movie’ so that could be added too. I can see Hill doing more voiceover work as he can do manic and excited well which is animated enough for an animation voice.

MATURE ROLE: Clearly this lies within ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ with an 18 certificate and drugs, nudity, sex, swearing and all round crazy behaviour to make this one for the grown ups. It’s a downright sexy dirty and hyper film representing a frat boy’s wet dream in many senses. It’s crazy and deliciously so.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: That has to be ‘Django Unchained’, it’s a brilliant film, Tarantino is superb as director/writer and even though Hill is only a cameo, he still appears so I can put this film down here. Hill’s role is odd and provides a moment of obscure comedy in parading the KKK as jokes. The movie is just awesome, DiCaprio is marvellous as the unnerving villain, Foxx plays the freed slave lead role with determination and a fierceness in his eyes to get revenge and his girl back. I love Quentin Tarantino films and he always writes something interesting and dynamic and pulls together a great cast in all his films and Hill is a nice tiny addition to a roster of talent in Django.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Hill has been on a Simpsons episode so that’s a tick for TV work and obviously he’s done more than one hosting gig for SNL.

Jonah Hill plays the aggravated victim well in a fake interview featuring Edgar Wright and Michael Cera. Yes it’s clear it’s a set up but he plays angry well and it’s funny.

Here’s a bunch of outtakes from ‘Superbad’ showing how funny Hill can be even when he is messing up and in general it shows the other actors improving well when messing up.

Jonah Hill can do both sides of the acting coin; comedy and drama, though clearly he’s stronger when a comedy influence is involved and he’s a younger guy that has many years yet to do more voiceover family work and perhaps go towards a more dramatic based role with comedy playing no role whatsoever.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

posted 25/02/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: He is downright despicable in ’12 Years a Slave’ and plays the sleazy master with horrific believability. Fassbender’s nom for Supporting Actor is justified as he really is one of the best reasons in the already brilliant movie. You can’t help but hate him even though you know he’s acting, now that is acting class. He plays the religious nut with gritty realism and he provides a sense of evil yang to Northup’s wrongly done yin. Aside from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Fassbender gives the best performance.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: To be fair Fassbender is good in everything he does even when his film choices leave a lot to be desired. The awful adaptation of ‘Jonah Hex’ was just that…awful, but even with his OTT hammy acting he was the best thing going for the move. I think Fassbender is one of those actors that can leave a terrible film with dignity whatever happens as at least he did good.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: He hasn’t done too many films that cater to a wider range of ages, the closest one that suits for family viewing would be ‘X-Men: First Class’ which gives the entertaining popcorn factor alongside a superhero story which always keeps adults and children alike amused. I’m sure he’ll do other films that are kid friendly, he has a commanding and actor-y voice that could suit voice work well.

MATURE ROLE: Michael Fassbender is an actor with gravitas who also seems to like taking on grittier roles with something dark or adult orientated to get his acting teeth into. I’d say ‘Shame’ is the film most mature role he’s had. A dazzling film centred on a brother and sister and sex. It dirty in places and there is nudity bringing about the association of the film with Fassbender’s penis.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: A movie he’s been in and is just great with it’s throwing out of the history books and being written with mastery and glee is ‘Inglourious Basterds’. Tarantino tells a story about the Nazis and the Jews with comedy and darkness at nearly every corner. Fassbender plays Archie Hicox with the British quality to a t and the scene in the downstairs bar is tense and brilliant, poor Hicox messing up the three fingers. It’s a glourious film with escalating violence ending with bloodshed in a German filled cinema and hilarity provided by a bolshy and dimwitted Brad Pitt – his Italian moment is priceless.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Fassbender showing he doesn’t just act but can do sound effects too.

Here he is randomly singing in interviews or just singing in general, as you do and there’s yet more showcasing of his sound effects.

Lastly a odd advert featuring a younger Michael clearly ready for his future nude days.

Michael Fassbender is a brilliant actor with the acting chops to do both film and theatre which he hasn’t done much of surprisingly. He’s determinedly evil but with a reason in the X-Men movie and it looks to only spiral further in the sequel where he’ll meet McKellen and perhaps be more badass. He has a Terence Malik feature planned also which could also further prove his acting prowess.

SANDRA BULLOCK

posted 28/02/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: This may be a controversial choice but for me her performance in ‘Gravity’ is sensational. To act amongst things digitally placed in later and keep her acting as good as it was in the restrictions of movement she was given is amazing. The tech wizardry meant her and Clooney were left to act amongst set tracked paths and such so to still convey a believable character in those constraints is testament to her ability. The scene that confirmed my thoughts this was her top film is speaking to the ground Inuit and choosing to turn the oxygen off in her capsule. Powerful, simple and moving. She is great in ‘The Blind Side’ too providing a needed femininity to a masculine film and sport and her pep talk to Michael in particular stands out.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: ‘All About Steve’. Seriously how did she do ‘The Blind Side’ and this pile of rubbish in the same year. As mentioned with Bradley Cooper it’s just an odd and unengaging film with Bullock playing a stalkerish character with no likeability and you don’t ever really get on her side which for the leading lady is a bad start but then to add on the fact her obsessive nature  and the fact someone like Bullock won a Razzie for the role says it all.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: She has voiced in ‘The Prince of Egypt’ which is a good animation for children and with a powerful message of Moses’ story involved too it is educational also. The plagues scene and elements of Rameses character are quite dark but through it all there’s a happy ending and a truth about the Jews is told. She’s also got a ‘Despicable Me’ spinoff in the pipeline featuring the Minions in their solo outing so that will truly do big bucks and the yellow buggers will entice kids and adults alike.

MATURE ROLE: She hasn’t done anything overly overly gory or violent, anything highly sexual either. She sticks to the leading actress role comfortably and chooses tame or tame-ish roles that don’t often go over an 18 rating. ‘The Heat’ is a film with some crude aspects that would be for older teens or adults and not children.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: It’s ‘Gravity’. Hands down. The film looks utterly beautiful, terrifying and it’s a breathtaking feat of technical engineering, rounded enough characters leaving the visuals to do the rest and Bullock carries the one woman show with a knack and leads you through one devastating act of dread and panic to the next with conviction and believability that you see her as actually being in space even though you know she’s not.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She hasn’t done much television work, a show called ‘Working Girl’ being the only thing she’s done a numerous amount of times.

Here is Bullock taking the stage and the mic at the Razzies displaying humour through her acceptance. A brave and funny choice to turn up and she’s great in questioning the panel for choosing her by bringing the script along and asking them to assist her! Sure it’s a publicity stunt but it works and the carting on of the DVD’s is brilliant.

Sandra Bullock on the Jonathan Ross show laying down a rap, showing her stupid side in learning the lyrics and being very white.

Lastly here she is making a speech and verbally flipping off people that talk trash about weight, her in general and the paparazzi. Oh and she kissed Scarlett Johansson.

She comes across as an educated and no nonsense woman with a smart head to pick up good scripts…on the most part and I’m sure she’ll win a second Oscar someday soon as she is a really interesting actress with what seems like a good work ethic and a sense of humour to match.

CATE BLANCHETT 

posted 02/03/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: It’s ‘Blue Jasmine’, from the films of hers that I’ve seen. I’ve only bits and snippets of the Bob Dylan sort of biopic ‘I’m Not There’ and she does look incredibly good in that playing a representation of Dylan. In Woody Allen’s feature she plays the wealthy adopted sister with credibility that even through her blindness of marital affairs and her behaviour to Ginger. The moments where she’s not on meds and talking to the past like a ghost haunting her present are perfect and highlight Blanchett’s ease with acting subtle but grabbing a dose of emotion to emphasise the character.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: She is pretty much great in everything she appears in but the one exception lays with ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ which was a major disappointment and her Russian character has a quite shoddy accent. The entire movie is bad, the ending, the fire ants sequence, the setting up of Indy’s son….dire. Should have been left alone and Blanchett is better than that.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Cate Blanchett can be watched by a family of differing ages in the Indy feature, the Hobbit and LOTR films too are rated low enough for kids and teens to watch with their parents. She has ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ coming up too so an even more rounded cartoony film for younger tots to watch.

MATURE ROLE: ‘Blue Jasmine’ is an adult film in the sense of it’s themes and characters. Kids and younger teens probably won’t get it or understand it. I haven’t seen the ‘Elizabeth’ films but they look like they could be more adult orientated too.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I’m being a bit cheeky here and choosing ‘Hot Fuzz’ as she does technically appear in it as the crime scene woman named Janine who Angel (Pegg) goes to talk to at the murder scene nearer the start of the film. It’s a funny spoof of police films with the buddy comedy of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg working to extremes again. The murder cult thing is also a fun yet dark idea and the whole film is just clever, twisted and makes me laugh still.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She hasn’t done much if any TV roles that I can find but her interviews showcase her calm nature and intellect, demonstrated in the video below that finds her discussing ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’

Here she is finally giving a no nonsense attitude to the red carpet vultures and the so called ‘glam-cam’. Not doing it too angrily either to make it a joke but with truth behind it. Also a little on her role in ‘Blue Jasmine’.

Forgiving the sub par questioning she once again shows how to come across as interesting and not suck up to the reporters. The ending is priceless with her final comment. She also sings a Beatles song.

She is a damn assured and talented woman with nearly every one of her roles showcasing her acting ability and I can see her winning an Oscar tonight and probably winning one or two more in the future if she picks the right film and role. A film with her involved could still be boring but you know that at least she tries her best and her character will be the best thing about it.

AMY ADAMS

posted 02/03/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: She’s strong in all that she does but I’d say it’s between ‘American Hustle’, ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Junebug’. I wish I could make it a tie but if I was pushed then I’d say her most engaging and captivating performance was in ‘Junebug.’ You couldn’t help but feel for her, she steals the eye in every scene and you want more of her and her character. A happy go lucky character with a suppressed feeling of unhappiness and regret and her scene when it goes wrong is tragic and she is amazing in it.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: Her not so finest hour is in ‘Man of Steel’ where she plays Lois Lane. It’s not a very interesting take on the character with a barely there style or substance by her or the writers. It’s a shame and perhaps a superhero kind of film isn’t the sort of thing for her which is a blessing as she’s better than blockbuster films showing more performance skills in indie, musicals or award nominated features.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: She’s a charming actress with roles across the movie spectrum and has done roles watchable by all, these include ‘The Muppet Movie’, ‘Enchanted’, the second ‘Night at the Museum’, and ‘Man of Steel’ like many superhero films these days can be suitable for younger ones. A well rounded performer who seems to like trying to cater to many audiences.

MATURE ROLE: Her most adult acting role would have to be in ‘American Hustle’ where her wardrobe caters for a considerable amount of flashing flesh, lots of swearing in the film, conning and conniving, sex and dirty fashion and style of the 1970’s make this film the glossy sexy film it is.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I really want to say nearly all of her films. I like the simple yet quirky indie story of ‘Sunshine Cleaning’, she’s a knockout in ‘The Master’ and ‘The Fighter’, her presence in the blindingly original and sweet ‘Her’ is nuanced and lovely and she steals the show in ‘American Hustle’ but to be the kid at heart that I am I’m going to say ‘The Muppets’ is brilliant and she shines in her limited role. She demonstrates her singing and acting chops, she shows she can do comedy and for a kids movie it’s funny and clever, stupid and great to have a star filled film centred on the comeback of the felt fuzzed muppets.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She’s appeared in TV albeit as one episode showings. ‘Charmed’, ‘That 70’s Show’ and ‘King of the Hill’ among others are examples. She’s a multi-talented individual with the proof that she can act, sing and dance (to a degree) in ‘The Muppets’.

Here she is in a little interview about her landing the role of Mary in ‘The Muppets’, being in the film and her singing background.

Adams on the huge Oscar stage singing a song from the brilliant Disney ‘Enchanted’ and she can hold a tune(ish) even when singing live in front of a room full of big names.

Appearing on the amusing fake online interview ‘Between Two Ferns’ with another host of Oscar nominees of 2013. She appears at the 4:56 mark. Ignore the annoyingly overacting Hathaway.

As she was hardly in the above link I’m breaking the 3 rule format and here’s another video. Here we see an Amy Adams Vanity Fair chat involving her husband, her filming scenes and her being remarked as Isla Fisher. Gingers unite!

and just because I love Amy Adams, here’s her when she was younger featuring in a god awful cheesy bank commercial. Look how she’s moved up.

She is one of the best actresses working in Hollywood in the moment, not even my biased opinion – she truly is as she can do dramas, comedies, musicals and children’s films. Her emotional range is outstanding and hopefully it won’t be past the not too distant future that she picks up an Oscar for her work, she deserves it.

CHRISTIAN BALE

posted 06/03/14

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BEST PERFORMANCE: I would say it’s either ‘American Hustle’ or ‘The Fighter’ and even though he won the Oscar for the latter I think his performance shone as one of the only gems from David O Russell’s latest feature. He’s fixated and passionate and shows an emotional range and is one of the more different roles Bale has taken on. He was one of only two things about the movie that kept me interested and the other was Amy Adams. The two of them had amazing chemistry and held the film aloft from sinking even further than it could already go and for that I have to commend his performance as he was truly great in it.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: It has to be ‘Terminator Salvation’ which is one of those films that didn’t need to be made, a sort of reboot idea with Bale adding no class that he usually has. I mean it was even the film that caused his breakdown and the consequent storm of his foul mouthed hurl at a DOP. He’s a better actor than these sorts of films and now his involvement in the Batman series has finished hopefully he’ll stick to more complex and interesting dramatic characters in films.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: There’s not too much in the way of films suitable for all ages. He voiced a character in ‘Pocahontas’ so there’s a tick for a Disney film. The Dark Knight Trilogy would also come under family viewing, sure they’re a little dark in Nolan’s world but there’s nothing overly bad that young people cannot watch them. Suitable with parents present I’d say.

MATURE ROLE: That’s going with ‘American Psycho’.  A sadistic, violent and disturbing film with Bale at the centre focusing on getting laid, being rich and having the best business cards. It is 100% not a film for kids or younger teenagers, it’s unsettling and deliciously extreme, based off a book that is apparently even more twisted than the movie you know this is a film that deserves its 18 rating.

MY FAVOURITE PERFORMANCE: Everyone forgets to give him credit in ‘The Dark Knight’ because Heath Ledger was just so brilliant but he held his own and seemed to showcase the peak of his acting as Batman and Bruce Wayne in the second of the trilogy. My favourite performance of his though is ‘The Prestige’ which is clever and dark and Bale provides an up and down character which you never know to trust or like, what he’s up to or where he’s going in terms of plot. It’s a Nolan film that I prefer to his later offerings like the Batman lot and ‘Inception’. Bale goes toe to toe against another engaging performer in the shape of Hugh Jackman and the pair drive the turny twisty film forward with conviction till the very last where a brilliant twist and idea comes to fruition and Bale adds to this also.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: He hasn’t done any big TV roles and hasn’t done many voiceover work in general either, maybe a Simpsons episode or a animation down the road will come calling soon.

Christian Bale discussing ‘The Dark Knight’, how he wanted to do the tower shot, his scene with Ledger and the film in general.

Bale pushed to do a little sing song for the end of an interview, his face when first hearing this idea is brilliant and then he goes ahead. Bale does look a little awkward but then hey it was sprung on him.

To end there’s a cereal commercial that a young Bale took part in.

Christian Bale seems like someone who takes himself and his acting roles seriously but if it means he gives the performances he gives then so be it. He is a talented Brit with a motivated spirit to get under the skin of the characters he plays and I look forward to seeing him in ‘Exodus’ to see how he comes across.

JOHN TRAVOLTA 

posted 09/03/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: He’s a true screen icon of the past and his leading man roles in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Grease’ are still his best to date. He was a charming handsome young man who could play the lead dude but with a heart of gold and the fact he could bust a move and sing too helped. They may have aged a bit and he too may have aged but that doesn’t mean the performances lose their appeal. I’d say ‘Grease’ is the role he’ll be most remembered for and it’s fair enough as he plays the jerky T-Bird/inner romantic with ease.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: I went to see ‘Be Cool’ whenever it was released and that shows how great that movie was. I can’t remember when it came out, what the main story of it was. It was a highly forgettable film and at least in every other film I’ve seen Travolta in I can at least remember his part and what he did…but in ‘Be Cool’ I can’t. Not at all. If I remember correctly the film was bad bad bad anyway. ‘Wild Hogs’ is also terrible, miss it if you can.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: He’s done a good few to cater to a wide range of ages as appropriate family viewings. There’s the ‘Look Who’s Talking’ trilogy, obviously ‘Grease’, ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Bolt’. He can do the kid friendly thing but of late it seems he’s more interested in trying to play the more villainous role in movies.

MATURE ROLE: ‘Pulp Fiction’ is clearly bloody and filled with strong language, ‘Face/Off’ is extreme…that’s the word for it in all areas, extreme silly mayhem. The most adult sort of film would lay with ‘Carrie’ for it’s copious amounts of blood and creepy horror and him playing the twisted dumb helpful bully would shatter kids dreams who know him as the voice of a dog or a Danny Zuko.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: Without a doubt it’s Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ which is batty and clever and funny and dark and other awesome adjectives. He may not be the best thing in the film compared to Samuel L. Jackson’s uber cool performance but he pretty much holds his own and tries harking back to his dancing cool dude ways and who can forget his Jack Rabbit Slim’s dance with Uma Thurman. The moment Travolta struck gold again in my opinion showing after a run of films with no real big merit that he could be the leading man again. The film is a series of intertwining stories that are scripted with genius and it’s a bold dazzling film with a soundtrack to rival movies to this day.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: John Travolta hasn’t taken part in any big television shows or even cameod but he’s been around long enough now to have appeared in interviews and the like to easily compile a top three list. I have to do it as well just because he’s looking all sorts of crazy now and he’s lost it.

Here’s the dreadfully awkward moment at the 86th Academy Awards where Travolta mispronounces Idina Menzel’s name before she sings. Sufficed to say it’s become a talking point and a joke to keep going for a while yet. So embarrassing.

Appearing on the Ellen show he’s made to try and explain the workings of a motorbike where he doesn’t seem that with it. Then for some reason he just decides to start dancing to the music played in. Sure he’s got moves but this is still odd.

Here he is discussing the way he was cast in ‘Pulp Fiction’ on Indian TV.

He was a talented and smooth individual who could sing, dance and act but I do think unfortunately his time has now past. None of his films in the last 5-6 years have been outstanding or even that good. Maybe another animation role calling for his voice over will come along and give him something great to do but now after the Oscars mishap he won’t be known for film work for a while.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL 

posted 11/03/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: She’s marvellous in ‘500 Days of Summer’ and brilliantly quirky in ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Her performance as one half of honeymoon loved up then troubled couple in 500 days is splendid though and you still like her even though the film is being seen from the male point of view in a relationship.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: ‘The Happening’ is a film that should never have even happened, another M. Night Shyamalan idea that tried being too clever and twisty for its own good. Killer plants for Pete sake, terrible. She isn’t great in it, she seems wooden and her chemistry with Mark Wahlberg is bad too. A movie that cost me too much at the cinema and I won’t ever forget it!

FAMILY FRIENDLY: She’s done voicework  for the penguin surfing animation ‘Surf’s Up’ and ‘Elf’ is a classic christmas film that could be watched over and over again where her blonde looks work in the romantic interest and co-worker element for Will Ferrell’s naive Buddy elf. It’s also an opportunity for her to demonstrate her singing talent. ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ even with it’s emotional story is a film that would be family viewing material. She’s a woman who will easily get offered for these kinds of films as she’s got a recognisable voice.

MATURE ROLE: The film that stands out would be ‘The Happening’ which features suicide, blood and swearing. However bad the film may be it still is a thriller and would be too suspenseful for younger ones. ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ is also a more adult feature with a lengthy running time to make kids fidgety and a story that is more aimed at older eyes.

MY FAVOURITE FILM:  It has to be ‘500 Days of Summer’ which is a sunny and yet emotional take on rom-coms. A movie with the man taking perspective of the highs and lows of a relationship. From shouting penis outdoors to the brilliant Hall and Oates musical number it’s a ride of a romantic comedy with quirky and wonderful ideas throughout. The scenario of how he pictures it going played against how it actually goes is at first funny then devastatingly sad. Zooey is brilliant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fab leading man in this film that takes a genre and switches it up a notch.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She’s an actress that goes from big screen to small screen quite a bit but is now more known for her televisual performing. She’s utterly adorable and mad funny in ‘New Girl’ as Jess Day moving in with three guys, yes the obvious romantic element of Nick and Jess was set up from the outset but after a mediocre second season it’s back on track with the Nick/Jess dynamic being poked at prodded with comedy.  She’s appeared in ‘Weeds’. She’s also voiced for ‘American Dad’ and ‘The Simpsons’ so that’s an cartoon series tick there.

Here she is in a SNL sketch playing Mary Kate Olsen, also brilliant impression of Zooey from the other comedienne.

This is a neat and impressive little music video to coincide with 500 days. Check out other videos that star her and Levitt as they work so well together.

Here is Zooey on The Craig Ferguson show seeming down to earth, natural and still quirky as usual. They discuss Turkish Delight, her childhood briefly, her music and fitness. A show where the Scottish host always plays it casual and interviews as if just having the guest over to his house for a chit chat. A good more relaxed vibe to standard interview questions.

She is a highly likeable lady with an obvious quirk to her acting and her music background adds to her talent too. She can do dramatic roles but there’s always some comedic touch to her facial expressions and acting. She hasn’t done a film for about three years so it would be interesting to see what her next movie role could be.

STEVE BUSCEMI

posted 11/03/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: He is fantastic in ‘Fargo’ and is one of the key reasons the film is great but he steals the show as Mr. Pink in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and he plays the wise, sly gangster with a quip or two to aplomb. He brings some likeability to the role and the character is utterly quotable and known still. Enough so that his view on tipping earnt him a role as a waiter (needing tips) in ‘Pulp Fiction’.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: It’s a shame for such a capable great that he picks shoddy scripts as he isn’t at all great in a lacklustre comedy called ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ and he’s all sorts of embarrassing in the ‘Grown Ups’ movies. I swear to almighty heck if they make another one of those I’ll buy a ticket to Hollywood just to scream in someone’s face.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: It’s a given that a man with such a recognisable voice get’s lots of voice work for family films but he sells them well creating great characters. He’s been in the studio for ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, ‘G-Force’, ‘Monster House’, ‘Home on the Range’ and Monsters Inc’ among others including the second Pixar Monsters outing. His Randall is cunning and deliciously snide and evil and his voice brings the monster alive. He has also appeared in person for two of the Spy Kid films.

MATURE ROLE: His appearances in the Quentin Tarantino films are violent and adult enough to warrant mature viewings. ‘Fargo’ is a bleak and darkly funny story that certainly isn’t for younger people. Then there’s ‘Con Air’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’. He skips across from younger material to adult work frequently which shows he’s an actor who can bridge the gap.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I would say ‘Pulp Fiction’ as it’s up there as one of my all time faves and he does appear in it so I could get away with putting it down but I’ll play more wide and fair and say ‘Reservoir Dogs’ as he is fantastic in it. The film plays with words and shock like Mr. Blonde plays fast and loose with the poor cop. It’s dark, bloody and a neat little story of an inside policeman, awry heist and nameless cronies. The colours are still a simple but damn effect touch in taking away identities and setting up another brilliant scene in the men getting their code names assigned. From a tracking shot of Buscemi running down the street to Tarantino setting up his trademark shot from a car trunk it’s a gritty film that gave heist/gangster films a new stamp of cool.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: He appears in TV as much as he does on cinema screens. He is blindingly brilliant as Nucky in HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’, I am very much looking forward to the next season and the last 😦 *sniff*. His acting in the last four have been his best acting displays for years, it’s almost like he’s been saving up for this show. He’s good in film such as ‘Fargo’ and ‘Barton Fink’ etc but he’s off the scale in Boardwalk. He’s played in another gangster serial when doing ‘The Sopranos’ and he’s popped up in ’30 Rock’, ‘Miami Vice’ and hosted for SNL.

Buscemi on Jimmy Fallon’s show reading out designated tweets. Brilliant dead pan face throughout and delivered with his trademark Nucky tone.

Steve on an Australian daytime show discussing his looks, his screen deaths and his past as part of a firefighting team.

Buscemi on SNL gamely playing the creepy guy role and his expressions to the accusations throughout the sketch are the best part.

Steve is a great actor whose best work now lies with his TV show for HBO. He’s broken free from the looks model that gave him standard creepy roles and his voice helps give him animation work. I’m glad he’s in Boardwalk as he’s proven he can act his socks off once again and he’s back to his glory days of ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Fargo’ again.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

posted 12/03/2014

69th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

BEST PERFORMANCE: He is beyond good in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ adding to the rich cast and story of spies. He holds his own against experienced actors at a time when he still hadn’t become the phenomenon he is now. He demonstrates wonderful range, highs of anger and lows of subtle reactions. He also beats blood out of Tom Hardy with a rageful entrance to the room.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: He was still good in the film but a short role with nothing of great interest to get his teeth into left Cumberbatch feeling like a late addition and spare part in ‘August: Osage County’. A film that felt too stagey and one of it’s only strong points could be found in the table scene. He was too whimpery and any actor could have done the role, it wasn’t a spectacular or even great acting showcase.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: The Hobbit movies are appealable to all ages and his role as the wicked Smaug is a big role to entice the kids into recognising who he is even if it is motion capture. He’s also set to appear in the penguins spin off from Madagascar. I can see him having more voice work in film soon with his British posh voice likely to attract Hollywood for more villainous characters.

MATURE ROLE: ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ is heavy going, long and adult in its theme of double crossing and spy nature. He’s also been in ‘Four Lions’ a film about terrorism and comedy that is definitely not for family viewings unless you’re letting them watch the wrong sort of films!

MY FAVOURITE FILM: There’s no question that it’s ’12 Years a Slave’ with it’s stunning cinematography, stellar lead man and sublime supporting actress. The story is a given that it’ll be harrowing and it certainly is leaving the last scene to set tears off for me. Benedict is a nice addition to the large set of players and his moment of handing Northup the violin is almost a touch that makes him feel like the worst of the three slave owners as he gives Solomon hope which soon ends up dashed. A worthy winner of Best Picture and a tour de force of acting from Eljefor.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Clearly he’s widely known for his small screen role as Sherlock Holmes in the updated BBC adaptation. He is utterly fantastic and delivers speeches in fast deliveries and with a tang of despair or sarcasm in nearly all his deductions. He and Martin Freeman make the show and they’re blossoming friendship may have been too much of a story point in series 3 but it’s still a believable chemistry that you sort of forgive that. He’s also been in a TV film titled ‘Hawking’, been in a series called ‘Parade’s End’ and has voiced for ‘The Simpsons’.

This is such a brilliant moment of the Oscars that it has to be on the list. Here’s the glorious picture of him photobombing U2.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch jumps behind U2 at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywoodand here’s a recent video of the event to match, synched amazingly to Jaws to make this hilarity even more epic.

Benedict appearing on The Graham Norton Show loving up to his fans and competing against Chris and the Pinenuts.

Here he is having a Rickman off with Jimmy Fallon who sounds nothing like Alan Rickman but Cumberbatch’s first go is pretty much spot on. A good impersonation.

Benedict appears on the fantastic mean tweets segment of Jimmy Kimmel’s show. He shows up at the 1.39 mark. This is just great to watch for all the celebs readings and watch the other 5 as they’re all just fun to watch to see how pathetic people are when tweeting about celebrities.

Benedict Cumberbatch is a strikingly British, British actor who is getting American recognition and after smaller roles and TV work he’s got it made. A humble and sometimes delightfully awkward guy that adds to his likeability factor.

STEVE CARELL

posted 25/03/2014

Steve Carrell Appears On "El Hormiguero"

BEST PERFORMANCE: He’s brilliantly comic and stupid in the ‘Anchorman’ films and also for a change in his usual style he’s great in ‘The Way Way Back’ but I’m going to say his best performance is for ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ which took him into the leading man status and showed that he can do it well, displaying heart and funnies in a daft yet sweet adult comedyDedication also for the chest waxing scene, wow.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: It’s got to be between ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ which doesn’t do much in the way of giving him something different yet fun to play with, or ‘Evan Almighty’. I’m going to plump for the latter as it’s a bad sequel featuring a character funny because of his background arrogant role as opposing newsreader to Jim Carrey’s Bruce. This movie takes the good idea of the first Almighty film and stamps all over it, the plot is based on the Ark story but I couldn’t care less. It didn’t need to happen and Carell shouldn’t have done it, it didn’t showcase any new moves in his already established comedy repertoire.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: He’s done fine voice work for cartoon films to keep kiddies happy. There’s ‘Over the Hedge’, ‘Horton Hears a Who and the two ‘Despicable Me’ films which have big box office numbers and good reviews to match, the first one is better and even if the Minions become annoying additions to amuse the little ones it doesn’t hurt as they are animated stories. Carell does shine as the villain turned nice guy with a glorious hammy accent to become the adoptive father Gru.

MATURE ROLE: He’s known for more adult films, with obscene comedy as they’re cores. The most of these would probably be the ‘Anchorman’ films just because they throw in all sorts of random and crazy jokes that skim close to the bone sometimes. From racism to near retarded behaviour of Brick there’s stupidity around every corner and certainly isn’t family viewing.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: It is most certainly ‘The Way Way Back’. This is a bittersweet coming of age story with roots in indie and comedy genres. The lead is mumbling and introverted but not enough that you don’t take his side. Steve Carell is brilliant as a despicable stepdad who you literally hate. A new acting turn for the funnyman and one that 100% works. He makes family dinner or board game scenes very awkward and a campfire party quickly gets dark and worrying as he steps up to the teenage Duncan. A fun and touching look at growing up and being left to face issues with family while discovering yourself all at a badly run waterpark!

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: He’s clearly well known as Michael Scott in the long running American seasons of ‘The Office’. He’s also done SNL and voiced for an episode of ‘The Simpsons’. He’s produced for a few of the films he’s starred in also and helped write ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’.

This is a brilliant moment as Carell dressed as Gru appears on the Ellen Degeneres show. It’s insane how much he looks like the cartoon and they play on his accent too. Then he goes off and dances!

Steve Carell auditioning for Brick, crazy how he even had to audition as he just becomes the part for the Anchorman films. His laugh is so great, red face and all. The mime of him eating is so good also!

Carell interview about ‘The Way Way Back’, displaying an intelligent poise in his talking about the film, Toni Collette and his character.

Steve Carell is an extremely funny actor who can do comedy and displays clear evidence of comic timing and expressions to deliver hilarious performances. He’s good at ad-libbing also and now can also show he can do serious roles with a role in ‘Foxcatcher’ giving him a deeply different role to get his teeth into.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH

posted 30/03/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: He is suitably muscular and heroic as Thor in the Marvel universe but his wild party boy nature portraying James Hunt in ‘Rush’ is top notch. He does look enough the part that you buy into him being a loose cannon in racing terms and he holds his own against a tour de force acting jobby from Daniel Bruhl as his formula one rival Niki Lauda. He smiles and drinks his way through the show and can play emotional too in displaying anger and regret in his eyes when kicking out his wife or sticking up for Lauda after a press conference. A great film with two fine performances in the driving seats and Hemsworth proves he can do biopic drama genres as well as action hero.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: He wasn’t any sort of memorable or fantastic in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ as the titular huntsman, in general the film was pretty terrible. A wooden case of acting from Kristen Stewart, too much CGI, a trashy story taken from a well known and loved tale and Hemsworth himself didn’t have much in the way to do to step outside of his typical role.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: His appearances in ‘Thor’, ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Thor: The Dark World’ are superhero films and friendly fun fare for kids and families in general with any sort of allusions to evil or dark themes being more adult orientated that younger ones would be distracted by high octane action sequences and the like.

MATURE ROLE: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ is over the top with gore and horror making it something probably way too much for all round viewing, so too with ‘Red Dawn’ being focused on war and violence as it’s main plot.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ beats ‘Rush’ as it’s clever, funny and twisted horror madness. A smart knowing send up of horror films and with Joss Whedon’s influence we get a cool parody like nature integrated amongst some jumpy moments. A bonkers third act firmly proves the over the top style of this movie but that’s the point and with the deliberate locations and stereotypical characters we face an intelligent stupid brilliantly made horror comedy with a different genius idea at the centre. An unexpected great little cameo near the end too and some fine CGI of endless creatures from Hell that invade the final act of the film.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Hemsworth has taken part in a season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and has also acted in both major Australian soaps; appearing in one episode of ‘Neighbours’ and playing a consistent character for over 180 episodes in ‘Home and Away’ which I can remember watching when he was still involved. Apart from that film is now his calling and he hasn’t been on the smaller screen since 2007.

Appearing on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ with a generally average routine where he shakes his hips a lot but fair play to the man doing something different before he became the star he is now and getting up in front of people is brave yet fun.

Here he is taking part in a skit with his brother Liam parodying the classic Youtube video of Charlie Bit My Finger for Jimmy Kimmel’s show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHfg6apNWcA

Chris Hemsworth on ‘Home and Away’ in a scene where a friend tries to take him away and make him feel better. Awkwardness ensues with the location chosen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Svijgq3z6k

A fine actor who is great as Thor and proves himself as a much better action man type even if his acting can prove that dramas are in his bag of tricks also. Hopefully there’ll be some more films after or during his tenure as the Norse god that provide him with more demonstrations of finer dramatic acting.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

posted 07/04/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: He is utterly incredible as Freddie in ‘The Master’ and acts the character to perfection in all his flaws and changes. It’s a great great movie and Phoenix is one of the best qualities of the film, he and Hoffman steal the show and bounce off each other creating an unsettling, fun, different and engaging friendship. The quirks and problems Freddie Quell has are so believable due to Phoenix’s acting and it is his most significant role as a serious actor in my opinion. A bold statement considering how good he is in other films but here he takes it up a notch and becomes the man controlled by the master.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: He isn’t amazing in ‘The Village’ and to be honest I can’t really much of what he does so there’s no huge cause of fantastic acting that jumps out of me. It doesn’t help that the movie is awful and one of the worst films I’ve seen in predictability, acting, story and directing. I’ve never watched it since and I don’t ever think I will to be honest. A case of one time only with no great Phoenix role to draw me back.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: He’s voiced a character for Disney’s ‘Brother Bear’ but apart from that most of his acting is mature adult oriented material with serious content or heavier plot driven focus that wouldn’t interest or be suitable for younger watchers.

MATURE ROLE: Phoenix’s career draws on more adult roles with the substance abusing Freddie in ‘The Master’, the villain in the violent and bloody epic ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Signs’ could be deemed as quite chilling for the younger audiences even with its gaping plot hole.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: No shadow of a doubt when I put ‘Her’ as my favourite film involving Joaquin Phoenix. A beautiful and emotional story acted with brilliance by every actor involved and directed and written with a deft touch by the genius Spike Jonze who creates the most modern love story ever with a believable tale about a man dating a computer (in the most easy way to describe the film), but it’s much more than that, it’s a story of character and love, obsession and technology. One of the best films I saw this year and one of the best films I’ve ever seen in general…from it’s costuming to the soundtrack, from the performances to the writing. Funny, sad, worrying, engaging and glorious.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Phoenix has appeared in a ‘Murder, She Wrote’ episode and an ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ episode also amongst a small scattering of other TV episodes but apart from that it’s movie career that takes the front seat and has done since 1989, the last time he did television acting.

Appearing on David Letterman as his character he was going for as a fake celebrity going down the hip-hop music route. A changeup and an interesting mockumentary that I want to see. Brilliantly drawing attention to the cause and playing offish and bored well.

Phoenix and Amy Adams in a joint interview discussing why they wanted to be part of ‘Her’, who his character is in the movie and character dynamics between Theodore and Amy. Part 2 in sidebar of Youtube.

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

Phoenix in the hot seat opposite Jimmy Fallon in the public blaze for ‘Her’. A call here with Fallon trying to get the actor to quit smoking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA3vk4J-9yw

A highly talented man if not one that does seem a little hard to please and work with, but the art of his acting craft pays off. A serious revival after films like ‘Signs’ and ‘The Village’ becoming a multi nominated man with huge hitting films such as ‘Walk the Line, ‘Her’ and ‘The Master’.

MILA KUNIS

posted 09/04/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: Her strength comes to play most in comedy and she’s at her strongest and most engaging in ‘Friends With Benefits’ I’d say. She plays a confident and sexy assured female with ease and manages to balance that powerful attractive quality with a more fragile side when she reveals her worries about love and connection and what men always want. She’s sexy, funny and shows the emotive side too. A top billing for Justin Timberlake where Mila actually deserves most credit for being the best and most captivating factor of the movie.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: In ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ she isn’t that great and in general the film is pretty mediocre at its best points. The character she plays is awful with a change in nature so pathetic and quick that it ruins any strength she had in seconds. A witch with no desire for love and strong without it who suddenly becomes the wrecked crony in green when the wizard doesn’t love her back. Her acting for this Disney mess is also hammy and OTT for the emerald faced witch. Not her highest moment of glory.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: In fact the most family friendly thing she has done and pretty much the only one to boot is ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. There’s that and a direct to video of ‘Honey We Shrunk Ourselves’, which I may have seen but have no recollection of seeing her in, but it’s of a series suitable for children so there’s two films to her name in this category.

MATURE ROLE: She’s pretty badass in ‘Max Payne’, suitably hot and boob doubled in the sweary adult comedy ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and sex mad for friends with benefits in the film of the same name. ‘Ted’ is also another highly adult film with drugs, swearing and stupidity of a mature level. ‘Black Swan’ with its famous sexual exploration and it’s dark nature is also clearly too deep for children.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: ‘Black Swan’ with no shadow of a doubt. A riveting and tour de force performance from a strong and dedicated Natalie Portman who carries the physiological ballet drama with utter grace and wonder. Mila Kunis plays the attractive rival well adding to the mix of madness and change in Portman’s character as she tries something new. Every acting performance is perfect, the film is dark and chilling but beautiful. An ending that can leave people with differing opinions and a director in Aronofsky who has created a masterpiece of nightmarish proportions.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: Mila Kunis has done her fair share of TV work being part of the long running programme, ‘That ’70s Show’. She still lends her voice to the unloved and mannish ugly character of Meg in ‘Family Guy’. She’s also helped voice for ‘Robot Chicken’ and appeared on ‘Sesame Street’. She has also been in music videos for KISS and Aerosmith.

Kunis on the Conan show talking about her love for prank calls, her thoughts on her appearance and her roommate.

Mila and Justin Timberlake discussing the nature of nudity in ‘Friends with Benefits’. How they filmed it and the notion of FWB’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pbE0Vl86bc

Mila Kunis for a BBC Radio 1 interview discussing more off topic questions and more natural for it. From drinks to football, a more fun style for her to bounce off instead of just answering the same old questions. Hilariously reeling off her story to the film like she doesn’t really care!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Ezruu1oeQ

A talented young actress with an apt for comedy but proof that she can still do alright with dramatic roles. 110% attractive with a distinctive voice that helps her stand apart from other female stars.

EMMA WATSON

posted 12/04/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: She’s good and consistently believable and interesting as Hermione but her best acting appears in the most recent of her movies with ‘Noah’. The character of Ila outshines the sons and her plight throughout is more captivating and emotional than the epic CGI or biblical plot. She tugs on the heartstrings more than I expected and can cry for the camera with conviction. A bigger and more out there film for Watson to be part of but one that feeds her a larger slice of the acting pie and she does better for it.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: It’s harsh to say as she was only young but the first couple of Harry Potter movies were starting points with the makers and cast not knowing how they’d be taken. Emma Watson’s acting is annoying at times, she gets the bushy haired know it all dynamic of the female sidekick down but there’s only a certain amount of times you can take her raising her eyebrows to emphasise dialogue. To be fair to the young actress she is reasonable in all that she does, not overly spectacular but not awful and that’s fine considering her talents in modelling, education and acting. I’ve never understood people that think she’s terrible but I can also say she’s not fantastic…yet.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Clearly all the Potter movies, even with the darker elements are friendly material for all ages with the fantasy magic being an enchanting joy for children and adults alike. She’s voiced a princess for ‘The Tale of Despereaux’. The 12A certificate for ‘Noah’ should be ignored though as youngsters will either find the story dull but more than this it’s dark with harrowing scenes that could torment little ones.

MATURE ROLE: Ila is a character in a dark, troubling world and unlike the dark vibe of the Potter franchise, ‘Noah’ really is brutal and sometimes terrifying. The near ending with her character facing Crowe’s eco-warrier is very upsetting however the resolution comes around. The most adult performance of hers though would lie with ‘This is the End’ where she swears and fights her way into a barricaded house. She’s kick-ass in a tiny role in this end of the world comedy and shines purely because it’s so far removed from her English rose like status as the lovable witch in Harry Potter world.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: My favourite film that she’s part of and in truth, hugely part of in this case is ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. One of my favourite books and the best of the HP saga. The dark introduction made for an interesting change in style, the Dementors are eery and Lupin’s transformation is different to other classic werewolf mutations making him seem diseased and scrawny, a nice nod to the human feeling of his curse. The story of the Time-Turner is also brilliant and any timey wimey addition is grounds for genius. Hermione steps more to the fore than before and helps save more than one life with Harry. It’s the first time that we really see more of the dark side breaking into Potter’s life and it works with Cuaron’s direction standing out as the best of the magical bunch.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She’s been in a TV film titled ‘Ballet Shoes’ but apart from that she hasn’t done any series or voice overs focusing more on her studies, fashion and the big screen.

Appearing on the Jimmy Fallon show where she discusses how dangerous she might be and then it ends with her and him dancing.

http://perezhilton.com/tv/LATE_NIGHT_WITH_JIMMY_FALLON_Emma_Watson_Dance_Class/?id=d5f462e787b10&autoplay=false

A mini behind the scenes of her for a Wonderland magazine shoot showcasing her perfection for modelling and looking stunning.

Emma Watson on how to get an American accent down. A very British sounding actress who did the job for ‘The Bling Ring’ well and talks about what she did and watched to capture the voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToNi2TcN80U

Once again, someone I’m a fan of so the rule of three is broken a la Amy Adams. Here is Watson corpsing around the Potter film set.

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

Lastly here is the actress chatting to Grimmy on Radio 1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJGbINKAG30

I’d also recommend watching the entirety of the last HP premiere where JK Rowling, Emma, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint come together and their last speeches are very teary.

Emma Watson is a growing actress and if ‘Noah’ is anything to go by then she could get better and better and do bigger and more deep roles in the future. A beautiful hard working actress with a nice personality presented through her interviews and perfect fashion shoots.

 BEN STILLER

posted 30/04/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: It’s tough to say in terms of acting weight. But due to him being a big hitter at comedy I’ll leave the more grounded dramatic roles to one side and choose a comedic role he’s done. It’s honestly a 50/50 choice for me to go between Derek Zoolander in ‘Zoolander’ or White Goodman in ‘Dodgeball’. I think I’m going to stick for the former and say his role as dim witted Derek in ‘Zoolander’ is great. He totally becomes the part of the obsessive dumb male model and shows vulnerability too in an endearing title role. The comedy is stupid but well pitched and paced and it’s a classic comedy with Stiller at the heart.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: He’s sort of the samey Stiller type in a lot of films like ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘Night at the Museum’, but him taking on the role of Starsky in the updated ‘Starsky and Hutch’ movie was pretty terrible. It was too stupid and goofy for its own good and the comedy didn’t really hit the target often if at all. A needless modern telling of a classic TV show.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: His role as Larry in the two ‘Night at the Museum’ films are fun entertaining material for all the family, so too are the ‘Madagascar’ movies with Stiller having vocal duties as Alex the lion. He’s also voiced for ‘Megamind’.

MATURE ROLE: The majority of Stiller’s work is aimed at the older sector with adult comedy coming into play for a lot of his acting style, whether it’s just down to expletive language or gross out humour. The most mature of his roles would probably be in ‘There’s Something About Mary’ with the obvious zipper malfunction, the Diaz hair quiff and pretty much the entire film with the Farrelly brothers influence.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: It has to be, has has to be ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ which is stunning, gorgeous and heartfelt with a sweet story and soundtrack to match. The locations are beautiful, Stiller directs and acts with ease showcasing a great coming of type story with an awkward guy reeling into his own mind in the midst of reality being a clever and interesting tool and one that relates to me a lot!

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: He’s directed a fair few times and produced a good number of films, he’s also starred in TV popping up in ‘The Trip’, ‘Extras’, ‘Arrested Development’ and SNL.

Here is Ben Stiller being brilliantly arrogant as a Tom Cruise stunt double in a parody of Mission Impossible 2 times. Added brilliance in fun with real Tom and John Woo coming into the video too. Tom Crooze here for you –

Stiller being suitably weird turning up to present Best Makeup at the 82nd Academy Awards. Classic Stiller awkward humour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A87InzywZOY

On the brilliantly awkward Galifianakis ‘Between Two Ferns’ interview show.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/60072add5a/between-two-ferns-with-zach-galifianakis-ben-stiller

Ben Stiller is brilliant at the awkward well timed comedy but he’s managing to show off the fact he can also direct and act in dramatic films and if Walter Mitty is anything to go by then surely he’ll be back in the director’s seat for another charming movie soon.

JAMES MCAVOY 

posted 29/06/2014

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BEST PERFORMANCE: From the off I’m openly admitting that I haven’t seen ‘The Last King of Scotland’ so can’t include this here, otherwise I believe that acting gig would be here. I think he’s really great in ‘Atonement’ and takes the leading male role opposite Keira Knightley with confidence and believability. The genre of the movie may not be my kind of thing but he does a lot to make it watchable and showcases his serious acting skills in this romantic yet sad war movie.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: I could say that his cameo in ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ is so short lived that he doesn’t really make a mark and he does nothing major to steal the show in that tiny amount of time but both ‘Wimbledon’ and ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’ are poor films that could have had anyone else in McAvoy’s shoes and the movies themselves are not that great by any stretch of the imagination.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: He’s voiced a garden gnome in the modern retelling of a Shakespearean story – ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’, he’s been in the make-up chair and come out the other side as a convincing Mr. Tumnus in ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’, the superhero attraction of Marvel is tame enough material to let younger ones watch him in the newer ‘X-Men’ films.

MATURE ROLE: There is no hesitation needed to tell you that his most mature role to date is as Bruce in the 2013 film, ‘Filth’. He’s grotesque and twisted, filled with vulgar language and alcohol and the movie too is so adult that you understand its 18 certificate. It’s an okay film and he does well to shake the handsome attractive status he’s built up but it is very out there and a twist does nothing to get rid of that notion.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I want to say ‘Wanted’ or ‘X-Men: First Class’ but I have to go with my initial thought and pick Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ as his film peak, at least in my opinion. The art stealing angle is just the surface, scratch beneath this first idea and you’ll find more thriller, more grit, more sex and more intrigue as a tale of hypnosis and mystery bubbles over. He plays the lead well and goes switching between likeable main guy to ambiguous untrustworthy figure with no real sign, an unnerving trait. The cast are sublime and the look of the film is stylish and classy. It’s a film with maybe a slight revealing touch but look past this and you get a film that deserves a mention in the top 10 lists of movies in 2013.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: He started off in the ITV show ‘The Bill’ and since then has appeared in ‘Foyle’s War’ and ‘Shameless’. Aside from a few other single episode appearances he hasn’t done anything else of writing or TV note. It’s obvious he’s an actor with a passion for big screen stories and he has the personality and acting talent to match.

A brilliant anecdote of McAvoy and Fassbender on the set of X-Men and a golf cart becomes a dangerous vehicle.

On the Graham Norton show looking at fan art of the Fassbender/McAvoy relationship. It’s fun to see what they have to say about each image.

An interview from the man itself about ‘Trance’. He discusses surprises in the movie after taking time out from filming the movie, secrets of the story in the film and it comes with a little chat about Professor X’s look too.

A great Scottish character actor that can master a number of differing roles from serious to light. Still a rising star with an age that can see him winning great awards in the future if he carries on the way he’s going.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON 

posted 30/06/2014

scarlett-johansson-02-630-75

BEST PERFORMANCE: I haven’t yet seen ‘Under the Skin’ but want to see it to view how different she can be as it looks like a unique odd film. Aside from this it comes down to either ‘Lost in Translation’ or ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ as her peak performances. I will slightly edge for the latter as a great role where she portrays Griet with subtlety and beauty and vulnerability that you can believe she immerses herself into the role of this muse.

NOT SO BEST PERFORMANCE: ‘The Perfect Score’ just isn’t very good and she doesn’t do anything of note in it to at least forget that the film isn’t very good. It’s a cliched sex symbol forbidden fruit character that does nothing to try and rid stereotypes and in general the film could have been so much more if they tried a little harder with the script. Shame that Scarlett has that in her filmography.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: The superhero franchises are big for all ages now so her contract as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff is an appearance large enough to get her seen by many. She has also been in ‘Home Alone 3’ in the early stages of her career and since then has voiced for ‘The Spongebob Squarepants Movie’, played a college grad in ‘The Nanny Diaries’, shown a family side nature in the endearing warm movie ‘We Bought a Zoo’ and of course her role as Romanoff will continue with ‘Avengers 2’ coming next year!

MATURE ROLE: She’s cleavy and seducing in ‘The Spirit’, ‘Match Point’ is also filled with desire and brooding danger but I think the most adult orientated movie she’s shown up in is ‘Don Jon’. The entire movie, even with the heart of relationships attached, is about obsession and addiction to porn, sex and the rituals of Gordon Levitt’s main character. Johansson’s Barbara is a feast upon the eyes for the audience and Jon. The movie is smart, funny and assuredly sexy with no let up for younger ages to sit and watch proceedings unfold.

MY FAVOURITE FILM: I do love ‘The Avengers’ but I will stick with my heart and head and choose ‘The Prestige’ by Christopher Nolan as my favourite film that she has been in. It’s wise and stylish with an edge and suspenseful air to the events to keep the intrigue at a fine level. Her hiring as an aide to Jackman is nice and works well until the rivalry of him and Bale interferes with her character and boils over too. It’s a great thriller like narrative with twisting turning ideas and a setting to include great details to gift the movie a distinctive look.

AWAY FROM THE BIG SCREEN: She has appeared as herself in an episode of ‘Entourage’, she has turned up for SNL episodes and has done voice work for ‘Robot Chicken’, aside from these she is more a film persona than switching a lot between TV and the big screen. She has shown up on Broadway though and played in ‘A View from the Bridge’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.

Here she is having great fun with Samuel L Jackson for a skit with Little Ant and Little Dec on the British Saturday night show ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’, she plants a cheeky kiss on one of the lucky lads, being just all around nice and dealing with a question about being hot!

Now for that ad that got banned and received big news for her clash of ideas but it plays on her looks and does something out there to advertise the drink.

She’s appeared in a Justin Timberlake music video and showcased her knack for singing in ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Her’ but here she is away from film in her own music video for her own song, Falling Down. A haunting style tone buzzes around this soft pop song.

Lastly the actress takes part in charades for Jimmy Fallon’s show, Drake is involved too and Johansson gets herself into it however silly the game is, it’s great fun as always and the showdown with Jimmy and Scarlett is so quick, poor girl for having a bad partner!

I truly believe she has something a lot of other actresses don’t have, I put her in my top 10 of leading ladies and she can do kick ass, sexy but she can play the more gentle caring laid back roles too. There’s a great style and aurora to her acting and general presence and I always look forward to seeing her in movies.

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Acting Brick Road

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