Archive for May, 2012

Starring The Mousy Girl as The Killer

May 17, 2012

I found some pictures on the Internet of Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and the resemblance was uncanny. Well, that got me thinking. What about? You ask. Actors and their roles, specifically what if a certain actor who is known for playing a certain kind of role, plays against type. Such as:

Bette Davis as a Boozy Single Mom
Yes, it is true. She played a single mom in Frank Capra’s final film Pocketful of Miracles (1961), which is a remake of an earlier film of his Lady for a Day (1933). The film deals with Apple Annie who sells apples on Broadway and has a daughter who is studying in Spain. One day she learns that her daughter, who has no idea that her mom sells apples for a living, is coming to visit with her fiance, who is the son of a Spanish count. So, she enlists her best customer, gangster Dave the Dude to help her convince her daughter and her daughter’s fiance that she is a part of New York society. As interesting as this film sounds, there was trouble on the set from day one (a good deal of it came from Davis) and when the film premiered the reviews were tepid at best. So, Capra never directed another film after Miracles.

Pat Boone as a Cold Hearted Husband
Yes, Mr. Sweaky Clean can go beyond sweaky cleanness. In the film The Yellow Canary, (1963) he played a famous singer by the name of Andy Paxton. On the surface, he has the life many could dream of, he has a successful career as singer, a beautiful wife, played by Barbara Eden and a baby boy. Well, when the lights go down Paxton is very self-centered and his wife is fed up with Mr. I’m-So-Great-And-You’re-Not. Yet, just as she is about to leave him, their baby is kidnapped. Does this cause a turnaround in Paxton? No, he refuses help from the police and even agrees to pay $200,000 as a ransom for his son. Yet, once Paxton arrives at the location to make the payment, the kidnapper is no where to be found. Hmmm, the plot thickens.

Meg Ryan as a Tough as Nails Army Helicopter Pilot
Yep, America’s Sweetheart (how in the world did she get that title), can play tough. In  Courage Under Fire (1996), Ryan plays Army Captain Karen Walden, a rescue helicopter pilot who is up for the Metal of Honor. Reports say that just before she died, she rescued a downed helicopter crew and fought off the Iraqis after her helicopter crashed. Well, as the investigation into Captain Walden’s actions goes on, conflicting reports come out and lead investigator Lt. Colonel Serling, played by Denzel Washington, begins to wonder if she deserves such an honor. Does she or doesn’t she get it? Watch the movie to find out.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Kindergarten Teacher
How many movies have Schwarzenegger playing a tough cop? Lots of them! How many of them have have Schwarzenegger playing a tough cop who has to go undercover as (insert dramatic pause here) A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER! Only one and it is called Kindergarten Cop (1990). In order to catch a drug dealer, Schwarzenegger has to find the dealer’s ex-wife, who is hiding out in Oregon as a teacher. So, if he wants to find her and ultimately get the drug dealer, he has to pose as a kindergarten teacher. Does he find the ex-wife, nab the bad guy and save the day? If you really want to know, put the film in your Netflix queue and all will be revealed.

Yes, it can be interesting to see actors playing against type. Yet, when you think of it, there should be no “type”.  After all, it is called acting for a reason.

Sources:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/first-look-at-ashton-kutcher-as-steve-jobs-in-jobs

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055312/

http://www.amazon.com/Pocketful-Miracles-Glenn-Ford/dp/B00005LOLA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336876323&sr=8-1

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057700/

http://www.allmovie.com/movie/the-yellow-canary-v117884

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115956/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099938/

Memorable Summer Movies

May 10, 2012

Not too long ago, I wanted to purchase some tickets online for my nephew and I to see Pirates! Band of Misfits. After I bought the tickets, I noticed a short blog entry on the movie ticket website about the summer movie season of 1982 being the best summer movie season ever. That was the summer the following films were released:

The Road Warrior
Blade Runner

John Carpenter’s The Thing

Tron

An Officer and a Gentlemen

Conan the Barbarian

Poltergeist

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

E.T.

(By the way, I saw E.T., Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Tron in the summer of 1982 and I liked E.T. and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the best out of the three.)

It is risky to say that a year or a season of a year was the best movie year ever because tastes change. Case in point, when Citizen Kane came out in 1941, it was a box office dud. Now it is considered a gem of American cinema.

Duds that turn into classics, not withstanding, I thought it would be fun to write about memorable summer movies. What makes them so memorable? Read on and you’ll find out.

Summer of 1983

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably suspect that I liked Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi the best out of the original Star Wars trilogy. Well, you would be wrong. I loved Return of the Jedi. I saw the film on its opening weekend and what an event it was. The theater was packed and everyone was eager to see how George Lucas ended the trilogy. As far as I’m concerned, he did a great job wrapping everything up. (FYI: My favorite scene in the movie and all time favorite movie scene is when Han Solo is freed from the carbonite.)

Jaws 3D
The only thing memorable about this film was that it was shown in 3D. In late 1982, 3D films made a comeback, sort of. A few films were released in 3D but the technology was not as advanced as it is today, so 3D films fizzled out by late 1983.

Summer of 1993

Jurassic Park
A film about the return of dinosaurs and it was directed by none other than Steven Spielberg! What’s there not to like? I went to see the film expecting to get a summer blockbuster and I got more than just the run-of-the-mill summer movie. I got film that was a reflection on technology and how it isn’t always the savior it is made out to be. I can remember thinking while I was watching the film, “Why does this remind me of the film Westworld?” I later learned that the book, in which the film was based on, was written by none other than Michael Crichton, the man who wrote and directed Westworld.

Summer of 2001

Pearl Harbor
I took my dad to see this film for Father’s Day. He grew up during World War II, so any documentary, television show or film that is about or took place during that time, Dad is all over it. I liked this film. The special effects were good and the stars were good in their roles. Yet, the most memorable thing was that during the film, I was thinking, “The Japanese military had guts to do the attack at Pearl Harbor.” Not to take anything away from those in the military who were at Pearl Harbor during the time of the attack, yet I must say that an attack like that was very bold. Little did I or anyone else know that as this movie was making it theatrical run, the 9/11 hijackers were training to carry out the worst attack on U.S. soil, since Pearl Harbor.

Spider-Man Trailer
Normally, I wouldn’t write about a trailer but this one is extra special. It featured a vignette about a group of bad guys who make their getaway in a helicopter. Just as they are about to make a great escape, they get caught in a web spun by Spider-Man. Where did he spin the web? Between the towers of the World Trade Center. When I saw this trailer in the movie theater, (one week before 9/11 if you must know) I was amazed. Yes, I knew it was a computer-generated image, but it was so impressive that it looked like a real helicopter was suspended in a web between the Twin Towers. Of course, when the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened, the trailer was pulled from theaters.

Summer of 2008

The Dark Knight
While Christian Bale was great as Batman, Heath Ledger stole the show as The Joker. Ledger’s Joker was EVIL. He didn’t force the humor or nastiness. Ledger played the role as if he were really that bad. Basically, I wouldn’t want to run into Ledger’s Joker in a well-lit alley. Yes, he deserved the Oscar and it was a shame that he died before he had a chance to do more work.

Summer of 2010

Toy Story 3
Wow. The folks at Pixar know how to wrap up a trilogy. The series started with Andy at eight and ended with him going off to college. Along the way, the toys had many adventures and misadventures, yet they stick together, like good friends do. The most poignant and best scene in Toy Story 3 was when Andy dropped off the toys at Bonnie’s house, an 8 year-old whose mom knows Andy’s mom. After telling her about each toy, Andy and Bonnie play with the toys. When they are done, Andy goes off to college and the toys remain with Bonnie.

Well, those are my memorable summer movie memories. Tune in next week for another thrilling blog entry from the chick who loooooves summer movies (among other things related to the movies).

Sources:

http://www.fandango.com/movieblog/weekend-chatter-was-1982-greatest-summer-movies-season-of-all-time-714464.html

Heritage Magazine Fall 2008 “Remember When…1941” Pg. 8

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107290/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425061/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133152/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213149/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435761/

Back to Life

May 3, 2012

At a recent Coachella concert, a holographic image of  the late rapper Tupac Shakur was displayed on stage with Snoop Dog. Of course, the audience loved it. Still, it was just an image, it wasn’t the real thing. As you can guess, that got me thinking. If it were possible to bring back dead actors and actresses, who would I like to bring back? Well….

Katherine Hepburn
Yes, the great Kate. Her obituary in the July 6, 2003 issue of Time stated that “…A new actress might be called a Marilyn Monroe type or a Drew Barrymore type, but there was no Kate Hepburn type. There was only Kate Hepburn.”  How true. She was feisty, smart and she didn’t just play an independent career woman, she was one off-screen.  After all, in 1940 she bought the rights to the play The Philadelphia Story, as well as starred in the film. Remember, this was a time in Hollywood when the studios called the shots on their employees. Yet, she thrived being who she was, which is all the more reason to bring her back. She could star in a film where she mentors a young female college graduate how to navigate life (and love) after college. It would be the opposite of The Devil Wears Prada and a welcome change of pace from all the girl loves man-child films out there.

Jimmy Stewart
Another great from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Of course, it is obvious that he would play George Bailey again and this time he would be dealing with the mess left behind by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Then again, you could put him together with Katherine Hepburn. After all, they starred in The Philadelphia Story together. They could be in a sequel of sorts to that film where they deal with a new generation of rich soon-to-be marrieds and show them that feistiness and love doesn’t end at age 45.

James Dean
Of course, how could he not be brought back. He left this world much too soon when his career was so full of promise. Had he lived, would he go on to bigger and better things or would he flame out, as director Elia Kazan said he would in his autobiography. Well, there is only one way to find out and that is bring him back and have him star in some movies. He could be cast in a Western or maybe a Romantic Comedy. I think he would do very well in a Western, even get an Oscar nod and the rom-com would be fun to watch.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part. I certainly don’t have the ability to bring people back to life. So, if you should see a dead actor or actress walking around, chances are that person is just an impersonator or just playing that particular actor or actress in a film.

Sources:
http://news.yahoo.com/music-fans-hanker-ray-charles-hologram-poll-215223531.html

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,463117,00.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032904/

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000015/bio