Actors/Actresses I Would See In About Anything (10 Things)

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Karamel Kinema was kind enough to forward me this cool blogathon that is all about those actors & actresses that one would watch in about anything. This idea originated with Abbi at Where the Wild Things Are, and this marks my first “passing the torch” blogathon I’ve ever been included in so I’m super excited. Though many of the current participants have kept the list strictly masculine, I’m gonna give it my best to include some lovely ladies in mine as well (as it was originally intended as well!).

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# 102 – Whip It

I already shared my affection towards Ellen Page in my special edition post – stating that I loved Whip It. So I decided to do a post about the movie – finally I might add, because I’ve seen it twice!

There is humor, there is love, there is a lessons to learn, there is friendship, there is blood, there is music, there are some amazing scenes, there are wonderful stories told – Whip It is a magical movie in so many ways especially for a movie lover like me. Why? Cause I think it has this artistic vibe that isn’t really common in Hollywood, and i personally think that it is thanks to Drew Barrymore (who produced and directed the movie). I find her refreshing in Hollywood, a new-old soul in the middle of the flashlights. The new-old is a term I just now thought of while thinking about Whip It, a movie that is in my mind new-old!

If you start watching it, you might feel that it is slightly off in some places and it is, because it brings into light old beliefs about being a mom, remember those American adds about perfect housewives? Well, Whip It has that commercial vibe to it and a little 80’s all rolled into the fresh new world that is the 21st century. I get it, I like it and I would love to see Whip It 2! But no,all they do is Step Up again and again and again.. Enough is enough! But I guess it is meant to be like that, only one Whip It and that is all I get!

The story itself is about Bliss (Ellen Page) who’s mom is determent to make her the miss America so to speak, driving her to be a girly-girl in the most motherly way – but Bliss of course is not that girl. She wants to do something else, she wants to be in a roller derby team, sport that has re-emerged in the heart of Texas, Austin in a form of women having interesting stage names and getting their teeth kicked in. There are many teams and they held a competition every year – Bliss joins the most unfortunate team in that sense that they are last every single year. She of course has to keep this a secret from her parents and with a little help from her friend (the wonderful Pash played by Alia Shawkat) she manages to keep the extra practice and competitions a secret. She even meets a young musician called Oliver (played by Landon Pigg who is far from a pig!)  and there is some smart writing in some of their scenes, plus interesting directing (props to Drew!).  And when you have watched as many movies as I have or just some movies you know that secrets are never secrets until the end.. but I’m not gonna spill the beans about the whole movie.

I just want to say that this movie is just the kind of movie I would be happy to make someday – if I had Ellen and Drew on my speed-dial right now, I’d be already making one but for now I just have the privilage to see Whip It again and again – this reminds me, I should buy the original DVD…

# 100 – Special Edition

Hip-hip-hurray! It is the 100th post in Mettel’s Movie Blog and I can’t be any happier. I have been thinking about this post for a long time but until yesterday I had no idea what I was going to write about. The 100th post seems so important (at least for me) and therefore I decided to dedicate this special post to all the  movie actors and actresses I like. (I wanted to stay out of TV-shows because this would’ve made it a much much MUCH longer list). This special edition post is listing all my favorites in no particular order because even I don’t know the “right” order but one thing is sure, the first actor is the one who is being missed every single day…

# 1: Heath Ledger

On January 22, 2008 the world lost one of its greatest actors who was only 28 years old when a lethal drug combination took his life. Most of his brilliant abilities surfaced when he was portraying the Joker in the Batman movie The Dark Knight which also earned him a posthumous Academy Award (second one in Oscar’s history). A lot of his fame came through that but some including me knew him long before that. Who could forget his role in a teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You or his interesting role for Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm – or the historical romance in A Kinght’s Tale and his undying love for another man in Brokeback Mountain? But it would be unfair not to mention Lords of Dogtown, Casanova, Ned Kelly, The Patriot and Monster’s Ball – which only prove to me that he had great roles through out his career (life) because I’ve seen more than a half of these movies listed here and have heard about all of them!

The reason I like him is not because he was handsome and had dark mysterious brown eyes – I like him because he was a great actor! He would’ve gone far and the time line of his movies clearly show that he was climbing the ladder fast and not only because he was gaining fame but because he was getting better and better in what he did. I watched The Dark Knight DVD special features and Christopher Nolan (I think) was talking about how Heath didn’t get out of character when they blew up the hospital (they had only one take); he didn’t look back, didn’t jump and was totally in the mind of the Joker – he wasn’t aware that the cameras were placed in the bus but he still stayed in character, if this is not a sign of a great actor I don’t know what is.

# 2: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

It is no surprise that I like him almost as much as I like Heath Ledger, he actually reminds me of him but despite the similarity I think that JGL is good actor on his own. He started out as a teen star in a well known comedy called 3rd Rock from the Sun and did a role next to Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. After that he kind of disappeared, he gave up acting and went on to study in University (he knows French!) but I guess it was too hard to stay away from acting – he dropped out in 2004 to go back to his career in show business. I found him 5 years later in one of my all time favorites (500) Days of Summer but he had done a lot of indie-movies and smaller roles before that.

(500) Days of Summer being his comeback led him to G.I. Joe as a villain and to one of the best movies in 2010 – Inception! But that is not all for JGL, he also started an interesting project called HitRecord which allows different types of artists to collaborate on ideas and this has led to wonderful cartoon(ish) short movies about  Morgan M. Morgansen. To some it is also known that JGL can sing which kind of shows that young actors nowadays are multi-talented and Joe is no exception. Right now I am really looking forward to see his next projects and roles while trying to catch up with his earlier works from 2001-2005.

# 3: Johnny Depp

If I’m already listing my favorite brown eyed actors why not talk about Johnny Depp next. I myself start to see an interesting pattern here which shows that I do like male actors more than women and they all tend to look handsome and have talent that is more than just being pretty but talent that is willing to go on the dark side as well. Heath Ledger as Joker, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a mad scientist (in G.I. Joe) and well, where should I begin with Johnny Depp? It seems that his roles aren’t about being a villain but being different. He likes to play characters that are weird – Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, Captain Jack Sparrow  (seriously, he seems to be drunk all the time) and Mad Hatter or movies that are a bit dark and twisted like Sleepy Hallow, Ed Wood and Corpse Bride.

His collaboration with Tim Burton has had a big influence on Johnny and his work with him is probably my favorite director-actor duet out there but I also like that he has done so many great movies that aren’t all about the twisted characters like… nope, can’t recall any roles that I’ve seen him in which he didn’t have something extra-extra AND that is what I love about him. Besides his acting I really admire his family life as well, 12 years with the same partner is really rare among actors and actresses but that being said, I think Johnny Depp is something else than Hollywood.. he is more special and maybe a little bit twisted and dark – in a good way.

# 4: Ellen Page

I’m not that kind of a girl who only likes male actors and Ellen Page is a solid proof of that – she is tiny, fresh and talented. I have four movies in my head which Ellen starred and I like them all a lot – Juno, Hard Candy, Whip It and Inception. These actually show her being able to adapt to different roles – as a pregnant teenager, dark and twisted killer, fun and interesting roller skater and somebody who can create things in dreams. The best thing about her is the way she looks, I mean  she is 23 but she looks like 16. Before I thought that this would become her thing even though there are couple of under 20 year old’s who will give her a run for her money (the Fannings for example). But after Inception I think she will do just fine playing women who are over 20, she just does it with a little more seriousness in her eyes and still looking like 16 – not all can do that.

Her most favorite role for me is probably Whip It. I just watched it and I can’t believe how good this movie actually is. The way it is made and the humor that it is using is something that I find really appealing for me – I think that Whip It for me describes my own style. This old way and 80’s style of living mixed with sarcasm and strong willed women who can hold their ground – even if they are little like Ellen is, she still seems strong. She has Carolyn listed as her upcoming role in Tilda which is HBO’s new series – as a big fan of TV-shows, I am really looking forward of seeing her every week.

# 5: Emma Stone

I’m going to continue with the ladies and introduce my another favorite, Emma Stone. She is currently a rising star because of her newest movie Easy A but she has done some comedy before and probably will remain doing that. I can’t really imagine her doing anything else than comedy – I find her to be a true woman of laughter like a fresh young Jennifer Aniston in the making. Like Jennifer, I see Emma doing good girl funny laughter movies rather than kick-ass secret agent woman like Angelina Jolie. But she has a more serious movie called The Help coming out soon which might counter act with my previous statement but I still stand by what I believe in, Emma Stone is the new generation funny.

I have seen Easy A, didn’t like it as much as I thought but Emma was great. I’ve seen The House Bunny and Ghost of Girlfriends Past – both not my “I would watch it again and again” but I guess it takes a while to find those right comedies. Easy A was pretty much a very good idea that failed because every joke it had was used in the trailer (bad publicity!) and rest of it was same old same old. But Emma is a hot red head no matter what so I think she will stay my favorite for a long time unless she gets boring like Jennifer Aniston got, we’ll have to wait and see.

# 6: Robert Downey Jr.

Back to handsome men and brown eyes, Robert Downey Jr. has had a rough life but at last he is on his two feet (after a long battle with drug addiction) and making movies right and left! I “met” him in a TV-show called Ally McBeal and he was as I remember (which I do only a little) pretty good but he at that time was using and this really gave his career a bad blow. He still did movies but looking back I think he was under the radar which changed with Iron Man because superheros belong to the spotlight!

I have added Chaplin to my “must-see movies”, he got nominated for an Academy Award for that and since I already saw his second nomination worthy movie Tropic Thunder I thought it would be nice to see his first. His latest movie is Due Date which I actually saw almost right after I watched Sherlock Holmes and this is the interesting part, he reminds me of Johnny Depp but at the same time he is so different. His characters have also this slight twist but it is mostly about humor and that is why he is a class of his own. Plus, he is exactly my type of an actor – talented, funny, interesting,  a bad boy and handsome, and I really don’t need anything else.

# 7: Betty White

I couldn’t resist listing Betty White as one of my favorites – I know, I know, nobody could! She is the American grandmother as I’ve heard and despite her age she is funny, 21 century funny! Golden Girls was probably the first time I remember seeing her and while it didn’t give me a strong feeling about Betty White it did show me that old ladies can be funny.

Betty White has been around since forever (at least it seems that way) but her big popularity became a global phenomena after a Super Bowl commercial for Snickers. Then came the movie roles which are still coming and a Saturday Night Live performance! I can’t imagine a woman in her age doing all that and writing books and being a big activist (she helps animals) – it seems that she is a superhero who I can’t get enough of. Her latest movie I’m going to see is You Again, she plays the funny granny – a role that suits her like a glove.

# 8: Matt Damon

I don’t know any other actor who started out as a screenwriter – Good Will Hunting was written by Matt Damon and Ben Afleck, the first movie they ever wrote and acted – the movie that won 2 Oscars one for the screenplay and one for a supporting role (by Robin Williams ). This was over 13 years ago and since then I have seen Matt Damon in so many great roles that it makes me a little bit sad – Ben isn’t doing that well.

For me Matt Damon seems so versitile, he is the talented Mr. Ripley, the action man Jason Bourne while stealing stuff as Linus and cheating people as a Grimm brother – he can be funny, though and interesting. Matt Damon for me isn’t as “I need to see his every movie” type of actor but it seems that my true respect is what makes him one of my favorites. The respect that I have for an actor who comes from nothing and proves himself film after film. And even though I am not rushing to the cinema to see him, I like him when I get the chance to see him – that is a different kind of favorite but still as important.

# 9: Keira Knightley

This actually came as a surprise for me, I haven’t really been a fan but after writing about Matt Damon I started to think on a movie level and I have to admit, I like a lot of movies Keira has been in. She is especially good in timeless roles like Pride and Prejudice, Silk, Pirates of the Caribbean and Atonament. That kind of a role suits her so well that I can’t imagine her doing anything else.

Those classical strong women that have the kind of vibe Keira has I really like and Pride and Prejudice is kind of my favoirte. I think it is the simplicity that I like about that era, Jane Austen type of world – so it is not a big surprise that Keira who represents me of that world is in my special edition. Besides her past roles I discovered that I have completely missed her upcoming movie Never Let Me Go which is making its way into my Waiting list right after I finish with the last name…

# 10: Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio  Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bruce Willis, Ryan Reynolds, James Franco, Diane Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Colin Firth, Ryan Gosling, Jamie Lee Curtis, Anne Hatheway, Zooey Deschanel and others I can’t recall due to my lack of sleep these past few days!

(Yeah, I guess I got a bit carried away with the last one but you know.. I have so many favorites that I think it is unfair to not name them all: that is why I named all of them just so they could be named).

# 69 – Inception

“Dreams feel real while we’re in them.  It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.” – Dom Cobb

After watching Nolan’s newest master-piece I looked up some of the reviews just to get an idea how to build up my review about it. I didn’t want to praise like any other commenter would do and call Nolan a genius based on my subjective opinion – I wanted to have a basis for this post: negative reviews for Inception.

Not all reviewers, however, were so positive about the film. New York magazine’s David Edelstein was reported to “have no idea what so many people are raving about. It’s as if someone went into their heads while they were sleeping and planted the idea that Inception is a visionary masterpiece and—hold on … Whoa! I think I get it. The movie is a metaphor for the power of delusional hype—a metaphor for itself.”[70] Rex Reed of The New York Observer explained the film’s development as “pretty much what we’ve come to expect from summer movies in general and Christopher Nolan movies in particular … [it] doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment to me.”[71] A.O. Scott of The New York Times commented “there is a lot to see in Inception, there is nothing that counts as genuine vision. Mr. Nolan’s idea of the mind is too literal, too logical, too rule-bound to allow the full measure of madness.” – Wikipedia

I’m not saying they are wrong, in their minds they might be even right, I’m just stating that you might be looking at the picture from the wrong angle. David Edelstein says that Inception is a “metaphor for the power of delusional hype” – saying that after The Dark Knight everybody were waiting for greatness and got that from Inception because they were delusional enough to think that it was good. At least this is what I get from that thought Edelstein said – butlet’s look at this from a different angle. Nolan’s Inception planted an idea into our heads – an idea that made us think that the movie was good – a movie that is able to plant an idea into our heads can’t be a bad movie. Good movies are those that get stuck in our heads and I’m a big fan of the “great story-line” movie which doesn’t have to be logical but which is written to be logical. I thought Inception did a fine job with it and if it did plant the excitement into my head – I don’t mind.

Rex Reed (who to me based on the reviews he has written and I read – seems to be as bitter about everything that I am about romantic comedies) said that “Inception was pretty much what we’ve come to expect from summer movies in general and Nolan movies in particular.” Question, what summer movies is he talking about? I haven’t seen those, I must have missed something. And about the thing, expecting “that” from Nolan – how is not disappointing the viewers by making another good movie bad? They make bad romantic comedies that people are expecting to be bad and worse and that is bad? Making a good movie after a good movie isn’t something to whine about – Nolan delivers what is expected from him – greatnes.

A.O. Scott comments about logic in the movie. “Too logical”. This is the part where I laughed because I have been questioning the logic in so many movies lately and Inception was just so well logically built that it made me smile and Scott is saying that this is a bad thing. Hollywood has this common mistake writing blockbusters – they have the idea, but they don’t have the logical sequence behind the idea. Things happen without reason, especially when a character does something out of his characteristics – the story isn’t built on a story but on the action. The character goes there because the action tells him to – he goes and I think: “what’s his reason behind this?” Inception had that covered – there were no loopholes of logic, it moved like a well oiled machine and since so many movies fail to do that I think the “too logical” thing, was rude.

Anyhow, this is my answer to those negative comments. I’m not gonna add the positive ones because there are too many of those – IMDb states that Inception is already #4 in the greatest movie list! People like the movie and I think the thing that they like is the three things I mentioned before, Inception:

1) gets into our heads and plays with our thought by making us think about the movie after we’ve seen it.

2) is another well delivered movie by Nolan who jet again proves to us that he is one of the greatest in Hollywood.

3) has logic – it’s story is well written and the action is arranged in a way that it doesn’t get out of line while the story is deep enough to keep us interested.

I read that Nolan has been wanting to do a movie with DiCaprio for a long time and he didn’t like the scripts Nolan offered him before Inception came along. DiCaprio ,who has done movies like The Departed and Shutter Island is well known for his great acting skill, doesn’t fail to deliver in Inception. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my latest favorite is also giving a performance of a life time running in a hallway that has no gravity fighting a bad guy! (Scene that had a actual hallway that turned 360 degrees – Nolan is well known for not using too much visual efects! Another reason why Inception is good – the visual is realistic.)  So – acting good, storyline good, director good, visual images good – movie good! And the fact that I want to see it again and would be willing to pay for it again is just a little proof of the fact that 5 out of 5 stars is an understatement to this movie.