#MettelRaySe7en: My Movie Alphabet Vol 2

While there might be some things that never change, we as people still constantly evolve just like the world around us. Our thoughts, our tastes, our opinions – with every new grain of information something in us could change completely. We might idolise someone one minute and cringe our noses at their stupidity the next, we might find a movie absolutely brilliant, only to fall out of love with it two years later. And it’s fascinating to see and compare our present to the past, which is why I had this crazy idea to compile My Movie Alphabet Vol 2, almost five years after I posted the first one. To see how I’ve changed… and how much I’ve stayed the same.

For more information,  click here for the blogathon announcement post.

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400th blog post celebration

400 might not be an important number to some but for me it actually is somewhat special. I have been waiting for it for quite some time now actually, the big round number of 400. Seeing the number getting closer and closer just made me realize that I’m almost at 500, then, soon I will be a 1000 and then.. I don’t know. Okay, I might me exaggerating because getting to 400 has taken me almost three years. On this rate, it will take me forever to get there but I’m ready for the ride, it’s been so fun so far! As the number got closer, I thought why not celebrate it with something special since I haven’t done it with my other hundred posts. Plus, I had a lot of time with all my school work, deadlines, additional obligations and an up-coming trip… Kidding but I still had a lot of fun putting the alphabet together, had some issues with couple of letters because some didn’t have enough options, some had too many. To be fair, a lot of my favorites were left out but overall, I think it worked out well. It consists of movies, directors, actors and actresses who’s lives revolve around movies.

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# 150 – Heath Ledger

The category Actor/Actress has been among other categories for like forever, probably since I created the blog and I just figured out that I haven’t done any decent posts to it. So I took it as a mission to do a long post about every person in the FPMW – Favorite People in the Movie World list so I get to post to my Director category as well!

So beginning this long list of posts dedicated to my favorite people is Heath Ledger, the Australian actor who’s death shocked the world and of course me as well. I haven’t watched 10 Things I Hate About You ever since and it has been 3 years! I miss the movie but I still find it hard to watch the curly haired Heath singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – just thinking about it makes me sad – since 22nd January 2008 watching his movies makes me sad but I’ve still seen all of his movies (almost), most of them before his death. But I have just a little to say about some of them, my favorite ones that I have seen more than just once.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

A classic 90s teen movie that is probably a must to all teenagers plus I think it would be a lovely movie to young females in the need for some romantic comedy fix – if I get over it and become nostalgic about Heath I will watch 10 Things I Hate About You with my girlfriends, laugh and smile and remember Heath as my favorite heart-throb!

Julia Stiles plays a young and strong minded girl who isn’t excited about men nor dating them, but her little sister played by Larisa Oleynik wants to go to the prom – dad allows her only if the older sister is going. A plan is formed with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character and Heath Ledger comes into the picture.

It is a typical teen story but since it was done in a much simpler time the plot is simple and light and enjoyable. No tragic teen movie fail moments that tend to be in the latest teen movies a lot lately. Plus, it’s Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, they both even look a like and as you know, they don’t look bad but quite the opposite!

The Patriot (2000)

Monster’s Ball (2001)

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

Another love story with Heath Ledger as the lead which takes place in a time when knights were walking the earth – and Heath plays a peasant who decides to take part in a knight tournament. A girl is involved, funny friends included and I just remember that it was just a lovely and fun story. It doesn’t have the highest score in IMDb, a solid 6,6 but to all of Heath fans this is probably another fun one to watch.

Ned Kelly (2003)

The Order (The Sin Eater) (2003)

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

This is some what the saddest Heath Ledger movie considering that the plot is also sad, I cried in the end and I can’t even imagine if the end was turned around and Jake Gyllenhaal would be the one crying. Plus, Michelle Williams is there, this is like a really bad home movie going on right there – with two guys loving each other of course.

But the movie itself is good, 7.8 score in IMDb is a proof of that and this qualifies Brokeback Mountain as the second best movie in the list of Heath Ledger’s highest scored movies in IMDb. The first one shouldn’t be a surprise – I’ll get to that soon.

Casanova (2005)

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Listing this high above the favorite Heath Ledger movies I have watched, considering that it includes my other favorite Matt Damon. The movie is filled with action and fantasy and a little bit of love thrown in there as well – the Grimm brothers are scamming people with fake ghosts but then they are hired to find the real mystery.

I kind of like this one with Heath because he is a totally different character there, a little bit of that Johnny Depp captain Sparrow thing going on – a new kind of funny for him. Plus it is Terry Gilliam, his two biggest projects, this one and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, are one of my favorite fantasy movies but I think heath ledger has something to do with this – interesting.

Candy (2006)

I’m Not There (2007)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Number one. Best ever. Epic movie. Heath Ledger gave a performance of his life, a performance that is said to be the hardest role ever, a role that took his life – the Joker is Heath Ledger after this and the rest of the movie kind of looses its meaning without him.

The scary thing while watching this movie was that I didn’t recognize him, he was a totally different person and watching the extra behind the scenes stuff I was so proud of him – can only imagine what amazing roles Heath ledger would have done after this one, the skill in this is memorable and more important than the Oscar he got for it after his death – he should have a statue or something.

Am I making this movie look better than it is? Probably not, this movie is better than I’m making this look – I have no better words to describe this movie – EPIC!

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

A movie that came out almost two years after his death – Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell stepped into the project to play 3 different Tony’s – the character that Heath Ledger was portraying. The way Terry Gilliam made the movie happen after the tragic event was remarkable, plus Andrew Garfield was in it and I can’t even remember – I must have not be paying attention to the rest of the movie – had only eyes on Heath probably. Should revisit this movie soon, there isn’t a lot of Heath there, not as much as I would like of course, but just enough to not make me happy about his career and just enough not to make me sad.

So this is it, this is the list of movies – the list ends here and the saddest thing is – this list will never become longer than this.

Short facts:

Date of Birth

4 April 1979, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Date of Death

22 January 2008, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA (accidental overdose of prescription drugs)

Birth Name

Heath Andrew Ledger

Nickname

Heathy

Mini bio (from Wikipedia)

Heath Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia, the son of Sally Ledger (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racing-car driver and mining engineer, whose family established and owned the Ledger Engineering Foundry.[13] The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust is named after his great-grandfather.[13] Ledger attended Mary’s Mount Primary School, in Gooseberry Hill,[14] and later Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10.[3][13] His parents separated when he was 10 and divorced when he was 11.[15] Ledger’s older sister Kate, an actress and later a publicist, to whom he was very close, inspired his acting on stage, and his love of Gene Kelly inspired his successful choreography, leading to Guildford Grammar’s 60-member team’s “first all-boy victory” at the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.[13][16] Heath’s and Kate’s other siblings include two half-sisters, Ashleigh Bell (b. 1989), his mother’s daughter with her second husband and his stepfather Roger Bell, and Olivia Ledger (b. 1997), his father’s daughter with second wife and his stepmother Emma Brown.[17]

Ledger was an avid chess player, winning Western Australia’s junior chess championship at the age of 10.[18] As an adult, he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park.[19] Allan Scott‘s film adaptation of the chess-related 1983 novel The Queen’s Gambit, by Walter Tevis, which at the time of his death he was planning to both perform in and direct, would have been Ledger’s first feature film as a director.[2][20]

# 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).