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Added by Larri on 25 Apr 2011 02:19
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Favorite Actors & Actresses

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I think of 80s action stars as character types from grade school. Bruce Willis is the really cool guy who smokes and tells teachers to shove it up their asses. Steven Seagal is the big monkey who wants to play with everyone but doesn't know his own strength, thus coming off as a more of a bully than anything else. Arnie is the sixth-grader who comes in to put Seagal on the ground, saving the day with a big grin on his face. Then he high-fives everyone. He may not be the smartest kid in the school, but he knows fun - and everyone loves him for that. So much so that no one's even bitter that the man has had the most incredible career in mankind.

Favorite performance: T-800 in The Terminator
Now, about the grade school thing I mentioned above ^ Sly is like the big brother of the bunch. He's not the smartest kid either, but he'll beat up a bully for ya and be there for you even when you're going thru hard times (much thanks to Rocky). He's also the sort of "bridge-builder" who makes connections with people who don't necessarily know each other. First he got to know kids on the 4th grade like Dolph, Wesley Snipes and Kurt Russell, before he just went all out and invited everyone to a class reunion.

Favorite performance: Rocky Balboa in Rocky, no surprise there.
Average listal rating (1070 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
He may be the definitive James Bond, but you know, I would still pick someone else as my favorite British agent, mainly because Sean Connery was even better during his big comeback in the mid-80s! The way he unashamedly started showing his age with his balding head and white beard he showed some of the most dignified aging in Hollywood I've ever seen.
Not that he showed too much range though, as he was usually a mentor of some kind, but who the f**k cares with the presence he has? Whether playing an Egyptian, a Lithuanian or an American, he always sounded like a SHCOTTSHMAN - and no one ever complained! Because he's Sean Connery!

Okay so not all of his roles were successful.

Favorite performance: Henry Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Average listal rating (263 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
"Dutch Paul Newman", as Hauer is nicknamed, I'd add 'edgy' and 'a tad creepy' to that description as well. While his list of insta-classics maybe shorter than that of actual Paul Newman, Hauer can play everything not only from an 80s action hero (Blind Fury) to a blood-chilling psychopath (The Hitcher), but also something from between, a bit more morally ambiguous as he did as Roy Batty in Blade Runner. And he did all of that with scene-stealing power. Upstaging Harrison Ford? Only him and Tommy Lee Jones.

Favorite performance: Nick Parker in The Blind Fury
Favorite performance: "L.B." Jefferies in Rear Window
Average listal rating (454 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Lines are easily drawn from Grant to George Clooney for their similar looks, but I think the resemblances go even further beyond that. Very much like Clooney, Grant was the kind of guy who you could cast as the lead in great adventure thrillers (North by Northwest, Gunga Din, Suspicion) as well as some of the most famous comedies of the time.

Then you're just utterly annoyed that a man can be so classy and handsome AND funny at once.

Favorite performance: Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest
Unlike Chuck Norris and some, Clint Eastwood is one of the few icons of badass masculinity who no one dares to make fun of! Sure, you can make a joke of Eastwood's macho image, but everyone knows there's gotta be true admiration behind that.

As for acting, Eastwood's been seen as a bit of a one-character actor, recycling his Man without a name role in one form or another in each of his films, but let's face it, he's perfect as that guy! Little talking, always looks like looking directly at the sun, never impressed by anything - that just about saves a movie for me, or at least puts it up a notch.

Perhaps it is that one-note performance that eventually makes you appreciate it even more when he actually does show range like he did in "In the Line of Fire."

Favorite performance: shocked to say this as a huge Dirty Harry advocate, but Frank Horrigan in In the Line of Fire. It really feels like he perfected that tough guy persona he'd been creating for close to three decades by taking it a step further in dimensionality. It'll hardly become a classic people'll talk about in years to come, but it's something you can pretty much put to rest now.
Average listal rating (1584 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
I maybe going through my personal "anti-Pacino" phase (as minor as it is) at the moment after learning that there's more to acting than upstaging everyone else by yelling and moving about constantly but even so I can't deny the effect Pacino has had on my interest in movies. He was very easy to latch onto early on, and although I do think he's got quite mannerism-heavy after 90s, he's still an absolutely compelling performer to follow. I guess it's only logical for a man who does alotta theater too to go a bit powerhouse on everyone's ass when shooting.
If he was boring to watch, that would be the ultimate crime.

Favorite performance: Tony Montana in Scarface
Favorite performance: Vito Corleone in The Godfather
I seriously applaud this man. Short, hardly the handsomest man of his class with nasal to his voice, shouldn't have been the leading man of any film, but thank Lord he was. What's really amazing is to see a person so recognizable and famous, yet you're completely immersed in his portrayals of vulnerable average joes like struggling actor Michael Dorsey or single dad Ted Kramer. Pay attention to his role in Tootsie, especially, cause not only does he play a man posing as a woman, but he manages to flesh out the emerging feminine side of Michael so well, it's like this "fake character" of Dorothy Michaels becomes its own person.

Favorite performance: Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man
Average listal rating (188 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
When I started out with movies, I looked up to some really rugged macho guys like Clint Eastwood, and only the biggest meat mountains were good enough to be action stars in my mind.
Then came along Chow Yun-Fat and pistolas. All of a sudden, this lightweight, softcheeked Asian man put more bad guys to sleep than Arnie in his best days and did it so convincingly that I seriously had to re-think my image of an action star. Chow Yun-Fat - the epitomy of cool.

Can't wait to see his comedies some day!

Favorite performance: Tequila in Hard Boiled
Favorite performance: The Joker in Batman
Average listal rating (699 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
...and here's the other star of HK action cinema. With a career spanning over 30 years, Jackie's vision of an action star is still one of its kind. He's not particularly handsome, he's short, and his characters are usually complete fuck-ups in everything they do, but Good Lord can that man fight. I have yet to see another action lead type like his, and he clearly knows how to turn shortcomings into advantages.
Each of his fight scenes are small marvels of entertainment in themselves - and the greatest ones will blow your balls to High Heavens.

Favorite performance: Is there any difference...?
Favorite performance: Tony Stark in Iron Man
Average listal rating (1623 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Oldman is well-known for going all out on his performances, often appearing in very fantasy-driven movies where you can really let go without looking like a jackass. I was introduced to him in Batman Begins, but I really noticed him for the first time in Léon. He was pure nitroglyserin as Stansfield. But as I saw him in The Fifth Element, Harry Potter and such and again in Batman Begins, I really learned to appreciate his substantially quiet and toned-down performance as Jim Gordon too. If there ever was a proof of him giving weight to characters without theatricality, it's him in The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Favorite performance: Stansfield in Léon
Average listal rating (2339 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
For a short while I used to tell myself that Tom Hanks isn't all that good an actor, because of his image as "the most likable guy in Hollywood". That he has no edge whatsoever.
Maybe I was also blinded by the fact that he got two "easy" Oscars in the mid-90s, because I only realized much later how he can also pull off roles with great reserve and humanity without being hokey. Just the fact that I don't even remember anyone doing an impersonation of him tells how natural and free of mannerisms he is.
Even though he pretty much carried Cast Away on his shoulders (a really overlooked movie BTW in terms of telling a story with much behaviour and little dialogue) he doesn't seem to overpower in other movies like Road to Perdition or Catch me if you can. Yet he leaves an impact. Even if it is just for the funniest 'knock knock' joke ever told.

Favorite performance: Chuck Noland in Cast Away
Average listal rating (908 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite role: The Driver in Drive.
Average listal rating (607 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China
Average listal rating (1318 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
I feel downright privileged whenever I watch a Meryl Streep movie. The woman could play a velociraptor in Jurassic Park and win Oscar for it - a deserved one, at that. It doesn't matter whether she plays a well-known symbol of an entire nation like Margaret Thatcher or a low-profile nobody like Karen Silkwood, she raises even duller movies up a good notch. "Iron Lady" being an excellent example of that.
Also, speaking as someone who only knows her public image, but I swear there's motherly warmth radiating from this woman.

Favorite performance: Sister Aloysius in Doubt
Favorite performance: Wes Luger in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1.

Average listal rating (332 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
You know what's weird? Jason Segel's hardly considered the Daniel Day-Lewis of his generation (at least yet) but what little he does, he does to great effect, I've noticed. I watch him in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man and Knocked Up, and most prominently in How I Met Your Mother, and I don't get the characters confused at all. They're carved from the same wood, sure, but all it usually takes is a different kind of facial hair or style of clothing to differentiate them. There's effortlessness.

Favorite role: Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother. I f'ckin love his interaction with Neil Patrick Harris. For such a goofy average guy he gives quite an unexpected competition for Barney's kind of champ.
PSH, to me, is a character actor, whose vast talent was, thankfully, recognized, and given a chance to not fall into typecasting.  What makes it even more astounding is that this pale fatso is a far cry from all of your photogenic leading men and women, yet he appears in pretty much every movie you can name from the last 15 years. I'm not surprised. He's actually one of the reasons I prefer Red Dragon to Manhunter, because of how memorable he made his minor supporting role as a sleazy newspaperman.

Favorite role: Father Flynn in Doubt.
What I used to consider monotonous and somewhat inexpressive, I now think of as subtle and reserved.

Favorite performance: Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Average listal rating (627 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Léon in Léon
Average listal rating (296 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Katsumoto in The Last Samurai
Favorite performance: Vincenzo Coccotti in True Romance. Short but sweet.
Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Cho Osaki in Revenge of the Ninja
Favorite performance: Samuel Gerard in The Fugitive
Robert Forster will never seize to be the first likable character I came across in a Quentin Tarantino movie. We have all these colorful thugs like Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara, yet Max Cherry, the calm bail bondsman and everyman who radiates trustworthiness is the one standing out of the crowd. Very unlikely counterpart for a revived blaxploitation star like Pam Grier.
But it's actually Delta Force, of all movies, that cemented my fondness for Forster. Yeah, a trashy Cannon Group flick with Chuck Norris, Forster plays a hi-jacker from Middle East with comical moustache, but somehow he was able to inject humanity and serious conviction to his stock bad guy. It's all too easy to not pay attention to a role like that, but you should.

Of course, he makes a really cool turn in the second-to-last Breaking Bad episode too, once again, giving great weight to a supporting role that didn't necessarily need it.

Favorite role: Max Cherry in Jackie Brown.
I have known of Clooney for most of my life, but it wasn't until Up in the Air that I finally GOT him. I mentioned earlier something about certain people forming my image of ideal men, well Clooney was the man for 2012. He totally sold me the lifestyle of a man who loves every minute of firing people for living and traveling (and I don't mean like travel around the world and see places but fly across the country and stay in a hotel nearest to the airport) as Ryan Bingham. Even if he was self-absorbed and kind of a cock, he was able to add a great deal of likability to his character as well. And I think he did that by just being George Clooney.

Ever since, I've been looking forward to seeing him in every role he's in.

Favorite performance: Ryan Bingham in Up in The Air
Favorite performance: Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon
Average listal rating (1243 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects
Among the most charismatic and authoritative personalities in American cinema. Few can top him in that regard. No two ways about it. I'm almost expecting him to turn out really dumb in real life just to be even more amazed how genuinely intelligent he constantly seems in his roles.

One minor gripe though: his authority inevitably suffers a bit of an inflation when subsequently being cast as coaches, leaders or officers of some kind. It's becoming too easy to take it for granted.

Favorite performance: Alonzo Harris in Training Day
Average listal rating (1384 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Favorite performance: Hans Gruber in Die Hard
Favorite performance: Agent Cooper, goddamit. In Twin Peaks.

You had me at thumb up.
...What the hell? Emilio Estevez?

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