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For He Is The Kwisatz Haderach!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    I was reading an interview with J.K. Simmons recently and he's an extremely likable actor to me. I have never watched Oz, but I'm told he is quite good in it. Loved him as Juno's dad. I think he's woefully underused in The Closer - why is he sitting in the background while I have to watch Kyra Sedgwick parade around doing a high-school-play version of a southern drawl?

    However, I think it's universally agreed that he plays the ideal version of J. Jonah Jameson. Not just the best version of all the people that have played Jameson, but played so well that you basically could not do that role better. The question, of course, is what the yardstick is - in Jameson's case, we have lots of source material against which to compare the portrayal.

    It's harder to say this about roles that are original. Could Will Smith have been a 'better' Neo than Keanu Reeves? Maybe. But in that case there's no Neo in literature or Neo in comic books to set the standard.

    FOCUS: Who embodies a role so well that it is virtually unimaginable that it could be played better by any other person?

    ANTI-FOCUS: Who would you recast in a famous role? Whyso?

    RULE: This is not a thread to bust out your not-so-obscure movie trivia about who was actually slated to play what role. Anybody who posts anything with a sentence of the form "Did you know that [X] was originally supposed to play [Y]?" will be banninated for a term of my choosing. If I hear one fucking peep about Tom Selleck and Indiana Jones or Christopher Walken and Han Solo I will go goddamn Superfly TNT on your ass.
     
  2. Aetius

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    Ian McKellen is Gandalf the Grey.
     
  3. no use for a name

    no use for a name
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    Focus: James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. I can't imagine a better actor for that role.
     
  4. KIMaster

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    Focus-

    Lots of good choices;

    Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood". Wow; the guy beautifully captures all the anger, bitterness, sadness, and regret an old, drug-addicted has-been star. It's such an amazing performance that it supplants the actual person he was playing; when I think of Bela Lugosi, I think of Martin Landau's rendition of him.

    Malcom McDowell as Alex DeLarge in "A Clockwork Orange". Maybe the most incredible performance I've ever seen in a film; he brings way more to that character than the original novel ever could have inspired in the thoughts of its readers.

    And obviously, Arnie in the first two Terminator films.
     
  5. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    I was thinking about this earlier: Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. He absolutely stole the movie and the series from Orlando Bloom, and made a movie based on an amusement park ride into a 10 figure franchise.

    I can't imagine anybody playing the Joker better than Heath Ledger. Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker in Juno. Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden.
     
  6. DrFrylock

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    I have to say that the entire Harry Potter series is supernaturally well-cast, and somehow they managed to pick actors (even at super young ages) that have managed to carry 7-8 films extraordinarily well. Having read all 7 books, it's difficult to see any of Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Draco played better (although I bet Ron got a little ganglier than the producers would have liked). Also embodying the roles perfectly: Hagrid (although Rowling knew she would only have advisory input on casting, she did ask nicely if Robbie Coltrane could play Hagrid, and she was spot-on), and the inimitable Alan Rickman as Severus Snape.

    Interestingly Dumbledore was not-so-perfectly cast IMHO. Dumbledore's character changes over the course of the books: he starts out as this fatherly figure, but gets far more distant and serious around the 5th book. I think Richard Harris nailed the kindly, fatherly Dumbledore, but never would have been able to pull off Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore. Michael Gambon (whom I love as an actor in general) is pretty distant and serious, but doesn't carry the warm, fatherly side of the personality. Even though Dumbledore's personality progresses through the books, the switch in actors after Harris' untimely death after the 2nd movie happened too early.

    The character of Gandalf has both of these sides to his personality also, and I think Ian McKellen did an unbelievable job of transitioning over the course of three films and from scene-to-scene as needed. They could have done worse than to cast McKellen as Dumbledore at any point, but of course you don't want to typecast the guy as the only wizard in Hollywood.
     
  7. BL1Y

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    No one but Hugh Laurie could have played House. And what's so amazing is that unlike many actors who just play the same character (oh, now Indian Jones is in space, now Indiana Jones is wanted for murder, now Indiana Jones is the President...), House is the polar opposite of what Laurie's real life personality.

    As for recasting, I'd like to see either Ed Norton or John Cusack as Neo. Keanu Reeves does a great job for action-hero Neo, but he sucks at the whole transformation side of the character. Putting in someone who is a little more of a stretch would probably make the character more relatable and the story deeper than just a scifi action flick.
     
  8. KIMaster

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    I can! Jack Nicholson!



    Alt Focus-

    I wonder what the original Star Wars films would have been like if Harrison Ford wasn't the only quality actor in all three pictures. For example, what if Mark Hamill was replaced with Jan Michael Vincent? Yeah, he was a little older, but a much better actor during the late seventies.
     
    #8 KIMaster, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  9. Nom Chompsky

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    Jack Nicholson was great. Heath Ledger was transcendent. He infused the character with a darkness I hadn't ever seen before, and I can't ever unsee. Now, for me, The Killing Joke/Dark Knight Joker is THE Joker; everything else can be fun, interesting, neat, etc., but will ultimately play as camp.


     
    #9 Nom Chompsky, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  10. KIMaster

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    To be fair, I think they're very close in quality, although I prefer Nicholson's humor over Ledger's seriousness, since the idea of a billionaire dressing up as a bat to fight crime without a gun is so intrinsically fucking stupid. Such a story requires the Tim Burton humor treatment more than anything, although "The Dark Knight" was still better than either of his pictures.

    More importantly though, I think that not just Nicholson or Ledger, but several dozen other actors would have been just as good in the "Joker" role.

    It's extremely theatrical, has numerous scenes for the sole purpose of showing off what a twisted badass he is, and doesn't go much deeper into his character than "crazy villain". It's a hell of a lot easier for a quality professional actor to play than you think.
     
  11. Jimmy James

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    There is not one motherfucker dead or alive that could be Jules Winfield other than Samuel L. Jackson.
     
  12. DrFrylock

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    Heath Ledger was great, and I had heard as much before going to see the movie (without having seen any previews/trailers/etc.) I then saw the movie and went, "is he...he is! It's Heath Ledger doing Tom Waits as The Joker;" much in the same way that Johnny Depp is doing Keith Richards as Jack Sparrow.
     
  13. Nom Chompsky

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    Setting aside The Dark Knight debate (which is a worthwhile one, I just don't think it's going to come to any agreement), a couple female roles:

    Focus:

    Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada: Anna Wintour is not a sympathetic figure. Somehow, Meryl added pathos without sacrificing a whit of the resolve, humor and shrewdness that made the character so interesting. Best actor of my generation doing what she do.

    Anti-focus:

    Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body. Diablo Cody + Ellen Page = Quirky, charming ingenue. Diablo Cody + Megan Fox = Stilted, awkward archetype.
     
  14. cdite

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    [​IMG]

    Focus: No explanation needed really, awarded Best Actor with only roughly 16min of screen time. Can't see anyone else doing that for this role.
     
  15. Aetius

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    You can actually see another very respected actor, Brian Cox, take on the role in Manhunter. As good as Cox is, it just illustrates how great Hopkins was.
     
  16. Kubla Kahn

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    Got to 3rd Hopkins as Lecter.


    Dr. Lecter: Now then, tell me. What did Miggs say to you? Multiple Miggs in the next cell. He hissed at you. What did he say?
    Clarice: He said, "I can smell your cunt."
    Dr. Lecter: I see. I, myself, cannot. (waives nose in the air and sniffs from an air hole in the glass above his head) You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps … but not today.

    What a fucking bad ass.
     
  17. Juice

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    -I second Arnold as the Terminator, it's weird that it almost was Lance Henriksen or OJ Simpson

    -Clint Eastwood as [insert brooding cowboy]

    -Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown

    -Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko
     
  18. Nettdata

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    Sean Connery as Bond. Sure, there have been many, but even as good as Daniel Craig is, Connery will always be the perfect Bond to me.

    Kurt Russel as Snake Plissken. Cannot think of a better person to play that role in Escape from New York.

    Harrison Ford as Deckard (Blade Runner). Or Han Solo, for that matter. Or Indiana Jones. It's quite amazing how you don't seem to get any bleed over from the different characters; when you see Blade Runner, it's not Han or Indy, it's Deckard.

    William Shatner as James T. Kirk. Who. Else. Could really. Pull. It off? And he's 80 today, and it's "talk like James Kirk" day.

    Leonard Nimoy as Spock. To carry on with the Trek theme, Nimoy IS Spock. Spock IS Nimoy.
     
  19. Juice

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    I thought of Ford as Deckard too after I posted. A great role for him.

    Also,

    Leslie Neilsen as Frank Drebin
     
  20. Crown Royal

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    Bruce Willis as John McClane. If they ever remake DieHard, then somebody has to die. LOTS of somebodies. That role goes to nobody else, and that's that.

    Robert DeNiro as Jake LaMotta. The most deserved Oscar for best actor ever, and in my opinion the greatest screen performance of all time. Only a team with enough chutzpah like Scorsese and DeNiro could make such an utterly unlikable character so compelling.