Monday, May 25, 2009

Point of Discussion: Bad Films, Good Actors

Why can a terrible movie have one great charismatic character worth watching within all the unwatchable parts?

Take Ben Kingsley's character in Sexy Beast. He is the only character I liked. He came into the film nearly a third of the way in, and unfortunately is cut out of the film before the final third kicks off. His character is unpleasant, and unruly, and unbridled, and it makes him awesome and hilarious and terrifying compared to all the other ugly, boring, aging English ex-mobsters. He was the best actor in the cast, and he gets a short, supporting role. It leaves the rest of the film dead when he isn't there. He's the driving force of anything in the movie. What I'm saying is that if the film had been all about Ben Kingsley, or had more Ben Kingsley, it would have been a good movie. But he isn't, so it's not.Now take Robert Downey, Jr. and Woody Harrelson in A Scanner Darkly. Their characters play off each other, bouncing their wacked-out philosophies and paranoid worries off of each other lightning fast, with incidental wits sharp as knives. They're the characters with personality, personalities that feel even bigger and stronger next to Keanu's usual flat delivery, and Winona's laziness. Each of their sequences left me laughing quite vocally. But the rest of the film... well, it's dry, nearly confusing, and seems to lack substance. Excluding Downey, Jr. and Harrelson.

So, I'm asking you guys, my co-writers and readers, if you can think of any films that you feel are pretty useless films as a whole, but with memorable characters. Interesting characters. Superiorly acting characters. I think the group of black guys from Snatch can count towards my list too. They were the coolest.

- Eric T. Voigt, Please?

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