Top Ten Movie Presidents

Since today is President’s Day, I wanted to be just as cliché and in vogue as the rest of the bloggers and film sites out on the internts! Enjoy, yet another list, from me.

10. Jack Nicholson, “Mars Attacks”

9. Bill Pullman, “Independence Day”

8. Harrison Ford, “Air Force One”

7. Michael Douglas, “The American President”

6. Jack Lemmon and James Garner, “My Fellow Americans”

5. John Travolta, “Primary Colors”

4. Peter Sellers, “Dr. Strangelove”

3. Anthony Hopkins, “Nixon”

2. Jeff Bridges, “The Contender”

1. Henry Fonda, “Fail/Safe”


102 Greatest Performances of All Time

Well this took me a couple of weeks to decide who to put on this list and where. Believe me; I know there are a TON of great, great, great performances that I had to leave out of this list. There are many great actors who appear on this list, and not on this list. Look, homeboy had to make some concessions. There are a few blatant omissions on this list. Some of the omissions are made up for by that actor’s performance in a different film, that I found was a similar performance to said left out performance, but I deemed the including performance superior. Also, some performances that were left out of this list, which show up on every other acting list, I don’t find as remarkable as most do. Sorry and enjoy.

102. Peter Weller, “Robocop”

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

101. Nick Nolte, “The Thin Red Line”

“The closer you are to Caesar, the greater the fear.”

100. David Strathairn, “Good Night, and Good Luck”

“We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. Good night, and good luck.”

99. Albert Brooks, “Drive”

“My partner is a belligerent asshole with his back against the wall, and now – so am I.”

98. Christopher Plummer, “The Insider”

“What the hell do you think I am? A 78 year-old assassin? You think I’m gonna karate him to death with this notepad?”

97. Ray Liotta, “Goodfellas”

“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster.”

96. Eric Bogosian, “Talk Radio”

“You’re fascinated by the gory details! You’re mesmerized by your own fear. You revel in floods, car accidents, unstoppable diseases, you’re happiest when others are in pain. That’s where I come in isn’t it? I’m here to lead you by the hand through the dark forest of your own hatred and anger and humiliation.”

95. Dianne Ladd, “Wild at Heart”

“Don’t turn away from love, Sailor.”

94. Brad Pitt, “12 Monkey’s”

“You know what crazy is? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example.”

93. Bill Murray, “Lost in Translation”

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

92. Viggo Mortensen, “Eastern Promises”

“Anger is dangerous. It makes people do stupid things.”

91. Brian Cox, “Manhunter”

“Don’t think you can persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.”

90. Bruce Dern, “Coming Home”

“What I’m saying is – I do not belong in this house!”

89. Michael Douglas, “Wall Street”

“Every battle is won, before it is fought.”

88. Thomas Jane, “Boogie Nights”

“He’s got coke and he’s got cash, in that safe, in that bedroom and if we leave here without it, man we’re fuckin’ idiots, man! We came here to motherfuckin’ do something and we can fucking do it, alright? Are you with me?”

87. Michael Rooker, “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”

“If you shoot someone in the head with a .45 every time you kill somebody, it becomes like your fingerprint, see? But if you strangle one, stab another, and one you cut up, and one you don’t, then the police don’t know what to do. They think you’re four different people. What they really want, what makes their job so much easier, is pattern. What they call a modus operandi. That’s Latin. Bet you didn’t know any Latin, did you kid?”

86. Gene Hackman, “The Conversation”

“I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of murder.”

85. Gary Oldman, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

“We are not so very different, you and I. We’ve both spent our lives looking for the weaknesses in one another.”

84. Paul Newman, “Hud”

“I’ll remember you, honey. You’re the one that got away.”

83. Robert Duvall, “Apocalypse Now”

“Charlie don’t surf!”

82. Tom Cruise, “Magnolia”

“In this life, it’s not what you hope for, it’s not what you deserve – it’s what you take.”

81. Warren Oates, “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”

“Nobody loses all the time.”

80. Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”

“You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don’t have time to think about how many’s with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that’s about to set down on him.”

79. Robert De Niro, “Cape Fear”

“You learn about loss.”

78. Russell Crowe, “The Insider”

“I’m just a commodity to you, aren’t I? I could be anything. Right? Anything worth putting on between commercials.”

77. Helen Mirren, “The Long Good Friday”

“Don’t treat me like one of your thugs!”

76. Mickey Rourke, “Barfly”

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

75. Dennis Hopper, “Blue Velvet”

“In dreams, I walk with you. In dreams, I talk with you.”

74. Jodie Foster, “The Accused”

“You don’t understand how I feel! I’m standing there with my pants down and my crotch hung out for the world to see and three guys are sticking it to me, a bunch of other guys are yelling and clapping and you’re standing there telling me that that’s the best you can do. Well, if that’s the best you could do, then your best sucks! Now, I don’t know what you got for selling me out, but I sure as shit hope it was worth it!”

73. Anthony Hopkins, “Silence of the Lambs”

“You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L’Air du Temps, but not today.”

72. Willem Dafoe, “The Last Temptation of Christ”

“It is, accomplished!”

71. Uma Thurman, “Pulp Fiction”


70. Rock Hudson, “All That Heaven Allows”

“I can’t shoot straight anymore.”

69. William Hurt, “The Big Chill”

“A long time ago we knew each other for a short period of time; you don’t know anything about me. It was easy back then. No one had a cushier berth than we did. It’s not surprising our friendship could survive that. It’s only out there in the real world that it gets tough.”

68. Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”

“Because I bloody well stammer!”

67. Harvey Keitel, “Mean Streets”

“You know what the Queen said? If I had balls, I’d be King.”

66. Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”

“Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. HIT ME!”

65. Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men”

“Anywhere not in your pocket. Where it’ll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.”

64. Nicolas Cage, “The Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call: New Orleans”

“Do you have any coke? I accidentally snorted heroine.”

63. Liam Neeson, “Schindler’s List”

“What are you doing? These are mine. These are my workers. They should be on my train. They’re skilled ammunition workers. They’re essential. Essential girls!”

62. Johnny Depp, “Ed Wood”

“Boy, Mr. Lugosi, you must lead such an exciting life! When is your next picture coming out?”

61. Morgan Freeman, “Million Dollar Baby”

“Frankie likes to say that boxing is an unnatural act, that everything in boxing is backwards: sometimes the best way to deliver a punch is to step back… But step back too far and you ain’t fighting at all.”

60. Christian Bale, “American Psycho”

“My mask of sanity is about to slip.”

59. Don Cheadle, “Hotel Rwanda”

“They told me I was one of them, and I… the wine, chocolates, cigars, style… I swallowed it. I swallowed it, I swallowed all of it. And they handed me their shit. I have no… no history. I have no memory. I’m a fool.”

58. Robert Mitchum, “Night of the Hunter”

“Children? Ohhhhh children!”

57. Jack Nicholson, “Chinatown”

“Have you ever head of the expression: let sleeping dogs lie?”

56. Hillary Swank, “Boys Don’t Cry”

“Dear Lana, by the time you read this I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right, Memphis isn’t that far off. I’ll be taking that trip down the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for you. Love always and forever, Brandon.”

55. John Malkovich, “Being John Malkovich”

“I have seen a world that NO man should see!”

54. Tom Berenger, “Platoon”

“Shut up! Shut up and take the pain! Take the pain!”

53. Marlon Brando, “The Godfather”

“I said that I would see you because I had heard that you were a serious man, to be treated with respect. But I must say no to you and let me give you my reasons. It’s true I have a lot of friends in politics, but they wouldn’t be so friendly if they knew my business was drugs instead of gambling which they consider a harmless vice. But drugs, that’s a dirty business.”

52. Dustin Hoffman, “Tootsie”

“I don’t believe in hell. I believe in unemployment, but not hell.”

51. Kevin Spacey, “American Beauty”

“I feel like I’ve been in a coma for the past twenty years. And I’m just now waking up.”

50. Benicio Del Toro, “Che”

“Executions? Yes, we have executed. We execute, and we’ll continue to execute.”

49. Gena Rowlands, “A Woman Under the Influence”

“All of a sudden, I miss everyone…”

48. Colin Firth, “A Single Man”

“It takes time in the morning for me to become George, time to adjust to what is expected of George and how he is to behave. By the time I have dressed and put the final layer of polish on the now slightly stiff but quite perfect George I know fully what part I’m supposed to play.”

47. Kevin Kline, “Sophie’s Choice”

“This toast is in honor of my disassociation of you two creeps. Disassociation from you, coony captive cunt of king’s county. And you, the dreary dregs of dixie.”

46. Jack Lemmon, “Save the Tiger”

“The government has a word for survival. It’s called fraud.”

45. Al Pacino, “Godfather Part 2”

“Fredo, you’re nothing to me now. You’re not a brother, you’re not a friend. I don’t want to know you or what you do. I don’t want to see you at the hotels, I don’t want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won’t be there. You understand?”

44. Michael Fassbender, “Shame”


43. Denzel Washington, “Malcolm X”

“Cats that hung out together trying to find a solution found nothing. Cats that might have probed space or cured cancer, West Indian Archie might haved been a mathematical genius… but we were all victims of the American social order.”

42. Dustin Hoffman, “Lenny”

“Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt gave Lou Gehrig the clap?”

41. Jimmy Stewart, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”

40. Tommy Lee Jones, “Natural Born Killers”


39. Min-sik Choi, “Oldboy”

“Even though I’m no more than a monster – don’t I, too, have the right to live?”

38. Gary Oldman, “The Contender”

“What I say the American people will believe. And do you know why? Because I will have a very big microphone in front of me.”

37. Henry Fonda, “12 Angry Men”

“It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this.”

36. Christoph Waltz, “Inglorious Basterds”

“What a tremendously hostile world that a rat must endure. Yet not only does he survive, he thrives. Because our little foe has an instinct for survival and preservation second to none… And that Monsieur is what a Jew shares with a rat.”

35. Tie – Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”

“You’re a wicked, wicked woman – Martha.”

34. Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Antichrist”

“Nature is Satin’s church.”

33. Daniel Day-Lewis, “In the Name of the Father”

“Was I always bad, was I?”

32. Nick Nolte, “Affliction”

“Love? What the fuck do you know about love?”

31. Humphrey Bogart, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”

“Nobody puts one over on Fred C. Dobbs.”

30. Katharine Hepburn, “Bringing Up Baby”

“Your golf ball, your running board, your car? Is there anything in the world that doesn’t belong to you?”

29. Paul Newman, “The Verdict”

“You couldn’t hack it as a lawyer. You were a bag man for the boys downtown and you still are, I know about you.”

28. William Hurt, “A History of Violence”

“When you dream, are you still Joey?”

27. Heath Ledger, “Brokeback Mountain”

“You don’t know nothin’ about that.”

26. Bob Hoskins, “Mona Lisa”

“She was trapped. From the first time he met her. She was trapped. Like a bird in a cage. But he couldn’t see it.”

25. Marlon Brando, “On the Waterfront”

“I coulda been somebody.”

24. Ellen Burstyn, “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

“If you ask me that one more time, I’m gonna beat you to death. Just sit back there and relax and enjoy life, huh?”

23. Al Pacino, “Dog Day Afternoon”

“I don’t wanna talk to some flunky pig trying to calm me man.”

22. Gregory Peck, “The Boys from Brazil”

“Do you know what I saw on the television in my motel room at one o’clock this morning? Films of Hitler! They are showing films about the war! The movement! People are fascinated! The time is ripe! Adolf Hitler is alive!”

21. Robert De Niro, “Taxi Driver”

“You’re only as healthy as you feel.”

20. Jeff Bridges, “The Door in the Floor”

“Don’t you ever, never ever, open the door in the floor.”

19. Sean Penn, “21 Grams”

“The earth turned to bring us closer. It turned on itself and in us, until it finally brought us together in this dream.”

18. Ben Kinsley, “Gandhi”

“Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.”

17. Peter Sellers, “Dr. Strangelove”

“I can – WALK!”

16. Tom Hanks, “Philadelphia”

“I’m ready.”

15. Jack Lemmon, “Glengarry Glen Ross”

“What does that mean? Why would it not… Oh, fuck you. You do not know your job. That’s what I’m saying. You do not know your job. That’s what I’m saying. A man IS his job and you are fucked at yours.”

14. Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

“It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.”

13. Roy Scheider, “All That Jazz”

“To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting.”

12. Harvey Keitel, “Bad Lieutenant”

“I’m sorry Lord, I’ve done so many bad things.”

11. Daniel Day-Lewis, “Gangs of New York”

“I die, a true American.”

10. Ralph Fiennes, “Schindler’s List”

“I pardon you.”

9. Jack Nicholson, “Five Easy Pieces”

“I move around a lot, not because I’m looking for anything really, but ’cause I’m getting away from things that get bad if I stay.”

8. Marlon Brando, “A Streetcar Named Desire”

“I never met a dame yet that didn’t know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and there’s some of them that give themselves credit for more than they’ve got.”

7. Robert De Niro, “Raging Bull”

“That’s entertainment.”

6. Peter O’Toole, “Lawrence of Arabia”

“I pray that I may never see the desert again. Hear me, God.”

5. Jimmy Stewart, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

“Either I’m dead right, or I’m crazy!”

4. William Hurt, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”

“The nicest thing about feeling happy is that you think you’ll never be unhappy again.”

3. Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”


2. Meryl Streep, “Sophie’s Choice”

“No! No! Don’t make me choose! Please!”

  1. Daniel Day-Lewis, “My Left Foot”

    “Fuck all love that is not 100 percent commitment!”

Dustin Hoffman’s Top Ten Performances

    I’m obsessed with HBO’s new series “Luck”. I was sold on the announcement of the show especially when it’s starring Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Dennis Farina, and I after watching the pilot five times, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the best television pilot that I’ve ever seen. Hoffman headlining, as well as producing, “Luck” marks the first time that an A list actor has starred in a television show. Maybe this will pave the way for others like Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro to headline a show? Here are my top ten Hoffman performances.

“Lenny” 1974 Dir. Bob Fosse

“Tootsie” 1982 Dir. Sydney Pollack

“Luck” – Pilot 2012 Dir. Michael Mann

“Rainman” 1988 Dir. Barry Levinson

“Little Big Man” 1970 Dir. Arthur Penn

“Straw Dogs” 1971 Dir. Sam Peckinpah

“Wag the Dog” 1997 Dir. Barry Levinson

“Hook” 1991 Dir. Steven Spieberg

“Marathon Man” 1976 Dir. John Schlesinger

“Dick Tracy” 1990 Dir. Warren Beatty

“The Grey” 2012 Dir. Joe Carnahan

With Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo, Joe Anderson, James Badge Dale and Dermot Mulroney

“If we don’t move and work now, we’re fucked.”


    I’ve had a love affair with Joe Carnahan’s films. Like most love affairs, it’s been off and on. His film “Narc” is one of the best that the “cop on the edge” genre has to offer. “Smokin’ Aces” let me down, though the visual style wet my beak enough to keep me engaged, to keep me wanting more Carnahan. “The A-Team” was his Hollywood film that garnered enough success for him to make his boldest and most commanding film to date, “The Grey”.

    Liam Neeson, who has become the world’s most bona fide badass due to his juggernaut of a performance in “Taken”, headlines the cast of eclectic character actors who portray a group of rough necks whose plane crashes in the frozen Alaska wilderness and are being hunted by a pack of wolves. Fuck yes.

    Neeson has made a remarkable transition from young European thespian to the mentor figure, to a 59 year old action hero. What sets Neeson apart from the flock of action stars that have migrated into making the “Expendables” films is he’s a truly remarkable actor who now fuses his talent with action. This allows him to breathe the proper amount of life and depth into each action oriented character he plays.

    Joe Carnahan delivered Neeson a wickedly great, suspense AND drama filled screenplay that goes beyond the man versus wolf dimension the TV spots and advertisements lead you to believe. The film is more in tune with man versus nature, but really boils down to man versus self.

    The entire first act of this film deals with Neeson, named Ottway which sounds like a name that was written for Lee Marvin, writing and reflecting on a letter to his (former?) wife. The longing, the pining, to see his wife again, to touch her is heartbreakingly conveyed in Neeson’s voice, the expression he carries in his face that does more acting than most actors can do in an entire film.

    I can’t help but think that Neeson drew from his own personal experience of his wife, Natasha Richardson’s, untimely death. Ottway searches for a reason to live, until he finds himself amidst a plane wreck where he assumes the role of leader.

    The men are hunted by a pack of wolves, and leave the crash site to try and escape the hunting radius that the wolves patrol. Ottway finds himself in a position of survival, and he must defeat his own demons while fighting back against nature and himself to try and conquer it all.

    Yes the film does become predictable, and you can foresee the men getting picked off by the wolves, one by one. But the ace that Carnahan holds up his sleeve is his brilliant ending that garnished boos, and “what the fuck!?” when the credits began to roll. I won’t spoil how the film ends, but it has resonated with me since I saw the film a week ago, and has given me such an inner passion for this film, that I can’t wait to see it again.

    Oh, and just one last thing; stay through the credits because there is one last scene. I, myself, missed it. After reading about it, I really wish I had seen it.


Rating: 9/10


Year in Review: The Best of 2011

I know that I haven’t been writing lately. But I’ve been busy watching movies and reading and smoking cigarettes. I also have been working harder than Mitt Romney, which is pathetic in its own right. Anyway, if there’s anyone out there, here’s what I considered the Best of 2011, in order.

Best Films

“The Tree of Life”





“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

“A Dangerous Method”


“The Descendants”

“The Iron Lady”


“Captain America”


“Midnight in Paris”


“The Artist”

“My Week with Marylin”

“The Last Rites of Joe May”

“The Ides of March”

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

“Passion Play”

“Sucker Punch”


“X-Men First Class”



Best Director

Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”

Nicolas Winding Refn, “Drive”

Lars von Trier, “Melancholia”

David Cronenberg, “A Dangerous Method”

Best Actor

Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

Gary Oldman, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Hunter McCracken, “The Tree of Life”

Ryan Gosling, “Drive”

Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Best Actress

Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

Kiera Knightley, “A Dangerous Method”

Kristen Dunst, “Melancholia”

Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Melancholia”

Jodie Foster, “Carnage”

Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Brad Pitt, “The Tree of Life”

Robert Forster, “The Descendants”

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week with Marylin”

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life”

Carey Mulligan, “Shame”

Melanie Laurent, “Beginners”

Carey Mulligan, “Drive”

Kate Winslet, “Carnage”

Best Ensemble


“Tree of Life”

“A Dangerous Method”



Original Screenplay

“The Tree of Life”

“Midnight in Paris”




Adapted Screenplay


“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

“A Dangerous Method”



Best Television Programming


“George Harrison: Living in a Material World”

“Breaking Bad”


“Too Big to Fail”

Peter Falk

“When I hit the seat, I turned to the press agent and said ‘You’re fired!’ I didn’t want him charging me for another fucking day.”

  • Peter Falk upon losing his second consecutive Best Supporting Actor nomination


I think it’s safe to say for many, Peter Falk will always be remembered as the dimwitted, fumbling and cigar smoking Detective Colombo who in the end, always gets his man. I mean, Peter Falk only played Colombo on and off for forty years. And was nominated and won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. That’s quite an achievement of itself.

To others (mainly film snobs, who sit on their ivory film towers) Peter Falk will be remembered as something more than a bumbling television character, he’ll be remembered as a great character actor who played a fictionalized fallen angel self in “Wings of Desire”, the Grandpa in “The Princess Bride” and the solid rock of a loving husband and the ideal man opposite Gena Rowlands’ amazing turn in “A Woman Under the Influence”.

To me, Falk will always have a soft spot in my heart as the comic relief sidekick to Jack Lemon’s evil Professor Fate in the goofy and campy Blake Edwards film, “The Great Race”.


Above all that Peter Falk served a greater purpose, a more important role in Hollywood, he served as one of John Cassavetes cinematic partners that spanned the stretch of six films: “Machine Gun McCain”, “Husbands” (marking the first time Cassavetes directed Falk), “Mikey and Nicky”, “Opening Night”, “Big Trouble”, and “A Woman Under the Influence”.

Also Cassavetes guess stared on an episode of “Colombo”. That’s pretty badass.

I recently purchased the blu-ray of “Machine Gun McCain” on Amazon for $15.49. I read an excellent review, and of course I have known about the “spaghetti western” genre, but I had no idea there was a “spaghetti gangster movie” genre as well. So I pretty much, I was sold. This film was made in 1969 (on the brink of an amazing decade for film), and stars John Cassavetes, Brit Elkand, Gena Rowlands (who is Cassavetes’ wife) and Peter Falk. AND! The score is by Ennio Morricone!

Holy mangazam, Batman!

So I watched the movie, and of course I loved it. But what struck me as being so very excellent about the film was Peter Falk. Falk plays a gangster who’s been put in control of six western states, minus Nevada. He wants in to Vegas so bad he bribes a judge to pardon Hank McCain (Cassavetes) to knock off a casino because the others in the mafia won’t let Falk enter Las Vegas.

One thing that I’d like to stress about the excellent “Machine Gun McCain” is that this is film where Cassavetes first met Falk, which lead to a very long and fruitful friendship/collaboration. Also, the fact that Falk has a glass eye, is really used to his creepy and lethal advantage.

Anyway, plot aside, Falk plays a very intense and coldblooded mobster, and he’s excellent, and he’s mean and sneering and so unapologetic it’s mind numbing. So, turn the page to those of you brave souls who own the Five Films by John Cassavetes set from Criterion. Oh, I’m the only one who owns that? Oh fuck! Well, don’t worry, because most of you I know have Netflix Instant, and “A Woman Under the Influence” is now currently streaming.

It seems to me that most of the people hip to “A Woman Under the Influence” mainly know it because John Cassavetes directed it, and that Gena Rowlands gives an amazing, amazing, amazing performance. Which she does. But don’t count out Peter Falk, he’s the calm to Rowlands storm. He’s the solid rock, which will always be there for her.

Peter Falk is the ideal man.