“Passion Play” – 2010. Dir. Mitch Glazer

With Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Kelly Lynch with Rhys Ifans and Bill Murray

“Normal? Fuck normal! When the hell has normal ever won a goddamn prize!?”

“Passion Play” is an interesting little film. It’s currently peaked at a 4% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been bashed by everyone who has seen it. Well, I decided to check this movie out last night, to actually see how bad it is – and wouldn’t you know it – “Passion Play” is the best film I have seen so far this year.

Don’t make fun. It’s just like my opinion, man.

The cliché overly stylized film noir movie follows Nate Poole (Mickey Rourke), a three time loser who is on the lamb from a mobster Happy Shannon (Bill Murray), because he slept with Happy’s wife.

    Nate passes through a carnival, and meets Lily (Megan Fox) who’s a sideshow attraction. She’s a beautiful girl who has wings. Yes. Wings. Literally. Nate wants to rescue Lily from the carnival where she is held by a very flamboyant and sneering man named Sam (Rhys Ifans).

Nate has an ulterior motive to saving Lily. He wants to pitch an idea to Happy. He wants to set up an attraction to display Lily and her wings. He figures that he can share the profits with Happy in return for his life.

The film is fascinating. It’s very corny and cliché, but it works and the writing is amazing. The actors are given very juicy and pulpy lines of dialogue to bounce off one another. This noir in this film feels very much like a John Huston film. And when Rourke and Murray interact with one another, it very much reminds me of the chemistry Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson had in “Key Largo”.

    Mickey Rourke is perfectly cast as the washed out trumpet player. The oxymoron of style and patheticness that Rourke brings to these roles feel so authentic and so real. The vulnerability and poise that Rourke brings is great, and this performance should be high on the list of his career best.

I’ve never seen Megan Fox in anything that I know of. She’s fine as the innocent tart (which begs the question, can a tart really be innocent). She’s a lot better than I expected. I suppose she plays her character rather vaguely – which is perfect.

Bill Murray has turned into quite an interesting actor. Ever since his ego explosion that was “Lost in Translation” I think he has carefully picked his roles. Which is why “Ghostbusters 3” hasn’t been made yet – I can’t even imagine what a nightmare of a script that is.

    As Happy Shannon, Billy Murray gives us a very subtle and subdued performance that I think could be his very best. Murray isn’t funny. Nothing he says is funny, though he has the opportunity to put a twist on it, and give a wickedly good performance as a gangster named Happy Shannon.

Everything about Murray’s performance is calm and cool. I never really thought Murray could give a straight performance. Think of his best, “Groundhog’s Day”, “Lost in Translation”, “Rushmore” – he’s very good, but he’s still Bill Murray.

Alright, I’ll just say it. Bill Murray is perfect in this movie. He gives such a small performance, but the progression his character makes is pretty amazing, given the limited screen time and development we get of his character. Bill Murray is going to win an Oscar yet. Just you wait and see.

I mean, my little Cinnamon Girl is going to see this. So you should too.

“Passion Play” is a very offbeat and bizarre movie. If “Passion Play” were directed by David Lynch, David Cronenberg or even the Coen Brothers, critics would have loved the shit out of it. Sometimes people just hate a movie to jump on the bandwagon. “Heaven’s Gate” ring any bells?

Rating: 10/10

“Killshot” – 2008. Dir. John Madden

With Mickey Rourke, Dianne Lane, Thomas Jane, Rosario Dawson with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Hal Holbrook

“Real Life? What the fuck is real life?”

“Killshot” is one of those interesting little films that for one reason or another flown under the radar. It’s a film based on an Elmore Leonard novel, which stars Mickey Rourke as a Native American hitman Armand “The Blackbird” Degas, Diane Lane and Thomas Jane as a married couple who separate than become witnesses to Blackbird’s botched scheme put together by his new partner Richie Nix (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is a four time loser.

The start of the film is a flashback of Rourke, showing him and two other men storm a hospital at night, and kill someone unknown – while leaving the one of the men comes face to face with a nurse, spotting his Rourke pulls his gun and aims to shoot the witness but instead hits the young thug who just so happens to be his little brother.

This film is your above average thriller that has an excellent group of actors that keep us interested in the film, even when it does start to drag a little bit. The narrative first starts with Blackbird’s story, than shifts to Lane and Jane and then stays somewhere in between.

Mickey Rourke is wonderful in this film, and I think it is his finest performance. Rourke holds zero emotion in his face or in his eyes in this film, and speaks with a monotone mumble of a Native American accent. He moves very gracefully and poetically in the film – he seems to have all the answers and all the solutions.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become something on a mystery wrapped in a riddle. He’s an AMAZING actor! He is so fucking over-the-top in this film it’s as if he’s channeling Eric Roberts. He steals every scene, and you just enjoy watching him so much. Its unreal the range this guy has as an actor, and like I said before I think that Gordon-Levitt is the second coming of Heath Ledger who was the second coming of Daniel Day-Lewis.

Thomas Jane and Diane Lane are good in the film, but they aren’t really given much to do, aside from running away from Rourke. Their characters aren’t nearly developed enough for us to really care about them, but I think it’s the fact that Diane Lane and Thomas Jane are on screen playing them, that substitutes for character development.

I’ve always felt using good character actors like Lane and Jane is a very smart way of skimping out on character development. We get the idea that they’re not happy, but we’re not given much to work with, so we rely on their chemistry and their craft as an actor to pull us through. It works and works pretty well.

This film holds your interest with its impressive cast but it will lose you on its rough editing and dragged out storylines that you don’t really seem to care much about. The film shines when Rourke and Gordon-Levitt are on screen, and that keeps you wanting more. It’s pulp material – I mean, what else would one expect from Elmore Leonard?

Rourke is on one hell of an upswing*, I just really hope he doesn’t over expose himself and float back into “straight to DVD land” or even worse – pull a Steven Segal and do a “straight to Spike TV”. That would be heartbreaking. I don’t think he will, because Rourke is so capable of being able to give great performances. And I promise you, “Killshot” gives you Rourke’s best.

Rating: 7/10

*Look people, Rourke’s comeback didn’t happen with “The Wrestler” – that was his Hollywood comeback. Rourke’s part in Steve Buscemi’s “Animal Factory” where he played the crossdressing cell mate of Edward Furlong and then in Sean Penn’s wonderful little ensemble “The Pledge”; that’s what started his comeback as a great character actor “Sin City” and “The Wrestler” proved that Rourke can once again star in Hollywood films like “Iron Man 2” because he has a little bit of box office appeal.

“The Expendables” – 2010. Dir. Sylvester Stallone

With Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, David Zayas with Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eric Roberts.

“Bring it, happy feet.” – Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren)

If you’re expecting a “thinking man’s blockbuster” – ala “Inception” – you’d better move on.  If you’re looking for an over-the-top ball buster of a kick-ass action movie with nothing but a bunch of older guys who look better than I do – than you’re in luck because “The Expendables” is a delight.

This is a film with a weak storyline, an almost absurd script and some shotty acting.  But what this film has to offer is an unstoppable action sequence at the climax of the film, a huge loud gun that Terry Crews carries, a wickedly fun over the top performance by Eric Roberts and landmark moment in cinema history where Stallone, Willis and Arnold all share camera time in the same scene.

The story is simple: a band of mercenaries called the Expendables are hired guns that go from job to job while kicking ass and taking names.  The Expendables are led by Barney (Stallone) who’s right hand men are Lee Christmas (Statham) and Ying Yang (Jet Li) who will follow Barney to the gates of hell.  The rest of the band is made up of Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), Hale Caesar (Crews) and Randy Couture.

They’ve just finished a job, and are hanging out at Tool’s (who is a former Expendable) tattoo shop awaiting the next job.  Mickey Rourke plays Tool who has limited screen time, but he’s still fun to see.  Tool gets a call, it’s an offer that he describes as “to hell and back” and Barney goes to meet his contact in a small church.  Inside the small church is Bruce Willis who dubs himself “Mr. Church” and as Barney asks him about the job, Mr. Church tells him they’re waiting for one more.  The front door swings open, and in walks Arnold.  It’s pretty sexy.  We learn that Arnold is Sly’s old partner and have contempt for one another.  I don’t really want to ruin the scene and Arnold’s cameo for you, so I’ll stop here.  All I have to say, is this scene could have been so much better.

The first half of this film is pretty slow.  We get a lot of unneeded character development, especially for Statham’s character.  We get more insight and development for Statham than we do anyone else, which I find lame – unless Stallone is planning on making a franchise and Statham will carry it on.  We learn little about Sly, other than he’s a hard-ass.  We learn that Dolph is crazy and has blood lust (what else is new?) and that Jet Li wants to make more money for his family.

This film is filled with so much absurdity and some horrible dialogue with little emotional connection – yet there is a small scene with Mickey Rourke and Stallone.  He tells Sly about a story, when he used to work with Sly, about how he watched a woman jump from a bridge and how with all the lives he’s taken, he could have saved one, but he chose not to.  It was actually very touching.

Aside from the action and the throwback cast, what really works for the film is the chemistry between the actors.  The chemistry between Rourke and Stallone is excellent, same with the three-way of Stallone, Willis and Arnold – it works so well because all these dudes are friends in real life.  Lundgren and Stallone are good on camera together, as is Statham and Li with Stallone – it all works pretty well because we know these guys had a ball making this film together.

Where this film really excelled is the fact that Stallone knows how to direct an action movie, and his skills are very well demonstrated in the final act of the film.  While Randy Couture is a little flat, and Terry Crews doesn’t have much to do, aside from shooting the most amazing fucking gun ever on screen – and Bruce Willis is underused, and Mickey Rourke just kind of hangs around – although Rourke is better in “The Expendables” than he was in “Iron Man 2” – I enjoyed Jet Li, and Statham didn’t annoy me as much in this film as he previously has.  What picks this film up is Dolph Lundgren and his hard bent attitude.  I mean, Lundgren is hot.  Seriously.

Next to Lundgren being a huge plus in the film is the fact that Eric Robert’s plays the villain of the film.  He’s a rouge CIA agent that has essentially taken over a Central American country to harvest cocaine.  Roberts has had a bumpy career, but one thing is for sure – he’s never given enough credit.  What Roberts has always been very, very good at is being over the top.  Giving performances that are over-the-top is an art form, because most of the time, they’re really bad (think Dustin Hoffman in “Confidence”).  Roberts makes being bad, look so fucking good.  Roberts is the highlight of the film.

Look this isn’t a great film, it’s a B film – and it’s not like a “Planet Terror” or a “Hell Ride”, it’s not a good movie made badly to be good – it’s just a bad movie, but it’s just so awesome.  Is this a good movie?  No.  But, is it a good movie?  Hell yes.

The only question I have for Sly is: where the fuck is Kurt Russell and Carl Weathers?

Rating: 7/10

“Iron Man 2” – 2010. Dir. Jon Favreau.

With Robert Downey, Jr., Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery with Samuel L. Jackson and Garry Shandling.

If you could make God bleed, people will cease to believe in Him. There will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come.”

  • Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke)

Yes I was one of the people who saw this at the 12:01 showing at IMAX (and still went to work the next morning). The much anticipated “Iron Man 2” starts off pretty damn good. We are in Moscow and seeing an old man watching Tony Stark’s press conference (from the end of “Iron Man”) and he lays there moaning and grunting. He keeps calling for Ivan. We cut to a dark hallway where a man leans up against a wall in the shadows. The name Ivan is repeated by the old man, and the hulking mass turns and faces the camera – it’s Mickey Rourke in all his tooth capped, crazy hair, and tattoo covered glory.

Don’t fuck with Mickey.

Ivan (Rourke) goes into the room and holds the man, the man (Ivan’s father) tells Ivan that he should be building the Iron Man suit – not Tony Stark. The old man dies and Rourke screams. He begins constructing his own Iron Man exoskeleton and the credits roll as Rourke works.

I don’t want to dig any deeper into the plot because I don’t want to leak out any spoilers to those of you who read this and haven’t seen it yet. I’ll essentially break the film down a little bit and tell you what I thought worked and what I thought didn’t.

A problem that arises with “Iron Man 2” is that we were so, so very spoiled by Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. “The Dark Knight” forced all these other superhero movies to be better, to be taken more seriously. A big fault of “Iron Man 2” is that it tries to be too smart and too witty and it sometimes comes across as really contrived and arrogant. The film introduces us to a slew of Stark gadgets that reminds us of how the James Bond franchise used to be.

Mickey Rourke is good in the film, but doesn’t have a chance to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor (which I called after seeing the trailer – I’m eating my words once again. Fuck!). The character of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash is so underdeveloped it makes me upset. Scarlett Johansson really adds nothing more to the film except T & A and some slightly perverted lines of dialogue.

Robert Downey, Jr. is well Robert Downey, Jr. in the film and the character of Tony Stark is almost too witty in the film, in almost every scene with Stark there is a spoken line, or an action taken by him that is supposed to make us laugh. A few of them do, but it becomes so very redundant.

Don Cheadle is a much added bonus to the film, he’s so much better than Terrance Howard and the climactic battle with Iron Man and War Machine is very sexy. Sam Jackson plays Sam Jackson; as the slightly angry black man who gives us his signature Jules Winfield from “Pulp Fiction”.

The two really special treats of the film are Garry Shandling playing a Senator on the Armed Services Committee who is trying to get the Iron Man suit turned over to the United States government so they can mass produce it and use it in their military. It’s really fun to see Shandling in this film, he’s always been so funny and it is way cool of Favreau to cast him in this.

The second is Sam Rockwell playing Justin Hammer (essentially the evil Tony Stark). Rockwell is on fire in the film, and remains to be the biggest highlight. He’s wickedly funny and goofy and delivers the best lines of the film. This film just displays the capability of a wonderful actor. The only problem I have with his character is near the end of the film, it feels like there is unfinished business with him.

I’m sure most of you know to stay until after the credits for a special extra scene. As the credits rolled my friend Peyton and I were excited, talking about what we were going to see. We’re both really hip to the Marvel universe and are familiar with The Avengers and the other Marvel films coming out to work towards the ultimate Avengers movie. I was personally insulted by the clip after the credits. I just expected more.

Another distracting factor in the film was the pushing of AC/DC. Just let it go.

One trait the film does share with with first film is that the ending battle scene with Whiplash is anticlimactic – much like the first film’s ending battle sequence with the Iron Mongerer was anticlimactic.  I’m not against an anticlimactic ending, I think they are excellent in certain films – “Eastern Promises” comes to the top of my mind – but not in an Iron Man film.

This film is your above average summer blockbuster. It falls out of line with the first Iron Man film by pushing a lot of different story arcs on you. It fails to reach the magnitude of the first film. What the film is really lacking is that of a performance of Jeff Bridges in the first film. Rockwell comes close to Bridges’ performance but his character wasn’t developed as well as Bridges’ was.

But Jeff Bridges is one of a kind isn’t he?

Was anyone else half expecting Stark to paint his Iron Man suit black and comb his hair down, put on some eye liner and do some weird dance number?

Review: 6.5/10

Top 25 1/2 Performances of the Decade

I intended on making a list of Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (I did start with Supporting Actor). But I thought it would be better to lump them all into one solid and concrete list. I’m sure there is going to be much disagreement. So, let me know what you guys think.

25. – Richard Gere as Billy Flynn in “Chicago”

I honestly think Gere gets a bad rap – he’s an extremely talented actor who began the second act of his career with “Chicago”. They found the most unbelievable actor to sing and dance – and he knocked it out of the park. Gere supports this film on his shoulders and completely holds it together. His performances in this film paved the way for his roles in “The Hoax”, “I’m Not There”, and “Brooklyn’s Finest”. And what’s with “rom-coms”? Can people stop fucking saying that? It’s so annoying.

24. – Anne Hathaway as Kym in “Rachel Getting Married”

I didn’t see this film until about a couple of months ago. I don’t know why I strayed away from it for so long. I’ve always had this love for Jonathan Demme (even though I think “Silence of the Lambs” is grossly overrated and “Manhunter” is a far superior film). The way Hathaway breaks out of her typecast and breaks our hearts is wonderfully painful to watch. A quick note: I love the movie a lot, but the part I find most distracting (no, it’s not the wedding montage, I liked that part) is the actor who plays the best man of the wedding is like this shitty hybrid of George Clooney and Kevin Spacey. Weird.

23. – Ray Liotta as Henry Oak in “Narc”

Ray Liotta has made a whirlwind of shit. He’s always enjoyable for me, even if he is walking through his role in “Wild Hogs”. I can’t help but always be captivated by him, I think he’s an incredible actor and has this way of commanding your attention. His performance in “Narc” is just fantastic. He plays the clichéd rage induced cop who’s seeking the killer of his partner. Liotta gained about 40 pounds for his role – and what adds to the gaining of weight, is the realism of the flashback sequences where Liotta’s character appears fit and trim. If you haven’t seen this film, do so soon.

22. – Robert Downey, Jr. as Paul Avery in “Zodiac”

This seems like an easy sell, Downey, Jr. playing an alcoholic, drug addicted and charming beat reporter. But this was really the first role that he got to sink his teeth into since he’s troubled past. With his past experience with drugs and alcohol I feel as if Downey, Jr. could really play this character that spirals out of control to full authenticity.

21. – Mickey Rourke as Randy the Ram in “The Wrestler”

This is one of the best performances I have ever seen. What keeps this from getting higher on my list is the fact that I’m not sure how much actual “acting” Rourke does. I think he took elements of his personal life and mimicked them to Randy the Ram’s life. I know some people disagree, but I think that Penn’s winning his second Oscar for “Milk” was the correct performance to reward. Without “The Wrestler” Rourke would have fallen back to Eric Roberts land.

20. – Ellen Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb in “Requiem for a Dream”

The fact that Burstyn lost to Julia Roberts makes me sick. I like Julia Roberts, she’s cute, funny, and has an amazing sparkle in her eye. That being said: she’s not an Oscar winning actress (although more so than Bullock or Berry). Ellen Burstyn gives the performance of her career in this film. This film may be the roughy of all roughies – and due to her performance this film will stay in my mind forever.

19. – Daniel Day-Lewis as Jack Slavin in “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”

Day-Lewis gives a remarkable performance in his most flawed film. He balances inner rage and compassionate love for his daughter Rose. You find yourself loathing his character due to his selfishness and incest riddled relationship with his daughter – yet you find it in your heart to forgive him, and to understand his true love for Rose.

18. – Paul Newman as Jack Rooney in “Road to Perdition”

Newman should have won a Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in this film. I felt that Cooper winning was his make-up Oscar for not even being nominated for “American Beauty”. I feel that Newman gives one of his most subtle performances in this film. He’s the loving father figure to Tom Hanks, but has to chose between his own son (Daniel Craig) and Tom Hanks. One of the most heartbreaking scenes ever filmed is when Tom Hanks finally catches up with Newman.

17. – Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Casino Royal”

This is how you reboot a franchise! I am a James Bond super freak and I own them all. I’ve had a liking for each individual Bond (even George Lazenby). I’ve felt that the producers have always gotten it right for 007. I remember being pissed when they signed Craig, I was a strong supporter of Clive Owen (who I still think would have been a great Bond – check out ANY BMW Films add on Youtube and you’ll see my point). Daniel Craig gives us the perfect James Bond. He’s a stone cold killer. The way James Bond should be.

16. – Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho”

I want to be Patrick Bateman (well…not the homicidal serial killer part). But deep down inside, don’t we all have an element of ourselves that is Patrick Bateman? Don’t we all from time to time get filled with disgust and greed? Or is it just me?

15. – Cate Blanchett as Sheba Hart in “Notes of a Scandal”

Blanchett is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, and she’s one of the greatest ACTORS ever. She’s just remarkable in everything she’s in (well…maybe not that last Indiana Jones movie). As Sheba Hart she engages into an inappropriate relationship with a 14 year old student of hers, which is both erotic and haunting. What she’s doing is wrong, but what gets done to her by Judi Dench is ten times worse.

14. – Alec Baldwin as Juan Tripp in “The Aviator”

Baldwin is remarkable in the way he’s rebuilt his career over the past decade. The guy went from being a tabloids wet dream. His personal life took a tremendous toll on his profession career, but with an Oscar nominated turn in “The Cooler” it spring boarded him into working with Scorsese, Robert DeNiro and his staple, “30 Rock”. As Juan Tripp he’s one of the most menacing corporate villains, standing second only to Gordon Gekko.

13. – Sean Penn as Paul Rivers in “21 Grams”

This is one of the most heartbreaking performances ever. How he won for “Mystic River” over “21 Grams” is bullshit. Probably because it was a Clint Eastwood film.

12. – Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill “the Butcher” Cutting in “Gangs of New York”.

Day-Lewis single handily saves this film from the utter nightmare it could have been. If he wasn’t in this film to counteract the terrible performance of Cameron Diaz and the miscasting of the decade of Leonardo DiCaprio – this film would have been a sheer train wreck of a great director’s most personal project. How he lost to Adrian Brody for “The Pianist”, I’ll never understand.

11. – Ted Levine as The Warden in “Shutter Island”

Levine was only in three scenes in this film. He had only one scene that last about ten minutes with dialogue. This is the perfect example of less is more; by showing us everything about this character without telling us one thing about him. Levine is absolutely jaw dropping in this role. He shows us what a great, great actor he really is. This film should pave the way for meatier roles on the horizon for Levine.

10. – David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow in “Good Night, Good Luck”

I think there is always hesitation when an actor takes on the role of an icon like Murrow. David Strathairn has always been one of my favorite character actors – from his roles in “Eight Men Out”, “The River Wild” and “LA Confidential”. In “Good Night, Good Luck” he finally becomes the leading man that he deserves to be. He’s absolutely amazing as Murrow and gives the performance of his career.

9. – Heath Ledger as The Joker in “The Dark Knight” and Enis Del Mar in “Brokeback Mountain”

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about his performance as the Joker. I guess the SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Oscar said all that there could be said. And for “Brokeback”, he was overshadowed by PSH for “Capote”. What a shame, a real shame. It’s hard for me to pick which performance of his is better? Sometimes I lean towards The Joker, and other times I lean towards Enis. Face it, they’re both perfect.

8 ½. – Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido Contini in “Nine”

Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest actor I have ever seen. I will challenge anyone who claims that someone is better. Sure, you can throw around Bogart or Brando or DeNiro. But I will stack his performance in “My Left Foot” and “There Will Be Blood” against any Brando or DeNiro performance. In “Nine” Day-Lewis talks with a genuine Italian accent, and sings (though he’s no Dean Martin) in an Italian accent. He is brilliant in this film, just fucking brilliant.

8. – TIE: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep in “Doubt”

This is truly a team effort. The entire film is a battle of showmanship between Streep and Hoffman. The way they fight each other is as epic as Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader. The display of their acting craft is monumental, and will bring anyone to their knees. Watch this if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s amazing to watch.

7. – George Clooney as Bob Barnes in “Syrianna”

Clooney completely broke his typecast in this role – more like fucking shattered it. He became an artist that year, actor, producer, director and writer. He’s a marvelous talent. This film is truly an ensemble piece that doesn’t have a lead actor – oil is the main focus and character of the film. But George Clooney brings the house down in his final scene. It floods me with overwhelming emotion every single time I see it.

6. – William Hurt as Richie Cussak in “A History of Violence”

This is the biggest example of less is more. The little screen time that Hurt is given, he uses it to the extreme. He’s absolutely unbelievable, and I think his character is much like that of Col. Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now”, he’s the final trial of the main character’s journey to return home to his family. His performance is burned into my brain. There are very few actors with raw talent like William Hurt.

5. – TIE: Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in “Inglorious Basterds” and Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men”

This is much like Ledger’s role in “The Dark Knight”. There’s nothing more I can say about their PERFECT performance. There is a reason both of them swept critics awards, won the SAG, Golden Globes, BAFTA and Oscar. This was their major introduction to American audiences. That’s one helluva break through! To be honest, I do have to give the edge to Waltz. He’s amazing.

4. – Julianne Moore as Charlie in “A Single Man” and for Cathy Whitaker in “Far From Heaven”

Academy, please give her an Oscar already! I don’t care if it’s for a lifetime achievement award! Just someone, do something! She’s absolutely brilliant. ‘Nough said!

3. – Colin Firth as George in “A Single Man”.

Colin Firth gave a performance like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’ve never see a performance that is so…empty. He’s unbelievably touching and gives a beautiful performance that brings me to my knees each time I see it. We need to see more Colin Firth. Now.

2. – Jeff Bridges as Ted Cole in “The Door in the Floor”

This is hands down Jeff Bridges finest performance. If you ever want to see an excellent, perfect, mind boggling performance, try and seek out Tod Williams’ “The Door in the Floor”. Bridges is heartbreaking, just plain heartbreaking. Ted Cole will stay in your heart forever.

1. – Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood”

This is the biggest tour-de-force performance ever on screen.

2010 films that have me JAZZERSIZED!

Let us look forward!

In no particular order:

“The Expendibles”

How could an action film with Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Stratham (ehh), Eric Roberts and cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis suck that bad?

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”

This is the film I’m most skeptical of. I love Oliver Stone, but “The World Trade Center” I thought was a disaster of a film, and “W” could have been epically great (it’s still enjoyable). Even though I’m leery of Shia LeBeauf in the film, the fact it takes place in our current economic climate and has Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen returning has me very excited. The addition of Frank Langella and Josh Brolin is equally as great along with Carey Mulligan. I was hoping Stone would also bring back Terrence Stamp, John C. McGinley and Hal Holbrook too.

“The Tree of Life”

Terrence Malick directing a 1950’s period piece about a boy witnessing “the loss of innocence” with Sean Penn (again!) and Brad Pitt. ‘Nough said!

Jeff Bridges' artwork for "True Grit".

“True Grit”

The Coen Brother’s making a western! A real western reuniting them with Jeff Bridges! I feel a sixth Oscar nomination for Bridges on this one. In addition to Bridges the Coen’s also bring Josh Brolin, Matt Damon and Barry Pepper to the table.

“Tron: Legacy”

Jeff Bridges in a new Tron movie… As if the special effects in the original film weren’t groundbreaking enough!

“Iron Man 2”

Robert Downey, Jr. is back as Tony Stark! This time he’s battling Mickey Rourke as a tattooed Russian who builds his own Iron Man suit. Hott! I want to make a prediction here that I told my friends Kevin and Peyton about after viewing the trailer for “Iron Man 2”, Mickey Rourke will get a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

“Fair Game”

The story of Valerie Wilson’s (Naomi Watts) outing as a covert CIA Agent by the Bush administration because her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson (played by Sean Penn) a registered Republican, spoke the truth in his report about Saddam Hussein not trying to purchase weapons of mass destruction.

“Love Ranch”

Taylor Hackford directing his wife Helen Mirren as the wife of Joe Pesci who play the couple that open the first legal brothel in Nevada, and it’s based on a true story.


Robert Rodriguez making a feature length film from his “Grindhouse” trailer with the best cast I’ve ever seen: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Lindsey Lohan, Steven Segal, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey and Robert DeNiro.

“Company Men”

A film about corporate America with Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones. Awesome.

“The Special Relationship”

The film examines the relationship between President Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) and Hillary (Julianne Moore) with Tony Blair (Michael Sheen for his third portrayal as Blair).