Jersey City This Weekend – Art Studio Tour and Film Fest

If you are a Jersey City resident, or live nearby, and if you are interested in Art and Film, you’ll want to hang around town this weekend!

The 24th Annual Jersey City Artist Studio Tour is taking place. This is a highly anticipated event, where hundreds of artists show their work by opening their studios to the public, or through group exhibitions at selected locations. The art event runs from 12N to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Simultaneously, there will also be the first inaugural Jersey City Film Festival going on at several locations in downtown JC. For just $25 you can get an all access pass to see any of the film selections, and there is a full slate of offerings available.

So stick around downtown Jersey City and enjoy!

Advertisements

Cold in July – A hot ticket

If you live in the NYC area and are interested in seeing indie films, there are a few great places to see them, including the IFC Film Center.

So last week when I wandered by the theater, and IFC was advertising a preview of Cold In July, the new Jim Mickle film starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson, I couldn’t resist and snapped up a ticket.

Cold in July

The preview included a Q&A session with director and co-writer Jim Mickle, fellow co-writer and actor Nick Damici and one of the main actors Don Johnson. That was the final bullet in the chamber for me, so to speak.

.

Left to right - Jim Mickle, Nick Damici and Don Johnson doing Q&A at the IFC Film Center at the Cold in July preview

Left to right – Jim Mickle, Nick Damici and Don Johnson doing Q&A at the IFC Film Center at the Cold in July preview

.

The film is set in Texas and follows Michael C. Hall’s character through a series of horrifying and life changing events, beginning with the shooting of a burglar / intruder into his home and ending … nearly two hours later … with a major scene of carnage.

I take it from Director Mickle’s comments at the preview that given the relatively low budget, the team was ready to make some compromises on certain aspects of the shooting but I must say that this does not look like a low budget film.

The DP did a great job on the look and feel of the place, and the costumes and sets felt authentic to time and place, even though the movie was actually shot in Kingston, upstate  NY rather than Texas. You would not know it to look at the film.

Hall, Shepard and Johnson did an excellent job in their roles. Shepard plays an ex-con just out of prison and he nails the performance by being understated and yet prone to threats and violence. Hall was perfect as the “joe civilian” who is lured into a world far beyond his normal suburban life, and Johnson was wonderful as the colorful bounty hunter. Johnson added a lot of levity and light-touch moments in an overall dark themed film.

The primary issues I had with the movie were the plot inconsistencies, and there were several.

Most glaring, for me, was in the first portion of the film. We’re told someone that is shot and killed is not who the cops are saying it is and Hall and Shepard actually go dig up the body to check. Sure enough, we are told ‘nope, it isn’t the guy we were told.’

Hall becomes a bit obsessed about who is this guy in the grave? It starts nagging at him, so much so that he starts snooping around on his own to find out. This leads him into other predicaments (which is the point, of course.) However, who is in the grave is completely dropped as the movie transitions into the middle segment and we never find out.

I’m not a fan of luring an audience into something using a dead body, and being told it’s “really important” only to have it drop away into nothing, without further explanation.

But, don’t get me wrong, this movie is so well acted and well made that it’s fun to watch. I am NOT a fan of shoot-em-up films with lots of carnage, and yet I felt myself willingly going along for the ride … much like Michael C. Hall’s character.

I’d recommend giving this movie a chance. It’s got a lot to like, especially the wonderful performances by Hall, Shepard and Johnson.

 

Review: The Lego Movie

I haven’t seen too many movies in the past few months, and it’s because a lot of the movies that are released lately are crap.

One of the ways I try and avoid seeing crappy movies is by reading the reviews on RottenTomatoes.com. When movies are poorly rated by the critics (or top critics) usually with corroborating explanations of why, I’ll probably skip the film unless it’s something I really want to see even if it isn’t perfect.

The Lego Movie was given one of the highest RottenTomatoes scores I’ve seen in a long time. It had a critic rating of 97% “fresh” which is near perfection. Critics universally praised the film, said it was very smart and funny … and would have great cross-over appeal between kids and adults. That was enough to convince me to see the movie, yes, in 3D.

I was utterly disappointed in the film. There were some funny moments, mostly in the first third of the film, but then the whole premise of the movie wore thin on me. The idea is that legos are inter-changeable, but then there is one lego man Emmet, who is not (very Monty Python’s Life of Brian, incidentally).

Emmet is on a hero’s quest that is fast paced, and yet still boring. I guess kids will like how quickly the transformer-like-lego-action on the screen unfolds, but it just could not hold my interest. About halfway through the film I considered getting up to leave, but I stuck it out … although I think I nodded off for a few minutes after the halfway mark.

If you like the idea of a fluffy pop-culture romp across many different 3D lego landscapes of a town, a wild west scenario, a space adventure, blah blah blah… then you may enjoy the movie. Don’t expect the laugh-a-minute reviews to be accurate, they’re not. The movie has some amusing moments, but on the whole there was a lot of silent watching in the packed theater today.

Spoiler Alert: The real “bottom” of the movie, for me, was zooming out to see Will Ferrell, (the voice of President Business when we’re inside lego-land) turning into the real life father with the giant lego set in the basement as his own adult playground that his son has “intruded upon.” Emmet, the hero of someone trying to be unique, is the son and dad soon realizes his “mistake” of trying to Krazy Glue the different lego creations together permanently because it doesn’t allow the son to go wild with his imagination.

Then they hug and all is well.

Puke.

The End

Film Review: A Separation

A Separation won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film for the 2011 season. I saw the movie yesterday, and it was fascinating to watch, although perhaps a bit long as the film clocks in at a whopping two and a half hours. I’d recommend Americans watch the film because it provides some insight into Iranian culture.

The set up for the events is a wife decides she wants to separate from her husband because she has applied for travel visas (it is implied to leave the country and perhaps go to the United States – it’s never made clear) but the husband changed his mind and no longer wants to go. The wife goes to live with her parents while the husband stays at home and cares for his elderly father suffering from Alzheimers and the couple’s 11 or 12 year old daughter.

Once the wife leaves, the husband hires a woman to come in and care for the father during the day while the husband is at work. The woman that comes in is pregnant, and brings along a very young girl, maybe 5 years old.

After that the storyline gets very complicated, and if I say much more I’ll spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.

I will say this, there are a lot of scenes in the movie where we see how “justice” is served in Iran. There is no such thing as a court room as we understand it in the United States, and no jury either. The magistrate (not a judge) overseeing the cases does some interviews with “witnesses” or people who might make character references for those being accused of crimes, but in the end the magistrate just decides whether or not he believes the person is guilty and then assigns the punishment. The scenes in the film showing these segments always show the magistrate sitting at a desk in a small office, and the parties being accused sit in chairs in front of the desk, along with their spouses (who often say stuff and interfere during the proceedings.)

I saw the movie with a friend, and her observation was that every character in the film (including both young girls, who are called upon to make their own observations about what happened) winds up withholding information from everyone else. (The exception is the elderly father who doesn’t speak.) Ironically, the characters in the film often try to tell the truth but on the way to telling the truth, things wind up getting very convoluted. Religious belief systems are implied as at least one of the reasons this happens.

In the end, we’re left with a deep impression of how challenging life in modern Iran can be, and the entanglements of families, religious beliefs and societal norms all have a deep affect on the quality of life available.

Potpourri Post: Metazen, Letters in the Mail, Zouch, The Artist and more

Today’s post is brought to you random topical inspiration.

My story Baby Crazy will be published by Metazen on March 6th. That’s only 2 days away – yay! I’ll post the link on Tuesday.

Do you subscribe to Stephen Elliot’s Letters in the Mail over at The Rumpus? I started getting them recently, and I like them. He sends one email a day and it has his personal observations about things going on in his literary circle, he talks about events he may have attended or promotional things he’s doing, and of course he talks about pieces on The Rumpus site. He uses a very casual style which is appropriate since the email is supposed to be like a personal letter. Anyway, if you haven’t checked out The Rumpus, you probably should.

Zouch Magazine recently followed me on Twitter, so I followed them back. Then I went to their site because I wanted to find out more about them. Turns out two artistically inclined Canadian guys who are into music and literature decided it was time to put up their own site and do their own thing. I notice the site is very visually inclined, so some stories are represented by a picture and you have to click on the picture to get to the content. Also, they are very actively looking for people to submit content so if you’re looking for a new market to check out, they’re a place to look.

A few days ago I got an email from an editor I’ve only submitted to twice (a third item had to be withdrawn when it was accepted elsewhere) but she was so nice, I want to share what she said to me:

I really enjoyed this story.  What did you send me last time? I know that I liked it as well.

I don’t think this is quite the story for [  ] either, but I have no doubt that one of your stories certainly will be.

I was like, what…me? You only read two stories and you liked them both? But what was funny is that she never told me that in the original rejection slips. Good lesson for me kids, behind those rejection slips people are forming opinions – even when they don’t share them.

And she was SO nice, she even offered to re-read the first piece and provide more detailed feedback. I need someone to love that story as much as I do, because I’ve been trying to get Family Picnic published for years. Nate Tower just accepted the only other story I had from that long ago, so The Paperboy found an adoptive dad, maybe if things go well Family Picnic will soon have an adoptive mom. Or at least, maybe it’ll have an adoptive aunt to provide feedback that leads me to the right editorial parent.

I’ve noticed something funny is going on now with my rejection slips – most of them are getting personal responses now, and in some cases they’re saying things like “this is well written” “I like the crisp language” or “this flows well” (all comments I’ve gotten recently, by the way) even though the pieces aren’t getting accepted. Believe me, this is a significant development for me…I feel like some invisible tide is turning.

When I consider how important it is to be published in places like PANK, Metazen, Foundling Review, Spilling Ink, Bartleby Snopes (twice), Dogzplot, Right Hand Pointing, etc. I think these brand name journals are helping me tremendously as I make forward headway. Then again, I don’t put all those names on my submission cover letters but let’s be real, I always put a few.

That takes me back to something Jacob Appel said in that Tips article I mentioned in my last post… he said a twenty-something MFA student slushpile reader might dismiss you out of hand if you have no recognizable pub credits but they’ll think two or three times if you’ve got heavy hitter names, maybe a Pushcart nom, or something. Ahh, back to their hierarchy of talent, right?

I don’t know.

I’d like to believe, and I do believe, that my writing has improved over the past two years too. I’ve had so many great editors give productive feedback and I’m listening – I swear I’m listening very closely to those snippets of feedback – and maybe my nose to the proverbial grindstone, plus my successful story placements, plus the ongoing goodwill of new editors equals the promise of further placement.

Hmm. This set of observations could be influenced by the sun shining and it’s Sunday and I can go out and enjoy the day too.

Finally, movies. Or, a movie. The Artist, in fact.

I recently made some very snide comments about how would it be possible for a French film to win over an American film for Best Picture. (By the way, j’adore Paris and Viva La France…) Then I went to see The Artist.

Yeah, it’s good. It deserved Best Picture over The Descendants.

Also, now I understand why Jean DuJardin (Mr. John Garden, for those of us who speaka de English) got selected for the lead role. He has a certain je ne c’est quoi about him that does strongly remind you of old Hollywood. He was able to use his face so wonderfully, and he must be dangeously charming in France, where he speaks the native language.

But… and there is a “but” here…

Movies just ain’t what they used to be, I lament to you, dear reader.

In two years from now, I’m not going to be talking about The Artist. I’ll still be talking about how phenomenal The Departed is, and it’s destined to be a classic. I’ll talk about the wonder of The Royal Tennenbaums, the razor-sharp and inspiring dialogue from David Mamet’s Heist (“Don’t you want to hear my last words?” “I just did.” BANG) and how far ahead of its time Close Encounters of the Third Kind was as a film, yes, these movies I will watch again and again along with my romantic favorites Good Will Hunting, The Piano and Groundhog Day.

But The Artist will, to me, be like Shakespeare in Love… it was a movie I saw, and liked, but I probably don’t need to see again and again and again.

My Oscar Predictions – Sort of

Here are my Oscar predictions for tonight. Oh yeah, I haven’t seen all the movies, but do you really think that’s gonna stop me? Also, this past year wasn’t exactly a series of knockout films either. But the show must go on!

Best Oscar Host: Billy Crystal, who else? Yes, I want to watch him dance around and hear his cheesy “It’s a Wonderful Night for Oscar” song about the best picture flicks, so sue me.

Best Actor – George Clooney for The Descendants. Yes, I think he’s going to beat that French guy no one has heard of for The Artist. In my opinion, George Clooney did a much better job in Out of Sight than The Descendants, but I think he’s a favorite to win for sentimental reasons.

Best Actress – Viola Davis for The Help. I haven’t seen the movie, so this is a guess based on everybody saying Viola Davis. Everyone keeps saying -as usual- it was Meryl’s to lose for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, but apparently The Iron Lady wasn’t that good so Meryl gets another rubber chicken dinner and she can smile at the camera and shrug, as if to say, oh well…I’ll do it again next year, so don’t worry about little ol’ me.

Actor/Actress in a Supporting RoleWho cares? I haven’t seen any of these movies, although I really wish I had had a chance to see Bridesmaids, damn it. Maybe Melissa McCarthy will win, but I doubt it since she is up against 2 supporting noms for The Help. Also, have you noticed how nobody has been talking about these categories at all. If Jonah Hill wins for Moneyball, I’ll laugh my butt off. It’ll probably be sentimental favs either Christopher Plummer or Max von Sydow.

Best Director – it’ll be a little sad to see that in a category this year with both Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen that neither of them will win. Maybe the director of The Artist (again who no one has ever heard of and by no one I mean me) will take this one, then again, it could go to Alexander Payne for The Decendants, but it’ll definitely be one of the two of them.

Best Picture – The Descendants. I actually saw this movie, and I didn’t think it was all that great. It was “okay” with decent plot twists. It’s really a reflection of a not-that-great year in movies. I need to go see The Artist. You know The Artist has The Weinstein’s behind it, and we all know what Bob and Harvey can do for a movie (Shakespeare in Love, anybody?) so I guess it’s possible The Artist could pull it away from The Descendants, but I don’t know… a silent, black and white movie starring French people? Nah… come on.

.

Post Oscar re-cant – so clearly it’s a bad idea to not watch movies and then try to predict what’s going to happen. Here’s who actually won:

Best Actor – Jean DuJardin, The Artist

Best Actress – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady (Yay!)

Best Director – the French Director from The Artist

Best Picture – The Artist

What movie do I need to go out and see immediately? The Artist.

Thank you and good night!

Why I love Warren Miller

Warren Miller is the godfather of extreme skiers everywhere, and his groundbreaking ski films – which he’s been making EVERY YEAR since the 1950’s – are amazing. Since I don’t ski or snowboard, it took me a lot longer to come across a Warren Miller film than ski-folk in the know, but after seeing a few of his films, I was hooked.

If you’ve never heard of Warren Miller or seen one of his films, you are missing out on some of the most dynamic, action packed extreme skiing and snowboarding on the entire planet. Literally, not figuratively.

The film crew criss-crosses the globe, tagging along with the most advanced extreme skiiers in the world. You know, the ones that jump out of helicopters to get to the top of mountains that have no humans on them. Then they ski down the mountain with an avalanche of snow behind them, or they jump of a cliff mid-ski run and parachute to the bottom of the mountain, or they run up snow ramps and get 60 feet of air while doing a triple flip or whatever other tricks are the coolest that year. Yeah, easy peasy.

Actual skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only focal points for Warren Miller films, they also celebrate the ski-bum lifestyle. A perpetual-youth culture, with kids in the forefront of the shots, doing what they do best: being young, athletic and energetic.

Part of the enthusiasm in the films is fueled by phenomenal, up to the second soundtracks. I recently perused the Warren Miller Entertainment site (NO LONGER affiliated with Warren Miller, more on that in a moment) and found a listing of the tracks to a handful of the most recent Warren Miller Entertainment films. Think of these soundtracks as a mix of electronica mixed with reggae mixed with rap and hip hop mixed with alternative rock and DJ club music and you get the idea. (I really wish I could find a sountrack list for the older films from the 1980’s and 1990’s…!)

I wouldn’t pretend that I’ve ever heard of Slang or The Crystal Method but both of them appear on the soundtrack lists and I enjoyed tracks like Slang’s ‘When the Blood Burns’ or Crystal Method’s rhythmic electronica ‘Keep Hope Alive’ enough to buy them on iTunes.

Unfortunately though, if you’ve never heard of Warren Miller before, I have some news. Mr. Miller (now in his 80’s) is no longer involved with Warren Miller Entertainment, which he first sold to his son (in 1989 I think,) and some years later it was sold, then sold again. So any of the Warren Miller Entertainment (WME) films since the 2000’s and certainly since 2005 have had no involvement from Mr. Miller. (In fact, there have even been some legal kerfuffles between Mr. Miller and WME.)

As a result, I’d recommend if you want to see and hear Warren Miller at his funniest and most charming in his role as narrator for his films, I’d stick to the movies prior to 2004.

But whatever Warren Miller film you see, you can’t help but be entertained, amused and blown away by the athletic talent on display. You might find yourself tapping your foot along to the soundtrack while you’re at it.

Top 50 Movies, Directors, Actors List

Here is my Top 50 “movie industry” list. These 50+ items represent a broad cross-section of talented actors, screen writers and directors I love and/or admire tremendously.

I’m sure I could have kept going, and I know the second I post this I’ll remember 25 more that could have made this list…

This is NOT in priority order because that wouldn’t be possible….I tried to mix it up to keep it interesting. That said, if an individual movie is listed, it means I’ve seen it more than once – and in some cases – many more than that.

  1. The Piano
  2. Groundhog Day
  3. The Ten Commandments
  4. Good Will Hunting
  5. His Girl Friday
  6. The Shining
  7. The Harry Potter series
  8. Fried Green Tomatoes
  9. Blue Sky
  10. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  11. Some Like It Hot
  12. Tombstone
  13. Blade Runner
  14. Glory
  15. American Beauty
  16. Rounders
  17. Misery
  18. Rain Man
  19. Addicted to Love
  20. The Red Violin
  21. An American in Paris
  22. Raise the Red Lantern (Chinese)
  23. Only the Lonely
  24. Sling Blade
  25. The Crying Game
  26. The Wizard of Oz
  27. Platoon
  28. Sea of Love
  29. Out of Sight
  30. 12 Monkeys
  31. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  32. The Hunt for Red October
  33. Star Wars (the first 3 movies released)
  34. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (but I saw every single ST movie ever released and loved them)
  35. Steven Spielberg, including but not limited to: uh, a LOT. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, ET, Empire of the Sun, Jurrasic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Munich, etc.
  36. Charlie Kaufman, including but not limited to: Adaptation; Synecdoche, New York; Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  37. The Coen Brothers, including but not limited to: Fargo, No Country for Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, etc.
  38. Mel Brooks, including but not limited to: Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The 2000 year old man (not a movie, so sue me), Spaceballs, The Producers, History of the World Pt I, etc.
  39. David Mamet, including but not limited to: Heist, The Spanish Prisoner, Ronin, The Edge, Glengarry Glen Ross, etc.
  40. Woody Allen, including but not limited to: Bananas, Hannah and Her Sisters, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Match Point, etc.
  41. Albert Brooks, including but not limited to: Defending Your Life, Lost in America, Mother, Broadcast News, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, etc.
  42. Martin Scorsese, including but not limited to: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Casino, The Departed, Kundun, etc.
  43. Quentin Tarantino, including but not limited to: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Inglorious Basterds
  44. Wes Anderson, including but not limited to: The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  45. Jim Jarmusch, including but not limited to: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Broken Flowers, Down By Law, Dead Man
  46. John Hughes, including but not limited to: Uncle Buck; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Home Alone; The Breakfast Club;
  47. Meryl Streep, including but not limited to: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, The Bridges of Madison County, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Defending Your Life, Death Becomes Her, Adaptation, The Devil Wears Prada, A Prarie Home Companion, Julie and Julia, Fantastic Mr. Fox, It’s Complicated, etc.
  48. Tom Hanks, including but not limited to: Big, The Money Pit, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Catch Me If You Can, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, etc.
  49. Robert Redford, including but not limited to: (Directing) The Milagro Beanfield War, A River Runs Through It, The Horse Whisperer, The Legend of Bagger Vance, etc. AND (Acting) Out of Africa, Indecent Proposal, The Horse Whisperer, The Sting
  50. Gene Hackman, including but not limited to: The French Connection, Hoosiers, Mississippi Burning, Unforgiven, The Firm, Get Shorty, The Birdcage, Enemy of the State, Heist, The Royal Tennenbaums
  51. Robert Duval, including but not limited to: Get Low, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Colors, A Family Thing, etc.
  52. Edward Norton, including but not limited to: Primal Fear, Rounders, American History X, Fight Club, The Illusionist, 25th Hour, Keeping the Faith (directed & acted), etc.
  53. Michael Keaton, including but not limited to: The Dream Team, Clean and Sober, Multiplicity, Jackie Brown, Batman Returns, etc.

The Moral of the Story – An Amusing Interpretation

So often in today’s modern society, readers are seeking out entertainments with the highest moral aims in mind. One thinks of classic films like Citizen Kane or Home Alone along with serious books such as Of Mice and Men, or The Little Engine That Could.

And so, dear reader, I am here to offer up some titles you could put on your must-view or must-read lists, with a handy plot summary to use as your guide.

The Boys From Brazil, film – A man decides to conduct a scientific experiment and start his own soccer team with boys from Brazil, where they play some pretty mean soccer

The Godfather, film – a heartwarming family film about a pater familia who ensures the success of his sons for future generations

The Road, novel – a father and son go on a road trip together. The father teaches the son how to be a good camper.

Empire Falls, novel – how to book on running a diner in a small town

His Girl Friday, film – a murderer is on the loose but Cary Grant is more interested in stealing someone else’s fiance

Marathon Man, film – Dustin Hoffman as the jogger who gets his teeth cleaned by an older German gentleman

Middlesex, novel – living in Detroit isn’t all its cracked up to be, especially if you are Greek and have a big secret

Groundhog Day – film, freakish popular resurgence of Sonny and Cher permeates this film, although Bill Murray is spectacular as the charming, weatherman who plays the piano

The Royal Tennenbaums – film, Gene Hackman plays a man who tries to convince his family he has cancer by substituting tic tacs for real pain medication. They fall for it, then they don’t.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – film (the original) – a tale about why it could actually be good to drop acid and write children’s books

What Every Movie Needs – A Few Good Men

While I enjoy movies with the top stars: Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt, why does Hollywood always have to go back to the same pool everytime? And even if they do decide to have these men in the lead roles, why can’t they mix it up on the supporting actor roles?

What would have happened if Clint Eastwood who worked with Morgan Freeman on Unforgiven, had selected Keith David for Million Dollar Baby?  We’ll never know.

Why isn’t Don Cheadle, who gives his heart in roles like Hotel Rwanda, tapped for serious lead roles? He should be. Maybe it should go without saying that black male actors don’t get lead roles nearly as often as they could, or should. That said, I’ll watch Don Cheadle in Crash and Ocean’s Eleven anytime.

And where is Paul Giamatti these days?  He was amazing in the John Adams mini-series, Sideways and The Illusionist but then he also took a role in Fred Claus which is a waste of his talent in my opinion. Why couldn’t he be in a movie like Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr.? I think they’d play off one other very well.

Daniel Day Lewis was unbelievable in There Will Be Blood but he has had long stretches in his career when we don’t see him.  I don’t know if that is his personal choice, and if we look at this filmography he picks winning roles for himself whether In The Name of the Father or My Left Foot but I for one would like to see more of him.

And although he has a very long career behind him, Gene Hackman adds depth to any film he is in from Enemy of the State, and The Royal Tennenbaums to his absolutely stunning performance in David Mamet’s Heist. I’m not as big a fan of all the second-rate bad guy roles he takes on, but when he is given a character with depth and great lines, he will deliver every time.

I could go on and on… Christian Slater has done some great work like Interview with a Vampire, and Untamed Heart but then got sucked into movies like Broken Arrow and unfortunately it looks like he’s been doing a lot of television roles and smaller parts since.

So, take a longer look at all the massive talent sitting on the shelf out there and support films that might be a little further off the beaten Hollywood path.

Who do YOU want to see more of in Hollywood (or Indie) films?  What fantasy movie match ups would you create?  Please comment!