Friday, January 19, 2007

Top 5 All-star Movies

"Fuck you! That's my name. You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. *That's* my name. "
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) Love Actually
It seems like a whole lot of people just can't say no to Richard Curtis. He manages to gather an all-star cast of secondary and minor roles, some of which superstars, others rising ones, but all of them with a faithful audience. Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman as the frontmen and women, and Martin Freeman, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Bob Thornton and Rowan Atkinson providing a strong supporting cast. Enjoyable cameos by January Jones, Elisha Cuthbert, Claudia Schiffer, Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richards give Love Actually a star quality for all tastes and ages.

4) Glengarry Glen Ross
It's the Big Screen's version of David Mamet's play. Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Jonathan Pryce and Kevin Spacey give spectacular performances, showing us that selling real-estate can be a real bitch, but work-relationships are an even bigger one. It's a movie that's based entirely on its cast's abilities, not its star power. Carefully chosen, each and every one of them portray a variety of realistic characters, from the successful go-getter and the persistant family-man, to the weiny bastard and the retarded one. Even so, Baldwin's Blake is the true show-stealer of the movie.

3) Gosford Park
The late Robert Altman was always the man who could gather both an acclaimed and an all-star cast on the same set, and draw the best performance of each and every one. Gosford Park is a british fan's wet dream. Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith and Hellen Mirren are surrounded by Stephen Fry, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Watson, Alan Bates, Jeremy Northam and Kelly Macdonald. Clive Owen and Ryan Phillipe should consider themselves lucky to have such a movie on their CVs. Not easy to watch, I admit, but Gosford Park's direction of the upstairs Bourgeoise and downstairs lower class is unique. A must-see for british cinema lovers.

2) Ocean's Twelve
Mediocre and somehow disappointing movie, but you can't help but admire the star power of this one. Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon at the top of their yet careers.Julia Roberts was pregnant during the shoot, and gave birth days before its release, which adds up even more star buzz. Katherine Zeta Jones has just won an oscar, Don Cheadle has yet to dissapoint his fans and everybody was expecting too much out of Steven Soderbergh's stylish eye. Andy Garcia mostly looks constipated and Elliot Gould mostly looks rich. Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, and Bernie Mac provide a few laughs, and the cameo of Bruce Willis is unneccessary. Funny how the entire Hollywood got out-acted by the french villain Vincent Cassel and the voice of Albert Finney, though.

1) Murder On The Orient Express
This movie represents the golden era of movie-making. Sidney Lumet gathers a female cast that includes Ingrid Bergman, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bisset and Lauren Bacall, all of them legends of not only the Big Screen but of the stage as well. Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins and Michael York provide a significant counter-measure to the female power of the film. But the connecting link is the man who steals the show, Albert Finney. A cunning script with the unexpected twist in the end, it's classic Agatha Christie. The climax, when the entire cast is on the same wagon, is pure cinema anthology.

Contenders
Sin City has too many newcomers, Pulp Fiction ressucitated careers, JFK and The Untouchables came really close. Following in a random order, The Godfather Part II, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Talented Mr Ripley, Dick Tracy, Batman Begins, they all were strong contenders. True Romance is loaded with stars in supportive, five-minute roles, while Lord Of The Rings' cast apparently won't last in time, while Jay and Silent Bob doens't qualify for cameo reasons.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great list; and good call with Murder on the Orient Express. Finney is terrific. One that you forgot, though, is Catch 22. An all-star cast!

Jer said...

What about "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World"?

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