Friday, May 14, 2010

Top Five Friday: Russell Crowe

The Best

L.A. Confidential:
There was not a single bad performance in this entire film. This is the film where Crowe perfected his tough guy with a heart of gold routine that he used in numerous films afterwards.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
I really liked the chemistry Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany have in this film. Peter Weir’s film did not grab me upon first viewing, but I have really grown to appreciate this film immensely over the years. I think I was just not in the right mood for Master and Commander upon my first viewing.

Gladiator
Many have tried to recapture the scope and fun of films like Spartacus and Ben Hur but few have succeeded like Gladiator. While I think Joaquin Phoenix is the weak link in this film, a lot of my reaction towards Phoenix may be due to the fact that Crowe’s Maximus is such a dominating character.

Romper Stomper
I actually prefer The Quick and the Dead over Romper Stomper on the whole, but Crowe’s performance in Romper Stomper is too sizzling to ignore.  Really, he is the only reason to even watch this film.

The Insider
In my opinion 1999 is one of those defining years in cinema history. The sheer number of good, and sometimes groundbreaking, films was outstanding. The Insider was one of those great 1999 films that worked well on so many levels.


The Worst

Virtuosity
I can still smell the cheese off of this flick. Luckily Washington and Crowe reteamed again for American Gangster, and proved that they could work well together given the proper project.

Body of Lies
Ridley Scott and Crowe have a Scorsese/De Niro style working relationship. This is their second weakest film together to date. Their worst film can be found at the bottom of this list

Mystery, Alaska
As a hockey fan (Go Habs Go!), this movie should have appealed to me on several levels. I was not expecting something as captivating as say The Rocket, but at least something better than The Mighty Ducks. Sadly this ranks just above Slap Shots 2…yes, I really disliked this movie.

Proof of Life
Crowe’s tough, but sometimes sensitive, routine did nothing to help this film. Meg Ryan’s career was never the same after this movie.

A Good Year
Easily the worst Crowe/Scott film to date, not to mention the most boring. I am all for actors trying to show their softer side. Unfortunately I think Crowe got softer and dull mixed up somewhere in the process.

3 comments:

  1. I agree with most of your two lists, the exception being 'Body of Lies' in the 'worst' list. I find that movie entertaining. I've never fully understood why people have such a disliking for it.

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  2. @edgar - I think it is that the film never really delivers the way you expect it to. Body of Lies has a lot of build up but the payoff just isn't there.

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  3. The only one I think I've seen him in, full length, is State of Play. Which was perfectly okay.

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