Monday, September 12, 2011

5 Movie Stars Who Aren't Really Actors

I got the idea for this entry when I finally had the opportunity to watch the Director's Cut version of Kingdom of Heaven [2005], which by the way is something you owe to yourself to see, especially if you're a movie aficionado. Personally I feel like it was the all-round best movie Ridley Scott has ever made thus far.

The theatrical release you saw back then was nothing but the studio's ill-advised decision to simply cash in on Orlando Bloom's box-office draw at the time, and made about 45-minutes' worth of cuts. As a result, the movie felt watered-down and incomplete. Rest assured that the Director's Cut turned it all around, and transformed it to what it was supposed to be in the first place; a breathtaking epic.

So as I was saying, it was pretty much the second time I watch Kingdom of Heaven, and still I was at awe whenever the character Baldwin IV came along.

This guy...
It was shrouded in mystery at the time, but by now we all know that he was played by one of my all-time favourite actors, Edward Norton. In fact, you can do a Google search about his performance in this movie and I bet nobody has nothing but heaps of praises for him.

So now you might wonder what's the big deal. Well, I'm not an actor by trade, but what I can tell you from my experience, acting is not as easy as referring to yourself by another name and saying the lines. All the things you take for granted when you interact with another person - gestures, idiosyncrasies and other non-verbal cues - those are the things you have to recreate in order to embody a three-dimensional and fully believable character.

"Just be yourself" may be good advice for a job interview, but it has no place in acting...
So using that as a frame of reference, imagine how little Edward Norton had to work with, playing a character who was never seen without his mask, yet still managed to retain that air of a mythical hero his character was supposed to have. There's an art to how he did it, note how he didn't overcompensate for the lack of facial expressions by going crazy with hand gestures. Because if he had, it wouldn't have been better than to play a Power Ranger.

"Surrender Jerusalem to me..."
I could go on all day, but the point I was making is, Edward Norton created an imposing character through the use of nothing but intonation, unobtrusive gestures and a few flicks of his head. If that isn't the mark of an outstanding actor, I don't know what is.

So I went from admiring Edward Norton, to thinking about so many others who call themselves actors but really can't act for shit. Nevertheless, they can be movie stars with massive box-office draws to their names. Apparently, too many people demand too little from movie stars whom they shell out ten bucks for.

Movie stars like...

#5 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Granted, this is something I am also guilty of since I am a fan of so many movies he was in. In fact, Predator [1987] and Terminator II: Judgment Day [1991] are two movies I would easily name as being some of my all-time favourites. The thing is, it's a little unfair to say that he was just lucky and the movies could have been done without him, because they can't. The image of him in leather jacket and riding that 1990 Harley-Davidson Fatboy is so well-ingrained in popular culture, Hollywood without Schwarzenegger will definitely leave a void.

The same can be said of: Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Jason Statham, Mark Wahlberg

#4 Megan Fox

Megan Fox is on the list for the same reason you could use for literally hundreds of other actresses. But I chose her because I just plain don't get why people get all crazy about this girl. She's a beauty, I get that. But her so-called method of acting is simply putting on bright red lipstick and pout her lips on camera. Yeah, she's pretty much the Hollywood version of girls you see on Facebook or MySpace making that duck face and have the caption say, "Ooh, I look so ugly in this picture!"

The same can be said of: Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba

#3 Matthew McCono... MacConnau... McConaughey

This guy is probably the only one whom we can claim that his abs are a better actor than the man himself, because that is the only reason why he gets to work in movies. Sure, you can say that there are many other ripped actors who rely only on their physique to get people to sit through a movie. But in the case of McConaughey, I really don't understand why he gets to be a leading man more than once. The likes of Owen Wilson could have done a much better job, although that's not saying much.

The same can be said of: Hugh Jackman (I could seriously get hurt for this), Bradley Cooper

#2 Keanu Reeves

No surprise here, huh? If there's any surprise at all, I bet it's only because I placed him at number two instead of numero uno. I don't know if there's any more I can add to what has already been said about him, I myself poked fun at the dude in this entry. All I can say is, Keanu did all he can to make sure that he lives up to his name; Keanu means "cool breeze" in Hawaiian.

The same can be said of: No one. There's only one Keanu Reeves.

#1 Orlando Bloom

Yes, in case you're wondering, this only occurred to me when I was watching Kingdom of Heaven. It didn't help that Orlando Bloom shared many scenes with Edward Norton, and the latter gave such a great performance, it reduced Bloom to being no livelier than the chair he was sitting on. Yes, I know he's pretty, I did a Google Image search on him and ended up scrolling all the way down instead of just snagging the first picture I see.

But as far as acting is concerned, I'm not impressed. His method of acting involves only standing around, being aware of the camera with that look on his face like he was trying to figure out "what is that smell?". Or, if he's really into the scene, he will just look like he's having amnesia and trying to remember something.

"Where the hell are my keys?"
The same can be said of: Jared Leto (Haha... Not really, I'm just kidding)


Az said...

Hilarious! I am LMAO here! Good one.

I beg to differ on one thing though, Scarlett Johansson is not comparable to Megan Fox at all.

Yes, she is super hot and most of the time, we do not expect an actress who look bimbo-ish like herself to be good at acting. But she has this clueless look that actually work in most of the roles she played. So far, I am seeing good stuff from her.

Mamü Vies said...

Hehe... Indeed. And I didn't really mean it when I said that Hugh Jackman is comparable to McConaughey. Truth is Jackman can act better than him.

Just trying to create a conversation ;)

kyo_9 said...

Keanu acted really well as Neo in the Matrix, one of my favorite movies.. Sorry I disagree on this entry :)

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