Sunday, February 24, 2008

[Instructions (READ THIS FIRST)]

1.) Every two weeks or so a new category will be posted. The categories will shy away from the more typical, broad variety (i.e. Top 5 Movies, Top 5 Books, etc.), and will instead trend toward the narrower in focus (i.e. Top 5 Ways to Tell Your Mother-In-Law it’s Time For Her to Go Home).
2.) Read my list. Or don’t.
3.) Write your list in the comments section at the bottom of each post (COMMENTS).
4.) Read other people’s lists, and tell them how foolish they are for picking the way they did.
5.) At the end of the two weeks I’ll choose a winner based on a set of criteria I'll likely make up on the fly. The winner’s picks will then be moved to the top of the main post, there to marinate in the jealousy of his or her enemies.


[Top 5 Coolest Male Film Roles of All-Time]

In honor of tonight's little shindig over at the Kodak Theatre. And we're ranking the guys first. Why? I'm sexist. What do I mean by 'cool'? Good question. Tough word to define, that one, vague and scumbled as it's become in the modern vernacular. In our case, let's let a 'cool' role refer to a character possessing any number of intangible qualities, including -- but not necessarily limited to -- charisma, eccentricity, poise and/or screen presence, inspiring in the viewer (you) wonderment, esteem, jealousy, fantasized camaraderie, reverence and/or the overwhelming urge to bear his lovechild. Remember, this is your list, not Roger Ebert's, so please try and resist the temptation to pick the 'right' answers. This isn't a contest to decide who has the most profound working knowledge of classic films. If you can't get enough of Affleck in Gigli, don't snub him for Brando in Streetcar Named Desire because you think it'll earn you brownie points. It won't. It'll earn you naughty points.

Enough talk. . . on to the lists!

5.) Rob Gordon, High Fidelity (2000) - John Cusack With a bullet. And no, in case you're wondering, his inclusion should not be interpreted as a by-default-homage to the catalyst for this blog, not that such a tribute wouldn't've been completely justified. In truth, I have an unhealthy obsession with the film. I've seen it more than When Harry Met Sally (which is to say, a whole hell of a lot). And each time I watch it I find myself wanting desperately to be Rob Gordon in all his record-store-owning nerdy-hipster-elitist-friend-having improbably-hot-ex-girlfriend-stalking sonic-death-monkey-hating manic-depressive glory.

Favorite line(s): "Charlie, you fucking bitch. Let's work it out!"

4.) R.P. McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Jack Nicholson Back in the day when his practice of dating twenty year olds wasn't quite so icky. This role gives us Jack in his prime. Devilish grin? Check. Creepy, mischievous eyebrows? Check. More charisma in a tiny twitch of the facial tissue than any one human being should be capable of producing with his entire body?a The film also marked the entrance of "Nurse Ratched" into the lexicon as a term of endearment for nagging, overbearing wives. Try it out on your old lady tonight and see if it doesn't just roll off the tongue like a buttered marble. In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should acknowledge the fact that six years separate 1975 and the day I finally ripened on the old umbilical cord. No matter. That I watched it for the first time on VHS gives me some sort of credibility, right?. . . Right?. . . Right.

Favorite line(s): "Is that crazy enough for ya? Want me to take a shit on the floor?"

3.) The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - Alan Rickman A.K.A. the counterweight to Costner's yawn-inspiring performance (aided in no small part by the leading star's trademarked now-you-hear-it, now-you-don't British-ish accent) and the reason I'll still watch this movie from beginning to end every blessed time it encores on TNT. If I ever put up a "Top 5 Most Creative Ways to Kill Someone" category, his heart removal via spoon will most certainly make an appearance. Honestly now, does any other working actor play bad quite as good? What would Die Hard have been without his Hans Gruber? Harry Potter without his Severus Snape? Quigley Down Under without his Elliot Marston? (Go look it up.) In the words of everyone's favorite preggo teen: As far as villains go, Alan Rickman is totally boss.

Favorite line(s): "Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas."

2.) William Cutting, Gangs of New York (2002) - Daniel Day-Lewis It takes a certain breed of actor to make a racist, blood-thirsty sociopath this likeable. I find I'm somewhat addicted to Day-Lewis these days. His portrayal of Bill the Butcher was about as magnetic as anything I've ever seen, and his performance in this year's There Will Be Blood was pants-soilingly good. If his output volume over the past decade is any indication, he won't appear on-screen again for another three years. That's okay, though. Quality over quantity and all that. When he does decide to come back, bringing with him that awesome stage presence and incomparable intensity, you can bet I'll be there on opening night, ass firmly planted in-seat, with bells on. And an extra pair of boxers, just in case.

Favorite line(s): "That, my friends, is the minority vote."

1.) Mickey O'Neil, Snatch (2000) - Brad Pitt

Never mind that I didn't understand a word he said the first time I saw it. (And only marginally more the second time.) Mickey O'Neil is the coolest character in a movie preoccupied with its own coolness, and my personal pick for the coolest male film role of all-time. He's brash, ("Ya got a deadly kick fer a fat focker), unapologetically vocal about his bowel movements, ("I need to have a shite!"), and routinely beats the hell out of men thrice his size, for whom a single bare-fisted shot to the noggin often proves too much to endure. You've gotta give it to Guy Richie for conceiving a character that so fully embodies the essence of raw, testosterone-fueled maledom, and you've gotta give it to Brad Pitt for pulling the whole thing off so nicely. Kind of ironic, though. Who'd've thought the most memorable character in the Richie Universe was destined to be played by an American? Oh, so you disagree? Bollocks, you say? How shall we decide it, then?

I'll fight ya fer it. You'n me.

Favorite Line: "ThfockdIwantacaravanthatsgotnofocknwheels?"