Monday, November 22, 2010

You Wouldn't Steal A Movie...Unless You're Val Kilmer

Sup, internet? You know what I think about way too much? Extras in car chases. Like in the Rock, when Sean Connery is blasting through the streets in San Fransisco in a stolen Hummer and it's rad as hell because chase scenes are Michael Bay's porn? And he's side-swiping cars while yelling out quips like:

But what about the poor dude who was just trying to drive to work before getting fucking T-boned by Sean Connery's Hummer? He's killing bitches left and right, and not just FBI dudes but perfectly innocent civilians who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Will someone check and make sure they're ok? I think it's only because I've seen this movie dozens of times that this is where my mind goes when I watch that chase scene...

Anyway, today's post is not about movie extras getting in the way of Sean Connery's engine of death, but of my top five favorite movies with a supporting character who violently wrestles the film out of the lead's grubby hands and proceeds to flee with it. Why? The better question is why are you even asking? I mean, when the hell do I have a legitimate reason for ANYTHING I do?


Number 5: Willem Defoe as Agent Smecker in Boondock Saints

You're jealous because you've never looked this fabulous while fighting crime

In a movie where the main characters are two crazy Irish brothers who have decided to go to town on the Mafia all guns a'blazing, you know for someone to steal the movie, they'd have to pretty damn awesome. Well Dafoe is. In the movie he plays an FBI agent assigned to figure out who the hell is murdering mobsters in such a ridiculous unbelievable fashion. Smecker is quirky from the start, re-imagining crime scenes with the aid of opera and copious arm-waving. Smecker is crazy. Brilliant, but also quite mental. It only gets better when he becomes sympathetic to the brothers' cause and helps infiltrate the mob's lair while in drag. Oh and yes, he's quite gay. BAD-ASSEDLY GAY. Which leads to this scene, one of my absolute favorite in the entire movie and why, for me, Willem Dafoe walks away with Boondock Saints:

No one dares cuddle with DAFOE!!

Number 4: Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Count in The Boat That Rocked (As opposed to the American version, Pirate Radio, which for whatever reason was missing half the goddamn scenes, arguably the BEST scenes. Dammit)

He's got them crazy eyes

The Boat That Rocked (don't you say Pirate Radio to me, I will shank you), details the wacky adventures of a bunch of dudes out in the middle of the ocean in the sixties playing all the awesome rock music deemed not fit for the airwaves by stodgy British men in suits. The lone American on the vessel is The Count, and while this movie has an incredible ensemble cast full of some of my favorite actors, PSH (he's joining the three-word-name ranks of RDJ and JGL) is by far the funniest. He gets all the best lines and moments, like when he tries to say "fuck" on the air that Youtube won't let me embed because it is stupid, so watch it here, and he has a freaking great speech near the end of the movie when the ship is sinking, they all appear to be doomed and he decides to broadcast til the end. Unfortunately, I can't embed that one either. muuurrrr. Maybe it's a cheesy speech, but I feel like it's true and heartfelt and awesome and it just makes me love his character even more.

Number 3: Christopher Walken as Captain Koons in Pulp Fiction

Oh the things that watch has seen

I say Pulp Fiction, what do you think of? Naturally, you think of royales with cheese, needles being jammed in Uma Thurman's sternum and what will happen if you SAY WHAT AGAIN. But you also think of Christopher Walken, and the pocket-watch he stowed in his ass. Bruce Willis's character in the movie has a beloved watch that has been passed down in his family for generations. We're given a flashback to him as a child, when Captain Koons, his father's war buddy delivers him the watch, and tells him just where that hunk of metal's been:

He's literally in the movie for less than five minutes, but everyone who's seen Pulp Fiction remembers this scene. He just shows up and Walkens the hell out of it, probably scarring tiny Bruce Willis for life with his ass story. How can you possibly focus on anything else in the movie after this scene?

Number 2: Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee in Zombieland

There's really nothing I can add this

I never cared about Woody Harrelson much. He was that weird hippie dude who used to play that idiot on Cheers. Then I saw Zombieland, the hilarious account of trying to survive in a zombified world. It's sick, twisted and unbelievably funny. If you haven't seen this movie, know that I am judging you and think less of you as a person. Anyway, our nerdy young hero Columbus, trying very hard not to die, meets up with Tallahassee, a dude driving around in a Hummer with pruning shears in the trunk used expressly for killing zombies as he journeys on his quest to murder and maim the undead and find Twinkies. Tallahassee is straight up the coolest guy ever to be in a zombie movie, bar none. He kills a zombie with a banjo, wears a snakeskin jacket and is certifiably insane. He's also a deadpan snarker and lovable as hell.

When the movie was almost over, the only character that I cared whether they lived or died was Tallahassee. Screw Abigail Breslin.

Number 1: Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone

You will never be this awesome

In a movie that is ostensibly about Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp, cleaning up Arizona one shoot-out at a time, it's really about Val Kilmer as the gambling, drinking, fighting, tuberculosis-having Doc Holliday. He saunters through the whole movie with a self-assured drawl, dry and bitterly sarcastic, Holliday is Wyatt Earp's right hand man, but Val Kilmer is the one who steals the spotlight, whether it's by jokes or badassery or a mix of both:

He rides across the West killing bad dudes even though every other second he's hacking up lung matter. He's cooler than any other character in the movie and his scenes range from funny as hell to heart-wrenching. Kilmer is better here than he has ever been and shows up Kurt Russell easy. Tombstone is an excellent Western and a killer movie on it's own, but with Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, it's unmissable. He is Western bad-ass personified.

And there you have it. Five guys who take the movie and run, and make it all the better for it. This is Sugary Cynic, practicing her Walken voice. 'Night!

(When Wyatt tells Doc Holliday to lay off the booze)

Holliday: "Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself"


  1. What a great blog! What a great list!! The only one I haven't seen here is the one about the Pirate Ra-... I mean, Boat That Rocked! But I know PSH often steals the movie on his own in almost any role he plays. Also, Harrelson IS the reason for Zombieland, Defoe is the reason for ANY movie that he is in, and Walken is the reason for WALKEN!

    I'm going to throw out one more film title in which every secondary or guest-bit part was a scene stealer and very memorable no matter who it was: True Romance. It is also the only time in film history (that I can think of) where you get to watch Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper square of in the "Who's the lowliest, most fucked-up bastard ever?" contest.

  2. YES! THE BOAT THAT ROCKED FOREVER, MAN! Except I had to see the stupid-ass Pirate Radio version in stupid-ass American theatres. To Netflix!

    (it's in full glory there, right?)

  3. Jacob: I actually nearly put True Romance on the list but I didn't want to do Walken twice and I feel like his bit in Pulp Fiction was more memorable.

    Simon: I wouldn't know, I downloaded The Boat That Rocked back when it didn't look like it was going to get US distribution. When it came out stateside as Pirate Radio I figured "well, this movie was awesome, I do believe I will pay money to see it again" and was quite pissed to find half the damn thing missing.


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