Wednesday, September 15, 2010
F These Movies Directed by Actors
Lots of actors have gone on to become prolific full-time directors: Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Robert Redford and Zach Braff to name a few (just kidding, Zach Braff. Garden State doesn't count). With the Ben Affleck-directed The Town opening this weekend (which looks great), it's time to F these movies directed by actors. Double threat!
1. Night of the Hunter (1955; dir. Charles Laughton) - Witness for the Prosecution star Laughton directed exactly one movie, and it just happens to be an all-time classic about Robert Mitchum terrorizing children with his knuckle tattoos. Laughton knew both when to hold them and when to fold them.
2. That Thing You Do! (1996; dir. Tom Hanks) - Turner and Hooch star Tom Hanks directed exactly one movie, and it just happens to be an all-time classic about fictional '60s rock band The Wonders (The One-ders) and their rise to the top. One of the best movies ever made, with a sly sense of humor, a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, fantastic (and accurate) pop music and Liv Tyler at her most insanely loveable. Watching this movie on an endless loop wouldn't be such a bad way to go.
3. The Postman (1997; dir. Kevin Costner) - You made Mrs. March feel like she could see again. You made Ford believe he was part of something. You give out hope like it was candy in your pocket.
4. Keeping the Faith (2000; dir. Edward Norton) - Ben Stiller is a rabbi and Edward Norton is a priest and both are in a love triangle with Jenna Elfman, who is in a movie. Great job, Edward Norton.
5. Wisdom (1986; dir. Emilio Estevez) - While his brat pack buddies were still living out high school or making sex tapes with girls still in high school, Emilio Estevez was taking the path of Orson Welles, writing, directing and starring in this folk tale about a kid who goes on a crime spree, robbing banks to pay down the debts of poor farmers. Don't let the fact that the main character's name is John Wisdom make you hate this movie. Hate it for many other reasons, like the "twist" ending that pees in your face. Estevez would go on to make better, more noble failures like The War at Home and Bobby.
6. Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997; dir. Kiefer Sutherland) - This is the movie you direct when your life is ruled by drugs and alchohol.
7. Whip It (2009; dir. Drew Barrymore) - A formulaic roller derby movie (I know; another one?) that's bolstered by good performances and actors that totally commit to the material. Overlong and predicatable, but sweet and heartfelt -- it feels exactly like what you'd expect a movie directed by Drew Barrymore would feel like. Plus, Zoe Bell is in it, making it required viewing for anyone with a face.
8. Ghost Dad (1990; dir. Sidney Poitier) - Sidney Poitier broke down racial barriers in the 1960s presumably so he could one day direct Ghost Dad. What do you suppose the movie is about?
9. Super Sucker (2002; dir. Jeff Daniels) - Jeff Daniels writes, directs and stars in a movie about a salesman that sells vacuums that double as sex toys. Jeff Daniels writes, directs and stars in a movie about a salesman that sells vacuums that double as sex toys.
10. Citizen Kane (1941; dir. Orson Welles) - Never heard of it. Sounds boring.