Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: Who is the Best Movie Star of Today?

Earlier this week, Heath Holland wrote about about how he's not sure today's movie stars can measure up against those of the past. Can you prove otherwise?

Keep in mind this does not have to be your favorite actor. He or she doesn't even need to be a particularly good actor, since being an actor and being a movie star aren't always the same thing. Who is the best movie star? Is it based on box office? Charisma? What the French call "I-don't-f'ing-know-what?"

25 comments:

  1. George Clooney, no contest. Bradgelina are not far behind.

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  2. If I knew Heath Holland better, I think he'd say that George Clooney represents movie stars of the past, since he's been a draw for nearly two decades, and he might even go on to say that it's stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt that he's talking about missing these days because you don't see them nearly as much as you used to. But that's just what Heath would PROBABLY say. You ask me, he should have made his piece a little tighter and clearer and maybe pointed out some stars that he thought were doing a great job these days.

    I think Anne Hathaway is one of today's best. She can act, sing, and has that certain I-don't-f'ing-know-what? that Patrick's talking about. Runner up, Amy Adams.

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    1. Part of the problem is that we're getting old, and the greats have been around a long time. Anyone younger than me looks like a lightweight, no account, little kid. Ask my father and Pitt is only starting to become something he can respect as an actor.

      Cruise, Clooney, and Pitt were all called lightweights at the early parts of their careers. We've had enough time with them to see them really establish themselves.

      Tatum and Gossling and others haven't been around long enough to prove they're not more than a flash in the pan. Hathaway has only really proved she's got real power in the last few years and she's been around for a decade.

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  3. Tom Cruise is a great movie star, because you can tell he is focusing all this attention on the movie. He's not the best actor, but he is a great star. He's a solid fondation the rest of the movie can be built around.

    Nicholas Cage is also like this. Not a great actor, but you can solidly build a movie around him.

    George Clooney has this too, although his best trait is that he always seems to know when to get out of the way and let a character actor do their thing.

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  4. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are good ones I must say. I was leaning toward Brad Pitt, myself. Lately, I would also throw Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling into the mix.

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  5. If the post-Oscar jinx doesn't get her I think Jennifer Lawrence is going to be a star on the Julia Roberts/Sandra Bullock level.

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    1. Yes! As far as star actresses of the moment go, I definitely think JLaw needs to be in the conversation. Good call.

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    2. I was going to make a point that Bullock is probably on a higher performer level than Roberts right now, but then I saw Eat, Pray, Love made more than 200 million and I got depressed.

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    3. I think Jennifer Lawrence is great too. She's got that quality that Patrick's talking about also. I also think Andrew Garfield is on the cusp. If he makes more good choices like The Social Network and avoids being typecast by Spider-Man, we could see good things from him.

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  6. Along with Clooney I would through in Russel Crowe. He usually puts in decent performances and has and a pretty solid resume.

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  7. I watched 50/50 again last night (great flick, great friggin flick) and was reminded how great Joseph Gordon Levitts is. He's probably one of my favorite actors today, he has a lot of charisma and always looks like he's having fun. But I don't know whether I would call him a "Hollywood Star" but I think he is only one or two Oscar bait movies away. But that's going by the glitz and glamor-o-meter. ...for me he is already a big enough draw for me to check out a film just because of his presence, which is what a star is meant to all be about, right?

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    1. Bonus points for the Back to the Future (Part 2) reference. Well done, Biff!

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  8. Denzel Washington. I have no problem believing that he would fit in with many of the great movie stars. The guy has been a leading man for almost 20 years and is still going strong. No matter the quality, he never seems to half-ass a performance like some actors(cough!..Bruce Willis...cough!). It is also unbelievable how the media seems to respect him. It's beliveable that he can play a humble, down-to-earth guy BECAUSE he is a humble, down-to-earth guy.

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  9. Gary Oldman. Is there anything that man can't do?

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  10. Have we entered an era in which the franchise has become, or at least supplanted, the "star?" Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger games created stars, but it wasn't their star power that drew people to theaters.

    It used to be something like, "I'll see anything starring Kurt Russell." Now, it's more like, "I'll see anything with the Marvel logo."

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    1. I think there is something too this. While I don't think star power is dead, I do think the franchise and certain studios do create even more of a draw than certain starts nowadays. I know I'll see just about any Superhero movie (even The Green Lantern...but that was a mistake) that comes out. DC and Marvel logos do it for me. And while I wasn't this person, I know there are tons of people who flocked to the theater because of the words "Harry Potter" and "Twilight."

      I know I'll probably flock to the theater in the future because of movies that contain the words "Star Wars."

      Furthermore, I think certain directors are bigger draws than in the past, too, not just stars. I'll definitely see any new Spielberg, Fincher, Tarantino, or Nolan movie.

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  11. I agree with Shannon Briggs: Denzel Washington is one of the few actors today I can think of that I will watch play/do anything because he's in it, which is the definition of star power. Watch if you can the taped-during-Hurricane-Sandy "Late Show" episode in which Denzel and Letterman talk in an empty TV studio, and Washington remains as engaging and magnetic a personality one-on-one with Dave as much as if there was an audience there applauding. Denzel is also very choosy with his roles so that even his lesser work ("Virtuosity," "Deja Vu," "Book of Eli") highlight how much fun the movies are because he's in them. Take Denzel Washington away from "Safe House" and it's just the guy from "Green Lantern" with some other spy dude; Denzel made that movie click all by his being in it.

    Tom Hanks was in the same Denzel star club up until the early 2000's, when "Road to Perdition," "The Ladykillers" and "The Terminal" (with only "Catch Me If You Can" in-between, and Leo DiCaprio was the real star of that flick) sapped his mojo.

    My new-to-me movies from last week (fallen behind again).

    3/13/13: 'A Guy Named Joe'? Ironically there's not a one in Steven Spielberg's ALWAYS (1989) on Showtime HD.

    3/14/13:
    Slow, preachy, boring, timely and a masterpiece? All that plus Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard's LE PETIT SOLDAT (1960) in 35mm at NYC's Film Forum.

    3/15/13:
    Rebellious teenage boy (who looks like a 30 yr. old actor), and the geisha women that cared for his well being, in Mikio Naruse's APART FROM YOU (1933) on DVD.

    http://www.dvdverdict.com/juryroom/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=6028&p=74695#p74695

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  12. Christian Bale always gives 100%, no matter what he's working on.

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    1. But he can't open a movie on his presence alone ("Equilibrium," "Rescue Dawn" and "The Machinist" prove that) and doesn't have that special star appeal that makes people (average non-cinephiles) want to know more about his private life, which he goes out of his way to keep private. Like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Russell Crowe, Bale strikes me as a character actor cursed with the good looks of a leading man, which in Hollywood these days is good-enough to be considered a star I guess.

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  13. I agree that Clooney, Bale, and Pitt are probably the ones peaking right now.

    Ryan Gosling has a lot of draw from every demographic as well. He can do a great job in a crappy romance flick, and he's also willing to do darker stuff like Drive and Only God Forgives. (which obviously appeals to brooding try-hards like myself)

    I also think Michael Fassbender has the same thing going for him, albeit a lesser extent.

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  14. Sam Witwicky (duh). Forgot his real name.

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    1. That would be none other than Shia LaBeouf.

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