It was announced yesterday that the great Bill Paxton had died from complications during a routine surgery. He was only 61 years old.
If you grew up watching the kinds of movies I grew up watching and loving the movies I love, Bill Paxton has been a fixture in your life for more than 30 years. He's a guy who appeared in some of the greatest genre films ever made, but more than that was a working actor who made all kinds of movies and brought something special to every single one of them. Sometimes it was a bug-eyed craziness. Sometimes it was just the straight-faced goodness he could so easily project. I spent the day the news broke reading remembrances from people who knew him and worked with him, and every one of them to a person made a point of mentioning just what a good man he was. Like many of you, I'm heartbroken.
So let's do what we always do when an actor or a filmmaker we love passes away and celebrate him through his work. This was an easy list to make because he's been in so many movies I'm excited to revisit, but it was tough at the same time because I had to make some difficult choices. There are a bunch of movies I wanted to include but couldn't find room for: Tombstone, True Lies, Trespass, Titanic, and even some others that don't start with the letter 'T'.
Thank you to Rob DiCristino for suggesting the column. Not only was it a great idea, but has actually served to help me deal with the loss by making me think of all of these movies and performances that I love.
10 a.m. - Weird Science (1985, dir. John Hughes)
11:45 a.m. - One False Move (1992, dir. Carl Franklin)
1:45 p.m. - Navy SEALs (1990, dir. Lewis Teague)
3:45 p.m. - Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002, dir. Robert Rodriguez)
5:30 p.m. - Traveller (1997, dir. Jack N. Green)
7:30 p.m. - Apollo 13 (1986, dir. Ron Howard)
10 p.m. - Aliens (1986, dir. James Cameron)
12:15 a.m. - Near Dark (1987, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)
2 a.m. - Brain Dead (1990, dir. Adam Simon)
3:30 a.m. - The Dark Backward (1991, dir. Adam Rifkin)
5:15 a.m. - Broken Lizard's Club Dread (2004, dir. Jay Chandrasekhar)
7 a.m. - Haywire (2011, dir. Steven Soderbergh)
8:45 a.m. - Frailty (2001, dir. Bill Paxton)
10:30 a.m. - A Simple Plan (1998, dir. Sam Raimi)
12:45 p.m. - Indian Summer (1993, dir. Mike Binder)
RIP Bill Paxton. Thank you for Chet. Thank you for Hudson. Thank you for God. Thank you for a lifetime spent watching your movies.