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Kevin Costner and terrible acting in good movies

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Re: Kevin Costner and terrible acting in good movies

Postby rrnate » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:13 am

pjbogart wrote:
The only time DiCaprio really impressed me was the first time I saw him in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape". Maybe it's an age thing, but I usually feel a little bit of a let down by his final products too. Even massively hyped movies like "The Departed" and "Inception" fall a little flat for me.


Yeah, I definitely don't think he's incapable of a good performance. He's good in that one, he's great in "Catch Me If You Can", and I think as shitty as it is as a movie, he's very good in "Titanic". He's also pretty fun to watch in "Django", though, a better character actor would have made that role way, way more memorable.

Essentially, I think he's good in a role if he can kind of relate to the character, and if he has to use his imagination too much, he's in trouble.

Shutter Island is the best example I can think of; it's a well made movie and a lot of the smaller roles in it are handled very, very well, but Scorcese leans on Leonardo way too much (like he's De Niro or something) and it really kills the movie's impact. Conversely, like I was saying, Christopher Nolan pretty much makes movies around his actors and therefore, Di Caprio doesn't ruin Inception.
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Re: Kevin Costner and terrible acting in good movies

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Marvell wrote:Consider Cary Grant, who for me and many others is the quintessential ‘movie star;’ when you really stop to think about it, his range is extraordinarily limited. It’s practically impossible to imagine him playing, say, Hamlet – and why would you want him to? There’s nothing Hamlet about Cary Grant, thank god; that’s what I love about him.


rrnate wrote:Cary Grant is a great example, and you can really see the seams showing when he's in more serious roles.

Now that Cary has come up twice, I really feel the need to defend his acting chops. I know Marvell wasn't really dissing him -- quite the opposite, I think, he was celebrating his quintessential "Cary Grant-ness". But Nate is just way off base here. Have you never seen Notorious? He's fantastic in that, and it's quite a departure from the kind of roles he's generally associated with. He absolutely kills it as a humanist doctor in People Will Talk, but his character there is a far cry from his rugged pilot in the Howard Hawks classic Only Angels Have Wings. And while it's a common canard to suggest his range is limited, I'd suggest that even when playing typically "Cary Grant" roles, there's quite a lot of variation there. Compare his comedic chops in Bringing Up Baby, his fantastic turn in The Philadelphia Story, or his fast-talking reporter in His Girl Friday. Those characters really couldn't be more different (unless, of course, one of them was Hamlet) yet they are all quintessentially "Cary Grant", in the sense that imagining anyone else in those roles is next to impossible. Sure, he repeated himself sometimes, but what the hell, the guy made a gazillion and a half movies (and the roles he was offered as he got older necessarily produced diminishing returns.) But I'd still argue his filmography is pretty damn diverse: besides those named above, there's Gunga Din, The Bishop's Wife, Topper, Once Upon A Honeymoon, I Was A Male War Bride, North By Northwest, The Awful Truth... classics all.

And that's not to mention the obvious, that "Cary Grant" is not his real personality at all, it's a carefully crafted and honed onscreen persona which few have ever been able to match. (I've long argued that "breezy" is one of the toughest things to pull off convincingly.) So let's knock off the Grant-bashing, please.

I mean, there's plenty of actually terrible actors we could be discussing. For Pete's sake, nobody's even mentioned Kevin Bacon yet!
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Re: Kevin Costner and terrible acting in good movies

Postby rrnate » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Marvell wrote:Consider Cary Grant, who for me and many others is the quintessential ‘movie star;’ when you really stop to think about it, his range is extraordinarily limited. It’s practically impossible to imagine him playing, say, Hamlet – and why would you want him to? There’s nothing Hamlet about Cary Grant, thank god; that’s what I love about him.


rrnate wrote:Cary Grant is a great example, and you can really see the seams showing when he's in more serious roles.

Now that Cary has come up twice, I really feel the need to defend his acting chops. I know Marvell wasn't really dissing him -- quite the opposite, I think, he was celebrating his quintessential "Cary Grant-ness". But Nate is just way off base here. Have you never seen Notorious? He's fantastic in that, and it's quite a departure from the kind of roles he's generally associated with. He absolutely kills it as a humanist doctor in People Will Talk, but his character there is a far cry from his rugged pilot in the Howard Hawks classic Only Angels Have Wings. And while it's a common canard to suggest his range is limited, I'd suggest that even when playing typically "Cary Grant" roles, there's quite a lot of variation there. Compare his comedic chops in Bringing Up Baby, his fantastic turn in The Philadelphia Story, or his fast-talking reporter in His Girl Friday. Those characters really couldn't be more different (unless, of course, one of them was Hamlet) yet they are all quintessentially "Cary Grant", in the sense that imagining anyone else in those roles is next to impossible. Sure, he repeated himself sometimes, but what the hell, the guy made a gazillion and a half movies (and the roles he was offered as he got older necessarily produced diminishing returns.) But I'd still argue his filmography is pretty damn diverse: besides those named above, there's Gunga Din, The Bishop's Wife, Topper, Once Upon A Honeymoon, I Was A Male War Bride, North By Northwest, The Awful Truth... classics all.

And that's not to mention the obvious, that "Cary Grant" is not his real personality at all, it's a carefully crafted and honed onscreen persona which few have ever been able to match. (I've long argued that "breezy" is one of the toughest things to pull off convincingly.) So let's knock off the Grant-bashing, please.

I mean, there's plenty of actually terrible actors we could be discussing. For Pete's sake, nobody's even mentioned Kevin Bacon yet!


Whoa, just saw this! A few quick points:

1. Yeah, "Notorious" is actually what I was thinking of when I talked about his limited range. I think he's the weak part of that movie, actually.

2. The range of characters he played are fairly diverse on the page, but I don't think they are on the screen - he flattens them in to (at least to me) pretty much three 'types"

* Wacky Cary Grant
* Indignant, Well-To-Do Cary Grant
* Quiet Cary Grant

Don't get me wrong, he's fun to watch and me and Mrs. RRNT have purposefully sought out hard-to-find movies because he's in 'em, but I still do think he's fairly limited (but, to be fair, certainly not terrible, and CERTAINLY not worthy of a Costner comparison).

Aside - definitely agree that 'breezy' is super hard, and with the stories about him actually being a shy, sad bastard, that truly does make it more impressive.

3. Kevin Bacon - he's great in Tremors! I haven't really seen him in much else.

4. Orson Welles - he's another one, where, I don't even know if it's good acting or not. I love watching him though.
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