Stars and Crew
Actors I Like
- Something about the accent, his timing and the sorts of movies he's in. I'm impressed that he always seems to get what he wants. He sets a goal and somehow he makes it. He transcends genres having been in Sci-Fi, Action and Comedy which means he's more than a one man show (unlike Sylvester Stallone). There's been some lesser quality Arnie films but I like his old stuff enough that I can overlook things like The Last Stand.
- I've tried not to like him because he's too young and has a "baby-face" etc.. but unfortunately he turns in such consistently good performances that I've got no choice. Sometimes it's as much about the actors as the choices their agents make. In Leonardo's case, he's generally a "Drama guy" but his drama characters vary a lot, he's incredibly versatile. He was good in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic but he was even better in the Aviator, Catch Me if You Can, Departed, Shutter Island and Inception.
- Christopher Lee was a favourite of mine as a child back when he was Dracula and the guy from the Wicker Man. Of course, having him in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings recently has elevated him to a much higher place.
- I've always liked Liam Neeson, from way back when I saw him in Rob Roy. It was only later that I realised that he was in one of my favourite movies; Excalibur. Being in Star Wars cemented him in my mind and he was one of the more interesting characters in the Phantom Menace. Taken 1 was pretty good too but since then he seems to be remaking the same film over and over again (even if it's under different names).
- I was a big fan of David Warner when I first saw him in the original Omen film. He was great as Jack the Ripper in Time after Time too. He seemed to disappear off the scene entirely for a while before resurfacing in Titanic -- and of course he's done Doctor Who audios which are impressive too. He didn't really disappear though, it was always his voice that was his best attribute and as it turns out, he's been voicing animated characters for years.
- Donald seems to get better as he gets older and his turn in the Hunger Games saga showed him at his best. Of course he's pretty good in Space Cowboys too.
- He's been pretty consistently entertaining from the original Nightmare on Elm Street all the way to Sweeney Todd. Of course, he's at his best when Tim Burton is involved.
Actresses I Like
- If the unusual name wasn't interesting enough, she's very watchable - even if her movies aren't always the best. As to whether she's got acting abilities, compare the Fifth Element, The Messenger and Resident Evil. They're all action roles (which is a rare plus for females) but they're quite different.
- Emma is always quite bright and quirky and her roles from Junior, to Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter are always a delight to watch. Her roles in British sitcoms Bridget Jones' Diary and Love Actually are pretty good too.
- I first noticed Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves and thought she was a brilliant actress. Her work in Red Dragon, the Corpse Bride, the War Horse, the Book Thief and Little boy pretty much cements her status as probably the best dramatic actress of recent years.
- There's something unearthly about her which makes her a delight to watch.
- From Misery to Titanic, she dominates every scene that she's in.
Directors and Producers I Like
- Clint is simply amazing. I can't believe that he's still going. He was a good actor but as a director, he's sublime.
- James Cameron seems to be able to do no wrong. It used to be said that "No sequel is ever as good as the original unless James Cameron is involved". That was certainly true of Aliens and Terminator. I didn't know what to expect with Titanic but he impressed me there too. His other flicks like the Abyss were pretty spectacular as well. Despite all the critics suggesting otherwise, Avatar went on to reach top spot. I'm interested to see how he goes with the other Avatar films.
- It's probably not fair to have George Lucas in this list because he's not always a "director", more of a creative force. Obviously I like Star Wars - All of them. I like the spin-offs (except for the holiday special) and I like THX-1138 and American Graffitti. His involvement with Indiana Jones was also pretty impressive. It's interesting that so many people were so horrible to him about the Star Wars prequels but as it turns out, Disney has completely mishandled the franchise.
- Steven Spielberg would be one of my favourite directors if he only kept to a few films (his best ones). Unfortunately, by being so prolific, he increases the likelihood of duds. His earlier films are much, much better than his later ones.
- I wonder how different Ridley's career would have been if he'd done Doctor Who instead of Alien (He was originally slated for Doctor Who but then Alien came along. I wonder if this would have had a positive or negative effect on Doctor Who? In any case, Ridley has had a string of great flicks, particularly Blade Runner and Gladiator. Prometheus was good too but I feel he completely lost it with his most recent Alien flick.
Lars Von Trier
- I'd never heard of Lars until I watched "Breaking the Waves" and the equally awesome "Dancer in the Dark". Both films are harrowing and you can't emerge from them unscathed. His work isn't universally great, certainly the Idiots didn't do a lot for me but one thing is for sure, you'll always find something that lingers on, that's the way it was for me with Dogville, Anti-Christ and Melancholia.
- Peter is one of those people who put out quite a bit of great work before anyone noticed him. For me, it was the Frighteners that made me take notice. Obviously Lord of the Rings is his unbeatable masterwork, though the Hobbit didn't measure up to those standards. King Kong and The Lovely Bones did little for me either but earlier works are great and his influence as a producer seems to stretch a long, long way.
Guillermo Del Toro
- One of the biggest problems with Guillermo is that he gets himself attached to everything ... and then leaves it without completing the work. It's frustrating. That said, his work on the two Hellboy films is amazing, as was Pan's Labyrinth. I can't really say much about Crimson Peak but at least with Pacific Rim, he demonstrated the difference between a storytelling approach and Michael (explosion) Bay's approach. Still waiting for him to do the Mountains of Madness.
Film Musicians I like
- John Williams' Star Wars score captured a generation -- and I followed all his films from there. ET, Superman, Raiders, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park. Hum a few bars of any of them and they're instantly recognisable.
- I'd never heard of Howard Shore until Lord of the Rings but the music there was so great that I went looking to see what else he'd done. He's got a huge body of work but nothing else that massively stands out. Yet.
- Danny's score in the Nightmare Before Christmas was what got me looking at his other work. He's got a real affinity with the Depp/Burton films; Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory etc. and of course, he's the composer for the Simpsons.