Reposting my #30DaysofFavorites project here on my blog. Sharing my 30 Favorite Fictional Characters.
Reposting my #30DaysofFavorites project here on my blog. Sharing my 30 Favorite Movies.
This is a fairly light flick. Light on story and complexity that is. It’s really a treasure hunting film with a couple of land and sea monsters thrown in to add to the thrill. There are some rather violent scenes that seem harsh and a bit out of place in an otherwise fun adventure film but they don’t detract from the overall exciting feel of the movie. The roles in this aren’t too complex and there’s a lot for Robert Shaw to fall back on from his previous role in Jaws. He plays a treasure-diving veteran that gets involved in a dive with a young couple that ends up concerning some local drug thugs. There’s a bit of the old sea captain feel of Quint’s character in Jaws in Shaw’s portrayal of Romer Treece and it shouldn’t be surprising seeing as this film was based on a novel written by Peter Benchley who penned the novel Jaws is adapted from. He gets to boss around the young apprentice, spout old sailor wisdom about lost ships and there’s even a close encounter with some hungry sharks. Shaw stars alongside a young Nick Nolte and perhaps the main reason most men went to see this film, the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset. It’s not a perfect film but it’s entertaining and that’s all you can really ask of it. It’s a good summer flick to get you out of the heat and into a nice air conditioned room.
In case anyone reading these posts couldn’t tell, Robert Shaw is my favorite actor. I first remember seeing him in Jaws and I was captivated. Since then I have made it one of my missions in life to view his complete works and this marathon is a way for me to get a good chunk of them in. From Russia With Love definitely makes my top ten film list because it not only has the world’s coolest secret agent, it also has the world’s coolest secret agent’s best opponent. I could give a debrief of why Sean Connery is the best James Bond but I won’t because this isn’t a Sean Connery marathon (although that might be a good follow up blog), it’s a Robert Shaw marathon. In this film he plays Donald Grant, SPECTRE’s hired hitman that ensures that Bond’s part in the scheme is played out, and then that he is eliminated. What makes Shaw’s performance so memorable is that he doesn’t have any lines for the first hour and a half of the movie so he relies on body language and facial expressions to communicate his thoughts and emotions. I really do think Shaw’s best talent was in his facial expressions. He doesn’t need to exaggerate anything because he can communicate anger with a narrowing of his eyes and tightening of his lips. He can show that he’s serious with a low, menacing tone of voice. He gets to do all that in this film and he does it well, and for most of the movie he isn’t really interacting with the other characters directly, so he does a good job without having to respond to someone else’s act.
Today’s film is The Sting. I’m a fan of Paul Newman and I think he and Robert Redford are wonderful together, and they play well off each other in this film. Shaw is also wonderful playing yet another villain. He seemed to have more roles as the bad guy than the hero but it was probably because he was so good at playing them. The big difference I see in this role is that the villain isn’t cool and collected all the time. His character Doyle Lonnegan is prideful and when he’s cheated he shows his anger. When he’s angry he acts almost childlike, complaining that he’s been tricked by a better cheat or that he’s lost his money in an almost whiney tone of voice. The only distinction between him and a child throwing a tantrum is that his resolution is to kill those that have tricked him. Shaw pulls off this performance flawlessly and even though the film won best picture, Robert Shaw was looked over yet again. That didn’t seem to discourage him from putting his best work forward in all of his roles
The first installment of our Robert Shaw marathon. After my last post my dad suggested we have one and since we watch Jaws on the 4th of July every year, I thought a marathon would be a nice lead in. I will be giving a brief review of each in the upcoming days.
This is a great concept film. A gang of men take a train car hostage and demand one million dollars from the city of New York. It’s simple but well executed and wonderfully cast. Walter Matthau is perfect as the cynical and biting Lt. Garber and Hector Elizondo does a great job playing the hotheaded and leering Mr. Grey. Even the supporting cast was given careful consideration, with Jerry Stiller as the smart-mouthed Rico Patrone and Lee Wallace as the sniveling, political driven Mayor of New York. However, it is Robert Shaw who yet again steals the film in his role as Mr. Blue (side note: I believe this may have been where Quentin Tarantino got the idea to name his characters after numbers in Reservoir Dogs). His character is cunning and ruthless and he plays it brilliantly. I think this is one of his less well-known roles but he does it justice.
It’s Shark Week! So, I thought I would re-share my Shark Movie reviews from last year’s celebration.
It is no secret to anyone that knows me that Jaws is my favorite film and I rarely let an opportunity to watch even the smallest scene pass me by. So it should come as no surprise that when I happened upon it on satellite the other day (and in HD no less) I, of course, stopped to watch. My timing, it was revealed, was quite perfect. The first shot I saw was the shark falling back into the ocean, followed by Brody telling Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The next scene is perhaps the most noted, Quint’s monologue about the U.S.S. Indianapolis. I believe this is the best scene in the movie and it is all due to Robert Shaw’s performance.
Shaw starts off the speech with an explanation to Brody about what the mission of the Indianapolis was then quickly goes into a description of the horrors he faced following the sinking of the ship. Now, this entire scene is a credit to Shaw’s brilliant acting abilities. All you need as proof of his talent are the looks on his two fellow actors at the end of the scene. Those expressions are real and they are reactions to Shaw’s performance. They look simply dumbfounded. I have seen this movie countless times and I have been astonished every time I watch this scene at how expressive Shaw’s eyes are. He goes back and forth in the story between several emotions. At one point he is angry and the next second scared, then insane. All of these he shows through not only the pitch in his voice and the movement of his body but also in the changing shade and look in his eyes. When he delivers the line, “They didn’t even list us overdue for a week,” his voice is angry and his eyes dark. When he says, “The thing about a shark … he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until those black eyes roll over white and then … oh then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red and despite all that poundin’ and hollerin’, they all come in and … they rip you to pieces,” he seems to be staring off into space and gets a glazed look in his eyes and cracks a smile, showing that Quint is clearly traumatized from this incident and has lost some hold on sanity. Finally when he speaks of being picked up by the PBY his eyes widen and his face loses some color. Clearly he was afraid he was going to die just before he was saved. He confirms this by claiming he’ll never put on a lifejacket again. He would rather drown than wait to be ripped apart by something more terrible.
It is a crime that Robert Shaw never won an Oscar, let alone that he wasn’t even nominated for this role. Shaw was a truly amazing performer.
All throughout June I have been celebrating the fact that I’m turning 30 on the 30th by talking about some of my favorite things. I’ve posted several vlogs on my YouTube channel, and I’ve shared my 30 favorite movie moments, and my 30 favorite albums here on my blog.
Today, I’m sharing a list of my 30 Favorite Actors.
If you missed my explanation of this project, I’m turning 30 at the end of June. I thought it would be fun to celebrate by talking about my favorite things. In this case, my favorite Movie Moments. Today I finish counting down my favorite Movie Moments with my number 6 to my number 1.
This movie is almost 40 years old and still looks great. That’s largely due to the amazing special effects, which won the first ever Academy Award for Makeup. I am a fan of practical effects over computer graphics, and this scene demonstrates why real life effects work so much better than CG.
Danny Kaye is a master of verbal and physical comedy and showcases both in this wonderful scene.
All of T.E. Lawrence’s quirkiness summed up in one scene, followed by that sweeping score from Maurice Jarre. Also, the best part of Prometheus.
Paden is a sharp shot, and his horse is loyal. And he demonstrates this all in just his underwear.
Another great example of practical effects and a disturbing sequence that kicks off the terror at this isolated camp.
It is a crime that Robert Shaw never won an Academy Award, and every time I watch this scene I feel like boycotting the show in protest.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m continuing my #30DaysofFavorites project with the next round on my YouTube channel in which I discuss my favorite movies starting tomorrow. Check it out here.