Wednesday, 10 December 2014

2014 Top Ten Lists - Actors

Another rainy day. This morning was worse than yesterday, with high winds and basically horizontal rain as I drove in to work. If you're interested, this is the update for 10 Dec. Basically the Weather Network says we've had a month of rain in 3 days. This link shows some piccies and news about what's been hitting us. Of course, everything is relative, this is nothing compared to what has hit the Philippines recently. But still, for us softies, it's been interesting.

So it's now December and coming to the end of the year (they don't call me Capt. Obvious for nothing) and for the past couple of years, well as long as I've had this Blog, I've made and posted my Top Ten lists for the previous year. Of course, depending on the category, I've allowed myself some leeway as to what qualifies as last year. So let's see, for my first Top Ten List of 2014, these fellas have been among some of the favourite actors that I've observed and enjoyed this past year. (My qualification is this. If I liked them for a movie or TV show, it doesn't necessarily mean it came out in 2014, just that I probably saw it in 2014. Got it?) This is the first year that I've had a Top Ten Actors list, normally, I limit myself to Actresses, but the missus quite rightly said I should also include Actors. I do find it a bit difficult to pick Male Actors, because being a red-blooded fella, I do prefer the Actresses and notice them more. But with that in mind, here you go (I have put them in a numerical list, but it's pretty arbitrary -

10. Tom Cruise - I find it a bit strange that I'm picking Mr. Cruise, because normally he just irritates me. But over the past coupe of years, I have to honestly say that I've enjoyed the movies that I've seen him in. He is a pretty darn decent action star. I've enjoyed the Mission Impossible movies. I was determined not to enjoy Jack Reacher as the picture I have in my mind of what Jack Reacher looks like does not in any way possible look like Tom Cruise. But I have to say that I enjoyed Reacher very much, Cruise showed humour and that he can comfortably fill the role. I am glad to see that he is listed for another Reacher movie. Besides these, I enjoyed Oblivion a great deal. It was a satisfactory, enjoyable SciFi movie and he was very good in it. And this past year, both Jo and I enjoyed him and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow. The movie was entertaining, full of action and I enjoyed him a lot. So there you go...

9. Peter Dinklage - My first experience with Mr. Dinklage was The Station Agent, a gem of a movie that he was excellent in. Since then I also enjoyed him in the short - lived series, Threshhold, but I kind of lost track of him, even though he has been a busy actor until The Game of Thrones came out. I love this series (see later Top Ten lists) and the books and the character of Tyrion Lannister, as portrayed by Peter Dinklage is one of the highlights of the series. He's such a talented actor and he even manages to pull off an excellent English accent (by my poor standards maybe, but even the missus, who hales from England, agrees)

8. Bill Nighy - Nighy was been ever-present in film and on TV these past years. I can't think of all the times I've enjoyed his presence in a movie or show. Let me name just a few - Blow Dry (2001), competing in a hair styling competition; State of Play (2003), great series and he was great as the newspaper publisher; Love Actually (2003), an ageing rock star; the Underworld movies; menacing as head vampire Viktor; The Girl in the Café (2005), a touching, lovely movie which co-starred Kelly MacDonald (sigh); The Boat that Rocked (2009). This is just touching the surface; I bypassed many of the other films that both Jo and I have enjoyed him in. But this past year, especially, we saw him in another quirky, funny, intelligent movie that actually came out in 2013. The movie was About Time, about a boy who discovers that he can travel in time and change what happens in his life. Nighy plays his father (who also can do this). Excellent movie, just fascinating. By the way, Nighy also played the Voice in The World's End (Simon Pegg's movie) and I also enjoyed him in a Masterpiece mystery, Worricker: Turks and Caicos recently (unfortunate that I missed part of it, but I'll finish the series). Needless to say, an excellent, talented actor.

7. Chris Pratt - A relative new actor for me, I watched his movie, Guardians of the Galaxy on my flight back east in November when I went home to see my Dad. I thought he was likable, entertaining and just enjoyed both him and the movie. When I checked up to see what else I might have seen him in, I was pleasantly surprised to find and remember that he played Scott Hatterberg in Money Ball, a catcher who didn't have the knees any more to catch nine innings who was used as a first baseman, a first baseman worried that he might not be able to catch ground balls. As Peter Quill in Guardians, he was excellent, carried the show and made it even more enjoyable to watch. (Note he's also in in 125 episodes of Parks and Recreation, if you enjoy that series)

6. Jim Caviezel - Not much to say about Caviezel except he's the mainstay of one of Jo and my favourite shows, Person of Interest. It's an excellent cast anyway, but nobody can shoot a guy in the knee with quite the flair that John Reese can. He's mastered the menacing whisper and the blank stare, the dry humour. (This one is partly for Jo.. :0))

5. Kevin Costner - Costner starred in a movie I enjoyed very much this past year, Draft Day. He plays the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, a struggling NFL team and must wangle and deal to get the man he wants in the upcoming Draft of college players. It was a surprisingly good movie and Costner, who always seems to make great sports movies; Bull Durham, For the Love of the Game, etc, has found another with this movie. I liked him very much and thought he added a nice quality to the movie. It wasn't as good as Money Ball, but still an entertaining, interesting movie.

4. Martin Freeman - Another busy British actor who appears in some of my favourite shows; as Doctor Watson in the excellent updated Sherlock series, and this past year, as Bilbo Baggins in the 2nd movie of the Hobbit Trilogy (well, this year for me anyway), the Desolation of Smaug (also starring his Sherlock partner, Benedict Cummerbatch; and in the funny, crazy Simon Pegg movie, The World's End. He's also managed to keep himself busy with the TV series based on the movie Fargo (not that I was interested enough to watch it.) Nonetheless, I like his acting so much, he's a great foil in Sherlock and excellent as Bilbo Baggins. And he's got a lovely partner, Amanda Abington, as well.. :)

3. George Clooney - Another small prezzie for the missus, this past couple of years, we enjoyed his voice in Gravity, with Sandra Bullock and this year, he effortlessly worked his way through a fascinating war movie, The Monuments Men, based on the book by Robert Edsel. This is one of those movies with a superb ensemble cast, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville, etc and with Mr. Clooney (or as the missus likes to call him, Gorgeous George) leading them in his inimitable cool, suave fashion. He has the ability to make any movie pretty darn good.

2. Michael Emerson - He's not an actor that I followed much. I knew he was in Lost for for quite a while (79 episodes to be exact) but it wasn't a show that I watched (got exasperated with it pretty quickly). But in my mind he's found himself as Harold Finch in the excellent Person of Interest. He is a computer genius, has difficulty dealing with people, but is a force to be reckoned with in this unique show, which also stars Jim Caviezel and Sarah Shahi to name just a couple.

1.  Lee Pace - Another of those actors who seems to be everywhere these days, playing a variety of roles. He's been in a series on AMC that Jo and I enjoyed very much this past year, Hold and Catch Fire. It's almost a follow-on to Mad Men. What Mad Men was to advertising, Hold and Catch Fire is to the budding computer industry. He is the son of a high-up in IBM who runs off to develop competition to Big Blue. Excellent series. Pace doesn't mind playing villains either or hiding his features, note his character Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy. And also as the Elf King in the Hobbit movies. I've enjoyed seeing his versatility and I would have sworn he was English, not a bloke from Oklahoma after listening to him speak.

So there you have it. I could have named the male cast of Big Bang Theory or New Girl as favourites as well, so many excellent actors. So after my first attempt, I'll have to keep track of these fellas for next year.

Next Top Ten list will be Actresses. :0)

Take care and stay dry!

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