Watch this space for an acceptance post, coming as soon as I get back from my latest holiday…
Another awesome list of watchable actors, this time from Ruth at Flixchatter.net. It’s almost all Toby Stephens though 😜
Thank you to Lady Sati, whom I’ve been commiserating with in the agony & ecstasy of crushing over an underrated Brit, kindly passed the baton to me to join this awesome blogathon! This idea originated with Abbi at Where the Wild Things Are, and to be honest with you, it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Partly it’s because I’ve been nuts about Toby Stephens lately [haven't you noticed?] that he’s sort of ruined it for other actors for me. So apart from Toby [who I'd watch in literally ANYTHING], the title of the post is hyperbolic of course. For the other actors, it’s not that I’d watch them in anything because there are tons of movies with them in it I haven’t seen and probably never will. But having their name in a certain film would certainly make me more inclined in watching them.
Ok now I…
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Check out my review for “You’re Next” recommended by garylee828 as part of Tyson Carter’s Recommended By series on Head in a Vice.
And it just keeps on rolling. Check out Tom at Digital Shortbread’s Top 10 Actors! Hint: He has some awesome choices!
Originally posted on digitalshortbread:
Hey all, seems you’ve caught me shaking off the dust and cobwebs off this seldom-used feature. . .
Though I’ve waited around for awhile to throw something like this up, honestly the timing is now perfect. In the last month or so there’s been some very cool Top Ten’s floating around that have really caught my attention, and at least one of those has stemmed from Abbi and her fantastic blog Where the Wild Things Are.
If you have not explored her site yet, here are a few things you are missing: break-downs of movie soundtracks, characters, couples, genres, mustaches, guilty pleasures (and those are just the Top Ten lists you’ll find), as well as Film Friday and a host of other personal projects and posts. There’s a lot to discover there and it’s well worth your time for a look-see. Also, if you want to see where all of this began, here’s the whole breakdown:
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There’s no question that love has been one of the most universal cinematic themes since the dawn of the moving picture and that most of the time its all about the two lovers ending up together and disappearing into the sunset. Although sometimes the most compelling love stories are the ones where a couple never gets to have their happily ever after because of some kind of insurmountable obstacle that ensures their relationship is forever doomed. For some reason those always end up being my favourites. These are my top ten doomed movie couples. [Spoilers abound].
Eric Draven and Shelly Webster
Played by: Brandon Lee and Sofia Shinas
Film: The Crow (1994)
The obstacle: Eric and Shelly have been murdered and Eric is a spectre risen from the dead to avenge her
“Shelly Webster: I love you.
Eric Draven: Say that again.
Shelly Webster: I love you.”
Romeo and Juliet
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes
Film: Romeo + Juliet (1996)
The obstacle: Their families are at war with one another and Juliet has been promised to someone else
“Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Romeo: Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
Juliet: ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy, thou art thyself though not a Montague. What is Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. Oh, what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet; so Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection to which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name! And for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself.”
Jack and Rose
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Film: Titanic (1997)
The obstacle: Not only are Jack and Rose from different worlds but they’re on a ship that is destined to sink
“Rose: I love you, Jack.
Jack: Don’t you do that, don’t say your good-byes. Not yet, do you understand me?
Rose: I’m so cold.
Jack: Listen, Rose. You’re gonna get out of here, you’re gonna go on and you’re gonna make lots of babies, and you’re gonna watch them grow. You’re gonna die an old… an old lady warm in her bed, not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me?
Rose: I can’t feel my body.
Jack: Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me… it brought me to you. And I’m thankful for that, Rose. I’m thankful. You must do me this honor. Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise.
Rose: I promise.
Jack: Never let go.
Rose: I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.”
Brandon Teena and Lana Tisdel
Played by: Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny
Film: Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
The obstacle: Brandon is a transgender man and Lana is a straight woman who doesn’t know
“Brandon: “Dear Lana, By the time you read this I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right, Memphis isn’t that far off. I’ll be taking that trip down the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for you. Love always and forever, Brandon.””
Holden McNeil and Alyssa Jones
Played by: Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams
Film: Chasing Amy (1997)
The obstacle: Alyssa is a lesbian and Holden may or may not be in love with his best friend, Banky
“Alyssa: You know, I didn’t just heed what I was taught, men and women should be together, it’s the natural way, that kind of thing. I’m not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is, how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just *gets* you – it’s so rare. My parents didn’t really have it. There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me. So I didn’t. But then you came along. You, the one least likely. I mean, you were a guy.
Holden: Still am.
Alyssa: And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you *were* a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who’d complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, ’cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn’t look. And for me that makes all the difference.
Holden: [pause] Well, can I at least tell people all you needed was some serious deep dicking?”
Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund
Played by: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
Film: Casablanca (1942)
The obstacle: She’s married to someone else and he only has enough tickets to get two people out of a war zone
“Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I’ve done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you’re getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I… I…
Rick: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! You have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we’d both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn’t that true, Louie?
Captain Renault: I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You’re saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.
[Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
Rick: Now, now…
[Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
Rick: Here’s looking at you kid.”
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist
Played by: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
Film: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The obstacle: At a time where being gay is a complete taboo, they are both men… married to women
“Ennis Del Mar: I’m gonna tell you this one time, Jack fuckin’ Twist, an’ I ain’t foolin’. What I don’t know – all them things that I don’t know – could get you killed if I come to know them. I ain’t jokin’.
Jack Twist: Yeah well try this one, and I’ll say it just once!
Ennis Del Mar: Go ahead!
Jack Twist: Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together! Fuckin’ real good life! Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain! Everything’s built on that! That’s all we got, boy, fuckin’ all. So I hope you know that, even if you don’t never know the rest! You count the damn few times we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short fucking leash you keep me on – and then you ask me about Mexico and tell me you’ll kill me for needing somethin’ I don’t hardly never get. You have no idea how bad it gets! I’m not you… I can’t make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! You are too much for me Ennis, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.
Ennis Del Mar: [crying] Well, why don’t you? Why don’t you just let me be? It’s because of you Jack, that I’m like this! I’m nothin’… I’m nowhere… Get the fuck off me! I can’t stand being like this no more, Jack.”
Robbie Turner and Cecelia Tallis
Played by: James McAvoy and Keira Knightley
Film: Atonement (2007)
The obstacle: Cecelia’s sister falsely accused Robbie of a rape as a young girl
“Robbie Turner: Have you been in touch with your family?
Cecilia Tallis: No I told you I wouldn’t. Leon waited outside the hospital last week. I just pushed past him.
Robbie Turner: Cee, you don’t owe me anything.
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie didn’t you read my letters? Had I been allowed to visit you? Had they let me, every day, I would have been there every day.
Robbie Turner: Yes but, if all we have rests on a few moments in a library three and a half years ago then I am not sure, I don’t know…
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie, look at me, come back, come back to me.”
Johann Friedrich Struensee and Caroline Mathilde
Played by: Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander
Film: A Royal Affair (2012)
The obstacle: Caroline is a princess married to the king of Denmark and Stuensee is his doctor
“Johann Friedrich Struensee: Do you remember our first night together?
Caroline Mathilde: It feels like we’ve been unhappy ever since.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: I have been happy.
Caroline Mathilde: Come to me tonight?”
Christian and Satine
Played by: Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
Film: Moulin Rouge (2001)
The obstacle: Satine is a courtesan sold to the highest bidder and Christian is a penniless writer… plus she has TB
“Satine: Besides, I can’t fall in love with anyone
Christian: Can’t… fall… in love? But, a life without love, that’s… terrible…
Satine: No, being on the street, that’s terrible.
Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!
Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!”
One of my favourite people on earth to watch movies with is my bestie, Jen. Mostly we don’t really agree much on what we enjoy but when you have good banter and an inappropriate running commentary to share who cares? What we do agree on though is that there is no greater guilty pleasure than bad dance movies. Unfortunately I haven’t really been able to do any movie watching with Jen recently since the UK’s ridiculous immigration laws forced her to move back to Australia earlier this year. Fortunately for me she is currently in London visiting and staying with me. I decided the best way to help her get over her jet lag would be an all day marathon composed purely of cheesy, predictable and wonderfully brilliant dance movies.
Sean (Ryan Guzman) and his best friend, Eddy (Misha Gabriel Hamiliton) work as waiters in a swanky Miami hotel but spend their spare time dancing in a crew called The Mob, which arranges high impact flash mobs in the hope of racking up a high number of YouTube views and winning a contest. One day while having a drink at one of the beach bars at the hotel, Sean meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick), who impresses him by doing a dance that appears to involve simulating scrabbling sand from her vagina. What Sean doesn’t realise until the next day is that Emily is actually the daughter of Mr Anderson (Peter Gallagher) who owns the hotel and is none to pleased with Emily’s aims to become a professional dancer. Unperturbed Sean invites Emily to join The Mob but doesn’t tell any of his friends about her father. When the group discover that Anderson is going to develop a new hotel that will lead to the destruction of their neighbourhood, Emily convinces them to organise a flash mob to disrupt the town hall meeting where approval for the project is being sought but what will happen when Eddy finds out who Emily really is and when her father finds out what she’s been doing with her spare time? There is no doubt that this installment of the Step Up franchise has some amazing group dance routines and it packed with eye popping tricks and it’s a lot of fun if you can forgive the cliches. Unfortunately all the characters are underdeveloped and there are so many supporting characters that it’s hard to actually keep them straight (in the words of Jen, why can’ they wear different colour hoodies?). Not the worst of the day but certainly not the best. 2.5/5
When Sara’s (Julia Stiles) mother is killed on her way to Sara’s Julliard audition she is forced to move to Chicago to live in the ghetto with her dad (Terry Kinney) where she discovers she is basically the only white girl in school and nothing about her new life is familiar. Fortunately she is befriended by Chenille (Kerry Washington) and her aspiring doctor brother, Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas). Chenille invites Sara to a dance club where she realises that her ballet moves don’t cut it in the world of hip hop. Fortunately Derek is willing to coach her. Inevitably sparks fly and Derek starts to help Sara get over her guilt and consider going giving Julliard another go. Unfortunately not only is everyone not thrilled about Sara and Derek’s burgeoning relationship but Derek’s friend, Malakai (Fredro Starr) isn’t willing to let the past go, threatening both of their futures. The one absolute essential for a good dance movie is that the dancing is totally epic. It’s fine for the protagonist to start out a bit shit and then get good but they have to get really, really good and Julia Stiles just isn’t that good a dancer. She never looks completely comfortable doing any of the hip hop moves, which detracts from the overall effect. Save the Last Dance wants to be really gritty but it also lacks any actual threat to its characters so it just comes across as inauthentic. I remember loving this when it came out but it hasn’t aged well at all. Surprisingly the worst of the bunch. 2/5
Jody Sawyer (Amanda Schull) gets one step closer to her ballet dream when she is accepted by the American Ballet Company. Here she meets her roommates, Maureen (Susan May Pratt), who has perfect technique and is earmarked for glory and Eva (Zoe Saldana), a promising dancer from the wrong side of the tracks with an attitude to match. While Maureen and Eva excel, Jody discovers that her technique is far behind that of her classmates. One day while attending an external non-ballet class, she encounters Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), a former student who is choreographing his own contemporary piece for the end of year showcase that will determine every dancer’s future. After Jody falls into an ill-advised romantic entanglement with Cooper, he casts her as the lead in his show, but is she up to the challenge? Will Eva’s attitude get in the way of her success? And what is hiding behind Maureen’s ice cool facade? Although Center Stage is predictable and its characters are pretty two dimensional it feels like a fascinating and somewhat authentic look into the unforgiving world of ballet. It’s also exciting and sexy and the dancing is very impressive. An endlessly rewatchable dance movie classic. 3.5/5
After ballroom dance teacher, Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas) witnesses Rock (Rob Brown) vandalising his principal’s (Alfre Woodard) car he decides to report it to the school and discovers that she is less than interested in following it up. He then decides that he could potentially give something back to the inner city kids at the school by offering dance lessons. Practical Principal James doesn’t see the value but she could use someone to take detention so she gives Dulaine a shot. At first his group of misfits, which include the sullen Rock are complete disinterested in Dulaine’s form of dance or his insistence on good manners but his endless enthusiasm soon starts to win them over. When he discovers that Rock’s and fellow student, LaRhett’s (Yaya DaCosta) brother caused each other’s deaths during a drug war, he puts his focus into healing their relationship through dance, potentially to the detriment of his paying students. As his students start to mix his music with theirs and develop a whole new kind of dance, Dulaine enrolls them in a contest but will the pull of Rock’s past life be too much?And will the class have what it takes to go up against students who have been practising for years? Banderas is funny and charming as Dulaine and unlike Save the Last Dance, the students lives really do come across as tough and dangerous, which helps you to form a connection with even the silliest of the supporting cast. Throughout the film you desperately want them to succeed. Believe it or not this is loosely based on a real story, which somewhat prevents it from becoming a complete cheese-fest and keeps it on the right side of heartwarming. 3.5/5
These melt in the mouth biscuits were a staple in my house growing up because they’re eggless and my brother was allergic to eggs as a child. They have a really smooth texture and a subtle vanilla flavour. Although they are lovely plain you can also sandwich them together with chocolate or bake them with a little dot of jam in the middle.
South African custard biscuits
220g butter, cut into small cubes
110g custard powder
110g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
Any flavour of smooth jam – I like apricot or strawberry (Optional)
Preheat your oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sift together the flour, custard power, icing sugar and salt, Add the butter and then rub in with your fingertips until there are no large lumps of butter. Bring the dough together using your hands and knead a little until smooth. Break off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls. If you are making plain biscuits place them on the tray (12 at a time) and press down with a fork. If you are making jam biscuits press them down lightly with your hands and then use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hollow in each biscuit. Drop a little jam into each hollow. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.