Movie and Music Information

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Most Overacting Actors: Take a Little Drama Off The Top

by: Jennifer Jordan

There are people in life who are exceptional actors, actors who could make you believe just about anything. Then, there are actors who aren't necessarily horrible, but their tendency to overact makes them about as believable as the Easter Bunny. Take myself, for instance, I am an overactor. I can't appear in front of an audience without overacting. I can't even stretch the truth without being completely dramatic. For me, it's a shame: I like to be on stage….and I really like to lie.

I am not alone in my tendency to overact. Our television and movie screens are filled with overacting men and women (and sometimes dogs (seriously Benji, let's tone down the whimpering)), overacting actors who take drama and make it a little too dramatic. The following is our list for the Most Overacting Actors, those who need a script for a chill pill.

David Caruso, CSI: David Caruso was good on NYPD Blue (good for all five minutes he was a cast member), but there is just something about his role in CSI that makes me want to slip him a Xanaz. With his deep voice, perpetually sunglassed face, and a tendency to speak a little too slowly and articulate a little too much, Caruso makes CSI raise the intensity level. But, then again, maybe that's the point.

Vincent D'Onofrio, Criminal Intent: Like David Caruso, I have really liked Vincent D'Onofrio in his previous work (Mystic Pizza forever, Vinnie), but he maintains a very obscure quality on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. In scenes where he is undercover as a married man, he comes across as gay, in scenes where he is supposed to pretend he is on the criminal's side, he comes across as patronizing, and in scenes where he is supposed to be happy…well, frankly, ya just can't tell. He nearly appears to be one emotion, all the time.

Tom Cruise: Hopefully, he can handle the truth. It isn't that I think Tom Cruise is horrible at acting, he just doesn't make certain roles all that believable. Well, that and he plays seemingly the same guy in most of his films. He's fine in movies like Top Gun or Risky Business (i.e., movies where he just needs to smile pretty for the camera), but could he pull off a role like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman? No way. Oh well, at least he always has Scientology to fall back on…or whatever.

William Shatner, Star Trek: Though I absolutely love him in Boston Legal, he makes this list for his role in Star Trek. Sorry Willie, you've been beamed up. In this science fiction series, he became known for narration laden in drama and odd, long pauses………………….yes, kind of like that. Though this overacting is often parodied, you have to give Shatner credit: his acting style thrives in comedic roles and he looks pretty darn good for his age.

Keanu Reeves: First of all, let me apologize to all the Bill and Ted lovers out there. You're right, that movie was, in a word, excellent. In fact, I believe that was one of Keanu's best jobs as an actor. I don't assert this because he gave a heartfelt performance or because the role he played was on par with Jack Nicholson's Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I say this instead because it was one role where he wasn't overwhelmingly stoic; it was a role that made him real. Did we believe that he was a high school slacker about to be sent to military school? Yes. Did we believe he was "the one" who could save the human race from slavery? Uh, not really

"The Departed" Is Best Mob Film Since Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" in 1972

by: Ed Bagley

The Departed – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Let me get to the most important thing first: Director Martin Scorsese won an Oscar for "The Departed".

Scorsese, one of the most accomplished directors of our era, has been nominated for 7 Oscars-5 for Best Director and 2 for Best Screenplay-before winning with The Departed.

He had also received 7 Golden Globe nominations-6 for Best Director and 1 for Best Screenplay-and won for Gangs of New York before winning again for The Departed this year (2007).

The Departed is simply the best mob film since Mario Puzo's original Godfather in 1972.

Besides Scorsese, The Departed won for Best Picture, Best Screenplay (William Monahan) and Best Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker), giving The Departed 4 Oscar wins to The Godfather's 3 (Marlon Brando for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola).

Mark Wahlberg was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Sgt. Sean Dignam.

The Departed also picked up 45 more wins and another 45 nominations, including another win for Scorsese (Best Director) and nominations for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg) at the Golden Globes.

In short, The Departed brought home more hardware than a Home Depot shopping spree.

The icing on the cake for Scorsese was his best box-office opening ever ($26 million), his highest grossing film ever with $132 million nationally and $288 million worldwide through March 2007, and $48 million more in VHS rentals. The film's budget was $90 million.

The all-star cast of DiCaprio (Billy Costigan), Matt Damon (Sgt. Colin Sullivan), Jack Nicholson (Frank Costello), Wahlberg (Sgt. Sean Dignam), Martin Sheen (Capt. Oliver Queenan) and Alec Baldwin (Capt. George Ellerby) did not hurt a lick.

The story takes place in Boston where Irish Mob boss Frank Costello (Nicholson) embeds Colin Sullivan (Damon) as an informant with the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the State Police assign Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello's crew.

When both sides figure out the situation, it is left to Sullivan and Costigan to discover each other's identity.

Along the way, 22 people get whacked (this is a Mob flick), the "f" word is used 237 times (about 235 times too many), and we get a study in relationship psychology as the only real love interest-Madolyn Madden-is a criminal psychiatrist who is wooed by both rivals.

The Departed kept my attention riveted for 151 minutes. The three main characters (Costello, Sullivan and Costigan) all show their anguish in balancing survival, winning and conquering the moment.

There are apparently two versions of this film. I saw the longer version that is rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, and some strong sexual content and drug material.

This film is not for children or young adults, not that young adults do not hear the same "f" word dozens a time a day at high schools all over the country, but who needs the "f" word 237 times in 2.5 hours? Nobody.

I managed to tune out the cussing and concentrate on the story, acting and presentation that were excellent for an action flick with Mob presence.

What Was Elizabeth Taylor's First Dramatic Film?

by: Andrew Conway

A Place In The Sun was one of the 50's most intriguing
films. The release date was October 11, 1951. I celebrated
my third birthday party on that exact date, but it wasn't
until years later that I actually saw that film. As I was
growing older, I developed a big crush, like most of my
friends, on Elizabeth Taylor.

The movie depicts an up and coming George Eastman [played
by Montgomery Cliff] being thrust into the blue collar
life of a rich uncle's family business, and falling in
love with another women, despite the fact that his own
[secret] girlfriend was now pregnant.

Directed by George Stevens, who did a brilliant job,despite
the constraints that were imposed on him by Paramount. This
film classic was actually a remake of a film that was made
20 years earlier that was a total bomb. The studio had lost
a huge amount of money on the earlier version, so the
monetary restraints were put in place before they even
started shooting.

A very young Elizabeth Taylor, who plays Angela Vickers,is
paired with Montgomery Cliff in this classic story of doomed
love.It was Miss Taylor's best work to date and her first
dramatic role. Her raw natural beauty lights up the screen.
Shelly Winters [who plays Alice Tripp] gives a convincing
performance of the poor homely girl who happens to fall in
love with George Eastman.Upon learning that she is pregnant,
she fanatasies about the life that she and George will share
together but after finding out about George's real love interest,
she threatens him with exposure, unless he agrees to marry her.

His mind is full of crazy thoughts about what he should do.
He leaves a dinner party to meet Alice and ends up in a
boat on moon lake with her. As she starts to describe the
dreary, uninteresting life that both of them will live,
George's mind is filled only with thoughts of the
beautiful Taylor. He changes his mind about his plans of
droning Alice and starts back to shore. But in one ironic
twist of fate,Alice moves to be closer to George and causes
the boat to capsize, falls into the lake and drowns anyway.

He is captured and prosecuted by an ambitious district
attorney [played by Raymond Burr].

This is definitely one of the best classic movies that ever
came out of Hollywood.It won 6 Oscars, another 7 wins and 8
nominations. This is a classic example tragic romanticism.

Acoustic Guitar

by: Kevin Brown

If you have not had the luxury of going out and purchasing a brand new acoustic guitar before then there might be a few things that you need to know before you do so. Many people do not realize that there is more to buying an acoustic guitar than meets the eye. It is not all about the look of the guitar it is really about what’s in the guitar, what it’s made of that makes the guitar special. A good tip to start this session off is to only buy an acoustic guitar that is made out of dried wood; everything else will not last and will give off poor sound quality.

If you are thinking about buying a guitar off of the internet then you really need to pay attention to what you are buying, I know from experience you need to read the fine print and make sure what you think you are getting is really what you are getting!

One of the biggest things you need to make sure that you pay attention to when looking to purchase an acoustic guitar is that bridge of the guitar. If you are not sure what the bridge is I can explain that to you as well. Think of the bridge as a megaphone for the sound of the guitar. Basically what it does is takes the vibrations form the strings when they are plucked and it amplifies the vibrating surface of those strings, thus creating more sound, the sound that you hear when you play. The big thing to look for is to make sure that the acoustic guitar bridge is also made out of dried wood. You can get some pretty cheap guitars on the market but that is because the bridges are also cheap and thus you get what you pay for, a cheap sounding instrument.

The next important thing when buying an acoustic guitar is to make sure that the body of the guitar is made out of dried wood. I know a lot of guitars out there can look amazing and be all shiny and beautiful but make sure that the look of the guitar is not what persuades you to make the purchase. You can get a great looking guitar for cheap but you will be disappointed when you try to do more than just look at it, it will sound like garbage. The higher the price of the guitar the better the wood that was used to make the body, remember that.

Don’t rush when trying to pick out a good acoustic guitar, take your time and play the instrument. If you can’t play it because you are buying online then look for reviews, find someone who has played it and see what they thought of the instrument. If you follow these tips when going out and getting that brand new acoustic guitar you are sure to grab a wonderful piece of wood that will last you a lifetime and sound great for many more!