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View Full Version : Is Kevin Costner bound for cult status? Does he already have it?


Argent Towers
12-02-2006, 08:41 PM
I am a great fan of 90s action movies and often watch them with my friends. Lately, we have been gravitating towards Kevin Costner movies, which a lot of people seem to hate: they are called cheesy, pompous, melodramatic, and over-budgeted, and Kevin Costner's acting ability is frequently lambasted by critics. However, I personally like them a lot.

First of all, I think Kevin Costner is just entertaining to watch. He might not have a wide range of facial expressions but he pulls off the half-smiling, half-smirking, coolly confident look really well.

The movies have great set design and amazing environments. Revenge, one of my favorites, has fantastic Mexican landscapes, great costumes and vehicles, and everything is all dusty and rugged looking and really makes you feel like you're there. The Postman, which a lot of people seem to hate, has incredible outdoor landscapes (either Colorado or Arizona or maybe both) and captures the post-apocalyptic feel really well. Waterworld, another movie that everyone makes fun of, has very interesting set design (come on, even if you think the movie's stupid, you have to agree that the floating city and the bad guys' derelict oil tanker are unique settings.)

Last night I watched No Way Out, a 1987 spy thriller, and was quite impressed by it. The plot was excellent, the twist ending caught me completely off guard, Gene Hackman and Will Patton (also the villain of Postman) and Costner all had great performances. Another under-rated movie. After viewing this, I started realizing how many Kevin Costner movies I had been watching and greatly enjoying lately, and how many times I have heard Costner mocked in the media and by actual people I know, and I came to the conclusion that Kevin Costner is basically a cult actor - either you love him, or you hate him.

Is this a good assessment? I'd like to hear from any Costner fans, as well as people who dislike his movies.

Lamar Mundane
12-02-2006, 08:50 PM
No Way Out, Bull Durham, and Thirteen Days are all excellent films regardless of what you think of Kevin Costner.

Snooooopy
12-02-2006, 08:51 PM
Last night I watched No Way Out, a 1987 spy thriller, and was quite impressed by it. The plot was excellent, the twist ending caught me completely off guard, Gene Hackman and Will Patton (also the villain of Postman) and Costner all had great performances. Another under-rated movie.

I disagree. I think that No Way Out, in general, receives all of the critical praise that it (justifiably) deserves.

If anything, I think there's a little overrating involved when it comes to the alleged hotness of the limousine makeout scene; that kept getting singled out in reviews and Top Ten lists and such when, to me, it was fine but hardly anything special.

MovieMogul
12-02-2006, 09:12 PM
No Way Out, Bull Durham, and Thirteen Days are all excellent films regardless of what you think of Kevin Costner.Replace NWO with Open Range and 13D with The Untouchables and I agree.

Yookeroo
12-02-2006, 09:34 PM
The Upside of Anger is a real good movie with a good Costner performance. He's not a great actor, but in the right role, he can be fine. I can't imagine he'll achieve cult status though.

Hey, It's That Guy!
12-02-2006, 11:43 PM
The Untouchables will always be one of the greatest movies of the '80s, but Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, and Robert DeNiro have as much, if not more, to do with it than Costner.

if6was9
12-02-2006, 11:52 PM
Being a baseball nut, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams are two of my favs. I also loved the "little three", Postman, Dances With Wolves and Waterworld. (MANY people's MMV :p ) To me at least, he already has cult status.

Bear_Nenno
12-03-2006, 12:31 AM
Robin Hood was good. Postman and Waterworld sucked.

According to Pliny
12-03-2006, 04:49 PM
? Kevin Costner was a big deal at one time, and could do no wrong. Was bankable. His Postman role was the start of a steady decline. Waterworld (which I really liked) overran it's filming time and budget, and got creamed before it opened for the sin of failing to look like it would recover costs, although it did.

Dr. Rieux
12-03-2006, 08:42 PM
Robin Hood was good. Postman and Waterworld sucked.
[Willy Wonka]
Wait. Strike that, reverse it.
[/WW]

Terrifel
12-03-2006, 09:46 PM
I came to the conclusion that Kevin Costner is basically a cult actor - either you love him, or you hate him.

Is this a good assessment? I'd like to hear from any Costner fans, as well as people who dislike his movies.I'd always thought the definition of "cult actor" was "either you love him, or you're one of the 99.999% who don't recognize him." Everybody knows who Kevin Costner is, regardless of whether they love him, hate him, or are anesthetized by him. He has about as much 'cult' status as Heinz ketchup.

I neither love nor hate him, but I do find it hard to understand why he ever became such a runaway success either. He just doesn't really seem to project all that much screen presence. He's not outstandingly handsome as far as I can see; he's got that baffled, surly stare that he does when he wants to look baffled or surly, and a voice that sounds badly miked no matter what film he's in, and that's pretty much it. He barely hovers above neutral charisma most of the time. How did this guy end up throwing hundred-million-dollar movie budgets around? Frankly, I find it difficult to believe he would have ever had a successful acting career if he didn't happen to be Kevin Costner.

Zebra
12-03-2006, 10:08 PM
Now if you want an underappreciated Costner performance watch A Perfect World. I also enjoyed his Wyatt Earp

Dances with Wolves
The Untouchables
Field of Dreams
Bull Durham
Silverado
No Way Out

All excellent films and his performance added to the quality of the film.

Least Original User Name Ever
12-04-2006, 01:12 AM
He has a likability similar to Mark Harmon. That will keep him in roles.He tries to do important movies(Dances With Wolves) but Field of Dreams will be a signature role for him.

Tangent
12-04-2006, 02:02 AM
I'm a Costner fan. He takes a lot of bashing on the internets and he has made some stinkers (3000 Miles to Graceland, Message In A Bottle), but overall he has a pretty good record. I love all of the movies on Zebra's list and would add Tin Cup and Open Range. A Perfect World does deserve more attention and For Love of the Game is an understated and underrated cap to his baseball "trilogy." Waterworld is great, cheesy fun, and as a teen I really liked American Flyers (though that may have had more to do with thinking Alexandra Paul was incredibly hot--especially without a shirt :eek: ).

As to the OP--I dunno about cult status, but I think Costner has a good shot at long term 'iconic' status in Hollywood history.

gigi
12-04-2006, 01:22 PM
I thought he was excellent in The Big Chill.


But seriously, he did OK in Bull Durham and The Upside of Anger for whatever reason (role written well for his capacity, director...) but basically he's pretty sad as an actor. And his appeal as a movie star is baffling.

BrainGlutton
12-04-2006, 02:09 PM
I think the "love him or hate him" thing applies to Costner as a director, not as an actor.

Trunk
12-04-2006, 02:10 PM
He's one of those guys who is perfect for specific roles, but I wouldn't want his trying to save the planet in an act-off against aliens.

I like him best in two Ron Shelton movies: Tin Cup and of course Bull Durham.

But all of his roles are the "slightly cynical sort of out of his element" guy. . .TC, BD, the aforementioned Upside of Anger AND the truly underrated Rumor Has It.

It's sort of the same character he brings to his "hermit" roles. . .Postman, Waterworld, Dances With Wolves.

He can bring a little bit of pathos to these roles, and I appreciate some of his comic talents, but do you ever really feel like he's stretching, or could do something slapstick or angry/powerful. All his characters are sort of inconoclasts, so it's hard for me to believe him as a powerful figure. Even in Rumor Has It he was a successful businessman, but not in the Gordon Gecko way, but more in the Mark Cuban style, as the "too cool for it" outsider.

Still. . .cult status? No.

lieu
12-04-2006, 03:47 PM
I thought his first work was his best, one of my all time favorites... Fandango. He was the perfect Gardner Barnes.

A Perfect World would have to be my second favorite. Ironically, both these were written and/or directed by friends of mine from undergrad (Baylor).

Tin Cup, Open Range, Dances With Wolves, Field of Dreams, yeah, all pretty entertaining too.

I like Costner. He may be a prick in real life (Kevin Reynolds says they share a love/hate relationship) but I've definately enjoyed some of his films.

Logan 5
12-04-2006, 04:21 PM
Cult status, no.

Kevin Costner is just Kevin Costner. He's not really an actor. He plays himself. He is Kevin Costner in every movie he's in. He acts like Kevin Costner and many people like that. As others have said, he's good for specific roles, movies that call for a Kevin Costner type; monotone voice, somewhat rugged good looks, non-threatening personality. I feel the same way about Harrison Ford. He's Harrison Ford all the time. This goes for many popular actors. Bruce Willis, Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland are just a few that come to mind. They may be more talented than they let on, it may be that they just keep ending up in the same type of roles. I have yet to see Costner or any of those I've mentioned, give a remarkable performance. I'm not saying they're bad, just average acting abilities.

glee
12-04-2006, 05:13 PM
I think Costner has been in some fine films.
But compare him to Alan Rickman on 'Robin Hood' to see what real acting is about.

Tangent
12-04-2006, 05:35 PM
I think Costner has been in some fine films.
But compare him to Alan Rickman on 'Robin Hood' to see what real acting is about.

Chewing scenery?



:cool:

joyfool
12-04-2006, 10:30 PM
I'm absolutely not a Costner fan, but I thought his performance in The Upside of Anger was great. He was also good in Bull Durham. Or possibly, I'm such a baseball nut that I loved the movie and everything in it. However, I'd say if he was ever going to reach cult status, it would be because of movies like A Perfect World. That movie rocked on so many levels and is almost non-existent to most everyone. If you haven't checked it out, you might consider giving it a look-see.

Cluricaun
12-04-2006, 11:01 PM
Now if you want an underappreciated Costner performance watch A Perfect World. I also enjoyed his Wyatt Earp

Dances with Wolves
The Untouchables
Field of Dreams
Bull Durham
Silverado
No Way Out

All excellent films and his performance added to the quality of the film.

I always thought that Silverado was the best role he ever had. To me, Costner is at his best when he's being a bit goofy, and "Jake" was just perfect. That same Costner is revisited in Bull Durham, my second favorite of his roles. Cocksure, silly, a bit ditzy, that's the Costner that I like. Overwrought and melodramatic (say Dances with Wolves) turns me right off. He doesn't have the chops to do heavy stuff. He's right there with Kevin Bacon in that regard, at least according to the book of Cluricaun.