I was discussing this last night with a few friends, and thought I’d ask it here, too:
What is the absolute BEST acting performance in a movie that otherwise blew dog? A movie that, were it not for this performance, you’d rather pound your nuts (or nipples) flat with a wooden hammer than watch again?
The overwhelming response last night was Jane March in Color of Night. But that wasn’t what I was thinking of.
To me, this award should go to Raul Julia for Street Fighter. A completely horrible movie, saved only by Raul Julia as Bison. If nothing else, then just for the following lines:
“I think the food court should be bigger. The major fast food chains will want to get in on this.”
“You came here expecting to find a man, and instead, you found A GOD!!!”
“It’s merely electromagnetism. It’s used to power trains from Osaka to Tokyo. I use it to fly!”
Any other award-winning performances in movies that sucked the sweat off a dead man’s balls?
My vote goes to Darkman. Even as a kid I recognized that the movie sucked ass, but I remember thinking that the guy playing the title character would go on to better things, and even told as much to my friends. Who knew then that Liam Neeson would go on to do movies like Schindler’s List and Rob Roy?
Darkman wasn’t his best performance, but it certainly outshone the rest of the film.
Darkman was not early in Liam Neeson’s career. He had already done a number of good roles by that point. (And I didn’t think it was that bad.)
My choice is Danny Aiello’s performance in Ruby. It came out not that long after JFK and was treated as just a weak imitation of it. The weird thing about it is that even though Ruby has got an even stupider conspiracy theory in it than the one in JFK, it almost works because of Aiello’s performance. Kevin Costner couldn’t even put on a great performance in JFK despite everything around him being set up to allow him to, but Aiello was great in Ruby despite the stupidity of the plot.
I’ll move to nominate Jeff Daniels in Gettysburg. His portrayal of Col. Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine was a contrast to the rest of the “Turner Films” production. His performance was top notch in an otherwise dud film.
Whoa, there, pardner! The Exorcist III with him and George C. Scott was a damn fine movie! Being based, as it was, on the sequel to The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and having nothing to do with the excretable Exorcist II. It’s the only horror movie I own. (Yeah, I’ll get the original sooner or later.)
That’s the first one I thought of. “Gettysburg” was a generally horrible movie that basically looked like what you’d get if you handed some gool ol’ boy Civil War reenactors a camera and a LOT of film; it was ponderous, dull, long, and the hero worship made you want to barf. The battle scenes pretty much looked like Civil War reenactors stumbling through their paces after a tailgate party; the dialogue was horrific; the acting was mostly mediocre. But Jeff Daniels was utterly magnificent.
Tuckerfan, I agree. I too love Exorcist III, a worthy sequel to the first film and Dourif is outstanding in it as he is in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mississippi Burning and the LOTR films. I even kinda liked him in Dune. But those are excepions that prove the usual rule of Brad Dourif movies: Dourif good. Movie bad!