Yeah, I think he got a bad rap because of the stretch where he was making $100 Million+ Epics that everyone knew were poorly conceived from the outset. He’s always selected really good roles and created some outstanding characters overall.
I’m shocked that you omitted JFK and Open Range from your list, two of his very best roles and movies IMHO. Even The Bodyguard was fairly watchable.
Silverado, Bull Durham, and Field of Dreams were fine movies in which he successfully played variations on the all-American everyman. The flops Waterworld and The Postman, combined with the vastly overrated Dances with Wolves, fostered an image of a narcissist with a messiah complex that was easy to despise and ridicule. He’s not a bad actor, but unfortunately his flops have had a much higher profile than his successes for the most part.
I was watching Robin Hood: POT last night, and apart from the sometimes painfully clunky dialogue, what struck me was Alan Rickman.
Is there such a thing as good overacting? Because whatever it is, Alan Rickman does it with relish. His facial expressions, his quiet malice, his frothing at the mouth…I don’t think a lot of actors can pull that off. I cannot WAIT for Snapes’ death scene in HP and the Deathly Hallows. Alan Rickman is going to sink his teeth into that and not let go.
As for Kevin Costner, I’d read somewhere he was extremely tired when he made POT, which might account for the uneven accent.
The Postman is one of my favorite movies and I mean that in all seriousness. Costner is awesome and I always have to defend him from people who talk trash about him, which is constantly. They’re just jealous, I think, that they aren’t him.
Another lover of The Postman here. Admittedly, I found the Xerox-salesman-turned-warlord villain a bit more interesting. Will Patton smoothly playing a roll that Dennis Hopper would have overdone (if the movie were lighter in tone, it’d totally be a Dennis Hopper role though).
Also, for what it’s worth, David Brin liked the movie too, though his only part in the production was selling the movie rights, cashing his royalties check, and buying a ticket and some popcorn when it was in the theater.
Will Patton is badass, he’s also great in No Way Out (which also has Costner, in the lead role - and an appearance by former presidential contender Fred Thompson, which surprised me the last time I watched it.)