Russel Crowe: First off, I reckon you’d be a fool to argue with this man’s on-screen talent as he’s one of the best actors of our times. Unfortunately it’s his off-screen capers that seem to get him such a bad rep. He’s been alleged to have terrorised, offended or punched the shit out of people in hotels, restaurants, bars, harbours… nowhere is safe! From hotel porters & security guards to pensioners… nobody is safe! My favourite Crowe-based rumour was him going in to a busy Canadian bar, slagging off Ice Hockey for being a ‘womans sport’ and calling the bar tender a ‘Gabby Old Trout’ (allegedly). He also underwhelmed the world of folk-rock with his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, although his fame is arguably the only reason anyone’s even heard of them. When sober he can be a charitable chap; rebuilding libraries, saving schools & rugby teams as well as gifting £1,000 to Cancer Research UK and film props to charities during the Robin Hood filming. Like every other man in the world, Crowe goes a bit feral when he’s shit-faced, maybe more so than most, but at least he never gets ‘Mel Gibson’ drunk…
Verdict: for me Crowe’s manly-man-Genius and I’d love to party with him. He definitely gets a disproportionately hard time for his bad-boy antics.
Maximus Genius or Cinderella Arse – You Decide!
As the year/decade draws to a close I thought it’d be interesting to see which films have left the biggest impression on me. Naturally, I didn’t catch every film released over the past ten years but here’s my personal top ten:
1) Oldboy: 2003 – South Korea
2) Amores Perros: 2000 – Mexico
3) Mystic River: 2003 – America
4) A Bittersweet Life: 2005 – South Korea
5) Children of Men: 2006 – UK
6) Kill Bill Vol 1: 2004 – America
7) Together 2000 – Sweden
8) No Country For Old Men 2007 – America
9) 3:10 to Yuma 2007 – America
10) Battle Royale 2000 – Japan
I’d also give the following an honourble mention: Memento, The Fall, Intacto, Infernal Affairs, The Woodsman, Bourne Ultimatum, District 9, 3-Iron, Brick, Eternal Sunshine, Primer, Lilya-4-Ever, In Bruges, City of God, Love Me If You Dare
Just realised that they’re almost all action/dramas. Weird.
3:10 to Yuma: arguably two of our generation’s finest actors (Bale / Crowe) play a law-abiding rancher and a notorious outlaw respectively. Initially, I thought they’d work better cast the other way but was absolutely blown away by both performances. The story moves along brilliantly and from start to finish the film is full of action, drama and brilliant characters – both main and the supporting cast. Unfortunately, the ending’s a wee bit far-fetched, but adds even more depth to one of the main roles. A must-see film!