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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Syriana and George Clooney

The last time I watched this movie, I noticed how much like Traffic it was.  Upon further review, it turns out the screenplay for both movies is by the same guy, Stephen Gaghan, and he even directed this one, confused the hell out of most who watched it, but nevertheless, was the director.  Confusion is okay because well, that just means it's better the second or third time you watch it unless it was so confusing you never decide to watch it again, which is almost what happened with DeNiro's The Good Shepherd.  Maybe these two movies are so confusing because Matt Damon stars in them and his mere presence alone baffles viewers.  I like Matt Damon.  I like George Clooney too and they both star in this and make this a good movie.  In fact, the more I think about, these two guys could be the two best actors of the new millenium.  I'm going to try to break down a top 10 best actors since … The yeeeeeeeeeeeear 2000 …

10.  Johnny Depp

Blow; The Pirates of Caribbean movies; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Tim Burton movies but nothing spectacular; and Public Enemies, which I haven't seen. 

I've never been a huge fan.  He's had some good roles here and there and always makes a good Hunter S. Thompson, but he's gotta get over the Tim Burton and Jack Sparrow thing.  Also, he's been nominated for an Academy Award three times since 2000, so he's doing something right.  I can't wait for The Rum Diary. 

9.  Sean Penn

I Am Sam; Mystic River; 21 Grams; Milk;

I've only seen one of the above mentioned, but I'd be a dick if I excluded a guy who's won two Academy Awards this decade.  It's hard to get over the fact that he's a  tremendous douche though and never makes a movie I really care to see, or at least hasn't since Carlito's Way and inspired a sleazy attorney character on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.  He also gets points for going full retard. 

8.  Heath Ledger

The Patriot; Monster's Ball; Brokeback Mountain; The Dark Knight

Tragically his decade was cut short but not before two great performances as The Joker and a gay cowboy (both of which he was nominated for, and even won for the Joker). 

7.  Brad Pitt

Snatch; The Mexican; The Danny Ocean movies; Troy; Babel; Burn After Reading; Inglorious Basterds

He loses points for that stupid depressing Benjamin Button movie.  I think the sole purpose of that movie was to get ladies hot by showing them a scene where he rides an old timey motorcycle with sunglasses on.  What a piece of crap.  The rest of the body of work is pretty impressive though. 

6.  Philip Seymour Hoffman

Almost Famous; Punch-Drunk Love; Red Dragon; 25th Hour; Cold Mountain; Capote; Charlie Wilson's War

The Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson and Spike Lee all love this guy for a reason.  He's even proved he can be the lead actor now too.  He's gets an invite to the Oscar's almost every year via nomination. 

5.  Russell Crowe

Gladiator; Proof of Life; A Beautiful Mind; Master and Commander; Cinderella Man; 3:10 to Yuma; American Gangster

Crowe started out the decade as the best and he has waned some.  It's still a good body of work though even though Master and Commander is pretty bad.  He took Best Actor in 2000, but hasn't been back in quite some time. 

4.  Daniel Day-Lewis

He really only has two relevant movies over the past decade, so it's hard to rank him any higher BUT he does play Daniel Plainview and Bill "The Butcher" so he does have the two best roles.  He should have two Best Actor trophies for these two villainesque performances, but alas, he only has one. 

3.  Matt Damon

The Danny Ocean Movies; The Bourne Movies; Syriana; The Departed; The Good Shepherd; The Informant; Invictus; True Grit

This guy has two pretty big franchises, and got to do a Scorsese movie as well as a Coen Brothers movie.  The 21st Century has been very kind to Matt Damon.  The only reason he probably doesn't get the accolades is his acting style is very plain.  It's almost as if he doesn't act at all, which is a great thing.  It's like the exact opposite of Tom Cruise. 

2.  Leonardo DiCaprio

The Beach; Gangs of New York; Catch Me If You Can; The Aviator; The Departed; Blood Diamond; Shutter Island; Inception

Wow, he's had a pretty decent decade.  I always think a little lesser of him than some of the other guys, but he's part of the elite, despite his funny accents.  He's been nominated twice, but is still just a bridesmaid. 

1.  George Clooney

O Brother, Where art Thou?; The Perfect Storm; The Danny Ocean movies; Intolerable Cruelty; Good Night and Good Luck; Syriana; The Good German; Michael Clayton; Burn After Reading; The Men Who Stare at Goats; Up in the Air

It's a pretty good list.  Sure most of these aren't the greatest movies ever or anything, but the man is working, and doing quite well.  I almost can't believe it myself, but he's probably the most successful actor of the decade, and possibly even the best (though let's face it, Daniel Day-Lewis schools them all).  

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