Ask 411 Movies: Breaking Bad, Expendables 3, More
Posted by Chad Webb on 08.11.2014
Will Breaking Bad still be good fifty years from now? Did Sean Connery have the best post-Bond career? What are the best action movies from the The Expendables 3 cast? All that and more covered this week in Ask 411 Movies!
An "Ask 411 Movies" column would be nothing without questions, so please toss them my way. Why should you ask me instead of using Google? Well, perhaps I'll tell you something you can't find there, or maybe you just like my conversation and soothing words. You can post any questions or thoughts below in the comments section, email me at email@example.com, or send me a tweet using the links below:
Took a week off due to the twin craziness at the house, but I'm back in the saddle again as Aerosmith might say. During my time off I've actually had time to pick away at various titles I wanted to see, some via my computer, some VOD, and even in the theater in a couple of cases. I saw A Most Wanted Man, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which were terrific. I gave each about the same 4 out of 5 star review. I also saw Locke finally and Boyhood. Those two will likely appear on my Top 10 best at the end of the year. They were outstanding.
As for TV, I'm loving this season of Last Comic Standing. The show still isn't perfect, but this season has a consistent amount of really funny comedians. Usually I don't care about half of them. The challenges were also entertaining this time around with episodes befitting comics and what they need to know. I'm catching up on Tyrant, which is solid and has more than a few good parts, but it needs to pick up steam a bit. The production values of that series stand out.
If want to know more about my movie tastes, check out my page on Letterboxd by clicking right here. Also, make sure to look at all the great articles and writers at 411, particularly in the Movie-zone because that's where I predominantly am, but all of the zones.
Marilyn Burns passed away on August 5th. She was found dead in her home and the cause of death is unknown at this time. She was 65 years old. She is best known for her roles in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Eaten Alive (1977), not to mention portraying Linda Kasabian in the three-time Emmy nominated mini-series Helter Skelter. She made her debut in the Robert Altman film Brewster McCloud. She also made appearances in The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and Texas Chainsaw 3D.
Menahem Golan passed away on August 8 while visiting Jaffa, Tel Aviv with family. He was 85 years old. Golan was an Israeli producer and director who produced movies for stars like Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van-Damme, and others. For a while he was recognized as a producer of comic book style films such as Masters of the Universe, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and Captain America. He produced around 200 movies, directed 44, and won 8 Violin David Awards. Among the titles he directed: The Apple, The Delta Force, Over the Top, and Enter the Ninja. And under the pen name Joseph Goldman he was known for writing and polishing scripts.
In case I forgot to mention a notable death this week, you can always peruse the list yourself by clicking here.
1) Rank the Bond actors on their non-Bond acting careers. I Know Connery would be #1 and then there would be a huge dropoff after that.
2) Why don't the other Bond actors have great non-Bond careers? Most would be B-list at best.
3) Which current TV shows would still hold-up 50 years from now? Which great current TV shows won't hold up?
4) Which current TV shows will still be in reruns 50 years from now? (I know it sounds it might be the same question. However most rerun shows from the 1950s-1980s are sitcoms or standalone drama episodes like Law and Order/NCIS type. Thus, shows like Breaking Bad/The Wire where you have to see every episode are not great rerun shows.)
5) Will reruns even exist 50 years from now?
1) Ok, so I'll rank each actor and put their notable films outside of 007 in parenthesis. Obviously Connery is first because he has delivered so many great films. I'm not counting David Niven in Casino Royale (1967) as he was not apart of the Eon franchise. If I were to include him, know that his resume is a good one. He would be #2. Below Connery, I'd say I revisit more non-Bond films of Brosnan.
1. Sean Connery (The Untouchables, The Man Who Would Be King, Marnie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock)
2. Timothy Dalton (The Lion in Winter, Wuthering Heights, Hot Fuzz, The Rocketeer, Toy Story 3)
3. Pierce Brosnan (Mrs. Doubtfire, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Matador, The Ghost Writer)
4. Daniel Craig (Munich, Infamous, Defiance, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Layer Cake, Elizabeth)
5. Roger Moore (Ivanhoe, The Saint, The Cannonball Run, Shout at the Devil)
6. George Lazenby (The Kentucky Fried Movie, Batman Beyond)
2) I won't ramble too much here, but to say that it boils down to the fact that portraying James Bond carries a lot of pressure. None of them want to become pigeonholed in a role they no longer play. You become synonymous with the role and then that sticks with you for your entire career. Even those who have had successful careers tend to be labeled as "James Bond" or "the guy who played James Bond." Knowing that, many of the Bond actors do not enjoy flourishing careers after they have left the part because they are only known as Bond, thus audiences have trouble seeing them as anything different. That makes it tough to land significant, noteworthy roles.
Connery has gone on record as saying he would "like to kill James Bond" because he did not want to be known just for that. Generally actors want to avoid typecasting. And in many cases, (Lazenby and Moore), the actor will be seen in many roles that parody their iconic 007 role because those are the jobs available to them. I suppose the argument could also be made that once the actor stops playing Bond they are probably set for life and don't need to work full-time. It helps when the actor has had worthwhile films before James Bond and after and makes a conscious effort to distance himself from spy related characters and be versatile. That's easier said than done sometimes.
3) This is tough because it's all a matter of opinion. I think Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Arrested Development are just a few that will age well. For Breaking Bad specifically, Vince Gilligan and company put so much thought and detail into each episode that it's basically flawless. That will not change 10 days or 10 years from now. But you did specify current shows, so in that vein I'll say Louie, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Walking Dead. I realize I'm being brief here, but all of those shows have qualities that I feel will still hold up decades into the future. There are others I could list such as Sons of Anarchy or Arrow, both of which I love, but I have a few doubts as to how they will age. For instance, will the storylines be viewed as a bit too melodramatic, or will the romance come off as overly corny down the road. Will comic book adaptations be all the rage as they are now? Westerns were once more popular than any other genre, but now you're lucky if you see one mainstream offering per year.
What makes this harder to answer is when you include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu exclusive shows. This trend is in its infancy, so who knows how they will age? For example, The Sopranos was eventually shown in syndication through A&E. Will House of Cards or Orange is the New Black ever be syndicated? If not, then that will definitely affect how they age and how their reputations prosper or diminish. Longevity and planning for that longevity are important factors for the legacy of a series. I'm not sure all these networks think about that.
4) I definitely recognize the difference in the questions. Breaking Bad is one of the best shows ever, but who knows how often it will air in that many decades? Well, one series that I think will age wonderfully and still be shown in reruns that I did not mention in the previous question is The Big Bang Theory. Sitcoms make for great rerun/syndicated shows because it doesn't matter what episode you tune into randomly. I can watch any episode at any time and not be lost in the storyline. This is why procedurals such as Law & Order are so successful in that way. They are bubble episodes.
It's not easy to pick current shows for this aside from the one I just mentioned. Any forensic/police/courtroom series will be ripe for reruns from now until the end of time. Take any of the C.S.I.'s, Castle, The Mentalist, Bones. You already mentioned NCIS. I'd also say The Walking Dead has a good chance of being a decent rerun show because although they have overarching story threads, the focus is killing zombies and that never gets old. I'm sure there are more and if I can think of some I will compile a list for the a future column.
5) In short, yes they will. As long as reruns still draw viewers and ratings and as long as there are still slots to fill on various channels, reruns and syndicated shows will still air all the time. If On Demand, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and so forth take over the entertainment industry and the only way people can see old episodes of past shows is by accessing the online library of the network in which it originally aired, then maybe reruns will become passé. But even if that were to be a possibility, it would take a very long time to come to fruition. To put this into perspective, right now old episodes of The Big Bang Theory commonly win the night in ratings…as a rerun. They won't be stopping anytime soon.
Randomness: Breaking Down the Best of The Expendables 3 Stars
This Friday The Expendables 3 hits theaters. I love the franchise, I love action movies, and this was tied (with The Raid 2) as my #1 most anticipated movie of 2014. Some of you may have already seen it since it leaked online, but I'm waiting to see it on the big screen. So this week I thought I would take a handful of the stars and go over my favorite ACTION-oriented films that they've done.
So keep in mind, this excludes drama, comedy, and pure sci-fi unless those elements mix with a title that has a lot of action. In the case of Sly, I am not going to use any Rocky movies as they fall under drama and sports more than action. Also, as per normal, these are not ranked. Side note on the "best of the rest" category. Basically I take all the remaining cast members and throw in my top choices of all of them combined, excluding the names we already touched on.
*The Italian Job - 2003
*Crank - 2006
*Killer Elite - 2011
*The Transporter 3
*Snatch - 2000 & Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels - 1998
*Mad Max - 1979
*Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior - 1981
*Lethal Weapon - 1987
*Braveheart - 1995
*Payback - 1999
*Raiders of the Lost Ark - 1981
*Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back -1980
*Air Force One - 1997
*Patriot Games - 1992
*Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 1977 & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - 1989 (tie)
This week we see the arrival of The Giver in theaters featuring Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, and Meryl Streep just to name a few. And so here are 5 of Streep performances that you absolutely must familiarize yourself with before checking out the upcoming film. It goes without saying that narrowing down this resume to 5 was extremely difficult. As a result, I have extended the number of choices to 7 just this once and even tied my #1.
1) Sophie's Choice/Holocaust
5) The Bridges of Madison County
6) The Deer Hunter
7) The French Lieutenant's Woman
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