TALK STORY

Who's the better actor ?

POSTED BY: AURAPTOR
UPDATED: Sunday, August 16, 2009 06:46
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Friday, July 3, 2009 3:53 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Was watching one of the Pirate movies last night, w/ Johnny Depp. I guess that was on my mind, when I heard an ad for his new upcoming movie, Public Enemies. Then came to mind... wow...he's been in a variety of stuff, and done them all pretty darn well. That got me thinking.... of actors about his age ( born in the 1960's ) there's some considerable talent.

Ed Norton

Robert Downey Jr

Paul Giamatti

Phillip Seymour Hoffman


I had even considered adding Nicholas Cage to the list, but then thought better of it. He's very successful, but I've not seen the range from him that I've seen from the others. I could be wrong though.

So, among the 5 ( Depp,Downey Jr, Giamatti, Hoffman and Norton ) which one is considered 'the best' ?

Or does it even matter ? I like them all.






The T.Rex they call JANE!



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Saturday, July 4, 2009 12:32 PM

RIPWASH


Personally, I would consider them all some of the great actors of our time.

I heard Michael Caine say once that he was a "movie actor" not a "movie star." It was a little pretentiouse but it made a lot of sense. He said the difference was that a movie star chose film roles that he could tailor to his own personal style of acting whereas a movie actor looks for roles that he can disappear into.

I like Adam Sandler movies, but for the most part it's Adam Sandler being "himself" (i.e. Happy Gilmore, 50 First Dates, The Wedding Singer, Mr. Deeds, Bedtime Stories, ect.). He's playing basically the same person. There have, of course, been certain exception to this, like Punch Drunk Love and Spanglish. But with Depp, Giamatti, Norton, et. al. you get a broad mix no matter what they play. Depp can play extemely serious or extremely goofy. Heck, he even knocked many peoples' socks off when he sang for Sweeney Todd. He takes the role and makes it so you don't really know it's him and he can pull of anything. I'd lump Sam Rockwell in there, too. He can play a sick, twisted, perverted freak (The Green Mile) or a goofy bit-part actor (Galaxy Quest).

And this is the reason that sometimes you just gotta trust some directors to know what they're doing. Take Chris Nolan, for example. He cast Heath Ledger as The Joker which really made a lot of folks raise their eyebrows. But Nolan really didn't want someone who's name stood out over their acting ability. Much like Nicholson in the '89 Batman. He was great, but it was Jack as the Joker. Heck he was even billed over Keaton. But with Nolan's The Dark Knight, what did we get? Simply one of the best villains in cinema. The Joker. Not Heath Ledger as the Joker. Does that make sense?

The only thing I kind of wish Johnny Depp would do is distance himself a little bit from Tim Burton. Although I like their collaborative work, I think they really need to focus on doing more things one without the other. It seems like anytime there is a Burton movie, Depp is in it. It's almost like he doesn't want to push himself as a director and only work with people he's comfortable with.

My recommendations for these guys would be:

Depp - First two Pirates movies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands
Downey - Heart and Souls, Chaplin
Giamatti - John Adams, Fred Claus
Hoffman - Mission Impossible III

Cage? My wife and I have this running joke because there are two movies I absolutely can NOT stand him in: Peggy Sue Got Married and Moonstruck. Two of the most annoying performances ever. And yet, the movie National Treasure was the first "official" movie poster I hung up in the family room.

*********************************************

"It's okay! I'm a leaf on the wind!!!"
"What does that mean?!?!?!"

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Saturday, July 4, 2009 1:00 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


They are all very good, but if I had to make a choice out of those five I would pick Philip Seymour Hoffmann. He seems to lose himself in his characters just a bit more than the others.

However, I would nominate one other from the same generation that does not get the respect as an actor that I think he deserves. Brad Pitt. It's easy to think of him as just a pretty boy and Mr. Jolie, but he has a remarkably wide range of parts on his resume too.

And how about another who is just five years older than Pitt and Depp? Gary Oldman.






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Sunday, July 5, 2009 1:11 PM

SERYN


I couldn't possibly comment on ability as i have no authority on acting - i got stage fright picking up some props in an empty auditorium - but i tend to find Depp absolutly unique. There really is no one like him.

But i thought i'd post this - http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,28383,25676426-10388,00.h
tml



He's been on the acid again hasn't he?

And i agree with the Pitt thing - after 12 Monkeys i do take him seriously as an actor. Oldman too.

I think Christian Bale needs a mention too. Theres few who could carry off the roles he's taken and throw themselves so utterly into the characters as he's done. He's scarily intense, method acting doesn't strike me as the best way to go about things, but he's also utterly absorbing and convincing.

To be absolutly honest thought it may just be hormones. All i can say is thank god for Reign of Fire 'cause i'd have to put myself through therapy for fancying the arse off him otherwise.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009 4:21 PM

GINOBIFFARONI


How about Will Smith

most movies he plays the same sort of character,

but I was thinking of him in " Ali ". I thought it was a great character performance... after about a minute he stopped being Will Smith in a movie and was Ali, ... to me anyway






" I don't believe in hypothetical situations - it's kinda like lying to your brain "

" They don't hate America, they hate Americans " Homer Simpson


Lets party like its 1939

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Sunday, July 5, 2009 5:23 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Sean Penn and Don Cheadle both probably should be on the list as well.
Oh well.

Tack them both on there, if you'd like.



The T.Rex they call JANE!


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Sunday, July 5, 2009 5:46 PM

STOWEAWAY


I think you have a mighty fine list going on here. I don't think I could pick just one.

Incidentally, when Alan Tudyk appeared at FarpointCon in February, he talked about Philip Seymour Hoffman as a great actor. He also mentioned William Macy -- another great one.
He said he aspires to be the same kind of actor, good at the craft and left alone by the paparazzi.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009 11:12 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


I'll take Giamatti with Private Parts (as Pig Vomit), Lady in the Water, The Negotiator, and Saving Private Ryan.
Also Cage in The Boy in Blue, and Gurading Tess (although I dislike MacLaine).
Bale is born in 74.
I also enjoy Cheadle's work, ditto for Rockwell.
The rest can be skipped.
Norton had his breakout in Primal Fear, but showing up Gere isn't that hard. Haven't been impressed since then.
Also add Jennifer Connelly (b 1970, although many times a similar role, actually some range in there too, but in roles she did not like), Laura Linney, and Marisa Tomei.
Where's the accolades for, um, that guy, Tom Cruise?

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Monday, July 6, 2009 11:54 AM

SERYN


I don't know - he made a great showing in Interview with the Vampire and some of his later film still showed chops IMHO, but do we ignore him cause he's a scary crazy person?

Giamatti is one person i haven't seen in many films, but he made Lady in the Water very watchable, despite the directors best efforts. It occurs to me that i've probably seen him in more films than i can reccollect, not conciously recognising him in character - that has to mean something.

Jennifer Connelly is older than Christian Bale? Damn thats some good moisturiser.


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Monday, July 6, 2009 12:33 PM

GINOBIFFARONI


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
I'll take Giamatti with Private Parts (as Pig Vomit), Lady in the Water, The Negotiator, and Saving Private Ryan.
Also Cage in The Boy in Blue, and Gurading Tess (although I dislike MacLaine).
Bale is born in 74.
I also enjoy Cheadle's work, ditto for Rockwell.
The rest can be skipped.
Norton had his breakout in Primal Fear, but showing up Gere isn't that hard. Haven't been impressed since then.
Also add Jennifer Connelly (b 1970, although many times a similar role, actually some range in there too, but in roles she did not like), Laura Linney, and Marisa Tomei.
Where's the accolades for, um, that guy, Tom Cruise?




Hey now, Tom Cruise was hilarious in Tropic Thunder



I think he was channeling Dick Chenney


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Monday, July 6, 2009 1:08 PM

DEEPGIRL187


Quote:

Originally posted by ecgordon:
And how about another who is just five years older than Pitt and Depp? Gary Oldman.



I actually was going to comment on the original list, but you just topped it. And for any that don't believe, watch True Romance.

As for the topic at hand, Johnny Depp and Phillip Seymour Hoffmann. I would say Edward Norton (who was amazing in Primal Fear), but as of late he's been kind of annoying to me.

***************************************************

"This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."

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Monday, July 6, 2009 2:18 PM

GILLIANROSE


I am always impressed with Giamatti, he was great in Sideways (as was Virginia Madsen, who knew). He's even great in a tiny, tiny part in My Best Friend's Wedding, he was a bellhop or something, smoking in the hall with Julia Roberts.

And William H. Macy! I really loved The Cooler, set in Vegas, he plays the sad sack opposite Alec Baldwin's crazy-pants casino manager.

Great topic, great list.

I also really liked Joaquin Phoenix as the crazy Emperor in Russell Crowe's gladiator movie (was it called Gladiator?) as well as his Johnny Cash.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 3:22 PM

BORIS


What about all of the other excellent actors of their ilk, who haven't had the same exposure or have been forgotten for whatever reason: Kyle Secor, Tom Everett Scott, Aidan Quinn, Timothy Hutton, Matthew Modine, etc etc.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:29 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


I just finished watching HBO's John Adams on DVD. Giamatti was simply awesome. PS Hoffman really impressed me w/ Capote, but for all he does, I think Giamatti might be the best of them all.

If you've never seen The Illusionist, with both Ed Norton and Paul Giamtti, SEE IT!


Saw W.H. Macy in The Cooler, as well. Neat little film. He does play the role perfectly. Well done.



The T.Rex they call JANE!


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:31 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Quote:

Originally posted by boris:
What about all of the other excellent actors of their ilk, who haven't had the same exposure or have been forgotten for whatever reason: Kyle Secor, Tom Everett Scott, Aidan Quinn, Timothy Hutton, Matthew Modine, etc etc.



Start your own damn thread!


j/k






The T.Rex they call JANE!


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 11:51 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by seryn:

Jennifer Connelly is older than Christian Bale? Damn thats some good moisturiser.



Clearly, not when she was in The Hot Spot or Mulholland Falls. Quite youthful and perky.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:32 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


I have one rule of thumb when it comes to acting. Those that do comedy are the better actors. For the simple reason that their range is wider.

I still regard the scene in the Nutty Professor when Eddie murphy is sat around the dinner table with - what is it, 8 different versions of himself, and intereacting with each of them as though they are right there with him at that instance in time... As one of the best moments in acting. When you consider what was involved in a scene like that, the time in between takes, probably took a week or so to shoot! Yet when all edited together, it's seemless. Brilliant acting!... Hopkins couldn't a done that!

So I go with:
Depp
Downey
Giamatti
Hoffman

But I like them all.






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Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:37 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


Originally posted by ecgordon:

Quote:

And how about another who is just five years older than Pitt and Depp? Gary Oldman.


Always struggled with Oldman - Terrible overactor. He ruined LEON for me. However I saw an interview with him once and he came across as a really nice fellow. I like him. I just think directors don't use him well. Except Nolan - who seems to have curbed his theatrical exuberance. (Batman flicks)


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Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:30 AM

SERYN


I went to the same theatre college that Oldman went to, and believe me, compared to some of the actors graduating with me, he's practically Naturalistic.


(and this post was bought to you by being up way past my bed time.)

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 5:17 AM

PIRATECAT


Giamatti in American Splendor. One of my new favorites. Great feel good flick. Now Ed Norton ok like Cage but Downey Jr great. Seymour topps. Hey Oldman very underated.

"Battle of Serenity, Mal. Besides Zoe here, how many-" "I'm talkin at you! How many men in your platoon came out of their alive".

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 6:27 AM

RIPWASH


Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:
I have one rule of thumb when it comes to acting. Those that do comedy are the better actors. For the simple reason that their range is wider.

I still regard the scene in the Nutty Professor when Eddie murphy is sat around the dinner table with - what is it, 8 different versions of himself, and intereacting with each of them as though they are right there with him at that instance in time... As one of the best moments in acting. When you consider what was involved in a scene like that, the time in between takes, probably took a week or so to shoot! Yet when all edited together, it's seemless. Brilliant acting!... Hopkins couldn't a done that!



I have to agree with you on that point. Comedic actors do tend to have a wider range. You see far more dramatic actors who say that comedy is harder for them than the other way around. There is timing and natural instinct involved. That doesn't come naturally to everybody.

Take Robin Williams. Gulliard trained actor, but more well known for his stand-up comedy in the beginning. He eased into dramatic roles very casually. Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey are others - just to name a few. Tom Hanks has abandoned comedy all-together it seems and that's a real shame. You don't see very many actors on the other side of the spectrum that have made that transition. John Guilgud is a great Shakespearean actor who just also happened to be hilarious in "Arthur". Dustin Hoffman can do funny. DeNiro can do funny. But I think they'd rather stick to dramatic endeavors.

I think the true greats of our time, however, can very easily do both. And that's why a guy like Sam Rockwell falls easily into the top echelon in my book. He can do gut-busting funny (Galaxy Quest) or very scary, crazy mo-fo (The Green Mile).

Depp has more of a "quirk" to him. But he can also slide up and down the acting spectrum with relative ease.

Giamatti has a charm about him that's not particularly funny, per se. He can be downright funny, but it's in a charming way. If that makes sense. But his John Adams was top notch, no doubt about it.

Downey Jr. is a mite bit harder for me to classify, for some reason. In my opinion, he does more drama with a comedic flair.

*********************************************

"It's okay! I'm a leaf on the wind!!!"
"What does that mean?!?!?!"

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:57 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:

I still regard the scene in the Nutty Professor when Eddie murphy is sat around the dinner table with - what is it, 8 different versions of himself, and intereacting with each of them as though they are right there with him at that instance in time... As one of the best moments in acting. When you consider what was involved in a scene like that, the time in between takes, probably took a week or so to shoot! Yet when all edited together, it's seemless. Brilliant acting!... Hopkins couldn't a done that!




Most good actors prefer stage acting, and stage actors would strongly disagree with your assertion.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:47 PM

MANGOLO


Hoffman in Charlie's War. Awesome.

We are negotiating with his agent tomorrow about him being one of the voices. He asked for the role!




>

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 10:40 PM

THESOMNAMBULIST


jewelstaitefan wrote:

Quote:

Most good actors prefer stage acting, and stage actors would strongly disagree with your assertion.


Most good actors? And who pray decides who most good actors are? You? Me? Other actors? The theatre going public...?

It's all just individual opinions.

In my (particular) opinion the best piece of acting I've seen is the one I mentioned. I don't happen to believe it will be regarded as so by the majority, but that is not the issue.

My appraisal of acting isn't grounded in any kind of instight. I'm not an actor, and I've never really studied acting. So I can't definitively claim to have the answer. It's just my viewpoint.

However I based my opinion on the idea that were another actor (Lets say stage actor for arguments sake) to attempt to do what Eddie Murphy did in the Nutty Professor, I wonder if that (stage) actor would manage to do it with quite the finesse that Eddie Murphy did. Of course we'll never know for sure, but I feel fairly confident that Eddie Murphy could go on stage and perform Othello, or Death of a salesman etc.

Who knows?


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Thursday, July 23, 2009 10:55 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:
jewelstaitefan wrote:

In my (particular) opinion the best piece of acting I've seen is the one I mentioned. I don't happen to believe it will be regarded as so by the majority, but that is not the issue.

However I based my opinion on the idea that were another actor (Lets say stage actor for arguments sake) to attempt to do what Eddie Murphy did in the Nutty Professor, I wonder if that (stage) actor would manage to do it with quite the finesse that Eddie Murphy did. Of course we'll never know for sure, but I feel fairly confident that Eddie Murphy could go on stage and perform Othello, or Death of a salesman etc.

Who knows?



As a young child, Elizabeth Taylor did a spot audition by grieving over her dead dog in moving fashion, the dog played by a ready mop. She became a child star, and beyond. Eddie as a grown man did little more than this, and editing covers up all his mistakes. Nutty Prof, or Distiguished Gentelman, or his other fliks are not monuments to acting, but feats of editing, continuity, and coordination, which are not the function of the actor. I prefer Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer, and his much better accent, but you can remain stuck on Eddie.

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Friday, July 24, 2009 12:42 AM

THESOMNAMBULIST


jewlestaitefan wrote:
Quote:

As a young child, Elizabeth Taylor did a spot audition by grieving over her dead dog in moving fashion, the dog played by a ready mop. She became a child star, and beyond.


Did you see this performance, or have you been told about how good it was?

I suspect at various times though Eddie Murphy was acting to thin air in that table scene too. Would that qualify as a skill comparable to Elizabeth Taylor acting to a mop?

Quote:

Eddie as a grown man did little more than this, and editing covers up all his mistakes. Nutty Prof, or Distiguished Gentelman, or his other fliks are not monuments to acting, but feats of editing, continuity, and coordination, which are not the function of the actor. I prefer Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer, and his much better accent, but you can remain stuck on Eddie


Does he have to do more than what Elizabeth Taylor did to be considered a great actor? Can they both not be good actors?

Comparing Eddie Murphy to Elizabeth Taylor in this way does nothing to discredit Eddie Murphy it merely points out that yes Elizabeth Taylor is a great actress, I'm not contesting that, I'm merely saying that that scene he did around the table in Nutty Professor, was one of the best I've seen. I'm not saying he's the best actor in the world.

Also I would conceed that the tricks of cinema do allow poor acting to shine. Given editing, score etc. However by that very token it also demands a certain skill too. (you often hear how stage actors love going back to the theatre if they've done a turn on films, because they don't have to endure the multiple takes and re-takes that film-making demands) Maintaining character over such a prolonged period, over mulitple takes and cuts and in this case mulitple characters, enduring many a make-up change - to then restart a previous scene, and be able to mainting a character/characters rhythm over what must have been a considerable amount of time, is in itself a craft and a skill to be considered.

I'm not trying to be awkward here Jewelstaitefan but I formulated my point of view considering what was involved in that scene. I'm not stuck on Murphy at all, I like Mike Myers a great deal too and his turn as 'Dr Evil', 'Austin Powersx2' and 'Fat Bastard', all in the same scene in Austin Powers 2 is incredible as a performance. I think he is too a great actor.

For whatever reason the Nutty Professor struck a cord with me and I mentioned it. But there are of course many other great scenes in cinema history that hold their own and that doesn't necessarily mean they negate one another for doing so.


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Friday, July 24, 2009 2:03 AM

SERYN


Quote:

Originally posted by jewelstaitefan:
Quote:

Originally posted by TheSomnambulist:

I still regard the scene in the Nutty Professor when Eddie murphy is sat around the dinner table...



Most good actors prefer stage acting, and stage actors would strongly disagree with your assertion.



I wouldn't say most actors prefer the stage - if asked they'd probably say they like the variety. They would probably agree though that stage and film are two entirely different animals and require different skill sets. What Murphy did was a great example of those particular filmic skills. I recall dozens of interviews and behind the scenes docs. of actors talking about acting against green screen, or opposit a tennis ball on a stick or against themselves as Murphy did and it does take planning, patience, timing and skill. So irrespective of the type of movie it is anyone willing to engage in that and pulling it off successfully deserves some respect - I couldn't do it - could you?

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Friday, July 24, 2009 2:11 AM

JONGSSTRAW


For my 2 cents, it's Tom Hanks. He's really been the greatest actor of the last 20 years. Whether it's drama or comedy, Hanks excels at every role. He has the ability to make you care about his characters, something that I find doesn't work for the majority of today's actors. Hanks never disappoints!


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Saturday, July 25, 2009 7:48 PM

BORIS


Johnny Depp is best....I'm really looking forward to seeing his take on Dillinger in "Public Enemies"

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009 11:17 PM

SHINYGOODGUY


He cast Heath Ledger as The Joker which really made a lot of folks raise their eyebrows. But Nolan really didn't want someone who's name stood out over their acting ability. Much like Nicholson in the '89 Batman. He was great, but it was Jack as the Joker. Heck he was even billed over Keaton. But with Nolan's The Dark Knight, what did we get? Simply one of the best villains in cinema. The Joker. Not Heath Ledger as the Joker. Does that make sense?
-----------------------------------------------
Makes perfect sense. I get what Caine was alluding to as well. Ledger disappeared into the character and gave everyone chills with his portrayal (well, I got chills). But Rap's question is a really tough one to answer because it's all subjective. I like all the actors listed, but I don't think, in the above-mentioned Dark Knight, that Paul Giamatti could pull it off. And I'm a big fan of his work - Sideways, The Lady in the Water (although LitW was not quite up to par for M. Night).

Cage is an enigma. He runs the course from annoying (the films you named above) to brilliant.
Have you seen: The Weather Man, Lord of War, World Trade Center, Bringing Out the Dead and, perhaps my favorite Cage movie - Adaptation. How can one actor be so good and be so bad from one film to another? You gotta admire his adventuresome spirit. BTW, I love National Treasure and him in it. Norton is another truly gifted actor, along with Hoffman (who was brilliant long ago except no one noticed, well....maybe other actors).

I'm going to mention 2 actors who can be as sharp as any out there today - Crowe and Spacey. Given the right role, they can be brilliant. I know, that can go for any of them. But still, Spacey and Crowe in L.A. Confidential. Spacey as the villian in Seven, and Crowe in Master and Commander.

My favorite all-time: Denzel.

SGG


Tawabawho?

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Saturday, August 15, 2009 3:56 AM

VERAVERA


of those, i think hoffman and giamanti are the best...depp is a bit overrated, in my opinion and norton has never really done anything for me...

but, i have to say, i could watch downey jr on mute forever...mmmhmm

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Saturday, August 15, 2009 6:50 AM

OPPYH


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:
Was watching one of the Pirate movies last night, w/ Johnny Depp. I guess that was on my mind, when I heard an ad for his new upcoming movie, Public Enemies. Then came to mind... wow...he's been in a variety of stuff, and done them all pretty darn well. That got me thinking.... of actors about his age ( born in the 1960's ) there's some considerable talent.

Ed Norton

Robert Downey Jr

Paul Giamatti

Phillip Seymour Hoffman


I had even considered adding Nicholas Cage to the list, but then thought better of it. He's very successful, but I've not seen the range from him that I've seen from the others. I could be wrong though.

So, among the 5 ( Depp,Downey Jr, Giamatti, Hoffman and Norton ) which one is considered 'the best' ?

Or does it even matter ? I like them all.


I would also add Nic Cage to the list. When he's not overacting in forgettable films, he is an amazing actor. He can range from a pure maniac(Oh my gosh in Vampire's Kiss he was off the charts) to an astonishingly tortured soul(Leaving Las Vegas). His choices in roles usually leaves a lot to be desired, but he is a great actor.

Of the 5 you mentioned though: Johnny Depp by a long shot. My favorite films of his:
-What's Eating Gilbert Grape
-Ed Wood
-Fear and Loathing Las Vegas
-Dead Man




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Saturday, August 15, 2009 8:51 AM

GWEK


Sticking with just the original five, I'd say Downey, Jr., is the best ACTOR.

Giamatti, even when taking center stage, tends to be a bit of a character actor, and both Hoffman and Depp are a bit too quirky. (Depp is two decades away from being Christopher Walken.) Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're BAD, but I think an actor should demonstrate a wide range, and I think these three all have some crutches that limits their range.

Personally, I've always found Norton to be overrated. He's not terrible, but I don't see what the buzz is all about. He's always reminded me of a poor man's Gene Hackman. Even his performance in PRIMAL FEAR did little to impress me, but I think that may be the script's fault, not his, for failing the capture the nuance his character had in the novel.

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 6:23 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Ooop, Rip, a man after my own heart! I couldn't choose between the suggested actors, as I'm not familiar with a couple of them. But I'm a big admirer of Depp, for just the reasons you pointed out; his ability to disappear into a role. Just re-watched Benny & Joon, and I find him amazing in his range.

What caught me was what you said about Cage; I agree. I can't stand either of those movies, either, and adored National Treasure. I actually felt a bit embarrassed about that, given it's a silly little movie compared to some of the serious stuff he's done, but I can't even watch some of that, like Con Air, because they're so violent. I think his range is quite good, personally, and I would consider him an excellent actor.

Caine, on the other hand, I DO find what they call a "character actor"...like you said of Adam Sandler, some actors seem to be always themselves, just choose parts they fit in. I don't admire those as much as actors with range.

Meryl Streep blew my socks off in Postcards from the Edge. Not only her comedic ability, but her singing. I've seen her do comedy before (like Death Becomes Her) and didn't like it; but in that one, she did good!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009 6:46 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


A lot of interesting opinions, very enjoyable, all.

I'm a big fan of Kevin Stacy and William Macy, but I don't think their range of talent stretches to that of a Hanks or Robin Williams, particularly because I don't think their comedic talents are as good. The thing about comedy being much harder than drama is right on, and many actors have said it.

I notice few women mentioned...which I find interesting. Is it a bias, or are there few who can compete? I don't like Meryl Streep personally, but her range is undeniable.

I, too, thought LA Confidential was a truly fine film, but Crowe hasn't grown on me; he seems like one of those who is getting stuck in a genre and takes himself too seriously. I feel the same about Dustin Hoffman, whose attempts at comedy, tho' I've enjoyed them, lack the abilities of others in that genre.

One who I think destroyed his career almsot before it got off the ground (and kudos to Downey Jr. for salvaging HIS) is Richard Dreyfus. I had high hopes for him after Whose Life Is It Anyway and Goodbye Girl, but he self-destructed and seems to be only now coming back in small parts. Such a lost talent, sadly, in my opinion.


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