Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The One Where It's Never Too Late

When should an Actor pack it in, and give up?

Marlon Brando had one last performance in The Score, with two of my favourite Actors.

Ed Norton famously said that he would have signed on, even if it was to hear MB and De Niro read the phone book.

Some would say that's exactly the level of commitment, and excitement Brando bought to the role.

I'd say that was harsh, and if you like twisty turney thrillers, definitely check that film out.

Arnie, whilst hardly of the same acting calibre, is of equal standing as an Icon. His last proper film was Terminator 3. Is that how you would want him to bow out?


Expendables would be the perfect swan song. But there's something missing. An AK-47, or bazooka.

That's what got me into cinema in the first place. Seeing Arnie balancing two Uzis in a cross formation, to balance the shooting.

So, I'll wait... there's another film left in him, for sure. Hopefully that's Expendables: Part Deux, with rocket launchers as standard.

The question is... when do you call time?

Stallone should have a long time ago.

Then he made Rocky Balboa, which is a beautiful, heart breaking film. A real class act.

Rambo, as crazily violent as it is, is perfect too. As closure for that character, it couldn't be better. It's last shot is incredibly poignant - and as Stallone's last ever performance would have been brilliant.

But he came back again. And I loved seeing him at the cinema again. Making trips with dad to see Assassins, Daylight and Judge Dredd worth it.

Clint? Well, he may have come up with the best send off of all.

Gran Torino is a love it/hate it affair. (If you're ever bored on twitter, throw it out there... watch the debate.)

Here, Eastwood seemed to be channelling the final shot, too. And more importantly, a final message... that there's no fight left in him, anymore.

I think as a performance, Million Dollar Baby would have been a far better send off, but do we really want the idea of Clint Eastwood not being in films anymore?

My Dad would probably want him to carry on, until they literally have to edit the film, so his character died in his sleep. Preferably in a final western - which would be a fitting place to go. With Kurt Russell, and Kevin Costner riding alongside him.

I've got heroes I feel the same way about.

It's why it's frustrating to see Joaquin Phoenix pissing his career away, (unless it is a double bluff), by going down the James Dean self destruct route. God, I hope it's a double bluff.

I don't even need to mention Heath Ledger, as an example of how quick things can get taken.

So, carry on Icons of the screen.

Keep making films, until you literally can't anymore.

I'm not sure the current crop are ready to take the mantle, just yet.

And if Expendables is anything to go by, they have a little fight left in them, yet.