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I was reading an article in “Empire Magazine” which mentioned that Nathan Fillion makes every film he’s in at least 25% better. This got me thinking, who else makes films more watchable even if the movies are terrible to begin with? So I compiled a list (in no particular order), of those actors and actresses who whether it’s through enthusiasm, comedy value or just sheer presence, make whatever film they’re in just that little bit more exciting. Feel free to disagree with my opinions below.
1. Mark Dacascos
Ignoring AMAZING films like “Drive” and “Brotherhood of the Wolf”, and pretty good films like “Only the Strong”, Mark Dacascos has been in some shit.
No matter though, because the mere fact that any of these turds stars Dacascos causes them to be polished to a degree only some sort of industrial buffer could achieve. Yes, Mark Dacascos is the heavy duty shit-buffer of STV action movies. As a result, I will watch (and enjoy) any film with Dacascos in no matter how bad; for he brings an unbridled amount of enthusiasm and watchability to any role he takes, particularly when he’s kicking ass.
Aside from some pretty dismal films, Dacascos has also flirted with – as well as taken out to dinner and shagged – brilliance, like in the aforementioned “Drive”, which is easily his best film and one of the best martial arts films ever made. Unfortunately though, he never really reached the mainstream attention he deserved. But there is an upside – at least he’s finally more popular now than he ever was, due to his considerable talent for shouting “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER” on “Iron Chef America”.
Essential performance – Toby Wong in “Drive”
Scene stealer rating – 5/10
2. Brion James
Chances are you haven’t heard the name Brion James before, but I’ll bet that you’ll recognise him. He’s one of those prolific and versatile ‘thingies from that film’ whose face is instantly familiar but whose name is not.
Regardless of whether you’ve heard his name before, he guarantees an increase of at least 25% on the enjoyability scale of any movie. Whether it’s classics like “Enemy Mine” and “Blade Runner” or stinkers like “Men in White”, James assures that in the very least, his performance will be worth watching.
In essence, he is often one of the sole reasons to watch films like “The Horror Show” and always brings something extra to a huge amount of unremarkable films (although the less said about his terr-ib-al cock-ern-ee faaackin akksent in “Tango and Cash” the better).
James sadly passed away in 1999.
Essential Performance – Max Jenke in “The Horror Show”
Scene Stealer rating – 8/10
3. Julia Stiles
Julia Stiles is strangely attractive to me. I can’t figure out why, but I’m still inexplicably drawn to any character she plays, even if she’s playing unsexy roles like Nicky in the “Bourne” trilogy. But mostly it’s her early work that impresses, by quite often single-handedly elevating uninspiring teen-fare like “O” and “Save the Last Dance” to heights not usually reserved for this genre of movie.
White-girl got moves too.
Essential Performance – Kat Stratford in “10 Things I Hate About You”
Scene Stealer rating – 5/10
4. Ryan Reynolds
Quite probably a love-it-or-hate-it choice here, but I love Ryan Reynolds, in a totally ‘I think Ryan Reynolds is very funny and a great actor’ kind of way. I’ve got to admit, I like him best when he’s acting sarky man-child and pulling stupid faces (I’m easily pleased), in films like “Just Friends”, but he has proved himself with more serious fare – “Amityville Horror” and “Smokin’ Aces”. But to be honest, I’ll stick with “Van Wilder” any day (“Smokin’ Aces should have been called “Steamin’ Faeces”).
He’s also got some great upcoming superhero movies in “Green Lantern” and “Deadpool” (which incidentally was the best thing about “Wolverine”) that are sure to thrill the notoriously hard-to-please fanboy audiences as he seems perfectly suited to each role.
Essential Performance – Van Wilder in “Van Wilder” (unless you hate Van Wilder)
Scene Stealer rating – 8/10
5. Scott Adkins
Imagine if Jason Statham has 200 legs and he challenged 1000 men with 200 asses each to an ass kicking contest. That would be a lot of ass-kicking. Yes, lots of asses would get kicked. You’d pretty much think that it wouldn’t be possible to kick more asses than this. But you’d be WRONG.
Because Scott Adkins kicks more ass than this.
This is why he is on this list.
Essential Performance – Talbot in “Special Forces”
Scene Stealer rating – 10/10