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So I’d finished my last list and I was happy with it, then someone mentioned in the comments that I’d forgotten Brad Dourif and I realised what a fool I’d been. There are far more than ten actors/actresses that belonged on this list. So I’ve only gone and done another bloody one. Here it is:
1. David Morse
The first time David Morse hit my patented ‘Good actors that make everything better’© radar was in “Extreme Measures” with Hugh Grant. It’s a great story about a silly English fop with a stupid fringe who stutters and walks into things and falls in love with a movie star played by Morse in a wig. Wait, that was something else (Transformers?).
Anyway he plays a really creepy FBI agent and for me was the best thing about “Extreme Measures”, and since then he’s only served to further cement his place in my book (my book being ‘Good Actors That Make Everything Better’ by Gazz Ogden). Morse quite often plays sinister weirdoes like in “Disturbia” and “The Green Mile” but he does it so well that you know he’s going to raise the hairs on the back of your neck enough to give them a perm.
He’s also been in absolutely LOADS of actually good films that don’t even need a 25% increase so has in fact destroyed reality as a result of bringing films past a 100% rating. That’s reason enough to be on this list.
Essential Performance: Mr. Turner in “Disturbia”
Scene Stealer Rating: 6/10
2. John C. McGinley
Idiot: “Oooooh I really like Dr. Cox in Scrubs”
Me: “You’re an idiot”
Unfortunately most people know McGinley through Scrubs (in which he admittedly plays a really good part), but what they don’t know is he’s been in so many other films and played so many other good characters. Just watch him in “The Rock”, “Identity” and “Office Space” to see him in very different (and better?) roles from silly old Dr. Cox.
However, for a real tour-de-force performance, check out “Intensity” which on its own is a pretty dismal film with some of the most infuriating plot decisions in (TV) movie history, but with the addition of McGinley becomes a film well worth watching. It doesn’t help that it’s about 3 days long, but sticking with it for his performance will surely pay you dividends in some imaginary currency that exists solely to put a value on how good certain actors are. So by watching it you could become a millionaire. Pretty sweet huh? Until you try to buy something. IDIOT.
Essential Performance: Edgler Foreman Vess in “Intensity”
Scene Stealer Rating: 10/10
3. Will Patton
Will Patton is the next Jet Li.
At least that’s the path I thought he was taking when I saw him in “Road House 2: Last Call”. Yes, there is a “Road House 2” and yes Will Patton is in it and yes he performs martial arts and yes it’s rubbish…wait, no it’s not. It’s actually quite good. Partly thanks to Mr. Patton.
Nonetheless, apart from threatening to steal the spotlight from Scott Adkins et al, Patton’s more dramatic roles are what give him a place on this list. I remember seeing him in “The Mothman Prophesies” and realising that he was making the film better in real-time each time he appeared on screen, but then Richard Gere head-butted the fucking mirror and I screamed and everyone in the cinema looked at me.
Aside from his moth-centric films, he’s also been in some other good-uns, quite often popping up in ensemble pieces like “Armageddon” and “Gone in 60 Seconds”, or when the casting directors realise that he’s actually really good in everything and the films they’re making need some improvement. Unfortunately alongside his more critic-friendly films, he’s quite often in some lower-end fluff such as “Codename: The Cleaner” – but that had Mark Dacascos in it so I thought it was good.
Essential Performance: Gordon Smallwood in “The Mothman Prophesies”
Scene Stealer Rating: 5/10
4. Brad Dourif
Most people will have heard Brad Dourif’s voice even if they’ve never heard of his name, as he lends his gravelly tones to Chucky in the “Child’s Play” franchise. His role as the sadistic doll led to more and more parts in horror movies, with memorable turns in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”, “The Exorcist III” and “Alien Resurrection”. Through his horror-themed roles, he’s built up a firm fan base within this notoriously hard to please group of rabid genre fans. So even when he’s starring in tat like “Critters 4” he’s sure to at least please those privileged enough to recognise his unique talent.
Saying that, I just watched the trailer for “Fading of the Cries” and it looks like he’s going to make that film 25% worse.
Essential Performance: Chucky in “Child’s Play”
Scene Stealer Rating: 7/10
5. Daniel Wu
I first saw Daniel Wu in “Purple Storm” but I can’t even remember if that film was any good or not so I’ll mention “Naked Weapon” and the scene where he fights that crazy bitch in a house. And as I’ve always said, you can’t beat a good fight scene with a crazy bitch in a house. Anyway, from this I assumed Daniel Wu was a martial artist and would therefore star in other martial arts films, and was only half right. He’s appeared in a great number of other genres and he’s always good but I prefer him when he’s fighting. For example, when he turned up in “Around the World in 80 Days” the person sitting next to me in the cinema had to move after I wet myself.
Essential Performance: I’m not sure
Scene Stealer Rating: 4/10