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Great acting in terrible movies

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Raul Julia in Streetfighter.

 

Al Pacino in Gigli

 

Robert Patrick in The Marine.

 

Ewan McGregor in the Star Wars films.

 

The guy who played Chris R in The Room. I mean, under normal circumstances he wouldn't warrant a mention, but it's like, after an hour of watching one trainwreck of an acting performance after another, it's so weird and surreal when someone shows up in this film and actually acts very well.

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I feel like Alan Rickman will be on this a lot.

 

But for me this list begins with Ron Perlman in POLICE ACADEMY: MISSION TO MOSCOW.

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I thought that while Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans was a steaming bucket of monkey piss, Nic Cage's performance in it was inspired. Just balls-out insane, and that was totally the right direction to go with the character.

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Boondock Saints wasn't a masterpiece, but Willem Dafoe was really good in it.  He overacts in a sense, but it works and makes his FBI agent the only character that stands out on its own merit.  Dafoe was probably the only one who realized how schmaltzy the movie was and acted accordingly.

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It's not exactly terrible, but Jamie Foxx's performance is far and away the best part of Ray.

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It's not exactly terrible, but Jamie Foxx's performance is far and away the best part of Ray.

 

Charlize Theron in Monster is another of those "Performance that outclasses the movie" examples.

 

Also, Girl, Interrupted would be Lifetime movie-of-the-week levels of annoying if it wasn't for Angelina Jolie.

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Is it out of bounds to submit the entire resumes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing?

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Boondock Saints wasn't a masterpiece, but Willem Dafoe was really good in it. He overacts in a sense, but it works and makes his FBI agent the only character that stands out on its own merit. Dafoe was probably the only one who realized how schmaltzy the movie was and acted accordingly.

He singlehandedly makes that movie worth watching.

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Is it out of bounds to submit the entire resumes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing?

Given how fucking great some of the Hammer stuff is, yes.

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Is it out of bounds to submit the entire resumes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing?

Given how fucking great some of the Hammer stuff is, yes.

 

But there's some ass-bad stuff in there too.  And they are always amazing no matter how much is falling apart around them.

 

Enough to make either of them champs of this, maybe.

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I'll be slightly controversial and say Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

 

Generally, I find the plot (or lack of one) pretty dull, Scarlett Johansson's character ("I need to find my path in life!") is more snooty and annoying than sympathetic. And the idea of two wealthy Americans sitting in a luxury hotel lamenting how bad their lives is kind of a natural turn off.

 

But Murray just about saves it. He just looks so genuinely heartbroken and burned out the entire movie.

 

Without him, I don't think anyone would care about this film at all. Sofia Coppola had a similar idea with Somewhere, only instead of Murray, it's Stephen Dorff going around feeling sorry for himself. The movie is awful and boring beyond belief.

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I'll be slightly controversial and say Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

 

 

I'm with you on this.  The movie was full of problems.  But Murray was fantastic.

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I ended up feeling worse for the husband and the ditzy actress than for Johansson's character. Which I don't think was meant to be the idea.

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There's debate on whether it's a good movie. but Jackie Earle Haley carries Watchmen.  He felt real, not like some drama school graduate hitting their marks.  Some others were decent in the film, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan gets a honorable mention.  Haley was fantastic.

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I had a hard time verbalizing what bugged me about LOST IN TRANSLATION, but I think it was the idea of a blankness substituting for depth in the Johansson character.  Coppola just has her drift around someone else's world wide-eyed and empty and gawking and somehow I'm supposed to see this amazing potential in her...because she, like, looks at stuff.

 

Like they did so much with Murray's character to earn our sympathy and respect, and with her they just assumed we would associate her empty gawking with contemplativeness or something.

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There's debate on whether it's a good movie. but Jackie Earle Haley carries Watchmen.  He felt real, not like some drama school graduate hitting their marks.  Some others were decent.  Haley was fantastic.

 

I was going to suggest him in LITTLE CHILDREN with the same caveat.  The movie jumped up and down on some pretty easy and shallow emotional buttons, but he was great.

 

And in a similar role, Stanley Tucci, and actually almost everyone in THE LOVELY BONES.  The only awful performance there was sadly Peter Jackson's.

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There's debate on whether it's a good movie. but Jackie Earle Haley carries Watchmen. He felt real, not like some drama school graduate hitting their marks. Some others were decent in the film, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan gets a honorable mention. Haley was fantastic.

But it's by no means a "terrible" movie, so D.Q.

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I had a hard time verbalizing what bugged me about LOST IN TRANSLATION, but I think it was the idea of a blankness substituting for depth in the Johansson character.  Coppola just has her drift around someone else's world wide-eyed and empty and gawking and somehow I'm supposed to see this amazing potential in her...because she, like, looks at stuff.

 

 

Charlotte was apparently based on Coppola herself. So I guess in her '20s, Coppola spent most of her time acting snooty towards people and, you know, looking out windows with a melancholy look on her face.

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I recall a conversation on the old board about how awesome Chris Klein was in Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li that I completely agree with

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Donnie Wahlberg in Dreamcatcher. His performance in that film was significantly better than the film deserved and the only reason to watch it.

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Why do I feel Aaron Paul in Need for Speed will inevitably end up mentioned in this thread?

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Not sure if I would call it full on terrible, but Wyatt Earp was overlong and had a lot of boring stretches. But Dennis Quaid's performance as Doc Holliday comes damned close to making it worth watching.

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X3 is a movie that just frustrated on so many levels, but Ellen Page as Kitty and Kelsey Grammer as Beast both made what should have been completely forgetable characters the only thing in the movie worth paying attention to in spite of getting nothing in the script.

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I thought that while Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans was a steaming bucket of monkey piss, Nic Cage's performance in it was inspired. Just balls-out insane, and that was totally the right direction to go with the character.

Nic Cage didn't know he was in that movie until 6 months later.

 

Which reminds me: Bowfinger was pretty bad but Steve Martin was pretty great in it.

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