Top Five Favorite Edward Norton Movies of All Time

I like making top five lists.  I guess you could say it all started when I watched High Fidelity for the first time.  And then there was that Living Social Facebook app.  And lately, we’ve hired a bunch of new kids at my Starbucks, so I’ve been busting out top five lists to try and get to know them better.  There’s a lot you can tell about a person by asking them to list their Top Five Movies About or Involving Space Travel.  That blog will be posted soon, don’t you worry.

Now, before you get all jumpy, this isn’t going to be a Top Five blog exclusively.  But it might be for a few months.  If you’ve been reading me long, you know I have the attention span of a gnat.  A stupid gnat who is only interested in shiny baubles and senseless list making.

So, now for you friends, in honor of Our Friend, Sir Edward Norton, I have compiled a list of my favorite Edward Norton films of all time.   Follow him on Twitter and support his fundraising efforts for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. edward-norton-20040406-225

Before we begin, here are my honorable mentions.  Some more great Edward Norton films that didn’t make the cut:
Keeping the Faith – A terrific romantic comedy, but not extraordinary enough.
The Italian Job – It’s a Jason Statham movie in my mind.  I oft forget Norton’s even in it until the credits roll.
The 25th Hour – Would probably be on the list, except I still haven’t watched the entire thing.  I rented it the year it came out, watched the first half, went to work, and then returned it before I finished it.
Rounders – Sadly can’t take this one seriously after seeing Poolhall Junkies, even if Norton’s characterization of the scheming scoundrel “Worm” is nothing short of genius.
The People VS. Larry Flynt – is a breathtaking Woody Harrelson performance featuring the brilliant Norton and surprising Courtney Love.

And now, the official countdown:

5) Red DragonIMGIJY2TUA2Y3.jpg_thumb
Say what you will about this remake of an adaptation of a novel from a series that spawned a superior movie (in the eyes of the Academy anyhow, I was voting for Beauty and the Beast that year) however, I love this movie.  I think it’s beautiful.  The casting is brilliant and the story, while it can’t be credited to the filmmakers, is intriguing and appeals to me as a Law and Order die-hard.  Norton’s quiet, simmering control is a perfect foil to Anthony Hopkins’ methodical and maniacal Hannibal Lector, however both are upstaged by Ralph Fiennes as the victimized killer, Francis Dolarhyde.

4) Primal Fearprimal fear
I don’t love Richard Gere, but even he couldn’t fudge up this compelling mystery about a dual personality character.  Norton, as the character(s) in question, exhibits range and expertise rarely seen even in veteran actors, making his performance even more impressive as it’s his first role in a major motion picture.  Ever.  Again, the Law and Order nut in me is appeased by the thrilling investigation and court-room drama.

3) Death to Smoochydeah_to_smoochy1
I don’t love Robin Williams, but I adore Catherine Keener (she’s me, 20 years from now) and this film is just dark and satirical enough to pique my interest and keep it up.  Edward Norton, famous for playing characters plagued with darkness and despair, lights up the screen as Sheldon Mopes, a singer/songwriter who brings joy to all the people of the world by dressing up like Smoochy the Rhino.  It’s terrific fun.  A lesser actor would have turned this project into a cheesy spoof on Barney, but Norton manages to keep it away from broad humor (despite Williams’ best efforts) by expressing truth and naivete.  Also, it’s directed by Danny DeVito.  Awesome.

2) American History X52397477-31b787839d-o
The imagery, offensive and horrific as it may be, can’t be ignored in this disturbing and tragic tale of a confused young man who finds fault in his Neo-Nazi beliefs after serving time for the brutal slaughter of a black man.  Norton, as Derek Vinyard, scowls with rage in the first act, only to glow with the peace of an enlightened man in the last.  His transformation is made wholly believable in Norton’s relentless committment to the role.

1) Fight Club1345
Fight Club will always be one of my favorite movies.  The look, unique how it pairs flash with grunge, the creative story telling, unmatched in modern cinema, and of course, the characters.  Tyler Durden is a hero of my generation.  We all want to live on Paper Street reading back-issues of Reader’s Digest and learning how to make soap.  We all want to create mayhem and leave a legacy.  We all want to believe that we are not our fucking khakis.

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Five Saturday Night Live Sketches I Would Rather See Made Into a Movie than MacGruber

If the rumors are true, they’re making a MacGruber movie. http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/06/macgruber-movie-will-forte-jimmy-fallon-kristen-wiig.html

How they’re going to stretch a one-joke sketch based on a classically bad TV show into 80 something minutes is beyond me.

At first I started this note as a joke, but I’ve decided to take it one step further and actually come up with plotlines that would sustain each of these sketches into a feature length film.

5) Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet

Starring: Tracey Morgan
Brian does a live show from Disney’s Animal Kingdom when-OH NO!-it’s attacked by terrorists!! He uses what little knowledge he has of the world to do absolutely no good, while his assistant (Jack McBrayer anyone??) outsmarts the evil doers and saves the day! YAY!

4) Deep House Dish

Starring: Kenan Thompson, Andy Samberg, Rachel Dratch
DJ Dynasty Handbag and T’Shane open a club, like the original Studio 54. T’Shane gets really into the party scene, whereas DJ Dynasty Handbag keeps it real. They run into Tiara, whom T’Shane replaced, who has become a drug crazed groupie, and T’Shane realizes the road he’s on. They decide the scene isn’t for them, and close the club before it’s too late. They reopen it as a community centre to keep kids off the street, and teach them about making music.

3) Goth Talk

Starring: Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell
If you add up all the Goth Talk sketches from over the years, you’re almost there already. Begin with Todd as a young boy, being picked on, and eventually meeting Stephanie and becoming great friends who decide to start their own show. Things get complicated as they grow up, and Stephanie develops feelings for Glenn, Todd’s mean older brother. They drift apart after high school, but reunite for one last show before Todd moves away for college. Must bring back Steve Buscemi as the janitor.

2) Bronx Beat

Starring: Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler
I desperately want to follow Jodi and Betty home to see them with their families that they love, but complain about constantly. The movie would begin with the two of them as rivals, competing for the same co-hosting spot opposite some network golden boy, that is until they work together to reveal him as a coke addict, and a pig, who doesn’t deserve to be on TV. They win, and become the first show hosted by two women.

1) Wake Up Wakefield!

Starring: Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon
Obviously bring back Ray Ramono as Sheldon’s Dad, he ain’t doing much these days anyway. The movie starts as Megan and Sheldon are about to graduate high school. Much has changed. Jazz X 10 has not. Too everyone’s surprise, Randy Goldman asks Megan to prom. She accepts, even though she still can’t look him in the eye. Sheldon suspects foul play, and tells her as much, causing her to quit the show. Sheldon gets a new co-anchor (I’m thinking Kristen Wiig) and the show gets worse every day. Meanwhile, Megan finds out on her own that Randy Goldman asking her to prom was in fact a dare, like She’s All That. She finally gets over him, and goes back to Sheldon, who is hesitant at first but after another mishap, fires his new co-anchor, and takes Megan back. They finish the Prom Episode Special together, and then go back to Sheldon’s house to watch the Alien marathon on Space.

Heroes: It’s Arrested Development on Crack

As many of you are aware, I have been mainlining the revolutionary television show Hereos ever since seeing Star Trek and deciding Zachary Quinto and I are soulmates. At first, it seemed very new and exciting, but soon I realized that it is in fact, a carbon copy of another beloved television show. At least, the characters are remarkably similar.

Claire Bennet/Maeby Funke

She’s tough, got a thick skin, and will lie to anyone who’ll listen to her. She leads a double life, and easily switches identities to conceal her actions and motives. She dates people her parents disapprove of (or would if they knew) and there’s some speculation over who her parents actually are.

Niki-Jessica Sanders/Lindsay Bluth-Funke

She’s part loving mom, part drunk, part crazed psycho. Her kid isn’t doing great in school despite obvious intelligence (which didn’t come from her side of the family) and her husband is unemployable, resulting in marital trouble.

Gabriel “Sylar” Gray/George Oscar “Gob” Bluth

They’re actually wearing the same outfit!!
The only difference between these two is that Sylar CAN do magic (sort of), and he would never intentionally harm an animal, or give it a taste of mammal blood. Or date a high school student.

Nathan Petrelli/Michael Bluth

Ever seen either of these two NOT in a suit? I rest my case.
In Arrested Development , his wife died of cancer, and they talked about her often. In Heroes , his wife was confined to a wheelchair, and eventually forgotten about. In both shows, he’s a puppet, perfectly willing to go along with whatever his parents tell him, despite often challenging them and declaring independence, which almost never lasts. Furthermore, he’s constantly coming to the rescue of his sibling(s) as they seem unfit to care for themselves.
For example…
Hiro Nakamura/Buster Bluth
At first, you can’t help but wonder if he’s mildly retarded. Although he’s barely matured beyond the age of 10, he’ll surprise you when he appears wise beyond his years. Mostly he wants love and respect from his father, who has never invested much in his interests and activities.

Peter Petrelli/George Michael Bluth

The ultimate empath, he is regularly ignored by his father and genuinely wants to help everyone, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. He’s cute, he means well, but he’s kind of dumb.

Noah Bennet/Tobias Funketobias_funke

The outsider, always the one looking in. Not a great parent, however his daughter often helps him when she can, I think because she pities him. He’s slightly dorky (the glasses) and has poor decision making skills.

Angela Petrelli/Lucille Bluth
Angela should experiment more with color.
The matriarch, the head of everything, a manipulative powerful woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She loves her children and grandchildren, but has problems showing it other than meddling in their lives and using them as puppets.

Arthur Petrelli/George Bluth Sr.

More suits. What is it with this family?
Manipulative in the same manner as his wife, he cares less for his family than his own goals, and uses them whenever possible. Also, some debate over whether or not he is in fact, alive. At least for a few episodes.

Micah Sanders/Annyong

Sort of annoying little whiz kid, appears out of nowhere and disappears just as fast. Then comes back in a very contrived plot sequence. Rebel? Annyong?? Tell me there’s a difference there.

Flint Gordon/Steve Holt!

Big, dumb, great name. And more connected to the main family than even he realizes.

Bob Bishop/Barry Zuckercorn

If only everything Barry touched turned to gold…
Should not be in the position of power he has, as he is a bumbling idiot. Also, evil.

Three

Three weeks ago on this Thursday coming I landed once again in this fair land (England), only to find there were none of the following things waiting for me in Arrivals:

A Victorian circus act, complete with performing fleas

A tattered red carpet

A brass band

The Fuzz

An organ grinder and his monkey

Her Majesty the Queen

What’s that all about?  All was not lost of course, because in place of these admittedly overwhelming welcoming devices stood the one thing I have been dreaming about for months and months (nay years) – a boy.

Not just any boy but the boy of my dreams and there he was to receive the red-faced me and my 9 kilos over luggage.

Since then every day has been better than the last.  Life is seldom perfect and we always have certain things kicking about to test us, but I am right now as close to pure happiness as one can get.

How lucky can one girl be, really?  To be able to wake every morning to receive a kiss from the one who makes her heart thunder like a troupe of wild horses?

Something, somewhere happened and I did something right.

Thank fuck.

American Apparel – A Study in Life Without Organs

the_tap_pantyEver notice how the American Apparel store looks like a Unicorn stumbled in, drunk and shot a hot stream of uninterrupted Unicorn pee onto every visible surface?

This could be the reason why I can never resist popping in and rummaging through their technicolour racks – and may well also be the legitimate reason for absolutely no smiles, or even a hint of pleasure on the faces of its snake-hipped employees?

Or is it the fact that they just really fancy a big sandwich, since oxygen just isn’t enough to sustain them anymore?

This might not be fair, of course, since many many of the ‘trendy’ stores, in every city in the world comprise a team of poe-faced pre-pubescent but really, it just seems so more apparent here.

It has to be something to do with the contrast between the candy-coloured hoodies and the pale, hungry looking sales girls.

I guess it’s hard to have to deal with the fatties coming in with the intention of buying garments that were designed for Swedish runway models.

And it must be just awful to have to calculate the cost of the items that don’t round up to a neat $42 but how can you be in such a Carebear-friendly environment and still look that miserable?

I walk past the window and get excited. Not that any of the items were designed for my arse but seriously, for just that split second, it feels as though anything at all is possible.

I could buy that Jennifer-Beals-in-Flashdance-esque sweatshirt in Muppet skin pink and all will be right with the world.

American Ap-a-rell.

American Appa-ral?

On a tangent: where do you girls store your inner organs anyway? I’d love to know. Sure, you’re probably mere months from your sixteen candles, but I never looked like that at that age. When did girls start getting so whippet-like?

Do you just run on sheer youth?

Still, you know what, I won’t boycott the store. I’m not anti-skinny/beautiful/youthful and I’m not insecure about myself just because I am all curve.

We are all beautiful in our different ways and I can see a whole list of pros in being either way.

And they do have a scarf that has piano keys on it.

Sold to the lady at the front with hips!

Jog On, Ladies

Women’s jogging groups. Really what on earth is the point in that, if not just to bug the living bejesus out of me? I can’t begin to imagine.

Girls don’t jog in England. They sit on couches eating deep-fried Mars bars belching out God Save the Queen like all good ladettes.

They have far better things to do with their time. Like get pregnant and start fights on the top deck of buses.

They do not swarth their frames in techno-lycra and pound the sidewalks, tutting loudly if you dare to walk along one.

The cunty jogging fiends expect pedestrians to part like waves for them as they thunder through, don’t you mere mortals realise that they have somewhere really important to be?

Oh, that’s right. They don’t. They do this for their own pleasure.

I think I might actually buy it if they really did look like they were having fun. But all these perfect non-fat latte girls with their Coach handbags just look so miserable. They toss their 300 haircuts and they look like they want to die.

I’d rather have my bottom and the ability to take the piss out of myself anyday.

Give me by pot belly and a lifetime of hilarity please. I wouldn’t swap these crow’s feet for the world and you can keep your perfectly manicured hands off my laughter lines, thankyouverymuch.

I think I have to get out of Vancouver and stop doing the job I do before the pleasantly cynical old lady that lives in the basement suite of my soul gets ideas above her station and starts demanding more.

So ladies, go for it. Next time I’m selfishly blocking a pavement with my damn curvy arse, feel free to elbow me out the way.

I shan’t be following you. I’m going my way.

Jog on.

The Dating ‘Game’

I find myself in the current employ of a major Vancouver-based dating agency.

This affords me a priveleged vantage point indeed and there are things I observe that could rightly turn a girl (or guy) off the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on which side your bread is buttered) and have her/him running for the hills.

It does not however, afford me the dating wisdom you would think.

I am still a clueless and confused individual.  I still don’t understand a word blokes are saying and I wonder what the fuck fuels their tiny minds, aside from boobs and… puppy dog’s tails?

There are some things I do know however, that would save time and heartache all-round if only we would practise them every once in a while.

Wanna know?  Alrighty…

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