One of the modern great character actors Michael Kenneth Williams has died suddenly at the age of 54, born in Brooklyn, New York, after starting out as a back up dancer for the likes of George Michael and Madonna Michael K Williams big break came when he was spotted by the late rapper Tupac Shakur for a part in his movie Bullet : his career on screen was underway, leading to numerous movie roles and TV shows through the years such as The Wire where he played Omar Little, Boardwalk Empire as Chalky White and I last saw him star as the terrific Montrose Freeman in the breathtaking Lovecraft County… I can’t express how sad I feel that we’ll never see this wonderful actor bring to life new characters, his presence, smile and on screen menace will be sorely missed RIP
What can I say that I haven’t already said about the legendary Canadian Filmmaker James Francis Cameron : each and every one of his movies are BADASS… filthy, beautiful, iconic slices of Badass CINEMA that I have crazed over since I was thirteen years of age, sneaking into my local big screen and falling in love with 1984’s Sci-Fi Classic The Terminator, the film, the cast, the story just blew my tiny mind to smitherines… and then if that wasn’t enough of a cinematic awakening how about 1986’s ALIENS the BEST godamn movie sequel that’s ever been, the film has the greatest ensemble, the greatest number of quotes that I’ve used in daily life than any other movie and a movie that sits comfortably in My Top 10 Greatest Movies of ALL TIME… James Cameron is an innovator, a visionary, an artist and although he doesn’t knock out movies every few years like say Ridley Scott or Clint Eastwood the quality and substance of his material is high end, near perfect and usually they turn out to be ground breaking in every way possible, just look at the visual effects, the ideas put together and what was achieved on the likes of The Abyss, Titanic and still the Best 3D IMAX experience that’s ever been in Avatar… and how about the comedy he injects into his films such as T2 Judgment Day and True Lies, both rock the pants off most in the action genre and both are incredibly funny too… so if like me your a fan of James Cameron then raise a glass and salute one of Cinema’s Greatest Filmmakers…
Can you believe COREY FELDMAN has joined the 50’s club? (well neither can I)… during the 80s this guy freaking rocked, his films and the character’s he brought to life were a huge part of my youth so it’s only right we here at Absolute Badasses say Happy 50th to this ICON… from those early roles playing Tommy in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Billy’s friend Pete in the 1984 gem Gremlins to being part of The Goonies with his character Mouth adding so much humor to the group, he also stole the show as the loose cannon Teddy Duchamp in the coming of age Stand by Me and of course, not forgetting his role as Edgar Frog in one of my favorite cult classic’s The Lost Boys… in the 90s he went on to star in The ‘Burbs with Tom Hanks and voiced one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, had a small cameo in Maverick and also starred in a 1994 episode of Tales from the Crypt… in 2008 he returned as one of the Frog Brothers in Lost Boys: The Tribe and then in 2010 returned once more for Lost Boys: The Thirst and although his career has slowed down a tad over the years Corey is still working with his latest roles coming in the horror anthology The Sunday Night Slaughter and lending his vocals as the Sorcerer Beast in William Cox’s Age of Stone & Sky: The Sorcerer Beast… Happy Birthday Corey Feldman !!
Heartbreaking… Richard Donner’s films have been on repeat in my house for over the last three decades, his body of work have brought tears of laughter, smiles of joy and and you know something? they still seem as fresh today as they did back then… he was a Maverick of his time with movies such as Superman, The Goonies, the Lethal Weapon movies and so many more… he was loved by his peers, adored by his fans and although he’s no longer with us his legacy will continue to shine… “Hey, you guuuys!”
“Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby….” whether it be Maverick soaring through the skies in Top Gun, on a spy mission with Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, fighting Aliens in Edge of Tomorrow or playing a contract killer in Collateral there’s nothing quite like watching TOM CRUISE project his passion, commitment and overall love for his craft onto our movie screens… he’s INFECTIOUS : born on this day in 1962, Syracuse New York, Tom Cruise made his film debut playing Billy in 1981’s Endless Love, six more movies followed before Tom took on his iconic role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell alongside Val Kilmer and Kelly McGillis in Tony Scott’s 1986 action masterpiece Top Gun, he became a box office sensation, his career boomed and he’s never looked back… of course along with his well know action movies Tom can also act with the best of them, he’s won three Golden Globes and been nominated by the Academy in three pictures… Oliver Stone’s 1989 true story Born on the Fourth of July, Cameron Crowe’s 1996 comedy Jerry Maguire and Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant 1999 movie Magnolia : aged 59 Tom’s currently filming Mission Impossible 7 and yep he’s still doing those crazy stunts and his new movie Top Gun : Maverick hits the big screen later this year… what an ABSOLUTE BADASS !!
Today marks the 67th Birthday of Kathleen Turner, she’s not only one of my favorite all time actresses and a lady of immense talent but during my hey day back in the good old 80s she really did own the words SCREEN BEAUTY with sizzling turns in the likes of Body Heat, Crimes of Passion, The Man with Two Brains and of course Romancing the Stone and it’s sequel The Jewel of the Nile : but Kathleen is no one trick pony, she’s a superb theatre actress with two TONY nominations for her performances in Broadway roles as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and PLEASE people we need to talk more about Kathleen’s imense comedy work she’s incredibly FUNNY, check out The War of the Roses, Serial Mom, Prizzi’s Honor and Switching Channels and wasn’t it BLISS watching her reunite with Michael Douglas recently in the third and final series of the The Kominsky Method : Kathleen is someone who’s brought so much happiness to my movie loving bubble and yes I know she’s a tad older now but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the movie gods to sanction a third Jack & Joan outing and of course bringing Ralph back would be the icing… but until then… Happy Birthday Kathleen 🙂
“I love every aspect of the creation of motion pictures and I guess I am committed to it for life”
Born in San Francisco, California in 1930 and with over 50 acting roles, 40 directorial credits, a whole bunch of original music and 4 Academy Awards CLINT EASTWOOD is the epitome of the word LEGEND : he’s 91 today, he’s still working & his latest film Cry Macho lands in October……… (Happy Birthday Clint)
Happy Birthday to the GREAT New Yorker HARVEY KEITEL : in my eyes he’s up there in the top 20 actors of all time, displaying passion & energy in some of my favorite films of all time : I remember watching Harvey give a powerhouse of a display for a young Scorsese in Mean Streets alongside De Niro and after watching realising this guy is gona be the new Brando, of course his collaborations with Marty are incredible and some of his best work but for me My top two Keitel performances both came in 1992 and both exploded from the screen like a stick of dynamite, Mr White in Quentin Tarantino’s debut Reservoir Dogs and of course his raw and disturbing LT in Abel Ferrara’s no nonsence Bad Lieutenant : for me Keitel stands tall with the greats of film, his performances have been varied and most of all consistently GREAT : Happy 82nd Legend !!
sad news the badass Frank McRae has died aged 80 : although he wasn’t a huge star and quite often found himself in smaller roles Frank managed to put his own stamp on the movie world, giving us character’s we fondly remember, with eye catching performances such as Harry in *batteries Not Included, Ogden Jones alongside Dan Aykroyd in 1941, Mr Teasdale in the 1984’s cult classic Red Dawn, Dekker in The Last Action Hero, and Haden in 48hrs, he also starred in other films such as 007’s Licence to Kill, 1973’s gangster film Dillinger and not to mention his collaboration’s with Sylvester Stallone on film’s such as F.I.S.T., Paradise Alley, Lock Up and Rocky II : as I look around my film library and spot some of the film’s mentioned I’m sad at his loss but I also smile reminiscing at the many delightful performances this wonderful character actor has given us….
Born in Canada on this day in 1916 this wonderfully gifted actor is the first in what will become a regular feature here at Absolute Badasses : the 40s, 50s & 60s was dominated by the western or gritty noir picture that fell nicely for Glenn Ford the son of a railroad executive who moved to Santa Monica when he was eight years old : before his acting career took hold Glenn worked as a barkeep in Santa Monica earning $5 a week, became an expert plumber and installer of plate glass windows : in 1939 Glenn’s life changed when he made his movie debut in Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence for director Ricardo Cortez and so his journey was underway : in a long career Glenn Ford starred in over 100 movies, unbelievably he never appeared in a film nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and was often credited as the fastest gun in the movie industry (even faster than John Wayne & James Arness) : my own personal favorites are seen in the pictures above, 3:10 to Yuma where he starred as gunslinger Ben Wade alongside Van Heflin, in 1946 came Ford’s huge break appearing alongside the gorgeous Rita Hayworth in Gilda, he would become great friends with Hayworth even becoming one of the pallbearers at her funeral in the late 80s, in 1953 he starred in one of Fritz Lang’s finest, the gritty film noir The Big Heat opposite Gloria Grahame, Marlon Brando’s sister Jocelyn Brando and Lee Marvin, then of course in 1978 he played Pa Kent in Richard Donner’s Superman : sadly due to ill health Ford retired from acting aged 75 and died in 2006 aged 90, he was born to entertain and some of his other note worth performances include: Pocketful of Miracles, The Fastest Gun Alive, Blackboard Jungle, Lust for Gold and so many more…
Happy 51st Birthday to the MAGNIFICENT, MYSTERIOUS and incredibly TALENTED Bostonian UMA THURMAN : Born on this day in 1970, Uma has played a big part in my facination and love for cinema, and since her big film break in 1988 with Dangerous Liaisons she’s gone from strength to strength, on a personal level she married & divorced acting royalty in Gary Oldman & Ethan Hawke, starred alongside a true legend of the screen in Robert De Niro in Mad Dog and Glory, became Quentin Tarantino’s muse for Pulp Fiction and his two Kill Bill movies, and even had a role in a comic book movie, the forgettable yet fun Batman & Robin alongside Drew Barrymore and action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger : although her career has been a mixed bag, her beauty and screen presence that she delivered in her top tier movies will always be on repeat in my cinema : here’s my absolute top four : 2003’s Kill Bill, 1994’s Pulp Fiction, 2004’s Kill Bill 2 and finally 1992’s underrated serial killer gem Jennifer Eight :
Yet another screen favorite has passed away : the charismatic, cool as fuck YAPHET KOTTO has died aged 81, Yaphet was such a good actor, he made ordinary looking roles ICONIC giving life to such memorable characters such as Parker in Ridley Scott’s Alien, playing Laughlin alongside Arnie in the 80s scifi gem The Running Man, his brilliant turn as Alonzo Mosely in Midnight Run, Lieutenant Al Giardello in TVs Homicide and of course his villainous turn in 007s Live and Let Die as Mr Big : although it’s time to say goodbye to this wonderful talent his movies will always be there to bring pleasure to this cinephiles movie loving heart…..
On her Birthday I’m remembering the beauty and talent of 30s Icon JEAN HARLOW who starred in films such as The Public Enemy alongside Jimmy Cagney, Frank Capra’s 1931 comedy Platinum Blonde, alongside Clark Gable in Red Dust, Howard Hughes war drama Hell Angels, Victor Fleming’s romantic comedy Blond Bombshell and her delightfully funny turn in Dinner at Eight : although Jean was taken way to early she made her mark in Hollywood as one of the funniest, sexiest and sweetest actresses of her era…. she was born on this day in 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri and was the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine : Jean Harlow made 36 movies and appeared alongside Clark Gable in six of them, she died aged 26 whilst making the 1937 movie Saratoga in which her last line spoken was “Good-bye” : her Hollywood star can be found at 6910 Hollywood Blvd….
Happy 89th Birthday to the Iconic Music Composer JOHN WILLIAMS who was born on this day in New York in 1932 : he really started to make waves back in the seventies including the disaster movie trio of The Towering Inferno, Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure and one of my favorite western themes back in 1972 The Cowboys : then in 1974 John started his collaboration with one of the finest filmmakers of our time in Steven Spielberg : for me John & Steve are the greatest director/composer duo in film, any there’s no doubt without John’s iconic scores to Speilberg’s masterful direction the films would not have the same impact : whether his music is rousing or at a much slower tempo John Williams has the ability of fitting a piece of music to the scene more than any other composer with some of his best work falling within the movie rather than it’s title’s main theme, take the barrel chase from Jaws, the Over the Moon segment from E.T. and Marion’s Theme from Raiders they all have epic qualities and encapsulate the great man’s input to that particular moment : one’s that didn’t make my top four but deserve a mention include Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, E.T., Home Alone, JFK, Close Encounters and Empire of the Sun