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 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
Whether it be DC or the Marvel Comics Universe the excitement of a new movie landing on the big screen is an event, it’s something as a film fan I can honestly say I look forward to – yes I won’t deny my favorite genre of film is Horror and the Western but I grew up watching the likes of Christopher Reeve as Superman, Michael Keaton as Batman and Tobey Maguire as Spider-man so my love for this superhero craze is pretty extreme, I feed of it’s excitement and thankfully in recent years we as comic book fans have been spoilt rotten by the countless comic book movie adaptations that have consumed our screens the majority of which have been wonderful to watch….
First things first you must watch this movie in 3D and on the big screen, a big chunk of what gives Doctor Strange it’s uniqueness, it’s originality is it’s trippy Inception style visuals, for me the magic & sorcery of the film’s narrative comes alive during these colorful eye catching moments and praise must go to Sinister director Scott Derrickson and his team for having the bottle to go against the grain and deliver something bravely unique to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – as far as the casting goes Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch handles Doctor Strange with style – the wit, arrogance and complex nature of Strange is brought alive before your eye’s, Cumberbatch looking every bit the Sorcerer Supreme he will undoubtedly become – The Ancient One who is an old wise man in the comics is portrayed by actress Tilda Swinton – her presence and looks remind me of Tripitaka the ancient bald monk from the Japanese show Monkey, she truly is a delight and owns her character bringing a level of mysterious mysticism to Doctor Strange – my own slight negative in the movie is Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous turn as Kaecilius, as a villain this character is nowhere near as evil or dark as I would have written or imagined him to be and having someone like Mads a great actor coming off possibly his darkest role Hannibal Lector it’s seems a slight waste not to have him be insanely bad BUT that being said it does not deter one jot from the pictures overall enjoyment – Derrickson‘s Doctor Strange is not only a totally bonkers, weird at times experience it’s also a film with intelligence and one that’s magically entertaining throughout – the film thou is not a one trick pony, don’t get too bamboozled by it’s effects and stop thinking about it’s story, that first quarter of the movie showing Strange as the gifted neurosurgeon he once was, his relationship with Miss Palmer played by Rachel McAdams are of great importance as the movie moves forward – oh yeah and before I forget hang around for them customary extras after the credits rise, they’re lots of fun and lay the foundations of what’s to follow….