Saturday, March 10, 2007

I got to suck on Sir Derek Jacobi's wrist

Just got suckered into watching Underworld: Evolution. You know, you think I'll just watch this opening until something better is on and then you've gone and watched the whole thing. It was pretty eye-candy and it didn't suck (all puns intended). It stayed true to itself which is all you can really ask. I haven't actually seen the first one but this had Sir Derek Jacobi in it, one of my heroes. He was very good and treated it with great seriousness. Looking at his IMDB listing I'm struck by what a lot of fluff he's been in. Lawrence Olivier famously claimed to have taken his role in Clash of the Titans (which both sucks and blows, to quote Bart Simpson) to pay for his Bentley, an indulgence late in life. I'm not sure if Derek's buying Bentley's with this, but he's always delightful--no small parts, just small actors. He steals the show in Nanny McPhee, was apparently in a recent Marple (which seemed to have cast entirely from alums of Masterpiece Theater--trolling for viewers? Anthony Andrews, Greta Scacchi to name but a few), and was also in an episode of Frasier some time ago. Bill Nighy (not yet in the pantheon of great actors, but working his way up) is also always fun to watch. Sir Ian McKellen is rolling his way through the great fantastic fiction works with great aplomb.

Annoyingly Ben Kingsley seems to come to Hollywood to make money to do the films he wants to do and then phones in his performance. Did Species let him do Death and the Maiden? Did Thunderbirds pay for Sexy Beast, Blood Rayne for House of Sand and Fog? I just wish he'd let himself enjoy it.

Hollywood loves the evil Englishman: Alan Rickman, David Suchet (two for the price of one, ethnic AND English), even poor Sean Bean. Strangely English dames don't really get invited over to play villians. But there aren't really that many female villians, unless they're femme fatales and Helen Mirren, though still hot, is a little beyond that. Dame Judy Dench? Not so much.

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