Friday, July 17, 2009

Keepin’ Cool

Of course, one way of keeping cool this summer is by either sitting in the library reading a good book or in a movie theater watching a great flick. However, if you want to stay home there is nothing cooler than these films and the actors that give them their cool status:

Steve McQueen: Bullitt (VHS): You can absolutely not get any cooler than Steve McQueen. Whether he is escaping from a German prisoner of war camp in The Great Escape or saving a village in the Magnificent Seven, he is an actor that oozes cool and confidence. He is most definitely at his coolest in this film! McQueen plays Frank Bullitt, a San Francisco cop assigned as bodyguard to Peter Ross, a syndicate witness. When the Ross gets shot-gunned (but not killed), Bullitt goes after the hit man. Complicating his efforts is a politician who wants to use Ross to further his career. One of the coolest things about Bullitt is an absolutely brilliant chase scene. McQueen (doing his own driving) is chased by, and chases, a couple of gangsters up and down San Francisco's hills. They slam into intersections, bounce halfway down the next hill, scrape by half a dozen near-misses, sideswipe each other, and give you the ride of your life for about 11 minutes. Cool.

Sean Connery: The Untouchables (DVD): Whereas Sean Connery definitely solidified his “cool” credentials with the James Bond films, he won the Academy Award for his role in The Untouchables. This film is about how Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his gang of Untouchables, brought down the gangster, Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). Connery plays the Irish cop that teaches Ness how to play the “Chicago way”.

Bill Murray (DVD): Rushmore: Bill Murray has his own brand of cool. Not Steve McQueen, not Sean Connery, but cool none the less. In Rushmore, he plays Herman Blume, an unhappy millionaire. Blume is befriended by Max. Max is a homely 10th-grader at the Rushmore Academy, a private school where he fails classes but constantly organizes clubs and plays. Max discovers that he and Herman love the same woman (a teacher at Rushmore). War ensues. They both strive to win her affections without thinking of the consequences.

Clint Eastwood (DVD) – The Unforgiven: What else needs to be said…it’s CLINT! Make our day! Do we feel lucky? A man's got to know his limitations (well every man but Clint!).
Of course, these are all quotes from his Dirty Harry films but he didn’t become Oscar cool until the Unforgiven. Eastwood plays William Munny, a former gunslinger, now pig farmer. He is a widower, trying to take care of the farm and two children. When "The Schofield Kid" arrives looking for a partner to accompany him to Big Whiskey to earn a reward being offered, William is initially reluctant. Later, however, after taking a hard look at his prospects, he changes his mind. He's not the man he once was, but he needs the money. So he recruits his old partner, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), and sets off after the Schofield Kid.

Samuel L Jackson: Pulp Fiction (DVD): So many cool films to choose from when we talk about Samuel L. The totally campy film, Snakes on a Plane would have been nothing without Jackson’s performance. Star Wars part I, II and III were enhanced by his presence. Die Hard With a Vengeance had double the cool factor Bruce Willis and Samuel L. giving the bad guys trouble. But by far his coolest performance has been in Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction follows the lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits whose lives intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. Samuel L. Jackson plays Jules, one of the hit men, and his partner is Vincent (John Travolta). Their conversation about French Big Macs is priceless! The plot and the language aren’t for the weak of heart but if you can take it, Pulp Fiction is worth the ride!

Other actors to check out that definitely have the cool factor: George Clooney, Christopher Walken, Gregory Peck, Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman.
Anyone else that you consider cool?? Let me know!
Keep cool!

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