Saturday, April 17, 2010

Creepy but Cool

Roger Ebert said about this actor that he "seems to have become the latter-day version of Christopher Walken -- not all the time, but when you need him, he's your go-to guy for weirdness". I couldn’t agree more! He first came to my notice in the Green Mile. Who is this creepy but cool, Walken apprentice?? Sam Rockwell! He is slated to be in the upcoming Iron Man 2 with Robert Downey, Jr. But before he took on the super hero, he was delighting and creeping us out in these films:

Moon: See it, see it, see it, see it! Not since Tom Hanks did Castaway has a single actor been able to carry a film (almost) on his own. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, the only occupant of a Moon-based manufacturing facility. His only companion is the “HAL-like” computer, GERTY (voice by Kevin Spacey). He is just a few weeks short of fulfilling his three year contract when then most definitely start going awry!

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Creepy and whiney at the same time! Rockwell plays Charley Ford, brother of Robert (Casey Affleck), who introduces him to Jesse James. As a member of the James gang, Rockwell is there to push his brother and ultimately ruin both of their lives. This film would not be as enjoyable without Rockwell’s performance.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: Whacky! This film is based on Chuck Barris’s autobiography of the same name. In his book, this once host of The Gong Show, claims to have been an employee of the CIA and assassinated 33 people on their orders. Rockwell’s portrayal of Barris strikes the perfect balance between geek, simmering menace, alluring personality and quirky humor.

Galaxy Quest: Rockwell plays Guy, an actor who was in episode 81 of the cult TV show, Galaxy Quest and died by the first commercial. This film is one of my favorites! Although Rockwell plays a supporting character, anyone who has watched any sci-fi series will get a laugh over his interpretation of the disposable cast member (you know who I mean guys with red shirts on Star Trek).

The Green Mile: Not a lead character but, once again, Rockwell creates a performance to remember. In this case I wish it wasn’t so memorable! He plays the psychotic and violent 'Wild Bill' Wharton who ultimately gets his due at the hands of the equally disturbing Percy Wetmore. Mainly I find the film interpretations of Stephen King novels decidedly lacking; this is certainly an exception. Moving and disturbing at the same time, made even more creepy by Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of Wharton.