Anyway, besides my irritating desire for a beverage, I am browsing the greatest Internet movie database, IMDb. (That's actually what it stands for, minus "the greatest".) I felt a burning need to provide some interesting facts about several high-profile stars, as well as my own opinion on things. I'd like to start off by wishing Kirk Douglas a Happy Birthday! The iconic actor, famous for his gladiator roles, turned an impressive 95-years-old today. I say impressive because, one, that's pretty old; and two because he's still alive and kicking. What I mean by that statement is that he's not in a wheelchair or on a deathbed, but he's still active in the community, such as his recent appearance presenting the Best Supporting Actress award at last year's Oscars. He was probably the best part of the show. (It's easy to make that statement because he was genuinely funny and wonderful to see at his old age...and the show last year was rather terrible, wouldn't you say?) One last note: I was astonished to find that Kirk Douglas has never attained an Academy Award. Pardon me? Yes, it's true. Jeff Bridges got one for that indie, country piece of garbage... (just for a test, I won't name the movie...just so I can prove how forgettable it is) and Kirk Douglas has never gotten one. What a shame.
Another Happy Birthday to John Malkovich! I simply love this man, honestly. He is such a talented actor, both in comic and chilling performances. I'll give an example of each one. Comic: Burn After Reading. The scene where Brad Pitt (one of his best roles, in my opinion) blackmails Malkovich over the phone is so hilarious! You'd have to see it for yourself. In fact, watch the entire film, it's rather good. (The Coen Brothers' best, and don't even contradict me by saying The Big Lebowski is because it most certainly is not. It's actually the worst movie I've ever seen from beginning to end. Fucking awful. Had to swear there, just had to.) Chilling: Con-Air. From what I've seen thus far of Malkovich, Cyrus "The Virus" is a defining role for the actor. He was just so menacing and insane. You cannot deny his amazing talents when you watch this cheesy 90s romp. (Although Nicholas Cage plays his trademark good-guy self here, corny and all, Malkovich is definitely worth it.) Once again, another fantastic actor is Oscar-less. Sure, he's been nominated twice, for supporting roles mind you, but that is just not enough. No, it is not enough. Another shame on this industry.
I'd just like to note that I just finished watching Surviving Christmas with my mother, and I'll tell you, I was certainly "surviving" that. Get it? Because it was difficult to watch the movie since she kept repeating what the characters just said and pointing out obvious events. It's called Surviving Christmas. It's a pun.... I love my mom.
Moving on, earlier today I settled on the Turner Classic Movies channel, where a film called The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was playing. The film stars the beautiful Vivien Leigh and the dashing Warren Beatty. I didn't actually sit through the entire film, just a few minutes, and I was crest-fallen to see Vivien as an aged beauty. Though, anyone can admit that she was still gorgeous, even in her late forties. (Where am I going with this?) Well, I had an urge to review each of the fine actors' "trivia" on IMDb.
I'll start with the timelessly breath-taking Vivien Leigh. Originally named Vivian Mary Hartley and born in what was British India, the perpetual beauty had an unfortunately short-lived and tragic life. I know it's a downer to introduce her in such a tone, but it's painfully true. She got her "big break" as the iconic Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, as I'm sure everyone knows. In perhaps the greatest movie of all-time... (who would dare argue?) Vivien Leigh displays incredible talent as the extraordinary Scarlett O'Hara, garnering her first Best Actress Academy Award. (Did you know she was the first British actress to win an Oscar?) In addition to that impressive feat, her performance achieved the title as the third Greatest Movie Character of All Time (Premiere Magazine). Later on, the actress married Sir Laurence Olivier, with whom she nearly gave birth to two children. Both were miscarried. Thus began Vivien Leigh's downward spiral. She was a manic-depressive and diagnosed with chronic tuberculosis, which would be the death of her. Before cinema lost yet another marvelous star, she won another Academy Award for her role in A Streetcar Named Desire as Blanche DuBois, opposite Marlon Brando. (Ever heard of a line that goes, "Hey Stella!"?) Vivien Leigh, simply put, was one of those actresses that were "gone too soon". Surprisingly, she starred in a mere nineteen films in her whole career, yet managed to be named the sixteenth Greatest Screen Legend (American Film Institute). Mesmerizing beauty. Magnificent talent. Tragic conclusion. Rest in grace, Vivien Leigh.
This may seem like a total change of mood, but onto Warren Beatty. This guy is legendary. Plain and simple, no need for a sugar coat. I'm sure many of you know him as Clyde Barrow, or Bugsy Siegel, or Dick Tracy, or that iconic bachelor pre-1990s. (Actually, even though he's been married for nearly twenty years, he's still recognized as The Hollywood Bachelor. I wouldn't trademark that title though.) I've been told he's slept with, roughly, two-thousand women. Maybe more, I remember it was an outrageous total. Among those women were Madonna, Natalie Wood, Diane Keaton, Julie Christie, and even the lovely Vivien Leigh was on the rumored list! But, yes, he certainly knows how to charm a lady. (Not to come off as odd, but even in his current age, I believe I would succumb to his devilish charm. Why is the word "devilish" always attributed to "charm"? Have you noticed that?) Anyway, Warren Beatty finally settled down in 1992, on the set of Bugsy I assume, with Annette Bening. (I must note that she is an excellent actress herself, and that she is past due for an Oscar. And might I also note that for her greatest performances, in American Beauty and in Being Julia, she lost to Hilary Swank. Yet another reason to despise that woman. Swank has horse-teeth.)
Anyway, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening are one of the most adorable couples in Hollywood, and they met on the set of my preferred film of Mr. Beatty: Bugsy. I don't know why, but I just love that movie. Perhaps one of my favorite mafia movies, aside from Scorsese's work. Warren Beatty lashes out an astounding performance as the infamously violent/crazy mobster, definitely worthy of a Best Actor Oscar. But he lost to Anthony Hopkins for his so-called genius portrayal as Hannibal Lecter. (If you ask me, I'd say that's over-rated. And being the number one villain, according to the American Film Institute, is a bit too far, as well.) Never fear, Bugsy did champion at the Golden Globes of that year. They never let you down. Warren Beatty did attain one Oscar, for Best Director for Reds. As I just said, he should have two or three of them, for Bugsy as either a producer or an actor. Just mentioning it once more. For emphasis. Also, an interesting fact, he was offered the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Strange, as he shows no traces of Italian blood. Picture him instead of Al Pacino. I certainly can't. But that's not all! As if his reputable status in the film industry weren't enough, he was a bit of a political figure, as well. He was close friends with both John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy; after their deaths, he became more involved in politics as an advocate or activist. Something political. (That made me sound so uneducated. I am young, after all.) Were you aware that he was even considering running for President at some point? Imagine that image. And don't shake your heads in doubt. Remember President Ronald Reagan? Wasn't he a well-known American actor? I believe he was. To sum this up, as it is getting a bit long, Warren Beatty is truly a fascinating figure, based on this impressive history, wouldn't you agree? Shirley MacLaine is his older sister. Did you know that? I did.
Well, I guess that sums up my productive evening of stalking actors' histories and enduring a Christmas movie with my cheerful mother. I'd like to mention that I did have a second cup of coffee, only it was made from Nescafe instant coffee. But I used the same Starbucks cup, and it had some Hazelnut foam in it. So, it was sort of a homemade Starbucks creation. Not really. But it quenched my thirst! Hooray! I hope you enjoyed my desperate search for a satisfied throat. Happy Holidays!
P.S. I actually finished this post seven minutes after midnight. I cheated by saying I posted it two minutes before Saturday officially began, as you can see by the time stamp thing. Happy Holidays, once again.