Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Mel Gibson!

For some reason, I have a feeling most of you reading this are probably cringing, angry, and/or shutting off your computer to sulk. And, for some reason, I'm increasingly frustrated with Mr. Gibson's new image and how people react towards him. Actually, there is a perfectly reasonable reason for it: I love Mel Gibson. (I hope that introduction made sense.)

Today, the legen--wait for it--dary actor turns fifty-six, and for those of you who cannot read, that reads 56. (About the legendary joke: just to note, I do not watch How I Met Your Mother, nor do I enjoy Neil Patrick Harris in any line of work. But I'm sure you know that already. You should anyway.) Moving on, the actor recently finalized his divorce from his first wife, in which she got half his fortune. Eight-hundred fifty million dollars, $850 million for those who cannot read. That's a whole lot of money, if you ask that guy. (Points to a male.) Since there was no prenuptial agreement, she is entitled to it. Whatever. All I can say is, "Poor Mel." After all this Oksana garbage (I don't even care if I spelled her name wrong), he has gained an infamous status of "Hollywood's Public Enemy Number One". Not to mention that whole drunk-driving incident, and the comments he made toward the Jews, while under the influence I must add. I'm just going to stop right there because explaining all his woes is upsetting me. Let me just get into a list of some of his greatest films:

Payback - While I may not like it as much as my dad does, and that's not a hint that I didn't enjoy this film, I consider this one of Mel's best solely because of its cinematography. For those who don't know, cinematography is how the camera captures each scene, how the picture quality looks and all. In Mel's gritty drama about revenge (or payback...), his character, Porter, is nearly killed by his wife and best friend, then strives to exact vendetta on them. It is an amazing, artistically-made film that should highly be considered for more recognition. If that sentence was a bit jumbled, the movie is highly under-appreciated and definitely deserves more esteem and recognition. I just repeated myself.

Ransom - Another excellent drama, this film follows the situation of a wealthy man whose son has been kidnapped. Unlike the previous film, this is much more heart-wrenching, especially for parents I'm sure, and is more relatable. Therefore, the film hits an emotional level that absorbs the viewers' attention. Gary Sinise co-stars as the sinister (spoiler) kidnapper in a marvelous performance. But he fades in comparison to Mel's outstanding portrayal of a father desperate to get his son back, and does the unthinkable in order to do so. To get his son back. (Thought I wasn't exactly clear there. Then again, when am I ever clear?) Overall, the film was yet another example of Mel's immense talent.

What Women Want - A more comedic turn, Mel plays a womanizer, Nick Marshall, who gains the ability to read the minds of all women. Yes, all women. While unknowing guys may envy him, I understand why it's a hassle for him. I, alone, always have something on my mind. I even talk to my head. I digress. While Nick encounters many women (including the beautiful Marisa Tomei), he mainly focuses on his new boss, Darcey Maguire, played by Helen Hunt. Their relationship begins in the most typical of ways: boy meets girl, they hate each other, they relate with Nick's special power, they fall in love. Sure, it's cheesy and predictable, but, apparently, it works splendidly. This is perhaps of my preferred romantic comedies, and while the term has recently degraded into meaning something boring and/or cheesy, this most certainly is neither. Witty, sweet, and simply heart-warming to watch, What Women Want is, without a doubt, one of Mel's best. Maybe even all-time best...but that's just my opinion.

The Patriot - I much prefer this over Mel's epic, Oscar-winning epic, Braveheart. (Both epics were intended.) For one, this is not as long, or doesn't feel as long, which is always plus. Unless you enjoy putting yourself through countless War and Peace-epics on a daily basis. The movie takes place during Revolutionary America, when Britain usurped them and whatnot, and centers around Benjamin Martin, a peaceful farmer who's led to establish his own colonial militia after a cruel British officer (spoiler) kills his son. As a whole, the movie is very dramatic and stirring, and definitely captures your attention, which is less than I can say about Braveheart. While I love Mel, truly I do, Braveheart was just not his best. In its time, I'm sure it was "awesome". And, even today, is still remembered as Mel's "only good contribution to cinema". I made that up. But I have a feeling that's what people think.

Lethal Weapon(s) - Basically, all of them. You know me, and my enjoyment of corny films, of any kind, especially those starring a very young and sexy Mel Gibson. That's right, I called him sexy. (He still is. Not young, but sexy.) Anyway, you probably know the plot: bad-boy-funny cop Martin Riggs is paired up with cranky veteran cop Roger "I'm-getting-too-old-for-this-shit" Murtaugh, and they journey on zany, action-packed missions. For some reason, the Beverly Hills Cop theme popped in my head when thinking of this franchise. In its time, oh boy, was it popular. Even today, it still is! It is imprinted on pop culture history, and there's nothing you can do about it. Another incredibly comic element of the franchise, from the second one on, is Joe Pesci, as the fast-talking annoying sidekick Leo Getz. Whatever you want, Leo Getz. Get it? His last name is Getz, like gets? So his name is like an action...Leo gets. Anyway, besides that cheesy pun, he proves to be one of the best parts of the entire franchise. Sure, he got a Razzie nomination (sigh) for the third one, when he went blond, but, you know what they say: Fuck the Razzies.

Maverick - I nearly forgot about this one! Shame on me, for this movie is, without a doubt in my mind, the best western movie. I reckon this is one western where you will not fall asleep from boredom. (Unless you're a huge western fan. Then I just insulted you.) I've recently discovered that this was based on a television show back before, so you might be aware of the plot and characters. If not: Mel Gibson stars as Bret Maverick, who is on a quest for money so he can enter a reputable poker tournament, and along the way he faces various comical mishaps. While that sounds like a cheesy, Three Stooges-type comedy, it is definitely not. He tricks dim-witted cowboys into not beating him for cheating them, encounters a charming little lady with loads of moxie, and has a battle of the wits with an elderly gentleman who has his eyes set on the little lady himself. The little lady in question is Annabelle Bransford, played wonderfully by Jodie Foster in her best performance, in my opinion, as she seduces and cons Bret, who retaliates with witty knowledge. This game they play is simply adorable. The elderly gentleman in question is Marshall Zane Cooper, played by James Garner, who I call elderly because he's significantly older than Bret; but the old man still has tons of charisma and wit when battling Bret. Would you like to know why I used the word "significantly"? I'm sure you would, but it's a spoiler, so I can't. (Hint: Marshall might be Bret's father.) Oh, shoot, I just gave it away. Couldn't you expect that I would? Overall, one of Mel's greatest, for sure.

Well, there you have it. Just a few films that display Mel Gibson's timeless, magnificent talent. While most of you are most likely the majority of the population, your judgment of him probably hasn't changed just because I described some of his movies. Well, that wasn't my intention. (Then why are you even mentioning it...?) Even though (and I know it feels like I can't say it enough) it seems that Mel has been bashed by everyone, I have a strong feeling he couldn't care less what they think. I'd like to provide a brief excerpt of most-probable fact. An anecdote, if you will. (Actually, no it's not.) When The Hangover Part II was still in production, there was talk about bringing Mel in to do a cameo as a tattoo artist. Unfortunately, he was cut out and replaced. Want to know why? Zach Galifianakis. I'm sure I spelled that incorrectly. (Good!) Apparently, Mr. Galifianakis feels "uncomfortable" with Mel around because of his crude comments towards the Jews. I would just like to ask, "Who the hell does he think he is?" Seriously, who are you? Some tubby, assumably-funny-but-really-unfunny clown who won't even be remembered after this Hangover buzz has subsided. (It has already begun. Have you seen Part II? Don't.) Mel Gibson, with or without this ridiculous animosity, is a legend. Plain and simple. And I will still admire him for years to come, and hope he returns to the industry with a sensational, in-your-face comeback. Happy Birthday, Mel!

Note: I actually finished this the day after his birthday, but I wanted to keep his birthday time stamp. So I did.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Although I prefer Braveheart to Patriot. No matter how they bash him, he is an amazing artist, a brilliant filmmaker. I have loved him all along and always will.