Saturday, September 17, 2011


Oh, Russell Crowe...

Sweet Russell Crowe... Are you aware of the magnitude your inspiration truly has? For at least a decade now I have greedily accepted the inspiration your variated work has given me, and I think I can call you my muse.

I first became aware of Russell when watching Gladiator... A hard core fan would say that they followed him since the beginning of time, but I'm not going to fill my past with the truth I wish I had. I was a changed woman after finding this sometimes human, sometimes God-like man from Australia... A lot of good came from Australia :-)  And I am a hard core fan, I educated myself post-Gladiator.
There I was, at the movies, about to watch a film in my least favorite movie genre of the entire industry, the DRAMA, and for almost three hours time stopped, and I was lost. Not only is the story told brilliantly by director Ridley Scott, but every character in the film, every actor, are lifting the experience...even now when I'm watching it for the thirtieth-ish time. 

My favorite poster.

I said I educated myself, bringing films like Virtuosity (a naked Russell...crap film though), L.A.Confidential, Heavens Burning, Mystery Alaska (which I really enjoyed..) and The Insider to my collection, and I enjoyed every single one of them. Heaven's Burning, is a beautiful story of love.
I even loved Rough Magic (the first time I saw it, I guess I was blinded by my fascination at the time), but then me and my mother and brother tried to watch it again a while ago, and we had to turn it off. The story is just too bad, and I'm sad to say that not even Russell could salvage the terrible story. Coming from a person who really adore fairytales and fantasies, magic and mysteries, Rough Magic should be right up my alley. But sadly the story is too bad. Russell can also be bad...(see that

I bought Romper Stomper,

Nazi Russell, bad ass Russell, brilliant actor Russell.

and kept it in my collection for months before I dared to see it. Until then I had only seen Russell as the hero, sometimes the tormented hero, but still a hero (I'm not counting Virtuosity). I was dreading putting it on, because I'd heard it was terrible. He was a nazi for crying out loud, and the story is deep and violent and disturbing, which I guess is the point, eh? Well, finally I put it on, and I was gobsmacked by the natural raw talent he was, all ready back then.

I survived Romper Stomper, I've even put it on a couple of times.
After Gladiator, though, the pearls that are the movies of Russell came like a beautiful necklace.
Proof Of Life, and to this day I'm wondering what he was thinking in that last shot.
A Beautiful Mind. Oh, I love A Beautiful Mind. I was livid when Denzel won the Oscar and not Russell. Not because I don't think Denzel is a talented actor, because I do, I just never felt Training Day was a very good film... and I don't think Hollywood recognized precisely how fabulous Russell was as John Nash. But we live, we forgive and we forget... And then came
Master and Commander.

I remember exactly where I sat in the movie theatre, I remember how I felt when the title music began, and I remember I loved it. It was like I was reuniting with a dear, dear friend, one I hadn't seen for a while, and one I had truly missed. I'm never afraid when I see a film with Russell, as he always delivers, always. For me ( I obviously love Pirates of the Caribbean), Pirates of the Caribbean appealed that much because of Master and Commander, and a bit because of Johnny Depp, a lot because of Johnny Depp. But if anyone were to give Captain Jack Sparrow a run for his money, it would be Captain Jack Aubrey there on the far side of the world.

Then came Cinderella Man, and like expected he's still great. But the movie that came after Cinderella was and still is the best feel good movie in the existence of time. It's a movie I can pop in when I'm feeling blue, and then, three minutes in I'm feeling like I'm floating on air, in a good way. The best prozac I can think of (not that I really know what prozac is, I just thought it would add a cool schwung to my entry:-) as I've heard it used so many times in movies and series.). And the movie I'm talking about is of course A Good Year. One can practically taste the sweetness of the wine, or the herbs in the food. It's one of those movies that puts life into perspective, and if you haven't seen it, go check it out. It's brilliant.
Once again Russell Crowe team up with Ridley Scott, and the result is a diamond in my collection.

In the UK the BBC made a mini series called State of Play with John Simm as the investigating journalist Cal McAffrey. It's an edgy, political and sharp piece of TV. I met John Simm through Doctor Who, and one thing lead to another, you know Life on Mars and so on. So when I discovered State of Play, I was thrilled. Now, most of you might have heard this title, but as a film with Russell Crowe and DareDevil...(oh, DareDevil, ain't that a horrible piece of movie crap?). Well, State of Play is a movie too, but it was a Television series first. In the film, though, the story has been slightly Americanized, but other than that it's the same plot and the same characters. Only now it's Russell Crowe as Cal McAffrey, believe me, that works. And though DareDevil (for the record, DareDevil is Ben Affleck) isn't drawing me to the movies, Russell Crowe is. And to give Ben Affleck one good remark, I do like Dogma.

For the third time Russell teamed up with Ridley Scott, and the result is yet another brilliant tale. Evil tongues didn't like this particular version of the famous character, but I (as the hard core fan I am) beg to differ. Russel still knows what he's doing. And no one does it better. I loved Robin Hood, the new angle that Robin Hood was in fact Robin Longstride, and the fight on the beach, brilliant.

Next year they are making another Superman movie, they are calling it Man of Steel.
I was perfectly happy with the old Christopher Reeves movies, but he's dead and can't make films anymore (at least not in these realms). Then came along Mr. Brandon Routh, and that was fine too...but not innovative. Superman fighting Lex Luthor, a story told so many times before... So, do we really need another Superman? I say YES, with capital letters, because it will feature Russell Crowe as Jor-El. I'm not expecting him to get a major role, but I'm expecting it to be significant as we are talking about Russell Crowe. And I might add a fun fact, at least I think it's fun, Kevin Costner is playing Superman's earth-father. They really brought in the big guns for this film.
So that is one reason to look forward... but I'll give you another as well...

Russell is playing Javert in a new adaption of Les Miserables... The only reason I would be happy Russell didn't play Valjean (which is the lead) was if this role was interpreted by someone I admired just as much as I do Russell... and it is.
Hugh Jackman...but that's another entry.

As I really want to pay homage to Russell Crowe I'm ending with an image of Maximus. The role that made sure everyone knows who he is. And in my mind he has at least three Academy Award's.
He is my muse!
G'day and Good night, all of you!

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