Monday, February 15, 2010

Fan-Boy Icon #1

In an attempt to make things more gender-inclusive, and to give myself a forum for other discussion, I am starting a new segment I dub Fan-Boy Icon to feature some of the men of nerddom, to create a balance with our generally-regular feature, Nerd Girl of Note. In my mind, there is only one place to start.

You name it, he's played it. Sci-Fi, horror, action, thrillers... The man, the myth, the legend: Kurt Russell.

Is there any guy cooler than Kurt? I think not. Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Stargate, Tombstone, Death Proof... the list goes on. 3000 Miles to Graceland, Escape from LA, Captain Ron, Used Cars, Tango & Cash, Overboard, Silkwood... Hell, he played Elvis, did the Elvis voice for the actor in Forrest Gump, he's a Disney kid... You want more? The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Gunsmoke, Gilligan's Island. It is ridiculous.

Now, his big return came in Death Proof, but for the classic Russell you have to look at a few that are my favorites:

The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982) - scary as hell, and Kurt plays a take-no-shit tough guy who is determined to survive in Antarctica despite the alien invasion.

Escape from New York (John Carpenter, 1981) - Manhattan is a prison, and the inmates have captured the President. Can Snake Plisskin get him back in time? You bet your ass.

Used Cars (Robert Zemekis, 1980) - A wanna-be state senator must save his beloved boss' used car business from his brother. Possibly Russell's funniest role.

Tombstone (Geoge P. Cosmatos, 1993) - Russell as lawman Wyatt Earp. An excellent cast, and one of the great shit-talkin' Westerns ever.

So, three cheers for our first Fan-Boy Icon!


Shon Richards said...

His role as Jack Burton in 'Big Trouble etc' is one of the best characters ever. I watched it recently and realized that for being the action star, he only had one moment where he did something and succeeded.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Burton was a great character, and I'm not sure who else could have pulled it off. A very Jackie Chan, drunken master type performance.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

You made a great choice for this new feature. Kurt is the man. Ever since 'The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes' he has never let me down. Well, maybe 'Soldier' but he fought at Tenhauser Gate!!!! Don't you get that? He fought with ROY.

Darius Whiteplume said...

That is good. I have not seen Soldier, and may now have to (don't worry, I am applying my geek-cred demerits).

While Kurt is always Kurt in movies, I doubt any of his competition could pull off films like Pacific Heights or even the drama of The Thing.

I think the big difference between Russell, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis is that Kurt started not as an action star, but pulled it off so well. Obviously John Carpenter had a hand in this, but talent-wise he is the best of the four. He's like Michael Keaton, who took up an action role and was able to rock it by being more personable/believable.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Well Kurt understood what IRONY was and never believed he was ACTUALLY the characters he was playing. You know Arnold keeps that Conan sword in his office so he can play with it after hours.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Next week, #2 should be pleasant enough a choice. A hint?

Portions of the post will have an electricity ban.

That's all I can release at this time.

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