Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guide to Drafting Actors

Its hard for me to explain to you how much i hate ESPN these days. Especially The constant treating of worthless stories that I don't really care about. The shameless self promoting. It just drives me insane.

Yet, I got to the site almost daily in one form or another. Henry Abbots True Hoop might be my favorite basketball blog, and of course there is one of my leaders, Bill Simmons.

In Simmons most recent post for the four letter, he takes a look at the NBA off-season using quotes from the great movie "Almost Famous." Its a good read, but you have probably already read it.

The Part that got me, and usually when I read Simmons there is always a part that gets me, is his suggestion to do an "Actor's Draft." I'll let him explain.

"If you were to have a DVD-collection draft with five buddies (and by the way, don't think I haven't done this) in which everyone picks six actors in snake fashion and you get every single movie they made on DVD, Hoffman would be a sneaky late-first-round pick. You'd get "Almost Famous," "Boogie Nights," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Scent of a Woman" and about 10 watchable indies, right?"

Holy Crap, what a great Idea!!!!!

A few hoursdays later, I bring you this.

The Draft Guide to Drafting Actors in an Actor Draft(what?).

Rules of the Draft. Its a snake draft, where you pick one actor/actress, and you get his entire catalog of DVD's, both film and TV, and every movie that he makes from this point on.

This guide will be broken down as such, First Rounders, Late Round Sleepers, and Future Pics. I will give you a list of Good Movies/TV they have done, and a why you want them on your draft board.

First Rounders.

Tom Hanks
(Charlie Wilson's War, Catch Me If You Can, Cast Away, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, That Thing You Do!, Toy Story, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, A League of Their Own, Turner & Hooch, Big, Dragnet, The Money Pit, Bachelor Party)

He has to be at least in the top 3 of all draft boards. He has Iconic Movies (Apollo 13, Private Ryan), kids movies (Toy Story), comidies (A League of Their Own, Bachelor Party), and everything in between. He is a guy that no matter who you watching a movie with, wether it be buddies, your girl, your pops or even your grandmother, you can find something in his colection that you can enjoy.

Morgan Freeman
(Se7en, Outbreak, The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, The Dark Knight, Evan Almighty, Batman Begins, Million Dollar Baby, Amistad, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Glory, Driving Miss Daisy)

Again a great actor with an impressive resume. There are at least 4 movies that are undeniably "re watchable," and several more that are right up there. Even at his old age, he is 73, he has some life left with the new Batman franchise.

Robert De Niro
(Shark Tale, Meet the Parents, Men of Honor, Analyze This, Ronin, Jackie Brown, Heat, Casino, Cape Fear, Backdraft, Goodfellas, The Untouchables, Raging Bull, The Deer Hunter, New York, New York, Taxi Driver, The Godfather: Part II)

What do you need to say about De Niro? He is versatile, has some Iconic movies, and If your into the "gangster" movie's at all, this is an easy first round pick to get your collection started with a super solid base.

Al Pacino
(Ocean's Thirteen, Any Given Sunday, The Devil's Advocate, Donnie Brasco, Heat, Carlito's Way, Scent of a Woman, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Godfathers, Scarface, Serpico)

He is only slightly below De Niro due to the lack of lighter movies on his list. He hasn't done anything like Meet the Parents or Sharks Tale, but his gangster movies are, dare I say, better? Carlito's Way and Scareface > The Untouchables and Ronin? Truly a "Guys Guy" first rounder.

Matt Damon
(Ocean's Thirteen, The Departed, The Bourne Supremacy, EuroTrip, Finding Forrester, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Rounders, Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting, Dogma, Chasing Amy)

This might be a little bit of a surprise to some people, but the body of work that Matt Damon has delivered speaks for itself. He also has the rub that his acting career is in full swing right now, and certain directors (Scorsese, Sodderberg) like him, and they make good movies.

Denzel Washington
(American Gangster, Man on Fire, Training Day, Remember the Titans, The Hurricane, He Got Game, Fallen, Crimson Tide, Philadelphia, Malcolm X, Glory)

If your picking near the end of the first round, Denzel puss another pick early in the second round would make for a solid base for your DVD collection, especially if your into the gansta genre.

Will Ferrell
(Step Brothers, The Producers, Wedding Crashers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Elf, Old School, Zoolander, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Ladies Man, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, SNL)

The first true Comedic Actor on my draft board. While his bit may be getting a little tiresome, the classic "TNT" movies (TNT movies are mindless, yet extremely watchable movies you will find playing on TNT at any given moment, you know they may not be a high quality movie, but you watch them anyway) such as Zoolander and The Ladies man, coupled with the truly great comedies Old School and Anchorman give him enough cred to warrant a high pic. You throw in his SNL days (1995-2006) and you have a very vast catalog that includes "More Cow Bell," and "Spartan Cheerleaders."

Kevin Costner
(Open Range, Tin Cup, Wyatt Earp, JFK, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, The Untouchables, Silverado)

Another one that was kind of a head scratcher for me, but looking at his body of work, he has to be included near the top of most boards. If you are a fan of the western, and I very much am, the additions of Open Range, Wyatt Earp(underrated), Dances with Wolves, and the Silverado (best western ever), are a must have.

Harrison Ford
(Clear and Present Danger, The Fugitive, Regarding Henry, Patriot Games, Indiana Jones, Star Wars: Episode IV - VI, Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti )

Indiana Jones and Star Wars. If i was drafting late first round, I would look to take Ford and either Costenr or Denzel. That would be an ideal match.

Tom Cruise
(Mission: Impossible, Collateral, The Last Samurai, Magnolia, Jerry Maguire, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, A Few Good Men, Far and Away, Days of Thunder, Born on the Fourth of July, Rain Man, Cocktail, The Color of Money, Top Gun, Risky Business, The Outsiders, Taps)

OK, this guy has done a bunch of great movies, and is worthy of a top 3 pick. The reason he has slid down so far on my board is over the past few years, I have just really grown to hate the guy. Its like drafting the best player from a Division Rival in fantasy football. You know he's good, you know he is the best out there, but you really want him to fail. I mean you really really want him to blow out a knee and shit his pants the first snap of the season. That's why the guy who was in my favorite movie as a kid, Top Gun, and so many other great flicks, has fallen this far.

Russell Crowe
(American Gangster, Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, L.A. Confidential)

Crowe may not have done as many movies as DeNero or Freeman, but you get one hell of a great bang for your buck from the Aussie. L.A. Confidential and Gladiator are must owns for any guy with a shred of taste.

Leonardo DiCaprio
(The Departed, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, The Beach, Titanic, Romeo + Juliet ,The Basketball Diaries, What's Eating Gilbert Grape)

The last of the first rounders is Leo. His filmogrphy isn't very big, yet he has done some great, must have, movies, and he is Scorsese's new golden child, so you know more great movies are to come (Sinatra biopic?)

Late Round Sleepers

The following are guys you can have in later rounds, that are well, sleepers. They may not come first to your mind, but when you think about what all they have done, you are getting a bunch of solid movies late in the game.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
(Charlie Wilson's War, Capote, Almost Famous, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia, Patch Adams, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Twister, The Yearling, Scent of a Woman)

One of the more versatile actors of our generation, he has the ability to play a number roles and play them all well. Also the first person that I would draft to get my favorite movie "The Big Lebowski" in my collection. He may not have been the lead in any of these movies, but he part was vital to them all becoming fantastic flicks.

Robert Duvall
(Thank You for Smoking, Open Range, Gods and Generals, Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Apostle, Sling Blade, Newsies, Days of Thunder, Lonesome Dove, The Natural, The Godfathers, True Grit)

A guy that you may not think of when thinking of super star power, but a later pick of Duvall for Lonesome Dove alone would be worth it. You throw in the Godfathers if you missed on Pachino or DeNero, and TNT movies Days of Thunder and Gone in Sixty Seconds, you have a super solid later round pick.

Jim Carrey
(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Bruce Almighty, Me, Myself & Irene, Man on the Moon, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber)

Because of his star name, you might not be able to get carrey past the 4th round, but if he falls, the Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber star is a nice value.

Sylvester Stallone
(Demolition Man, Cliffhanger, Rocky, Rambo, Over the Top, Cobra, Victory)

Another guy that will probably get drafted too high based on the Rocky movies, but with no other notable actors in the series, if you want the Rockys, and don't want to burn a pic on Paulie, you may want to be that guy who reaches for him.

Kevin Spacey
(The Life of David Gale, American Beauty, L.A. Confidential, Se7en, Outbreak, The Usual Suspects, Glengarry Glen Ross, See No Evil, Hear No Evil)

Depending on your fandom of the movies such as Confidential, Beauty or the Usual Suspects, you could make a case that Spacey should be drafted in the late first, early second, yet somehow when you think of him, you don't think great body of work. His body of work is fantastic however, and if you can get him late, you got a steal.

Robin Williams
(Happy Feet, Death to Smoochy, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Good Will Hunting, The Birdcage, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Hook, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning, Vietnam)

Great pic here if you have kids, yet don't want to waist a pick on a specific movie. Williams gives you some Kids stuff (Aladdin, Happy Feet), funny stuff (Patch Adams, Birdcage), and great movies(Dead Poets, Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam).

Chris Farley
(Dirty Work, Black Sheep, Tommy Boy, Billy Madison, Airheads, Wayne's World 2, Coneheads, Wayne's World, SNL)

When I think of Farly I think of SNL (1990-1995), and Tommy Boy, yet his bit parts in Airheads, Wayne's World and Coneheads give his catalog a nice selection in the later rounds.

Val Kilmer
(The Saint, Heat, Batman Forever, Tombstone, The Real McCoy, The Doors, Willow, Top Gun, Real Genius)

Of all the Tombstone guys, he has the best other credits, plus you get what might be the greatest TNT movie of all time, Real Genius.

Steve Buscemi
(Big Fish, Monsters, Inc., Armageddon, The Big Lebowski, The Wedding Singer, Fargo, Desperado, Airheads, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Lonesome Dove)

Ahh, the greatest chareter actor of all time. Other than PCH, Buscemi is the only other guy from Lebowski that I would take that wasn't my last pic. You get Pulp Piction, Reservoir Dogs, Fargo and the underrated Airheads.

Jason Lee
(Clerks II, The Incredibles, Jersey Girl, Stealing Harvard, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Almost Famous, Dogma, Chasing Amy, Mallrats, My Name is Earl)

Almost a niche pick here, but his rolls in Chasing Amy and Almost Famous are his high water marks, but Mallrats, Dogma, and Stealing Harvard are strong to quite strong movies.

Bill Murray
(Lost in Translation, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Kingpin, Ed Wood, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Tootsie, Stripes, Caddyshack)

Last person I'm going to put in this category, is Bill Murray. He may not be top of mind, due to his recent lack of quality stuff, but this guy has played a part in some of the greatest comedy of all time, Groundhog Day, Ghosbusters, Stripes and he might be the only person worth drafting out of Caddyshack.


Futures are guys that you want to take late, and hope they continue to make good movies over the next 20 years so you can beef up your collection.

Bill Hader
(Adventureland, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad, Hot Rod, Knocked Up, SNL)

Hader might be my "next great comedy star" guy who also has the equal shot of becoming "funny big guy in a lot of movies." I'm a fan of his, and i would draft him in hopes of breaking out.

Danny McBride
("Eastbound & Down", Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Hot Rod, The Foot Fist Way)

This guy has got huge upside. The type of characters he plays in Eastbound and Hot Rod, will be bit parts that will be around for a long time. I expect good things from this guy.

Chris Pine
(Star Trek, Smokin' Aces)

When thinking about futures it's easy to take a look at comedic performers in bit parts and say "They guy's funny. I bet he will be funny next time i see him." But with dramatic actors, not so much. Come on, who ever thought Marky Mark would be a good actor. With that said, I like Chris Pine. He did a great job in Star Trek, and I can see him having the chops and staying power it takes to succeed in movies these days, now lets just hope he picks good roles.

So there is your extremely long, quite possibly insane Draft Guide to Actors. If you made it this far, God bless you. If you feel so inclined, hit me up with your pics that I left off in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Genius. Pure Genius. These popped in to my head as tough calls:

The Wilson Brothers
Ben Stiller
Jonah Hill
Burt Reynolds


Brown said...

Is picking John Cazale like picking Sean Taylor?

He had 5 movies, all of which are Best Picture nods (The Godfather, Godfather II, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter, The Conversation), but he died of bone cancer after completing The Deer Hunter.

Anyways, gimme Christopher Walken for The Prophecy and Christopher Lambert for The Highlander and Mortal Kombat.

j-bizzle said...

Depp wouldn't go in the first round? Russell Crowe before Johnny Depp?

Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, Blow, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Pirates of The Caribbean Trilogy, Public Enemies?

Just sayin'...

Also, is it just movies they acted in or does it include movies they've produced?

Big said...

Blogadore - since you can't pick the brother wilson, you would have to select them indiviudally, here is what they look like

Owen Wilson
(Cars, Wedding Crashers, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Behind Enemy Lines, Zoolander, Meet the Parents, Shanghai Noon, Armageddon, The Cable Guy, Bottle Rocket)

Luke Wilson
(Idiocracy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron, Burgundy, Old School, The Royal Tenenbaums, My Dog Skip, Rushmore, Bottle Rocket)

Either would be solid later round pics.

Stiller, I'm not a fan of his, but he does have a decent filmogrphy.

Ben Stiller
(Tropic Thunder, Madagascar, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Along Came Polly, The Royal Tenenbaums, Zoolander, Meet the Parents, Mystery Men, There's Something About Mary, The Cable Guy , Happy Gilmore)

Jonah Hill
(Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad, Knocked Up, Accepted, Grandma's Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin, I Heart Huckabees)

Hill would be an interesting middle pick, as he has some good flix already, but his future is bright as well.

and just for you, the greatness that is Burt Reynolds.

Burt Reynolds
(In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Longest Yard, Mystery, Alaska, Boogie Nights, The Cherokee Kid, Heat, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Cannonball Run, Semi-Tough, Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance, "Gunsmoke"50 episodes)

Bizzle - I thought about Dep, the only problem I have with him is his movies tend to be on the strange side, and therefor the watchability is lowered. Fear and Loathing, Siccorhands, ed wood, are all great movies, but not to the calaber of some of Crowe's.

What would you rather watch, Gladiator or Piarates? American Gangster or Public Eniemies? Mystery, Alaska or Blow? (don't answer that one).

Bear said...

Really... you're going to throw Jason Lee in there but not Mike Meyers?
(All the Austin Powers, all the Shreks, both Waynes Worlds, So I married an Axe Murderer)

How about Will Smith?
(Independance Day, both Men In Black, Ali, Pursuit of Happyness, both Bad Boys, Legend of Bagger Vance, Hitch)

And if we're going to talk TV... Ian McShane?
(Kings, Deadwood, Hot Rod)

Other non-mentioned top actors:
Eddie Murphy, Sam Jackson, Jon Travolta, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Mark Wahlberg

Big said...

Bear - I said in the Jason Lee agument that its really a niche pick, I would rather have Jason Lee plus chris farley than use an early pick on mike meyers. With Farley you get both Waynes Worlds, and as good Austin Powers is, give me Almost Famous, Mallrats, JASBSB, and Dogma over it. Meyers would go sometime right after the first group of people, right before the second.

Will Smith, again would be right at the end of the first group, but before the second. He was a tough one for me to call, as I like him alot, just didn't see picking him over any of my top 10-12.

While I love Ian McShale, your not helping your augument with including "Kings." How many episodes did that last? 3?

The other people you mentioned all go right after my top 12, except Jackson, I missed him and his 169 films are pretty impressive. The rest, however, not in the top 12, but are before the second group of people. Murphy for his old stuff, Gibson for Bravehart, Travolta has a hand full of good movies, if your really into Eastwood he could be a top ten(not in my book though), Connery hasn't realy been in all that many good movies, and Walberg is great, but doesn't have that killer movie that makes you have to select him. Boogie Nights was his closest and that was such a big cast that you can get "Nights" with a bunch of people.

good stuff though Bear. It all boils down to who you like as a actor. Simmons said Stalone is in his top 10, while I love Rocky, i don't think I could draft him in my top 20.

Bear said...

I figured this is dependant on who you would take in your TOP 10... but seriously... No Steve Guttenberg? I'm out! haha

Carl Badlander said...

will ferrell??? for fuck's sake....kill me now. I'd rather say hulk hogan just to get whatever the fruck number that rocky movie was