Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Best of the Best

When I finally decided to come to life again on Sunday, Another 48 Hours was showing on one of the cable channels and I caught myself watching it again. Which then go me to thinking about how much I love Eddie Murphy, but not so much now, as Eddie Murphy then. Which then led me to thinking that for everyone I really like (singers, actors, etc) there is that one thing they did which I always think of as their "best."

So for Eddie, it's 48 Hours. Sorry, Eddie, I know you did the movie when you were like, 21 and you're much older now, but there's something about that movie that caught me and always will. It's the combination of the classy criminal versus the sorta white-trash policeman. The combo of Eddie and Nick Nolte was perfect. It MADE the movie great. Sure, Beverly Hills Cop was a great movie, but it still wasn't 48 Hours.

An actor who reminds me a lot of early Eddie Murphy is Will Smith. Now, granted, he's the much more polished version of Eddie, but it's the expressions on their faces when faced with the indignencies of the situations they're in that creates the same emotion in me - usually laughter. They both do it so well and no one else has ever done it like them. At least not according to me. Take Eddie in The Golden Child, all hacked off that he's been called to save humanity - facing death at almost every turn but still ripping out lines like "now, someone turn on the mother-f'ing lights." (If you remember the movie, you'll get it) Then take Will Smith in Independence Day when he's dragging the alien body in his parachute across the desert and yells "What is that smell?" and starts kicking the thing again. These men are funny. They are both able to convince me that given extraordinary situations, even faced with death, they still have the ability to make a joke. And they pull it off. Now that's comedic talent.

Then there's the books. I was a huge Stephen King fan from junior high through college, but there is one SK book that always stands out among King fans and that's The Stand. Now, my understanding is that SK finds it a bit depressing that people think his best book was written like 20 years ago, but c'mon, I bet if Tolkien was still alive he wouldn't be bitching about The Lord of the Rings.

Which then, of course, begs the question for every writer - how do I find that best of the best in me? Or (god forbid) what if I already wrote it and everything else will pale in comparison. I'm sure M. Night Shamalyn and Quinten Tarentino thought they were going to have glowing and illustrious careers after The Sixth Sense and Pulp Fiction, but has anything else they've done even come close to living up to those two works?

So who's your best of the best - actor or writer - and why.


Kelly Parra said...

Jana, I think Eddie's best was BH Cops! I loved laughing at him and thinking he was just so funny and cool. haha!
I don't even want to think of the best, best of me. Then that would lead me to not writing my best anymore. yikes! I've already noticed my writing changing from book 1 to 2 and now 3. I'm wondering WHO is the real writer me?? ;D

So best, best for let's say, Tom Cruise. lol! Top Gun. *sigh* Now, I rarely watch his movies. Or what about Chevy Chase? I miss his LOL movies!

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Kelly - I think our writing is supposed to change. I know mine has, so don't let that worry you. I contend that it must be getting better as it's getting much slower. :) But the "real" writer is an ever-changing beast.

Top Gun was definitely a BotB. Now that everyone knows he's a nutbag, he's not likely to top it, either.

And you're right, CC hasn't made a LOL movie in forever. But I sure do love CaddyShack.

Diana Peterfreund said...

I don't think I really think of it that way -- at least not while the artist is still producing. Dead, maybe, I can pick a "best."

Also, I love love LOVE KILL BILL. I'm glad they split it into two, though, because KB2 was awesome, and KB1 was very cool, but it had a lot of stuff that dragged it down. I think it completely lived up to Pulp Fiction, and if I had to live in a world without one or the other, I don't know which I'd choose.

Jana DeLeon said...

I just couldn't get into KB - in fact, I didn't even finishing watching 2. But my husband loved it.

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