Friday, June 29, 2012

Cool kids never have the time.

A fellow movie blogger, the esteemed Movie Waffler, asked me to contribute to a kickass blogathon he is running. The hook? Write a piece about film using the year of your birth as the launching point. So, it got me thinking. What good movies came out in 2002?

Oh wait, I just write like I'm ten. I was actually born in September of 1979. Goodness. Do you know how far down you have to scroll when entering your birthday online? Far. Very far.

So, I headed to the internet to do a little research about dear 1979. Guess what? Some great films came out that year. Films such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Apocalypse Now and the original Star Trek movie. Guess what else? I haven't seen any of them.

My theory is that seeing these films, for me, is the equivalent of bumping into yourself during time travel. Something bad will happen and the future will be altered in countless, horrible ways. Logical, no?

While my credibility wanes, you have to give me some points for seeing Alien theatrically. Fine, being in the womb at the time, I (hopefully) couldn't actually see it - but I was there, damn it. My point (always takes a while), is that I didn't think I could do the year justice without having seen some of the best it had to offer. So, I thought of something else. Instead of discussing what film gave to 1979, how about we take a look at what 1979 gave to film?

The Top 10 Actors and Actresses in Film
(born in 1979)

Before I begin, let me say that there exists no hard and fast rule as to the order of these fine individuals. I tried to go by the quality of films they've starred in, but veered into flat out hotness at times. Sorry, Movie Waffler, I tried. Honest.

HONORABLE MENTION: Rachel Leigh Cook - October 4th

Rachel Leigh Cook hasn't been in much, but I'm putting her on the list for that memorably absurd walk down the stairs in She's All That. My college roommate thought that she was so hot, we actually went and saw this in the theater. Hey, I just like going to the movies...leave me out of this.

Her sweet pair: She's All That (1999), Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

#10. Kristanna Loken - October 8th

Most people I know actually loathe the third Terminator movie. Like if they saw it walking down the street they would go out of their way to punch it in the balls. For me, they are like my children. Maybe I like some more than others, but I can't actually hate one can I? Well, okay, I hated the fourth one, but still.
Anyway, the only reason Loken makes the list is she is part of the family, I mean franchise. She's a Terminator for f--ks sake.

Her sweet pair: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Bloodrayne (2005)

#9. Sarah Polley - January 8th

So far, these ladies haven't really been in anything all that memorable, huh? Well, Polley kind of continues the trend. She's hands down the best actress on the list (so far). Also, she's from Canada, so obviously she's better than the rest of us. According to her imdb page, directors can limit her dialogue because she has the uncanny ability to express a characters thoughts. She's pretty much Proffesor X with hair and working legs.

Her sweet pair: Go (1999), Dawn of the Dead (2004)

#8. Mena Suvari - February 9th

I was going to put her up here with Natasha Lyonne, but I decided to nix that (and Lyonne altogether). Anyway, Suvari hasn't done all that much either, but her legacy is cemented with roles in a franchise and a Best Picture. Oh, and the forehead thing.

Her sweet pair: American Beauty (1999), American Pie (1999)

#7. Kate Hudson - April 19th

Okay, I think I hate Kate Hudson. If I close my eyes, she's in a movie with Matthew McConaughey - and that's it. Those are some of his worst movies (and that's saying something). She's here because I love Owen Wilson.

Her sweet pair: You, Me and Dupree (2006), Almost Famous (2000)

#6. Zhang Ziyi - February 9th (also)

Wow. Recent scandalous events surrounding her should escalate her to the top of performers, but I'm going to keep her at #6. She's breathtaking and versatile and I've loved her in everything I've seen her in. I'm assuming her filmography explodes if I were to dabble in foreign cinema more, but I'm happy enough as is.

Her sweet pair: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

#5. Claire Danes - April 12th

I don't think you can include Daines unless you count her television work in the mid-90's. The upcoming release of The Great Gatsby may dredge up some love for her work in that other Baz Luhrman adaptation. I never cared for it, though (Moulin Rougue is best thing he'll ever do).

Her sweet pair: Romeo + Juliet (1996), Princess Mononoke (1997)

 #4. Anthony Mackie - September 23rd
Tonight was the night of the NBA Draft. Over and over, you'd hear the announcers talk about potential vs. production. Mackie hasn't been in much, but I believe that this guy is destined to kick some serious ass on the big screen. 
His sweet pair (!): The Adjustment Bureau (2011), The Hurt Locker (2008)

#3. Rosario Dawson - May 9th

Dawson has done more than Mackie, but I still think she hasn't had that role. I would argue that great roles are very few and far between for actresses, but she has a chance. On screen she plays it badass often, but in both a physical and intellectual way. And her characters strike me as chicks you'd want to know (but who could probably kick your ass when it came down to it). For me, her character in  Clerks II was one of the most attractive women ever put to film.

Her sweet pair: Clerks II (2006), Sin City (2005)

#2. Jennifer Love Hewitt - February 21st

If you ever meet a man who was born in the late 70's or early 80's and he tells you he never had a thing for Jennifer Love Hewitt, kill him immediately and notify John Connor you have just met a machine sent from the future bent on destroying mankind. Seriously, everyone did. She may not be much of an actress, but she holds it down (and up) for 1979. I know her body of work on film may be a bit lacking, but I'm powerless to do anything about it. Sorry. I mean, I watched full episodes of The Ghost Whisperer on purpose. Full. Episodes.

Her sweet pair: Can't Hardly Wait ('98), I Know What You Did Last Summer

#1. Heath Ledger - April 4th
While #2 may have been a bit of a joke, Heath Ledger is flat out the greatest actor to be born in 1979. Ledger showed incredible promise early on in his career and just kept it rolling all the way till his untimely death in 2008. It's hard to cement Ledger as the number one being that he has already given his last performance, unfortunately. Still, does anyone doubt that his take on the Joker is not the best performance from anyone on this list?

His sweet pair: The Dark Knight (2008), Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Looking at the careers of people pretty much my exact age was eye-opening. I noticed that despite not many of the movies being altogether great, they represent a happy time in my youth. These actors and actresses were young and had their whole lives ahead of them.

Just as in my own life, this list is littered with hits and misses, unfulfilled potential and even glimmers of hope. Throw in some unbridled joy and devastating heartache and you have a picture of exactly what it is to be thirty three years old in 2012.

This stuff, the ups and downs? The good, the bad. This is 1979. The Year I Made Contact.


  1. Great choices here and so glad Heath is on number 1. One can only wonder how many more great performances he would give us had he still been alive.

    1. Thanks. It felt like slim pickings at times, but I guess with Ledger, 1979 stacks up well to any other year (perhaps, anyway).

      I'm sure he would've continued to amaze us.

      The Oscar would've opened up so many more roles! Gets me wondering what films that came out in the next year or two after he passed Ledger would've been in.

  2. Amazing post and some great choices :-)

    1. Hey, thanks! Glad you got a kick out of it.

      I personally wonder what year has contributed the most. I guess you pick the BEST actor of all time and that's your winner.