Laser Time – The Best Actor-Directors

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Why stay on one side of the camera? We run through the Hollywood stars who could act up a storm but also craft amazing cinema from the director’s chair, too!

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13 thoughts on “Laser Time – The Best Actor-Directors

  1. I’m very glad Ben Affleck is handling the Batman solo film. I think it’ll be a nice breath of fresh air for the character after BvS and Justice League. It doesn’t hurt that Geoff Johns is closely involved either though.

  2. Chris’s incredulous comment about how Henry could have possibly seen Night of the Hunter seems like a big problem with cable-cutters. Turner Classic Movies played it within the last few weeks, and constantly plays actual classics that you can’t find easily online, and I can’t imagine it’ll get easier to get all the rights-owners to give their properties over to new media. I watched a movie the other day on TCM just because it was directed by Gene Kelly, who also directed a number of classics like Singin’ in the Rain, and I’m very surprised Diana didn’t mention him. I don’t like dancing very much, but I like Gene Kelly enough to sit through some boring dance (and sometimes the dancing’s not so bad.)

    1. I agree about cable-cutting. TCM has the broadcast rights for a ton of movies that aren’t easily findable on DVD – or aren’t on DVD at all, let alone streaming. That’s how I’ve seen a lot of things I couldn’t find elsewhere – I go through the listings every month.

      And I LOVE Gene Kelly – including the dancing – but I left him out because his best movies were all co-directed by Stanley Donen, who probably deserves the bulk of the credit. Not to knock Gene Kelly, but Donen’s solo films are a lot better than Kelly’s.

  3. Great episode everyone. Here are five actor/directors not mentioned, and the first one is the most egregious… Yahoo Serious. A true auteur and I’m sure everyone remembers his other films besides Young Einstein. The second, is Beat Takeshi, and if you see one Japanese Yakuza film, make it Sonatine. The third is Tom McCarthy, with the films Win Win and Spotlight, the fourth is Joel Edgerton with The Gift, and the finally fourth is Adrienne Shelly, who wrote, directed, and costarred in Waitress, a underrated gem.

  4. Ben Affleck seems to get a lot of hate whenever a movie of his comes out, but man, argo was a fucking great film and his role in gone girl was terrific. glad he’s starting to take himself more seriously in the roles that he chooses. I still won’t forgive him and Kevin Smith for Jersy Girl though,.

    1. I liked how it was once refereed to as him being in “movie jail” for a decade following the early 2000s slog he got himself into. I hope the ill will towards BvS doesn’t tarnish his goodwill he just got back.

  5. Since you’ve brought him up a couple times recently, I highly recommend the book “High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess” by Charless Flemming. It, obviously, chronicles the rise and fall of Don Simpson. It’s a pretty quick, entertaining read. One sample of Simpson’s excess: he went though a phase where he would only wear black Levis jeans, so he had a wardrobe packed full of them. But, he didn’t like it when they faded, so he only wore a pair of jeans twice before throwing them away.

    Also, I think you guys have been a bit harsh to the movie Chef. The point of the movie isn’t that he’s an awesome chef and everything that happens to him is perfect – the real story of the movie is about a father finally bonding with his son over a common interest. All the fanciful chef stuff is just the backdrop.

  6. Yeah, Sarah Polley’s movies are even better reviewed than Affleck’s

    Also, no mention of Chaplin?

  7. Actually I think Rampage is Uwe Bolls best film. It’s basically in the same vein of “Falling Down” or “God Bless America” where a normal guy thinks society is falling apart and is pushed to the edge, and has a number of rants about the state of society and pop culture done by the character. Of course in Rampage’s case it’s a more “realistic” version of those characters where they really are just murderous psychopaths who just go on a spree killing mowing down people regardless of their stated goals. It’s a weird recommendation but definitely give it a chance.

  8. When I heard “Iron man” I thought Shane Black was going to be on the list. Then I looked up his IMBD and realized he really hasn’t done much acting.

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