Fun fact: Given that Vegas-esque feather headdresses weigh 25-35 pounds, the 2012 Spirit showgirl was wearing something on her head that weighs as much as a contra, held on with only a chinstrap and core muscles.
What movies of his would you most recommend for a new fan??
Okay, settle in. This could take a while. ;)
Disclaimer: This list is of course highly subjective and based on my personal taste.
Joe’s most accessible movies are also his more widely known ones. Assuming you haven’t seen them already, it’s safe to start with:
Ten Things I Hate About You (1999)
500 Days of Summer (2009)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
I think the following movies are must sees but they are overall less accessible due to subject matter or stylistic choices.
50/50 (2011) - Joe plays a young guy dealing with cancer. The movie is based on Seth Rogen’s friend Will Reiser who also wrote the screenplay based on his own experience. One of Joe’s best performances and the movie succeeds in striking a good balance between drama and humor.
Brick (2005) - Joe stars in Rian Johnson’s feature debut as hardboiled detective. Brick is an old-school film noir detective story set in a modern high school. If you are able, try to grab a copy with subtitles because the dialogue is heavily stylized.
The Lookout (2007) - This is a classic heist movie with a twist: Joe’s character suffers from a mental disability following a car accident. One of my favorite performances, and despite the heavy premise the movie ends up being strangely uplifting and empowering.
Mysterious Skin (2004) - An incredibly poetic film about the most horrible subject matter: child abuse and sexual abuse. Still one of Joe’s best performances to date. But make sure you can stomach the issues this movies addresses. I made the mistake to watch MS right after Inception, when I wanted to catch up with Joe’s filmography. It was pretty traumatizing but as you can see, also made me a very committed fan of Joe as an actor.
Don Jon (2013) - Joe’s directorial debut about how unhealthy expectations can ruin your life. NSFW but required watching to see Joe’s potential as director. Here is my review btw.
GREAT PERFORMANCES IN FLAWED MOVIES / MORE OBSCURE STUFF
The Walk (2015) - I’m personally mixed on the movie but I know many who loved it. You have to see for yourself, whether you enjoy it or not.
Hesher (2011) - Joe as heavy metal Mary Poppins helps a family deal with their loss of a loved one. Darkly funny and shows Joe’s range.
Stop Loss (2008) - Memorable supporting turn in a soldier drama and one of his many collaborations with Channing (and the only one getting on this list)
Manic (2001) - Joe’s break through as serious actor after 3rd Rock From The Sun. He plays a teen with anger issues who has to come to terms with his aggression in a mental institution for youths. The shaky camera made me a little nauseous, but it’s a decent movie with great performances. His first collaboration with Zooey and Michael Bacall (who now writes his musical with Channing)
POPCORN FLUFF / BRAINLESS ENTERTAINMENT
If you have watched all of the above already or are in need of a break after some of Joe’s darker movies:
The Night Before (2015)
Premium Rush (2012)
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
(2014) - (warning for gore)
Treasure Planet (2002) - Joe is officially a Disney prince but he is, of course, only voice acting here
Lincoln (2012) - I wouldn’t recommend this movie if you are only interested in Joe’s performance, because he is barely in it. But Spielberg’s Lincoln drama is masterfully made, and even though I had limited interest in the subject matter, I found it thoroughly engaging from start to finish.
March is Metal Month and who better to explain and explore that vast and ever-changing world than Metalhead, journalist, musician and DJ, Dom Lawson. Over the next five Mondays Dom will be bringing us 31 Flavours of the world’s best heavy music and explaining who's on there and why. Over to you, Mr L…
Say what you like about metal…seriously, go ahead. It’s not going anywhere. What it is doing, contrary to mainstream misconceptions, is constantly expanding and evolving, veering off on intriguing tangents and plunging deeper into the unknown dark.
Metal’s strongest characteristic is its ability to be simultaneously forward-thinking and firmly rooted in the past. As a metal fan you can have the old, the new, the gleefully retro and the ferociously cutting edge. Metal is so diverse and so fertile that a lot of its fans spend a lot of time arguing about exactly what metal really is… And although that can be draining to witness, it also reflects the intensity and passion that continues to attract so many people to worship at the altar of heavy music.
I’m delighted to say that March is officially Metal Month, which means a welcome opportunity to shine a light on some of my current favourite bands and to give both the committed and curious a snapshot of how metal has been mutating over the last few years. These playlists are, as we metalheads are inclined to say, seriously f—ing heavy - but hopefully they will also offer enlightenment. Either way, horns up!
Gojira - The Gift Of Guilt (2012, The All Blacks) Saviours of the once-mocked French metal scene, Gojira are simply one of the most acclaimed metal bands on the planet - and rightly so. This monstrous epic from 2012’s L'Enfant Sauvage contains ALL THE RIFFS.
One of the most influential metal bands of this millennium, Killswitch Engage kick-started the 21st century metalcore explosion but, tellingly, remain the genre’s standard bearers and untouchable overlords. Massive tunes guaranteed.
Carcass – Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System (Nuclear Blast, 2013) These legendary UK death metallers released their first album in 17 years last year. Most comebacks are ultimately anticlimactic, but this one was an outright triumph. A truly seminal band at the height of their powers.
Iron Maiden – Isle Of Avalon (EMI, 2010) Even bigger today than they were in their mid-to-late 80s heyday, Iron Maiden are the most loved metal band on Earth by a mile. Now more overtly prog-influenced, the British legends are as vital and heavy as they ever were.
Shrapnel – The Watchers (Candlelight, 2013) In many ways, thrash metal represents the truest encapsulation of what metal is all about and why it endures regardless of mainstream interest or acceptance. Fast, furious, precise and destructive: Shrapnel thrash like maniacs.
Evergrey – Frozen (Steamhammer, 2011) The great unsung heroes of modern Swedish metal, Evergrey are masters of epic melody, soulful melancholy and state-of-the-art riffing. In a parallel universe somewhere, they are superstars. In this one, they’re just fantastic.
Upon A Burning Body – Sin City (Sumerian Records, 2012)There is a huge buzz surrounding this Texan quintet, their infectious blend of nose-flattening extremity and party-friendly grooves proving an undeniable hit with a new generation of metalheads. Plus, they dress like gangsters and name their songs after great movies. Vast success seems a mere formality.
Metal Month will continue next Monday… Follow to this playlist to be the first to see Dom’s next 31 Flavors of Metal Picks!