Screen Junkies » Ensemble http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:25:08 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The 7 Greatest Ensemble Casts Of All Time http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-7-greatest-ensemble-casts-of-all-time/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-7-greatest-ensemble-casts-of-all-time/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 16:51:53 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=250127 We're big into the group scene here at SJ.

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With The Expendables 2 knocking on our door (it hits theaters August 17th), it’s time to kick movie stars aside and welcome in the best of ensemble cinema. Focusing on a collective rather than a certain person or two works very well for the ADD-addled minds here at Screen Junkies, so we thought we would share with you guys the best of the best (or, at the very least, our favorite) ensemble films.

So take a look, why don’t ya.

The Goonies

The youngest ensemble on this list is a gang of young adventurers who run afoul of some criminal eye-talians in the Pacific Northwest. And wouldn’t you know it, Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, Data, and a bunch of teenagers all manage to save the day and save their parents’ houses.

Maybe if the parents were a little more responsible, they wouldn’t be losing their houses to Troy’s dad, and they could keep better track of their kids.

Astoria Child Protective Services is probably a very busy social services department.

The Breakfast Club

While more than a couple of the casts of characters up here are bad ass mofos, none come as young or as suburban, or as so angsty as the teenagers with the Saturday detentions in the fictional town Shermer, Illinois. They may have been broadly painted as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal, but that just means that they were much more accessible to everyone else.

And for much of the audience, Claire was way ahead of the curve in introducing a whole generation of aspiring yuppies to sushi.

So there’s that, but the most compelling dynamic is just watching all these different slices of high school play in the same sandbox.

The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson films are known for being quirky due to both his (and collaborator Owen Wilson’s) writing, but the quirk is able to come at you in so many different ways through the use of his ensembles. And no Anderson pic is more ensemble-y than The Royal Tenenbaums, which takes a look at a literally timeless New York City (probably) family that is dysfunctional in such a mesmerizing way that it’s almost soothing.

Of course, most ensembles need a reason for being, and it would seem that Gene Hackman’s Royal Tenenbaum, the patriarch of the family who fakes disease to get back in his family’s good graces.

Which doesn’t last long.

The Expendables

If someone clocked their head in 1988 and wound up in a 22-year coma, they would think that all the biggest action stars of their time were covered in aging makeup. That doesn’t sound like the best thing in the world, but the premise of the film (expendable old mercenaries getting back together) is exactly what lends it its charms.

While charm is in short supply with much of the action-star cast, this self-deprecating examination, coupled with some clever writing allows all of yesteryear’s biggest shoot-em-up stars to play off each other in terrific fashion.

Reservoir Dogs

It’s a photo finish as to whether or not this motley crew featuring Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown and the like is a more reprehensible lot than The Tenenbaums, but these guys definitely score higher in the violence department. In hindsight, the characters aren’t all that distinct. Mostly tough guys that will kill as a matter of business. However, Steve Buscemi stands out as the one complainer, a weasely little fella that doesn’t quite fit in.

It doesn’t work out terribly well for most of the gang, but it sure is fun to watch the fireworks.

Ocean’s Eleven

A heist film in a decidedly more palatable fashion, the gang that Danny Ocean assembled, all eleven of them, were about as slick a group as one would imagine. In fact, they’re so slick that only Hollywood could have dreamed these guys up.

Nonetheless, they got work DONE. I credit most of their success to the little Asian gymnast, but the Mormon idiots also had a big hand in it. Very little credit goes to Brad Pitt, and almost no credit goes to Julia Roberts, who played the token love interest who just managed to bring everyone down with her lamenting about how her husband got sent to jail and wasn’t around. Give it a rest, lady.

Saving Private Ryan

To end on a somber note, I’d like to nod towards a great representation of not only war films, but the subset that focuses not on a person, but on a group of soldiers tasked with the impossible, and how they persevere in the face of not only completing their mission, but survival.

It’s a harrowing look, and Tom Sizemore dies, as he always does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not some quality cinema that takes your breath away as we marvel at the group dynamic during one of the most iconic periods in recent world history.

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KICKASS EVERYMAN FIGHT SUITS FROM FILM http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kickass-everyman-fight-suits-from-film/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/kickass-everyman-fight-suits-from-film/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 In general, when it's time to kick some ass, it's time to kick some ass.  Forget what you're wearing and get ready to rumble. This philosophy has been adopted throughout the entire history of cinema, the most recent example being seen in last weekend's #1 film, The Hangover.  Above: Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) makes a balls-out attack on Phil (Bradley Cooper).  Chow's balls are fully out in the theatrical release. But what about other scenes, guys who find themselves fighting in outfits that strike us today as either ridiculous or insanely awesome, or most likely, both? Superheroes, of course, would be cheating, because we all know they almost always look nuts cleaning up the city in their plastic nipples and oversized codpieces. 

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In general, when it’s time to kick some ass, it’s time to kick some ass.  Forget what you’re wearing and get ready to rumble. This philosophy has been adopted throughout the entire history of cinema, the most recent example being seen in last weekend’s #1 film, The Hangover

Above: Mr Chow (Ken Jeong) makes a balls-out attack on Phil (Bradley Cooper).  Chow’s balls are fully out in the theatrical release.

But what about other scenes, guys who find themselve fighting in outfits that strike us today as either ridiculous or insanely awesome, or most likely, both? Superheroes, of course, would be cheating, because we all know they almost always look nuts cleaning up the city in their plastic nipples and oversized codpieces. 

We’re here today to talk about dudes in fight scenes who throw caution – and sometimes fashion – to the wind by choosing to fight in some pretty unorthodox, but nonetheless awesome ensembles.  90% cotton, 10% rayon and 150% guts.   That makes 250% – an impossible number unless you’re one of these guys or a basketball coach giving a halftime speech when your team is getting sodomized.

Alright, enough talk.  Let’s get it on!  In whatever we happen to be wearing right now. 

 

PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE

Sometime in your life you’ll think the rich fat kid next door stole your bike.  Sometimes, when that rich fat kid is lounging in his indoor pool, you’ll have to sneak into his house and beat it out of him.  Sometimes you might be wearing a dress suit that’s a little too small for you.  But will that stop you from jumping in the pool and trying to drown the fat rich kid you think stole your bike? If you are one P.W. Herman, it most certainly will not. (The buildup begins around 1:45 of the clip below) 

 

 

THEY LIVE!

Sometimes you find a pair of sunglasses that really really work for you. Perhaps they just compliment the shape of your face perfectly, or perhaps they let you see a hidden world that aliens have designed to keep us humans in bondage. It’s usually either/or but sometimes both.  And what if the dude you want to help you just won’t try on the sunglasses to literally save his life? Well, if you’re Roddy Piper, you just have to try and kick his ass.  [Editor's Note: Screenjunkies contributor Ross Conkey recommends never crossing Keith David in real life, even if it's to save his life.  Keith David can take care of himself.]

 

 

 

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

 

People always make a big deal that in creating Cap’n Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp aped Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, and how cool it was since piracy back in the day was sort of like rock n’ roll.  But nobody ever complimented Depp on his choice of wardrobe.  All those weird braids and bandanas and buckles clink and bang around when he’s in a serious sword fight.  He’s like a one-man John Bonham

 

 

ROAD HOUSE


 

So maybe you thought the only man who could pull of the denim on denim look was Jay Leno. But let’s say you are on of the best bouncers in the business.  All sorts of people are going to try and test you, especially guys in really tight jeans with matching shirts. But even after you kick the first guy’s ass, the buttons on your shirt keep getting unbuttoned lower.  In this first example, Swayze keeps the top two button of his shirt open.

Later, we see him throw down with three, possibly four buttons un-buttoned.

And finally, as the movie culminates, Swayze considers applying his death claw to the man who has tormented him, a mere one button keeps his shirt intact at all. It’s a rare nexus of movie magic and excellent continuity.  Kudos to Road House script supervisor, whose name should be listed on imdb but is not.

 

 

 

THE BOY WHO COULD FLY

This is mostly a film about an a girl befriending her neighbor, an autistic kid who, it turns out, can fly. But in a riveting subplot, her little brother, played by a pre-"Wonder Years" Fred Savage, has to fight some bullies. And to gear up, (starting at 0:41) he dresses up in all camouflage, puts on a hat with neck flaps, fills his water gun with piss, loads up his hot wheels with jellybeans and raw steak, and goes to war.

 

Alright that’s what we got, tough guy!  What are your favorite unorthodox fightin’ suits from film?

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