Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halfway House: The Failed Completist

halfway through the day, we freeze a movie halfway through

Confession time: I still have not seen Personal Effects, Michelle Pfeiffer's second recent straight-to-DVD mishap, the other being I Could Never Be Your Woman (see previous post). In both films the goddess has a relationship with a much younger man.

55 minutes into the movie, Pfeiffer hits on an unresponsive near
silent Ashton
Kutcher. What's wrong with him?

As one of the web's most notorious pfans, you'd think I'd be more of a completist. But I am so scared to watch it. I don't know why. It's not like I've never seen her in a disposable movie before. For all I know it's good (I scanned to the middle... having still not overcome my fear). Aside from this picture, I have only a few gaps in my Pfandom. I haven't seen any of her TV work prior to moving permanently to featuers in the early 80s and I have never been able to find her third feature film Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. Other than that I've seen it all.

This failing completist urge got me to thinking: How often do any of us see the complete works of a given actor or actress? The closest I've come is Julianne Moore. I've seen her one Broadway role, I've seen her short film Not I (previous post) and I've seen each and every one of her films (and believe me that was a sacrifice on my part. Just sayin') ...except two: her cameo in The Ladies Man and her straight-to-DVD film Marie and Bruce. There's always something.

Is there any actor you've seen literally everything of? If you missed this "completist" impulse, you should probably be grateful.

43 comments:

Jude said...

Ive seen many Renee Zellweger films.

Jim T said...

I am more interested in watching my favorite actresses' "good" roles. I wouldn't like to watch a movie where she (any one of my loved ones) is supposed to be mediocre.

You mentioned Moore. I recently saw "An Ideal Husband" partly because of her and although I liked her performance, I thought it was minor Moore. Then I started watching "Safe" and I was reminded of her brilliance! I haven't finished it yet.

UncleVanya said...

My advice to you, Nat, is that you seek out a doctor who can perform a complete Michelle Phiffer (perhaps my misspelling will help) hysterectomy on you. But be certain they get it all out, because it could possibly grow back, and prove cancerous (as did Michelle's straight-to-video movies). All joking aside, I'm getting concerned for you. Didn't you meet any handsome, young, bilingual, and hung Montreal boys last week (the place is crawling with them). I have two brothers in Montreal who keep urging me to leave Toronto for the french island, which I would do if not for my fear of drowning in something more beautiful and tangible than La Phiffer.

7bis said...

Judy Davis. Not that it's been hard to keep up with her work lately, as she's been absent from the screen for such painfully long periods... the only things I haven't seen are a couple of TV pieces from the early 80s (A Woman Called Golda, Water Under The Bridge). Yes, I've suffered through some monstrosities for the love of Judy (A Cooler Climate? eek! Who Dares Wins? eeeek!), but there's always been a moment or two of her genius poking out the edges of even the most generic of vehicles. Come back to us, Judy - cinema needs you!

steve said...

"I Could Never Be Your Woman" wasn't nearly the nightmare i had anticipated - i though it was kinda (shh) cute

Saoirse Ronan & Michelle both were good, at least a couple lol moments

"Personal Effects," however, is insufferable - every ham-fisted dramatic cliche & overused "gritty" film technique in the book

i tried watching it 2 times & still haven't made it all the way through

on the bright side, "Cheri" on dvd this week (not even on blu-ray wtf?)... live in the sticks, so i finally get to see it

anyway, she has apparently gone into hiding again, so we'll see what happens 2 years from now... bah

steve said...

this shit is golden:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLB25QkwDBM

Glendon said...

I'll just state the obvious one: John Cazale.

Bailey said...

I was obsessed with Winona Ryder when I was little in the 80's and early 90's. I think it was Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Edward Scissorhands that forever cemented my love for her. I have suffered turds like Autumn in New York (no one wants to watch you have sex with pepaws, Noni, however brilliant the foliage), Lost Souls (um) and S1m0ne (yeah...'nuff said) for her. I still haven't seen Square Dance, Night on Earth (which sounds to me like it might be a strange gem...anyone seen it?), Looking for Richard, Mr. Deeds (can't do it, sorry) or any of her really recent films save for A Scanner Darkly. Girl can't act, but she does have star quality, and a face that was born for the screen. She really needs a comeback role.

(I also have seen a LOT of Cameron Diaz movies. I am closer to seeing her entire filmography than Winona's, but good god is that embarrassing. I actually checked IMDB and have seen all of her films but My Father's House and What Happens in Vegas. I can safely say A Life Less Ordinary was her only good one...although The Sweetest Thing is really hilarious.)

adelutza said...

I've seen all Danielle Darieux's films I could find - and it's not easy, believe me. I've seen most Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche .
But lately I've started with directors I like rather then actors. Less films but better.
As for Personal Effects you shouldn't be that scared. She's good in it even if the film is not that great. And, in my opinion, nothing can be worse then I Could Never Be Your Woman Not even my pfandom could make me finish watching that one.

kel said...

Hmm, the closest I got is Pfeiffer. I've seen it all except A Thousand Acres (!). I've even seen Charlie Chan; bought it on ebay! I've also seen a few of her early tv films like 'Callie and Son' with Lindsay Wagner and 'The Children Nobody Wanted'. However, I can't seem to find the afterschool special she did with Val Kilmer.

Personal Effects was dreadful. Pfeiffer was fine in it, but the film itself was very TV-movie-of-the-week (not unlike Deep End of the Ocean).

I kinda actually enjoyed I Could Never Be Your Woman. Both Michelle and Paul Rudd were cute and had good chemistry. The movie is by no means great and nowhere near Heckerling's finest but it's watchable (can't say the same for PE).

Guy said...

There are probably several actors whose entire oeuvre I have watched, but the first name that springs to mind is Juliette Binoche.

On a side note, I saw a DVD copy of "I Could Never Be Your Woman" in a bargain bin in Venice, except it was clearly Italian-dubbed and had been retitled "2 Young 4 U." TRAGIC.

Melanie said...

I've tried to watch everything with Richard Gere, but I fell asleep halfway through "Nights in Rodanthe." God, it was boring!

The only Heath Ledger movie I haven't watched is "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus." Watching your blog for news of its release in the U.S., Nathaniel.

UncleVanya said...

" kel said...
Hmm, the closest I got is Pfeiffer. I've seen it all except A Thousand Acres (!). "

Kel, you should make an effort to see Acres, because it is one of her very best (and the King Lear reinterpritation doesn't hurt, either). The film actually is dear to me, because when it came out, I was going through chemotherapy (Like M. P.'s character), and had/have two brothers who were in denial about our childhood. Ultimately, the film devastated me, but recovery from cancer does bring you back to your senses, and allows you to compartmentalize more efficiently.

hcutku said...

Have seen each and everything Meryl has done in front of a camera.

Lacking "Immediate Family" for a full Glenn Close filmography.

Currently I'm working hard to complete my Bette Davis movies. Still about 10-15 to go.

Moviezzz said...

CHARLIE CHAN is out on DVD. You can find it on Amazon for under $8, and that is a new copy. They have it used for under $3.

So, you have no excuse.

I've seen most of hers, except for a few early TV movies that haven't been shown since they aired, pretty much. CHARLIE CHAN is more watchable than PERSONAL EFFECTS.

mrripley said...

keira knightley.

mrripley said...

Yes A thousand acres is one of hers and lange best.

Stella said...

I've seen 20 of Christian Bale's movies (some of them accidentally. I mean, we've all seen Pocahontas). And I've gone out of my way to see about 12 of them. Then I lost interest. But he will always hold a special place in my heart for having introduced me to IMDB, Hayao Miyazaki, American Psycho, and Ben Whishaw (his successor as my actor-obsession du jour)

Leehee said...

Hmmmm...

* I've seen every single Barbra Streisand performance in front of a camera.
* I'm missing 3-4 very obscure Deborah Kerr movies from her early days in Britain, but I've seen all the rest.
* I've seen all of Maureen O'Hara's movies.
* I have seen every single Emma Thompson performance, including her tv shows and one tv movie from England.

Very close to seeing everything Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling and Julie Christie were in.

Guess I really am a completist..

RJ said...

For some reason, I got very obsessed with British actor Marc Warren last year, and I started searching and trying to find everything I could that he has been in. I wouldn't say I got even close to being a completist of his, but I did manage to find a lot of random TV roles on line.

RJ said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUyhWw8Pnd4&feature=related

pomme said...

i saw some Eastwood movies,some Robert Redford movies and Paul Newman movies(my mum&dad are fan) and some mainstream stars movies(Cruise,Depp,Smith,Willis,Pitt,Jackman,Reeves,...)(thank you to my older brother)

My boyfriend likes to see comic movies and blockbusters usually so i saw every comic movie or blockbusters

As i like Christian Bale as i prefer the directors :Aronofsky,Fincher,Nolan,Scorcese,Eastwood,Ridley Scott,...

NATHANIEL R said...

Leehee wow! some of those have made a lot of movies.

hcutku all Bette Davis almost? i am so humbled. She made so so many. congrats when you finish Let me know. I should like do a post in your honor!

Anonymous said...

JULIA ROBERTS!!
N MERYL STREEP!
N AUDREY HEPBURN

MARY T said...

almost all of tom hanks' movies

antonio said...

most likely.... will be Julia Roberts- the main reason would be cuz most of her movies from the 90's were such event movies- youll find them anywhere.

hcutku said...

I'm actually pretty desperate about some of Bette's earliest stuff but if I manage to complete it some day I'll let you know for sure, Nathaniel.

Paul Outlaw said...

I have seen all 17 Montgomery Clift feature films except his last, The Defector, and if anyone knows of a way I could rectify that, I would be eternally grateful.

moror said...

Nicole Kidman. My brothe went through this phase where he bought all her movies. From http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085204/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173443/ to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455824/. And we watched them all, trying to ignore the awkardness of young Nicole.

alistair said...

I've seen everything Chace Crawford moviewise.

Jess said...

Young Nicole played parts where she was supposed to be awkward, idiot.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

I've seen all Maggie Cheung's and Gong Li's movies.

I feel pleased about this.

Agent69 said...

I haven't even seen everything from Sigourney's filmography so I'm obviously not a completist.

John T said...

I'm almost done with David Lean, which is a difficult task, as many of his films haven't been released on DVD yet.

NATHANIEL R said...

Brooke, that's quite an achievement actually since both have made so many.

i feel so humbled. I must be slacking.

NATHANIEL R said...

unclevanya LOL but I don't quite understand how gay Montreal hotties figure into my film experiencing and love of actresses ;) can't i have both?

UncleVanya said...

"can't i have both?'

ah, an eternal optimist. Of course you can. I was just teasing you :)

kel said...

unclevanya: Yeah, I don't know why I never got around to watching A Thousand Acres being the Pfeiffer fan I am (also an admirer of Lange and Leigh). I will definitely make the effort!

Kimberly said...

Meryl. Oh so worth it. She really found her place in the world.


When I was in my early teens I watched everything Sophia Loren did - can't remember much from most of the movies except that when she was good, she was GOOD! and... that I thought it was creepy that she played both her mother and herself in the TV movie about her life - and now is playing her mother again for a TV Movie in Italy 30yrs later.

I'm very close on Allison Janney, including 9 to 5 on Broadway (which is closed now, shame).

pasifauna said...

The closest I got is Edward Norton, less the Hulk. But I just cannot make myself watch it, I am afraid it might be really awful.
Maybe after Leaves of Grass (if it ever opens up in Turkkey) I might make myself watch Hulk and coplete the circle.

Wayne said...

The only two I've ever had that with is Ricci and Dunst.

Andy said...

I've seen everything Steve McQueen made except "An Enemy of the People", which is actually now available through Warner Archives, so he'll be the first I can say that of.
I'd like to put Julie Christie in that category, I'm very close, but I would have to be able to find a way to get hold of "In Search of Gregory", "The Gold Diggers", "The Roaring Forties" and "Sins of the Fathers" and I'm not a miracle worker.

George P. said...

On first viewing (online), "I Could Never Be Your Woman" was pretty great. However, seeing it a few years later on DVD, it felt really dated.

"Personal Effects" was disappointingly slow and dull, but then again there's many of those films that still get released to theaters.

Watching "Marie and Bruce" right now and I'm finding it all right, but not essential.

As for the original question, one of the actresses/actors I've seen every movie has been Mandy Moore (yes, her). It could be because I grew up w/friends who liked her movies/music but deserted her when her music became more folksy and her movie choices more indie ("Dedication" "Romance and Cigarettes"), but alas she's one of the few who I can say I've seen all of their filmography.

Others who I have seen except one or two of their films are Kate Bosworth and Christina Milian.

I remember one summer I tried beginning all of Paul Newman's films, but damn, he made a LOT of movies in his lifetime.