The Top 15 Best James Spader Performances

 

James Spader started his long acting career as a teenager in a minor role in the 1978 film Team-Mates, received his first big role as Brooke Shield’s brother in the 1981 film Endless Love, and has acted non-stop in a wide variety of film and television productions since 1984. For an actor with nearly 40 years of experience, who has starred in everything from teen gang films (Tuff Turf), made-for-TV family dramas  (Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction), major blockbusters (Avengers: Age of Ultron), a hit legal drama show (Boston Legal), science-fiction romps (Supernova) and arthouse classics (Sex, Lies and Videotape), he has strangely eluded popular notice. In line with many similar actors who never found superstar status, he proudly remains a cult icon and a true actor’s actor, daringly picking obscure productions because of a great script or unique potential. “I like to be cast against type,” he told a reporter in 1987, “and I like directors who cast me against type. I like roles that are confusing to me, that have a lot of questions, questions which take the whole shoot to answer.” Now Spader’s starring role in the hit NBC show The Blacklist has brought him to the forefront of actors on TV and finally given people reason to re-evaluate his career. I’ve watched every film he has played in, and aim to pay homage to the notable classics and also uncover hidden gems by picking Spader’s best performances.

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Review: Wonder Woman

So, a big monster guy crashes down onto Times Square, plucking a young maiden from the crowd. With a booming voice he proclaims, “Fuck you, citizens of New York! Bow and tremble to the might of Zorblon the Terrible!” Then Gal Gadot (our Amazonian heroine) comes out of nowhere and knocks Zorblon to the moon in one hit, rescuing the maiden. In a corner of the crowd one paparazzo nudges the other, saying, “Did ya see that? She must be some kinda… Wonder Woman” They start snapping pictures. Queue to the next day with presses rolling out a front page picture of the newly baptized Wonder Woman.

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Cult documentaries

 

We’ve all seen those lists: “10 Cult films you have to watch!!!”, “5 of the best cult films ever!!!”, “You’re not a true film-lover until you’ve seen these cult films!!!”. Donnie Darko, The Big Lebowski, Fight Club, The Room, I’ve seen those lists and I am no longer impressed. What I personally would like to see is films about cults, and after careful consideration, I have gone on a binge-watching frenzy to find the best documentaries on cults. This binge-watching fest made me feel a bit crazy, as it was followed by a conspiracy theory spree, so I recommend watching these with caution and perhaps with a few days in between viewings. In other words, don’t follow my example and watch three films on cults in one night. If you do, you may find yourself looking over your shoulder more often than not, and squinting your eyes when your friend says they’ve joined a meditation group. You have been duly warned.

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T2 Trainspotting

 

Choose to make a highly anticipated sequel to a 20 year old movie. Choose to ignore the cynicism surrounding remakes, follow-ups, and other so-called money-draining exploitations of an initial “good movie”. Choose nostalgia. Choose letting an entire generation reach for the last lingering strings of their youth. Choose to accept some meagre compliments and face the bile from the rest who tell you it was complete shite. Choose life.

The long-awaited (and at the same time dreaded) sequel to Trainspotting must have felt like a millstone to director Danny Boyle, who was allegedly plagued by a hushed “it’d better not be shite” even on set from the cast and crew. Fearing the Sequel Curse, for many critics and fans of the franchise, waiting for the release of T2 Trainspotting was like waiting for a bomb to explode that would completely destroy the cult franchise. Continue reading “T2 Trainspotting”

Magazines: the ultimate hand guide for women?

 

Elle Woods: “I bought you some necessities—some Calvin Klein 720 count sheets, the entire Clinique skin care line […] and the Bible.”

(Holds up a copy of the Cosmopolitan magazine)

Brooke Taylor: “You’re an angel”

The above quote is from the popular movie Legally Blonde. The main character, Elle, is a lawyer who has to defend her friend Brooke, who has been accused of murder. While Brooke is in jail, Elle brings her some “necessities”. One of these necessities includes the “Bible”; Elle isn’t talking about an actual religious Bible here, but about a popular magazine. Magazines have always been an important part of a girl’s upbringing in popular society. The importance of these magazines to girls and women is oftentimes highlighted in the media through movies like Legally Blonde. But what are the effects of this unofficial “hand guide” on women? And why don’t we see men reading magazines as often as women do? These are some questions that have been passing through my mind and that I will aim to answer for you. Continue reading “Magazines: the ultimate hand guide for women?”

The Crash of Originality

Do you remember 2016? I don’t know what you’ve been up to over the Christmas holidays, but let’s assume that you do remember, for the sake of argument. So, whether you’re a 2016 hater or lover, you’ve probably been to the cinema once or twice. It’s not too far-fetched to say that the consensus on 2016, life-wise, has been pretty shitty. But the movies—oh, the movies! Surely, there’s a small yet radiant twinkle of positivity to be found in all of the great movies that came out in 2016, right?

You’d be wrong. (Disclaimer: buckle up for an unhealthy dose of cynicism coming your way from this point on).

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Writer’s Block #31

The first Writer’s Block of 2017 has arrived! It brings you a variety of beautiful pieces: poetry, interviews, short stories, reviews and essays. Click on the cover below to discover this newest delight!

Would you like to see your piece published in an upcoming issue? Please send us your work at submissions@writersblockmagazine.com!

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