Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kurt Russell

I recently read a post which consisted of 17 little-known facts about Chuck Norris. Search for it, if you are so inclined. It brought to my mind an argument I had with the most frustrating person I’ve ever met. Minnesota Dave was in something like his 6th year of undergraduate college and still hadn’t found a major, and he would argue with you about anything. Normally I think that’s a good thing (the arguing part, not the loser part), but he did it competitively rather than for fun and intellectual enrichment (read: “It is because I say so, despite your useless appeals to ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ or your silly ‘examples from real life’ or other ‘evidence’”). Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. The point of it is, Kurt Russell is at least infinity times as cool as Chuck Norris. I’d like to make my case.

1. In Big Trouble in Little China, those bad guys were lucky that Kurt had his Chinese friend to kick their asses before he got his knife out of his boot. They would have really been in for it then. Remember, “It’s all in the reflexes.” Even if you’re some kind of immortal ghost-wizard, you better not throw a knife at Jack Burton, because he’ll just catch it and throw it right back at you. Then you’ll be dead, and that won’t be any fun. The driver of the Pork Chop Express (“coming to you on a dark and stormy night”) is not the trucker to mess with.

2. In The Thing, only MacCready (Russell) and the big badass black dude survive until the end of the movie. And at the end they pass a bottle of Jim Beam (or some other hard liquor) back and forth while the camp burns to the ground, just waiting to freeze to death, thereby making the best movie ending ever. You don’t want this helicopter pilot coming after you with a flame thrower if you’re infected by the alien cells.

3. In Escape from New York Kurt Russell (a.k.a. Snake Plissken) wears a freakin’ eye patch. “Got a smoke?” he asks. He hang glides into Manhattan to save the President from the Duke of New York and the other criminals in the anarchic island prison. But he doesn’t do it because he’s a good American. No, he’s a criminal, and they have to infect him with a poison or virus or some such that will kill him in 24 hours if he doesn’t succeed.

4. In Escape from L.A. the story s pretty much the same. But this movie has Steve Buscemi in it too, and that makes it just as cool. He surfs, plays basketball, hang glides, and does everything else that people thought was cool in the early ‘90s. And at the end, Snake plunges the world into a new dark age the likes of which would make Tyler Durden jealous. But the real lesson of the Escape movies is that only Kurt Russell could play a character cool enough to inspire Snake from the Metal Gear Solid video game series. And just in case you weren’t sure he was the inspiration, with the first name Snake and the love of nicotine and the eye patch on a certain Snake, he goes by the name “Plisskin” throughout most of Sons of Liberty.

5. Hey, he’s been nailing Goldie Hawn for like 20 years. OK, that was a little crass, but he’s a good family man that puts his priorities straight. That’s the only reason he’s not an A-list actor.

6. In Tombstone he plays Wyatt Earp. How cool is that? And in Backdraft he puts out fires. The real point is that, despite co-starring with Val Kilmer, a Baldwin, De Niro, and others, the only person he ever plays second fiddle to is Tom Cruise, and I didn’t understand that movie at all.

7. In Stargate, as a colonel, he kills Egyptian gods. How cool is it when he teleports half that guy while keeping the other half of him right there? And when he teleports the atomic weapon to kill Ra?

8. In Soldier he says this singularly delicious line: “I’m going to kill them all, sir.” And he makes good on that promise, using everything from a knife in the eye to a rocket launcher to, eventually, his bare hands. Not only that, but he carries this whole sci-fi western story with just a handful of lines and superb physical acting with only his face, particularly his eyes that my wife likes so much. I think if she cheated on me with him, I wouldn’t be mad. Just jealous. Now that this awkward moment is over, let’s move on. :) [Is he joking?]

9. In Breakdown and Unlawful Entry, J.T. Walsh and Ray Liotta (respectively) learn one very valuable life lesson the hard way: don’t mess with Kurt Russell’s woman. You will die.

10. Miracle shows us that not only can he kill people like no one else can, but he can also coach the world’s worst hockey team into being the world’s best.

11. Dark Blue has Mr. Russell brutalizing criminals and drinking on the job. . . . Well, maybe that’s not entirely cool, but he owns up to it in the end after arresting one of the guys who killed his partner and witnessing the brutal cinder block murder of the other one.

12. In Tango & Cash, Kurt Russell is a freakin’ super-cop, and we’re pretty sure he’s going to nail a certain “desperate housewife” in the end. And Stallone doesn’t do too bad either.

13. Kevin Costner co-stars in 3000 Miles to Graceland, and he certainly goes out with a bang. But Costner doesn’t get to bang Courtney Cox in the movie . . . and certainly not twice. That was a little crass again, wasn’t it?

14. He lands a plane in Executive Decision. But the cool thing is he actually knows how to do that (and Steven Segall (sp?) dies in the first ten minutes). Plus, he’s an expert on terrorism.

15. My mom loves him in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. She doesn’t like Chuck Norris at all. And we all loved him as the adult Copper in The Fox and the Hound.

Anyway, the point is, Kurt Russell is much cooler than Chuck Norris, and every one of those movies is worth watching. Well, Unlawful Entry might not be the greatest (unless you like to be creeped out by Ray Liotta), but the rest of them are. And I recently watched Used Cars as well, and if you want to see a movie with a stereotypical token black person, that’s the one. Also, after reviewing our movies, it turns out that only twelve of them have Kurt Russell while fifty do not. I guess I need to complete the Kurt Russell collection and get rid of all the rest to get it from 19% to 100%. Maybe I could be persuaded to hold on to the LotR and Star Wars movies though.

No comments:

Post a Comment