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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Pick Six- Ryan Reynolds


Pick Six- Ryan Reynolds

I have decided to start a new article I hope to continue, called Pick Six, where I pick my favorite six movies by any given actor, in no particular order (on occasion it might be six casting ideas, directors, etc.). With my review of Safe House just posted, I figured I would start with Ryan Reynolds. This is a guy I have followed since his days on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place and who is continuing to prove to be a very capable actor. He's not just the guy we can go to for a bit of sarcasm and a laugh anymore. 

Directed by: Rodrigo Cort├ęs, Rated: R, 95 minutes

Starting off the list, and by far my favorite Ryan Reynolds movie, is Buried (past review here), the 2010 underrated gem that shows how great Reynolds can be and that he's actually a damn good actor. Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, an American contractor working in Iraq who is captured and buried alive inside a wood coffin. Buried is one of the most suspenseful movies I have seen and makes for the most claustrophobic film in recent memory. When Reynolds is the only actor on screen for 90 minutes, a lot of faith needs to be put in his abilities as an actor. Luckily, he completely delivers. Buried also features incredible camerawork with angles and tricks that leave you baffled as to how they made it work. One of the best movies of 2010.

Directed by: Rob McKittrick, Rated: R, 94 minutes

Waiting is one of the best movies to accurately depict the life of working in a restaurant and the struggles to get through each day. Reynolds plays Monty, an experience waiter at Shennaniganz, a TGIF/Bennigans knock off. The film follows Monty and the rest of the staff as they introduce a new member, Mitch, to the team and the "dark" underbelly of a restaurant where no one gives a damn. If there is any film on this list that Reynolds fits best, it's Monty. He's completely believable as the sarcastic, fake-nice lead waiter who's more than okay with going nowhere in life. He's found his niche and he's willing to spend the rest of his life in it. Hilarious and raunchy as hell, with one hell of a cast, Waiting is worth a watch if you haven't seen it already. 

Directed by: John August, Rated: R, 100 minutes

The Nines is probably the one movie on this list that no one has heard of. But, it's also the most unique film on this list. It's one of Reynolds' first attempts at a true dramatic role and, in the case of The Nines, he actually plays three different characters. The film is rather difficult to explain without giving too much away, but it reminds me a bit of Memento and even Magnolia. While the film isn't as amazing as the two I just mentioned, it's still incredibly unique. It's a movie that's all about the performances, and; Reynolds leads a great cast. Directed by longtime Tim Burton collaborator John August, The Nines is the perfect blend of drama, curiosity, and just the right amount of weird. 

Directed by: Walt Becker, Rated: R, 92 minutes

It's hard to mention Ryan Reynolds without thinking of National Lampoon's Van Wilder. Sure, the film isn't the greatest and it hasn't necessarily aged as well as you'd think, but it's the breakout role for Reynolds. Without it, we would probably be seeing a lot less of him. Reynolds plays the title character, another slacker perfectly okay in his niche, who throws parties for anyone, anywhere, simply because he can. He falls in love with a girl (Tara Reid when she used to be hot) and then wonders if he has been putting off graduating way too long. Van Wilder is certainly not the most profound or even well-guided comedies, but it's a nice bookend to the raunchy comedies of the late 90s. 

Directed by: Greg Mottola, Rated: R, 107 minutes

Adventureland sees Reynolds playing a very small, supporting role as Mike, an employee at the Adventureland theme park. The film itself is a coming-of-age story based off of director Greg Mottola's real life experiences of growing up in the late 80s and working in a job he could care less about. Again, Reynolds plays the guy who's simply settled with his existence and gives advice to the seasonal employees who come and go with each summer, while he lingers around. Adventureland is a very funny movie with a lot of heart but suffers from the fact it can't quite decide on what genre to stick in. Jesse Eisenberg leads a well rounded cast (minus the ugly and talent-less Kristen Stewart) that also features SNL vets, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as the husband and wife owners of Adventureland. 

Directed by: Marcos Siega, Rated: PG-13, 87 minutes

Chaos Theory is a rather unusual movie and an underrated gem. Reynolds plays Frank Allen, an organizational expert who helps others get their shit together and function better in their day-to-day lives. When he decides, out of the blue, to stop being so strict with his scheduling, habits, and note cards; Frank's life spirals out of control in glorious fashion. He learns the value of love and friendship and, in the chaos that ensues, Frank realizes that order and organization are not always the keys to a good life. Reynolds (plus a beard this time) fits the role of Frank brilliantly, bringing his charisma and physical comedy to an otherwise, mundane dramedy. It's seeing the wound up, over-controlling Frank lose all control that makes Chaos Theory entertaining to watch. 

Ryan Reynolds Rundown:
I have reviewed:

Average Rating: 6.38/10

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At July 8, 2012 at 7:33 AM , Blogger Hannah M said...

Fan of Chaos Theory here! I loved Reynolds in that, as well as in Buried. The first thing I ever saw him in was the completely-fluffy-but-Reynolds-is-hella-fun heist movie Foolproof, and I've been watching his career ever since. Although I don't tend to like the comedies he chooses (it's a style thing) I always like him in them. Nice blog!

At July 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, he's been on my radar for a very long time and I'm glad to see him branching out and actually being pretty damn good at everything. I don't know if he's the kind of guy who will ever get an Oscar, but he's certainly getting better and better and I can't wait to see what else he does. Thanks for stopping by!

At July 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM , Blogger Ryan McNeely said...

I've had a bit of a man-crush on Reynolds since the 2 Guys & a Girl days too. I'm glad to finally know someone else who has already heard of The Nines! That really surprised me when I saw it, as it was the first dramatic thing I had seen him in. Melissa McCarthy and Hope Davis are both great in that movie too. I'm cautiously optimistic about what his Highlander remake will be like.
@Hannah, good call on Foolproof. I love heist movies, and this one is always a good way to pass an hour and a half.

At July 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I'm glad someone else besides me has seen The Nines too! I remember when it first came out and I was working at Blockbuster Video. I'd try to recommend it to other employees and customers that would come in, but no one seemed to care enough to give it a shot. I don't think people understood that Reynolds could do more than just comedy. Plus, it's one of those movies that makes you think, which I know (sadly) turns too many people away.

At July 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to see mention of Buried. It's too bad that so many people missed out on that one because as you said, it really was one of 2010's best films. Great movie.

At July 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, it was incredibly underrated. Performance wise and technically it's amazing. Thanks for commenting!


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