Albert Brooks, who is turning 70 today, is a man of many talents and achievements. He has been a successful comedian, who received a Grammy nomination for his 1975 album A Star is Bought. He has written, directed, and starred in several critically successful films, such as Lost in America, Defending Your Life, and Mother. He has also given critically praised acting performances in films like Broadcast News (for which he was Oscar-nominated) and Drive.
What many people will recognize Brooks for, though, is his work as a voice actor. He has appeared (or rather, been heard) in several episodes of The Simpsons, and was the voice of Jacob the Tiger in Dr. Dolittle and The Businessman in The Little Prince. These roles, however, take a back seat to his work in a pair of Pixar features, where he was the voice of Marlin, a clownfish in search of his son.
Our final four is split into two genres; action and comedy. Today, we’re tackling the former with two of the more memorable action movies not just of the year, but of the decade. Lethal Weapon didn’t invent buddy cop movies. But it sure did shape them. Predator didn’t define a genre, per se. But it mashed up two existing genres in a way that was uncommon at the time. Both movies launched franchises which remain on-going with the help of recent reboots; Lethal Weapon in the form of a TV show and Predator with an upcoming movie. Today, we decide which movie will represent the action genre in the final round.
Today’s match pairs two rising stars against each other at the moments when their careers took shape. Robin Williams and Mel Gibson were among Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men. And they can both trace their A-list status back to the movies they headlined in 1987. Gibson costarred opposite Danny Glover in the buddy-cop movie that defined the genre. And Williams received his first-ever Oscar nomination for playing a zany army DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service during the Vietnam Conflict.
As we move into a new year, it’s a Le Blog tradition to spend the month of January looking back at the movies of the past. Yep, the bracket games are back. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be pairing up movies from thirty years ago to pick the reader’s favorite flick from 1987. I think you will all agree when you see the line-up that it was a pretty solid year with enduring entries in many different genres.
The kids are going to be excited about this one. It’s Willem Dafoe’s birthday! Actually, it’s possible my kids may not be familiar with the 61-year-old actor. But they sure do know birthday girl Selena Gomez! The former Disney Channel star did her time on the popular kiddie show, Wizards of Waverly Place, which still plays in reruns in our living room. Since leaving the show, Gomez has successfully navigated the tricky transition from Disney star to pop star. The actress/singer is celebrating her 24th birthday.