Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 5 Films Featuring Ryan Reynolds






This list is in no particular order. These are just some of my favorite films that Ryan Reynolds has been in over the years that I enjoyed either based solely on his performance or it was just a generally well made and enjoyable film that he happened to part of in a supporting capacity.

Ryan Reynolds acting career is to film as paint is to a child's drawing...all over the place. That is not to say it is all over the place in a bad way but more to the point is that he is still struggling to find the perfect balance. He has done horror (Amityville Horror), slapstick (Van Wilder), dramas (Adventureland) and superheroes (Wolverine) but none of those help define him as an actor (or help explain his tendency to play in crap). Most of the time he hits it out of the park even if the film he is in is complete shit (Blade Trinity) but I got the sneaking suspicion that many movie goers don't know what to expect from the man from film to film. Is he going to be funny? Is he going to be bad ass? Is he going to be funny and bad ass? That being said, I still enjoy his films quite a lot and find that he has an uncanny knack for mixing comedy with multiple other genres and these are five of my favorites with him.

1.




Waiting is one of those movies you only truly appreciate if you have worked in the service industry. If you are one of the millions of people that have only ever been on the side of the table ordering the food then you might find the movie to be overly childish and disgusting on more than one occasion. But beyond just the hook of the film you get a capable ensemble cast led by every one's favorite funny man Ryan Reynolds. The character he plays was made for him, a guy that only gets thrills anymore by sleeping with underage girls and loves to torment any new employees by introducing them to the penis game. I know Van Wilder is probably the fan favorite straight up Reynolds comedy but I have to go with this one as my personal favorite.



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2.




If anyone ever needed proof that this man has some acting chops beyond his comical legacy then you need look no further than Buried. While the film itself came and went with little to no recognition, that doesn't stop it from being a rather amazing film with a remarkable performance from Reynolds who is the only actor on screen the entire movie. If I had to give one example for why I am not too worried about him as The Green Lantern it would have to be this. His ability to combine sly comical moments with extreme bouts of intense drama is key to the success of Buried. I just wish more people would have given it a chance but who knows, perhaps it will catch on later in his career as one of those hidden gems. Regardless of its fate though it is probably his most powerful on screen performance to date and I dare you to not feel for the guy by the time it is all over.



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3.




Ryan Reynolds has done his fair share of cliche romantic comedies over the years  (The Proposal, Definitely Maybe) and while he was usually the best thing about those films it was never enough to ever make me truly love them. However, with Just Friends it was a match made in heaven where Reynolds was surrounded by all manner of wackiness as he tried to win over his best friend from high school. This is the romantic comedy I want to see him in. The cast all brought their A-game and delivered some extremely memorable scenes from Anna Faris giving one of her funniest performances ever, "Was I just punk'd!?!...where's Ashton!" to Julie Hagerty as Reynolds clueless mom, "Joyce...hello, Joyce!". Reynolds himself provides most of the laughs though with his portrayal of a man frustrated by constantly being in the "friend zone". I just love that melt down he has in the car and when he plays hockey with some local kids for real. This film is just chock full of many classic and hilarious moments.



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4.




This is just such a good movie from all perspectives. The relationship between Jeff Daniels and Emma Stone was marvelous and the personal journeys they embark on with each other were just handled so darn well that it was a crime no one really took notice of it. And Reynolds as Captain Excellent was just icing on the cake. He really didn't have much impact on the film in any real meaningful way but his presence certainly helped give some much needed humor to the proceedings. You really cannot go wrong with this film, you get some great performances and a really heartfelt and touching story that ends on a mostly positive note. Plus you get to see Ryan Reynolds to a horribly cheesy Superman impression throughout it.



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5.




Divided into three separate but connected parts of a greater story this is one of the very few films that Reynolds used to stray far far away from his comedic roots to try on a mystery thriller for a change...and it worked...somewhat. While I cannot in good conscience fully endorse the film due to it's cryptic and not-to-clear plottings (If you get it though you will probably love it), I can however say without a doubt that Reynolds nails each of his three different character types perfectly. So much so that I think his performance across all three stories is what helps keep the wobbly story together and most importantly keeps you watching. This is one experimental role that worked out beautifully for the man and is yet another shining example of his range as an actor.



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