Sunday, May 13, 2012

Top 5 Films Featuring Michelle Pfeiffer







This list is in no particular order. These are just some of my favorite films that Michelle Pfeiffer, the actress and one of the stars of the new film Dark Shadows, has been in over the years that I enjoyed either based solely on her performance or it was just a generally well made and enjoyable film that she happened to part of in a supporting capacity.

Michelle Pfeiffer has had a very interesting career. She is a fairly well known actress, has played in some reasonably successful and large scale films but has never attained what I would call triple "A" status in Hollywood. Although she has never stopped working, there would be pockets of time where it would seem as though she had just disappeared from the acting world, but then all of a sudden she shows up in a handful of movies out of nowhere. I have always liked her as an actress and a person, she just always seemed to have this glow about her, I suppose the word radiant would be more appropriate. The interesting part is that if I had to guess I would say she has never reached further in her career than she has only because I don't believe her to be an actor who does what she does for the fame or popularity. She just so happens to love acting and also be very good at it. It takes a true talent in this day and age to not only stay acting as long as she has but too also stay relevant in the acting world, but she has done both admirably. While I enjoy just about everything I see her in, these following films would have to be my own personal favorites of hers.

1.




When most people think of this movie their thoughts almost always wander to Jack Nicholson and for good reason, he does play the devil after all. But the three actresses who play the title characters (i.e. the witches) also did a fantastic job. While both Cher and Susan Sarandon did great jobs, I have always been a bigger fan of Michelle Pfeiffer in general so she of course is my favorite of the three. But this is very much an ensemble movie with the three of them playing good friends who discover they have magical powers when they decide to conjure up the ideal man who just so happens to resemble Mr. Nicholson. Pfeiffer definitely wins out though as the timid and meek Sukie, this is one of those roles where the warmth and compassion of the actor shines through into the character they are portraying and because of that not only did I find her to be my favorite of the three witches, but this was also the beginning of my love for her as an actress. By far though without a doubt, the scene stealing Nicholson takes the honors as the real reason to see the film. That final showdown between him and the girls...amazing.




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2.




One of her most recent films also so happens to be one of my favorite fantasy movies of the past decade. It came out in a summer where it was quickly dismissed as being sort of an unfocused mess and hindered by a studio that had no idea how to market it correctly. Even actually watching the film it takes a good half hour or so before it finds its footing, but once it does it turns into one of the more magical films I had seen a quite a while. It also featured a large ensemble cast but this time it was Pfeiffer who won me over as yet another role where she plays a witch, but a bad one this time around. Her talents once again are in top form as she takes that sweet and innocent nature she is known for and turns it on its head to become a very deceptive and cruel creature, and she does it beautifully. When trying to recommend this film to people I often site The Princess Bride as a close comparison which I still stand by to this day. If you are looking for a fun filled fantasy with some good humor and dark tendencies, then I suggest giving Stardust a try, you might just like it.



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3.




Michelle Pfeiffer was so f**king skinny in this! We are talking crack-whore skinny here which strangely enough totally fit her part as the legendary Tony Montana's cracked out wife. She played the part of the pampered drug lord queen bitch to perfection, even when she actually starts to like Tony she almost seems disgusted by it which is just kind of awesome. She also has some of the best lines in the film with my personal fave being directed at Tony for his liberal use of the F-word, "Can't you stop saying F**k all the time?! It's so boring", which is only topped by Tony's rebuttal, "You know what? You're boring.". This movie is famous mostly for Al Pacino's role as the title character but Michelle Pfeiffer, just like any good wife of a drug lord, is there to support her man with a solid performance in one of her very first films. As for the film itself? I shouldn't have to answer that question now should I?



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4.




This isn't the best super hero movie ever made nor the best Tim Burton movie ever made, but it is the best Tim Burton super hero movie in my opinion. The 1989 Batman is a classic, no argument there, but this 1992 follow up from Burton is the only one of the two that actually FEELS like a Tim Burton movie to me. This time around the Joker wasn't there to steal the show from Batman, instead we got two villains (which was novel and cool for the time), the Penguin with Danny DeVito in a role he seemed almost tailor made for and of course Catwoman played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She is to this day my favorite Catwoman, she was sexy, dangerous and just kinda cool. After winning the role by default once Warren Beatty knocked up Annette Bening (who was the front runner), she took the world by storm and ended up being just about the best thing about that movie in the end. To this day I still wish we would have gotten that stand-alone Catwoman movie with her in it (don't even mention that Halle Berry atrocity), but regardless, Michelle has never looked better than she did in that skin tight leather outfit and I can't imagine anyone else in that role besides her anymore.




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5.




The soundtrack to this mid 80s curiosity is a tragedy in every sense of the word. No other film from that era better exemplifies the horrors of a synthesized soundtrack than Ladyhawke's atrocious score. That being said though, the film itself is rather quite good and what I consider an almost forgotten treasure by this point. If you are fond of Fairytales and forbidden romances then this is the movie for you. Starring an extremely young Matthew Broderick and a rather stoic performance from Rutger Hauer in a film about a man who must live his nights as a wolf and the woman he loves who must live her days as a hawk for all eternity, "Always together but forever apart", this is a tragic romance in the purest sense. Ladyhawke is ultimately a film that succeeds despite all its faults based on the strength of its director (Richard Donner) and its actors. Michelle was of course as fetching as ever as the elusive Isabel which only helped sell the idea of a woman who was so beautiful that she could invoke such desire and hatred from other men that would do anything to have her. By far not the best film of hers on this list but it is one of the more interesting films she has ever done.




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