Sunday, March 11, 2007

Did the Butler FINALLY do it?

This weekend's release of 300, Zack Snyder's cinematic "translation" (to use Robert Rodriguez's term) of Frank Miller's well-known graphic novel has lots of people very excited, not the least of all comic book fans. I happen to be one of those fans. I was very much looking forward to the film and, having just seen it, it fulfilled all of my expectations. There is, however, another reason why this film's release, and all of the hype surrounding it, pleases me. It's because I am confident it will accomplish something that I've been hoping will happen for a long time: it will turn Gerard Butler into a star.

For those who may not know, Gerry (as he prefers to be called) is the 38-year-old Scottish actor who plays the role of Spartan King Leonides with conviction, authority and gravitas. He's someone whose career I have been following for several years now and despite the fact that I think he has everything a fellow would need to become an enormosuly successful leading man and A-list movie star (looks, talent, charisma), the level of fame and celebrity available to the likes of Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale seems to have eluded him... hopefully until now.

Though I didn't realize it until years later, the first time I saw Butler was in a minor role in the film Her Majesty Mrs. Brown. He wasn't particularly memorable in it, but then it's hard to be when you're working across from Judi Dench and Billy Connelly. Apparently he also appeared briefly in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Kind of funny given that years later Butler's name would be one among dozens of potential successors to Brosnan (though, quite frankly, all it seems an actor needs nowadays to be considered a possible Bond is a penis).

To this day, though, the first time I really consider "seeing" Gerry Butler in a movie was in Wes Craven's Dracula 2000 where he played the titular vampire. The film itself, to use tremendous understatement, is certainly no masterpiece but does have some interesting ideas, a few halfway decent scenes and boasts an effective Van Helsing in the form of veteran actor Christopher Plummer. The biggest impression left on me when I first saw it, though, was by Butler himself. I vividly remember Dracula making his entrance on screen and thinking to myself "Whoa! Who is THAT?" First of all, the man (and I'm secure enough in my sexuality that I can say this) is gorgeous. Secondly, he had remarkable presence. Over the course of the film, Dracula does very little talking and yet Butler still commands the screen whenever he's on it. When he does speak it's in a rather sinister whisper, giving him far more strength and power than if he were waving his arms about and shouting angrily. Despite the massive shortcomings of the film, I think Butler's interpretation of the character is good enough to deserve a place beside such great screen Draculas as Lugosi, Lee, Langella and Oldman. It's amazing that a film which is so overblown and corny can have an element of such subtlety and dignity. I made it a point to remember Butler's name because I was convinced this guy was going places (I thought the same thing of Natalie Portman when I saw her in The Professional).

Over the next few years Butler's face would pop up on occasion, either playing a supporting role in a rather forgettable movie (Reign of Fire, Timeline or the Lara Croft sequel) or a prominent role in a made-for-TV mini-series (BBC's The Jury or TNT's Attila). When it was announced that he would be playing the Phantom of the Opera in the big screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular stage musical, I was one of the few people who was actually pleased. At the very least, I knew that he could act the part and would have the requisite amount of menace, sympathy and sexiness. I was also hopeful that it might finally lift his career to the next level, but unfortunately it did not happen. If anything, it probably hurt him. Butler's limitations as a singer did not endear him to many "phans" and, as one critic astutley observed, he had the un-enviable job of being "the guy who's not Michael Crawford." After the film's upsetting reception I realized I was going to have to wait a little longer for Butler to get the attention I felt he deserved... although during this time Butler was making the rounds of the talk-show circuit (Leno, Ferguson, Ellen, etc) demonstrating his immense charm and ease and, through the process, winning a few female fans. That sexy Scottish accent I'm sure didn't hurt him either.

Also during this time, Butler managed to show up in a couple very good, though perhaps not hugely successful, indie movies such as The Game Of Their Lives (also known as The Miracle Match), a charming little film about one of the great upsets in sports history. There was also Dear Frankie, a tale about a deaf boy (Jack mcElhone) living with his mother (Emily Mortimer) who has told him some rather rosy untruths about his father, a terribly abusive man from whom she is feeling. Butler plays a character known only as "the stranger" that she hires to pretend to be his father. In spite of how it sounds, it's actually a very charming, very sweet (though not maudlin) film and a film that Butler should be proud of, despite the fact it wasn't going to be turning him into a "above-the-title" actor.

Now, with 300, Gerry finally lands his first "real" leading role in a high-concept Hollywood blockbuster (in which he performs admirably well) and I think it's high time. Perhaps from now on, whenever the name "Gerard Butler" is mentioned, the typical response from people will no longer be: "Who?"


Pam Shirkey said...

Wonderful actor in a wonderful movie. I couldn't be happier for Gerry and am eager to see him next in Butterfly on a Wheel with Pierce Brosnan and P.S. I Love You with Hilary Swank.

Wyndham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Gerard Butler arrived a long time ago, it's just the right Hollywood people weren't looking.
Barb Tutino

Damian said...

He is indeed a wonderful actor, pam. I'm looking forward to all the films you mentioned and I also heard a rumor that he is being considered for a big-screen adaptation of The Watchmen. Now that's another film I'd be really excited to see.

You're right, barbara. Gerry "arrived" a long time ago. It's just taken a lot of Hollywood people a long time to really notice. In this business "money talks and bulls**t walks" and the fact that 300 took in $70 million it's opening weekend is gonna have ALL Hollywood execs sitting up and taking notice of Mr. Butler.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Aston Villa rode their luck at Hull City where an 88-minute own goal from Kamil Zayatte saw them leapfrog three points clear of Arsenal and into fourth place in the Premier League wow gold with a 1-0 win.

Villa had to survive Hull penalty appeals for a handball against Ashley Young in time added on, television replays showing that referee Steve Bennett wow gold correctly rejected the claims after consulting a linesman.

Bennett had been involved in controversy after just five minutes when American goalkeeper Brad Friedel looked to have handed Hull the initiative and threaten Villa's return to the Champions League qualifying wow gold zone.

Friedel spilled wow gold the ball under pressure from Nick Barmby and stand-in right-back Nigel Reo-Coker turned it into his own net as he attempted to wow gold clear.

But Bennett cut short wow gold celebrations at the KC Stadium -- and let Friedel off the hook -- when he ruled out the score for an apparent infringement by Barmby.

Zayatte's intervention from a Young cross bound for wow gold Gabriel Agbonlahor then saw Villa leapfrog Arsenal and draw level with Manchester United on 38 points -- seven adrift of leaders Liverpool and four wow gold behind Chelsea.

Stung by an on-pitch dressing down wow gold by manager Phil Brown at Manchester City last week, Hull showed five changes and a vastly improved performance.

Promoted Hull were looking for only their second win in 11 games while wow gold Villa arrived unbeaten in seven and it looked to be heading for a goalless draw when the home side suffered a cruel late blow.

Anonymous said...

British tennis ace Andy wow po Murray can expect a massive income wow or injection after joining the same wow po management group that handles the likes wow or of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, wow geld partnered with CAA Sports, signed world number four LOTR Gold Murray and doubles-playing brother Jamie for representation across all LOTR Gold their on and off court activity from LOTR gold March 2009.

"Jamie and I buy Warhammer gold/a> feel we've made big progress in the last couple of years on court," Warhammer gold 21-year-old 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Andy said on his Web site.

"It's important that Warhammer gold we have the very best team around us to take care of business while buy Warhammer gold we concentrate 100% on our tennis. Warhammer gold So this is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with buy Warhammer gold Simon Fuller, 19 and CAA Sports.

"We now have an Warhammer gold unbeatable combination of representatives buy Warhammer gold with world-class stature and experience, and Warhammer gold we are really excited by what we can achieve buy Warhammer gold together".

Fuller's company, which Warhammer gold is run from London, New York and LA, wow gold has partnered with CAA Sports, and already represents world of warcraft gold the world No. 3 Novak Djokovic.

American Idol creator Fuller buy wow gold commented: "I am very cheap wow gold excited to be working with Andy and Jamie, wow power leveling two of the brightest British wow powerleveling talents in global sports.

"Their determination dofus kamas to succeed has become a kamas dofus trademark in their game and their progress as professional Lord of the Rings Online Gold sportsmen has taken them to the LOTRO Gold top in world tennis.

"19's innovative LOTR Gold partnership with CAA Sports will provide them fly for fun penya with an unparalleled level of flyff penya global support".

wow power leveling said...

If I were gold für wow a boy again,world of warcraft gold I would practice perseverance wow gold cheap more often,maple meso and never give up a thing because it was or inconvenient. If we want light,Maple Story Account we must conquer darkness. Perseverance can sometimes equal genius in its gold kaufen “There are only two creatures,”cheap maplestory mesos syas a proverb, “who can surmount the pyramids—the eagle and the snail.” If I were a boy again,wow geld I would school myself into a habit of attention;maple mesos I would let nothing come between me and the subject in hand.maple story power leveling I would remember that a good skater never tries to skate in two directions at once.billig wow gold The habit of attention becomes part of our life, if we begain early enough. I often hear grown up people say maple story items“ I could not fix my attention on the sermon or book, although I wished to do so” , wow powerlevelingand the reason is, the habit was not formed in youth. If I were to live my life over again,wow leveling I would pay more attention to the cultivation of the memory. I would strengthen that faculty by every possible means,wow power leveling and on every possible occasion.maplestory powerleveling It takes a little hard work at first

Anonymous said...

It is called the Entropiauniverse ped world. In the Entropia world, Entropia Universe Gold is important. Adventures and social interaction with other participants with Entropia Universe Money. Buy Entropia Universe Gold is a real thing to you. It is also possible to offer users the opportunity of buying and selling cheap Entropiauniverse ped.
It is also can not live without eve isk. Here, for the violence or robbery had been friends apologize in the eve online isk. I request members are on the local increase or decrease in the number of judgments quickly in buy isk. The game has a good excellence is that the cheap eve isk. The other side rather than back into the space station is POS, and buy eve online isk.

Anonymous said...



情趣用品,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,日本AV,寄情築園小遊戲,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,色情遊戲,一葉情貼圖片區,色情網站,色情影片,微風成人, 嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人影片,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,080視訊聊天室,視訊聊天室



Anonymous said...

Now do you worried about that in the game do not had enough aion kina to play the game, now you can not worried, my friend told me a website, in here you can buy a lot aion online kina and only spend a little money, do not hesitate, it was really, in here we had much aion gold, we can sure that you will get the cheap aion kina, quick to come here to buy aion kina.

Now do you worried about that in the game do not had enough Anarchy credits to play the game, now you can not worried, my friend told me a website, in here you can buy a lot Anarchy Online credits and only spend a little money, do not hesitate, it was really, in here we had much Anarchy gold, we can sure that you will get the Anarchy online gold, quick to come here to buy AO credits.

hanly said...

Blu Ray Converter
Convert Blu Ray Mac
Convert Blu Ray to AVI
Convert Blu Ray to DivX
Convert Blu Ray to MKV
Convert Blu Ray to MOV
Convert Blu Ray to MP4
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG2
Convert Blu Ray to MPEG4
Convert Blu Ray to VOB
Convert Blu Ray to WMV
Convert Blu Ray to Xvid
Convert Blu Ray to HD
Convert Blu Ray to HD WMV
Convert Blu Ray to iPod
Convert Blu Ray to PS3
Convert Blu Ray to PSP
Convert Blu Ray to Xbox360