Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Editorial: Top 8 Robert Downey, Jr. Films

Robert Downey, Jr. is an actor who has seen every aspect of Hollywood from being on the D-list all the way to a comeback to A-list where he belongs. Downey started his career a few decades ago as a child and grew more fame in 80's appearing as a distant "Brat Pack" member. He started to take a more serious tone in the early 90's with academy recognition. Although, his career hit a wall in mid 90's to early 00's with multiple personal problems that affected his career also. He fought to gain back that recognition he once had he overly succeeded at breaking though the wall. Here are his best works to date and notice that all appear after his comeback except one.

8.  Weird Science (1985)

This is back when Robert was still a kid doing the bully roles he is oh so good at. He was the perfect bully as Ian in Weird Science to Michael Anthony Hall and IIan Mitchell-Smith. He was funny and cool and a d-bag at same time. Even though his role was small and before his break-through he was memorable. This is the film that opened up the world to Robert Downey Jr.

7. A Scanner Darkly (2006) 

Here is another film that Downey was a supporting cast member and stole the show in the end. His character James Barris is really great at showing how he can be manipulative of others and not show it easily, while still being funny and personable. He has a scene where he buys a bike and that one scene is maybe the most memorable and funniest. If your a fan of Downey doing his whole rants and talking fast then this film is for you. 

6.  Sherlock Holmes (2009) 

Sherlock Holmes is Robert Downey Jr. plain and simple. This was not the Sherlock you have read for decades and always thought he was brilliant and without good humor or likability. This interpretation is brilliant with fantastic humor and he is lovable to all. How could Watson ever want to quit the team? The accent is dead on and Downey really does acting that isn't in his comfort zone. 

5. The Avengers (2012)

I know everyone is shocked that the 3rd highest grossing film of all-time and biggest nerd/geek movie ever is number 5 on the list. Here me out first on why this must be. Downey was a huge factor going into this film, even though he is a big part of it he isn't the biggest shining one. Bruce Banner stole the show and it was his time to shine. Tony had his moment a few years back. Stark was on his A-game the entire film and proved he was just as big a leader as Captain America. This is still the same Stark we saw in first Iron man (just a little more grown up) but still noteworthy to list in top 5 and for sure the top best of the year. 

You must see what the Top 4 Robert Downey, Jr. films are to be satisfied with the list

4. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005) 

Behold, the comeback of Robert Downey, Jr. . This film was written perfectly for him to show the world he can still do greatness. Not only is this film one of his funniest, it is also very him. Harry Lockhart is a great example of the humorous side that is in his core. One of the funniest black comedies that starred the funniest black comedy actors and it gave another actor a return (short one, sorry Val), but to me this film was the one that put him back on the map and proved to studios and directors he deserves a return. 

3. Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac is one of my favorite films of all-time and I watch it every time it's on and I have to watch at least once a year. That fact does not make me place this film at the top of my list, it's the screen presences of Downey as investigative journalist Paul Avery. Avery was a phenomenal step for Downey to show his drama side and retain the humor that is him. I think in another life, he would have been a great journalist because of his likability and determination, yet having that edge to him that makes him mysterious and conniving. 

2. Tropic Thunder (2008) 

Like nothing he has ever done before. Robert Downey Jr. is black. I, like many other, thought it would fail miserably having him play a white australian playing a black soldier in vietnam era. Brilliant vision set out by Robert Downey. You could watch the film over and over again and laugh every second he is on film as Kirk Lazarus. This film tested everything he had in him and his status in hollywood. He pulled everything off remarkable without fault anywhere. Never has anyone had the balls to do this controversial acting before besides C. Thomas Howell…Well that didn't work well. This time is was pulled off beautifully and will go down in history as one of his best. 

1. Iron Man (2008) 

Tony Stark is Iron Man. Robert Downey, Jr. is Tony Stark. See how that works out. I remember covering the casting news when they were announcing who was screen testing for Tony Stark and Robert popped up in photos leaving it sporting a nice Tony-style goatee. I thought how could this work out with him being Tony Stark/Iron Man. Well he pulled it off absolutely beautiful in every aspect of a billionare-playboy philanthropist by being a "millionaire playboy philanthropist in real life. Robert was able to incorporate himself fully into making Tony Stark just what he is. There is no one else here able to play him the correct way like Robert. Even after a few films that brought him to the limelight in the few years before this one, Iron Man brought him front and center and blinded him. He became a blockbuster action star and with great timing in his life. Like I said Robert Downey, Jr. is back. 

Benjamin Myers 

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