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August 01, 2005

Sir Sean Connery Blasts Hollywood Idiots; Announces Retirement

Good stuff from the man Ian Fleming once slammed as "that Scottish lorry driver." (Before coming around to think Connery was the perfect Bond, going so far as to include a bit of Scottish ancestry in his family tree.)

He's retiring, and he blames Hollywood idiots for this decision:

He said: 'I'm fed up with the idiots . . . the ever-widening gap between people who know how to make movies and the people who green-light the movies.

'I don't say they're all idiots. I'm just saying there's a lot of them that are very good at it [being idiots].

'It would almost need a Mafia-like offer I couldn't refuse to do another movie.'

Ummm, I have a feeling he'll get just such an offer.

A different article on his retirement (can't find it now) noted that Connery still feels no regrets about turning down the role as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. He said, and I'm quoting from memory: "I don't get it. I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it."

He had previously called the script too "tricksy," which is ironic, because that's of course one of Gollum's favorite words.

He turned down LOTR to make the assumedly-non-tricksy League of Extraodinary Gentlemen.

Is it just me is or was XGL more "tricksy" than LOTR?

Anyway, horrendous project choices aside (anyone remember The Avengers? ), he's obviously one of the greats. As Steven Spielberg said, there's only six or seven genuine movie stars in the world, and Sean Connery is one of them.

Or maybe three of them.

It's a shame, though. He blames Hollywood idiots for his retirement, but, let's face it, the man isn't exactly doing himself too many favors in his career. Compare Michael Caine's career -- a bunch of good to great movies, mixed in, of course, with all the dreck films he starred in for the paycheck (as well as the nice location-- he'll pick a film just because it's being shot in the Caribbean, for example) -- to Connery's. How many truly great films has Connery actually been in?

Not too many, unfortunately. Two or three of the Bonds, the well-done Robin & Marian, The Man Who Would Be King, a nice turn in the somewhat disappointing A Bridge Too Far, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and without a doubt The Untouchables.

Maybe The Rock and Highlander if we're being very, very charitable... and then a lot of real stinkers.

No one could blame him for making Zardoz in his post-Bond funk. But then he got some major heat, and he still starred in movies like The Presidio and Medicine Man and Rising Sun. (Who gives a rat's ass about Eddie Sakamoro? I sure don't.)

Come on, Sean. You're the man now, dog. There are lots of idiots in Hollywood, of course; but some people are better about avoiding them.

I suggest you un-retire and just let Kurt Russel pick what movies you'll be in. He seems to know what the hell he's doing, Escape From L.A. notwithstanding.

Thanks to the Fat Kid.

PS: Connery did Jackson a great favor by turning down the Gandalf role. It just wouldn't have worked. Connery simply has too much Captain Kirk in him, and the role is more of a Jean-Luc Picard.

PPS: Added Highlander as a grading-on-the-curve good Connery film.

Personally, I don't like the movie. Connery is always a welcome presence in any film, and he was terrific in Highlander. He's just always, well, Sean Connery.

But the film itself? C'mon. A film about swordfighting should not de-emphasize the actual, you know, sword-play in its climactic fight in favor of lots of sparks shooting here and cool reflections on a wet warehouse floor to there to jazz it up. Dance with the girl that brung ya, for crying out loud.

PPPS: Okay, more nominees for good Connery films.

Dave nominates The Wind and the Lion, which I haven't seen. Also, never saw The Great Train Robbery.

Outland is a movie people still claim is good but I've given it two chances and it's boring. And, for that matter, so was High Noon.

The Name Of the Rose? Okay, it's a classy, intellectual sort of medieval mystery, and yes, I enjoyed it. So it's a good film, but it's not great.

Although it does feature one of the few actually-sexy sex scenes in Hollywood history. Boy, do I wish I was that peasant-girl having my way with Adso...

Wait, I meant that the other way around. That's what I meant.

PPPPS: Monty reminds me of perhaps the worst Connery film ever, First Knight.

This movie is so bad it's actually good. If you have a bunch of smart-alec friends who like taking MST3K digs at a movie, invite them over and watch this piece of shit. There's just so much that's horrible about the movie-- the costumes are straight out of Deep Space Nine, Richard Gere is utterly unconvincing as a swordsman (he has some the stiffest, most awkward sword-swinging I've ever scene), and King Arthur and his Round Table do nothing in the movie except say "Let Lancelot handle it."

Pretty much every meeting of the Round Table is just King Arthur saying "Let's leave this to Lancelot. Okay, meeting over. Anyone want to order some moo goo gai pan? (thick Scottish accent) Or perhapsh shome sheshame chicken?"

BTW, when did Connery decide he wouldn't bother with any accents but his own, precisely? The man used to be able to sound vaguely British (and vaguely Irish, in Darby O'Gill and the Little People), but then decided he was too old and too rich to speak in anything but a burr.

It's a good burr, don't get me wrong. The highlight of XGL was Connery saying, "Well that wasshh naughty." But once in while maybe he might want to consider a role playing an American, where his Shhhufferin' Shhhuckatashhhh burr would be, umm, bad.

If he's wondering why he isn't offered better scripts, well... I wouldn't knock this, but he seems to be picking them according to the paycheck, and that doesn't necessarily translate to quality.

And there aren't too many scripts written for a 77 year old male romantic/action lead, and even fewer where the lead can speak in a Scottish burr and get away with it.

At some point, someone's going to want to make a disaster movie and cast Sir Sean as the President of the United States, and he's still going to insist on speaking in that thick Scottish burr. And I guess we'll all play along, because hey, it's Sean Connery, but really, the man speaks English; it's not as if he's Jean-Claude Van Damme trying to speak in a language not his own. If I can manage a passable Sir Bedevere, he can speaka de American on occasion.


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posted by Ace at 03:40 PM

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