Director and Actor of awesomeness.
And I know what you’re thinking already…”NOTHING!”
That may be true, unless you look at it from my perspective. I think they’re both awesome. Yes, despite Mr. Reeves being one of the worst actors of our generation (sorry, Keanu).
The idea for this post was sparked by my viewing of Danny Boyle’s latest film, “Trance”. I watch quite a few films, I will admit, but as the years go on I find myself less and less impressed on the whole. This is obviously due to my age. I mature (slowly, granted, but it is inevitable) and as such what amazes me are no longer the special effects-laden action-fests, but the more engaging marvels of storytelling. And don’t get me wrong, I still love the Hollywood blockbusters, but I remember a time when I came out of a cinema with my jaw on the floor. I don’t believe the Hollywood blockbuster has gotten any worse, in fact I think if anything it’s gotten better, but I’ve seen it all before and I need something more than cool graphics and a high body count.
I used to read reviews that harped on about bad character development and a lack of emotion and think “so what?” But now those are the things I notice if they’re not present.
And now, typically, I realise I have gone totally off-subject, on a tangent. So lets get back to the title of the post. To do that I’m going to list Danny Boyle’s filmography with my one-sentence review (this does not include shorts or anything made for television):
Shallow Grave (1994): A lovely dark film about greed and murder, the story explores how money can come between friends.
Trainspotting (1996): The film that put Danny on the map, with drug use, under-age sex and Scottish accents.
A Life Less Ordinary (1997): Yes, he directed this. I’m not the greatest fan of love stories, but this was a breath of fresh air with its foul-mouthed angels and atypical romance.
The Beach (2000): A letdown to many, but not me. One of my favourite films of all time, it makes you want to go through it all for real, the good times and the bad.
28 Days Later… (2002): Reuniting with Alex Garland (the guy who wrote The Beach), this is one of the best horror films ever made and arguably the instigator of the resurgence of zombie films.
Millions (2004): The only feature film from Danny I’ve not seen, it was still well-received and sounds kind of like a kids version of Shallow Grave.
Sunshine (2007): Danny’s foray into science fiction. Didn’t get great reviews, but I still enjoyed it and the effort put in clearly shows.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008): The big Oscar winner about the heart-warming triumph of perseverance.
127 Hours (2010): The small indie film, showing James Franco flexing his acting muscles in the true story of a man cutting off his own arm with a pen-knife. Only Danny could make a 90-minute plus film about that, and make it glued-to-your-seat stuff.
Trance (2013): Danny’s latest is a riveting thriller, expertly unfolding a story in ways you don’t see coming.
Now don’t worry, I won’t do the same with Keanu’s filmography because it would take me ages to list everything he’s been in, let alone write even a one sentence review. But a few notable mentions would be Bill & Ted, Feeling Minnesota, Point Break, Dracula, Speed, Devil’s Advocate, Henry’s Crime, A Walk in the Clouds and of course The Matrix.
So what does Danny and Keanu have in common? Well, say what you will about Keanu, but they both have a go at everything. Science fiction, horror, comedy, gritty drama, thrillers… Both have done it all, neither afraid to tackle something new, and thanks to their efforts we have some amazing films that simply wouldn’t be the same without them.
And of course there are other actors and directors who push themselves into and through various genres, but I find myself consistently amazed by Danny’s work. And if I were an actor (my pipe dream) I would want to have Keanu’s film history because he really has done everything; played every kind of role that I would want to play, been in every film I would want to be in.
Now look at someone like Scorsese. Great director, yes, but he doesn’t really stray from his genre. What could he do with a space war, I wonder? Or what if Tim Burton (and I love Tim Burton), but what if he did an edgy, gritty thriller?
Something to think about, hey?
But I think there’s only one way I can end this blog post, and that is to suggest a petition to get Keanu Reeves to star in a gritty mystery-thriller set within the human colony on future Mars, directed by Danny Boyle.
And for the record (to redeem myself in Keanu’s eyes) as far as acting goes, lets be fair, he was pretty awesome in Devil’s Advocate.
47 Ronin (Reeves’ latest)
Trance (Boyle’s most recent)
Check out Danny Boyle and Keanu Reeves at IMDb for their full (and very impressive) filmographies.