#331. Fraternities

One of the benefits of going to college is the networking that can occur via the conglomeration of like-minded individuals. If the cliques of high school were bad, imagine living in an entire house of these people. Jocks and nerds tend to segregate into their own little social circles, but sometimes they even go so far as to create a fraternity to provide structure to the social construct. Some individuals see these fraternities (and other social clubs) as an opportunity to advance in life. As we saw in The Social Network (2010), the desire to feel included in social societies extends beyond the physical world of Greek life and has transcended into the digital. Still, many of the deepest friendships a guy can form during college can be found in the fraternities associated with the school. This week’s two films examine life in a college fraternity.

                                                 National Lampoon’s Animal HouseNational Lampoon's Animal House
Year: 1978
Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes / 1.82 hours

While there are many different fraternities with a wide variety of different focuses, most Hollywood films tend to put them into two conflicting categories. This is to induce conflict within the main plot of the movie. From jocks vs. nerds to rich vs. poor, the underdogs are always the group pegged as the protagonists of these stories. Of course, in real life, many of these fraternities would get in serious legal trouble for the pranks they pull on the other houses, but perhaps the comedic value of college anarchy and the idolization of the “party hard” lifestyle is what makes them so appealing. If anything, Animal House (1978) is the epitome of the fraternity film, showing how fun sex, alcohol, and rock & roll are when compared to the alternative: actually going to class and earning an education.

Dean Vernon Wormer (John Vernon) is at the end of his rope when it comes to the troublemaking Delta Tau Chi fraternity. Not only do they have abysmal grade point averages, but they have broken many (if not all) of the school’s rules. Since the fraternity was already on probation, Dean Wormer puts them on “double-secret probation” and enlists the help of the superior Omega Theta Pi fraternity to get the Deltas to screw up one more time so their charter can be revoked. Upon learning of their almost impending dissolution after failing a test based off of a fraudulent answer key, the Deltas decide to have a toga party, which ends up involving the Dean’s wife, as well as the Mayor’s daughter. With all the evidence he needs in place, Dean Wormer expels the Deltas from Faber College. Unfortunately, the Deltas have one last stunt they can pull at the homecoming parade.

Revenge of the NerdsRevenge of the Nerds
Year: 1984
Rating: R
Length: 90 minutes / 1.50 hours

As I mentioned earlier, “birds of a feather flock together,” is perhaps the best definition of a fraternity. A group of guys who have similar interests and/or intentions for their college career will tend to congregate in the same place. A fraternity house is merely a convenient way for them to live together, so their curricular and extra-curricular activities are all in the same spot. Of course, with the rise of the Greek system comes competition. While some films manage to cover this type of competition in a child-friendly way (like Monsters University (2013) did), many of them are certainly raunchier, keeping in line with the standard Animal House set in the late 1970’s. Even though competition should be friendly, often there can be severe discrimination and persecution involved, as seen in Revenge of the Nerds (1984).

Due to a fire that destroyed the Alpha Betas’ fraternity house, the jocks have displaced the freshmen in the dorms, leaving incoming freshmen Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert Lowe (Anthony Edwards) in a temporary setup in the gymnasium. To get out of the gym, the computer science majors take the opportunity to rush the school’s fraternities, only to be rejected by all of them. Along with other nerds, Lewis and Gilbert decide to start their own fraternity by fixing up a house on campus. To gain a charter to become official, they ask to become Lambda Lambda Lambdas, which is a predominantly black fraternity. The head of the Tri-Lambs agrees to give them their membership not only due to the persecution he sees the nerds enduring but also due to the resistance they give to the bullying. When the annual Greek Games arrive, it’s up to the Tri-Lambs to prove they’re the best!

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 funny fraternities

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#330. Scholastic Transition of 1962

1962 was an exciting time. From the civil rights movement to the Vietnam War, a lot of change was happening in the world. While there was plenty of turmoil for adults to worry about, most teenagers were worried about school. Whether they were high school students concerned about what to do after graduation or college students ready to live the independent life away from their parents, the transition from academic realms continues to be the big question looming over teenagers even today. Of course, this big question carries with it some smaller questions, many of which revolve around a person’s identity. Who are they? Who do they want to become? While a school can provide the structure to find answers to these questions, the transition is still a life-long milestone. This week’s two films highlight the scholastic transition of 1962.

American GraffitiAmerican Graffiti
Year: 1973
Rating: PG
Length: 110 minutes / 1.83 hours

Graduating high school is often seen as the largest transition of an individual’s life. Up until this point, they’ve had to listen to their parents and do what their teachers asked of them. By the end of their high school careers, they’re on the top of the social ladder and are ready to take on the world. For some, this means going to college to earn a degree and start a career. Others will pursue local jobs to remain close to home and continue the relationships they’ve already developed. Still others might find the allure of a military career and join the armed services. Whatever they choose to do, most people will finally have the freedom and independence to live their life the way they want to. Of course, any way they go about living their lives, they’ll need to build up from almost nothing, having transitioned out of the life of a high school student.

Following four high school graduates on their last day of summer vacation, American Graffiti (1979) reveals how a single night can change someone’s perspective on life. Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss) finds himself searching for a woman he met at a stop light, eventually resorting to a radio DJ to get a message to her before he leaves for college in the morning. Steve Bolander (Ron Howard) is set to go to the same college as Curt, telling his girlfriend, Laurie Henderson (Cindy Williams), they should see other people. He changes his mind after Laurie got in a car accident during a race and promises to stay in town with her instead of going to college. Terry “The Toad” Fields (Charles Martin Smith) and John Milner (Paul Le Mat) cruise the city looking for girls, but eventually get goaded into a race with Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), which leads to the aforementioned car crash.

National Lampoon’s Animal HouseNational Lampoon's Animal House
Year: 1978
Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes / 1.82 hours

College is a fantastic time for introspection and soul searching. In the halls of higher education, an individual can learn who they are and who they want to be. Sometimes these are two different things. Of course, the allure of an independent life within the vast social construct of college can lead an individual to lose all sense of self-control as well. While both experiences have their merit, knowing how to balance them is the challenge of the college freshman. It can be a big leap from living with mom and dad to living with a bunch of guys who party almost every night. While high school had its own cliques and social strata, college takes these constructs and makes them much larger than they were before. We all want to have high social standing in college, but sometimes we’re stuck being on the bottom rung of that society.

Larry Kroger (Thomas Hulce) and Kent Dorfman (Stephen Furst) have just started their first semester at Faber College. Knowing they want to join a fraternity, they attend a party at the Omega Theta Pi house. While they don’t have what it takes to join this fraternity, Kent has a connection to the Delta Tau Chi house, since his brother was a member. Of course, Dean Vernon Wormer (John Vernon) is frustrated with Delta’s continual and abysmal actions on campus and is looking to get the fraternity expelled from the college. While he enlists the Omegas to sabotage the already failing Deltas, the Deltas end up being undeterred and decide to throw a toga party. The conflict between the Deltas and Omegas eventually escalates to physical violence, inspiring John Blutarsky (John Belushi) to give a speech to the frat before they go and cause chaos at the homecoming parade.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 school stories

#329. George Lucas

For a director who has only directed six films in his career, George Lucas is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. Of course, this is also partly because of his film studio, Lucasfilm is responsible for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. When the main draw of a movie is the visuals and sounds involved with immersing the viewer in the world of the film, it’s no wonder that Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound are the great workhorses of Lucasfilm. What is almost ironic about George Lucas’ career is that, while he has written more films than he has directed, many actors and fans find the dialogue in these films to be clunky at best. Love him or hate him, George Lucas has made an indelible mark on film and on pop culture. This week’s two films highlight some of the best products of George Lucas’ career.

Star Wars: A New HopeStar Wars: A New Hope
Year: 1977
Rating: PG
Length: 121 minutes / 2.02 hours

The film that launched a thousand starships, Star Wars (1977) was an amazing, technical feat that we almost take for granted today. Most of the practical effects in this film, both on the ground and in space, have rarely been lived up to. While he didn’t direct The Empire Strikes Back (1980) or Return of the Jedi (1983), he did write each of them to maintain his vision of the Star Wars universe. George was back in the director’s chair for the prequel trilogy, writing and directing all three films in this less-than-exemplary follow-on to the cult hit he had created decades before. Despite not winning any Oscars from the original Star Wars, he was nominated for Best Director and Best Writing for his efforts. Strangely enough, both Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness did not like Lucas’ writing, especially for their dialogue.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) of the Rebel Alliance is trying to get the plans for the Death Star into her compatriots’ hands but is captured in the process. Fortunately, her droids manage to track down Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), who charters a spaceship to travel to Alderaan with his new compatriot, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Flying in the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo (Harrison Ford), the group arrive to find the planet destroyed by the Death Star. After being captured by the moon-like weapon, they manage to rescue the Princess and escape despite the loss of Kenobi at the hands of Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones).). Now that the Rebels know the weakness of the Death Star, they launch an assault on the weapon to destroy it for good.

American GraffitiAmerican Graffiti
Year: 1973
Rating: PG
Length: 110 minutes / 1.83 hours

It’s almost odd to think that the man who brought the world Star Wars was the same one who also wrote and directed American Graffiti (1973). Earning his first Best Director and Best Writing Oscar nominations for this film, American Graffiti was George Lucas’ breakout success, even if it wasn’t his first film. Distinctly different in genre and tone from his very first film, THX 1138 (1971), American Graffiti examined a coming-of-age story set in a time of transition between high school and college. Perhaps due to its relatability to anyone who has ever been a teenager, this film has managed to place as high as #62 on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 movies list. Unfortunately, the sequel, More American Graffiti (1979) failed to live up to its original, much like the Star Wars prequels would in years to come.

After graduating high school earlier that year, a group of teens set out to have one last “hurrah” on the final day of summer vacation. Each of them has different destinations and dreams, many of them revolving around attending college in the next few days. In their last moments together before continuing their life elsewhere, these teens set out to drive around their hometown of Modesto, California looking for a good time. While some of them find missed opportunities, others take risks that have life-changing effects on their future plans. Each one of them realizes their childhood will soon be over, so they do the best they can to live it up in those final moments before flying away to attend college, get a job, or go to war. In the end, many of their decisions are based on love, which makes for a series of challenging goodbyes.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 great George Lucas movies

Bacon #: 2 (Hook / Phil Collins -> Balto / Kevin Bacon)

#328. Alec Guinness

When it comes to acting, the Shakespearian actor is often seen as the epitome of the profession. Being able to bring the Bard’s work to life on the stage requires a vast amount of skill and talent if it is to be done correctly. While many of these actors will remain in this highest form of the thespian art, some take their skills to other mediums. Of course, because of this Shakespearian background, many of these actors who do start to do movies are quite selective about the films they decide to make. Often, they will stick to Shakespearian adaptations, since that’s largely what they already know. But sometimes, the allure of a nice, big paycheck can get these actors to perform in pieces they do not fully endorse. This week’s two films highlight some moments from Shakespearian actor Alec Guinness’ career.

Doctor ZhivagoDoctor Zhivago
Year: 1965
Rating: Approved
Length: 197 minutes / 3.28 hours

Alec Guinness’ acting talent is undeniable, which is at least in part due to his regular collaboration with director David Lean. Even in supporting roles in films like Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984), the combination of the British actor and British director worked well. They would both would win an Academy Award for Best Director and Actor, respectively, for their work on The Bridge on the River Kwai (1958). Of course, this was only 5 years after Guinness was nominated for Best Actor for his work in The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). He even won an honorary Oscar in 1980 “For advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances.” While he would be nominated for Best Supporting Actor twice in his career, he really made his mark in his supporting roles like in Doctor Zhivago.

Years after the Russian Revolution that brought communism into power, General Yevgraf Zhivago (Alec Guinness) is using his military connections to find his niece, the daughter of his half-brother, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif). When he finds a young woman he believes to fit the description, he tells her of her parents’ lives. While Yevgraf was always a military man, Yuri was a poet in the body of a doctor. Through the events of an attack on a peaceful demonstration, Yuri first meets Lara (Julie Christie). When World War I arrives, Yevgraf is sent to fight while Yuri and Lara work for the army as doctor and nurse, respectively, and fall in love. After wars and revolutions pass, Yevgraf now works for the communist military and warns Yuri that his poetry is now condemned by the new regime. After getting Yuri to safety, Yevgraf finds that his half-brother’s poetry affected many people, albeit years later.

Star Wars: A New HopeStar Wars: A New Hope
Year: 1977
Rating: PG
Length: 121 minutes / 2.02 hours

Do actors have regrets? Sure they do, and Alec Guinness is no different. While he praised the special effects and technical aspects of Star Wars (1977), he absolutely hated the dialogue (amongst other factors). Even though the film netted him his first Best Supporting Actor nomination, Guinness loathed that it was essentially the only film most people knew him from. Because of his hesitations, he was quite the shrewd businessman and managed to get a sizeable payday and a good chunk of the royalties for his work on the film. Always the professional actor, he did the part and interacted with everyone involved in a courteous manner, despite regretting the attention he received after the films entered into the realm of “fandom.” In fact, Guinness himself wanted his character killed off in the first film so he wouldn’t have to play him as much in the later films of the franchise.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) is an old hermit who lives in the remote areas of the desert planet Tatooine. One day, he finds a familiar droid by the name of R2-D2 and learns that the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), needs his help to get the plans of a devastating weapon to their headquarters on Alderaan. Deciding to comply with Leia’s request, he also enlists the help of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who initially found R2-D2 and is the son of his former protégé, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones). Upon chartering a ride to Alderaan on the Millennium Falcon, the sudden disappearance of the planet causes them to be captured by the Galactic Empire on the Death Star. Kenobi allows the Falcon to escape, but at the cost of his life. Now that the Rebels have the Death Star plans, Luke sets out to assist them in destroying the moon-sized weapon.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 great Alec Guinness performances

Bacon #: 2 (Kafka / Theresa Russell -> Wild Things / Kevin Bacon)

#327. Russian Revolution

Sometimes the status quo doesn’t work for everyone. When an enormous divide between people groups appears, it’s usually only a matter of time before their differences spiral into conflict. Whether these divisions are due to race or wealth, if a peaceful compromise cannot be achieved through words, a revolution is bound to arise. Often, these revolutions are instigated by the people group who feels oppressed by the current state of affairs. If this group is big enough, they can enact a change to their benefit through sheer force alone. The 1917 Russian Revolution was just such a revolt. It’s a little odd to think it’s now been just over 100 years since this country changed from a monarchy to the communist state we see today. This week’s two films highlight the effects the Russian Revolution had on different people groups within the former empire of Tsar Nicholas II.

AnastasiaAnastasia
Year: 1997
Rating: G
Length: 94 minutes / 1.56 hours

On one side of the Russian Revolution, we have the aristocracy. I’m sure that monarchs like Tsar Nicholas II would like to have peace within their countries. Even if the people don’t get to choose the leader, the whole system works better if the king and his subjects are on agreeable terms. That being said, people will often look out for their best interests before thinking about others. Consequently, wealth and comfort tend to flow up to the rulers in these political systems, leaving the working man destitute and angry. Despite the Russian Revolution balancing this inadequacy, the royal family was still just that: a family. It is easy to villainize your opponents to justify harsh actions, but sometimes we forget that the opposing side is comprised of people not too different from ourselves. No family should have to endure losing a daughter, even if they are wealthier than the common man.

While not historically accurate, Anastasia (1997) follows the titular Russian Grand Duchess as the events of the Russian Revolution cause her to be separated from her family. Angry about being exiled for treason, Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) curses the royal family with a magical device he obtained by selling his soul. As the revolt ramped up, Anastasia (Meg Ryan) became separated from her family, receiving an amnesia-inducing bump on the head in the process. A decade later, former servant boy, Dimitri (John Cusack), is aiming to collect the reward for the safe return of the missing Anastasia. Even though he identifies the real Anastasia as a dead ringer, he soon realizes she’s the real thing. Unfortunately, Rasputin has also realized the last heir of the royal family is still alive and sets out to capture and kill her. Upon meeting her grandmother in Paris, Anastasia regains her memories and defeats Rasputin.

Doctor ZhivagoDoctor Zhivago
Year: 1965
Rating: Approved
Length: 197 minutes / 3.28 hours

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “History is written by the victors.” If the films made after the Russian Revolution about the revolt are any indication, this is a true statement. Even a single decade after the change in politics, Sergei Eisenstein made October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927), which has been hailed as one of the best works of cinema. Similarly, Reds (1981) received a nomination for Best Picture, as did Doctor Zhivago (1965). The one film that carries a caveat is Animal Farm (1954) since it is used as propaganda to highlight the dangers of the Russians’ new way of thinking. At any rate, many of these films show the Russian Revolution from the perspective of the common man. It becomes clear that change was inevitable, especially from those who just want to live their lives, Doctor Zhivago being the best example of this.

During a peaceful demonstration in 1913, Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif) uses his medical skills to treat one of the dissenters, meeting Lara (Julie Christie) in the process. When World War I starts, Yuri is drafted as a battlefield doctor while Lara enlists to be a nurse as she searches for her friend Pasha (Tom Courtenay). Upon their return home, the February Revolution of 1917 causes Zhivago to ask Lara to help him take care of the wounded. It’s at this time that the two fall in love, despite Yuri already being married. His poet’s heart continues to beat for Lara as he remains faithful to his wife. Unfortunately, his poems are seen to be anti-Communist which forces him to escape to the countryside. Of course, this is after he is accidentally conscripted to be part of the revolutionary army against his will. When he finally arrives, his family is gone, and he is finally able to live his life with Lara.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 repercussions from the Russian Revolution

#326. Grigori Rasputin

I have always found Grigori Rasputin to be a fascinating historical figure. Most of my fascination with him comes from the urban legends surrounding his death(s). He allegedly survived being poisoned, shot, and beaten, even though exact details of what happened do not exist. Even his corpse seemed to move as it burned in a cremation fire, but that was likely due to his muscles and tendons contracting due to the heat. Considering his connections to mysticism, these urban legends make for an interesting antagonist. I have included Rasputin as a character in at least two of my books, each time highlighting his ability to be invulnerable to death. His unstoppable nature is perhaps what makes him an ideal villain. This week’s two films highlight Grigori Rasputin as a fictional character based on the historical one.

HellboyHellboy
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Length: 122 minutes / 2.03 hours

Because Rasputin had connections to mysticism, it makes sense that he would have connections to supernatural beings and activities. Once in the realm of the supernatural, many possibilities are now open. Immortality is not out of the question here. However, humans will always tend to fear the supernatural because it insinuates that we are not the most powerful beings in the world. With fear comes the desire to counter these supernatural forces with our own ingenuity. Failing ingenuity, we will try to recruit our own supernatural army to combat the forces of evil. There have been many fictional agencies founded to prevent the supernatural world from affecting the everyday citizens of our world. One such agency is that of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), an organization whose most powerful asset is a demon known as “Hellboy.”

Near the end of World War II, Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) has been tasked by the Nazis to open a portal to release supernatural beings for the sole purpose of defeating their enemies. When the Allies attack the ceremony, they manage to close the portal while also trapping Rasputin inside. The only being that came through to our world was a small demon theretofore known as “Hellboy” (Ron Perlman). Decades later, Rasputin is brought back by his Nazi partners. They release a hellhound imbued with hydra-like regeneration to get close to the key to opening the portal again: Hellboy. Using Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) as bait for Hellboy, Rasputin manages to open the portal and become the vessel for a Cthulhu-like creature. Unfortunately, Hellboy is there to destroy this beast, and therefore Rasputin in the process.

AnastasiaAnastasia
Year: 1997
Rating: G
Length: 94 minutes / 1.56 hours

Much like Tetris, nested dolls, and tall fur hats are staples of a basic understanding of Russian culture, Grigori Rasputin is one of the most recognizable elements of the country’s pre-communist era. Back during the time when a royal family of Tsars governed Russia, it was easy to develop political ties as long as you could prove to be useful to the ruling monarchy. However, even within these families, there are bound to be schisms that can lead to treason and brotherly usurpation. Depending on which side of a revolution an individual is on can determine whether they end up a hero or a prisoner of war. Those who want to benefit from whoever is in power will find themselves flexible to the whims of the Tsars, but once you remove the Tsars from power, the royal family became just another group of people with no more power than anyone else. Well, anyone else without mystical abilities.

After being banished from Russia for treason, Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) returns to enact his revenge on the Tsar who exiled him for treason. Arriving at Tsar Nicholas II’s (Rick Jones) celebration marking 300 years of Romanov rule, Rasputin uses a magical item he obtained through selling his soul. This item curses the Romanov family and initiates the Russian Revolution that led to the communist overthrow of the Tsar. Thinking he has killed the entire royal family, Rasputin is surprised to learn that the youngest daughter, Anastasia (Meg Ryan) survived. Sending his horde of evil minions after Anastasia to Paris where the princess’ grandmother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Angela Lansbury), lives, Rasputin is confronted by the heir to the throne. Anastasia manages to disarm Rasputin of his magical crutch, finally killing him through its destruction.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 Rasputin renegades

#325. Ron Perlman

Some actors just have that “look.” When they’re cast as distinct characters or stereotypes, and they just fit the role so well, there’s no doubt they’re the right person for the part. Perhaps the easiest archetype to cast is none other than the “tough guy.” From large muscles to tattoos to gruff voices, these characteristics are dead giveaways for the tough guy persona. Because of this, Ron Perlman is often cast as the tough guy in a large variety of movies. Not only does he have the “look” for live-action films, but he has the voice for animated fare as well. The real trick with this character archetype is that they can appear in almost anything. From dramas to comedies and from sci-fi to fantasy, Ron Perlman has done them all. This week’s two films highlight some notable performances from “tough guy” Ron Perlman.

CronosCronos
Year: 1993
Rating: R
Length: 94 minutes / 1.56 hours

Despite being in many “direct-to-video” projects, Ron Perlman has managed to collaborate with a few different directors over the years. One of his most notable collaborations has been with Guillermo del Toro. From their first film together, Cronos (1993), they have gone on to make four other movies together: Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), and Pacific Rim (2013). Perhaps because Cronos was so early in Perlman’s career, his ability to play tough guy characters was proven here. At the very least, his work with del Toro has enforced this stereotype for him, mostly due to his portrayal of Hellboy (which we’ll get to in a minute). While being pigeonholed into a stereotypical role might seem a disservice to an actor’s career, I think Perlman manages to use these roles to his advantage, continuing to prove what a badass he is.

Angel de la Guardia (Ron Perlman) is searching for a device known as “Cronos.” The rumor states that whoever possesses the device is given eternal life, which is why Angel’s wealthy, dying uncle, Dieter (Claudio Brook), set him on task to find it. While many of the archangel statues that could contain the device prove to be empty, Angel just happens to run across an antique dealer at a party. This antique dealer was licking blood off a bathroom floor, giving Angel enough of a hint that he pressures the man to divulge where the device is located. When the man refuses to talk, Angel kills him, only to find that it is not that easy to kill an immortal man. Of course, by now Angel is tired of waiting for his inheritance and decides to take his fate into his own hands, despite Dieter coming quite close to obtaining the Cronos device.

HellboyHellboy
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Length: 122 minutes / 2.03 hours

Sometimes, to play a tough guy, all you need is the voice. Ron Perlman has had many roles where either he’s covered in makeup, or only his voice is used to convey his character. While Hellboy has been his most recognizable role in this state, he has also played the titular Beast in the Beauty and the Beast TV series that ran in the late 1980’s. Regarding his voice work, he’s lent it to characters in such animated fare as Titan A.E. (2000), Battle for Terra (2007), and Tangled (2010). He has even voiced CGI characters in live-action films like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013). Perhaps his voice is all he needs to convey that Ron Perlman swagger, but it is still fun to watch him work his acting magic when he’s covered in makeup. Case in point, I have trouble separating many of his other characters from his eponymous role in 2004’s Hellboy.

Summoned from a portal that led to hell, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) has spent the last 60 years hidden away in a secret government facility. The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) uses Hellboy, along with a team of supernatural beings, to perform missions to keep the United States safe from the dangers of the paranormal world. In that time, he has developed a crush on a pyrokinetic human named Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). Unable to express his true feelings to her, he watches in jealousy as a new FBI agent, John Myers (Rupert Evans) starts a friendship with her. Meanwhile, Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden), the man who brought Hellboy into this world, has been causing trouble for the BPRD as he continues to execute his plan to bring hell to earth and control the supernatural powers for his sinister benefit.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 perfect Perlman performances

Bacon #: 2 (Enemy at the Gates / Ed Harris -> Apollo 13 / Kevin Bacon)