Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Helping Hand for Harrison

harrison_ford_1The cinematic world is abuzz due to the Pandorian world of Avatar — no doubt a block-busting, scientific breakthrough of unprecedented proportion leaving behind an incomparable wake. In that wake there lies a host of box office challengers who have been slain — and after last weekend, another piece of Harrison Ford.
I’m staring at my computer screen, aching as I write this. I LOVE Harrison Ford. I’m hoping that last weekend’s release of Extreme Measures was nothing more than a paycheck for the film icon — a slice of “I’m bored and have nothing better to do than make a movie shot on CBS TV cameras, made by CBS Films that should be a Movie of the Week.” I’m hoping that his teaming with Rachel McAdams in the upcoming Bad Robot production of Morning Glory will allow us to see there is still some genuine fire left in his belly. In the same breath, I’m confused as to why they are working on a script for a fifth Indiana Jones installment when George Lucas abandoned the franchise, stepped on Spielberg’s capable toes and CG’d Sam Witwicky from Transformers into a swinging monkey-lover in the fourth. Digressing. I’m hoping, but I’m bathing in melodramatic emotion, because there is no denying it. Harrison Ford is Han Solo no more.
I feel filmmakers are doing a severe injustice to one of the men who inspired me and so many others to pursue acting, and nerds of all ages to pursue a Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. He made everything seem effortless, enjoyable and fun — even in Regarding Henry. He’s still the same gent, laid back and somehow full of pith and vinegar, but with the natural progression of life, comes a necessary shift in paradigm.
While the career of Harrison Ford has consisted of predominately action and romantic leads, there has never been a question that the man has some serious chops. My favorite, 1988’s Frantic, an average effort from Roman Polanski, in which Ford, then unknown French actress Emmanuelle Seigner and a stellar score make the story cook.
At this point in his career, I feel Harrison Ford is cursed by the name Harrison Ford. People want to put him in a box — pigeonhole him — instead of writing, and/or pushing for fresh story ideas or luring him toward solid independent gems that will allow Ford to create yet another iconic character. Who’s up to task? Until then, I’m hoping.
(Image Source)

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