The Good, the Bad, and the Birthday BoysJune 3rd, 2012 by Barak
This week both Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman (who will star in Rob Reiner’s upcoming movie, The Magic of Belle Isle, about a wheelchair bound writer) are celebrating their birthdays. Since they are both great actors, and also very good friends, we decided to come between them by attempting to decide which one of them is the better actor. Morgan Freeman’s most prominent feature is his impressive voice. He strives mostly in supporting roles and his portrayal of most of his cinematic characters is usually confident and calm. Clint Eastwood’s acting style is minimally expressive, some would criticize him claiming that he acts in a somewhat stiff manner, but the rest of us think that the way he portrays the cool and tough loners he usually plays, is absolutely mesmerizing.
We will face 10 Clint movies VS. 10 Freeman movies. Beware, only one actor can win! Unfortunately we had to exclude their collaborations which pose a conflict of interest: the wonderful Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, and the mediocre Invictus. May the best actor win:
10. Humorous Action: Kelly’s Heroes VS. Red
These two action comedies offer some excitement along with a few laughs and ultra-impressive ensemble casts. I like Kelly’s Heroes more than Red, which I find to be overrated and not as funny as I hoped it would be. Kelly’s Heroes is more fun and offers better action, so it’s 1-0 Eastwood.
9. A suspenseful and stylized boy’s night: A Fistful of Dollars VS. The Dark Knight
A hero movie VS a superhero movie, a classic VS a modern classic, an exciting spaghetti western VS an exciting Hollywood toned movie, a movie that had a lot of dollars in its title VS a movie that made a lot of dollars in the box office. Making a choice was never so difficult, on the one hand calling it a draw would be an act of cowardice, on the other, it would solve my problem here. I call it a draw.
8. Rivalry: Outlaw Josey Wales VS. Lucky Number Slevin
The bleak and rough western Outlaw Josey Wales is probably the best Clint Eastwood movie from the 70’s alongside Escape From Alcatraz. Slevin is a clever and stylized crime movie that draws its inspiration mainly from early Tarantino movies like Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown. This is a close one, but I choose the outlaw which is a powerful revenge movie with Clint as the strong silent type at his acting best. 2-0 Clint.
7. Old people doing crazy stuff: Space Cowboys VS. The Bucket List
To be perfectly honest, these two movies were both nice, but somewhat of a disappointment to me. Space Cowboys, which starred Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones and was directed by Eastwood himself, wasn’t one of the pinnacles of Clint’s career; it was a bit cliched and had a ridiculous premise. The Bucket List, which starred Jack Nicholson alongside Morgan Freeman and directed by Rob Reiner, was also not what we’d hoped it would be. While both Freeman and Nicholson are lovable at their roles, the movie itself fails in its attempt to combine silly comedy with melodrama. It’s a draw.
6. Military: Heartbreak Ridge VS. Glory
The character Clint Eastwood plays in Heartbreak Ridge might be even tougher than the one he plays in Dirty Harry! There is a lot of humor and a lot of violence in this movie but the violence is deliberately quite absurd and unrealistic. Glory is a much more serious movie, not only in tone but also quality wise. Not only is Morgan Freeman’s performance so memorable, but so are Denzel Washington’s and even Matthew Broderick’s performances. 2-1, Eastwood still leads.
5. Riding VS. Driving: Pale Rider VS. Driving Miss Daisy
Pale Rider is a great later Clint Eastwood western that, as Rodney Dangerfield would agree, does not get the respect it deserves. Sadly that’s not about to change now, because Driving Miss Daisy is the better movie – it’s a touching modern classic about aging and friendship. 2-2, Freeman gets equality!
4. Unlikely Friendships: Gran Torino VS. 10 Items or Less
While 10 Items or Less is a very nice comedy drama with the lovely Paz Vega assisting Morgan Freeman in carrying the movie, Gran Torino is quite simply one of the best movies to come out in recent years. In supermarket terms, Gran Torino has much more than 10 items in its basket. 3-2, Eastwood regains the lead.
3. Good VS. God: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly VS. Bruce Almighty
Surprisingly enough, this time god loses (it also happened to Michael Jordan a few times). Bruce Almighty is a good comedy with good turns from both Morgan Freeman and Jim Carrey, but The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of cinema’s all time pearls. 4-2 Eastwood, but Freeman still hasn’t said his last word.
2. Law enforcement: Dirty Harry VS. Seven
If Dirty Harry was standing next to me while writing these lines, watching me reach towards the keyboard intending to grant the win to Seven, he’d probably say: “Go ahead, make my day”. Since he is only a fictional character I’m gonna go ahead and make Morgan Freeman’s day and give him the win this round since Seven is a shocking thriller with a haunting performance by Freeman. 4-3, this match will be determined by the next, very last movie.
1. Escape from prison: Escape from Alcatraz VS. The Shawshank Redemption
The 70’s were some kind of a golden era for American cinema, and Escape from Alcatraz was one of that era’s highlights. Unfortunately for Eastwood, his great movie is up against a movie that absolutely everyone loves. The Shawshank Redemption is statistically the favorite movie of all time for 1 out of 9 people (don’t ask me where I get my statistical information). A win for the movie that celebrates the human spirit and gets Morgan Freeman out of jail (and gives him a draw).
An amazing 4-4 draw between these two good friends that will enable to maintain their friendship after this competition surprisingly remains undecided…
If you insist on choosing one of them over the other, maybe Jinni’s people clouds will help you:
Do you prefer to get excited from a Clint Eastwood movie, or be touched by a Morgan Freeman film? Would you rather see Clint triumph over his rival or watch Morgan deal with the problems of the American society? Comment on our Facebook page and let us know!
Technorati Tags: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner, The Magic of Belle Isle, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Invictus, Kelly’s Heroes, Red, A Fistful of Dollars, The Dark Knight, Outlaw Josey Wales, Lucky Number Slevin, 70’s, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Space Cowboys, The Bucket List, Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Nicholson, Heartbreak Ridge, Glory, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick, Pale Rider, Driving Miss Daisy, Rodney Dangerfield, Gran Torino, 10 Items or Less, Paz Vega, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey, Dirty Harry, Seven, Escape from Alcatraz, The Shawshank Redemption, American cinema
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