Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Top 5 Movie Guide: Dennis Quaid

With this weekend's upcoming release of "What to Expect When You're Expecting", it gave us the opportunity to pick between a handful of great actors and actresses for this post. Regardless of what you think of the film, it's jam-packed with quality faces, many of which worthy of their own Top 5 List. But for us, we decided to pick one of the smaller roles in the film and focus this edition on Dennis Quaid.


It's hard to argue that Quaid's career didn't apex years ago, but that hasn't stopped this steady actor from churning out solid performance after solid performance. While not always amazing, he's one of the most recognizable actors in the business today. And while never winning a major award, he has over 75 acting credits to his name. With those numbers, it's hard to find anyone that doesn't appreciate at least some aspect of his career; a career that could have went a little differently had it not been for some interesting films he turned down. Among the note-worthy titles, he turned down Kurt Russell's role in "Backdraft", Kevin Costner's role in "JFK", and even passed on Tom Cruise's character in "Rain Man", a film that was originally written for both him and his brother, the late Randy Quaid. Even these films notwithstanding, Quaid has still put together a very solid all-around career.

Check out our full selection of Quaid films after the break!

Alex Schopp -
I'm a little surprised that none of his sports movies showed up on this list, but there were so many films to choose between. While I'm not loving his roles a lot, I really like a lot of them.

     1. The Right Stuff (1983)
Seems cliche, but that's just how it happened. Honestly, I really didn't think this would be my #1 selection, but as I put it up against other Quaid films, there really weren't any I cared any more about than this one. This is a really good story, a great cast, and an enjoyable watch, albeit a long one.
     2. Innerspace (1987)
Classic comedy from my childhood. I just re-watched it to see if it could take the top spot, but it didn't quite get there for me. Still a great 80's comedy though with really neat set designs (the inner body shots are really cool).
     3. Dreamscape (1984)
Pretty solid sci-fi film here. I love the tone of this film, and there's a lot of imagery in here that's pretty interesting. I'm not sure how long it's been since I've seen this film, and thinking about it, I can't figure out if a re-watch would put this higher or lower on the list; seems like something I should figure out though!
     4. In Good Company (2004)
Maybe not the most popular pick, but I thought this was a good film. I'm not even the biggest Topher Grace fan, but I enjoyed this movie. I've enjoyed a lot of these types of movies that have come out over the past few years depicting the modern job/economic environment.
     5. Dragonheart (1996)
I haven't seen this for years, but it was one of my brother's favorite movies when we were younger, so I watched it all the time. I imagine this film would be cheesier than I'd want today, but it's still a sweet movie, and Sean Connery is a perfect fit for Draco's voice.

Ben Foutch -
I don't think Dennis Quaid is a very versatile actor, but he always gives a worthy performance. A world without "Dreamscape" is a world I don't want to be a part of.

     1. Dreamscape (1984)


     2. Switchback (1997)


     3. Innerspace (1987)


     4. Frequency (2000)


     5. The Right Stuff (1983)


Derek Clem -

     1. Enemy Mine (1985)
Not only is this movie highly nostalgic for me, I use the Pepsi cans in the movie as an example in my package design lessons for various art courses I teach.
      2. The Right Stuff (1983)
I guess I'm okay with "Terms Of Endearment" winning the Oscar for Best Picture over this movie, but deep down I really wish this movie represented the best film of my birth year. Growing up watching this movie with my Dad was a major influence on my love for all things NASA.
      3. Breaking Away (1979)
This movie is just awesome! I know we're here for Dennis Quaid, but it's a lot of fun seeing a young Daniel Stern in this movie.
      4. Far From Heaven (2002)
Of all the movies on my list I would have to say this is the "best" movie Dennis Quaid has been in. He really should have gotten an Oscar Nod for his role here. It's an amazing film with an amazing cast.
      5. The Parent Trap (1998)
I always enjoyed watching this movie with my sister back in the day.

Nathan Hinds -
This was a hard list to rank as I pretty much like all of his roles equally and there isn't really a standout role for him.

     1.Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Fun survival story that's easy to watch.
     2. Frequency (2000)
Really good mystery/thriller.
     3. The Parent Trap (1998)
Don't judge me.
     4. The Rookie (2002)
I'll take this over "Any Given Sunday" if I want to see Quaid in a sports movie. Plus he just seems like more of a baseball guy anyway.
     5. The Alamo (2004)


Andy Schopp -
Honestly, with such solid movies and performances, these are ranked in a very loose order. I have "Pandorum" atop my list because it's such an under-rated sci-fi film; I love it. After that, they basically just go on nostalgic value. I do want to throw one more title into the mix, even though it's not appearing on my list, and that's "Enemy Mine". It's a great movie that needs a little attention; it just didn't quite make the cut today. I hope Mr. Quaid keeps up with his career because I know he still has what it takes to be an enjoyable piece of a film!

     1. Pandorum (2009)


     2. Innerspace (1987)


     3. Dragonheart (1996)


     4. Dreamscape (1984)


     5. Frequency (2000)


So there we have it, our favorite Dennis Quaid films! No surprise that for an actor with such a broad filmography that there would be such a good variety. There were a few films that stood above the rest, but definitely nothing overpowering this week. "The Right Stuff", "Innerspace", "Dreamscape", and "Frequency" all had the most appearances on the list, with three apiece. Each are great classic films of this actor's career, and definitely unique and fun selections to start your viewing journey with. Other than those films, "The Parent Trap" and "Dragonheart" were the only other films with multiple selections, each with two.

Overall there are a lot of great choices featured above though, and plenty of solid titles to get you more familiar with this actor's extensive filmography. So as always, we hope that all of these selections help you to expand your knowledge of this category, and guide you to better and more enjoyable all-around viewing experiences.

Happy watching!