Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top 5 Movie Guide: Justin Long

For this week's edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to Justin Long, one of the actors in the upcoming film, "For a Good Time, Call...". Long won't be a central member of the film, but even though the actor seems notable today in most circles, to date he still hasn't appeared in many films in which he's taken a lead role. Still though, the actor has made his mark on the industry, now only a little over a decade in the business.


Long came from a family in which his mother was a Broadway actress, so the stage was no surprise to him. After high school, he went on to attend the highly-selective Vassar College, where he studied the arts. Knowing that he wanted to be an actor, he still made a point not to take on any large roles while still in school ("Galaxy Quest" was the only commercial film he appeared in during the time). After school, he appeared in a variety of offbeat films, but it wasn't until his work in the comedy troupe LaughingStock that he started to really get noticed. Since then, Long has appeared in a variety of Hollywood films, never looking back.

And though managing to avoid super-stardom thus far in his young career, can you really go wrong with an actor who's favorite film is "Back to the Future"? We didn't think so either. So after the jump, check out some of our favorite titles from this actor's filmography!

Alex Schopp -

     1. Waiting... (2005)

It didn't hurt that this film came out the summer I worked at the movie theater - pretty much the same time we all held this position (other than Ben, who just worked at video rental store). The crazy antics in this film were so similar to where I was in my life with my job and friends at the time. I don't care nearly as much about this film anymore, but the nostalgia is still very strong.
     2. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
A great horror comedy. Some teenage kids who were sitting in front of me the night this came out were complaining the whole time about how un-scary the movie was. I wanted to punch them very hard.
     3. Galaxy Quest (1999)
Not a huge role, but one notable enough. Overall, a very fun film that pulls in a great cast and makes for the perfect comedy/sci-fi blend.
     4. He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
This plays a bit better than you'd expect - though not amazing. Most of the actors and characters in the film are enjoyable, and probably more times than not, I'd rather give this a watch than some of his other silly comedies.
     5. Accepted (2006)
I definitely want to like this movie more than I do. The concept is great; who wouldn't want a setup like that?

Ben Foutch-
Justin appears to have a promising career ahead of him. Hopefully more challenging roles head in his direction.

     1. Waiting... (2005)

A perfect example of independent film made by movie fans for movie fans.
     2. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
I don't understand some of the hate blowing around the internet. This is a fun, suspenseful spook fest. Learn to enjoy some of the trashy things in life.
     3. The Sasquatch Gang (2006)
It certainly is a quirky little comedy, but Long's character steals nearly every scene.
     4. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Look, this is a cheesy, ridiculous comedy that is host to a fair share of cliches.  But sometimes you just need that.
     5. Crossroads
Sorry, I was thinking of the Ralph Macchio gem. You probably need to see that one though...
     5. Galaxy Quest (1999)
Awesome sci-fi/comedy.

Derek Clem -

     1. Galaxy Quest (1999)

I think this was my first exposure to Justin Long.
     2. Waiting... (2005)
This movie felt just like my days working at a movie theater. A top notch movie.
     3. Accepted (2006)
Camp Nowhere (1994) but in college.
     4. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
We get to see him in some nice Sam Raimi goodness.
     5. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Your run of the mill funny obscure sports movie.

Nathan Hinds -

     1. Waiting... (2005)

For people who think this is an exaggeration of how people act at work, it's not.
     2. Accepted (2006)
I've always thought this was a really underrated comedy.
     3. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Hate the title, but I really enjoyed the movie.
     4. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Like I've said in the past, I like horror/comedies more than pure horror films. This one is hilarious, and it has the benefit of being legitimately scary at times as well.
     5. Strange Wilderness (2008)
I missed my chance to reference this movie when I didn't get in on that Steve Zahn list. This film was the one reason why I was pulling for us to pick Justin Long this week, so I didn't miss another opportunity to reference this movie. It doesn't even make sense that I like it, I don't normally like anything those Adam Sandler side guys do, and this IS one of the dumbest movies ever. With that being said, I still find the movie hilarious. Justin Long's character is one of the highlights of the film.

Andy Schopp -

     1. Waiting... (2005)

His breakout role into a household name, I think.
     2. Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Pretty good role for him, I'd say. Get that horror comedy going.
     3. Galaxy Quest (1999)
He doesn't have a very big role, but he is an important part - and the part I can relate to the most in the movie.
     4. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Good little original creature feature type deal here. The subsequent films kind of tarnish what the first had going, but the first is worth watching.
     5. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
The movie is hilarious and although he was just a cameo, I still wanted this movie on my list just because it's a good time.

So there we have it. Two films this week proved pretty strong, as they both showed up on all five lists. "Waiting..." and "Drag Me to Hell" were embraced by all writers this week, though it was "Waiting..." that made the biggest impression, appearing in the #1 spot on four of the five lists. This is the closest any film has come in quite some time of making it into the Slackers Shrine, but it was just another reminder of just how prestigious and elusive such a title can be. As for the films, "Waiting..." seems like the biggest draw of Long's starring career to date, and probably a good film to start with. "Drag Me to Hell" was an incredibly fun flick as well that, with the proper mindset, shouldn't disappoint.

Outside of that, surprisingly, only a few other films appeared with multiple selections. "Galaxy Quest", Long's fist official film role, made it onto four lists (and nabbed the other number-one spot), "Accepted" hit on three, and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" hit on two. Those were the only others represented in repeat fashion though. Again, all pretty popular selections from Long's filmography, and definitely great films worth checking out. That still left for a handful of selections that were all solo picks though, so definitely scour through each one and acquaint yourself with some of the broader titles from Long's blossoming career.

So as always, we hope that each of these film selections helps you to expand your knowledge of Justin Long's filmography, and leads to better and more enjoyable all-around viewing experiences.

Happy watching!