Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Top 5 Movie Guide: John Goodman

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we focus on one of the stars up of the upcoming "Argo"John Goodman. Goodman's had a nice run recently appearing in critically acclaimed films, from last years' "The Artist" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" to two potential favorites this year in "Argo" and "Flight". But before all of that, John Goodman attended college at Southwest Missouri State University, where he obtained a degree in Drama (fun fact: he was schoolmates Kathleen Turner). After school, he moved out to New York City and was a bouncer while looking for acting work. He appeared in many minor yet notable film and television roles in the early 1980's, but his big break came in 1988 when he snagged a lead role on the television show "Roseanne".


After that, Goodman became a New York city icon. He's hosted the variety show Saturday Night Live 12 different times, third only to Steve Martin (15) and Alec Baldwin (16). He's also worked with perennial awards favorite-directors the Coen Brothers on five different films, second most of any actor other than Steve Buscemi (6) - a record that will be tied when their latest feature, "Inside Llewyn Davis", releases in January of next year.

Another notable aspect of Goodman's career is that he's lent his voice to thirteen different animated feature films, most notably as Sulley in Disney's "Monsters, Inc.". The one thing that's managed to avoid him for all these years, however, has been a nomination for an Academy Award. He's received eleven Emmy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations (won in 1993), and three Screen Actors Guild nominations, yet its never culminated in an Oscar.

I say, let's bring an end to that streak! Let's hope Goodman can find that elusive Best Supporting Actor nomination in one of the three notable films he's appearing in this year.

Until then though, take a look at some of our favorite films from his career, detailed after the break!

Alex Schopp -
I wanted to focus more on films where Goodman had bigger roles, but I just didn't enjoy most those movies enough to warrant them leapfrogging better films in which Goodman had much smaller roles.

     1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Seems like the only sure pick here. Decent-sized role, and also one of his most memorable and quotable performances of all-time. As great as everyone is in this film, Goodman is the highlight.
     2. Arachnophobia (1990)
His part isn't huge, but when he's in it, it's great. This is such a fun film though, you just can't pass it up. Jeff Daniels is a nice addition in a full-time role, and there's plenty of great camp and scares to entertain just about everyone.
     3. Raising Arizona (1987)
Continuing with our trend of Goodman not having very large roles, his performance is still great and hilarious in this strong comedic ensemble.
     4. King Ralph (1991)
Just pure comedy here. The quality isn't amazing, but there are plenty of cheap laughs to be had.
     5. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Goodman is a natural fit with the Coen Brothers. It's a shame they don't give him bigger roles (I'm still annoyed that I've managed to avoid "Barton Fink" all of these years).

Ben Foutch -

     1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

     2. Arachnophobia (1990)

     3. King Ralph (1991)

     4. Fallen (1998)

     5. Red State (2011)



Derek Clem -

     1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Goodman provides some of the best swearing I've ever heard in a movie. Goodman should have been nominated and won for Best Supporting Actor for this role. Truly amazing!
     2. Raising Arizona (1987)
"AHHHHHHHH!!!"
     3. King Ralph (1991)
Us slackers talk about what we would do if we won the lottery at an unhealthy level for people who don't even play the lottery. Granted, its not technically about winning the lottery, this movie could make a nice mascot for those discussions.
     4. Red State (2011)
He's a total action star! He should have been doing this when he was younger too.
     5. Barton Fink (1991)
Goodman may be "bad" in Arachnophobia, but here he's a whole different sort of bad here.

Nathan Hinds -

     1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Great movie, and John Goodman being a dick to Steve Buscemi the whole time is probably my favorite part of the film.
     2. Red State (2011)
This movie is fantastic, and the ending is one of the greatest in recent memory.
     3. The Flintstones (1994)
A staple of my childhood.
     4. O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000)
This would be higher up if Goodman's part wasn't so small. Still a fantastic movie.
     5. Arachnophobia (1990)
This is another movie that has Goodman in it for only a tiny part, but this won on pure nostalgia value.

Andy Schopp -

     1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

John Goodman comes through with the best acting of his career!
     2. King Ralph (1991)
Such a hilarious movie!
     3. What Planet Are You From? (2000)
It's E.T. for adults!
     4. Arachnophobia (1990)
"Yeah, that's right...I'm bad."
     5. We're Back! A Dinosaur Story (1993)
So many childhood memories with this one.

So there we have it, folks. Some of our favorite John Goodman roles and films to this point in his career. There's no way of knowing if any of this year's titles will eventually make their way onto these lists, but for now, there's plenty to chose from. The big one that probably caught everyone's attention is "The Big Lebowski". It's been six months since we last saw a film earn such an honor, and this seems like as good a title as any we could have hoped for. This is now officially the third film entered into the Slackers Shrine! By earning the top selection on all five lists this week, the film joins rare company including "Batman Returns" and "The Shawshank Redemption" as the only other films to hit in the #1 spot on all five lists in one post. It's a very welcome addition to previous company, and there's no doubt that whether you're looking for a great John Goodman film or just a great film in general, "The Big Lebowski" is a can't-miss gem.

Outside of that though, there were still a few films that made very strong appearances. "Arachnophobia" and "King Ralph" both showed up on four of the five lists (you'd give the slightest winning edge to "Arachnophobia", which had an average ranking of 3.25 compared to the 4.0 of "King Ralph"). Both solid performances from Goodman, and quality films worthy of representation. You'll have plenty of fun with both of those titles. "Red State" was the only film with three selections, while "Raising Arizona" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" each had two and were the only other films will multiple selections.

We're all glad to see another film finally get enshrined, but each of the titles above are quality selections, all worthy of a watch or two.

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

Happy watching!