As geeks we are blessed with the amount of content available to us every day. Book, games, films, TV shows, plays, all available no more than a tap away. It is wonderful, but there is also a dark side. The availability of media increases the number of people consuming said products. With this increased consumption comes a rise in the desire to discuss thoughts and feelings with like minded people. Social media is brilliant for this, without Twitter this community wouldn’t exist! However, there is a dark side. The last few years has seen some of the most polarising opinions on film and TV in history. One only needs to send a harmless tweet about The Last Jedi and you will soon be seeking the number to your local counselling service.
This site and the community we have built up around it is intended to be a reflection of our thoughts and feelings towards the things we enjoy but also a reflection of the geek world. With this in mind, 2020 sees the arrival of Geekstalkers combat. Each month we will be pitting two members of the community against each other to discuss a topic. They will each present their arguments then a vote will be put out to the wider world to select a victor. That member will then go on to be entered into the Grand Final at the end of the year! There is much at stake! Money? No. Prizes? No. Status? No. Bragging rights? Hell yes!
So, by the words of Celebrity Death Match Ref Mills Lane, “Let’s get it on!”
THIS MONTHS TOPIC IS THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE LAST DECADE
Duelling it out over this subject are @Neilbyrne and @CouchPotato_MVP
First up is Neil!
So recently I was tasked by the Geekstalkers crew with the unenviable position of trying to decide on my choice for best performance of the last decade as round 2 of their ongoing head to head challenge with other Geekstalkers members, now I would assume that many of you reading this are shouting at your screens about who should be chosen for this & I am probably about to let you down.
So before the crushing blow comes about who I consider to have given the best performance in the last decade let me first explain about how hard this challenge was for me, now many moons ago before family life kicked in around 2012 I used to have plenty of time to watch movies & tried to keep up.
Circa 2012 my daughter burst onto the scene & movies took a serious back seat to everything else.
I have kept up sides with Disney releases…as every good parent should…but blockbusters, drama’s & everything in between has taken a knock & after many hours of standing in front of my Blu-Ray rack filled with MANY, MANY still sealed movies (including some stone cold classics that I still need to see) it dawned on me how little I have actually watched that fall within the last decade.
I have obviously seen all the Marvel movies (well ok not all…I still haven’t seen Endgame or Far From Home) but after that there is little to use as fodder for best performance.
Now the MCU has so many great, great movies but do any of them feature what should be classed as a best performance?? I fear not.
So that begs another question…what do I consider to be the criteria for a best performance?
To me a best performance is someone who can portray a character that makes me really care about them, makes me want them to succeed & can tug on the heart strings when needed & I think who I chose managed all of that.
Now I have mostly spent my movie viewing time with action movies over the last decade, easy popcorn flicks that I can dip in & out of & turn my brain off & just be entertained but there was one film that stood out & had a character that I felt covered all the criteria I set out for my best performance & that would be Ansel Elgort as Baby in Baby Driver
Again probably not what everyone would peg as a best performance but in my restricted viewing this film just stood out as being one of my favourites & Ansel’s performance is one that has stood the test of time & stuck with me since I saw it.
From the opening heist, the music & that frankly unbelievable getaway sequence I was invested in Baby & where his story would take us.
From there Ansel took the reigns & built what would become a character that I wanted more than anything to succeed & get away from the life he has found himself in.
As the story progresses & you start to delve further into why Baby is in the world he is & why he does what he does you start to build a real connection with him & Ansel does a fine job of portraying the vulnerable side of the character (not that he doesn’t feel vulnerable all the time)
When he meets love interest Debora (Lily James) you desperately want that last job to come along, be a roaring success & for Baby & Debora to drive off into the Sunset to live happily ever after
Now Edgar Wright did a pretty good job on building this film with the pacing & story & building your desire to see Baby succeed.
By the time you get to that final job & everything starts unravelling you see a different side to Baby & Ansel again steps up his performance & becomes something of the action hero that you don’t expect & he does it well, the transition to protector comes naturally & like it was always bubbling under the surface & just needed the reason to see it come out.
Then the final act, the kick in the teeth & the loss of his most important sense was a wrench & you felt so sorry for Baby.
The redemption & his final ride is a perfect finale, but it still feels bittersweet after everything in that final act, still you do get to see the happy finale that Ansel has acted his backside off to make you want for Baby from that very opening & it just strikes me (in my admittedly limited selection process) as being my best performance of the last decade.
So there you have it guys & gals this was my choice for best performance & my first ever piece for anything ever.
I hope it entertained you for a while & sways you to vote, but before you do please make sure you read my opponent’s piece (the very fine Matthew Fisher or @Couchpotato_MVP if you look him up on Twitter) & then make your decision…I’m pretty sure he’s going to smash this piece out of the park but hey it’s been fun writing this & hope I’ll get the chance to do some more.
So with all that said (& I’m pretty sure it’s a whole bunch of waffle) thanks for taking time to stop by & read this & it’s made you fancy watching Baby Driver (if you haven’t already) or a re-watch if you have.
Have fun all
Now entering the ring is Matthew!
This article contains spoilers for “Logan.”
Picking the Best Performance of the 2010s was not an easy task, especially because I watched a lot of movies and TV shows this past decade. After bouncing from one choice to another, I settled on a single performance that stood out from the rest. My vote for Best Performance of the 2010s goes to Hugh Jackman as Logan a.k.a. Wolverine in “Logan.”
Since first appearing as Logan/Wolverine in “X-Men,” Jackman has been a highlight of the X-Men franchise. He routinely brought stellar charisma and depth to the role, developing Logan from a mysterious mutant with metal claws and a healing factor to a complicated hero struggling with past sins. However, in “Logan,” Jackman takes this role in a gritty, complex, and highly dramatic direction. This film gives Jackman the opportunity to examine the man behind the claws and get to the heart and soul of Logan. After 17 years as this popular X-Man, Jackman shows he’s still committed to playing Logan/Wolverine and determined to exit his career- defining role on a high note.
“Logan” follows an older, apathetic Logan (Jackman) in a world where mutants have stopped being born. He keeps a low profile while caring for Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) alongside fellow mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Logan dreams of escaping and living on the ocean, but his plans change when he’s tasked with bringing a new mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen), Logan’s clone and his daughter, to the mutant sanctuary Eden. Soon, Logan, Laura, and Xavier find themselves on the run from a shady research facility, which includes the tech-enhanced mercenary Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), his minions, and X-24 (Jackman again), an evil Wolverine clone. As Logan embarks on this journey, he contemplates if a hopeful, caring future is possible for him and if he can ever be redeemed for his actions.
Jackman stands out in “Logan” by shedding Logan’s heroic identity and presenting a
conflicted, angry, and depressed man. Logan is no longer a superhero rushing to save the day but instead a loner weighed down by a long life, his failures and regrets, and a disdain for the future. Jackman molds Logan into a man with plenty of emotional baggage and scars, both literal and figurative. We see this when Logan is by himself, struggling to extend his metal claws and staring at his Weapon X dog tags. Jackman captures this man’s difficulty to move forward with distressing and aching expressions. He exposes Logan as a person who’s given up on everything.
This internal conflict is also prominent as Jackman has Logan question if he can be content or care for others again. He shows Logan believing hope and happiness exist as when Logan, Laura, and Xavier have dinner with a farmer’s family or feeling like it’s impossible as Logan tells Laura he won’t be traveling with her and the others after Eden. Arguing with Laura, Logan expresses grief for feeling like he always hurts those close to him. “Bad s–t happen to people I care about.” He passionately delivers this line as a man wanting to help but fearing he’ll make things worse.
Jackman adds another layer to Logan’s anguish with Logan and Xavier’s relationship.
Jackman and Stewart are excellent here, complementing their characters with dual worldviews. Stewart has Xavier believe in a hopeful future while Jackman makes Logan more pragmatic. Regardless of their ideologies, he shows Logan is indebted to Xavier by developing a turbulent father-son bond. Jackman indicates how watching over Xavier is important to Logan because Xavier is the last reminder of his old life. We see this emotional hook on full display when Logan buries Xavier after being killed by X-24. Jackman offers the right amount of grief as Logan says goodbye to his last friend and family member. You feel Logan’s pain as Jackman struggles to speak and can only say, “[The gravesite’s] got water.” Jackman captures the harsh feelings that come with loss and makes us feel the same agony.
Additionally, Jackman fully understands Logan’s character arc as he evolves from an isolated, desolate man to someone rediscovering hope, caring again, and earning redemption. Jackman admirably takes his time to turn Logan back into a hero and compassionate person, especially as Laura’s surrogate dad. Initially, Jackman has Logan treat transporting Laura to Eden as a paid task, but he gradually makes Logan into a more responsible, parental figure.
At first Logan is blunt with his guardianship like when he shouts, “Not okay,” before Laura attacks a convenience store clerk. However, with each new stop, Jackman lets go of Logan’s gruff personality and starts to care more for Laura by realizing she too was born into a violent and painful life. When Logan watches a video filmed by a nurse that helped Laura escape from the research facility, he sees how her and other mutants were turned into weapons. With a stern glance, Jackman exhibits a fear of history repeating and how he has a responsibility to save Laura from a troubling, dark path. This compassion flourishes as Jackman reveals that despite how much Logan has changed, the hero and good person he was never disappeared.
Still, Jackman shows Logan can’t shake the doubt and fear he’ll bring danger to the people around him. When Logan and Laura get to Eden, he sees she has a makeshift family like he did with the X-Men. While Logan could become a new Professor Xavier for these mutants, he believes they’re better off without him. Jackman expresses a blunt and distraught attitude as Logan reaches the tough decision that he has to leave in order for these kids to have a future.
While Jackman morphs Logan back from a broken man to a whole one, he also does a superb job having Logan confront the man he used to be with X-24. It’s impressive how he plays this feral, monstrous version of Wolverine AND the conflicted yet compassionate person Logan has become. Jackman brilliantly plays two different versions of Logan without missing a beat. He successfully ups his action skills by capturing these brutal, relentless fights while solidifying the metaphor of the past and present colliding.
Ultimately, Jackman cements my vote for Best Performance of the 2010s because of his final scene as Logan/Wolverine. As the new mutants are hunted by Pierce, his mercenaries, and X-24, Logan uses a chemical injection to increase his strength and help these kids even though it’ll kill him. Logan does what he can but X-24 severely injures him. Despite Laura killing X-24 with an adamantimum bullet, Logan is finished. Logan’s death provides Jackman with one of his most emotional and heartbreaking scenes. Jackman grasps this tragic scene by depicting this once invincible warrior as lifeless and defeated. However, what gets one crying is the heartfelt moment Logan shares with Laura, which is astoundingly acted by Jackman and Keen. In a soft voice, Logan says, “Laura,” showing he’s acknowledging his legacy and Laura’s future. Keen makes this loss even sadder as Laura calls Logan “Daddy” right as he passes away. Jackman nicely captures the notion of Logan finding a new family, but it’s fleeting. He hits the emotional
beats more as Logan lets go of Laura’s hand and stares into space. Still, Jackman shows Logan did obtain redemption by helping Laura and the other mutants, making us realize he was always going to go out fighting for a just cause. He utilizes these few, impactful minutes to make us grieve Logan’s death but also appreciate his heroic sacrifice.
The 2010s had many worthy performances but Jackman’s swan song as Logan remains my top choice. He did an outstanding job deconstructing Logan and seeing if it was possible for this mutant to care again, hope, and find redemption. Over the years, Jackman crafted a defining take on Logan/Wolverine, which is why “Logan” means so much. As the last Wolverine movie, it was Jackman’s chance to complete this character’s storyline while presenting moviegoers with a worthy sendoff for this iconic hero. Job well done!
There you have it!
The contenders have put forward their arguments, now it’s time for you to do the work! This article will be shared out with an option for you to vote for the winner! Enter your votes and join the conversation! The winner of this round will be announced shortly!
For now, Geek on, Geek hard! Peace out!
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