Tag Archives: Val Kilmer

The Set of 400: #306 – My Favorite Latin Argument

Today! Because you are a good woman, then again, you may be the antichrist –

Tombstone (1993)

Directed by George P. Cosmatos

Starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer (x2), Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Dana Delany, Paula Malcomson, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston, Stephen Lang, Thomas Haden Church, Billy Zane (x2), Jason Priestley, Dana Wheeler- Nicholson, Jon Tenney, Michael Rooker (x2), Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Ben-Victor, John Corbett, Terry O’Quinn, Frank Stallone, Harry Carey Jr. (x2), Robert Mitchum (x2)

In the hectic western revival of the early ’90s – following Clint Eastwood’s masterful return to form with the Best Picture winning Unforgiven in ’92 – we as a people had a serious choice to make. Would we adopt a Kurt Russell Wyatt Earp movie, directed by the man who brought us Rambo: First Blood Part II, as our one-and-only, or would we opt for the Kevin Costner version, an hour longer and directed by Empire Strikes Back screenwriter and Big Chill director Lawrence Kasdan? This was some kind of dilemma.

Thankfully, the first one to make it to theaters (by six whole months) was perfectly enjoyable, and we could all save ourselves three-plus hours of our lives, at the beginning of Costner’s rapid descent from stardom in the mid-’90s. Tombstone may be the glossier, goofier take on the old legend, but it is infinitely more fun, and features an arguably superior cast (Costner’s does have Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Bill Pullman, Isabella Rosselini, Michael Madsen, and Three-Timer JoBeth Williams, though). Plus, it doesn’t try to out-western Clint – while Wyatt Earp really thought it could bring the gravity by adding running time and a brooding Costner. But hey, Earp did earn that one Oscar nomination – more than Tombstone by one! Congrats, Best Cinematography nod! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #355 – My Favorite Bovine Disguise

Today! Because if everybody had a 12 gauge/with a surfboard too –

Top Secret! (1984)

Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker (x2)

Starring Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Omar Sharif, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Kemp, Warren Clarke, Michael Gough, Jim Carter, Ian McNeice, Christopher Villiers, Harry Ditson

Coming on the heels of writing and/or directing The Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, and Police Squad!, the ZAZ team whipped up this WWII/Elvis parody, taking shots at everything from ’50s culture to The Blue Lagoon in the process. And while it might not reach quite the comedic heights of the productions before and after (The Naked Gun, Hot Shots!), there is a lot of fun in this film. Val Kilmer is terrific in his first big screen role, a sort of Conrad Birdie/Audie Murphy hybrid who interrupts the war resistance goings on to break out some rock & roll jams. He’s out to rescue fellow resister Hillary’s father, Dr. Flammond, played by the future Alfred to Kilmer’s Bruce Wayne Michael Gough! Huh! And Hillary actress Lucy Gutteridge’s only other role I’ve seen came in the same year, playing Belle to George C. Scott’s Scrooge! And Peter Cushing and Warren Clarke both co-starred with David Prowse in ’70s films on this list! None of this is really all that important.

This was some years after Clarke played Dim, being very dim

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