Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mom Always Liked You Best - Volume 1

This will compare and contrast: Movies, roles, actors, bands, songs, books...etc.  I'm not trying to determine which one is better than the other, but open avenues of discussion.  It's personal opinion which you prefer or like better.  Anyways...on with the show!
        Russell Crowe as Hando in Romper Stomper

   Edward Norton as Derek Vinyard in American History X

Two pretty nasty looking dudes.  I'd say at the least.  Both very scary in many ways...not just looks and actions...perhaps even worse than that is, their thoughts and ideals.  On the surface, Romper Stomper and American History X are about the same things...skinheads.  Two skinheads, in particular...

Hando, as played by Russell Crowe and played very well by him.  This is the first movie that made me aware of Crowe.  He scared the crap out of me in this role.  He is definitely the leader of the skinheads in Australia.  He's the strong one of the group, the alpha male.  His crew sticks together, but is falling apart at the same time.  Hando is self-reliant and has been for a long time.  He's not the smartest guy, but compared to the others, he's a genius.  What he doesn't know he learns.  He's dedicated to being the best neo-Nazi he can be.

Derek Vinyard, as played by Edward Norton, equally as well.  In fact, he was nominated for an Oscar for the second time before he was 30 for this role.  Vinyard is not like Hando, he's educated, from the suburbs and has had all the advantages.  As in life, it can take just one moment to flip everything.  When Derek's dad dies, especially, in the way he's killed...Derek's path is changed.  He goes from an athletic honors student to a confused young adult, in search of a father figure.  He just finds the wrong one.

Let's see, how can I do this without giving too much of either movie away?  Just in case you live in a cave and haven't seen them.  Hando is a psychopath that has no long term plan.  It's destroy everything and everyone in sight...right now.  Derek is very cold and calculated with a long term plan to expand the power of his crew, the D.O.C.  Derek's journey takes place over the course of years.  Hando's may take a week, but it's full throttle the entire time.  I have to give Hando the advantage in tattoos, simply for his left arm alone.  That is an intimidating piece of ink.  Derek has the swastika tattooed on his left pectoral (his heart).  Which may have more meaning as a neo-Nazi, but the black ink bones spells bad ass.

 They are both quite menacing physical presences.  You wouldn't want to fight either one on one.  You may think Hando is the better fighter, because he doesn't use a gun, but he would if he had the chance.  Vinyard is a product of his environment.  You don't show up to a gun fight with a knife and he knows that.  Although, he does seal his reputation by what he does after he's out of bullets.  Karma catches up to both of them respectively in different ways.  Again, being vague as to not give away too much.

Check out both of these movies and form your own opinions.  If for nothing else, they will open your eyes.  There are still groups like the ones portrayed in the movies.  Not just in the USA, but worldwide.  Hate, is one of the strongest emotions out there, but a lot of times, these kids don't know what, why or who they hate.  The pure evil is at the top, the people that give the followers their beliefs.  Hate breeds hate and it's sad.  The way I look at life is simple.  An ass is an ass.  If you're a great person, you are.  It has nothing to do with color, religion or where you came from, for me.  Ok, I'm off my soapbox.

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