Sunday, February 26, 2017

R.I.P., Bill Paxton

Man, this is tough. Paxton had such an irrepressible joie de vivre, this endlessly manic and goofy energy, that it was nearly impossible for me to watch him do his thing without having a grin plastered on my face the whole time. NEAR DARK, TRUE LIES, THE VAGRANT, you name it. He's a legend. The man battled a Terminator, an Alien, and a Predator, for godssakes. And he could do serious roles, too, like NIGHTCRAWLER, A SIMPLE PLAN, and APOLLO 13. He had dimension. As a director, his major output is comprised of the FISH HEADS music video and the religious thriller, FRAILTY. I suppose what I'm saying is that Paxton contained multitudes... whether he was rockin' leather pants and saying "Hasta...whatever!" in BOXING HELENA, making the frame story watchable in TITANIC (with a pirate earring), servin' stache in TOMBSTONE, playing a proto-Cannon Films punk in THE TERMINATOR, forever claiming "Game Over" as a Paxton-ism in ALIENS, under-fivin' it in COMMANDO, sizing up the PREDATOR (2), reviving an old catchphrase in SPY KIDS 3-D, promoting the Battle of the Bills (a.k.a. Paxton vs. Pullman) in BRAIN DEAD, or turning in one of the zaniest, most smart-assed performances of all time in NEAR DARK, a movie where he exclaims "Finger lickin' good!" after drinking a redneck's blood. Damn. Here's to you, Bill.


GuyR said...

This is sad, really, as if a percentage of the joy in the world has been deleted or something.

Mike Bradley said...

Hear, hear. Also, "One False Move" remains the best film depiction of Arkansas that this native of the state has ever seen, due in no small part to Paxton's amazing performance.

Sean Gill said...


Indeed––it's a blow.


I've never seen ONE FALSE MOVE––I clearly need to check it out.

gweeps said...

I think he should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in A Simple Plan. He was so good in it.

I see he has an audio commentary for Frailty. I need to listen to it soon.

Sean Gill said...


Agreed on A SIMPLE PLAN, I remember being blown away by his work there. And given what a great interviewee he was over the years, I bet his commentary track is fascinating.