My Love Affair with Alec Baldwin…

Alec Baldwin. I just love the guy. I don’t know him personally, but I’m certain that if I did he wouldn’t disappoint. I know more people who dislike him than like him, but that’s their loss.

Baldwin is a great over-the-top style actor, and with an industry full of moody, mumbly actors, it’s refreshing for someone not afraid to make a little noise when he walks into a room. He’s rambunctious, a little scary, and has that kind of edge that even though you’re watching him on a television screen in a movie he made ten years ago, there’s a chance that he could still reach out and grab you by the balls and nearly pop them if you’re paying attention.

Some of my favorite Alec Baldwin movies, in no particular order, include: The Cooler, The Aviator, The Edge, Pearl Harbor, The Shadow, The Getaway and Glengary Glen Ross. He also does funny well, as demonstrated in his many appearances on Will & Grace and hosting Saturday Night Live.

This past weekend I caught a good chunk of the first Alec Baldwin movie that really caught my attention, 1990s The Hunt for Red October.

There’s been a hubbub going on over the cat that’s playing the new James Bond. I haven’t wasted much energy worrying about this debate. I recall reading a few of the Ian Fleming Bond books as a teenager and being bored to death, but as far as who played the best Bond in the movies to date, I am a card-carrying member of the microscopic minority who like Pierce Brosnan.

Alec Baldwin was the first actor to play author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on the big screen. Lots of people think that Harrison Ford played Ryan better, in the following movies, but lots of people are wrong. Sure, Ford was good at the action sequences, but what I walked away from the Clancy books was that Jack Ryan did more problem solving with his brains than his fists. When jammed into a corner with no way out, you can see Alec Baldwin running through countless scenarios in his mind before deciding on a plan of action based on a CIA memo he’d read four years earlier about the firing mechanism of the X-18 Soviet SAM missile. If pressed into a similar situation Harrison Ford’s Ryan would probably kick loose a steam pipe, blinding his captors, then escape the submarine by firing himself out of an empty submarine tube.

I have hope for the Ben Affleck’s Ryan, as seen in 2002’s The Sum of all Fears. He’s got the moves, but you can also tell that he’s a thinking action star as well.

The last and possibly he least reason why I like Alec Baldwin so much is because he has brothers. A whole bunch of them. I wish I had a brother. Older would have been great, but I would have settled for younger. I had two older sisters and they were great, but they were sisters. If I had grown up with a couple of brothers I probably wouldn’t be such a big wuss. I would have started dating, drinking, driving, and a whole bunch of other things earlier. My sister Nancy tells me that after my Mom and sisters got back from taking a train trip to visit my aunt in San Diego (this was from Chicago) that she had a horrible miscarriage that almost killed her. Ever since I heard this I think that perhaps the baby that she lost was the brother I never had. That would have been great. Or, he might have been an even bigger wuss that I am.

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