Great. I just wrote a huge post full of hysterical fangirling about Kick Ass and The Long Firm. Then either my internet connection or LJ had a little problem, and the whole thing was gone. I know why I usually write my posts in a text document and just copy&paste them afterwards. Stupid me. Serves me right. The good news for you is that you'll get a short form of my long, rambly post. I'm afraid it will still be long and rambly, though, just less so.
1) Go and watch Kick Ass. As soon as humanly possible. Because it's the most awesome movie in a very, very long time. I actually expected it to be rather silly and only watched it for Mark Strong. It turned out that the entire movie is wonderful. I think the best way to describe it is that it's just FUN to watch. Really, I've rarely had so much fun watching a movie, laughing and cheering and just enjoying myself immensely. The dialogues are funny, the fight scenes are cool, it's silly in a very entertaining way, it's original and creative, it's violent in just the right comic way, and the soundtrack is great. Both the actors and the characters they play are awesome. Not just Mark, who's great in every part he plays and who's slowly turning into my favourite actor ever, but also all these young, completely unknown actors who really have talent. Hit Girl was the coolest female character in movie history, I think. ;) And definitely the coolest little girl ever. I love her so much, and I really hope that we get to see her actress again when she grows up, she was really good. (And the fight scene between Hit Girl and Frank D'Amico (Mark's character)? It's not just incredibly cool ... it's kinda hot. Apparently I'm the only one thinking this, and I do admit that it's pretty sick. But, here you go, I found a het pairing I ship. The sickest het pairing you could possibly think of. IDEK. Blame Mark for being so incredibly hot.)
2) Go and watch The Long Firm. It's a TV-mini-series in four parts, based on a novel by Jake Arnott (which I haven't read). It's possibly the only movie in which Mark Strong doesn't just play a supporting character, but actually the main character. And this isn't Oscar-material - this is ten times better than most performances that get an Oscar. I don't think I've ever seen acting as great as Mark's in this movie. He plays a London gangster boss in the 1960s, who's on the outside this really tough, violent, ruthless BAMF, but who's so much more complex, one of the most complex movie characters ever. And it takes an actor like Mark to play such a torn, broken character, to play the entire range of his conflicting emotions without ever overdoing it. It's perfection. He's one of the rare actors who don't seem to play a character - but you only see the character as a real person, you don't see an actor behind it. Even most good actors can't do that to the point of disappearing behind their character. Actually, I can't think of any other actor right now who's so good you forget he's even there and ONLY see his character.
Also, good news for the slashers: Mark's character, Harry Starks, just happens to be homosexual (not gay, he insists on that in one really great scene ;)). Completely unrepressed and open about it. I had no idea about this when I started watching the movie, and I had half a heart-attack when Harry suddenly started flirting with some pretty boy and then kissed him. GUH! Unfortunately, it's still TV and we only get to see two very short kisses. No proper making out, no undressing, not even some hugging and groping (but there is a short het sex scene, which is just unfitting in a movie that is full of slash and has virtually no het at all). It's a bit frustrating, especially since there are apparently quite a few graphic sex scenes in the novel. Really, would it have hurt anyone to give us at least one nice slashy scene? I'm not asking for porn here, just, I don't know, some proper making out and tugging on each other's clothes and taking a shirt off or something like that? The stuff we see in every movie when it's a het pairing? *sigh*
Anyway, ignore my whining and watch the movie. Watch both movies. They're awesome. There might be a picspam for The Long Firm soon, if I manage to choose a reasonable number from the hundreds of screencaps I made ...
Rereading this I realise once more that my obsession with Mark is getting unhealthy ... I'm sorry, I can't help it. If he were a woman in the Middle Ages, I'd say that he has bewitched me or something. ;) No, but honestly, these two movies are definitely worth watching, whether you like Mark Strong or not.