Friday, September 7, 2018

RIP Burt Reynolds

RIP Burt Reynolds

Yesterday, legendary actor Burt Reynolds passed away at age 82. He was always an actor I admired, and I do remember hearing his name much over the course of my life. I am about to show my age here, so please bare with me. As I looked throughout Burt Reynolds' filmography, there was very little of of his work that I actually saw. Most of the things he's well known for, I can't even attest to. I almost feel like a bad movie fan to admit that. But I think I've seen enough to discuss just what an impact he left on the world of filmmaking. He's also one of those guys who appeared all throughout pop culture. Not just movies, but television and even lending his voice in video games. He kind of did it all, which is why he resonated so much with me even though I didn't see a ton of his movies.

One movie of his in particular is a grand favorite of mine. I am talking one of my ten favorite films of all time. I bought "Smokey and the Bandit" on a whim back in 2012. A Blu-Ray disc to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures. I never buy movies on whim, my collection is jam-packed with favorites, I like to get movies that I know I love, and will watch again and again. No time to put stuff in my collection I am not going to watch ever in the foreseeable future. There was something about that cover that appealed to me. I brought it home, I put the disc in my player. I began to watch. The premise is set up fairly quickly and when the iconic theme song plays, and Bandit drives away, following a semi-truck full of Coors Light, I knew the movie had me. I don't know how many of you have watched a movie and before it really got going, you knew in the back of your head that you were going to love it. That's the feeling I got from "Smokey and The Bandit." My love for the movie has grown and grown the more times I watch it. I actually watched it tonight to celebrate the career of Reynolds.

I've seen "Deliverance" and I did enjoy that one, its one of the better horror movies ever made. I could discuss "Deliverance." I could discuss "The Cannonball Run." I could discuss how the newer "Longest Yard," inspired me track down the old "Longest Yard." I could talk about the Smokey sequels. But there is another big Reynolds movie, big to me at least, that I bet most people aren't talking about. In the 1997 film "Boogie Nights," Burt Reynolds plays a porn director. He was so smug and silly and business-like all at the same time. Its truly was a mesmerizing experience just watching him in that movie. In a movie already full of great actors, he really stood out. 

When I say he lent his voice in video games, one in particular was "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." I am not a HUGE gamer, and it usually takes something very special to get me to constantly play. I haven't been obsessed with too many video games. But one series I have been obsessed with is the GTA  series. Simply put, I love how cinematic their storytelling is, and its just fun to let loose in any way fashionable. I liked Reynolds' Avery Carrington. He didn't give your character lots of missions, but he made his presents known, even though he was only doing voice work.

I feel the need to discover every corner of Reynolds' career now. It seems so rich that I need to get going right now. I've loved him in everything I have seen him in though, and Hollywood doesn't quite seem the same without him now. 

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