Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon

Here at Tank Top Movies today, we thought we would play a little bit of six degrees of Kevin Bacon and challenge you movie lovers out there. Six degrees is a popular game that challenges movie buffs to connect one actor to another by films they have been in with other actors. We’ll tell you our way of getting from one actor to the next, all by films currently available on UK on-demand services around the web right now (I know, that was bloody convenient), then let us know the way you would do it. Whether that is the quickest way you can connect the two or the route that ensures your personal favourite movies.

Today’s ‘contestants’ are two of my favourite young actors on the Hollywood scene at the moment. How would you get from lady’s man Ryan Gosling to the quirky deadpan Aubrey Plaza.

Gosling disappeared off a lot of people radars after the relatively large success of The Notebook. He has since starred in his fair share of smaller independent movies, but in the last year or two, Gosling has shown he is one of the emerging leading men in hollywood, despite not eating his breakfast. On the other hand, Plaza, probably best known for her fantastic wickedly funny character in American sitcom, Parks and Recreation, hasn’t quite had that big breakout movie yet. The To Do List, due out next month, looks like the film that could really propel her career in the right direction.

So let’s play six degrees: Gosling to Plaza.

Ryan Gosling was in Drive.
In 2011 Ryan Gosling starred in the crime drama simply named Drive.  The title of this movie was not the only thing kept simple: A straightforward plot with minimal dialogue, it is the visuals and atmosphere indie director Nicolas Refn creates that really make this film a treat.  This is certainly not your typical Hollywood car chase film. The film has moments of gentle quiet splattered with sudden shocks. Like all good car journeys should, Drive delivers a standout soundtrack.

The supporting cast is very strong and includes actor of the moment, Bryan Cranston, widely  praised for his portrayal of Walter White on AMC’s Breaking Bad (though he will always be Hal to me). Which leads me to the first stop on this Gosling Plaza movie Journey.

Ryan Gosling was in Drive with Bryan Cranston, who was in Little Miss Sunshine.
Bryan Cranston has a small part in Little Miss Sunshine as Stan Grossman, con agent of motivational speaker Richard Hoover: patriarch of the oddball Hoover family. Little Miss Sunshine is a charming comedy drama that made its debut at the 2006 Sundance film festival. Like most independent films, the characters, not so much the plot are the real heart of the movie and Sunshine has heart in abundance. The development of the characters and their relationships with one another are top notch, with brilliant performances by Steve Carrel and Alan Arkin in particular. Little Miss Sunshine herself is portrayed by, at the time young child actress, Abigail Breslin. Oh they do grow up fast. Breslin is the next stop on our movie road trip.

Bryan Cranston was in Little Miss Sunshine with Abigail Breslin, who was in Zombieland.
The undead just keep on rising. Zombieland was probably the best Zombie film of 2009 in a genre that simply refuses to die. Thankfully, Zombieland in a world of death and decay delivers a fresh vibrant film. Much like Little Miss Sunshine, the plot is simple but the characters fantastic- all four of them. Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg team up and become a very interesting (albeit messed up) surrogate family. Eisenberg’s rules for Zombie survival in particular give the film a fun fresh spin. Bill Murray makes an appearance too, in what is an already fantastically funny Zombie flick.

Abigail Breslin was in Zombieland with Bill Murray, who was in Moonrise Kingdom.
Chances are that if you've seen a Wes Anderson movie before you already know if you are going to like this offbeat comedy drama or not. Fans of Anderson can expect all the usual nuances and stylings of Anderson’s often quirky work, including regular collaborator Bill Murray. Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of a young romance between two misfit children, Sam and Suzy. The two leads characters’ personalities and chemistry carry the movie and are a great watch. For some the movie might be a bit too 'Andersonny'- at times he is almost parodying his earlier work- but I guess that’s just his style. Much like Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman is a regular in Anderson’s work and plays a small yet pivotal part as a boy scouts camp ranger in this storybook like film.

Bill Murray was in Moonrise Kingdom with Jason Schwartzman, who was in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.
Scot Pilgrim Vs. the World is truly a film like no other. Based off the Graphic Novel series of the same name, Scott Pilgrims premise alone is widely original. Our protagonist, Scott Pilgrim (if you hadn't guessed already), in order to date the mysterious Romano Flowers must defeat her 7 evil ex-boyfriends (sorry, ex’s). Directed by Tank Top Movies favourite Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim Vs the World is brilliantly clever and fantastic love letter to geek culture. Wright clearly loves the worlds or comic books, games and the ‘hipster’ scene, and celebrates them while also finding the humour and irony in them. Scott Pilgrim is certainly not a film for all, but has quickly become a cult classic.
Jason Schwartzman plays the final and most evil of Ramona’s ex-boyfriends and he revels and excels in the role.
We are now approaching our final destination in out Gosling Plaza journey: Aubrey Plaza plays Julie Powers and delights in telling Scott Pilgrim to $£%& off.

Jason Schwartzman was in Scott Pilgrim Vs the world with Aubrey Plaza.
So there you have it. That is how we at Tank Top Movies would get from Ryan Gosling to Aubrey Plaza. If Plaza's small performance intrigues you in Scott Pilgrim, check out Safety Not Guaranteed, a small indie film with another really intriguing premise based off a true story. Aubrey stretches her acting skills, taking on a slightly more serious role in this heartwarming, fun independent film.

Let us know how you would do it? What’s the quickest way you can think of? Plus, what actors do you think we should try to connect next time?

Every film mentioned in this article is currently available on various UK Demand Services now, just head over to Tank Top Movies to get your viewing, sorted.
Posted by Matthew Taylor