Desert Island Actors

Posted: July 31, 2009 in Jeff Holland, Threat Quality

Here’s a fun mental exercise for Friday, couched into a dramatic scenario. desert-islandThe situation is this:

You are trapped on a desert island, with no hope of rescue. The island is so small that exploring it will only engage your interest for a week or two, tops. There is no companionship, nobody to talk to, not even so much as a volleyball to stuff with hair and imbue with a personality. (On the other side of things, you are a pretty serviceable fisherman, so food is not a serious concern.)

What you DO have, is a TV and DVD player, hooked to an otherworldly, eternal power source. And a plane is coming, with a cargo full of DVDs that it just might drop onto your tiny island. You have just enough rocks at your disposal to write the names of three actors or actresses that the plane might see.

“Well, why don’t I write something like ‘SOS’?” I hear you asking. “Or at the very least, list a bunch of directors? And how do I know this plane has DVDs? This whole scenario is flawed!”

Well, to paraphrase the theme to Mystery Science Theater 3000, “Just repeat to yourself, ‘It’s just a game, I should really just relax.’” But if you need an in-story reason, let’s say your brain is addled from the constant sun and lack of a satisfying meal. All you’re thinking about is actors and actresses.

So you’ve got the rocks. You can signal the plane to drop down the entire filmography of THREE (3) actors or actresses. But remember, this is it: whatever you ask the plane to drop down, that’s what you’re stuck with for the rest of your natural life. All the good stuff, all the bad.

What three names do you write down?

To get the ball rolling, I think I would signal for:
George Clooney (I like the vast majority of Clooney’s movies – and given enough time, I might even schedule “Batman and Robin Sundays” for myself, depending on just how insane I’ve become)
Johnny Depp (gets me a lot of Tim Burton movies, and who knows, maybe “21 Jump Street” is a really good show and I’ve just never given it a chance)
William H. Macy (a few Coen bros. movies, along with plenty of supporting roles in clancy-brownpotentially interesting indie films I’ve never even heard of).

And you, discerning readers? Perhaps you want to go with a solid stand-by like DeNiro, or perhaps Tilda Swinton? Or maybe you want a solid character-actor like Clancy Brown (there are worse hells than watching Buckaroo Bonzai, Shawshank Redemption, and “Superman”/”Justice League” cartoons). What actor or actress would you allow to entertain you for the rest of your tortured island existence?

  1. Tad says:

    Well, all of the bad dvd’s don’t count as anything other than frisbees, so I would not crappy movies count against anybody.

    I’d go with:

    Harrison Ford: gives me the original Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones, Air Force One, etc. again, the clunkers become frisbees or maybe shovels, so I don’t have to watch that one with Anne Heche.

    Matt Damon: Field of Dreams (apparently one of several thousand uncredited extras at Fenway Park, but I’ll take it!), Saving Private Ryan, Dogma, Rounders, the Oceans movies, the Bourne movies, Departed, etc.

    Bill Murray: a lot of good funny 80s movies, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Kingpin, Wild Things (its important to have some movies like that if you’re stuck on an island by yourself!), Rushmore, Life Aquatic, etc.

    That’s a quick stab at it, seems like a decent mix of comedy, drama, action, and Star Wars…

  2. Erin says:

    Christopher Lee, Harrison Ford, and Kevin Conroy.

    That covers Lord of the Rings, the original Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones, and all of Batman TAS, Justice League, and JLU. Plus, the Christoper Lee collection alone includes hundreds of films: what better way to spend the sad, lonely years waiting to die?

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    Christopher Lee gets you all three Lord of the Rings movies, which, if you watch the extended branching editions, should take up a few months of your time, at least.

  4. Tad says:

    It better be the extended editions, otherwise you don’t get to watch Return of the King.

    And yeah, upon reviewing his imdb listing, Lee is a great choice, he’s in a billion things!

  5. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Mental exercise…it hurts…hurts…HURTS…ok. I’d need to be stuck with personalities that would conjure up a sense of shared misfortune and camaraderie. After a while, plots, costumes, sets, blah doesn’t matter—no fictional story could compare to the actual rare, outrageous misfortune that became your life. Who would’ve, at worst, laughed at such star-crossed happenings:

    1. Bill Murray. I don’t think I could ever get sick of this guy. He’s such an onscreen “Eyore” with a wised-ass, wicked sense of mischief. Plus,”Groundhog Day” would only feel more authentic when viewed a thousand times over.

    2.Helen Mirren. We’ve already discussed how cool Helen Mirren is, but she’s also covered many genres and seems like another who would laugh at really, awful, ridiculous misfortune. Plus, most of her films are about ruling alone, living alone, surviving on an “island” alone (actual islands, political islands, etc…) and it might help to keep some perspective by watching her films.

    3. Harold Lloyd. Seriously. I’m a hard-core Lloyd fan. Plus, a little silent film would mix things up a bit.

    I wouldn’t want loads and loads of profound or epic stuff to linger over—with noone to break up the philosophical core-crunch sessions, things would just develop into “The Most Dangerous Game” sans anyone else. There’s enough betweeen those three to keep a head plenty occupied, without the chance of too much distortion. It would probably also help to take-up weaving…swimming laps would also be great…identifying sealife, so not to cross the path of any dangerous critters (that’s how “The Life Aquatic” would help)…

  6. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Wait–I can’t decide! Why only three? And by “star-crossed” I meant me + myself because it helps to begin thinking of yourself as “+” if you’re going to be spending lots of time alone…

  7. Moff says:

    I guess probably Rob Schneider and Martin Lawrence and Hayden Christensen and Jon Stewart.

  8. Megan says:

    To commit Tad. There was a Bill Murray movie out called “Larger Than Life” Ever seen it. I thing it was steered toward family viewing.

  9. Matt says:

    After much deliberation and a clarification of the rules, I have picked my three choices:

    1. Johny Depp – Talented actor, and a great discography.
    2. Jack Nicholson – Hasn’t he been in just about every single great movie ever made?
    3. Jenna Jameson – She is in indeed an “actress” of a different caliber, and my choice because, well, on an island a man’s got…needs…

  10. Jeff Holland says:

    Your needs will be met by the magical entertainment center. It has special…attachments.

    Oh wait, had I not mentioned that?

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