I don’t single out actors very often…rather as often as I should, but sometimes a performance is so perfect that it screams to be talked about. Logan Marshall-Green has one of the finest performances in a genre picture than I have seen literally in years. And because it’s a genre picture…meaning sci-fi horror action (not award season bound) it’s never going to be given the proper praise it deserves.
Logan Marshall-Green is BRILLIANT as Grey Trace, who is a self-described technophobe in a future version of earth that is FILLED with technology. His world gets literally turned upside down when his wife is killed by a group of military assassins and he is left paralyzed from the neck down. He sets his mind to solving her murder when he is given a second chance at life, and revenge, when an experimental chip, called STEM is implanted in his spine, giving him the ability to walk again. But along with that ability comes a whole computerized litany of technology-based abilities that he uncovers over the course of the mystery.
To see how incredible Logan Marshall-Green is in the role, you just have to go to the very first scene of his investigation to find his wife’s murderer, when he breaks into the house of one of the men who ambushed them. I won’t be a spoiler here or anywhere in this article by revealing any surprises or plotlines– but just know that it’s off the hook from here on out. The BRILLIANT part of his acting is to see his face react one way–while his body does the exact opposite. It’s a tour-de-force of acting that I simply have never seen before– and so good that you don’t realize what the actor had to do to be THAT natural and realistic. He reacts EXACTLY as we do as the audience–in complete awe.
My only word for it is BRILLIANT (obviously) and I truly hope that this film does well and that Logan Marshall-Green is finally noticed as a top-tier A-list actor. He’s becoming one of my favorite actors to watch, and I can’t wait to see what he has coming up next. You’d probably recognize him from Prometheus, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Devil or a slew of TV shows. Logan, if you ever read this– keep up the good work, man, I love it!
Upgrade, is written and directed by the fantastic Leigh Whannell. Everything he touches benefits from his contact. Leigh, you just released my favorite movie of the year. Great job.
Sometimes a comedian comes around that just takes you by surprise. For me, that happened with Fred Armisen. Now, to be fair, Fred has been around as a comedian and a musician for a long time, but for some reason, he was not on my radar…he doesn’t seem to jump out at you like some of the other people that have come from Saturday Night Live. Whereas, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy would be the Hot Dog– Fred Armisen would be the condiment, to use a metaphor from my favorite food…for most people, Fred would be the mustard. He just makes the Hot Dog that much better.
My first experience with Fred was very very recent. It was while watching the Netflix special, Fred Armisen: Stand Up For Drummers…and I was mildly entertained for the first 15 minutes or so…quietly enjoying the fact that he’s so unassuming. He comes across as very comfortable and nice and amusing. And then he got to the part where he explains accents and dialects from all around the United States while pointing to a blue map of the US…and he blew me away! He is a MASTER at accents from all around the world, really, I was to learn later. I haven’t ever seen anything quite like it.
Not only can he nail any accent, but he does it down to the city or even suburb… even describing the slight differences in regions of the same place…it’s amazing. what I love most is that these are not parodies of the accents…but the actual understated minute-detailed versions of the accents. I saw a couple of Interviews pulled from Youtube later that showed when an accent got to be from a certain place that was very big or showy– that he would get uncomfortable doing the accent as it would come across as racist or rude…like when he’s asked to do a Jamaican or Vietnamese accent.
He reminds me of Peter Sellers in his ability to do just about any accent as if it was his natural accent. And it becomes that much more hilarious– because the accent is so real instead of outrageously phony. My train of thought brought me back to the old Pink Panther and the Inspector cartoons of the sixties and I remember the Inspector’s sidekick being a Spanish gendarme who does not comprehend the intricacies of the French language… a Sergeant Deux-Deux, who is diminutive, soft-spoken, timid yet low-key and seldom wide-eyed. Now, I wish Fred was around when the Pink Panther movies were being shot, because they could have easily slipped Fred in as Sergeant Deux-Deux.