Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, taciturn welder, hunter, and Vietnam veteran
Del Rio, Texas, to Mexico, Summer 1980
Film: No Country for Old Men
Release Date: November 9, 2007
Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Having found two million dollars in a briefcase at the scene of a drug deal gone sour, laconic welder Llewelyn Moss also finds himself the target of multiple groups of criminals.
Moss packs up his wife (Kelly MacDonald) and heads to the border town of Del Rio, Texas, where he shacks up in a motel. Eventually, Llewelyn is forced to face the fact that he’s not as wily as he thinks… however, he is crafty. Continue reading
Sean Connery as Jim Malone, tough and honest Chicago beat cop
Chicago, September 1930
Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The Untouchables is a highly entertaining – yet highly fictionalized – saga of the successful legal campaign to bring down Al Capone’s criminal enterprise that terrorized Chicago through the 1920s with an all-star cast including Robert De Niro as Capone himself.
Eliot Ness had made a name for himself in the final years of Chicago’s beer wars as a relentless Prohibition agent, and he would use his fame decades later to pen The Untouchables, a memoir in which he credits himself with practically single-handedly sending Capone to prison. In real life, Ness’ raids were indeed disruptive, but it was the work of modest investigators U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson and IRS agent Frank Wilson that eventually led to the charges that successfully convicted Capone. Continue reading
Matthew McConaughey as Mud, mysterious fugitive and Arkansas River drifter
DeWitt, Arkansas, Summer 2012
Release Date: May 26, 2012
Director: Jeff Nichols
Costume Designer: Kari Perkins
As the weather’s getting warmer and days are getting more adventurous, BAMF Style is taking a look at the modern Mark Twain-style titular hero of 2012’s Mud.
Mud doesn’t give Matthew McConaughey the chance to show off any sharp clothes as any of his previous roles had, but it’s also part of the “McConnaissance” that has marked the complex roles of his more recent career. After a string of stupid romantic comedies and Kate Hudson vehicles, McConaughey decided to show the world he was a seriously talented actor with films like The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Interstellar as well as his Academy Award-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club and nihilistically stunning role in the first season of HBO’s mind-fucking True Detective.
In Mud, McConaughey plays a mysterious drifter living in a boat in the backwoods off the Arkansas River. Mud promises two adventurous boys, Ellis and the awesomely-named Neckbone, that he will give them the boat if they get him food and help him reunite with his troubled ex-girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). Continue reading
William Holden as Pike Bishop, grizzled bandit gang leader
Coahuila, Mexico, Spring 1913
Film: The Wild Bunch
Release Date: June 18, 1969
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Costume Designer: James R. Silke
We’ve got to start thinking beyond our guns. Those days are closing fast.
…is what Pike Bishop wisely tells his men, an aging group of outlaws still anachronistically robbing banks and trains on horseback with a six-shooter on their hips. Pike knows the times are changing, and it doesn’t take a water-cooled machine gun or a Mexican general’s Packard to drive the point home to them.
Today would have been the 97th birthday of William Holden, who starred in classics like Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Sabrina, The Bridge on the River Kwai before taking on the role of the anachronistically self-aware Pike Bishop. Holden was one of many actors considered by Sam Peckinpah for the role; Lee Marvin had actually been cast but then turned it down to accept the higher-paying lead in Paint Your Wagon. It turned out well for Holden, who developed the character into one of the greatest movie badasses of all time… as even that sterling news source MTV agreed. Continue reading
Keanu Reeves as John Wick, retired assassin out for revenge
New York City, Spring 2014
Film: John Wick
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Director: Chad Stehelski
Costume Designer: Luca Mosca
Rarely have I ever received such overwhelming demand for a post as I had for John Wick… and I hadn’t even heard of the film before February! Somehow this flick missed my radar completely (the concussion in January didn’t help). Granted, the only movie I’ve managed to see in theaters since last summer was Birdman, but still I tend to be aware of badass action movies upon their release. Thankfully, the badasses who comment on this blog brought it to my attention and now we all have Craig, Aaron, and gunner to thank for this post!
Any preconceived notions I may have had about Keanu Reeves were tossed – or, rather, violently thrown – out the window after seeing him take out approximately 80 bad guys with advanced weaponry and tactics, all while wearing a sharp suit and driving a beautiful example of automotive American muscle. Continue reading