5 Selected – Stephen Lang

01.Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

My personal introduction to Lang was in this grimy sordid film where he plays a crooked and confused man, second in command during a workers strike he manages to make a better living from his bent position, using his “wealth” he entices a circle of new friends and falls in love with a fancy drag queens, but when the bottom falls out of his scam, his new friends don’t want him anymore and he ends up getting beaten up for being a “fag”. It’s a sterling performance as he goes from trying to be a tough guy to being a distraught gay lover. His large frame lumbering around desperately for some sense of belonging.  His performance is strong and believable. 9/10

02.Avatar (2009)

Strangely this re kick started Lang’s career, he’d played lots of bit roles and a few leads in straight to DVD productions but his jar head role as the ultimate bad ass military guy really rocked him into pole position again. He’s the human form of the brush head from Small Soldiers () and manages to create as much havoc on a lush alien planet. He’s pretty tough and it was good to see him in something major after so long. He’s the perfect guy we all love to hate, a great comeback to a major role on the big screen! 7/10

 

03.Don’t Breathe (2016)

This is such an intense story and executed quite well, it could have been that tad more disturbing but that’s my two cents on the matter. A group of young people have a pretty neat set up of breaking into houses and stealing what they can, due to one of their parents working for a security company but before they split for the summer they wanna hit the jackpot, an blind aged army vet (Lang) lives alone with his dog as a recluse after his daughter died and he received a massive pay-out. They reckon he has millions stashed away and what a pitiful harmless victim right!? Wrong! The fight for their lives in the dark horrors of the Vets home and find more than they bargained for in the basement. The film was quite exciting and Langs character slowly becomes more twisted and dangerous as the films progresses, and Turkey Baster.. just saying 6/10

04.Manhunter (1986)

Okay he doesn’t play a huge part but what a greasy slime ball! Lang plays the part of a bottom feeding journalist. He plays the part well, a sort of journalistic yuppie who is used to antagonise a serial killer in coming out of hiding to go after the FBI. This all comes after he took some questionable photos of the agent after he had been shot by Hannibal the Cannibal, He’s a man without any direction on his moral compass and in ever scene he’s in  I wanted to punch his face. But he inadvertently becomes the target of the ToothFairy, the serial killer that he successfully managed to antagonise but the outcome isn’t quite what he was expecting, a breathtaking scene from the then masteful director Michael Mann.

 

05.Monkey’s Paw (2013)

This modern reboot of a 116+ year old story is sensitively approached, it’s hard to add a twist to a story which everyone knows and that has been retold in many ways over the years, it has some interesting qualities, but falls a bit flat, this is despite an excellent performance from Lang who isn’t cast as a lead but is the main character which catalysts the movie on in dark and gruesome ways, he’s on screen presence is certainly a bonus. 6/10

 

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