Battle: Kham battles his way to a restaurant atop a multi-floored building
Film: The Protector (Tom-Yum Goong) (2005)
Not my favorite Tony Jaa film, but definitely one of my favorite battles. More of a stunt experiment than a fight, this amazing sequence is a single steady-cam shot, lasting about four minutes. Tony Jaa, in the role of Kham, jumps, kicks, hits, and climbs his way to the top of a massive building, beating down everyone in his path. Don’t miss it!
Battle: Ash faces off against his own possessed hand
Film: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
Bruce Campbell goes above and beyond in this classic comedic horror scene, which takes place in a small kitchen. His possessed hand does everything it can to kill him, but in the end it’s Bruce that gets the upper hand… by losing one. My favorite moment- when his hand knocks him out, and attempts to pull his body across the floor to a meat cleaver. The hands-eye view is great!
Actor: Christopher McDonald
You know him from: Thelma & Louise, Grumpy Old Men, Quiz Show, Happy Gilmore, Flubber, The Perfect Storm, Spy Kids 2
I want to punch Christopher McDonald in the face. Hard. And that’s a compliment. He plays smarmy and condescending better than most people I’ve seen. It’s almost too good a fit- I often wonder what type of guy he is in real life. I doubt he deserves a punch.
Actor: Xander Berkeley
You know him from: Over 170 (!) productions, including Sid and Nancy, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Candyman, Apollo 13, Heat, Air Force One, Amistad, and Taken
I hadn’t realized just how many roles Xander has played over the years. I certainly enjoyed watching him take a blade through the head in Terminator 2, though. Mostly, I’m distracted by Berkeley’s eyes, which always seem as bloodshot as Ben Browder’s (Farscape).
Actor: Cliff Curtis
You know him from: Rapa Nui, Once Were Warriors, Three Kings, The Insider, Training Day, Whale Rider, Sunshine, Live Free or Die Hard
I’m an unabashed fan of Cliff Curtis, even if now and then I forget his name. A native of New Zealand, his portrayal of Porourangi in Whale Rider is in perfect union with the performances of Keisha Castle-Hughes and Rawiri Paratene. It’s a magical film, and remains one I can’t watch with dry eyes. Beyond this performance, however, Curtis also shines brightly in a wide array of blockbusters. Watch him now! His next role is Firelord Ozai in The Last Airbender.
Actor: Richard Jenkins
You know him from: Silverado, Sea of Love, Absolute Power, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Core, The Kingdom, The Visitor
He was nominated for a best lead actor Academy Award for The Visitor, yet somehow his name slips your mind. Richard Jenkins more than earn his way onto this list with a long series of roles, and a familiar face.
Actor: William Fichtner
You know him from: Strange Days, Contact, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, Blades of Glory, The Dark Knight, Prison Break
Fichtner is often chosen for morally ambiguous roles, which he plays quite well. Do you like him? Do you hate him? He allows for both, at times in the same character. I’ve decided to like him. Your results may vary. Either way, although his name may slip your mind, his performances won’t.
Actor: David Morse
You know him from: St. Elsewhere, Twelve Monkeys, The Rock, Contact, The Green Mile, Disturbia, The Hurt Locker
Yes, it’s him. You know, that guy. David’s calm, reassuring demeanor makes him a perfect choice for supporting roles. He’s like your uncle Fred, but drinks less. And he always has your back.
Actor: Glenn Morshower
You know him from: Everything, including Under Siege, The River Wild, Air Force One, Godzilla (1998), JAG, CSI, Black Hawk Down, both Transformers movies, and Friday Night Lights
Face it, Morshower has played nearly every military and law enforcement role in the last 25 years- at least those not played by Raymond Cruz. And, like Cruz, he’s also found his way into a slew of sci-fi shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Enterprise, The X Files, Babylon 5, and Quantum Leap. Way to go!
Actor: Raymond Cruz
You know him from: The Rock, A Clear and Present Danger, Alien: Resurrection, Training Day, The Closer
In military and law enforcement roles, Cruz is a familiar face. I’m having a tough time seeing him as nearly fifty years old now, though. Sheez, am I getting old, too? Raymond also has managed to play small roles in two of my favorite sci-fi shows, The X-Files and Deep Space Nine.