Anyone know why Michael Keeton is great? It’s because he’s adaptable and extremely versatile and can do just about anything that a director or producer needs him to do. Back in the day he proved this and he’s proven in the current era that he still has it if people are just willing to let him go a little nuts and show them what he can do. He’s one of those that helped pave the way for a lot of actors that came after him and yet didn’t get enough of the credit for being a pioneer in films that have been just about driven into the dirt. Keaton is the kind of guy that can be nice, calm, and friendly, and then wig out in the next second and be more than a little nuts and unstable. In many ways he’s the every-man that has a range unlike many others and can accommodate any role he needs to play.
Here are just a few of his best movies to prove this.
Birdman is what happens when an actor thinks that they’re losing their touch and in this case, it’s the touch with reality that seems to be seriously slipping with Riggan. Having been a big star decades before he desperately wants to show people that he’s still got it but somehow keeps messing things up as he goes along and even botches his own suicide on stage, much to the amazement of the crowd that thinks it was all staged. This is the kind of film that shows a person the dark side of Hollywood when someone has nothing else to give and very little else to live for other than any redeeming qualities that might still be buried deep down.
4. White Noise
This is probably one of his creepiest movies since it’s more hidden menace than it is outright terror. In fact the last part in which his character is killed, or rather, twisted, broken, and left to die, could have been left out and the movie would have still been just as creepy. Whether you believe it or not there are things in this world that we’re not meant to mess with and some people go traipsing about trying to channel them as though they’re a new and shiny toy to be played with. The unfortunate part of this is that when the other side plays with you, it’s not quite as kind or as naive.
3. Mr. Mom
There are more house husbands in this day and age than people realize but the stereotype was still very hard to fathom back in this time since men were supposed to go out and earn the money and women were supposed to raise the kids and, if there was time, support their household with a job of their own. But when you switch the roles this is what you get, and quite honestly it’s hilarious because so many men would attest to this by stating that women did in fact run the house in a much more efficient manner back in the day on average. This kind of reinforces the idea that men and women need to work together when it comes to the household.
Supposedly there’s a sequel coming but it’s still not quite certain just when it will come out. But when it first came out Beetlejuice was one of the funniest and most insane movies around. Keaton got to go all out on this one and just act as crazy as he possibly could since he’s playing a dead guy that entertains the idea of exorcising the living. Needless to say his character is more than a little off-balance and would be a serious danger to anyone if he didn’t have the fallacy of being too crazy for his own good. It’s going to be interesting to see how a sequel might bring this guy back and what will happen when he does make an appearance.
Batman was already a popular character before this but Keaton really managed to bring him out in a big way for this film and it was an instant hit. He had to contend with Jack Nicholson, which wasn’t easy, but at the same time he was still a perfect fit for the role of Bruce Wayne and Batman since he could be dark and brooding and kind of out of it at times since he was so preoccupied with so much else in his life. In short he was probably the best Batman of all time so far, and that’s saying a lot since a lot of folks would rather I say Christian Bale nailed it. But come on, Keaton didn’t have to growl in order to be menacing, he just had to lower his voice.
Ah yes, Keaton is awesome.