Five Favorite Films

Method Man's Five Favorite Films

The Cobbler star really hates shoddy shaky-cam work. A lot.

by | March 11, 2015 | Comments

If you were listening to hip-hop during its early 1990s “golden era,” you know who the Wu-Tang Clan is, and if you know the Wu-Tang Clan, you know Cliff Smith, aka Method Man. The charismatic Grammy-winning rap artist was the first of the Clan’s emcees to release a solo album, which met with both critical and commercial success, and while he continued to work on music through the years, he also expanded his resume to include a significant amount of film and tv work. Most notably, Mr. Meth played supporting roles on acclaimed HBO series Oz and The Wire, held a recurring role on CSI, and appeared in films like Garden State, The Wackness, and The Sitter.

This week, Smith plays a hefty supporting role in Tom McCarthy’s The Cobbler, which stars Adam Sandler as a frumpy cobbler who discovers a magical stitching machine in his basement. RT spoke with the Ticallion Stallion about his Five Favorite Films, and he proceeded to describe exactly how much he hates shaky-cam:

Frailty (Bill Paxton, 2002) 74%

I love that movie. I love the premise behind it. I love how we all thought that the father was insane, and then it pays off in the end. I don’t want to put spoilers in there for people who haven’t seen the movie. Great freakin’ movie.The bottom line is, any time you put Powers Boothe in a movie… This f—in’ guy, man. I just love Powers Boothe. I don’t care what you put him in. When he was on Deadwood, he killed it; Sin City, whatever. He was the best part of Sin City 2, if you ask me.Just the premise of God instructing this man, and do we really believe that this guy is talking to God? Is it true? Is this some form of abuse with these kids? They even did something from the Bible: “He gave his life so that his son could live,” type of thing. There’s so many levels to that freakin’ movie, man. And [Bill] Paxton did an excellent job. First time directing a movie. Oh, and the “God’s Hand” killer. I love that name, too.

The Station Agent (Tom McCarthy, 2003) 94%

For obvious reasons, because I was big on Game of Thrones. I had seen The Station Agent about six months ago. “Let me check this out. Let me see what Tom’s about. I just worked with him; let me see what his work’s like.”Yo, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Peter Dinklage, I mean, the way he carries that thing. Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Bobby Cannavale? Just that cast alone, man. The way these people interacted together, you could tell this wasn’t words on paper. These were people living these lives, man. And I was like, “That is f—in’ acting right there.” I was pulling out my pad and pen and taking notes, brother. And then the way it ended, I was like, “Yeah. Yeah. Why not end it like that? It’s been real life through this whole thing. Why not end it right there?” I loved that. And that showed me right there that Tom’s not afraid at all.

Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004) 71%

Loved that movie. When me and Redman were doing Method & Red — because I hadn’t seen it; I’d heard about it because I used to see pictures on the lot — when I used to drive to lunch, I would see the poster. I’m like, “Who the hell is this Napoleon Dynamite kid?” I thought it was some direct-to-DVD thing. You know, I saw someone one day, and I was like, “What is this thing about?” He’s like, “Oh this movie? You’ve never seen it?” Gave me the DVD. So I go home — I mean, the thing sat there for like two weeks. I got bored, watched it. Incredible.Now, I hang around nothing but real, you know, killers, thugs, right? I’m like, “Yo, y’all gotta check this movie out.” And I’ve thrown on movies in the past, because comedy is comedy to me. I don’t care if it’s white, black, whatever, but they usually shoot down a lot of the white comedies because they don’t get that white innuendo, whatever. I threw on this Napoleon Dynamite, they looked like they were gonna shoot me down again. I mean, they still use some of the quotes from the movie to this day. From there, it was cool for me to play Walk Hard and Anchorman and stuff like that, you know? Now it’s cool.And the fact that they didn’t use a curse word. They didn’t use one curse word that whole movie. And there are so many quotes, so many quotes. And the payoff was the dance at the end. Brilliant.

Snow on tha Bluff (Damon Russell, 2012)

It looked like a documentary. It’s like a found footage movie, but in the hood, and this s–t is incredible, the way he flipped it, because you could tell some of the elements were reenacted, but some of those elements look real as s–t. No lie. And this guy that’s starring in it — his last name is Snow; I don’t remember his first name — he’s not an actor. Not an actor. This is his real life. I’m tellin’ you man, this movie…

The Raid (Gareth Evans, 2012) 86%

My last one is a “slash.” The Raid / Dredd. Basically the same movie, but both of them were dope. I had to throw a little foreign film up in there, you know, in my taste.RT: If you had to choose between the two, could you?Oh, absolutely. The Raid, because The Raid came out first. I love how it was shot. I think that some of these people that make these comic book movies need to take note. The guy who made Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I salute you, I take my hat off to you, because you get it, sir. We are tired — I’m speaking for all the comic book fans out there, because I’ve been a comic book fan since I was seven years old — our movie dreams are becoming a reality now. We need to demand quality s–t.

I’m not talking about story. I’m talking about that f—in’ shaky cam. Why do they do the shaky cam? Get the f—in’ shaky cam the f— outta here unless you know how to use it correctly, okay? When they did it in the Bourne films, they did it correctly. These dudes are losing their minds. I asked. I said, “Why do you guys have the camera so close when the guys are fighting?” “We want the people to experience what it’s like being in the fight.” No! When you’re watching a fight out on the street between two guys, do you want to be up close in the fight? No. You want to stand back and see the whole scenery. You want to actually see the fight. People are jockeying for position in the circle around these dudes so they can get a better look at the fight. They’re not in the middle of it! All you’re gonna see is a fist or an elbow.

And I get it. Sometimes the lead actor can’t fight. They don’t know the moves. But they get paid enough that they can go train for a month and learn how to do the ballet moves in order to get in the fight and make it look convincing. Because Scarlett Johansson is killing it, murdering it. Come on! Let’s go! Stop playing with us. We want quality s–t, and y’all giving us half-assed s–t.

The Batman movies, I give [Christopher] Nolan credit. He took it from where it left off with Joel Schumacher, the campy nipples-on-the-batsuit s–t and brought it back to what core Batman people love. Now, mind you, Batman is a detective, so, you know, you want to see the detective work. You want to see him in the shadows. But when he’s fighting… That fight between him and Ra’s al Ghul, man, come on! We’re talking about two ninjas. I didn’t see a flip or nothing! Oh my god, are you serious? And that first scene in The Dark Knight when he busts Scarecrow and the criminals? Are you kidding me?

We need to demand that these hack-ass camera guys go away, or go to the school of shaky cam and learn how to do it correctly. I know I’m not a director, and I don’t know how those things work, but I’m a fan and I know what I like to see.

RT: Is this all coming from the way The Raid was shot, where you get the full view of all the fight scenes, and it’s really visceral, but at the same time, you can see everything that’s happening?

Exactly, exactly. But their argument would be that those guys are trained martial artists. Okay, well what about 300? He pulled that camera back slowly; he slowed the action up, even. The audacity, the balls of this guy, to actually slow it up and let us see the fighting, let us see the beauty in the ballet moves of the fight. The nerve of Zack Snyder, the nerve of this f—in’ guy! I love it.


The Cobbler opens in limited release on Mar. 13, 2015.
Check out Method Man’s complete filmography.

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