HAPPY FATHER’S DAY EVERYONE! Sorry I haven’t been posting anything, I’ve been sick. But to honour our amazing fathers, I’m making it a point to make a feature like I did on Mother’s Day. So what does it take to be a good dad? A good father wants the best for their children. They do a lot of sacrifices, and sometimes we don’t show that we appreciate it our dads, but deep down they know we really do. Here’s a list of 10 bad-ass movie dads that really embody what a “dad” should be!
10. Robert De Niro as Jack Byrnes in “Meet the Parents” (2000) – In “Meet the Parents” (2000), De Niro creates another memorable character in Jack Byrnes, a overbearing, over protective father, who was once part of the CIA. When his beautiful daughter gets engaged to the wacky Ben Stiller, Jack is going to do everything to see if Still is really the right guy for his baby girl. Though Jack’s decisions may seem a bit nosy and over-the-top, it’s not usual for father’s to be protective over their steed. This film portrays an intensified version of just that.
9. Steven Martin as George Banks in “Father of the Bride” (1991) – In a re-make of the Spencer Tracey headliner, Steve Martin takes over the role of the father in the 1991 comedy. Martin portrays the nervous, unready father whose daughter is marrying into an upperclass family. Shown through the eyes of a dad, during the crazy wedding planning times (it’s hardly done like this!), George Banks goes a little insane as they plan for the nuptials and he must begin to accept that his little girl is growing up.
8. Marlon Brando as Jor-El in “Superman” (1978) – For such a small role, Marlon Brando shines as Superman’s dad Jor-El in the 1978 super hero classic. Showing us what it means to sacrifice one’s self, Jor-El sends his infant baby to Earth after speculating that their planet Krypton will meet it’s dooms day. Featuring one of the most awesome fatherly monologues of the 21st century, Jor-El becomes an iconic character, not only for super hero movies, but also for father’s around the world. Jor-El has become a beacon of inspiration for father’s and self-sacrifice.
7. Donald Sutherland as Calvin Jarrett in “Ordinary People” (1980) – Donald Sutherland’s Calvin isn’t exactly the most memorable character in the Best Picture winning “Ordinary People”, but he is truly the only “good” character in the dramatic film. As their family is haunted by the death of their oldest son, Calvin but must try keep it together as his wife (Mary Tyler Moore) and other son’s (Timothy Hutton) relationship deteriorates every day. Calvin is in the middle of intense family drama, and in the end makes a rather shocking but right decision. I don’t want to spoil it, but you’ve got to see this film. Calvin Jarrett is commendable and inspiring as he pulls himself out of this terrible situation.
6. Will Smith as Chris Gardner in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) – in the finest performance of his career, Will Smith breaks our hearts as he portrays Chris Gardner, a hard working father who will do anything to make something of himself. Co-starring with his son, Jaden, Will Smith has never been better in a movie performance. His character Chris Gardner, must provide for his son, through any possible way. As he faces many problems that could break him as a person, Chris stands his ground and becomes a stronger person everyday.
5. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) – Every father wants to be like Atticus Finch. Hell, I’m not even a father and I strive to be like Atticus. Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his performance as the lesson-teaching father and lawyer in the timeless Harper Lee classic novel-turned-movie. Representing a role model to his kids, Atticus is an ideal man to his daughter Scout, who narrates the entire tale. Atticus isn’t only a great father, but also a golden human being as he decides to take on the case of an African-American named Tom Robbinson (Brock Peters), unfairly accused of raping a white woman.
4. Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills in “Taken” (2008) – Nothing is more bad-ass then Liam Neeson in “Taken”. I think the movie was one of the biggest film shocks of 2008. When Bryan Mills daughter heads to Europe for vacation, she is suddenly kidnapped and used for sex trafficking. But these men has chosen the wrong daughter to mess with, because Mills is an old CIA agent, ready to take on everyone who has harmed his daughter. Full of crazy action sequences and lots and lots of killing, “Taken” has become its own form of iconic to todays movie-going audiences. Enough to produce a second-rate sequel too!
3. James Stewart as George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946) – When you want to learn about fatherhood and life, there’s only one movie to watch, and that’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Not only do we get to watch George Bailey and his kids, but in the earlier part of the movie, we get to see Bailey’s relationship with his own father. One of my favourite holiday movies, explores the life of George Bailey, who has become unsatisfied with his life, self-proclaiming that he’s been nothing short but cursed. One Christmas Eve, Bailey wishes he was never born and is given a chance to see the world if he was never put on it.
2. Albert Brooks as Marlin in “Finding Nemo” (2003) – Everybody in our generation has seen this Disney/Pixar film. What a lot of people don’t really realize is that it’s really the story of father and son. When Nemo is taken away by divers, his father Marlin must now travel the entire ocean to find his missing son. The movie shows how far a father will go for his son. Though this may not always be the case in real life, fathers will most definitely go the distance for their children. It may be in work or in providing, or absolutely anything, the fact is that’s what makes “Finding Nemo” so touching – its universal message.
1. Dustin Hoffman as Ted Kramer in “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) – Dustin Hoffman’s Oscar winning performance as Ted Kramer embodies everything a father should be. When his wife (Meryl Streep) unexpectedly leaves him, Kramer is left alone with his son (Justin Henry) and must now balance raising him and providing for him. Throughout the movie there are a lot of small touching moments that really makes their father-son relationship what it is. From teaching him how to ride a bike, or screaming at him when he’s being naughty, or reading him a book, or forgetting to pick him up from a birthday party, “Kramer vs. Kramer” is touching and realistic. Hoffman knocks his performance out of the park.