6 March 2017

Weekly Small Talk #3: Remembering Bill Paxton

Welcome to Weekly Small Talk, where I catch up on the books, movies and other fine/pop culture I have consumed in the past week.

This week, I want to talk a little bit about Bill Paxton, who passed away a week ago. So much has already been said about this talented and charismatic actor and director, and I cannot say anything that hasn't been said before. Most of the movie fans remember Paxton from movies like Aliens, The Terminator and Predatpr 2. And even though his resume was far more impressive than just his roles in the cult sci fi franchises, for many of us who grew up in the 1980/90's, Bill Paxton will always be remembered as that badass who wasn't afraid to face off with the most dangerous alien monsters.


When I was a kid, we had a bootlegged VHS copy of Predator 2 in our home, and naturally the quality of that tape was so atrocious, that for years I didn't even know that it was Paxton who played Jerry, the cocky cop with a heart of gold. Not until I finally saw the normal, non-grainy version of the movie did I realise that "holy crap, it's Hudson from Aliens!".

Paxton's sci fi cred didn't stop with Predator 2, of course. He had roles in movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Apollo 13, and most recently, the TV-show Marvel's Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even when Paxton didn't have leading roles, his talent and on-screen presence gave his movies an extra flavour. His characters always stuck out from the rest of the ensemble. Some of that was contributed by the way the characters were written, but for the most part, it was Paxton's own take on these characters that made them unforgettable, and a part of the sci fi culture.


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