Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy gave us an exciting, fun space adventure and a surprisingly moving relationship between a raccoon and a tree. But according to the Internet, the real gift is that of Chris Pratt: Movie Star.
He's everywhere right now — interviews, talk shows, movie theaters, television screens, .gif sets on Tumblr — all punctuated by the giddy exclamations of a nation head over heels in love. And why shouldn't America revel in the glory that is Pratt? He's goofy, charming, lovable, and humble, the funny guy next door wrapped up in an action-star package. But though this is the biggest wave of Chris Pratt adoration that we've experienced, it's hardly the first time that people have fallen in love with him. You might not realize it, but he's been breaking hearts for years now, thanks to his transition from teen crush to goofy best friend to supporting character to leading man. But is Chris Pratt as Star-Lord really better than all of these Chris Pratts, or did we miss the best Chris Pratt when we weren't paying attention? Let's take a look:
Doe-Eyed High School Boyfriend Chris Pratt (a la Everwood)The WB
This is the original iteration of Chris Pratt, and everyone knows the sequels are never as good as the original. That’s the face of a guy who is bound to grow into a movie star, but right now is going to make your teenage heart melt as the jerk-turned-dream-boyfriend. Have you seen his scenes with Hannah? When you were in high school, all you wanted was for someone to love you like that. All you still want is someone to love you like that. And look at that floppy hair – do any other Chris Pratt’s have that ridiculous hair? No they don’t. That’s why this is the best.
Everyone's Chubby Best Friend Chris Pratt (a la Parks and Recreation)NBC
We’re glad that people are finally waking up to Chris Pratt, but frankly, we feel a bit bad for them. See, they missed the best Chris Pratt of all: chubby, accident-prone, lovable doofus Chris Pratt. You want charm? He’s got it. A brilliant sense of humor? Check. Dashing good looks? Always there. A relationship with both his on and off-screen wives that will make you swoon? Still here. On top of all that, chubby Chris Pratt is the kind of guy who will happily sit on the couch with you to binge-watch Netflix, buy you Chipotle whenever you’re craving it and he won’t care at all about what you look like, because he loves you no matter what.
So Badass It's Scary Chris Pratt (a la Zero Dark Thirty)Columbia Pictures
Sure, Chris Pratt elitists can complain that earlier versions are superior, but the truth remains that ripped Chris Pratt is the best one of all. All of those amazing traits that the other Chris Pratt’s have – the humor, the humble perspective, the charm – are still here, but now they’re covered in the most incredible abs you’ve ever seen. Now he’s a serious actor. No more running into ambulances, he’s got serious business to take care of, and when he’s done, he’ll swoop you up into his toned, dramatic actor arms and carry you off into a terrorist-free sunset.
Space Cowboy Chris Pratt (a la Guardians of the Galaxy)Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
There’s a reason everyone hopped on the Chris Pratt bandwagon after seeing him as Star-Lord: this is the best version of Chris Pratt. He’s cocky, he’s tough, he’s suave, he’s clever and he’s got a heart of gold and the coolest friends in the galaxy. He’s the best kind of action hero, the kind that has a wisecrack for every occasion and the sweet, sweet dance moves that are required in tense situations. Star-Lord is Han Solo for a new generation, the kind of character everyone wants to be and everyone wants to be with. It’s everything you love about the other Chris Pratts, plus a super cool fighter plane.
Moustachioed Chris Pratt in High-Waisted Pants (a la Her)Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Sure, he only has a few minutes of screen-time, but those few minutes show off the best Chris Pratt we’ve seen yet. He’s sensitive enough to enjoy a well-written love letter, kind-hearted enough to accept his friend’s non-traditional relationship, funny enough to break the tension, attractive enough to pull off that mustache-and-pants combination and – best of all – emotionally stable enough to be in a relationship with an actual human being. Imagine the weekends in Catalina with him. Would any of those other Chris Pratts take you on a romantic trip to Catalina?
Chris Pratt: French Braider, Heart Breaker YouTube/Entertainment Tonight
Just when you thought Chris Pratt couldn’t get any better he goes and braids an intern’s hair. Not just any braid – a French braid. Most women we know can’t manage a decent French braid... and there Chris Pratt is, effortlessly plaiting her hair into an artfully-messy style that people would pay good money for in a salon. He does it all without breaking his concentration, answering questions just as easily as he would if he weren’t breaking the hearts of everyone watching. And then, just when it seems like you’ll finally be okay, he chastises the interviewer for attempting to tie it off with a rubber band, because this Chris Pratt is the best Chris Pratt.
Chris Pratt, Family Man WENN/Brian To
Chris Pratt is at his best when he’s with or talking about his family, by far. All of his insanity and goofiness fades away to showcase all of the affection he has for them, and there is nothing in this world better than a hot man who loves his family. Have you seen the way he looks at Anna Faris? That’s the dream right there. How about the way he talks about his son, Jack? It’s heartwarming and charming and adorable, while still allowing him the opportunity to make poop jokes. It’s the perfect combination of everything that makes Chris Pratt wonderful, with an extra helping of smiley, adorable baby and beautiful, talented wife. This, right here, is the dream.
Cast your vote for the best Chris Pratt of all below!
Chris Pratt is on a roll (and not into another pit a la his character Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation). According to The Wrap, Universal is eyeing Pratt for the leading male role in Jurassic World.
Assuming the actor does end up taking the role (and is able to figure out a filming schedule that would work with Parks and Recreation), he'll appear on screen alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, and possibly the Life of Pi star Irrfan Khan who is also being sought after for the film. Josh Brolin had originally been in talks for the lead role, but a deal was never made.
If Pratt signs on for the Jurassic Park sequel, then the up-and-coming big-name star could add yet another film to his growing list. Pratt, who has already proved his worth on the NBC comedy alongside Amy Poehler, has been quickly building up his "serious" acting credentials in films like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. Additionally, he is set to star as Peter Quill in Marvel's 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy, voice the lead role in The LEGO Movie, and appear in The Delivery Man and Spike Jonze's Her. From the looks of it, Pratt doesn't plan on being pinned as the loveably dopey Andy forever. (But we still want a Parks and Recreation and Jurassic Park mash-up, because that just seems like it would be magical.)
Jurassic World, which will be directed by Colin Trevorrow from the script he co-wrote with Derek Connolly, will hit theaters June 12, 2015.
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While the Avengers heroes will maintain a stronghold on the public's attention in the realm of upcoming Marvel movies — with Captain America, Thor, and possibly even the Hulk gearing for followup films in the foreseeable future — there is a separate property from the comic book enterprise that is building up a whole lot of appeal: Guardians of the Galaxy, the out-of-whack sci-fi adventure property slated for its feature film in 2014, which has just cast rising star Chris Pratt as its headlining hero, as reported by Deadline.
RELATED: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Enlists Superfan James Gunn to Write and Direct
Leading the assortment of crazy characters that make up the titular Guardians is Star-Lord, a human man affected by the mystical touch of an astronomical phenomenon upon birth. While the bulk of Pratt's fame comes attached to his beloved Parks and Recreation doofus Andy Dwyer (self-professed musical genius and Skittles aficionado), Pratt has bolstered his notability with dramatic turns in 2011's Moneyball and, even more impressively, Best Picture nod Zero Dark Thirty, wherein he played the spotlit member of SEAL Team 6.
RELATED: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Taps Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler? Superhero Films Are Fun Again
In fact, it is Pratt's get-the-job-done sensibility in Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden picture, teamed with his obvious knack for humorous delivery, that cements the actor as the perfect Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill). Pratt's casting, especially in the wake of mentioned names like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler for the film, opens hope for a lighthearted, fun-filled, ostensibly comical adventure movie.
[Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures]
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On Thursday morning, the pulled-from-the-headlines thriller Zero Dark Thirty took a solid four Golden Globe nominations, for writing, acting, directing, and Best Picture. The Globes are just the beginning: when the competition opens up to the technical categories come Oscar time, ZDT could walk away with even more. And Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker could win them too, as evidenced by the latest trailer for the film.
Here are five reasons visible in the above spot that make me confident Zero Dark Thirty could go all the way this awards season:
1. Jessica Chastain's Fervent, Understated Performance
The keystone of Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain's Maya ends up as one of the best characters of the year, an opinionated but respectful newcomer who evolves over the ten year hunt for bin Laden into a obsessive seeker of truth. In 2011, Chastain proved herself to be one of the most well-rounded performers in Hollywood. In 2012, she proves herself as one of the fiercest. You see her real claws come out late in the trailer, insisting that she has 100% confidence in her knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts.
2. Dialogue That's as Tense as the Action
ZDT relies heavily on dialogue and the dissection of information, but Mark Boal's script — which is on the top of many voters' minds — layers every bit of exposition with distinct voice. Around the 40 second mark, Mark Strong chimes in with a few words of aggressive wisdom, a wake-up call for an intelligence department that's uncovered nothing. It's a brutal scene in the movie, but simply rattling off facts wouldn't amount to the weight displayed in the moment. It's through Boal's raises the stakes through capturing the sound of human fear.
3. Bigelow's Action Style in Non-action Scenes
Bigelow showed a real prowess for modern action filmmaking in The Hurt Locker, a heart-pounding inside look at the life of bomb defuser. But Zero Dark Thirty isn't an action movie (even while featuring a few explosions, shootouts, and military operations). Think The Social Network or All the President's Men, stories of larger-than-life journeys conducted in small scale rooms. Luckily, like those films, Bigelow understands how to invigorate close quarters conversations or silent moments. Whether Maya is sifting through paperwork or taking a silent moment in the bathroom, scenes in Zero Dark Thirty always feel like the world is on the line.
4. The Cinematography of the Raid
Expect Zero Dark Thirty to impress on the technical side thanks to an amazing score by Alexandre Desplat, spine-tingling sound design by Paul N. J. Ottosson, and cinematography by Greig Fraser that creates the atmosphere more mystery. The finale's infiltration of the bin Laden compound is now a well-known incident, but only when you see it portrayed in dim twilight do you realize how terrifying the work of Seal Team Six really is.
5. A Cast of Actors People Love
When it comes to Zero Dark Thirty's Oscar chances, don't expect too many other nods outside of Chastain in the acting department. With a sprawling ensemble, it's hard to pick just one actor or actress who stands out — but the excellence of every performer is the foundation for what makes the movie work. Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini all pop in the new spot above and all make a huge impact as part of the clockwork that helped pay off ten years of work. Highly compelling and never over the top, it's the entire cast who will carry Zero Dark Thirty to the Best Picture race.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
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Kathryn Bigelow is one of the premiere action directors working today, but while her 2008, Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker is a lesson in tension, it's not about the action. As her lead character, a bomb diffuser, inches towards life or death with every wire snipped, we the audience are clenching our seats and breaking a sweat. A thriller of the muted kind.
Bigelow's has a similar aesthetic thanks to its Middle East location while being a whole other beast. Following the mission to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden — which only occurred in May of 2011 — Zero Dark Thirty collects an all-star cast of Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, and Mark Duplass (just to name a few), and drops them in the middle of the momentous and seemingly impossible covert mission. Based on the first trailer, which you can check out below, Bigelow is playing in much more familiar action territory, with the true story elements adding an extra layer of awe and terror. Even a truncated glimpse looks exhilarating.Zero Dark Thirty arrives in theaters December 19.
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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I've always been on the fence about sports movies. Too often they teeter just a little too far over to the overly-inspirational-to-the-point-of-cheesiness side of the scale, and that's something I just can't stomach. With Moneyball, from what we can tell, it looks to be a different case. The film stars Brad Pitt as the general manager of the Oakland Athletics as he tries to revolutionize the way the business of baseball is done. Alongside Pitt are Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Stephen Bishop, Kathryn Morris and Chris Pratt. If that helluva cast isn't enough to convince you, consider this: Capote's director, Bennett Miller, helmed the flick and Aaron Sorkin penned the script with Steven Zaillian. As someone who's recently gotten back into Sorkin's short-lived comedy, Sports Night, seeing the scribe delve back into that world is a promising thought.
Of course, you could listen to all my ideas about why this looks pretty fantastic, or you could take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself.