Top Hero Actors

1 01 2011

#1 – Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

Go Ahead

Argue. I dare you.

Seriously, please argue with me on this. Pleeeeease. The man has played God and every other role under the sun. But they’re almost always the same nice old man and/or nice old man badass. He paired up as a cowboy with Clint Eastwood, he’s Lucius Fox (Batman’s WEAPONER), he’s Nelson Mandela, he’s a boxing trainer. In his villainous roles, he’s villainous. But in the other 3/4 of his roles, he soars as the voice of inspiration. Sometime when you go to sleep… admit it: your dreams are narrated by this man.

Morgan Freeman

He's doing it now.

Or maybe just your thoughts.

Who wouldn’t want this man in their own private Justice League? If not for his voice alone?



Top Hero Actors

1 01 2011

#2 – Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe

We’ve gone through three different actors – and some had a problem with my #3. But there should be no doubt or discredit to my third choice. The man has played too many heroic roles to count. And he can’t be called an anti-hero. In most all of his films, he is the underdog, the man out of luck, the man who must rise to his occasion… and does:

  • Robin Hood
  • Cinderella Man
  • Gladiator

Now, he has played some diverse roles as any actor should, but most often he plays the hero of the story AND the hero.

He satisfies every basic heroic capacity.

Top Hero Actors

24 11 2010

#3 – Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Now, at this point, you’re all arguing with me. I hear shouts of “he’s too young” or “he’s more of a villain”. Or possibly, you’re even using my antihero argument against me. I assure you, your opinions are invalid:

  • The man is as old as some of your dads: 47 years old.
  • I can name atleast 6 roles here where he is not just normal or the good guy… but the HERO. Count em’ up. I think I count his own villain role as Sweeney Todd.
  • And he’s hardly ever, if ever, an anti-hero. He’s good or bad. Doesn’t straddle that line. He’s eccentric, but that could fall on either side of the fence. His moral agenda in each movie is fairly straightforward. The closest he comes is as Captain Jack.

That said, this wasn’t an easy choice. Ex and I argued about it. And I HATE that Depp is cast in everything under the sun. He’s even going to be Tonto in the upcoming  Lone Ranger movie. He’d be the Plastic Man or Martian Manhunter in the Justice League… but a Leaguer nonetheless. He even brought a touch of heroism to The Mad Hatter.

Honorable Mention for #3:

Denzel Washington – Almost. But just like Depp, he’s rather versatile. But his roles spread all over the place, whereas Depp’s are still rather hero-centric.

Up and Coming Mention for #3:

Chris Evans – Current Torch, Former Jensen, Future Cap. This man is one to watch.


Top Hero Actors

23 11 2010

#4 Will Smith

Will Smith

Will Smith

Agent J


Robert Neville

Del Spooner

Mike Lowrey

Captain James West

Captain Steven Hiller

There are so few movies where this man isn’t the hero AND heroic. The few that aren’t… he’s still the hero of the STORY in.

Don’t believe me? Check it out.

He is the hero, inspires confidence and has attitude. It would be seriously hard to imagine this man portraying the villain also.

Top Hero Actors

23 11 2010

#5 Richard Dean Anderson


This man used be MacGyver.

Ok, so I intentionally started off this list with someone you’re all gonna argue with, but whom I had to get out of the way. He has a limited acting career… and the only two jobs you’ll think of in that career are as Colonel Jack O’Neill, and this guy, the lovable MacGyver.


The Lovable MacGyver

The Lovable MacGyver

It should then come to you as no shock that I picked him to start my list:

  • He’s a personal favorite.
  • His only two notable roles are as heroes.
  • Both of those heroes are of two different clothes – one avoids killing at all costs… and one doesn’t.
  • He rocked a mullet.

If you decide that this isn’t enough criteria, consider this. Anyone one character can be the hero of a story, but a hero actor has to be someone who is both the hero AND heroic in a large majority of his more famous roles.

His acting career.

When the Cow Hits the Fan

10 03 2009

When is being too protective or too out there too much?

I was recently reading a blog post written by my good friend and fellow activist, Martha Jean Schindler at her blog.

She recently wrote an article about a cow having violently attacked a biker – which show she’s a good writer, because as an animal activist she didn’t jump the biker for biking, she basically said “wow. kinda almost funny. but bad. very bad.” Everyone got the point and took it in due course.

Well, most people did.

Some didn’t.

She used a photo from the article to repost to her site and gave due credit through hyperlink for the news source and picture. Then the madness ensued. Instead of appreciating that they were linked back to, the photographer complained that “proper” citation was not followed. So she talked with him and then replaced the photo, and a new photographer got on to complain about her using the photo the new commenter had taken.

Now there’s an argument on this side-note article and the point of the original story has been lost.

Now, as I understand it… the internet is a big place. And as I pointed out:

  • If I can Google it, you aren’t trying hard enough to protect it.
  • She’s not pulling down any money from this, so who cares?
  • They are getting free attention… the way most people want it given.

Also, as Martha Jean points out:

The CC license draft (a link to it is embedded within this page – says:

“If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work or any Derivative Works or Collective Works, You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give credit, <strong>reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing</strong>, to the: (i) Original Author (his, her or its name or pseudonym if applicable) if supplied; and/or (ii) if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a sponsor institution, publishing entity, journal) for attribution in Licensor’s copyright notice or terms of service or by other reasonable means […]”

I interpret this to mean (and could not find a reliable source that directly contradicted this interpretation) that as long as I credit the photographer in a way that is reasonable to the medium I am using, I will not be in violation of the CC license. The medium I am using is the internet – a web of interactive, interconnected pages of information.  In my opinion, the most reasonable way to credit someone on the internet is by linking back to them (think about the innumerable times you’ve seen credit given to someone through a link to their homepage or blog post on the internet – in fact, think about the results of Google’s image search, which lists only the web page hosting the image, not the author of the image).  If I were using this image in a printed document or any other medium that did not allow me to direct viewers directly to you, I would credit you by listing your name, because then that would be the most reasonable form of credit.

I honestly believe that a direct link benefits you and other photographers much more than listing your name or Flickr name.  If someone sees your photo and likes it, he or she can click on it and be directed to your photo, your name, a way to contact you, and links to your other works on Flickr.  I’ve even had some photographers express appreciation for my attempt to share their work with a wider audience in this manner. However, I am also aware that the attribution license says, “[I] must attribute the work in the manner <strong>specified</strong> by the author or licensor.”  That is why I remove and replace the photos as quickly as possible if a photographer lets me know that he or she does not think I am attributing it in the way he or she specified.  I am doing what I believe is best for both parties with the time and tools we have at hand.

I am now in the process of consulting with a lawyer to ensure that my interpretation of the CC license is valid.  If I learn that my interpretation is wrong, I will immediately change my approach.  For now, I am going to continue attributing the images on my site via direct links and replace the images upon learning that a photographer disapproves of this technique.

I hope that no ill will arises from this discussion.  🙂

I see Ms. Schindler as being in the clear. In the future, boys, protect your  creative rights, and don’t complain when a talented individual tries to help you spread your work.


The Rules of the Game: Cyber Ethics, Part I

17 02 2009

Get online and post a profile picture. I dare you.

No, really, go ahead.

Just make sure I’d like it…

We all know that what we put online stays online. It can never really be deleted. But what if you knew that the sites sponsoring said info were not only not protecting the raw data, but were also actively selling it to others?

It has come to my attention over and over again that this is the case – I even interviewed for a company last spring that was able to put a mini bio together about me from information they had “collected.” Now, as a company, I don’t blame them. If they have a way of buying info about me… so be it. Do what you need to. But I do blame the company leaking my info in the first place. Employers should have to work to get my information – either in form of interview, resume, application and/or actually setting up a profile on social networking sites in order to talk with me.

After all, do I get to know about the secret lives of my immediate boss (I would use CEO… but I am sure I would get comments telling me that I do in fact read news stories about their scandals)? No. I don’t get to know the secret inner workings. And they do post things online – I would just have to know where to look.

Facebook disagrees.

This especially bothers me, since, as part of my PR Campaigns class my last semester… we are working for a client that teaches cyber ethics. I didn’t take it seriously at first – the idea, not the project. I didn’t take it seriously, because most of the time my mantra is that if you haven’t protected your information, it wasn’t important enough to copyright.

But now, after reading this article, this breaks even my rules.

Basically, Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, has said that he can change the Terms of Service  (TOS) at any given time without alerting users. See, here, users believe they have protected their information… but to no avail. In fact, Zuckerberg has gone on to say:

We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change or delete portions of these terms at any time without further notice. Your continued use of the Facebook service after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new terms.

Does this annoy you? I am sure it does. And I don’t mind my information being out there. But I do mind a contractual evil.

So my questions to users are as follows:

  • Does this bother you?
  • Where do you draw the line?
  • Why?

Based on that, I will introduce Part II of this.