I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.
Here are some fun facts about heads that you might not have known unless you felt like looking them up on the internet to start off your listicle that specifically involves human heads.
- A leading 19th century authority on head and brain injuries was Sir Henry Head.
Wasn’t that an amazing fact? Because it would suck or at least be disingenuous if his name were Sir Henry Elbow or Sir Henry Vulva.
Here’s another fact to pad the word count.
- In 2009, motorcyclists in Nigeria were reported to be wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads to get around new laws insisting they wear helmets.
Those clever Nigerians, sacrificing safety and fashion (unless pumpkin shells were Nigerian haute couture back in ’09) just because they want to get around some rules that actually make sense. If someone did get into an accident you could (almost) literally say their head busted open like a pumpkin. Not that I want that to happen.
How about one more fun but true fact to blow your mind…and your head.
If you put a movie star’s head on a onesheet/poster, it will no longer need gravity, nor will it need to be attached to its host body to survive. On said poster, the movie star head will live in perpetuity. Granted it’ll be among the random taglines or critic blurbs, but it will achieve what we’ve all hoped or at one time or another…
Complete and total immortality.
Over the next couple of pages, the following onesheets will defy the laws of physics by showing human heads separate from their bodies. You’ve seen these posters before and never gave it a second thought because you believed that huge Hollywood movie stars always had the ability to detach their head from their body without consequence for the purpose of shilling their movies.
You’d be right.
But what you don’t know is that the ability to detach your head from your body comes at a price. Whether it’s too steep or not is up to you, valued reader. But rest assured, if you do choose to read on, even though you want to, you may not be able to forget the real-life stories of the miracles behind these posters.
I guess you can forget. Just ride around on a motorcycle wearing a dried pumpkin shell. Hey, it worked for the Nigerians that lived.
1) Pearl Harbor (2001)
Head Looking Smug Like He Just Didn’t Make One of The Worst Movies Of The 2000s
Head Looking To Other Better Movies, Just Not The Underworld Ones
Head Grateful That He’s Doing Black Hawk Down After This
Michael Bay’s $132 million cr*pasterpiece was so poorly received that he gave up all ambition to make good movies and went on to make 5 Transformers movies and 6 Underground. It cost about $2 million per head to keep it afloat on the poster. If only it were that easy to keep the movie from being waterlogged during its interminable three hour(!) running time. Maybe the most expensive and loudest Lifetime movie ever made.
At least the heads look happy.
Ben Affleck never was fully able to put his head back on his shoulders. One of the reasons he played Batman was that the cowl kept his head on for a time.
Josh is sad.
2) Legends of the Fall (1994)
Head Looking like Brad Pitt Mixed With Chris Hemsworth
Head Looking like That Moustache Was Glued On Right Before The Picture Was Taken
Head Looking Like He Wishes He Was Brad Pitt
The movie that made Brad Pitt a superstar way back in 1994. Before he was a whiny vampire in Interview With the Vampire, Pitt made hearts a-flutter by wooing Julia Ormond, ugly crying (though let’s face it, this is 90s Brad Pitt we’re talking about), and twenty years before his Once Upon A Time In Hollywood costar Leonardo DiCaprio got violated by a bear. Did it matter that it was soapy melodrama? Not by a floating head.
Brad Pitt bought two heads for this movie. One for the posters. One for life.
Brad is sad.
3) Gangs of New York (2002)
Head Looking Like He Hadn’t Seen Legends Of the Fall In Forever And Should Really Watch it Again Soon
Head Looking Like She Wants to Bite Leonardo DiCaprio
Head Looking Like That Guy From Phantom Thread
The least of the Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio collaborations feels like Scorsese muted. The love triangle is generic. The violence is graphic but relatively tame for Scorsese. Daniel Day-Lewis owns the movie because like his character Bill The Butcher, he doesn’t seem to give a f*ck.
The heads being held up by the American flag is a nice touch though.
Cameron Diaz thought she was making another Charlie’s Angels. She thought the period garb was just the Angels going undercover.
Leo looks mad.
4) Glass (2019)
Head Looking Like Samuel L. Jackson Has 5 Better Movies Lined Up After This One
Samuel L Jackson
Head Looking Like He’s Going To Chew Some Scenery No Matter How Much Screentime It Takes But At Least It’s Better Than Dark Phoenix
Head Looking As Uninterested As The Audience
Just thinking about the insipidly disappointing conclusion to the Unbreakable trilogy makes you want to put your head through a pane of glass. If you took a drink for each of the movie’s idiotic twists, you’d have two drinks. Then you’d want to take some more drinks just to forget what you saw. Remember way back in January 2021 when Bruce Willis went to a pharmacy and didn’t wear a mask? It was probably because he remembered he was actually in this movie.
(spoiler but not really) Not sure which twist is dumber. Now that I think about it, both twists are pretty stupid.
Break Glass in Case of Boredom.
5) Dead Calm (1989)
Head Literally Floating In the Water
If you look at the poster it looks like Nicole Kidman’s head would be bigger than anything else in the ocean. Just out of frame are killer sharks and whales too afraid of the large Australian ginger head. Not sure which is more noteworthy, that this was one of Nicole Kidman’s first films (she turned 20 during production) or that this isn’t Billy Zane’s only movie involving a sinking ship. If you haven’t seen Dead Calm in a while, it’s still works on a bunch of different levels and can help you forget, even if for 90 minutes, that you sat through Glass.
Nicole Kidman kept on asking Billy Zane to say, “Dork thinks he’s going to drown” even though he didn’t say that line in Back To The Future. She kept on asking Sam Neill to say,” Welcome to Jurassic Park” even though he didn’t say that line and Jurassic Park would come out four years later.
"Better to be calm than dead"- Abraham Lincoln.
6) Z For Zachariah (2015)
Head Looking Impossibly Photogenic for Having Survived A Worldwide Apocalypse
Head Looking Like A Leading Man Is Spite of the Worldwide Apocalypse
Head Looking Like A Movie Star Wasted in Wonder Woman 1984
All these heads looking impeccably coiffed despite the world ending, but they’re just shining in the aftermath. It’s okay that a bunch of people have died, as long as you look good. Possibly the cleanest apocalypse ever. Despite all that, Zachariah has sterling moments of drama that never feel forced. It’s a movie that stays with you, and not just because the camera loves all the cast members. H is for head.
It took Chris Pine one try to spell ‘Chiwitel Ejiofor’ but 5 tries to spell ‘Margot’.
M for Margot.
Get yourself some (floating) head by revisiting some of these neo-classics. And then there’s Pearl Harbor and Glass.
© 2021 Noel Penaflor