Tossin’ It Out There: What do YOU think of Denzel Washington?

“Safe House” comes out this weekend, and I have to say, I’m looking forward to it. I know, I know, there are some bad signs. The Feb release date, the fact it doesnt have any reviews out yet… but we may get to see Denzel totally acting menacing and too smart for Ryan Reynolds (and Reynolds looking dumb ass, LOL)!

Regardless of how that movie turns out, I thought it was a good excuse to turn our discussion this week to the man himself.

He’s a two time Academy Award winner (Glory and Training Day) who’s been known of late for his action movies (4 out of his last 5). But he’s had a 30 year career now… so if you want to see him in something different, there’s plenty to choose from. In fact, his filmography is pretty varied. And has tons of great movies.

What are YOUR thoughts? Are you a fan? What’s your favorite movie of his, or your favorite character he played? Do you wish he would turn his attention back to Oscar worthy films, or are you happy to see him kicking ass and taking names?

What do YOU think of Denzel Washington??

92 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What do YOU think of Denzel Washington?

  1. “Do you wish he would turn his attention back to Oscar worthy films…?”

    I think you know pretty much what my answer will be, LOL! Although to be fair, I probably wouldn’t have predicted that Training Day could get him an Oscar back when all we were going off of was the trailers. Maybe he can even bring Reynolds along for the ride like he did Ethan Hawke?

    Seriously, though, he does have another movie coming out this year called Flight that could actually turn out to be interesting, so if he wants to do something fun for February when I’m not paying any attention to the new releases anyway, that’s ok with me!

    • “I think you know pretty much what my answer will be, LOL!”

      Yup. More action movies!! LOL. ;)

      “Training Day” and “Scent of a Woman” are always going to be considered “Make it up to you” Oscars, even though I thought both actors were excellent in both roles…

      I forgot about “Flight”. Had heard about it, but apparently it hadn’t made enough of an impression.

      I’ll be checking it out though, of course!

  2. I think he’s a good actor and watch pretty much anything he’s in as usually they are ok to good movies. As for my favorite role my immediate thought would be in Training Day, although I didn’t have a look at all his movies.

  3. Interestingly, the wife and I had a conversation on this very topic a couple days ago after seeing a commercial for his upcoming move, whatever it is.

    Basically, it was what was the last Denzel move we saw. It was actually Training Day for the both of us. The last Denzel movie we saw in the theater was Bone Collector. We both like Denzel, but a lot of his movies lately haven’t appealed enough to us to go rush out and see, and we haven’t heard a lot of buzz about any of them to make us eager to check out anything later.

  4. Ok, you might think I worship at the altar of Denzel, not quite! Well, I’m in the doorway. I think he’s done brilliantly for himself. He’s got critical acclaim and he can pull the punters in at the box office with his more action packed train flinging guns blazing films. In those films he does pretty much play the same character, but I can forgive him for that, because they’re still likeable, interesting and full of charisma.

    I would like him to tackle something more meaty soon, but for now, I’ll be happy going to line up and watch Safe House in the cinema.

    • Wow. Yeah, I AM surprised you’re “Only at the doorway” LOL. Your commenting history has suggested you might have a shrine in your apartment flat. :D

      You basically have his career trajectory down though. But his charisma can elevate even elevate mediocre stuff. Case in point “The Book of Eli”, which by all rights probably should have sucked, but between him and Oldman it turned out pretty decent…

      • That is true. I though Book of Eli was just awful. Though, I think you’ve got it on a slightly higher pedestal than me, I don’t think I can bring myself to watch it again as I was so bored first time around!

        Think one of my favourite Tony Scott films of his has to be Man on Fire. Shamefully, I’ve not seen Training Day. Despite it sitting on my shelf for years now…

      • I dont have it on a pedestal, but seeing as you think its awful and I think its pretty good, then yeah, I guess I rank it higher.

        Man on Fire is awesome.

        So is Training Day. You should see it. :D Just to watch Denzel off the hook!

  5. Denzel’s the definition of A-list movie star. I enjoy his films Remember the Titans, Out of Time, The Hurricane, and of course Training Day along with his other films. I think this role will be great (even though it may not be an Oscar contender); it should be a fun, shoot-em up flick. I hope this is more Die Hard than 16 Blocks. Looking forward to Safe House.

    • Excellent assesment. That’s right about where I am with it right now too.

      Although in addition, I’m REALLY looking forward to him messing with RR’s head like he was Kurtz in Apocalypse Now… :D

  6. Have loved Denzel since his days as Dr. Chandler on TV in “St Elsewhere”. Fav movies include: “Fallen” as John Hobbes, “Inside Man” as Detective Keith Frasier, and “The Taking of Pelham….” as Walter Garber. He has shown great acting ability in such a variety of roles.

    • You may be the first person I know who likes the new Pelham 123. I’m not a hater per se… but I dont know that I’d lump that one with his best. Just saying…. to me.

      For me, I think I’d second the Keith Frasier, then swap out the others for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Alonzo “Training Day” Harris and John “Man on Fire” Creasy. :D

  7. I like Denzel. He certainly has the creds, winning a supporting and lead Oscar (One of 6 men to do this). But no matter how good an actor is, if the story sucks, nothing can save it. Story looks interesting so I’ll have to wait and see. And I WILL see it.

    • Ha! I know, I still have the list you sent post podcast that one time. I had no idea it was so many!

      I disagree mildly though. I think a charismatic star can elevate their material to a certain degree. Maybe not from completely sucking to great. But maybe enough to add a half a letter grade here or there, and that could be enough sometimes.

      Not always though…

  8. I still remember Denzel as Dr. Chandler in St. Elsewhere. :) (There… that’s dating me)
    I like him well enough. I haven’t hated any of his films, but I don’t run out to see them just because he is in them either. I am torn between whether it is his acting that made the films I like good……or was it that he chooses films with interesting story lines to be in. I loved Richocet, Training Day, Remember the Titans, Bone Collector, and Glory. All different character types….so it’s not only the Bad Ass Action thing I am drawn to. I’ll probably catch Safe House at some point when it comes out.

    • “I am torn between whether it is his acting that made the films I like good……or was it that he chooses films with interesting story lines to be in.”

      It’s always a combination of both, I think. Too bad though, on the not being drawn to the action flicks… he’s definitely been in some good ones!

      • I meant I don’t think of him as only an action film actor, because there are plenty of other films he was in that I enjoyed too. :)

  9. I think the first film I remember seeing him in was “Crimson Tide” and he was pretty badass there and he was really good for the short amount of time he was in “Cry Freedom”. His biographical roles are usually really good. I associate him more with those roles than the action ones since I’ve never really thought of him as an action star. The action movies never really felt like straight up action movies. They seem to be dramas or thrillers that happen to have a few action scenes.

    I’d like to see him do something different since a lot of roles and movies are broadly the same. I’d like to see him in a musical or comedy just for the hell of it.

    • Ha! Maybe he can’t sing! It is strange he’s never tried a comedy though, isn’t it?

      Meanwhile, your comment “The action movies never really felt like straight up action movies. They seem to be dramas or thrillers that happen to have a few action scenes.” makes perfect sense. I know exactly what you mean by that…

      So, yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing him diversify, but I’m happy with what we’re getting now. I enjoy his action/drama/thrillers for the most part!

  10. I remain a long-time fan, going all the way to his ‘St. Elsewhere’ days on that exceptional TV medical drama series. I’m curious about ‘Safe House’ (and will be at a theater this weekend for it) and want to check out if he’ll play another exceptional bad guy (like ‘Training Day’ and ‘American Gangster’).

    • I’m beginning to feel left out because I never saw St Elswhere, LOL.

      I have hope, too. Gonna go see it this weekend… Not a good sign though that there’s no reviews up. Usually means the studio thinks it stinks

  11. I think he’s a great actor. Not sure why he’s shied away from doing anything but action since what…the Hurricane? Not that I’m complaining but it there a reason why he and Tony Scott have been conjoined twins all these years?

    I’m not sure I’ve seen any of his movies and gone “Man, that was bad..What was Denzel thinking?” Even some of the more recent ones that haven’t been widely viewed as Denzel greatness like Book of Eli, Unstoppable, Pelham, and Deja Vu, I thought were all great movie watching experiences and in my book there is nothing wrong with that. Obviously, I’m not one that waits with baited breath for Oscar nominations, but if Denzel has his name attached to it, you can expect a good flick.

    • “Not that I’m complaining but it there a reason why he and Tony Scott have been conjoined twins all these years?”

      Ha! No, I dont know… its a funny point though. I guess they’re just one of those pairings like Depp and Burton or Scorsese and DeNiro (there’s tons more) that just enjoy working together. Thats all I can think… :D

  12. How about “Mo Better blues”, “Malcolm X” and “Devil in a Blue Dress”(turned down “Seven” for this). Great stuff! Should’ve Oscared for “X”. “Training Day” has to be the most violent and profanity laced male Oscar role of all time! Same year Halle Berry gets an Oscar for a film containing her nude having explicit sex screaming “Fuck me!”. Not stellar stuff for any black artist! I wonder what Poitier thought that night when he got his “lifetime” Oscar?

  13. I like Denzel, such a gorgeous and charismatic actor. He’s believable as a hero as well as villain/antihero like in Book of Eli. But as far as his film choices, I generally can take it or leave it, I’d only go to see his films if the plot grabs me, hence I haven’t seen his latest offerings.

  14. I love so much about Denzel and will watch any of his movies. I really like Glory, Man on Fire, John Q,, The Book of Eli, and it was fun seeing him as Don Pedro in Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing.

    I’m just glad this year’s Denzel films don’t include Trains.

  15. I think Denzels best work may be in front of him when he starts getting back to work like Philadelphia and Malcolm X. I believe he will have a similar late career resurgence like Newman or Eastwood. Just how much of a resurgence is the wildcard. That future time will cement his place in my actor pantheon, but unfortunately he has risen to that height yet.

    I would like to see him do so however!

  16. I feel like his turns as random badasses and bruisers are starting to overtake his roles as real people. And while he’s certainly good as the heavy or the tough guy, whether it’s Frank Lucas or Eli, he’s such a diverse actor that it’s sad to see him use films like Unstoppable and The Taking of Pelham 123 as filler in between his more macho roles. I wonder if that’s really all he has to offer now, or all that his agent thinks he has to offer; whatever the case, it’s not true. He’s fantastic. And I’d like to see him do more things with his time than star in bland thrillers and flicks that require him to pull out his “don’t screw with me or I’ll kill you” act.

    • “I feel like his turns as random badasses and bruisers are starting to overtake his roles as real people”

      Ha. Yeah, man, that’s a pretty inescapable feeling at this point.

      I like ‘em when he plays those characters well enough, but as you say. It’ll be nice to see him get back to some meatier roles.

      I definitely dont think it’s “all he has to offer”. But it MAY be all he’s getting offered. I dont know. I mean, those flicks make money, man. The Hollywood machine is all about making flicks that make bank.

  17. Denzel Washington totally rocks. What a great actor! Nothing will beat his role as Alley Mugger #1 in Death Wish. Truly his best and most memorable Oscar worthy performance. ;)

    • LOL. And for those of you who think he’s messing around, folks? He’s not. DW was uncredtied as Alley Mugger #1 in Death Wish.

      Thats some funny shit Blain.

      Of course I prefer Samuel L Jackson’s turn as “Hold-Up Man” in Coming to America, but it could just be me!
      :D

  18. I like Denzel Washington. Even when he’s in a clunker of a film — and every accomplished actor has a few of those — he still usually turns in a good performance. I’ve liked Training Day, Glory, and Fallen, and while I wasn’t fond of John Q or Virtuosity, Washington wasn’t the flaw in either of those films.

    Safe House looks like it has the potential to be entertaining. Although it’s just a little freaky how much Denzel Washington starts to resemble Morgan Freeman when he grows his beard out.

  19. I like Denzel. He is one of those actors who I can trust to make really good movies. I can’t really think of one movie that I didn’t like him in.

    As far as Safe House goes, we’ll see. Denzel does look bad ass in this movie and Ryan Reynolds…well, he does play a “dummy” really well. Although, I love him as a cocky loud mouth in Wolverine. I have high hopes for this movie. Of course, I’ll be patiently waiting for your review.

    • Ha! LOL… I’ll do my best. Saturday afternoon sometime, I would guess.

      Meanwhile, your line “Ryan Reynolds…well, he does play a “dummy” really well” made me laugh. I totally agree. Thats why I think he and Denzel should be great in this set up!!

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