“Jeffrey Dean Morgan”
Being a fan of the genre on the big and small screen, one man has made a name and a presence for himself over the years that makes him hard to ignore as one of the modern-day genre stars, no matter the scale of the projects he’s involved with. That man’s name is Jeffrey Dean Morgan (JDM), and from SUPERNATURAL to WATCHMEN to next week’s release of THE POSSESSION, the man delivers the goods time and time again, and even if the movie’s he’s in blows (and unfortunately, the dude has more than a few stinkers), he’s always a pleasure to watch. Is it cause he seems like the nicest guy ever? Probably. But that’s not a bad thing, right? Here’s the career of Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
JDM will always get mad props from me on his role in SUPERNATURAL. As the father of the Winchester boys and the head of the evil-hunting-badasses, JDM was a great presence to the series, and it’s a damn shame he wasn’t in for more than one season. Sure, he’s been in a few episodes here and there beyond that first season, but mostly as a guest star and nothing as big or as epic as what he was able to do in the first season. Then there’s his performance as The Comedian in Zack Snyder’s WATCHMEN, which was one of the biggest roles Snyder had to cast and I thought he made the right choice with JDM. He was despicable and arrogant, but it was hard not to share his cynical view of the world. Plus, he was plenty badass f*cking shitup throughout the whole movie.
THE POSSESSION was received very well by critics and audiences alike, and is a movie that’s sitting high on my must-see list once it hits Blu-ray next week. That shit looks seriously spooky and probably because it’s loosely based on true story, it’ll be even scarier than if it were straight-up fiction. And finally, DEAD & BREAKFAST. This little indie flick is great and you might miss JDM if you don’t know what you’re looking for (he’s the sheriff), but no matter… it’s a great little scare flick that hits the spooks and the laughs before zombie movies were a dime a dozen.
This is where the Dissecting… article pains me each and every time I write one up. Because I mostly like the people I do these write-ups for, the fact that I have to take a hard look at their crappiest movies usually means I come to realization that they’ve done more crap than gold, but in JDM’s case… I still like the dude. He was in THE LOSERS, which was a really piece of poop action movie that got more praise from people than was necessary. Seriously, I f*ckin’ hated this movie, and even the presence of JDM (or Zoe Saldana or Chris Evans) could have saved this turd from being an absolute turd on the grandest scale.
JDM took a chance and took the role as the creepazoid in THE RESIDENT and I’ll give him props for having the balls to do something different as he’s not the go-to guy you think of when you think of the villain/stalker of a movie like this. But despite his best efforts to be the creepiest f*cker on the planet who spends far too much time between the walls of his apartment building, I wasn’t a fan of THE RESIDENT at all. This is mostly due to the “big reveal” that happens about an hour too soon into the movie. Had the reveal about JDM’s character come near the end of the movie, my opinion might have been different, but as it was… meh.
RED DAWN is supposed to be serious garbage, but I’ll admit I haven’t seen that shit yet. And finally, JONAH HEX. I actually kind of dug this movie but can acknowledge that just because I sorta liked it doesn’t’ mean it was a good movie. JDM’s character is actually a pretty big one in the scope of the movie and the story, but his screen-time is pretty small… so small, the man goes uncredited. Maybe he knew the movie would blow and he asked not to be named? Not really sure. But no matter how hard you tried JDM, JONAH HEX will always be a part of your filmography.
One of the things I like most about JDM is the fact that he looks and acts just like a giant teddy bear. Seriously, no matter how badass a character he might be playing, no matter if he’s in the middle of lighting people on fire or blowing shit up, he always seems like the nicest guy on the planet. I attribute it to those big eyes of his, where there’s so much good and kindness that it’s hard to take him as a serious mofo, but that’s just me. It could be his beard, too.
But as far as the roles he likes to play, he more or less sticks with his nice guy persona, with the exception of THE RESIDENT of course. I’d say the one role that closely relates to the majority of his roles is John Winchester in SUPERNATURAL. He’s a total badass, but he’s also a fatherly figure, a super nice guy, and the deadliest f*cking teddy bear you’ve ever met.
JDM did a little movie a few years back called THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS, with Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, and Chloë Grace Moretz. This flew in under many people’s radar as it was a straight-to-video release from Anchor Bay, but goddamn is it a solid little thriller, on the same level as SE7EN and other movies like that. Detectives on the case of a serial killer, and with each passing moment, they get closer and closer to the truth, all the while the grisly murders are still taking place. It gives a down and dirty look at Texas, especially this part of Texas, and Chloë Grace Moretz gives an unsettling performance as a girl caught in the middle of murder and devastating chaos. JDM does a bang up job as Worthington’s hardened partner, and it’s his tenacity that eventually helps them all solve the case. Anyway, if you’re into tight little detectives on the case of a serial killer thrillers, you should definitely check out THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS.
The great thing about guys like JDM, they’re always in demand, and he is no exception. The dude has no less than 5 projects lined up for a 2013 release, including the horror/thrillers THE WIZARD HUNTERS, THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, SUPREME RULER, and THE RUT, all of which sound to be chockfull of potential, and guarentees the dude will be hard at work for years to come. I’d like to see a few more cameos in SUPERNATURAL every once and awhile, though. That’d be pretty dope.
There are just a handful of esteemed actors of the genre working today of the likes of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Whether he’s in a movie about a killer Dubbuk box, or headlining a league of washed up superheroes, or fathering two of the world’s hunters of all things that go bump in the night, JDM brings that teddy bear charm to the heart of every role he’s in and he continues to make good decisions as to which movies he agrees to star in. Sure, he has his share of stinkers, but goddamn if he isn’t solid in each and every one of them (he shone through crap like JONAH HEX and THE LOSERS), making me look forward to each and every project he’s attached to. He might do the sappy love story / romantic comedy from time to time, but the way I figure, a man’s gotta work… it just goes to show what kind of range the dude has.