Weekend Rant – Denzel Really is The Greatest!

I’ve been listening to the podcast Denzel is the Greatest Actor of All Time, Period. featuring W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery.  The podcast has been going for almost a year but I just heard of it for the first time a couple months ago. When I started listening, it was pretty random. I jump all over the place when selecting episodes; listening in no particular order.  In fact, the first one I listened to was the episode where they discussed the film Heart Condition (which I just learned was AKA Black Ghost). This was truly a very random choice, but I was curious.

heart cond
Heart Condition (1990)

I remember seeing Heart Condition when I was a kid but probably have not seen it again in 20+ years so I couldn’t remember how I really felt about, or if I felt anything at all. I was an 8 year old with a little crush on Denzel and a curiosity about Bob Hoskins, having seen him in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? All I could even remember about the movie was:

  1. Denzel’s character dies, and comes back as a ghost (A Black Ghost!) who talks to Bob Hoskins. Awkward note: I thought Denzel was a drug dealer or pimp but he was a lawyer – oops!
  2. The movie theme song was “Have A Heart” by Bonnie Raitt and…
  3. Yeah I got nothing else. I think I remembered a joke or two that I found unfunny.

Well in this podcast they rip the film to shreds and it is hilarious. It left me wanting more so what did I choose next? Well The Preacher’s Wife, of course. I had to know what there was to say about it. It was really fun to listen to their comments, and almost made me want to watch it again. Ok no it didn’t.

training day
Training Day (2001)

I always knew I thought Denzel was a good actor, then I realized as I continue to listen to this podcast that I might be a “Denzealot.” When I hear them debate over the so-called eras of Denzel or when they aren’t sure what year a particular movie was released, I feel myself wanting to yell “How do you not know that?!!” When Sasheer Zamata was on talking about Training Day and said she had never seen it, I liked her a little less. Ugh! How am I so fiercely in love with Denzel without even knowing it? Could he be my favorite actor? I know there was a time when I thought he could be, but I guess he is. I love me some Robert DeNiro but he has too many stinkers in his filmography for my taste.  I think Denzel Washington really is my favorite actor. How else can one explain having enjoyed Heart Condition, The Preacher’s Wife, and yes, Carbon Copy.  I even liked The Bone Collector. The only Denzel film that I have seen as an adult and can openly admit was utter trash is Out of Time- oh wait Virtuosity! There is nothing redeeming about those movies but give me some Mississippi Masala and The Mighty Quinn all day!

I was just listening to the episode they dedicated to Denzel’s son, John David Washington. Within that episode, they read parts of a list that someone compiled ranking all of Denzel’s films, including those that were made for TV. I can honestly say I have not seen them all but it did get me to thinking about my own list. On the debut episode, Kamau asked Kevin on the spot to list his top 5 Denzel films, as they do for most of their guests. Kevin’s list looks nothing like mine but Kamau and I are close. It took me no time to think of what I consider the awesomeness that is Denzel. Now I pose the question to you: Who do you consider the greatest actor period? Can you rank the films they have done or least the ones you have seen?

malcolm x gun
Malcolm X (1992)

Here at Fandom City, we love making lists. It’s just what we do! So I would love to see some feedback. There are so many great actors out there: mainstream, indie, foreign stars, male and females of all backgrounds. Who gets you excited to sit down for 2 hours? Who gets you out to theaters? Now I will admit Denzel hasn’t gotten me to the theater in a few years. As a mother of a toddler, a theater outing is a rare occasion…but I still love him. I am a loyal Denzealot! Check out my list below. I based these on the film as a whole AND his performance. I can watch my Top 5 anytime, no matter what’s going on.

Disclaimer: this is my opinion and I don’t care if you disagree with my list.

Denzel!! Ooh Denzel 🙂

  1. Malcolm X
  2. Training Day
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Mo’ Better Blues
  5. Remember the Titans
mo better
Mo’ Better Blues (1991)

Wait, there’s more!

  1. Inside Man
  2. The Great Debaters
  3. A Soldier’s Story
  4. Man on Fire
  5. Glory
  6. American Gangster
  7. The Book of Eli
  8. Antwone Fisher
  9. Flight
  10. Devil In A Blue Dress
  11. The Pelican Brief
  12. The Mighty Quinn
  13. Unstoppable
  14. Mississippi Masala
  15. Much Ado About Nothing
  16. John Q
  17. 2 Guns
  18. Carbon Copy
  19. Taking of Pelham 123
  20. The Bone Collector
  21. The Manchurian Candidate
  22. The Preacher’s Wife
  23. Heart Condition
  24. Out of Time
  25. Virtuosity
Crimson Tide
Crimson Tide (1995)

Denzel Homework ( I got work to do!)

  1. Courage Under Fire
  2. Crimson Tide
  3. Cry Freedom
  4. Déjà vu
  5. Fallen (never finished it)
  6. For Queen and Country
  7. He Got Game (never finished it)
  8. Ricochet
  9. Safe House
  10. The Equalizer
  11. The Hurricane (never finished it)
  12. The Siege

Probably not gonna happen

  1. License to Kill (TV Movie)
  2. Death Wish
  3. Hard Lessons
  4. The George McKenna Story (TV)
  5. Power
  6. Flesh & Blood (TV)
  7. Wilma (TV)

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