To his credit, the man has starred in 17 films. In just about everyone of them, he’s a badass. But we’re not talking knock you on your head with a haymakerbadass – let the Vin Diesels of the world do that mindless child’s play. This man is apsychological badass. He gets inside your head, but in a non-Malkovichian way. That’s why he goes by Edward. He could just as easily cultivate the tough guy persona by going with “Ed” or “Eddie,” but he sticks with Edward. Why? Because it’s the name of an unassuming psychologicial badass. No one’s afraid of “Edward.” And then he kills a priest and creates a sheepish alter-ego that clears him of all charges and you didn’t even see it coming. If it was Eddie, you’d suspect something long before Laura Linney gets played. He plays roles where he doesn’t need to throw a punch to scare the hell out of you. So while your action movie marquees come emblazoned with guys that are all brawn and no brain, and your Oscar flicks hype the DiCaprios and Depps of the world, Edward Norton is underappreciated. We honor him with today’s Making Puck.
Afterall, you can’t spell psychological badass without “psycho.”
Primal Fear – The opening lines of the AP’s recap of the Rangers 4-2 triumph over the Isles in Madison Square Garden are as follows: “Islanders forward Radek Martinek accused Rangers enforcer Ryan Hollweg of trying to rip the stitches out of a fresh gash on the left side of his face Thursday night. Martinek, a non-threatening defenseman, received 15 stitches Wednesday night after being cut by a skate blade during the Islanders’ 3-2 shootout win over Ottawa.” Two points here. 1.) Pull stitches out of somebody’s face? In hockey gloves? Hockey gloves give you the dexterity and precision of a drunk baby. 2.) It’s Contradiction Theatre Time! Within a mere two sentences, Radim Martinek is a forward AND a non-threatening defenseman. In Martinek’s case, there is no Roy either – he’s only been capable of 14 PIM all season long.
The Illusionist - You want a magic trick? How about defeating the Ottawa Senators 6-5 in Ottawa while squandering 4 different leads throughout the game? Martin Erat tallies the game-winner after J.P. Dumont stripped Dean McAmmond of the puck. As for the Sens, some are wondering whether their 15-2 start was done with smoke and mirrors, as the Gerber Baby got lit up once again, stopping 29 of 35.
Rounders – “Give the man his money.” Yes, Teddy KGB, we will. Because Zdeno Chara has FINALLY started to earn that mammoth contract he’s got, scoring two goals and keeping Olli Jokinen in check as the Bruins cooled off Florida with a 4-3 decision. Notes: Boston forward Milan Lucic was scratched. It was painful.
The Italian Job - This is the third time I’ve tried to write a Making Puck with some Italian joke about Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, only to be kindly reminded that he’s from Canuckistan? Will somebody please give him a Canadian name – preferably that of a chirpy Quebecois – so to alleviate this problem in the future. How about Guillaume Latendresse? That’s pretty chirpy. What do you mean it’s already taken? Eh, screw it. Luongo hasn’t given up a goal in 194 minutes now. Titanic was 194 minutes long. Thankfully, Norton isn’t in that one. Canucks 2, Blue Jackets 0.
Red Dragon – Technically, Ralph Fiennes gets to play the lead badass in this movie that helped us all forget about Hannibal, but Norton’s character Will Graham (and his wife’s gun) was integral in bringing him down. As for the Red Wings, there seems to be no stopping them, as they defeat the Lightnin 4-2 in Joe Louis. The Lightning only managed one shot in the first period, while Chris Osgood finished a plate of nachos and caught up on his correspondence.
Keeping the Faith -Ok, this movie doesn’t exactly fit the psychological badass theme we’ve got going here, but for a romantic comedy, it’s strangely not terrible. Why is that? Because Edward Norton directed it. You know why Jenna Elfman didn’t annoy you into oblivion in this one? Because Edward Norton stared her down and she knew not to screw his movie up. Meanwhile, while the Maple Leafs bicker, the team banded together to beat the Thrashers 4-2 at Phillips Arena.
Fight Club- Do I really have to waste Norton’s best work on a crappy blowout of a game between two Western Conference teams I don’t give a damn about. When it’s the only game with multiple fights, I guess I have to. The usual heavyweights and Brian Sutherby dropped gloves in this one, while Kunitz, Perry, Marchant and Rob Niedermayer scored for Anaheim. And if you were wondering who got a 3rd period holding call at 9:56?
His name is Sammi Pahlsson.