NortonMANIA 2010

Edward Norton‘s birthday has come and gone, and you may have been surprised at the lack of Norton posts on our blog this year. Well, we did things a little differently. Our family/congregation took the entire month of August “off”. We didn’t host anything here, as far as I can remember. Hence, the NortonMANIA film festival was not open to the public. Because of this, we decided to try some new flicks this year. It went as follows:

  • Sunday, August 15: NortonMANIA kick-off with Rounders (Miramax Films 1998, starring Edward Norton, Matt Damon, and John Malkovich; rated R).
  • Monday, August 16: Keeping the Faith (Spyglass Entertainment 2000, starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller, and Jenna Elfman; rated PG-13).
  • Tuesday, August 17: The Italian Job (Paramount Pictures 2003, starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and Edward Norton; rated PG-13).
  • Thursday, August 19: The Incredible Hulk (Universal Pictures 2008, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, and Tim Roth; rated PG-13).
  • Friday, August 20: 25th Hour (25th Hour Productions 2002, starring Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Barry Pepper; rated R).

That’s two old and three new films for the year. We had only seen The Italian Job and The Incredible Hulk, so we got to see some different roles for Edward this time around. Unfortunately, we turned off Rounders after about 30 minutes. 25th Hour made it to about the 40-minute mark, but had to be turned off then as well. Rounders tanked on language and sleazy quality (the language was seeping through our TV Guardian – not good). 25th Hour was dark, depressing, and quiet. Plus, it looked like Edward Norton started ad-libbing some profanity into the script. Keeping the Faith, on the other hand, was absolutely hilarious, and I look forward to seeing it again. It was probably especially funny to us because we practice Judaism.

Special thanks to the Spurlock family for hosting a night of NortonMANIA in their home. We enjoyed seeing The Incredible Hulk, complete with movie snacks and a scary-looking green drink, to set the mood. Good times.

It seems Edward Norton’s films are either very good or very bad, much like the little girl with the curl. Here’s a snapshot of our take on Norton movies:

 – The Painted Veil
The Italian Job
 – The Incredible Hulk
 – The Score
The Illusionist
Keeping the Faith

Not Recommended:
 – Rounders
 – 25th Hour
 – Pride & Glory
 – Kingdom of Heaven
 – American History X
 – Fight Club
 – The People vs. Larry Flynt

 – Frida
[I’ll be honest with you, though: we haven’t actually seen American History X, Fight Club, The People vs. Larry Flynt or Frida – but I’ve heard unpleasant things about all of them.]

If you’re up for something really freaky, see Primal Fear, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and Edward Norton. It’s one of Norton’s most shocking roles.

We are so disappointed to hear that Edward Norton will not be returning as Bruce Banner in The Avengers. We thought he did a magnificent job playing Banner in The Incredible Hulk. However, we do still look forward to next year’s NortonMANIA, which may include Everbody Says I Love You, Red Dragon, The Invention of Lying, and Leaves of Grass.

Happy birthday, Ed. Thanks for the great films, and try not to swear so often, will you? 😉


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