Wednesday, March 24, 2010

By the Numbers: James Woods

James Woods is one of those ones I can never make my mind up about. I like a lot of what I've seen, but I also hate a lot. He's definitely not one of my favorites, but he is a quality actor. That is to say, he can act. Choosing roles though... well, we'll find out.

First how this all works for anyone new to the process.

I take all the films an actor or actress has been in and break them down into three categories, 'Good' 'Bad' and 'Ok.' I do not count TV appearances or Made for TV movies. Afterwards a quick analysis will show whether or not they're a good actor by the numbers. Invariably there is a 2-3 +/- point bias on a person to person basis. Also, since 'ok' movies are not bad they count towards the positive column in the overall figuring. If by the numbers they fall in the 50 - 60% range, they're a bad actor; 61 - 70% good actor, and 71 - 80% great actor. Anything higher is unlikely, but bill be classified as "elite."

'Nuff talkin', let's see how Mr. Woods plays out:

Here was the thing I ran into: given the fact that I haven't seen a surprisingly large amount of movies he did early on, I had to confer with others to reach verdict on certain films. What films none of us had seen I went by the average vote on imdb. Not necessarily the greatest of measurements. Because of this I suppose he could rank higher. Though probably not, since most of the bad films fall in the second half of his career where I am able to judge for myself. He's done some very legendary work, as well as cult classic roles, but from what I've seen he's done a lot of garbage. As the numbers show on this, at 52% positive over 48% negative, James Woods, falls into the bad column.

His cartoon work by itself though it pure excellence. 

Who would you like to see covered in the next edition? Let me know in the comments section and if I haven't already run the numbers, I'll be more than happy to.


  1. I would say that your graph is probably damn near dead on. It's almost a coin toss you will see him in a bad role.

    How about doing Tim Roth?

  2. I've seen him in in a whopping two roles. (Big fan!) But one of those was a TV show which you don't count. So my entire evaluation of Mr. Woods is based on his voice in Disney's Hercules. Based on that, I would say he was an extraordinarily elite actor. But perhaps I should stick with your evaluation. After all, you probably saw him in Scary Movie 2, which I can only imagine would be his defining role.

  3. I may not have liked every movie as a whole that his has been in but I enjoy his acting style...I will watch a movie if his name is on the cast.

    I also liked his last TV series a lot...vintage Woods.

  4. LOL, for some reasons when I read James Woods, I pictured James Spader... guess the outcome is the same either way...

    How about Billy Zane? I know the answer already, but I still have my fingers crossed, cuz day-am that boy is HOT! (he should get triple points for the Zoolander cameo)

  5. Your first few lines summed up my feelings exactly.

    I dunno, I can't put my finger on it, but I don't think I'm a fan :(

    Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

  6. Adding Tim Roth and Billy Zane to the list. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Ally, yeah, I'm not either really, but he has done some good things.

  7. I like him in Family Guy. You should do Paul Reubens.

  8. James Woods just makes me think of Family Guy.

    Also I awarded your blog. Stop by and take a peek!

  9. James Woods and Sean Penn have something in common. They both have a smart ass sour grapes looking face, that needs to have a fist planted right in the middle of.

    sorry, other than "Salvador" I don't really think this guy has ever done anything spectacular...
    I think your chart is pretty accurate (as always).

  10. Is animation voice work taken into consideration? Because Hades was pretty impressive....

  11. Hercules the movie, yes. Other instances like video games and TV shows, no.

  12. James Woods is at his best when hes making fun of James Woods, period. I vote for John Candy next!


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