One of these days, I’ll get brave enough to give the Joaquin Phoenix documentary “I’m Still Here” a shot. I really and truly want to watch it, but it just sounds so painfully tough to sit through that I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to focus on it. I’m a fan of Phoenix and I’m just not sure I want to see an 80 minute feature, no matter how fake it may be, of him destroying his career.
Phoenix hasn’t acted in anything since that ill-fated documentary. Today, there is word that he is the leader in the clubhouse to play the guy that trains Abe Lincoln to kill vampires in the upcoming “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. This would be a welcome return as this character from the Seth Grahame-Smith novel is very quirky and mysterious, which is something Phoenix does very well. The character’s name is Henry and he teaches Abe (previously cast Benjamin Walker) the ways of vampire slaying via the business end of an axe. Are there too many vampire/zombie/monster movies or shows these days? Probably. However, taking such a historically relevant figure as Honest Abe and having him hunt vampires is pretty genius if you ask me.
In my opinion, Phoenix should be held in the same chameleon-like regard as huge stars like Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio. If you really look at these actors, they aren’t traditional movie stars. They are more like highly functioning character actors that seem to disappear into every role they play. DiCaprio has become so great at this that any inkling of him being a pretty boy actor has completely disappeared. If Phoenix plays his cards right, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that he has the chops to win a Best Actor trophy someday. Actors like him are so talented that it’s really up to him.