In the late 90's all my friends would continually talk about how great the Disney channel is. Unfortunately, at the time of DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and TaleSpin I was left out of the loop. Magically one day, I came home and there it was. The Disney Channel was finally blasting through my television screen, and filling my eyeballs with such TV glory. I was able to talk to my friends about my new favorite TV shows, Lizzie McGuire, The Jersey, The Famous Jett Jackson, and most importantly Even Stevens. I immediately thought Lars Honeytoast was the funniest name to ever exist, I wanted to call everyone Beans, and I wanted to hang out with Louis Stevens. This, like many others, is my introduction to the great, Shia LaBeouf.
Shia LaBeouf hasn't really been in the news since he decided to watch all of his films at a theater, but we haven't forgotten some of the more out-there things he's done. Wearing a paper bag over your head claiming, "I Am Not Famous Anymore," isn't really what most people would call normal behavior, but Shia isn't a normal person.
This is not a horrible thing, it's actually great. Some of you may remember Joaquin Phoenix kind of went crazy and started rapping, and doing other things out of the norm. We all thought that he had some kind of mental breakdown, but turns out it was just him making a movie, and we thought it was genius, and it was genius. Why doesn't Shia get the same kind of recognition? Is it because he's not making his performances into a movie? Isn't the fact that these absurd antics are still being recorded and documented classify them as performance pieces? My argument is that Shia LaBeouf is just on another acting level, if not another universe completely. Just like David Bowie was able to not just make music, but to create another universe where his music could exist, LaBeouf could very well be doing for the art of acting.
As movie fans, we can't forget the performances that Shia has delivered on the screen. He outshines his stars in Fury as Boyd 'Bible' Swan. He's sharing the screen with Brad Pitt, and not only does Shia belong on screen with Brad Pitt, but he's giving a performance that that makes Fury, his movie. In Lawless, Shia is once again performing with the likes of Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska, and he belongs. He not only belongs, but he excels. If there's any testament to his acting, it's the fact that he made any of the Transformers movies watchable.
Shia has been blessing us with his performances for a little over 15 years now. He's been there as my generation has grown up, and he's given us performances that are like a time capsul. When I was young he blessed us with Even Stevens, Tru Confessions, and Holes. As I was becoming more mature he was there with Constantine, Transformers, Disturbia, and almost took the crown of Indiana Jones. Now as an adult, he's there with Charlie Countryman, Nymphomaniac, and Fury. Shia isn't just a great actor, he's an actor of a generation. He's out their exploring what his art is outside of a screen. Shakespeare said, "all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Shia may be the best player of them all.