Hitting theaters this weekend is “Men in Black III,” the latest installment of a sci-fi comedy franchise that has been box office gold the world over. This one has been mired in whispers of behind-the-scenes crises and near shut-downs, but what matters is what’s on screen. And what’s on screen is another showcase from film makeup designer Rick Baker.
Baker is seemingly the face of film makeup, his rockstar look and landmark-laden portfolio adding to the mythic image of one of the medium’s top tier talents. But Baker is a fan like the rest. His accomplishments in the industry stretch back to second unit work in “Star Wars” (post-production additions on the famous Cantina scene being his big moment) and further.
Oh, and he has 12 Oscar nominations and seven wins to show for himself. Naturally, then, there’s plenty of fodder for a new installment of the lists!
Baker’s creations have shaped modern genre filmmaking to a significant degree. How does one even begin to count the ways? Indeed, for me, this has been one of the more difficult collectives to narrow down for this feature as of late.
Left out of the equation are top-notch, Oscar-nominated aging assignments in films like “Life” and “Click.” Superhero prosthetics in “Hellboy” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” deserve attention but nevertheless have significant reference sources (something that ended up also counting slightly against Ron Howard’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” probably the #11 entry on the list).
Then there are intriguing accents to films like John Carpenter’s “Starman” and David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome,” which show Baker hard at work pushing the boundaries, finding a rhythm in his craft and learning along the way through powerful, one-of-a-kind expressions. They can’t go without at least an honorable mention.
But there have to be 10. Well, 11, actually, since a tie seemed appropriate in one slot, but enough foreplay. Let’s see how things panned out for the master of makeup.
Check out the list in the gallery below and feel free to rate the selections as you go. And as always, offer up our thoughts and/or your own list in the comments section below if you like.