This one’s going out to the late, great, Paul Gleason
A weekly editorial Grande with a double shot
With Clint Morris
This edition of “Caffeinated Clint” is dedicated to all the great character actors out there, whom without, we’d never have had the pleasure of: Ned Ryerson, Richard Vernon, Howard Prescott, Lars Olfen, Paul Spericki, Parley Gentry, Possessed Henrietta, The Master, Archie Graham, Hal Conway, Richard Thornburg….
Quarter way through coffee
I’m disgusted, disgusted. And well, I’m just as much a wrongdoer as you, you, you and the guy at the back with the stress-rock in his jocks. Paul Gleason. Where’s his tribute? Where’s his comprehensive obituary? Where’s the news item?
Granted, I never ran one. In all honesty, I decided to save my tribute for this column – if only because it was a choice between that, and what I ate for breakfast – so I’m kinda safe from the fire. Thing is, I was just surprised by how many people didn’t mention the passing of one of today’s finest character actors. Sure, Brando, Don Adams, Richard Pryor….big stars, and Gleason, not a biggish-star…but I still think the guy have us – and the industry – just as much, and if only for that reason, he deserved some space.
He was great. He was fucking great. Who could forget his role as Principal Richard Vernon in “The Breakfast Club”? He rocked that party – and drank all the punch. It truly was, arguably, one of the best damn performances of the era. I’ll be challenged over that, but I’m standing up, holding my ground and sticking to those guns. He was one talented son of a bitch.
Richard Vernon: You’re not fooling anyone Bender. The next screw that falls out will be you.
Bender: Eat my shorts.
Richard Vernon: What was that?
Bender: Eat… My… Shorts.
Richard Vernon: You just bought yourself another Saturday.
Bender: Ooh I’m crushed.
Richard Vernon: You just bought one more.
Bender: Well I’m free the Saturday after that. Beyond that, I’m going to have to check my calendar.
Richard Vernon: Good, cause it’s going to be filled. We’ll keep going. You want another one? Just say the word say it. Instead of going to prison you’ll come here. Are you through?
Priceless. Also loved him in “Die Hard”. His Chief Dwayne T. Robinson was hilarious. So immersing in the role, he was. He was also rather great in the little-seen “Johnny Be Good” with Anthony Michael Hall, “Miami Blues”, too, and the Professor in “Van Wilder”. Oh, and how can I go past his role – as Vernon, again – in “Not Another Teen Movie”! Hilarious.
What I also loved about Gleason is how he turned up at the MTV Movie Awards to accept the honorary award for the “Breakfast Club”, alongside ‘some’ of the cast, when a few of the other brat-packers didn’t even bother turning up. That was great.
He’s done mostly TV over the years – everything from “Lois & Clark” to “Dawson’s Creek” – but still did a few films, here and there, the last being “The Book of Caleb”, which is still yet to be released.
As a youngster, Gleason attended Florida State, where he played football with Burt Reynolds and Robert Urich. He graduated in ’62, and then three years later, made his film debut in the movie “Winter A-Go Go”.
Anyway, he deserves a least that much of a mention…he truly was, one of the best character actors around. The best. R.I.P Vernon.
Half-way through coffee
What? Who are some of my favourite character actors, you ask? Heck, there’s a lot. Gleason was one. Joe Grifasi is another. The late Richard Jordan was great. David Dukes was also an entertaining performer. Clint Howard’s always a hoot. Anyway, here’s a list of a few I like, and all deserve their own full-page obituary when they’re no longer sharing our soil.
Joe Grifasi – Always good. He can do a lot too. Hams it up well (“Batman Forever”) and can be totally uber-serious, too (“City of Hope”).
Ed Begley Jr – This guy rocks. He’s done it all too. One of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. His best stuff is probably in the Chris Guest movies.
Stephen Tobolowsky – Now this guy can do it all. Funny, Serious, Romantic, Evil…. See “Groundhog Day”, “Deadwood”, “Memento”, “Spaceballs” et al.
Jim Piddock – Need an amiable British chap? Look no further. I remember him from as way back as TV’s “Mad About You”. Also does a lot of Chris Guest stuff.
Muse Watson – You all know him for his role as Westmoreland on “Prison Break”, but he’s done some other good stuff too, like “Songcatcher” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (and it’s sequel).
Mark Metcalf – Hilarious! Bloody hilarious. He did some fantastic stuff in “Animal House” (and around the same time, “Where the Buffalo Roam”), and was so amazing as ‘The Master’ in those early episodes of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”.
Joe Pantoliano – You can’t go past Joey Pants. From his early work in films like “Risky Business”, to his more recent work in films like “Bound” – he owns it.
Jeremy Piven– One of the best goddamn actors on the planet, right now. Is amazing in “Entourage”, but go back and watch his stuff in “Grosse Pointe Blank”, “Judgment Night” or “PCU Pit Party”.
Oliver Platt – Really coming into his own these days, thanks to stuff like “Huff”. You can also catch him in “Lake Placid”, “Kinsey” and “Dr.Dolittle”.
Pete Postlethwaite – Was at a theatre the other night, watching something, and the trailer for “The Omen” came on. “He’s the best priest”, said one of the folks in the audience. True, he’s a good priest. Also, a good taxman too, and crook.
Ted Raimi – OK, so most of the work he gets is through his brother, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a treat to watch. See “Darkman”, “Spider-Man”, even the TV stuff he’s done.
Frank Whaley – Really coming into his own, these days, too, but still does the ‘small, but memorable’ stuff too. His best work includes “Swimming with the Sharks”, “The Jimmy Show” and of course, “Pulp Fiction”.
Steve Buscemi – Now this guy is insane. Good insane. Loved him in “The Wedding Singer”, best thing in “Con-Air”, and he made the fourth season of “The Sopranos” so much more enjoyable.
William Atherton – Played the nosy reporter in the first two “Die Hard” movies. Was also the prick in “Ghostbusters”. Haven’t seen much of him lately, but he’s a good actor. Always interesting to watch.
M.Emmett Walsh – Whatever he does, he’s good in it. Heck, he married “Narrow Margin” (1990) more entertaining than it ever could’ve been. Also check him out in “Raising Arizona”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Glass Shield” et al.
Gary Cole – From Sheriff Lucas Buck in “American Gothic” to cool D.J “Midnight Caller” (and, god forbid) the patriarchy of “The Brady Bunch” – he’s done it all. His finest moment on screen might be in 1999’s “Office Space”, though.
Who are some of your favourite CHARACTER ACTORS? : Email me and let me know. We’ll run some of them, next week.
Three quarters the way through coffee
Yay! Three cheers for “Deadwood”! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that ol ‘
“We’re going to tie it up as a movie, or mini-series” line from the networks behind cancelled series – they’re saying exactly that for the recently canned “Commander-in-Chief” – but for once, the word means something. You can read all about the show’s short return here. You can hear me shout from the mountains >>>>> here.
One sip to go
Despite our little ‘poll’ being over for about a month now, some folks are still writing in with their “wishes” for “Wonder Woman” – as in, who Joss Whedon should choose to put behind the wheel of the Invisible Jet – so I thought I’d give you a taste of what they’re saying. Still hoping I get a look-in.
Here are my ideas on who could play the Amazonian princess (at least looks)
I’ll keep looking for more candidates
I know the whole who’s going to be wonder woman has been voiced to death, and I don’t know if this has ever been mentioned (probably), but I was watching an episode of Angel from the third season and in the scene where they are celebrating Cordy’s (Charisma Carpenter) birthday they give her a cake and it has Wonder Woman on it, and for all those people who are Joss fans, you know how he likes to forshadow. Just a thought. Love your site by the way.
Me good Wonder Woman. My bust big, my legs long, my fighting abilities is there, too. You should pleasz consider me, sir. I won’t let you down.
Sarah Michelle Gellar for “Wonder Woman” – no doubt about it. She looks great with dark hair, and has some real acting chops, and warfare chops, too. I’m sure Joss is already considering her…. and will announce her at the 11th hour.
Who cares who gets to be “Wonder Woman”?! It’s going to be another crappy comic book movie…. Something we really don’t need more of, you know? I wish someone would just blow up the man who came up with the ‘let’s turn this comic into a movie’ idea, first. It starts with him.
Just wondering where I can audition for “Wonder Woman”? I think I could be the right girl for the role.
DVD of the week
Walk the Line : Collector’s Edition – This isn’t a musical biography, perse, but rather a touching love story about a couple of lost souls who found each other, and a common bond, in a world full of judgment and spuriousness. Chronicling Johnny Cash’s life from the age of 12 to his late 20’s, “Line” examines how the Arkansas-raised youngster – whose younger brother, the one the father (Robert Patrick) seemingly favoured, dies in a freak accident– turned into the legendary musician we know best. On tour, he meets the beautiful and talented June Carter (Reese Witherspoon), who he’d later form a close friendship with. Always wanting more, but either married or not persuasive enough to convince Carter that he’d make a good husband, Cash is persistent. When he becomes addicted to drugs (uppers), the musician starts to crumble – and it’ll be up to Carter to help piece him back together.
Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon immerse themselves in the role of the troubled talent and his long-time love. A good set of extras on the 2-disc (and 3-disc, which also features the CD soundtrack) edition.
Theatrical release of the week
Stick It – You’ve seen it all before, but this is actually good stuff. Take what you’ve seen before in films like “Take the Lead”, “Centre Stage”, and “Fame” and then get someone to actually ‘write’ some characters into it – people with real emotions, real voices…. real people. This is funny, a little touching too, but mostly, just a good ol’ time for the youngsters. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the always-dependable Jeff Bridges stars either.
This Week’s Useless bit of Advice
Be kind to those readers who write in with “Where’s Caffeinated Clint? Isn’t it supposed to be up every Monday?” questions – without them, you’d be nothing. Yeah, you. Projecting is universal.
Free Plugs equals Free Dinners
I’ll have my steak well-done, hint of mushroom sauce on top, boiled vegetables on the side, and a cascade to wash it all done with…..FOX. Yep, another plug for the “X-Men : The Last Stand” troupe, but this is actually kinda interesting….
On 22nd May, while the stars of “X-Men: The Last Stand” were making their way up the red carpet at the film’s premiere in Cannes, thousands of X-Men fans were right there with them thanks to the first-ever online virtual Premiere party thrown by Rivers Run Red, Mash International and 20th Century Fox on Second Life.
Second Life (www.secondlife.com) is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by over 200,000 people from around the world. Within it stands Avalon Island, where this unique, pioneering X-Men event was held.
A portion of Avalon was converted into a giant screening room, complete with giant posters and cast images, a red carpet, paparazzi jostling for position, a bar with waiters serving cocktails and spotlights lighting up the night sky and illuminating the giant Twentieth Century Fox logo – all virtual, of course.
Inside the screening room, residents were able to view preview footage from the film and then, the minute the live footage from the Cannes premiere came in, they were able to watch the stars of the movie walk up the red carpet. The revelers of Avalon were also able to view footage from the X-Men Digital Junket which had taken place in Cannes just one day earlier.
Some 18,000 Second Life residents came to the 19-hour long party, with most staying for two hours to watch the footage, chat with other residents about X-Men: The Last Stand over a cocktail or two and listen to music from singing Second Life resident Slim Warrior. Those who couldn’t fit into the packed screening room were able to watch all the action on video screens and giant televisions set up outside the virtual venue.
Due to the party’s success and high demand from other Second Life residents who couldn’t attend on 22nd May, the party was extended to last all week, attracting thousands more fans to the X-Men virtual event.
Missing Career Alert
Larry B.Scott – Ah, Larry B.Scott – where would Cuba Gooding Jr and Larenz Tate be without him? Tell me? The man was a genius, a comedy genius. He made T.K Carter look like a drunken clown at an 11 year olds birthday party – half-an-hour before divorce proceedings. Now that I think of it, I think T.K Carter might actually have been the clown at my 11th birthday party (“He’s My Girl” didn’t rock the box-office as much as David Hallyday tells his kids it did). Anyway, back to Larry B. A Staple of the 80s comedy, he’s best known for his role as Lamar Latrelle, the slightly flamboyant cross-dresser, in the “Revenge of the Nerds” films. He actually returned to reprise the role for not only the sequel, but the telemovies that followed too – “Revenge of the Nerds III : The Next Generation” and “Revenge of the Nerds IV : Nerds in Love”. Dedication, or what?!. He also popped up in “Iron Eagle” (1986), “That Was Then, This is Now” (1985) and that VHS sci-fi classic “Spacecamp” (1986). The 90s weren’t as kind to Scott – his most notable role being that of ‘garage attendant’ in “Another Stakeout” (1993). In recent years, he has been voicing the character of Paladin in the two animated “Diablo” movies, popped up in an episode of TVs “The Parkers”, and most recently, appeared alongside Vivica A.Fox in “Getting Played”. Long live Lamar!
5 things you didn’t know about…… “Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me” (1992)
1.The finished cut didn’t resemble the original cut – or the directors cut – at all. The studio took some mighty strong scissors to the film, chopping out half-of-the film. To this day, fans are still petitioning to have those deleted scenes restored.
2. Lara Flynn Boyle opted not to reprise her role as Donna Hayward for the movie, because she was scared of doing the nude scenes. Moira Kelly replaced her.
3. Chris Isaak and Gary Bullock actually filmed a fight scene – that never made it into the film.
4. David Lynch’s character, Gordon Cole, is actually based on a heavily mentioned character from “Sunset Boulevard”.
5. The original ending of the film had Dale sitting in the Black Lodge, comforting Laura after she entered. It then cut to the last scene of the TV series, with Harry breaking down the door of the bathroom and finding Dale smashing his head into the mirror and laughing. Dale tries to act like nothing happened, but is dragged off to bed. This was to confirm that it was Dale’s doppelganger that escaped the Black Lodge.
Please Note : “This Week in TV” now has its own section, HERE