Caller: Yeah, I’m calling about the article that was in the paper.
Me: I’m sorry, could you be more specific?
Caller: Oh, sure. It was in yesterday’s paper.
Me: … Could you be more specific than that?
Caller: It was the one about the guy! You know! The guy!
When I die, I want to have a reception for strangers and enemies.
So, Sherilyn Fenn, right?
So pretty, right?
And crazy, too, right? I mean, in the “actress who prefers independent films to actually making money” sense of the word. I mean, sure, it’s an art, but what do you do when you can’t afford cocktail wieners, Sherilyn? What do you do then????
Anyway, Sherilyn Fenn’s career peaked in the early ’90s with her role as Audrey Horne on Twin Peaks. (Because I say it peaked then, that’s why.) What has she been up to since then? Well, to find out, first we need to take a look at her past. (Because I say we do, that’s why.)
Fenn’s career began with a role in 1984′s Wild Life, which I want you to know starred Chris Penn, Eric Stoltz and Rick Moranis, making it the most ’80s movie I’ve never heard of. Also, I feel like here is as good a place as any to insert that when she was born in 1965, her name was Sheryl Ann.
Her next appearance was in the made for TV movie Silence of the Heart, which I think I actually watched at a friend’s house, and is about a guy named Skip who killed himself. Probably because his name is Skip, because who would want to live saddled with that moniker?
She appeared on an episode of Cheers in the ’80s, and was in 1987′s Zombie High as Suzi “with an i.” (I don’t know if she actually ever said that, but you would have to assume she must’ve.) Also in the ’80s, she was an an Afterschool Special (remember those things? Whatever became of them?) And also something called True Blood, which has nothing to do with HBO’s gothic vampire series. Her career plodded along briefly along those lines until boom! David Lynch put her in Twin Peaks. (And her career peaked, as I already mentioned.)
(Actually, he had previously worked with her on Wild at Heart, but since her role was “Girl in accident,” I wasn’t sure if that was worth mentioning.)
Things continued to look bright for Fenn in the early ’90s, with roles in Of Mice and Men and … Boxing Helena, which was Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s directorial debut and possibly her attempt to out-crazy her father.
In retrospect, taking that role may have been a mistake, as she followed it up with 1993′s Three of Hearts (not worth explaining) and Fatal Instinct, one of those spoofs that wasn’t as funny as Airplane!. (That’s all of them, by the by.)
Some TV movies here, small roles on Friends there, until Rude Awakening, a sitcom that ran between 1998 and 2001, and that I have never heard of until just this very moment. Anyway, Fenn starred in that, so bully for her! More TV movies and guest roles followed, including one on Law & Order: SVU in 2002, because CSI: NY wasn’t around yet, I guess, and later one on NCIS, because go to hell CSI: Miami! Also, and I think this is great, she played Dr. Harleen Quinzel in the unaired pilot of Birds of Prey, a role later co-opted by previous Whatever Happened to …? Mia Sara! Worlds collided! Boom!
In 2003, she was in something called Dream Warrior, which I’m only including because the title makes me laugh a little, and 2004 saw her in a role in the TV movie Mr. Ed. Yes, about the talking horse. She had a recurring role on David E. Kelley’s Boston Public and finally did get that role on CSI: Miami in 2006. Hell, she was even on Gilmore Girls, a show I never watched. She also had a role on House, but by then they were really focusing on that damn Olivia Wilde’s boring character instead of Hugh Laurie, so I didn’t see it.
And most recently, she was on that episode of Psych that featured the cast of Twin Peaks, and God bless her for it.
The thing I hate about Christmas, other than spending all that time with my family and having to be sober for at least part of it, is all the awful movies that come out over the holiday weekend.
For every True Grit, you’ve got Little Fockers and Gulliver’s Travels. And, to add insult to injury, please don’t forget that somebody made a Yogi Bear movie and it opened last weekend.
So why am I not watching Little Fockers? For the same reason I didn’t watch Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, because fock Ben Stiller, that’s why. (You see what I did there? Because their last name sounds like a swear? Ah ha ha ha, it’s still not funny, Hollywood, you bastards.) But seriously, why is this even a franchise?
And Gulliver’s Travels as a vehicle for Jack Black. Now there’s a phrase that strikes dread into my heart. I know there must be people out there who think Jack Black is great, but I don’t know who they are and I kind of hate them anyway. Jack Black is like take everything about Will Ferrell and make it fatter, and there you have it.
Family movies. Goddammit.
Dear Nicholas Angel,
I love you.
I love everything about you.
From the way you leap over things to the way you do flips over things, I love you.
For your unerring accuracy with an air pistol, I love you.
For the way you carry two spare pens with you, I love you. For the way you ride white horses while loaded down with more artillery than I’ve ever seen in my life, I love you.
I love the way you’re ready and willing to do paperwork on all those people you’ve arrested. I love the way you insist on saying “police officer” instead of “policeman.”
I love the way you say “Yarb” when you’re fooling the bad guys.
I love the way you raise a Japanese peace lily only to use it for bashing in the head of the guy who says “Yarb.”
I love the way you rescue stray swans.
I love the way you say “collision” instead of “accident” because accident implies no one is at fault.
I love the way you wear a vest.
And I know that Danny Butterman is your soul mate, and that’s OK. I want you to know that I don’t mind.
I will totally take sloppy seconds.
Well, Christmas is almost here and, to celebrate, we’re having a battle of Ralphs.
One is Ralphie Parker, the hero of A Christmas Story and desirer of ”an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.”
The other is Chief Wiggum’s boy.
Which Ralph will come out triumphant? And what does this have to do with Christmas? Find out now!
Phsyicality. Ralphie Parker is a blonde, glasses-wearing, blue-eyed cutie-pie.
Ralph Wiggum is yellow, four-fingered and appears to be balding at the age of 8.
Shows more taste in his unrequited crushes? Viewers of A Christmas Story will say, “What unrequited crush?” to which I say, “Exactly.” Ralph Wiggum, on the other hand, has loved Lisa Simpson from afar (and a-near) for years, and who doesn’t love Lisa Simpson? Winner? Ralph Wiggum.
More likely to shoot his eye out? Ralphie Parker, despite being warned more than once throughout the course of A Christmas Story, very nearly does shoot out his eye the very first time he uses his brand new BB gun. On the other hand, Ralph Wiggum. Winner? A tie in uncoordination and lack of firearm safety.
Makes you think of Christmas? Ralphie Parker stars in that holiday classic, A Christmas Story, which even has the word “Christmas” in the title. (Also the words “A” and “Story,” but those are less important right now.) When you think of Christmas, it’s hard not to think of Ralphie Parker. And vice versa, I guess. Ralph Wiggum is a tertiary character on the Simpsons, which has had a lot of Christmas episodes. While not as awesome as their Halloween, episodes, they’re still pretty damn good. Winner? I’m sorry, but Ralphie takes this one.
Has more interesting friends? Ralphie’s best friends are Flick, the kid who stuck his tongue to a flagpole after being triple-dog-dared, and Schwartz, the kid who triple-dog-dared him. I’m not sure that Ralph Wiggum has any friends that aren’t make-believe. I mean, that’s interesting, but more in a “poor Ralph Wiggum” way. Winner? Ralphie Parker.
Faces indignity after indignity? Ralpie, in the course of A Christmas Story, gets a low grade on his theme paper, learns that his Little Orphan Annie decoder is actually an advertising tool, gets soap put in his mouth and faces the school bully. That’s a lot of indignities for one 9-year-old to bear. On the other hand, Ralph Wiggum. Winner? Ralph Wiggum.
Has a cooler dad? Ralph Wiggum’s dad is Police Chief Wiggum. It’s pretty cool to have a police chief for a dad, even if he is slightly corrupt and mostly stupid.
But Ralphie Parker’s dad is Darren McGavin. That’s right. The Night Stalker. Winner? Ralphie Parker.
Overall winner? Ralphie Parker, because Christmas comes once a year for us all.
Remember Terminator 2? Remember Edward Furlong? Such promise he held! That snazzy 1990s haircut!
The delivery of lines containing horribly, horribly outdated lingo! The way he had a pet terminator! Things could only go up from there, skyrocketing him into a career filled with awesome roles and busty supermodel girlfriends.
Except that didn’t really happen.
Or if it did, it happened quietly in, like, Europe or somewhere.
So, as I wondered, “where have you been, Edward Furlong,” I set my crack team on the trail. Or went to IMDb, one of the two.
As we all know, Edward Furlong’s career began when he was thrust into the spotlight with Terminator 2. It seems to be a trend among child actors that they get cast in some awesome sequel to a previous awesome movie and then disappear forever. (See: Ke Quan, Jonathan for a striking example of this phenomenon.)
He followed up that piece of cinematic greatness with a role in American Heart, which sounds kind of familiar to me, but I don’t think I actually know what it is.
Then, of course, we all know he starred in Pet Sematary II, which … wait. They made a sequel to Pet Sematary? I actually remember watching this movie, which means, in 1992, my love for Edward Furlong must have been great indeed.
Moving right along, he’s actually gotten plum roles in some fun little flicks, like John Waters’ Pecker, which is less about dick than you would imagine, but also completely forgettable. He was in American History X with Edward Norton, which I totally did not know, probably because critics only ever mention Norton and I have never actually seen the film. In 1999, he was in something called Detroit Rock City, which was about teens trying to get into a KISS concert, and I already don’t care.
Then came the 00s, when his career kind of imploded or something. I mean he was in a French film. A French film! No one stars in French films except the French! (Note: this film could also be Italian, but my point still stands.) Then it was on to 3 Blind Mice, because every actor from the ’90s has been contracturally scripted into movies about the Internet. There’s, like, a law or something. Then he was in a Crow sequel, because Hollywood kept making those for some reason, and, for the Buffy fans among you, it also stars David Boreanz, but you probably knew that already. That was an excessively long sentence, and I apologize for that.
After that, there were a bunch more movies that I didn’t even know existed, like 2006′s Warriors of Terra and 2009′s Night of the Demons. On the bright side, Edward Furlong is still getting a paycheck. On the much less bright side, it’s for stuff like that, you know?
From 2006 to 2010, our boy Edward has had a recurring role on CSI: NY, so I guess if I watched that I would’ve known he’s not dead, just like Gary Sinise!! But I don’t watch it, so I guess Edward and Gary are both dead to me.
Then, Eddie’s got a bunch of films in post-production, including The Green Hornet, which I can’t decide whether I should be excited or filled with dread about, as Tupper. I don’t know who Tupper is, but I’ve only seen three episodes of The Green Hornet ever, so for all I know, he’s the Green Hornet’s long-lost twin brother. But probably not, since Seth Rogen is playing the Green Hornet.
Also, did you guys know that Edward has an album that was released in Japan? I’m not sure the Japanese even knew that. He has suffered from problems with drugs and alcohol, which I can only assume led to him being romantically linked with Paris Hilton.
So there you go. It turns out little Eddie Furlong has not quit making movies and is, in fact, rather successful, and I just need to get to the theaters or the Redbox more.
Dear Father Tres,
I don’t want the fact that you’re a (gunslinging android) priest to be a barrier to our love. In fact, part of the reason I love you is because you’re a priest! The other part of the reason is the gunslinging android thing, because who doesn’t love a gunslinging android? (Other than my mom, who always rolls her eyes and mutters something about “where did I go wrong?” and “at least I have your brother” when I talk about androids, gunslinging or no.)
In fact, Father Tres, if I had to sit down and come up with my favorite thing about you, it would be the gunslinging. With the “android priest” part coming in a close second.
And let’s not let the androidness of yourself get in the way of our love! I mean, things worked out for Helo and Athena, right?
I mean, sure, you’re 600 pounds of pure killing machine, but that’s all right. I love you for it! I love the way you’re shooting things and speaking all robotically. That’s so hot, Father Tres.
And I’m sure you’re wondering right now what I would bring to our relationship, and I am telling you: absolutely nothing. Do you know why, Father Tres? It’s because you’re an android, and thus can be programmed to love me despite (or perhaps even because of!) my foibles. I like the word foibles, and with the help of a wrench, soon you will too, Father Tres!
So ditch that damn Abel Nightroad and give this some consideration. Like, .7 seconds worth.
For the things Tron Legacy got right, I can forgive it for the things it got wrong.
For instance, it got right not casting Shia LaBeouf as Sam Flynn. Even though I’ve never heard of Garrett Hedlund before, I really appreciate that he’s not Shia LaBeouf. That’s great news. Just great!
Also, they got Jeff Bridges back, who is awesome.
Also, the special effects are great. So shiny, squee!
And Olivia Wilde is totally beautiful.
As far as the things they got wrong, only two things stood out for me:
Young Jeff Bridges just doesn’t look human enough. The good news is, Young Jeff Bridges is a computer program or whatever, so he doesn’t have to look all that human, so it’s OK. Although still a bit creepy.
Olivia Wilde is an awfully wooden actress, but I think in this case, that will work to her favor, like Keanu Reeves’ wooden performance as Neo in The Matrix. So it’s also not a big issue, but I just can’t forgive her for ruining House for me, so I thought I should mention it.
So, I forgive you, Disney, for ruining every fairy tale ever because I like shiny things.