Dear James Marsden,
You are so talented and cute and funny, and you make me so sad. Why do you make me so sad?
Let’s look at your resume, shall we?
X-Men: The Last Stand?
I mean, sure, there’s some winners in there, like X-Men and X2 and Enchanted, but then you do a voice part in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore?
(Why is this post mostly questions?)
James Marsden, what I am saying, sir, is this: Please stop starring in movies like Hop, which is a Russell Brand vehicle for some reason, because someone apparently wants that stringy-haired Brit to be famous. More famous? (Like, Arthur? What the hell is up with that?)
(Why can’t I stop phrasing things in the form of questions today? Am I channeling Alex Trebek?)
To continue, James Marsden, I implore you to be in films that are worthy of 1) your looks; 2) your comedic timing; 3) your looks again; 4) your acting ability; and 5) definitely your looks some more.
I’m trying to think of some good suggestions right now, but nothing is coming to me.
Just not the new Wonder Woman television series, OK?
Thanks for your consideration.
(Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m not seeing Hop.)
Remember the Superman movies? (The good ones, I mean, not that tedious reboot by Bryan Singer.) (And by the good ones, I mean the first two and parts of the third one, but only for the nostalgia value.)
They told us we would believe a man could fly, and they were right.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Or read about. Or whatever. No, we’re here for Jimmy Olsen, also known as the actor Marc McClure, who was also in Back to the Future, which I don’t remember at all.
McClure’s career started in 1975 with a guest shot on the television series Emergency!, which I can only assume was an awesome show because of the exclamation point! It’s not just an emergency, it’s an Emergency! Moving right along, his next role was on The Cop and The Kid, which was either about a scrappy orphan and his policeman buddy, or a cop who owns a goat. Of course, then you’d've thunk they’d have gone with the more insulting The Pig and The Goat, so it’s probably the first one.
He also had a role in the movie Freaky Friday, and I guess I didn’t realize that movie was older than me. But it is. Good to know.
Other notable roles in the 1970s included guest spots on Happy Days and Eight is Enough. OK, maybe not so much “notable roles” as just plain old “roles,” but the important thing is, in 1978, McClure was cast as the photographer friend of the man of steel in Superman.
That plum role was enough to get him … oh. More roles intelevision movies. Well, shoot. Ooooh, ooooh, but in 1979, he had a starring role in a TV series called California Fever as a teenager enjoying the Southern California lifestyle. If it was a reality show, it would still be airing today, but it wasn’t, so it only ran for 10 episodes.
But that’s OK, because Superman II!
And then moving right along to 1981′s Strange Behavior, which is about a scientist turning good kids into murderers, because there just weren’t enough teen killers in the early ’80s, apparently. Then ’82′s Pandemonium, which is about a Mountie tracking a killer at a cheerleading camp. Phil Hartman was in that one, too, but I still wouldn’t recommend it.
Then Superman III! And Supergirl! McClure was the only actor from the Superman films to appear in Supergirl, which was awfully nice of him.
He then went on to a guest role on Trapper John, MD, which I only mention because the character’s name was Luther, which is probably some sort of homage to Lex Luthor, but who knows.
Then he played Dave McFly in Back to the Future. Was Dave McFly Marty’s cousin or something? I seriously can’t remember this character at all.
Oooh, then he was on a couple of episodes of Hunter, and does anyone else remember that show? I loved that show when I was a kid.
Then between Superman IV and Back to the Future III, there was something called Amazon Women on the Moon, as well as several other movies that I don’t feel like mentioning.
The ’90s brought him a guest-starring role heyday, with appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210; Sister, Sister; and Nash Bridges. I never watched any of those shows, but good for them for employing Jimmy Olsen. He also had roles in Apollo 13 and That Thing You Do!, both of which were popular movies at the time and I also didn’t see.
In 2003, he was in Freaky Friday, so I guess that was the remake or something? I didn’t realize Lindsay Lohan was that old. I mean, she looks haggard and all, but I always assumed that was the rampant drug abuse.
Anyway, he continued his guest-starring streak, with roles on The Shield, ER and Cold Case, as well as Smallville in 2008, which always did like throwing fans a bone and giving roles to the old movie cast.
(What do you mean it’s still not canceled? Are you sure?)
Also in 2008, he had a role in Proud American and in Frost/Nixon.
And what’s he been doing since then?
Well, that’s a good question, because I don’t know. He does appear to be alive, but that’s really all I know. I’m sorry I have failed you all.
Don’t you feel like Sucker Punch should be my dream movie?
It’s got sword fights and slow-motion action sequences and the chick from Watchmen and a fire-breathing dragon. It’s directed by Zack Snyder, who always makes stylistic, beautiful movies! Or mostly does, I guess; I’ve only ever seen Watchmen. I’ve heard 300 is beautiful, though, what with all the naked men chests in it.
But back on topic, we’re talking about Sucker Punch, and how it is chock full of geeky awesomeness. Sailor schoolgirl uniforms! Nazis who turn out to be zombies! An excape from a mental institution! Robots! Gigantic samurai with machine guns! It has everything a geek could ever love.
And I think that’s the problem. It’s like baking a cake, filling it with twinkies and brownies and topping it off with frosting that is made of marshmallows that has Oreos in it.
It’s just too much.
I mean, seriously, my teeth start hurting when I watch the trailers, like I’ve bitten into a chocolate bar and it gets stuck in my teeth right where that cavity is, you know?
Not too mention, I think you have to be a boy geek to really appreciate the asthetic appeal of the sailor girl uniform. (Any lesbian geeks out there have a fetish? Or is it seriously just for boys?) I mean, sure Emily Browning is just adorable in it and I love her little blonde pigtails, but it’s not making me all squishy inside or anything.
So, um, yeah, I want to love Sucker Punch very much, and I feel like I really should, but I just don’t. And I feel kind of bad about that, like maybe I should try harder and this thing between us would work, you know?
I hope you see what I did with the post title there, and made a reference to The Go-Gos, because this post is all about Belinda Carlisle and where’s she at now?
For those of you who didn’t live through the ’80s (you poor, poor bastards), The Go-Gos were the best girl band ever. For proof, please see: Beat, We got the.
We also love Our Lips are Sealed. Yes we do.
Tragically, the Go-Gos broke up in 1985, and Belinda went on to a solo career. That was probably good news for Ms. Carlisle, as she had even more hits as a solo artist than she did with The Go-Gos, like Mad About You and Heaven is a Place on Earth, which we don’t like as well as The Go-Gos’ works, but still get stuck in our heads anyway.
Oh, and in 1984, Belinda Carlisle was in Swing Shift with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, which I don’t think I have ever seen, not even when I was going through my Kurt Russell phase, which led to my Goldie Hawn phase. Here is a link to the cast list, and believe me when I say “just keep scrolling down.”
But back to Belinda’s pop career, which was ever so much more successful than her film career. Or was for her first two albums. In 1989, Carlisle released an album called Runaway Horses. Don’t worry; we’ve never heard of it either. 1991 brought her fourth solo album, Live Your Life Be Free, which really needs some punctuation to save it. These albums were more successful in Europe than in America, because Europe loves everything America is apathetic towards, I guess.
There was a fifth solo album, Real, and a sixth, A Woman and a Man, and it really seems like she just gave up on good album titles. Although her band was called The Go-Gos, so it’s not like naming stuff was ever really her thing anyway.
Then, in 2001, there was a Go-Gos reunion !!! that I completely missed, and they released an album that had a song written by that guy from Green Day. It was during this time that Belinda posed completely nude for Playboy. Don’t worry, this post will still be waiting while you google that.
Voila, Belinda’s seventh solo album, was released in 2007, and is a collection of French pop songs, because she lives in France now. Or did in 2007.
Like many celebrities, when she’s not busy recording songs in French, Belinda likes to take the time to revive her flagging fame by appearing on reality TV shows, and was the first “star” to be eliminated from the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars. But you’ve seen her dance in her videos, so you kind of had to be expecting that.
Also, Belinda Carlisle is a spokesperson for NutriSystem, so that’s something.
Ooooh, ooooh, and in August 2011, Belinda and the rest of The Go-Gos are getting a Hollywood star! You know who else has one of those?
Caller: I’m trying to reach Joy.
Me: I’m sorry, but the number you called is for (reporter whose name starts with a C). Is that who you were trying to reach?
Caller: No, I’m looking for Joy. She wrote an article for your paper.
Me: I’m sorry, but we don’t have a Joy.
Caller: Not Joy. JOY!
Me: I’m sorry?
Caller: NO! JOY! J! U! L! I! E!
Caller: Yeah. Joy.
Me: We don’t have a Julie either.
The nice thing about movie pirates is the way they totally don’t murder your whole family in front of you and threaten to sodomize your dog, like real pirates. I actually made up that part about what they said they would do to your dog.
Anyway, two of the most famous movie pirates are Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook. I don’t feel like I need to give you background on these guys, because they are really, really famous movie pirates. If you do need background, I’d like to congratulate you on rejoining the world after spending all those years in a cave on the moon.
On to the battlefield, where it’s safe for you family and your dog!
Physicality. In a battle of fictional pirates, the pirate who resembles Johnny Depp wins. The pirate who resembles Johnny Depp always wins. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Evilisciousness. I was hedging between this as a category title and Evilocity, and then I thought that Evilocity was an insurance company, so evilisciousness it is. Also, let’s see if I can ever spell that word the same way twice. (I guess I should probably have put word in quotes.) Anyway, Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook, as movie pirates, are ever so much less evil than real pirates. But which one is more evil than the other, but not more evil than real pirates? Capt. Jack Sparrow, as far as I know after watching the first two movies and not any of the others (there were others, right?), was kind of self-serving and sneaky, but not so evil that he would do something like kill Keira Knightley’s character for Christ’s sake someone should’ve done it. On the other hand, Capt. Hook’s main goal in life was to murder a little boy. Magical little boy or not, that’s pretty evil. Winner? Capt. Hook.
More flamboyant costume? Dressed garishly, as all movie pirates are, the better for audiences to be able to tell that they are movie pirates, both Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook have a fondness for giant hats, feathers and button-up coats. Only one of them wears eyeliner. (Hint: It’s the Johnny Depp one.) Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Has a better sidekick? Capt. Hook’s sidekick is the irrepressible Smee, who is a obese buffoon in the Disney movie, an altogether unsastisfying change from his original incarnation as a ruthless bastard. Still, an obese buffoon is infinitely superior to Keira Knightley and, I hate to admit it because he’s soooo pretty, Orlando Bloom. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Has a hook for a hand? Capt. Hook has a hook for a hand, a fact of which he is either very proud and changed his name to suit, or was rather convenient for him because he was already like, “Hey, my name is Hook!” (It’s the first one.) No one would chop off Johnny Depp’s hands for a movie because he has such nice hands. Although I think I’d love him more if he had a chainsaw hand.
Winner? Capt. Hook.
Is eaten by a creature of the deep? Capt. Jack Sparrow gets eaten by a Kraken or something, I don’t know, did anybody else think the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie was so goddamned boring? Later, he somehow comes back, because Disney and Johnny Depp like to buy nice things. Capt. Hook’s hand was eaten by a crocodile, which also ate a clock, so he could hear his doom approaching him. Although, actually, his doom didn’t approach him until the clock stopped working, so he couldn’t actually hear his doom approaching and so it snuck up on him. Or sneaked up on him. I’m never sure about the past tense of that word. Pressing valiantly on! Hook got et by a crocodile. Winner? Well, since both these guys got eaten by creatures typically found in the dark recesses of the waters, I’m going to go ahead and call this a tossup.
Faces more difficult adversaries? Capt. Hook’s adversaries are a magical boy, a tinker fairy and a bunch of other little kids who aren’t particularly magical, but do wear the skins of dead animals. Capt. Jack Sparrow’s adversaries are the navy (British, I think, but *yawn*, second movie soooo boring) and a squid-faced Davy Jones. Also whoever cast Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
For the tie-breaker, which of these characters hasn’t been ruined by awful sequels? Ha, ha, I’m just kidding. Of course Peter Pan’s got sequels. I told you Disney likes to buy nice things.
For the real tie-breaker, which of these characters is more masculine? What with his guyliner and all, Capt. Jack Sparrow has a weak hold on the last threads of his heterosexuality. Sure, he tries to get you to think he’s into the ladies by coming on to Keira Knightley, but we all know if he had any taste in women at all, he’d go after the chick who ended up on Undercovers, because she is gorgeous.
Still, he’s good with a sword and grows a magnificent goatee. Capt. Hook doesn’t waste a single minute on trying to convince anyway he’s straight or gay or having sex of any kind at all. He is single-minded in the pursuit of his goal, which is to kill the hell out of a small child. Now that’s a man. (Are you sure?) Whatever, I like Hook better. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Overall winner? Capt. Hook. By a hook.
In an upcoming Dear Abby column, someone writes in to Abby to suggest an alternative to doctors and clergy for troubled people.
They can always visit their human resources department at work, said the writer.
We want healthy and happy employees, said the writer.
I haven’t been able to stop laughing since then.
Because I would totally room with them. You know, were they to request I do so.
Hell, for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I would learn the lyrics to the love song from Titanic and make up an interpretive dance while I performed it in front of a live audience. And, if they asked me, I would then kill the audience.
I would do that for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I love those guys.
But you know what I’m not going to do for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost? See Paul. And I’m deeply sorry for that, I really am, and I hope they forgive me and, when we’re roommates, it won’t be one of those things, but I just absolutely don’t want to see it.
For this, I blame the voice of Seth Rogen.
Well, and whoever designed the creepy little alien guy. I don’t like that either.
But mostly Seth Rogen’s voice, which is somehow more irritating when it is not coming from Seth Rogen’s face.
And now, to remind me that something good did come from Paul, here’s a video that I’m sure you have all already seen, but I don’t care because it’s just that good.
(I love you, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost! Let’s be besties!!)
In the Star Wars trilogy (there are no prequels! The prequels are dead to me!), if there was one thing any of us noticed, it’s that if your name wasn’t Han, Leia, Luke or Chewbacca, things weren’t going to turn out so well for you in the end. I’d include R2-D2 and C3-PO (I can seriously never remember where the damn hyphen goes, and I can seriously never get myself to care enough to google the correct answer) in that list, but those are less “names” and more “identifying model numbers.”
That is, except for Wedge Antilles, the only non-main character to survive the whole damn thing.
(And don’t tell me they killed him off in one of the Star Wars novels, I don’t even want to know.)
Wedge, the heroic pilot who helped blow up a Death Star or two, was played by Ewan McGregor’s uncle, Denis Lawson. I just realized it’s been so long since I cared about Ewan McGregor that I originally spelled his last name MacGregor. I am so embarrassed.
But this post isn’t about Ewan McGregor, so who cares if I spell his name wrong?
It’s about Denis Lawson, and whatever happened to him anyway?
Well, it turns out that whatever happened to him is that he’s led a very long and successful career, and I just forgot what he looks like.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s find out what got Lawson to where he is today. (Which, as I mentioned before, is successful.)
Lawson’s career began at the ripe young age of 22, with a role as Andy Donald in Dr. Finlay’s Casebook, a television show from 1969. There were other TV series and made-for-TV movies on the horizon, and Lawson took those roles like a champ. There were quite a lot of them, so please excuse me for not listing them, except for 1977′s Seven Faces of Woman, because that is a silly name.
You know what else happened in 1977? Star Wars: A New Hope happened in 1977. Also Holocaust 2000, where Lawson’s role was as “2nd journalist,” so probably nothing to really write home about, except maybe to say, “Dear Mom, thanks to my role as 2nd journalist in Holocaust 2000, I could afford to buy toilet paper this week. Love, Denis.”
More TV series followed, like 1978′s Armchair Thriller, leading me to realize that Lawson has been in a LOT of European television shows, so no wonder I thought he had started selling real estate or something. 1980 brought The Empire Strikes Back, and Wedge Antilles continued to earn our love by not dying horrifically, and then it was back to television, including something called The Good Companions.
In 1983, Lawson made one last trip back to the Star Wars universe for The Return of the Jedi, and then it was back to European television and off my radar forever. He did have a role in a movie called Fried Crumbed Brains in 1996, which was an Italian film, judging by everyone’s last names but his. So nobody saw that either. Maybe some Italians.
Then more television, and I can’t believe America hasn’t grabbed this guy yet. What the hell? In 2006, he had a guest bit on a show called Feel the Force, which possibly had nothing to do with Star Wars. He’s also been in a TV show called Jekyll and one called The Passion, and also Mumbai Calling.
The most exciting thing for me was learning that he had a guest role on Law and Order: UK in 2009 because that means there is a Law and Order: UK.
Lawson’s most recent effort is a little television series called Marchlands, so there you have it. Our boy Wedge continues to live, love and fight the good fight, except it’s in the UK or somewhere, so we never really knew.
But Red Riding Hood doesn’t look horrible.
It’s got beautiful visuals, with the red cloak standing out neatly against the white snow, and this one scene where the fog goes rolling over the ground all eerie and elegant, and then it’s got Amanda Seyfried, who is the most beautiful visual of all.
AND MY GOD DID I MENTION IT’S GOT GARY OLDMAN?
Gary Oldman as a werewolf hunter!
I can get behind that! In fact, I am pretty certain that Gary Oldman, when not acting the socks off his coworkers, does hunt werewolves and other creatures of the night because he is Gary Oldman, dammit, and what else is he going to do with his spare time? (Other than your girlfriend, badoom-BOOM.)
In fact, the pretty, pretty trailer completely convinced me to ignore the part at the beginning where it said “From the Director of Twilight” and groove along to the cheesy rock song because there are going to be brutal slayings and fires and whooooooo! This movie is going to be so good, I am sure of it!
But now that the adrenaline has worn off it occurs to me that there’s two different guys showing interest in Amanda Seyfried’s character, which means: IT’S A LOVE TRIANGLE OH GOD IT’S A ROMANCE IN DISGUISE YOU NEARLY FOOLED ME.