Monday, January 28, 2008
And The Oscar goes to......................................
Unfortunately for us all it appears as if the Academy Awards are in dire peril due to that pesky little Strike so as a small salve to all our Oscar wounds, today I'm offering a retread of an old post(yea...sue me) that I thought might be somewhat appropriate to the....lack of occasion?
I was recently dreaming of the Award category I’d most like to actually see honored. Here’s what came to mind-
Best Actor/Actress in a Cameo Role.
Now the Rules- He/She has to be onscreen for less than 7 mins. to qualify. That’s it.
You see I feel the time is long long overdue to award the singular genius of those rare individuals who can climb aboard even the most lifeless of cinematic vehicle and jam it into gear, heretofore unheralded thespians who blow up the screen with a quirky gem of a throwaway role that slams you back into your seat and forces you to roar with laughter, cringe in fear or shake with tears.
Enough with the jaded Oscar mongering dramatic “Roles” of every “Big Star” you’ve ever seen, I want to see props for the pinch hitter who comes into the game off the bench and proceeds to crank it out of the yard, the one who steps in, jolts you with the juice, then exits stage left leaving only smiles and precious memories of money well spent.
Who among us can forget Bradley Pitt’s “True Romance” stoner-roommate perfect diamond of a performance?
“Oh… and uh……….buy some……………cleaning products.”
Jesus I’m grinning now just thinking of it. Whatever they paid him for that one, it wasn’t enough.
And isn’t it high time that these ageless, priceless giveaways were lauded as they should be but haven’t yet been? You're Damn skippy it is! Let’s right the wrong and give the little guy his day in the sun along with his own shiny gold dude to prop up on his mantel. Posthumous or not, it’s never too late and if we start now we may be able to see this category's triumphant debut at next years shindig.
So today I share with you a small, regrettably incomplete list of some of the best Cameos that I can recall from my own personal (and unfortunately limited) film history and I certainly hope you can provide me with some of the many, many Aces that I’ve neglected.
Mickey Rourke in “Body Heat”- His low key intensity (and screen debut) as a serious arsonist yet concerned career criminal grounded the movie in reality and was the first hint that things might go bad, very bad, for his horny but inept ex-lawyer.
Peter Lorre in “Casablanca”- His clueless, luckless but never-say-die lowlife slime ball caused me to imitate his desperate whine for years, “Rick! Rick! HELP ME RICK!”, and almost made me sad to see his greasy ass hauled away to the slam.
Jo Van Fleet in “Cool Hand Luke”- I once watched this film at work with 8 of the meanest, surliest, misogynistic males I’ve ever met in my life and you know what? When Luke’s Mama looks away in agony after her visit to her beloved son, now imprisoned, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. That’s Acting!
Brad Pitt, again, in “Thelma and Louise”- What can I say, I went to see this flick with my GF and after witnessing his simmering take on the shady but dead sexy desperado even I wanted to fuck the guy.
Steven Prince (Gun Guy) in “Taxi Driver”- The coolest professional salesman that has ever appeared onscreen. Period. Also……………….
Martin Scorsese in “Taxi Driver”- The great American Director’s twisted turn as the cuckold revenge fantasizing husband is seriously one of the creepiest performances ever set to celluloid.
“You know who lives in that apartment…………… a nigger lives in that apartment.”
It takes some big balls to commit to behavior which is that gripping, subnormal and simultaneously human.
Dorothy Malone in “The Big Sleep”- My Great Good God…..when Miss Malone informs Marlowe that “it’s raining pretty hard” then shoots him a look that had my cock bouncing in my pants, I swore that I understood life at last. When she removes her glasses and lets her hair down, I understood love forever.
Harland Williams in “There’s Something About Mary”- His geeky freaky hitchhiker is a delightful nightmare of wicked psychosis practically reeking in hilarity. “Step into my office……. ‘cuz you’re FUCKING FIRED!” I’m still waiting for the 7 min. abs tape.
Helena Kallianiotes in “Five Easy Pieces”- Her bitter, surly, pissed off but surprisingly soulful lesbian was the reason for my creation of this category. In a truly brilliant film bursting with humanity she shines like an angry beacon of life too real. I only hope that Alaska was clean enough for her.
The Late, Great Robert Pastorelli in “Dances with Wolves”- His hilariously repulsive trail guide Timmons is nothing short of inspired wickedness. He has you holding your nose and laughing your ass off at the same time before he, quietly, tragically and, much like his creator, dies too soon.
QT in “Reservoir Dogs”- “No, "Like a Virgin's” not about some nice girl who meets some sensitive fella........granted.....that's what "True Blue's" about....no argument there." Need I say more?
Strother Martin in "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid"- The no-nonsense but sympathetic Ex-Pat Percy Garris jolts the movie with his quirky humanism and ultimately adds a sobering dose of realism to the Boys Southern Adventure. "Morons.....I've got morons on my team.......no one is going to rob us coming down the mountain....we have no money coming down the mountain!"
Christopher Walken in- Pick ‘em. I’m fairly certain that Walken is the most interesting alien being ever too arrive on this planet so choosing only one of his cameos was impossible. He should just save himself the space and build a small shed to house all his future trophies for acting achievement. And thanks.
All for now……………………………………………………….