Tuesday, April 29

Free Association

-The Money Pit, the 80s comedy starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long--together at last!--was a remake of the Cary Grant film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

-Mr. Blandings was remade again last year as the Ice Cube vehicle Are We Done Yet?, the sequel to Are We There Yet? I know that the phrase "thinking outside of the box" is a hoary cliche, but the idea of remaking a film as the sequel to an original story at the very least displays an intriguingly sideways thought process.

-(Sort of like using the sequel to a stoner-beloved movie as a chance to make a slyly subversive indictment of the current political situation. But more on that tomorrow.)

-Are We Done Yet? was surprisingly okay for what it was trying to be, pleasedontaskwhyIsawit, and John C. McGinley actually gave a really winning comedic performance. He plays the small-town jack-of-all-trades archetype that's at least as old as Andy Taylor on The Danny Kaye Show, but he infuses the role with a real charm.

-Most people know McGinley as Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs, whose role as a hyper-articulate authority figure who delivers perfectly composed belittling rants is totally different from Dr. Kelso, a hyper-articulate authority figure who delivers perfectly composed belittling rants, not to mention Jordan and The Janitor and Laverne and about 3/4s of the damn cast.

-Before that, he was probably best known for his first film role, as Sgt O'Neil in Platoon, or as the Michael-Bolton-loving efficiency expert in Office Space. Or possibly as a member of John Cusack's posse.

-However, I knew him initially as Eric Bogosian's producer in the film version of Bogosian's excellent Talk Radio. (Which I just realized was directed by Oliver Stone, as was Platoon. Ah.)



Uh, that was 1988...does he look creepily identical in those shots? I've always assumed he's had a shitload of work done, but maybe McKinley's just one of those guys whose face has just always looked like a facelift? See also: Michael York.

-Talk Radio was recently revived on Broadway, an event that I somehow heard nothing about. "Talk Radio made its Broadway premiere in 2007, in a production starring Liev Schreiber, and featuring Law & Order: SVU stars Stephanie March and Peter Hermann."

-Wait, what? Who? March was apparently on the show five years ago, and Hermann is Mariska Hargitay's husband. No, I didn't know either of those facts forty-five seconds ago.

-But wait...Eric Bogosian is now a full-time cast member of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. So, uh, was he cast because of his SVU peeps? Or were they cast in his Broadway production because of his L&O connection?

-Or, more likely, Law & Order is such a behemoth that any actor even vaguely working in the industry can be traced back to the series. Forget Kevin Bacon; every living member of SAG must be connected to Dick Wolf by two degrees AT MOST.

-Also, Eric Bogosian is a Law & Order cast-member!? What's next, Laurie Anderson on NCIS? John Zorn on Samantha Who? Ann Magnuson on Anything But Love?

-Actually, Bogosian has a pretty hilariously ghetto filmography--Under Siege 2, Blade: Trinity, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle--but his appearances have always given off the air of being a subversive cameo rather than a way to pay the rent. I'm not dragging him down: that's an awesome trick.

-And, here he is on Scrubs, playing John C. McGinley's therapist and prompting this blog post. It's sorta weirdly endearing to think of these two having met on the set of Talk Radio and being friends for the next twenty years.

-But I have to wonder: who wins the
call waiting face-off when John Cusack calls???

-Finally, to bring this post full-circle, you know who else is on Law & Order? That's right, rapper-turned-actor Ice T, the star of the family comedy Are We Done Yet?

-Oh, wait.

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