An Essay by Dr. Daniel
Look. Here's the real deal. I'm flappin' sick and flippin' tired of the notion that athletes can easily transfer over to the world of acting. AND rate a starring role in some multi-million dollar movie. Attention all who make these insipid movies: STOP IMMEDIATELY! All you who were pissing and moaning about how much Cameron spent on Titanic? Just shut your pieholes right now, 'cause that man put every dollar he was given on that screen, and you'll see it. He didn't pay out $50 million to feature some marginal jockstrap in a starring role, thinking that, if you surround the fool with talent, he'll be talented, too. WRONG!!!! Pouring perfume on a cow chip just means the cow chip might smell a little better. IT'S STILL CRAP, NO MATTER HOW IT SMELLS!!!!!
Sure, maybe, MAYBE Howie did a fair job in Broken Arrow, working for some four minutes with John Travolta. Go back and watch that movie again, please. All he did was nod his head and arch his eyebrows and grin like a airbrained maniac. Oh, sorry, he got to shoot the bang-bang stick once or twice. "But he's done commercials," you say. HE ATE A BOWL OF SOUP IN FRONT OF A CAMERA! TAH-DAH!!!! The man's a totem pole with a flattop. End of discussion. Fine, let him talk about football on Sunday afternoons. He knows something about that. Keep him off the marquee, name above the title and all that, because he STINKS!
Don't give me any more nonsense with Shaquille O'Neal on the poster. Let him slam basketballs and eat tacos, but do not give us another Steel, or, worse yet, Kazaam! Don't waste the studio's money with it. Nobody cares. Do you understand? NOBODY CARES! And, Rodman, you are officially through as a movie star, thank you. Oh, I'm sure you'll get more offers, but, trust me, you got better luck getting back with Madonna than you do getting a long-term movie deal. You managed to make Van Damme look like an actor in that piece of stank you two threw together. Van Damme! Van Damme outacted you! There is nobody in the WORLD that can be that bad, but you were!
I know you feel like you did a good commercial or two, why not make a movie? Well, let's see...a commercial that you'd be in calls for reading lines and being yourself for about forty seconds. A starring role in a movie calls for developing a character onscreen and holding it for around two hours. TWO HOURS! You're proud of eating a Big Mac for forty seconds?!?!?! My sweatsock could do that!
Lemme throw out some names here. Joe Namath. Great quarterback. Couldn't act out a fart at a bean-eating contest. Bo Svenson. Who knows...? Brian Bosworth. Puh-leeze. Alex Karras? Funny guy, but no Olivier. Butkus? Help me, Jesus. Bubba Smith? Ah, yes, who could forget Bubba's stirring triumph as Officer Hightower in Police Academy parts One through Pi. That delivery, that style.
Oh! And let's not forget the Olympic arenas, either! God forbid we run into Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord's American Anthem on late night cable. Or, worse yet, the truckload of cowflop that became Gymkata with gymnast Kurt Thomas. Like, oh, sure, one often finds themselves surrounded by assassins in a remote Eastern European village square, and the only weapon available is an ancient pommel horse. How STUPID do you people think we are? (If you think I am making that up about the pommel horse, read your TV Guides carefully. This meadow muffin turns up on Turnervision all the time, after midnight, thankfully.
Look, I'll give you Jordan, Hollywood. Mike has a personae unto himself. If y'all want to cram him into a cartoon, and you hit the price right, so be it. Gotta tell you, though, Daffy acted circles around him, and Daffy is a DRAWING! Mike moved his eyes from side to side, looked down when he talked, and played ball. How challenging that must have been for him. Michael was playing himself, and, if he can't do that, he needs a lot of therapy.
Do us all a favor, Hollywood Suits. Keep the athletes on the fields, on the courts, on the ice. Spare us the drivel. Take the money you're about to give away to one of these brainless ideas, and give it to someone who can put it to good use. Give it to Kasi Lemmons, an outstanding director who's still working on a budget fit for public TV. Give it to Damon and Affleck for their next three screenplays. Give it to Richard Linklater, or John Dahl, or anybody else who wants to make a movie. But don't give it to a soul who opens their pitch with "Alrighty, we get Charles Barkley, team him up with Reggie White, add in some laser guns...."
Dr. V. B. "Doc" Daniel
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