This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Latest Celebrity Tizzy: Rosie Vs. Lindsay

I've always found Rosie O'Donnell to be annoying.  She was barely tolerable in A League Of Their Own and she nearly ruined Beautiful Girls, one of my favorite movies.  Her talk show gave me yet another reason to switch the channel.  Yet, this week she got a tiny thread of respect from me for her rant about the oddly unfortunate miscasting of Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor.  I hate to admit it, but this time around, I couldn't agree with Rosie more.

At first I thought it was a joke.  Then, I read it in The Hollywood Reporter, and I thought "Uh-oh, this is for real."  Lindsay Lohan, according to multiple sources, is set to star as Taylor in Lifetime's biopic, "Liz And Dick."  Now, true, Lindsay Lohan and Elizabeth Taylor both have had tumultuous careers filled with tabloid fodder and personal turmoil.  However, Elizabeth Taylor was an iconic actress of a classic era.  Her unbelievable beauty,  those violet eyes and that rash of dark hair, mesmerized audiences worldwide.

[My own father, along with troves of men, had the hots for her.  Not long after National Velvet, when she was still a child actress, he wrote her a fan letter.  Still very much a boy himself at the time, he was elated when he received an autographed photo of her in the mail.]

Lindsay, however, is the antithesis of all that is Taylor.  I believe in second chances-- I do.  I believe that Lindsay could turn things around.  In fact, I'd love to see that happen.  Making an appearance on Glee is a good start.  Taking a flying leap into a major, iconic role like playing Elizabeth Taylor is not.  It's a risk that, in my opinion, she can't afford.  Lifetime, the network in charge of production on "Liz And Dick," probably don't care:

Controversy + Interest  =  RATINGS.

With the pool of young, talented actresses-- even unknowns (!) I believe there's a woman out there that could depict Elizabeth Taylor, both realistically and respectfully.  In fact, a talented unknown with acting chops and an ability to immerse herself in the role could very well be the best option. 

Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor makes Katie Holmes' casting as Jackie Onassis  in The Kennedys seem like a good idea.  

RE: Lindsay Lohan Cast As Elizabeth Taylor
[Two of my favorite rants & responses from other web users on The Hollywood Reporter's website]

"I just threw up in my mouth at the notion of Lohan playing a woman of such tremendous dedication..."

"Are you KIDDING ME?????!!!!!  This is a disgraceful insult to Elizabeth Taylor to the fullest extent!!!!!..."

©2012 by KLiedle

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Mysteries Of A Cult Film

Not too long ago, I stumbled across a documentary entitled, Best Worst Movie. I was intrigued. Just how bad was this film? Was it truly the best of the worst? The documentary had four stars so I thought, "What the hell?" Besides, much can be learned from a really bad film.

Best Worst Movie was a very entertaining look at a 1989 film I'd never heard of: Troll 2. The cast of characters interviewed in the documentary [many of whom were directly involved in the making of the film] appear to be equally astounded by the underground cult status the film has reportedly acquired. Some of them have gone on to pursue acting-- conveniently leaving the Troll 2 credit off their resume. Others laugh at the long ago experience they had on the film, as if it's become folklore in their own histories.

Apparently, people rave about how truly awful Troll 2 is. They have parties to celebrate its awfulness. A few people even say they watch Troll 2 weekly. After seeing the documentary, a few friends and I determined one thing: we had to see it for ourselves.

Over the weekend, I finally saw Troll 2. At its core, the film is about a little kid named Joshua and his family in the small town of Nilbog. The townspeople, all goblins (nilbog spelled backwards) are trying to turn the family into plants so they can eat them. The Nilbog goblins, of course, are all vegetarians. Why there isn't enough vegetation for them to survive in a rather green area surrounded by a pristine lake somewhere in small-town America is never explained.

There is no original Troll, by the way. Just a sequel without a prequel. Additionally, the acting is predictably atrocious and the film itself is way too brightly lit to be successful in even the lowest-budgeted of horror films. The film meanders wildly. There are hardly any night scenes. There aren't even any trolls. There should be a drinking game for every time the little kid says, "Grandpa." Then there's that strange make-out scene involving a woman in black garters, a corncob and an eventual passionate explosion of popcorn all around them.

[Note: In re-reading this description, I almost make it sound like Troll 2 is actually entertaining. It's not. Just bad...really, really BAD.]

There is no clear-cut definition of a cult film. However, it's generally accepted that a cult film is a film that wasn't embraced when it was originally released, but given time, has caught on and/or generated a following with niche audiences. Usually, there is a very active communal following for cult films-- as with films such as The Big Lebowski and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Some people may disagree, but Troll 2 is far from being the best worst movie. I wouldn't even necessarily consider it a cult film. It's just a bad movie-- plain and simple. I don't think I could even sit through it again, let alone celebrate its badness in a cult fashion. Even the worst cult films have some entertaining qualities that make you want to come back for more. Not me.

NPR: What's On Your Cult List?

Definitions Of Cult Cinema

Lebowski Fest: All Things Lebowski

©2012 by KLiedle