Wednesday, December 28, 2016
At what point during the "table reads" for the original Star Wars Trilogy did the Late Carrie Fisher (herself a writer of no small acuity) start guffawing helplessly at the stilted dialogue? I'm thinking she was on her best behavior during "A New Hope" but after that the throttles were wide open. A lot is being made of Carrie Fisher's indomitable Princess Leia (who is the object of pursuit in two films but is accorded a solid chance to snuff a bad guy in the third albeit infamously clad in a brass bikini), her main breakthrough as a character is a refusal to be sidelined or entirely overshadowed by Obi Wan or Yoda or Han vs Luke vs Darth Vader. Well what of it, it was 1977 and as always a very sexist primitive time, any pushing of the gender envelope was welcome. I've always maintained that one of her funniest turns was what was otherwise a featured cameo in "The Blues Brothers" as John Belushi's incensed ex fiancee whose attempts to kill Joliet Jake take on a definite Wile E. Coyote like dimension. Fisher was smart (when she wasn't getting drunk high or indulging mayhem), she knew she'd run up against a wall of Princess Leia typecasting at the tender age of 25....so she got straight and switched over to writing and became a noted script doctor & author, she "Zenned the Typecasting" so to speak. I always liked that about her....anyone else would have been "MegaFested" and drowsed away the days selling her signature for $20.00 a pop. Not Carrie she staked out her ground and defended it to the last... And now she is gone and her mother Debbie Reynolds as well not a full day later. 2016 is an evil year with evil consequences and it is never a good thing when Our Heroes take Flight to Valhalla En Masse....its a Dark Portent Indeed.
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
(Thats him on the Left BTW....:) Always an impossibly handsome man (The "Rob Lowe of the 1960's"), Williams stumbled into the whole Batman-driven superhero craze of 1966 playing a completely paradoxically straight and unhumorous crimefighter. Sadly "The Green Hornet" only lasted one year and is chiefly remembered for launching Bruce Lee's career, but let take a moment to recall that today's stern uncompromising Masked Avengers all owe something to Van Williams. It should also be remembered that Williams was likely the first TV superhero of the modern age to get shot in the line of duty. Check out the Green Hornet Episode "Bad Bet on a 459 Silent" for the details, suffice to say getting a wanted masked vigilante to the hospital when he stops a bullet is a serious damn chore. Lets also note that very scenario was pirated virtually word for word by the Seth Rogen Green Hornet adaptation about which I will pass over in sacerdotal silence. In life Williams was courtly charming, a pleasant presence on the comicon circuit and always willing to remember his castmate and friend Bruce Lee with fondness & warmth. If Williams felt overshadowed he never said anything about it, indeed on that mark he was a Gentleman thru and thru. He will be missed One Season Wonder or Not.