THE GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH: WHO ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE, ANYWAY?

I knew was getting old when every female that came into my field of view looked younger than the one who’d just left. I knew I was very old when I found myself thinking, upon being confronted by one such nubile young waif, “I could never talk about ‘Citizen Kane’ with her.”

I guess I’d better start hauling out words like “gumption” and “whippersnapper” because I don’t understand much about kids today. Forget the fact that I’m only about ten years ahead of them; I might as well be the old codger on the porch rocking chair. For fun, I think I’ll spend the rest of the day yelling, “You kids get out of my yard!” I’ll start directing that to the folks stuck in traffic with me this morning.

The new generation. What is Nike calling them? “Generation Y”? (Does that mean in forty years we’ll have to put up with “Generation AA”?) With their Britney Spears and their low-riding pants. Not to mention their Freddie Prinze, Jr. They can keep him. As far away as possible, preferably. Freddie Prinze, Jr., Tara Reid. Think you can get a good discussion about Francois Truffault’s mastery of mise-en-scene out of them? I can see it now:

Freddie: “Whose scene is missing?”

Give me Amy Lynn Best or Debbie Rochon any day. Amy will tell you why she liked the editing in Fight Club; Debbie will deliver a dissertation on “The Shining” without scarcely being asked. Sarah Michelle Geller will tell you why she prefers using Maybelene. Jennifer Love Hewett could give you directions to Santa Monica Boulevard.

Used to be I knew who some of these people were, too. Like, who is Penelope Cruz, and how do we get her to go away? And is she the same person as Jessica Alba? And why do executives keep casting Jennifer Lopez in things? She has the range of an armless shot-putter. Yes, alright, I have just been informed that she has a magnificent ass. So did all the human co-stars in the “Francis The Talking Mule” series, but notice we haven’t seen much of that lately.

Yes, yes, I know. We’ve always had duds in the movies. Remember that horrible stretch in the early ‘80s when John Savage was in everything? Not to mention the ten-year “Bradford Dillman Experience”. Here are a few names for you: Kier Dullea, Marjoe Gortner, Mariel Hemmingway. Keanu Reeves (oh, wait, he’s still around. Thank god for the extensive shooting of The Matrix series; he’ll be busy for a while).

But let me clarify something: Bradford Dillman might have been a bit dull, but wouldn’t you prefer him over David Arquette? Or Chris Tucker? (God, I see Chris Tucker, I want to beat him into the ground like a tent peg.) On the other hand, isn’t it nice to have had a nice few Pauly Shore-free years? Makes it all seem worthwhile, doesn’t it?

I hear you in the back, screaming about the quality of B-Movies. Sure, you’re more often likely to get a bad actor in a b-movie. I agree with you one hundred percent.

How much do we pay people in B-movies? Do we pay people in B-movies? Do you know how much David Arquette was paid to be in Eight Legged-Freaks? Six gazillion dollars! Will Keenan starred as a transgender serial killer in Terror Firmer and was paid in Chicklets! That’s a hefty wage for a Troma movie. I’ll put Will Keenan up against any Hollywood actor working today (with the exception of Edward Norton, who could kick Will’s ass)! That’s right! My actor can beat up your actor! What d’ya say, tough guy? Thought so.

Pick any one actor in Jon Keeyes’ American Nightmare, and I will guarantee you that they gave a better performance than anyone who was ever on “Dawson’s Creek.” (Perfectly good creek and they haven’t drowned a single one of those whiny thirty-year-old high school bastards yet.) Ron Bonk could coax a better performance out of a breadstick than anyone ever will out of Callista Flockhart (I know, ‘what’s the difference?’ Always going for the cheap shot, aren’t you?)

So Generation Y can keep their Katie Holmeses and their Freddie Prinze, Jrs., and their Ryan Phillipes (who is just their generations Ryan O’Neal – think about it). And I’ll keep our Robyn Griggs and Debbie Rochons and Amy Lynn Bests and Trent Haagas and Lloyd Kaufmans. At least I can tell them apart.
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Posted on September 5, 2003 in Features by
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