Tuesday, November 06, 2007

20:07 (Take the Pfeiffer Bowling. Take Her Bowling)

screenshots from the 20th minute and 7th second of a movie
I can't guarantee the same results at home (different players/timing) I use a VLC


When I put Grease 2 into the computer I was hoping against hope that "Cool Rider", the movie's sole moment of gourmet kitsch would be @ the 20 minute mark. But alas like Michelle Pfeiffer's career, Grease 2 refuses to cooperate with my wishes. So instead we get Adrian Zmed's rather desperate Travolta-proxy. He's singing about scoring here but the movie throws one gutterball after another.

C'mon everybody gather round
And I'm going to show you how to knock 'em down
When I'm on the ball I'm the number one
And I'm going to show you how it's done.
Regardless, it's fun to watch in the way many bad movies are. Aside from "Cool Rider" I get a huge kick out of the imagined mimesis of Pfeiffer's Stephanie. It's as if she's showing us that it's OK to be completely over this movie even if you're in it! Notice that in the still above she's the only one looking away from the action. Stephanie Zinone, fond of the eyeroll, sideways glance, dark sunglasses and gum-chomping, is over it. In Pfeiffer's first leading role 25 years ago (!) she's already too good for her own movies, too cool for school.


I wish that Grease 2 wasn't such an unwitting Cassandra but this qualitative contrast happens over and over again in the star's filmography and shows no signs of abating. Most of the time I am content to thank the cinematic gods that Pfeiffer exists but sometimes I am an ungrateful disciple. Today is one of those days. By most measures (if you ignore the never- going-to-be-released I Could Never Be Your Woman) Pfeiffer's '07 comeback was a blazing success: Hairspray is her third biggest hit ever (following Batman Returns and What Lies Beneath) and she got numerous "best in show" reviews for Stardust. Though Pfeiffer herself expresses no interest in winning an Oscar, her fans deserve to see her with one and her talent warrants it. Now would've been an ideal time to strike out with a prestige dramatic project with an A list director. So why, pray tell, is La Pfeiffer going to make a movie with an unproven director and studio that co-stars Ashton Kutcher [src and src] just as people are rediscovering her? I'm beginning to think that Pfeiffer has career dysmorphia: perhaps she looks in the mirror and sees a Bullock when she's actually a Streep, you know?

I've followed her career closely and you rarely read anything about her being difficult to work with so where are the directors as talented in their fields as Pfeiffer is in hers? Where are the great films? The last time she worked with an "important" director was in the early nineties with back to back Martin Scorsese (Age of Innocence) and Mike Nichols (Wolf) projects. I can't wrap my head around her decision-making since then. A drama with Ashton Kutcher? Unless Michelle Pfeiffer is playing Demi Moore (hee. wouldn't that be a hoot? Give her an Oscar for the mimicry!) ...what's the point?

Ashton's dream project: Indecent Proposal 2: MILF Addiction

But we should stay optimistic. Perhaps this proposed Personal Effects movie will score, marking a new writer/director to watch. Hell, even if it's a gutterball, Pfeiffer herself will still throw a spare.

15 comments:

Rural Juror said...

It WOULD be during the bowling song.


RE-PRO-DUCTION!! Reproduction...

vince said...

I love her, but she's a tad self-destructive (which is why she was so convincing as Selena Kyle). In a year-end magazine thing in the mid-90's (I forget which rag), several celebrities were asked "What if YOU ran Hollywood?" Her response was something like "Based on a lot of my career decisions, I would probably end up running it to the ground." Ah, Pfeiffer!

Anonymous said...

hey Nat, here's more on Personal Effects:

"She’ll play the lead in writer/director David Hollander’s “Personal Effects”, based on a novella about two strangers, Linda and Walter, who have both lost family members to murder. Their respective court cases bring them together.

Linda has a deaf son, who’s become increasingly troubled since his dad was murdered, but it’s Walter who helps him out – teaching him how to wrestle, and therefore funnelling his anger through sport."

this sounds bloody terrible. the woman will never learn

Anonymous said...

oh woops I see you already posted the link, sorry :-)

Anonymous said...

i still think it's an age thing,i know she looks great but something tells me she is gonna be like glenn close forever playing bitches,speaking of talented non oscared actresses where is kate winslet she has no profects on the go,when will this lady work,she is like julie bloody christie!!!!

Anonymous said...

the pfeiffer noms oscar missed
age of i 93,scarface 83 & a 1000 acres 97 god she was good in that film but not as good as lange for an overlooked pfeiffer powerhouse perf see it NOW natphiles!!!!

Jimmy said...

kate winslet was just on "The View"....looking quite tall, leggy & willowy, I might add. Quite yummy. Is she tall, she looked as if whe were?

Alex said...

I'm going to second anon, and say it is an age and woman thing. Obviously she is still fantastic, but I'd wager that there aren't very many great roles for women period, esp. not of a certain age. And except for a couple of ladies (maybe) all A-list directors are male who seem to prefer working with other guys (and maybe the reason is the great material for women isn't there).

Anonymous said...

i dont buy the age excuse. Michelle has turned down so many great roles and projects over the years, she just stinks at choosing material, she herself has said as much. Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, Kidman, they are all up there in age and they still get great roles(well, Julianne was in a funk there for a while, but she looks to be bouncing back) Also, i think Michelle just doesn't want to fight for the good roles, for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

as she gets older i meant she can't be picky and probably someting she would have had the pick of 88 - 96 her heydey would be offered to someone like rachel mcadams or jennifer connelly or someone like that,she is 50 next year and when alls said and done she is not prolific like meryl and is only half the actress too.

NATHANIEL R said...

i was with you until the 1/2 the actress streep comment and then we part ways. Pfeiffer is one of our nation's best actresses. period. just drink it up. stunning performance after stunning performance no matter how good or bad the surrounding film.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Maybe the script is really good?

c.p. iñor said...

I think almost all of us are feeling pesimistic about this...

so maybe this is the film that gives her an oscar...

but then again, I think 2008 will be for Winslet in Road...

I don't know... I'm writing but I'm almost asleep.

Anonymous said...

sorry nat only 90% the actress streep is,her one horror of a role has to be dangerous minds totally miscast!!!!

Anonymous said...

any1 think ms p has a shot at an oscar nom for hairspray!