The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… Filmmaker Chris Columbus

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

I know he created you, but he also wrote "Christmas with the Kranks"

As a child, my list of favorite films was simple and current.  There were the easy ones: Star Wars, E.T., Back to the Future, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Some of the others… not so easy: Gremlins, The Goonies, and Adventures in Babysitting.

What do those works have in common?

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Who has two thumbs and loves Beth Cooper? Not too many movie goers, I'd say.

Steven Spielberg’s protégè, nay, discovery (hah!),  Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins and The Goonies, and directed Adventures in Babysitting.  For me, he could do no wrong, and let’s be honest: as kids, our taste is horrible.  But I feel all three of these films have stood the test of time.  Some of his other works?  Eh, not so much:

  • Young Sherlock Holmes (noted as the first film with an entirely CG character)
  • Heartbreak Hotel (a kid kidnaps Elvis… anyone else but me remember this?)
  • Only the Lonely (made me thankful I wasn’t a mama’s boy… sorry mama)

Now grant it – he had other hits through the 90’s: Home Alone 1 & 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and, um, Nine Months?  Jingle All the Way?  Stepmom?  Bicentennial Man?

And to most Potter fans, he directed the weakest films in the series (Harry Potter and the Stuff in the First Movie and Harry Potter Rides Again), but I don’t watch those films, so I don’t hold it against him.

Like his compatriots I will be attacking in future The Shit to Just Shitty’s, it’s about the fall from what imagination, vision, and drive they once exhibited, to the money grubbing, the disillusionment, or the detachment from the public they display in recent works.  Is it the state of the studio system?  Is it the movie going public’s demands?  I offer no answers, only martyrs.

Here’s hoping *hold your breath* *cross your fingers* Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (that’s the title folks), contains some of the gritty charm of his earlier works, and not the glossy finish of his latest offerings:

Hrm.  Looks glossy…

All I Want For Christmas Is… Parker Lewis Can’t Lose On DVD

I guess he can lose.

I guess he can lose.

What.  The.  Fahrvergnugen.  Why isn’t “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” on official DVD yet.  There are bootlegs aplenty, but I’m waiting for a Shout! Factory version or for Sony to pony up and put out.

For those of you that don’t remember this show, or never heard of it at all, the breakdown is this: it’s a rip-off an homage based on similar to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Parker Lewis was played by the guy who played Jonas Quinn in “Stargate SG-1″… no, you don’t know?  How about the guy in “RoboDoc?”  Um… his name is Corin Nemec (which sounds made up – an anagram of Icemen Corn?), and he’s been here and there through the years, but nothing quite as loud-shirted as he was on this show.  (I forgot that’s why I had so many polyester button-downs in high school.)

He was the guy who had all the plans for getting away with any scheme rated PG, which he commonly preceded with the phrase, “Not a problem.”

His best bud was rocker Mikey Randall.  He was played by the kid who played Blanche’s wayward nephew in an early “Golden Girls” episode.  Not helping?  He also had a recurring role on “Silver Spoons.”  His real name is Billy Jayne.  He played a coach on one episode of “The Bernie Mac Show” if that triggers any memories.  See, that’s why this needs to be on DVD.

The only other faces you may recognize are Principal Grace Musso.  She was played by Melanie Chartoff who was on “Get a Life” with Chris Elliott.  Um, that’s not on DVD either.

Okay… the big guy on campus, Larry Kubiak, was played by the guy who played the, um, big guy in “ER.”  His name is Abraham Benrubi.

Howzabout Parker’s little sister Sherry?  Maia Brewton was also in “Adventures in Babysitting.”  Remember?  She liked Thor?  Hilarious!

Okay, maybe Parker Lewis didn’t make much of a cultural impact, but it certainly was a product of its time.  Is it too much to ask for it to simply be a product?

Drunken Recollection… Grade School Crushologue

Take a step into the barley and hops time machine with, while I recount my early crushes… in poem – I mean, rap:

Trini Alvarado in Altman’s “Rich Kids”/ 
Young Madison in “Splash” when they were just kids/
Princess Leia ridin’ on Jabba’s dirt skiff/
New Leave It to Beaver’s niece, Kaleena Kiff/
Got a little older with Mathilda May/
F-ed up in the head, crushin’ on Lady Jaye/
Jami Gertz was sure one hot Solarbaby/
Kim Cattrall was a doll from Egypt, baby/
Babysit with that babe, Elisabeth Shue/
Debbie Gibson brought love from outta the blue/
Amanda Peterson learned that love is free/
Brooke Theiss… Jamie Luner… how ’bout just us three/
Amy Dolenz is da bomb outta control/
…Still a little f-ed up for diggin’ Ariel…

(I tried to find pictures of them all, but I decided Google image searching kids might not be a smart idea.)