There were a number of different topics rolling through my cranium as time approached for me to submit my first ScreenAnarchy-O-Meter topic but one stood out one fine Saturday morning as a customer in my shop shared with me about Canadian entertainment icons and their annual incomes, or something to that effect. Soon I was seething and my jaw hurt my teeth were so clenched. “What!?! How Much!?!” I exclaimed, “You got to be kidding me”. I regained my composure and carried on business as usual but in the back of my mind I knew what I had to do and I started hashing out a plan of total destruction. I started making up my Fight Club [film related] list.
Understand this; I am a lover and not a fighter. As least I would be am I able to find a woman who can love me and handle my awesomeness. It’s not so much that I abhor violence. It’s just that I am really crap at it. And any imaginations of me being involved in a street brawl or a fight down the back of a neon washed alley are horribly misguided by my hours upon hours of watching violent movies and television.
But had I the will and the means to do so, this would be my personal FIGHT CLUB LIST [film related]… in no particular order. Then share with us your list. We know you have one.
[This list is subject to change based on my mood and level of medication. Punks!]
Ben Mulroney: Unless you’re Canadian you probably don’t know who this is. But I must thank Ben for serving as the primary inspiration for my first ScreenAnarchy-O-Meter article. Ben isn’t an actor [though his first movie role was in Fantastic Four – that’s gotta say something] nor a filmmaker. Nope, Ben is one of those special breed of sub-species that lurks around red carpets and hotel rooms with ears perked and eyes wide open looking for the who’s hot and who’s not of the entertainment industry. Ben is an entertainment reporter. He hosts the entertainment magazine show eTalk Daily on one of our Canadian television networks. Another one of the many entertainment magazine shows that follows celebrities around and reports about ‘what they eat, where they shop, where they vacation, who they're dating and who they're not’. Ben also hosts Canadian Idol. And it was just announced that he will be the national ambassador for UNICEF Canada. God help the poor child that comes to my door next Halloween with a UNICEF box in their hand looking for a donation. The article I referred to in my introduction reported that he does all of this and earns ‘reportedly’ $400,000 a year. Chump change for an actor or celebrity I know. But it boggles the mind that a purveyor of Hollywood gossip and host of a two-bit talent show makes this much money a year. Ben, because of that you’re on my FIGHT CLUB LIST, unless, you can get me some one-on-one time with Tanya Kim. Then all is forgiven.
The Collective ‘Suck’ Factor of Uwe Boll and Paul W.S. Anderson: Probably no two directors have done more to harm what is left of western cinema’s integrity than these two. Renowned around the world for making horrible movies the mind boggles that somehow they still appear on the radar and are making films to this day. It means that there are people out there that have nothing better to do with scads of cash than to hand it over to these hacks to make another high yield – no income crapfest. Boll’s challenge to film critics everywhere to fly to Vancouver and spar with him while he films his next film has been answered, even by ScreenAnarchy lord and master Todd, yet nothing came of it. Anderson continues to raid previously-played bin at his local rental shop looking for more video game franchises to adapt to film [the current batch includes a third Resident Evil, Castlevania . He was so tired about being asked about good movies that he added the W.S. to his name so he wouldn’t be confused with quality directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson. Thankfully, all his boasts about releasing Director Cuts of his movies have largely gone unfulfilled, with exception to AVP. Gentlemen, it is a toss-up. I don’t know if I should keep you on my list because you continually make bad movies, or, should I remove you and put in your place your financial backers. Either/or I am good to go.
Clint Eastwood: While my first two entries are largely fuelled by non-medicated rage and anger this one is wholly out of respect. While I think I would have a fighting chance against those two, against this man I would stand no chance. If there is a tougher man, or has been a tougher man, in Hollywood then we are at a disagreement. And that is fine. Clint Eastwood makes my list out of reverence and respect. One of America’s most gifted and talented filmmakers ever, Clint Eastwood is still hard as nails and can make a grown man soil his pants with that patented gaze. And even though he’s clocking in at 76 years of age there is no doubt in my mind that while I might put up a good fight and eventually resort to flailing my shattered limbs at his chest like Montgomery Burns it would be a great honor to receive that thrashing of a lifetime from the likes of him. As long as he helped wheel me on my wheelchair into the theatre to watch his next film. Mr. Eastwood, because you make great movies and would very likely beat me to a pulp with only one of your toenail clippings you have made my list.
Bruce Lee: There are many martial artists who could make this list. But pound for pound the one martial artist I would have loved to have gone up against would have been Bruce Lee. Like Clint, Bruce makes my list wholly out of respect and reverence. It would take Bruce half the time to deliver a thrashing of lifetime compare to Clint. I’m talking a full second for Clint and half a second for Bruce. The man was sheer power from head to toe. His power grew so much that he could no longer train with fellow marital artists but resorted to systematically dismantling train equipment with his skills and power. Bruce also serves as one of the key inspirations of my foray into Asian film, specifically the martial arts side. And though he died mere weeks before my birth, 33 years later he still stands as a legend in the martial arts community and worldwide. Bruce, out of reverence, respect and a whole lot of fear of your quickness and power you have made my list.
Harvey Weinstein: You simply cannot be a fan of Asian cinema and have not heard the name Weinstein at some point. Sometimes uttered as a swear word under your breath or in full blown rage shaking your fists at the heavens you have either heard the name or have exclaimed it as such yourself. Notorious for buying then hording Asian films, never releasing them, The Weinstein Company may very well be Public Enemy No. 1 to the Asian film market. Noted for sitting on films, delaying release dates, cutting or editing films, eliminating their ‘Asianess’ the Weinsteins have ensured the wrath of Asian film fans around the world. Collectively with cross our fingers at each international film festival, praying to our gods that when the news of a film sale reaches our ears that the news won’t be tainted with the bitter sound of the word ‘Weinstein’ . Oh sorrow. Oh pain. Oh gnashing of teeth and donning of sackcloth!!! And the debate rages on with their new company and DVD label. Oh how we wailed and cried when SPL/Sha Po Lang was re-titled Kill Zone. Sure, it is a very decent DVD release but for purists and keepers of film culture and film purity, oh the pain. Harvey, I have singled you out for crimes against Asian cinema. If your brother Bob wishes to join in and create a tag team unit I am game. You have made my list.
Honorable Mentions: You all came very close to making the list. Consider this your warning!
Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Jing Wu, Yuen Wo-Ping, Lau Kar-leung, Sammo Hung. I love you guys.
Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris has only two speeds. Walk. And KILL.
Tom Cruise. It's just too easy.
Christopher Walken. No Mr. Walken, I want more cow bell.
George Lucas. This one's for Tim Bisley!!!
Micelle Yeoh. Or as I like to call her. Mrs. Mack.