Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Birthday Suit: Dolph 'the biggest one' Lundgren

Thought I'd goof around with a little b-day series. In case it's yours! Could be shortlived. Or maybe it'll go on forever. You never know.

Hal Hartley , Paprika Steen and Charles Bronson

Today's Birthdays, November 3rd
...some of them at any rate. For those who are prone to celebrating the lives of the filmic and famous. And if you aren't, you're not having enough fun.

1921 Charles Bronson had a Death Wish, five of them actually, and he had them before "franchise" was a daily spoken word in movie discussions.
1930 Lois Smith, sweet character actress, is now 79 years old. I once saw her in a train station. It's true. Weren't you shocked when she died on the first season of True Blood? I sure was.

<-- 1931 Monica Vitti, breathtaking Italian goddess
1953 Kate Capshaw aka Mrs. Spielberg. Did she sing or was she dubbed for that awesome "Anything Goes" opening number in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? It's a trivia question from 25 years ago. I'm so in-the-moment!
1954 Adam Ant, the acting career was short but the 80s hits live forever "we're just following ancient history if I strip for you, will you strip for me?"
1954 Brigitte Lin, The Bride With White Hair herself, is finally making another movie, The Grand Master, reuniting her with Wong Kar Wai. It's their first film together since Ashes of Time and the beloved, dream-like Chungking Express

1956 Gary Ross, producer, Oscar nomination collector, dabbles in directing (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit)
1959 Hal Hartley 90s indie auteur (The Unbelievable Truth, Trust). Where he been?
1964 Paprika Steen Danish actress, best known internationally for starring in the two most famous, most brilliant and very first Dogme 95 films: von Trier's The Idiots and Thomas Vinterberg's Festen.
1987 Gemma Ward, model/actress, recently donned creepy mask for The Strangers.

Finally, I have to talk about Dolph Lundgren who turned 52 today. TFE's youngest readers will draw a blank but anyone over 30 will remember this Swedish hunk. Rocky's Russian rival was basically a second tier action star during the reign of Stallone & Schwarzenegger. Whenever I think of Dolph, I think of four things
  1. That naked photoshoot he did with 80s girlfriend Grace Jones. What a visually striking pair they were.
  2. The naked posters he did for the Chicago International Film Festival. Quite shocking at the time they were.
  3. That naked action duet with Jean Claude Van Damme also known as Universal Soldier (1992)
  4. That naked scene in Showdown In Little Tokyo (1991) that has to be one of the most hilarious Bad Movie sequences ever.
This sounds totally pervy, I know. But it's not like Dolph didn't invite it! He was always nekked. Ask anyone who was around in the 80s / early 90s. Back then action stars understood the selling power of the fleshy muscle display. They all sexploited themselves, not just Dolph. I sometimes think CGI was created to distract us from all the unnecessary clothing on movie stars.

In the spectacularly silly sequence mentioned above, cop Kenner (Dolph) and his partner Murata (Brandon Lee in his screen debut, prior to The Crow) take yakuza mob target Minako (Tia Carrere) to Dolph's remote home in the woods for hiding. That evening he strips down for some r&r in his outdoor hot tub. Way to hide, Dolph! Turn on them tub lights and turn on the bubbles... outdoors! Soon Tia (also naked) joins him. She learns that he built the house himself. He's beautiful naked and he has an artistic soul! Score.

Tia does. She can't sleep so she asks to share his bed. Soon enough they are doing the deed. Dolph lasts 14 seconds (literally) before Tia remarks, I kid you not, "...this time I heard you cumming". 80s movies were so racy! [editors note: I know this is a 1991 movie but it feels almost exactly like a low budget 1987 movie]. The scene is silly but it gets even more ludicrous. Dolph hears a noise outside. The evil Asian crime syndicate are surrounding the house. He jumps up (still naked) and throws on only black trunks in which he begins to shove weaponry including knives. I'm not making any of this up. Then he runs into his partner in the living room.

Some of the gayest most awkward bro dialogue ever emerges
Murata: Where's Minako?
Kenner: She's in my room
Murata: I knew that was going to happen
Kenner: She was frightened.
Murata: I saw you strip down in that hot tub. I'd be frightened too.

We're in trouble here, champ. There's more bad guys than we have bullets.

Murata: Just in case we get killed, I wanted to tell you. You have the biggest dick I've ever seen on a man.
Kenner: Thanks. (smiles) I don't know what to say.
Ummm, how about "you've seen them on women?" That's what I'd say. What the hell?

While the screenplay isn't helping, I can't even begin to express how delightfully bad the acting is, particularly by Brandon Lee. The movie probably deserves a multi-page recap article it's so time-capsule terrible. You must see it if you love bad movies. And if you already have, you must back me up in the comments.



reassurance said...

Didn't Janice Dickinson claim to have had a three way with Dolph and Grace?

anon said...

what do you think about Steve Martin co-hosting the Oscars? It's funny, you made a F&L recently about him.

Sam Brooks said...

Paprika Steen. Wow. Her work in Festen floored any other supporting work that year.


joe -- omg. i love it. i hadn't heard that but i can totally picture it. and enjoy picturing it. haha.

anon. i would love to see him back as i notated in this post.

brook... yeah, she's super. That movie is just incredible.

Glenn Dunks said...

I just added Showdown in Little Tokyo to the top of my queue. Sounds amazing.

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

i remember that scene from Showdown in Little Tokyo VIVIDLY. haha. :D

almost bought the dvd just for it.......

Pat F. said...

Other than that scene, the one thing I always remember about Showdown in Little Tokyo is the fact that it clocks in around 77 mins or something (IMDb - 79 mins)...as with the raciness, it was a different time...

And there's nothing like a Big Trouble in Little China/Showdown in Little Tokyo double-feature extravaganza!

par3182 said...

dolph was on the cover of the first gay mag i ever bought - man, that thing got a workout...

Kyle Pinion said...

Dolph as He-Man in "Masters of the Universe" opposite Frank Langella's Skeletor...I don't know if I can think of a more awesome mish-mash :-)

Anonymous said...

That movie is terrible. It's been ages since I watched it, maybe before I learnt to enjoy the so bad it's good thing. I wouldn't run out to rent it though...

Marc said...

Re: Lois Smith

NOW I'm shocked! We're only up to Episode 5 of Series 1 here in the UK... Sadface.


oops Marc. sorry. didn't realize people were that far behind.

Unknown said...

May I just say that I had the pleasure of meeting Paprika Steen at Toronto this year.

Absolutely one of the most enjoyable, funny, and humane people I've ever met.

We smoked a cigarette together (I know...I'm trying to quit) and laughed