Wednesday, May 26, 2004

It's all about the talent

Face it, some people just have more talent than others. I will first look at movie actors. I caught about half of "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" on TV tonight as I ate supper and came to a realization. Jim Carrey has more talent in his left testicle than Ben Stiller has in his whole body. Two supposedly equal actors who have been in the business for a comparable amount of time. Jim Carrey first made it big with Dumb and Dumber. The pair of Ace Ventura flicks were huge hits. He used those three movies to hone his skills as an actor who is associated with physical acting. A person who uses his body to enhance the character being played. Often Carrey, in these movies, used extreme facial and body movements to improve the character and make the character more outlandish than any person in real life could ever possibly be.

Once Carrey perfected the physical roles he moved on to somewhat more sophisticated characters, roles and movies. Recent successes such as "Bruce Almighty" and the odd-ball appearing "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" show that he has developed into a well-rounded actor.

My comparison today is Ben Stiller. (Remember Stiller, less talent than Carrey's left testicle?)

Ben Stiller perfected the role of the lovable loser in "There's Something About Mary". He nailed that role. A hilarious movie developed around his character. I remember seeing this in the theater and half of the dialogue was muffled by the laughter of a truly funny movie. He changed things up later the same year with the truly dark "Permanent Midnight" in which he portrayed a sitcom writer with one helluva heroin addiction. It worked and it was powerful. I have seen it probably half of a dozen times already and it is dark, disturbing and powerful. It's great seeing Stiller in a different role other than the lovable loser. A role I shall call the "Agreeable Addict".

He reprised the latter role to revert back to comic doofus in a sting of movies such as "Mystery Men", "Meet the Parents", "Zoolander", "Duplex", "Along Came Polly", "Starsky and Hutch", "Envy" (which Jack Black couldn't even HELP) and the upcoming poorly thought out "Dodgeball".

I did leave a few movies out but this list proves that he has been truly type=cast as a dumbass. His look doesn't help but that's another topic.

The upcoming followup to "Meet the Parents" titled "Meet the Fockers" promises to at least be funny. The first one was so I have expectations about the sequel. But, again, he will play the part carried over from the first movie - yes, the dumbass. (You earn 5 points for correctly guessing DUMBASS.)

Let's hope Stiller begins to polish and improve his image, becoming a more well-rounded actor. After all, does anyone want to be remembered for playing a dumbass in "Envy"?

All of this talk of talent is timely, too. Take, for instance, that "American Idol" is on in the background as the first episode of this season's batch I have even turned on. Sorrily, knowing the names of the contestants is unavoidable. It is one area I wish I could claim ignorance in but this crap makes the nightly news. Why? It's not even close to news. Real news is the flooding in Iowa, the tornadoes that wiped a town in Nebraska off the map, and, of course, the continuing war in Iraq which still has no forseeable end.

Fantasia can sing. Diana can sing. They make the news. FOX builds the month of May around them. It makes me queasy. It won't matter who wins the silly little competition. They will both have CDs out in a few months. Just like Clay and Ruben from the last season. Just like Kelly from the first season. It is a given that the winners will have a CD. It's in the cute little Idols contract.

What is also a given is that other "good" performers from the show will clutter the airwaves of Top 40 stations across the country. Kimberly Locke comes to mind as the fiancee just made a hip-hop tinged compilation CD with an unsettling number of Kimberly Locke tunes filling it. Truly, these people have talent. They came up the ranks through different channels than "traditional" artists who struggled for years singing at wedding, then birthday parties, then bars and small clubs to finally get recognized by a small label only to struggle for a few more years before gaining notoriety and getting signed by a major label.

THese people auditioned along with 70,000 other hopefuls. And as a bonus, we can see the whole damn thing on TV. Thank God I have a decent DVD collection to choose from. Otherwise, May would be unbearable.

Either way, Fantasia wins. So does Diana. Ooooh, I'm so excited all six of my nipples are tingling. Who will win? Who cares. They both win. They ALL win. So happy.

Stay tuned.

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