A temporary home and repository for television and film critic Daniel Fienberg, formerly of HitFix.com and Zap2it.com and one half of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Friday, July 14, 2006
In Recognition of Christopher McDonald...
I was looking over this story from the Hollywood Reporter Online and I got to wondering 2 things:
1) Why is the Hollywood Reporter Online reporting July 14 on casting for a direct-to-video sequel that was announced in a widely distributed press release on July 7 for a movie that began production in early June?
2) Is Christopher McDonald the King of Unconnected Underperforming Sequels?
The story in question is about the fifth "American Pie" movie, subtitled "American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile," the follow-up to last December's "American Pie Presents: Band Camp," a direct-to-DVD sequel that sold an obscene number of copies upon its release. The announcement that McDonald will appear in "The Naked Mile" comes just weeks after the "news" um "broke" that McDonald will be replacing Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg in "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning," a direct-to-DVD prequel to last summer's semi-hit.
The question isn't just the number of sequels McDonald has done, but the number of sequels and remakes and prequels and tangential projects he's done without being involved in the originals. Check the record: McDonald was in "Grease 2," but not the far superior original. He was in "Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue," but not the far sexier original. He was in "Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back," but not in either of the first two "Best of the Best" films. He did "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams," but not the original. Best of all, when they needed a low-rent Robert DeNiro for a series of "Midnight Run" telefilms, McDonald was willing to help out.
Heck, this is a man who wasn't on the series "Eight Is Enough," but who managed to make it into two different "Eight" telefilms as Jed, the husband of Dianne Kay's Nancy character.
There are, of course, exceptions to the Christopher McDonald Rule, like any other. He was in "Grumpy Old Men," but when the men got "Grumpier," he was nowhere to be found. He was in "The Skulls," but when the movie's sequels were made (did you know there were the straight-to-video sequels "The Femurs" and "The Patellas"?) he was gone. Worst of all, he was in "Breakin'," but not in "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo."
Incidentally, I like Chris McDonald as an actor. The guy was great in "Quiz Show" and "Requiem for a Dream" and on "North Shore."
Can anybody else compete with McDonald for his Sequel King crown?
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