The Boyfriend of the Week
May 17, 2006
And finally. . . drum-roll please. . . allow me to introduce: Other Guy!
Yes, after a long month of distraction, I have finally gotten around to completing and posting the write-up on Other Guy that has been sitting on the sidelines, twiddling its thumbs, and mumbling under its breath about how lame geeks are that they should get all the Boyfriend glory while he has to wracka-fracka-wracka-mumble-swear-spit-curse-twiddle.
Sorry, Clancy Brown. But in my defense, I think some of the blame for this delay has to be put at your feet as well as mine. You know why? Because this write-up was extremely hard to put together. You're just so damn gorgeous that once I got the Clancy Brown bug in me, I couldn't shake free from it until I'd watched a GAZILLION of your movies. I just kept renting more and more of them, until I finally had a list of movies I'd seen and notes on what I'd thought about each of them that was longer than War and Peace, for pity's sake. And DAMN, that book is LONG!
So, quit your complaining. Maybe if you weren't so tall, so curly-haired, so deeply-voiced, so nicely-butt-endowed I would've been able to rent three movies and call it a write-up. But noooooo, you had to go and be all dashing, and then have the nerve to complain when I spend a month trying to procrastinate on your tome of a write-up!
Anyway, movie after movie after TV show after HBO series. I watched them all. Hours and hours and hours and hours. And for weeks I have struggled with a way to present them all to you. But it's impossible. There are just too many to talk about. So, instead, I'm going to present you with the Cliffs Notes version of the Clancy Brown write-up. Or, maybe I should call this the Jump Off the Cliff Notes version (War and Peace: "There was a war, and fifty gazillion pages later, there was peace."), because I'll be damned if I'm going to be able to talk about Earth 2 with a straight face.
Of course, anybody who actually just believed me when I said I was going to make this brief must be new. Welcome!
Here we go:
THE HBO SERIES
First up in my Clancy Brown "Winnow Your Life Away In Front of the TV for Four Weeks" Film Fest was a reviewing of season one of the great HBO series Carnivale -- all ten or eleven or how-many-ever hours of it. See what I mean by "winnow your life away"? Incidentally, season two is not out on DVD yet, and though I can't wait to see it too, I've heard it's not very good and also that the show was cancelled somewhat abruptly, leaving all the storylines untied-up. Ooh, I hate it when that happens.
But this is such an inventive and richly-filmed series that the reality is, I hardly care about the primary plotline. That part of the story is about a dust bowl drifter who gets picked up by a traveling carnival in the 1920's or 30's (I forget which -- do I get points for remembering the Magna Carta was written in 1215, though?) and ends up on a quest to find his father, who may or may not be an evil demon from hell. Meanwhile, a preacher, played by The Clance, has started getting messages from God (never a good sign), and it soon becomes apparent that he's pretty much also an evil demon from hell. Lotta that going around, apparently.
Anyway, as the season progresses, we start to get the sense that at some point, the drifter and the preacher are going to collide, and that that scene is probably not going to resemble the "We Welcome You to Munchkin Land" scene from the Wizard of Oz, so much as the pea soup scene from The Exorcist. Actually, given the number of evil demons from hell involved, it may end up being more like Alien vs. Predator, or maybe Freddy vs. Jason. Jaws vs. Richard Dreyfuss?
Anyway, in the meantime, there are great subplotlines (and also, sub-subplotlines) about the various carnies, including the extremely sexy Tim DeKay, who I made a Boyfriend of the Week after the first time I saw this series. It's a great series, with complicated stories and characters, and some truly striking and haunting visuals and settings. Personally, I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Too bad it started to suck in season two and then got canned. Did I already say I hated it when that happens? Because I do. I really, really do.
THE LOVE STORIES
Moving onto some films NOT involving evil demons from hell, at least, not literally, it turns out Clancy Brown has been in a surprising number of sweet little romances. The problem is, not a single one of them made a smidge of sense. You know why? Because, for the most part, they are about women NOT falling in love with Clancy Brown. And you and I both know that's about as realistic as a bad science fiction movie. In fact, I'd go so far as to argue that most of these movies ARE science fiction movies, as surely the only explanation for these women not dissolving into puddles of drooling goo at the very site of Clancy's curly locks has something to do with mutant viral infections, alien technology, or black holes. Nothing on this planet can explain it, anyway.
I spent most of my time watching these movies on the edge of my seat, yelling obscenities at the TV. I have no idea what on Earth (or Earth 2, even) these women were thinking, but they sure made me real mad. It's oblivious women like these that give the rest of us a bad name. Dana Delaney, I'm talking to you!
Anyway, here's the list:
Normal (2003): In this HBO movie, Clancy plays the boss of a guy who has just decided to come out as a transsexual to his wife and family. The wife, played by Jessica Lange, struggles with this change in her husband, and grapples with the idea of having an affair with Clance to try to make herself feel like more of a woman. Now, granted, Clancy is somewhat of a doofus in this film. However, once he smooched her, that should've sealed the deal for good, and instead she continues to waffle and eventually gives up on the idea and goes back to her husband. Wife, I mean. Whatever. This is actually a wonderful film, surprisingly sensitive, and packed with a startling balance of authentic agony and love. Unfortunately, Jessica's ability to resist Clancy was so unrealistic it was essentially a film-killer for me.
The Patron Saint of Liars (1998): I can't even talk about this one, you guys. First of all, it was a really bad movie -- I don't know what Dana Delaney had been smokin' before she showed up on set each morning, but I suspect it wasn't oregano. (As Dorothy Parker would say, she ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.) But second, and more importantly, we were actually supposed to sit there for ninety whole minutes and believe that Dana Delancy's "Rose" would be able to resist the charms of Clancy Brown's "Son"? My ass. Utter nonsense. But boy, does Clancy look good in overalls. And also, shirtless. Worth the price of admission for that alone.
Past Midnight (1992): I'm not doing too badly with the brief descriptions so far, huh? I impress even myself with my brevity. So THIS is what it's like not to ramble! Anyway, this flick is a thriller starring Rutger Hauer as an ex-con who has just gotten out of prison and begun therapy with a lovely young woman. Instead of maintaining a professional distance, though, because what kind of movie would THAT have been, he ends up seducing her for nefarious purposes. Clancy plays the young woman's friend, who is madly in love with her and likes to show up unannounced in hip waders in her front yard (don't ask). But, as it turns out, Rutger is actually a sociopathic serial killer who has not been rehabilitated by his time in the joint (surprise, surprise!). And pretty soon, everything goes all to heck. Regardless of the fact I found this movie entertaining enough, the fact that the lovely young woman falls for RUTGER HAUER and his pot belly instead of CLANCY BROWN and his hip waders (I said don't ask!) requires a leap of imagination not even I can muster up.
Of course, I have a mega-crush on Rutger Hauer too -- don't get me wrong on that point. But if you put him next to Clancy Brown, I would not hesitate to go for the taller, stronger, more curly-haired and sultry-voiced CB. In fact, not only would I not hesitate, but I would probably knock him flat on his back by leaping towards his lips like one of those extra-terrestrial spider thingies in Alien. Swak!
The Room Upstairs (1987): This film stars Stockard Channing as a middle-aged teacher of troubled children, Leah Lazenby, who rents out the rooms in her house to a mish-mash of boarders. At first, she really doesn't want to connect with the boarders at all, preferring to keep to herself. But then a dashing newcomer, Travis Coles (played by a VERY young Sam Waterston), moves into the top floor and woos her with his cello and winning personality. Pretty soon, Leah's opening herself up to all kinds of relationships and life has been changed for the better for all. Sounds great, right? Except here's the totally hokey part -- Clancy Brown plays Kevin, one of her boarders who is married to overbearing wife Ellie (Joan Allen). One night, Kevin makes a pass at Leah and, get this: SHE REJECTS HIM. Even though he's in PAJAMAS and has MESSY HAIR! Who writes this drivel?
THE COP MOVIES
Clancy Brown has played a LOT of cops over the years. Sometimes good cops, sometimes bad cops. Always extremely dashing cops, even when they are threatening to throw ex-Boyfriends off roofs (Tim Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption), which isn't very nice of them. Here are the cop movies that made my list:
The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Of course, everybody's seen this movie, right? So I don't need to say anything about how great it is, right? But here's my Jump Off the Cliff Notes version anyway: There was a Shawshank, and fifty gazillion scenes later, there was Redemption.
The Hurricane (1999): This was a movie I hadn't actually been all that interested in seeing when it first came out, despite the fact I love Denzel Washington. But, it's a BOXING movie, and BOXING movies are boring. Boy, was I wrong. This is actually a riveting film, based on the true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African American boxer arrested in the 1950's for a murder he didn't actually commit. He writes a book in prison telling his story, a book later picked up by a young African American boy who devours it in a single sitting and ends up convincing some of his grown-up lawyer friends to take the Hurricane's case. This film is primarily about their decades-long attempt to get Hurricane a new trial and expose the truth.
In the film, Clancy Brown plays a guard at the prison who takes a bit of a special interest in Hurricane and works sort of subtly over the years to try to keep his spirits up. I loved the final court scene, in which Clancy's character hovers in the back just long enough to hear the verdict, and then walks quietly out the doors with a small smile on his face. Man, he's cute. Anyway, this one is worth a rental if you haven't seen it already. Engaging and entertaining, as well as meaningful. Except, of course, for the ridiculous fact that the Hurricane spends all that time around Clancy Brown's character and DOESN'T fall madly in love with him.
Well, sorry, but I had to work that in there somehow, didn't I?
Blue Steel (1990): This is another cop drama, this time about a rookie, Megan Turner (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), who falls in love with a guy who turns out to be a sociopath (played by Ron Silver). Clancy plays homicide dick Nick Mann, and though I suppose this is probably a decent movie, I couldn't help but spend the whole time I was watching it with my mouth gaping open in horror. Yep, you guessed it. Do you sense a repeating theme here? YOU'RE TRYING TO TELL ME THAT JAMIE LEE CURTIS WOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH RON SILVER, who is perpetually creepy looking, regardless of what role he's actually playing in a film, INSTEAD OF CLANCY BROWN, who is playing an extremely protective and sweet homicide detective? Oh c'mon. Give me a break! How much more of this can one woman take?
Luckily for all of us, Clancy included, Megan finally comes to her senses and we get to see Clancy Brown with his shirt off once again. Hurrah! Unfortunately, as in horror movies, sex equals death in this flick, and we barely get to appreciate said nekked torso when it is abruptly transferred to the bathroom floor and covered with oozing blood (and I'm sorry if I just spoiled the ending for you, but you've had sixteen years to watch this movie already, so suck it up. The statute of limitations on spoiler alerts has passed. And while I'm at it, you know that Agatha Christie novel? THE BUTLER DID IT.).
Happily, Clancy Brown is not above the occasional sci-fi project, though it's not really his thing. It's MY thing, though, which is why I couldn't resist partaking of the following:
Earth 2 (1994-1995): When I realized Clancy Brown had been in the short-lived sci-fi series Earth 2, I decided to give it a rental and see what I thought of it. I vaguely remembered having seen it when it was first on, actually, but when I started to watch the first episode, nothing really rang any bells. It wasn't until the final moments of the second episode that it all came back to me. And not in a good way, either. Because it's in those last few moments that actor Tim Curry (TIM CURRY, people!) shows up, and the moment I saw his stupid-looking, long, silly hair and heard him say the word "Poppet," I remembered that he was the reason I had to quit watching this show back in 1994. Odd, too, as I consider Clue a favorite film primarily because of Curry's contribution to it. But oh man, was his character bad in this series. Just utterly unbearably awful.
Said character almost got me this time around as well, but luckily, I happened to notice at the start of episode three that Tim's name wasn't showing up in the regular credits, but instead was being listed as a "guest star." This gave me hope, as it surely meant he wouldn't be long for that world. And, thankfully, the gods did not disappoint and he was pretty much out of the picture by the end of disk two.
The thing is, I'm recommending Earth 2 for one reason and one reason only, and that is to see Clancy Brown's hair. There's really not much else to recommend when it comes to this show, but no fan of The Clance should miss watching at least one or two episodes, simply to see how totally babe-azoidal he looks in longish hair and earthy-colored clothing (the photo at the top of this page is from the show -- see what I mean about CUTE?). Plus, he plays a daddy, which is also pretty darn sexy. And boy, does his butt ever look good in those khakis.
Aside from that, though, this show is just plain wretched. I mean, for one thing, it's about a group of people who decide to leave the completely-ruined planet Earth in search of a cleaner, nicer place to live. And yet, when they find the perfect, most beautiful planet in the galaxy to relocate to, they can't come up with a better name for it than "Earth 2"? I mean, isn't that kind of like naming your shiny new ocean liner "Titanic 2"? Why not name the new world "Planet That Went All To Hell 2" and really get things off to a solid start? Additionally, most of the storylines are trite and unoriginal, the aliens are goofy-looking, and the costumes are ridiculous (yeah, we get that they're pioneers, but do they really have to dress like they're extras from Little House on the Prairie?).
Clancy Brown's hair, on the other hand, was so utterly gorgeous that despite my issues with the show overall, I am fully planning on watching all the other disks in the series just so I can stare at it some more. He's got it grown out slightly, and it's a lovely color, and is extremely soft and curly. Not at all like the hair you'd expect to see on a guy who just crash-landed on a planet with no supplies, let alone shampoo. Obviously, it's magic hair. And I can totally, 100% get behind magic hair.
Starship Troopers (1997): Oh, okay, I lied. I didn't really watch this movie while preparing for the Clancy Brown write-up. You know why? Because I've seen it a MILLION TIMES. It's great -- rent it. Giant bugs! Doogie Howser, M.D.! Denise Richards before she drove Charlie Sheen to drugs and prostitutes! Golden Girl Rue McClanahan! There's something in this one for everybody.
Shoot to Kill (1998): This is a really bizarre flick that seemed unable to decide which genre it was trying to be. It starts out a kidnapping/hostage movie, with serial killer Clancy Brown infiltrating a tourist group out for a week-long hike in the middle of the wilderness. They don't get far into the woods when Clancy kills everybody off except for the guide, played by Kirstie Alley's extremely melodramatic hairdo. He keeps Kirstie's hairdoTM so it can guide him through the trees to Canada, where he intends to flee so he can escape prosecution (because everybody knows Canadians are always happy to welcome a new American sociopath into their midst -- they give the Mounties something to do while the bears are hibernating).
Meanwhile, FBI agent Sidney Poitier has hooked up with Kirstie's boyfriend Tom Berenger (mrrrow, by the way -- love Tom Berenger), and the two set off into the woods to try to stop Clancy before he kills Kirstie and gets away. Only instead of sticking with the serious action/adventure/drama genre, the film takes an abrupt turn here into "buddy comedy" territory, as stuffy FBI agent Sidney learns about all the wacky things that happen in the woods. Ha ha, his butt hurts from riding a horse! Ha ha, he opens the cabin door and there's a moose right there! Ha ha, he ignores Berenger and ends up sliding down a hill! Man, it was weird. And also, bad, made all the worse by the fact we're apparently supposed to believe that Kirstie Alley (and/or her melodramatic hairdo) could take one look at Clancy's denim-clad rear and NOT exclaim, "Hey, sure -- I'll take you to Canada. No prob. But first, would you mind tickling my ear lobe with your tongue?"
Did I just venture into PG-13 territory with that line? Cover your eyes, young'uns! Sometimes boys and girls lick each other's ears! And they LIKE IT!
So, anyway guys, there you have it. There's the short version (which got a bit longer there towards the end, I admit) of all the Clancy Brown movies I watched a month ago. Except, of course, I'm leaving out all the things I'd already seen him in. He was recently in an episode of Lost, for one thing (and his official web site suggests he may be showing up in the season finale as well, but I won't say in what capacity in case some of you prefer to be surprised (in that case, don't click on that link either, by the way)). He also does the voice of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants, and a few years ago, had a multi-episode story arc on ER several years ago (as a doctor who falls for Carrie).
And, oh god, I just remembered I also watched him in Pet Sematery 2 while prepping for this write-up. Must have blocked that one out. If you've ever seen it, you know why -- I mean, there are few things that really and truly turn me off, but watching your Boyfriend eat people definitely makes the short list.
After all this, though, the question I want to leave you ladies with is this: Why isn't Clancy Brown more famous? Why isn't he being snatched up for part after part, role after role, movie after movie? I mean, how can you not adore this man? He's enormous! He's handsome! He's got a deep, gravelly voice that I could fall asleep listening to every night! He's got huge hands! He's got a cute butt! He's got gorgeous eyes! He's got talent! Good looks! BIG FEET!
And yet, still no spotlight for Clancy Brown! Well, I'm telling you right now that I've had enough. I've had enough of you people dismissing him as a That Guy. I've had enough of you people ignoring him in favor of dorks like Brad Pitt (do note the irony of that statement, given the fact I made Brad Pitt a Boyfriend way back in 2001 -- ahem). I am starting a revolution. A Clancy Brown revolution. And you can be a part of it. Rent his movies! Start a fan site! Wear sandwich boards when out in public that read "Clancy Brown, he's our giant, if you don't love him, you're incompliant!"
I think if we all band together, we could totally get them to make him the next James Bond.
MacGyver Factor Score: 94.291%. Of course, I'm not sure the rest of the world would buy Clancy Brown as James Bond. Nevertheless, I think he's as debonair as they come, and am sure that the minute the audience heard him say "Shaken, not stirrrrred," they too would melt like the rocks in a gin and tonic on a hot day. It's worth a shot anyway. Couldn't be any worse at the gig than Timothy Dalton, right?
In the meantime, keep an eye out for The Clance. He's got two new movies coming out in 2006, according to his IMDb page. And once on Lost, potentially always on Lost. At least until he sleeps with Sawyer, and then he's toast.
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