Monday, January 7, 2013
BIG LOVE Actor/Director Bill Paxton
Actor Bill Paxton is a Guest Programmer at 8pm Eastern tonight on TCM (Turner Classic Movies). I really dig Paxton. He was Chet, the mean macho meathead, in the John Hughes 1980s comedy, Weird Science. Remember his moronic laugh? He tries to score with a gorgeous female by using the line "First, I'd like to...butter your muffin."
He was a fascinating TV character and Paxton did a fine job in the dramatic role. He directed a movie that I highly recommend for father/son quality entertainment time. When a friend and I saw the trailer for it at a movie theater in downtown Manhattan, we thought it was some goofy Disney movie coming out for children. The way the trailer was edited and voiced over, The Greatest Game Ever Played seemed like it would be a turn-of-the-century version of Caddyshack for kids. Totally wrong and misleading. When Paxton's 2005 movie came out on DVD, a couple of buddies of mine told me how good it was and how they loved watching it with their young sons. I rented it -- and I could see why. Based on a true-life event and actual characters from sports history, Bill Paxton directed one deeply inspirational, warm, well-acted and wonderfully photographed movie about fairness on the playing field of life. The Greatest Game Ever Played looks at the narrow-mindedness of class prejudice. At the heart of it, too, is the story of a struggling working class father's love for his son and his respect for his son's dreams. That initial summertime Disney advertisement did a disservice to Bill Paxton's fine film direction.