Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Talented Chris Pine

Hearing the latest news about that guy some Americans elected into the White House was enough to make me scream.  So I turned the channel to see if there was something else that could calm me down.  WONDER WOMAN was on HBO.  Perfect.  That hit movie was so entertaining and so well-cast.  If you've seen it, the scene in which Diana is taken into the London department store and tries on a few unflattering and uncomfortable outfits always makes me laugh.  The movie had the kind of fun scenes that Old Hollywood used to give us on a regular basis.  Director Patty Jenkins, who directed Charlize Theron to a Best Actress Oscar win for MONSTER, did a great job with WONDER WOMAN.  I loved the chemistry between Gal Gadot as Diana, the hero, and Chris Pine as Steve.  They believed in their characters and in the story -- a key ingredient in making the action/fantasy work.  I first noticed Chris Pine when he played young Captain Kirk in the STAR TREK movies.  I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought, "Damn! He is one handsome dude!"
While I watched some of WONDER WOMAN today, it thoroughly confirmed the rightness of my opinion that, if we were in the 1930s and 40s days of Old Hollywood, Chris Pine would be a very busy leading man in movies.  And he'd be introducing original songs by top songwriters the way Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Dick Powell did.
Buddies of mine in New York, guys who aren't hardcore fans of musicals the way I am, saw INTO THE WOODS because they were doing entertainment reports on the movie.  They contacted me enthusiastically praising the work of Chris Pine as The Prince.  And the main thing they all said was, "Wait till you hear him sing!"  Even though Meryl Streep is in the movie, and got another one of her annual Oscar nominations for her performance, the storybook movie is pretty much stolen by Chris Pine as the comically self-absorbed and charmingly horny Prince.  Here's a scene with Pine and, as The Baker's Wife, Emily Blunt.  Click onto the link.

In Old Hollywood studio days, he'd have been offered another musical immediately after that 2014 release.  Also, Chris Pine is not "just another pretty face."  He's got a classic movie star face.  It's a face so fine that he could easily coast on those good looks for a time and get attention.  But he doesn't coast.  He's got solid acting skills.  The modern-day western and Recession Era cops and robbers drama, HELL OR HIGH WATER, was one of my favorite films of 2016.  A very scruffy Pine played one of the two bank robbers.  I said on National Public Radio a week before the Oscars telecast of 2017 that I wished HELL OR HIGH WATER had made it into the Best Picture Oscar race.  Take a look at the trailer.
Crackle TV is under the Sony corporate umbrella.  A few years ago, back in Manhattan, Crackle TV held a promotional morning event in a theater.  Clips of its new season were shown onscreen.  There was good press turnout for this event.  (Also, complimentary food and beverages were available in the lobby.)  One of the shows was a loopy new animated comedy series called SUPER MANSION about a group of dysfunctional superheroes.  Pine does voice work on the series.

When the onscreen presentation ended and press folks were standing up to gather their things and head up the aisles to the exit, a montage of outtakes from the SUPER MANSION voiceover session started.

People stopped leaving.  Why?  Because Chris Pine was so hysterically funny ad libbing different voices and lines of dialogue.  He was like Robin William in his MORK AND MINDY years funny.  Chris Pine made the crowd break up laughing and his outtakes got applause.  So, in addition to other musicals, why isn't he getting top comedy script offers?

Hollywood may not be giving you the message but, believe me.  Chris Pine is one terrifically talented actor.  And handsome.

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