Robert Downey Jr is the Junkie that Lives Downstairs

robert downey jr mug shotWhenever I think of Robert Downey Jr I think of a line from movie Baseketball

“He’s 8 years old and smells like Robert Downey Jr”

That’s right, as far as I can recall Robert Downey Jr is a washed up drunken hack. Taking a quick look at his career on imdb.com I notice that he got off to a great start in the 80’s and slowly was becoming an unstoppable force, and just when his stardom was on a major rise, it was promptly was kicked in the junk and fell to the floor like a moldy bag of tangerines.

Of course now it seems that he is on the rise again. With the latest success of Iron Man and Tropic Thunder and the upcoming heart-wrenching , make you cry and feel uplifted film The Soloist is Robert Downey Jr. on a comeback?

I seriously hope not.

When I think of comebacks I am always brought back to 1994 when John Travolta played Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. That was a deserved comeback. Johnny T is a respectable hardworking actor. Travolta deserved a comeback, Downey did not.

Even though I have a soft spot for the 1989 film “Chances Are,” I firmly believe that if Robert Downey Jr continues his journey to the top, or even one day gets an Oscar, this will signal the end of days.

Downey is a drunken junkie. Not a great actor.

Why should we take the time to praise our junkies? Maybe it’s time that I go to the apartment below mine and congratulate the junkie that lives there on creating successful meth lab. Maybe I should walk up to him and say: “Wow, I hear people banging on your window looking for drugs all night. Your more successful than a 7-11, keep up the good work!”

Robert Downey Jr is just like the guy who lives below me. A junkie. Let’s start treating him like a junkie. Don’t let him make a comeback.

Do your part and don’t go see any Robert Downey Jr movies, don’t rent any of his old movies, and if he ever wins an Oscar, throw a huge fit ( I know I will). Please help spread the news about the plague that is Robert Downey Jr and Stumble or Digg this post.

Conversation point: Do you agree that Downey is a piece of composted watermelon rinds, or has he done anything good for this world. Lets hear what the Downey lovers have to say…

Eulogy for a Friend No. 2: Veronica Mars

When I was young, I preferred Nancy Drew to the Hardy Boys. I guess I’ve always had a thing for smart girl detectives. . .

On September 22, 2007, Veronica Mars aired for the first time on the now defunct UPN network. It was brilliant. Over the course of its three seasons, the few people actually watching it got to see television at its best. When it wasn’t picked up for a fourth season, I actually took the time to write to the network and tell them what I thought of their decision. Suffice it to say that TV doesn’t usually stir such passion in me.

I have to start with our firecracker title character. Kristen Bell was perfectly cast in the role, giving her a depth of character I rarely see in any entertainment medium. Veronica was complex. Sure she was witty and intelligent. Of course she was good looking and funny. Yes she was the girl I always wished existed when I was in high school but would have to wait much, much longer to actually meet. She was also overconfident, occasionally petty and insensitive, and very prone to trusting her gut when she shouldn’t, often to disastrous consequence. In short, she was very nearly a goddess. When her heart broke, mine did too.

The rest of the casting was also very good. While virtually all of the characters were standard archetypes (the steadfast best friend, the bad boy with a heart of gold, the sleazy PI, etc…), the actors brought something to make them special and memorable. Enrico Colantoni as Veronica’s dad and Tina Majorino as Mac are particular favourites of mine. Michael Muhney as Sherriff Lamb also deserves a special mention.

This show was densely plotted. There was a single overarching mystery that ran the length of the season, there were also smaller mysteries that would get solved over a three or four episode arc, and each individual episode would have a mystery that would be solved during the episode. The third season broke from this in that there was no season long mega-mystery. Instead, the writers decided that it would be easier to get new viewers into the show if they broke the season in half and had two smaller mysteries rather than the larger one. I’m sure that opinions differ, but season three, while being very good, was definitely my least favourite for that very reason.

I don’t know why Veronica Mars failed. Maybe playing in the same time-slot as Lost was its undoing. Perhaps the network didn’t promote it effectively. Maybe the continuity heavy serial nature of the show was its undoing, although programs such as the aforementioned Lost or Heroes are just as continuity heavy and seem to be thriving. I’m sure the reasons for its demise are just as complex as Veronica was.

I do know that I can see Kristen Bell in Heroes now, and though I like the character she plays (Elle) it isn’t the same. So raise those glasses again and toast Veronica Mars. Two amazing seasons and one really good one, at least she never got the chance to age gracelessly.

Eulogy for a Friend

Stripes tearing apart a demonI’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about a friend of mine that was taken too soon. This got me wondering why so many good things end before they should. That’s what this column is going to be about. Every week (or so) I’m going to write about something that I really enjoyed, be it a comic series, tv show, band, what have you, that ended before it’s time.

This first column is going to be about that friend of mine.

Stripes was shifty. Even his good friends could never shake the feeling that he would have sold them out for a suit of Plasticman armour and an NG-Super. He probably wasn’t even liked or respected by other members of his race. His fur was patchy and burned away in spots, he smelled bad, he had a double fistful of psychoses, he could barely speak any language, and he wasn’t very smart in general, despite calling himself Dr. Stripes and trying to charge you for his advice.

Despite all this, Stripes taught me how to be an adventurer.

No matter how poor an idea might have been, Stripes committed to it with his entire being. Assault on Chi-Town? Stripes was there with guns blazing. T-Rex eats all? There he is in the arena fighting for all he’s worth. Sell out the rest of the party for a cache of equipment? Stripes is balls deep into the scheme. He defined tenacity, proving that you may not get what you want, but you’ll have a dang good time trying to get it.

Stripes was resilient. He survived a fall from around 800 feet not once, but twice. And walked, okay limped, away to bark the tale. He survived more gunshot and laser wounds to his body than any three other people I know. I can’t imagine all the mental trauma and psychic pain he endured to end up with all those phobias and nervous tics. It just boggles my mind that he could endure after the sheer amount of punishment inflicted on him during his short life. He was a Wolfen legend.

So raise your bottle in toast to Stripes, an unparallelled adventurer and a friend without peer.