Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Pare/Red fan...

I got this email yesterday:

What I wrote on this blog (they were quoting me):

“Poor now-deceased Eric Red did the best job he could with "Bad Moon" in the 90's. But when you have Mariel Hemingway and Michael "I Should Be Doing Gay Porn Not Acting" Pare in the leads, there is only so much you can do”

What they wrote in response:

"Maybe you should stick to acting, Eric is alive and well. I met with Michael Pare’ and Eric Red in August 09 regarding their recent project 100 Feet. Your gay porn comment is tacky and unnecessary!

Signed, Pare’/Red fan!


I'm being nice so I won't reveal the writers name on my blog unless they ask me to, by here is my reply (which I told her as well):

Blunder on my part Eric Red died. I really thought he did. So yes, apologies in that camp.

Despite Eric's wobbly track record with movies, he did write the amazing Near Dark (see my previous post where I waxed poetically about it) and the 'great-idea-but-not-a-great-movie' Body Parts and the extremely underrated Blue Steel, and the SUBLIME original The Hitcher and Cohen and Tate (which I've never seen - Roy Scheider is in that one and he IS dead, of that I'm certain, which is very sad).

Eric has done some great stuff, but he really needs to offer sexual favors to Katheryn Bigelow right now before she wins the Oscar for Best Picture so he can write her next movie. They are a fine pair.

I'm joking about the sexual favors. Again, this is a comedic blog.

As for Pare - I'm sorry, but I haven't seen Michael P. show much range in the movies he's been in. Could it be he hasn't had a great part? Sure. Could it be I am not seeing the true, real Michael P.? Sure, of course.

The Michael Pare we all see is a part -- the actor who is Michael Kevin Pare is not the Michael Pare many think they know and love on the screen. He's a personality. True, he's an interesting personality. He wanted to cook professionally, he studied with Uta Hagen (probably at HB Studios in the Village in Manhattan), he's from Brooklyn...but on the screen? He's extremely one-note.

Or perhaps I haven't seen the following films form his oeuvre, so I'm not qualified to judge...

Space Rage
Sunset Heat
Point of Impact
Deadly Heroes
Raging Angels
BloodRayne 2

And so on...

I first saw him in Streets of Fire, that weird, jarring, jumbled and oddly fun mess of a rock musical in the 80's. I didn't see him in Warriors (no, not the Walter Hill The Warriors) - this one starred Gary Busey.

See a trend here?

At the time I thought he was sexy, a guy's-guy, a effortlessly 'easy on the eyes' actor. Later I read he had started modeling and it all made sense. I am not trying to be catty here, I'm not, I like to be thought of as sassy and not bitchy BUT I don't see a huge no inner life when he's on the screen. I see a very handsome man working to pay the mortgage.

Now, I have worked on movies. I know a lot of people in entertainment. I know, first hand, the unseen years of work people put into a getting a movie or play made. I know people spend their entire LIVES working on one project. I will never know how much sweat and tears Pare or his team have put into putting together his many projects.

But here is the cold truth of how most people think:

They don't care.

They only know they like what they like.

And despite my clear understanding of what is logistically involved and my deep compassion for the artistic process, I can see their point. At the end of the day, why should they have to concern themselves with what goes on 'behind the scenes'? All they care about is what's in front of them and if they are being educated, entertained or both.

For me, I don't gravitate to titles like those I wrote above. I read those and I think of all the comedy acts I've seen over the years and how those kinds of movies are the butt of all movie jokes because they are, well, most often fairly bad. I mean, Bloodrayne 2? Really? Part TWO? Who goes to these movies? Old people in Thailand?

I have to admit I was curious and did see Bloodrayne 1. I heard it was amazingly awful. I had to see it. The first 20 minutes were fun because you realized how bad/boring the movie was going to be, but then, as it progressed, you deeply realized how short your life was and how truly sad it was to watch Ghandi (Sir Ben Kingsley, yes, Sir Ben Kingsley in Bloodrayne) act as if here were on five doses of Percocet and desperately in need of a colonic.

I wrote he'd be be great in gay porn because he's hot. Like, Daddy hot. And with that voice? Please. Very sexy.

This is him now:

I'm sure Mr. Michael Kevin Pare is doing very well financially and doesn't need to do gay porn. Of course I was being silly and funny. I'm an actor and comedian. And I know a lot about movies. So this is part of what I do in this life.

But on this I'm not being silly: I would love to be proven wrong. I would love, more than anything, to see Michael Kevin Pare in the kind of role that makes us all sit up and take real notice. I'd love to see him pull a shocking 'Kim Basinger LA Confidential'. I'd love for him to find a part that is extremely close to home for him and I'd love, more than anything, to see him exposed (emotionally - get your mind out of the gutter).

He could do a film like Jean Claude Van Damme did a few years back, JCVD. Great surprise. It was Jean Claude being Jean Claude but pushing past what people expected him to do. Just as Kim Basinger showed she was more than a Veronica Lake lookalike (see the metaphorical image above). Michael Kevin Pare needs to play an actor who keeps playing roles Michael Kevin Pare plays but wants to show the world he's capable of more. But to do that, he has to really want to do that and I wonder if he does.

We celebrate mediocrity in the movies. We love movies that are 'just okay'. We've been given uninspired trash for so long, we don't often know a good movie when we've seen one. And acting? Great film acting is not stage acting. It's it's own beast. And it's getting very rare to see great screen acting.

So while I applaud Mr. Pare for being employed and still working to pay his bills, I want him to prove me wrong and show me a movie where he is truly present and aware.

The person who wrote to me told me Michael Kevin Pare has fans all over the world and he works very hard. I greatly appreciate and respect that. They also said the same of Eric Red. I agree he has amazing talent. But what hit home with me is this that they wrote:

"I usually try to not say something at all if I can't say something nice."

Okay, the sweet, small town guy in me LOVES that. They are right. You can be sassy and not bitchy. And working in entertainment is like working in World War 3. People lie, cheat and are very ego-driven. It's awful.

But I do think that it's okay to say when some people in an art form are not living up to their potential, and while I appreciate all Pare does, I think he is not living up to his potential.

I can't say nice things all the time about everyone in the movies because some of the movies they make are crap. BUT I can challenge them to rise to the challenge to make BETTER movies. How is that?

Thank you to the reader to remind me to stay kind. I greatly appreciate your note.


Over and out...


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