April 25, 2011
‘Not just one of the worst biopics ever, but one of the worst films ever…’
True. I watched an edited for TV cut of Wired (a.k.a. The John Belushi Story) on Channel 29 when I was living with my peacenik, pothead boyfriend. It was literally physically painful.
He was phoning his friends saying, “No, really, just turn on the channel. I want more than one witness to this.” When I’ve tried to describe this movie to people, they have refused to believe me.
The film’s plot involves John Belushi’s ghost traveling around with his guardian angel — who happens to be a walking Hispanic stereotype — as they look back on key moments from Belushi’s life and its aftermath.
Needless to say, it’d be absurd to expect a good movie out of that premise, but things just get worse as it goes on.
The climax of the film involves Belushi’s ghost in a “Devil Went Down to Georgia” bargain with his guardian angel, agreeing to compete with him in game of Blues Brothers pinball that will determine if Belushi lives or dies. No joke.
Belushi biographer Bob Woodward is also a character in the film, and the guardian angel warns Belushi, “He’s gonna trash your good name… He’s gonna do for you what he did for Nixon.”
PS: the article mentions Jami Gertz portraying Gilda Radner, but the unsung standout from that TV movie was Tom Rooney’s performance as Gene Wilder.
As a literally lifelong fan who has seen some of his films multiple times, I never thought it was possible for anyone to mimic him, let alone so accurately. He speaks in a sad Mr Rogers voice and (over) enunciates virtually every syllable of every word, but it’s not the kind of “famous” voice you instantly recognize, so he’s never made it into the impressionists’ repertoire.
And for a man who comes off in his sometimes cringe-inducing memoir as a raging heterosexual, Wilder reads gay or at least “sissy” to a lot of people as a result. (Perhaps not surprisingly, Rooney is a Canadian; he managed that deftly.)
Anyway, I was shocked to read on and discover… this…
Bill Hader is signed on to play comedian/impressionist Vaughn Meader, best known for his JFK impression, in a biopic entitled Vaughn Meader. Meader shot to fame overnight with a hit comedy record, but his celebrity evaporated just as quickly when JFK’s assassination cut his career short.
I presume this will be a bittersweet “poor Vaughn Meader” biopic in the Ed Wood mode?