Sunday, January 14, 2007

Our Girl

Anna Chlumsky was a guest star on LAW & ORDER Friday night. You might remember her as the little girl from the MY GIRL movies in 1991 and 1992. By the time she was 15 years old or so, she had pretty much vanished from film and television. In fact, the last time I saw her or even remembered she existed was when she did a guest-starring role on CUPID in 1998. On L&O, she played the nanny to an Angelina Jolie-type actress (played by FLASHDANCEr Jennifer Beals) who becomes a suspect when her boss' husband is shot in the street. Chlumsky's performance was not all that good. She was way over-the-top; in fact, it was very much like an inexperienced former child actress who has been performing on the stage. But it was nice to see her again.

24 premiered tonight and kicked huge amounts of ass, as usual. Just when you think Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) has exhausted all possible means of wasting somebody, he bites someone in the neck and spits out the guy's throat. That is badass. More on the 4-hour 24 season premiere after the second part tomorrow night.

Moving to the subject of bad TV, I watched the hilariously awful THRILL the other night, which NBC aired as a TV-movie in 1996. It stars Antonio Sabato Jr. as a widowed heating/air conditioning technician who also owns a stake in a California amusement park. And that's not the most implausible aspect of the film. The park is run by his sister, played by HUNTER's Stepfanie Kramer, who is normally quite a fox, but for some reason is stuck with a too-short pixie hairdo that does her no favors.

A psycho is sabotaging the park's rides and making threatening phone calls to Kramer, who wants to keep the scandal quiet, because she's trying to sell the park and doesn't want any negative publicity that might quash the sale. So she's basically Murray Hamilton, but not a villain. It took me exactly 19.5 minutes to guess the bad guy's identity, but you're smarter than I and may be able to do it faster. No cliche is left unturned. When THRILL establishes Sabato as a single father with a cute daughter, you know she's kidnap fodder, and when the teleplay beats us over the head in reminding us every ten minutes that he has a fear of heights and hates--hates, mind you--the park's rollercoaster, called Thrill, well, it's not a big leap to assume that Sabato is eventually gonna be on the damn thing while either disarming a bomb or punching someone in the face. Or both. THRILL, which for some reason is on DVD (and I bought it several months ago for $3.99 at a Hollywood Video), is watchable, but only for fans of bad movies. And maybe Stepfanie Kramer.


L. Rob Hubb said...

You got to see me three times in the first 20 minutes of this cheeseball - I'm the keyboard hand double for Bill Cobbs at the computer, and the blue jacket that intructions get yelled to - and I get a juicy close-up when the log flume ride is sabatoged (I'm wearing the mirrored sunglasses). I'm also in a long shot wearing a hawaiian shirt.

It was actually a fun shoot for the three days that I was on it. Not surprisingly, the novel that it's based on is MUCH better.

And yes - I grabbed a copy at a Hollywood Video a couple of years ago - couldn't resist it!

Marty McKee said...

What an amazing credit on your impressive resume! Tell me that you got some good glimpses of my girl Stepfanie.

L. Rob Hubb said...

Did get a few glimpses of Stephanie, mainly during a boardwalk scene she does w/Sabato; most of the stuff I was involved with was crowd boardwalk stuff for the first day and the last two days were the scenes in the rollercoaster entry/exit bay.

Didn't interact much with the main cast - Bill Cobbs was a pleasure to meet, since I've seen him in various films since forever...