My reaction to “God Bless America” came in three waves. 1. Wait, Bobcat Goldthwait makes films? 2. Wait, Bobcat Goldthwait makes great films? 3. Wait–Bobcat Goldthwait directed one of my favorite films of 2012?! Hot damn. “God Bless America” is one of the most vicious reflections of American pop culture I’ve ever seen. It’s a relentless, tasteless and violent look at one man’s response to the dying culture of America, and how we’ve so embraced idiocy and tailored rudeness in to a positive trait that it becomes only logical to snuff out those who impact it.
Before the days of pandering for audiences with Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys, “The Simpsons” had a knack for casting humongous and iconic stars for their series to come on and play important roles. And then later on they’d lampoon them. There was Michael Jackson, and Jack Lemmon, and Jon Lovitz, as well as most of the Beatles. And while it never became the main lure for audiences, it was a treat to see who’d pop up in the next episode to play a role in the Simpsons’ lives. Here are ten of our favorite guest stars on “The Simpsons.”
“What if they Lived?” is written with such an impression of profundity and grace that it’s hard to imagine it being anything other then such an eloquent piece of speculative non-fiction. “What if They Lived?” is a lengthy tome of work that could have very well been exploitative nonsense as if drummed by the hackiest writers South of TMZ, but with two genuine movie lovers at the helm, “What if they Lived?” results in a four hundred page oath to the rising talent and quickly destroyed stars that were taken from us much too soon. From Jean Harlow, to James Dean, right down to Brandon and Bruce Lee, “What if they Lived?” speaks with experts and historians and examines a life had these talented thespians and ingénues been given just a little more time to shine on and explore their career options rather than fade away in to a sad and often tragic demise.
One of the chapters I skipped to immediately was Brandon Lee a man capable of hitting all of the high notes his father Bruce Lee once did, and while the one real caveat within this chapter is not exactly pin pointing all of the roles he had impending (including a role in “Mortal Kombat” and an inevitable running for a key role in “The Matrix”), we’re able to see much of what he had optioned and what he was capable of.