August 02, 2005

The King

Phenomenal article about Elvis Presley. It's long, but worth your while to read - if you have the time.

Posted by sheila

It is an interesting perspective. But he sounds a little too apologetic for liking Elvis. I'm not one of those extremely devoted fans - but how can you not like Elvis? It's like pooh-poohing DaVinci or Michelangelo.

Elvis had talent and was the champion of great timing. He may not have been the musical trailblazer that Ray Charles was, but I think he represented possibility to people. The fifties, judging by the sixties, seem awfully restrained to me. You've got this huge bulge in the population about to go through adolescence at the same time - well something has got to give.

In retrospect, it is easy to say he should have sang this or that. But then you are getting into music critic snobbery, hardly enjoyable. I don't think Elvis was that well planned out. He just happened. I don't think he was stupid - maybe just not as shrewd as a Sinatra or Charles or Bobby Darin.

I used to have a Springsteen bootleg where he tells a story of climbing the walls of Graceland, and that shortly after that, Elvis died (not that there was a connection). But Bruce's take was:
It was like Elvis came along and whispered a dream in our ears --- and then we dreamed it.

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 12:36 PM

"Dave" - (hahaha) Yeah, the dude is obviously a snob - HOWEVER: what I like about his perspective is that he comes to Elvis with a freshness, no preconceived notions. He somehow missed it the first time around, and he suddenly "discovered" what everybody else knows.

I love love the Bruce Springsteen comment you just posted. Beautiful.

I'm a huge Elvis fan as well.

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 12:39 PM

watched 'Beyond The Sea' by Kevin Spacey on Borry Darin this weekend. Man-o-man, Spacey never lets you down. He did a fantastic job. I don't if you've seen it - but there are a couple of musical numbers, that as a fan of old movies you would just love. There's a big one where he's dancing in the streets about to leave home and take on the big time - appropriately filled with cliches, and he wraps up the song and someone throws him his suitcase and hat and it all just works so perfectly. I watched that scene over and over. And Spacey's singing - now he could have been a crooner.

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 01:04 PM

I feel like I am the only person on the planet who dislikes Kevin Spacey. Actually, it's more than that: Kevin Spacey makes me angry. So no. I did not see Beyond the Sea. Just the thought of him and his vanity project and thinking he could sing like Bobby Darin made me mad.

I've seen him in interviews and he comes off as likable, funny - he's an unbeLIEVable mimic (a skill that I love) - so nothing against him personally, but his acting pisses me off. I feel that he has been wildly over-praised by the entertainment media.

I saw a clip of Bobby Darin singing "Michael row the boat ashore" on the old Judy Garland TV show ... and he blew me AWAY. Kevin Spacey wishes he had that kind of magnetism.

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 01:09 PM

well Red, I guess this is it - I really thought you were the most enlightened blogger on the planet - but now, I don' t know.
Angry? He makes you angry? Is there a story there somewhere? Really? Angry? Angry like how? Like Al Pacino "I'd take a flamethrower to this place!" angry? Or just "gee, I wish there were more candy sprinkles on my ice-cream cone" angry?
What was the precise moment you became angry with him? GlenGary Glen Ross? The Shipping News? The Usual Suspects? Come on - fess up!

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 01:27 PM

K-pac and Pay it Forward --- I'll give you those. Dogs.

I don't know why, but Leonadro DiCaprio make me angry. And I haven't forgiven Martic Scorscesese for using him. In fact, I haven't spoken to him since.

(of course I hadn't spoken to him prior either)

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 01:29 PM

Enlightened? Moi?? Please. I blog about Tara Reid, and I throw hissy fits about how much I hate Renee Zellweger.

I think Kevin Spacey is vaguely talented in a VERY NARROW way. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing) I just think that narrowness was somehow hailed as The Greatest Acting Job Ever (especially in American Beauty - a movie I hated).

I liked him in Glen Garry Glen Ross. I liked him in Usual Suspects. But after seeing those two films, I feel like I've seen his schtick. I know it. And after those films - I felt like he got very very pleased with himself. He still seems pleased with himself - which is the worst quality an actor can have. Ick. Maybe Beyond the Sea being a critical failure will help him come back to earth. I think he believed his own press. And I remember the press he got at the time of American Beauty: KEVIN SPACEY IS AMAZING, yadda yadda, the press just licked his asshole. That whole movie - I'm sorry - I felt like I was the only one who perceived the emperor had no clothes. Genius? Huh? I found it trite. And also very very pleased with itself. The best thing in that movie was not Kevin Spacey - but Thora Birch.

Any time he tries to do anything else (don't even talk to me about The Shipping News - I refused to see it because it's one of my favorite books ever - and Spacey is so not Quoyle that I knew the movie was gonna suck. ) - Anyway - any time Kevin Spacey verges off the two or three notes he can play, he gets smarmy, sentimental, and awful.

And then, there's the story of his behavior during Iceman Cometh - which he did on Broadway. You could not get a ticket to that show. It was the hottest thing going. In the middle of one of his scenes, a cell phone goes off. Kevin Spacey stops the scene, turns out to the audience, says, "Tell them you're busy" and then goes back into the scene.

I find that unprofessional, despicable - We pay you guys the big bucks to watch you IGNORE shit like cell phones. That's CRAFT, asshole. Yes - cell phones are annoying ... but I thought he should have had a new asshole torn out for his behavior there - and still: everyone seemed to find it funny, yuk yuk yuk ...

If I had paid 120 bucks for a ticket that night I would have asked for a refund.

He is not a professional. he is bush league. He got very very lucky to have found a couple of roles which showed off his very very narrow appeal.

I realize I'm in the minority here. Everyone seems to think American Beauty is like the fucking Sistine Chapel or something. Huh?

But I do want to reiterate - that his early roles (glen garry, and usual suspects) - I liked very much. That's because I hadn't realized that that was all he could do. he can play detached contempt like NOBODY'S BUSINESS. But that's all he can do.

This is kind of akin to me not just disliking Forrest Gump but actually going into a RAGE every time I think about it. I hate that movie so much that I can barely contain myself - and people seem to get ANGRY when I say that - as though I've said, "I despise children" or "I wish I could kill me some puppies" or something. Like: not liking Forrest Gump makes me some kind of monster. hahahahaha

I am out of step with the majority. I'm okay wid dat. :)

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 01:37 PM

It was the cell-phone moment that confirmed for me what I have always felt to be lacking in Kevin Spacey's acting. He is consumed with himself. When he gets the right part (usual suspects) - that self-consuming energy is great. He is always smirking at everybody else.

But he is NOT a team player.

What about the other actors on stage with him? Did he think about how his breaking out of character would affect them? Did he give a shit? Did he care about the rest of the audience? Did he care that he shattered the illusion of the play?

No. He is an arrogant egomaniac. If he were a lesser actor, not someone well known, he would have been fired.

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 01:45 PM

But ... er ... obviously it's okay if you like him. :) Don't let my inappropriate rage frighten you or put you off. heh heh heh Most people I know like Spacey.

I haven't met anyone who likes Renee Zellweger yet, though. Don't even get me started.

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 01:47 PM

So if you had to choose being dinner with Kevin Spacey and killing puppies, just two, which would it be? Like - if you had to.

American Beauty- no, that didn't do anything for me either. I mean it didn't do anything. It didn't make me angry either. Forrest Gump - I hear you. Trite beyond trite.

But your rage seems very fell thought out and well argued. I respect that. News of the "cell phone incident" did not reach my ears.

I promise not to bring up his name again, (unless I think it will be really funny).

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 01:48 PM

Oh bring him up anytime!! I love ranting about him. It's rather enjoyable. Because ... when you get right down to it ... WHO THE HELL CARES??? hahaha

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 01:51 PM

by the way - did you check out my blog today?

Anyway, back to the King

factoid: in a two year period I printed three million souvenir Elvis Driver's Licenses. They were about the size of a business card. I sold them to a distributor for about $0.04 each - he got them laminated - now he's up to about $0.12 each --- they retailed for $1.99 each. Somebody made money. God Bless America and Elvis!

Posted by: the blogger formerly known as "Dave" at August 2, 2005 02:02 PM

just checked your blog ... I am laughing out loud!

Posted by: red at August 2, 2005 02:04 PM


I have found a fellow traveller in Spacey-hatred!

I accidentily would up on the phone with him the day after he won his American Beauty oscar, and when I congratulated him, he was a total jerk!

and since then...well, if we could turn his vanity into hydrocarbons, Oil would be $5 a barrel!

My Gump-hatred is also great! When people were comparing it to Pulp Fiction for Oscars, my slogan was: "Don't be a chump, take a dump on Gump!"

Not exactly "54 40 or fight" but it'll do!

Posted by: Ron at August 2, 2005 03:44 PM

Kevin Spacey's best role = "Bob from Arbitrage" in Working Girl. ;-)

Posted by: Dave J at August 2, 2005 11:53 PM