Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Rollercoaster of Guttenberg Fun

We are making our way through the Guttenberg backlog, people.  It's very exciting.  And what better way to spend a Sunday night than with our good friend Steve?

It's another of the early dramatic films in Steve's career - the 1977 film Rollercoaster!

This film was released in the same year as Something for Joey and The Chicken Chronicles, but unlike those films which feature Steve in major roles, this one is pretty light on the Guttenberg action.

I was actually getting pretty worried about this film, as I was about an hour and 20 minutes into it and still hadn't spotted our buddy Steve.  Could I have possibly missed him?  It seems impossible, for one as highly attuned to the presence of Guttenberg as I.  But then he appeared like a breath of fresh amusement park air, admirably delivering his one line.  "Sorry sir, I had to get the key."  Like poetry, it was.

Well, not really.  He's not even in the credits, but he is absolutely in the film.  He's on screen for about 20 seconds, and has one line.  He also has fabulously fluffy 70s hair, which I found delightful.

The film's a thriller, starring George Segal (who I really only know from Just Shoot Me) as a safety inspector who gets drawn into the web of a bomber who is targeting amusement parks. It's actually a reasonably good thriller - probably not the type of film you'd go out of your way to see, but if it was on TV on a Sunday afternoon when you were lying hungover on the couch, aimlessly flipping through the channels, you'd easily stop and watch it.  There's also the added bonus of a 14 year old Helen Hunt playing Segal's daughter. Who doesn't love seeing celebs when they were kids?

It also feels kind of like a historical document.  In the future, it could be used in a history class called "What The 70s Were Like". People use payphones!  They drive without wearing seatbelts! They win cartons of cigarettes at amusement park games!  They wear comically large ties!  They use something called "hot combs" on their hair!  They drive super boxy, huge cars!  They have relaxed conversations with their ex-wives about being sure to lock the door when her boyfriend stays over!  They wear inappropriate suits when staking out amusement parks!  They have to track people down at airports and hotels because they don't have mobile phones!  They smoke all the time!

It was a fun trip to the 70s, and I did enjoy it.  There was one thing that did puzzle me, though.  There are a few scenes with people on roller coasters who do this sort of synchronised clapping as they go up the first incline on the ride.  Did people really do that?  Do they still do that?  Have I been missing out on an essential part of rollercoaster fun by not clapping up a storm?

Anyway, this is an enjoyable film.  And it's really made me want to buy some cotton candy.  Man, that stuff is good.

Title: Rollercoaster

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 17

Purchased: By my aweseome friend Mandy for my birthday.  Like 3 years ago.  Really, I am getting on watching these, I swear. 

Cost: N/A

Seeing a practically teenaged Guttenberg with huge 70s hair: Priceless

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Major Movie Guttenberg

It's been three years since I've watched a Guttenberg film, so I'm a little out of the loop.

Maybe it's the distance, maybe it's the holidays, I don't know.  But I actually enjoyed this movie.  And no, I am not proud of that.  And yes, I am aware that this movie stars Jessica Simpson.

It's Major Movie Star!  This is a remake of the classic 1980 film Private Benjamin, and yes I am aware that I just said I actually liked a Jessica Simpson remake of an actual good film. But, this actually is a fun movie.  Think what you will about J. Simp (as I like to call her), but she's a charming actress.  She's not good, mind you.  But she's charming.  And in a film co-starring Steve Guttenberg, charming will get you an awfully long way.  This film was never released in cinemas, but got a DVD release in the UK and the US.  In the US, it's called Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous.  You can see why I choose to ignore that wannabe Legally Blonde title, and go for the UK title.

Simpson plays Megan Valentine, a movie star who joins the army after she attends the première of her bad film, finds out her staff hates her, discovers her uncle's been embezzling from her, and finds out her boyfriend is sleeping with her manager. Don't get me wrong, that's a bad day, but joining the army is a bit of a stretch.

Our buddy Steve plays her agent, and is in a grand total of 5 scenes.  He does get to be third billed though, after Simpson and Vivica A. Fox, who plays the sassy drill sergeant. So, that nice for him.

Steve is a colour of tan that has never been seen in the natural world.  He's like a dark, burnished, shiny walnut.  It's quite stunning, in its way.  He's the typical smarmy agent, with a heart of gold.  Unlike all the other people in poor Megan's life, he actually has her best interests at heart.  Sure, she wants to make serious films, and he pushes her towards talking animal films.  But he's met her, and realises her capabilities.  If anything, I think that speaks to his professionalism.  He's just protecting her career.  But perhaps that's me reading a little more into his character than you actually see on the screen.

The absolute best thing about this film is the supporting cast, though. I literally said "OMG, it's that guy" like a dozen times. There's Lane from Gilmore Girls, that guy from Best In Show, that girl from Girlfriendsthat guy from Scrubs, that guy who was Will's client on Will & Grace, and the always awesome Cheri Oteri.  Seriously, a non-stop parade of supporting cast fun.  And it has some very good throwaway comedy lines, which I actually laughed at.  I think my favourite was from the drill sergeant when she arrives at the army base, and offers him a valium, so he can calm down: “I don’t do drugs! My body is a temple!  Did you think that bus was going to a Phish concert?”  Hee.  A Phish concert.  

Anyway, if it's not obvious from the description so far, the army changes her and makes her a better person, she fires all the awful person, puts herself back together, blah, blah, blah.  This is not really a film where "plot" is the most important element.  Still, though.  Enjoyable. 

Maybe it's the Christmas spirit.  Maybe it's a three year break from the Guttenberg films.  But I really did enjoy this movie.  It's got nothing on the original (which, seriously, is a really good film, and you should watch it right away), but it's not awful.  And "not awful" is saying an awful lot for a Jessica Simpson/Steve Guttenberg straight to DVD film.

Title: Major Movie Star

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 18

Purchased: Ebay

Cost: £7.95

Admiring the burnished glow of a super-tanned Guttenberg: Priceless

Awesome readers

So, yeah, it's been 3 years since I've actually added a film to this list. Which seems crazy, does it not?  Sorry about that.

But, I am not a quitter! (Please note: this is a lie. I quit stuff all the time.)

More importantly, I am not going to be a quitter with this.  I promised you, people of the internet, that I would watch all of Steve Guttenberg's damn films, and I will do that. 

Now, when I started this, I neglected to think about the fact that, as a working actor, Steve-o continues to add to his body of work.  Which means, that unless Steve retires, I will be watching Steve Guttenberg movies for the rest of my life.

Such is the price of true serious journalism, though.  (Not that I'm a journalist, by any standards.  But you get what I mean.)

So, since the Guttenberg film list was last updated in 2007, I've made a few additions to the official list.  It's up to date as of today.  And it has 45 films on it now.  The Gütt has been busy in the last three years.

But we will get through this, people.  Together.  Seriously, I love that people actually read this blog, and that, even though I haven't properly updated in 3 years, I get amazing comments and emails. (Jen from CA, I am totally looking at you.  Your comment was awesome and totally made my month, and I wish you'd left an email so I could thank you properly!)

But enough of that sappiness!  Back to the Guttenberg!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


People, I have some excellent news.

I know you were all saying "Why oh why is my television screen not constantly filled with Steve Guttenberg? And WHEN will I see him DANCE?!?"

Sooner than you think, my friends. Sooner than you think.

Steve Guttenberg. Appearing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Competing against Monica Seles, Marlee Matlin, Penn Jillette and Priscilla Presley. How awesome is this??

Fantastic reader Bookish Barbara let me know about this little gem, and I am super excited. I may have to resort to downloading to keep up on the Guttenberg dance action.

The only sad side is that I won't be able to vote. Can I bribe one of you to do my Guttenberg voting for me?

It starts March 17. Set your Tivos people. We don't want to miss one single second.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oh. My. God.

You guys, I have the best news ever.

Guess who's just signed a deal to write the memoir of his early years in Hollywood?

Steve Freaking Guttenberg.

I'm so delighted by this news, I can hardly tell you! Imagine - we'll get all the first hand gossip from the Police Academy movies and Three Men and A Baby and Cocoon!

Maybe the guy who makes funny noises is really a jerk! Or Ted Danson has a secret hidden past that can only now be revealed -he's really a woman! Or the guy who makes funny noises is a secret chain smoker and the noises are really a smokers cough! Or Wilfred Brimley hates oatmeal! Or something else awesome about the guy who makes funny noises!

I'm so excited. There doesn't seem to be any info about when we can expect this book, which will surely be the greatest book of our time, but I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Guttenberg Chronicles

About time I actually added to the mission, isn't it?

I've actually had this video since November, but didn't get around to actually watching it until last night. You know how it is - you get busy and before you know it five months are gone.

Anyway, this is a VERY exciting entry, because, while it is not the feature film debut of our good buddy Steve, it is his very first starring role.

I give you the 1977 film The Chicken Chronicles!

Chicken Chronicles

I'm not going to lie to you. If you're a fan of dramatic Guttenberg, or slightly irresponsible dad Guttenberg, this is not the movie for you. Prepare yourselves, people. This is a high school sex comedy.

Set in 1969, Steve plays high school senior David Kessler, who has one mission for his senior year - to lose his virginity to girlfriend Margaret. Naturally, madcap antics occur as he tries to find a safe place for them to do some shoppin' at the do-it centre, because Margaret is a prude and won't have sex anywhere they could possibly be caught.

When he's not trying to have the sex, he's working at a chicken place, which I want to say is called Chicken On The Go. Phil Silvers plays his boss, an upsettingly pervy old man. Did I need to hear Phil Silvers talk graphically about hot young chicks? No. No, I did not.

Anyway, when he's not trying to have sex or sell chicken, he's pulling pranks on the school's vice principal, talking to his emotionally distant parents over his house's intercom system, bribing his little brother for sex advice, calling out racism and old fashioned rules on the track team and smoking a lot of pot.

It's a bit of a jumbled movie. It's not what you might call funny, but I've seen much much worse movies from the teen genre.

Oh, and don't worry. He does lose his virginity, to (spoiler!) poor Tracy Vogel, who wasn't really a slut, despite the rumours about her. And thankfully, we are spared the actual sex scene and just cut to cuddling after.

Title: The Guttenberg Chronicles

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 11

Purchased: On eBay

Cost: $5.95

Beginning spared a Guttenberg sex scene: Priceless

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Due to the IMDB of LIES! and the prolific working habits of our buddy Steve, the official Steve Guttenberg Project list has been updated.

Gone is Winter Break, and the 2006 films Mojave Phone Booth and Making Change have been added.

This does mean that the "Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected" on each entry is now wrong. I may or may not be changing these. We'll see how it goes.

You're smart though. I'm sure you can figure it out.

It should be called the IMDB of LIES!

What's that? It's been four months since I last posted anything here?

Well, there is a VERY good reason for that. I have been trying to get over the shock, horror, dismay and betrayal I feel at the horrible lies I have been told by someone I trusted. Someone who I've relied on in the past. Someone whose information forms the very basis for the Steve Guttenberg Project.

The IMDB. Or, as I know like to call it, the IMDB of LIES!

As you're no doubt aware, as a frequent visitor of this page, Steve's IMDB page lists many, many films. One of which is the 2003 film Winter Break, as incriminatingly displayed here.

winter break 3

And, yes, it does say "unconfirmed". But since that piece of information has been there since July 2005, when this madness began, I thought I could trust it.

I thought wrong. "Ted Harper", indeed.

Anyway, so, here it is:

Winter Break 1

The only film you will see on this blog which does not feature, in any capacity, the talents of Mr. Steve Guttenberg.

Since I watched it - all of it, mind you - I may as well tell you about it though.

It's the story of Matt, played by Milo Ventimiglia, who you're probably most familiar with as Peter Petrelli on Heroes. Unless you watched Gilmore Girls, in which case you're probably shaking your fist at the sky, shouting "Curse that Jess! He was so bad for Rory!"

Winter Break 2

In this film, he doesn't play a vaguely slacker nurse/superhero or a vaguely slacker small town bad boy. He plays a vaguely slacker college graduate who, instead of taking a job in Detroit (I think), moves to Colorado to work with his two slacker friends for a year at a ski resort.

This is not a good movie.

You might be tempted because of your residual Heroes/Gilmore Girls love, but I will tell you right now. Don't waste your time.

It's not bad. But ... it's just not good. It's a kind of indifferent movie. I've already forgotten most of it, and I just watched it.

And it doesn't have Steve Guttenberg in it.

Damn lying IMDB. Wasting my time and hard earned money.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tower of Guttenberg

So, as you know, tv movies are not included in the official list of Guttenberg Project films. But, for special Santa-related films and special requests, I am ready to make an exception.

I recieved this email from the always awesome Bette:

I've just read the entirety of the Steve Guttenberg project and cannot believe there is no mention of the Tower of Terror.

Perhaps it is just one of the remaining 11 films for you to collect but please I am breathlessly awaiting your comments on this film.

There were also some comments about a film about the true love between a dog and a dolphin, which I am unable to repeat because you would not believe me and also I would be killed.

So, by special request - the fabulous 1997 TV movie Tower of Terror.

And yes, you're not going crazy or seeing things. That does read Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst.

Post-Jumanji and pre-The Virgin Suicides, Kirsten made the wise decision to star with our good buddy Steve in a TV movie based on a ride at Disney World. Clearly.

I've actually seen this movie many times. Okay, maybe not "many". But definitely more than once.

Steve plays "Buzzy" (and no, I am not making that up), a tabloid reporter who makes up stories involving ghosts and whatnot for his paper. He's the wacky uncle of Anna (played by Kirsten) , who helps him out with his stories. A seemingly innocent old lady invites to investigate the mysterious Hollywood Hotel (I think that's what it's called - I can't actually remember) which has been closed since the 30's, after a group of people mysteriously disappeared in the elevator, including the famous Shirley Temple-alike Sally Shine.

Because you know how often valuable LA real estate just sits empty for sixty years.

Despite the fact that Buzzy is supposed to be a journalist, he does absolutely no research whatsoever, and just seems to believe that no one will ever lie to him. Despite the fact that almost everyone in the film lies to him.

"What? You say that the evil nanny was actually a witch and hated Sally, and was therefore responsible for the mysterious elevator disappearance? And you were there, so that's how you know? Well, okay! I'll just take your word for it! No, no, I don't need to know why you were there, or anything about you. I'll just go off an investigate now. La la la la."

That takes a bit away from the big climactic scene where it's revealed that (SHOCK!) the seemingly innocent old lady is actually (HORROR!) the sister of Sally Shine, and the one responsible for the mysterious disappearance because (SHOCK!!) she was jealous that her sister got all the attention. And the big twist? They were taking the elevator up to sister's surprise birthday party, but never made it. See? Seemingly innocent old lady as a child wasn't really ignored at all!

Of course, the "journalist" doesn't figure out the mystery. But never fear! Buzzy still gets his job back at the real newspaper and smooches with the editor lady, played by Nia Peeples. (Nia Peeples! Seriously!)

I'm probably taking this film too seriously - after all, it was specifically created to provide backstory to a DisneyWorld ride.

I guess I should just be glad it has a plot of any kind.

And seeing Kirsten Dunst slum it is always amusing.