Sunday, August 13, 2006

Steve + Dog + Dolphin + Love = One Good Time

I've had this film for quite a while, but for some reason couldn't bring myself to watch it. Why is that, you ask?

Because it's about a dog and a dolphin that are in love.


It's 1997's Zeus and Roxanne.

Steve plays Terry, a single father Terry Barnett and owner of Zeus, troublemaking and dolphin-loving dog.

In his family films, Steve's very good at being an either bad or neglectful single dad. In this one, he's more neglectful. He's an earring wearing musician who lets his 9 year old son take care of him. This kid prepares all the meals, does all the cleaning, takes care of the dolphin-loving dog. This is the slave child that every parent hopes for.

Kathleen Quinlan plays Mary-Beth, the romantic interest and next door neighbour. Clearly, after her award winning role as Tom Hank's wife in Apollo 13, playing the love interest in a Steve Guttenberg family film was the next logical step. She's also the matchmaker for Zeus, the dog, and Roxanne, the dolphin. She realizes that they can communicate with each other and tries to get some research grant about interspecies comunication.


Majandra Delfino plays one of Mary-Beth's kids and it drove me crazy for about half the movie trying to figure out how I knew her. Then it finally hit me that she was Maria on Roswell. And no, I will not be embarassed for watching Roswell. You cannot shame me with your judging!

She has possibly the best line of a movie: "If a dolphin and a dog can get along, why can't our mom and his dad?"

Yes. Why can't we all just get along?

Anyway, I would say that if you are a fan of kids, dogs and/or dolphins then this might just be the movie for you.

And if you are a fan of late nineties shirtless Guttenberg, this is definitely the movie for you. Shirtless, an earring AND a motorcycle. He's the bad-boy single dad you've always dreamed of, isn't he?

Title: Zeus and Roxanne

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 11

Purchased: on eBay

Price: £2.98

Learning That Inter-species True Love Is Possible?: Priceless.

Steve: 1, Nazis: 0

Steve Guttenberg is that rare actor - the one who knows his range, and pretty much stays within it. He's a light comedy kind of guy.

Want someone to be a befuddled bachelor taking care of a baby? Done. Want a guy to fall in love with the ghost of Daryl Hannah with wacky results? Done. Want someone to play the most beloved police cadet of all time? Done, done, done and done. Want someone to play a dedicated young Nazi hunter? What

That's right. It's 1978's Boys From Brazil, costarring Gregory Peck and Sir Laurence Olivier.

Oh yes. You read that right. Two Oscar winners, Nazi scientists, Nazi hunters and South America. And Steve Guttenberg. Or, as he's named in the credits "Steven Guttenberg". Clearly a drama this serious and important has no room for Steves.

It's the story of a Jewish Nazi hunter, Ezra Lieberman(Olivier), living in South America who spends most of his time tracking down rogue Nazis. Steve is an enthusiastic youngster who is an amateur Nazi hunter, and is tracking down Dr. Josef Mengele (Peck) who is up to various dastardly deeds. Lieberman tries to discourage Steve from his Nazi hunting, but does Steve listen?

Of course not! He's Steve Guttenberg! He's enthusiastic and dedicated! And, of course, he gets killed for his trouble. About 25 minutes into the movie.

But don't let that stop you from watching this - despite it's rampant Guttenberg killing, this is not a bad movie.

Mengele is trying to create a new Hitler, from 95 Hitler clones growing up around the world. The Hitler 2's are about 12 or 13 years old and Mengele is killing off their fathers because Hitler's dad died when he was that age. Lieberman finds out about the plot thanks to the good work of dead Steve Guttenberg, and tries to stop it. He and Mengele have a dramatic fight in the house of one of the Hitler 2's and Lieberman makes the dramatic decision not to have the Hitler clones killed. A LOT of time is spent explaining cloning, which was clearly necessary in 1978 but is a bit "Cloning? We get it. Shut up already." in 2006.

Anyway, for the only real drama in the Guttenberg filmography, it's good stuff.

Title: The Boys From Brazil

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 12

Purchased: on eBay

Price: £5.50

Seeing Steve killed by Nazis?: Priceless.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Guttenberg Returns To My Heart

I received a comment this morning, from longtime project supporter Abby.

Hello? Helloooooo? Anybody there? Could you hurry up and finish this list please, I would like to be able to go into a charity shop and not head straight for the video section on the hunt for a Gutt film. It's exhausting.

That is all.

And people, she's so right. I have let you all down, when you've been nothing but supportive (if slightly confused) of the project.

As I haven't posted since May (MAY! What is UP with that??) I will now present to you a treat I know you've all been holding your collective breath in gleeful anticipation of:

It's 1988's Cocoon: The Return!

I was lucky enough to be joined by project instigator Heather and flatmate Buffy as we watched Steve reprise the role of the charming Captain Jack Bonner. (That's right. He was Captain Jack long before any of this pirate nonsense.)

Apparently, I was wrong in my belief that all human beings who ever lived are familiar with the plot of these movies. For those of you who have not been delighted by the madcap Cocoon antics, it's pretty straighforward.

The oldies miss Earth and their families and friends, so they come back for a visit. Grandchildren have grown! Things have changed! Daughters are still ignored! Hussies try to corrupt good men! Friendship is important!

They all learn Important Lessons about being human, and most of them decide to stay on Earth, except the ones that got themselves knocked up.

The most amusing part of the film is the appearance of Courteney Cox as dedicated scientist Sara, who finds one of the cocoons, cracks it open and bonds with the alien inside until the mean old government comes along and ruins the fun for everyone. This was during her stint on Family Ties as Alex's girlfriend Lauren, which was certainly when I first became aware of her. Who'd have thought that it wasn't a co-starring role with the estimable Mr. Guttenberg that would propel her to stardom, but some sitcom?

Although Steve reconnects with his alien girlfriend from the first film, an upsetting dinner where she glows and levitates and is generally inappropriate shows him that there's no real long term future. Will he find love with scientist Sara? Oh, I think we all know the answer to that question.

Sadly, the VHS copy of this fine film purchased on eBay was slightly less than perfect. And by "slightly less", I mean that for the last hour of the film, the picture was all wavy and not nice and made a sound that Heather can imitate very well, but which I sadly cannot duplicate in writing.

But people, I am nothing if not dedicated to the project, so I will have you know that I watched it anyway. And I forced Buffy and Heather to watch it with me. I am that devoted to Steve, and to you.

So, although I didn't technically see the end of this movie, I've seen it before so we can cross yet another branch off the Guttenberg tree. (I really don't know where that analogy came from.)

Title: Cocoon: The Return

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 13

Purchased: on eBay

Price: £5.45

Realizing that I will watch essentially unviewable copies of tapes just because of the project?: Priceless.