Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Wheezing the Joo-ooce!

This is May's final Anniversary Review (more on that later), and although I do adore this movie, I'm not sure if it would be worth talking about were it not for the careers it launched.

Encino Man is 20.

The story, about a cro-magnon unfrozen in a California teen's swimming pool, seems to be an excuse for fish-out-of-water jokes. However, it does contain a lot of heart and I always remember it fondly.

Like I said in the intro, this film is most notable for the two careers it started. Let's look at the least infamous first. Despite his penchant for picking less than stellar work, I've always found Brendan Fraser (who plays the titular character, nicknamed "Link" for Missing Link) extremely likeable and a decent overall actor. He's got a sense of humor, but he also has this endearing "aw shucks" kind of quality. He always turns in a good performance. I think he's highly underrated.

But, of course, the breakout star from this film is the infamous Pauly Shore. And while he's become a punchline, he was genuinely funny as Stanly "Stoney" Brown. The problem is that almost every film role he's had since is just Stoney thrust into different situations. I did love "Son-In-Law", and I'll admit to "In the Army Now" being a sort of guilty pleasure. But the character was stale by the time "Jury Duty" came out (even my strange love for jury-room stories couldn't save that one) and "Bio-Dome" was the nail in the coffin. Nevertheless, I still have a soft spot of Stoney.

And it's a testament to Fraser's loyalty that he kept popping up in Shore's movies to reference the frog-eating scene from this film. I adore in-jokes like that.

One last thing unrelated to Encino Man: I know I had scheduled an Alien 3 review, and I do have things to say about it both good and bad. However, I decided in the interest of time and, well, space to wait until the anniversary of the first "Alien" and talk about the entire series. I love them all, but not enough to do each one separately.

Until next month, Bud-Dy!

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