So, I’ve got a new phone, and I swear I’m gonna shut up about it. This ain’t about the phone.

BUT… the phone is a gateway to new experiences right now.

It’s got a YouTube App on it, and that led me to do something I normally never do… browse YouTube just to see what’s out there.

It just felt different, seeing those little videos on a phone! Aww, so cute!

So, of all the videos on YouTube, posted from all the available bits in all the world, what do you think random chance brought me to see? What do you think I was finally introduced to, that everyone else in the known universe probably already saw?

If you said “Two girls one cup”, go stand in the corner and wait for the Blair Witch to come get you. Hush.

No, instead I saw a video starring one of my favorite actors of all time, a man I can actually gush about for an hour or more, dancing the night away.

I saw Christopher Walken dancing to Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice“.

I’m trying to think what I was doing the year that came out, 2000, because this one slipped right by me. I think that was the second year I was truck driving, so I was probably in a rig crossing into Idaho.

Edit: Cassie happened to remind me that I suck at math when my head is full of ache, as it is right now with this cold. I got out of the Marines in ’94, I spent ’95 and ’96 truck driving.

Or, as Cassie put it… if we’re about to have our 10th wedding anniversary in March, and I spent the 2 years before that as her fiance, and the two years before that getting settled into the Twin Cities, how, exactly, could I have been truck driving in 2000?

So, actually, I was just clueless in 2000, not truck driving. I now return you to my previous post, still in progress.

Not a lot of TV in the cab of a truck in the old days.

Christopher Walken. That son of a bitch can dance, yo.

Oh right, you knew that. Like, eleven years ago. Because it won awards from MTV out the wazoo and has become such a massive cultural hit it’s been spoofed multiple places… that I also didn’t see. :)

Christopher Walken.

When I saw that Fatboy Slim video, I didn’t just see that one performance.

No, I saw shades of every great performance Christopher Walken has been in, that I’ve ever seen.

It brought back in a rush all of those incredible man-crush movie moments in my life, watching Christopher Walken just act his ass off.

The former POW returning a watch to a young man in Pulp Fiction. The mobster interrogating Dennis Hopper in True Romance. Hickey the old west gangster in Last Man Standing (and again with the Bruce Willis), the badass mofo in Suicide Kings, The Deer Hunter, good lord The Deer Hunter.

And of course the performance that stands above them all, Christopher Walken as the Angel Gabriel in the Prophecy. Hey, you don’t think that was his best, sue me.

The Fatboy Slim video reminded me, all in a rush, that Christopher Walken is, for me, one of the true movie legends of my generation. He is an actor whose work defined the way I thought of movies for decades. When I’d think of what was possible in movies, in storytelling on the screen, in the power and majesty and depth and brilliance that could leap from the screen into my brain, Christopher Walken was one of the few actors that led the way for me.

The defining Christopher Walken movie, for me, will always be Brainstorm. That movie, and the possibilities it posed, the imagination it held dear, the bravery in tackling such an impossible topic and trying like hell to present it visually on screen… that set the tone of all movies for me. It didn’t have to be about dropping some quick film to make a fast buck, it could be about something more. That was the standard to strive for.  Brainstorm, and Walken, showed me that movies could take a chance and really try and explore something massive.

The earlier generations had their own heroes, I know. John Wayne, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, so many great actors that I’m sure would bring back a rush of nostalgia to my elders. Those that ain’t in the ground yet, because I’m already getting pretty eld here.

My generation had all of the action stars with their ripped muscles and machine guns and explosions. It’s so easy to see that, and discard the entire decade as crap. Entertaining crap, but crap nevertheless.

But we also had Christopher Walken, and that means something to me.

I’m getting older now, and it’s getting easier for me to be able to look back and see where the high points were while I was growing up, what the major inspirations were that opened my mind to wider horizons, and helped me learn to appreciate how kick ass movies and fiction could be. The movies, books, and people that helped me learn how to really dream big.

It makes me wonder, who do the folks growing up these days see as their inspirations, their grand lions and tigresses of the imagination? Who sets your brain on fire and drives you to write, or draw, or create stories and images, or, yes, parodies while you drive towards your own future?

Who out there is peeling your brain open like a crazed man with a rusty can opener?

Do you have a Christopher Walken of your own? Do you have a true original, a legend that can be so many things, but never predictable?

I really hope so. I do.

32 Responses to “Welcome to the year 2000, BBB!”
  1. Leah says:

    I adore Christopher Walken, though for me his most memorable performances are in SNL.

    For me, though its Julianne Moore. Every movie I see her in, she becomes the character, sometimes to the point where I have trouble recognizing her at first. Her talent is unbelievable and Big Lebowski (one of the movies I can watch over and over and over and STILL not get tired of it) would not have been the same without her.

  2. Paona says:

    I don’t *think* I have a Christopher Walken? Not off the top of my head at least. But in lieu of that, I’d like to offer more hotel dancing, courtesy of one M. Hugh Jackman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSQ8Xh8dW40

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I do have a man crush on Hugh Jackman. Not for Wolverine, although he was great at that, or for Van Helsing, although he was the only thing worth watching in that movie and he damn near came close to redeeming it. And no, not even for Swordfish, and Swordfish rocked. (Just please ignore the super computer with the multiple monitors. It’s a hollywood thing).

      No, I love him for three things;

      The convincing acting he did on Kate and Leopold, the singing he did on Inside the Actors Studio (he did the song number from Oklahoma he did when doing broadway), and… his entire acting stint in Something Like You, which I found hilarious.

  3. Platypi says:

    I LOVED him as Gabriel!!!!

  4. savvy-savvage says:

    I was loving your list, movie after movie, but my stomach was clenching and I was getting anxious and then the sentence was over and I was sprawling over a chasm about to fall and the next line saved me… thank god you mentioned Gabriel, that was awesome. : ) [Walken/Gabriel versus Satan/Aragorn in an actual movie and wait.. that was totally Casey Jones from the TMNT movie as the cop/priest! Yeah, I liked that movie a lot.

  5. Xdawgg says:

    Christopher Walken is indeed awesome. But what this blog post needs is….it needs more cow bell!

  6. Darthregis says:

    Mr. Walken on Saturday Night Live, as “Bruce Dickinson”.

    “I’ve gotta headache… and the only cure for it is more cowbell!”

  7. Malys says:

    Walken in Wedding Crashers is priceless.

    Watching Vince Vaughn’s character dance and he, just observing with a level of discernment that’s laughable.

    And yet he never dances, not really, anyway…

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I haven’t seen Wedding Crashers. Is that really worth watching? I heard some serious mixed reviews on that one.

  8. Symbiode says:

    Have you seen the Maiden Heist? The intro to it is great:

    • Symbiode says:

      Bah, lost the link:

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I have now… hmmm, that looks interesting. The actual movie trailer looks completely different

      • Symbiode says:

        The movie itself is completely different, although not in a bad way. The intro there is just a cut-away gag, but seeing Christopher Walken shoot up a bunch of bad guys is too good to pass up.

  9. Cayro says:

    C Walken is actually an excellant dancer. He initially trained as a dancer in music theatre at the Washington Dance Studio. “more cowbell” enuff said.

  10. Gumps says:

    Walken as The Man with the Plan (or “The Head”) in Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead… awesome. How did find a way to get some footage of Walken dancing into the film??? His character is a quadriplegic! I guess, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have to hunt through a bargain bin or two and find out. A small film, Denver fell victim to inevitable comparisons with Pulp Fiction and Rezzy Dogs. How a film with Walken, Andy Garcia, Steve Buscemi (as an assassin with the coolest name ever), Treat Williams, Christopher “The Doc” Lloyd and Gabrielle Anwar never surfaced, I’ll never know – but eh, Welcome to Collinwood didn’t really make waves either.

    And my Walken? A legend that can be so many things, but never predictable? If I can only pick one, it’d have to be Geoffrey Rush. Excellent, and such range. From Casanova Frankenstein and Barbosa to Javert, Helfgott… the list goes on, but I won’t.

    Don Cheadle would be my other pick.

    • Deb says:

      To answer your question, Chris’ dance in “Denver” is during a flashback scene. His family is having an outdoor meal or tea or something and he asks his son’s girlfriend to dance.

  11. Dovius says:

    Ever played Ripper? ”This guy, is un-fuckin-believable!”
    and yeah, more Cowbell

  12. Zaph says:

    Obvious by omission : Balls of Fury, Walken as Feng.

  13. Kattrinsaa says:

    hard to say, when i think walken, my mind springs to the dead zone (movie not series) and the character he played therin. Also, I think of the attempt from some website during the 2008 election years.. http://www.walken2008.com/ walken for president.. it was a hoax, but cool nonetheless.

    on jackman, good actor, very diverse roles. Perhaps heath ledger, I liked knight’s tale, and i’m told dark knight is good, just haven’t gotten around to it.. And I know I’ll probably get strung up for it, but I actually liked “10 things I hate about you.” The scene that cemented that movie as epic win, is julia stiles flashing the teacher to get ledger out of detention. you see it from her back view, the movie is still family friendly. He was a fairly good actor,

    but there is no one stand out for me. I guess it depends on the mood i’m in,

  14. Barryhn says:

    Movies have never been my number one entertainment. So my favourites tend to be a little quirky or maybe a little mainstream (because i really don’t drill into the ‘serious movies as much as i do with say, music), my favourite movies tend to be action movies, martial arts movies or historical/fantasy/sci-fi epics. but the list of actors i just adore:

    I like Dustin Hoffman though I can’t for the life of me say why. There’s just something about him that gets my attention.

    Alan Rickman – for his amazing portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, as well as metatron in Dogma, Hans Gruber in Die Hard and for voicing Marvin the Android in Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    Johnny Depp – I will pretty much watch any film with him in, he’s a great actor, and an incredibly generous soul. love him – totally stole the show in Pirates, and I just loved him as Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow.

    Robert Downey Jr – Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes – and just a damned fantastic and funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

    Morgan Freeman – I think you’d have to go a long long way to find an actor with this level of presence on screen. And again, he’s just someone I really like when I’ve seen him outside of movies too (and he own’s a blues club – how can I not love the man)

    Will Smith – an actor of superb talent, whether it’s a serious or comedic role.

    Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Jaa, Chow Yun Fat, Ziyi Zhang (or Zhang Ziyi depends on the movie – so many great martial arts epics between these people. I love a great martial arts movie, as it relies heavily on my favourite aspect of action films – Fight Choreography, there’s something about those brilliantly scripted action sequences that still blows my mind.

    Other notable mentions:

    Anyone from the LOTR movies – be they actors, director, producers, sound engineers, prop makers or the people who make the tea. For allowing these films to happen and give me 4 years (if you count the wait for the final extended cut on DVD) of cinematic joy. The most important movies of my life. Here’s hoping the Hobbit movies will be as epic.

    Joss Whedon – Firefly was wonderful, Fox should BURN for axing it, if it had been given the time it deserved to mature it would have stood out as one of the great Sci-Fi epics of TV history. And then Came Serenity – perhaps my favourite film, I must have watched it 50 times and it still makes me laugh and cry in all the same places. The only movie I’ve ever been to here in the UK where there was a standing ovation at the end.

    Gladiator – I have to mention the film – as it’s the whole that makes the parts shine. There is nothing about this film I dislike, and it still has the best damned soundtrack I’ve ever heard.

    Brotherhood of the wolf – I love this movie, the camerawork is brilliant, the soundtrack is so evocative, the fight’s are brilliantly put together, and the cast is pretty cool too. Watch it in french with subtitles though, as the dubbing is bloody awful.

    Heath Ledger as the Joker – utterly demented, crazy and damned scary. Nobody will ever be able to play this role again without being compared to him, RIP Heath.

    I’d go on to my book/fiction heroes, but my reply would end up longer than a bearwall :P
    sorry for the long reply.

  15. bluezman says:

    More cowbell!!

  16. bluezman says:

    I am THE Bruce Dickinson.

    Sorry… just finished watching SNL dvd on Netflix with Chris. :)

  17. Tinuvieldark says:

    A Christopher Walken movie-list that does not mention The Dead Zone is in need of a serious beating.

    ..or at least a stern talking to.

  18. Mama Druid says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to see that epic video, and for also adding some movies to my Netflix queue – for which there is an app and you can watch movies on your phone!!

  19. Delacaille says:

    I do have a Christopher Walken of my own. In fact it is myself doing, what I’ve been told by a great many people, the best Christopher Walken impression ever. I think I may have to upload myself doing my impression to youtube so I can prove it. Also I think blizz should know CW is coming for them for what they did to us bears! Grr…

  20. Sarah S says:

    this is my first visit and just wanted to stop by and say hello

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