I’m not a channel surfer nor do I have a lot of time to watch TV usually. But in the last few months I had a couple of opportunities to try it out. And it was daunting. One could conceivably surf for hours without settling on anything. I felt a little unnerved and totally incomplete. But the one bright spot from the experience is that once in awhile you catch something that for some reason just makes you stop and watch. And since it’s unplanned it comes across as a bit of gift. And in my case there was a constant to the gift– Michael J. Fox.
I pretty much grew up with him on FAMILY TIES and have always liked him. But it wasn’t until my surfing sessions that I was able to fully appreciate his genius. BACK TO THE FUTURE II was the first one to stop me. I remember loving it as a kid, especially with its play of the temporal space. The film didn’t really hold up for me but it didn’t disappoint either because of Mr. Fox. Then it was DOC HOLLYWOOD and TEEN WOLF. These films really demonstrate his brilliance. I think one of the hardest things to do in filmmaking is to make something ‘by the book’ and predictable watchable and perhaps special. In the case of TEEN WOLF, Michael J. Fox was able to transcend the material and make it a classic (at least in my book).
I’ve written and defended remakes in the past but TEEN WOLF is the one exception that I feel should be left alone. There’s absolutely no way to make the film better because the magic was somehow captured in large due to– Michael J. Fox. Without him it would just be another B movie. And what better example of that than TEEN WOLF TOO. Even with the talented Jason Bateman the film just couldn’t compare to the first one.
I was so impressed by this discovery I went and looked at Fox’s filmography and you know what? I’d stop and watch anything he’s in for sure. He’s my ‘go to’ guy.
So here’s the challenge:
Name me another ‘go to’ actor or actress that tops Michael J. Fox.
Prize: The usual. A meal at Jollibee on me (you hearing this Anderson?). Or if you don’t live in a city that has Jollibee, you’ll get the next best thing, SPAM.