Friday, March 24, 2006

Camera Obscura - Weapon of Choice

Every now and then a performer in today's nano-fast, modern now-a-go-go world makes hits decade after decade in almost every realm of entertainment - movies, TV, stage, music and books. You know today's subject and I bet you'll even know some lines he's made or that certain movies which were made better just because he was there. That's called Star Power. And his Legend says he's a performer who never turns down a part. Any part.

He'll turn 63 next week, on March 31st, but I don't expect him to stop anytime soon.

I remember some other actor once referred to him as a "reed thin, hyper-intensive guy" and that sort of sums him up pretty well. He can make a villian be funny in the creepiest ways. Sometimes, his haircut is frightening.

He earned an Oscar for "The Deer Hunter" in 1978 and his lanky funky dancing got him an MTV music award in 2001 and "Saturday Night Live" has an open invite for him to host whenever he wishes. One of my personal favorite moments is the "watch speech" he gives in "Pulp Fiction" where he mentions the watch was bought in Knoxville - without a doubt, Christopher Walken can do it all.

I guess it was it his dancing though, that made him stand out to me. I was one of the few hundred in 1981 who bothered to watch, much less enjoy the Steve Martin-starring movie "Pennies From Heaven." His tap-dancing scene in the pool hall was inspired madness.

Also in '81, he starred in the underrated "Dogs of War", where he and three other guys take over an entire country. Reading his movie credits and his bio, you'll find about 90 movies under his belt, comedies, animation, horror and mystery and action and drama. He started at 10 in a skit with Jerry Lewis and was in last year's huge hit "The Wedding Crashers." His career just keeps growing.

Worth mentioning here is the Web hoax that has Walken as a presidential candidate for 2008, and his growing fame as a music producer in a "Saturday Night Live" skit where he keeps yelling "More cowbell!!!" as the band Blue Oyster Cult records the song "Don't Fear The Reaper."

But for sheer joy and wild fun, it's hard to beat his dancing in the Spike Jonze directed video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," which he choreographed and nabbed that MTV award. I'm including the video today via YouTube for you to watch, but you'll get a crisper and cleaner copy of the video by going here.

Fred Astaire may have danced on the walls, but Chris flies.


  1. My favorite Walken moment is in True Romance. "I haven't killed anybody since 1984." He is a national treasure.

  2. Cinemonkey2:30 PM

    A wonderfully trippy moment in the otherwise average "Rundown" was the Tooth Fairy speech that Walken gives, beginning with, "When I was a little boy...."

  3. Long live Walken. I'd love to cook dinner with him sometime.
    And of course, I'd love to dance with him.

  4. You see, this cat Christopher Walken is a bad mother...

  5. Yo Joe,

    Check this out.

    (get the day pass)

    You're tope in my film snob bucket!

  6. Hmmm ... "film snob bucket" ... my have to start a brand spanking new movie-blog and gice it that title!

    Thanks for the heads up - and thanks to a friend, I got a Salon subscription fer Christmas!