Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Thousand Key Words

From watching my stats lately, I've discovered that most visitors to my blog come to see this picture:

Around thirty people (women, I'm assuming) come to my blog every day, just for that. They find my blog through Google images, usually looking for the key words "Matthew Goode Leap Year." Try it right now. You will find that the good old Birthday Card Philosopher makes it to the first page of image results.

Which is pretty good, considering that I have only ten followers.

So basically I'm saying this blog post is entirely self-promoting. Keep 'em coming, Matthew Goode.

But seriously, let's talk about Matthew Goode for a second.

Don't judge him by his IMDb profile picture, because his hair makes him look like the child of Pee-Wee Herman and Crispin Glover in Back to the Future.

The first movie I remember him from is Chasing Liberty, one of those my-life-is-so-hard-because-my-dad-is-the-leader-of-the-free-world movies. This time the role of the president's daughter is played by Mandy Moore, with Mark Harmon as Mr. President. (Which gives you a whole new perspective on Summer School.)

For some never-explained reason Matthew Goode, a vocally and legally British man, is also a Secret Service agent. But not just any Secret Service agent--the Secret Service agent who gets assigned to accompany the President's daughter on her trek across Europe, get this, IN SECRET.

She's wild, he's uptight, they fall in love, Venice, blah, blah, blah. And basically, I was in love with him. This movie also features Jeremy Piven and is easily the most watchable film in this category.

I luckily remember nothing of the awful variation featuring Katie Holmes as the President's daughter and Michael Keaton as the President. Oddly enough, Katie's IMDb profile lists First Daughter directly under Batman Begins, a role originally played by Michael Keaton. She went from playing Batman's daughter to playing his love interest? No wonder that bat is messed up.

But seriously. Just say no. 8 percent critic approval reported on Rotten Tomatoes. You can count that on your hands.

In between these two I would place the third and final film, the dead-give-away titled My Date with the President's Daughter, featuring Will Friedle of Boy Meets World and Dabney Coleman as the President. They played this movie a lot on the Disney Channel in the early 2000s, so I've definitely seen it more than enough. What saves it is that it actually focuses more on Friedle's character than the actual President's daughter. But my only interest in it now is that Evan R. Lawson, CFO of Hankmed, was in it. (Watch for him below at 6:51.)

And back to Matthew Goode. (Remember him from Leap Year?) IMDb is telling me that I actually saw him in a movie before Chasing Liberty, the forgettable made-for-TV Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. This movie is based on a novel by Wicked author Gregory Maguire, which I think I tried to read once, but as I remember it neither the book nor the movie made sense or held my attention for any length of time.

Someone, please give me a "So-and-so called; he wants his hair back" joke for this picture.

I'm super tempted to see him in Match Point because it's Matthew Goode and tennis and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. And I could have sworn that it was him in that trailer I saw for I Capture the Castle with another one of my favorites, Romola Garai, but it's actually Henry Cavill, looking like a young Gilbert Blythe.

But the one Matthew Goode role no one should ever see makes me think of a classic Gilmore Girls line. Remember when Lorelai and Rory tried to select a movie for the town film festival, but Taylor gave them a list of weird movies to choose from and they ended up choosing The Yearling again? Lorelai's reaction to the list was "Now I know how Snow Dogs got made." My thoughts exactly when I read the plot description for Bounty Hamster: "True Grit in outer space with a tough-talking, eye patch-wearing...hamster." 'Nuff said.

But also in that episode was the best Kirk moment of all time. This:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finnick Odair Meets Michael Phelps

While reading an article about the recent blockbuster The Hunger Games, I discovered that casting has yet to take place for the role of Finnick Odair. All I remember thinking when I read the initial description of him in the books was, "Can you say Olympic swimmer?" Granted, I have a larger fascination with Olympic swimmers than most people, but I don't think this is too much of a stretch.

Ways Finnick Odair Is Like an Olympic Swimmer
1. He comes from a fishing district--he's comfortable in the water.
2. He's triumphed in the Hunger Games before--he's familiar with winning and being in the spotlight.
3. He has dozens of sponsors and endorsements--self-explanatory.
4. He comes off a bit arrogant at first--anyone would who holds several world records.
5. Underneath all that bravado and dating around, he just wants to settle down with the love of his life--hopefully that's you.
6. In the end, you can't help but cheer for him--root, root, root for the home team and all that.

If I were arguing this case in court, I would also bring up precedent. One of the best world-wide swimmers of the 1920s was Johnny Weismuller, an American who won six Olympic medals--five of them gold. Pick your modern equivalent from among Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps.

Weismuller capitalized on his Olympic stardom not through endorsement deals but through movie deals. He starred in 12 Tarzan films and invented the now-traditional Tarzan yell. At the conclusion of his Tarzan years, he donned a new role: Jungle Jim, for 13 movies and a short-lived TV series. He also played himself numerous times (a la James van der Beek).

Johnny Weismuller even played Adonis, a name synonymous with too-good-looking-even-for-Aphrodite. If that's not Finnick, I don't know what is.

It seems the only task left is to pick which current Olympic swimmer should assume the role. Let's take a look at some potential selections. Leave your choice in the comments.

The Obvious: Michael Phelps. He's the most decorated Olympian in history. He is easily the most recognized swimmer in the world right now. But he also has a tendency to get a little wild after his Olympic glory (cough: DUI; cough: mary-ju-wana). Maybe a role in Catching Fire would keep him under control?

The Bad Boy: Ryan Lochte. He's gone head-to-head with Michael Phelps numerous times--and won plenty of those meetings recently. He has Olympic tattoos. He's from Florida (certainly a water district). But he also has the horrid habit of wearing grills.


The Dark Horse: Nathan Adrian. He's also gone head-to-head with Phelps--and won. Most recently, he won while wearing nothing but his birthday suit. Which only goes to show, he doesn't let anything stop him from winning. Very Finnick-y. Also, he's from Washington, which is where I imagined Finnick's district.

The Romantic: Matt Grevers. He has one Olympic medal to his name--a silver in the 100m backstroke--so he's not the most famous Olympic swimmer. But he recently proposed to his girlfriend on the medals stand after she won a major swimming competition, so you know his heart is made of gold. Also very Finnick-y.

The Promoted Sidekick: Garrett Weber-Gale. You know him as the guy who grabbed Michael Phelps during the nail biter 4x100m freestyle relay. Which means you know he can swim with the best of them. So maybe he should also compete in the Hunger Games with the best of them.

The Genius: Ben Wildman-Tobriner. I had actually completely forgotten about this guy, but based on his Wikipedia page, he is perfect. He went to Stanford. He graduated in Biomechanical engineering (you know I'm a big fan of guys who can do math or science, or both). He's in medical school. He's a California boy and looks like one, too. And he managed to fit in winning an Olympic medal into all that living. He's also my vote. The camera just loves him. (Possible Peeta resemblance?)

Perhaps we'll have more options after the pool closes in London. Only this summer will tell.