Michael Schoeffling may not be a name that at least most male movie fans remember. Female fans who grew up in the 80’s may not be able to forget him.
He played Jake Ryan, Molly Ringwald’s obsession in SIXTEEN CANDLES. Personally, I was more interested in the whole Anthony Michael Hall / Long Duk Dong storyline, but the whole romance is what made the film work.
The film was very popular, Schoeffling’s “Happy Birthday, Samantha” line was a memorable one. However, it may have been the highlight of his career in Hollywood.
Michael had been a male model before getting into acting. He had a brief, uncredited role in RACING WITH THE MOON (with Sean Penn) before SIXTEEN CANDLES.
He would then make SIXTEEN CANDLES, followed by many major studio films. For an actor who never really hit the A-list, most of his films are ones that I had seen, or at least heard of.
There was a supporting role in the wrestling film VISION QUEST and the male lead in the Melissa Gilbert and horse film SYLVESTER.
He starred in the disastrous LET’S GET HARRY. Originally scripted by Sam Fuller, this action film (starring Robert Duvall, Ben Johnson and Mark Harmon) had so many production problems that the director took his name off it. Schoeffling’s name remained.
In 1989 he was in SLAVES OF NEW YORK, directed by James Ivory from the Tama Janowitz novel. It was a rare misfire for Ivory. The next year he appeared in LONGTIME COMPANION and MERMAIDS. His final film credit was 1991’s WILD HEARTS CAN’T BE BROKEN, an underrated Disney film with Gabrielle Anwar.
So what ever happened to him?
Michael is married with two children. He and his family live in Northern Pennsylvania where he is a carpenter and woodworker.
He is probably one of the more popular of the “What Ever Happened To” stars as he has been profiled on just about every E! special or other series like it. That is one of the reasons why I am only now getting around to him.
Who knows if he had continued to work that he would have had a film that would have give him the breakthrough role that could have made him a big star. From all the stories about his life today, he seems to be very happy with what happened.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I realize most people who read this blog are from outside of my local area, but I thought I should mention some sad news for area movie fans.
The National Amusements multiplex, in East Windsor CT, will be closing this weekend, on March 2nd.
The theatre was a relatively new one, built in 1994. It was located right on a major highway, so it was a good location. So good that a Wal Mart a few years later opened up right next to it.
But, the chain is cutting back, and decided to close it.
Despite living closer to several other multiplexes, I would go out of my way in the 90's to go to this theatre. They had the best picture and sound, it was never too busy, and parking was easy. It was sort of like a second home on weekends. I would spend most Saturday mornings, sometimes Sunday as well, at the theatre.
Virtually every major film released from 1994 through 2002 I saw at this theatre. So, it is kind of sad for me to see it close.
It is where I saw MAGNOLIA multiple times. That first showing was almost like a religious experience I loved the film so much.
I saw the rereleases of films such as GREASE and the original STAR WARS trilogy there.
There were also less meaningful, but very memorable movie experiences there.
I'll never forget the Saturday morning screening of EVENT HORIZON. I was expecting to see this sci-fi film (that I don't even remember why I went to see in the first place). It instead was a horror film, and it turned into one of the greatest movie experiences I've had, with the audience completely into it, jumping out of their seats at times. Coming out of the theatre, everyone was saying what a big surprise the film was. While I've heard a lot of negative talk about the film since, I refuse to see it again since that screening was one of those rare movie experiences that completely work.
The experiences weren't all great though.
I previously wrote about my seeing TITANIC the first show opening day there, where the film broke just as Leo was sinking to the ocean floor. Yet that negative actually turned into a positive as I was able to observe the audience on the second screening and see what a huge impact the film was having.
There was the screening of BELOVED, where I sat in the middle of a row, with people on either side, so I couldn't walk out of the film as I would have liked to. I ended up staying and suffering through one of the most miserable viewings of my life.
In 2002 I moved, farther away so I didn't go as often. The last time I visited the theatre was last Fall, to a Bollywood film they were showing. I guess you could say I should have known something was wrong with the theatre since they started to devote screens to Bollywood films.
I know that it may seem silly to miss an impersonal, corporate multiplex. But one of the things I liked about this one was that it didn't seem like it.
Who knows what will open up where it is, if another theatre will buy it up and try to run it, or if it will be torn down for yet another Lowes or Home Depot.
It will be missed.
Posted by TALKING MOVIEzzz at 8:00 PM
Monday, February 25, 2008
CBS has quietly released a new sitcom, airing Monday nights, WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN. It has aired a few episodes and I’ve yet to read a review, hear it talked about on any other blogs, but I have to say, this is a very funny show.
The premise of the show has an Academy Award winning short film director (Fran Kranz) moving to an apartment building in LA. His friend (Chris Klein) also lives in the building. He falls for another of the building’s residents (Keri Russell look alike Joanna Garcia). The only problem, she has a boyfriend living in New York.
While the basic premise may not be the most original, the supporting cast more than makes it a memorable sitcom. Al Madrigal (who seems to be channeling Manuel from FAWLTY TOWERS) is the buildings doorman. A very funny performance. Raquel Welch essentially plays an exaggerated version of herself, an actress living in the building preying on all the men.
The big star of the show is Jeffrey Tambor. He is sort of the father figure for everyone in the hotel, having lived there the longest. An ex-writer of THREE’S COMPANY, every story he tells has something to do with “Tico” as he calls it.
On visiting the hotel’s roof “Yeah, I used to bring Don Knotts here when he was having trouble fitting in on Tico. I told him to stop talking about Andy Griffith all the time”.
I don’t know how many episodes of the show are left, or if there is a chance that it will be back next season. I do know that it is one of the funnier shows to come out in a while. With HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and THE BIG BANG THEORY (which this is replacing since they ran out of episodes), CBS has built up quite a Monday night sitcom lineup.
Posted by TALKING MOVIEzzz at 9:12 PM