Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Auteur Watch: Ron Underwood

Kinda looks like a younger, handsome-r Jonathan Demme, huh? Well, let's jump right into the decade question here. Which decade do you think is Ron's favorite? Was it the go-go 80s when America was coming out of its disco coma and embracing the punk mohawk, and spandex was high fashion? Seems like we traded one set of bad clothes for another with the 70s and 80s. But ol' Ron here, with future Tremors writing partners Brent Maddock and S. S. Wilson, they were stranded in Short Film Land, where filmmaking's experimental and fun!
Or was it the go-go 90s, which made the 60s look like the 50s? With 1990's Tremors, Ron's auteur days were in full swing... sort of. The film work wasn't steady, but City Slickers helped out a tiny bit, I think. It made more than When Harry Met Sally, right? Oh, snap! Then came Heart and Souls, and people started to have their doubts. Then came Speechless, and the doubts came a little harder. It was time for a break for four years, but then came Mighty Joe Young. Another four years, and it was Pluto Nash, and people started to realize that a $100 million film wasn't necessarily a sure-fire bet anymore. I think that was the first. I mean, Wild Wild West was a spectacular failure, but it at least made #1 the opening weekend.
Which means we've already started a new decade, and I guess if Ron were here, he'd probably say that the 2000s are his favorite decade: the Bush years. No great strides in fashion or pop culture worth remembering; it's pretty much a top-down structure. Comedy became beholden to the executive branch, taking its cues from the White House. Fashion became about the people, not the clothes, and someone like Paris Hilton could pass for a Horatio Alger type. For Ron, TV was the new silver screen, and he hit it big. Not just anyone can make it directing episodes of shows like Boston Legal, Eli Stone and Ugly Betty! 2009 in particular finds him directing the sequel to Santa Baby, called Santa Baby 2 for simplicity. Good luck with that. I guess I better get Santa Baby 1 on Netflix or something!
So here's to you, Ron Underwood, and may the 2010s be your favorite decade as well. Jesus loves you more than you will know, whoa whoa whoa...

No comments: