sure, i spend a lot of time talking about cinema and claiming to discuss some of the best directors and actors of this generation. and, since i’m about five years old, previous generations as well. still, i know you’re sitting out there in Radio Land with your fists clenched in a combination of anticipation and anger thinking “but janklow, it’s clear to us all that you’ve sincerely neglected the greatest cinematic work known to man!” you’re right, and i apologize. but not to my reading public, but to that man: Steven Seagal. start up the appreciation engine!
Seagal Book I: The Films
much as there were once two geniuses who developed, respectively, Crystal Pepsi and New Coke, there was a man who decided “i need a slow-moving man who knows aikido and can hit guys in the face with a pool ball in a towel.” and thus, the cinematic adventures of Steven Segal were born! twenty-seven movies later, i have learned a lot. some of those things?
look at this film catalog and eat your fucking heart out, Robert De Niro!
-Steven Seagal does THE best Italian accent of all time;
-some talented actors i enjoy the work of (Keith David, William Forsythe, Tommy Lee Jones, Harry Dean Stanton, Michael Caine, R. Lee Ermey, etc.) are clearly willing to debase themselves for the sake of a paycheck;
-aikido makes short work of slow-moving lines of henchmen, goons, and the like;
-i would pay regular installments of cash money to watch a television show starring Steven Seagal AND Gary Busey;
-Seagal researched the voodoo stuff for Marked For Death ALL BY HIMSELF (he’s such a big boy now!);
-something about using a credit card like a ginsu knife or whatever;
-respect the environment, whether down south or in Alaska or, you know, that whole aikido thing will come into play;
-Steven Seagal has a loyal legion of fans who have arranged his iMDB page to say things like “Steven Seagal is a striking and somewhat boyishly handsome looking (often with ponytail) and usually impeccably dressed action star” and “Seagal publicly announced that one of his Buddhist teachers, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, had accorded Seagal as a tulku, the reincarnation of a Buddhist Lama.” now THOSE are the people i am actually afraid of.
i don’t think i learned so much stuff from watching, say, Citizen Kane (everyone already knew that Hearst was a dickhead, for example), so, really, is there anything more educational than the work of Seagal? exactly.
Seagal Book II: The Energy Drink
one of the sassiest gifts i have ever received was a paper bag filled with two Steven Seagal DVDs (Under Siege and Hard To Kill), a large bottle of vodka, and a note, which i shall paraphrase here: “step 01. drink entire bottle of vodka; step 02. watch Steven Seagal DVDs and realize his excellent contribution to cinema; step 03. wake up tired tomorrow, but don’t worry, because Steven Seagal has given you the world’s best energy drink to recover!” you admit this is awesome, but what is this energy drink of which i speak? well…
Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt is standard equipment for our pro-taxation militia: when captured, you drink it and it kills you
i give you Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt! it is absolutely the worst energy drink of all time. seriously, it’s disgusting. it makes bold but irrelevant claims, such as “the first energy drink to be made of 100% juice” (who cares, since i want caffeine) and “it is available in over 60 countries, including Wales and Zambia” (Wales, admittedly, is awesome, but Zambia?). in my experience, it comes in two flavors: Cherry Charge, which tastes roughly like a diseased cherry, and Asian Experience, which i can only assume is supposed to taste like Asia (or Asians, maybe), and i think it does. they tell me there’s another flavor called “Root Beer Rush,” but i’ve already drunk two of these things too many.
Seagal Book III: The Rock Guitar
well, what does iMDB say? “Is a singer and guitarist.” oh really?
look at these sweet guitar licks and eat your fucking heart out, Elvis Costello!
oh really. actually, while the above is pretty great, i really wish i had a copy of the photo of Seagal rocking out that was in the Baltimore City Paper around here – i promptly liberated it, mounted it and scrawled the legend “FUCK YEAH” over it, and then posted it in my locker at work. every day, Seagal inspires me. he gives me the power to go on.
Seagal Book IV: The Legal Battle
this whole thing was prompted by a blurb on iMDB, to be honest. in fact, let me share it with you!
Seagal Seeks FBI Apology for Derailing His Career
Actor Steven Seagal is seeking an apology from the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, for allegedly harming his career by implicating he hired a private detective to intimidate journalists from writing unflattering stories about him. The 56-year-old has made 12 movies since 2001’s Exit Wounds – all have been released directly onto DVD, bypassing cinemas, and Seagal is convinced the leaked release of an October 2002 FBI affidavit linking him to the mob is responsible for his decline in popularity. The affidavit detailed how Seagal hired private eye Anthony Pellicano to threaten reporters, before the investigation focused entirely on Pellicano, who is now in prison awaiting a trial on charges including wire-tapping, But Seagal has never been publicly cleared by the FBI, and the actor wants this done so his reputation is immediately restored, reports the Los Angeles Times. Seagal recently said, “False FBI accusations fuelled thousands of articles saying that I terrorize journalists and associate with the Mafia. These kinds of inflammatory allegations scare studio heads and independent producers – and kill careers.” He added, “I was sick of hearing my name associated with a crime the government knew I had nothing to do with. Until it happens to you, you can’t imagine what it does to your life.”
what i don’t think anyone realizes is that this is the PERFECT idea for a Steven Seagal movie. a boyishly handsome martial-arts movie star is accused of Mafia ties by the FBI, but even though it’s not true, his career suffers. so this movie star – let’s call him Handsome B. Wonderful – asks the FBI to apologize publically… but they won’t! this leaves him only one option: a massive aikido fight versus the FBI. probably some cars get blown up in here somewhere, the director of the FBI is probably played by Anthony Anderson or Colm Meaney or something, and there should also be a lecture about Buddhists and their love of nature. anyway, Seagal beats them all up, clears his name, beds the foxy female sidekick and maybe becomes president!
it’ll probably go straight to DVD. but i’d watch it on cable!