Beginning of a New Chapter

Posted: August 8, 2011 by Zee in Uncategorized

I come back to this blog with a load off my heart, a spring in my step, and a sackfull of clichés.

For every movie fan there is one actor that you find yourself drawn to again and again, whose movies– whatever dubious qualities they hold– are the ones you simply cannot turn away from. You will be channel-flipping and land three-quarters of the way through one of their films; Hoarders will wait on TiVo. You pass by DVD case after DVD case at Best Buy, totally uninterested in the wares offered, until you see a hitherto unknown film, shot in Serbia with cameras salvaged from a St. Vincent’s charity shop in Finland; that gift card is about to be put to good use.

You cannot explain the appeal of this actor, nor do you think you should even have to. All you know is that whatever diminishing returns and appeal he holds, you will be there in the front row (or more likely on the sofa), enraptured by his every word.

For me, that actor is Christopher Lambert.

Yeah, I said it.

Now before we get any further I would like to clarify that by no means am I saying that Christopher Lambert is my favorite actor (and dear God, what kind of sad, sheltered existence would someone have to have led to say such a thing?) I can rattle off a list of favorite esteemed thespians that have graced the boards of soundstages and opera houses alike, but I’m writing for a blog that often falls into reviews of man-titty fer Chrissakes. I’m not even saying he’s a great actor (or Hell, even calling him a “good” one would probably be an act of charity in most cases) but Goddamn it, for whatever reason I will sit and watch everything that man is in both willingly and gladly.


Even this.

I really can’t explain the appeal, but I will attempt to:

1) Lambert falls under the Schwarzenegger Clause, i.e. his natural accent (which, perversely, appears to have gotten worse the longer he’s been in movies) will be completely ignored by all and sundry. Watching his movies is a bit like watching Star Trek, in that absolutely nobody seems to wonder why an FBI agent/SWAT team member/USA military general/Asian demi-god speaks with such a preposterously thick French accent.

Hell, he didn’t even speak English when he filmed Highlander. He learned his lines phonetically in a Scottish accent!

2) He is not a traditional action hero…or romantic hero…or…honestly he’s damn bland. Like another of my favorite pop culture icons (Joe Strummer), he was the son of a diplomat who went to boarding schools, grew up in multiple countries and was pressured into going into a legit field of work before saying “fuck it, I like doing this or that”. I dig that kind of rebellion.

3) The Lambert Gaze must also be addressed. Michael W. Crawford of referred to it as “staring through his eyebrows”, an apt description of Christopher Lambert’s peculiar way of looking at things (this is not a metaphor, he just looks at stuff oddly, with an almost permanent expression of befuddled bewilderment). The truth is, Lambert has terrible myopia and is unable to war contacts. Since he usually can’t use glasses in character, it means that he can’t see shit when he’s acting.

Not much difference, really.

He’s also an action-movie star. Who does his own stunts. Which means that for several movies he’s swung broadswords around his head and blocked blows from trained stuntmen, while basically looking at the world through a thick layer of Vaseline.

That’s….that’s pretty badass, actually.

And so my project is thus: today I mark the beginning of the Christopher LamberThon, a celebration of all things Lambert. I shall review three movies in his dubious oeuvre, and no, I’m not doing Highlander because it’s too easy (despite its firm status as my favorite cheesy film, if only for the fact that the only music that exists in that movie’s universe comes from Queen. It’s like living in a totalitarian, if fabulous, state.)

May you be blessed with the myopic gaze of the Über-Lord Lambert.

Without further ado…we begin.


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