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Thread: Cult media stars

  1. #1
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    Cult media stars

    This could go in the Media sub-forum except that it doesn't have
    to do with either science or SF.

    I just realized that there are two actors who seem to have been
    in a lot of movies or TV programs, so they must have some kind of
    fan base-- people who think they are hot stuff. They are both
    'martial arts' guys. One is Chuck Norris, who keeps getting
    mentioned here in Babbling and/or Media. I only know him as the
    guy with the ugly four-to-six-day-old reddish-brown beard who
    is on some cable channel (Lifetime? USA?) on which everything
    looks like 1970's made-for-TV movies shot on 16 mm film, with a
    slight sepia tint to help give it a warm, old feeling. Norris is always
    standing up, doing nothing except talking with someone else when
    I click through that channel. Always. No exceptions.

    The other guy is a more recent phenomenon. I'm sure everyone
    else knows his name and what he's been in. He appears to be a
    big, beefy guy with a big, square face. He has black hair, and I
    think it is long and in a ponytail, but since it is *always* in a
    ponytail it is hard to tell for sure that it really is long. He always
    wears black, nomatter what role he is playing.

    Anyway, these two guys seem like pretty vapid characters, yet
    they apparently get (or got?) a lot of work, so I wonder if that is
    due to a large fan base which really likes them for some reason,
    or what.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  2. #2
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    That second one sounds like Steven Seagal. I have never understood the popularity of either, though, so I cannot help you. It's probably because I'm a girl.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  3. #3
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    Chuck Norris? His TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger, is one of the funniest shows ever made. I don't think it was meant to be funny, but it is, it is.

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    Do you know why mike alexander has less than 8000 posts? Because Chuck Norris chopped them in half.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    That second one sounds like Steven Seagal...
    ...he belongs to a generation of movie action hero actors (including Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme) who were featured in many of the Hollywood blockbuster action films of the late 1980s and 1990s...
    wiki
    Birds of a feather!

  6. #6
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    I'd say the second one is Steven Segal too.

    Both are martial artists that got into acting. Chuck Norris did one movie with Bruce Lee, for a minute. Then he was in a few in the mid to late 70s and 80s. After the movies outgrew him, he went to TV and infomercials. I have no idea why he became a cult figure.

    Segal on the other hand has pretty much always been right on the edge of being a walking joke. He's made a lot of claims that can't be backed up at all, but conflict with background information.

    He claimed to have been the first white man to operate a martial arts
    school in Japan. Technically that's true. He taught at the school owned by his father-in-law.

    He claimed to have been a SEaL or with the CIA in Vietnam. An article I read (Spy Magazine) said that the SEaLs have no record of it, but that he did get horribly seasick while going out in 4 foot sweels on a fishing trip.

    I think that his appeal came from the fact that he was the first martial arts actor to use aikido on screen in a very prominent way. Aikido is all throws and locks. It's actually not allowed to hit the person attacking you. It goes 100% against the philosophy of the style. He is skilled at it. Not as skilled as he claims, but he's good.

    Aikido, when done properly, can be awesome to watch. I've thrown a 350+ pound 3/4 of the way around. That is to say he almost made a complete loop and landed back on his feet. All I had a hold of was his wrist. There was no leverage as used in judo. I've also been one of 4 simultaneous attackers that ended up stuffed into a corner by that same 350+ pound man during a mass attack drill.

    Stuff like this came through in Segal's movies. The technical execution of his moves was really pretty good, and when aikido is done properly, it's nearly impossible to actually injure someone with it. That means they don't have to pull strikes or use odd camera angles. His films came along at the end of the Chuck Norris style films, and the start fo the Van Damme era. Because there was no hitting or kicking (mostly), the action scenes were new and totally different from the normal martial arts movie. He grew a fan base that peaked with Under Seige. Most of the stuff he's done since then has been straight to video. And for good reason.

    He never could act, but he was arrogant enough to say in an interview that he was comparable to Daniel Day Lewis and should have gotten the role in My Left Foot. The reason he always waers back is probably because it's slimming. Also, he only really has the one character, no matter what name he gives it.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  7. #7
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    It's mindless action. There's about a handful of Chuck Norris films I enjoy but it certainly isn't for his profound acting abilities. Usually it's a guy in a bad situation, let's see how he's going to karate chop his way out of it. I watch them for the same reason I like Die Hard; The Last Boyscout; Leathal Weapon; etc; they are cheesy but have cool fight scenes and repeatable one liners. I can't say I watch any Segal movies, I never could get into them.

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    I like Jackie Chan better.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

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    I like Chuck Norris. He wrote a book, The Secret Power Within, which has a lot of good, commonsense life philosophy.

    I also like his life code:

    1. I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.
    2. I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.
    3. I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family.
    4. I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.
    5. If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.
    6. I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
    7. I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness.
    8. I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.
    9. I will always remain loyal to God, my country, family and my friends.
    10. I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country and myself.
    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Norris

  10. #10
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    Ten commandments for life. Original.

  11. #11
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    I went to every Charles Bronson movie with my dad and older brother. There was a time that he was "The Man".

    Chuck Norris, I really liked him in the older stuff. Couldn't tell you what movies they were, I just remember liking him. A lone warrior.

    You can't put Segal and Norris in the same bracket.

    Segal, I have never liked, sorry. There is something genuinely fake, unrealistic, unbelievable about him. I'm glad to read that he actually performs real Aikido. That gives him a boost.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by megrfl View Post
    I

    You can't put Segal and Norris in the same bracket.

    Segal, I have never liked, sorry. There is something genuinely fake, unrealistic, unbelievable about him.
    Same here....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by megrfl View Post
    I went to every Charles Bronson movie with my dad and older brother. There was a time that he was "The Man".

    Chuck Norris, I really liked him in the older stuff. Couldn't tell you what movies they were, I just remember liking him. A lone warrior.

    You can't put Segal and Norris in the same bracket.

    Segal, I have never liked, sorry. There is something genuinely fake, unrealistic, unbelievable about him. I'm glad to read that he actually performs real Aikido. That gives him a boost.

    Unfortunately the older Bronson movies don't seem to get aired anymore, all that seems to get aired are the "Death Wish" movies. Didn't see them in theaters, but I remember enjoying 70's Bronson flicks like "Mr. Majestyk" and "The Mechanic" (a favourite starring Bronson and Jan Michael-Vincent, as a hitman and his "student"). The use of a passage from Robert Frost's "Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening" in "Telefon" had me looking into other poetry by Frost. Other than Norris' part in "Return of The Dragon", I remember seeing films such as "Good Guys Wear Black" (as much for the Porsches as the action), up to the MIA franchise. Action flicks to get lost in for awhile.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog_ View Post
    He never could act, but he was arrogant enough to say in an interview that he was comparable to Daniel Day Lewis and should have gotten the role in My Left Foot.
    Agh! My brain!

    Charles Bronson was good in The Great Escape. I'm not sure I've seen anything else he's done. A, because the library apparently didn't have Death Wish, and b, because I'm a girl.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  15. #15
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    I've actually worked with Segal on some of his "music" projects. He's really a serious martial artist and is apparently very skilled at it. He's also a serious collector of many things, guitars especially. I've never liked any of his movies, but he was oddly comfortable with the fact that he's a terrible actor.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Charles Bronson was good in The Great Escape. I'm not sure I've seen anything else he's done. A, because the library apparently didn't have Death Wish, and b, because I'm a girl.
    Once upon a time in the West playing opposite Henry Fonda?
    The Sea Wolf, from the Jack London book? He's quite good as Wolf Larsen.
    __________________________________________________
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    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  17. #17
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    Bronson did a decent turn in The Magnificent Seven

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    Bronson did a decent turn in The Magnificent Seven
    That was a great vehicle for James Coburn as well.

    Nick

  19. #19
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    Since others have dragged this thread off-subject and mentioned Charles Bronson . . .

    If you want to see a very fit Charles Bronson, give the 1975 movie Hard Times a look-see. He plays a street fighter during the depression and his conditioning is amazing for a 54 year old actor (at the time). He's a man of few words in this movie. James Coburn is his somewhat sleazy promoter.

    He arrives in town. He fights. He makes some money. He gives most of it away. He leaves town. (Of course Jill Ireland is also in the movie ).

    ETA: IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073092/

    ETA: IMDB trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi665583897/

  20. #20
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    Okay, I have seen The Magnificent Seven, too. Also The Dirty Dozen, though I didn't like it. (Scrolls through IMDB list--he did a lot of television, didn't he?) I'm not sure I've ever seen Pat and Mike all the way through, though I will at some point, since it's Hepburn-Tracy. However, I haven't ever seen a Steven Seagal (I was spelling his name right!) movie, and while I've caught the first minute of many an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, I've never actually seen a full episode, much less a whole Chuck Norris movie.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  21. #21
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    I'm not sure the "other person" in the original post is SS. He doesn't seem to fit the physical description to me. The physical description sounds more like Adrian Paul, but he hasn't starred in many movies or shows other than "Highlander: The Series". I'm sure he doesn't always wear black, but I didn't think SS did either, so I actually suspect it's some third person I can't name...

    How did the original poster know Norris was a martial artist if he's never seen him do anything but stand still and talk?

  22. #22
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    Because Chuck Norris is frequently mentioned here on BAUT and elsewhere,
    on the Internet and off. Okay, I've seen him in some excersize machine
    infomercial(s) as much as I've seen him on whatever channel that is where
    he is always standing up (near a doorway inside a house) apparently
    chatting with someone not significantly more attention-getting than him.
    Is that 'Walker' that I have seen so many times? There is no clue where
    it might be located. Always an interior of what looks like a house.

    I didn't really mean that about the sepia color. What I really meant was
    that the colors are always predominantly reddish-browns, and not just
    Norris's beard.

    I've never seen Highlander -- at least not enough for it to have left
    an imprint on my memory -- but I suspected that this guy was the
    one who was in it, from promos and whatnot. That wasn't Seagal??

    Was Bronson in BOTH The Great Escape AND The Dirty Dozen???
    I saw most of The Great Escape again recently. I didn't tell my
    parents that the reason they were having such a hard time placing
    the actors and the action was that they were recalling Stalag 17.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  23. #23
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    In his Walker, Texas Ranger series, Chuck Norris, promotes the message for juveniles to keep away from drugs and do sports, martial arts being a form of self-discipline. He also promotes respect for the native American indians. I found that his series very often has a moral message for youngsters. I always found him a very nice person.

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    I just looked at the IMdB on Seagal, and he is the one. He's older
    than I am, fer heaven's sake! Hmmm. I've stopped being surprised
    when they're younger than I am....

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  25. #25
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    i used to think Chuck Norris was the awesomest man alive- when i was 9 or so and watching the "Missing in Action" movies where he single handedly killed pretty much every Viet Kong soldier all by himself...
    i also thought that Rambo was a documentary and wanted one of those cool knives he had.
    Seagal, however- never liked the guy. his fighting style seemed a lot like Darth Vader when he had that slow motion battle with Obi Wan in the hangar of the death star. the only scene i remember from any of his movies is when the stripper pops out of the cake in "Under Siege"- and his acting had absolutely NOTHING to do with why i remember that scene.
    Last edited by novaderrik; 2009-Mar-10 at 07:07 AM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by megrfl View Post
    Segal, I have never liked, sorry. There is something genuinely fake, unrealistic, unbelievable about him. I'm glad to read that he actually performs real Aikido. That gives him a boost.
    To clarify this a bit, the aikido he does is pretty clean, but it's not pure. The closest thing pure aikido would ever get to an actual attack is a pinch. Not a nerve pinch or anything like that, just a regular old thumb and forefinger pinch to the upper ribs or back of one arm. Even that was considered "dirty". Pure Aikido is all about harmony and exploiting the disharmony of the attacker. It's said that you can't really appreciate how simple it is to do until you are too old to force things to happen.

    What Segal does is combine aikido techniques with karate strikes. He's got good size, and decent hand skills but his kicks are really bad. This can sort of be expected, as aikido has no kicks. But then, if you're gonna do a movie, maybe avaoiding the things you absolutely cannot do might be a valid strategy.

    I'd also agree with the public image of both Norris and Segal as mentioned here. Chuck Norris might be gruff, but comes across as a genuinely good person. His interest in getting kids involved in martial arts and sports has been well documented for the last 20+ years.

    Segal has always come across as very egotistical. In a lot of his early movies the was never even hit with a strik from a bad guy. The only way they could get him was to ambush him. That always bothered me, but it wasn't until his 4th or 5th film that I really noticed it.

    I studied martial arts for quite a while. Not just the ones I practiced, but all sorts. The glut of films in the early 90's gave me a lot of stuff to watch. I'd try to pick out the various techniques and compare them to how the style ws "supposed" to look. There were a lot of really skilled (in martial arts) actors that never really got the break they needed. Some of them could even act.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Charles Bronson was good in The Great Escape. I'm not sure I've seen anything else he's done. A, because the library apparently didn't have Death Wish, and b, because I'm a girl.
    House of Wax?

  28. #28
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    I wasn't making any comment on Norris' qualities as a human being. But to paraphrase Professor Marvel: "I'm not a bad man; I'm a very good man. I'm just a terrible actor."

  29. #29
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    I have no idea how the internet video-game kiddies latched onto Chuck (really though, is there ever any rhyme or reason?).

    Segal... well, he's bigger 'n me so I'll be nice. I haven't seen any of his movies all the way through, but in fairness I've never seen any of Chuck's, or Jean Claude's, or even Jet Li's (unless you count Lethal Weapon 4, but that was hardly Li's movie). I'm just not into martial arts flicks.

  30. #30
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    I'm not either, Fazor, but I do like Jet Li. Especially because a lot of his movies are just a feast for the eyes. Jackie Chan annoys me. The others pretty much just bore me, except for Steven Seagal, whom I find funny. And sad. Still, I was very glad when the casting of Jean-Claude van Damme as Gambit in the first X-Men turned out to be just a rumour.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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