Chris R may have lost to Johnny and Mark in The Room, but he can still win big in Texas.
While Tommy Wiseau's The Room, often considered the best bad movie of all time, might be technically terrible in almost every aspect, one actor's performance stood out from the rest as...almost maybe good?
In a scene so random that it feels baffling even within an already baffling movie, actor Dan Janjigian plays a drug dealer named Chris R who tries to shake down another bit character named Denny (or Danny?) for owed money. Chris R is only in that single scene, and Danny's drug addiction is never brought up again, but that doesn't stop Janjigian from making a meal out of his role. Janjigian's crazed intensity and the seriousness with which he seemed to approach a nothing role in a no-name movie was compelling enough that Zac Efron portrayed him in The Disaster Artist.
WORST acting ever [MUST WATCH!] The Room www.youtube.com
Now, over 15 years after The Room, Dan Janjigian has taken on a new role, perhaps his biggest one yet: running for Congress. As it turns out, Janjigian is a man of many talents. On top of his iconic role as Chris R, Janjigian was also a Microsoft employee and an Olympic bobsledder. More recently, however, Janjigian has spent over a decade working in healthcare and raising a family in Texas.
According to Janjigian's official campaign website, his experience as a healthcare professional and his family's history escaping the Armenian Genocide solidified his political beliefs. Currently running as a Democrat to represent Texas's 31st congressional district against Republican incumbent John Carter, Janjigian's platform revolves around enacting public healthcare (while allowing private options for those who choose it), streamlining legal immigration, and promoting clean energy solutions to battle climate change.
Best of all, Janjigian is running a grassroots campaign "PAID FOR BY A WHOLE LOT OF TEXANS SUPPORTING DANJAN," meaning that he's not beholden to big money or corporate interests, and possibly even that Danny finally paid him back.
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And here's why.
You know those movies that have been parodied, memed, and referenced so much that you feel like you've seen them–but you never have and, honestly, why would you bother?
You know that at the end of Taxi Driver Travis Bickle may or may not hallucinate a violent episode, and you've seen people dress up in Robert De Niro's utility jacket, black shades, and weird Roman soldier haircut at every Halloween party you've ever attended. You know that Scarface's Tony Montana screams, "Say hello to my little friend" while wearing a suit with giant lapels and holding a machine gun. How do you know this? No, you've never seen the movie; the fact is that the sheer masterpiece of a few key scenes capturing the climax of a film can overshadow the entire production. Sure, you want to sit down to watch them "one day," but you just never get around to it.
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Not involving Matthew Lillard was a mistake.
Having grown up on Cartoon Network Scooby-Doo reruns, I have some pretty strong opinions about the classic Hanna-Barbera franchise–mainly in regards to Shaggy's voice.
Norville "Shaggy" Rogers is one of the most influential characters in all of Western animation. Why? Not only is Shaggy all-powerful, he's also perpetually high. This goes to show children that not every great mystery solver needs to be an ascot-wearing jock like Fred. You can also aim to be a scruffy dude who gorges on sandwiches and thinks he can talk to dogs, and that's cool, too.
But in order to properly convey the chillness of Shaggy, an actor needs to perfect the fluctuation between slacker drawl and voice-cracking falsetto. There's a distinct art form to a perfect "Like, SCOOB!" and as far as I'm concerned, only two people have been up to the task: Casey Kasem and Matthew Lillard.
Kasem originated the character, voicing Shaggy from 1969 to 1997 and again from 2002 until his retirement in 2009. But while Kasem may have created the voice, Lillard took the character to the next level, fully embodying Shaggy's very essence in the first two live action Scooby-Doo movies. Lillard was so great in the role that he moved onto voicing Shaggy in the majority of subsequent Scooby-Doo spin-offs.
Watch this clip and try to tell me that Matthew Lillard isn't actually Shaggy. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Scooby Doo & Shaggy www.youtube.com
So when the new animated Scoob movie was announced back in the 2014 in an attempt to reboot the franchise for the big screen, everyone naturally assumed that Lillard would continue as the quintessential voice of Shaggy. But then this happened:
In what appears to be an effort to only cast big name stars, the role of Shaggy went to SNL alum Will Forte. And while Forte seems like a perfectly nice guy, the fact that Lillard wasn't even asked to audition for the role is an outright travesty. There's no way that Forte could possibly step into Lillard's sandwich-stained shoes...right?
Well, the first Scoob official trailer just dropped and...yeah, we were right to be upset. Forte's clearly doing his best here, but he sound like a Shaggy impersonator. He's missing the true Shaggy essence that Lillard was born with.
SCOOB! - Official Teaser Trailer www.youtube.com
The story looks cute, and as a Scooby-Doo fan I might catch it when it's streaming. But no Matthew Lillard means I, for one, will not be buying a ticket.
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