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Hey, Buuuuudy

He’s played a Jewish boy attending a bigoted prep school in School Ties and the object of desire of Frankenstein director Frank Whale in Gods and Monsters. He’s acted opposite legendary actors like Ian McKellen, Michael Caine (The Quiet American) and Joe Pesci (With Honours). So, why does everyone still associate Brendan Fraser with Encino Man?

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If you haven’t seen it, the movie’s tagline basically tells the whole story: “Where The Stone Age Meets The Rock Age!” In it, Fraser plays Link, a frozen caveman who is defrosted, brought back to life and must be integrated into modern life. His educators, unfortunately, end up being geeky high school students Pauly Shore (Stoney) and a younger Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin as Dave Morgan). Obviously, the odd-as-eleven Link eclipses his friends in popularity and ends up spending most of his time skateboarding, drinking vats of slurpees and saying stuff like: “Weeze the juice!”

This is the one movie that is indelibly associated with Fraser. Why? I’m just going to make a wild guess and say it’s the way he looks. I think he’s great in School Ties and still has his best performance ahead of him but, let’s be honest, he isn’t exactly a chameleon. With that rather sizable build and those enormous googly eyes and highly expressive eyebrows, Fraser looks, well, like a goofy caveman. And, from what I saw on the red carpet of Journey to the Centre of the Earth last night, he kind of acts like one too.

First of all, he came out with a giant bag of popcorn. I’m happy I didn’t ask him any questions because I’m fairly certain he was probably spraying an array of kernels on every one of his interrogators. Then, every once in a while, you’d hear a bark of a laugh which couldn’t have come from anyone but the leather-clad actor.

When Fraser finally stopped in front of me and the photographers around me, he asked where he should look. Having clearly asked for direction, he was assailed with paps yelling, “Brendan, look over here! Here! Here!”

I guess he was kind of tired of the whole rigamarole because Fraser got irritated and started barking like a dog (get it? people were ordering him around like a hound?). I guess it could have been funny if he hadn’t been so obviously malicious about it. But then, hey, what can you expect from a caveman?

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