M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, December 20, 2002  

The other night, Trash and I were watching TV and this commercial comes on with a guy talking about digital cameras. He looked familiar and yet somehow…wrong.

“Who is that?” she asked me in the tones which indicate that the fate of the universe hangs on my answer. For a moment, I wasn’t sure who it was. Clint Howard under a limp toupee? A man-tanned Steve Buscemi? Mitch Pileggi wearing a combover? Crispin Glover with lip implants? Whoever it was, he had been shot through a camera filter designed to maximize ugly.

Finally, I answered my wife. “It’s Val Kilmer,” I said.

And the universe collapsed in on itself.

What the hell? Val Kilmer is a handsome man! From Iceman spikes to a Jim Morrison mane to a Doc Holliday mustache to a rubber mask with pointy ears, Val Kilmer has always been able to pull off a look. But here he was, smirking out at us from beneath two limp flaps that, despite looking totally weightless, seemed to have distorted the very shape of his head so he looked like a character in a Gahan Wilson cartoon. Or a newborn preemie who’d had to be yanked out jaw-first with forceps. Or a man who’d spent the morning trying to lift pallets of bricks with his skull. I’m telling you, the man looked wrong.

Which I could respect if it was for a part. “Kilmer gets new hairstyle for role as young Joe Pantoliano” isn’t exactly “DeNiro gains 100 pounds to play Capone,” as entertainment headlines go, but I can see him doing it. But this? Not so much.

Especially because the new look completely undercuts the Val Kilmer persona that the commercial plays upon. I don’t remember exactly what he was saying because I was busy unsuccessfully trying to track the source of whatever tachyon beam was distorting Kilmer’s image so catastrophically, but it was something along the lines of “Can you believe that I’ve been intimidated?” We were supposed to identify with notorious Pushy Guy Val Kilmer because he once found digital cameras intimidating. Val Kilmer! Val Kilmer fears nothing! That’s why everyone in Hollywood hates him! Because he fears nobody!

Okay, the line would have had greater effect if spoken by Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood, obviously, but I’ll give that a pass. Even Val Kilmer in hero hair might have gotten away with it. But leaving aside the fact that technophobia and social anxiety disorder are on the same end of two entirely different continuums, seeing Val Kilmer looking like this made it easy to imagine him being intimidated by a greeter at Wal-Mart.

So what the hell is up with Val Kilmer’s hair? I mean, seeing him as the spokesman in that camera commercial—

Wait. Clearly the real question is, what the hell is up with Val Kilmer’s career?

posted by M. Giant 2:55 PM 0 comments


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