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September 3, 2005
Six Degrees Of Kim Coates

The Northern Alliance Radio Network will broadcast live from the Minnesota State Fair today and tomorrow, from noon to 3 pm. We'll be at AM 1280 The Patriot's booth on the south side of the fairgrounds, just across from the horticulture building. If you're not at the Fair or even in the Twin Cities, you can still catch us on The Patriot's webstream. We'll talk politics, but we have a lot of other events scheduled for these two broadcasts.

Last week, James Lileks joined us for an hour, always one of the highlights of our State Fair broadcasts. James and I share a love of film, but even more specifically, we both drive our spouses insane with an appreciation for really bad movies. James and I talked a bit about this curious predilection, and I've been thinking about it since then. I believe I may have found the key to making an entertainingly bad film.

Hire Kim Coates.

Don't get me wrong; Coates seems to be a fine actor, and he has an oft-compelling screen presence. What Coates doesn't have is good career management.

Take a look at Coates' filmography. He has appeared in almost every major Hollywood turkey over the past ten years. The bloated sea of red ink that was Waterworld? Coates played an inept pirate that lasted about five minutes under Kevin Costner's withering (and immutable) gaze. The sneak attack on movie audiences that was Pearl Harbor? Coates makes an appearance there as well. The remake of a hilariously bad original, Assault on Precinct 13? Book 'em, Danno. And the granddaddy of modern bad cinema, the grunting, cackling, tilted-angle Titanic of terrible film, Battlefield Earth? Coates gets plenty of screen time as a barely intelligible human who learns to fly Harrier jets in seven days, all while having to dodge John Travolta's teeth as the actor/producer chews through the scenery.

It's not as though Coates can be held responsible for the quality of the end product. His performances usually shine even amongst the ruins of the films themselves. He also appears in a few good films, such as Black Hawk Down and, uh ... did I mention Black Hawk Down? It's just that whenever truly epic disaster strikes Hollywood films these days, Coates seems to be around.

James and I discussed Troy after the show was over. He didn't seem as entranced by the big-budget failure as I was, with its pirouetting Brad Pitt, weepy-eyed Peter O'Toole, and hilariously bad Orlando Bloom. After I checked out the cast list, I think Lileks subconsciously understood that a modern film without Kim Coates could not possibly qualify as truly bad cinema. His instincts, as always, are magnificent.

Tune in this weekend to see what else we skewer on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, and call us at 651-289-4488 to join in the conversation!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 3, 2005 9:07 AM

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