News item: Hoping to become an action star, Jose Canseco is pitching himself to Hollywood studios and television networks. His demo tape includes scenes shot with Canseco's 8-year-old daughter -- meant to show his sensitive side -- as well as Canseco twirling nunchucks as a sultry, nightgown-clad woman lounges nearby.
I'll say this for Jose Canseco: Like any good bouncer, he looks vaguely menacing. His delivery before Congress was as wooden as a Louisville Slugger. And he reportedly holds some sort of black belt.
All of which makes him as qualified to be a Hollywood action hero as, well, Steven Seagal.
And Jean-Claude Van Damme.
And Brian Bosworth.
And Howie Long.
OK, so maybe the notion of Canseco as the next Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't completely ludicrous. After all, somebody bought tickets to "The Chronicles of Riddick."
Besides, Canseco has a best-selling book to his credit. Can a lug like The Rock boast the same?
Wait. He can. Our bad.
Anyway, the point is that crackin' skulls, under-emoting snappy one-liners and blowing up stuff while arching a quizzical, bemused eyebrow seems well within Canseco's thespian wheelhouse.
Plus, the man dated Madonna -- so he ought to have the crummy acting part down pat, if for no other reason than sheer osmosis.
Indeed, this could be the start of something big. Bigger than Marc Singer, even. And the only thing standing between Canseco and a future role in California state government is his amateurish demo tape.
Using Canseco's daughter? Creepy, and cheap. Nightgown-clad vixens? Leave that to the Tweed sisters.
Breaking out the 'chucks? No. No. A thousand times, no.
What Canseco needs is something fresh. Something that will show his potential range, even beyond formulaic action flicks. Something that will give producers a reason to choose his pumped-up biceps over those of, say, Michael Dudikoff.
Page 2's suggestion? Make a new tape, featuring reworked scenes from past hits -- only now with Canseco as the star of the show. Angling for a part in "Red Scorpion III"? Show 'em you would have killed (and killed some more) in "Red Scorpion II."
The possibilities are thrilling. And remember: Anything is better than coming off like Will Ferrell in "Wedding Crashers"
BILLY and RAMIREZ stare up at the trees, fearful. CANSECO, DILLON and ANNA stand nearby. CANSECO cuts ANNA'S bonds with a knife.
DILLON: What the hell do you think you're doing?
CANSECO: Dillon, this thing doesn't care who we are, who she is. We make a stand now, or there won't be anyone left to make that chopper.
DILLON stares, incredulous. ANNA touches CANSECO'S arm.
ANNA: There is something else. When the big man was killed, you must have wounded it. Its blood was on the leaves.
ANNA touches her pant leg. She runs her hand along a glowing, neon-green stain, the color of Mountain Dew.
CANSECO: If it bleeds, we can kill it.
CANSECO pauses. He uses a finger to scoop up the goo from ANNA'S pants, then holds it to his nose.
CANSECO: Wait. Hold up. This is my blood. I'm in the middle of a Winstrol cycle. See how it glows in the twilight?
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
INDIANA CANSECO is pursuing the kidnapped MARION through the streets of CAIRO. Emerging from a bazaar, CANSECO is confronted by a scimitar-wielding SWORDSMAN, who twirls his weapon in a deft display of fighting prowess.
CANSECO smirks, then pulls a baseball out of his pocket. With an awkward pitching motion, he throws the baseball at the SWORDSMAN, who is knocked unconscious. CANSECO grimaces, holding his right arm.
CANSECO: Ow! Damn it! Why did I try to pitch? There goes the season!
SHORT ROUND, CANSECO'S sidekick, looks baffled.
CANSECO: Never mind the Ark of the Covenant, Short Round! You know any Egyptian doctors who do Tommy John surgery?
SHORT ROUND shrugs his shoulders. He picks up the baseball and flips it back to CANSECO. The ball hits CANSECO square in the forehead, then bounces over a nearby wall.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
A bathroom. DETECTIVE MURTAUGH sits on a toilet, sweating profusely. He looks dazed, anxious, frightened. DETECTIVE CANSECO stands next to him, a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
MURTAUGH: I'm gonna die on a toilet, aren't I?
CANSECO: Guys like you don't die on toilets. On three, what do you say?
CANSECO: One two
MURTAUGH: Wait, wait, wait!
MURTAUGH: Do we do it on three? Or one, two, three, then do it?
CANSECO: It's your butt, Cochise!
MURTAUGH: My butt, yeah. On three.
CANSECO: We go on three?
CANSECO and MURTAUGH count to three. MURTAUGH leaps up, screaming loudly. He grabs his rear end. CANSECO holds a used syringe. He grins.
MURTAUGH: Ow! Damn it, Canseco, watch where you stick that thing!
CANSECO: Hey, you wanted to know how I hit all those home runs, right?
MURTAUGH: I'm getting too old for this [expletive]! This will make a heck of a story someday.
CANSECO: Actually, I'm thinking an entire book chapter.
The Terminator (1984)
A Los Angeles police station. The CANSECONATOR gets out of his Ferrari and enters the building. A POLICE SERGEANT sits behind the desk.
CANSECONATOR: I'm a friend of Sarah Connor. I was told she was here. Could I see her, please?
POLICE SERGEANT: No, you can't. She's making a statement.
CANSECONATOR: Where is she?
POLICE SERGEANT: It may take awhile. Wanna wait? There's a bench over there.
The POLICE SERGEANT points to a bench. The CANSECONATOR looks around, then looks back at the POLICE SERGEANT.
CANSECONATOR: I'll be back.
The CANSECONATOR gets in his Ferrari, points it at the police station's front door and floors the gas pedal. The Ferrari spins out at 160 mph and hits a car belonging to ESTHER CANSECO. ESTHER CANSECO walks out of the police station.
ESTHER CANSECO: Oh, Jose, I was just filing a report about you. Hey, what the hell did you do to my car? Not again!
The CANSECONATOR emerges from the flaming wreckage of his totaled Ferrari. All that remains is a license plate reading 40-40. The CANSECONATOR surveys the damage with his red, cybernetic eye.
CANSECONATOR: I know now why you cry.
The Matrix (1999)
A nondescript room. CANSECOPHEUS and NEO sit across from each other in cracked burgundy leather chairs. CANSECOPHEUS wears a long black coat and circular mirrored glasses. NEO wears a look of dunderheaded befuddlement, same as in all his other movies.
CANSECOPHEUS: Do you want to know what it is, Neo?
NEO swallows and nods his head.
CANSECOPHEUS: It's that feeling you've had ever since the late 1980s. That feeling that Sammy Sosa wasn't just corking his bat. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad, driving you to me. But what is it?
CANSECOPHEUS leans back. His chair creaks.
CANSECOPHEUS: The Juice is everywhere. It's all around us, even in this locker room. You can see it in Mark McGwire's arms, or in Jason Giambi's grand jury testimony, or in the Great Home Run Chase. You feel it when another home run splashes into McCovey Cove. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
NEO: What truth?
CANSECOPHEUS: That you are a slave, Neo. You dig the long ball, like every other fan. You are kept inside a prison of your own giddy denial. A prison of your own mind.
Outside, the wind batters a loose pane of glass.
CANSECOPHEUS: Fortunately for me, no one can be told what the Juice is. You have to buy my book for yourself.
CANSECOPHEUS: With a check. A credit card. Preferably cash. Hold out your wallet.
CANSECOPHEUS removes a $20 bill from NEO's wallet. In NEO's right hand, he places a book.
CANSECOPHEUS: This is your last chance. Open these pages, and there is no going back. You keep your money, the story ends. You wake in your bed, turn on "SportsCenter" and believe whatever you want to believe. Also, I file for personal bankruptcy.
NEO examines the cover of the book, notices a photo of CANSECOPHEUS with a caption reading "The Chemist." His palms feel moist.
CANSECOPHEUS: You keep reading and you stay in Wonderland. And I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
CANSECOPHEUS: Remember that all I am offering is the truth. And also the final word on whether I ever slept with Madonna.
Dr. No (1962)
Morning on a tropical beach. AGENT CANSECO-007 awakens to a woman singing "Underneath the Mango Tree." The woman, HONEY RYDER, emerges from the sea wearing a bikini and a knife belt.
HONEY RYDER: What are you doing here? Looking for shells?
CANSECO-007, wearing a Speedo and a house arrest bracelet around his ankle, gazes at a full-length mirror jutting from the sand. He flexes his pecs, throws back his hair and turns around. Looking over his shoulder, he admires his firm buttocks.
AGENT CANSECO-007: No, I'm just looking.
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Inside the Death Star. An X-Wing fighter heads toward a huge reactor. The Millennium Falcon follows.
LANDO: All right, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower.
WEDGE: Copy, Gold Leader. On my way.
The X-Wing fires a series of proton torpedoes at the power regulator. The Falcon fires missiles at the main reactor. A chain of explosions erupts. Both ships maneuver out of the Death Star superstructure. Aboard a rebel star cruiser, ADM. ACKBAR leans against a bridge railing.
ACKBAR: Move the fleet away from the Death Star.
The Falcon races out of the exploding Death Star, with only a moment to spare.
LANDO: Whooooooooo! Time for some malt liquor!
On the forest moon of Endor, HAN, LEIA, CHEWIE, REBEL TROOPS, EWOKS AND C-3PO look to the sky and see the explosion. They cheer.
C-3PO: They did it!
CANSECO sits in a corner, clad in squeaky-clean New York Yankees pinstripes. His batting helmet sparkles, brand-new and scratch-free. A bat rests on the floor beside him, unused.
CANSECO: Hey, fuzzball, do I still get a ring for this?
An EWOK shakes his head in disgust.
A Few Good Men (1992)
A military courtroom. LT. KAFFEE is cross-examining his witness, COL. CANSECO. JUDGE RANDOLPH and a BAILIFF look on.
LT. KAFFEE: Col. Canseco, when Lt. Kendrick spoke to the platoon, and ordered them not to touch Santiago, any chance they ignored him?
LT. KAFFEE: Colonel, I've just one more question. If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base.
LT. KAFFEE: I want the truth! Did you order the Code Red?
LT. KAFFEE: Did you order the Code Red?
LT. KAFFEE and JUDGE RANDOLPH stare at an empty witness chair. COL. CANSECO is nowhere to be seen.
BAILIFF: Sir, Col. Canseco is late for court. Again. Apparently, he's having surgery in California.
Star Wars (1977)
The planet Tatooine. A street in Mos Eisley. LUKE SKYWALKER and OBI-WAN CANSECO sit in a landspeeder that has been stopped by IMPERIAL TROOPERS.
TROOPER: How long have you had these droids?
LUKE: About three or four seasons.
TROOPER: Let me see your identification.
LUKE nervously fumbles for his ID. OBI-WAN CANSECO speaks in a calm, controlled voice. Also, he squints. A lot.
OBI-WAN CANSECO: You don't need to see his identification.
TROOPER: We don't need to see his identification.
OBI-WAN CANSECO: These are not the droids you're looking for.
TROOPER: These are not the droids we're looking for so how about ratting out some baseball steroids users instead? Congress would really like to take down some big names.
OBI-WAN CANSECO waves his hand.
OBI-WAN CANSECO: I'm not here to name names.
TROOPER: Dude, you named names in your book. What's with the sudden change of heart?
OBI-WAN CANSECO: My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family and myself.
TROOPER: Your lawyers have advised you that you cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing your friends, your family and yourself.
OBI-WAN CANSECO: We can move along and go about our business. (Cough) Rafael Palmeiro! (Cough)
TROOPER: Move along and go about your business. (Cough) Rafael Palmeiro! (Cough)
Swept Away (2002)
A deserted island beach. Castaways AMBER and CANSECO are entwined in the sand.
AMBER: Oh, Jose
CANSECO stands up and brushes sand from his skin.
CANSECO: Forget it. This claptrap is even below me. "Evita" my [expletive]!
AMBER: But Jose
CANSECO: I'm outta here! Time for "Red Scorpion III." Have you seen my 'chucks?
Patrick Hruby is a Page 2 columnist.