MOVIES
Review

'That Guy' deserves recognition

'That Guy Dick Miller' finally recognizes a character actor with 175 film credits and countless TV appearances

A fan letter to the character actor whose familiar mug has popped up in more than 175 movies and countless TV shows, the documentary "That Guy Dick Miller" aims to finally give the still-working 86-year-old his due.

Having established himself as Roger Corman's main man in such cult classics as "Little Shop of Horrors" and "A Bucket of Blood," Miller and his quintessential everyman New Yorker persona would go on to become something of a good luck charm for a slew of movie buff directors, including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Joe Dante.

Sharing colorful anecdotes with his equally lively longtime wife, Lainie, Miller, who can also claim "Terminator," "Gremlins" and "The Howling" among his bragging rights, still embraces that "coulda been a contender" mentality of the working actor who never quite hit the big leagues like early costars Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.

With so many screen appearances to Miller's credit — the sore-subject exception is being cut from Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" — there's no shortage of clips from which to choose, and director Elijah Drenner seems to have selected most of them.

While the end result feels a tad overstuffed at 92 minutes, it's entirely understandable if, after more than half a century of being identified as "that guy," Miller's in no hurry to relinquish the spotlight.

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"That Guy Dick Miller."

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Playing: Downtown Independent Cinema, Los Angeles.

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