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  Friends Confused About Man's Defense of Kevin Costner
by Scott Borchert

Friends and acquaintances of Matt Robinson, 26, of Buffalo Grove, IL, expressed confusion and bewilderment over his sudden and vehement defense of Kevin Costner as an actor and director while at a local billiard hall over the weekend.

The controversial stance perplexed both those who know Robinson, as well as those who don't, and generated more questions than it answered.

"Granted, JFK was a great movie, but even Costner's movies that were once heralded as successes have later been proven to be bullshit, just like the music of Loverboy or Right Said Fred," said roommate Josh Evans. "It's one thing to get a good laugh by watching Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or The Postman while taking hits of nitrous [oxide], but Matt actually seems to think that there's something redeeming about [Costner's] portrayal of Robin Hood as displaced royalty from upstate New York, and that's disconcerting."

Evans admitted that his friend's defense of Bull Durham could hold water, but that his contention that Costner "saved" The Untouchables is downright irresponsible and the implications alarming.

Witnesses say that Robinson's questionable position on Kevin Costner's twenty-odd year career was revealed to the public at Rack 'em Up Billiards on Saturday night. Neither the evening nor the group's respect for Robinson's opinion recovered.

"Without even a sense of irony, he almost choked up when he expounded upon the 'you wanna have a catch' line in Field of Dreams, saying it still gives him a lump in his throat, even though he doesn't like baseball, and that no one but Kevin Costner could have delivered the line with such convincing plasticity as that of a regretful son coming to grips with his mortality," said friend Connor Griffith. "This begs a lot of questions, and I don't know who to go to for answers. If he were a die-hard fan of the Indigo Girls, that's a no-brainer case of closet homosexuality, or if this were into some Rockabilly music phase, at least we could peg him somewhere in between 'aging hipster' and ‘perpetual adolescent'. This Kevin Costner thing, though? Beats me."

Griffith said that he consulted others that witnessed the stark admission that night, and none of them have come to an apodictic conclusion about the implications of Robinson's affection for the Costner catalogue.

That Robinson conceded that The Postman was a pathetic failure suggests, experts say, that he is not too far-gone and that hope for a full recovery remains. However, by stating that, "Even geniuses make mistakes like Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty or that Paul McCartney-Micael Jackson duo," as Robinson was quoted, friends and family remain concerned and mystified.

Comments that most alarmed friends and lookers-on included, "That the scene in Dances With Wolves where he teaches the Indians how to say 'buffalo' is so much more emotional than anything in [Martin Scorsese's] Goodfellas and deserved to win Best Picture," or, "A Perfect World is a really unappreciated classic, and will be up there with Huckleberry Finn, Porky's and other coming-of-age classics."

"I just don't know where to file this guy," said sociology professor Paul Gremley at DePaul University. "There isn't any kitsch value to Costner's movies yet, it isn't a retro thing, it's definitely not cutting edge, and it's in no way homage to the New Old Hollywood, like a zeal for the movies of Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman carries. If he were twenty years older and female this would make sense, but as it stands it is just plain pathetic."

Gremley offered the possibility that maybe Robinson is on to something that everyone else is missing right now, but he doubts it.

The otherwise normal Robinson has never been known, acquaintances say, to go so brazenly against convention, nor to be so blatantly wrong. Exceptions to a clean record of sublimity and good taste include purchasing a CD by pop-grunge band "Ugly Kid Joe" in 1994, and being seen wearing polished wing-tip shoes and a Hawaiian shirt at a bar during the swing revival of the late 90's.

Still, his passionate defense of the actor's shaky career has left friends wondering, and has not helped Robinson make any new friends.

"He [Robinson] got visibly upset when I mentioned the fact that him [Costner] playing the corpse that gets dressed up in a nice suit during the credits to The Big Chill is the perfect allegory for his entire career," said Irene Wellinger, girlfriend of friend Josh Evans who had just met Robinson that night.

"At least he didn't try and defend most of Costner's later years," continued Wellinger, who did compliment Robinson on his dislike of Message in a Bottle. "However, calling Open Range a return to form, and a revival of the Western genre, is a little strange. Is he retarded or something?"

Scott Borchert is an editor at



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