Tough on movies

“Captain Ron” Bollinger

photo by Larry Dalton

You won’t see this on KCRA. “Captain Ron” Bollinger was a security guard with KMAX Channel 31 for three years when Good Day Sacramento entertainment reporter Mark S. Allen asked him to do a weekly movie review segment. It all started with a Valentine kissing contest where Bollinger was one of the judges. The station saw that he had a comedic talent and charisma onscreen, and Movie Surveillance with Security Captain Ron was born. Probably the most popular film critic on Sacramento television, Bollinger believes he owes it to his ironic, deadpan humor and his unique visual aids.

What was your television experience before Movie Surveillance with Security Captain Ron?

I was twice an extra on the 1989 season of Falcon Crest. It was a short-lived career. I once played the part of a “biker” in a local, low budget film called Jump Cut; it never got off the shelf. If I were to give that particular movie a rating, it would get minus one security officer.

Tell me about your rating system.

It goes from one to four security officers; the highest is four. Most of the time I pick movies to give positive reviews, ones that I enjoyed for some reason or another. Sometimes, though, I’ll pick a movie that was so bad I want to bomb it. When they asked me to do this, I figured, since it was so unique to have a security guard on television, that I needed a unique system of rating. Stars would be boring.

You have a singular comedic style. What makes your reviews so unique?

Sometimes I come across as a little deadpan. I’ve run into viewers who tell me they like my delivery because it’s so dry. It’s not intended that way, that’s just the way I talk. They always have a positive report about the rating system. They always say, “I like what you do with those little guys!” I get that all the time.

How do the other anchors treat you? Are they as nice in person as they are on television?

I know them all really well. They have the same personalities on camera and off camera. It’s family there. They’re very genuine people and it’s a fun place to work.

Your props play a large role in the reviews. Tell me about them.

I make each one myself. I start from scratch, and they take anywhere from three to five hours to make. I start with one piece of paper, get my idea down, transfer it to the poster board, and sometimes I have to cut the figures out of the poster board to make moving parts. At first there was no movement, just drawings. I knew that wouldn’t last very long, I would have to do something else to keep interest. So that’s when I decided to make the security officers mobile using push pins and levers behind the chart. It’s added a new dimension, and people really like it a lot.

You seem very creative. Did you have any artistic training?

My whole family is artistic, actually. My sister’s in theater. She had a theatrical troupe, so when I had the chance I jumped on the stage every time that I could. I’ve lived in Sacramento for more than 40 years. I graduated from Grant Union High. I attended Cosumnes River College where I took an English creative writing course, and a communications class in early American radio. Other than that I took vocational medical school training; I graduated and did my externship in orthopedics. I found out that I didn’t like orthopedics, because the doctor I was working with dealt only with feet. I saw feet every day of the week. So I decided that that wasn’t going to work. I can go to work at a medical laboratory, looking through a microscope five days a week counting blood cells, but given the choice between that and Good Day, where I have so much fun, I’ll take Good Day.

Have you thought about giving up your job as a security guard to be a film critic?

I’ve had viewers say, “I just know that’s going to go into syndication!” I don’t know about that. My number one priority at Good Day is security. Movie Surveillance with Security Captain Ron is a side thing we’re having a lot of fun with.

Would you agree that they don’t make them like they used to?

The way they used to make them they couldn’t make them like they do today! Special effects have taken over the industry, and computerized special effects—that’s all great visually, but I’m afraid we’re going to lose something. Whatever happened to acting? One of the movies that I first noticed had great special effects was The Matrix, and I was very impressed by that, now everyone else follows suit. You’ve got Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, and she’s flying all over the place, and that’s OK, especially for that target audience, but once in a while I would just like to see a real movie. I didn’t really like The Mummy Returns, either. I already know what it’s going to be before I see it. It’s going to be the same as the last one except more special effects, better special effects, bigger special effects. That really isn’t my kind of movie.

What movie character do you most relate to?

Dirty Harry. "Go ahead, make my day." Clint Eastwood is a real man. Captain Ron likes real men. Captain Ron is a real man.