Charlie Sheen: Before the Meltdown
Charlie Sheen is becoming the Hollywood equivalent of an accident on the side of the freeway. Everyone's slowing down to take a look, but no one's getting out to help.
'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (1986)
Charlie Sheen has made memorable cameos in over a dozen movies, sometimes playing a character and sometimes playing himself extolling the virtues of hot lesbian witches.  That's what happens when your entire
family makes movies. You spend a lot of time on the set taking dialogue away from day players who could really use the money. The actor's brief turn as the bad-boy teen at the police station is the best of these cameos. The role is classic Sheen. In just four minutes he goes from telling Jennifer Grey she's a whore because she wears too much eye makeup to making out with her right in the middle of the precinct. That's charisma.
'Platoon' (1986)
Sheen's breakthrough role came in Oliver Stone's difficult-to-watch exploration of the Vietnam War. Sheen plays a young soldier whose enthusiasm for the war is slowly extinguished by its physical and mental toll.
"Platoon" was an unlikely hit over the 1986
Christmas season, presumably as an antidote to holiday cheer. The film ended up winning four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It's rumored that Stone approached Sheen about playing the lead in "Born on the Fourth of July," his next movie about Vietnam. The part eventually went to Tom Cruise.

'Wall Street' (1987)
Oliver Stone would give Sheen his defining dramatic role a year later in the prophetic "Wall Street." Although it's Michael Douglas' performance that's best remembered today, the movie works because of the authentic pseudo father-son relationship between
Douglas and Sheen. Speaking of father-son relationships, "Wall Street" marks the first feature-film collaboration between Charlie and his father, Martin Sheen. The two play father and son here. They've since appeared together in nearly a dozen movies. Charlie also had a cameo in last year's sequel, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."

'Beyond the Law' (1992)
This little-seen HBO movie features one of Sheen's best performances. He plays an undercover cop who insinuates himself into a biker gang. To gain their trust, he must commit a series of increasingly heinous crimes. His newfound bloodlust causes him to
question his true motives. The good guy who seems bad on the outside is a role Sheen has repeated throughout his career, but never to better effect. The motorcycle scenes are terrific. You can't go wrong with Michael Madsen playing the evil head of the gang. A perfect B-movie all around.
'Hot Shots! Part Deux' (1993)
Of the two major Sheen comedy franchises, "Hot Shots!" has always been our favorite. While the original does feature the actor with his eventual "Two and a Half Men" co-star Jon Cryer, we've always been secretly partial to the sequel. Maybe it's
the poster, which features a John Rambo-esque Sheen shooting a chicken from a bow. Maybe it's the lightsaber battle between Lloyd Bridges and Saddam Hussein. Who can say? "Hot Shots! Part Deux" is a reminder of how great and how silly movie spoofs can be. Sheen would later appear in the third and fourth installments of the "Scary Movie" spoof franchise playing a parody of the Mel Gibson character from "Signs."
 'All Dogs Go to Heaven 2' (1996)
Very little of Charlie Sheen's work is child-friendly, but he does provide the voice for the lead character in "All Dogs Go to Heaven 2." And yes, the character's name was Charlie. Charlie B. Barkin to be exact. He is a dog, after all.
the time-honored tradition of one playboy replacing another, Sheen took over the part from Burt Reynolds. The plot of this animated delight has something to do with a dead dog who goes back to Earth to retrieve Gabriel's Horn. Along the way he falls in love with a dog lounge singer — because dogs need lounges, too — played by Sheena Easton. Did we mention that Bebe Neuwirth plays an archangel? It may sound complicated to adults, but if you're 7 years old, it all makes perfect sense. Sheen retains his charm even in animated dog form.

 'The Arrival' (1996)
This underappreciated sci-fi thriller features Sheen as the improbably named Zane Zaminski, a radio astronomer who discovers an alien-invasion conspiracy. We won't give too much away, but the film suggests that humans aren't the only ones responsible for
global warming. Please no one send a DVD of this movie to anti-environmentalist zealots. "The Arrival" was written and directed by David Twohy, who would hit big a few years later with "Pitch Black." While it doesn't have the most innovative concept in cinema history, it didn't deserve the chilly reception it got from audiences and critics.
'No Code of Conduct' (1998)
Bret Michaels and Charlie Sheen used to have a production company together called Sheen/Michaels Entertainment. Yes, that Bret Michaels. The one who fronted '80s hair band Poison before becoming a VH1 reality star and surviving a brain hemorrhage.
Can you imagine what the parties must've been like? There must have been college-educated women and sophisticated discussions of the latest titles in "The New York Review of Books" every night. No doubt. In "No Code of Conduct," father and son team up again as Charlie and Martin Sheen play detectives who penetrate a smuggling ring to avenge the death of a colleague. Bret Michaels directed, co-wrote, co-composed, co-executive produced and co-starred. It's a direct-to-video delight.
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Frank Paiva is a playwright and actor in New York City. In addition to making regular contributions to MSN Movies, his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Seattle Weekly, the Not for Tourists guide, and on