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Josh Brolin’s Top 10 Movie Roles – The Definitive Ranking

Josh Brolin’s Top 10 Movie Roles – The Definitive Ranking

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Josh Brolin – American actor, son of James, guy with whom you’d love to grab a beer, and possibly the most ruggedly handsome dude on the planet – was back in theaters this past weekend in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a sequel that probably would have been highly anticipated if it hadn’t been nine years since the first film was released. By all accounts, the film is a terrible flop from a box office perspective (I saw it, and quite honestly, it deserves to be seen by as few people as possible; it really isn’t very good). But even though the movie itself is subpar, Brolin still manages to do what it is that Brolin always does: thrill audiences with his signature brand of steely-eyed manliness.  His career spans nearly three decades, and while there were a few lean years during the 1990s and early 2000s, Brolin has re-emerged as one of the most intriguing leading men working today.

Considering his resume is filled with solid performances, it’s a bit of a challenge to identify his ten best roles. But here they are – the airtight, argument-proof, written-in-pen-not-pencil, definitive ranking of Josh Brolin’s Top Ten Movie Roles:

 

10. Bates, Into the Blue

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When they were casting Into the Blue, the 2005 boats-and-babes epic directed by the same guy who directed Top Gun, they needed someone who could go up against Paul Walker (RIP, gone too soon) in both the looks and acting departments. Of course, that search began and ended with one Mr. Josh Brolin. He gets to chew the scenery a bit as the film’s main heavy, and he spends a lot of time with Jessica Alba in a bikini, so it’s pretty much a dream gig and Brolin nails it.

 

9. Corey Webster, Thrashin’

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I’m not gonna lie: Brolin is beautiful in Thrashin’. He looks like a living, breathing Ken doll come to life. If you don’t think this is what an all-American kid from the 1980s is supposed to look like, you are out of your mind. It doesn’t hurt that Thrashin’ has reached “so bad it’s good” levels of acclaim as a cult classic, but Brolin’s role as the brash outsider who turns the L.A. skate scene on its head is Hall of Fame material. The tagline for Thrashin’ is “Hot, Reckless, Totally Insane.” That might as well be Josh Brolin’s personal tagline, too.

 

8. Detective Trupo, American Gangster

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Brolin is his usual awesome self in AG, but the real star here is Brolin’s mustache. It should be its own character, have its own trailer, and get its own paycheck because it is magnificent. With the possible exception of Southern folk hero Burt Reynolds, there isn’t another actor in the history of cinema who could sport a ‘stache this awesome and not immediately fold under the crushing weight of its glory. You crazy for this one, Brolin!

 

7. Dan White, Milk

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Brolin’s portrayal of Dan White, the former San Francisco city supervisor who murdered Harvey Milk in 1978, was so good that it earned him his first Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actor. He ultimately lost to Heath Ledger for his amazing turn as The Joker in The Dark Knight, but considering his fellow nominees included the likes of Robert Downey, Jr., Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Michael Shannon, it was one of the rare occasions when saying “it was an honor just to be nominated in the same category as these other fine actors” was actually true.

 

6. Joe Doucett, Oldboy

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Spike Lee’s 2013 remake of Chan-Wook Park’s Korean original wasn’t great and it underperformed at the box office, but Brolin is an absolute bad ass in it. After he is freed from 20 years trapped in a weird hotel room, Brolin shaves his head, puts on a sweet black suit, and immediately commences wrecking anyone who stands in his way. In fact, he kicks so much ass and does it so well you kind of wish he could have done it in a better movie. Oh, and his reaction to the big “reveal” at the end is pretty much how I imagine a guy would react in that situation, so he basically delivers a master class in how to act angry, heartbroken, and disgusted all at once.

 

5. Tom Chaney, True Grit

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In his second outing with the Coen Brothers (his first being No Country for Old Men that – SPOILER ALERT – pops up later in this list), Brolin plays the main antagonist in this remake of the John Wayne classic. He manages to give the outlaw Chaney just enough humanity for audiences to empathize with his situation, but Brolin turns on the menace at a moments notice. The fact that his performance stands out despite only having a fraction of the screen time as the other big-name actors in the flick speaks volumes about Brolin’s screen presence.

 

4. Agent Tony Kent, Flirting with Disaster

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Brolin showed his chops as a comedic actor in this 1996 Ben Stiller comedy. Playing a gay ATF agent, Brolin seems right at home playing off of Stiller and Patricia Arquette for laughs. The armpit licking scene alone is enough to land this role a spot in the Top Ten, but the fact that this is one of Brolin’s only roles in a traditional comedy and he kills it automatically moves it into the top five.

 

3. George W. Bush, W.

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Regardless of your opinion of the real George W. Bush or Oliver Stone’s decision to pump out this biopic while the ramifications of Bush’s decisions were still unfolding, Brolin’s performance was inspired. Will Ferrell’s famous Bush imitation seemed to be the jumping-off point for the character, but Brolin’s layered portrayal painted a more complete picture of a man who had power thrust upon him and quickly found himself out of his depth.

 

2. Brand, The Goonies

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Brolin’s first role still stands as one of his best. He was the big brother you wish you had and he took an ordinary red bandana and turned it into an iconic look. There is talk of a sequel to The Goonies, and if it ever gets made I hope the plot involves all of the other Goonies being abducted by the Fratelli’s, leaving Brand to come to the rescue. I want two hours of 45-year old Brand kicking ass and taking names while Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, Data, Stef, Andy and Sloth hang from the ceiling of a cave in a giant net.  Basically, I want Brolin to play Brand as his character from Oldboy and destroy bad guys with a hammer while Sloth sits in the background shoving Baby Ruths in his mouth.

 

1. Llewelyn Moss, No Country for Old Men

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This is the role that boosted Brolin onto the A-list, and will likely stand as the most memorable performance of his career regardless of what he does in the future. Brolin’s Moss was tough, determined, and just conflicted enough to make you imagine yourself behaving similarly if you were in his shoes. Also, dude rocked a cowboy-cut button-up and white lid like a boss. Brolin is an American treasure, and we should all be forever grateful to the Coen Brothers for giving him the star-making turn he deserved.

 

@TheSEShepherd

 

 


2014 Season Football Preview of Non-Football Players

2014 Season Football Preview of Non-Football Players

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Graham

Last Year: 2013 was a rough year for Graham, as he had that one night where he got really drunk at the Alabama State game and his foot went through that sewer grate, requiring some minor medical attention. He also was really into the Black Keys then, and talked about them all the time; it was really annoying. You remember.
This Year’s Outlook: If Graham’s going to be valuable at a tailgate, he’s going to have to stop telling everyone about his gallbladder surgery over the summer — we’ve all heard the story and it’s gross and we don’t care. Graham is on the bubble for the 2014 season; he could turn out a great tailgating season or he could blow it all by mid-September.
What the Media is Saying: “Graham is one to watch on Saturday, because it’s really a make-or-break day for him. If he brings his A-game and can just be cool about things, that’s good. If he has more than four bourbons, all bets are off — we wouldn’t want to be cleaning up that mess. And who’s he into these days? Ed Sheeran? Yeah, he best just leave all that at home.”

——–

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Rick

Last Year: Rick had a great thing going in 2013; despite a long trip in from western KY on Game Day he was pretty good about rallying. We won’t soon forget his scathing “Taylor Hudson Sucks” chant about the Vanderbilt punter or the colorful and creative impromptu songs he made up about Alabama’s Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix. He only urinated in his pants twice that we know of, a strong uptick since 2012 when that was a frequent occurrence.
This Year’s Outlook: Rick has a new truck, a crew cab F450 adorned with UK magnets, and has been boasting an optimistic outlook on Stoops & company for the new season. “Rick said he’s going to get tore up this year,” said his longtime friend Charles Ray, “but not so tore up that he doesn’t make it to the game. That’s big for him. He means it.”
What the Media is Saying: “Tailgating with Rick is like drinking Chardonnay at a wedding. It’s fine because it’s there, but cross the line and it’s just too much. Sure, he’s really fun when he’s leading everyone in a chorus of  ‘Country Girl (Shake it for Me)’, but the next thing you know he’s shoving you by the shoulder and telling you nobody wants you there. You can have too much of a good thing. Let’s hope he keeps things in the green zone for 2014 and we don’t have a repeat of the messy ‘Big & Rich has still got it’ fiasco of 2013.”

———–

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Shawn P.

Last Year: Shawn P. struggled during halftime rushes at the north concourse concession stand, a problem which led to write-ups from Brad twice during the season; he regularly suffered from customer complaints of not enough ice and the occasional “being creepy.” Also, he had the unappetizing habit of regularly putting his thumb into a customer’s ice cream cone, something he claims was an accident because “the cones are too small for his hands.”
This Year’s Outlook: This year has seen some changes which should help Shawn P. — not the least of which is a relocation to the lower south concourse, requested because his staring was making Brittany uncomfortable. This stand boasts a new cheese dispenser, which should be easier to maneuver, and fill line marked inside the cups this year will serve as a benchmark for the amount of soda to provide.
What the Media is Saying: “Shawn has the rare opportunity to really turn things around for himself this year. For starters, no one else at his location is into anime, which should cut down on the distracting small talk. He’ll also be second in command by seniority, which should help put him into a leadership role. All of this can change for Shawn P., but only if he can keep that weird white dried up spittle from collecting in the corners of his mouth. He has to keep an eye on that if he wants to succeed, because no one wants to see that; it’s nasty.”

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Tracy

Last Year: Tracy’s 2013 started strong but really took a downturn in late October; she was really fun to be around for the first few games, and her friends were okay too, but then she broke up with Cameron and things really took a dark turn for her. She was constantly asking people what Cameron was doing, and whether he was hooking up with anyone else, and then she brought that guy everyone hated to the Tennessee tailgate and told us all she loved him and that he was so much better than Cameron. Whatever. We all knew she was just looking for attention from Cameron.
This Year’s Outlook: Tracy had a fling with one of the guys at her apartment complex over the summer so she seems pretty happy at the moment; his name’s Tad and I guess he’s okay even if he seems like kind of a chode. Anyway, we better get used to him because he’s going to be around every tailgate. Cameron’s with Serena now, and I don’t know if Tracy knows that yet — when she finds out she might go crazy. So, you know, 2014 is going to be interesting.
What the Media is Saying: “If Tracy’s really over Cameron, like she says, she might have a shot at being a solid tailgater in 2014. If not, look for more of her crying and being weird, like that really sad moment last season she was hitting herself in the head with the barbecue tongs and telling herself she didn’t deserve to be loved. Could go either way for Tracy this season.”

———

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Duke

Last Year: Keith brought Duke to every tailgate.
This Year’s Outlook: Keith will bring Duke to every tailgate again, and Duke will just stand there and occasionally eat a hot dog or some chips that fell on the ground. So look for more of the same from Duke in 2014.
What the Media is Saying: “Look, everyone knows Duke’s only here because Keith has to be the cool guy who brings his dog everywhere. And that’s fine, I guess. We all get it, just like we get that Keith goes hiking and eats quinoa and bikes around. Yeah, fine, okay, you’re outdoorsy. Leave the dog at home, Keith.”

 


I Have Seen the Face of Death and it is Free Taco Bell for Life

I always thought finding out how you were going to die beforehand would be terrifying, but it’s actually not that bad.

Taco Bell — makers of “food” often shaped like more traditional Mexican cuisine, but containing 150% more deliciousness — is running a contest in which they plan to distribute 11 one dollar bills in 11 different cities, and those lucky/doomed souls who happen to find the bills featuring the winning serial numbers will win all the Taco Bell they can eat for life.

There is no doubt in my mind that finding one of the bills and gorging myself to death on nachos, burritos, tacos, and chalupas over the course of about six days is my destiny. I’m prepared to meet my maker, so long as he lets me hold the sour cream gun.

 


And Your Next Awards Show Host Is….

And Your Next Awards Show Host Is….

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Well guys,we got the Emmys out of the way so you know what that means?  C-M-A   T-I-M-E. Only a sexy 69 days to go!!

While we wait for the next major awards show, sans music–your Globes, Oscars, Emmys, People’s Choice A–nevermind, it’s time we, the viewers, get proactive and discuss who we want to see hosting. Nobody wants another Hathaway-Franco scare.

So without further ado, here are my nominees for the honor. There will be controversy.

Billy Eichner

The unquestioned star of the 66th Emmy Awards, Billy Eichner’s special edition of Billy on the Street showcased America’s enthusiasm for awards shows, and its desire to see more cursing, berating, and belittling in said awards shows. Less Ellen, more… the opposite of Ellen.

Though far from a household name outside of Funny or Die/the E Network, there’s still time for this guy to become more well-liked/recognizable for his hosting gig than Seth McFarlane. Shouldn’t be too difficult…

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Stephen Colbert

HOW HAS THIS NOT HAPPENED?!

Seriously, how has Stephen Colbert gotten out of hosting until this point? Sure, he plays a fictional conservative pundit in 99% of his public appearances, but I’m sure the real Stephen is just as intelligent, capable, and talented.

Just off of winning his second consecutive Colbert Report Emmy, Colbert will be stepping into The Late Show desk in 2015–why not introduce America to the real you a bit earlier in the evening? 8 pm sounds nice.

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Louis CK

Sorry Ricky, you’ve had your chance(s), but it’s Louie’s turn.

He’s added another Emmy to his trove, but the producer/actor/writer/director/editor of his poorly rated but constantly discussed program, Louie has to be looking for new challenges, right? I’m just going to assume so, yes. He’s got the every man look to reel in the olds and the Tumblr fame to reel in the youngs, now he just needs to do it.

Chelsea Handler

She’s the only woman in late night, and she’s on E!, so approximately 2% of the straight, male populace has heard of, but hey, they’re not the target demo for awards shows after all.

Coming off of her very last show Tuesday night, which was celebrated by dozens of random celebs from Miley Cyrus to Sandra Bullock to Gerard Butler, Chelsea’s stepping into the very new and confusing territory of Netflix “late night.” No, no one understands how a late night talk show on Netflix will work, so don’t ask.

Could she handle a stage as big as say, the Emmys or Golden Globes? She dated 50 Cent so…. what was I saying? Yes, sure.

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Sarah Silverman

Another foul-mouthed female! Sarah Silverman may annoy some with her Wreck-it-Ralph voice, but the Emmy winner has proven herself versatile, talented, and …. foul-mouthed in her writing, stand-up, roasting, and acting. Did you know she’s in the Showtime drama Masters of Sex? No, you’re mom won’t let you watch it? That’s fair.

But now it’s time for Silverman to take on a hosting role. Preferably barefoot.

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Justin Timberlake

Another head scratching “how hasn’t this happened?” has got to go to Justin Timberlake. With his SNL/Fallon chops, plus that whole singing and dancing and being good looking and likable and and and this is a can’t miss. Only conern: Justin may not be too cool to dress up as tofu, but he may be too cool to host an awards show. It just seems beneath his greatness.

Wait, Timberlake hosted the 2007 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards? JK then JK.

Actor Cranston engages Julia-Louis Dreyfus in a prolonged kiss as she takes the stage to accept the award for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series for her role in HBO's "Veep"

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Wouldn’t this be awesome? Of course it would be. Sure, nobody watches Veep, but everyone likes Elaine. And JLD.

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Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, & Melissa McCarthy

Or some combination of the 1, 2, 3. Each have star power, proven chemistry, and the power of Lorne Michaels on their sides. Since the Globes, we’ve all wanted another lady tandem to take over hosting duties at some awards show or other–why not these girls?

Sure, Tammy flopped and Rudolph didn’t make it as a variety show star, but BRIDESMAIDS. You’ve affected millions of women like only Mean Girls (and The Notebook…) had before you.

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Woody Harrelllson & Matthew McConaughey

The. Dream. Enough said.

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Alec Baldwin

Sure, he’s not without his slew of controversies, but the man’s got skills. Did you see him catch that tennis ball?

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Andy Serkis

Gollum, Caesar, and now Balloo? And don’t forget whoever he’s playing in Star Wars and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Put some dots and lycra suit on the guy and let him run wild. Flipping between characters in quick succession will keep even the drunkest awards show audience engaged.

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Groot

Because we are Groot.

He’s arguably the biggest star to come out of 2014 thus far, and it’s not co-star Chris Pratt, but it’s gotta be Groot. And think of the brevity? Cutting 85 minutes from an awards show broadcast would truly be a blessing. There are only so many ways Vin Diesel Groot can say Groot.

Honorable Mentions:

Michelle Tanner cuz Full House is BACK

Iggy Azalea & Swaggy P

Arya Stark

Joe Biden

A cat on a leash (aka James Franco)

Mark Wahlberg talking to animals

North West & Blue Ivy

Sia in the “Chandelier” music video

Jack White at a baseball game


Alan Rickman Stars In Dark Tooth Fairy Short – “Dust”

Alan Rickman Stars In Dark Tooth Fairy Short – “Dust”

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman is a treasure in the world of film.  Rickman became a mesmerizing figure from his initial outset in American film in his role as Hans Gruber of “Die Hard”.  Over the the last 26 years, while some of his major roles have been few and far between, he has appeared in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Galaxy Quest, Dogma and Love Actually.  Plus, who can think about any Harry Potter movie without trying to say in their best Alan Rickman voice, “Mr. Potter”?  But, with this video that was found by the good people at UPROXX, and is a Staff Pick from Vimeo, Rickman may have played his darkest role yet.

In the short film “Dust,” Alan Rickman initially appears to be nothing more than the next subject in “To Catch A Predator.”  In the seven-plus minutes of the video, Rickman brings a very dark life to the role that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could never pull off.  Needless to say, if I was a parent and watched this video, I’d be a bit wary of letting my child put their tooth under the pillow.  With no real dialogue, one scene may and or may not be safe for work.

Yippee Ki Yay Lateral Incisor…

 

 


Guillermo Back-To-Back With Emmy Winners – Morning Monologue

Guillermo Back-To-Back With Emmy Winners – Morning Monologue

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The Emmys have come and gone, and now we’re left in the aftermath of what is to come, and potentially disappear in the Fall.  If you missed Funkhouser’s Emmy Round-up, you can check it out here.

Jimmy Kimmel is one of the most in-touch with celebrities late night host, with Fallon trailing behind in a close second place.  Being located in L.A., Kimmel has some of the best access to to the top names in the business on a more regular basis.  After the Emmys, Jimmy had his sidekick Guillermo go Back-to-Back with some of the top Emmy Winners from Monday night’s festivities.  Check out the Big G with Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Sarah Silverman, those kids from Modern Family, Stephen Col-borg and the Good Wife.These are the situations where Guillermo is at his best.

 


Summer’s Almost Over, So What to Watch Now?

As we leave summer blockbusters behind and ease into fall, you might think that all the “good” movies are done until Christmas (ok, basically The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, so you’re probably right). Who could forget Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers IXVCD: Avengement of the Exiled? Most of us!

But for Guardians of the Galaxy, which I haven’t seen but Funkhouser’s own Kalan Kucera enjoyed immensely, it seems like there wasn’t much to get excited about this summer. Don’t get me wrong: if there’s a place for big and dumb—and there certainly is—summer’s as good a time as any. 95 degrees with 85% humidity? Sure, I’ll spend 165 minutes in an air conditioned theater watching giant robots beat the crap out of each other. But can we have more big and smart like The Dark Knight, Inception, The Avengers, etc.? Or small and smart, which I always forget to watch at Lexington’s Kentucky Theater and then fail to find on Amazon Prime? Man, even small and dumb would be a nice change of pace for summer.

All that will be behind us in three weeks, though. Aside from football, what should you watch? Here are a few in the pipeline that might be worth checking out for one reason or another:

Automata: a film ostensibly about the human qualities of robots, this one looks like AI with more thought put into it, or at least with more Kubrick heft and less Spielberg magic fairy beans. It’s easier to answer questions about who or what qualifies as human when the robots you’re talking about look and act perfectly human. It’s different when they look like robots, like Melanie Griffith in the trailer. Zing! Automata isn’t breaking new ground, but the trailer is ambitious and seems willing to make the viewer ask and maybe even answer tough questions. What does it take to be human, or perhaps more broadly, a person? It’ll be interesting to see how Automata and its relatively untested director, Gabe Ibanez, tackle this.

Amityville: The Awakening: somebody made another Amityville movie. Damn it. I’ll end up watching it because I always watch Amityville movies even if they’re horrible, which except for the first one, they are. It’s the same with Taco Bell. Like Drew Franklin, I’ll eat any stupid thing they put out, from a sawdust taco to a Chupacaburrito or whatever other Island of Dr. Moreau gastronomic blasphemy their stoner R&D department conjures up. This Amityville trailer is completely by-the-numbers. A ho-hum, cheap-shot, quick-cut, jump-out-go-boo mass-market preview that relies on some grodyness and Acting 101 “evil” looks to sell this to potential viewers. Same setup, tired tricks, maggots and meh. ..you tell me: is there anything interesting about this preview? Maybe there will be some genuine scares or some skin-crawly moments, but I’m not holding my breath. FINE, I’ll watch it under protest. I need to stop being a completist with Taco Bell and movies so that I might be healthier and have more time for my family, but studios need to stop enabling me by churning out Amityvilles.

The Babadook: by the title, I figured this was about a terrifying poop. (We’ve all had them. Mine came after eating a gas-station roast beef sandwich that had fallen into Cave Run Lake.) I was wrong. If Amityville: The Next Sort-Of Different Installment displayed all that sucks about modern horror trailers, The Babadook shows how a preview can and should be done. Very clever, relying mostly on sound and simple drawings to build tension. In under a minute, I went from being a horror-fiend who devours the scariest novels he can find, to being freaked out by a pop-up book. This preview made me decide to stop reading altogether, since practicing literacy will get you eaten by boger-men. I burned all my books, especially the popups, and buried the ashes in a church graveyard. I moved into an efficiency with no closets, curtains, or bed frame so that monsters can’t hide under my bed. Maybe The Babadook will be just another humdrum monster movie, but I doubt it. I hope this one makes it to KY soon.

(more…)


Funkhouser’s Emmy Awards Roundup

Funkhouser’s Emmy Awards Roundup

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(Ed. Note: The Emmys were last night, and the Funkhouser crew was on hand to soak it all in. Below are, in their opinions, the most impressionable moments and issues of the night.)

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Brennan English on Twitter Rage:

My favorite part of the Emmys: Twitter rage.

The reaction of Twitter to any major pop culture phenomena is always good for some menial entertainment , particularly whilst watching the unwatchable—awards ceremonies. Last night was no exception, and my hand-selected cross-section of the Internet did not disappoint in agreeing with me on the worst Emmy winners and snubs. Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory bring in jillions of dollars, viewers and Emmys, but the Internet thinks these programs are long past their due date; why can’t the rest of the world see things our way? Well, because for Emmy voters, what’s old is oftentimes just good enough, with the exception of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She clearly isn’t old as she cannot age. So Orange is the New Black, Amy Poehler, even Tatiana Maslany — you may get your turn one of these days; it took The Sopranos five seasons to win the big one. Regardless, Billy Eichner and the critics of Twitter and Tumblr will be here to implode on your behalf.

Mrs. Tyler Thompson on Ricky Gervais:

I’ve been a fan of Ricky Gervais since he starred in the British version of The Office, and his sarcastic twist on the Brits’ self-deprecating humor was really on display last night when he lost the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series to Jim Parsons…again. Gervais tweeted a selfie of his loser face afterwards and later while presenting the award for Best Writing for a Variety Special–”the big one,” he quipped–he gave his acceptance speech anyways. “Ha, ha, I won. I knew I would because I’m the best actor. Better than those other actors — Parsons, Cheadle, H. Macy, Joey from Friends and Louis from Louie, spelled slightly differently.” Gervais also hammed it up when Jimmy Kimmel teased that instead of a movie star face, Gervais had a “television face.” Well, actually, “a Netflix face.” That last one was really hit home since Gervais appeared in a Netflix commercial that aired during the Emmys, spoofing Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and an inmate in Orange is the New Black.

It’s a shame Ricky didn’t win the Emmy, but he’s a much funnier loser.

S.E. Shepherd on the Cran-Stache

Look, this year’s Emmy’s telecast was pretty terrible. Seth Meyers was completely serviceable as host, but his general non-offensiveness went a long way to remind audiences that these award shows are way more fun when they’re hosted by a loose canon. And many of the winners were retreads from recent editions of the Emmys. But the one thing that elevated the telecast from forgettable to Tweet-worthy was a lone line of upper-lip hair on the face of one of the best TV actors ever – Bryan Cranston. Looking like a waiter at a sleazy French restaurant in the 1940s, Cranston unleashed upon the world his greatest creation to date: The Cran-stache. It was sublime in its simplicity, and I’m thankful I was among the millions that had the pleasure of basking in its glory. LONG LIVE THE CRAN-STACHE!

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C.M. Tomlin on the Step-Aside Host and a Nefarious Conspiracy

For all we make of how difficult and judged being a major awards-show host is, let’s face it: it’s gotta be pretty easy. A good monologue and you can coast through the rest of the night. Seth Meyers did a perfectly fine job leading the Emmy charge last night (“Tonight we are all Crazy Eyes”) but, more interestingly, he pulled a maneuver he’s completely accustomed to from his SNL days: ceding the spotlight to those who may possibly upstage him. He introduced Jimmy Kimmel in the first twenty minutes and Kimmel proceeded to deliver a mini-Emmy monologue and pseudo-roast of Matthew McConaughey (“he traded his TV for a conch shell full of weed!”) that legitimately competed with Meyers’. Later he would team up to let national treasure Billy Eichner drag him around New York City upstaging him at every turn and bring out buddy Andy Samberg to steal a Game of Thrones bit. These moves — to share the spotlight when the night could have been dominated by him — fit Meyers’ general M.O.; as head writer for SNL and the program’s Weekend Update anchor, he knows when to share a joke with a colleague. It worked, but overall left Meyers feeling a little in the wings at the end of the night with his lineup of special guests stealing the show.

Awards-wise the big Networks made damn sure that everyone knows cable isn’t getting too big for its britches by taking home best comedy (Modern Family), Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Ty Burrell for Modern Family), Best Actress in a Drama (Julianna Marguilies for The Good Wife) and Best Actor in a Comedy (Jim Parsons for Big Bang Theory). I don’t want to sound too conspiracy-theory-guy, but this was Burrell’s second win, Parsons’ fourth Emmy and Modern Family’s fifth consecutive win. While I do believe that both Burrell and Parsons both play sitcom characters who are among the best in television comedy over the last twenty years, it seems a little excessive. And while Modern Family is a consistently solid show, I’m not sure it deserved a fifth consecutive Emmy (that’s a Best Comedy Emmy EVERY YEAR it’s been on the air) for a season that was arguably its weakest yet. Is this the signal that the major networks still run the show? Surely there were stronger overall comedies in 2013-14 — it all reeks of a “not so fast, cable” move from Emmy voters affiliated with more mainstream television.

Richmond Bramblet on a Generally Succcessful Evening

The Emmys were perhaps one of the most entertaining awards shows in recent memory. Seth Meyers handled the hosting duties with ease, and he and his writers came up with fresh bits. Granted, when I first turned it on he was playing “For A Dollar” with Billy Eichner, which will get me every time. The 8:30-9:00 slot was jam packed with comedy, including a Tim Watley reference, and the next two hours flew by because it all seemed new. Speeches weren’t long and drawn out, except I’m not really sure what Jim Parson’s “you can’t account for taste” speech was about. Seth played to his strengths and used his funny friends to make the night a success. Also, Weird Al makes everything better. Get to typing, George…

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Kalan Kucera on An Alternate Universe McConaughey Win

“All right to the tres power, hombres. Man, y’all are beautiful. All these awards man, I just… it makes a man feel blessed to know that people connect so much with his work. It makes a man feel blessed to know he’s a man. Or at least to think of himself as one. To know that if he’s a man, and not some shapeless entity, floating through the aether of time on some journey, a journey that doesn’t seem to have any purpose or… or meaning, or he doesn’t even know what it is that he is. Maybe he just thinks that Lone Star beer tastes good, but maybe that beer doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s a figment, man, not of his imagination, but maybe of some greater being’s mind. Maybe, he’s not an entity, but a neuron in the neural pathways of God man. But if he’s a man and if Lone Star exists then it’s just fiiiiinne and dandy my friends.

I don’t want to accept this award for me, man. I want to accept this award on behalf of all of the better versions of myself that I haven’t even met. All those versions of me in the infinite copies of the Universe man. The ones like, helping kids and stuff. He’s not an actor, he doesn’t get all of these awards and accolades and the praises of his fellow man for the exceptional work he does. But I see him and I nod, slightly, in his direction with respect and honor, the way all McConaugheys in every plain of reality ought to be treated. That’s because, we’re all McConaugheys in our own way. Maybe not a successful one, but that don’t mean that it ain’t true or that it is. We’re just a bunch of neurons, so how could we even know, you know what I’m sayin’?

Wow, I just blew my mind. Before I go though, I’d like to thank all of the other nominees. Cranston, you are what you are and what you aren’t man, and I respect that. Jon Hamm. Jon Hamm. Kevin Spacey. Dig your name. Jeff Daniels, I can’t wait to meet ya. Woody, oh, woody. Marty. Good ol’ Marty Hart. The adventures we had man. This award is yours man, in the Universe where you’re me and I’m a Mexican ballplayer man. And I can’t wait to see you in that World mi amigo. I just can’t thank all of you and all of me enough for this heartfelt outpouring man. Who knows what words are about to come out of my mouth, but what else can I say but Alright, Alright, Alright?”

Emmys

Aaron Flener on Not Watching At All:

The most interesting part of the Emmy’s, to me, is seeing the people who play the characters I love on their show looking NOTHING like the characters they play on their show. Two examples:

1. Aaron Paul looked entirely too drug free and happy for my liking.

2. Jon Hamm didn’t look like he had a beard on his face, his beard looked like it had eyeballs and nostrils.

I would say more but I only watched the show for around 5 minutes.


There Will Be (No More) ‘Blood’

There Will Be (No More) ‘Blood’

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To say that I’d never watched True Blood at all would be a lie, unfortunately.  I “watched” all of the first season, but had definitely checked out by episode 4 or 5, around the time that one figures out that this is less a dark, gothic, cajun horror novel and more a hyper-sexualized, chick-lit, blood/fairy fest.  It’s not high art by any means, and it was a little over-the-top emotional for my taste.  Just not exactly my cup of tea, for what that’s worth.  Yet, I decided last night the True Blood had been enough of a cultural phenomenon that I needed to give the last episode, “Thank You”, a look-see. (Aside: Between this show using Led Zeppelin and all of the songs the other shows use, I’d love to see the HBO music budget.  It must be ridiculous!)

I remembered almost nothing of the story other than there was a chick named Sookie (in the running for worst name on television), a vampire named Bill, they loved each other? I guess?  There was a sassy cook, and a bar owner who was a dog, or something like that.  There was lots of blood but it was way less Louisiana-y than something like, say, True Detective.  It always felt like it was both the pinnacle and the eventual death-knell of the recent vampire craze, mostly because it embodied all of the different styles of vampire fiction, or at least it tried.

Going in to the finale with this sort of background, I was pretty sure I would both A) Have absolutely no idea what on Earth was going on, and B) Probably think that it was just as hokey and silly as it was when I left it.  Both prognostications proved to be accurate about 5 minutes into the show, or less.  I suppose I’ll blame Lost for this, but it seems to me that every TV show these days has contrived plots so convoluted that by the end the narrative of any show is gibberish to all but a select few.  This was definitely true of True Blood and I have to admit that when the dialogue delved into Fairies, and Shapeshifters, and “balls of light”, and “Hep-V”, and all of that jazz, I had no idea what was happening.  I might have even fallen asleep for about 10 minutes in the middle without noticing.  That being said, here are the basics–made intentionally vague so as to avoid spoilers–about how True Blood ended its sanguine run last night.

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The Best New Songs of the Week (Sans Taylor Swift)

The Best New Songs of the Week (Sans Taylor Swift)

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You’re welcome (I, I, I shake it off, I shake it off.)

Happy VMA weekend everyone! I had no idea it was that irrelevant time of year again, but just like that, it’s back.

But we at Funkhouser can celebrate music with or without an awards show, so here’s another Soundcloud playlist that only I will be listening to; regardless, here’s to hoping advertising doesn’t destroy the eclectic, hipster soul of Soundcloud.

So wrap up your Friday with the best new releases from the past ten days, along with the two newest tracks from the experimental electronic duo, Darkside, which announced their breakup this week. RIP Darkside, we hardly knew thee.

There’s some Alt-J, Lauryn Hill, Caribou, Jessie Ware, J. Cole,  Les Sins, and many more.

Read S.E. Shepherd’s post on one of the best new indie flicks of the week, “The One I Can Love” below.


Reviewing “The One I Love,” or How to Write About Something Without Really Writing About It

Reviewing “The One I Love,” or How to Write About Something Without Really Writing About It

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The One I Love is a must-see romantic dramedy that follows a couple struggling with some pretty run-of-the-mill relationship issues as they head out of town to spend a few days at a cottage in the country at the advice of their therapist. Ethan (played by Mark Duplass, one half of the indie-darling Duplass Brothers, best known for their pioneering work in the Mumblecore genre with films like The Puffy Chair, Baghead, and the more widely seen Jeff, Who Lives at Home) and Sophie (the always outstanding Elisabeth Moss, best known for her role as Peggy Olson on Mad Men), are characters you’ve seen before in countless relationship-focused films – they love one another, but their relationship is stagnant; the passion and excitement of their past has been replaced by the simmering resentment of years of tiny annoyances that, unaddressed, have grown into problems that threaten to overwhelm their once solid union.

While it seems like a straightforward setup, the movie features a twist – one that is revealed in the first third of The One I Love’s run-time and is so central to the film’s plot that it is nearly impossible to discuss the movie without giving it away (don’t worry, I promise I’m not going to spoil it for you). While I enjoyed the movie a lot and highly recommend you seek it out, what I’ve enjoyed even more is reading reviews of the movie. The verbal gymnastics that critics are performing in an attempt to talk about the flick without really talking about it are awesome.

Here are just a few examples:

  • The One I Love sets out as one thing, tacks towards another direction and then successfully winds up as a hybrid of both. Let’s just say this: The less you know about what happens in this funny, tasty twisterro, the better.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
  • “At a certain point…the film kicks into what might…be called a soft bump into the realm of Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze-like fantasy. To reveal just what happens and how would entail an egregious spilling of spoilers.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
  • “How do you attempt to review a movie where part of its success is not knowing a major key ingredient to the story? It’s this author’s belief it will be impossible…to market [The One I Love] without giving this aspect of the plot away in some way.” – Gregory Ellwood, Hitfix.com
  • “Dancing around what’s happening while still addressing strengths and weaknesses will require some fancy footwork. Please forgive the convoluted vagueness that follows.” – Mike D’Angelo, A.V. Club
  • “Every so often a movie comes along that’s nearly impossible to describe without spoiling, so I’ll do my best to explain The One I Love in the vaguest terms possible.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
  • “Justin Lader’s confident and clever script is packed with apparent twists and turns, the kind that make The One I Love very entertaining and compelling to watch, but incredibly difficult to write about. Its…ever-evolving nature makes it hard to discuss beyond broad bits.” – Kate Erbland, Film.com

 

 

For years, films featuring a twist or plot turn integral to their story have pervaded pop culture, especially in the last 20 years or so where it seems like every thriller, sci-fi, and horror flick hinges on a (sometimes telegraphed) 180-degree pivot that occurs somewhere in the third act. This fact alone makes it all the more entertaining to watch reviewers struggle with writing about The One I Love as if it’s the first movie in the history of film to reveal the main characters WERE GHOSTS ALL ALONG (just kidding, but you get my point)!

And while these reviews bring to the forefront yet again the conversation about spoilers and whether or not advance knowledge of the plot of a movie diminishes an audience’s enjoyment of it (something Richmond and I debated on this site a few months ago), I think the critics’ constant refrain of how to discuss The One I Love without revealing its secrets actually will lead to more people seeking out the film to see what all the fuss is about.

I mean, admit it: After reading all of these ham-fisted attempts to talk around the central premise of the film, aren’t you dying to know what it is that everyone is NOT talking about? My guess is you are (and you should be!).

The One I Love is currently available on iTunes, Google Play, and other VOD platforms.

 

@TheSEShepherd

 

 


OMG! You’ll Never Believe What that Kid from “Jerry Maguire” Looks Like Now!

(The language in the video is slightly NSFW.)

Totally normal. Jonathan Lipnicki, who is most famous for playing Ray Boyd in Jerry Maguire and delivering lines about the weight of the human head, looks totally normal. Basically he looks like an older version of Ray Boyd, minus the goofy glasses and spiky hair, but with a tighter shirt.

Good for him.

 

 

 


Take the Coach Cal Twitter Quiz!

Take the Coach Cal Twitter Quiz!

Hello, Friends. Sup brah? Are you living large? How is it twerking? Ham?  How’s my bae? I’m sorry, I can’t talk like this anymore.

Friends, this week marks likely the last week of light coverage before Kentucky sports EXPLODES, beginning with a titanic showdown against UT-Martin to open the UK Football season and slowly, we can assume, segueing into October when — if what we saw over the last week and a half is to be believed — we will all be the happiest people in the college basketball world. It’s going to be wonderful, to be sure. Until then, this week is this week; and luckily for us Cal has put together some fun games to play while we wait for the sports seasons to begin. They’re all very mysterious, but he clearly seems to enjoy them. He’s like the Riddler. If you’re not a follower of Coach’s Twitter feed, we’ve been subjected to several photos with enigmatic questions posed beneath. Today, I’ve collected those photos for you in one place so you and your friends can play the Coach Cal Twitter Quiz. Get the family together and have a great time! And as always, we’ll see you next week for a little UT-Martin fun.

———–

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Q: Where am I?

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Q: Who is this?

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Q: Where is this?

Unknown

Q: What is this?

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Q: Why are we here?

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Q: What is that smell?

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Q: How can we be lovers if we can’t be friends?

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Q: What’s eating Gilbert Grape?

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Q: Are you going to finish that?

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Q: Have you driven a Ford lately?

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Q: What’s in the box? WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

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Q: Who up orlando?


Even Billboard wants you to choose sides

All About that Super Bass in Summer’s Three “Booty” Anthems

There have been some new folks on the lady pop music scene this summer–your Iggys, Arianas, Charli XCXs, Sias, Kias, Hyundais, etc, but the individual that has been making a precipitous climb as of late has a slightly less exciting name, Meghan Trainor.

Her one hit wonder, “All About that Bass”, is so infectiously catchy that it probably got stuck in your head when you were making out with your significant other and you ran from the room, screaming MAKE IT STOP and it still wouldn’t stop.

The song has made its climb to the #2 slot on the Billboard Top 100, overtaking the all of the aforementioned pop stars in the top ten, except for those damn Rude nerds.

“All About that Bass” has been deemed an anthem to positive body image, celebration of female sexuality, and of course, curves. It’s not Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”, in that it’s not depressing when it’s intent is to be uplifting, and it’s not quite “Beyoncé” (because no one is Beyoncé); it’s simply a light and fluffy song and dance you can let your kids listen to, right?

I don’t need to tell you this is probably NSFW

Sure, why not! There’s a lot of Nicki Minaj influence in this video too, from the Nicki wigs, to the dancing, the use of pastels, the celebration of the female anatomy, to the Ken Doll male she manipulates–it’s hard not to draw comparisons..

Conveniently enough, right as Meghan Trainor’s tune is become a candidate for (Late) Song of Summer, out comes Nicki with her exceedingly promoted music video, “Anaconda.”

While it’s lyrics are slightly less innocuous than “boys like a little more booty to hold at night” and it’s imagery far more sexually explicit, both songs share the same, broad message of owning your body because it’s yours, it’s beautiful, all that jazz.

I don’t love the song’s sound as compared to past Nicki tracks, and I think that Sir Mix A Lot would roll over in his grave if he knew of his plagari–wait, he’s still alive? And he loves it?

Touché.

Molly Lambert described the “Anaconda” video on Grantland as reappropriating black female pop culture post-Mileygate and considers it a win for Nicki, her body, and beauty standards, but let’s not tread THAT deep. Not a good swimmer.

It’s a sexual, booty anthem from a lady, instead of a Jason Derulo, and Nicki is well aware of the implications.

Looks like we have a trend this summer.

PS: She also gives Drake a lap dance and makes the viewer far more embarrassed for Drake than for Nicki. That’s an impressive feat. Girl power.

Heartbreakers gonna reject Tay Tay Tay

Lastly, in our lady derrière triumvirate we have the outlier–”Shake it Off” from the leader of white girl sloganry, Taylor Swift.

Released one day prior to “Anaconda”, Swifty’s song and video has similarly “drink the Haterade” attitude to the other two, yet it’s not so much about her body, as her awkward girl Taylorness. Oh, and dating too many boys. Stahp that Taylor.

Hopping around, embracing herself and stuff, she does indeed shake it. Poorly. To show that she’s not good at shaking it and has no butt but doesn’t care! Seems like the message here…

Or that Taylor Swift was meant to be in a combination Keds/Gap/Starbucks commercial and that she will never stop referencing cheerleaders no matter her age, nor genre. That’s what I took from this; ok, and the twerking/ballerina dichotomy too, don’t worry, I’m not blind.

Even Billboard wants you to choose sides

Even Billboard wants you to choose sides

Each of these ladies is pop stars in their own right, and each has raised separate YouTube controversy for their videos. Have you read the YouTube comments lately?

Nicki is hyper-sexualized, Meghan is skinny-shaming (which is apparently now a thing), and Taylor is racist and appropriating/objectifying black culture like so many white pop stars before her; for our purposes here, these songs are rather terrible musically and yes, could be deemed offensive for a variety of reasons, but they’re also different reflections of women and women’s bodies in pop culture. Hilariously, these videos and singles could manage to be stimulus for conversation on any number of these topics. Or just songs you skip over on the radio.

Skip. Just watch every Simpsons ever instead.

Click more for the three best GIFs from these videos because we are Buzzfeed/I’m Ron Burgundy?

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Five Things We Learned from the 2014 Summer Movie Season

Five Things We Learned from the 2014 Summer Movie Season

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The summer movie season of 2014 is nigh; on Labor Day Weekend the box office books for the sweltering months of the year will close and we’ll take stock of all we’ve seen. But what will we have learned from the past few months’ spate of flicks? Behold:

5. It IS possible to reboot the impossible. See: Godzilla. With all that America loves in its smash-em-up blockbusters — giant monsters, mass destruction, recognizable landmarks crumbling to the ground — the Godzilla universe would seem like number-one on the list of franchises to bring back. Unfortunately, in 1998 Roland Emmerich failed so miserably to do so (baby Godzillas running amuck in Madison Square Garden, anyone?) that no one would dare even touch it again until 16 years later. But this time it worked. Sure, the new Godzilla reboot didn’t have much of a sense of humor about itself, but what it lacked in levity it more than made up for in hot, monster-on-monster action. One gigantic, well-designed Godzilla plus two “Mutos” — huge, bug-type antagonists — equalled an impressive new take on the age-old Japanese franchise and will likely spawn a sequel or three.

4. It doesn’t matter how much we all hate Michael Bay; he’s still winning. Hipsters and movie nerds, face it — your reviling of the action director is in a vacuum. America doesn’t hear it, and they’re just going to continue giving him money no matter what he does. Exhibit A? How about a nearly three-hour Transformers sequel which the Chicago Reader called “impossible to take seriously,” garnered an 18% positive on Rotten Tomatoes and featured Stanley Tucci as the Steve Jobs of space robots? It’s already netted $243 million and is still going. U-S-A! U-S-A! Or, if you’d rather, how about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remix that not only gave the pizza-loving sewer dwellers nostrils (oh, those nostrils!) but also deigned to pass Megan Fox off as respected journalist April O’Neil and Tony Shaloub as Splinter? No? Too bad; it’s setting record box office earnings in only its first two weeks in theaters. All that means is that you can laugh at Bay’s meltdown after his autocue notes break down at a Samsung press conference all you want. His pool is still bigger and better than your no pool at all.

3. The exorcism-film trend is officially dead (and not in a possessed-by-the dead-way; just dead). The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Deliver Us from Evil was the first technical big-opening horror-exorcism flick to be passed off as a big summer movie in quite some time (generally these movies slip out quietly in October for Halloween or are burned off in January when nobody’s paying attention) and nobody went to see it. Actually, that’s not true — I saw it and my friend Craig saw it, but we are the only two people I know who did. Apparently some other folks did too, but not enough to elevate it past a paltry $30.6 million with a July 4 weekend debut, notoriously a great weekend for opening movies. In its defense, I will say that while I fully expected it to be 100% terrible, it was only 55% terrible as far as demonic-possession-police-procedurals go, and it did boast one of the most impressive final exorcism sequences I’ve seen in any of these 10 billion exorcism movies over the past four years. But still, the numbers don’t lie, and it would seem that possession movies are passé. Now if only zombie movies could be shot in the head the same way…

2. America isn’t ready for a feel-good cricket movie. I’m sorry, it just isn’t. I love you Bill Simmons — and you too, Jon Hamm, but we’re only really still starting to get everyone on board for soccer. Why don’t we hold off on cricket for a little while? Too much. It’s just too much.

1. America’s comedy standards are, thankfully, rising. By my count, six studio-blessed summer comedy jams came out in the past four months for America’s consideration: Blended, Think Like a Man Too, Tammy, Sex Tape, 22 Jump Street and Let’s Be Cops. Of these, only one — 22 Jump Street — not only gained critical favor but made money. Of the other five, Tammy topped the charts with $83 million; Jump Street raked in $189 million and is still kicking internationally. Great job, America! Also, for what it’s worth, even though I know they were both terrible you should all be commended for giving Melissa McCarthy (Tammy) more money than Kevin Hart (Think Like a Man Too). He has enough money already. I’m proud of you guys and I think we’ve all grown a little bit this summer as a comedy-consuming people. Let’s keep this positive thing going, guys. It’s better for all of us.