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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.

 

 


Pierce Brosnan Plays Goldeneye With Fallon – Morning Monologue

Pierce Brosnan Plays Goldeneye With Fallon – Morning Monologue

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One of the most essential games growing up a kid, in any household that had a Nintendo 64, was GoldenEye 007.  You knew your status among your friends based on who had the best skills on the sticks (or in the N64′s case, stick).  You also knew who the worst of your friends were based on who would choose to play as Oddjob, because whoever would do that is a cheater.  Golden Gun on or Slappers Only, a true player could win in any scenario. However, Pierce Brosnan is not a true player…

As Fallon has been doing for most of his talk show career, played on the nostalgia of his guests.  He brought back former Bond, Pierce Brosnan and challenged him to a game of GoldenEye 007.  It does not go well for Brosnan… at all…

 


Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Back Together in “Barely Legal Pawn”

Your favorite Emmy winning meth cookers are back together in a short video called “Barely Legal Pawn”.  The video which also stars Emmy winner, Julia Louis Dreyfus, was put together by Audi, who is a sponsor of this year’s awards.

In the video, Paul and Cranston run a pawn shop, while Dreyfus comes by to pawn off one of her prized possessions.  Good job Television Academy, and good job Audi.  Be sure to stay for the last line of the short.


Don Pardo, Legendary SNL and TV Announcer, Dead at 96

Don Pardo, Legendary SNL and TV Announcer, Dead at 96

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There are certainly things that you take for granted in your pop culture world.  One of which is that you could never imagine NBC’s Saturday Night Live without the booming voice of Mr. Don Pardo. However, we now live in that world as legendary television and radio icon, Don Pardo passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

Don Pardo was the voice for Saturday Night Live since its inception in 1975.  In that time, 137 regular players on SNL have had the pleasure of hearing their name announced by the legendary voice.  Who hasn’t sat at their TV watching SNL and tried to announce the names just like Pardo?  If you say you haven’t, you’re lying.  Pardo did not announce during the 1981-82 season, meaning single season performers during that year are the only cast members to have their names announced by someone else.  He tallied 38 years as the voice of Saturday Night Live.  38 Years!

After nearly sixty years with NBC, Pardo retired from the network, but still took on the SNL introduction duty.  Two years later, Pardo took to recording his announcements from his home in Arizona and sending them in, instead of having to fly to New York every Saturday Night for the show.  Don Pardo appeared on SNL for his 90th birthday, in a show hosted by Tina Fey.  As he proceeded to blow out 90 candles, as you could just tell he had so much life and energy for his age.

Pardo was an NBC “lifer” starting with the company in the early 1940s, being an in-house announcer for NBC Radio.  It’s as though Pardo had the smooth golden tones to his voice since he was in his mid-20s, and they never changed.  Take a listen to him doing the intro for a radio program called, “Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator.”  You would have thought Pardo recorded this last week.

If you’re of my generation, outside of Saturday Night Live, you should remember Don Pardo from his work in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “I Lost on Jeopardy” music video, where he reprised his role as the announcer of the famous game show.

Game shows just happened to be where Pardo made his mark in television during the late 50s, early 60s, starting as the voice of the original Price is Right.  He later went on to be the announcer for Jeopardy! from 1964 to 1975.  From there he took on the announcing duty for other game shows including Jackpot!, as well as working the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 1999.

Pardo was a true television and radio icon and it is going to be nearly impossible to replace such a recognizable and historic voice for television.  Having watched a lot of old game shows on Game Show Network, I’m used to hearing the famous phrase, “Tell them what they’ve won, Don Pardo!”  Well I can say without a doubt, everyone won the chance to be graced with hearing the perfect voice of Mr. Pardo.  We sure lost a good one yesterday.

 

 


Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

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When I search Google for news about Star Wars that was published on August 15th, I get 12,800 results, an increase of 140% from the previous Friday.  This is because a whole bunch of spoilery things were published by a variety of blogs and film outlets last Friday.  Now, I’m going to link to them, but I have to say, DON’T CLICK on them if you (like me) don’t care to know anything about the plot of the movie.  First was a picture of the new Storm Trooper helmet.  Next was art of Han Solo’s costumes for the film.  Next was a drawing and description of the film’s supposed main villains.  All of these were accompanied by seemingly important plot details.

Scoops like these are, I guess, what drive the great engine of the blogosphere.  Everyone wants to know little details about movies, songs, video games, our politician’s foibles, and flavors of Doritos tacos at Taco Bell before anyone else in the world does.  This is all fine to a point, and I think that Star Wars VII is in danger of shooting past that point faster than Han ever completed the Kessel Run.  This point of no return will be the point when we, Juan Q. Public, know more about the plot and characters of the movie than we should, making the movie far less wondrous and fun than it would be otherwise.

I know, I sound about as much fun as a wet sock.  Trust me, I succumbed excitedly to the click-bait stories about Episode VII but almost immediately afterwards, as I started to think about the story implications, I regretted doing so.  I’m probably a 7/10 on the Star Wars nerd scale.  I’ve seen all of the movies multiple times, I’ve play all of the Star Wars: Battleground and Knights of the Old Republic Games, and I nearly bought a Taun-Taun sleeping bag once.   I might not be the foremost expert, but I’m decent in a SW Trivia Night pinch.  So I know how it is to want to voraciously consume all of this information into my belly and let it slowly digest over the course of a thousand years.  I also am wary of JJ Abrams after what he did to Star Trek in his last, horrific iteration.

Even so, I’m genuinely excited about a new Star Wars movie in the same way that I’ll be excited about a new Star Trek movie or a new Legacy of Kain game.  The universes that these franchises have built are creations of limitless imagination.  They’re places where the potential for a transcendent and entertaining story is astronomically big.  Fail (looking at you Star Wars prequels, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Final Frontier, Insurrection, Nemesis, and Into Darkness) and people will ridicule you for years to come, but if you succeed your movie gets talked about ad nauseum, you have a made career, and someone eventually remakes your classic.

All of this aside, if everyone who see’s the movie already knows the plot beforehand and everyone is already griping or extolling the movie before it’s released, well… doesn’t that just defeat the point of making and seeing these things?  If the minutiae of production–the costumes, minor plot details, etc.–control how the public is going to react to the movie, then everything would end up being Snakes on A Plane and, as much fun as it was, I don’t think we want that.

Maybe, for some people, hunting down the information years before the release is fun for them but, for everyone else, doesn’t it make a movie better to see it for the first time, unfettered by ceaseless chatter about how someone might have ruined a beloved character or used the wrong design for a ship?  The internet is a wonderful thing.  It’s a meeting place for millions of people around the world, it’s a store that carries every item you could ever want to buy, it’s a depository of the world’s history and information.  But there are other things that are wonderful too, and movies are one of them.

There are 486 days left (from the day of posting) until Episode VII is released and, as hard as it is going to be, I’m going to make the movie–good or bad–all the more wonderful by not clicking on any more links to stories discussing the plot or any other piece of production.  When I see the movie in the theater for the first time I want there to be an element of surprise and wonder left for me.  But I know if I keep reading articles about it for the next year I’ll be more drained than a battery at a Mynock party, and that would be the worst thing of all.


This Ad for Madden NFL 15 is Bananas

There’s pretty much something for everyone here: Kevin Hart. Dave Franco. A bunch of NFL players pretend-rapping with the word “blah” and doing the Nae Nae. A teddy bear-headed DJ playing an electric violin in the pool. Von Miller dressed like a hipster cowboy. That one dude from Epic Meal Time. And Damian Lillard stalling out a Can-Am Spyder while stealing Franco’s girl.

We officially live in an age when the commercial for a video game may actually be more enjoyable than the game itself.

LET IT BURN!

 


Fun with IMDB: “Let’s Be Cops” Edition

Fun with IMDB: “Let’s Be Cops” Edition

 

Like most people, I like to go down the IMDB rabbit-hole from time to time. Few things bring me as much joy as scrolling through the long list of bit players and background actors who round out the casts for big movies. The lazily named roles alone are usually good for a few chuckles, and sometimes the profiles for these character actors and Hollywood hopefuls are equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.

Let’s Be Cops – an R-rated comedy starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr., two up-and-coming comedic actors who are probably best known for their work on the Fox sitcom, New Girl – hits theaters this weekend and, curious to see who else appeared alongside the duo, I spent way too much time perusing the IMDB listings of actors who play minor roles in the film. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.

 

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Gabe Lustman. Gabe appears in Let’s Be Cops as “Party Guest.” Sure, the fact that his last name is “Lustman” and he uses as his main IMDB photo a picture of himself contorted into his most seductive, Blue Steel pose is almost too good to be true. But that’s nothing compared to these amazing tidbits from his official bio:

  • “Gabe Lustman, better known as GABE…” Not only does the dude consider himself worthy of existing as a one-name celebrity like Prince or Madonna, but he chooses to elevate his status by listing his mononym IN ALL CAPS!
  • “GABE has been tagged a genius at work…” Wow! So genius! Much humble!
  • “…At this point it was felt GABE should be a solo artist, that’s when the persona of GABE really appeared…” Ten bucks says it was Gabe who felt GABE should be a solo artist.
  • “GABE brands all of his songs by writing all of his own lyrics and melodies. Working with him is a musicians [sic] dream…” I mean…

And, because I know you’re curious, here’s a little sampling of Gabe/GABE’s signature sound. Just a heads up – if you love auto-tune and out-of-focus shots of a GABE in a pair of BluBlockers, you’re going to want to click that link ASAP.

 

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Mindy Robinson. Mindy appears in Let’s Be Cops as “Cop Groupie,” but that might be the least interesting role of her prolific career. Since 2010, she has more than 100 roles to her credit, and some of them are out-of-this-world spectacular. Behold:

  • Killjoy Goes to Hell – “Red Devil Girl”
  • Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong – “Poontang Girl #1 / Bikini Girl #1”
  • The Coed and the Zombie Stoner – “Nurse Escandalo”
  • Bikini Model Academy – “Gangina”
  • Timid Pimps – “Wheelchair Cindy” (Doesn’t Wheelchair Cindy sound like the name of every band you saw play at sweaty frat parties in college?)

Lest you think Mindy is nothing but a pretty face who only appears in low-budget schlock, she’s also had roles in several mainstream productions, such as Iron Man 3 (“Bikini Girl”), Ted (“Hot Chick”), and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (“Stripper”). Also, here are two little known facts about Mindy listed on her IMDB page:

  • UFC ex-Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez has a tattoo of Mindy Robinson’s lips.
  • Mindy has an almost complete collection of vintage My Little Ponies.

I think I’m in love.

 

Tim_Campione

Tim Campione. Although Tim’s IMDB photo would lead you to believe he’s a mercurial blues guitarist with an affinity for extra-long necklaces, he actually plays “Russian Mobster” in Let’s Be Cops, leading me to believe he probably has pretty decent range as an actor. However, that’s not the most interesting thing about Tim’s IMDB page. This is:

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Tim appeared in a 2004 short film called Just Asking for It, written by and starring John J. Cornetta. If you think the poster/publicity shot for the short is ridiculous (At whom is he pointing the gun? Why isn’t he looking at whomever he’s pointing the gun? Why is that lady smiling like she’s taking a Glamour Shot? Would there ever be a situation in which you’re are draped on the arm of a guy pointing a gun at someone when smiling like that would be appropriate?), wait until you read the film’s plot summary:

“In the near future overpopulation threatens the survival of the human race. In order to save mankind, the Population Control Agency (PCA) is created. PCA agents are granted the authority to reduce the population in high-density areas by eliminating the dregs of society. In other words, they have a license to kill very annoying people. In this dark comedy Agent Mike Brandon gets to do what most people only dream of. Eliminate anyone and everyone that rubs him the wrong way. Everyone is a potential target for Agent Brandon, until he falls for a beautiful woman.”

LOL! Tim, dude, you are better than that. Stay away from John J. Cornetta and his vanity projects and focus on playing mobbed-up Russians in actual movies and entertaining crowds with the dulcet tones of your sweet six-string.

 

MaryJo_Catlett

Mary Jo Catlett. Not every bit player in Let’s Be Cops is a young whippersnapper trying to eek out his or her place in Hollywood. Some of them, like Mary Jo Catlett who plays “Old Lady,” are industry veterans whose careers span more than four decades. Mary Jo is probably best known for her role as Pearl Gallagher, Phillip Drummond’s third maid in the later seasons of Diff’rent Strokes. But her credits read like a list of the greatest hits of TV from the 1970s and 80s, with appearances on MASH, Starsky and Hutch, Welcome Back, Kotter, The Dukes of Hazzard, ALF, Murder, She Wrote, Mr. Belvedere, and Night Court. I have no idea if they appear in the same scene together, but if they did, what do you think Mary Jo and Gabe/GABE talked about in between shots? Do you think Gabe/GABE told Mary Jo he is a genius at work or that working with him is a musician’s dream? Probably both, right?

 

Raul_Colon

Raul Colon. Yes. Awesome. Everything about this photo is just completely perfect. Raul gets it and I’m definitely picking up what he’s throwing down. He plays “Thug” in Let’s Be Cops, and I’d wager Drew Franklin’s bar tab from the Bahamas that this photo is what landed him the gig. For an actor whose previous credits include “Army Man,” “Gymlifter,” “Prisoner,” and “Wrestler AKA Doughboy,” the leather cowboy hat, tattered duster, chaps, gigantic belt buckle, and comically undersized sawed-off shotgun were no brainers, but the decision to highlight the ensemble with his shirtless torso is what elevates the photo from memorable to transcendent. Bravo, Raul Colon. You have a new fan and I look forward to watching you portray scowling roughnecks and silent goons for many years to come.

All photos via IMDB.

 

@TheSEShepherd

 

 


#VacationFail Tonight Show Hashtags – Morning Monologue

#VacationFail Tonight Show Hashtags – Morning Monologue

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The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has a pretty regimented end of first act schedule. On Friday nights, you know that you’re going to get Thank You Notes, and Thursday is always reserved for Tonight Show Hashtags.  In the segment, the Tonight Show tweets a hashtag and fans of the show tweet back their responses.  For this edition, Jimmy went with the hashtag #VacationFail, which was a worldwide trending topic within 20 minutes of the initial tweet. Here are some of the best answers that Jimmy and the Tonight Show received:

What would your #VacationFail responses be?


Let’s Learn About the Dominican Republic!

Let’s Learn About the Dominican Republic!

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Hello, friends. Look, I got your nose! Ha, ha! No, I didn’t really. No, you still have a nose. Look, this is my thumb. Sorry, it was just a joke. No, I didn’t realize that was a sensitive subject with you. I’ll certainly not do that again, and I apologize.

Friends, if you’re no stranger to this blog then you already realize that the world domination of the 2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats has found its origin point at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, where these young ‘Cats are putting on quite the show for audiences across the nation. It’s all very, very exciting — but I don’t need to tell you that. Friends, the next on our list of targets is none other than the Dominican Republic, which led me to doing some research. Today, then, let’s pull some tourism shots for the country and learn about the Dominican Republic, shall we? We shall. See you next week, and go Cats.

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Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Our sun-kissed beaches and hot romantic nights will no doubt ensure a lovely visit for you and yours during your stay in our fair country. We are also not Puerto Rico, so if you have arrived here on accident please alert your travel advisor immediately so you can get where you need to go. Buses and boats run hourly.

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Go ahead, snap a selfie! After all, you’re in one of the most beautiful island nations in the world! Our official photographers will also be on hand to snap a commemorative photo of your selfie, which will be available in the gift shop for purchase. You don’t want to miss these beautiful memories!

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Rent a car and just cruise around! There’s nothing like exploring Dominica for yourself with your best friends. Take pictures of the beach, smile, laugh and enjoy life on “island time!”*
*Please watch the road at all times.

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Enjoy one of our leisurely cruises while staying in the Dominican Republic, where you may encounter sea turtles, dolphins or breathtaking coral reefs! All of these people have taken a break from sightseeing and are peeing in the water. Go ahead, it’s okay! No one will get upset with you!

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Please stay abreast of all rules and regulations set forth by the government while staying within the borders of the Dominican Republic. Notable offenses include “having worries!” and “not jammin’”! Just kidding. Murder, extortion and assault are actual offenses and punishable by extradition and will be treated with to the utmost extent of the law.

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Should you find yourself under arrest in the Dominican Republic (and we hope you won’t!), you will be enslaved in one of Dominica’s floating water prisons, of which there is no escape. Your home country will be notified and they will need to send a rescue team before you drown.

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Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to romance — Dominican style! Many on-location pieces and travel segments for ABC’s The Bachelorette have been filmed over the years, so fancy yourself a “bachelorette” of your own by taking a vacation from your job at accounts receivable, ditch those sweat pants and tell your family you’re going to “get your groove back” in the Dominican Republic! Don’t worry, we will not judge the sadness of your situation! We see it all the time! In fact, it accounts for nearly 1/3 of our economy!

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Or perhaps you want to treat your spouse to a week away in paradise…we’ve got you covered! Hang out at the pool bar and have a great time. Arturo, your bartender, will keep you refreshed with delicious rum-based beach drinks. Don’t worry that he hates you and wishes you’d stop talking about Restoration Hardware and Orange is the New Black. He just wants you to have a great time!

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Oh my! Looks like this lucky tourist made a new friend in one of the many seals who call Dominica home! You never know what you’ll find here in your exotic island travels!

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This is taking things too far. Please, during your time here, know the limits between human and wildlife. Sometimes a seal kiss is just a kiss and should not be interpreted as any kind of invitation for more.

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Ocean excursions are some of the most fun you’ll ever have in the water! Explore the Atlantic on one of our many recreational “banana boats” with your family and friends and see the ocean like you’ve never seen it before!

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*The likelihood of this occurring is very slim, we assure you.

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Head down to the Dominican Republic today for a vacation like you’ve never experienced! We can’t wait to meet, greet and entertain you and know a Dominican getaway will be just what you need. See you soon!

(Official photographs of selfies are available in gift shop.)


Your State Should be Ashamed

Your State Should be Ashamed

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(Click each map to enlarge)

A recent Internet trend, for which we should just blame blame Buzzfeed, dance music, and Obama, is maps of… stuff. While we’ve never been a nation of geography buffs (wait, New York ISN’T the capital?) we do like lists, rankings, and classifying one another by any means necessary. So why not do this regionally?

I have fallen into the trap as well, and while folking out to some Michael Cera, I perused three maps released by Movoto blog that are relevant to we at Funkhouser. Sadly it’s not another “your state’s favorite porn is” map. I know you’re disappointed. These fine folks decided to examine the most torrented movie, game, and television series over a 40-day window.

Now what IS a torrent?

Mom. Don’t worry about it. It comes from the AOL when I plug in my computer and it’s free. No need to worry about “file sharing”, “downloads”, or “spreading bandwith” or “99.9% illegal”. That’s all irrelevant.

Now that we got that over with, what shameful thing has your state been downloading and how might I mock it? Let’s take a look.

TV Series

– Seeing a LOT of Game of Thrones. This isn’t particularly intriguing nor surprising. We like mythical violence and sex. Duh. But somewhat intruiging is the geographic cluster over the….north Midwest? What do you call that area? Hockeytown? Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, your teenage boys spent some time indoors. Good. Keep them off the streets.

Fargo, WHY aren’t you the most torrented show in North Dakota? Or Minnesota? You like watching fantastical slaying, but not set in your own backyard? For shame. California, Utah, and Jersey love Fargo. I delight in the randomness and your surprisingly good taste.

– Da FUH is Awkward? The pink one in Louisiana and Texas. There ya go. Time to google it. Why, it’s an MTV series about teenagers….. #GOPTeens shouldn’t you be hunting and fishing and guarding our borders, not watching that trash on MTV?

Penny Dreadful, while I haven’t gotten to watching you yet myself (working on The Americans and Broad City), you’re next on the list. Horror+Eva Green+Showtime+Eva Green is a good combination. You’re popular all over the place, even in Florida where daily life can be rather frightening, what with Fake or Florida and all.

– The Carolinas like Californication… In other news, there are hipsters and rednecks who watch Californication. Surprised to see any viewers at all… Also, Michigan. Random.

– The southeast (and Montana) love The Big Bang Theory. *Cue studio audience laughter. Only Emmy voters and your aunts and uncles aren’t ashamed they watch The Big Bang Theory. But we in the South like to keep our sinning private, thus the illegal downloading is explained.

– West Virginia likes Orphan Black, and this is the ONLY good decision that state’s ever made… Breaking off from Virginia? That was foolish.

Beauty and the Beast is a CW show. New York, your man card is revoked. Connecticut, you’re watching some CW show too, but we all know you never had a man card, so you’re cool.

– There are a handful of random other, likely network TV shows on here. I’ve never heard of them, but surprisingly, these torrenters have…

– And finally… Jack Bauer is back for 24 more hours to save America, and our great Commonwealth is tuning in.

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 Games

– Seriously, I haven’t played a video game since high school. But these gamer types seem to enjoy Watch Dogs? According to Wikipedia it’s about a hacker who roams the streets of Chicago seeking revenge after his… niece’s death? That’s a shaky premise, but OK.

– For some reason New York is downloading FIFA 13 instead of 14…

– And are we surprised that Oregon is all about some FIFA? Hipsters. Hipsters, everywhere.

– Delaware. Look at Delaware now. It’s the small one skinny one by Maryland you fool. Goat Simulator. Not even going to Google it, I will just let my imagination run wild on that one.

– Oklahomans aren’t playing NCAA Football because I heard that college athletes likeness’ can’t be used in that way anymore. No, naturally they’re getting their game on to Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3!!! Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto.

The Elder Scrolls. That sounds like something Cartman would play.

– New Hampshire so would torrent Minecraft.

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Movies

– This map is slightly less scientific than the rest due to timing and blah blah being more relevant to films (he others were sciency enough for Bill Nye), but let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room. Kentucky and That Awkward Moment, spelled That Akward Moment above. Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, and even Zac Efron are all talented guys, but that doesn’t mean I want to see them in a rom com. You’re better than that Kentucky.

– Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were once a dynamic duo at the box office, and they still are–in New Mexico. For no money.

– Those leeeebrals in California are watching 12 Years a Slave. I’ll bet they quit halfway through to Redbox Blended instead.

– And those liberals in Massachusetts are watching Her to fill the void in their empty lives with Scarlett Johansson’s voice.

– Sticking with the left/right politics of the day, Lone Survivor and Texas. Because America.

– OK, so I get why Cuban Fury sounds like something the residents of Florida may be interested in, but that was a cruel trick they played on you Cubans. Watching Nick Frost salsa dance is probably not what you had in mind.

– Hey Utah, I would not have pegged you for a Kevin Hart state. Way to keep surprising me.

– Iowa be living that Wolf of Wall Street life. F***in f*** f*** yea.

– Idaho, Son of Batman is not a video game? Are you sure?

– New Yorkers are curious about A Million Ways to Die in the West. Definitely marijuana New Yorkers. Deadly. Stay on the East Coast.

– Why are people in Virginia watching Jackass? I thought Vineyard Vines types weren’t into such drivel.

Witching and Bitching, what are you? I like your title, but I don’t like Indiana or Tennessee so….

– Will Godzilla 2 be set in Montana? What would he destroy/save there?

– This map should be 99% Captain America, but it’s not; way to let Steve Rogers down.

– When you think Arkansas and Mississippi, you think NON STOP ACTION.

– The fact that Nicholas Cage is on this map (Tokarev also known as Rage) only three times would not please Nicholas Cage. **How am I not in that movie?!!

Rose Byrne loves Nicholas Cage. Also, Rose Byrne needs her own movie. Over and out.


Fake or Florida? – Morning Monologue

Fake or Florida? – Morning Monologue

Fake-or-Florida

I’m sure you know this already, but hating on the ridiculousness of Florida is kind of a popular thing nowadays.  If you listen to the Sklarbro County podcast, starring friends of KSR, The Sklar Brothers, you already know how many crazy things happen in the sunshine state.  Well, Seth Meyers, whose weekend update was always aided by stupid Florida criminals, brings this topic to his show in a segment called Fake or Florida.  He’s done this a few times already, but since no one actually posted a monologue on YouTube last night, it shines today.  Aided by his dopey sidekick, Cassandra, Meyers hosts a game show with three contestants who try and figure out, “Is it Fake or Florida?”

 


The Walking Dead Returns on 10/12/14. Here Are a Few Movies You Should—And Shouldn’t—Watch Until Then

If you, dear Funkhouser Reader, are a fan of horror films and TV like I am, you are anxiously awaiting the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead on 10/12/14. (You are probably also awaiting the return of Kalan Kucera’s episode recaps, which should follow shortly after.) Any fan of the genre, especially the zombie subgenre, must make time to watch The Walking Dead. It is probably the best addition to the ever-expanding body of zombie culture since the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, which is one of the few worthwhile remakes of a classic.

What’s gonna scratch the horror itch until then? A few unexpected days off allowed me to peruse Netflix and other movie venues for you. Below are suggestions for zombie and other infection-type flicks to watch, and some to avoid:

1.  Dead Snow: titled Død Snø in Norwegian, this gore-fest is not for the weak of stomach (ha! You’ll see what I mean). Typical setup: group of young’uns vacationing at a very out-of-the-way cabin. Typical: they encounter zombies. Not typical: the zombies are undead Nazis. If you’re looking for a Dead Alive-esque attempt to push the blood-‘n’-guts limit, this completely unsubtle and totally self-aware movie will fit the bill. That aside, it’s really entertaining with some fun and/but nearly retch-inducing scenes. Entertainment Weekly ranks this #16 on its list of 25 Best Zombie Movies of All Time. That may not seem impressive until you realize that there are more than a thousand zombie movies out there with probably only a few dozen worth watching. Making it into the top 5% is no small feat. Worth a view.

2.  Parasitic: proves that just because you have access to a nightclub, hot dancer friends, and decent recording equipment doesn’t mean you should make a movie. This flick is bad. Bad bad. Look, if you’re going to make a boobs-‘n’-blood flick, you need to follow two rules: show hot people naked a lot, and don’t be boring. The only unfettered boobs in Parasitic are covered in green goo early on and adorned by a Halloween Express alien parasite. That’s just the start of the awfulness. The acting and dialogue are even worse than you’d expect. Five of the six hot chicks are knocked off relatively quickly—you don’t axe all the hotties right off the bat!—and the lone survivor is the one with the most clothing. I don’t need much backstory with a movie like this, but Parasitic spends as little time as possible explaining origin. Damn, just try a little. The pacing is non-existent: the characters spend the first third of the movie wiping down the bar and complaining that the employee with the only key (!) is missing and the only door (!) is locked, so they can’t leave. Yeah, the plot doesn’t make much sense. But maybe the worst thing about the movie? The sound quality is so inconsistent and the volume fluctuates so much that I had to raise and lower the volume on my TV constantly. On second thought, I should have muted it. Or not watched it at all. I could write another two pages about why this movie sucks, but then I’d have spent an hour and a half on it including its 79-minute runtime, and life is short. Do not watch this movie.

(more…)


House of Cue Cards & More Robin Williams Tributes – Morning Monologue

House of Cue Cards & More Robin Williams Tributes – Morning Monologue

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 7.42.37 AM

Let’s get right to it.  Over the last couple of years, Jimmy Fallon’s department have put together incredible parodies of popular television shows.  We’ve seen Game of Desks, Joking Bad, Downton Sixbey and more.  But last night may have provided one of the best and well shot parodies that we’ve seen so far, House of Cue Cards.  Jimmy gets down Kevin Spacey’s spot on southern accent, while Higgins shows up in the wrong Netflix parody.  The spoof has a cameo from Ellen Barkin as Jimmy’s wife, Claire.  Also, you’re going to watch all the way to the end to see a very surprise appearance.

Part 1

Part 2

 

Also, Late Night hosts continued to pay tribute to Robin Williams, check out the links below:

Conan:

Late Night With Seth Meyers

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

If you didn’t hear, we’re now on Facebook, so be sure to check us out over there!


Oh Captain, My Captain: Robin Williams Dead at 63

Oh Captain, My Captain: Robin Williams Dead at 63

DEAUVILLE FESTIVAL: THE ACTOR ROBIN WILLIAMS

Late yesterday afternoon, the machine of perpetual motion that was comic Robin Williams finally stopped.

As most writers are, I’m often given to hyperbole — in this industry, you have to be. Emotions need to be trumped just a little, statements and opinions sometimes need to be a little bolder than they need to be. That’s just how it works. But hyperbole is the only way to discuss Robin Williams.

As you know by now, Williams was discovered unconscious and breathing in his California home yesterday afternoon, allegedly due to suicide by asphyxiation. It was a complete shock; even this morning it doesn’t seem like it could truly be possible — how could a man whose life appeared to be one constant stream of comedy harbor a pocket so dark it could prompt him to take his own life?

Williams’ struggles with depression, bi-polar disorder and substance abuse had long been documented, but Williams’ comedy always seemed to spring from a place of creating happiness in others. He has revealed in interviews that although he was born into a wealthy family he developed his comedy skills to please his mother; this desire for attention seemed to also apply to Williams’ relationship with his audiences as it became standard that Williams would go over time on television interviews with his rapid-fire improvisations. I recall one morning, when I was in high school, being late for school because a morning show interview with Williams evolved into a nearly 20-minute tirade of impressions, observations and interactions with everyone from the hosts to the camera operators. Nobody stopped him. How could you? Why would you? That interview, which should have only been a standard 4-5 minutes, remains one of the most fascinating stream-of-consciousness performances I’ve ever seen.

But that was Robin Williams. He was never dialed down. He was always bigger than the room. Director Garry Marshall once hired a fifth camera — outside of the four cameras typical to film a television sitcom — just to follow Williams at all times on the set. He was a comedic cyclone, uncontainable.

A look at Williams’ films denote his many facets. Films like Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage showcased his incredible comic gifts while Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society framed Williams as a mentor figure. Jack, Hook and Jumanji saw Williams play childlike characters, while Moscow on the Hudson and The Fisher King presented Williams as the disenfranchised outsider. Later roles like Insomia and One Hour Photo would present darker sides of the comedian, in retrospect perhaps to give a voice to the quieter sides of Williams’ struggles.

Williams won an Oscar, four Golden Globes, two Emmys and five Grammys, but his philanthropic side bore as much weight as his acting chops. A longtime and active supporter of the USO and co-founder of HBO’s Comic Relief efforts, charity was always important to the actor. He even famously parted ways with Disney after he felt the corporation slighted him — he recorded the voice of the Genie in 1992’s Aladdin for only $75,000 with the caveat that Disney not use his name or voice to sell anything additionally, something he felt the Mouse welshed upon.

On a personal level, it’s very difficult this morning for those of us who grew up with Robin Williams to realize he’s gone. For generations like mine, there has never been a time when Robin Williams wasn’t one of the greatest comics in the world; there has simply never been a world without Robin Williams. Unlike other actors, Williams made a special connection — there was a personal level to his relationship to us, the audience, that was sweet and endearing. He lived to please but, in the end, couldn’t please himself. Perhaps there was nothing in his world that could give him what he very selflessly gave us. Such is the nature of depression — and hopefully his death will call attention to the many who suffer as well.

It is no hyperbole to say that the loss of Robin Williams is one of the greatest to the comedy universe in many, many years. He was completely unique. The world had never seen anyone like Robin Williams before and the world will never see another person like him. Like Aladdin’s Genie, he was almost ethereal in his genius. He will be long missed but long loved. In the end, Robin Williams was an unstoppable force who would only be contained by himself.


Shazbot: Morning Monologue Remembers Robin Williams

Shazbot: Morning Monologue Remembers Robin Williams

robin_williams_carson_tcm

Waking up this morning, the world feels different.  A world with comedic genius Robin Williams in it was a better one, and his sad passing has hit everyone hard. It is impossible to look at a Facebook feed without someone sharing their favorite Williams role, and almost every one is different.  From Mork and Mindy to Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society to Patch Adams, Fern Gully to Aladdin, Williams was something special.  We at Funkhouser will be spending the day reflecting on the career of Robin Williams.  On Today’s Morning Monologue, we wanted to show some of Williams’ memorable moments from late night talk shows.  In fact, Conan O’Brien actually found out on the air yesterday evening, and paid tribute to the comedic legend.

Johnny Carson was a big fan of Robin Williams and had said so on many of Williams’ appearances on the Tonight Show.  This is Robin Williams’ first appearance on the Tonight Show, where he is already going at 110%:

In 2011, Williams had David Letterman rolling in laughter over The Academy Awards and USO Tours.  There was an interesting bit in the middle about Charlie Sheen and Rehab, as well:

Lastly, we’ll leave you with a recent stint of Robin Williams on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  The pair battle with Ferguson’s producer on trying to get anything past the censor:

 

We will have more today on Funkhouser in tribute to Robin Williams.  Please share with us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below your favorite Robin Williams moments, and we will post them here on the site.

 

Nanu Nanu Robin…