Your Weekend Fun Guide and My Favorite (Two) Link(s) of the Last Few Months

Kinda low on local links this week, but here goes. As always, if you want to make sure your event gets mentioned here Friday, send the PopRox Facebook page an invite or email it in to me.

yes, guys, one more week of this. be sure to thank the snowstorm.

Thanks to the snow last week, I’ve got good news. Halloween has been extended by a week! Maybe the federal government isn’t going to recognize that fact and give everyone an extra day off, but a bunch of places decided to delay their Halloween costume parties to this Saturday. I’ve found three of them: My Place in Marshalls Creek, the Cinder Inn in East Stroudsburg and Desaki in Swiftwater. You know how when you go to the beach and every girl is dressed in bathing suits, then you come home and you wonder why people aren’t walking down Main Street in a bikini? And you realize you want to go back to the beach yesterday? This is like that. You went to Halloween parties on Saturday, every girl was dressed in a school girl or sexy cop outfit, then you went out to watch games the next afternoon and they were back dressed in sweat pants and a hoodie and you wondered what the eff happened. This is your chance to extend your beach vacation. Make the most of it. (If I missed anywhere that will have their costume parties this weekend, send me a note and I’ll try to update this later.)

instant karma's gonna, i don't know, getcha, or something

Of all the tribute bands out there, especially all the Beatles tribute bands, how come there aren’t more tribute singers? Like, why not a Paul McCartney tribute? What Beatles fan wouldn’t see that? The Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe helps answer that question tomorrow night with a John Lennon tribute band. I’d tell you the guy’s name, but would it matter? He dresses and sings like John Lennon and sings John Lennon songs, so his actual name is pretty inconsequential. OK, it’s actually a seven-piece band called the Nu-Utopians, which is just about the most hippie name you can imagine south of The Tree Huggers. Maybe someone asked that tribute-singer question too much, since the next week the venue is hosting a John Denver tribute.

Penn’s Peak has Get the Led Out on Saturday night because, you know, it’s some kind of rule that Led Zeppelin cannot die. Ever. Despite the fact that there is a Led Zeppelin song played at least once every hour on every classic rock station in the country, people still can’t get enough Zeppelin. My Zeppelin phase lasted about two months in college, but quickly passed when Rock 107 in Scranton (105.9 up on the mountain) made it company policy or something to give us so much Zeppelin we’d fall under its mind control devices. Hmmm. Maybe it’s some kind of conspiracy by Radiohead fans or something, to play so much Zeppelin that we’ll have no choice but to get sick of Zeppelin and actually look to the present for a new favorite band.

no, no, thank you, ron meyer.

Since that’s all the local links we have, thought this might be a good time to share the best link I’ve seen in a couple months. No, really, read this. Please. Pretty please. You may have already read it, but read it again. It’s the head of Universal, Ron Meyer, candidly and awesomely talking about how much the studio’s movies have sucked lately. He puts it so eloquently, it’s tough to argue with him. All that, and he didn’t even mention any of the Fast and the Furious movies! I went back and checked out the last three years of Universal movies in the top 100 grossing films of each year:

2011: $100 million-plus gross domestic box office receipts: Fast Five, Hop, Cowboys and Aliens, Bridesmaids. Under $100 million: The Adjustment Bureau, The Dilemma, Paul, Larry Crowne, Your Highness, Dream House, The Thing. VERDICT: Bridesmaids and Adjustment Bureau are starting to get some surprise Oscar talk, but everything else there is either a crappy movie or a box office disaster. Oh, and I’m taking Cowboys and Aliens out of my queue on the glowing recommendation of Mr. Meyer. Thanks! All it’s got coming out over the holidays is Tower Heist, which has the chance to make around $150 million.

2010: $100 million plus: Despciable Me, Little Fockers, Robin Hood. Under $100 million: The Wolfman, Get Him to the Greek, Devil, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Charlie St. Cloud, Nanny McPhee Returns. VERDICT: And you thought it couldn’t get any worse. But wait, there’s more!

2009: $100 million-plus: Fast and Furious, It’s Complicated, Couples Retreat. Yeah, you read that right, both It’s Complicated and Couples Retreat made over $100 million. Under $100 million: Public Enemies, Bruno, Funny People, Land of the Lost, The Unborn, Drag Me to Hell, Duplicity, State of Play, The Last House on the Left, The Fourth Kind. VERDICT: I had to click on Duplicity to remember what it was. I couldn’t get Multiplicity out of my head, but I knew Michael Keaton wasn’t in Duplicity.

His crazy rants notwithstanding — why does Ron Meyer still have a job? And how is Universal still in business, especially when its business partner is the failure that is NBC? If this is the end of his career, what a way to go out. Thanks for making my week, Mr. Meyer.

Whoops, my bad. We have a tie for best link! Anytime there is a city-wide effort to rid its ears of Nickelback, we can reaffirm our faith in mankind. Laugh all the way to the bank, Chad Kroeger. Take a second and sign the petition. No one wants to start their Thanksgiving hangovers with Nickelback. Although it’s going to be pretty funny when this whole thing fails, Nickelback shows up to sing and gets booed for its entire performance.

the funniest episode of the series so far

You’re safe watching Once Upon a Time for the rest of the year, ABC gave it and two other shows full-season pickups this week. You’re safe from everything but sanity and well-constructed humor if you choose to watch Last Man Standing — but it’s going to be around for the rest of the season. One of the biggest stories this year for ABC is the deserved success of Happy Endings, which also got a full-season pick-up. I really like Happy Endings. I’m kind of going through the motions with a lot of my other comedies, but Happy Endings is one of the comedies I look forward to watching every week.

OK, I’m out, so here’s the extended preview of the Sunday column that goes in the paper. No links or pics though, sorry.

Random thoughts and questions about the holiday movie season that is now underway:

Martin Scorsese has directed a family movie, “Hugo,” (releasing Nov. 22). What’s worse, no one in the movie will drop an F-bomb, get whacked or even live in New York City. Shouldn’t that be, like, illegal or something?

Jeremy Renner’s participation in “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” (Dec. 21), is designed as grooming for him to take over the franchise from Tom Cruise. First of all, he’ll probably have to pry this thing out of Tom Cruise’s cold, dead hands. Second of all, how much does anyone want to see the continuation of the “Mission: Impossible” series, with or without Cruise? Hasn’t it kind of run its course?

No, “The Adventures of Tintin” (Dec. 21) has nothing to do with a German shepherd establishing his own brand of justice on the American frontier. That would be Rin Tin Tin. When I found out it wasn’t the dog, I completely lost interest and I still don’t know what it is. Some British cartoon or something?

Will Adam Sandler be a good sport and show up to receive three Razzie awards for “Jack and Jill” (Nov. 11)? He’s a cinch nomination for worst actor, worst picture and worst screenplay. His only hope to get lucky is to lose out to the colossal disaster known as “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Porn Star.” Too bad Sandler was a producer and writer on that too. Has he completely run out of ideas? “Jack and Jill” looks about as funny as a corpse. Uh oh, I just gave him his next idea, “Weekend at Sandler’s.”

Hop on, there’s room for everyone on the third edition of Eddie Murphy’s comeback bandwagon! First stop, “Tower Heist” (out now)! Next stop, the Oscars! Plenty of time to buy low on Murphy right now.

If you’re looking for comparisons for Jonah Hill’s recent career, good luck. After hitting in “Superbad” in 2007, he hung around as one of the Judd Apatow Players for a while (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Funny People”), hit the indie scene quite well last year (“Cyrus”) and went overboard in voice acting, even starting his own animated TV show (“Allen Gregory”). This year he somehow convinced us he’s a baseball savant (“Moneyball”) and is now full-circle back to adolescent raunch (“The Sitter,” coming out Dec. 9). The only comparison I could come up with — Steve Carell. The obvious choice — Seth Rogen — is missing an indie comedy-drama credit.

In this day and age where Hollywood studios fight for a release date of a movie before the script is even started, the first weekend in December has become some kind of wasteland. For the second year in a row, it’s the only weekend of the year — the only one — without a wide movie release. In the second-most profitable season of the movie year, how can one weekend be so averse to major releases? My guess is that weekend has cooties. I’m working on other theories.

This might be writer/director Cameron Crowe’s last shot at real Hollywood stardom. The Dec. 23 release “We Bought a Zoo,” looks cute, lovable, has Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson’s star power and could be this year’s version of the surprise hit of Christmas 2008, “Marley and Me.” But for as good as Crowe is, “Jerry Maguire” remains his only movie that has struck both critical and commercial success. That was 14 years ago.

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 (Nov. 18).” That’s it. I’m just contractually obligated to mention it in any holiday movie preview.

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