Normally, I’d take any opportunity to stick it to the Hollywood studio machine. So under normal circumstances, this Internet blackout thing would be right up my alley.
But a couple of things intervened:
1. Because of my schedule (took a four-day weekend for my nephew’s first birthday in Virginia Beach, I’m not apologizing for that), I haven’t put anything up since last Thursday, and it’s been a week since I’ve put any links blogs up. That’s too long, and it’s not fair to readers who I’ve asked to come to expect somewhat regular postings.
2. I wrote a regular news piece story about the blackout in today’s paper, and didn’t want to come too far out on one side or the other. That’s bad journalist ethics.
Here’s a pretty good explanation of what’s going on, from the admittedly partial and biased group FightfortheFuture.org:
Hollywood’s arguments and theories are sound — piracy costs billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs — but the execution is inherently flawed. No one with a brain likes piracy. REPEAT: No one with a brain likes Internet piracy. If you do, you’re a jerk. Sorry, you just are. Let’s get something that doesn’t put the future of free thinking on the Internet in jeopardy, shall we?
On to a super-packed links. Just so you know, as per the usual but to let new readers know, you’re in the wrong place if between now and May you’re looking for some American Idol commentary. I have yet to watch more than 30 seconds total of the show. Just an FYI, I’m not in the business of wasting your time. That link there? There’s a good chance that will be the last American Idol link of the year around here.
Why couldn’t I get pumped up for the Golden Globes on Sunday? Maybe it’s because I’ve started to come to the realization that they don’t mean crap, and Hollywood will make its own decisions when it comes to the Oscars, the only film awards that matter even a little bit. Or maybe it’s because I’m so behind on movies I’m starting to hate myself for it and I can’t make truly informed decisions about who should be winning. And the TV awards portion was so Homeland-heavy (still haven’t seen it) that I couldn’t get excited about TV either. Anyway, other than Jessica Biel looking like she had a third boob and Angelina Jolie looking like she needs to start hitting the dessert bar to pack one some pounds somewhere, anywhere, it was a pretty borring night at the Globes, from what I saw. Can’t say I was terribly paying attention.
I’m pretty behind in my TV watching — I didn’t even watch last night’s Justified yet, or the returns of The Office or Parks and Rec, though I did watch Fox’s really, really good comedy lineup last night -- so I was thinking of skipping tonight’s ABC comedy lineup to get caught up. Now? I’m watching, thanks to an 18-year-old who doesn’t like good ol’ cussin’ on TV. Hey, I’m with him, for the most part. And now that I’m a parent, I hate having to monitor it more than I ever have. But like it or not, when babies curse, it’s funny. It’s been done on TV before (I’m pretty sure Growing Pains did a whole episode on Chrissy picking up a curse) and it’s going to be done after. Modern Family isn’t a trailblazer here, but it’s a funny show that’s always been apt to experiment. So I’m totally fine with Lilly dropping a bleeped F-bomb. And actually, as a parent, I’m looking forward to seeing how Cam and Mitchell react to it and combat it. I can use all the tips I can get, seeing as it’s only a matter of time before I have to deal with it. So thanks for the heads up, Cussing Guy, and for giving Modern Family some free publicity. Like it needs it.
When it comes to rappers who have moved on to bigger and better things, Will Smith is the pinnacle, by far. But after that, LL Cool J has to be next, right? As if he needed to be legitimized more, he’s hosting the Grammys this year, the first time the show has used a host in the last seven years. I vividly remember seeing him for his cameo in Krush Groove in like 1986 or 87 and thinking he was the coolest thing ever. Then it took him another 10 years or soto start getting noticed. I wouldn’t watch NCIS Los Angeles at gunpoint, but LL Cool J almost makes me want to check it out sometime. Normally it would take another gun-related scenario to get me to watch the Grammys too, but with LL on board, I’m considering it. And because you have to have it, you need it …
AMC made it official over the weekend and announced that Mad Men is coming back March 25, and added that The Killing will be back with a two-hour premiere April 1. Nice strategy by AMC. No decent show got worse PR than the Killing last year, what with the tricking its fans and all. So instead of making it a stand-alone show that would start airing in June after Mad Men finishes its run, AMC has decided to package it with Mad Men. The logic is probably that there was a huge crossover of Mad Men viewers that watched The Killing, but wouldn’t watch The Killing this year because they feel like they were bent over from last year’s finale. With the two of them on the same night back-to-back, AMC is probably hoping that some Mad Men fans just say, “Eh, why not?” and start watching again. Great tagline for The Killing. “Eh, why not?” If you’re keeping count, that would end The Killing around June 17 or 24, which would presumably be when the network would start Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season.
One of the funniest top movie lists of the year is always Quentin Tarantino’s list. You wanna see a top movie list of a guy who doesn’t give a frigg? It’s his. He has no problem including a largely ignored movie (Three Musketeers), a flawed blockbuster (X-Men) or going with the traditional, critically praised indie (Attack the Block). I’m happy he went with one completely ignored movie, Red State, since it’s going to be in my top 20 and I’ll need justification to my Orange Street compatriots on why I included it. Now I gots some. I’m with Quentin on Meek’s Cutoff (happily fell asleep while watching it) and Sucker Punch (stopped after 45 minutes, couldn’t take it anymore) as two of the worst movies. I’m not with him on giving Green Lantern or Hangover 2 any kind of consideration. An interesting game would be to try at the end of next year to figure out what crazy movie he’ll throw in his list next year.
Every show has a rabid, crazy fanbase. Normally, I can understand why, even if it’s for the smallest of reasons. But Cougar Town, now coming back Feb. 14? I just can’t get with it. I don’t understand why people go crazy over this show and why there is such a crazy-butt backlash for ABC putzing around with it all year. It’s funny enough, but for me it’s the third-best Bill Lawrence show (out of three) and is the ultimate example for me of “watch if I have time/nothing else better to do.” Like tonight I have to sort my laundry and take out the garbage after I get the kids to bed. If I didn’t, and Cougar Town was on? Then I’d probably watch it. Still, it’s better than the abhorrent and offensive Work It, so at least there’s that.
One of the weirdest sequels proposed lately — Can’t Hardly Wait 2. Wouldn’t that ship have sailed back in the early 2000s when they would have graduated from college? It’s a pretty good movie, one that surprisingly gets high school life pretty close to right. The party is a little much, it doesn’t come close to American Pie for the title of Most Real High School Party. Then again, Underworld just got, what, an eighth sequel or something? You would think/hope the crowd for a Can’t Hardly Wait sequel would be bigger. But that movie should not ever, ever, ever be made without Seth Green coming back. It shouldn’t be allowed.
Don’t let the door hit you in the butt, Georgie Boy. Lucas is probably never going to understand how deeply and how permanently he scarred the same people that idolized him growing up in the 70s and 80s. Those studio executives that passed up the chance to latch on to Red Tails? There is a good chance they were some of the same people that sat through some of the worst lines of dialogue in movie history in the three Star Wars prequels. Or the same people that are reading about him defending the indefensible “nuke the fridge” moment of the indefensible Crystal Skull. They know that the original three Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies are completely and totally friggin’ awesome. They also know the prequels and Crystal Skull are stir-fried shat. So if those executives feel confident telling their flunkies to go see the screening and report back to them, what’s Lucas’ big beef? He rags on fanboys, but has no perspective on why they hate his most recent works and then refuses to take responsibility for them. He says he wants to go small, then turns around and throws the Star Wars movies back into theaters under the guise of “NOW IN 3-D!!!” so he can steal a couple more of our dollars. It’s frustrating, right? I’m not crazy, am I? No, no I’m not. He is. Let’s just go ahead and designate Lucas the most delusional man in Hollywood.
How does Fringe stay on the air next year? Papal blessing? Cosmic intervention, like an Armageddon meteor hitting the Fox TV studios and only Fringe survives? When a network show is only getting about 2.9 million people to watch like Fringe’s return got Friday, it gets canceled. Period. I don’t want Fringe gone any more than you do. But it’s really hard to imagine it will be back next year, especially since keeping it on the air means Fox is losing money.
There’s no getting around it. Wes Anderson is not everyone’s writer/director. His jokes are subtle, his direction is sometimes heavy-handed with music you’ve more than likely never, ever heard on the radio and because of those things, he’s prone to a complete swing and a miss (looking at you, Life Aquatic). But if you’re a fan of Anderson — and I am — you love him. You get excited when you see he’s ready to make a new movie. But after some so-so live action efforts, you’re a little gun shy. You want to like whatever he’s got coming next, you just don’t know if you should. Then you see the trailer for Moonrise Kingdom. And even though you may not know much about the movie from the trailer, you laugh. More than you laugh at the trailer for any blockbuster comedy coming out in the summer. That’s the kind of writer/director Anderson is, for better or worse. And right now, after seeing the trailer, I’m ready to rank Moonrise Kingdom as my #3 movie to see this year behind Dark Knight Rises and Avengers. Yes, the trailer is that good. Though I think I said the same thing about Life Aquatic. TRAILER GRADE: A
And how could I resist this? Safe to say I will most definitely be watching the replay of Monday Night Raw on UHD this weekend. It’s sad that a random Mr. Belding sighting gets me more excited about wrestling now than any feud the WWE has going on this month. I always thought Mr. Belding was more partial to American Gladiators, but whatever.