Lots to catch up on:
There’s about a zero percent chance Stroudsburg could be the choice for an advanced screening of Avengers in two weeks. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try, right? There is nothing really on the Avengers Facebook page for this contest. So maybe it’s kind of a secret thing. The story says you have to “lobby” for your city to win. Then who’s to say the city with the best hook or angle can’t win? If Avengers is going to be showing it off in five more cities, wouldn’t they think it would get pretty good publicity to include a small town in there? One that just got a brand-spanking-new theater with state-of-the-art technology? It just so happens we’ve got two of those, the Cinemark Stroud Mall and the Casino Theatre in Mount Pocono. I hate to split the vote, but let’s all get on the Avengers Facebook page and start telling them they should come here for one of the early premieres. Pick any reason you want — small town atmosphere, great people, huge fans or whatever you want. Just do it early and often, and maybe we can get the Avengers here early.
When the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon came on Disney XD, I largely ignored it. I’m not really a cartoon person, I never did the Japanese anime thing and unless it’s Simpsons or Family Guy, I pretty much think cartoons are for kids. But I tried it out as something to get my 3-year-old into superheroes in a feeble and largely transparent way for us to have something to bond over. Two strange things happened: 1. It worked, we’re Avengers buddies now. 2. I got addicted enough that I blew through the first 26 episodes on Netflix with my daughter in about three weeks. The show is obviously for 12-year-olds, but I don’t care. I’m totally in to it. So when my daughter wasn’t at home yesterday for the season 2 premiere, I still watched it by myself. And loved it. The show is really doing its job since it’s clearly an advertisement for the movie. I’m there second weekend, only because I’ll be avoiding the crowds of the opening weekend. Mission accomplished. Plus, I love the cheesy goodness of the theme song. I keep thinking it’s Sum 41 singing it.
As long as Avengers wants to start the publicity frenzy and Will Smith is cool with hosting the Kids Choice Awards billed as “the star of Men in Black III” then it’s cool by me to start talking about the summer movie season. And to start asking questions about them. Here are six pretty good questions, though I don’t agree with them all. Like, why is anyone worried about the Bourne franchise? And why would anyone be worried about it going up against the Total Recall remake? Remember last August when there was another Arnie action movie that got remade? How did that one do? In the voice of the Bubble Boy, “Not too good.” That’s not to say Total Recall is destined for the same result … but it should be like the buzzing of flies to anything Bourne related.
Your call on whether you want to be excited about the Dumb and Dumber sequel. The real Dumb and Dumber sequel, that is. I’m not sure I can be since the Farrellys haven’t made a funny movie in now going on 14 years. That’s an 0-for-7 streak after they debuted with three of my favorite comedies ever. The closest thing to funny being Heartbreak Kid, which isn’t nearly as unfunny as it was supposed to be. Ringing endorsement for the Blu-ray cover! Anyone who expects that streak to end with Three Stooges this weekend should probably have their head examined. So we’re looking at 0-for-8 going into a sequel with a comedian who hasn’t been really funny in a straight comedy since Liar Liar in 1997. 1997!!! That’s a lot of history for them to get their mojo back for a sequel that will hit theaters almost two decades since the original. Feel free to hit the comments or the PopRox Facebook page for the Airing of Grievances. “I got a lotta problems with this movie!!!”
Chevy Chase has developed the Hollywood reputation of being a prickly jerk. There’s a reason that one of the funniest men in Hollywood history didn’t get a decent job for two decades before Community came calling. Check out his IMDB page. Go ahead, I dare you. Since Christmas Vacation in 1989, the guy was nothing. Man of the House? Cops and Robbersons? Cameo appearances? This is Fletch. Clark Griswold. Ty Webb. This is Chevy-freakin’-Chase. And for 20 years, the guy couldn’t get arrested. Community comes in and gives him a chance to resurrect his comedy career and credibility -- he did both -- and Chase thanks them by pulling a Chevy Chase. Unbelievable. There is plenty of blame to go around, Dan Harmon definitely shouldn’t have done what he did publicly calling out a comedy legend in front of the people that look up to him. Then he definitely, definitely shouldn’t have played that phone message in front of a bunch of people. That reeks of classless. But obviously this is not the first dust up. About three-quarters of the way through the (naughty, naughty language alert!) phone message, Chase pretty much dares Harmon to play his voice mail in front of “everyone that agrees with you.” That sounds like something you say when there is a rift in a group of people and you frustratingly feel like the odd man out. The sad part is, this may actually help Community’s prospects in the long run. The show is looking for any kind of publicity it can get to get into the mainstream since most people just aren’t responding to its brand of humor. Apparently people don’t think funny is good. I’ve stopped trying to understand America. Anyway, a good fight involving Chevy Chase might be exactly what the show needs to bring it some attention. Not that it wanted it this way, but hey, you take what you can get. It’s actually so perfect I’d consider it being staged, but this seems pretty genuine. That phone message sure does. If it’s real and if Community gets renewed, no way Chase goes back to the show. No. Way. On top of everything else, Chase will be questioning whether the people he thought were his friends at the show were sitting in on that little playing of the phone message. “I know you were there, Joel! I can hear your weasley little laugh in the background!” Not the best way to go about your work on a show that likes to tout its cast togetherness.
We’re about six weeks from knowing if Community will live to fight another season, with or without Chevy Chase. Check out the schedules for the network upfronts, where we will find out for sure which shows are staying and which are going. It’s pretty cut and dry at this point to know which shows are squarely on the bubble for cancellation and which ones aren’t. I might do a breakdown later this week. Sounds like a good Sunday column topic, actually.
Get a Life is up there with Phenom, the Markie Post years of Night Court and seasons 2 through 4 of The Drew Carey Show as sitcoms that NEED to be on DVD. And now it will be. Get a Life and Chris Elliott were ahead of their time when it came out in 1990. Self-deprecating loser-type stuff wouldn’t come vogue for another couple years when George Costanza put a patent on it. But Chris Elliott had first dibs on an even more pathetic version of George Constanza, and it was hysterical. After I bought seasons 3, 4 and 5 of Saved by the Bell to complete my SBTB collection, I told myself I wouldn’t be buying anymore TV on DVD. But I might make an exception for Get a Life if for no other reason than I barely remember any of the jokes or details because it never really made its way to syndication. It would be like starting a show new, only you definitely know it’s going to be funny. I can’t be alone as someone who hears the REM song Stand and immediately thinks of Chris Elliott chucking newspapers from his bike. It’s still one of my favorite opening credit sequences. I just watched it, and it made me laugh four times in a minute.
Check out this festival lineup — Black Keys, Killers, Jack White, Death Cab, Passion Pit, Cake … it’s a lineup of awesome sauce, a phrase I hate using but kind of fits here. It’s in Delaware at the Dover International Speedway, 200 miles and three hours away. A long three hours. Now just for a second, imagine if that lineup was in the Poconos. It would be incredible, right? One of the best things that’s ever happened around here, right? Forget it, it sounds completely far-fetched and unattainable. Or does it? If you’ve ever been by Dover International Speedway on your way to Dewey Beach or Ocean City, it’s a pretty big property — but not, to the naked eye, as big as Pocono Raceway in Long Pond. And Pocono Raceway is really trying to do more with its massive property, hosting a 311 concert and two extreme-sports races this year in addition to the races. So why not go bigger? This is just conjecture and trying to connect some dots — but why can’t it happen? The one thing Dover has over Pocono for a festival like this is accessibility, sitting right there on busy Route 13. But we can overcome that, right? Let’s connect the dots one step further. This Firefly Festival is being staged by the Chicago-based promotions company Red Frog Events. That just happens to be the same company that puts on Warrior Dash, the race that moves from Skirmish USA to Pocono Raceway in June. Hmmmmmmmm …
Adam Sandler. When it comes to Razzies lore, no one has ever stood as high as he stands this morning. Take a bow, Mr. Formerly Funny Sandler. You’ve managed to toilet-flush your credibility enough that your fans have turned on you, voting you and your cohorts to 10 Razzies this year, a clean sweep in every category. That would be the first time that’s ever happened, by the by. Think about that for a second. The Razzies have been around for 31 years. In that time, we’ve seen some of the most ridiculous movies ever made. Showgirls. Gigli. Freddy Got Fingered. The Room. All of them won their share of Razzies — but none of them ever swept through the whole ceremony. Adam Sandler — once one of the most respected comedy minds in the world — just managed to do it. Kudos, my good man. Kudos. If anyone is checking, yes, I said in November that Sandler was a lock for worst actor and would likely set Razzie records. That was easier than predicting Titanic as the best picture winner in 1998.