Our First Summer Bomb

Let’s see if we can suck ourselves out of the TV vortex we’ve been stuck in for the past week.

what is that? a career ender?

Remember in Reservoir Dogs when Joe says he knew it was Mr. Orange that was the undercover cop? And the only reason he knew was because he wasn’t 100 percent sure on him? Well, I should have my freaking head examined too for going ahead with Battleship as one of my picks for the summer movie box office top 10 when I wasn’t 100 percent sure. I feel like a complete idiot for picking it, and now seeing that it only made $25.3 million this weekend, a very, very distant second to Avengers and very, very close to fitting the modern box office definition of a bomb. This is not the year Taylor Kitsch was looking for after getting saddled with the year’s other big-budget, big-expectation franchise possibility, John Carter. For all the attention John Carter got for being a bomb, it actually opened higher than Battleship. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Every ingredient was there for a bomb, and I looked right past it. I really should have my freaking head examined. Damn you, Taylor Kitsch and my man-crush on you!

why so glum, chum? you had eight good years.

I think I watched one episode of House. Maybe. So I wasn’t one of the 20 million people that watched it in 2006-07 when it was at its apex. I think I only know one person who was, so it wasn’t exactly on my radar. Meh. Just like Tessa, you can’t miss something you never knew.

We yelled, we screamed, we begged … and we got we want, Community coming back for a fourth season. Everything was supposed to be great, right? Tell that to Dan Harmon. Or to Chris McKenna, the only other show writer still on the show from the first season. They’re gone and now the show will be dealing with an entirely new creative staff. Welcome to life at NBC! Although I gotta say, if I was NBC, I’d be thinking about cleaning creative house too after this season. What I loved about Community was that it wasn’t afraid to take risks. Hit or miss, it took the high-risk, high-reward creative chances that  kept it fresh and hysterical. But maybe that’s because the chances the show took hit way more often than they missed. Of all the weird risks the show took in the first and second season — the chicken fingers episode, the paintball episodes, the bottle episode — the only thing that missed was the My Dinner with Andre episode. But this year, only the alternate timeline episode really worked. The mental hospital episode, the video game thing — nothing was really working the way it should have this year. Then when Dan Harmon is ignorant enough to air his Chevy Chase-related dirty laundry on the Internet, it was probably something close to the last straw. NBC had a month to mull it over and decided that there really wasn’t anything to lose. They chucked it to Friday nights with its brilliant Whitney lead-in, amounting to something close to a burn-off of episodes before the season even starts. Bravo, NBC. If you didn’t want the show back, then why did you bring it back? Was NBC that scared of the show’s fans?

Looks like we couldn’t really get out of the TV trap — Breaking Bad is coming back July 15. It’s a pretty bare summer compared to other years, so Walt might have it to himself. That’s pretty much when we thought it was coming back anyway, it’s not like this is huge news. but at least we know exactly when it’s coming back. Still no trailer to show for it though, get on the ball AMC.

There are two teaser trailers out there for Anchorman 2 that were both attached to The Dictator. Neither of them are funny. Anchorman is one of those movies people keep telling me is funny, that I should watch it again and catch all the subtle comedy. And you know what? It gets less funny every time I watch it. It took me a couple years to rekindle any appreciation I had for Will Ferrell’s movies or Will Ferrell in general. Step Brothers — five years after Anchorman — was the first time I thought, “Yeah, this is still one of the funniest people in America.” So then I think that maybe it is just me again, maybe Anchorman really is funny. Then I see those teaser trailers and I know it’s not me. It’s Anchorman. For whatever reason, I don’t find it funny. TRAILER GRADES: C-. I only posted one, but they’re both the same thing.

Don’t worry, it’s not all bad trailer news. I’m a pretty passive James Bond fan, I can dip in and out of the series and not really mind what I miss. Casino Royale was super-awesome, the parkour scene at the beginning is probably one of my top 10 action scenes of all time. But Quantum of Solace was probably the most boring action movie I’ve ever seen with one of the most ridiculous, confusing plots ever. So the franchise has a lot of work to do to get me back or else is Redbox city from now on. The first teaser of Skyfall — the Bond movie due for November — is a step in the right direction. I’m still a little concerned with super-brooding Bond, that pretty much ruins a lot of the spirit and fun of the character. I know the whole movie won’t be that way, but geez. When Bond is that despondent, it makes me think a root canal would be more pleasant. The trailer still looks good though. Just don’t forget to have a little fun. TRAILER GRADE: B

Soooo … like any good movie fan, I want to like the new trailer for The Master. We all do. Paul Thomas Anderson’s first movie since There Will Be Blood? The man who gave us Boogie Nights and Magnolia? Yeah, I want to like The Master. But geez, PTA sure makes it hard, right? 1:40 of a hungover Joaquin Phoenix just hanging out, talking to some MP type about en “episode.” They say it so much, I thought there were talking about a TV show. Which I’m pretty sure they’re not, but not completely convinced. I get where they’re going. And Phoenix having his fake-not-fake loss of reason a couple years ago makes this whole thing a little too close to breaking the third wall. But since the trailer doesn’t bother letting you know, I’ll tell you. The movie is about cult religions, and Phoenix is the star recruit. I wrote it in 12 words, the trailer couldn’t do that in almost 2 minutes. TRAILER GRADE: C

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