Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gulliver's Travels

I imagine the pitch for Gulliver's Travels went something like this:

Jack Black (Executive Producer and Star):
". . . and then I wake up on a strange beach, tied up just like the guy in the Swift novel, surrounded by these little fuckers. I freak out, rip off the ropes and jump to my feet. Then, the little bastards attack me. One of them manages to pull my pants down just a bit, enough to show my butt crack for 15 or 20 seconds, then pulls me down onto my back. As I fall to the ground, one of the little fuckers gets lodged in my butt crack. Later -- and the full details have to be worked out on this scene -- there will be a fire in one of the little houses these people live in, and I'll put the fire out by pissing on it. We'll film it in 3-D, put it out at Christmas when people have more time to see matinees, and the kids will beg to see it!"

Sigh . . .

I have a theory about the roles Jack Black chooses. After terrific performances in Hi-Fidelity, Shallow Hal, and School of Rock, Black tried his hand at leading-man drama, with King Kong. If flopped with critics. Black was reminded by Hollywood that people come see his movies for the arched eyebrow, the goofy smirk, the references to rock-n-roll and sci-fi trivia, and his paunchy-everyman persona.

Hollywood is wrong. We don't want the same character over and over again. If he keeps this practice up, Black's gonna lose his audience. Just ask Tom Hanks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Little Fockers

One of the things I most enjoy about blogging is the sense of community it provides. I've known the author of Read Me for several years, and have great respect for her artistry. Take a look at her blog, and and you'll see I ain't lying.

Recently Read Me caught a showing of Little Fockers. I was curious what she thought, so I asked her to write a guest commentary. Here is her post:

Some movies you watch and are amused by because your mood is right, you have an affinity for the actors in front of you in larger-than-life size, and you just want to like it. If those elements had not been present, I would have enjoyed nothing about Little Fockers.

I watched the other movies and thought that the level of discomfort that Greg Focker (Ben Stiller's character) felt was just enough to make it funny but not too outrageous to make me lose interest. In this third extension of the first of the Ben Stiller/Robert De Niro/Dustin Hoffman in-law comedies, that same level of discomfort still manages to bring some level of humor. Jessica Alba's character is bubbly and hard not to like, as a fashionably dressed and flirtatious young professional. The Little Fockers add a little charm, and Owen Wilsons's character brings a new level of interest and much-needed diversion to the tired theme of in-law boundary-pushing.

Parts of the movie seem a little slow and overly contrived, but if you go into the movie with low expectations, you will probably find a few reasons to laugh and little regret about the purchase of your family holiday matinee adventure, especially if your favorite family and friends are along for the ride.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Angelina Jolie scares me.

Swear to god, when I see her in interviews or movies I feel like I'm in 8th grade again, scared to death of talking to the prettiest girl in school. She's beautiful, ambitious, seems smart, and reeks of confidence.

Oh, yeah. . . and she can act.

Jolie would be a celebrity regardless of talent, simply on looks alone. The fact is, however, she has the chops to support her status as the go-to female lead if you want your movie to be a blockbuster. Over-the-top action or subtle and naunced, she delivers.

Every time.

Salt is no exception. Like Taken from a couple years back, Salt starts fast and keeps the pace throughout. Is she or isn't she? The answer is a bit obvious, but the flick is so well done you don't really care. It's fun, fast and thrilling.

Jolie wins again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How To Win $5 In An Office Bet: Peter Billingsley Did Not Make A Porno

It's my favorite time of year.

Snow-covered tree branches that look like happy landscapes painted by Bob Ross, kids giggling nervously as they wait in line at the mall to sit on Santa's lap, and hundreds of people googling "Did Peter Billingsley make a porno?" on their desktops at work.

It's Christmas, baby. That time of year when we have an excuse to slack off on the things we are supposed to do in order to unwind a bit before the new year. That's the reason for the season.

Some of you guys slacking off at work are trying to win office bets that Peter Billingsley did, or did not, make a skin flick. Here's the scoop: he didn't. His co-star Scott Schwartz,
who played Flick, did.

But not Ralphie.

I sorta wish he had, though. It makes for a great urban legend, and I can just imagine the jokes that would be told as a result. A Christmas Story is known for its wonderful dialogue; catch-phrases and one-liners that stick with the viewer long after the movie is over. Many of those lines, along with some fun facts about the movie, could be used effectively in a modern porno parody.

Here is My Top 5: Potential Titles For Remaking A Christmas Story Into A Porno

"Go Slow, I'm Fraa-geel-eee!" The perfect soft-core skin flick for the sensitive couple, interested in her point-of-view.

"Mrs. Parker Gets Triple-Dogged On A Dare." A MILF who isn't afraid to put soap in your mouth knows how to get it on.

"Give Me A Darren McGavin." For the hard-core fetish audience tired of Cleveland Steamers and Dirty Sanchezes.

"Stick Your Tongue On My Stupid Pole." A compilation of scenes from the first 5 minutes of ten other porn flicks.

"I'll Shoot Your Eye Out!" No plot, just 75 minutes of gonzo action.