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Three celebrity personal trainers share their top tips on how to squeeze in time for a sweat sesh, even when your schedule is jam-packed.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2020/02/28/how-to-make-time-for-exercise-even-when-youre-super-busy/?ss=forbeslife

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There are times during this interview I wondered if Benh Zeitlin even likes directing, to the point I finally ask him. Now, that is in no way implying he doesn’t like making films and isn’t a highly passionate artist. But the more, let’s say, management side of directing — basically, being the all-powerful boss — doesn’t seem to interest Zeitlin very much, as he tells a story about working on a film as a PA and being turned off by the whole process. And his two films to date, Beasts of the Southern Wild and now Wendy, don’t even use traditional actors.

Which is all to partially explain why it took Zeitlin eight years to make his followup to Beast of the Southern Wild, a movie that defied every expectation after its Sundance premiere and went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Usually, a young director will pounce on that heat. (For comparison, Whiplash came out two years after Beasts, was also a Sundance favorite, was also nominated for Best Picture and, since, its director Damien Chazelle has made two more films.) But Zeitlin is adamant he wants to make movies his way. And with Wendy, his reimagining of Peter Pan, yes, that process took eight years. And he says he has a lot more movies he wants to make, then I reminded him of the whole human lifespan problem and he swears, next time, it shouldn’t take quite this long.

I met Zeitlin at an East Village hotel. When I arrived, a woman was having her picture with Zeitlin in front of a map of the Netherlands that just happened to be hanging up at this hotel. Which I suppose is phonetically close to Neverland?

We’ve met before.

Yeah, I recognize you.

For your last movie, which was a long time ago…

I’m in this weird time warp right now. I recognize faces.

I like that whoever you were talking to last is going to use a picture of you standing in front of a map of Holland. “Close enough.”

“Close enough.” It looks like Neverland if you don’t look too closely.

And it says The Netherlands. Which sort of sounds like Neverland.

She was like, is that Neverland? I was like, no.

I feel like you’ve been getting a lot of, “Where have you been,” questions.

Yeah. Seven years went by for everybody else. And I made one movie and that’s my marker of time. And, yeah, it was all the whole time. We started right after we finished Beasts and we made the film until a month or two before it came out. So, that’s what happened.

Well, it still had to be weird after Beasts, because there was no way you were expecting the reaction to be what it was.

Everything happened with Beasts was radically nothing like we expected. I remember, specifically, we had this conversation that was if we can get one week at the Film Forum and someone can see this movie in a movie theater, that would be the ultimate. That was the greatest thing we could imagine to happen with the film.

Then you get nominated for Best Picture.

So, yeah, it was just totally surreal. But we made Beasts with no practical strategy for making it in the film industry. And we made Wendy with the exact same mentality. We really carried that culture forward.

But why do that when you don’t have to now?

Because it’s the way that I love working. And the way that I know how to work. And it’s what I’m really interested in as a filmmaker, or artist, whatever. Taking on unprecedented, impossible challenges. And doing that is not what our art form is really about right these days.

But is that worth it? To bring in those challenges? The flip side is, it’s eight years later.

Yeah. Because the life you lead doing this is so incredible. The only thing is, yeah, I want to make a lot of movies in my life.

Do you? I’m not convinced you do.

I’ve got a list of films! I’ve got a long list of films.

But you can’t wait this long in-between. The human lifespan is not long enough…

The human lifespan is the only problem with this approach.

If you’re going to take eight years between every movie, you’re going to run out of time eventually.

I think that the way that we allocate time to films is an extremely limiting, oppressive process. There’s a real system of expectations around how long each process should take and how it should flow and what process ends where and what process begins next. And there’s a creative desire to break free of that and to make something that doesn’t feel like any other movie. And we commit ourselves to a process and we see it through. And it’s that simple. Beasts took five and a half years, this one took seven. And then, right at the end, it’s like, okay, it’s been a really long time, people are probably going to wonder about that.

“I played a lot of Fortnite.”

[Laughs] No, that didn’t happen.

Part of me thinks you don’t love directing. At least in the traditional sense of what that means.

It’s not that I don’t. I deeply love how I direct, but I came to filmmaking in a pretty different way. I was making art in a lot of different aspects. I was a musician. I was making Crazy New Orleans parades. I was doing haunted houses. I love a community art project and I love building community around creativity. And then I love leading that crazy community on this journey. But that’s what I love about it. I never set out to get a job as a director. I set out to express myself through this art form and do it in ways that would cause my life to be an incredible adventure.

If all of a sudden you’re directing Suicide Squad 5, I don’t think you’d be very happy. That’s my take.

That just wouldn’t happen. I could’ve done that if I’d wanted to.

I’m sure you had a ton of offers after 2012. You didn’t consider any of them?

No, I really didn’t. Like I said, I want to make a lot of movies in my life and I want to make a lot of films that come from me and my community. It wouldn’t be satisfying for me to make three quick movies that I don’t feel like are meaningful. If I took two years to make other films, then I’d go, wow, I just lost two years. [Laughs] I’m already up against the human lifespan of all the films I feel like I have to make myself. Beasts very much led me to Wendy. Wendy’s very much going to lead me to what I do next.

Do you know what you want to do next?

Yeah. But not in a way that I could pitch it.

So you eschew the “one for them, one for me,” plan. You’re just doing them all for you.

Honestly, I try to shelter my process from the film industry. I think that the film industry, especially the American film industry, the way that films get made… I’ve been on sets before. I PAd a couple of times before I started making films and I saw what a stratified, militaristic structure it is to make a real movie –

“Militaristic,” that’s an interesting way to put it.

Because it’s about power and rank and not questioning what you’re doing every day when you’re on a PA, which is what I did. And then going up to a director who’s like, “don’t look him in the eye, he’s a genius!”

What movie was this?

It’s this little film in Ohio that I don’t think ever came out.

But the director was such a genius you couldn’t look him in the eye?

No, those are stories that you hear. A lot of people will become massive egomaniacs or whatever. But that structure, that culture expresses itself on-screen. And you get very controlled-feeling movies. Like everything is according to this plan. And I’m like, chaos, to me, is what feels realistic.

My hope, next time I talk to you, right before the interview, a publicist tells me, “one thing, you’re not allowed to look at him in the eye.”

No man, I live in New Orleans. We don’t roll like that. I evacuated New York for New Orleans. It’s a different culture. It’s very collaborative. The way I make films, I want it to look like the way that we make a Mardi Gras float.

So do you have a target date for your next movie? A year, at least?

I don’t care.

Really?

Truly.

If your next movie is in 2030, you’re like, well that’s how long it takes?

Well, it better be good. Obviously I want to make films faster but, like I said, when you reverse engineer how you allocate time based on the world’s expectations of how long it should take you to make a film, it doesn’t serve the film and it doesn’t serve the idea. The next one should be simpler, just based on what it is.

It’s also, selfishly, I, too, have this lifespan problem and I, too, will not be able to watch them all if you take this long in between them. So that’s my other issue.

[Laughs] Yeah. I feel that. As a fan, I relate. When a filmmaker disappears for a long time I’m like, man, I want to see something. But I respect it because I know what everyone goes through.

Well, it was great to see you again. Again, I hope it’s not as long next time.

I bet you it’ll be sooner. I’m not going to promise.

Okay, next time I’m in Vegas I’ll actually make this bet. I’ll look for that line somewhere.

[Laughs] Yeah, let me know what it’s at.

‘Wendy’ opens in select theaters this weekend. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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Source: https://uproxx.com/movies/benh-zeitlin-wendy-beasts-of-a-southern-wild/

Mockumentary of a rich buffoon and satirical exposé about the garment industry collide in Greed, the latest from director Michael Winterbottom and UK comedy superstar Steve Coogan.

In the past, Winterbottom and Coogan have collaborated on The Trip movies, improvisational larks that combine the separate appeals of food porn and Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon doing dueling Michael Caine impressions. The Trip movies (which are actually shows in the UK) essentially define escapist comedy, and two pompous comedians driving through picturesque European towns while riffing on Alanis Morisette is basically my happy place.

In Greed, Winterbottom and Coogan attempt something with a much higher degree of difficulty (Rob Brydon being left out of this one is a perfect Rob Brydon bit). Coogan plays Sir Richard “Greedy” McCreadie, “the King of High Street,” a deeply tanned billionaire with flouncy hair and massive capped teeth whose look weirdly mirrors that of Wayne Diamond from Uncut Gems (who also made his money in the garment industry), even though Winterbottom and Coogan couldn’t possibly have seen Uncut Gems in time. Their McCreadie is said to be based heavily on Philip Green, with some other billionaires thrown in. The film takes the form of a present-day mockumentary set on the Greek island of Mykonos, where McCreadie is planning his lavish, Roman gladiator-themed 60th birthday party complete with lions and togas, and his biographer, Nick (David Mitchell) is interviewing McCreadie associates for his book.

Greed intercuts flashbacks to McCreadie’s adolescence and his rise as a business tycoon (inspired by Nick’s interviews) with the present-day send-up of McCreadie’s birthday party. As if that weren’t a difficult enough balancing act, there’s also the tonal contrast, between the satirical take on McCreadie’s present-day life — which includes a friendly ex-wife (played by Isla Fisher) who has brought along her Eurotrash boy toy, McCreadie’s grumbling Irish mother (Shirley Henderson), and his daughter filming a Laguna Beach-esque “reality” show — and an oddly earnest exposé.

Greed feels a bit like Winterbottom trying to mix The Trip with a kind of garment industry Syriana, told in the style of Adam McKay. Tongue-in-cheek lampooning of McCreadie, a fictional unscrupulous money monster, mixes somewhat uneasily with earnest infographics about the lives of garment workers and how little they’re paid vs. how much the models and brand ambassadors earn. It’s always hard to be simultaneously didactic and sarcastic (something McKay also struggled with in Vice), but in some ways the dichotomy makes sense: the absurd comedy of the lives of the uber rich always rests on a foundation of genuinely tragic exploitation of the low wage workers who make it possible.

Coogan is an all-time comedy great and Greed is plenty funny when it wants to be. McCreadie’s daughter, trying to determine with her grandma (Shirley Henderson, who is the same age as Coogan, but plays his mother in both flashback and in present-day with old person makeup) whether she’s actually sad about her boyfriend or just in character for her “scripted reality” series hits just the right note of absurdity. Most of the laughs come from present-day McCreadie (Coogan); with young McCreadie (Jamie Blackley — quite a generous casting to Coogan) mostly inspiring us to think “what a prick” and pity the Sri Lankan factory workers who have to deal with him. Meanwhile, the migrant crisis threatens to intrude on McCreadie’s birthday party, thanks to a mob of Syrian refugees sleeping on McCreadie’s would-be Instagram-ready beach (led by Kareem Alkabbani, who works with NGOs helping refugees in real life).

Greed is solidly entertaining throughout, but its attempt to mix comedy, tragedy, reality, absurdity, exposé, and mockumentary… is maybe biting off a little more than it can chew. It’s notable that Adam McKay’s greatest creative triumph, Succession (he’s exec producer), mostly narrows its focus to a family of rich assholes and ditches the fourth-wall-breaking of McKay’s directorial efforts.

Winterbottom (whose at-least-one-project-a-year work ethic rivals Woody Allen and Alex Gibney) seems to want the garment industry to be illustrative of other types of exploitation, but he also gets so deep into the garment industry weeds that you almost wonder if it’s a distraction from them.

The closest analog for what Winterbottom attempts in Greed might be Parasite, which also juxtaposes the absurd comedy of the wealthy with the hardscrabble comedy of the poor. Maybe that’s the trouble with Greed: unlike Parasite, its poor characters aren’t nearly as funny as its rich ones. That there’s such a laugh gulf between them makes the tonal shifts that much more jarring. It’s hard to take the piss while you’re taking pity. Is you ‘avin’ a loff or ain’t chew? Greed’s ending also doesn’t quite stick the landing.

Of course, being a comedic take on wealth inequality and not doing it quite as well as Parasite is pretty low on the list of cinematic sins. At worst, Greed is a charming if imperfect appetizer while we await the next The Trip — which is also set in Greece.

‘Greed’ opens in select theaters this weekend. Vince Mancini is on Twitter. You can access his archive of reviews here.

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Source: https://uproxx.com/movies/greed-movie-review-michael-winterbottom-steve-coogan/

Netflix

If nothing below suits your sensibilities, check out our guide to What You Should Watch On Streaming Right Now.

Altered Carbon: Season 2 (Netflix series, Thursday) – Get ready for a sci-fi switcheroo because Anthony Mackie is the new Joel Kinnaman in this series. Mackie’s playing the new host for Kovacs, who’s still digging into murder mysteries and seeking redemption after already pretty much achieving immortality. The show’s so twisty and a compelling drama, and even though Mackie’s everywhere right now, he found some time to help Kovacs work toward humanity’s survival.

I Am Not Okay With This: Season 1 (Netflix series, Wednesday) – Leading minds from The End of the F***ing World and Stranger Things come together for this origin story of a superpowered/telekinetic teen (Sophia Lillis) who’s struggling with all those things that teenage girls must navigate. The show also stars Sofia Bryant, Wyatt Oleff, and Kathleen Rose Perkins.

Pete Davidson: Alive From New York (Netflix special, Tuesday) — From SNL to a ton of upcoming movies, Pete Davidson’s doing everything, and now, he’s got his very first Netflix original comedy special. Yes, he’ll drop all kinds of unfiltered anecdotes.

All The Bright Places: Season 2 (Netflix film, Friday) – Elle Fanning and Theodore Fitch star as a couple that changes each other’s lives. Based upon Jennifer Niven’s bestselling novel, the movie explores struggles with mental illness, relationships, and the lingering effects of young love.

Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming:

Charmed (Friday, CW 8:00 p.m.) — An important mission is complicated when Mel and Harry discover a monstrous truth, Maggie meets Parker, and Mary seeks help.

Dynasty (Friday, CW 8:00 p.m.) — A ghost from Liam’s past causes problems while Dominique’s looking for a favor, and Blake and Alexis are warring over loyalty.

SNL (Saturday, NBC 11:29 p.m.) — John Mulaney of the Sack Lunch Bunch hosts with musical guest David Byrne.

The Walking Dead (Sunday, AMC 9:00 p.m.) — Following a highly unsexy sex scene between Negan and Alpha, the world struggles to recover. Oh, and there’s another threatening outside force afoot for the Alexandria crowd.

The Outsider (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — Holly and Andy are on the scene of the cave festival to investigate this Claude doppelganger business, while O.G. Claude is having a meltdown. Can you blame him?

Doctor Who (Sunday, BBC 8:00 p.m.) — The tenth season finale sees the Cybermen on the march and hunting down remaining humans. Naturally, nothing shall ever be the same again.

Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist (Sunday, NBC 9:00 p.m.) — Zoey’s checking her own faith while attempting to reconcile her powers with everything else that she knows. And she’s trying to help Mo express himself, which looks like a challenge.

Kidding (Sunday, Showtime 10:00 p.m.) — Jeff’s Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony is complicated by Deirdre’s medical issue, and Seb encounters someone old and someone new.

Homeland (Sunday, Showtime 10:00 p.m.) — This anxiety-ridden show’s somehow still barrelling through its eighth season with Saul making an announcement and Carrie fielding a surprise.

Avenue 5 (Sunday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — Judd’s looking to charm an incredibly wealthy passenger, and everyone’s distracted by a divine image circling the ship.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Sunday, HBO 10:30 p.m.) — Larry’s trying to capitalize upon an unexpected death, and he’s upset about discrimination at a hot-spot restaurant.

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Source: https://uproxx.com/tv/weekend-preview-i-am-not-okay-with-this-altered-carbon/

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In 2020, we’ve seen the fashion industry attempt to embrace diverse bodies and ethnicities, but progress has still been slow.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sboyd/2020/02/28/how-lane-bryant-is-prioritizing-inclusivity--diversity-in-its-retail-spaces/?ss=forbeslife

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Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid gets new features for 2020. Is it enough to turn the tide?

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonfogelson/2020/02/28/2020-mitsubishi-outlander-phev-gt-s-awc-test-drive-and-review-underdog-hybrid/?ss=forbeslife

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The first vessel Viking Octantis is scheduled to begin sailing on the Great Lakes in January 2022, while a second ship the Viking Polaris will be in the water shortly after in August 2022.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellegross/2020/02/28/an-inside-look-at-the-design-of-vikings-gorgeous-new-expedition-ships/?ss=forbeslife

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The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE — We’re all having fun here but I am a little serious

There are a lot of shows out there. Not all of them are that great. If you watch enough of them, you might start thinking that you could do better. Or at least have some dumb fun trying. That’s what this is. Let’s have some dumb fun thinking up good (bad) ideas for television shows. Away we go.

Loose Cannons

Mayor Percy Klunk has a problem. Everything his small town tried to do to combat crime came up empty. They’re just too overwhelmed, with limited resources and limited manpower and the fact that international crime boss Victor Acupulco has made their sleepy little town a hotbed of criminal activity. Playing things by the book won’t work. They need to think outside the normal law enforcement structure.

That’s when it hits Percy. The idea. He loves those televisions shows where one loose cannon detective plays fast and loose but gets results. Percy loves results. So, he thinks, why not make an entire department out of these hotshots? What’s the worst that could happen?

And so, Percy sets out to find the best of the best, the loosest of cannons, to staff his police force. He crisscrosses the country to recruit the wildest rascals he can find and even names one of them, Chicago legend Dirk Rodeo, the new Chief of Police. Everyone tells him it’s crazy.

Yeah, just crazy enough to work.

Higher Love

Heather Magellan works at a marijuana dispensary. People come in all day and pick up weed for their anxiety or pain or enjoyment and, over time, she gets to know the regulars. They have conversations and open up a bit and, one time, Heather was even able to set up two of them on a date. A few months later they told her they were getting married and thanked her profusely. That’s when Heather Magellan got an idea: A dating service for stoners.

Pie in the Sky

Just hear me out: A cooking show where contestants leap out of a plane with the ingredients for a pizza and have until they land to put it together, with whatever they make getting tossed in the oven immediately and judged by three of the world’s greatest pizza chefs.

Hosted by Guy Fieri.

Chowder Chronicles

Special Agent Dawn Sundown is leaving the FBI to follow her dream of opening a food truck that serves soup. All kinds of soup: minestrone, chowders, etc. It’s her passion. But a few months after she gets the business off the ground, just as she’s starting to make a name for herself on the streets, she sees a familiar face in line: the Deputy Director, Mick Vancouver. He gets right to the point. There’s a killer on the loose. He’s already collected six bodies and they have no reason to think he’ll stop.

Dawn protests. She’s retired. Why her? Because she’s the best there ever was. And also because the killer’s calling card, his weapon of choice, appears to be a soup spoon he leaves behind at every crime scene. He needs Dawn to use her connections in the high stakes world of soup-making to help track this monster down… before it’s too late.

ITEM NUMBER TWO — I’ll let it go this one time, but watch it

I respect the fact that I’m losing this fight. I know my “nothing should be longer than two hours, especially movies” war cry has produced limited results at best. Usually, the results are just me getting yelled at. Cranky older people shout about millennials and cranky fanboys and film buffs say condescending things like “movies should be as long as they need to be” and point out that The Godfather is three hours long. Uggghhhhh. I get it. I know. There are always exceptions. That’s why I developed my two-pronged strategy to work around it. Movies can be longer than two hours if:

  • They are forced to donate $1 million to charity for every minute of runtime over two hours
  • They have a 15-minute intermission

All of which is relevant again this week with the news that the new James Bond movie will check-in at 163 minutes. That is… it’s pretty long. It’s a long time to sit in a theater, especially for an action movie. And I would get all hyped up and protest it all but I can’t do that right now because I am so in awe of the chaotic energy involved in making a movie titled No Time to Die and making it 163 minutes long. It’s like they did it just so idiots like me could rush out a million “SEEMS LIKE PLENTY OF TIME TO DIE TO ME” jokes that we all regret moments later.

I don’t know. I’ll still see it in the theater. I’m a hypocrite. But I will get fidgety around the two-hour mark. I know that. Musicals and plays have intermissions. It would be great for concessions revenue. Help me help you, people.

ITEM NUMBER THREE — Who among us hasn’t been arrested in a donut shop after trying to ship a Ferrari from Germany to California while on the run from the authorities?

HBO

No one on McMillion$ is as magnetic and compelling as Agent Doug, the excitable, shit-talking, real-life FBI Agent who worked the McDonald’s Monopoly scam at the center of the documentary. This is understandable, in large part because no one on television is as magnetic and compelling as Agent Doug. He fascinates me. I honestly get excited whenever he pops up on the screen and starts talking. He might say anything. I want to buy him a margarita and just ask him questions about the world until the bar closes. But we’ve been over this.

That’s not to say the show is without other colorful characters. It is littered with them. There’s Jerry the mobster and Uncle Jerry the crooked security consultant and a collection of mob wives and eye-rolling prosecutors. Go figure, a docuseries about the kind of people who would fix a promotion at a cheeseburger restaurant is filled with weirdos and rascals. This brings us to the most recent episode and the man pictured above, AJ Glomb.

The main thing you need to know about AJ Glomb is that he’s such a flawed storyteller than he’s actually an incredible storyteller. He does that thing where he’ll be telling a story that’s going nowhere and then out of nowhere he’ll say, “Anyway, that’s when I bought all the Quaaludes” and you’ll be like “Hang on, AJ. What?” He’s great. I want him and Agent Doug to start a podcast. Other things to know about AJ Glomb:

  • He claims the first time he did drugs was in Monte Carlo with the writer Harold Robbins, who gave him amyl nitrate
  • He started selling drugs because a cousin asked him if he could get Quaaludes and he just dove in
  • He was arrested for having a lot of cocaine, chose not to report to prison, and went on the run for 16 months as a fugitive, using fake names and living large because he knew it could end at any minute

It did end, too. And I’m going to post his quote about it in full because I have not gotten over it since I heard it. Here goes: “But then I bought a Ferrari in Germany and I shipped it to Long Beach. Anyway, I got arrested in a donut shop in San Diego.”

Everything about that is incredible. While a fugitive on the run for a year-plus, he bought a Ferrari in Europe and had it shipped to California, as though there are no Ferraris in California. It’s the end that really gets me, though. The last sentence. “Anyway, I got arrested at a donut shop in San Diego.” You could tack that on the end of any story and it would make the story 8-10 times better. Try it this weekend. I might.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR — Apple has created a terrific opportunity for a competitor

Showtime

In a video interview with Vanity Fair this week, Knives Out director Rian Johnson talked about a lot of things that made no news at all and one thing that made a lot of news. Specifically, he said this: “Apple… they let you use iPhones in movies but — and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie — bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera.”

This is weird. It’s also a little hilarious, just to the degree that it could spoil a really big twist in a movie if everyone is using an iPhone except for one guy who is using a Samsung. Although, now that it’s out, there’s also the chance a filmmaker uses it as a misdirect. Like, everyone has iPhones but it turns out one guy also has a burner he does crimes on, which I only say to make the GIF above relevant to this discussion. Mission accomplished.

It’s also a nice opportunity for a struggling cell phone manufacturer to find a niche. Nokia or whoever could make a big comeback by leaning into it and branding themselves as the phone for villains. Villains are often very cool if flawed people. It could work. What I’m saying here is that I want to see Thanos try to use a flip phone will his massive hands.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE — Somehow not even a top ten wildest Nicolas Cage story

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As we all know, Nicolas Cage bought a nine-foot pyramid-shaped mausoleum in a graveyard in New Orleans. He did this years ago and it has not gotten any less weird or perfectly on-brand. Why wouldn’t Nicolas Cage own a nine-foot pyramid-shaped mausoleum in a New Orleans graveyard? The man, as I bring up every time I mention him, once had to return a stolen dinosaur skull to the Mongolian government. He’s lived a full life. He can have a pyramid-shaped mausoleum, as a treat.

But here, and I do realize how strange this next part is given everything I just typed, is where things get odd: Nicolas Cage visited his tomb this week, possibly with a date.

The actor was spotted visiting the cemetery where his nine-foot tomb was built, all while holding hands with a new mystery woman.

Cage and the unidentified woman were seen acting close while leaving the cemetery and getting into a waiting car. This is the first time Cage has been spotted with someone new after going through a public 4-day marriage to Erika Koike in March last year. He was granted a divorce two months later in May.

I love this. Just the idea that he’s checking in on his fancy tomb and/or showing it off. I would pay $50 for a guided tour of this graveyard led by Nicolas Cage. Or any graveyard, really. This is a good business idea. Listen to me.

Also, it’s very funny to me to picture one lonely paparazzo whose job it is to stake out Nicolas Cage’s nine-foot pyramid-shaped mausoleum on the off chance he shows up with a date. Like, he goes there every morning at 7 AM and sits there and waits to see if Nic Cage shows up, then he sighs and goes home empty-handed at night. He must have been so excited. “Ooo, baby, it’s Roger’s time to shine,” I picture him saying to himself. (His name is Roger.) Huge day for that guy.

READER MAIL

If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at brian.grubb@uproxx.com (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From Nicholas:

Are there any TV shows that were short lived that you can’t stop thinking about? I don’t mean like Firefly, that have dedicated fan bases, but something that aired like four episodes. For me, it’s Battery Park, an NBC sitcom from 2000 about a fictional police precinct in NYC. All I remember about it is that there was an episode involving a superhero, and one where a cop asks his squad mates to guess where his gun is, and it’s taped to his back like in Die Hard. I think about it more than is probably healthy, considering it aired 20 years ago, and even then, only aired 4 episodes. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the show until I stumbled upon the must see TV Wikipedia page and found it listed there.

Nicholas, this is an excellent email. I love any email that gives me an excuse to blabber about short-lived shows I liked. For example, The Grinder, which lasted only one season on Fox and starred Rob Lowe as a former actor on a hokey legal procedural who moved home and started working in his family’s very real law practice. It was a ton of fun and I miss it dearly. I still drop a “… but what if it wasn’t” every now and then. No one knows what I’m talking about. It’s great.

Or what about Sunset Beat, the very short-lived early-90s cop show that starred a young George Clooney as a leather-clad beach cop named Chic Chesbro who, I promise this is true, went undercover as the lead guitarist of a rock band named Private Prayer. I wrote 2000 words about it once and plopped an image of Clooney-as-Chesbro on a motorcycle at the top of my Twitter profile, where it remains today.

But mostly I like this email because it sent me to the Wikipedia page for shows canceled after one or two airings, which brought this to my attention.

Lawless is an American detective television series starring former NFL player Brian Bosworth on the Fox Broadcasting Company that performed so poorly on television it was canceled after one episode.

Yes, hello. Please tell me more about Lawless starring former NFL linebacker Brian Bosworth, a man who showed up to his first professional practice in a helicopter.

The series centers on John Lawless, an ex-special forces operative who became a motorcycle riding private investigator in Miami’s South Beach.

Hold on.

Holllllldddddd on.

Lawless starred Brian Bosworth as a motorcycle-riding Miami private investigator named John Lawless?

John Lawless???!!!!

I’m suddenly livid that this show didn’t last 10 seasons and run in syndication for the next decade-plus. I must see this episode. I must consume it at once.

JOHN LAWLESS.

COME ON.

AND NOW, THE NEWS

To Boston!

A California woman whose family’s company created the microwavable snack Hot Pockets was sentenced on Tuesday to five months in prison for paying $300,000 to help her daughters gain an illicit edge in the college admissions process through cheating and fraud.

This is a serious thing. The whole Operation Varsity Blues story was pretty funny at first just because of the weird combination of celebrities and notable rich people that got tangled up in its net, but it became significantly less fun once it became clear that this was all just rich people using bribes and gaming disability accommodations to get their kids a further advantage over the rest of the world. And it remained less fun all the way up until I saw the headline for this story, which refers to the perpetrator in question as the “Hot Pockets heiress.”

This is one of those phrases I’m going to have a really hard time getting out of my head. It’s like the time I saw someone refer to Papa John as a “pizza tycoon.” Pizza tycoon! I can’t be expected to get anything done with phrases like that bouncing around in the world. It’s not fair.

Janavs is a former executive at Chef America Inc, a closely-held food manufacturer her father co-founded that created the microwave snack line Hot Pockets before being sold to Nestle SA for $2.6 billion in 2002.

Couple things here:

  • The company that makes Hot Pockets is called Chef America
  • Please add a superhero show titled Chef America to the list of stupid TV pitches above (I’ll work out the outline later)

Thank you.

features?d=qj6IDK7rITs features?i=ihaPRJA_g2w:3YhnG1a57-M:V_sGL features?d=yIl2AUoC8zA features?d=7Q72WNTAKBA features?i=ihaPRJA_g2w:3YhnG1a57-M:gIN9v

Source: https://uproxx.com/tv/rundown-tv-pitches-aj-glomb/

On February 20th, Donald Trump held a rally in Colorado Springs where he complained about the new best picture winner, Parasite. Parasite was the first film ever to win both the foreign language Oscar and Best Picture, and it was the perfect target for Trump — foreign, acknowledged as “art,” beloved by Hollyweird, and something that requires reading. Bashing Parasite at a Trump rally is like ragging on vegans at a cattlemen’s association convention.

Despite being an eccentric germophobe man-child billionaire, Trump’s most relatable quality is that he spends the majority of his life watching TV and the majority of his conversations complaining about it. The transcript of the section in question is worth including here. It’s absurd comedy better than anything Armando Iannucci or Tim and Eric could’ve written.

“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year? Did you see it? And the winner is… a movie from South Korea. What the hell was that all about? We got enough problems with South Korea with trade, on top of it they give them the best movie of the year. Was it good? I don’t know. You know I’m looking for like, w– let’s get Gone with the Wind. Can we get like Gone with the Wind back, please? Sunset Boulevard. So many great movies. The winner is from South Korea! I thought it was best foreign film, right? Best foreign movie. No, it was the– Did this ever happen before?”

Trump’s rallies are kind of like a cross between pro wrestling promos and a comedian doing 60 minutes of crowd work, and in that sense, it’s hard not to come away impressed. Clearly he’s connecting with his audience. He can somehow do the world’s least relatable commentary on dishwashers and still get thousands of people to participate in a call-and-response bit just by loudly saying the word “toilets!”

"You don't get any water!" — POTUS transitions from complaining about dishwashers to complaining about sinks, toilets, and showers. He then starts bragging about his hair. pic.twitter.com/o4nHUBkGSc

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 15, 2020

Misunderstanding Parasite, meanwhile, has become practically its own cottage industry among media types. Chappelle Show co-creator Neal Brennan famously wondered whether the “central metaphor” in Parasite “didn’t actually work” because the rich people were too nice to be, um, “the parasite,” I guess.

Who is the parasite? The rich or the poor? With that in mind, explain the 3rd act to me.

— Neal Brennan (@nealbrennan) February 10, 2020

Which is still probably better than Maureen Dowd (a Pulitzer Prize winner!) revealing in her lede in the New York Times her own casual misunderstanding of the movie’s title. “It’s funny that Donald Trump doesn’t like a movie about con artists who invade an elegant house and wreak chaos,” Dowd wrote. “He should empathize with parasites.”

Empathize with materialism? Ah, no, Dowd thought the poor people were “the parasite.” Trump, as we’ve already noted, avoided getting into the weeds of that particular “who is the real parasite” debate by simply performatively not seeing the movie. He spent the rest of his Parasite speech reliving his victory over Hillary, doing callbacks to Rosie O’Donnell, and name-checking seemingly every obscure Fox News personality in existence. It should be clear by now that Trumpism is a kind of fan-fiction.

Here’s another transcript section from the speech, just because I can’t resist:

I tell you, Fox doesn’t treat us the way they used to. But we have the great Sean Hannity, we do, and we have Laura and Tucker. And we have in the morning Fox and Friends, Steve and Ainsley, and Brian’s gotten much better, he’s moving up. And we have the great Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs says he’s the greatest president ever. The great Lou Dobbs. He says, Lou Dobbs a year and a half, two years ago he said, “He’s the greatest since Reagan.” Then he said about six months ago, “He’s better than Reagan.” And then he said a few nights ago, “He’s the greatest we’ve ever had.” I said, “Does that include Lincoln and George Washington?” He said, “That includes them all.” That’s Lou Dobbs. The great Lou Dobbs. And you’ve got Hegseth and you’ve got Jesse Waters. How about Jesse? And Judge Jeanine and even Greg Gutfeld. Greg hated us, right? But now he says, “Look, whether I like him or not, he gets it done. It’s all about getting it done.” We’re getting it done. Nobody’s ever done what we’ve done. No, but Fox says, and I don’t know, it’s different. It was different. In the old days, it was better for us. It was better for us. But it’s okay, we’ll win anyway. No, but they had this woman on. Neil Cavuto, doesn’t treat us good. Neil Cavuto, he’s not too good…

It goes on like this for a full four more minutes. Then he plays the hits, Hillary And The Emails, Everyone Underestimated Me, Etc. In any case, it was the Parasite part that inspired the most coverage. “Trump denounces Parasite while praising Gone With The Wind” was the standard headline. Most never mentioned Sunset Boulevard, which doesn’t fit so neatly into an ideology.

As always, we were left to wonder how deliberate was this as a comparison. Was it a calculated move, comparing Parasite, a movie about how materialism degrades us all, to Gone With The Wind, an openly racist elegy to an aristocracy and second only maybe to Birth Of A Nation in the annals of cinematic Lost Cause propaganda? Or was it just a name check of a movie that just sounds synonymous with “great American epic,” that the woke-scolds won’t let us enjoy anymore?

At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s impossible to imagine Donald Trump, a guy who famously made his dumbest son stand near the VCR on their plane so that he could fast forward through the boring parts of Bloodsport, sitting through Gone With The Wind, a four-hour epic about a bratty woman. Let alone trying to understand its themes. You could tie yourself into knots trying to distill the ideology of Gone With The Wind (which I watched for the first time over the weekend) which both openly yearns for the antebellum south while also blaming southern arrogance for the Civil War, adds a white guy to the Birth Of A Nation black rapist scene, and whitewashes Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes’ participation in a retaliatory KKK raid (described as such in the novel) as “a political meeting.” And maybe that’s the point, to exhaust the fact-checkers, to troll the libs, the entire raison d’etre of the Trump movement…

Trump getting us to spend hours analyzing something he probably thought about for three nanoseconds is his version of the Joker getting caught on purpose. He’s an idiot, but also an idiot savant. At least when it comes to pandering to the lowest common denominator (Toilets! Am I right?).

Nonetheless, Gone With The Wind did feature in a few culture war-stoking news pieces — mostly tied to the news that a Memphis theater had canceled its annual Gone With The Wind screenings in 2017. The story was covered in The National Review and discussed extensively on Fox News. Here’s Todd Starnes (known to the extremely online as Mama’s Pee Drinking Good Boy and also the author of a book whose cover features tennis shoes filled with gravy) railing against it on Fox News Radio, calling it part of a “cultural cleansing of America” and comparing it to tearing down Confederate monuments and whatnot.

Thus in name-checking Gone With The Wind, Trump didn’t need to understand its themes (yearning openly for a social order defined by whites) nor see it as a foil to whatever he imagines happened in Parasite. He only had to do what he always does — complain about TV and regurgitate things he saw on Fox News.

The most important part of Trump’s mini-Oscars critique is the most neglected. If Gone With The Wind was calculated (or at least instinctual) pandering, Sunset Boulevard was the real mask-off moment. Trump would love to present as a hero to those who still lionize the old south, but deep down he’s much more like the characters in Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder’s film noir about a faded star of silent film played by Gloria Swanson) — a product of the entertainment industry, deeply invested in old-fashioned ideas of Glitz and Glam and Prestige, a guy who can’t stop beefing with the people he perceives as having kept him out of high society. He’s a guy who can’t stop bitching about Graydon Carter to crowds of people who’ve never opened a Vanity Fair.

Toilets though. They’ll always have the toilets.

Vince Mancini is on Twitter. You can access his archive of reviews here.

features?d=qj6IDK7rITs features?i=F--PjE-94Ic:11rjSHb8gQc:V_sGL features?d=yIl2AUoC8zA features?d=7Q72WNTAKBA features?i=F--PjE-94Ic:11rjSHb8gQc:gIN9v

Source: https://uproxx.com/movies/has-trump-seen-gone-with-the-wind/

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