As I mentioned in Monday’s comic, Cami and I went to The Longest Yard on Friday and were thoroughly underwhelmed. What can I say? As a former member of The Cult of Sander, Cami drags me to all these things – even when it involves football.
I should have known we were in trouble when three men in their 40’s – clearly off their leash and outside of their wives supervision – tumbled into the theater, chattering like monkey and sitting right behind us.
I envisioned them as old fraternity brothers who were fans of the 1974 Burt Reynolds original, looking to capture a little nostalgia and relive the glory days.
If ∗I∗ was disapointed by this piece of tripe, imagine how THOSE guys felt!
The original movie had a great “middle-finger-in-the-face-of-authority” vibe in the time of Nixon-era politics. It spoke with a mischievous grin toward the roles of the jailed and the jailer. At the risk of making a political statement, there is a segment of the country that harbors similar animosities toward the current administration and it’s policies. Or at least one can draw similar parallels. The remake totally misses it’s opportunity to reflect this undercurrent and becomes totally toothless in the process.
Adam Sandler – doughy and laconic, as usual – looks nothing like a hard-nosed former NFL quarterback. He barely looks capable of stealing a Snickers bar, let alone stand accused of a felony on the scale of point-shaving.
Sandler tries to bring his trademark goofy charm to the role and it’s totally the wrong fit. If Sandler were REALLY in a prison as tough as the movie would lead us to believe, inmates would start trading him for cigarettes before he’s ever introduced to his cell.
When the success of the movie is held together by the illusion that the lead character is smart, tough and dangerous – Adam Sandler is not the man to call.
Chris Rock is the other big name in the picture, but he brings very little to his role as Caretaker. Essentially, he spouts a bunch of recycled jokes from his stand-up routine. Typical commentaries about race that are far too glib for the bleak environment he’s supposed to be inhabiting. How can anyone be THIS HAPPY to be in prison?
The rest of the cast is rounded out by a small army of former athletes. There are some ex-NFL players like Brian Bosworth and Bill Romanowski, but most of the speaking roles are given to ex-“professional” wrestles like Kevin Nash, Bill Goldberg and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. I guess whatever it takes to rope in the redneck demographic.
When the original used the idea of casting athletes, their raw presence and limited acting skills actually lent them credibility as prison inmates. By giving most of the dialogue to former pro wrestlers, you’re inviting hammy over-acting that is totally distracting. For example, like when the inmates switch out Kevin Nash’s steroids for estrogen pills and he acts like a hyperventilating female stereotype for the last 20 minutes of the film.
There are a few actors with some genuine talent in the film, but are totally wasted. Cloris Leachman’s comedic timing is completely squandered as she’s forced to play an undersexed septuagenarian receptionist. We don’t spend enough time with William Fichtner’s Captain Knauer to recognize him as a real threat. And James Cromwell’s Warden Hazen is given so little to do, he comes off looking like a buffoon rather than a worth villain.
Some casting choices are totally pointless. Rapper Nelly is thrown in the mix because… y’know! He’s a rapper! And kids love rappers! Oh, does he have a chart-topping hit on the soundtrack as well? Get that man some cleats!
Of course the star of the original picture, Burt Reynolds, is given a perfunctory role as “the grizzled old vet” in a hollow gesture meant to show respect to 1974 classic. Instead, Reynolds comes off more like he’s keeping watch to make sure Sandler doesn’t royaly screw up one of his trademark roles. Although his performance is one of the least grating, mission failed, Burt. Mission failed.
What is most annoying about the film is its complete disinterest in its setting. This is a Texas prison, people. Shouldn’t life be somewhat… I dunno, OPPRESSIVE?!
Aside from a brief montage of Sandler sweating it out in a tin hot box, the location is barely menacing and the guards little more than petty annoyances – not real physical threats. In fact, it seems like the prisoners pretty much have the run of the joint. There isn’t a scene where there aren’t at least 3 dozen extras milling around in the yard. Do these guys spend any time in their cells? Why is there this compulsory need to “get even with the guards” when it seems like the inmates get by pretty easy. Belive me – if you’re biggest inconvienance is having “Stone Cold” Steve Austin tip over a couple of books you’re trying to put away in the prision library, then prisonlife isn’t that bad. I’m surprised there aren’t physical therapists on staff for the prisoners after their scrimmages!
Even though the original was layered and engrossing, somehow the remake barely has enough content to pad an average-length sitcom. And although I’m aware the conclusion of the original was a 45 minute football game, things feel ponderously slow when they try to do the same thing here.
Game play is stretched out when director Peter Segal cuts away to Rob Schneider shouting his signature catchphrase “Yuuuu can doooo eeet!” which has become the tradition in Sandler films you most look forward to loathing.
There’s also a little too much leering attention given to Tracy Morgan and his squad of transvestite cheerleaders. The joke is kinda funny once, but why does Segal keep cutting back to them in between plays like they’re REAL cheerleaders? Quite honestly, I don’t need to see Tracy Morgan in hot pants any longer than two seconds maximum.
The Longest Yard is a terrible, TERRIBLE movie. Don’t waste your eight bucks on this one. Do yourself a favor and rent the original. While you’re at it, you might as well rent North Dallas Forty. You’ll get five times the entertainment value for the same amount of money.
I think I have a little more license to make Star Wars commentary than others, but I resemble that remark, brutha!
I’m just using Mitch’s comments as a way to help plug the Nothing Nice to Say book he’s putting together. It’s a very ambitious project and I am totally jealous. Kids, he’s REDRAWING all of his old strips.
In the old days, people would call that having “cajones.”
I wanted to let everyone know that if you’re looking to advertise with us, now is a really good time.
You see that we have two prime piece of real estate right next to the comic that are available now.
Boy, I’m Mr. Post-Happy today, aren’t I?
I just wanted to let you guys know that our printer sent me a notification that shirts from the mid-May pre-order have been shipped!
I’m watching things very closely with the help of my UPS tracking number and everything should be at my house on June 6. That means I’ll be mailing them all out that week and hopefully you’ll see them before June 13! Thanks to everyone who has been patiently waiting for their shirts to arrive.
Just a note to those of you still interested in purchasing a tee shirt or baby doll, I ordered a bunch of extras this time around, so it’s more than likely I’ll have your size IN STOCK and ready to ship right away. If that sounds good to you, swing by the store and place an order today!
I wish I could claim the idea to re-interpret Cinderella Man as Fistbiscuit was totally my own, but I’ll be honest and admit that I gleamed the moniker from early reviews of the movie. If you’re scouring the internet today gathering up your own reviews, you’re more than likely to come across it.
I guess that’s why I decided to steer things in a totally absurd direction with today’s comic. That, and because the idea of an exceptionally salty snack cracker called “Fistbuscuits” was utterly hilarious to me. Should I put it on a shirt? Maybe I should start a band with Mitch Clem and we can call ourselves “The Fistbiscuits.”
…but I digress.
What do you suppose the producers of the film expect when it comes to parallels to Seabiscuit? There are only so many underdogs of the depression era you can capture to celluloid before people start making comparisons.
If nothing else, The Great Depression must have been just as bad as Grandpa described – if not worse – if the downtrodden citizenry of the country was willing to slap the label “NATIONAL HERO” onto anyone who could scrounge up the most marginal of success.
“He won a horse race! HERO!”
“He won a boxing match! HERO!”
Either things were really, really bad standing in those soup lines, or people of the 1930’s had exceptionally low standards.
I’m excited to see Cinderella Man partially based on all of the good press it’s been getting. But also because I’m a fan of boxing movies and the clich
Wanted to clue everyone into a a new comic created by Dayfree Press alum and Comet 7 creator David Tekiela. It’s called Kristy Vs. The Zombie Army and it’s a complete departure from what fans of David’s more well-known comic have come to expect.
Traditionally drawn (not in the original pixel style David’s become known for) Kristy Vs. The Zombie Army is a sequential story that will be presented online as “books.”
It’s well worth your time to investigate as a shining example of the diversified talents of the Dayfree Press group!
How about that Episode III, eh? Okay, enough movie talk for now. You guys are very resourceful, so I am asking you for help.
The Problem: I have a Sony Clie PEG-NX60/U pda. About six months ago, my computer at work was wiped out and I lost my palm desktop and backup information. I tried to find my original installation disk, but despite turning my house inside out and backwards, I have not been successful. Without that installation disk, none of my information is hot-synced and backed up. My job depends upon me using that information and if anything happens to my pda (like this morning’s “Fatal Error” scare, which fortunately didn’t delete anything) I will flip out Jerry Maquire style and lose it.
The Trial: I have attempted to install my employer’s version of Palm Desktop, but it requires the Sony Clie Drivers which are conveniently absent from Sony’s site. I also tried to install the software from other Sony Clie models and from downloaded versions, but that didn’t work either. Sony’s help line costs $15 just to speak to a person, so I’d rather not go that route.
The Mission: The mission will be completed when the palm desktop software on my work computer is able to sync with my pda and backup is accomplished.
The Method: Possible solutions to this dilemma include but are not limited to:
- Mailing me an original Sony Clie PEG-NX60/U CD
- Mailing me a burned but fully functional copy of the aforementioned CD
- E-mailing or otherwise hooking me up electronically with the drivers or CD.
- Showing up in a highly modified DeLorian and taking me back to when I purchased the PDA; making me put the disk in a safe and memorable place.
The Reward: The (first) person who is able to complete this mission and assist me will be handsomely rewarded with a T-shirt from the Theater Hopper store and a star on the TH Walk of Fame. Please email me if you are interested in helping me. I don’t want to receive 10 disks in the mail and be expected to buy you each a shirt. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help. Please include something about a mission in the message title so I know you are not an evil spammer.
Help me Theater Hoppers, you are my only hope.
I don’t know if today’s Webcomics List incentive sketch is misogynistic, but when the last panel of your comic is a guy with boxing gloves on and Betty Boop standing next to him… well, you can draw your own conclusions.
At any rate, Theater Hopper shot up the charts last Friday and has taken a firm grip on the number two slot. Should we see what happens if we shoot for Number 1?
For the record, Theater Hopper does not advocate physical violence against animated characters from the 1930’s.
For more fun with Betty Boop, check out this gallery site featuring the artwork of Michael Paulus. He took the renderings of popular animated characters and drew their skeletal structures based on their overlying anatomy. It’s creepy and educational all at the same time!
Cami and I saw Cinderella Man over the weekend and I have less to say about it than I thought I would. The movie was serviceable and entertaining. The boxing scenes are particularly powerful. And despite it’s near two and half hour running time, it moves along at a pretty good clip.
I will, however, contend that a sub-plot involving Jim Braddock’s dockworker friend and lightweight political activist Mike Wilson could have been jettisoned completely. The only reason it was included in the film was to give Ren
Okay, everybody. For the first time in a long time there are no ads running on the site. So if you every thought about advertising with Theater Hopper, now would be a good time to do it.
I realize that school is out and you’re all probably playing on the Slip N’ Slide, but there has to be a few of you shut-ins out there and more than a few of you probably operate a web site.
We’re not total slouches when it comes to advertising your stuff. Why, check our testimonials if you don’t believe me. We’ll get some good traffic pointed in your direction.
So why don’t you check out our advertising rates page and see if anything piques your interest. Even if you advertise only for a week, you’ve already done yourself a favor.
Blog will be here later this morning. I burned too much lean tissue trying to render the background and the little newspaper dispenser in the computer. I didn’t have enough time yesterday evening to draw them “long hand.”
See you soon!