I realize that describing George Clooney’s Leatherheads as a movie about 1920’s football players who wear leather helmets simplifies things a little bit. But beyond the romantic rivalry aspect, I can’t figure out what this film is supposed to be about? Is it about guys playing football before there were rules? I’m not sure I understand the incentive behind seeing this?
I suppose star power is supposed to be the draw. I like Clooney. I like him a lot. He has a relaxed charm and he’s fun to watch on screen even in bad movies. I also like John Krasinski and I think he’s an excellent comedic sparring partner. Renée Zellweger is in the film and I’m kind of meh about that. There really hasn’t been a picture I’ve enjoyed her in. Too much squinting.
Joe and I talked about this during Monday’s Triple Feature podcast, but I also kind of resent how she’s become the go-to gal pal of 1920’s and 1930’s period pieces. Between Chicago and Cinderella Man, she’s starting to corner the market. Quit encouraging her, people! Before you know it, she’ll start to think she has moxy or… or PIZAZZ – and we’ll never get rid of her!
Dan Hopper over at BestWeekEver.TV has a fairly thorough breakdown behind the reason why he thinks Leatherheads might not be very good and I found myself agreeing with his position. Like him, I was excited about the film when I first heard about it, but the more I see of it, the less I like. It has the look of a one-trick pony and I still haven’t gotten over the hurt of watching Clooney fall into a similar guise in Intolerable Cruelty. Look, I know the whole sun-dappled sepia tone romp vibe worked out great in O Brother, Where Art Thou – but this one doesn’t look up to snuff.
Cami has expressed interest in seeing Leatherheads this weekend, which kind of surprises me considering its sports theme. I don’t know if we’re going to go to the effort of arranging a babysitter when Smart People comes out next week. That movie feels more our speed. We’ll see.
That’s about it for me today. I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!
Something I enjoy writing for the comic is the dynamic between Tom and Cami. As a married couple, they can do and say a lot more – I think – than characters who simply orbit each other. There’s none of that “will-they-or-won’t-they” drama. No lingering threat to the relationship. I realize that limits the potential for drama in the strip. But drama has never really been what Theater Hopper is about.
My hats off to people who can write that kind of stuff. It’s a tightrope walk, to be sure. I’ve just never had the patience for it. To have two characters who are married takes a lot of the pressure off. You can just write them as people.
I had a hard time coming up with the joke for today’s comic. There aren’t a lot of movies out right now that are impressing me. I could have done a comic about The Ruins, but it looks like standard horror boilerplate. Nothing inspired me. Then there’s Martin Scorses’s documentary of The Rolling Stones called Shine A Light, but what route can you go there except the tired “they’re really old!” joke.
I was trying to put something together for Nim’s Island, which is a movie I couldn’t care less about since it looks like a by-the-numbers kids adventure movie. That is, until I saw Gerard Butler was in it.
Of course, being both a nerd and a slave to popular internet meme’s, my mind immediately went to 300 and how I could incorporate it’s style or catchphrases into the strip.
I went around and around trying to think of something satisfying, but became annoyed with myself for jumping on a bandwagon about 14 months too late. Then I remembered that there are lot more unfunny parodies of 300 than funny ones. And then I became sad…
So I went another direction with it! It feels good to stick it to people who don’t know when to let a trend die.
Real quick – has anyone noticed that they’re pronouncing Garard Butler’s name weird in the commercials for Nim’s Island. They make it sound like “Jared.” It’s weird.
Or maybe that’s the way we’re SUPPOSED to be saying it and we’ve been ignorantly insulting him the whole time?
Oh, well. Not much else from my end of the universe. Thanks for swinging by the site! See you here Monday!
When I learned Charlton Heston had passed away over the weekend, I was kind of shocked. I don’t know why. After all, it’s perfectly within the scope of reason that an 84 year-old man suffering the later stages of Alzheimer’s might be lost to us at some point.
Yet, when confronted with the reality of the situation, it’s tough to accept. It seems that in some for or another, Charlton Heston had always been known to me. Admittedly, as little time as I spend thinking about Heston specifically, you never really prepare yourself for the idea of a world without the guy.
Depending on your own beliefs, it could be easy to characterize Heston as a villian for his gun control stance in his later years. Personally, I never agreed with it and found his appearance with the NRA in town days after the Columbine massacre tasteless. How much of that was actually Heston’s idea versus the NRA pulling his strings, I suppose we’ll never know. Unfortunately, he might be as well known for his podium posturing and “…from my cold, dead hands!” speech than for any of the famous roles he played.
It’s particularly difficult for me to reconcile Heston’s pro-gun ownership position considering his history as a civil rights activist in the ’60’s. Here’s someone who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. – a strong proponent of NON violence. Where’d the gun thing come from?
I suppose you could say it was all about freedom. Freedom between men, freedom to arm yourself if you so choose, freedom from the hands of others that would try to steer your course in life. That aligns much more with my vision of who Heston was as a man.
Of course Heston leaves behind and amazing legacy in film as well. From Ben Hur to The Ten Commandments to Planet of the Apes, this guy was in more iconic movies than you can shake a stick at. Also, let’s not forget The Omega Man because The Omega Man is awesome. He makes Will Smith in I Am Legend look like a total pansy.
So, here’s to Charlton Heston. May he rest in peace.
I’m sure Heston’s passing is something we’ll be discussing tonight on The Triple Feature – as well as the weekend’s new releases. Curious that 21 held onto the top spot against George Clooney in Leatherheads and Jodie Foster in Nim’s Island. Two Oscar winners can’t take down a movie about some Dawson’s Creek rejects counting cards?
We’ll be discussing all that and more tonight at 9:00 PM CST over at TalkShoe. Be sure to listen to the broadcast live and submit your questions to the chat field. We took a few calls last week and that was a good time. We’d love to do it again!
I just wanted to make a quick clarification about my post this morning because I don’t want people to be confused.
I didn’t mean to imply that Charlton Heston’s “…from my cold dead hands” speech occurred at any point near or around his appearance at the NRA rally held a few days after the Columbine massacre. I’m aware that those were two completely different events. I was just kind of lumping all of Heston’s involvement with the NRA into one paragraph.
I had a reader remind me of the scene in Bowling For Columbine where Michael Moore made it look like it was the same event and I just want to reiterate that I am aware that it wasn’t. I’m aware that the NRA rally was a previously planned event and a victim of circumstance as much as anyone. It probably would have been a logistical nightmare to cancel or reschedule and I appreciate the situation they were in at the time. All the same, it would have been nice for them to have displayed a little discretion and cancel the event anyway – but that’s just me. It’s in the past.
I actually wanted to talk about Bowling For Columbine a little bit, but couldn’t find a way to fit it in to my previous post.
I really think Moore gave Heston a raw deal in his interview and how he chose to portray him. When everyone else heard Moore’s name and ran the other direction, Heston accommodated him and invited him into his home. I like Michael Moore, but what he did to Heston I thought was insulting and it’s probably why Bowling For Columbine is my least favorite of his movies. I was agreeing with most of it up until the end with Heston and then I walked out of the theater with a bad taste in my mouth.
Ultimately, I just felt bad for Heston. Here’s a guy with certain convictions – maybe convictions you don’t agree with – but convictions none the less. Because of those convictions, he’s propped up by a powerful gun lobby to appeal to the macho segment of the population that identifies with his roles as a tough guy in movies like Ben Hur and The Omega Man. He’s a puppet for this organization. A friendly face to slap onto a complicated issue.
On the other hand, you have Moore, coming at Heston with his own agenda and using Heston’s own convictions against him to make him look like a doddering old fool.
Say what you will about the politics, but conviction and character are something to be admired, not to be used as weapons against those who possess them. For me, Moore’s treatment of Heston came down to a simple matter of respect. Or, more accurately, the lack of it.
For those either old enough to remember or for those with access to Nick At Nite, The Cone of Silence is actually a reference to the 1965 television show Get Smart.
(and that’s an old version of The Cone – the more commonly recognized version was kind of two domes that hovered over a desk, but this was the only picture I could find)
I suppose, to that end, it would have made more sense to use Tom’s literal interpretation of The Cone in reference to June’s big screen remake of Get Smart starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway – not Iron Man.
Yeah, I’ll have to take a mulligan on that one. I guess I just got it in my head that it would be funny for Tom to yell into a megaphone labeled “SILENCE” and call it The Cone of Silence. I didn’t completely think it through.
Still, the genesis for today’s strip came from an authentic place. I am in lockdown over Iron Man.
Joe and I have talked about this a lot. He’s actually the one that stated he was entering lockdown first. After the release of the second trailer, he didn’t want more information poluting his enjoyment of the film when it comes out May 2. I understood where he was coming from, but didn’t share the same opinion until a recent clip of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark showed up online featuring him testing out the Iron Man suit with a unique inside-the-helmet perspective.
I didn’t watch the clip! I resisted! I only know what it’s about from the stills I saw and the description I read. Yeah… that’s not much of a lockdown. BUT I DIDN’T WATCH THE CLIP! That has to count for something, right?
Watching trailers are one thing, but I worry a little bit when it comes to watching these clips out of context. At this point, my expectations for Iron Man are sky-high. I don’t want anything casting a shadow of a doubt before I go and see the movie in theaters.
This is not how I typically operate. Normally I devour every piece of information about a movie that I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that I go to see the movie and am let down because I know about 20% of the plot. There are no surprises. I sabotage myself like this all the time. Consider it hazards of the job.
But the stakes are too high for Iron Man. So no more Iron Man content before the movie comes out! (please note that doesn’t mean there won’t be more Iron Man comics!)
Thanks for swinging by the site today, folks! See you again on Friday!
I’ve you’ve spent any time on the internet recently, you might have picked up on this story about schlock-meister Uwe Boll – the director of such fine films as Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne and (most recently) In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. If you’re not familiar with the name, he’s generally regarded as one of the worst living directors and is a constant target for movie crtics.
In an interview with Fearnet.com, Boll was asked about the online petition asking him to stop making movies. He laughed it and said if the petition got up to a million, he’d stop.
When the interview was posted on April 4, the petition had 18,000 signatures. As the story of Boll’s challenge spreads, it has since climbed to over 175,000 signatures.
I personally haven’t signed the petition. I don’t see the point. I may not like Boll’s films, but I don’t think I have the right to tell him to stop making them. Besides, he provides more entertainment value to me the longer he stays visible to the public. Not with his movies, but with his outrageous attitude. The guy will literally say anything and doesn’t care what you think. I’ve done two comics about him so far. I think you can see how much I appreciate the comedic value he brings to the table.
That said, it makes it hard to defend Boll when he releases videos like this one – his rebuttal to the online petition – where he basically says that Michael Bay and Eli Roth are hacks who churn out the same movie over and over, that he is a genius and that it is the audience’s fault for not recognizing his talent.
It’s very possible that he’s kidding and trying to have a little fun with it. What else can you do when over 175,000 people say that you suck? Then again, he’s German. So if he’s kidding, it’s kind of hard to tell.
I don’t really see the purpose of dragging Michael Bay or Eli Roth into the situation. That just seems petty. Granted, those guys have their critics, but neither of them are going around challenging them to boxing matches.
I mean, is anyone else catching a professional wrestling vibe off this guy, or is it just me? None of this would be circling the movie news sites if Boll wasn’t out there promoting his latest soul-crusher Postal.
All the same, it’s kind of fun to play the game with him a little bit. When I was thinking about the petition, I wondered how many people are currently using the internet. I looked it up and statistics are anywhere between 1.3 to 1.8 billion world-wide. That’s a fun number to play with. Basically, only one thousandth of the global internet community needs to sign this thing to put Boll away.
Do I really think he’ll walk away from movies forever if one million people sign the petition. No, of course not. But at this point, finding out if he’s good to his word is the only thing keeping me interested. If he flakes, it’ll just be another tally in the “Uwe Boll Is A Jerk” column.
It’s very possible this petition could cross that one million mark. Did you read that story about how the Mets allowed their fans to vote for the song the wanted played at the top of the 8th inning through their web site? They left a field open for “Suggest your own song here” and the internet jumped on it, suggesting Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” as their song of choice. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.
The Internet: We are The Lizard King. We can do anything.
That’s it for me, folks. Have a great weekend and I’ll talk to you again on Monday!
It’s been previously established that Tom was (is?) a glue-eater. I thought it might be kind of fun to explore the impetus of that.
Smart People came out this weekend and failed to impress at the box office. It only did about $4.2 million worth of business. That’s kind of disappointing. You think the focus that was being put on Ellen Page post-Juno would have attracted some interest. And where’s the love for Dennis Quaid? To me, he’s one of those quintessential American actors. He doesn’t get the showiest parts, but he’s always reliable to turn in something interesting.
Quaid gets more and more interesting to me the older he gets. When he was younger, he played a lot of arrogant hot shot in movies like The Right Stuff, Enemy Mine, Innerspace and the Jerry Lee Lewis bio-pic Great Balls of Fire! Now that he’s older, he’s settled on this more quiet, dignified persona. Someone who may not like the situation he’s in or the attention being directed toward him, but he does his best and trudges through.
I think the turning point was somewhere around The Rookie, which is probably the best sports movie I’ve ever seen – and I HATE sports movies. After that, he turned in performances in Far from Heaven and In Good Company that I really liked. You can also see part of that transformation in Frequency, although that came out before The Rookie.
I don’t know… Now that he’s older and he kind of has this gravity behind him, there’s this authority to him. He’s kind of like America’s Dad at this point. Maybe it’s his roles in the remake of The Parent Trap and Yours, Mine and Ours that’s giving me that impression. Anyway, it’s a theory I’m kicking around.
Back to Smart People… critics have been tagging it for being too pretentious – and I guess I can see where they’re coming from. From the trailers, it looks very dry and very much about it’s own indie-cred. I can understand why that would be a turn off.
I didn’t get a chance to see the film, but I was eager to check it out because I thought throwing Thomas Haden Church into the mix as a kind of blue-collar spoiler was a bit of interesting casting. I never anticipated that the dumb-ass mechanic from Wings would be an actor I would ever be invested in, but there you go.
Not much else to talk about this morning except that I encourage everyone to check out The Triple Feature talkcast tonight at 9:00 PM CST at TalkShoe.com. Tonight we’ll be talking about Smart People and more.
The last couple of weeks we’ve had really good success answering user-submitted questions. We’d prefer to talk to you in person if you have a question to ask, so don’t be shy about calling into the program! You can do that, you know – because we record it live!
But if you’re uncomfortable calling in or don’t have the resources to do so, feel free to e-mail your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do about getting you an answer on-air tonight!
It can be about anything – The movies we’re anticipating in 2008, our least favorite films, most quotable films… It doesn’t have to be about movies, though. Maybe you want to ask us a question about our web comics or what we do in our downtime. The sky is the limit! So don’t be afraid to ask!
At any rate, it’s going to be a great show. We hope to see you there!
Take it easy!
I was kind of surprised to read this story about a recently unearthed Marilyn Monroe sex tape sold for $1.5 million. Not so much because Marilyn Monroe had a sex tape. Marilyn Monroe was ALL ABOUT sex. It was her image. She entered into film history with the persona she created.
More shocked because… I don’t know. I guess because celebrities did a better job keeping that stuff under wraps back in the day. Or maybe the media was just more respectful.
I’m also shocked that someone would cough up $1.5 million for 15 minutes of 16mm footage. I thought I was crazy for collecting Iron Man stuff. This guy takes the cake!
Thank goodness she’s not alive anymore. It would be like finding out your grandmother made a sex tape. Blech.
Then again, if she were still alive, the footage probably wouldn’t have found its way into the hands of a wealthy memorabilia collector.
The whole story is quite fascinating to me. The footage was filmed in the 50’s, but wasn’t discovered until the 60’s when an informant turned it over to FBI top brass J. Edgar Hoover. Turns out Hoover was trying to prove that the gentleman on the other end of Ms. Monroe’s… *ahem*… affections was either John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy. Meanwhile, the informant kept a copy for himself (who wouldn’t?) and this was the copy sold this week.
This completely tweaks the conspiracy theory quadrant of my brain. Think of what a great story you could tell about this footage? I mean, not only for the salacious parts, but for the historical context. I bet you could even do it for laughs. Did you guys ever see Dick with Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams? A very under-appreciated comedy set during the Nixon Watergate scandal. They had a pretty humorous take on Deep Throat and the missing 18 and a half minutes in the Watergate tapes. Netflix it if you haven’t seen it.
What’s really kind of making me think is how the guy who bought the footage came into possession of it. I mean, beyond the monetary transaction. Like, are their weird underground circles for wealthy businessmen who trade in antiquity and obscure pop culture artifacts? Do they have access to some kind of creepy eBay that I haven’t been made aware of? What’s this guy’s story?
The mind boggles.
Not much else for you today. Have a good one! I’ll see you here on Friday!
I’m not exactly sure what part of my brain the idea for this comic escaped from. I just started thinking about Forgetting Sarah Marshall and how it’s a Judd Apatow production, ALL of the Judd Apatow productions lined up for release in 2008 and the rest just kind of leaked out of my ear.
I’m sure the working environment on an Apatow film is much less contentious as I’ve depicted here. But you can’t help but notice the low-grade nepotism involved with these movies anymore.
At first I thought it was pretty cool to have the same stable of actors on call for any given movie. Now I can’t imagine a comedy that DOESN’T feature Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, or Jonah Hill in some capacity. Do they even make comedies without their involvement anymore? It’s hard to tell.
Then again, maybe that was the point.
At this stage, Apatow productions have become like the Laff-O-Lympics for my favorite comedy actors. I just watched Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story on DVD last week and there are tons of small cameos from the likes of Jack McBrayer and Ed Helms. Complete throwaway roles that could have been played by anyone. But then they show up on screen and that wave of recognition hits you. “Hey! That’s so-and-so from [insert popular comedy television show here]!” In a weird way, it’s like it adds some kind of credibility to the affair.
As far as Forgetting Sarah Marshall is concerned, it’s a movie I’ve been looking forward to for a while. It looks like it’s got the same mix of crudeness and sweetness and they’re mixing things up a little bit by adding Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis to things. Also, those two actresses are very attractive and I’ll take any advantage I can get in terms of muting the amount of wang that is supposedly in this movie. Reportedly, Segel shows the goods 3 times in this picture. At what point did the wiener become a standard visual gag? I know it looks weird, and everything, but…
Peter Segel is an actor I kind of like, but not really – and mostly for the roles he’s chosen. Specifically, the stalker boyfriend from Undeclared and the dirtbag MILF-chaser in Knocked Up. I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother, but I understand he plays a much more squeaky clean version of himself on that show. So maybe it’s been the wrong exposure for me.
That said, I’m impressed that he wrote the screenplay for this one and somehow managed to wring A NEW MUPPETS MOVIE out of his involvement with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Apparently there is a sequence with puppets at the end and people from The Henson Company were doing the puppeteering. Segel floated the idea past them and the rest is (soon to be filmed) history.
Cami and I are trying to line up a babysitter this weekend so we can get out of the house and see this. I know I say that a lot, but this is the first movie in a long while that I feel extremely motivated to see. Motivated enough to inconvenience another family member and deep-six their Saturday night to hang out at our house and make sure my baby doesn’t drink a case of Colt 45 while we’re away.
Wow. That’s a visual for you.
One last thing — If you missed it on Wednesday, be sure to download the first recorded broadcast of Boxcar Comics Hobo Jamboree. Myself, Joe Dunn from Joe Loves Crappy Movies, Phil Chan from Martriculated and Clay Yount from Rob & Elliot were all in attendance and we laid down the ground work for what you can expect from our monthly podcast. We had a good time recording it and I’m already looking forward to the next one.
A couple of people wrote to tell me that we didn’t give you guys enough notice to listen to the show live. Sorry about that. It all came together kind of quickly and we just ran to press with it. Next time, we’ll try to talk it up a week or so in advance.
I’m really excited about the progress that Boxcar Comics has been making lately. So far we have one jam comic and this podcast under our belt. We’re working on our second jam comic as we speak. Boxcar has been around since 2005. I think we’ve gotten more done in the last few months than we have in the last few years. I feel good about it. We’ve justified ourselves beyond just sharing traffic. Good times.
That’s all from me! Have a great weekend everybody!
If you haven’t seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, today’s comic probably plays a little to the inside. But in the chance you hear about it from friends or maybe read a couple of reviews, the most memorable scene in the movie is the lead character’s Dracula-inspired rock opera… performed by puppets.
On paper, it sounds kind of improbable or at least quirky for quirky’s sake. But I’ll tell you what… It works. I want to see that musical now!
Cami and I had an opportunity to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Saturday and I was more than excited to go. We’re lucky in the sense that we have lots of family around to watch Henry if we want to get away for a couple of hours to see a movie. But in the last several weeks, there hasn’t been anything I’ve felt strongly enough to inconvenience anyone about. Forgetting Sarah Marshall released a hilarious red band trailer a couple of months back and I knew right away this would buck the trend. I walked away happily undissapointed.
I’ve not had my heart broken to the degree that Jason Segel’s protagonist Peter experiences in this movie – and that’s probably a good thing. But I got the impression watching it that there was something profound being said about relationships and loss, motivation and inspiration. What happens during Peter’s trip to Hawaii isn’t all good. But that it gets him out of his rut and creating again when he gets back home spoke directly to me.
I respond very specifically to themes centered around creativity. I think most creative people will agree that it’s pretty much impossible to turn it off for any given length of time, but sometimes the hose gets kinked, so to speak. Sometimes your output is a trickle and sometimes its a torrent. I celebrate people who are able to deliver consistently. It’s a marvel to behold.
Segel’s character is the kind of guy that is creative and witty, funny and well-liked. But he’s so entrenched in his routine, he make molasses-like progress. Both creatively and in life. Being dumped by Kristen Bell’s title character (the star of the excellently named CSI rip-off Crime Scene: The Scene of the Crime) is actually the best thing that could have happened. The reawakening he experience in Hawaii is exactly the kind of transformation you would hope for when traveling. All of this is made more interesting by the fact that the lead character doesn’t recognize ANY of this while it’s happening!
I may be reading into things a little bit for a light romantic comedy. But I think the best comedies have a grain of truth in them. I think Segel should be extremely proud of the screenplay he created.
Be sure to tune in to The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST at TalkShoe.com where we’ll be discussing Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Forbidden Kingdom, movie news from this weekend’s New York Comic Con and more! Call in with your questions and talk to us live!
See you then!