Tag Archives: animation
By Andrew Blumetti
“Hooray for Hollywood!”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that saying is very sweet in theory and it makes for a most-likely terrible tramp stamp tattoo, but in actuality, movies are a business, and to quote Lieutenant Aldo Raine of Inglourious Basterds fame, “…cousin, business is a-boomin’”.
God, that point is almost shocking when you really think about it.
Why? Because twelve dollars.
- Twelve George Washingtons
- Two Abe Lincolns and two George Washingtons
- An Alexander Hamilton and two Georgies
Think about all the late, great, famous green presidents and historical figures who need to be sadly plunked down at the box office window for you just to simply step foot into a movie theater. Add in the second third mortgage it takes to add in a garbage can of popcorn, a swimming pool-sized soda, and a sleeping bag of Twizzlers, and a simple trip to the cinema eventually turns into, “Sorry kids, Mommy and Daddy can’t send you to college because we just had to see Shark Night 3D back in 2011.”
“You got rid of ME to see The Adventures of Pluto Nash? I cannot tell a lie. You’re a goober.“
Add in the aggravation of annoying flat-brim-hatted teens, inconsiderate theater talkers, 3D and IMAX surcharges, and the sci-fi glowing lights of every smartphone giving the dark theater an eerie blue-ish glow straight out of a cemetery, and it’s borderline amazing that Hollywood is still pulling in the billions it does from us theatergoers.
Not to mention the giant elephant in the room: For that sickening price, a lot of current flicks range from “meh” to “super meh”. Yes, there’s a lot of junk in that elephant’s trunk, but even more on the big screen.
Sadly it’s true. Sure, every given year has its own great triumphs of the cinematic nature, but overall, it’s not too big of a leap to say we’re not currently in any kind of grand 21st Century film Renaissance here.
Unfortunately, not every film can be Citizen Cane or Annie Hall. Heck, they all can’t even be City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.
Well, since the judge didn’t say what exactly counts as community service, I hope this counts. And at least I can save you, the fateful reader, from having to watch these questionable 20-year old films all the way through. Time to spoil…
You don’t have to thank me now, just don’t forget me next time you go to pick up some Chipotle.
(Blumes note: The following is in good fun. If you enjoy any these films, or if you’re Bruce Willis, I apologize in advance. Sorry Bruce.)
SYNOPSIS: Talk about laying an egg!
Uncle Jesse-ish Rooster grows killer pompadour, dons bedazzled jumpsuit, does his worst impression of fatter late-era Elvis.
It actually was pretty accurate as Rock-a-Doodle basically died on the toilet too. Throw in a storyline about a flood, some cats and add Charles Nelson Rielly’s voice into the mix for good measure. Shockingly, this didn’t connect with kids.
BOX OFFICE: $11 million
SPOIL TIME!: Missing Elvis bird comes back, sings, sun comes up, which can’t be a major surprise, as it’s exactly what Little Orphan Annie said would happen years ago. The protagonist cat turns back into a person, worlds of humans and talking animals merge.
They would’ve done a sequel, but the animators’ and writers’ hands were too cramped from issuing apology letters to every human on planet Earth.
♪ “Love me (chicken) tender” ♪
BLANK CHECK (1994)
SYNOPSIS: Blonde kid in the 90’s who wasn’t Macaulay Culkin mistakenly receives a blank check, fills it in for a million bucks, spends it on junk like slap bracelets, Reebok Pump sneakers, and those CD’s that came in long, cardboard cases. Mobsters want it back, which correct me if I’m wrong, was the exact same plot to The Godfather Part II, right?
Karen Duffy, Tone Lōc, and the little spaghetti-haired runt from Family Ties (who I wrote about in this article) helped this simple snoozer work its way up to a snoozer of epic proportions. Trust me, I saw it in theaters.
BOX OFFICE: $30 million (…but to be fair, $29, 999, 994 of that wasn’t from my wallet.)
SPOIL TIME!: FBI traces marked bills being spent by Family Ties kid. Bumbling mob has a showdown with a 5th grader, and you can take a big fat guess who wins. With the threatening mob single-handedly toppled by a prepubescent zit-faced tween, the ragamuffin goes home and his family throws him a birthday party. Kid still isn’t Macaulay Culkin at film’s end.
“Andy wrote a check THIS BIG! …and he voted Democratic!”
WELCOME HOME, ROXY CARMICHAEL (1990)
SYNOPSIS: Winona Ryder has a wardrobe of 1990’s clothes, career.
She portrays an antisocial ‘lil scamp named “Dinky” who believes former film star, Roxy Carmichael, is her estranged mother. Jeff Daniels has less messier hair than usual.
BOX OFFICE: $4 million
SPOIL TIME!: Break out the Kleenex, cause unfortunately, Dinky is not Roxy’s daughter, they just both have unusual names. Actually, by the film’s end, we never even see Roxy. No biggie, it would’ve just been Jeff Daniels in drag anyway.
Disappointed by this news, Dinky ends up with a popular guy from school who never realizes he’s dating a girl named Dinky. Thanks to Mermaids, this is actually not the worst film she releases in 1990.
“Roxy, you’re a sweet gal, but I requested Breyer’s ice cream, not Dreyer’s. Learn to listen.”
DR. GIGGLES (1992)
SYNOPSIS: Son of a wacky doctor returns to seek revenge for Obamacare. Or something…
There’s a girl with a heart condition, hacked-up simple townsfolk, and a spooky house of mirrors. Pretty much standard fare for a slasher flick… but with Doug E. Doug in it, so… win/win. (Of course if they changed the definition of “win”.)
For a more competent doctor, I’d suggest either Pepper or Dre.
BOX OFFICE: $8 million
SPOIL TIME!: Giggles, who has slashed up the stupid town, is killed by a teenager with a heart condition with defibrillators and surgery tools because movies.
He then lifts his scrubbed-leg and pees all over the fourth wall, making the cardinal sin of looking straight into the camera, addressing the already-annoyed viewer, and puking out the cringe-worthy line, “Is there a doctor in the house?” before finally croaking. Ruin your day and experience it for yourself.
Here’s the real spoiler- no one answers cause they fell asleep ten minutes into this diaper-filler.
LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW! (1993)
SYNOPSIS: Remember when John Travolta had a most-welcomed comeback as a strung-out, $5 milkshake-drinking hitman in 1994’s smash, Pulp Fiction? Well, this dud one of those things he had to come back from.
The babies have grown up, so of course the dogs talk. PETA actually considered being in this film akin to animal cruelity. Kirstie Alley was splashed with cans of red paint which she quickly learned the hard way was definitely not delicious ketchup.
And last, but certainly not least, a prolific appearance by the “Round Mound of Rebound” himself, Mr. Charles Barkley.
Jordan may have been the star of Space Jam, but on set, portly Chuck was known as “Space Ham”.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Dog voiced by Danny DeVito (yet slightly taller) saves lives! Wolves are scared by beeper sounds, dating this film in a way that only freakin’ beeper sounds could. By the end, I could’ve sworn the dog voiced by Diane Keaton was wearing a frumpy hat and clunky shoes.
A happy ending reunites the whole clan, as opposed to Happy Endings the show, who’s cancellation separated their whole clan. I kick myself for seeing this one before the first two Look Who’s Talking movies.
CUTTHROAT ISLAND (1995)
SYNOPSIS: (From IMDB) A female pirate and her companion race against their rivals to find a hidden island that contains a fabulous treasure.
At the time, the film’s star, Geena Davis, was married to Renny Harlin, the film’s director. They divorced three years later.
Yes, this film was so bad, it literally broke up a marriage.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Surprise! The audience is treated to a walk off the plank into shark infested waters. Which is much less painful than sitting through the rest of the film.
Cutthroat Island, the video game? More like video lame. Wokka wokka.
HUDSON HAWK (1991)
SYNOPSIS: Finally, one of the most notorious box office bombs of the 90’s. Oddly this might actually might have the distinction of being the best film mentioned here today.
Action hero, Bruce Willis, plays Hudson Hawk, a cat burglar who is blackmailed by the mob (likely the same mob from Blank Check) to steal pieces of valuable art. To ruin any chance of audience enjoyability, he and Danny Aiello sing as well.
Why this didn’t break $100 million at the box office is beyond me.
BOX OFFICE: $17 million
SPOIL TIME!: Hudson Hawk kills bad guy, drinks cappuccino. Sorry Hawk, you were twenty years too early for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Starbucks’ new slogan: “Officially NOT featured in Hudson Hawk!”
Blumes note: I’ve actually passed by Danny Aiello a couple times at the supermarket, and I’ve been too intimidated to bring this movie up to him for fear of being viciously beaten up.
…Next time Andrew, next time.
“Don’t you interrupt me when I’m picking out Chips Ahoy, punk!”
By Andrew Blumetti
Yogi. Berenstain. Winnie. Jim McMahon.
Like it or lump it, that’s pretty much it when it comes to bears in popular culture. The quota has been filled up faster than Wynonna Judd’s dinner plate at a Sizzler salad bar. Yet, for a head-scratchingly high number of years, we’ve been subjected to a number of two-plyed commercials oddly dreamt up by the head honchos at toilet paper company, Charmin, featuring, well bears with questionable bathroom procedures.
Advice: Turning missed toilet paper wads into sparkles isn’t making it any cuter.
“The Call of Nature”, a marketing idea first envisioned back in the year 2000 by Charmin. Apparently they felt like a post-Y2K fear-struck world needed an outlet to laugh and clean backsides to sit on.
Let’s face it, when you’re a bear in the woods, you pretty much have the reign of the whole joint. Gentle-eyed deer wisely run in the opposite direction, tasty river trout are your delicious dinner, and the birds- well let’s just say they know who’s territory the ground is. If you’re a bear, the wooded-world is your honey-covered oyster. You can eat campers, garbage, more campers, heck… anything your little heart desires.
Sadly though, there’s one thing you don’t have control of in the mean streets of the forests, and that’s missed toilet paper bunches in a not-so friendly area.
The Chicago Bears crappy play caused them to miss the playoffs this year.
As a people, we’re a lot more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. Much like how the living human race grew accustomed to an undead world in Zombieland, we too, grow used to change pretty fast.
I’m slowly accepting that Donald Glover is leaving Community this season, that Blockbuster Video is quickly becoming a prehistoric term, and finally come to terms that the creepy Burger King king has hung up his flame-broiled crown for good. So why for a decade now, have we so easily seemed to accept that a bunch of dingleberried-cartoon bears pushing toilet paper in commercials during dinner time is an adorable idea?
“Let’s Meet The Bears”
This grizzly group isn’t just a bunch of no-names though. In fact, they’re a furry family- a really clean-bummed bunch of bears. Let’s reach out our collective paw and give them the ‘ol Charmin squeeze:
(From L to R)
Dylan: The obvious nerd son, an overachieving bookworm bear who ruins the curve in class. He’s slightly cooler than the Steve Urkel bear, but not as cool as the Paul Pfeiffer Bear. He will go through an awkward goth phase when he discovers contact lenses and Bauhaus.
Amy: The only female cub in this clan truly is Daddy’s little girl. She spends a good portion of her day sobbing to Adele songs, and shopping at ABEARcrombie and Fitch. Her planned sweet sixteen party will cause the family to switch to a cheap off-brand toilet paper to save cash. Bear bums will be paper covered for weeks.
Molly: The fuzzy matriarch of the family, this momma bear keeps a swift eye on her cubs’ keisters. She cooks, she cleans, she enjoys a sip of good honey wine every so often, and won’t apologize for it. Back in her wild days in the 80’s, she was once a dancer in a Skid Row video. She also inexcusably hangs the toilet paper so the part to grab hangs underneath.
Leonard: Bumbling dad is the Homer Simpson of the forest. He loves to get in a quick nine at the Pitch and Putt, trot over to the Home Depot, and spends a good portion of his day avoiding his wife’s incessant Charmin nagging. He’s not really a good toilet paper user, as his rump often looks like a tissue-patched-up job of a blind man shaving.
Bill: Older jock brother who would’ve had a football scholarship to Michigan State if it weren’t for a salmon-catching injury that sprained his left paw (or southpaw). His gym playlist on his iPod consists of the following:
– Between the BEARied and Me
– Linkin PAWk
This will be our Cloverfield one day.
Lord knows if sales have actually increased due to this absurd butt-oriented furry campaign. You’d figure toilet paper is one of the few products out there that doesn’t need to be pushed hard (not literally). Nature calls, and everyone’s gotta answer, whether we like it or not, even if it’s the two-minute warning. We all gotta go, so it’s not like not buying it is an option, so all this cute on-a-roll absurdity might all be for naught.
When you gotta go that bad, it’s UNBEARABLE.
Really, why the fancy bathroom decorum when you’re in the woods? Can’t bears just go anywhere they want? I thought that was one of the great things about being a bear, you dookie near any tree, brook, or campsite, and if anyone gives you crap about it, you eat them.
On an invasive scale of 1 to 10, this ranks at “Facebook newsfeed ads”. Where does that vacuum plug in anyway?
Charmin, in their infinite toiletry wisdom, even promoted a line of public restrooms in Times Square back in 2006 looking to push a rare clean public lavatory in a city of millions. It replaced the classic popular bathrooms of Jamba Juice or any random sidewalk in Manhattan. The dream was short-lived though, as the location is now the home of a Disney Store. (Rumor has it that Pluto requires the world’s largest pooper-scooper.) When the idea was fresh, they sure went all out for the promotion, including a special appearance by the queen of the ample derriere herself, Ms. Kim Kardashian.
That left bear’s paw is a little too close for comfort.
The bears don’t get out much. This one thought this guy was the Japanese Fonz. “KONNICHIWAAAAAAA”
So, my friends, I guess nearly thirteen years in, there’s not much we can do.
No matter how annoying, even in the age of DVR, insipid commercial schtick is something we just another thing we will have to learn to live with. We’ve been shackled with the Geico gecko, Flo the over-lipsticked insurance woman and snobby people receiving red-bowed Lexuses for Christmas. So, until these woodsy weisenheimers learn to wipe better, it looks like we’re stuck with these bad bathroom behaving bears who are inevitably stuck to their TP.
They may be number one in toilet tissue ads, but they’ll always be number two in our hearts.