Tag Archives: Elvis

Blumes Spoils Movies You (Probably) Don’t Care About!

By Andrew Blumetti

SPOILER NON-ALERT…

“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’”.

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God, that point is almost shocking when you really think about it.

Why? Because twelve dollars. 

Yes, that’s…

  • 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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…
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You don’t have to thank me now, just don’t forget me next time you go to pick up some Chipotle.
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(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.) 

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ROCK-A-DOODLE (1992)


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” ♪

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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!”

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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.”

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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.

“Say Ahhh-wful”

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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.

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CUTTHROAT ISLAND  (1995)

Cutthroat island ver2.jpg

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.

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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!”

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Filed under Animation, Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture, Retro

The Truth About Danny from Hey Dude… Dead or Alive?

By Andrew Blumetti

Anyone who knows relatively anything about anything knows that teen s-kicker sitcom, Hey Dude, is the best television show to ever grace the boob tube.

Well, maybe not exactly the best show ever, but if you grew up a healthy diet of late 80’s/early 90’s Nickelodeon fare, you’re no doubt as big of a fan of the western cowboy-comedy as I was.

The plot was your classic fish-out-of-water:  A nerdy New York City accountant purchases  the “Bar None Ranch”, an Arizona dude ranch smack dab in the barren desert, and brings his Hypercolor shirt-wearing son with him.  Throw in a teenage staff of cowboys, Indians, and textbook white-boy slackers, and you’ve got yourself a Nick home run, and I don’t mean Swisher.

“Who you calling a fish out of water?!?”

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There was goofball troublemaker Ted, and his on-again, off-again love interest, Brad, a rich girl with a boys’ name who was nowhere near as attractive as she was made out to be.  Rounding out the bunch was goody two-shoes lifeguard Melody, Brendan Frasier-wannabe drummer Jake, pretty-boy cowboy Kyle, Lucy- the one actual adult who worked there, and last, but not least, Danny Lightfoot, a Hopi Indian who had a larger denim vests collection than Ernest P. Worrell.  Lightfoot also was graced with a deep, spiritual kinship with the anhydrous desert land, the way Hollywood assumes all Native Americans do.

Danny (fourth from left) was peeved in this episode, as everyone put their money on him to go first in the “Hey Dude death pool”. 

After the show’s cancellation in 1991, the teen cast mostly fell into adult obscurity.  A few cast members kept their inconsequential relevance– protagonist Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) did some minor acting on episodes of shows such as Seinfeld and ER, Ted (David Lascher) went on to co-star in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and Melody (Christine Taylor) most prominently became known as Mrs. Ben Stiller.

The parched tumbleweeds blew across the Duders world for years until an ordinary 2004 afternoon, when it was reported (albeit unconfirmed) that Joe Torres, the actor who played Danny, had passed away from liver failure.

This story could’ve been an immature internet hoax, or it could’ve been true, and that’s the sheer bloody genius of it.

Report that Brad Pitt jumped off a bridge or Kim Kardashian fell into a shark tank, and skeptical people will call shenanigans from the get-go.  Report the quiet demise of an obscure actor from a nearly 20-year old kid’s cable show, and it becomes a lot harder to disprove.

Also, the longer the rumors went invalidated, the more believable the actor’s doom-and-gloom fate became.  Was he still vertical?  Or did the man-eating jack rabbits and killer cacti finally take Torres down?

(Yes, apparently Danny was a big Guns ‘N Roses fan.  …but did he ever get to experience the forgettable phenomenon that was Chinese Democracy?)

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Finding information on Torres is about as difficult as you’d imagine.  Over the years, on his IMDB page, help was sparse at best.  Mostly a bunch of occasional message board nerds doing message-boardy things, such as disputing his fate, discussing his mullet, and who saw him doing what, and where (not necessarily in that order).

Internet hearsay is absolutely worthless though.  For all we really know, he was out playing darts with Elvis, country line-dancing with Tupac or maybe he was abducted by martians who were mistaken Clarissa Explains It All fans instead.

There were also stories that Torres packed his dusty bags and ended up on the East Coast.  Some speculation pointed to him living in Tarheel country in North Carolina.  Or maybe it was more plausible he simply dropped the “s” at the end of his last name, blew all of his Hey Dude savings at the plastic surgeon, then managed the Yankees to four World Series titles.

One man, four rings?  Perhaps all those years of dealing with hothead Ted on the show prepared him to deal with Roger Clemens on the field?

Another possible theory was that Torres was still alive and working at a Toyota dealership in Runnemede, NJ.  Any links on the website to his existence are gone, and this was the supposed picture of him from his shirt-and-tie job:

“He was known as ‘Sells’em Camry’ in used-car circles.”

Another theory that seemed to have legs was that Torres was still alive and kickin’… at a bar nonetheless.  Some had claimed to see him frequent the World Famous Golden Nugget Tavern in Tuscon, Arizona.

Word on the sand has it that Torres is not someone you want to meet up with on the felt, as he’s quite the pool shark (just without his own week on cable every summer).  This seemed to be more likely than the other scenarios, seeing as the Southwest was Torres’ old stomping grounds when Hey Dude filmed out there during its run.

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After many failed attempts to find any contact source to help with Torres’ mysterious story, the simplest solution was get in touch with the Golden Nugget to see if they could shed any light on this Dude-er dilemma.

Following an inquiry to the establishment, I received a very helpful email from Tim Donaldson from the Golden Nugget.  Donaldson kindly told me that Jose (Joe) “is alive and well”, thanked me for my message, and said he would pass it along to him.

Hey Danny, you’re alive!  Don’t look so shocked.

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So my fellow Nick fans, may this news make your late-summer week a little sweeter.  We can all breathe a “yippe ki yi ya!” in relief that the rumors of the demise of Danny from Hey Dude, were just that- rumors.  A bunch of speculative hogwash– no liver failure and no job selling Snooki a souped-up Corolla at a Jersey car dealership.  Turns out our very favorite Hey Dude-er is just a former actor looking to kick back, sink the 8-ball in the corner pocket of his past, and enjoy his billard-loving privacy.

…unlike Sponge from Salute Your Shorts.  We all know he’s really dead.

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television