Film sets are always war. People competing over visions of the same script and conflict can sometime spawn greatness. The saddest fact of Groundhog Day is that Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have barely spoken since. There’s never been much in terms of explanation from Bill, of course so most of the facts of this split have come from this Harold Ramis New Yorker profile.
I did a fantastic little cut paper video game music video. I was very proud of it. And still am and then there’s this…
In case you were unaware, my brother and I compete for Christmas. It’s usually the only present I’m looking forward to but this year, for the first time in the 25 or so years we have been doing this competition it was a tie! (aka TRAVESTY) So today I’m posting my submission for this year, a 3×4 foot Star Wars Episode IV poster in the style of Adventure Time featuring my brother and his wife as Luke and Leia.
A tie? Pbbbbt.
Let’s ask 12 year old me?
Justin35: How much would a phone call from Jake the Snake be worth?
Justin12: Is this from the future? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! (phone slam) (crying) (in a muffled tone) Why are you so fa-aa-at? (sniff) (sniff) (fart)
Later on, Justin12 would reveal his number to be about a billion. But the real answer is…
$30! That’s right amigos. Just donate one Hammy and Jax, one Andy and Alex towards the rebuilding of a shoulder that has thrown more men into a DDT than an errant 1950’s farming combine, and you, Justin12 can get a phone call from one of pro wrestling’s all time bad asses and Sam Elliot impersonators. (Honestly, he could have just gotten the money that way.) What? That’s not even kind of enough for you. Try going full out?
Learn the business of prowrestling from a guy who needs to crowd source a new shoulder! Now mind you, this is a fantastic opportunity, and as of my typing Jake is already $10,000 past his goal, so I don’t think he needs the money any more. So, here’s the deal? I don’t have 400 bucks but I would love to interview Jake. I have a feeling the 30 buck phonecall won’t get much more than a gravelly thank you. The $400 will get me 4 calls and get you the greatest Ambitious Mediocrity podcast EVER.
Please. Help Justin12 live this dream. (Btw I’m keeping that money!)
A) Hear F. Murray Abraham’s voice and think survival of the fittest?
B) Enjoy slowing things down to an abnoxiously slow frame rate just to see rippling musculature?
C) Frequently “like” cat photos on Facebook?
Enjoy your day trance. And you’re welcome.
At least the ED209 has some sleek new gumption to it. This looks more like military body armor. Which is fine, but I want something I can’t imagine. Something past where I can go with it myself. If there’s anything that Iron Man taught us its that these new knights of the blockbusterdom where meant to be CGI’d.
I have new favorite personal test. I go to TBS. Begin to watch Sullivan & Son and see how long it takes me to turn it off and fire up the Netflix to watch Cheers. Tonight I stumbled upon it gleefully around 12:02 and the Cheers theme song come on at 12:05. And this despite on of my favorite bad TV moves: using a The State alum as an ancillary character. In this case, a former deadbeat Aunt turned bookmaker Kerry Kenny. (Trivia: Did you know her Dad was the voice of Lion-O. That’s some fucking genes man.) She was delightful for 150 seconds.
The good in all this is that, in comparing the two, I’ve really begun to realize just how good Cheers was. In full disclosure, I’m from Boston and a man of my mid-30’s so growing up I pretty much took Cheers for granted like the toilet flushing. I watched most the early episodes on daily syndication before Red Sox games and the “Everyone Knows Your Name” theme song is as comforting to me as my Dad’s old flannel. But that doesnt mean that Sullivan & Son isn’t a bright chaotic mess.
It’s supposed to be the story of Steve Byrnes, an Irish-Korean comedian (playing a lawyer) who goes back to Pittsburgh and buys his parents bar. But instead its a show about the maybe 15 different patrons who spurt punchlines best found on radio show that end in …and The Coooz. But there’s no Steve. There’s no voice at all. He’s lost among the chatter of a litany of characters all shouting for lines. Steve’s voice ends up merely adding quiet exposition now and then. But at least he’s not Dan Lauria. The great Dad of all Dads Dan Lauria, the grumbled man sack from Wonder Years just wasting away, smiling like an oaf in the background randomly and making a sound whenever the writers forget that he’s in the show.
Cheers always knew what it was about. It was always Sam Malone’s bar. Ted Danson gets one of the few A+’s for TV leading men. Whether he was after Diane or Rebecca, everyone was there to support the tit and tat and yet somehow no joke was a throwaway, no character was just filling a bar stool. What show can replace TWO major characters in the middle of its run and keep going as if nothing had happened? It had Sam.
Instead of fighting the confines of the bar and stuffing it full of faces we can’t remember, they thrived in it. Manning the bar with guys you’d want to hang out with. There’s a reason the Bull & Finch pub still does extraordinary business as the “Cheers” bar. Everyone over the age of 30 still want to go there and be a regular. I can’t say the same for Sullivan’s. Did I mention that the entire show was filmed in basically one room for 271 episodes? It’s actually surprising they don’t try and remake Cheers every year. Think of how much money hand over fist they must have been making.
So Sullivan & Son will not be the last.
Wrapping up the last of Downton Abbey Season 2 and with Season Three hot on its heels, I give you all 9 ribauld exclamations to flay at the publicly supported screen when it all goes about itself.
9. Ladyship my ass!
8. Hey Laura Linney, git your own serialized period drama!
7. Nice trip Mr. Bates see ya next time your wife blackmails ya!
6. We get it Edith, you can drive!
Date night finally happened at Ambitious Mediocrity HQ. With Mom in town, and HB under watch, me and Mrs. AM finally got a chance to hit the silver screen (last movie seen in theater: Drive. I KNOOOOW.) Since Batman was sold out, The Avengers wasn’t playing at all and the Mrs. WENT AND SAW TED WITHOUT ME, we decided our best course of action was to go see Moonrise Kingdom, the newest of Wes Anderson’s Bill Murray movies. (Sidenote: The preview for Bill playing FDR looks simply fantastic.) Now I, unlike Paul F. Tompkins, have not loved all of Wes A’s affairs. In fact I down right hated his last live action effort Darjeeling Limited. And I think I went on with much or my reservation with Mr. Myles Kane during Justin and Myles Watch Trailers.
So my review in short: Moonrise Kingdom was good. Really good. And simple. And adorable. I think that was the word we mutually came up with on our way down the escalator. To put it another way, the girl behind me said she wished she could live that world and the same time I went home to tell my Mom (not a harbinger of good taste) to see it. So it is again that time. TO RESHUFFLE MY LIST OF FAVORITE WESLEY WALES ANDERSON MOVIES!!!!!!!!!! (Kermit yell).
8. The Darjeeling Limited
I want to say bad things about this. Truth be told I can’t remember a good damn thing about it. Not one thing. Not one scene. Nothing stood out. They maybe the worst thing I could say truthfully. What I do remember is that Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody and Jason Schartman are not brothers. The only redeeming quality of this movie is that Natalie Portman got naked in the prequel.
7.That At&T Commercial
Now this was just fun. Wobenonlosangeloswell. Good stuff.