August Sleepers & Blockbusters

Ten years ago, I was submitting short entertainment articles to The Hamilton Spectator, my local newspaper.  In the Go section, there was a page called YourPlace where writers, unaffiliated with the broadsheet, could send in arts-related pieces for consideration.  I was fortunate to have a few of my own accepted and published during this period.  They have all since been reposted on this website.

However, most of the work I offered to The Spec was rejected including this piece about late summer movies.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything old in this space, so with August 2012 just days away from arriving it’s more than appropriate to dust off this old nugget from 2002 and share it with all of you.  Not a word has been changed.

Making public predictions is a fool’s game that I’ve thankfully restricted in recent years to just the Academy Awards (although the 2012 go-round was not one of my better showings).  That being said, it’s nice to remember that my gut feelings about XXX and Signs becoming commercial hits in 2002 were right.  (I know.  Everyone expected them to do well.  Please don’t take away my moment of glory.  I have so few of them.)  The otherwise ordinary Vin Diesel action flick made almost 300 million worldwide while Mel Gibson’s last good movie made over 400 million.

In the end, of course, only the studios really care if a movie makes money or not.  (They invested all that money, after all.)  All that really matters to everybody else is whether it’s good or bad.  As for this year, it will be interesting to see if anything special is headed our way next month.  One thing’s for certain, however.  I’ll be leaving the guessing to others.

AUGUST SLEEPERS AND BLOCKBUSTERS
Preparing for the next surprise hit
By Dennis Earl

August is traditionally a bad month to go to the movies.  To be more blunt, Hollywood dumps its deadwood, its guaranteed bombs, its mediocre money-losers on a mostly uninterested public who are far too preoccupied with earlier summer hits.  And while it’s still true today that bad movies continue to be released near the end of summer where no one will notice them, every once in a while a sleeper or a big blockbuster breaks through.

This August will probably be no exception.   Familiar players are involved and big money is at stake.  But that probably would never be the case were it not for the successes of past August sleepers and blockbusters.

It was 10 years ago that Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven exceeded expectations and became an August success story, a Hollywood rarity.  Eastwood had bought the script in 1981 and sat on it until he was old enough to tackle the lead role of William Munny, a reformed bounty hunter, widowed with young children, called back into action one last time.  The film found a decent-sized audience and eventually gave Eastwood 2 Academy Awards for Directing and Producing the movie.   (Gene Hackman won his second Oscar for playing the iron-fisted corrupt sheriff, Little Bill Daggett, a role he initially turned down.)  This month, Eastwood hopes for another hit with his latest film, Blood Work.

Since that time, Hollywood has delivered other unexpected delights in August.

The following summer, Harrison Ford was eluding the clutches of Tommy Lee Jones while finding the real killer of his hottie wife, Sela Ward, in The Fugitive, the best movie ever made from a TV show.   Jones went on to win an Oscar for his great performance while the movie had to settle for a Best Picture nomination.  Ford was unjustly snubbed.

In 1994, a dull August was livened up considerably with the release of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, one of his best films, at the end of the month.  Although it was stupidly passed over for Oscars, the film gave audiences much to think and argue about for the rest of the year. 

August 1995 gave us two more surprise success stories.  The wonderful Babe, another Best Picture nominee, and the overrated, but nevertheless, popular mystery, The Usual Suspects.  Yet another film that delighted audiences with a surprise plot twist.  (Kevin Spacey won his first Oscar for his work in that film.)

The Motion Picture Academy can’t resist dark horse British films and several months after the August 1997 release of The Full Monty, the film received 4 Academy Award nominations.  (Anne Dudley won the only Oscar for her original score.)  A moving, often hilarious and surprisingly touching film that spawned imitators.

In 1999, a young, unknown writer/director named M. Night Shyamalan unveiled his commercial blockbuster, The Sixth Sense, a film that made a star out of Haley Joel Osmont (and gave him an Oscar nomination along with non-stop film work) and which benefitted greatly from a brilliant plot twist that kept movie houses packed through the fall.  Like Unforgiven, it would receive recognition from the Motion Picture Academy but only in the form of nominations.  Shyamalan is hoping for more of the same magic with his latest acclaimed film, Signs.  Starring Mel Gibson, it has a very good chance of finding an audience.

Which brings us to August 2002.  I already mentioned Blood Work and Signs, the latest offerings from Clint Eastwood and M. Night Shyamalan respectively.  Another potential hit is XXX, the latest vehicle for Vin Diesel who it appears is being molded as the next Schwarzenegger.   I’ll be surprised if it bombs.

In an increasingly competitive industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the right release date for a potential hit.  Even more frustrating is convincing audiences to spend money on sleepers.  But if the past has taught us anything about the month of August, particularly in the last 10 years, at least one film, whether it’s hyped to death or quietly praised, is bound to stand out amongst the usual late summer dreck.  This year, there may be more.  Let’s hope so.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, July 29, 2012
5:53 p.m.

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Published in: on July 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

No Democracy In America

There is no democracy in America
Only the illusion of choice
Greedy elites control everything
The disgruntled have no voice
Corporate dictators with very deep pockets
Have bought their way to the top
There are no legal pitbulls
To ever make them stop

There is no democracy in America
Only the myth of equality
Instead of scrutinizing government plans
The media dwells on frivolity
As the gap between the rich and the poor
Grows ever more extensive
Even being a middle class citizen
Has gotten far too expensive

There is no democracy in America
Only a free market full of lies
The fallout from deregulation
The whole country sighs
They capture the few
Who dare to be explicit
Because they’ve exposed too much
They know who’s complicit

There is no democracy in America
Only hope for its return
But cynicism is quickly rising
When will honesty take a turn?
How can there be change
If no one is willing to act?
If we really had the power
The whole lot of them would be sacked

There is no democracy in America
Only a rising tidal wave of fear
Threatening to drown us all
The elite won’t shed a tear
As voters get turfed from the rolls
And addicts continue to rot in jail
How long before even the stubborn admit
The current state of the republic is a total fail

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 26, 2012
7:37 p.m.

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm  Comments (1)  

Only The Corrupt Survive

Fast asleep with both eyes open
Rebelling against reality because it’s ingrained
Watching passively at the coming revolution
Too indifferent to fake an expression that’s pained
Invented equivalency when there was no need
Because uncovering truth takes too long
Overpaid for decades of shoddy work
In an honest world they’d never belong

They piss on the process they learned in school
Pretending publicly it doesn’t apply to them
But when you point out their considerable flaws
Ignoring you never slows their momentum
They move up the ranks at lightning speed
The worse they are the faster they climb
They reap the rewards for being dumb
Protecting the government should be a federal crime

Wasting so many hours on the trivial
While innocent people are routinely extinguished
There’s no intelligence to be found
At least their haircuts are distinguished
As they report on bimbos and funny animals
Instead of performing their civic duty
The bodies pile up in the Middle East
Hey, did you hear?  Suri Cruise is a real cutie

So how do you reform a broken system?
How do you turf the useless and the lame?
They don’t care about dissecting policies
Just who’s winning and losing the game
As Wall Street laughs in the face of the law
The heart of the Muslim world is barely alive
These professional stenographers are living proof
Only the corrupt survive

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 14, 2012
11:27 p.m.

Published in: on July 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm  Comments (1)  

Chris Jericho’s Pathetic Lie About His Appearance On The Howard Stern Show

It was the morning of March 4, 2003.  Baba Booey walked into the studio during an email segment to inform Howard Stern that Chris Jericho had called.  He requested to be a guest on the show. 

The veteran pro wrestler is also the frontman for a heavy metal group called Fozzy who were out promoting their third album at the time.  Stern isn’t fond of “celebrity bands”, groups led by performers who are famous for doing something else, and during this period of his career he would invite them in to go head-to-head against his own band, The Losers, in a Battle of the Bands competition to prove that his ragtag group of show staffers were less embarrassing.  Baba Booey suggested they book Jericho and Fozzy for this very reason.

As March 26, the day of the competition, drew near, Jericho would leave trash talking voicemail messages with the show to gain some sort of psychological advantage.  Meanwhile, the aggravation of rehearsals was getting to Stern, who firmly vowed to make this upcoming battle the final one.  After Fozzy’s appearance, the Battle of the Bands bit would be retired for good.

In 2010, the WWE released Breaking The Code:  Behind The Walls Of Chris Jericho, a three-disc set that features a whole slew of matches from throughout his career in the ring as well a 106-minute documentary about his life and times in and out of wrestling.  During the Fozzy chapter of the documentary, specifically at the 75-minute mark, Jericho briefly mentions his appearance on The Stern Show.

In one sentence, he rewrites history:

“We went on Howard Stern and blew them out of the water…”

Not quite.  According to Marksfriggin.com, who detailed the segment in his March 26 write-up (the competition portion can be found under The Losers Vs. Fozzy In A Battle Of The Bands, section 3), although Fozzy did get some positive comments from both Stern and even some listeners who called in, the three professional judges (A&R Records Senior Vice President Ben Goldman, Matt Pollack from V2 Records and MTV’s Tom Calderon) who all came in to evaluate both bands were far less enthusiastic:

“Howard moved on to Ben Goldman to get his review of the two bands. Ben went ahead and said that it was difficult to judge because the songs were completely different [The Losers did Neil Young’s Old Man while Fozzy did an original called To Kill A Stranger]. He said that if he was going to sign a band it would be the…man he’d be looking at – [Stern] – and he’d have to go with The Losers. Up next was Matt Pollack. He said he didn’t have good news for Howard. He said that he wasn’t feelin’ it with them. He said he likes Neil Young and all but not through Howard. He said he didn’t have good news for Chris Jericho either. He said that he gained points because he was huge and could pummel him. He said he wasn’t a big fan of the music but their performance pushed it over the edge for him but just a little bit. Howard said he was surprised at that review.

The final Judge, Tom Calderon, gave his review and said he had to agree with the other two judges. He said he found Jericho to be very theatrical but that’s not where we are musically in the world at this time so The Losers were his choice. Howard sounded thrilled that he pulled it out again. He said Fozzy sounded great and they may have been one of the best bands to take them on. Chris was taking it hard according to what Howard could see. He said he turned red. Chris said he was trying to be cool and smile but it was tough.”

So much for blowing them out of the water, eh, Jericho? 

When I screened Breaking The Code last year (which I highly recommend), I was immediately annoyed with Jericho’s blatant revisionism.  Did he really think he could get away with such nonsense?  Unfortunately, I didn’t write about it at the time and always regretted it.

Thankfully, I got a second chance when the segment recently re-aired on satellite radio during Stern’s annual two-week July vacation.  On Friday, July 6, Fozzy Vs. The Losers was re-packaged on the fifth and final part of King Of All Judges week on Sirius XM.  (Every segment involved various evaluations that have taken place on the show over the decades as a tribute to Stern’s new gig as a judge on America’s Got Talent.)

So, the next time you hear The Best In The World At What He Does brag about his Stern appearance, call him out on his bullshit.  Fozzy didn’t defeat The Losers in 2003.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, July 14, 2012
1:07 a.m.

Published in: on July 14, 2012 at 1:07 am  Comments (3)  

Daniel Tosh’s Awful Timing

It was a terrible idea but he did it anyway.  Now his already lousy professional reputation just got worse.

Comedian Daniel Tosh was doing a set at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles late last week.  According to this now-infamous anonymous audience member’s account (posted at her friend’s Tumblr blog), the Tosh.0 host made “some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc.”.

Feeling deeply and understandably uncomfortable about this, the female audience member shouted out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”

Tosh’s reply, according to the woman’s account:

“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

Along with her girlfriend, she went on to rightly complain to the manager who offered an apology.

Unlike the Michael Richards debacle six years ago, no video footage or audio recordings of the incident were made, as far as we know.  (None surfaced in the wake of Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay misfire last year, either.)  Jamie Masada, who runs The Factory (the same place where Richards flipped out), lamely tried to dispute the anonymous woman’s claims in an exclusive interview with Buzzfeed.com.

But he didn’t exactly help Tosh’s cause:

“Masada says Tosh asked the audience, ‘What you guys want to talk about?’ After someone in the front said ‘rape,’ a woman in the audience started screaming, ‘No, rape is painful, don’t talk about it.’ Then, Masada says, ‘Daniel came in, and he said, ‘Well it sounds like she’s been raped by five guys’ — something like that. I really didn’t hear properly.”

Wow, that’s some rebuttal from a half-listening comedy club owner who went on to say, “It was a comment — it wasn’t a joke at the expense of this girl.”

And that makes it more palatable?  Who talks that way to women?

Masada claims the woman and her friend stuck around for the whole set (she wrote that they left their seats after Tosh’s misogynistic “joke”) and instead of receiving a refund they were given free tickets for a future show (which no one disputes).  Puzzled why they accepted the tickets (maybe because they still want to see actual comedy from actual comedians?), he plays the old how-can-he-be-offensive-when-he-got-a-standing-ovation routine as a “credible” defense.  Then, he concludes thusly:

“If you don’t want to get insulted don’t go to comedy clubs.”

I guess “You’re New Jersey in pants!” isn’t edgy enough these days.

As always, when we can’t see and/or hear an incident like this through captured footage, it’s very difficult to know for sure exactly what was said and the contexual circumstances surrounding it.  But now that Tosh has not only offered a phony apology (“all the out of context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely apologize”) but also a pitiful explanation (“the point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them. #deadbabies”.  Old-school rule of comedy:  if you have to explain the point of a joke, you still won’t get the laugh.), it’s obvious that the woman wasn’t lying.  She may or may not have remembered the exact wording but in essence, from what she reported, Tosh blew it.

As anyone in the stand-up world will tell you, there’s a thin line between being a brilliant, edgy comedian and an unfunny, hateful asshole.  If you’re going to tackle an explosive topic like rape in a comic setting, you better be a genius with your material or you’ll be paying the price for your stupidity for years to come.  Context and tone is everything.  Even with that said, is taking a gamble like this really worth alienating most of your audience for, especially if you’re ill-equipped to pull it off properly?  Surely, there was no effort to be anything here but a jerk to that audience member who showed tremendous courage in a hostile environment. 

Michael Richards was lucky.  He didn’t have a career to lose in 2006.  It was already over by the time he went haywire on some hecklers.  The 37-year-old Tosh, on the other hand, has a popular TV show on Comedy Central (think Jackass meets America’s Funniest Home Videos) that actually outdraws The Daily Show.  He has over six million followers on Twitter.  His last TV stand-up special was seen by more than three million people. 

Regardless of one’s reputation in the comedy world, this is an enormous blunder.  Is it really a wonderful thing to be known as the guy who thinks rape jokes are funny?  Do I even need to answer that question?  Sadly, Tosh’s career probably won’t lose any momentum.  Incredibly, in 2012, sexist douches can still thrive in their chosen profession.  (Example:  Charlie Sheen.)

Meanwhile, former FBI Director Louis Freeh has released his much anticipated report about the Jerry Sandusky case.  The former defensive coordinator for Penn State University’s football team was recently convicted of raping and molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.  The report points the finger at four key Penn State figures, including the late head coach Joe Paterno, who all conspired to keep the disturbing details of the case between themselves, instead of talking directly to the police, which gave an unchecked predator all the time in the world to violate so many innocent kids.

Hilarious, right, Daniel Tosh?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, July 13, 2012
12:40 a.m.

UPDATE:  New York stand-up Meghan O’Keefe has an excellent commentary about all of this in her latest Huffington Post piece which I highly recommend you check out here.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, July 15, 2012
3:28 p.m.

Published in: on July 13, 2012 at 12:40 am  Comments (1)  

You’re Not As Smart As You Think You Are

If “love is louder”, why are you so silent
In the face of mass murder by an imperial giant?
Are you not appalled by what your President is doing?
Or are you more concerned with your sitcom that’s debuting?
Because what’s more important than the killing of Muslim youth?
Maybe a gigglefest with the girls over glasses of vermouth
You may think your acting career has taken you far
But Ms. Bush, you’re not as smart as you think you are

If “smart is sexy”, why are you so clueless?
He doesn’t “care about us”, his foreign policy is ruthless
Without a public option, health care is still seriously flawed
And no President should ever have the power to play God
Are you not disgusted by his actions in the Middle East?
Or that your country’s civil liberties have greatly decreased?
You may have worked hard to become a TV star
But Ms. Bush, you’re not as smart as you think you are

If you’re “leading with love”, why are you behind on hate?
If you think your President’s a “real man”, you’re in for a debate
Was it cool to promise hope and change then renege on the deal
As he continues to allow Wall Street to do what they feel?
Was it honourable to promise openness then shield criminal acts
Or am I just revealing far too many inconvenient facts?
You may think your dear leader is up to par
But Ms. Bush, you’re not as smart as you think you are

If “tolerance is sexy”, why do you stay quiet?
Innocent Muslims are getting murdered or do you deny it?
How can you care about gay people haunted by dissension
While Private Bradley Manning never warrants a mention?
Like others, he exposed wrongdoing and is paying the price
But you got a photo with your President.  Isn’t that nice?
You may drive around Hollywood in your fancy “green” car
But Ms. Bush, you’re not as smart as you think you are

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, July 12, 2012
2:36 a.m.

Published in: on July 12, 2012 at 2:36 am  Comments (6)  

Video Game Warriors

They’re the bravest of the brave
Armchair soldiers on patrol
America’s rep they will save
By killing anything with a soul
Don’t be too concerned
About the waste of human life
From what they’ve discerned
It’s not worth the strife

They’re the bravest of the brave
Armchair soldiers on patrol
Hunting Muslims is what they crave
With big joysticks they control
It’s fun to wipe out those
Who’ve never been a threat
Snuff it before it grows
That’s always the safest bet

They’re the bravest of the brave
Armchair soldiers on patrol
A top secret enclave
Led by a heartless asshole
They’ll be given a reward
In no time flat
Bestowed by the board
For creating all that “bug splat”

They’re the bravest of the brave
Armchair soldiers on patrol
No situation is ever grave
No stress to take its toll
From the safety of their lair
Thousands of miles away
Their hatred is laid bare
But to them, it’s just play

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
9:23 p.m.

Published in: on July 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Men In Black 3

Tell me what’s wrong with this picture.  A beautiful woman arrives at a maximum security lunar prison.  It was built specifically for this notorious alien assassin who she just happens to be visiting.  She comes bearing a gift:  a cake.  The two, dopey prison guards who greet her, when they’re not insulting her appearance, perform an electronic security check on the cake.  Their advanced sensors don’t detect anything suspicious, so they take her to Boris The Animal, the above-mentioned alien assassin.  He’s locked up alone in a vault.

After what has to be the grossest display of french kissing I’ve ever seen (Boris puts Gene Simmons to shame), one of the guards makes the foolish mistake of touching the cake.  Out comes a rather nasty alien spider and, well, you can probably guess the rest.

I have a question.  What is the point of having a state-of-the-art correctional facility, built on the moon no less, filled with electronically equipped security guards when all it takes to break out one prisoner is to do the old bake-a-cake-with-a-creepy-surprise-inside routine?  Isn’t this covered in the training manual?  Seems a little obvious, guys.

Such is the glaring credibility problem that opens the underwhelming Men In Black 3.  Boris The Animal (played by the always Jaggeresque Jemaine Clement of Flight Of The Conchords) has a huge beef with Agent K (the always scowling Tommy Lee Jones).  Back in 1969, the then-29-year-old secret government agent vapourized his arm and had him locked away, something he’s always regretted.  (He wishes he killed him when he had the chance.)  At some point, while in that lunar prison Boris befriended another inmate who told him about time travel, a controversial practice that ended with his imprisonment.  They make a deal that The Animal has no intention of keeping.

You can already see where I’m going with this.  Boris wants to go back to mid-July 1969 (around the time of the legendary first Apollo moon mission) not only to kill Agent K and maintain his left arm but to also stop him from implementing an electronic shield around Earth which would prevent any and all future invasions from his alien race (he was supposed to be the last of his kind), something that doesn’t sit too well with the merciless invader.

After escaping from prison (without his lady friend) and landing on Earth (all without needing an oxygen tank), a New York electronics merchant hooks him up with some time travel equipment (think a much fancier alien version of a more circular-shaped smartphone) and then it’s bye-bye Mr. Cranky.  Soon after, Agent Jay (the sadly unfunny and condescending Will Smith) is shocked to discover at work that his longtime partner is dead.  (Will Arnett has a disappointing cameo as J’s overly chatty new partner who he encounters in an elevator.)  He’s also been having sudden, weird cravings for chocolate milk.

As his new boss, Agent O (a badly misused Emma Thompson), explains, someone’s been monkeying around with the space-time continuum and it’s affecting J’s brain.  (How come no one else experiences this and what does this have to do with one’s drinking habits?)  Having just learned about the history between Boris and K through a talking computer file, J finds the exact same New York electronics merchant, gets hooked up with the exact same time travel equipment and is horrified to learn how he actually gets to go back to 1969.

He literally has to “time jump” which involves jumping off the edge of a skyscraper and moving his finger through a green laser on the alien smartphone with expert precision after reaching a certain low level.  (Timing is everything.)  It’s easily the best sequence in the film; genuinely exciting, inventive and with a nice pay-off at the end.  What a shame the rest of the film feels so routine and witless (although there are a couple of very modest chuckles).

Despite being told he can’t interact with the younger Agent K (a perfectly cast Josh Brolin who deserves better dialogue), they end up meeting anyway at Coney Island where his suspicious, future partner takes him in for questioning after a fruitless encounter with Boris.  While in the 60s version of MIB headquarters, we learn that K and O are romantically involved.  By 2012, for some unknown reason, they’re just co-workers.  (Guess that’s being saved for the fourth film.  Blech.)

Once J convinces the younger K about what’s going on (even as a young guy the latter always catches the former lying), they have 19 hours to stop not one but two Borises from changing the course of history.  Helping them is Griffin (unamusing Robin Williams look-a-like Michael Stuhlbarg), an alien soothsayer they meet at a party who is so overwhelmed with possible scenarios of the future it’s all he ever talks about. 

Gee, what are the chances they’ll fail in their monumental task?

Unlike many, I’ve never been a big supporter of this overrated franchise.  From the first film onward, the interactions between Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith have lacked the kind of comedic zip crucial for buddy pictures like this to work.  Plus, the constant source of their professional tension is always the same in every movie.  Smith finds the country music-lovin’ Jones overly secretive, domineering, old and crabby while Jones wishes his overly eager, sarcastic young partner embraced silence.  It’s time to come up with some new jokes.

And then there’s the alien stuff.  In this movie, Boris The Animal (“It’s just Boris!”) is a great looking character with a unique way of killing people (he shoots sharp, little arrows or spikes from his hands).  But he’s not very interesting, personality-wise, nor particularly unlikable, despite how he treats people in the opening scene (that’s no way to treat a Pussycat Doll, buddy!).  And what’s with his lame catchphrase, “Let’s agree to disagree”?  Weak.  He just doesn’t measure up as a villain.

Yes, the special effects are tremendous.  They always have been in this series.  Yes, the gadgetry is cool.  Who wouldn’t love to have any of those cool weapons?  Yes, the inclusions of The Velvet Underground’s I’m Waiting For The Man and The Rolling Stones’ 2000 Light Years From Home are sly and welcome.  But the comedy remains putrid.  Consider J’s desperate riffing on O and K, Emma Thompson’s painfully unfunny alien impression during the funeral for former MIB honcho Zed (the curiously absent Rip Torn), or the vast majority of throwaway punchlines that all land with a thud.  When even SNL comedian Bill Hader can’t get big laughs as a covert Andy Warhol (just one small chuckle), you’re in trouble.

And what about that final act?  Someone’s foot gets seriously stuck and looks pretty much immobile.  Yet, mere moments later, without any resolution to that dilemma, a certain someone has somehow managed to get himself free so quickly you wonder what the big deal was.  And what about that preposterous last scene?  What the hell does forgetting a tip have to do with an incoming asteroid?

In theory, you would think that putting out one of these movies once every five to ten years would mean a lot more effort went into making them great as opposed to churning them out annually without much thought.  The reality of the Men In Black franchise, particularly this dreadful three-quel, proves otherwise.

(Special thanks to Dave Scacchi.)

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, July 8, 2012
10:18 p.m.

Published in: on July 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Drones

Whipped into a frenzy at the drop of a hat
Terminally duped by a charismatic Democrat
Who throws them crumbs at opportune times
To divert their attention from growing war crimes

He rewards their loyalty by pandering to their fears
Another dead Muslim inspires an eruption of cheers
They’re all indifferent to the cries of the weak
And the demands for justice for those forbidden to speak

They’d much rather applaud suspiciously timed shifts in thought
Than accept all the bad policies greedy corporations have bought
To expand their influence over unsuspecting fools
Who sadly don’t possess many cerebral tools

If only they’d realize his sudden liberalism is belated
A series of desperate campaign tactics to win back the deflated
Abrupt reversals on gay marriage and immigration
Will never erase all the years of Muslim denigration

They’re far too stubborn to admit they’ve been completely hosed
By a charlatan who’s only brave when the door is closed
Pointing to angry, brown faces on his secret list
And ordering their executions even if they don’t resist

He sends his flying death machines to unleash unspeakable terror
All his targets get extinguished; there is no human error
Despite the public perception of doubt he’s never hesitant
All dead, innocent Muslims are filed under “militant”

But all of his naive champions are way too busy celebrating
His modest health care achievements to ever begin contemplating
The full consequences of his government’s willful destruction
To ever acknowledge the con of this never-ending seduction

They’re too drunk on the wine they’ve guzzled from his cup 
To remove their heads from their asses and wake the fuck up
While an entire group of people are under constant attack
His clueless supporters will always have his back

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, July 6, 2012
1:33 a.m.

Published in: on July 6, 2012 at 1:33 am  Comments (1)