This Week In Pop Culture (10/06/17)
10/06/2017: Chris Tucker Needs To Put His Foot Down On Rush Hour 4
By Lydia Bugg
It looks like Rush Hour 4 is going to get made, which can only mean that no one really saw Rush Hour 3. It made $250 million, but I'm going to assume that was all in tickets personally purchased by Jackie Chan, because he seems really into these movies.
Do you remember Rush Hour 3? The movie that included such hilarious jokes as Chris Tucker does not find this woman attractive LOL and Chris Tucker will let a woman evade arrest if she goes out with him HAHAHA. I'll pause so you can catch your breath and wipe away those joyous tears. Rush Hour 3 specialized in the kind of jokes that third-graders make, where someone farts and the punchline is "Look at me, I farted! View my fart and enjoy." It's not only offensive and dumb, but it's expected.
The movie might have just gone down in history as a regular piece of unfunny if not for a bizarre cameo by none other than hilarious noted rapist Roman Polanski. You might think Polanski would want to distance himself from those pesky charges that caused him to flee the United States, but instead he uses this comedic cameo to really lean into that infamous quality. Portraying a French police officer, Polanski unnecessarily cavity-searches Chan and Tucker, leaving them both limping uncomfortably. It's funny because in real life, he's a rapist. Get it? They had him sexually harm people like he does in real life. Why aren't you laughing?
If anyone out there is thinking "It's just a joke, calm down," I want you to know that I am calm. I'm wearing leggings, and sipping tea, and there's a lovely sugar-cookie-scented candle wafting its delightful scent across my desk, and this joke is still not funny. It's lazy, boring, and also suuuuuuper offensive, and I can calmly tell you that while enjoying my lovely afternoon.
So from what I've read, the decision on whether Rush Hour 4 will go forward currently lies in the hands of Tucker, who hasn't yet commented on the project. I hope that when he does, his comment is, "I don't know, are we actually going to try this time, or are we just going to poop out whatever pops into our heads like in Rush Hour 3? Remember when we had Roman Polanski do a silly rape cameo? That was pretty crazy. I think maybe we don't need any more Rush Hour movies. If there were a movie sequel bartender, he would have cut us off long ago."
10/05/2017: Yes, The Venom Screenwriter Can Handle Two Different Genres
By Ian Fortey
Demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of how professional writers work, a number of media outlets are not reacting well to news that Fifty Shades Of Grey screenwriter Kelly Marcel is handling the latest draft of the Venom movie. They assume this means Tom Hardy is going to spend two hours on screen dressed in a black vinyl bodysuit whipping Carnage's ass with an olive-oil-basted riding crop while some "bow-chicka wow wow" music plays in the background.
Marcel has also written the sci-fi show Terra Nova and Saving Mr. Banks, so it's natural to assume that after adapting E.L. James' squalid humptastrophe of a novel to the screen, she is now incapable of putting pen to paper without accidentally including a ponytail buttplug in the description of the main character, or a curious overabundance of assless chaps.
If you're not a writer yourself, you may not be aware that your most well-known written words basically puppeteer a writer's brain like a nefarious Jeff Dunham, controlling your thoughts and actions for the rest of your life. Did you know that for almost 50 straight years after publishing The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger wrote "fucking baseball and bread" on the signature line of every single check he ever filled?
Just imagine poor Marcel trying to make a go of it in the real world, post-Fifty Shades. She's writing a grocery list, and right between milk and eggs, she tosses in "30-gauge cured maple ass paddle with 2 cm discipline studs." She's texting a friend to arrange dinner plans, and instead of saying "see you at 6" she writes "alligator tooth nipple clamps will make you squeal like a fuckpig." The poor woman must be trapped in a salacious mental labyrinth of BDSM and depravity adjectives.
And just because Marcel wrote other things before Fifty Shades that were not the same style or genre means nothing, because we're dealing with journalistic science here, and that shit follows the irrefutable law of "The most confusing and hasty observation is likely the most clickable." Whatever low-hanging fruit joke you come up with right off the bat is the right one.
Is it safe to assume we'll be calling this movie Fifty Shades Of Venom. (Get it? Because she wrote Fifty Shades Of Grey, and now she's writing Venom? And then I put them together because, like, maybe they same stuff will happen, only this time with Venom?) Furthermore, the film's climax (heh) will feature Venom webbing up the bad guy on an ornate Victorian headboard before silencing him with a ball gag, obviously. And when that scene appears in the movie, remember I wrote it here first and want my cut of the profit. Because obviously Venom will be 20 percent supervillainy and 80 percent vapid wank fantasy and curiously unsexy power dynamics. Just wait and see.
10/04/2017: Jerry Rice Is Addicted To Weddings
By Luis Prada
Celebrity wedding crashing is nothing new. Donald Trump has done it a handful of times during his short time in office. Obama did it a time or two. Bill Murray has a long, illustrious history of it. Every celebrity news and gossip blog has their own list of the best celeb wedding-crashing moments. But no famous wedding crasher is as prolific and derives more genuine, heartwarming joy from it than legendary San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
The Ringer blew the lid off this amazing story of a NFL legend who is the league's all-time leader in touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards, and would probably be the all-time leader in celebrity wedding crashing if the folks from FiveThirtyEight got off their lazy asses to give Rice's weird-ass hobby the deep statistical analysis it deserves.
There's no real trick to it. He just walks into a wedding and bestows the bride and groom with the gift of his presence. He'll take dozens of pictures with guests, maybe cut a rug on the dance floor using the skills he picked up on Dancing With The Stars, and then just walk away, leaving a trail of joy and bewilderment in his wake. Most of his crashing goes down in the San Francisco area, and mostly during weddings held on golf courses, where he can be found playing between Friday and Sunday on any given week. He does it so regularly that he's memorized the times local courses usually hold their weddings so he can drop in at the precise moment to make everybody's day. And you can't convince me that he doesn't roam around town in a storm chaser's armored vehicle loaded with Doppler radar and CB radio as he and an elite squad of wedding crashers triangulate congratulatory Facebook messages to find local weddings to randomly drop it on.
It's a fascinating read that gives insight into what happens when someone so good at a very specific thing retires young and has to find an all-new very specific thing to be the best at. And that thing is being adorable at strangers' weddings.
10/03/2017: There's Already A Hugh Hefner Biopic In The Works (Gross)
By Ian Fortey
Hugh Hefner's body hasn't gone cold yet, and already a biopic has been announced to commemorate him. To make sure it plays out like a classy Norman Mailer article and not a stuck-together centerfold, the film is going to star super-actor Jared Leto (known for sending anal beads to his coworkers because method acting), and will be directed by the human can of turd-scented Axe Body Spray that is Brett Ratner.
Ratner is most known for handling deeply moving subject matter like "What if a black guy and a Chinese guy had to work together" in the Rush Hour franchise, which sought to answer that question three separate times, each more hilariously than the last, and "What if I shit on the X-Men franchise" in X-Men: The Last Stand. There's no reason to assume he won't give us a rousing cinematic tour de force about a man most famous for dressing like a naptime sailor in a mansion full of naked ladies 70 years his junior.
For his part, Leto is riding high on a wave of goodwill left over from his universally beloved performance as the Joker in Suicide Squad, except the exact opposite of that. To be fair, Leto can act sometimes, and has been in a few good films, like Requiem For A Dream and Fight Club. It's just that the actual person Jared Leto, with his bow ties and wankjob of a band and tendency to try to seem profound by posting photos of himself sitting in lawn chairs under Frederick Douglass quotes, tends to be like BO in a hot subway car, slowly growing more and more offensive as time passes until you need to escape for fresh air.
Word is the idea for this movie has been floating around for about seven years now, and it started with Ratner, left Ratner, and then came back to Ratner, which makes it sound like maybe no one was super motivated to make this film until some kind of event lead them to believe it might be a good time to do so. If only we could guess what that was.
10/02/2017: Fox News Takes The First Major Step In Silencing Protests
By John Cheese
Fox announced yesterday that they will no longer be airing the national anthem during NFL games. In the statement, they claimed that this is "standard procedure," which bothers me just a little, because I don't remember a football game broadcast that didn't show the anthem. Here's the thing: I'm not upset that they're depriving my ears of the sweet, sweet funk that is "The Star-Spangled Banner." I can pull that up on Spotify and start a patriotic mosh pit in my living room on my own time. Mosh pits are still a thing, right?
No, what bothers me is that this is such a see-through order from the top that pretty blatantly says, "They want to protest? They want to start a movement? Fine. Take away their audience."
Of course, the network does claim that the cameras will still be rolling, and they'll report the reactions of the players and coaches. Which we all know will be a straight-up "fair and balanced" depiction, because that's totally what Fox is known for. "We're not going to show you what's going on, so you can decide for yourself. But we'll definitely tell you about it in our own words, using carefully edited shots." And those words will in no way be so slanted that they could be mistaken for a horizon line. Nope. Not a chance.
It's a political tactic, social manipulation at its black-hearted finest. If you disagree with a protest, you do two things: 1) Undermine the message. "They're protesting America!" 2) Silence them. "We'll no longer be airing the national anthem ... the one spot they chose to display their message." I would have had so much more respect if Fox had just come out and said, "We don't agree with these protests, and we're no longer going to give them a platform for doing it." I wouldn't have agreed with that, but I at least would have respected the fact that they weren't treating us like idiots who can't see what's clearly going on.
"Standard procedure" my ass.
In other news, Sean Hannity will be giving Donald Trump an on-air blowjob on October 4. It's expected to be listed on PornHub under the "homegrown" category.
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