Tag Archives: Hollywood

Mediatrocities #17: Interview with John Rangel, director of “Remember Our Days”

by Ty Pi ~ @-[->

ROD Primary Image Final COPYLegendary Lew interviews filmmaker John Rangel (The Girls on Liberty Street) in the latest episode of “Mediatrocities.”  Topics include the projection of stereotypes in Hollywood cinema, independent film, and Rangel’s upcoming film Remember Our Days.  This film is currently seeking crowd-funding via Seed&Spark.  Click on this link to visit the page and contribute to the project.

This episode is NSFW

Jean Claude Van Damme Just Gave All Media Creators an Early Valentine’s Day Present

No other human can grab nursing lion cubs from their mother get away with it

No other human can grab nursing lion cubs from their mother get away with it

by Legendary Lew

Action icon Jean Claude Van Damme continues to increase the stock value of his super-coolness.  Not only did he put in a well-received acting performance in JCVD and blow up social media with his split-legged Volvo commercial, he now wants to be in your videos and movies. Seriously.

In what I think is a terrific and brilliant move by both Van Damme and Green Screen, the muscle-shirted action hero performs short bits before a green screen–free for you to use in your own media projects.

You can watch the 3-minute sequence below with J.C. thrusting samurai swords, firing machine guns and spouting off one-liners. Talk about a fantastic gift!

RIP Underground TV Talk Show Legend Joe Franklin, “The King of Nostalgia”

joefranklinby Legendary Lew

If you were anybody who was anybody in show business, chances are you landed a gig talking to Joe Franklin. Franklin died on Sat. Jan. 24 of prostate cancer at age 88.

Dubbed as “The Wizard of Was,” Franklin was on TV for forty-three years (1950-1993), long outlasting Paar, Carson, Leno, Letterman, Steve Allen. In fact, he fathered the modern day talk show format with his congenial manner and outshined most of them with his encyclopedic knowledge of old-time show business.  He talked like (and dressed like) the best talent agent on Earth.

That knowledge allowed for amazing appearances on his show, not only for legends like Frank Sinatra, but for performers long forgotten or those who didn’t make many talk show appearances. Watching “The Joe Franklin Show” was like having the question, “Whatever happened to…?” answered instantly.  People like Anita O’Day, Arthur Prysock, Jack Gilford, Steve Reeves, Tommy Sands, Sally Kirkland and Carol Lynley showed up and proved they were still alive.

This, of course, made for some great shots by fringe entertainers, such as Sir Monti Rock III:

Here’s Joe talking to The Ramones or as Joe called them The RAYmones. They died before he did:

And talking to horror master Dario Argento:

And finally a guest Franklin said was his favorite:

Joe, you are now among the legends you loved.

Immediate Thoughts on Razzie Nominations: Sellouts and Omissions

Thanks a lot, Razzie voters. :(

Thanks a lot, Razzie voters. :(

by Legendary Lew

The 35th annual Golden Raspberry Award nominations have been announced with the expected emphasis on works touched by perennial Razzie fav, Michael Bay.

TyPi, Mountain Drew and I will talk more about those films and persons nominated, but I want to quickly present some quick thoughts on the noms.

Where the hell is The Interview?! Completely shut out? Really?! Razzie voters: is this a “patriotic” move on your part? Did you protect our national security?

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas would have been completely forgotten, instead of getting 6 nominations, if voters did not fall for the nonsense Kirk Cameron dished up to get further self promotion. Well played, Kirk, well played.

Johnny Depp overlooked for Transcendence. A shocker, really.

Worst Supporting Actor category is the weakest I’ve seen and, once again, an example of how the voters don’t know what they’re doing. Shaquille O’Neal is not a supporting actor. He makes a cameo twice. There’s a difference. O’Neal’s appearance is not integral to the film. A more logical choice would have been Terry Crews, in an incredibly racist pseudo-narrator/commentator on Sandler/Barrymore’s pointless romance.  Other more logical nominees are Neil Patrick Harris, A Million Ways to Die in the West; Rob Corddry, Sex Tape; Danny Glover, Rage; Giovanni Ribisi, A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Charlize Theron may win, undeservedly, worst actress for A Million Ways to Die in the West, when the film should have been about her. Megan Fox should have been nominated in this category, as she’s actually who Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows for the plot to unfold. She is incredibly unconvincing as a journalist, which means she’ll be on the payroll of Fox News momentarily. For me, it’s a toss up between her and Cameron Diaz for Sex Tape.

On the subject of least convincing roles, Lizzy Caplan certainly fit that bill as a CIA agent for her role in The Interview. She should have been nominated for worst supporting actress.

Jonathan Liebesman directed some good scenes in TMNT, which I think is way over-represented in the Razzie noms. (yes, that movie surprised me).  There’s no way that Frank Coraci (Blended), Jake Kasdan (Sex Tape) or Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen (The Interview) should have been left out–especially the latter. The Interview feels like two different films pasted together with Elmer’s School Glue.

If A Million Ways to Die is not a worst pic nominee because it looks better than it deserves, then TMNT should not be there either.  Forget giving Kirk Cameron an extra 15 minutes of fame, also.  Voters, you were able to sit through Blended, Sex Tape, A Haunted House 2 and Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return better than the movies you nominated.

Transcendence and The Interview both definitely deserved screenplay noms.

This year, The Razzies introduced the Razzie Redeemer Award, which I believe is a clumsy way of trying to get stars to appear at a decades-old institution award ceremony.  A better way of honoring these types of movies and performances is to recognize those with the best potential of cult movie greatness. If I were nominating, the movie with the best cult potential would be Left Behind, an unintentional laugh-riot that stands apart from other films like Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which to me is literally unwatchable. Honor those actors who you would watch regardless of how good or bad a movie is. My first two nominees for that category would be Nicolas Cage and Sigourney Weaver.

We’ll return online soon with the next episode of Mediatrocities to discuss these nominees!

 

 

 

Internet Hater Chris Dodd Wants Technology to Help Boost Sagging Theater Attendance

ChrisDodd

by Legendary Lew

Variety reports that last year, attendance for the 18-24 year-old age bracket in movie theaters dropped like a stone. It’s serious because, you know, everyone else is dead and will never benefit from films aimed toward them:

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 21% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

Well, heavens to Betsy, whatever shall a bloated, non-innovative, money-wasting, inefficient, money-gouging, hypocritical corporate entity do?!

I know! Call in MPAA head Chris Dodd to give the industry a pep talk:

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters,” Dodd insisted during his keynote address delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings,” Dodd added.

I practically shat blood laughing so hard when reading these statements. This is the same Chris Dodd that backed the SOPA and PIPA legislations–so much so that he extorted the White House to try and have its support. SOPA and PIPA would have destroyed the internet as we know it with opposition to the legislation coming from internet companies that regularly help Hollywood promote its films. The public response to Dodd and SOPA/PIPA supporters was a whole lot of this.

It’s also the same Chris Dodd that supported the arrest of Kim Dotcom, only to have the case against him implode over embarrassing allegations, not the least of which was Dotcom’s assertion that he was ready to start a legally-created IPO with MegaUpload. (Dotcom’s new company, Mega, has since created an IPO in New Zealand)

Now, Dodd wants to urge the industry to use technology, i.e the internet, to boost theater tix sales.  Never mind that he tried to explode it a couple of years ago and will, no doubt, try again, unless Dodd has some other new type of technology he wants to introduce to the world.  Oh wait, I forgot, Hollywood doesn’t have one.

Next time Chris Dodd gives a speech, I suggest this type of formal attire.

 

 

TUGM Guest Stars on Heave Media for the Annual Razzies Podcast

by Legendary Lew

There were more than 43 reasons to hate Worst Picture Razzie winner "Movie 43"

There were more than 43 reasons to hate Worst Picture Razzie winner “Movie 43″

TUGM’s Tyler Pistorius and Lew Ojeda were guests on Heave Media’s annual report on The Razzies, hosted by Dominick Mayer. Head on over to Heave Media to listen to this scintillating discussion and don’t say we didn’t warn Hollywood about next year.

Hey, Robbie Collin, I LOVE the Razzies. Here’s Why.

Johnny Depp (left) and Armie Hammer get sucked into the rot of Hollywood

Johnny Depp (left) and Armie Hammer get sucked into the rot of Hollywood in “The Lone Ranger.”

by Legendary Lew

Robbie Collin of the UK’s The Telegraph just weighed in on The Razzies, the 30+ year institution that comes along every year around Oscar time to chuck produce at the worst Hollywood had to offer during the previous 12 months. I now look forward with great anticipation to watching and reviewing all of the movies nominated for the golden fruit. This usually requires a concentrated effort of peering into hours of hell for a couple of months, but I feel it’s well worth it for a sense of grounding. After watching a whopping 19 Razzie nominees in just over 30 days, I’m ready for my annual ranting Razzies podcast with my co-horts.

I agree with Collin over much of what he states in his post. There are some particularly sloppy choices for this year’s Razzies. Lindsay Lohan, IMHO, was chosen for three movies, simply because she’s Lohan. Playing herself in Scary

Tyler Perry, master scammer in "A Madea Christmas."

Tyler Perry, master scammer in “A Madea Christmas.”

Movie 5 and InAPPropriate Comedy was the best thing to happen to both those films and she was terrific in The Canyons. What should stun Razzie followers is that her co-stars in the latter film (Nolan Funk and Amanda Brooks) were not nominated as they were both horrendous. I can also nitpick about choosing Halle Berry for The Call, a movie for which she had to fall victim to a ludicrous script suggesting to future serial killers they should use Tracfones and not use OnStar.

I could go on about the other acting choices, most of which are good ones, but there’s a bigger point to be made and one which I part with Collin. It’s fascinating he writes the following:

“the Razzies’ ongoing failure to train its sights on anything but the most obvious targets means it grows more tired and redundant by the year.”

I could have written the very same thing but replaced ‘Razzies’ with ‘Oscars.’ In fact, there’s a great deal of overlap between the Oscars and the Razzies, and that’s because both are  influenced greatly by the studios’ public relations machines.  Of course, Razzie voters are going to choose people like Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Brown and others who pop up all too often on our “news” homepages when we turn on our computers and smart phones. Given the over-saturation of some celebs who readily appear in easy-to-find movies at your local Redbox or on Netflix, who do you think they will vote for? Same as with the Oscars, do you think the nation’s top streaming service, top DVD rental distribution company, and top theater chains provide enough choices to the widest available audiences for most viewers to make the most informed choices? And if Mr. Collin believes the Oscar voters actually watch all the films they vote for, I’ve got the Willis Tower here in Chicago to sell him.

The biggest things the Razzies provide for me are reasons for a party (perhaps next year, not this time though) and, much more importantly, a chance to really discuss what Hollywood does very wrong and sometimes right in a yearly podcast I’ve been organizing with Dominick Mayer for the last three years. It’s vitally important to know WHY Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy and Grown Ups 2 are bad movies. Anyone can easily say it’s because of bad jokes, sexism, transphobia, racism or any number of details, but has anyone even close to Hollywood dare to openly say that the movies are essentially scams? I have during HeaveMedia’s Razzies podcasts and so have the Half in the Bag guys in what is, hands down, the best damn insightful review of Jack and Jill ever.  

No one is going to call for throwing The Oscars into the trash bin, myself included. I wish for the Academy Awards to be better, and I do for The Razzies.

They've got your $13 bucks when you watched "Grown Ups 2"

They’ve got your $13 bucks when you watched “Grown Ups 2″

Robbie Collin may complain that Razzie voters don’t need to watch the movies they vote for, but at least anyone can become a Razzie member by subscription, meaning that you and I could join and help influence who eventually gets those awards. To vote for Oscars, you have to be chosen which, you would think, should give Academy members pause to take their balloting much more seriously than they do.  Pity those who still believe most Academy voters take they duties with great reverence. Perhaps in the first live telecast of The Razzies, Seth MacFarlane can do a song and dance number called “We Saw Your Booby Prize.”

Legendary Lew, Dominick Mayer and Tyler Pistorius will be giving their takes on this year’s Razzies on Pod People, Heave Media’s podcast due out tomorrow.