First, I must apologize for the missing post last week. Due to two employees in separate departments being absent the same week, I had to dance around a lot at work, and I couldn’t get something cohesive together. This week is similar, but one of them is back, so it’s less stressful, and I can get back to the making of the Satellite Show sausage (given that this website is such a sausage party anyhow).
There are a few things I’ve been meaning to discuss, and given that I’m disconnected enough from all of them, I’m just going to call it a cleanup week and address them all in one post. Join me, won’t you?
The Debt Ceiling
I’m just gonna level with you right now: I’ve got little to no idea what all this is about. I know we were hitting an unacceptable level for our debts to other countries, and that if we didn’t raise this level, we would default on our loans. Now – and I’m not being flippant when I ask this, I’m honestly curious – what happens if we were to default? Haven’t we been in the hole with other countries (CHINA) since forever? And what happens when we default on the loans? Do we lose America? Do we get new landlords who tell us that we can’t have loud music past 9pm, and that we should really think about taking down that Hello Kitty window sticker? Are we hit with overdraft fees? Why didn’t we buy overdraft protection?
J/K; overdraft protection is bullshit, like extended warranties.
And then, if the debt ceiling weren’t enough, Standard & Poor reduced our credit rating from AAA to AA+. Now, this doesn’t sound like much of a drop; it seems like an A+ term paper only getting an A. If only America had written its citations in MLA format. But everyone lost their shit over this, to the point that the Obama Administration publicly put S&P on blast. Watch out, guys: this is the kinda shit that got Tupac and Biggie shot.
Coming from my own (admittedly uninformed) perspective, this all seems like getting a shitty comment on a Yelp page. America’s all five stars, then someone drops this:
★○○○○ DO NOT TRUST! Doesn’t pay bills. Also, contains lots of Jeff Dunham fans.
Seriously, you gotta let that one roll off.
I guess I’m glad we figured something out, but I’m still not sure what it was we dodged. I think Seth MacFarlane put it best:
Crazy Stupid Love
Two Saturdays ago, Queta and I engaged in the rare activity of watching two movies in one day. First up was Crazy Stupid Love, a remarkably tolerable romantic comedy. I know the stereotypical thing guys do when presented with a studio romcom is to fake a seizure, get carried out of the theater, and sneak in to see Olivia Wilde’s ass in The Change-Up. Well, I’m not a stereotypical guy, and The Change-Up wasn’t out at the time either. But the film was non-seizure-inducing, which, in the world of studio romcoms, basically makes it almost the Citizen Kane of the genre.
One note: Emma Stone is fourth-billed, but she’s barely in it. It’s more than a cameo, but given how much everyone else is in the movie, I actually noted afterward that she doesn’t appear for that long. Shit, I don’t remember if Marisa Tomei is even billed on the posters, but she had more screentime than Stone. Carell’s son and his babysitter had more screentime, and they definitely aren’t on the posters.
Also, there’s a surprising, near-Shyamalan level twist at the end that both comes out of nowhere, and also fits the plot. I’m not going to give it away, but don’t worry, no one walks out onto the highway in the modern day.
Crazy won’t win awards, but it was fine enough. The acting was good, especially Gosling. I get it: he’s good-looking, and he knows how to act. He took a typical “douchebag lothario” role and actually made it appealing. I have nothing to rave about, but I have very little to complain about either.
Speaking of Jeff Dunham fans, the other movie we watched was Country Strong.
Now, like Twilight before, this was a film I was interested in seeing for its ironic potential, but really hadn’t been brave enough to rent myself. But after some pool time at the sister-in-law’s, she mentioned that they had rented it, and I jumped at the chance. I could only pray that it actually was as terrible as it seemed. The verdict? Pretty much yes.
Paltrow’s role is one of those “reverse vanity” roles, where instead of being the inspirational protagonist, she’s a scene-chewing mess of a person, playing a recovering alcoholic singer who is pulled from rehab too early to mount a comeback tour. She insists to her husband/manager/asshole (seriously, Tim McGraw is unnecessarily a huge dickhead in this film) that her rehab sponsor come along as her opening act (because that totally happens all the time), while the husband insists on adding a young, pretty singer to the bill as well. If this sounds like a mess to you, don’t worry, it makes even less sense in the actual film.
But seeing Gwyneth as the self-destructing star is a wonder to behold, in that she’s fucking ridiculous. Her first concert back, she arrives on stage and rambles on about whatever, crying once or twice, then launches into a couple verses from some song, all while the giant monitors behind her unfurl fake American flags. It’s the Whitney Houston performance you always wanted to see. Throw in Garrett Hedlund being a dick to Leighton Meester until he decides to randomly not be a dick, and Tim McGraw being (seriously) a giant asshole to everyone for no reason, and by the time you reach the scene where Gwyneth’s character visits the kid with leukemia (I am absolutely not kidding), the movie has crossed over into gold territory.
I really want to run this one through the Yakmala! gauntlet. Guys?
Anne Hathaway and the Reduced Time Span of Backlash
Clint offered up his opinion regarding the now-infamous Anne Hathaway pictures from The Dark Knight Rises, but I’d like to offer up my counterpoint (which I already sort of did in the comments for his post, but here we are anyhow).
Simply put, I think it’s too soon for all the hatred. People are hating her “Catwoman costume,” but are we even sure that’s the final Catwoman costume? This could be her introduction. We don’t know.
I know the go-to example will be Heath Ledger’s Joker, but remember, there was some panic when it was revealed that he’d take the villain job in Dark Knight. But the movie was released, and what happened? He won a posthumous Oscar, and his work was added to the pantheon of movie villains. Now I’m certainly not predicting Oscar-level work from Hathaway at this point, but we just don’t know yet. All we have are two pictures, and yet some people are all but predicting the downfall of the franchise based on seeing Mia Thermopolis straddling a Batpod.
Look, this is the type of shit that made Anne Rice take out a full-page ad apologizing to Tom Cruise and the producers of Interview With the Vampire for trashing his casting in the film. I think it’s insane that people are taking a couple of promotional stills and deciding that the movie is a lost cause immediately thereafter. I’m not calling Man of Steel a failure simply based on the one picture that’s been released; I’m calling it a failure because Zack Snyder is directing.
Give it until Christmas; we’ll have a trailer for DKR by then, and we can work from there.
OK, that’ll wrap it up for today, kids. Next week, I find a hidden pirate treasure! But I gotta escape from the G-G-G-GHOSTS!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to boycott TDKR over the Catwoman photos. I’m disappointed over the heavy implication that I’ll have to sit through ‘Catwoman Begins’ as part of it, especially since rumor has it they’re going with the “abused prostitute/stripper” angle. But Nolan has some cred that, say, MNS didn’t by the time he started working on Last Airbender.
And I’ll fully admit I’m one of the people who originally turned up my nose at the thought of pretty boy Heath Ledger playing The Joker. I did not, however, take out a full page printed apology after seeing the movie, Nolan had to settle for me being pleasantly surprised.