Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Are We About To Enter The Age Of Board Game Movies?

Hollywood tends to move in trends.

Really, really, obvious and demeaning trends.

In a market where film studios routinely invest upwards of 100 million dollars on their high profile projects, it only makes sense that producers would display a preference to go with “whatever works.”

According to Michael Bay (and ONLY Michael Bay) this, is what "works."

This of course results in a lot of studios continually aping each other’s films from year to year in hopes of breaking even, or better yet; turning a profit.

In my lifetime alone, I can think of several trends in movies that have come and gone.

Naturally, I have compiled a brief list of said trends:

1. Old TV Show Adaptations

Pictured: One of my favorite films. Hands down.

The first genre trend I noticed, even as a child; was the slew of old TV show (and cartoon) adaptations of the 90’s.

The Brady Bunch, Dennis the Menace, McHale’s Navy, and The Flintstones movies all fell under this umbrella, among a handful of others.

It makes sense, given that Nick at Nite was in the process of becoming an established “thing” at the time; not to mention the fact that a number of the filmmakers of this era were likely of the age group that would’ve grown up watching a lot of the 60’s TV shows.

Y’know, shit like The Addam’s Family, George of the Jungle, The Fugitive, The Jackal, and Mission: Impossible.

While I can’t say who started actually this trend, or if it was even that profitable; it’s managed to stick around long enough to the point in which I doubt it will ever die.

TV shows will always be lovingly remembered by somebody, so as time goes by, it’s only natural that some poor deluded fool will pony up the money to make a movie of them in tribute.

Here’s hoping we don’t see a Seinfeld or Frasier movie 10 years from now.

2. Videogame Movies

Also known as, "Party of Five and Iron Chef Team-Up To Fight Terminator 2."

As with TV show adaptations, videogame movies were something that sprang up during the 90’s, smack dab in the middle of the Super NES era.

While it’s hard to call videogame movies a trend in the fullest sense of the word, it’s evident that they were intended to be one in the mid-90’s.

Following the release of the surprisingly decent Mortal Kombat, videogame movies were stuffed down throats our en masse.

Unfortunately, with releases like Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and Street Fighter stinking up the theaters; the trend never really caught on as strongly as I’m guessing it was intended to.

You can thank Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Wing Commander for putting the nail in the coffin of 90’s videogame movies:

Despite this, videogame culture has apparently grown exponentially over the years, leading to videogame movie adaptations becoming increasingly regular.

The movies stick suck some serious balls for the most part, but the point is; they have yet to reach a point where they are no longer profitable, and thus they continue to exist.

Truth be told, this “trend” is actually more symbolic of the birth of a new film genre as opposed to a trend, but oh well; it’s my blog.

Fuck you.

3. Comic Book Movies

SPIDER-MAN LOVES 'MERIKUh! WHY DON'T YOU LOVE 'MERIKUh!?

Comic book movies are, as THE INTERNET seems to want me to say; kind of a big deal.

While they’ve existed in one form or another for quite some time, it wasn’t until the release of Tim Burton’s Batman in ’89 that we really saw them become en vogue.

Richard Donner’s Superman doesn’t really count, as at the time, it was entirely in a league of it’s own; only serving to spawn weak-ass imitators as opposed to profitable blockbusters.

Anyway, Batman served to open the floodgates and give way to the release of countless comic book films, many of which were of course; Batman sequels.

In response to the angsty, MTV culture of the day, as well as the popularity of “less-than-mainstream” comics, movies like The Crow, Barb Wire, Tank Girl, Judge Dredd, The Mask, and Spawn were all cranked out in short order.

While the success of these movies (except for The Mask) was largely scatter-shot, the success of Blade in ’98 ushered in the Marvel dominated era of the 2000’s.

I kinda' miss the days when Wesley Snipes was cool... And not poor.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you’ve probably come to realize that Marvel is the flamboyant and insatiable whore of the comic book movie world.

The arrogant bastard that likes to prance about and shove his cock in your face and demand you tell him how amazingly massive it is.

*Ahem!* Not like I’ve ever had that happen to me or anything…

Routinely whoring out it’s intellectual properties from year to year, Marvel rode the success of X-Men and Spider-Man (and a string of critical failures) to take the film world by storm, largely through sheer volume of production.

In the 13 years since the release of Blade, Marvel has released a total of 25 major motion pictures, averaging nearly 3 films a year.

While it’s hard to call them rivals these days, (times have changed) DC manages to release, at best; 1 film a year.

The only difference is, DC films have a tendency to win Oscar nominations.

Well, except for maybe Jonah Hex… And Catwoman.

Catwoman: Protecting the World from Modesty and Cosmetics Moguls.

Anyway, for better or worse, strip-mining the previously established characters and events from comic books is kind of the thing to do for Hollywood producers in this day and age; and based on the record-breaking revenue gained from said movies, I’d say it’s what the audience is into as well.

Which brings me to the eerie prospect of a 4th trend in films that I would prefer not see come to pass.

Has anybody seen the trailer for Battleship yet?

If not, here yah’ go:

Some way, some how, they managed to get Liam Neeson to get on board the Battleship bandwagon, (I’m guessing it involved a free trip to Hawaii…) and in all honesty; I’m just plain confused by it all, aliens notwithstanding.

To my knowledge, Clue is the only other board game movie in existence at this point; and while that has kind of a cult following in some (seriously demented) parts of the world, Battleship just never really seemed like movie material in my mind.

To me, Battleship was always that one game my friend and I could never play without cheating.

Seriously man, after 5 minutes of calling out “Miss” to each other, inevitably someone would peek over the game, find a ship, and basically win the game.

Even the name “Battleship” doesn’t seem all that marketable to me.

It’s non-descript, it gives virtually zero indication of what to expect in the film outside of maybe a battle or 2 involving ships.

Oh well, goofy military shit is en vogue at the moment, so I’m guessing therein lies to the logic to the production house’s gambit.

The really puzzling part in all of this, is the fact that I recall hearing rumblings of a Monopoly movie being in the works.

I heard about the Battleship movie awhile back, but it wasn’t until I saw the trailer the other day that I truly realized they were actually going to make it.

What I mean to say is, I really hope Battleship doesn’t start a board game movie trend, ’cause I’ll tell yah’, I’m not an analyst, or anywhere near an expert in these matters; but if this shit comes to pass, we’ll be in for some epic-ly shitty over the next several years.

 

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Filed under: Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Heavyweights: The Best Movie Ever

It's funny, I have no fucking clue is supposed to be in that sandwich. Also, I think the kid in the glasses is just on the poster for the sake of appealing to the glassed demographic. He really wasn't an important character...

Gather ’round children, and let me tell you a little story about a phat-ass movie called Heavyweights.

Or is that, “fat” ass?…

As advertised on the poster above, Heavyweights was a product of Disney’s early 90’s blitz of live-action kid-comedy/underdog sports movies.

The Sandlot, The Mighty Ducks series, Angels in the Outfield, and to a lesser extent, The Big Green, were all heaped on us during this time, and for what it’s worth, I loved every one of them.

Well, except for The Big Green, that one sucked balls.

Cast: Steve Guttenberg and the Fat Ginger Kid from the Sandlot. Recipe for success...

Anyway, Heavyweights stood apart from the rest in that it wasn’t a sports drama, rather; it was a movie about fat kids being, well, fat.

Well, not exactly.

In reality, the plot is about a bunch of fat kids, at fat camp no less, being ridiculed for being fat by their new health-nut camp counselor, only to have their worth as human beings validated in the last 10 minutes of the movie.

The rest of the movie is all fat jokes though.  As it should be.

HAHA! HE'S FAT!

I’ve always thought it was funny to picture the conception process the studio execs went through to come up with Heavyweights.

I’d imagine it went something like this:

What I love about Heavyweights, especially as an adult, is how the movie spends about 80% of it’s running time unabashedly stereotyping and shitting all over the fat kids in the cast, with predictably hilarious results.

The sequence where we discover that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the fat camp attendees has smuggled in junk food?

Fuckin’ gold, man.

The sequence where Ben Stiller kicks Goldberg off the scale for being FUCKING HUGE?

Fuckin’ genius.

The scene where the fat kids get desperate and chase after a cow to try and eat it?

Fuckin’ brilliant.

And wouldn’t you know it, I just watched the trailer, and every single one of those scenes is highlighted in it:

The whole movie is filled with these moments, and aside from the general humor that springs from a movie based around the concept of making fun of fat kids, one thing that Heavyweights deserves special note for, is the fact that it genuinely is funny.

You heard me, at 23 years of age, I still think Heavyweights is a funny-ass movie.

The kids were all pretty good as far as child actors go.

Kenan Thompson and Goldberg from The Mighty Ducks really set themselves apart from the rest, especially Goldberg.

For now and forever, he will be Goldberg.

Kind of sucks that the last time I can recall seeing Goldberg was on an episode of The King of Queens, while Kenan is livin’ it up on Saturday Night Live.

I know Goldberg has a real name, but I refuse to learn it, or failing that, use it.

Sorry buddy, you’re always gonna’ be Goldberg in my book…

The fat producer guy from Frasier did alright, but given that I remember him as the “fat producer guy from Frasier” instead of the “fat counselor from Heavyweights,” I think it’s safe to say that he didn’t make that much of an impression.

Although I do think it’s funny that they named him Pat.

That names just fits too well.

Seriously man, I'd call him "Pat" even if I didn't know his name!

Ben Stiller’s performance as the villain, Tony Perkis, while twisted and energetic, was not exactly my favorite in the movie.

Hell, if anything I’d say he was upstaged by his own mom and pop in the 1 or 2 scenes they were in.

Jerry Stiller/Frank Costanza/Arthur Spooner = FUCKING HILARIOUS.

I do find it kind of funny though, that Ben Stiller has had the opportunity to play 2 different maniacal fitness gurus in his career, first in Heavyweights, and then later on in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

Same shit different day for Ben Stiller...

Despite the pretty full cast of familiar faces, the one performance that always stood out to me, that could always make me laugh, was from the man who played the right-hand to Ben Stiller’s Tony Perkis, the character known as Lars.

Lars: The ONLY Funny German

Lars was fuckin’ awesome.

Every time he opened his mouth, Lars managed to take the fun factor of Heavyweights, and turn it up to 11.

Like when he yells at Kenan for breaking his camera with his fat-kid ass:

Speaking of Kenan, remember that one time that Kenan asks him what’s up with his goofy ass name, and then asks him where he’s from?

I always loved Lars direct, and very Deutsch response:

That was awesome.

The one scene that will always make me laugh though, the one that I still reference to this day, is when Lars explains his safety procedures for letting the fat kids swim.

When asked how he’s going to keep track of and maintain the safety of the fat kids, Lars explains:

“I have ‘dem on ‘dah body system!”

By “body,” of course, Lars means “buddy.”

This of course leads to much blowing of whistles and back and forth yelling at the fat kids:

In one scene, the comedic brilliance that is Lars:

Hah, I like how this post basically turned into a walk down the “early 90’s comedies” memory lane.

Ah, back when writing was still valued in Hollywood…

Anyway, if you haven’t seen Heavyweights, do yourself a favor and look it up.

If you have ever giggled at the sight of overweight children being told to their face that they’re HUGE for 90 minutes straight, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Heavyweights.

I sure did, and I was a fattie when I first saw it!

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