Plodding Through the Previews: Horrible Bosses

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the movie to a current sports story however, this final pursuit may result in complete and abject failure.

Horrible Bosses

We try to make it so that the highest grossing film of the coming weekend is the preview dissected on our Tuesday Plodding Through the Previews post. Today was an exception however because I just could not lower myself to a critical analysis of the sure to be summer sensation Zookeeper starring Kevin James. Instead, we’re going to take a closer look at Horrible Bosses, which on the surface, looks like a preview much more in line with my delicate sensibilities.

A second by second breakdown of the preview

:5 – I wonder if Kevin Spacey is pleased with his post American Beauty career arc? After a string of successful gigs – Usual Suspects, Se7en, American Beauty – it feels like he has drifted off into relative obscurity while working on several pet projects¬† like Beyond the Sea. Maybe Spacey’s role in Horrible Bosses will catapult him into a new genre of comedic roles a la Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents.

:22 – With Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, we could have ourselves one of the most bankable starting rotations since the days of Palmer, McNally, Dobson, and Cuellar with the Baltimore Orioles.

:38 – When are we going to start giving Colin Farrell some credit for being a pretty good actor? In Bruges was awesome and it just feels like the guy takes a ton of crap for being a good looking guy with great hair and an awesome Irish accent.

1:11 – Hey look, a Jennifer Aniston movie that just might not suck.

1:26 – Jamie Foxx playing a “murder consultant”. He really has come a long way since winning the Academy Award for Ray.

1:35 – More people should be watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on FX. Charlie Day, not Jason Sudeikis, is poised to be the breakout star of this film. My only hope is that he doesn’t commit career suicide by signing on to be the comedic sidekick in the next Brett Ratner good cop/bad cop movie. Where’s Seann William Scott when you need him?

1:58 – Gotta applaud the effort.

2:23 – Tater Salad and Bunk playing cops. I hope this is set to be a spinoff next summer.

The Plod (where I guess the plot of the movie based solely on the preview)

Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis all want to kill their horrible bossesKevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell respectively. Because they’re all “nice guys” who wouldn’t know the first thing about murder, they hire a “murder consultant” to help them explore their villainous options. Of course, all kinds of hijinx ensue as the 3 best friends fail over and over again to execute any sort of successful murder. Along the way, Sudeikis falls for Aniston and the two become romantically involved while Kevin Spacey turns out to be not such a bad guy after all, just a little misunderstood and lonely. Not only does he give Jason Bateman that much desired promotion but the two spark a lifelong friendship built on trust and respect. The only “boss” I worry about actually losing is Colin Farrell. I could see some sort of accident befalling him, completely unrelated to anything the 3 friends conspired to do.

Connection to a Current Sports Story

Is there a worse boss in professional sports than Frank McCourt, the soon to be deposed owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers? Here’s hoping that MLB gets in there and cleans up this embarrassing mess as quickly as possible. The Dodgers remain one of the flagship teams in MLB and need to end up in the hands of an owner who knows and understands how to successfully operate a professional sports franchise. But the question is, will Bud Selig allow Mark Cuban to ever own a MLB team? Hopefully the Dallas Mavericks successful title run in 2011 shows people that Cuban is interested in winning above all else and wouldn’t alter the integrity of the game. His energy and passion would be a great boost to the Dodger clubhouse and all of Chavez Ravine.

view from Chavez Ravine courtesy of @darrenmartin2

Plodding Through the Previews: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the preview to a current sports story however, this final pursuit may result in complete and abject failure.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Momentum was slow for this the 3rd installment of the Transformers franchise until word leaked about the reasons behind the Megan Fox firing from Dark of the Moon. Apparently, executive producer Steven Spielberg was less than pleased with how Fox compared Transformers director Michael Bay to Adolf Hitler.* Ignorant? Absolutely. A fireable offense? Sure, why not. Especially when you have Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely waiting in the wings. But by far the most objectionable aspect of Fox’s comments were that they historically inaccurate. Every student of history knows that Adolf Hitler was many things – epitome of evil, mass-murderer, narcissist, world renowned cross dresser – but not a filmmaker. Now, if she had compared Bay to say, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, at least she would have been comparing directors. Then again, the more you think about, that comparison doesn’t really fit either. Let’s just call her comments ignorant and move on.

*After reading this article from foxnews.com it’s 100% impossible to like anyone involved in the making of this film. From the hyperactive Bay to the overly entitled Shia LaBeouf, this had to be one of the least pleasant movie sets to work on.

By the way, why is this movie called Dark of the Moon instead of Dark Side of the Moon? Did the remaining members of Pink Floyd see a rough cut of the film and say no way are we allowing ourselves to be connected to this movie?

A second by second breakdown of the preview

:10 – For the record, Carl Everett does not believe in this preview or dinosaurs.

:28 – Many of you know that my general apathy towards Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki stems from the fact that he is a dead ringer for Shia LaBeouf.

:30 – C’mon Frances McDormand! Remember who you are. Your Marge Gunderson. Fargo? Almost Famous? Now your selling out to a multi-billion dollar franchise just so you can have your face tattooed across lunchboxes worldwide. I never thought the day would come.

:40 – I would like to hire whoever does the voice over work for Optimus Prime to narrate an entire day in my life. Talk about a sweeping epic. Something dramatic would be bound to happen. “In a world, where Jon washes the dishes better than any other human on the planet, something strange was about to happen.”

1:00 – Usually I can be be fairly cynical regarding the quality of these coming attractions but, as far as previews go, this one is kinda kick-ass.

1:15 – Why must you pick on Chicago evil transformers? Also, Pittsburgh is the new Boston which was the new Chicago which replaced New York. Got it?

1:24 – What’s the current over/under for Rosie Huntington-Whitely lines of dialogue in this movie? 0, 10, or 25? Give me 10 and I’ll take the under.

2:05 – After about 30 seconds strait of robot carnage with some melodramatic dialogue sprinkled on top, we have by far our coolest shot of the preview. Tell me, does anyone else think that the centipede transformer looks an awful lot like some of the sentry robots in the Matrix?

The Plod (where I guess the plot of the movie based on the preview)

We begin with a heartbroken Shia who just can’t believe Megan Fox dumped him so that she could take her Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford where she intends to study molecular engineering. And then, all of a sudden, just when you thought all of the bad transformers had been destroyed in the 2nd film, it turns out that a whole bunch of them were actually hiding on…the dark of the Moon! And now they’re ready to destroy the earth starting with Chicago and the entire state of Illinois. But get this, Shia and his merry band of transformer pals, with the additional help of Fergie’s husband and Tyrese, are there to save the day. A few good transformers are lost in the process, sayonara Bumblebee, but in the end, good out duels bad and we’re poised for Transformers 4 sometime during the summer of 2013. Except in this one, the bad transformers target Detroit because, as you know, that city hasn’t experienced enough devastation in recent years.

Connection to a Current Sports Story

The spontaneous combustion of the Williams sisters who both lost in the 4th round of Wimbledon yesterday. This morning, Venus and Serena may look to hide on the dark of the moon until the U.S. Open commences in late August.** To be fair, both players, especially Serena, were battling some serious injuries heading into play at the All England Club. I watched portions of their 4th round matches yesterday morning and neither sister played with any sort of joy or passion whatsoever. It was very hard to watch. Part injury, but I am also starting to wonder if maybe competing has become a little too routine for these aging stars. It begs the question, will Venus or Serena ever win another Wimbledon?

**Give me a break, it’s the best I could do.

view from Wimbledon courtesy of @AlsTheGreat

Plodding Through the Previews: Cars 2

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the movie to a current sports story however, this final pursuit may result in complete and abject failure.

Cars 2

The original Cars is in fact the only Pixar film which I have never seen. As we all know, Pixar movies resonate with adults just as much as kids. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that nearly half of Pixar’s entire feature film library – Up and Wall E to name a few – were explicitly made for adults. Which is probably why these movies makes so much money. Parents are just as excited to see the movie as their kids.

Yet somehow, Cars has eluded me, like my white whale. Maybe my son will grow to be a huge NASCAR fan and we will develop a mutual love and respect for the original imovie. For now at least, I know very little about the premise of the first Cars other than it was Paul Newman’s last major role before his death in 2008.

A Second by Second Breakdown

:25 – Larry the Cable Guy is back! Has he done anything significant since the first Cars? Does he still do the “you know you’re a redneck when” bit or I am thinking of Jeff Foxworthy?

:52 – My absolute favorite part of previews for animated movies, trying to guess the voices. The Italian sports car sure does sound an awful lot like either John Turturro or Luciano Pavarotti.

:58 – No guessing on this one. That is the unmistakable voice of Michael Caine clearly on loan from the set of the latest Batman film. Wouldn’t it be awesome if movies worked liked professional soccer where actors could be loaned out by bigger films to smaller projects for a fee. Speaking of The Dark Knight Rises, when can we expect a preview?

1:01 – Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York? Can someone please explain to me why she is still making the morning show rounds? I swear she has been on the Today show at least 3 times a week for the past 20 years. (Note: I don’t really think this character is voiced by Fergie. At least I don’t after my wife corrected me.)

1:13 – Well this has become totally unrealistic. Brent Mustberger doesn’t have the time to announce a grand prix race. Not with the Little League World Series on the horizon.

1:36 – Who’s the main star of this film: Owen Wilson or Larry the Cable Guy? Judging from this preview it seems as if LtCG is the main draw. But why? I thought attendance at NASCAR events was way down this year.

1:52 – I can’t believe we’re nearly two minutes into a Cars preview and “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts has yet to be prominently featured. This has to be a first. I hope somewhere Tom Cochrane is smiling.

The Plod

Lightning McQueen is a world famous racing car about to take on the best of the best in the biggest grand prix race of the year. It is soon revealed that McQueen is being targeted by an evil international consortium. Michael Cain and Sarah Ferguson believe Larry the Cable Guy is behind the plan to sabotage the big race. Owen Wilson and LtCG have a melodramatic falling out before the big race. Eventually, Larry the Cable Guy is absolved of any wrong doing and returns to save the day, and race, for his good old friend Owen Wilson. Lightning McQueen wins the race, falls for the Duchess of York, and LtCG becomes an honorary member of the British Secret Service.

Cars 2 as it relates to a Major Sports Story

I’ll go with Jack McKeon returning to manage the Florida Marlins at the ripe old age of 80. His first order of business, bench Hanley Ramirez for being late. I love old people, they just don’t care what anyone else thinks. How, you ask, does this all relate to the Cars 2 preview? Easy, Larry the Cable Guy was forced out of Lightning McQueen’s inner circle much like Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria forced McKeon to retire as manager in 2005. Now, as the big race approaches, both McQueen and Loria have regained their senses and rehired their most trusted confidants.

Easy. Right?

view from Sun Life Stadium courtesy of @joecapmarlins



Plodding Through the Previews: Green Lantern

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the movie to a current sports story however, this final pursuit may result in complete and abject failure.

Green Lantern

Is this really what the general public wants, weekend after weekend of CGI souped up comic book adaptations? I know it made a lot of money but did any one enjoy Thor? And don’t pigeonhole the recent Christopher Nolan Batman films as just comic book adaptations. That series has been cultivated to fit the interests of main stream moviegoers not just attendees of the recent Comic Con.

This weekend we are graced with the presence of Green Lantern, another movie based on a beloved comic book starring an overly charismatic Ryan Reynolds, now sans Scarlett Johansson. I typically like Reynolds even though a lot off people find him smug and overly cynical. Frankly, I don’t see why the guy just doesn’t stick to his wheelhouse which is any rom/com costarring Sandra Bullock.

A Second by Second Breakdown

:10 – Nope. Un-un. Not gonna work. I’m sick of the CGI. It is too much to ask to give me real Green Lanterns with real receding hairlines and real fish gills? For the record, I’m not anti comic book adaptation. I’m anti comic book adaptation that uses CGI as a storytelling crutch. I respect the mythology and symbolism of comics but do not understand why comic book movies must continue to assault our senses with over the top CGI. I guess some filmmakers just do not respect the intelligence of the average moviegoer.

:18 – Man that voice is familiar, where have I heard it before? And why do I want to buy a Jaguar XJ 7?

:37 – First shot of a clearly brooding Ryan Reynolds. Probably still lamenting the loss of his now ex wife who I think we’re all happy to hear is no longer dating Sean Penn.

1:10 – Alright, I can get down with this ring conjuring thoughts thing. Reminds me of that classic scene from Ghostbusters where Dan Aykroyd summons the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. If any of us where in that situation we would have done the same thing. You can’t be told not to think about something without then thinking about that something. Don’t think about the Republican debate last night! You see….

1:28 – Inspector Clouseau, what are you doing here?

1:39 – Copyright infringement! Copyright infringement! Eric Stoltz and the makers of Mask should sue Peter Saarsgard. And poor Tim Robbins. We really have gone a long way since Shawshank Redemption, heck even Arlington Road.

1:47 – Ohh Blake Lively. She seems really nice. You see kids this is why you always give previews a chance.

1:51 – Now Saarsgard is ripping off Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II.

2:14 – “In brightest day. In blackest night.” Catchy. I kinda like the Green Lantern oath. Next have to figure out how I can weave it into a work email. Suggestions?

Preview Review

So here’s the deal, a talented but underachieving Hal Jordan faces a critical turning point in his life when all of a sudden a pink alien crashes through a barn and delivers Jordan a powerful ring that looks like it came out of a box of Cap’ N Crunch. At first, Hal doesn’t want or understand the power he now possesses. Eventually he puts the ring on and is magically catapulted through the sky to a different galaxy where he meets his fellow Green Lanterns and learns about his new power, responsibility.

Upon returning to earth, Peter Sarsgaard has started to eat the remains of the former Green Lantern and slowly starts to morph into Barry Bonds. Hal Jordan returns just in time to confront Captain Forehead but discovers that he needs helps. So….he returns to planet Lantern to recruit the services of his fellow Greenies who begrudgingly oblige. In the end, a few Lanterns perish but Hal survives, beats the bad guy, gets the Gossip Girl, and sets up the sequel – pending box office returns.

Plodding Scale: 4/10 Donkeys

Connection to a Current Sports Story

Let’s go with the Stanley Cup Finals and those Vancouver Canuck fans who dress up in green body suits in an attempt to intimidate opposing players sitting in the penalty box. Fellas, you better bring your A game Wednesday night because Roberto Luongo is going to need all the help he can get after a stunningly inadequate performance last night in Game 6. Honestly, there was a point last night during the first period where the Canucks would have been better off putting one of the Sedin twins between the pipes. Needless to say, I don’t think Luongo is going to be making any trips back to Boston during the offseason.

view from TD BankNorth Garden courtesy of @VanCanucks

 

Plodding through the Previews: Super 8

Some folks boast a photographic memory while others claim to count cards. Me, I have a strange telekinetic ability to predict the plot of a movie based solely on the coming attraction. I will channel these talents every week in an effort to breakdown the latest summer blockbuster. With a little luck, and patience, I’ll also connect the movie to a current sports story.

Super 8

I played a game of word association with my wife this morning. I asked her what came to mind when she heard the words “Super 8″ to which she responded, “a popular hotel chain in Ohio/Pennsylvania where I once spent a night sleeping on top of the comforter for fear that the sheets hadn’t been cleaned”. I proceeded to explain to her that Super 8 is a movie produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by J.J. Abrams, about a mysterious “life form” terrorizing small children in the American Midwest. Shockingly, my wife wasn’t all that interested until I showed her this preview. Now, she is mildly curious which leaves me without a date this weekend. I only wish my 4th month old son was seasoned enough to enjoy a fine piece of summer cinema.

A Second by Second Breakdown

:4 – Young, impressionable boy riding his six speed through a quiet Midwestern mill town while a magical score twinkles in the background. Yeah, I say this one has Spielberg’s fingerprints all over it.

:18 – Coach Taylor! What are you doing so far away from Dillon? Say hello to your beautiful wife Tami for me.

:33 – This thing is starting to play like an homage to the young disenfranchised, misunderstood filmmakers of America. We don’t feel sorry for you Mr. Spielberg. Well, at least not since Indian Jones 4.

:44 – Loud noises!!!!

1:17 – Wait, I thought aliens liked house pets? What could they possible want with poor Lucy?

1:33 – Remain calm, all is well. Remain calm!!!

1:51 – Darth Maul????

1:58 – Ron Eldard, what are you doing here? Haven’t seen you since Mystery, Alaska.

Ok, so here’s the skinny. A young J.J. Abrams and his dad move to a small town in the Midwest after the tragic/sudden loss of¬† his mom. At first, young J.J. struggles to make friends but eventually finds himself fitting in with a fringe crowd which includes a chubby sidekick akin to Jerry O’Connell’s Vern from Stand By Me and Dakota Fanning’s younger sister.

Next, some secret military cargo train goes off the tracks freeing a demonic alien who is all sorts of angry after being cooped up an underground laboratory in Los Alamos, Nevada since the lunar landing in 1969.

The only proof of what really exists lies in the Super 8 that the government doesn’t want released for fear that it will expose the truth of the situation which is that gov’t has been involved in a massive cover up involving the Russians, Al-Qaeda, and Charlie Sheen. The “monster” will eventually be revealed as an innocent and misunderstood figure, just like young J.J. Abrams. I’m picturing Iron Giant meets Goonies . Thoughts?

As with a connection to a current sports story, you could make of some similarities to the cover up in Columbus, Ohio. It was recently revealed that Jim Tressel knew about improper benefits to Ohio State players, most notably the latest tattoo for memorabilia scandal. College football critics aren’t surprised while some fellow coaches say pay the players. With the amount of money these programs generate, it seems shortsighted to not compensate the players. Although, when you think about it, isn’t that what a 200K athletic scholarship is for?

view from Columbus courtesy of @thehoov143