Rant: On Managing Expectations

Ok folks, here’s the deal: Big Ron “El Junto De Pan y Agua” Lastnameovich and I are both in the midst of adding to our families. So, there’s going to be some gaps in our release schedule, and we’re thinking of posting some stuff un-edited so that we can just record and post for y’all without having to break our asses and piss our wives off. We will be back to normal eventually, so don’t lose hope, but until then, I’m going to try to throw up some more blogs so you can get your Un-Titled fix. Maybe I will review something; maybe I will just rant; maybe I will tell you how to make my world famous omelet (The secret? Use eggs). Who knows, but if you’re Stockholm Syndromed enough to miss us, read on…

So I’m sitting here in an insomniac haze, four games of knock-off Scrabble against the computer deep, and I’m amazed at what’s going on down on my television. More specifically, I’m two and two against the computer and I’m having an allergy flair-up so bad that I know a good night’s sleep is a dream I can’t attain because I’m not sleeping and therefore not dreaming of dreaming…I could go on all night in that circle, but I won’t. Anyhow, I’m up watching television, trying to think of something to write for y’all, and I’ve just watched Kingsman: The Golden Circle and I’m in the midst of watching Deep Impact. I’ve not only been watching them , but I’ve been so enthralled by them that I couldn’t write for the last three hours and instead played four games of knock-off Scrabble so that I could pay more attention to my television. Funny thing is this: I’ve seen them both already…and didn’t like either one. Yet here I sit, high on Mark Strong singing John Denver and completely bro-crushing on Treat Williams (the rich man’s Tom Berenger if you ask me). How could this be? How could I so decidedly not enjoy either film on my original viewing and now be falling in love with both of them? Well the answer lies in one simple word: expectations.

 I loved the original Kingsman folks. I saw it a good ten times in it’s original run on cable, and I will still watch it anytime it’s on. I actually went into it thinking it would be crap and was so pleasantly surprised that I showed it to anyone who would watch with me. Expectations folks. So with that love in my heart I ran to the theater to see the sequel! I was profoundly let down. I won’t get into it because you don’t care, but I will say that it felt like it lacked the charm of the original and just didn’t do it for me. Deep Rising was last seen by a late twenties Craig who had heard that it was the coolest piece of slick action schlock in years from his buddies at the video store. Yes, I had buddies who worked at a West Coast Video, because I’m a movie geek who was born in the eighties. I also have a bunch of movie tattoos; everything about me is a cliché. Anyhow, I popped the sea monster classic into my DVD player with joy in my eyes and was barely paying attention by the time the final roar was heard from the jungle (legend says that it was actually a backdoor Skull Island prequel). To be honest, my recollection of both viewings wasn’t disdain, just not feeling like I had seen anything special. I went into both flicks expecting greatness, and walked out of both thinking I had just seen not much of anything.  It would seem that my hopes were just too damn high the first time I saw either of these flicks. It would seem that I was let down by not having my expectations met. Second viewing though? Wow.

I’m going to cut to the chase here folks. I’m going to give you some advice that I hope you all heed: Next time you’re let down by a movie that you thought was going to be awesome, the next time you walk out of a theater saying “ Man, I really thought that was going to be so great, I’m so let down.”; don’t give up on it. No folks, instead I want you to wait about a year, maybe even more. Wait however long you feel is necessary to forget the finer details of the movie and/or to put you in a different headspace than you were in the first time you watched it, and watch it again. Go into it thinking it’s going to be garbage; thinking it’s going to be worse than the first time you saw it; have zero faith in it being worth your while. Do this and there’s pretty fair odds that you will be pleasantly surprised by what you see. I bet that once you strip away all the preconceived notions about the film’s greatness and walk  in thinking that you’re going to watch crap, you’ll find yourself watching something that you at least enjoy a bit.  

As always, I’ve taken the longest possible route to get to where I’m going, but hey, it’s the journey that makes life, not the destination. Anyhow, what I’m saying is that expectations ruin movies. Even if you’re expecting something great and you get it, wouldn’t it be better if it was even better than you thought? So much better! You better believe me. Sorry, I got addicted to typing the word “better”, it was like some kind of The Ring shit; I was just sucked into it. So yeah, stop having such lofty expectations for everything and you’ll like it all so much more. Stop pouring over every frame from every trailer. Stop watching them altogether if you can. Personally, I only watch trailers for things I’ve never heard of and/or I’m undecided on. I see most movies having only read a logline and a cast and crew list. What else do you need? If you love Tom Hardy movies and you love superheroes, do you really need to see a trailer for Venom? Love action-comedies, Ryan Reynolds, and Samuel L. Jackson? Then what else would you need to see before watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard? Do you even need to know if other people liked it? Maybe ask a couple of friends who saw it, at most, but why ruin it by reading a review that may contain spoilers and/or skew your view before you’ve even seen a frame?

That’s not to say that reviews don’t have their place. We live in a social media culture where everyone (myself included) loves to share their opinions. I see reviews and social media posts as the logical extension of the walk to the car after a movie. That twenty minutes after you see a flick where you and your friends shoot the poop about what you just saw, that’s what reviews are to me. They’re another way to see what everyone else thought about what you just saw; another way to get insights you yourself may not have had. Reviews and movies are great compliments to one another, we’re just consuming them in the wrong order.

So yeah, the moral of the story is that if you walk into every movie with a neutral attitude and an open mind, you’re more likely to enjoy it for what it is. Furthermore, if you do find yourself let down by a flick, go back and watch it again without all the extra baggage you walked into it with the first time. Trust me, you’ll enjoy things a lot more. I’m not dumb though, I understand that it’s impossible to have expectations, and that just knowing the written description of what you’re going to see can lead to you walking into the theatre excited about what you’re going to see, but we’re not going to just start walking into theaters blind. We have to know something about what we are buying a ticket for, I just think that we shouldn’t know enough to influence us too much. I also know that sometimes you’re let down by a movie and then you watch it again hoping it will be better and you’re let down even harder. I’m looking at you Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. This stuff is going to happen, I’m just trying to limit it and help you enjoy things. Jeez, lay off me, you’re not my real dad. End Rant.

P.S. The entire 3rd act of Deep Rising is a straight up roller coaster of awesomeness and I’m sorry that I ever doubted it. I can see how on my first viewing I let my attention wain during the second act because it plays a little more like a horror movie and i don’t like horror, but in my re-watch I realized how dope of a setup the first act is, how well the second act works when you let it, and how great the final sprint is. In regards to Golden Circle, when I watched it without being surprised by the rather sad first twenty minutes, I was able to appreciate how fun it is. I can now say that I love both movies and they will be re-watched whenever I come across them.

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #26: Used Cars

We’re a bit behind on our posts because we’re too busy starting families to get out work done. Couple of slackers we are. Anyhow, this week’s episode is the Kurt Russell comedy classic Used Cars! One of the funniest movies of the 1980s was released in the very beginning of the decade! It’s got car chases, nudity, nuns being sprayed with hoses, and a full-on Weekend At Bernie’s situation almost ten years before Silverman and McCarthy evven though to walk around with a dead guy! check it out folks!

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #25: Diggstown

On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, the boys wrap up their Black History Month cele-bonanza with Diggstown (1992). They get all crazy about Louis Gossett Jr., discuss ring attire, and talk about the time that The Big J-Man called someone a racial slur! What an episode!

What happens afterwards though? What happens when…spoilers incoming…

…when the lights go down on the Diggstown Boxing Hall, and Gabriel Cane, Guy Played By Oliver Platt (G.P.O.P or G-Pop as any character he plays in any movie will be known from this day forth), Honey Roy Palmer and The Coalition To Remove J.C. Gillon take over all of Olivare County? I like to imagine a world where Honey Roy moves his family to town. Sure, it’s just him and his wife in the movie, but what if they adopt one of the little boys from the rec center he taught in and move him to Georgia with them? Honey Roy takes over the town’s boxing program while also taking over the estate of Charles Macum Diggs. Yes, they all move in together. However, even with the money they made from the bet and his wife’s job doing whatever it is she does (she had a real social worker/ high school teacher vibe to her), he needs to bring in a bit more cash because he’s got so many mouths to feed. This leads to him re-opening one of the farms he won from Gillon.  So now we’ve got Honey Roy, his teacher wife, a spunky little kid, a now speaking and always cranky Charles Macum Diggs,  and his sassy homecare nurse all living under one roof and farming for the first time! We didn’t even mention the zany crew from the boxing program!  It’s heartwarming, it’s funny, there’s hijinx, and so many fish are out of water in The Honey Pot! This fall on TGiF!

What about old Gabriel Cane and G-Pop? They’re in charge of a whole darn town now! Clearly, despite their almost unlawful age difference, he and Emily Forrester are going to get together. Guess what happens when they do? They have a baby! Actually…it’s twins! But oh no, Emily gets accepted to a big fancy banking school program in Florida and will only be home on weekends for the next six years! It looks like Gabe and G-Pop are going to have to not only serve as mayor and deputy mayor of this burgeoning small town, but also take care of a baby! Whoops, I mean two babies! There’s small town government related comedy (“Pig Laws? What are Pig Laws!?”), G-Pop’s ongoing search for a southern belle of his own, someone definitely cries over spilled milk, and who is going to take care of Emily’s six dogs!?! Find out every week on Raising Caines! This Fall on TGiF! Right after The Honey Pot!

Yes folks, I was raised by a television, and no, it doesn’t take me a lot of thought to come up with this stuff. Yes, I wonder why someone married me too. End rant.

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #24: The Last Dragon

On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we’re talking about one of our favorite flicks of the 1980s! That’s right folks, we get the glow when we celebrate Black History Month with The Last Dragon!

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #22+#23: NEW YEAR’S RE-SHORE-LUTION MONTH!

It’s a super-post folks, as we present to you both episodes from our tribute to Pauly Shore in one convenient package! We’ve got an episode about Encino Man and In The Army Now, and another one about Bio Dome and Jury Duty! We celebrate his entire mainstream catalog this month, so download and enjoy. Now…on with the ranting…

Okay so like I said above, this whole damned month is dedicated to Pauly Shore, so it would be kind of insane to also write a blog post about him. Also, it would probably end up just being a rehashing of what I’ve already said on the show. Further also, it’s really hard to properly translate the concepts of “weezing the juice” and “baby fresh nugs and cones” into the written word; they just don’t have the same magic when you put them on paper as they do when the Weasel himself says them. So yeah, this week’s rant will have nothing to do with this week’s episode, instead, it will be focused on something entirely different: People giving me crap about enjoying pro-wrestling.

Really hit you with a sharp left on that one right? Like “hold the emergency handle and slide into the stick shift” sharp. I know, a sharp left should send you into the window, but I don’t like erasing things and I thought the imagery was good. Anyhow, I’m going to keep this short and sweet:

Hi, my name is Craig and I love professional wrestling. I’m not totally sure why, but I have a good idea, and yes, I know that it’s fake.

I’m going to calmly answer the question that no one is asking first, and then get angry for a moment. For starters, the reasons I love to watch anything from The Young Bucks super-kicking their dad off of a ladder, to a full-scale WWE pay-per-view, to two dudes no one has ever heard of trying to suplex each other onto a dirty high school gym floor are numbered three and simple to me:

  • It reminds me of watching with my father when I was a kid. My pops is my all-time favorite person, and he’s unfortunately been passed on since before I could legally drink. His favorite things to watch were American Gladiators, Gunga Din, and WWE (WWF at the time…damned Pandas). He and I watched together for years, even when he was ill and I was angsty, we’d sit down and watch Monday nights together sometimes. Now that I’m an adult, I find that watching reminds me of my days with him, and I often find myself taking out my phone to call him with wrestling news even after all these years.
  • It’s the fake version of the thing that I love and can’t do anymore. In a past life I was a slightly above average amateur mixed martial artist…I “did UFC” as way too many people still like to say. Some injuries and life choices have put an end to my time in the sport and I miss it every day. Wrestling brings me to a world similar to mine, but where consequences are forgotten and dreamers get their way; we all need that sometimes. Even when watching big time fights was too much for me and would lead me down a spiral of sadness and regret, wrestling somehow worked. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s part of what got me back into watching the show after taking almost a decade off.
  • It’s just a fake sport; I love sports. Therefore, I love fake sports. Fake is the wrong word, although I accept it as someone now performing in a pro wrestling ring, it’s not fair to call what those men and women do “fake”. It’s scripted and planned out, but there’s nothing fake about the damage the performers take and the athleticism it takes to survive that stuff. It’s like ultra-complex stunt work, done for 250 nights a year. Anyhow, imagine if every time you went to a football game, you knew that Saquon Barkley was going to jump over someone’s fully standing head, or that Baker Mayfield was going to lead a comeback form down twenty-one points every time. Basically just the best stuff you could see and you’re guaranteed to see it. That’s what wrestling can be. Granted, it sucks more often than not these days, but when it’s good, it’s so good, and it manufactures the feeling of the most amazing moments in sports. Those moments in an MMA match when two dudes are doing insane shit for thirty straight seconds and you wonder how they can even stand anymore and know that it’s bound to end soon? Yeah, wrestling can mimic that for thirty minutes at a clip when it’s being done right. It’s actually a pretty genius concept. It’s like “real sports” are pizza from the local parlor in Queens, and pro wrestling is a place like Dominos. Of course, the real pizza is better, but when you’re hungry and it’s done right, Pizza Hut can be the best damned meal you’ve had in ages.

So do you get it now? Do you understand why I enjoy it? Maybe at least a little? Fine, I can accept that, now for the part where I yell at everyone: I KNOW THAT IT’S NOT REAL!! Every damned time I mention to someone that I’m a big dumb baby who likes WWE (I try to insult myself and be self-deprecating so that the other person can’t make fun of me…I call it “8 Mile-ing”), they still always respond with “You know it’s fake right?” and disgusted look on their face. They say it as if I’m going to drop everything , pull on a steam whistle and yell “Alright boys! The jig is up! Shut it down!” and my wrestling fandom and my manhood are going to just pack their desks and leave. Listen man, I know it’s “fake”, so are the dragons on Game Of Thrones, so is Captain America, and so is most “reality television”. It’s entertainment, it’s theatre, it’s admittedly scripted! If I went to a showing of Hamilton and yelled “You can’t fool me Lin-Manuel, he didn’t flow like that!”, I’d be dragged out and people would call me a moron, but it’s ok for morons to yell at me and the people performing their art that “they’re not fooling anyone”? This isn’t a carnival in the forties, they’re not trying to fool anyone over the age of nine. I don’t watch wrestling because I think it’s real, I watch it because I know that it’s not. I watch it because if I’m lucky, it’s going to tell me the exact story that I want from a sporting event. There’s going to be ebbs and flows to the action, someone is going to surge from behind to take an advantage, and the final moments are going to be exciting. Real sports are a crapshoot, you never know if your team or athlete is going to have a great day or get blown out; we watch wrestling because it takes away the guess work. Yes, your guy or gal might lose, but you know that you’re at least going to be given a few moments where you think they’re going to win; that’s why you watch it. So yes, I’m fully aware that it’s fake, it’s not still real to me dammit, and I still enjoy it! Also, people jump off of large structures onto other people for your entertainment. It’s entertaining and even if you don’t like to watch, you should at least understand why I do. Sure, if you’re the type of person who only watches Daniel Day-Lewis movies and quotes NPR all the time while spouting off about how “you don’t even own a television”, wrestling isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy mainstream entertainment and have the nerve to tell me that I’m crazy for enjoying something that is pure spectacle, then you’re probably only giving me crap because you think that it’s dumb to like something simply because someone else once told you that it’s dumb to like something. For that,  I wish you good day sir. End Rant…or not, because it all comes back to Pauly Shore folks!

I lied, my love for wrestling is a lot like my appreciation for Pauly Shore,  because when you consider social context and what we consider funny these days (I’m looking at you Big Bang Theory), you can’t tell me that Pauly Shore isn’t at least charismatic when he’s at his best. It’s the same argument as not liking wrestling and crapping on me for it; you’re only against Shore because you think that you’re supposed to be. I get that comedy is subjective, but you can’t possibly tell me that his schtick is any worse that at least half the crap people liked back then and still like today. So in shore-t: Pauly Shore and wrestling are the same. They’re both things that aren’t perfect, but I think that you’re a big dumb diaper baby if you think that the stuff you enjoy is so much better. End rant. (*packs up briefcase with rubber ducky, framed picture of dog, and a bologna sandwich, storms out of courtroom with toilet paper stuck to shoe*)

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #21: Die Hard!!!!!!!

die hard podcast

Yippie Kai Yay Podcast Fans!! For Christmas 2018, we conclude Christmas-Tober with the greatest gift the world has ever been given, the greatest action movie ever, and the most Christmasy -Christmas Movie that ever Christmassed. Yes folks, on this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast we’re talking about Die Hard!!!! No other words need to be said, it’s Die Hard, listen to the show, it’s the best. However, I do have one gripe on this lovely Christmas morning, so read on and get my rant…

Christmas isn’t sexy. Let’s get that straight right now. I’m not some ultra-religious, never seen a porn flick, grabs chest and says “Oh My!” when a woman in a skirt walks by, a-hole from 1940s Alabama. I’m a middle-aged dude from New York who has seen some things and done some things, so my opinion is informed and objective. It remains though: Christmas isn’t sexy. So, let’s cut it out with the “Santa with Abs” and “Sexy Rudoplh” costumes. That stuff is for little kids to enjoy, not for you to stuff your push-up bras and codpieces into so that you can get horned up with your buddies and ruin Christmas for some five year old who happens to walk by you on the street. Also, stop with the Santa Bar Crawls. This stuff isn’t for you, leave it alone and go get drunk and into costume on Halloween or any other day of the year that isn’t ostensibly about either little kids getting presents and/or The Messiah. I have more to say, but I have to go enjoy the holiday with a small child who is wearing a reindeer outfit that a 19 year old co-ed shouldn’t be wearing with booty shorts to impress Brad from Sigma Phi. You wanna dress up? Dress up in a way that little kids would enjoy, not to show off your gym gains bro. You’re all the worst. Yet you’re all still the best and I love you all, because it’s a family holiday! Now get off my lawn or I’m keeping your frisbee!

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #20: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Annual No Cursing Episode)

On this week’s episode, we present out annual No Cursing Family Spectacular! We’re talking about A Charlie Brown Christmas in our second installment of Christmas-Tober: The Beginning of the Middle! A great time is had by all as we very tiredly discuss everything from Snoopy’s skills as a musician, to Lucy’s psychiatric qualifications, to what’s really going on at home with Pig-Pen. Also, one of us breaks the oath and drops a curse word! Takes bets on who it is, gamble with your whole family, and enjoy the episode!

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #19: The Ref

the ref podcast

On this week’s episode we’re shooting the poop on 1994’s The Ref. Yes folks, we’re kicking off Christmas-Tober: The Return To The Re-Revenge with a Christmas classic that features prime A-Hole Era Denis Leary, 90s Final Form Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey before we all realized he’s a dumpster person. What a movie!  Ron loves it! Craig…definitely watched it! Also, we’re both half-awake and sick for the entirety of this one, so be on the look out for coughing, Craig kind of falling asleep, and an overall horrible attitude from the both of us! Is this our final downfall? No, screw you for doubting us. Also nuts to each and every one of you who thinks that this isn’t a Christmas movie. 

Look, as you’ll hear during the episode, I’m not a fan of this flick. It seems like something I should like, but it doesn’t really speak to me because it’s too nihilistic and the arc doesn’t make much sense. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a Christmas flick. I will address this in a more creative form when we do Die Hard, but for now I will just point this out: Most people have dumb views on what makes a “Christmas Movie”.  Every year I run into folks out there in the world who tell me what is and isn’t a Christmas movie, and basically they all seem to think that if there isn’t a talking snowman, a fat chimney sneaker, or a reindeer with a glow-snout; then it’s not Christmas. Well you’re wrong and your breath is probably bad. So what do I think makes a Christmas movie? I will give you a simple answer and an even more simple answer. I will do it in list form to save you the trouble of making sense of my horrid paragraph structure. 

Answer 1: If it takes place on or around Christmas, and Christmas itself has something to do with the plot, it’s a Christmas movie. It’s just that simple.

Answer 2: Whatever the hell you watch on Christmas, if you watch it every Christmas, is your Christmas movie. If whenever you think of it, you think of Christmas, it’s yours. That’s it, that’s all. 

So folks, it’s the holiday season, go out there and watch your favorite flicks, or shows, or whatever. Enjoy them all and know that at least one idiot respects your tradition. Be good to each other. 

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #18: Son In Law

son in law podcast

On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we watched “Thanksgiving Classic” Son In Law, and loved almost every second of Pauly Shore-ian goodness. The movie raises some important questions though that must be answered. Is Crawl actually very annoying? Would we accept him into our lives if he dated one of our daughters? Does The Great Hambino have an incestuous love for his sister? Why isn’t anyone in jail after the debacle that goes on with these characters? We do our best to answer these and many more as things go off the rails as usual.

More importantly than any of those questions if this one: Did we still enjoy flick? Well hell yeah we did! We weezed juice, we buffed the wood, we munched grindage, and we even found time in our busy lives to scope out some baby-fresh nugs and cones. Listen, we’re in our thirties, we have families, we can’t just spend all day scoping out baby-fresh nugs and cones; so when we can finally fit it in our schedules, it’s a real treat. Point is, we enjoyed ourselves the full Pauly Shore experience, and we’re all the better for it. However, there’s one thing that this movie reminded us of that we don’t appreciate: That no one gives a crap about Thanksgiving. There’s a reason that I had to quote “Thanksgiving Classic” earlier, because it’s not the kind of holiday that get’s its own classics. Everyone has things they watch on Christmas and Halloween, but no one really has any movies that they watch every Thanksgiving. We know because we asked around when we were trying to decide on something to do for our Thanksgiving episode, and people could only think of Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles , but no one watched either one every year as part of any sort of tradition. Hanukkah at least gets a prime Adam Sandler song despite getting the shaft otherwise, and Kwanzaa is still pretty new so we can give it a pass on not having a ton of “classic” film choices attached to it, but Thanksgiving just has a bunch of flicks that most people forget take place on it and a lesser Adam Sandler song. Where am I going with all this? I’m not even sure myself, but I know that Thanksgiving deserves better!

So let’s ignore the fact that T-Day is a holiday based on traditions that probably didn’t happen the way we think they did, and forget for a second that the Pilgrims jacked the natives for their land. This isn’t about the validity of the holiday itself. It’s about the celebration, and let me tell you this: In a vacuum, Thanksgiving kind of craps on the other holidays. Christmas has stressful shopping, and the fear of not getting what you want, or getting someone the wrong thing. It’s also anti-climactic if you get anything other than a pony or car every year. Hanukkah has the same problems. Halloween is only really fun when you’re a kid or when you have little kids (don’t tell me that costume parties are that great, it’s just you drunk like you always are, except now you’re dressed like Sexy Yoda or something). “But Craig, Adam Sandler told me that Hanukkah has eight crazy nights of presents!” Listen, my mother is Jewish, so I’ve celebrated many a Festival of Lights and I can confirm what every little Jewish girl and boy is thinking to themselves as they read this: If you’re not rich, Hanukkah is one, MAYBE two nights of real gifts and six to seven nights of socks and school supplies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but from a present perspective, it’s just spread out Christmas. Anyhow, Thanksgiving.

I’m not going to tell you that I like it better than Christmas, because I dig them both and I love both gifts and stuffing. I probably like Christmas a little bit more but that’s a product of the coverage. Thanksgiving gets some leaves, a bunch of sales that end up ruining retailers abilities to enjoy the day, and a good Friends episode. “Christmas Season” basically starts halfway through Thanksgiving day and lasts until New Years Eve. It has a ton of classic movies, a ton of decorations, and is celebrated for two days by most people. It’s almost unfair, and in my extremely roundabout way, that’s what I’m here to say: Give Thanksgiving a chance!! Maybe I’m swayed by my friend’s monotone, yet very logically developed argument on behalf of turkey day, or maybe I’m just a sucker for the underdog, but let’s give Thanksgiving some more media folks!

I’m going to start with the obvious: Thanksgiving has a ton of family. Family yields characters; characters yield drama and comedy. They say that character should drive plot, well Thanksgiving gatherings give you a ton of characters to drive all over the place with! Next obvious jumping off point is the food.  Why aren’t there more scripts being written about Thanksgiving at Italian restaurants, or family members cooking dueling turkeys? Food and family folks!! Gatherings! It’s all right there! We don’t even have to stray too far from what has already been done. We can do more “road trip to get home for Thanksgiving Dinner” movies like Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; they work and we’ve all been there. It’s not rocket surgery folks!

Let’s hit the less obvious now and talk about Thanksgiving Eve…the second biggest drinking night of the year! I did a lot of security in a lot of bars in my day, and Thanksgiving was one of two major “Amateur Nights’’ that we dealt with. Nights where people who don’t normally drink got bombed. Nights where kids came back from college looking to show off the drinking skills that they think they’ve developed. People are partying, people are puking, people are fighting, and people are falling in love for at least the evening. There’s so much plot to be mined from this night before the Turkey is sacrificed. It’s also a major “there’s no school tomorrow” day for people who can’t yet drink, and many adventures are had by teenagers who just want to somehow match the adventures their older siblings and friends are having.  Listen, a lot of things can happen of T-Day Eve; I once started a car with a damned shoe whilst stuck on the streets of Greenwich Village! Unlike Christmas, it’s a night of adventure for everyone of adventuring age, not just those of us who don’t have families to spend time with. So much can happen, so why don’t we put more of it on screen!?!?

You guys get the point, I want to see Thanksgiving on screen more, so I will dispense with my habble-babble and let you get on with listening to the show, but first…I leave you with this:

At a surprise Fall programming meeting for NBC, SuperStore star America Ferrera and newly hired  Sunday Night Football correspondent/ former National Football League Punter/All around character Pat Mcafee stumble upon the time machine that we all know is hidden in the bowels of the NBC-Universal lot. Thinking that it’s some sort of flight simulator, they jump in and are sent all the way back to the first Thanksgiving where they accidentally ruin the fabled sit-down dinner between The Pilgrims and The Native Americans when they interfere with the killing of the first Turkey. This is all unbeknownst to them and they return to the present to find that Thanksgiving no longer exists and that the world is an absolutely terrible place without this magical day of food and family. The streets are riddled with angry, emaciated people; no one gathers with family for any reason, and we are ruled by a race of ultra-intelligent Robo-Turkeys. Realizing the mistake they made, the two travel back in time and save Thanksgiving! They hunt the Alpha-Turkey themselves and bring the Pilgrims and the Natives back to the table to achieve peace! For doing so, elders from both sides imbue them with magical powers and they return to the present day ready to spread love and cheer and anti-turkey sentiment year after year for the rest of all time, plus they return to a world where Native Americans weren’t screwed out of their land! Bonus! Yes folks, they’ve become Pilgrim Pat MCafee and Native America Ferrera! They’re basically like double Santa Clauses… Santas Claus…Santa Cly? Anyhow, they’re the holiday mascots Thanksgiving needs to be totally legit! Sure, Native America Ferrera is almost insensitive, but it’s a joke, so please be nice to me.  Their main powers are to teach people about Native American culture, cook turkey, and fly…because flight is dope. They don’t have costumes either, it’s just them in their regular clothes, and they just show up whenever someone’s Thanksgiving is in danger. If you’re wondering why they don’t teach kids about Pilgrim culture, it’s because I don’t really know what that is and I’m too lazy to Wikipedia it. So yeah…I’m going to quit while I’m behind. Go listen to the show and pretend I wrote something intelligent about cultural relations and our need for a new big budget Jim Thorpe movie, because that dude was awesome. So yeah, stick to the Jim Thorpe thing and enjoy Son In Law!

The Un-Titled Movie Podcast With Ron & Craig #17: Necessary Roughness

necessary roughness podcast

On this weeks episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we get to revisit one of our all-time favorite movies that no one has ever heard of, but the two of us can quote all day long, Necessary Roughness. . It’s Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, Jason Bateman from Arrested Development, The Ozarks, and The Hogan Family, and Sinbad from…being Sinbad; all throwing on the pads and hitting the gridiron for some early 90s college football hijinks. It’s as dumb as it sounds, but somehow still manages to be one of our favorite sports movies, so check it out with us!

So as I said above, Necessary Roughness stars Scott Bakula, a personal favorite of ours for his work as Dr. Samuel Beckett on the amazing sci-fi/drama classic that was Quantum Leap. For the few of you who don’t know, Quantum Leap centered around Dr. Beckett’s traveling through time via “Leaping” in and out of other people’s bodies. The purpose of his travels (his leaps) was to right some sort of wrong that the person he took over could directly affect. He’d save people’s lives in Vietnam; he’d take over an African America chauffeur and make strides in the Civil Rights Movement; he’s leap into a woman and strike back against chauvinism. It was a great show, and it sometimes made it hard to believe Bakula in any other role. Not because his acting was poor, because I wasn’t (dude has talent), it was that my brain always just kind of assumed that whatever character he was playing was just Dr. Sam Beckett leaping into someone else. Is this crazy? Maybe, but it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. So let’s live in a world where the scene when he usually goes “Oh Boy” whilst looking in the mirror (it happened on literally every episode of the show) was edited out, and Paul Blake was just another leap. Let’s live in a world where as soon as the end credits begin to roll, Beckett leaps out of Blake and moves onto his next adventure. In that world, we ask this question: Who was Sam sent to help?

(From this moment forth, let’s assume that you understand how Quantum Leap works, and that you’ve seen Necessary Roughness. That way I can stop explaining everything so much. Okay? Cool.)

The Texas State Fighting Armadillos are a damned mess, so there’s no shortage of people on and around the squad who could’ve needed Sam’s help. Let’s not forget that sometimes Sam leaped in order to help someone he barely interacted with. He was able to influence events from both up close and from afar; this makes the possibilities here nearly endless. He could’ve been sent back for any number of the following reasons:

  • To teach Edison the value of hard work so that he could someday take over his father’s business and run it in a less ruthless manner. By simply forcing him to study for his test and pass, then by dragging him to victory in that one game, perhaps he taught him that life is better when you earn your victories. Edison was rich, now he was benevolent, Sam could’ve done this.
  • To get Andre Krimm to come out of retirement to play one last season and get seen by an NFL scout. Krimm showed up with zero playing time in at least a few years and was able to walk into a Division 1 game and contribute. Scouts had to come calling.
  • To help Featherstone become friggin’ Odell Beckham after catching that one damned ball. I mean, the guy went from being basically un-covered by anyone in the secondary to being triple covered by a corner, a safety, and linebacker. Blake’s throw changed his life.
  • To get Dean Elias to quit his evil ways? He seems to have learned some sort of lesson at the end…or is at least now depressed enough to allow a stuffed armadillo cowboy to put a fake bullet in his head. For a man that seems to have some sort of university pedigree, that’s pretty low. Maybe after he’s murdered in effigy (probably not using that right, but it sounds good), he changes his life and gets a job working with inner-city youth. Maybe he teaches them Capoeira, the Brazilian art of dance-fighting? Maybe this is a secret prequel to Only The Strong. I just hope that Dr. Sam Beckett helped him find his Ba Na Na way. The one person that got that joke is laughing really hard right now…the rest of you can go screw.
  • To make Rob Schneider’s character famous? Maybe calling the biggest upset in NCAA Football history gets his name out there and people are impressed with the whole “fumba-ly-a” thing. It’s not that far off from what most people from ESPN did from like 1995 til forever…except for Stuart Scott, that man was a damned national treasure and witticist for the ages. God rest his awesome soul.
  • Settle the age old feud between military close-quarters combat and whatever martial art Samurai Hanson practiced? I don’t think that this is a real feud, but hey, that’s Paul Giamatti’s brother playing Sarge!
  • To get Manu-Manu to finally have his moment of glory and thus win the affections of Lucy the kicker? She smooched him at the end and it was one of the main closing shots of the flick, so that makes it a strong candidate. Plus, it’s right up Dr. Beckett’s alley to bring two star-crossed lovers from different walks of life together. Although, by that logic, his reason for leaping could’ve been to bring Edison and Krimm together.
  • To get Wally Rigendorf his first victory as a head coach and thus start what will surely be a hall of fame career. After all, Ed Genaro said it, he’s been ready for a long time!

I personally like the last one the best because the movie basically gives Robert Loggia’s character the second most plot and character development behind Paul Blake. Plus he goes off to find Blake in the beginning, connecting the two from the start of the story. I imagine in the original timeline, Wally got Paul to play but the team never won a game and Wally not only lost his first and what would be only chance at head coaching, but looked like a fool for bringing in Blake to begin with. His life tanked and he ended up taking that job in England.

Look folks, I don’t know for sure why Dr. Sam Beckett leaped into Paul Blake, Arm of The Armadillos, but seeing as how my life isn’t that bad these days, I’m glad that he changed whatever it is that he changed. So as I do every night after I say my prayers, let me thank Dr. Becket, wherever he may be…whenever he may be, for sacrificing his life for the rest of us. Thank you for beating Texas, thank you for saving Jackie O, and most of all, thank you for Sinbad!