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 #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!