Tag Archives: tim burton


7 Nov


1. Doctor Strange/Disney Wknd/$ 85.0 Total/$ 85.0
2. Trolls/Fox Wknd/$ 45.6 Total/$ 45.6
3. Hacksaw Ridge/LGF Wknd/$ 14.8 Total/$ 14.8
4. Boo! A Madea Halloween/LGF Wknd/$ 7.8 Total/$ 65.0
5. Inferno/Sony Wknd/$ 6.3 Total/$ 26.0
6. The Accountant/WB Wknd/$ 6.0 Total/$ 70.9
7. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back/ Wknd/$ 5.6 Total/$ 49.2
8. Ouija: Origin of Evil/Universal Wknd/$ 4.0 Total/$ 31.4
9. The Girl on the Train/Universal Wknd/$ 2.8 Total/$ 70.7
10. Miss Peregrine’s Home…/Fox Wknd/$ 2.1 Total/$ 83.3

Doctor Strange opens unsurprisingly at number one as the latest installment of the Marvel films. And while it’s enjoyable I find myself oddly disappointed in just how hard Marvel is sticking to this formula. Granted, they’ve got literally a billion rea$on$ as to why, but I find myself saddened just how much like all the others this is because Doctor Strange has always been a character that I’ve liked and he’s not like other comic book heroes. Yes, the plot device is one of the oldest in the history of creation—the humbled prince who becomes a better person as a result and we’ve seen it twice here alone with Thor and Iron Man—but they do absolutely nothing to put a new spin on it. In fact they watered it down. In the comics Stephen Strange starts as a flat out callous asshole of a surgeon who just might let you die if you can’t meet his fees, but here he’s just a bit of an arrogant prick and doing what is basically a Robert Downey Jr-lite take on the character as he was also not a joke cracking wiseass like he is here. In fact, you really only know he’s an arrogant jerk because people keep telling you he is, not really because of any arrogant jerk things that he does. When it happens it’s a big moment, not like the genuine arrogance of Tony Stark in the first half hour of Iron Man as he casually rumbles over everyone, friend and stranger alike because he only cares about himself. Also missing is Strange’s growth from this minor asshole to almost painfully benevolent. It’s a near two-hour movie. You should have the time to show the passage of time but apparently it wasn’t worth sacrificing a gigantic psychedelic action sequence. You don’t go from callous asshole to caring for an entire plane of existence in a few days or weeks, but it feels like it’s barely a month of so for the character here when it should have been years. There’s no definitive “humbling moment” where enlightenment occurs. This goes hand-in-hand with his “instant magic skills” something a depiction of an extended period of time would have helped with immensely. There’s an 80 minute animated version from a few years ago that actually does better at showing this, which should embarrass everyone here. The quality of the acting goes without saying, but literally every major actor present would have made a better Doctor Strange than Benedict Cumberbatch. Every. Single. One.

Trolls opens at number two and you can garner the quality of a children’s movie by whether or not kids shut up when the trailer comes up. Over the last few months, this trailer didn’t shut up any kids. ‘Nuff said. Besides, has Justin Timberlake ever starred in a good movie? He’s been a supporting actor in exactly one. Again, ‘nuff said.

Hacksaw Ridge opens at number two and Mel Gibson finally realized no one was going to see a movie of his if they had to see his face so here he’s just directing. This feels like the kind of war movie they would have made in the 40’s when they weren’t borderline propaganda: they were flat-out propaganda. Except Gibson takes great pains to show war as horrifically bloody as humanly possible which isn’t really going to inspire anyone to take up arms. I know this is based on a true story about a pacifist soldier who refused to take lives and would only save them, but honestly that doesn’t make it any more interesting to me. It takes something truly exceptional to make me want to sit through a war movie and this ain’t it.

Boo! A Madea Halloween is down to number for and the answer is still “No.”

Inferno is down to number five and so much for this franchise. At least as big budget superstar movies. They could very well make a nice living doing them as TV movies like Tom Selleck did for that one character, but this is clearly going to tie up in a nice little trilogy for you to buy for your parents at future Christmases because they read the books.

The Accountant is down to number six, followed by Jack Reacher: Never Go Back at number seven and while one franchise may have just been born, another may be seeing its premature end. Yes, this means that Ben Affleck just had more success as an action hero this year (remember Batman v Superman: Mad Stupid Cash Grab) than Tom Cruise. You can bet pre-production on the next Mission Impossible just kicked into high gear. What’s funny is that neither character gets to have sex with their female lead, which are Anna Kendrick and Cobie Smulders respectively. Not that we wanted to see it (ew!), but Ben Affleck’s character basically cannot with Kendrick because his autism leaves him socially impaired. And we don’t necessarily want to see it with Tom Cruise either (serious ew!), but there’s an odd kind of sexual tension that is present because Cobie Smulders and Cruise spend time half-undressed together in a very casual way that is oddly appealing. Honestly, it’s very adult that two people on the run from killers would have other things to worry about than whether or not someone sees them naked. And at the same time, knowing this night could be your last night on earth why the hell wouldn’t you hook up? Especially in the case of Jack Reacher, given his character has come to DC for the specific purpose of possibly sleeping with Cobie Smulders. I’m not kidding. They even discuss it in one of the oddly appealing scenes. It’s actually odd that they do not. Odd for the characters. For Tom Cruise, not so much.

Ouija: Origin of Evil is down to number nine and you know who’s in this!?! Eliot himself, Henry Thomas. Good for him. Get that work, son! Yeah, it’s a low-budget horror movie, but it’s made 3x its cost, unlike the movie of the Toms (Hanks and Cruise) in this top ten. It also means you’ve had one more hit this year than Spielberg. Yeah, I said it!

The Girl on the Train is down to number nine at $70M off a $45M budget ($140M total worldwide) this is a minor success. Good for you, Glenn Cocco! I want Emily Blunt to do well (she had Sicario last year). I like The Devil Wears Prada that much. I want almost everyone who was in it or associated with it to do well. Yeah, that stops at you, Adrian Grenier. Entourage has tainted you forever. Being a pretty muthafucka don’t help.

Finally, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children aka, Tim Burton’s X-Men closes out the top ten at number ten and mercifully I think we’re nearing the twilight of studios giving Burton millions of dollars for these CGI fests. It didn’t even make budget domestically and while it doubled its domestic take overseas that’s not the money that matters most. You can tell stories of eccentric characters without a lot of CGI, Timmy, but the operative word there is “stories” and you aren’t big on those, much less characters.





24 Oct



1. Boo! A Madea Halloween/LGF          Wknd/$ 27.6     Total/$ 27.6

2. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back/          Wknd/$ 23.0    Total/$ 23.0

3. Ouija: Origin of Evil/Universal           Wknd/$ 14.1    Total/$ 14.1

4. The Accountant/WB                             Wknd/$ 14.0    Total/$ 47.9

5. The Girl on the Train/Universal        Wknd/$ 6.0       Total/$ 58.9

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home…/Fox            Wknd/$ 6.0      Total/$ 74.4

7. Keeping Up With The Joneses/Fox   Wknd/$ 5.6      Total/$ 5.6

8. Kevin Hart: What Now?                      Wknd/$ 4.1       Total/$ 18.9

9. Storks/WB                                              Wknd/$ 4.1       Total/$ 64.7

10. Deepwater Horizon/Lions Gate       Wknd/$ 3.6      Total/$ 55.3


Boo! A Madea Halloween opens at number one and…no. Just…no.


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opens at number two and I actually enjoyed the first film. Granted, I’m not one of the fans of the books where Jack Reacher is 6’3” so I don’t have a problem with Tom Cruise intimidating people and whooping ass all over the place like a man twice his size. I accept it for the cheap thrills sheer vanity production it is (one of the first things you see onscreen is “A Tom Cruise Production”). It exists to show you that the star is just the bestest thing ever! And while Cruise was never a great actor he is however a great movie star so this works. It’d work better for a young Clint Eastwood, but it works for Cruise too. This is a bit of an improvement on the the first because that one was centered around a horrific loss of innocent life along with horrible moments of the sheer “crap we do to our fellow human beings” variety. The only way it was better was that it had one of funniest fight scenes ever and we got to watch Jai Courtney get beaten to death. Hell, the latter alone is worth the entire film’s production. This one is a simple “wrongly accused heroes fight to clear their names” and we get to watch Tom Cruise get his Jason Bourne on. And don’t kid yourself: this was his attempt to have a Jason Bourne franchise the way every actor from Liam Neeson to Kevin Costner to Sean Penn has seemingly tried to get his own with varying degrees of success over the last 14 years (Cruise was originally supposed to be Salt which was obviously gender swapped to Angelina). Yeah, he’s got Mission Impossible, but a) you can never have too many franchises, especially when you’re officially an aging actor and b) that was actually famous before he was and has expanded to include other known actors. This is about him and him alone beating the shit out of people in that military martial arts style that even James Bond had to adapt as the result of Bourne’s success. It’s not an intellectual exercise by any stretch of the imagination, but for so cheap and easy fun (these movies cost about $60M each and literally a third of that probably went to Cruise alone) they are not a bad way to spend two hours and will be great on cable in the coming years where you can just tune out the improbable plot and just look up from what you’re doing to watch Cruise beat the shit out of people. Hey, I think Jai Courtney is about to die right now. Be back in a minute…


Quija: Origin of Evil opens at number three and this is how you make money. Take a low budget horror movie and open it close to Halloween, the second most profitable holiday in America. The first Ouija came out on October 24th last year and made $50M from a $5M budget so they knew what they’d be doing the following year. This is basically the new “Saw” which milked this same marketing plan for years. The producers put a little more money into this one (it’s a whopping $9M this time), but have probably already started pre-production on the third given it’s already made that back and then some in one weekend. I think it goes without saying that I have not, nor will I ever see any of these.


The Accountant is down to number four and also in this is Anna Kendrick, expanding her audience to dudebros who’d never see Pitch Perfect but bringing her trademark humor along with her which honestly is one of the reasons this succeeds: it knows when to be funny. After all, you can’t have a killing machine accountant and expect people to keep a straight face. You cannot. Granted, Kendrick is basically “the girl” who needs to be saved and doesn’t even have a moment where she contributes to beating the bad guys, but small steps. At least when they come for her she manages to put a hurt on them and doesn’t just scream and run.


The Girl on the Train is down to number five and this movie is filled with actors you know but none with enough star power to overcome Emily Blunt, which is shrewd if planned, but probably because a movie with a female lead didn’t have the budget to hire other A-list actors (you know it’s true!). You’ve got the would-be girl-of-the-moment Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux aka Mr. Jennifer Anniston, Luke Evans aka That Guy That Looks Like If Orlando Bloom Was A Man, Laura Prepon aka The Redhead From That 70’s Show, Allison Janney aka Always A Solid Supporting Actor But Never A Lead and Lisa Kudrow aka That Friends Money Means You Should Never Feel Sorry For Me.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is down to number six and there was some small amount of controversy about the lack of diversity in the movie, and while it would have been nice I honestly I don’t expect a lot in a movie set in Europe during WWII. But there’s something to be said that the only people of color in a Burton film before this were covered by make up as monkeys and the only one here is the freaking villain. If you doubted Burton’s geek cred this should back it up. They tend to like their fantasy worlds monochromatic.


Keeping Up With the Joneses opens at number seven and Zach Galifinakis is running out of chances to prove he can sell a comedy. His last flop before this was only a few weeks ago with Masterminds. What that has in common with this movie is that they share a name with a previous movie that failed, which usually drives the people in suits crazy prompting an instant change. It’s nothing against Jon Hamm given this clearly isn’t his movie, but it’s not helping either. It’s great he doesn’t have an ego and needs to be the star, but you’re not a kid, dude and need to have something successful post-Mad Men under your belt. It’s ironic he’s here with the new Wonder Woman given he looks more like a superhero than basically everyone currently playing one. Hamm is a perfect Superman. Hamm is a perfect Batman. Hamm is a perfect Iron Man. Hamm would have been a perfect Doctor Strange as well. He’s been approached but balked at the decade long contracts they have to sign. Don’t expect to see him in a wannabe Jason Bourne movie either.


Kevin Hart: What Now is down to number eight, followed by Storks at number nine with Deepwater Horizon closing out the top ten at number ten.





17 Oct

1. The Accountant/WB Wknd/$ 24.7 Total/$ 24.7
2. Kevin Hart: What Now? Wknd/$ 12.0 Total/$ 12.0
3. The Girl on the Train/Universal Wknd/$ 12.0 Total/$ 46.6
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home…/Fox Wknd/$ 8.9 Total/$ 65.8
5. Deepwater Horizon/Lions Gate Wknd/$ 6.4 Total/$ 49.3
6. Storks/WB Wknd/$ 5.6 Total/$ 59.1
7. The Magnificent Seven/Sony Wknd/$ 5.2 Total/$ 84.8
8. Middle School/LGF Wknd/$ 4.3 Total/$ 13.8
9. Sully/WB Wknd/$ 3.0 Total/$ 118.4
10. The Birth of a Nation/FoxSearch Wknd/$ 2.7 Total/$ 12.2

The Accountant opens at number one and Ben Affleck needed this like he needs air. It’s clear that despite universal praise and an Academy Awards, he still wants to be a superstar in front of the camera like Matt Damon and will do most anything to get there. In case Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t made clear this attempt to create a Jason Bourne like franchise for himself will remove all doubt. As The Accountant of the title, Affleck is playing the go-to moneyman for the richest bad guys in the world and somehow in this world of near constant surveillance, not a single person has noticed or gotten a picture of him until a treasury agent is put on his tail. You know that’s kinda impossible but you let it go. Then the treasury agent investigating him is the only person who’s notices the similarity between his faux names and that’s when you realize it’s time to turn off your brain and just enjoy the violence. And we haven’t even gotten to him being a merciless trained killer from childhood…as a way to deal with his autism. No, I’m not kidding. And unlike the Bourne films it does take the time to throw a little humor into the mix. But the dumber this movie gets (and it gets dumb) the more fun it becomes. It was enjoyable enough on the big screen, but it’s going to be a choice late-night, rainy afternoon piece of cable viewing in the future. Probably back-to-back with a Bourne movie.

Kevin Hart knew you missed the few weeks he wasn’t in the movie theaters so he sent you this concert film, Kevin Hart: What Now? to tide you over until his next mainstream movie where he’s partnered with yet another star that has come to realize they also cannot carry a movie on their own. You’re welcome.

The Girl on the Train is down to number three and this is one of those books that “everyone” has read and has been cautiously looking forward to which is how it opened at number one last week.. This year’s Gone Girl for lack of a better term. Unfortunately, it’s not in the hands of a craftsman like David Fincher who was wise enough to employ the book’s actual writer to aid in the screen translation keeping it as substantive as it was stylish. Not that Tate Taylor is without a solid history, but aside from his debut film, Winter’s Bone which proved Jennifer Lawrence could act, he’s made generic safe films like The Help and the James Brown bio, Get On Up. I never read the book so my interest in this film could only be generated by what it looked like and it never rose above mild and there’s been no word-of-mouth to help it get above that. Honestly, the most appealing thing about it for me is Emily Blunt. Shame her post The Devil Wears Prada career hasn’t gone as well as hoped. If only she’d been able to be The Black Widow in the Marvel movies as rumored. I’d soooo much prefer her to ScarJo.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children aka Tim Burton’s X-Men is down to number four and this seems tailor made for Tim Burton whose entire career has been based upon him making movies about “odd people” since he considered himself one of them. Well, he may have been but his habit of dating actresses and models pretty much secures him in “Just Another Dude” territory for me I don’t care how much black he wears or how much he listens to The Cure. And honestly, how much of an outsider can someone who only makes big-budget special effects films for major studios truly be? Both he and his frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp need to let this go or try and find a new take on it. While this looked interesting, the mere fact Tim Burton’s name was on it meant that whatever the story may have been it was going to be an afterthought for him and I just can’t waste anymore if my time on his visually stunning yet ultimately boring and uninteresting films.

Deepwater Horizon is down to number five and watching Kate Hudson be slowly confined to playing wives and girlfriends of older leading men is just becoming sad. And no one was more annoyed than I when she was omnipresent in generic mainstream films as the lead. Here she’s the waiting wife to Mark Walberg as he fights to survive and save his crew on the offshore oil rig that created the worst oil spill in US History. It’s probably the latter that has contributed to this film’s lack of success despite mostly positive reviews. People really don’t feel sympathetic to a disaster that poisoned the Gulf of Mexico. It probably should have stressed more the culpability of BP in the disaster, but instead chose to ignore that and go straight for the human drama and is paying the price. We like our disaster movies global and leaning more towards science fiction more those that are all too real with real life consequences.

Storks is down to number six followed by The Magnificent Seven at number seven and playing that woman you’re understandably confused to learn was not Bryce Dallas Howard is Haley Bennett, who is also in The Girl on the Train making her a would-be “It Girl” of the moment, meaning she would be if these films did a little better. This hasn’t even made budget yet after a month, which is odd given Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt are supposed to be big stars. This is more Pratt’s problem than Denzel’s as Pratt hasn’t had much success after his one-two punch of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World two years ago, whereas Denzel launched his own franchise last year with The Equalizer…which also costarred Haley Bennett, thus bringing us full circle.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is down to number eight and exactly who thinks actually seeing authors in ads will increase sales of anything. Especially when they look like James Patterson. I don’t see this working for his adult mystery novels, much less when it’s an old man talking about a book set in grade school.

Sully is down to number nine and this is a success both Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks sorely needed. Unlike Deepwater Horizon, there’s no conflict here because the ending was straight up happy.

The Birth of a Nation is down to number ten and I want to see this and will probably eventually see it, but I’m honestly not going to do anything that will contribute to Nate Parker’s career. Sometimes you just can’t separate the dancer from the dance.





14 May

 1. The Avengers/Disney                              Wknd/$103.2            Total/$373.2

2. Dark Shadows/Warners                         Wknd/$  28.8            Total/$  28.8

3. Think Like a Man/SGem                        Wknd/$    6.3            Total/$  81.9

4. The Hunger Games/LionsGate             Wknd/$    4.4            Total/$ 386.9

5. The Lucky One/Warners                        Wknd?$    4.1             Total/$  53.7

6. The Pirates! Band of Misfits/Sony        Wknd/$    3.2            Total/$   23.1

7. The 5 Year Engagement/Universal        Wknd/$    3.1            Total/$   24.4

8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox     Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$     3.7

9. Chimpanzee/Disney                                   Wknd/$    1.6            Total/$   25.6

10. Girl in Progress/Lions                               Wknd/$    1.4           Total/$      1.4


The Avengers holds at number one and now that everyone and his mom has seen and praised this let’s get real: the plot is utterly stupid.  Okay, not the plot but Loki’s “big plan against The Avengers” that is part of the plot is utterly stupid.  In the comics, The Avengers are formed by accident because Loki is trying to trick Thor into fighting The Hulk.  Yeah, that’s actually his big plan. Trick The Hulk into beating up his brother.  And it still makes more sense than what happens in this movie as he just happens to have a very convoluted plan to destroy The Avengers.  There’s just one problem: they haven’t been created yet and for sure Thor isn’t a member. It’d be different if Thor was a member and he saw them as a threat, but instead they form basically just to fight him (somewhat like the comic).  It’s what I call “The Indiana Jones Submarine Law”: something utterly stupid in an otherwise great film that you let slide, but would never, ever tolerate in a bad one.  If this movie had failed, there’d be critics lining up to eviscerate this plotline.  Likewise, in The Dark Knight the fact that the third act of the two boats is pretty much exactly the same as the second act with Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Good movie, they let it go.  Bad movie, it gets roasted for its lack of imagination.


Dark Shadows opens at number two and this is the second attempt to bring back the old 70’s soap opera (there was a series back in ‘91) and it won’t be the last because this is a bust.  Clearly it’s not a coincidence that Nathan Frid, the man who played the original Barnabas Collins died two weeks ago.  He must have attended an advanced screening (he’s here in a tiny cameo).  Granted, it was somewhat inspired to just embrace the ridiculous nature of a soap opera with a freaking vampire at its center, but they stupidly abandon that stroke of genius and instead make a movie whose sole source of comedy is the fact that Johnny Depp doesn’t understand the modern world.  Seriously, that’s it.  For this you needed to dig up Dark Shadows?  Both Depp and Burton go to the well one too many times thinking that Johnny Depp acting weird in make-up is enough to carry a movie and honestly now that I think about it, when isn’t he doing that?  Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeny Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka…and every single one of them made money.  Know what didn’t?  Public Enemies and The Rum Diaries.  Clearly a lack of greasepaint isn’t going to buy new houses in France.  Another problem is that the story at its heart is dark, sad and sinister and if you want to go funny it has to be a dark funny. After all, we get not one but two scenes of Johnny Depp slaughtering groups of innocent people.  The best they can do is have him lamenting killing the “unshaven young people.”  And there’s a third act reveal about a character that’s being done better and funnier weekly on MTV, which is sad. On the upside, I despise Tim Burton and enjoy his each and every failure.


Think Like a Man drops one notch to number three and also in this is Gabrielle Union and recently there was an article about how Kate Hudson was trapped in bad romantic comedies.  I’m sure Gabrielle Union knows how she feels, because instead of being the “Sassy Black Friend” to Kate Hudson, she has instead chosen to rule in hell and be the lead in her own series of bad Black romantic comedies, such as Deliver Us From Eva, Two Can Play That Game, Breakin’ All The Rules and The Brothers, three of which co-star Morris Chestnut which I guess makes him her Matthew McConughey.


The Hunger Games is down to number four, followed by The Lucky One at number five and Pirates: Band of Misfits at number six.


The Five Year Engagement is down to number seven and I’d love to say this combined with the failure of Jeff Who Lives A Home is the beginning of the end of Jason Segel as a leading man, but given more movie execs look like him than Ryans Reynold or Gosling, he’s unfortunately going to be paired with women much too hot for him for a few years to come.


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel actually enters the top ten at number eight letting you know what all those old people who had no interest in superheroes, young people killing each other or Black people in general were doing with their time. This is about a “who’s who” of British acting retiring to a rest home in India.  Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Dame Maggie Smith and a half-dozen recognizable character actors are all on hand and honestly if not for the overly clichéd nature of the film (it’s advertised as a perfect resort, is actually a tad rundown, but the young good hearted administrator helps show them it is in fact a wonderful place to spend one’s golden years) it’s a very tempting ensemble.  I’m glad it’s making a little change, but pity poor Dev Patel who hasn’t managed to parlay the success of Slumdog Millionaire into anything beyond playing somewhat stereotypical Indians (he’s as British as the rest of the cast).  Frida Pinto has done a little better, but white guys in Hollywood want to bone her so she’s got an advantage.


Chimpanzee holds at number nine and opening at number ten is Girl in Progress and with all the talk about Black people and their place in film, little is said about Latinos. I guess the case can be made, it’s because there is a Spanish cinema outside of the US, but we’re talking about Americans of Latino descent.  Movies that are wholly American only the more prominent characters are Spanish.  This is one such film and honestly it’s a movie you’ve seen before.  Young mom who hasn’t grown up is facing that her teen daughter is growing up and has to become a parent before it’s too late. Unfortunately, that’s part of the problem. If you didn’t watch this when it was called Gilmore Girls or a half-dozen other similar Lifetime movies, you’re not gonna watch it now just because Eva Mendes is the smoking hot, immature mom.  In fact, now that I think of it, this probably would have been a better show than movie.  This will do well when it finally airs on Lifetime.


The summer TV season is starting to kick into gear and first up is Common Law on USA. Now, USA shows come in two categories: smart and funny or stupid and fluffy.  In the smart category are Necessary Roughness, Burn Notice, White Collar and In Plain Sight. In the equally successful stupid and fluffy category are Covert Affairs, Fairly Legal, Suits and Royal Pains. The difference being the former is somewhat grounded in reality.  Necessary Roughness is based on real doctor’s techniques.  In Plain Sight follows the rules of Witness Relocation Program.  Even Burn Notice has technical advice from a former spy.  The others exist solely in fantasy world, like  Covert Affairs where the Deputy Director of a fictional Domestic Operating CIA arm (it’s illegal for the CIA to operate on US soil) comes to work dressed like she’s going to a club.  Common Law isn’t just stupid and fluffy, it’s extremely stupid and fluffy.  It stars  Michael Ealy who has been bubbling around for a few years now as potentially the “New Hot Black Dude” having been picked by none other than Halle Berry and Oprah to be Halle’s love interest in the TV movie “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”  He’s been slowly gaining prominence having done double duty last year as the new partner on The Good Wife and the new boyfriend of David Duchovny’s baby mama on Californication.  Right now he’s in Think Like a Man so the airing of this show couldn’t be timelier.  He’s one half of a detective team and like all TV detective parings they bicker like an old married couple except in this case they’ve been sent to actual couples counseling where, ha-ha-ha, the other couples think they’re a gay couple.  Seriously, this is the premise of the show. It’s so dumb that in one meta-textual moment a character is told about this and she can’t believe it’s true either.  Also like most TV detectives they’re an odd couple with Ealy as the “Oscar” in his boots, henley, jeans and leather jacket and his Generically Handsome Blonde Partner is the “Felix” in a suit, but no tie.  He somewhat resembles Daniel Craig so clearly they’ve opted to dress him continually like Craig.  We also learn that Ealy was raised in foster care, meaning Generically Handsome Blonde probably comes from a perfect Norman Rockwell home.  But I’m just guessing here, based only on years of television and movies. I’m sure there’s a chance they’ll go another way (place your bets here, suckers…).  And the cop show clichés are non-stop.  The frustrated, crusty captain who never stops complaining about them being trouble he’s not forever repeating how they’re the best detectives he has. All the women who work at the police station are hot and have all dated Michael Ealy.  Not Daniel Craig Blonde Partner is divorced but he and his hot wife are clearly still in love.  There are a pair of dumb rival detectives, the DA is a tall, cold blonde…it’s endless.  But the stupidity of the show can be summed up when Ealy shoots an inflatable display outside of a car dealership because he doesn’t like it.  That is so detached from reality he might as well have a robot partner.  Did the plastic display stop bullets? Because otherwise HE JUST FIRED INTO THE STREET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!  Now, no one is looking for Homicide on an action cop show on Friday night, but is it too much to ask that your intelligence not be insulted?  Modern Family is a show filled with clichés but is it stupid and insulting?  No.  But again this is the network of Fairly Legal where people basically ask for it. The only hope is that pilots can be vastly different from following episodes (check out the first Seinfeld episode).  Once people get the job they ease up on the gas and their work matures.  But again on the other hand some pilots are better than the series because honestly they have no follow through.  Check out Smash. Or better yet, don’t.


Death has been on a rampage recently.  Aside from the aforementioned Jonathan Frid, a part of my youth died with Adam Yauch, aka MCA.  Poor Junior Seau succeeded on his second suicide attempt.  Ben Gazzara was making indie films with John Cassavetes before they even had a name died.  Dick Clark proved he sadly was not an immortal.  Levon Helm of The Band who did the classic vocals on “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down died.  George Lindsey aka “Goober” passed, Davy Jones of The Monkees, Robert Hegyes of Welcome Back, Kotter and the great car designer Carroll Shelby also all died.  Death clearly wanted some def lyrics, cutting edge film, rich singing and some bad ass cars.