Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Schwartz Fall Entertainment Preview

Every once in a while I'll get texts or various other forms of electronic communication from friends asking me if there is anything good on TV or coming out in movies. Why? Because, I, for some reason, give two craps about this stuff. I am not sure why, I probably watch way too much TV and see too many movies. I also have this uncanny ability to remember when stuff premieres. Even if I see a commercial for some God-awful TV show, I remember it. That reminds me, the series premiere of Nikita is on the CW tomorrow. Yeah that's right, the CW is still in business and going strong!

Anyway, why the sudden change from sports to entertainment for a column? Well, that is a simple answer, reader who does not exist. It is the Fall entertainment season, when Hollywood mass-produces pilots and Oscar bait for the anticipating viewers. In the Fall, shows new and old return back to TV, coinciding with the student's return to school. It is always good to have something distract you. On the movie side, studios begin pumping out Oscar-bait and dramatic snoozers, much to everyone's pleasure. I needed to give my Attic Fan approved preview (trademark) for this season, so you can semi-consciously coast through the fall season.

We are going to call these previews "The Schwartz Entertainment Preview" from now on. It is called that because one of my friends, Billy, is the one who probably asks me the most for future viewing advice. He also has seen every episode of Scrubs twelve times. The problem with Billy is that he says his favorite movie of all time is Friday Night Lights, and the funniest movie of all-time is Talladega Nights. That's wrong. So that is why this preview was created, to help viewers out there like Billy stray away from mind-numbing crap. (I like Talladega Nights, but come on, funniest movie of all-time? Let's show some cultural sophistication, Billy. My favorite comedy is Anchorman.)

Let's Start with the Fall Movies.

Sept. 17- The Town

This is given my Attic Fan stamp of approval for most anticipated movie of the Fall. Pretty depressing that it is in the first three weeks of the fall entertainment season, though. This movie is directed by Ben Affleck and stars Affleck, the guy from The Hurt Locker, Don Draper, and Blake Lively. The trailers and now omnipresent commercials look great, and this story about a bank robbery in Boston seems riveting. There, I said it, riveting.

Back to Affleck for a moment. Is there any other movie star out who begs to be loved and thinks he is loved more than Affleck? I mean, Matt Damon has moved on since Good Will Hunting, he would have done The Departed had it been set in North Dakota since he got to work with Martin Scorsese. Affleck seems to make these incessant Boston movies, and appears constantly at Red Sox games, and appears to begs for the love and admiration of his hometown more than any other movie star out there.

Sept. 24- Wall Street 2, Buried

I am not really interested in Wall Street 2. It is the not-so-highly demanded sequel to 1987's original Wall Street, something people weren't exactly begging to see again. I've seen its trailer about seventeen times this summer, since it appears before every movie. I also know that Shia LeBeouf is in it, and he is a jackass.

Buried, on the other hand, looks really good. It is Ryan Reynolds of all people, stuck underground, buried alive. All he has is a few random objects with him, and that is it. I am not sure how the producers will be able to stretch it out for a full 90 minutes, though. Maybe it will only be an hour long, like Dumbo. Or Jonah Hex. (Jonah Hex was a movie that premiered this summer starring Megan Fox and Josh Brolin, which was 82 minutes long and 45 people saw.)

Oct. 1- The Social Network

The trailer for this looks dark and more interesting than the movie will actually be. Let's be honest, how good can this movie about Facebook possibly be? Also, there is the reality that this story may have never actually happened, and was all just fabricated. But I love a movie where Justin Timberlake is it. Timberlake is one of the funniest non-comedians out there, just look up his "Bring it On Down to Omleteville" sketch on Saturday Night Live, where he dresses up as a giant omelet. The Social Network is getting a lot of buzz, although I feel as if it will be a colossal letdown.

October 15- Jackass 3D

This movie won't be winning any awards, but it will win my heart. The thing about Jackass movies, is that they make a buttload of money. And the good one about this one is, it was shot with actual 3D cameras, instead of the 3D being digitally added at the last second, like in Clash of the Titans. I am sure James Cameron will be stoked to see his technology used for stuff like this. He was beyond furious when Piranha 3D was in 3D, so I am sure he'll feel the same way for Jackass.

Also, do you think Steve-O will be as good now that he is no longer drinking 12 beers a day and doing coke in between each stunt? Judging from the stunt in the trailer where he is slingshotted while in a port-a-potty, I think the answer is yes.

October 22- Paranormal Activity 2, Hereafter

I loved the original Paranormal. People were crying in the theater at the end of the movie, they were so scared. But I feel like this one has a Blair Witch 2 vibe going for it. The script was probably written in about 2 hours, and you have one of the Saw directors directing it. This does not sound good.

Is it smart for Paranormal Activity 2: Electric Bugaloo to be going up against what is being called Clint Eastwood's version of The Sixth Sense? A movie that stars Matt Damon? This movie is about three different people coping with deaths and Damon can communicate with the dead. One will be in Oscar contention, the other in Razzie contention.

November 5- Due Date

Todd Phillips, director of Old School and The Hangover (and probably the best comedy director not named Judd Apatow out there), directs another cross-country adventure with Robert Downey and Zach Galifianakis trying to get Downey in time for the birth of his child. Looks pretty funny, and the audience reaction to the trailer at Inception was full of people barrelling over into the aisles with laughter. My only concern is that people will feel that Galifianakis is over-exposed, and grow tired of his shtick. Kind of the way Will Ferrell was over-exposed from 2006-2009, only to make a comeback with this year's The Other Guys. But Phillips is one of the great comedic directors, and should be able to get something other than the usual out of Galifianakis.

Nov. 12- Megamind

A movie starring Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell? Holla! The only problem is that it is an animated kids movie, and no self-respecting adult can really go there without bringing a child. Will Ferrell is "Megamind" a villain who is the main character. Sounds like Despicable Me, a movie I am sure all my 12 readers saw.

Nov. 19- Harry Potter 7 Part I

I've read all the Harry Potter books (Fun fact about me #76) but I have only seen about 3 of the movies. Why? They take two and a half hours telling a story that I already know the ending to. That being said, I am excited for this one just because it is the final chapter in the Harry Potter epic. I am surprised that this has not been getting Oscar buzz. Usual the Harry Potter films are well-told and well-acted and get good reviews. Usually when a classic saga drawing to a close (Think Lord of the Rings, heck, even Godfather 3 got a Best Picture nod somehow), they are given respect.

Dec. 10- The Fighter

A movie that has Mark Wahlberg playing a boxer whose nickname is just "Irish". That alone makes me want to see it.

Dec. 17- Tron, How Do You Know?, Yogi Bear

This day has three movies coming out. Tron is yet another 80's movie being remade with no real demand for it. How Do You Know is written and directed by James L. Brooks and focuses on a love triangle between Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson (Who plays a relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals. Will he throw like a girl or a guy is probably the biggest question of the film.) And they made a movie version of Yogi Bear, for some reason.

Winter begins on December 21st this year, so all movies afterwards are eliminated.


TV Preview

We are going to break this TV Preview down into two sections. New and returning shows, and we'll start with the returning shows. Hooray! (Keep in mind that these are just shows I care about. I don't know or care when CSI is returning, you'll have to look that up for yourself).

Sept. 15- Survivor Nicaragua

Jimmie Johnson is on the show. My guess is that Johnson will be like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, in that he will be made fun of and almost eaten a few times. But he won't have anything of meaning to say.

Sept. 16- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

My vote for funniest current show on TV, just ahead of Modern Family and 30 Rock.

Sept. 22- Modern Family

Emmy winner for Best Comedy, but that does not matter since the Golden Globes said Glee was. (Spoiler Alert: No one cares about the Emmys) Damn you Golden Globes!

Sept. 23- 30 Rock

This show seems to be losing steam in the public eye, which is not good for a show that barely gets anyone to watch it in the first place. Me, I still love it, and love whenever Tracy Morgan is on screen. "Interesting. And I've got to win an Oscar somehow. It's either this or submit that animated film I drew about the Holocaust." Ha! Classic.

Sept. 25- Saturday Night Live

Let's be honest, if this show went off the air, would anyone notice? This cast now is subpar at best, and it relies on guests hosts way too much. I still watch it, but only if there is a decent guest host, because I know that they will appear in 90% of the sketches.

Sept. 26- The Simpsons, Eastbound & Down

That's right, I still watch The Simpsons! At least the first couple episodes of every new season, anyway. Then I get caught up in some episode that may or may not have aired during Season 4 and realize the new episodes are all crap.

Eastbound and Down is funny. Not that funny, but it's funny enough to keep my attention for 26 minutes.

New Shows.

The new shows can always be categorized into seven sections.

1) Shows that will be award winners- (Boardwalk Empire, HBO)

2) Shows that will be good, but will be cancelled within 5 weeks (Lone Star, FOX)

3) Remakes or Spin-Offs (Hawaii Five-O, CBS. Law & Order: Los Angeles, NBC)

4) Moderately Entertaining Shows, but nothing special (No Ordinary Family, ABC)

5) Lost Rip-Offs (The Event, NBC)

6) Crime Dramas that Everyone Likes But Me (Detroit 1-8-7, ABC)

7) Are they Making this Show Just to Piss Me Off? (S$%! My Dad Says, The Defenders, CBS)

Oh yeah! There is a football game tomorrow! I have the Saints defeating the Vikings. Come back Friday for my full list of NFL picks. Please.

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