Saturday, June 30, 2012
Adam Sandler used to make some good, funny, movies. Remember The Wedding Singer (1996), 50 First Dates (2004), Happy Gilmore (1996) and Billy Madison (1995)? I even liked some of his serious roles such as Punch Drunk Love (2002) and especially Reign Over Me (2007). So, he has shown that he can do comedic roles as well as serious parts. He's not an untalented guy. He had some funny roles on Saturday Night Live, especially when working with people like Chris Farley and David Spade. But, too often he has made awful movies that fall short of being funny, they are just stupid. These include projects like Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds and Anger Management. The last film I saw with him was Funny People, which despite the title, was not all that funny. So many of his films seem to be aimed at the sense of humor of a junior high boy. I have no problem with sophomoric humor. I loved movies like Superbad and Step Brothers. They are childish, but funny. I didn't even bother seeing Grown Ups, Jack and Jill or That's My Boy. He has been typecast to such a degree that the silly, crazy comedies are all that he can do, and even those are a disappointment at the box office sometimes. Also, many of his work seems to be focused around creating projects for his SNL buddies like Rob Schneider and David Spade.
*Some information from imdb.com.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Generation X TV fans will recall Arsenio Hall's high energy late night talk show which aired from 1989 to 1994. His show was a hit with young and urban viewers who had abandoned Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, which went off the air in 1992. Some may recall that Arsenio's show was a threat to Carson's ratings dominance. Saturday Night Live actually did a hilarious skit where Johnny Carson tried to emulate Arsenio by renaming his show "Carsenio". Dana Carvey played Carson, with a flat top haircut and lots of Arsenio-like fist pumping, and Phil Hartman was spot-on as Ed McMahon. Carvey had a group of rowdy audience members patterned after Arsenio's "dog pound". In 2013, Arsenio will return to late night TV hosting a show that will be distributed by Tribune Co. and CBS Television Distribution. Hall has taken a break from the spotlight to focus on being a father. Recently he was back in the news again after winning Donald Trump's NBC reality show, The Apprentice. We'll see how he does in the crowded universe of late night TV. I always liked his energy and enthusiasm. When Bill Clinton played his sax on the show in 1992, people said it was a key factor to Clinton's crafting of his image to reach a wider audience.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Mad Men has some of the finest writing, acting and visual elements of any show on television. It looks at the world of New York advertising in the 1960s. The AMC network has capitalized on the success of that show by releasing a reality show called The Pitch. Advertising is a cut-throat industry where only the strong (and most creative) survive. The Pitch looks at how two competing ad agencies go head-to-head to try and win the account of a client. The show is from the creators of Undercover Boss, and these programs have some similarities. The one that is most noticeable is the product placement. In this age of dwindling TV ratings and people skipping commercials through the use of the DVR, this is becoming more common. The show is promotion for the product as well as the competing agencies. I like the show since it reveals the behind-the-scenes brainstorming sessions and the formulation of ad campaigns. Some episodes I have watched had agencies making their pitch to executives from Subway, Pop Chips, Waste Management and Marriott's Autograph Collection hotels.
Find out more about the show here: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-pitch