It's a SemiDaily list!
Like Aladdin, I like to stay one step ahead of the competition (and I do a pretty good job of staying at least 6 days ahead of what others are thinking.) And the "competition" in entertainment nowadays is (a) people making movies inspired by really ridiculous things, and (b) movies about food, and (c) actors proving they are jerks and ruining movies by playing multiple roles in them, and (d) complaining about "summer movies" while writing "summer movies."
On that last one: A week or two ago, "Diablo Cody" made a couple of supposedly-hip/retro throwaway references to the 80s ( drink one) en route to saying most summer movies were a waste of time. Now, she's got a horror movie coming out on September 18th, which according to astronomers (but not me) is still a part of summer. So I was confused. I guess, for her purposes, it's not a "summer movie" for some reason, because if it was a summer movie, then "Diablo Cody" would be trying to convince you not to see it.
Or maybe it's that "Diablo Cody's" summer movie is totally different than other summer movies. After all, her movie is a horror movie, which is totally different than all the summer movies of the past three years. Except for "The Strangers" and "Mirrors" and "The Happening" and "Drag Me To Hell" and "H2" and "Final Destination 3D" and "Bug" and "Hostel Part II" and "Rob Zombie's Halloween," all of which got released in the summer (of 2007, 2008 and 2009).
Hmmm. I guess what "Diablo Cody" is trying to say is that all summer movies are crappy, except that if it's a movie about a high schooler who's some kind of demon and it gets released on September 18, well, that's totally cool and Popsicle-rific and not at all like all those summer movies that she hates.
Or, to put it in Diablo Cody Speak: "Hey, remember "Diff'rent Strokes? Wasn't that totally retro that I said that? Todd Bridges! Before you spaz-a-matic on me, remember to watch all my movies. All two of them. Plus that stupid show I keep plugging."
Anyway, the competition for movie entertainment is fierce these days, as entertainment executives plan movies based on Legos, and as people begin hyping the latest hot trend, movies with some kind of food in them. There is also, as I said, the constant undercurrent of "Actors Who Wreck Movies By Egotistically Playing More Than One Role In Them," the latest installment of which will be, apparently, a whole 'nother version of "A Christmas Carol" this time starring Jim Carrey (is he still a thing?) in multiple roles.
Why do directors and actors do that? Is there a shortage of actors and actresses that has been downplayed in the press for fear of sparking a panic? Is there some need to have performances become less engaging and less believable in the movies, like maybe because if the actors gave good, believable performances we'd all give up on our own families and friends and just sit in the theater trying to interact with the images on the screen?
Having an actor play more than one role in the movie -- even if that role is twins -- is stupid. It's a trick that has no cinematic or storytelling purpose other than to say "Look what I can do!" But in a world where we can have Stop Motion action figures on TV 5 times a week and computers can make it seem like everything in the world has blown up, do we need to know that Jim Carrey can stand in front of a green screen, hold up a cup and say "God Bless Us..." and then they can turn off the cameras quick and Jim Carrey can switch positions and go stand on the right side of the screen, raise his hand, and say "Every..." and then they can turn off the cameras again and he can go back to the other side and say "One!" after which we'll all file out of the theater thinking "Isn't there some other story about Christmas that could be told?"
So having one actor play multiple parts is stupid. And movies "based on" inanimate objects like Legos are stupid. And movies about food, many many of which will be made in the next few months because there has now been one good movie about food, which Hollywood executives will take as a sign that "People want to see movies about food!", movies about food are stupid, too.
All of which means nothing, as Hollywood is stupid, too, as I've learned (and mentioned before.) I'm not even trying to fight it anymore. I'm just trying to cash in, and cash in I will, with The Best Foods That Should Be Made Into Movies In Which One Actor Plays All The Parts.
By the way, every one of these will be released in the summer.
By the way-er, I've decided to throw into each an homage to the Greatest Screenwriter of Our Generation. See if you can catch it!
1. Cadbury Creme Eggs.
The Movie's Plot: The movie opens on a shopping mall in which shoppers mill about somewhat aimlessly and drudgically. (It's a word!) The outfits are nondescript mixtures of 1930s/1950s/modern. The world, we learn, is mired in an economic and political slump, a slump so bad that people have forgotten how to smile and laugh, and, equally as bad, one that has somehow stopped the changing of the seasons, trapping the world in a kind of forever-not-one-season-or-the-other gray era that the people who live in it have taken to calling "Glum." No snow, no sun, no rain... just tedium and sometimes a sort-of-precipitation that resembles leftover egg rolls. All is tedium until a local baker (Jason Priestley) creates a new kind of candy, a chocolate egg with "real-looking" egg nougat in it. Jason makes this candy simply as a treat for his daughter (also Jason Priestley) who loves eggs. (Just go with it, okay?). But to his surprise, when she bites into it, she not only smiles again, but where she goes, grass blooms and flowers appear. Jason begins making more of the eggs and handing them out to people, and the effect begins to spread. That's when Jason learns that Glum has been the secret plan of a cabal of industrialists (all played by Jason Priestley) who have used the resultant malaise to peddle their mediocre TV shows and movies and books, and with the spread of happiness and joy and neat candy and weather, nobody wants to buy their stuff or sit in their houses gloomily staring at TVs anymore: they want to get outside and do stuff as the first spring in decades begins to arrive.
Will small town baker Jason Priestley (and his sideburns) be able to stand up against their machinations and return the world to the kind of quality entertainment they want... and smiles?
The Pitch: Willy Wonka in The Greatest Story Ever Told.
The movie tagline: This Summer, Break Open A Little Smile.
2. Hot Pockets.
The Movie's Plot: Jim (Jim Gaffigan, for obvious reasons) has been down on his luck lately. One day he finds out that developers (Jim Gaffigan) are tearing down his apartment building in Las Vegas to build a new "Las Vegas" themed casino (It'll be a miniature version of Las Vegas and have miniature versions of all the other casinos in it, including a miniature version of New York New York...). That same day, he loses his job at the clothing company where he worked when his boss (Jim Gaffigan) took credit for a project Jim had developed, making it appear as though Jim (the worker) had been doing nothing for years. At least he's got his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston, in a cameo) to cling to -- but when she dumps him, Jim does the only thing he can do: He steals the pair of pants he developed and goes out for one last night on the town before moving back home to his parent's house, where he plays second fiddle to his stepmother's unexplained love of her dachsunds.
But when he heads out that night, he discovers something about his new/stolen pants: whatever he needs at the moment is right in the pocket, something Jim realizes when he's walking down the street and gets hungry -- only to pull a Dougnut Ham Hamburger out of his pocket (followed by a large soda.) Before long, Jim is off on a hijinks-filled night, pulling roses, magic dice and more from his Hot Pockets (get it?) to score big at the roulette tables and impress the visiting starlet at the next seat. Will Jim's Hot Pockets make him happy? Or will he realize that real happiness comes from deeper within him?
The Pitch: If you liked "The Hangover," and like Hot Pockets, this movie will hit you dead center.
The Tagline: This summer, Jim Has The Whole World In His Pockets... But, Yes, He's Also Happy To See You.
3. Ben & Jerry's Wavy Gravy Ice Cream.
The Movie Plot: A couple of Generation Xers (Gerard Butler; one of him has a shaved head, the other has long hair. Amazing!) sit around their offices reflecting on how they've duped Baby Boomers into buying their ice cream by marketing it as a throwback to the crazy sixties, and how overrated the Sixties really were, and how dumb Baby Boomers are for thinking the Sixties were great even though they didn't have things like hamburger phones. To their surprise, though, as they're driving home their totally-21st-century car to their totally-21st-century homes, they get engulfed in a crazy kind of fog and get lost... only to end up driving into the Sixties! After almost hitting Wavy Gravy (Gerard Butler, now aged! Awesome!), they let him hitch a ride with them to (you guessed it) Woodstock, where they take part in the most glorious three days humanity has ever lived through, three days that had more of an impact on the world than Christianity, World War II and penicillin combined. One of the Gerards, after being invited backstage by Jimi Hendrix (played by Gerard Butler -- it's phenomenal) is inspired by the best music ever recorded, music that is clearly heads and shoulders over all other music ever made by humanity combined, to give up his career in ice cream billionairism, while the other Gerard falls in love with a hippie girl (Gerard Butler again! Wacky!) who makes him promise to give up materialism.
Soon, though, the two Gerards must go back to the present, where their sadness over the loss of that carefree time is tempered by their realization that they can still embody those values they learned from Wavy and the others -- and they do: from then on, the guys show their love and philanthropy and carry the torch for their generation by at their discretion donating up to 7.5% maximum of their pre-tax profits, and by creating a kick-ass CD of sixties' music to sell at their retail locations.
The pitch: This thing sells itself. Plus, we could have like forty different soundtracks.
The tagline: One summer, the Sixties changed the world. This summer, they'll do it again!
The Movie Plot: Did you know there's controversy over who invented the hamburger, and when? It's true! And that's exactly what Maxine (Megan Fox, in a totally-girl-empowering role) learns when she struggles to find a way to improve the fortunes of the burger joint started by her great-grandmother (Megan Fox, in flashbacks) when she first emigrated to little Seymour, Wisconsin, from Hamburg, Germany. Maxine decides that she's going to prove her grandmother invented the hamburger and draw attention to her proof by making the world's largest hamburger and setting a new world record. But Maxine struggles to do this on her own, with flop after flop, and so she must, one at a time, bring in others: her fiance (Megan Fox), the town's crazy psychic lady (Megan Fox) and eventually the World's Record Certifier herself (Megan Fox) -- who reveals that she's only helping because she's fallen in love with Megan, leading to the first-ever onscreen girl-kissing-herself- scene. Top that, Hollywood! Oh, and lessons are learned and people are quirky and stuff.
The Pitch: Did you hear me? Megan Fox Kisses Megan Fox!
The Tagline: This Summer, Maxine Likes 'Em Big
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Here's a real Christmas movie for you. The Best One, in fact.