Welcome back Fangirls! It’s time for Part 2 of our Fangirls Fall Guide, which has been lovingly brought to you by yours truly, and my brilliant budding memoirist / blogging pal / fellow Fangirl Extraordinaire, Amy at Imaginary Men.Net. If you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, please check out Part 1, our Television Edition first. Then, come on back, because it’s time to talk movies!
Movie you should see: Earlier this year I saw the trailer for Sing Street in theaters a few times. Each time I would think, “This movie looks made for me! 80s music!Ireland!Cute boys in bands wearing eyeliner!” But for some reason I wasn’t interested and I couldn’t figure out why. Thankfully I ignored myself and watched it on DVD recently and let me tell you, it is delightful. Written and directed by John Carney who did Once (a favorite of mine) it hits all the right nostalgia buttons: teenage crushes and heartbreaks, discovering yourself and defining who you are, losing yourself in music and the connections you make through songs. I flat out loved it and the soundtrack is something that I would have owned in the 80s and will keep you humming the tunes long after the movie is over. Available: iTunes, Amazon, DVD
Movie I’m excited for: Allied. My Girl Crush Marion Cotillard? I’m in. Brad Pitt being dashing? SOLD! But then the trailer came out and it was the first time in a long time that I watched a trailer and got swept away. I watched it several more times. Maybe it was the epicness of it – love and war, intrigue and danger all set in WWII and the post-war era, two movie eras that I adore. It looks pretty grand and it has actual capital M, capital S Movie Stars and there are no damn superheroes to be seen. Pretty people + Gorgeous costumes + War time dangers + Romance + Hot car make-outs in sandstorms = my butt in the theater on opening night! Opening: November 23.
Movie you should see:The Lobster. I’m just going to come right out and say it. This movie is weird. And it’s definitely not for everybody. But it’s the one “new” movie that really stood out for me in 2016, not to mention the one that’s sparked the most conversation amongst my friends and family after viewing. As a terminally single person, who just plain sucks at relationships, you could bet that I would long ago have been turned into an animal in the fictional world that embodies this film. (I’d choose a cat naturally. I know it’s not the most creative answer, but I happen to think I have a lot of cat-like tendencies.)
The Lobster has plenty of interesting things to say about the way that society pressures us to couple, and looks down upon and/or often vilifies single people. (That episode of Sex and the City, Bay of Married Pigs, comes immediately to mind.) But it’s not all one sided. “The Loners” in this story don’t come off so hot either. Though, to be honest, I’m less certain about what the writers are trying to say about . . . well . . . me. Hence, my endless discussions about the film with family and friends.
Apart from being an interesting social commentary, The Lobster is funny, quirky, and just flat out different than anything I’ve ever seen before. Seeing as we are living in a world that turns out cookie-cutter films like the assembly line at Chips Ahoy, that’s saying something. Available: iTunes, Amazon, DVD
Movie I’m excited for: The Edge of Seventeen. I’ve always been a sucker for a good coming-of-age tale, probably because my level of maturity is irrevocably about on par with most sixteen year olds. Not that there’s anything entirely new or different on the surface, about the story of an awkward, wise-cracking, but intensely intelligent, girl on the outer fringes of the high school social order, trying to survive the sometimes unforgiving, and often ridiculous, world of adolescence. But this trailer made me smile. Plus, it reminded me of my own best friend from high school, who remains one of my favorite people in the world. Also, Hailee Steinfeld just seems so darn likeable here. How can you not root for her? Opening: November 18th
We hope you have your iPod / Spotify playlist ready because next up — Music!
This past Friday, IGN Entertainment released THIS trailer, to promote an upcoming television series, based on the popular, and EXTREMELY profitable, Harry Potter book and film franchise . . .
Of course, if you recall, this past Friday was also April Fools’ Day. And the above – trailer for the new FX series, The Aurors, set to premiere this summer, ended up being a FAKE (not to mention a Big Fat F-YOU to Wizard Lovers, EVERYWHERE)!
And yet, you have to admit, if a series like this actually DID air on FX, there’s a good chance it would be fairly successful. After all, The Aurors, has all the ingredients for a television ratings darling, including:
(1) an allegiance to the Harry Potter brand, and the massive geek-chic cult following that comes along with it;
“When I wave my magic wand, millions of dollars in advertising revenue will appear, right before your VERY EYES!”
(2) a savvy nod to the world’s current obsession with All Things Supernatural;
(3) action adventure; and
Might I suggest some prune juice, Harry. I hear it helps with your . . . condition.
(4) that Crime Procedural Mumbo Jumbo, which tends to bore the STUFFING out of me, but seems to be genuinely popular among most of the American viewing public (as evidenced by the success of the 85,000 versions of Law and Order and CSI currently clogging our television sets).
Don’t shoot! I swear, I didn’t mean it!
This got me to thinking about other popular films that have the potential to make the transition from the Big Screen to Your Screen. And so, without further adieu, here are my top five picks (in no particular order) for movies I’d like to see take that oh-so-dangerous small-screen leap . . .
I don’t think I’ve ever had as many in-depth, and complicated, conversations about a film, as I have had about this psychological action thriller. The idea of being able to enter people’s dreams, and by doing so, altering their perception of reality, is just so inherently intriguing and ripe for discussion. And for a television show revolving around a crack team of insanely attractive and ridiculously well-dressed, “dream engineers” — hired to basically control people’s minds from the inside-out — the possibilities are literally endless.
Episodes can revolve around a different “dream hijacking” each week, or can slowly unravel an extensive “dream heist” throughout the course of the season. Of course, at the show’s core would be the brilliant, but deeply troubled, Dream Makers, each of whom has their own extensive backstory, as well as specific, but complicated, rationalizations for choosing this, admittedly morally ambiguous, career path.
Speaking of morally ambiguous career paths . . .
2) The Town
Back in September, I fell in love with a film about a small town called Charlestown, Massachusetts, where children were raised to be bank robbers, con artists, and criminals, with the same intensity and efficiency that other towns invest in growing bankers, doctors, and lawyers. Everybody loves a “brooding bad boy with a good heart” (especially when he takes his shirt off often). And The Town had a whole cast of both Brooding Bad Boys and Hard-Nosed, but still hot, Cops to love. Most notably, it had THIS GUY . . .
Oh, yeah! That’s Ben Affleck! And, upon seeing this picture, I totally took back, all those jokes I made about that awful Gigli movie. Because THIS guy could ABSOLUTELY kick my ass! Let’s find a “kinder, gentler” picture. Shall we?
And THIS guy . . .
A television series based on The Town would boast an extremely unique location, the likes of which has never before been depicted on television. It would also undoubtedly feature a cast of scorching hot twenty and early-thirty somethings, each with their own idiosyncrasies, family dramas, romantic subplots etc. And of course, the crime capers depicted in each episode would put the ones in those Ocean’s Eleven movies to SHAME!
Speaking of Ocean’s Eleven (and one of it’s stars, i.e. Matt Damon) . . .
3) The Adjustment Bureau
Ever wonder if the Universe has a specific plan in store for you? The Adjustment Bureau was a romantic drama / action flick that dealt with the question of “fate” and “circumstance” in a way that absolutely caters to the self-absorbed and egocentric world in which we live.
Yes, Joe and Jane Average Citizen, SOMEONE “up there” has BIG PLANS for YOU . . . and for your life. In fact, you can find those plans in a BOOK, filled with multi-colored SQUIGGLY LINES that resemble those mazes they put on the back of Happy Meals at McDonalds. (Those of you who saw the movie, know what I mean by this . . .)
Not only that, the world is crawling with Cute Men in Funny Little Hats who’s LIFE’S MISSION is to make sure that YOU reach your destiny . . .
And there’s a good chance that one of those “Cute Men in Funny Little Hats” probably looks a lot like Roger Sterling from Mad Men.
Because all of us like to believe we were put on this earth for a “reason,” and because we all find the idea of Cute Men in Funny Little Hats chasing us around the City all day, monitoring our every move, oddly appealing (or mildly creepy, whichever you prefer), a television series revolving around the titular Adjustment Bureau would likely be a fun-filled hour of escapist fantasy for the masses.
Like the Inception series suggested above, The Adjustment Bureau series would work well as either a serial drama, in which a different “guest star’s” fate was adjusted each week, or a long-running storyline, in which the future of a particularly Important Person (like the politician Matt Damon played in the film) is systematically modified in every episode to achieve a specific goal.
High concept mind benders, philosophical discussions, and crime capers aren’t your thing? Fear not! I have two more prospective television series ideas that might be more to your liking . . .
This past summer, I rented this fun coming-of-adulthood “period piece” (The film took place in 1987.) about a recent-college grad, (played by The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg) who, without any immediate prospects for his future, was forced to take a summer job at a small-town amusement park. Working the “ring toss” with Jesse, was none other than Twilight’s Kristen Stewart (playing a character who kind of, but not exactly, resembled Bella Swan), and 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive, himself, Ryan Reynolds . . .
Yes, I DO find every excuse to put pictures of hot, half-naked men in my blog. Thank you for noticing!
In addition to having an all-star cast of up-and-coming actors, intriguing characters, and some stellar script writing to its credit, Adventureland boasted a refreshingly fun sense of time and place.
As an 80’s baby, who spent most of the decade clad in Care Bears underwear, I’ve always been a bit jealous of those folks who actually got to experience this admittedly awesome decade as teenagers, and early 20-somethings. From the killer music, to the amazing made-for-teen movies (John Hughes anyone?), to the care free days spent making out and getting high behind the Tilt-a-Whirl at your local theme park, the 80’s just seems like it was a great time to “come of age.”
An Adventureland television series would allow us to do just that! Along with its “youngish” (and indubitably attractive), cast of characters, viewers could “travel back in time” each week, and experience the slings and arrows of early adulthood, all while enjoying a kickass soundtrack, drinking some cheap beer, and riding that old broken down Ferris Wheel for the 25,000th time . . .
At first blush, this one might seem like an odd choice for a television series. After all, half of the fun of watching horror movies, like Scream, is seeing the characters get killed off, one-by-one, in increasingly gruesome (not to mention, patently ridiculous) ways, while trying to figure out who the killer is, right? So, how does that translate to an entire season of small screen viewing, you ask? And I say, how does it NOT?
“Do you like SCARY movies television shows?”
Think about it. What is the BIGGEST, MOST SHOCKING, thing that can ever happen to your favorite television drama? The one thing that’s CERTAIN to get ratings buzz for your favorite program, and ensure that EVERYBODY will be talking about what they saw the next day . . . Of course, I’m referring to the DEATH OF A MAIN CHARACTER. On most shows, this Major Television Viewing Event only happens about once or twice every season (typically, around sweeps week).
But imagine the fun and excitement of MAIN CHARACTER DEATHS (along with “fun” Celebrity Guest Star Cameo Deaths”) occurring EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Nobody is safe! Everyone is a suspect! And everyone is at risk!
The “killer’s identity” would presumably be revealed in the Season Finale. Or, perhaps, the mystery could be carried over into subsequent seasons, with new cast members regularly replacing the “old dead” onces. Sure, it’s a gimic! But look how long they’ve taken to reveal that darn MOTHER on How I Met Your Mother?
OK . . . just keep smiling and pretend you actually know who “The Mother” is . . .
If they can do it, so can WE!
So, there you have it folks, five sure-fire television success stories, based on five popular films. So, which movies would YOU most like to see transition to the small screen?
While getting my daily “news” dosage for the day, I came upon a fun little article in Entertainment Weekly. It was about this game everybody has apparently been playing on Twitter lately, called #lessambitiousmovies. Here’s how you play: (1) Find an “exciting” movie title; (2) change the words around a bit, to make it into a completely mundane (and stupid) one. It’s THAT EASY!
Or is it? You see, I was playing this game with my friends today, when it simultaneously occurred to all of us that most modern day movie titles are already pretty unambitious. This is even the case for genuinely good movies, with decidedly intricate plotlines. Think about it. How could one POSSIBLY further dumb down titles for movies like The Town, Black Swan, Toy Story, Tron and How Do You Know? Is it just me, or does Hollywood need to take a SERIOUS crash course in creativity?
Gee, I wonder what THIS movie is about!
Nevertheless, my friends and I did come up with a few Less Ambitious Movie Title ideas, which I’ve decided to share with you today because there’s been nothing on TV lately, and I have absolutely NOTHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT. What I’ll do is give you a little intel on the original film first, and then share my “New and Improved” Less Ambitious Version. Sound good? OK, here goes . . .
What it was about: A bunch of out of work comedians (most of whom used to be on Saturday Night Live) wear khaki jumpsuits, carry around what look like vacuum cleaners, and suck up goblins and ghouls, on the streets of New York City.
Less Ambitious Version: “Roastbusters”
What it’s about NOW: Ummm . . . vegetarians, maybe?
New and Improved Tagline: “I ain’t afraid of no ROAST!”
2) The Sixth Sense
What it was about: Little Haley Joel Osment sees dead people (SPOILER ALERT: Bruce Willis may be one of them.)
Less Ambitious Version: “The Six Cents”
What it’s about NOW: The pocket change you always have on hand, but are perpetually forgetting to use . . .
New and Improved Tagline: “The heartwarming tale of Nickel and his good pal, Penny (based on a true story).”
3) Die Hard
What it was about: Bruce Willis, again! This time he’s battling terrorists, shooting people, and blowing sh*t up for two hours, all the while making snarky comments, and flexing his muscles to show us how cool he is. (In other words, if you are watching this film, and you are female, you may grow a weiner, as a result . . .)
Less Ambitious Version: “Diet Hard”
What it’s about NOW: Bruce Willis is really cranky, because all he’s eaten all day is a salad and two peanuts. So, he starts blowing sh*t up . . .
New and Improved Tagline: “Twelve extra pounds. One cop. The odds are against John McClane. And he’s STARVING for a donut!”
4) 127 Hours
What it was about: A hiker gets his arm stuck under a rock for 127 HOURS. So, he chops it off . . .
Less Ambitious Version: “127 Seconds”
What it’s about NOW: Do the math. That’s just a little over two minutes. It doesn’t really have time to be about anything. But it WILL star a hot guy . . . because I say so . . . and it’s my movie, dammit!
New and Improved Tagline: “By the time you finish reading this, the movie will be almost over.”
5) Field of Dreams
What it was about: A bunch of dead baseball players (including the voice of Darth Vader) tell Kevin Costner to build a baseball field in his backyard. He does . . .
Less Ambitious Version: “Field of Streams”
What it’s about NOW: Running water, running water, and more running water.
New and Improved Tagline: “This movie is so good, it will make you pee.”
6) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
What it was about: Jim Carey had a bad breakup with Kate Winslet. So, he had her surgically removed from his brain. I’m not kidding . . .
Less Ambitious Version: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Kitchen”
What it’s about NOW: Jim Carey is a compulsive neat freak, who is obsessed with keeping his kitchen clean . . .
New and Improved Tagline: “His floors are so clean, you can eat off them. (But if you do, he’ll KILL YOU!)
7) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)
What it was about: A perky cheerleader battles vampires in her California high school. She also says the word “like” a lot . . .
Less Ambitious Version: “Buffy the Violin Player”
What it’s about NOW: It’s kind of self explanatory. Don’t you think?
New Tagline: “For all the tools who like to get played, and the girls who like to play them . . .”
What it was about: A factory working teen tries to become accepted into a prestigious dance school. She falls in love, in the process (SHOCKER!).
Less Ambitious Version: “Flashy Pants”
What it’s about NOW: Hot pink sparkly pants, and the girls who wear them . . .
New and Improved Tagline: “It’s kind of like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . except without the ‘sisterhood,’ or the ‘traveling.’ Oh . . . and the pants are WAY sluttier!”
9) TheForty-Year Old Virgin
What it was about: Steve Carell is a middle aged salesman of electronic equipment, who can’t seem to get himself laid. Hijinks (not to mention, some REALLY NASTY BACK WAXING) ensue.
Less Ambitious Version: “The 40-Year Old Merchant”
What it’s about NOW: Steve Carell sells paper for a company called Dunder Mifflin. He doesn’t get laid all that often (because he’s kind of a jackass). But at least he’s not still a virgin!
New and Improved Tagline: “It’s kind of like Death of a Salesman . . . except nobody dies at the end.”
10) The King’s Speech
What it was about: Colin Firth is going to be King, but he stutters like crazy! Geoffery Rush to the RESCUE!
Less Ambitious Version: “Larry King’s Speech”
What it’s about now: It’s not really a movie, per se . . . more like every episode of Larry King Live ever aired . . . back . . . to back . . . to back.
New and Improved Tagline: “He may be retired, but he’s still not shutting the hell up . . .”
So, there you have it: Ten Less Ambititous Movie Titles and Taglines. Now it’s your turn to play! (Feel free to leave your “new” film suggestions in the comment section below . . .)