Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 6/22/20 — 6/28/20

Oh, what a week.

Foolishly, I assumed that the world would be able to basically re-open in July but, as June comes to a close, it’s obvious that is not going to be the case.  All of the big theatrical releases for July — Tenet, Mulan, that Bill & Ted movie — have been pushed back to August and, to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if they got pushed back again.  A lot of people out there are saying that we should just all stay inside until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19 but who knows when that will be?  Whenever I hear anyone say that we’ll have a vaccine in 6 months, I want to point out to them that I thought the country would be able to reopen in July.  There’s a lot of wishful thinking out there right now.

Me?  I’m wearing a mask when I go out and I’m being careful.  I’m practicing social distancing.  I’m washing my hands.  I’m doing everything that I know can be done.  That’s really all I can do right now.

Oh well!  This upcoming week, I will be taking a little mini-vacation up at Lake Texoma.  I’m looking forward to meditating and recharging and getting some writing done.  I’ll probably listen to a lot of Bob Dylan.  And yes, I’m taking along a few DVDs because reviewing movies is something that keeps me focused and centered.  Mostly, though, I’m just looking forward to taking a break from all the noise of the world.

Here’s what I watched this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. 7500 (2020)
  2. American Wisper (2020)
  3. Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
  4. The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
  5. Bugsy Malone (1976)
  6. Carlito’s Way (1993)
  7. Carlito’s Way: Rise To Power (2005)
  8. A Field in England (2013)
  9. Go Ask Alice (1973)
  10. How To Stuff A Wild Bikni (1965)
  11. Love Me Or Leave Me (1955)
  12. Murder, Inc. (1960)
  13. Only One Way (2014)
  14. Penance (2018)
  15. Rust (2010)
  16. Scarface (1983)
  17. St. Valentine Day Massacre (1967)
  18. The Untouchables (1987)
  19. The Way Back (2020)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. The Bold and the Beautiful
  2. Community
  3. Days of Our Lives
  4. Doctor Phil
  5. General Hospital
  6. Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours To Hell And Back
  7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  8. The Murder of Laci Peterson
  9. Saved By The Bell: The College Years
  10. Seinfeld
  11. Shipping Wars
  12. South Park
  13. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. Death of an Expert Witness (1977) by P.D. James

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Adi Ulmansky
  2. Black Pumas
  3. Blanck Mass
  4. Bob Dylan
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Garbage
  7. Jim WIlliams
  8. The Killers
  9. Muse
  10. Muzz
  11. The Pretenders
  12. Saint Motel
  13. Selena Gomez
  14. ZOON

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared Senor Saint, The Long Memory, Film Fun, Big Eli, True Gang Life, Westering, and Cancel All Our Vows!  She also shared The Covers of Famous Detective Cases!
  2. Jeff reviewed Falling Down, The Gumball Rally, Quiet Killer, The Last Hour, and The Onion Movie!
  3. I shared music videos from ZOON, Seal, The Pretenders, Muzz, Garbage, Saint Motel, and Muse!  I reviewed American Wisper and paid tribute to Mel Brooks!
  4. Ryan reviewed Violent Delights, Crime at Babel, Egle and Snake, and Banal Complications!

More From Us:

  1. At her photography site, Erin shared: Dallas, Founders Plaza, Blue, Red, Do Not Enter, Play Now, and Moon!
  2. Ryan has a patreon and you should consider subscribing!
  3. At my music site, I shared songs from Black Pumas, Selena Gomez, Jim Williams, The Killers, Garbage, Jim Williams again, and Muse!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Anyway, have a good week, everyone!  As for me …. well, a few days up at the lake?  What could possibly go wrong?

The Onion Movie (2008, directed by James Kleiner)

From some of the funniest people on Earth comes one of the least funny films ever made.

That was, at least, my initial reaction to watching The Onion Movie.  Written by two of the founders of the world’s premiere satirical news sight, The Onion Movie is a collection of skits that are almost all based on Onion headlines.  Some of the skits are amusing.  Most of them aren’t.  When it comes to the Onion, the headlines are often funnier than the details.  A headline about a murder mystery party switching over to a rape investigation party might be funny but having to sit through a lengthy skit about it is considerably less amusing.

Len Cariou plays an anchorman at the Onion News Network, who introduces each satirical story and who gets upset when his employers keep using his newscast to promote a new Stephen Seagal movie called Cock Puncher.  (Seagal, who appears as himself, punches people in the groin.  The joke would have been funnier if the fake movie had starred Dolph Lundgren.)  In between introducing absurd stories, Cariou yells at the network executives, who don’t care about the integrity of the news.  Len Cariou is the best thing in the film because he plays his role straight, never once smiling or winking at the camera.

The Onion Movie was written by two of the Onion’s founders and was originally filmed in 2003.  It sat on the shelf for five years before being released, without much fanfare, direct-to-video.  By the time it was released, The Onion itself had all but disowned the movie, announcing that they were no longer involved beyond the use of the site’s name.  (Something similar happened in the 80s when MAD Magazine briefly tried to branch out into films.)  Watching the film, it’s easy to see why The Onion distanced themselves from the final product.  It’s not just that, for the most part, it’s not very funny.  It’s also that the majority of the humor is shockingly racist and sexist.  (Halfway through the film, a black civil rights leader announces that he’s going to lead a walk-out to protest the way that blacks have been portrayed in the film.  It’s played as a joke but the man has a point.)  The Onion Movie wants credit for being politically incorrect but instead, most of the humor just feels lazy.  The Onion Movie is type of movie that, if it were released today, The A.V. Club would demand that it be banned.  Schadenfreude is nothing to brag about and I’m not proud that I felt some of that as I watched The Onion Movie.  If the people who created one of the funniest sites on Earth could create something this bad, I thought, that makes me feel better about every mistake I’ve ever made over the course of my entire life.

By the way, the film’s best joke is borrowed from Caddyshack but at least they got Rodney Dangerfield to come back and deliver it.  Dangerfield was always good, even in something like The Onion Movie.


Scenes That I Love: Putting On The Ritz From Young Frankenstein (Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!)

Today, Mel Brooks is 94 years old!

Mel Brooks.  What can you say Mel Brooks?  Not only did he help to redefine American comedy but he was also responsible for bringing David Lynch to Hollywood.  Brooks was the one who hired Lynch to direct The Elephant Man.  It can probably be argued that, if not for Brooks, Lynch’s feature film career would have begun and ended with Eraserhead.  Brooks not only hired Lynch but also protected him for studio interference.  When the execs tried to make Lynch remove two surrealistic sequences from The Elephant Man, Brooks stood up to them.  When they requested a more conventional biopic, Brooks defended Lynch’s vision and the result was one of the best films ever made.

Of course, Brooks isn’t listed in the credits of The Elephant Man.  Though he produced the film, he went uncredited because he didn’t want people to assume that the movie was a comedy.  By doing so, Brooks missed out on an Oscar nomination but he also ensured that the film was taken seriously.  It’s hard not to respect someone who was willing to go uncredited to help make the film a success.

Though Brooks, as a producers, was responsible for a number of serious films, there’s a reason why Brooks is associated with comedy.  He’s a very funny man and he directed some very funny films.  In honor of Mel Brooks, here’s a scene that I love from 1974’s Young Frankenstein.

Happy birthday, Mel Brooks!