It is a question that film fans have been asking for over a decade: what if the two consistently worst movie makers in Hollywood joined forces and made a movie that could truly be called historic? Well in this month’s JLComedy video, the question gets answered. It has something for both casual and die hard fans of both artists. Excessive body fluid gags and stupid voices to make Sandler fans happy and heavy handed Christian themes (including a Perry favorite – giving AIDS to anyone who acts wrongly – read this for background), and bad writing for Perry enthusiasts. So without further adieu, enjoy this instant masterpiece, “Happy Madison Presents ‘Tyler Perry’s Old Testament, New Problem'”
For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!
This weekend was a very busy one for me. First I had to take my Dad to Dunkin’ Donuts on Friday for an afternoon of father-which-son-of-mine-are-you bonding (he is 82 and like Tony Soprano’s mother I am starting to see a blur between loss of memory and loss of respect for his younger son, which is making it more difficult to know when I should be sympathetic and when I should be offended). Then I was #blessed enough to have a friend with some serious comedy connections hook me up last minute with great seats to the NY Knicks-Utah Jazz game (if you are new to my site I am a big Utah Jazz fan – coming from a mixed marriage family marked by hostility I always found the harmony that Malone and Stockton played with to be oddly reassuring). The seats actually belonged to a major mogul in comedy, so naturally I taped my impression reel underneath his seat for the next game he attends himself.
One of the great things about attending Knick games in the rich seats is that you get to see 12 year old kids with pouty looks begrudgingly marching into Madison Square Garden for tickets costing over $400 per game as if they are doing their fathers a favor leaving their PS4 and horny middle school teacher to sit in seats most American adults will never be able to afford. Another thing I observed during the game was that t-shirt gun technology is out of control. As gun violence has continued to make headlines it has given cover to the absurd NRA-porn level t-shirt gun technology. There was one that looked like a massive Gatling gun of polyester. It is only a matter of time until 11 year old Seth has a t-shirt smack him right in his smug 4th row seat face. Then we may see real change to this horrific t-shirt gun technology.
The game ended up being a horrible beat down of the Utah Jazz, but it was nice to be in the rich seats. I now realize that the next time I will be that close to the court will either be as a courtside celebrity (.01% chance) or as a survivor of a horrible tragedy being honored by the Garden (.02% chance).
Saturday was a monster Saturday. From 745am to 430 pm I was filming my new sketch “Happy Madison Presents ‘Tyler Perry’s ‘ Old Testament, New Problems'” a parody of what would happen if film legends Adam Sandler and Tyler Perry combined their brilliant writing and film-making. The shoot was exhausting (4 locations), but a ton of fun and will be my best (and hopefully biggest) work to date. Here is the photo that will be the promo shot for the video:
So super tired and relieved of the stress that I always feel when filming one of my sketches I headed to Comedy Outliers, a show run by two NYC comics at the Sports Bar at Webster Hall. The crowd was big and enthusiastic and several audience members had a look of hopeful happiness in their eyes and that is when I knew it might go off the rails for me. I was tired and had just witnessed an awful mother-daughter combo a block from the bar. Let me explain. I was tired, which put me in a susceptible mood to be pissed off. Then, a cab was stuck in the crossing traffic so although I had the right of way I let the cab go because not letting him go would hold up the 20 cars waiting to go north on the avenue. As the cab started to go forward the mother-daughter duo stepped into traffic, oblivious to the rest of the situation. The mother was a formerly attractive blond (she was halfway to leathery Robert Redford stage) and her daughter was a semi-chubby 13 year old brunette (i.e. a slightly hotter Lena Dunham). And the daughter yelled out out “Excuse me!” to the cab driver, and the mother pointed for a good three seconds at the walk sign (cab driver was going about 6mph so no one was in any danger). And as I looked at these two – a woman who had most likely married a less attractive, more accomplished man, otherwise how does one explain the daughter with worse looks, but equally awful character as her, and her offspring and thought – this is just like the Evolution of Man poster, except instead it is like seeing the Evolution of Cu*t.
Why did I share this story? Because I took a risk and made it the first joke of my set. And I actually had the crowd in a combination of curiosity and laughter until I hit the C bomb. And that look of hopeful enthusiasm half of the crowd had disappeared and the four laughs for the line could not heal the damage I felt from the other people’s silence. I worked doubly hard the rest of the set, but jokes that are touchy, but usually kill, were now tainted by the fruit of the poisonous C-Bomb tree.
After conversing with a couple of comedians I left the bar, bought a Hostess Apple Pie and did this (the usual way I celebrate after a less than perfect set):
Sunday was just lots of media watching and I will not get into True Detective today because TOMORROW”s Podcast episode will be dedicated, in part, to me arguing against the wave of love for that show (a B+ is solid, but when everyone treats it like an A, I get pissed).
For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!
With 2011 coming to a close I thought I would give fans, friends and new readers a Best of 2011 of my blogs. I have divided them into 5 categories and the following blogs represent both my favorites and the ones that got by far the most web traffic. The five categories are:
The Comedy Business
Road Gig Stories
If you are a fan of the blog I’d appreciate you passing this along (or you can always pass along your favorite individual posts from within this blog) through Twitter and Facebook. This is really a collection of mys best stuff so sending it to people could turn them into fans. Thanks again for reading. 2012 will be a big and new year for my on-line content and I hope you will:
become a fan of “Righteous Prick” on Facebook and
follow @RPrickPodcast on Twitter
Every Monday starting in January I will post my movie reviews to www.YouTube.com/JLMovieLife (subscribe today even though the page is not finished), and
look for my new podcast every Tuesday starting January 3rd on iTunes (Righteous Prick) and
and please continue to come to this blog on Wednesday and Fridays for new posts.
A picture of me reading makes sense since this post is caled the J-L Reader.
THE COMEDY BUSINESS
How To Fail In Comedy While Really Trying – A Breakdown of the Breakdown of the Traditional Path to Comedy Success (with an epic battle with “Bob Hellener” – https://jlcauvin.com/?p=2304
In Re Bob Hellener – Comedy hack and all around douche Dan Nainan is revealed to be the coward behind Bob Hellener – https://jlcauvin.com/?p=2596
This week presents several movie of the week options. One option is Warrior – the Rocky (or possibly jumping right to the Rocky V) of MMA films, whose preview bears the hallmark of a bad movie – 98% of the plot is given away in the preview (all I know is that the two main characters enter a competition and the two of them face off in the finals of that competition – but who wins, besides MMA, which gets a free advertisement for its product, I do not know). Another option is Bucky Larson, which stars Nick Swardson and is produced by Happy Madison, the production studio of Adam Sandler, that specializes in brain cell-destroying excrement. However, I am confident that Bucky Larson, which appears to track the adventures of a buck-toothed, borderline special needs young man who inexplicably becomes a small-membered adult film star, will definitely “buck” the Sandler trend and be a classic.
So I settled on Steven Soderbergh’s new film Contagion. I had a free ticket thanks to the New York Times’ Film Club. Part of the membership is that I get tickets to several early screenings of films. But, as you may guess, any film club based on membership in a print-media based organization with liberal leanings means that it is usually me and a few hundred elderly Jewish people. In other words when I want to hang out with elderly Catholics I go to Church and then when I need to get some elderly Jewish company I go to NYT film club screenings.
The movie is about a fictional world-wide outbreak of a bat/swine based virus that kills quickly and with minimal contact. The movie boasts an all star cast, with Lawrence Fishburne and Matt Damon earning the most screen time. Jude Law is the standout to me as the conspiracy theorist blogging superstar in the movie, but everyone is good.
The movie makes the undoubtedly true point that within a few weeks of an outbreak like the one depicted in the film, humans would revert to becoming animals whose survival instinct trumps all sense of decency. Unless you are a named star above the title of the film, in which case you will still have your humanity.
The movie is well made and moves briskly, but I still never felt like any of the main characters were in danger and if you want an audience to care about the main characters they need to seem as vulnerable as the cast of extras that are filling up the mass graves. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I still think I’d take Outbreak over Contagion.
During the Cold War, the United States and the USSR battled for the future of the world, in part through a massive arms race. In the process, many dictators and tyrants in developing and third world nations were put and kept in power, leading to the oppression of millions worldwide as both superpowers kept spending billions on weapons. Eventually the United States emerged victorious, but billions upon billions of dollars had been wasted and countries from the Middle East to Haiti had been victimized by the global power struggle.
The reason I bring this up is because there appears to be an arms race in Hollywood with many parallels and Adam Sandler appears prepared to destroy anything he can to be the world’s worst movie maker.
I recently saw a preview for Jack and Jill, which is Adam Sandler’s newest movie. Here is the preview:
The preview for this movie seemed like an effort to put Kevin James in his place. For me Kevin James has been the worst star in movies since he emerged (the way Marlon Brando had a small, but powerful group of performances that made him an inspiration to younger actors, Paul Blart is Kevin James’ anti-Godfather). But I feel like Jack and Jill is Adam Sandler’s answer, as if to say, “In case you forgot, I am the king of shitty movies so take this!” Like a rap artist dropping an incredible comeback album full of vengeance and spite, or an athlete taking a challenge seriously and then destroying the competition on the field. Jack and Jill is Adam Sandler’s declaration to the world that screams, “You cannot do shittier movies than me no matter how hard you try! I will take Kevin James and Rob Schneider humor and incorporate Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry sensibilities into my movies. I dare you to try and beat that!”
And what is great about Jack and Jill is Sandler wanted to do more than destroy Kevin James and America’s sense of humor (the audience is the third world victim in the Sandler-Cold War scenario). He was going to finish off a Hollywood legend. I do not know how he got Al Pacino to agree to this, but now Al Pacino will have the ultimate blemish on his resume (apparently replacing Righteous Kill which sucked something fierce). “Serpico, The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, Scent of A Woman, Heat, The Insider and… Jack and Jill.”
Now some people have said to me that Pacino is in cruise control like Robert DeNiro and I disagree. Robert DeNiro has not touched a good movie in 11 years (Meet the Parents). He has debts or dementia, but clearly he has decided that he is never going to make a good movie again. However, Pacino has won an Emmy and been nominated for a Tony in the last couple of years. He certainly has garbage on his resume in the last 10 years, but it is not near DeNiro’s legacy. And for the record someone seriously should have killed them both before they were allowed to make Righteous Kill. But when Sandler had the option of ruining a titan of cinema, he probably thought, “DeNiro is done, but Pacino still seems to have some passion for the craft in him. So let’s rape that to death.”
So this Fall we will get Jack and Jill. The shame of this is that when Sandler was new to movies they were funnier. Then we made him rich and gave him control over his own production company. Now, left to his own devices he has done the act opposite of successful Hollywood players. Usually, actors who become A-listers get passion projects made that normally would be tough to get greenlit. Sandler seems to be an example of a guy who actually benefited from more studio control. He is like a mentally retarded kid with a 100 mph fastball. If the coach is constantly guiding him on where to throw it he can make some decent things happen (Happy Gilmore). However, if the coach leaves him alone he can cause tremendous damage to the fans in the stands (almost every movie he has made in the last decade). Heads up – Jack and Jill is headed straight for your face!
Another year is coming to a close, which means I have once again seen a lot of movies. This year, unlike last year, I made an attempt to avoid awful movies (for example I did not see or rent Grown Ups because Adam Sandler and Kevin James are the closest thing to crack-cocaine in terms of brain cell destruction, nor did I see Saw VI because I believe it is wrong for a film franchise to have three consecutive films that claim to be “the final one”).
Sidenote- seriously does Kevin James ever wake up and think, “Man if I sucked di*k for drug money on live television I would be less of a disgrace to my family. I have made three of the worst films ever recorded – Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart and Grown Ups. And I know it. And I have tons of money, but I don’t care. I want to make dumb Americans even dumber and profit off of them mercilessly.” And can we stop treating Adam Sandler like he is some beloved entertainer? I know he reminds you of that moderately cute and cool kid in your Hebrew School class, but the dude is done. Mr Deeds, Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, etc. The guy has done everything he can to kill good taste. Enough – please collect your cash and go away.
So naturally, despite moderate efforts I was unable to avoid bad movies for several reasons. Travelling to comedy clubs around the country and having spare time, Oprah Winfrey and wanting to see if Samantha Jones finally gets AIDS were all contributing factors to the several terrible films I saw this year. Before I get to the Bottom 10 I want to share a special note of two movies that were not worthy of the “worst,” but based on critical praise and box office success, are the two most overrated films of the year:
Box Office Overrated Film of the Year
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Over $300 million is what this film pulled in. Weird is the best way to describe it. Boring is a very accurate way to describe it. Johnny Depp – you were cool and talented the first eight times you played a weird character, but now it feels redundant. For a change, try playing a male with genitals who does not talk like a pretentious college student who has returned from a study abroad semester and now pronounces Barcelona as Barthelona.
Overrated Movie of the Year – Critics
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
For me, the reason to give gay people all the rights they deserve is selfish: I am tired of Hollywood patting itself on the back for showing gays as regular people and then acting like they re-invented the wheel. But that was ok for me with Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was pretty damn good, but what really gets me is when a mediocre movie that is lathering itself in every indi-film cliche is praised as a great film. Enter The Kids Are All Right. Granted there were other movies that will be nominated for best picture like The King’s Speech (will be this year’s “we have to nominate at least one movie with British people and one movie related to the Holocaust, so why not nominate this one which has both?) and Black Swan (dark artsy-fartsy, but interesting in parts), which were interesting, but incredibly overrated, but the Kids Are All Right really stands out. It just is not that good. The movie is a B- at best, but critics have treated it like The Godfather fu*ked Amadeus while Goodfellas watched. If you have not seen this or have and thought it pretentious enjoy this brief cinematic interlude:
But none of those movies were worthy of being on:
J-L CAUVIN’S TEN WORST FILMS OF 2010
10. The Deuce – (tie)
Sex and The City 2 and Iron Man 2
Two sequels – two bowel movements. Iron Man 2 is shameless in what is becoming a Hollywood trend – we have a hit, we want at least three films and everyone will pay for the second so we can make it a huge bag of sh*t and make half of the movie about setting up and establishing things for the third film. It is literally the middle child before there is a third child. The movie was just mediocre, but because of how shameless it was and how much worse than the first it was – it earned a spot on the list.
Sex and the City 2: It was good to see these old bags who have influenced a generation of emotionally and spiritually lost women go out like Brett Favre – with a cinematic equivalent of an interception. Here is the summary of the Carrie Bradshaw saga: she finally gets her man (women will give a good guy one chance, good penis a few chances and a super wealthy guy almost infinite chances – see “Mr. Big”). And what does she do when she gets her better looking Trump? She complains about the monotony of married life, makes out with an ex boyfriend in a foreign country and complains to her hubby when they eat dinner in for…wait for it… two consecutive nights! The lesson for all the women who wanted to be Carrie, thought Carrie was fabulous, came to NYC to have a “Sex ad the City experience:” Carrie was a bitch.
9. Black People Besides Tyler Perry Can Make Bad Movies (tie) –
Lottery Ticket & Copout
When I saw Lottery Ticket I was hoping for something in the vein of Barber Shop and when I saw Copout I was hoping that Tina Fey was writing Tracy Morgan’s material. I was wrong on both. Lottery Ticket, starring fully grown Bow Wow produced the unthinkable – it offered a movie where Mike Epps, an incredibly unfunny human being, was the funniest thing in the movie.
Copout, combined with his deplorable HBO comedy special, proved that Tracy Morgan is completely unfunny when Tina Fey is not writing his words. I was harsh on Fey when she was the head writer of SNL, but this chick has apparently worked miracles to make Tracy Morgan appear funny every week on 30 Rock.
8. The Worst Thing Clooney Has Ever Done –
Even George Clooney can go to far. Here is how I think this boring movie was made: George Clooney spends time in Italy fu*king models so he said, what if you filmed me driving and looking thoughtful while I was on vacation in Italy? And maybe throwin a few conversations, some guns that we barely use but just show me putting them together? And what if this was all so boring and self-indulgent that when I do a sex scene with a woman who is off the charts hot, it still cannot save the movie? What, Hollywood – you love me so much, like a quarterback who is also in an A Capella group, that you are afraid to tell me no? Let’s do it!
The review for this film can be summed up by the young black woman who was siting in front of me while watching it. With about 15 minutes left in the movie she just, “Damn, this movie SUCKS.” Sometimes talking at movies is OK and this was one of those times.
7. They lost me when Adrien Brody fu*ked a lab creature –
I thought this was going to be a tense sci-fi thriller. Instead about one hour in to a relatively mediocre movie Adrien Brody fu*ks a creature he created in a laboratory. From then on it became one of the worst films of the year and the most awkward moment I saw in a movie since Willem Dafoe ejaculated blood in Antichrist (last years #3 worst movie on my blog).
6. I think it is time to admit that The Rundown was accidentally entertaining –
The Rock was the most entertaining WWF/WWE star of all time. Then his first starring movie not associated with a Brendan Fraser franchise was the very enjoyable The Rundown. Seemed like he was destined to do great things – maybe not Oscar great, but legitimately solid entertainment. Faster is the death of that optimism for me. When I saw previews for Faster I thought – “Man, that looks like Taken, but on steroids!” What it was was Taken on creatine with a lobotomy. How they managed to make a movie about a dude travelling the country murdering people for revenge somewhat boring is beyond my intellectual capacity.
5. Even low expectations could not save these bad westerns (tie) –
Jonah Hex and The Warrior’s Way
Jonah Hex I saw while on the road. I would have been better off lying in the middle of a road. I think it was written in about 14 hours because it felt like it had potential if someone had just written a story.
The Warrior’s Way I saw with a buddy because I had already seen everything that he had not promised to see with his girlfriend. The Warrior’s Way is honestly one of the 20 worst films I have ever seen, but since I had no interest in it and my expectations were zero I did not think it deserved a higher spot on the list.
4. I really hated this fu*king movie and its awful 3-D –
Clash of the Titans
I am sort of shocked that this was not the worst film of the year but it is close. Between Avatar, Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation it is obvious that Sam Worthington is unable to act with actual people. And after Clash of the Titans, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to. A giant bag of crap (shame on you Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson) and the poster child for the other cinema scam – 3-D. I actually was able to watch half of the movie clearly without 3-D glasses and the 3-D was terrible (James Cameron rightly criticized the filmmakers for scamming people for extra ticket money, but not providing legitimate upgrade in quality). I hate 3-D and I hate how it is becoming an automatic surcharge on every other movie now. No one likes watching movie with special glasses. It is annoying and when it is accompanied by a giant piece of crap like Clash of the Titans it really sucks. And yes, a sequel is being made.
3. Like Mexican sex shows – only the horse was entertaining –
If the horse in Secretariat only had two film credits – sex with Mexican prostitutes and Secretariat, he should leave Secretariat off of his resume. Schmaltzy to the point that the entire dialogue could have consisted of Jon Favreau screaming “who’s the wild man now?!” from Rudy and it would not have been as corny and embarrassing. The only thing that was good in the movie were the 15 minutes of horse racing. Everything else was awful. I wanted Seabiscuit (but about the greatest horse of all time), but instead got a terrible ABC Family made-for-TV movie.
2. Even when he tries, Tyler Perry sucks –
For Colored Girls
This year Tyler Perry finally got to show off his diversity as a filmmaker. For so long he was known as the creator of shi*ty comedies. Now we all know he can make a shi*ty drama. This movie actually has several good performances, but it is a TERRIBLE movie. One dude kills his own kids, one guy gives his wife HIV, one guy rapes his date, one (unseen character) abused his daughters. The one good guy is a cop, but his wife cannot have kids because… wait for it… a man gave her an STD when she was younger. I think the movie is for colored girls by default because it is definitely not for colored men. It is also a lazy movie, because rather than adapt the original text to w workable film script he just has the character inexplicably delivering long, poetic monologues which do not work in a movie. Tyler – just stick to your day job of making shi*ty “comedies.”
1. When steroid abuse doesn’t kill who it’s supposed to (and your 2010 champion) –
A tremendously awful film. Just like when white women feel like they need some fulfillment they open a cupcake store with family money and pretend to be serious entrepreneurs; when old white men feel unfulfilled they make movies like this. An absolute embarrassment for even half-decent action movies, men and decent taste this is your champion for 2010.
I could not say it any better than I did in August on my blog – so enjoy: