Colin Farrell May Be The MVP of the Summer

Now that NBA season is done and Lebron James’ heroics fell short we have entered the period of time where dumb movies and baseball dominate our entertainment lives.  In other words, it is a very sad time for many people, even if you ignore the oppressive heat that is coming (the opposite of Game of Thrones).  But in this time of hopelessness it appears a hero may have arisen from the ashes of Stannis Baratheon’s daughter on HBO.  It is not The Rock, though Ballers, for all it’s clear flaws did hold my attention. And it is not The Brink, which also seems to be on the line of potentially fun/potentially a disaster. No the hero comes from a place I never expected it: Colin Farrell.

Colin Farrell was the pretty boy of the moment around 2003(?) or 2006(?) – I really don’t know. he was Irish, and douchey-handsome and women seemed to like him even though his acting was inconsistent and his box office track record sort of shoddy.  And it seemed like no Hollywood dramatic A-listers wanted to follow the McConnaughey-Harrelson season. so the show put together a patchwork quilt of “eh.”  Vince “I really need a hit before my Libertarian politics bury my career for good” Vaughn as the bad guy, Rachel “I am out of my depths, but I am tired of being the nice girl” McAdams as the tough girl cop, Taylor “I’ve had more shots as a leading man than 10 qualified black actors and Steve Howe combined” Kitsch as the cop who has a past we don’t car about and the aforementioned mustachioed Farrell. Now I mention the mustache for the simple reason that the last time Farrell prominently displayed a mustache he was in my “Worst Movie of 2006” Miami Vice.  But in a weird bit of foreshadowing, I though Farrell was the best part of Miami Vice (contrast with Jamie Foxx, whose performance prompted me to demand that he return his Oscar for Ray).

Well, the comparison that came to mind while watching Farrell was Lebron James.  Lebron was in a great no-lose situation with the Cavs in the NBA Finals.  He had a poor (though still underrated cast, since most people talked about them like they were the silver medalists at the Special Olympics) set of teammates with his two best injured, he could showcase his talents fully and if they won he was the greatest and if they lost, he had still done what just about no human could have done.  I was skeptical of Farrell, but after last night’s episode I see that he both brought it AND was given a great set of circumstances.

First, unlike basketball, an ensemble helps your performance.  Farrell does not need to do 50 minutes of acting, he simply needs to steal the show in 15 minutes (I guess more like a game 3 Matthew Dellavedova), but he does just that. He delivers rage and creepiness that is so on point it is almost funny (in a good way).  I will not spoil his lines for you so you can enjoy them yourself. #hero

Second, the show seems to have taken a nosedive in structure and quality.  It is just gloomy and to be honest when there weren’t exposed breasts or Colin Farrell on camera I sort of drifted in and out of the plot.  So like Lebron, Farrell has a better landscape to perform in for personal glory.

Third, they give Farrell’s character (can’t remember his name, don’t really care) a fat, red-headed son.  This is like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love being injured.  I don’t even know how Farrell could produce a fat ginger kid (I was reminded after posting this that the kid appeared to have been the product of a rape, presumably with a fat ginger rapist), but it makes his son the target of bullies, which allows Farrell to a) bully his fat ginger kid into telling him who took his kid’s Lebron sneakers (SEE THE PARALLEL IS RIGHT THERE – last year had the Yellow King, this year it is King James)and b) attack the father of the kid who bullied FGK and then yell expletives and sexual threats… to a 12 years old.

Fourth, Colin Farrell does deliver. Last night was not quite a 40 point, 16 assist, 13 rebound type game, but it was like a 27 point, 5 steal performance off the bench.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of TD2 were calling everyone in today after the social media response (and the Righteous Prick bump) and just re-working the last 6 episodes to focus on the Dad beating, kid cursing, fat ginger kid having sonofabitch (sorry Ballers has me writing in the style of The Rock).

So in summary, though I feel like the gloomy nothingness of season two of True Detective will yield no awards and no praise, it is a time for Farrell to step up and reclaim his popularity (which I am not quite sure why he ever had it) and the show seems to be giving him the chance. And if he can make 9 more episode of this watchable, then he will be the real MVP.

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The Dilemma of The Dilemma

So to the shock of my Mother I have not yet seen a movie in 2011 (I chose to stare at a wall for hours a day in Connecticut, rather than see Season of the Witch with Nicholas Cage).  But after a two week drought, it will come to an end when I see The Dilemma on Friday.   There have been few films that have caused me as much of a dilemma as The Dilemma (I am going to use “The Dilemma” in this blog the way Jersey Shore’s The Situation overuses the word “situation”).

Here were the positives I saw in the preview.  The movie is being brought to us by Ron Howard who has a ton of great credits ranging from comedy to drama (and some bad ones – Angels and Demons to name one).  It stars Vince Vaughn, who has become hit and miss, but is still capable of terrific rapid-fire comedic delivery, Jennifer Connolly in a classic “I need a paycheck and to stay relevant, in case anyone has forgotten just how hot I was in Career Opportunities” role, Winona Ryder and rising star Channing Tatum.  Not one of these actors is above doing a terrible movie and none is a Leonardo DiCaprio where every movie they do is at least an attempt to be great.  But add in Maroon 5’s single “Misery” to the preview and you have enough to make me want to spend money from a gift card to see it.  But there is one real concern for any movie fan or decent human being.

Kevin James.

Kevin James is a chubby, likable fellow from a successful television show and in my estimation, not even a terrible actor.  But what he does is make movies that are beyond terrible.  He is like a cooler at a casino.  As soon as he decides to get involved with a project his acting does not suffer, but the movie magically turns into an all-time worst film (or he has actually has the worst sense of humor in the world).  A brief look at his most significant contributions to cinema:

Hitch– a decent romantic comedy, proving that Will Smith and Eva Mendes (who I found out recently threesomed her way to stardom) are the level of star power needed to counteract The James Effect.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry– I made it through a little over an hour of this alleged comedy.  I laughed exactly zero times.  Of terrible movies – Adam Sandler and Kevin James are Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.  There should be UN peacekeepers in Hollywood anytime those guys agree to make a movie because human atrocity is soon to follow.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop – a huge hit and one of the 20 worst films ever made.

Grown Ups – I learned my lesson and stayed away (though it looked HILARIOUS when Kevin James fell down a hill and urinated in a pool).  Not a surprise that it has made most critics top ten worst films of 2010.

That is an incredible sample of awful.  I mean even “actors” like Paul Walker, Mike Epps and Bow Wow have managed to produce a more impressive roster of films.  The only person on par with Kevin James is Tyler Perry, and even Tyler Perry was in JJ Abrams Star Trek, which is better than Hitch.  I look at Kevin James’ resume and all I think is that he is the exact opposite of a great athlete or actor in his prime.  In fact, he may go down in history as the anti-John Cazale.  For those of you who are not cinema buffs, John Cazale made only 5 films before an untimely death – Dog Day Afternoon, Godfathers I & II, The Deer Hunter and The Conversation.  All five were nominated for Best Picture.  If not for Hitch, Kevin James might have been on that track of anti-greatness.

And I will admit that I am personally offended the dilemma of the Kevin James effect.  As  a comedian it is bad enough that Kevin James seems unable to film a single funny thing, but what’s worse is that because he is fat and simple he is a huge hit in America.  It just goes to show that in a country increasingly narcissistic (every marketing campaign you see on television is some derivation of “it’s yours” or “it’s about you!”) culture we enjoy seeing someone who looks like us or looks worse (i.e. obese) and is going for the easiest laugh possible (nut shots, head shots, etc.).  If you don’t believe me check out the trailer for his next “film,” Zoo Keeper:

It is the same, unfunny garbage and it will be a big hit.  So my dilemma with seeing The Dilemma is do I think Kevin James has accidentally picked a good movie to be in?  Check my Facebook account Saturday morning for the review.  Hopefully it is not the funniest thing to come out of The Dilemma.