It is because I am filled with love and gratitude for David Cross that I must savage him like a wild beast tearing apart a carcass. Yes, call me a cruci-verbalist, because I've got some cross words for this actor/comedian. As Freud notes, we must kill the ones we love in order to overcome them. And the ever-watching paternal eye of Cross gazes out at me from the screen as I watch Mr. Show and Arrested Development. Or when I hear the Daniel Stern-like lilt of his voice as it whispers out to me from the Nick-At-Nite reruns of Oliver Beene, the greatest entry in Cross' oeuvre, a shining... wait. What the fuck. Oliver Beene?
OK. Cross has been in a stinker here and there: Alvin And The Chipmunks, School For Scoundrels, She's the Man, Men in Black II, Scary Movie II, Dr. Doolittle 2, Small Soldiers, etc. He's a working actor, and as I've detailed before, unless one is independently wealthy, one takes shit jobs to survive. The problem with Cross isn't so much that he acts in crap, but rather that he's so brutal in his criticism of other Craptors ™. No. That's a terrible portmanteau. It sounds like feces-contaminated dino DNA from Jurassic Park.
As the kind of white, bourgeois jackass so famously captured in Weird Al's "White & Nerdy," I'm about as much Tyler Perry's demo as Gleeb-Kra, my tentacled friend from Dimension 12. Yet, cynical hucksterism and naked commercialism transcend race and class lines like a love of fudge or mozzarella sticks, or fried fudge sprinkled with cheese bits. And when as in the case of Medea Goes To Jail, when your most iconic character Medea starts sharing movie titles with the Ernest franchise, something has definitely gone beyond the pale enough where pale pieces of shit like myself feel the eternal critical duty to stand up and scream into the void. Know what I mean, Vern?
Like the Bush Administration, I ignored all the signs of terror... until it was too late. As Perry flew his latest vehicle into my eyes, the aesthetic center of my brain collapsed. And yes, conspiracy fuckwads, the melting temperature of aesthetic cognitive modules is consistent with the NIST reports of my neuro-meltdown. However, as my brain fell apart, the history of black cinema flashed across the horizon, and while I can understand Perry's ascent, I cannot condone the shape it's taken.
Trudging through the subway, my eye often dances along the graffiti scrawled across those shit ads on the walls. Like a modern day Bayeux Tapestry filled with swears and crude penis drawings, the hasty scribbles of know-nothings are a glad distraction from the dull and endlessly empty horseshit being peddled to the captive audience. Like that new Renee Zellweger and Harry Conick Jr. joint which looks just... well, words fail. Or Steve Martin's latest family friendly tragedy: The Pink Panther 2.
Seeing said poster I idly contemplated mirroring Martin's creative trajectory by diving headfirst onto the tracks, but then who would feed my eight cats (Jerry Mungo meows now for a treat!)? The facts are these though: The man responsible for The Jerk and The Man With Two Brains, revolutionized stand-up in the '70s (along with Albert Brooks), and wrote Cruel Shoes now mainly flop sweats his way through detritus like Cheaper By The Dozen and Bringing Down The House. Maybe some implausible thimblerig from David Mamet here and there, but mostly not. Mostly the forgettable. Mostly melancholy.
At one point did Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am become hip-hop's voice of political conscience and Native Tongue depth? Has the genre become so polarized by self-involved pseudo-artistes like Kanye and unabashed eccentric braggarts like Lil Wayne that there's no middle-ground representative with enough commercial appeal and grounded perspective to suddenly soundtrack the historical moment of Barack Obama's ascendency to President?
Just to review, the constantly sunglasses-adorned MC spent the late '90s and early 2000s as main mouthpiece for the Peas, known more conversationally as the poor man's Tribe Called Quest/De La Soul/et al. Then, like a sitcom struggling to stay afloat, they added a new character, in the form of big-bootied crystal-meth addict Fergie, who provided will.i.am with new leverage and credibility as a producer and solo artist, which resulted in shit-tastic affairs like Songs About Girls, which turned out to be as surface and vapid as its potentially ironic title indicated.
With the immanent ascension of Barack Obama from anointed President-Elect to full-fledged messiah, our country can now certainly begin to take the first, few tentative steps towards not being The World's Asshole. (You know, that guy at the party that drinks too much and keeps playing grabass, but no one can really do anything about it because you know he's strapped?) However, like stale vomit stains on the couch and a mysterious stench coming from god-knows-where, painful remnants of the last eight years still exist in the form of one Jack Bauer, the so-called hero of Fox's zzzzzzzz-inspiring 24.
Ah, Keifer Sutherland. Ladies love him. And ladies love Jack Bauer. His smoldering eyes. His towheaded virility. The fact that he's a fucking torturer whose not only used to justify the worst excesses of George Bush and his administration of morally-bankrupt dicklickers, but is somehow a beloved role-model, is fucking criminally insane.
At a time when America's collective fat ratio is perilously disproportionate, and the only people with a booming business are cardiac surgeons and pharmacists, there's nothing our nation needs more than Food Network "star" Guy Fieri celebrating the wonders of low-priced, artery-clogging T.G.I. Friday's appetizers every fucking 30 seconds.
You know the guy: He won that Next Food Network Star competition and then launched a series of programs revolving around down-home, no-frills food to ensure immediate gratification and even more instant mortality. And edge-ified the channel with a burly personality that befit his raspy voice, Hot Topic Hair and a shit-eating goatee.
I guess I'm not inherently adverse to the culture of crappy eating he promotes, nor the fact that he's cashed in on it with a soulless endorsement for a flavorless gourmet fast-food chain. I'm just generally allergic to any publicly visible personality who patches together an aesthetic out of second-hand, adolescent symbols of awesomeness and attempts to ooze his coolness juice all over something that was either helplessly mundane, or had plenty of inherent charm for anyone without a completely crippled attention span or insecurity in their individual sensibilities.
Fuck that guy. That Guy Fieri even. He sucks. Click here for the Sucks archive.
While I was online searching for pictures of Pokemons with human female breasts, I happened upon the trailer for an upcoming film named Miss March, which written, directed and starring members of The Whitest Kids U Know. To say it seemed generic is an understatement, but the fucker came packaged in a plain brown box with a Toucan Sam rip-off emblazoned on its front. SLAM! Dozens, bitch!
The utter thatness of that trailer's existence is, however, indicative of the sketch group as a whole. They are there. They exist. You can point in their direction and watching their show elicits peels of "Mmmm, ok." Generic. Generic isn't necessarily bad. It's just... placing your palms upward and shrugging your shoulders.
Nothing has curdled my stomach more in the last few days than grown-up screen brat Jason Hervey introducing the cast of VH1's Confessions Of A Teen Idol to a focus-group segment they were about to endure. Something about his little monologue reeked of the kind of self-satisfied, Napoleonic smugness that can only exude from one's paean pores after decades of portraying total douchebags both onscreen and behind the scenes of Hollywood.
Let's review: After peddling countless commercial goods in the early '80s with his bland precociousness, Hervey not coincidentally nailed the entitled man-child antics of a kid actor as Kevin Morton during the movie-within-a-movie climax of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Stunt casting, perhaps?
And then, of course, on The Wonder Years, Hervey was the human embodiment of the demonic older-brother caricature every terrified nerd carried with them throughout childhood. His contribution to the show seemed to be almost method in execution. But Hervey was no prodigious thespian. A la with Pee-Wee, it was evident that his authenticity as Wayne Arnold stemmed from a blurry line between reality and fiction. Art imitating douche.
The Uninvited, the impetus for Thursday's Sucks, spurred us on to excoriate remakes, though it might have very well delivered unto us another path for our club-footed tootsies to trot down: an execration of the entire contemporary horror genre. Not that there's a paucity of pegs to drape this commentary on. Besides The Uninvited, there's The Unborn, a particularly liquid dickpile that somehow weaves tales of Auschwitz in with absorbed fetal twins and Yiddish poltergeists. (A little annoying maybe, nu? But not as bad as what I was charged at the shoe repair place. Gonifs, the lot of them!). And don't forget My Bloody Valentine 3D, which moronically doesn't even open on February 14th and somehow centers around a murderous miner. Though the only connection I can make between the title and the killer is Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold."
Now, conventional wisdom tells us that the horror genre has been Gak-laden for a long time now, since the advent of what Joss Whedon calls "torture porn," which simply revels in some nameless authority plucking regular people out of their lives with no warning and torturing them for no discernable reason.
Regardless, the point isn't to beat off that dead horse, but rather to explain why the entire genre is the third-wave- ska of the cinematic world, i.e. utterly reprehensible and without any redeeming value. When a person is frightened of a horror film, what is it he or she is scared of? Something imaginary. Now, who is frightened by imaginary boogeymen? Answer: children and neo-conservative presidents. So for the gold-plated kewpie doll, what does that mean? If you're terrified by visages of draculas and murderers, you have the intellect of a mere babe. And I don't mean the good kind of babes. I mean kids.
The truth of the matter is, Hollywood (like any corporation) loathes the people who give it money, and therefore condescends to a nation of shits by spoon-feeding them dioxin-laced cat assholes because that's all it thinks they can handle. Chief among this, though not limited to it, is the trend of taking foreign films and remaking them for American audiences, because goddamn, I didn't go to no movie to read no words.
With The Uninvited on the cusp of release (another remake of an Asian horror film), my lungs feel weepy. Not only is David Strathairn--a superb actor and a frequent collaborator of John Sayles'--wasted, but it's just another example of wasted time period. The people making the film, the people watching it, God and his cadre of angels for creating this misbegotten shithole in the first place, etc. Hollywood's infantalization of the movie-going public is short-sighted, as is the leering, drooling focus on short term-fiscal gain, but what the fuck do I know?