Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Express Checkout: Superbad, Hannah Montana with Dogs in Movies

  • I was reading a couple of stories about J.J. Abrams getting involved with a "Superbad"-type comedy called Hot for Teacher, as a producer. And the quotation marks are not my idea when it comes to relaying this, but rather me using the same emphasis as the stories that reported it. But to me, when you describe the film you are making in terms of a movie that recently came out, well, to me that signals that the finished product is going to be less than stellar. And I know J.J. Abrams was the genius behind that cinematic classic Taking Care of Business with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin, but somehow I don't think comedy is really his shtick, even as a producer. And yes, Jay Dyer was a writer-producer on Andy Richter Controls the Universe, but just the fact that it seems like these two are cynically pursuing Judd Apatow in this particular subgenre of comedy, well, it doesn't bode well for the project. Well, unless they are going for the ripped from the headlines feeling of student-teacher sexual relations... which we all know is just comedy gold.

  • I am not going to talk about the Miley Cyrus photos, because frankly, that particular issue has been discussed to utter distraction. However, there is a piece of related news that I do think bears mentioning. Apparently the rumor mill has it that Disney wants to either literally or figuratively replace the Hannah Montana star because of the negative publicity regarding those very same pictures and replace her with Selena Gomez. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but considering that Hannah Montana represents one of Disney's biggest properties... just look at all those stories about ticket sales for her concerts last year, and even with the controversy, the show is still highly bankable, and those pesky though, in the long view of her career, useful photos may end up put a short term dent in the ratings and profit margin of the show and her concerts, but if Disney sticks with her, this whole thing work itself out. And there is always the Lindsay the Mouse built to compare these relatively minor incidents to. South Park really nailed this one. Yep... I got sucked into talking about this... please forgive me.

  • Now I am all for animal welfare, I really am, but sometimes I hear about something that to me sounds so ridiculous, I feel that it deserves a little mild mocking. At the end of a story about the tragic death of an animal trainer after being bitten by one of his bears, PETA sent Will Ferrell a letter asking him not to work with wild animals again (the bear had appeared in Semi-Pro). Now, personally, I have made it my policy to not see another movie that features ape performers(gorillas, chimps and orangutans), so that is a surprisingly fair request in my eyes from PETA. However, the story then went on to mention that PETA supporter Pamela Anderson refused to do a scene with a trained Labrador. I know it was a stand on principles on her part, I understand that. But I don't think of a dog as a wild animal, I just don't. And a dog can be taught to do things like a human being can though positive reinforcement. Because of the ubiquity of dogs in American life their place in film to me seems like a given and a near requirement for accuracy's sake. If they are well treated, I have absolutely no quarrel with domesticated animals appearing in films, and while I do appreciate Ms. Anderson's commitment to the cause, deep down I wonder if the reason she didn't want to do the scene had more to do with the possibility that her canine counterpart would act her under the table rather than the thought that animals appearing in entertainment for humans was morally wrong.


Megan said...

"cynically pursuing Judd Apatow in this particular subgenre of comedy" - Yeah, I'd say they are chasing the cash cow here.

"the possibility that her canine counterpart would act her under the table" - Bwahaha.

MC said...

Pamela Anderson seems like a nice woman... I just think she was being silly.

Jeremy Barker said...

I loved that South Park episode - the Miley Cyrus kicker really pulled it all together. It's great to see the boys still have such a sharp edge after all these years.

MC said...

I look forward to the corn this year.

Jeremy Barker said...

It should be a good harvest.