Thursday, May 13, 2004

TV: Aaron Spelling

TV Land aired a mini-marathon of the master’s shows as part of Moguls night. He’s selling many of them to the movies now, which is a relief. I was afraid he would run out of money. (This is where I’m supposed to say that the wealth of Croesus couldn’t buy Tori Spelling a career, but I’m a fan. Tori’s very funny in the indie films THE HOUSE OF YES and TRICK.)

During the credit sequence of CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, respect is paid to other Spelling shows. Drew Barrymore hugs the hood of STARSKY & HUTCH’s Striped Tomato, and the car that delivered Mr. Rourke to the seaplane dock at the top of every FANTASY ISLAND explodes as the Angels flee. Nothing like misplaced reverence to set the tone for your movie.

Any episode of STARSKY & HUTCH is much funnier, albeit unintentionally, than the recent comedy version. Here’s a line from David Soul as he’s leaving Capt. Dobie’s office: “Starsk, hand me my sweaters.” Let’s see Owen Wilson top that.

If TV Land wanted to pay tribute to Spelling, why didn’t they bring back BUDDY FARO with Dennis Farina and Frank Whaley?

TV: Morton & Hayes

Speaking of long-lost TV, did anyone watch this show other than Rosemarie and me? It aired during the summer of 1991. Each week Rob Reiner would introduce a newly recovered two-reeler starring the forgotten comedy team of Chick Morton and Eddie Hayes (Kevin Pollak and Bob Amaral). The shows were pitch-perfect recreations of Abbott & Costello shorts, written by, among others, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Joe Flaherty. Considering the talent involved, you’d think the show would be better remembered. I want a DVD of all six episodes, primarily to prove that I didn’t imagine them.

Movie: The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

I had my post written even before the special preview aired on Fox: “Does watching 10 minutes of this movie mean that I don’t have to go see it? And if I don’t go, will Al Gore call to give me a hard time?”

But then I watched the preview and damned if the movie didn’t look like a good, stupid time. If the mercury breaks 85 degrees, I’ll go. And according to the science of this movie, it will.

TV: The Blockbuster Imperative

Trio’s pop culture documentaries don’t have much in the way of new information, but they’re easy to watch. This one detailing how tentpole movies took over Hollywood contains some smart comments from writer/director David Twohy, who knows his way around big-budget B-movies (THE FUGITIVE, PITCH BLACK).

A studio marketing rep talked about how depressing it is to dupe people into seeing movies she knows are crap. So now PR flacks are not only lying to us about their product, they want to commiserate with us as well. Doesn’t anybody hustle with conviction anymore? Give me a guy in the Jack Valenti mode, who will insist that he thinks WATERWORLD is the next wave in big-screen excitement even as he’s being run out of town on a rail. At least that guy worked for my ten bucks.

Miscellaneous: Links

A walk down Brooklyn’s Memory Lane, although I don’t see why the reporter has to razz my man John Saxon. And Cannes jurors Quentin Tarantino and Tilda Swinton agree to disagree.