All posts by Chris Tansuche

Horrible Bosses…with Phallic Objects & A Trailer

So the trailer for Horrible Bosses is out and my boss needed an excuse to post the above picture

Admittedly, a bit underwhelmed by the trailer, as it seems a lot more formulaic in terms of comedies. But then I thought about Kevin Spacey being a douche, Jennifer Aniston fellating foods, and a Colin Farrell combover. I’m still willing to get a bit excited for it, because it just looks fun.

And Charlie Day just needs more play, right?

Although not to go back and forth between good and bad, I just saw Brett Ratner is a producer. NOOOOO!!!!! YOU KILLED CYCLOPS!!! HOW DARE YOU WORK AGAIN!!!!

Arnold to ‘Cry Macho’, Maybe into Tiny T-Rex Arms of De Vito?

First off, I want to see a photoshop of De Vito with T-Rex arms hugging the Terminator. I digress though because yeah, that’s right, according to FilmDrunk Twins 2 is out there for the taking and apparently 6 Fast 6 Furious: Terminator Boogaloo isn’t the only sequel being offered to the Governator. Well, before we get into this, let’s just sit on this idea for a second.

Okay, now that we’ve thought about this, because I am not inebriated nor on any sort of hallucinogen, I can’t think of a comprehensible way to reintroduce this sequel. I have a better time selling Miley Cyrus as the next Sarah Conner (picture it then immediate fetal position crying). But then again, I never put anything past Hollywood these days and I’m sure someone will crank out an idea that may be absolutely ridiculous by nature, but due to product placement, tax credits in Vancouver, and a little bit of soul selling to the devil, we’ll have a screenplay in about two weeks with a  green light in a month. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still watch it. But it’s because I’m pot committed to any Arnold movie. At least that’s how I justify watching Junior and Jingle All the Way.

 

Regardless, this isn’t even the real news of the story. According to FilmDrunk and the Hollywood Reporter, Cry Macho apparently will be the first thing the we see newly-separated Schwarzenegger in at the movie theater. He will play a washed out horse trainer that decides to kidnap his old boss’s son from his ex-wife, only to find out that the ex-wife does not want the kid back. They end up getting chased by the Federales and start bonding.

So it’s Seabiscuit mixed with A Perfect World, and maybe a dash of Dutch? Fair enough then. I do think it’s interesting that he’ll choose this over the action flicks he has in the pipeline, as if to say that he’s a versatile actor and will take any role, action or dramatic and can still pull it off. I still don’t know what to make of this, and if anything it makes me want to watch A Perfect World again…

2011 Summer Movie Guide: 6 Movies Absent of Capes and Numbers in the Title…Almost.

What Ever Happened to Original Summer Movies? It’s Okay, I Made a Solid List For You to Watch…

When I volunteered to do an article about summer movies, I felt right at home. Ever since we were in high school, Doc Kronner and I would set up movie events in the summer where we would gather scores of friends together to partake in the best and worst movies of the season. But they were event movies for a reason, we would always debate afterwards whether one movie was better than the other, how much it impressed us or let us down. It was great times to be had. Needless to say, I had my list of ten movies that I was looking forward to. A solid ten in my mind that I could get myself excited about.

Then I got the bomb dropped on me. I had to do the article that involved no sequels and no comic book movies. That kind of made me blow up my list and start from scratch. The tent pole pictures of the summer were all comic book movies or sequels. I actually had to research what was coming out this summer in order to write this article. However, I’m glad it worked out this way, because I think I have some stuff you guys need to check out. Not because it has a built-in fan base, but because it just looks damn interesting and it’s about time we covered something original for the summer, right? So in chronological order, I have some summer movies you need to check out that are either original, or might be flying under your superhero radar.

Bridesmaids (May 13)

Now, I hate the marketing team that keeps begging this the female equivalent of The Hangover. It should be expected considering the massive success of the movie, but remember when The Sweetest Thing was supposed to be the solution to the R-Rated female comedy? Let’s keep the comparisons on the down low and look at the basics. You have a Kristen Wiig starring vehicle. Check. She wrote it too? Check. Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, and Ellie Kemper? Check. Aww, sweet, Jon Hamm? Yeah, sign me up. As long as the Target Lady or Gilly doesn’t show up, I’m game.

Hesher (May 13)

Okay, technically this film has been around since early 2010 doing the film circuit run, but it’s finally getting a wide release this summer and it’s definitely going to be way under the radar. It’s my job to make sure you see this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Hesher, a bad-ass troublemaker that enters the lives of T.J. (Devin Brochu – Rubber) and his dad (Rainn Wilson) after the loss of his mother. Natalie Portman is also in this movie, and since she is the only reason I would ever punt a small animal just so she can say ‘hi’ to me, that means I would be seeing this movie. But the thing is, this movie is supposed to be awesome. Even without Natalie, I think I would still be talking about how we need to see this movie. The trailer’s nice, go check it out and see why Gordon-Levitt is starting to become one of my favorite actors.

Super 8 (June 10)

This is the closest movie to an ‘event flick’ on my list. Amongst my friends, I think I was one of two that actually made it to the end of Lost after six seasons. I actually DVR’d Undercovers too, so that shows I am a J.J. Abrams slappy. However, the guy is a great storyteller, and Spielberg endorses him, so you know you are going to get a visual treat. And lens flares. Like, a million of them.

Regardless, this has Kyle Chandler (I will always carry the football for you Coach Taylor) and it has a childhood nostalgic feel to it. Abrams combined the plot of a monster/alien movie getting loose with a dramatic idea he had about growing up making Super 8 films with his friends, and getting fascinated with filmmaking. Yet another coming of age movie, but throw a little action and sci-fi in there and you get probably the movie I most look forward to on my list.

Horrible Bosses (July 8th)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis. C’mon now, that’s friggin’ sweet. Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, and Kevin Spacey play the bosses they want to murder? Okay, you had me at hello. The big kicker? According to IMDB, Jaime Foxx plays a guy named ‘Motherf*cka Jones’. Done and done. I am all for seeing Charlie Day get more prominent roles seeing as it feels like we wait forever for Always Sunny.

Also, Julie Bowen is also in it, so it’s another reason to see if she yells an awkward, “HAPPY LOOK OUTAH!” 

Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)

Yeah yeah, it’s based off a graphic novel. I don’t care, I need to mention this movie, which is also the second movie on my list that screams ‘event movie’. James Bond, Indiana Jones, Olive Wilde, Sam Rockwell…uhh, hello awesome cast? I remember seeing the first teaser trailer one year ago where no one knew what the movie was until the title card came. I remember people in the theater groaning asking aloud, “You cannot be serious…” I then turned to my girlfriend and she turned to me and said, “We have to see that on the title alone.” And that is why I hang out with awesome people. But I digress. It’s a high concept movie, but with Jon Favreau behind the lens I think we will be good hands. Or we better hope so because he passed on Iron Man 3 and Avengers for this. That has to count for something, right?

30 Minutes or Less (August 12)

Aziz Ansari is a genius. He’s probably the best sidekick to have in anything media related, because he steps in with the best observations or reactions to make awesome comedy. With Jesse Eisenberg playing straight man to Aziz’s manic best friend, that should be on the list. If I attempt to explain the plot, I tend to lose interest because it sounds pretty weird. Just know that Eisenberg digs Ansari’s sister, has a bomb strapped to his chest, and must rob a bank so Danny McBride can hire a hitman. See? How that’s how you set a tease.

Final Destination 5 (August 12)

Yeah, just kidding.

OTHER NOTABLES THIS SUMMER THAT COULD GO UNDER THE RADAR:
– Priest (May 13th – Graphic Novel)
The Troll Hunter (June 10th – Limited Release)
– The Change-Up (August 5th)
– Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5th – Prequel)
– Conan the Barbarian (August 19th – Reboot)

Friday Night Lights: Series Recap…or, Why I Love FNL and You Should Too

Victory laps are usually reserved for the revered, the celebrated or the most popular. We are just going to have to settle for the best in this case. As Friday Night Lights made its final season debut on April 15th to tie for last place in the ratings, we must think whether they deserved such an awful way to end its run. DirecTV viewers have been done with the season for months, heck , this fifth season is already out on DVD right now. From a television executive standpoint, you have to wonder, why does this show, the little show that could, even bother? Well, it is the same reason why I was asked to do this article: Friday Night Lights was one of the best damn shows on television in the last decade.

I have been an avid watcher of this show when it first launched back in 2006 to mediocre ratings. I had seen the movie and thought it was worthwhile enough to give the show a shot. Obviously no Billy Bob but hey, life is not meant to be perfect. I remember the pre-launch of the show, and that it had garnered the best reviews, some even declaring the pilot to be one of the best ever made. Granted, critics and opinions do not mean much in the world today of bloggers, or just people who troll IMDB message boards (right boss?), but it was something that had to be seen and watched. I figured, if it is a show about football, it has got to be at least watchable right?

I remember the pilot being easily being unforgettable. It had several moments of intensity, sincerity, levity and just pure fun that pulled me into its grasp. Although it had the same principle plot of the movie, (powerhouse team becomes underdog after horrible injury with a twist), the episode was very well constructed and kept the pace original and fresh to make the idea seem less stale.

That and Matt Saracen (Zack Gilford) is my boy.
That and Matt Saracen (Zack Gilford) is my boy.

Now, I admit, I have a soft spot for dramas. Not only stuff  like 24 or Boardwalk Empire or anything dealing with action and HBO, but I love The O.C. I get crapped on about it every once in a while, because let’s face it, it is not something someone would readily admit out loud. The reason I mention this was because for the most part (effin’ Oliver), the first season of the The O.C. was brilliant. They captured the dynamics of friendship, comedy, relationships so well that I wanted to hang with Seth Cohen, crush on Summer Roberts, and have awesome benefactors like Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. The humanity of people was prominent during the season, and the one thing I always noted was the dynamics of the parents relationship. Sandy and Kirsten acted like adults. They had their issues, ups and downs but they got through it because they did not have their heads up their asses. Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) are that couple.

They keep the show, and everyone involved, as grounded as possible. I give the writers a lot of credit. They threw obstacles at them, but there was not an ex, or a ridiculous plot in order drive a wedge in between the two. It was bigger houses, money , jobs…things real couples argue about in life. They were not perfect, they had their flaws. But they were perfect for that show and for each other.

Watching the first season made me come to the conclusion that it was so good, it probably would not last more than two or three seasons. This came out around the same time that Arrested Development was still struggling to find audiences despite the perfection of that show. No one gave any hope to the critical darlings that kept people entertained, or at least those that watched it. They wanted the low-concept projects that the A.D.D generation did not have to think too much about. Which is fine, I am not here to preach about peoples’ television watching habits or their tastes. I am just happy that this show was able to last five seasons after going down to wire like the Dillon Panthers and the end of every game.

Coach yelling at Riggins. Classic.

The characters drove this show, obviously being led by the Taylors (Chandler, Britton, and Aimee Teegarden) but as with any ensemble show, they are only as good as the surrounding parts. You had Jason Street (Scott Porter), Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), Smash Williams (Gaius Charles), the Lyla and Buddy Garrity (Minka Kelly and Brad Leland), Kronner’s boy Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons – Paul), and even Grandma Saracen (Louanne Stephens) in the first season that clicked together.

Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, and Amiee Teegarden.

Madison Burge 3As the seasons progressed, they added more characters such as Luke Cafferty (Matt Lauria – The Chicago Code), Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan), Jess Merriweather (Jurnee Smollett), and Becky Sproles (Madison Burge) for the last two seasons but it was always the Taylors that took center stage.

They responded to situations in the most human way possible, whether to compromising, arguing, and not doing overly stupid things. They were the moral compass of the show and their impact showed through the last five years in the growth of everyone, even themselves.

The second season had its hiccups with a plot to build new viewership that was just unnecessary and stupid, but we still had the same base. They rebounded the next few seasons and still helped build a consistent and entertaining show to watch.  It is interesting to think that people did not watch the show because it was about football. Or maybe, because it was not about football at all. This is a show about courage, compromise, family, and growing up. Football was just the backdrop. This could have been about basketball, baseball, badminton, whatever, it was just there to help get from point A to point B.

I truly believe that if you give this show a chance, you will walk away impressed and wanting more. There may not be explosions, Kiefer, vampires, or a mysterious island – and the concept may be boring to some, but it truly is one of the best shows on television. There is just something about hearing, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”, that just makes me smile. Give it shot and it may make you smile too.


Images: NBC, Universal, DirecTV

OSU’s Jim Tressel: The Sweater Vest is Dead to Me

There’s a Scarlet and Gray elephant in the NCAA room. The ‘Sweater Vest’ himself, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, has admitted to withholding information from the NCAA for 8 months pertaining to violations. These violations later lead to the suspensions of players for selling memorabilia and keepsakes in exchange for tattoos and other benefits.

The current punishment? Two games and $250,000. This naturally brings up questions regarding proper punishment and leadership.

– Does the punishment fit the crime?
– Should Tressel be fired?
– Does the football team demonstrate a lack of institutional control?
– Are we even surprised at this point?

Before I go further, for those that do not know who I am, I did attend THE Ohio State University. I do have a love for the Buckeyes that my home state of Michigan claims would be unnatural. I have seen both sides of the rivalry and have been booed at my high school graduation when they announced I was bucking (pun intended) the trend and heading to Columbus. I even shared a dorm with the infamous Maurice Clarett.

I expect to be accused of being an Ohio State slappy, but that is just the way it rolls. I am in a position to comment, because I follow OSU’s athletics and have an understanding to how the Sweater Vest works.

I did meet Jim Tressel once, back in 2001. I shook his hand as he welcomed me, well me and the rest of the class of 2005 to the campus. He had a firm, strong handshake and was poised in delivering his speech to us freshman. It was his first year and he wanted to let us know we will be proud of our football team in two months, when they march into the University of Michigan and beat the Wolverines. He did keep his word on victory. However, pride in my team has wavered in the last decade.

Jim Tressel and Ohio State got off on the right foot. We beat Michigan in his first year as head coach and won a national championship the next year. That was then followed however, with the debacle of academic fraud concerning the aforementioned Clarett.

After that mess, Ohio State settled into the groove of being the BCS representative of the Big Ten, sending numerous players to the NFL, and gathering hatred from fans all around. Then the Troy Smith booster scandal happened and our Quarterback was suspended for the Alamo Bowl in 2004, as well as the first two games of the 2005 season.

Tressel has always carried a reputation of having issues with player benefits, resulting in NCAA eyeballs starring his way since his years at D-I AA (now Division I’s Football Championship Subdivision) Youngstown State. He was pretty much the Pete Carroll equivalent of the Midwest. Some diehard fans though argued that some team and coach had to fill the role of ‘most hated’ during the last few weeks of the regular season. Seeing OSU as undeserving of the praise in the national eye due to the disasters against the SEC in the BCS Championship games that capped off the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

The Buckeyes always a chip on their shoulder and seem to always be under a scrutinizing eye. Their reasoning was that they were elite and people always want to take down Goliath. Others though said that the team was only good because they let the players do whatever the hell they want. Naturally, evidence in May 2009 reported by The Columbus Dispatch, shows that Ohio State reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations. That number is staggering, but I think what is most alarming is that most of the violations resulted in little or no punishment.

When the ‘Tat Five’, the athletes punished that are at the heart of this issue, were handed their suspensions, it was laughable and frustrating. Laughable because the compliance office at Ohio State is a joke, saying that they never had the chance to educate the athletes about giving autographs for benefits being in violation, or that selling their awards would also result in some form of punishment. Frustrating because these athletes that had these awards bestowed upon them for sharing in one of the best rivalries in sports, threw school pride out the window and took the cash.

I looked for Tressel to provide leadership, to set the example these men need to follow. Show them that what they did is a slap in the face to the fans, and let us face it – stupid, because their eligibility was on the line. All I got was the Big Ten Commissioner and Ohio State stepping in and getting their star players on the field for a BCS game followed by pointless suspensions during the mostly fluff schedule in 2011.

Weak as it was, I was willing to forgive the stupidity of the punishment, mostly because as a fan, I wanted to win the damn Arkansas game, and I hated Ryan Mallett. Tressel supposedly stepped in and got promises from these players. Promises to serve the suspensions and make sure they learn from the whole experience. Yet here I sit, writing an article asking why this was necessary.

Let’s face it; Coach Tressel is not going to miss his $250,000. Ohio State will give him yet another extension in two years that will easily cover the salary loss. He will sleep at night soundly. Jim Tressel owns Ohio State. The president of OSU Gordon Gee was asked whether he’d considered dismissing Tressel, Gee’s response:

“No. Are you kidding me? I just hope the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

That’s strong leadership, and maybe that is the problem. No one is willing to tell Coach Tressel to put aside football and just think about being the poised leader, the person that Buckeye nation looks up to, a person that is supposed to represent integrity for Ohio State. That person currently does not exist. I just see a coach that will do anything to put himself in the best position to win. He is not going be fired because it is his sole job to win football games. Winning football games generates money for the university so really, who is going to challenge his authority?

I get that he wants to cover for these players but really, what are we teaching here? That people are above the system? Whether it’s the players using their fame for profit, or the coach keeping information to increase his competitive advantage, I was promised I was going to be proud of my university. All I got was a lousy handshake.