Back in August, yours truly penned an article lambasting NBC for, among other things, their terrible-looking fall lineup. Animal Practice for example is surprisingly still on the air, no doubt because of Weeds mega-star and sarcasm factory Justin Kirk. The suspected lone bright spot, from this author’s perspective, was the new Matthew Perry comedy Go On. The promos made it look a bit formulaic—stereotypical, if you will—but it looked to have potential. If you can’t give the guy who had his TV Guide delivered to Miss Chanandler Bong a chance, then who are you gonna give a chance to when the time comes to review a TV pilot?
Last week we talked a little bit about the upcoming Total Recall remake, and made fun of the fact that they released a trailer for the trailer. Which we ate up. Well now the actual trailer is out and we thought you might like to see it.
A few things we learn from this trailer…
So as Hollywood proves how unoriginal it is, we continue to be spoon-fed reboots, remakes, sequels, prequels, and the lamest of all – reimaginings. And the worst part – they know we’re dumb enough to keep paying to see these things, so they’ll never stop. I admit, I’m the worst offender of all. I’m gonna watch the shit out of the new Total Recall, because I loved the old Total Recall. The difference here is, while I love the original, I love it mostly because of Arnold. Now we are clearly devoid an Arnold. Can Colin Farrell make us forget about Schwarzenegger?
No, he can’t.
But he can try, and he won’ t be alone. Joining Mr. Farrell we have a pretty strong cast – Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, John Cho, Bill Nighy, Bokeem Woodbine, and
Walter White Bryan Cranston. No Michael Ironside, but pretty strong none the less.
Now, we finally have some footage to go along with that cast list, and it comes to us in the form of a teaser…for the teaser. Yeah, that’s right – a 30 second preview for the trailer, which will air on TV durning the Heat/Celtics game
on Game of Thrones Day this Sunday. Stupid, I know, but aside from some photos, this is all we’ve got so far.
Here is the Press Release…
WORLD PREMIERE OF “TOTAL RECALL” TRAILER THIS SUNDAY
DURING CELTICS-HEAT GAME ON ABC
CULVER CITY, Calif., March 27, 2012 – Moviegoers will begin their Recall experience on Sunday, April 1, as Columbia Pictures debuts the trailer for the highly anticipated action thriller Total Recall during the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat broadcast nationally on ABC, it was announced today by Marc Weinstock, president of Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures. Total Recall will be released in theaters nationwide on August 3, 2012
The world premiere of the Total Recall trailer will air during the first half of the game and will be promoted with tune-ins in the week leading up to the game.
Following the trailer’s premiere on ABC, a special extended trailer will debut online at http://www.apple.com/trailers.
The trailer will also launch simultaneously in over 30 countries on broadcast and online outlets.
Commenting on the announcement, Weinstock said, “We’re thrilled to be working with the NBA and ABC to give millions of fans all across the country this exciting first look at the trailer.”
Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) whom he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) – there is no one Quaid can trust, except possibly a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) working for the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy). The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. The film is directed by Len Wiseman. The screenplay is by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback and the screen story is by Ronald Shusett & Dan O’Bannon and Jon Povill. The producers are Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe.
And the synopsis teaches us that Bill Nighy is the new Quatto!!
Ok, but I know what you really want is this teaser, so behold…
I’m not sure if this is the case for you, but when I think animated series, I usually don’t think about things like Napoleon Dynamite or Harold & Kumar, but it seems like I’m going to have to start thinking about it, because believe it or not, it’s happening. An animated version of Napoleon Dynamite was announced in October of last year, whereas the Harold & Kumar series was announced during the 3rd film’s opening weekend. Napoleon has a trailer (which is much less funny than I expected) as well as a network, FOX. Harold & Kumar has neither of these, but the original cast has already signed on, and there have been reports of many offers by networks.
Let me run down Napoleon Dynamite first since it seems to have a more concrete stance as of right now. I first saw the preview back in February or so, and I was extremely under whelmed. Despite the return of the entire cast as well as the writer/directors of the original film, it seems like Mr. Dynamite and crew have completely lost all the wit and subtle humor that made the original film so damn funny. With that being said, I can be as skeptical as I want, but I’m going to have to wait until the show actually premieres to make a decision, and I might be waiting a long time since an official premiere date has not yet been released.
The details on the Harold & Kumar series are much more ambiguous, as the show was just confirmed. Both John Cho and Kal Penn who play Harold and Kumar, respectively, have signed on to the show. The writers of the original three films, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, have also signed on to be the lead writers for the series. This is all great and dandy, but one crucial thing is missing, NPH. Many people are concerned that NPH will be reduced to the occasional cameo due to his commitment to How I Met Your Mother, but I have a different theory. HIMYM, which is on its 7th season, has only one more to go after this. That equates to about one and a half more years of Barney Stinson before the show’s inevitable end. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t that give NPH enough time to do everything?
The most interesting thing, in my opinion, about this whole situation, is that both of the series are based off of modern cult classic films. What’s next, Piranha: The Animated Series? The success of these shows is either going to be immediate or non-existent. Animated shows on FOX have proved to be moderately successful, with both Family Guy and American Dad on their roster. Harold & Kumar’s success though, depends solely on the network that picks it up. The films themselves are known for raunchy content and habitual drug use. If a network like NBC were to nab the show, the censors would be almost devastating to the show’s basic premise. We don’t want a watered-down H&K do we? Another problem I predict is that the antics of the duo will become stale after a season or two. Unless an ongoing issue or plot is introduced, seeing 22 minutes of different fiascos every week may get old quickly. As much as I want to be excited about this, I’m also very scared that it’ll ruin the lore, appeal, wit, and heart that makes the Harold & Kumar films so appealing.
While everyone loves a good animated series, will the fact that they’re based off of movies kill it, or make it worth watching. Let’s look at the track record of other shows based on movies. Clerks: Uncensored was a 2000 animated series based on the successful Kevin Smith Viewaskewniverse. The show itself only lasted six episodes, but has a surprisingly large cult following consider its extremely short screen life. Another film to animation series was The Real Ghostbusters, an extremely successful show that lasted five seasons, totaling 147 episodes. Other big to small screen adaptations include Tales From the Cryptkeeper, Police Academy: The Animated Series, Droids: The Adventures of R2D2 and C3PO, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, RoboCop: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Animated Adventures, Back to the Future: The Animated Series, and Beetlejuice. Some of the shows were successful, but many of them weren’t. With the mostly successful return of Beavis and Butthead, who knows what’s next?
Everyone loves racist jokes. Everyone loves pot jokes. Everyone loves racist pot jokes (it’s true don’t deny it). These three facts may be an explanation behind the strangely successful Harold & Kumar franchise, which is now on its third film. The other strange thing about the franchise is that it’s one of the only, if not the only successful franchise led without a Caucasian character in a lead role. I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting, but that’s really not important.
In A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, six years have passed since the previous sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantonomo Bay. On an unrelated note, considering that both Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle and Escape From Guantanomo Bay take place during the same week, and the first Harold & Kumar came out in 2004, the whole 6 years passing thing is extremely close to being accurate as far as the time-lapse. Not very important, but I felt like sharing, now back to the review.
Harold (John Cho) has since married his dream girl Maria (Paula Garcés – Below), who now wants to have a child. Kumar (Kal Penn), who was dumped by his girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Ackles), now lives alone spending his days getting high and talking to his annoying neighbor, Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld, in what should be his breakout role).
Christmas Eve rolls around, and this is where the fun begins. Harold’s very scary and very Mexican in-laws are in town for the weekend, led by their patriarch, Mr. Perez (Danny Trejo), bringing with him an extremely important and cherished tree that he’s been growing for eight years for this specific Christmas. Harold just wants to show to him that he’s a responsible husband and won’t ruin Christmas.
On Kumar’s side of things, with nothing to do, he decides to go out with Adrian, but hours before doing so, Vanessa drops by to give Kumar a little news; she’s pregnant. On top of all that (yes, there’s more), a package arrives for Harold who hasn’t lived in that apartment for almost five years. With all this on his mind, Kumar and Adrian head to Harold’s house to drop off the package and get out of their as soon as they can, but of course, we know the formula by know, that’s not going to happen.
Basically, to shorten the sequence, Kumar leaves the package on the front stoop and tries to get out clean, he ends up slipping on ice, Harold hears it, comes out, greets him, and invites him in for coffee. Kumar reluctantly agrees only to see that Harold’s new house is, and I quote, “not s**ty.” Harold and Kumar, after their awkward introductions, finally get around to opening the mysterious package, only to find a ridiculously large joint with the words “I killed Bob Marley” written on the side of it (I’m only kidding about that last part). Kumar immediately begins smoking the joint, and Harold forces him to throw it out. The joint, accompanied by some slick movie magic, is thrown out of the window, to only boomerang back into another open window, placing itself neatly on the cherished tree, thus lighting it on fire. Here’s where the adventure begins.
I won’t explain all the things that happen next, but I can say one thing; it’s funny as hell. The Harold & Kumar films, as mindless and raunchy as they may seem, are for the most part expertly plotted, smartly written, and extremely funny films, this being no exception.
The only thing that I thought was more or less distracting was the overall change in style. I can’t quite put my finger on everything that was different, but it’s like watching a sequel or a remake to your favorite movie. It’s probably good, but it just isn’t the same. Another distracting element was the almost constant use of slow-motion and 3D. Unfortunately, I was forced to see the film in 2D, as well as sober, so I probably only got about 1/10th of the effects that every stoner with a pair of 3D glasses did.
But for all the stylistic changes, the addition of new and hilarious characters, including Thomas Lennon as Todd, a naïve father who inadvertently involves him and his even funnier baby girl Ava in Harold and Kumar’s misadventures, as well as the return of all the old characters, notably NPH (whose cameo may be his best yet) and Rosenberg and Goldstein (whose cameo scene will have fans of the original in stitches), make this 3rd outing better than it has any right to be. Additionally, the use of meta-filmmaking makes for some even better laughs than almost any joke in the film. The real genius of this 3rd Harold & Kumar film, is that, it will most likely please fans of the original, but it also makes room for millions of new fans who have not yet been introduced to the antics of this lovable stoner duo.