The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.
ITEM NUMBER ONE – It could work
England is in turmoil. You might have heard about it. Their Prime Minister, Liz Truss, resigned after a chaotic 45-day run that sent financial markets into the toilet and general confidence in the government down there with it. It was almost impressive, really, especially when you consider the thing where she will now, apparently, collect a pension of somewhere around $125,000 a year. England, here is my promise to you: If asked, I will give you 50 days of leadership for that price. I’ll go as high as 60. Two full months. The cost-savings are undeniable. Ask any economist.
There are a few small issues with this plan, though. Mainly that I am not British. I’ve never even been to England. I feel like that could be a problem. Also, I do not want to do it. It seems hard and really just not very fun. What we need here is someone who is familiar with the area. Someone who has experience tackling difficult jobs. Someone with the type of natural leadership skills and gravitas to unite a troubled nation. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.
Presenting the three-part case for letting Jason Statham be the next prime minister of England.
Part One: I think people would listen to Jason Statham
I would. If I were a member of Parliament and Jason Statham walked in and gave a speech and maybe banged a gavel a little bit, I bet I would get all pumped up and follow along with whatever he said. I suppose this could be a problem if Jason Statham goes mad with power and starts ruling like a tyrant, but I do not think he would do that. Jason Statham seems pretty cool. The people need someone to rally around in these troubled times and I think Statham is the man for the job.
Part Two: He can do stuff like this
I do not know when or even if the need will arise for the Prime Minister of England to slide down an American flag and onto a jet ski and then flip a model over his shoulder and scream off into the high seas to right some sort of current or historical wrong, but I think I would feel better knowing that option is on the table. Just in case. Just to be safe.
Not all crises take place at sea, though. Some take place above ground. Luckily, Statham has the people covered here as well.
Any dork with a calculator can balance a budget. It takes a real leader to leap from a gondola to a passing hang glider when the situation calls for it. Which it might. You don’t know. And you’ll feel really dumb if you go ahead and install some feeble old man in the position and then he’s up on top of a gondola but is too scared to leap to the passing hang glider. The whole country could be at risk. You need to consider things like this. For the good of the land.
Part Three: I would like it
I really would. It would make me so happy. I would like to see him meet with various heads of state and pose for photos and grip their hands so tight while they are shaking that you can see little winces of pain in their eyes. I want to see him roundhouse kick a rival who is holding up a signature piece of his legislation. I want to see him show up to negotiations with Putin on a dirtbike that he ramps up over a gate and flies into the Kremlin straight through an open window. I think it could work. Probably.
I will also accept Paddington Bear as an alternative. I do not know many other British people or bears. I feel like this is a good start, though. Thank you and good luck to the people of England.
ITEM NUMBER TWO – I am ready for the good movie
It’s kind of wild that the first Creed movie worked. It would have been easy for all of that to miss in tremendous fashion. A movie about a kid Apollo Creed never knew he had getting trained by Rocky to be a fighter like his dad is… there’s a lot of room for error there. Especially given the trajectory of the whole franchise to that point. Things could have gotten really corny really fast. And yet! It was good! So good! Like, legitimately in the conversation for best and most rewatchable sports movies ever! It’s basically a magic trick.
And now, here we are, closing in on a decade later, and there’s a trailer for a third movie in the spinoff of a franchise that started 45 years ago and saw Sylvester Stallone fight both Hulk Hogan and Mr. T and end the Cold War with his fists on Christmas Day and I’m… god, I’m pumped up. Watch that trailer. Watch Jonathan Majors glare and glisten and look just generally like he could put his fist through a cement wall if the urge struck him. I’m ready for it right now. It doesn’t come out until next year but I’m ready now. Look at the description!
Five years after Creed II, after dominating the boxing world, Adonis “Donnie” Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian “Dame” Anderson, resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Donnie must put his future on the line to battle Dame – a fighter who has nothing to lose.
I love it. I love all of it. I love that the antagonist is lit and posed like he’s the devil and he is literally named Damian. I love that Michael B. Jordan has taken ownership of the franchise to the degree that he’s directing this one. I love that Jonathan Majors is kind of playing Mike Tyson but more menacing. It’s great. I hope they make 100 of them.
Good for everyone involved in this. Including me. We are all doing great.
ITEM NUMBER THREE – This is going to be the best press tour
Harrison Ford is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know this because I am a professional and because my Twitter timeline was filled with headlines like “Harrison Ford Is Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe” and because a lot of those headlines were on top of articles like this one at Deadline that read like someone was running into your living room and telling you about it while they were catching their breath.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s official. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones franchise) will be taking over the Marvel role of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, beginning with Phase 5 title Captain America: New World Order. He’ll star opposite Anthony Mackie, with Shira Haas, Tim Blake Nelson and Carl Lumbly also among the ensemble.
So, the three things are notable here, and I think I can rip them out via bullet point:
- Reasonable arguments can be made that no one in history has more experience dealing with breathless nerds than Harrison Ford, given his 50-year history as Han Solo in Star Wars
- Harrison Ford is also so old and famous and wildly successful that he has no obligation to play nice when someone asks him a dumb question, or even a good question, and he seems to really enjoy being cranky whenever he can
- I honestly cannot wait for this press tour just to see if Harrison Ford goes to Comic-Con and some kid asks him if he thinks Han Solo could defeat Thanos and Harrison Ford just stares at him and sighs and says “Kid… who cares?”
Yeah, that about covers it. Also, when things like this happen, it’s fun to pretend like you have never heard of Star Wars. Like, just act dumbfounded when people mention it. Act all righteous about Harrison Ford joining some fantasy franchise like he doesn’t have a whole lifetime of dealing with it all. People hate it. It’s really a lot of fun.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR – Your periodic reminder that two things can be true at once
Okay. Here’s what’s going on. GQ interviewed Alan Moore, a legend in the field of comics who always gives quotes in interviews about how much he hates when his comics are adapted for any size of screen anywhere, and they asked him about the HBO adaptation of Watchmen that Damon Lindelof did, the one that starred Regina King and James Wolk and Jeremy Irons. You remember that show. The one where James Wolk said the phrase “squid pro quo” and Regina King shouted emmeffers every episode or two, like in the screencap up there.
Anyway, Alan Moore hated it and did not like the way Lindelof approached him about it. Which he was happy to elaborate on.
I explained that I had disowned the work in question, and partly that was because the film industry and the comics industry seemed to have created things that had nothing to do with my work, but which would be associated with it in the public mind. I said, “Look, this is embarrassing to me. I don’t want anything to do with you or your show. Please don’t bother me again.”
When I saw the television industry awards that the Watchmen television show had apparently won, I thought, “Oh, god, perhaps a large part of the public, this is what they think Watchmen was?” They think that it was a dark, gritty, dystopian superhero franchise that was something to do with white supremacism. Did they not understand Watchmen? Watchmen was nearly 40 years ago and was relatively simple in comparison with a lot of my later work. What are the chances that they broadly understood anything since? This tends to make me feel less than fond of those works. They mean a bit less in my heart.
What we have here is yet another one of those situations where two different things can be true at the same time. The first thing is that, yes, sure, Alan Moore — anyone who creates something, really, the person who made a thing where there was once nothing — is allowed to be annoyed that other people are taking his stories and characters and adapting them in new and different ways than he intended when he first dreamed them all up. That’s fair. Imagine how mad you would be if you made something and some other joker came along years later and was like “I loved it but actually I think what you meant was this…” You get to hate it if you want. That’s your right.
But the other true thing is that the Watchmen series in question here was really, really good. Just a blast, a take on good versus evil and race in America that was still enjoyable from beginning to end. At one point, Regina King’s character was chasing a dude called Lube Man and if you never watched the show and are wondering why he was called Lube Man then it brings me great pleasure to share this clip with you.
I am sad that Alan Moore did not like the show. I really am. I get it, again, but it is a bummer, just generally. I’ll tell you who did like it, though: me. I might watch it again over the winter when it’s too dark and cold to go anywhere. You can do it, too, if you want. Let’s just agree to not tell Alan Moore any of this, though. It seems like it bums him out a lot. We can keep this one between us.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE – Sick
It brings me great pleasure to inform you all that Zac Efron’s eco-travel series Down to Earth is returning to Netflix for a second season very soon and that he and his buddy Darrin are off to Australia this time. For the whole season. They play with cute little animals and zipline through trees and learn about all sorts of cool Australian nature stuff. That’s the trailer for it up there.
I need to stress here that my excitement about this is not ironic. I can understand why you might think that, given who I am and what I do and the words I used to describe all of this in this first paragraph. I am not being ironic though. I actually, truly enjoyed the first season of the show. It was the most pure and sincere thing I’ve ever seen and Zac Efron would listen to some scientist explain how some turbine is saving the environment and Zac would ponder it for a second and reply “Sick.” Which, like, he wasn’t wrong. It was pretty sick. We should all go through life with this attitude.
Look at this screencap from his trip to Sardinia in season one, where he learned that the inhabitants of the island live to 100 years old in greater numbers than most places on Earth thanks to a diet that features reasonable consumption of carbs, which Zac had just eliminated from his life for months to film the Baywatch movie.
Look at this screencap, which does not need any context and sums up everything I said about the show much more efficiently than all the words I typed.
It’s a good show. It’s fun. It teaches you stuff and it teaches Zac stuff and it’s all so earnest and nice and sincere and I kind of can’t believe how excited I got when I saw this trailer earlier this week. It’s all pretty sick.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.
Hey man, just wanted to say thank you for reminding me about the “WICKED WITCH OF THE EAST, BRO” video. I have watched it a million times this week after not watching it at all for a few years. Every part of it is so good, but I’m mostly surprised I never noticed that the guy in the front PULLS OUT A KNIFE AT THE END. How did I miss that until now? It makes me want to go back and rewatch other viral videos from years gone by to see what else I missed. Maybe Bigfoot is in the background of “Charlie bit my finger” and no one ever noticed.
Hmm. Yes. Good email. And a great excuse for me to post the video again.
I had noticed the knife thing before this recent revival in my brain, but it took me probably 20 times before that happened. It’s such a wild little chaotic touch on what is already maybe a perfect video. Part of me wants to see everything that happened leading up to this that convinced someone to start filming. Part of me wants to let the mystery be. Most of me is just looking for excuses to get into arguments that I can storm away from while shouting “Grow up!” at people.
This section took me 20 minutes to write because I watched the video five more times while typing.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
A milk truck was stolen from a Lower Sackville parking lot early Monday afternoon.
BROAD DAYLIGHT MILK TRUCK HEIST
RCMP say it was being used to make a delivery on Sackville Drive at the time.
Three things here:
- I need you to get a good image in your head of this driver calling his supervisor just after lunch on a Monday and explaining to him or her that someone just stole his milk truck
- I have a lot of respect for the dude who saw an idling milk truck with the keys in the ignition and was like “today is the day”
- This seems like the kind of story we shouldn’t research too much more because it has the potential to get less fun real quick
Let’s proceed… carefully.
The truck was spotted heading down the Bedford Highway towards Halifax, but when an officer tried to pull it over, the suspect didn’t stop.
Officers started patrolling the area and found the truck abandoned on the end of Basinview Drive.
MILK TRUCK HIGH-SPEED CHASE QUESTION MARK
Mounties called in police dogs to help search for the driver and they were able to track the suspect down in the woods just before 3 p.m.
Okay, one more visual, then we can put a pin in this…
You’re at work on the 15th floor of a downtown high-rise. It’s a Monday. You just got done with lunch and are staring at a pile of papers you need to sort through before a meeting. You have that post-meal drowsiness kicking in, which isn’t helped by the sun blasting in through your window and making everything just warm enough to be exhausting. Your eyelids begin to droop.
You hear a commotion outside.
Tires screeching, people shouting.
You look down to the street and see a milk truck come screaming around a corner with a dozen Mounties on horseback behind it.
You watch them fly past you and continue on down the street.
You blink again.
You try to comprehend what you just saw.
You sit back down.
You would think about this every day for the rest of your life.