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 – This is the best movie I have ever seen
I saw The Beekeeper and it was everything I hoped it would be. It lived up to everything the trailer promised, which is impressive because the trailer was a masterpiece. The movie was under two hours of Jason Statham wrecking comically evil bad guys with elbows and fire and I could not have loved it more. It was silly and fun and satisfying in a way I have not experienced since I saw The Accountant. There was a couple sitting behind me in the theater that appeared to be having the time of their lives on a weekend afternoon. A lovely time at the cinema for everyone.
I’ve discovered something fun since I saw it, though: I think I might enjoy explaining the plot of this movie to people as much as I enjoyed actually watching it. Maybe more. Like, here’s the official description.
One man’s brutal campaign for vengeance takes on national stakes after it’s revealed he’s a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as Beekeepers.
Which, yes, accurate. And here’s the trailer, once again, which fills things in a bit more.
But there is so much more happening here. Just a steady run of the wildest stuff you’ve ever seen slapped between scenes where Jason Statham murders evildoers. I have explained the plot of this movie to a handful of people since I saw it and I cannot remember ever being happier explaining anything to anyone with the possible exception of the golden toilet heist. I’m going to explain it all here in a series of bullet points. Yes, these are spoilers, wall to wall. No, I do not think it will ruin this movie even a little for you. I say this because I know all of these things and I still can’t wait to watch it on basic cable 45 times over the next five years. I will not be offended if you scroll past all of this on principle but… I mean, come on.
I promise all of this is true.
- Phylicia Rashad gets scammed out of millions of dollars she managed for a charity that benefited kids by a snotty little dweeb in a shiny suit who runs like a Boiler Room for internet scams
- Jason Statham — the character has another name, but whatever — has been living in her shed and making honey and comes in for dinner to discover she’s committed suicide after losing the money
- Her daughter is an FBI agent who was already investigating the scam with no success
- Jason Statham makes one phone call on an old cell phone that looks like a walkie-talkie and finds out who is behind it
- He blows up their building
- Jason Statham is not just a beekeeper, it turns out, but also A Beekeeper, an off-book group of top secret government contractors who “protect the hive” of society by doing whatever needs to be done — laws be damned — to maintain justice
- Statham has retired but this is enough to bring him back
- The scammers turn out to be a part of a huge operation run by a little snot who skateboards around his massive headquarters and gets massages and eats sushi all day
- Jeremy Irons — again, the character has a name but whatever — also works there as the head of security
- His character was the head of the CIA and is doing the job as a favor to the snot’s mother
- Minnie Driver shows up for like 30 seconds as the current head of the CIA
- Statham keeps murdering people to get to the bottom of it all
- The snot is connected and protected in ways that seem odd aaaaaaaand guess what: his mother is the President of the United States
- He bankrolled her campaign with the scams, which use CIA technology meant to hunt terrorists
- Jason Statham storms her Florida compound
- He murders like 100 people and cuts through the whole Secret Service like butter that’s been softened in the microwave
- I really can’t stress strongly enough to any of you how many things blow up in this movie
- Jeremy Irons explains everything in one of those speeches where decades of backstory are covered in like four minutes
- Statham gets into the President’s private office and puts a bullet in the snot’s forehead when he tries to hold his mother — THE PRESIDENT— hostage
- Statham escapes out the window and scuba dives away safely despite the entire damn military being on high alert
There is more that happens. I didn’t even get to the lady with the mohawk who shoots up a gas station with a massive gun mounted to her truck. Or the guy with the neck tattoo and the unplaceable accent who literally says “to bee or not to bee” at one point. We can get into that another time. I will always be ready to talk about this movie. Come over and watch it with me sometime when it hits streaming. I will smile and giggle the entire time.
The Beekeeper. Great movie. I need at least three sequels.
ITEM NUMBER TWO – June Squibb rules
Hey, speaking of movies where senior citizens get scammed out of money by tech-savvy weasels, it brings me great pleasure to bring the upcoming movie Thelma to your attention. It’s a little different than The Beekeeper. For one, it’s a fun little Sundance romp instead of a mass market murder festival. And also, more importantly, this time the revenge tour is carried out by the old lady herself, not the mysterious honey purveyor who lives in her shed. Which is… cool.
Also cool: The titular Thelma in Thelma is played by 94-year-old June Squibb, who proudly declared to Variety that she did some of her own stunts for the movie. Look at June.
In one scene, Squibb hijacks an electric scooter and has a vehicular showdown in a retirement home with Ben, played by the late Richard Roundtree in his final screen performance. The two zoom into each other and crash, as Squibb plows Roundtree’s scooter out of the way.
“They weren’t expecting me to do the scooter work,” Squibb says. “They were so worried about me, they thought I was going to kill myself. They said, ‘Just tap his scooter,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, hell,’ and I just cowed into him.”
This is one of the more righteous things I’ve ever read, which I say both as a dude who uses a power wheelchair and gets annoyed when people overdo the caution around me and as someone who loves the idea of old ladies wrecking people in action movies. Put June Squibb in the next Fast & Furious movie. Hook her scooter up with NoS. Let Ludacris ride on the handlebars with a shotgun in his arms. This is how we should do movies from now on.
ITEM NUMBER THREE – A fond farewell to The Flight Attendant
The bloodbath at Max continues this month. First it was shows like Rap Sh!t and my beloved Our Flag Means Death getting the ax, now it’s The Flight Attendant, another fun little show I adored. This one I do kind of get, though. The first season was a bouncy blast with Kaley Cuoco as a party girl in the skies who gets twisted up with international intrigue. The second season was… messier. Just all over the place. I loved it very much because I’m a crazy person but I can understand how someone who cuts the checks might look at it and say “Hmm that’s about enough of that.”
But while you can cancel the show and stop making new episodes, you can’t take away the magic that already exists. And by that I mean “the thing where Rosie Perez’s character got bored in her marriage and kind of sold aerospace secrets to North Korea and spent most of the second season on the wildest journey you’ve ever seen.” I wrote about it at the time but I’ll just go ahead and blockquote the bullet points from that article to give you a short version.
- She opens the season living in hiding in Iceland with a black market tuna smuggler played by Margaret Cho
- She picks a bunch of mushrooms from a forest, which we later see her mashing up into a fine dust/paste
- You guessed it, they are poisonous hallucinogenic mushrooms
- She is running around dosing people with them to keep her secret and/or investigate other secrets
- Her cover gets blown and she comes back to America using the pseudonym “Hildegard Bouffant”
- She goes hunting for a lockbox she hid in her friend’s strip club, but the friend sold the contents of the room to some strange lady, so Rosie and her stripper friend track her down to a weird trailer in the woods and, yup, you guessed it again, dose the woman with mushroom paste and steal back the lockbox while the woman has a full-on mental collapse on the woods
It was a good show. That’s the point here.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR – Let’s go to Key West
What we have here is the trailer for the upcoming remake of Road House, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Williams and features lots of UFC-adjacent activity up to and including Conor McGregor as the bad guy. It looks fun. I was skeptical at first but… yeah. It looks fun. Jessica Williams should be in more things. She’s so great in Shrinking. I hope she gets to punch a goon or two. Here’s the official description via Amazon.
In this adrenaline-fueled reimagining of the 80s cult classic, ex-UFC fighter Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems.
I suspect it’s the weather-related January of it all but my biggest takeaway after watching this trailer where an absolutely shredded Jake Gyllenhaal wrecks bozos for three minutes is that I really want to go to Key West. Like, now. Maybe not to this bar. Maybe to a quieter one where they serve drinks with little plastic umbrellas in them. One with minimal fistfights. I can watch this movie in the hotel, though. With another umbrella drink.
Let’s leave Monday.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE – My dudes are thriving
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 21, 2024
Two things are true here:
- My beloved/hated Philadelphia Eagles have been eliminated from the NFL playoffs
- I love to see my favorite dudes thriving
Which brings us to two more things…
NUMBER ONE: The long-suffering Detroit Lions are still alive and no one is happier — as happy, maybe; but not happier — than Tim Robinson, star of I Think You Should Leave. I have pretty much decided to be a Lions fan for the rest of the season just for this. Put him in the booth for the Super Bowl. This is serious.
NUMBER TWO: With the Eagles eliminated, Jason Kelce is free to cheer on his younger brother Travis in his run with the Chiefs. And he is doing just that. Very well. Look at my guy.
Jason Kelce is my favorite human being ever. pic.twitter.com/HdmuWLqjNp
— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) January 22, 2024
It gets better, too, which is not easy when you already have “a shirtless maniac wearing sweatpants and slamming beers in a luxury suite because his brother scored a touchdown.” But it does. First, there’s the thing where this was apparently the first time he met his brother’s new girlfriend, a little-known musician named Taylor Swift. I would love to hear her take on all of this. I also love the idea that this charismatic grizzly could be the best man at her wedding. What a lovely family.
Speaking of the family, there’s also this, the thing where Mama Kelce was asked about it all and said this to People Magazine.
When asked if she was surprised when Jason stripped off his shirt and jumped into the stands to celebrate brother Travis Kelce’s touchdown, Donna — without hesitation — tells PEOPLE: “No, not at all. No.”
That’s because the Philadelphia Eagles center has “done it on occasion,” the football mom explains, citing the parade as another example of when Jason went topless. “He just saves it for special moments,” she says with a laugh.
Good for them. And me. And you. And Taylor Swift. Good for all of us, really.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me at email@example.com (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.
I know you’re bummed about Holey Moley being in limbo but maybe this will help: Maybe the reason there hasn’t been a new season in over a year is because they’ve been locked in a room the whole time trying to figure out how to top “the Muppets kidnap Steph Curry” and they just haven’t been able to crack it. That’s helped me at least.
This does help. Thank you.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
A British wildlife park has hatched a new plan to rehabilitate its potty-mouthed parrots after they unleashed a tide of expletives.
Leave them alone.
“When we came to move them, the language that came out of their carrying boxes was phenomenal, really bad. Not normal swear words, these were proper expletives,” the park’s chief executive, Steve Nichols, told CNN.
This is… my favorite thing? Ever? I know I say that a lot but think about these guys going to pick up some parrots and just getting cussed up and down with filth for an hour.
I love these birds. We must protect them.
“We’ve put eight really, really offensive, swearing parrots with 92 non-swearing ones,” he said.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
If the new strategy works, the eight parrots could learn “all the nice noises like microwaves and vehicles reversing” that the other parrots in the flock favor, Nichols added. But if the other 92 instead pick up the expletives, “it’s going to turn into some adult aviary.”
I need updates on this story weekly. Daily, if possible. But weekly is fine. I would honestly pay money — like, at least $25 — to go to a zoo where 100 parrots sling curses at you like you’re a visiting player at a professional sporting event. I would pay for a regular ticket and then extra for this, like a premium option at a museum. I want to hear dozens of birds cuss at me and my idiot friends.
This is a good idea. We can be millionaires. If you own or know someone who owns a zoo, please consider it.
The park has installed large signs warning visitors about the parrots’ language, but Nichols said it hasn’t received a single complaint.
THIS IS WHAT I AM SAYING
For now, the park is hoping they will learn the sounds of the flock, and mend their potty-mouthed ways.
“I’m hoping that’s part of the settling-in period, but I don’t think they will ever lose the swear because as soon as somebody swears, they’ll be swearing as well.”
LET THE BIRDS CUSS