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 – Listen to me
I have tremendous news: Someone stole 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. This is probably not tremendous news for the people who make and transport Cadbury Creme Eggs, I suppose. It is tremendous news for me, though. I’ve been clicking on stories about it all week long. I’ll probably keep clicking on them all weekend. I must know everything about it. I must know how and why someone stole 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. I must know what they intended to do with 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. I must know what, exactly, 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs looks like. That’s a big one. I can’t picture it right now. It’s about 199,980 more Cadbury Creme Eggs than I’ve ever seen at once. I don’t think I would know what to do if I saw a collection of 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. I feel like I would just stare at it for a while.
The caper involved breaking into an industrial unit in Telford, outside Birmingham, on Saturday and making off with about $37,000 worth of the eggs, the police in West Mercia said in a statement on Twitter that was riddled with attempted jokes about Easter.
Honestly, good for the official police Twitter account. I mean, it’s still a crime and you want to be a little careful about taking it too lightly, especially if you are the police, but I’m going to cut them some slack here. This is too good. They deserve to have a little fun after posting a bunch of tweets about murder and arson and stuff. Stealing these eggs was almost a public service in that way.
I said almost.
Officials said the theft was premeditated — one that involved chocolate eggs that are more typically treated as an impulse buy at the grocery store. The prosecutor, Owen Beale, told Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court that Mr. Pool had used a stolen truck cab to tow away a trailer full of the treats, according to The Guardian. The police soon spotted him on the road, and he gave himself up, Mr. Beale said.
Well, that settles it. I need a television show about this. A full-on limited series. Eight episodes, minimum. It doesn’t have to remain perfectly faithful to this exact crime, but it does have to be inspired by it. I’m thinking some sort of Fargo situation, where we take a real crime and fiction-up the backstory a little bit. Maybe get… I don’t know… let’s say Will Forte in there as the egg thief. I’m just spitballing here. I can be flexible. Jesse Plemons works. So does Statham, I guess, especially since this happened in England. Get Guy Ritchie on the phone.
“This is clearly an organized criminal matter,” he said in court. “You don’t just happen to learn about a trailer with that kind of value being available.”
“This is clearly an organized crime matter,” the prosecutor said about the theft of 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs.
Yup, that settles it. This is the only thing I care about. I know I just said that two weeks ago about the theft of a huge Shrek sculpture but I mean it this time. I meant it that time, too. I especially mean it this time, though, because there appears to be an actual profit-driven motive for this one. Someone woke up with a plan to get a little rich by stealing Cadbury Creme Eggs and followed through with it all. If it was organized crime, that means there’s a scenario where a crime boss yelled “I NEED THOSE CREME EGGS” at an underling at some point last week. I feel like the crime boss should be played by Paul Giamatti.
If you see me out and about this weekend and I appear lost in thought a little bit, like my brain is cranking away on something and my eyes are fixed in an empty stare, there’s a very good chance I am thinking about all of this. Just leave me alone. I have a lot to process.
ITEM NUMBER TWO – John Wick is in the news
We are about a month out from the release date of the fourth John Wick movie. This means a few different things. It means I am getting very excited, for one, because one of the best movie franchises ever made about a legendary assassin going on a technicolor rampage because Theon from Game of Thrones murdered his dog is coming back on my freaking birthday weekend. It also means we’re getting a second trailer with lots of new footage, at least some of which features a dog leaping through traffic to disarm a gunman. Here, look at this very good boy.
But mostly, in the short term, it means we are going to find out both some of the technical details of the movie and a little bit more about the people responsible for making it. One of the technical details we learned this week is that the movie is going to be very, very long.
Time may be running out for John Wick (Keanu Reeves) but the upcoming fourth installment of the gun-fu franchise certainly isn’t short on time. Collider has learned that John Wick: Chapter 4 will clock in at 2 hours and 49 minutes with credits, making it the longest in the franchise. When we last spoke to the film’s director Chad Stahelski, he promised that it would be the longest in the franchise—and it looks like he followed through on that promise.
That is… it’s just a lot of minutes. Too many minutes , some would say, which puts me in a tough spot, as someone who just confessed to being very excited about it, because I am on the record as saying anything over 120 minutes is too many minutes for… anything. I do not appreciate when the things I love put me in a position to question my personal values. I will allow it, for now, but still.
Moving on. To the things we are learning about the people. Things like, for example, this thing about Keanu Reeves having a lot of stuff to say about deepfake technology.
What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency. When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that. If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary. It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies. They’re having such cultural, sociological impacts, and the species is being studied. There’s so much “data” on behaviors now. Technologies are finding places in our education, in our medicine, in our entertainment, in our politics, and how we war and how we work.
This is all somehow both a little surprising and exactly what I thought Keanu would think about the whole thing. On one hand, it’s easy to forget he’s a deep thinker if you still have the image of him from Bill & Ted in your brain. But on the other hand, it’s a very Matrix-y stance on the whole thing, which feels… right. There’s a lot going on here. That’s what I’m getting at.
Hopefully, this second thing will keep me occupied long enough that I forget the thing about the runtime. At least for a while. I’m still not ready to think about that too much.
ITEM NUMBER THREE – Help, I can’t stop making screencaps of Paul Rudd
Okay, here’s what happened. In addition to the part of my job where I write hundreds of words about people stealing candy, I also edit some blogs. One of the blogs I edited this week was a very good one by my colleague Nina Braca about Paul Rudd telling made-up stories on Late Night With Seth Meyers. And one of the things I did while editing was look for a nice screencap from the clip to publish with the blog.
So, I clicked play and paused at random to see if I could get a decent representative image. But Paul Rudd was making a face. So I tried again. And he was making another face. Same thing the third time. And the fourth. And the fifth.
And then I started getting curious and hopping around and just grabbing screencaps of whatever I paused on. Guys, Paul Rudd does so many faces. Look at all of these.
There are two takeaways here, as far as I can tell:
- Paul Rudd is a freaking professional and will pull out all the stops to sell a bit when he’s out promoting a movie
- I probably should not be in charge of things, for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I am a guy who will take 20 minutes to edit a short little blog because I get distracted by faces Paul Rudd makes
To be fair, I think we all already knew those things.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR – I feel like Brie Larson understands me on a very personal level
Brie Larson has always struck me as a good egg. She seems like one of those people who is fun to hang out with, and not just in the “Hollywood star putting on a show about it” way that you see sometimes, where it stinks of effort. You know what I mean here. We don’t need to name names.
Anyway, my position on this matter was confirmed this week when Brie Larson tweeted about pizza.
Still thinking about how we eat pizza from the inside out 🍕
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 15, 2023
That is a good point! One I had not considered until I read this tweet and will probably think about at least 70-80 percent of the times I eat pizza for the rest of my life. I can already hear my friends sighing when I say “Hey, did I ever tell you guys what Brie Larson said about pizza?” for the tenth consecutive time we get together for a couple of slices. I get excited.
Speaking of tweets I saw and me getting excited, please check out what the verified account for Fozzie Bear tweeted after Raquel Welch passed away this week.
I have Raquel Welch to thank for becoming a more confident comedian. On The Muppet Show, she helped pick me up when I was down and she was someone I could confide in. Thanks for being my friend, Raquel.
— Fozzie Bear (@FozzieBear) February 15, 2023
The main thing I want you to take away from this tweet is that it is kind of incredible. Please go read it again now but picture Fozzie Bear saying it with his voice and face. I did it again just now and it’s taken over my brain again. Which brings me to the other thing I want you to take away from this: If any of you have an in with the Muppets and can have one of them give the eulogy at my funeral, that is definitely something I would sign up for. Any Muppet, honestly, but I think my first choice is the Swedish Chef. That would be a fun little treat for me. Hell, I might fake my death Huck Finn-style just to chill out in the back and see people’s reactions.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE – This is important to me
There are really very few things I enjoy in this world more than the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. I have the full collection right here in fancy-looking books that I still pull out and go read in a park every summer. The stuff is foundational to my entire personality. It resonated so much with me when I was a younger guy. You may not be shocked to learn that I was also a mischievous little snot with an overactive imagination. Some people would say I still am. Those people are not wrong but do not need to be such jerks about it.
I do not think I need a great reason to express my love of Calvin & Hobbes on a random Friday in February, but I do have one this time. The creator of the comic, Bill Watterson, who has more or less disappeared from public life since Calvin & Hobbes wrapped up its run, has a new book coming out later this year.
From Bill Watterson, bestselling creator of the beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and John Kascht, one of America’s most renowned caricaturists, comes a mysterious and beautifully illustrated fable about what lies beyond human understanding.
In a fable for grown-ups by cartoonist Bill Watterson, a long-ago kingdom is afflicted with unexplainable calamities. Hoping to end the torment, the king dispatches his knights to discover the source of the mysterious events. Years later, a single battered knight returns.
For the book’s illustrations, Watterson and caricaturist John Kascht worked together for several years in unusually close collaboration. Both artists abandoned their past ways of working, inventing images together that neither could anticipate—a mysterious process in its own right.
This sounds much heavier and darker than a comic strip about a little rascal and his stuffed tiger going on adventures together, but it also sounds like a book I am going to pre-order and talk about non-stop for a while. This is a big deal for me. You’re all going to have to give me some time to freak out a little.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or 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.
Had a weird dream over the weekend that I feel like you’ll appreciate.
So basically Cris Collinsworth was sick (food poisoning or something) and they needed a new color commentator for the Super Bowl. Who do they turn to? That’s right, Anna Kendrick. A shocking choice, but apparently Anna has been doing color on the Jets radio broadcast for the past several years and no one noticed because it’s the Jets (I know the Chargers would make more sense, but in my dream, it was the Jets). So she comes in and in the 2nd surprise of the night, Anna Kendrick is one of the people who really enjoys offensive and defensive line play. So instead of Collinsworth, we get 4 hours of Anna Kendrick breaking down blocking schemes and pass rushes, and everybody loves it.
I like three things about this email:
- Everything about it
- The general concept of dreams as a thing where our bodies shut themselves off every night but our brains are like “Nope, I got some more business for us to attend to”
- The thing where Joe woke up and said “I should tell Brian about this
Please send me emails like this. As often as you want. I really do love them. Be more like Joe, everyone. He’s a good man.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
Dennis the Menace has been found.
Well, this is certainly interesting, I suppose. But I really don’t see how it can top the story I led with this week about the stolen creme eggs. That was really someth-…
A statue of the comic strip character that was stolen from a park in Monterey, California, last summer was found submerged in a nearby lake.
I am now completely invested in this.
The park’s original statue was stolen in 2006 and hasn’t been found. Its replacement was stolen in August 2022 by someone who cut through its foot to remove it.
So, wait. This is the third stolen Dennis the Menace statue? From the same place? And the second one involved a theft so pre-planned that they brought along a cutting implement to chop off the thing’s foot? Holy hell. I still want a television show about the egg heist, but now I want this one, too. Maybe it can be a whole limited series, like how Ryan Murphy does American Horror Story and American Crime Story. At the very least, I need both of these to become episodes of Pierce Brosnan’s new heist show on the History Channel. I need to hear him explain this.
And this, too.
In the years between the two thefts a Dennis the Menace statue was found in a Florida scrap yard and was sent to Monterey, where officials determined it was not the right one, KSBW reported. It had actually been taken from a Florida children’s hospital.
To be clear here: there is a nationwide epidemic of Dennis the Menace heists and I am just learning about it all now. I am thrilled, mostly, but also a little mad that no one told me about it before this week. I mean, honestly. It’s my whole thing!
The hospital allowed Monterey to keep that statue, which is now in front of a city parks building.
This is very sweet and I’m glad they did it but I do worry that revealing its location like this will put it in danger of being stolen again. We need to put these things into some sort of witness protection. Or at least give them some sunglasses and a wig. Things are pretty dangerous for them out there, apparently!