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 will vary, as will 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 — Give me all your bloopers
We’re all susceptible to our own set of YouTube rabbit holes. I have a bunch of them, genres of videos and clips that can send me tumbling into a click-y abyss that I do not emerge from until over an hour has passed in what feels like 15 minutes. Clips from late-night talk shows is one. Another is compilations of Allen Iverson highlights. Maybe yours are makeup tutorials or supercuts of action scenes in big-budget movies. Maybe you watch dozens of videos of people cooking pancakes in various shapes and sizes. I’m not here to judge you. I’m just pointing out what a shared experience it is, this losing huge chunks of your day to mindless viewing in a disturbing number of 5-10 minutes increments. We’ve all been there.
I’ll tell you another dangerous one for me: gag reels and bloopers. I could watch them forever. I kind of have. Are they the high point of comedic achievement? I mean, no. They’re just famous people screwing up at work and sometimes swearing about it. And they diminish what a hard and stressful job making movies or television can be because look at all the fun they’re having, wow. I don’t know that I should enjoy them as much as I do. But I also don’t know if I should enjoy 10-minute compilations of amateur skateboarding accidents, and yet…
I bring this up today because The Good Place released its season three gag reel this week and, yes, I watched it immediately. Here, look.
Did I, upon finishing this clip, then spend another 45 minutes watching bloopers from other shows and movies I like, even if I’ve seen the videos in question before? I did. You probably knew that, though. I can’t help it. There’s something intoxicating about it all to me. Here’s one from Step Brothers.
And here’s one that contains the bloopers from Grumpy Old Men and it’s sequel Grumpier Old Men., movies about the romantic lives of retirees that I saw multiple times as a young man because, look, we didn’t have a million comic book movies to go to in the 1990s, okay? Anyway, is there anything funnier than Burgess Meredith running through a dozen or so sexually suggestive comments like “man-sized manicotti”? I don’t know. Probably. But it’s still pretty good.
The point in all of this is that maybe you need some time to kill today and maybe yours like me. Maybe you could use some bloopers in your life. Go ahead and do it. Leap down that rabbit hole. Do a pencil dive. It’s all very cheap laughter but sometimes you deserve that, you know? Have a blast.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — A scene from Big Little Lies if it had been a cop show from the detective’s point of view
POLICE CHIEF: Quinlan, my office!
QUINLAN: What’s up, Chief?
POLICE CHIEF: I’m taking you off the Perry Wright case.
QUINLAN: What?! Why?! I’m close to solving it, Chief. I can feel it.
POLICE CHIEF: What’s this I hear about you stalking the suspects? Did you really show up at one of their custody hearings?
QUINLAN: Well, yes, but…
POLICE CHIEF: And you’ve been meeting with the victim’s mother to discuss evidence and strategy?
QUINLAN: That only happened once.
POLICE CHIEF: Dammit, Quinlan. You’re a good detective but you’re a loose cannon. There are rules for a reason. Maybe you need a break to clear your mind for a bit.
QUINLAN: Chief, with all due respect…
POLICE CHIEF: It wasn’t a suggestion, detective.
QUINLAN: Dammit, Chief. Don’t do this. I know there’s more here. They’re guilty. All of them. Madeline Mackenzie, Bonnie Carlton, Laura Dern, Celeste Wright. Something not right.
POLICE CHIEF: Laura Dern?
QUINLAN: Yeah. Wait. No. What’s her name? It’ll come to me in a second…
POLICE CHIEF: This is what I’m talking about. You need to cool your heels. Take some ti-
QUINLAN: Renata Klein!
POLICE CHIEF: What?
QUINLAN: That’s the other one. Not Laura Dern.
POLICE CHIEF: That’s it. Leave your badge and gun on the desk. You’re taking a week off.
QUINLAN: But Chief!
POLICE CHIEF: Badge and gun, now!
ITEM NUMBER THREE — Heck yeah, Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali is the new Blade. That’s a fun sentence to say out loud, largely because it’s true. Mahershala Ali is great. Blade was a cool movie. That is not what I want to discuss, though. I want to discuss this, via THR.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after the presentation, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that Ali called the studio after winning the Oscar for his work on Green Book. “When Mahershala calls, you answer,” Feige said. At the meeting, Ali came right out and said that he wanted to do Blade. That was that.
What an outstanding flex this is. “Hello, yes, this is Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali. I would like to be Blade now.” I hope he brought the Oscar to the meeting, just so no one forgot. I don’t have anything else of value to add here. I just wanted to congratulate Mahershala Ali on wielding his power correctly.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR — Let’s check in with the cast of Face/Off
When we last discussed the Fred-Durst-directed, John-Travolta-starring film Moose, the title had been changed to The Fanatic and Travolta had pulled the movie from its release schedule because he was less than pleased with the cut he saw. Well, I am pleased to report that things appear to be moving forward again. I am also pleased to report that the film now has a trailer. That’s it up there. You can watch it and everything.
It’s… it’s certainly something! Travolta plays an obsessed fan who gets yelled at by his hero and then appears to go full-on Misery about it all. It looks very much like a movie I would normally have zero interest in seeing. But, on the other hand, it was directed by Fred Durst and look at Travolta’s hair. I’m so curious I might die. Like, what if this is good? What then? And what if it’s not but thousands of Limp Bizkit fans flood social media demanding the studio “release the Durst cut”? It’s been a long time since a movie I don’t care about fascinated me this much. I have much to consider.
While I’m thinking, please take a few minutes to try to wrap your head around any of what is happening in this video.
there is a direct to video movie from the late '80s that Nicolas Cage randomly appears in. this is the entirety of his performance. pic.twitter.com/j0YcJSJ8Oy
— A Cruel Angel's Beavis (@alex_navarro) July 24, 2019
I assume you’re confused. You have every right to be. Let me try to provide some clarity.
the movie is called Never on Tuesday and it's never been released outside of VHS. which is how it should stay.
— A Cruel Angel's Beavis (@alex_navarro) July 24, 2019
Hmm. It appears I have not provided much actual clarity. I apologize. I’m not sure it’s even possible now that I really think about it. The best I can probably do is add these three thoughts and let the whole thing speak for itself after that.
- It’s important to remember that Nic Cage did not have to do this. This movie came out after he had appeared in Raising Arizona. This was not a “struggling actor tries to make it in Hollywood” role. He did this on purpose.
- The movie features cameos from other actors who were very famous at the time. Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, etc. I have no idea how any of this happened. It’s one of those “Wait, why are all these famous people in Movie 43?” situations. I hope someone writes a 10,000-word article about the production.
That’s all I got.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE — Shoutout to the lady who got the thumbs up from Eddie Murphy in his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode
I know this happened in Los Angeles and everyone who lives there is very jaded about seeing celebrities in public. And I know the car is surrounded by cameras and everyone knows it’s for some sort of production. But still, imagine you’re this lady and you’re just out picking up some prescriptions from CVS and you’re running late for lunch now because of the traffic and you can’t get ahold of Paula to tell her to order you a Diet Coke and a Caesar salad and hang on, wait, is that freaking Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld in the car next to you? Did Eddie Murphy just give you a thumbs-up? Did that really just happen?
Paula will never believe you.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or, like, 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.
Caught a showing of “The Bank Job” the other night and was reminded of your fascination with the fact that Jason Statham plays a character named Terry Leather in this movie. While that is far from the best thing about this movie (that would be the fact that it features the best use of the word “scallywag” I have ever seen on screen), that name is, in fact, fantastic.
But is it the best Statham character name ever? It is certainly a candidate, but keep in mind that he has also played characters named Lee Christmas (the “Expendables” franchise), Chev Chelios (the “Crank” franchise) and Bacon (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”). Would you ever consider ranking Jason Statham character names and if you do, would you include his performance as Silver-painted Dancer in the Erasure “Run to the Sun” video? I am not sure this counts, but that is a bonkers credit.
The things about Jason Statham’s career is that for every colorful character name on his filmography there’s also a boring one like “Frank Martin.” This does not work for me. Even in my beloved Spy, he plays a character named “Rick Ford.” This does not work either. Jason Statham should never play a character named Frank Martin or Rick Ford. All of his characters should be named, like, Dirk Beretta or Jake Knuckles. Luckily, some of them almost are. Here are his top ten character names, so far.
10. Jenson Ames (Death Wish)
9. Jonas Taylor (The Meg)
8. Evan Funsch (The One)
7. Deckard Shaw (Fast & Furious)
6. Sgt Jericho Butler (Ghosts of Mars)
5. Chev Chelios (Crank)
4. Bacon (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)
3. Nick Wild (Wild Card)
2. Lee Christmas (Expendables)
1. Terry Leather (The Bank Job)
I say “so far” because it’s 2019 and anything can happen. Something could conceivably crack this list and maybe even top it. It’s going to take some kind of effort, though. I mean, Terry Leather? Come on. That’s so perfect it should be Jason Statham’s real name from now on.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot – the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant.
Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.
Is this article about to tell us there are now nuclear crocodiles in South Florida?
I’m not ready for that.
Crocodiles should not be nuclear.
What is this, a Spider-man movie?
We have enough going on with nuclear damn crocodiles, you know?
Get out of here.
Give us a break.
Turkey Point’s 168-mile (270 kilometers) of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.
Ohhhhh, wait. This is… a good thing? Not a terrifying thing? There are no nuclear crocodiles?
“We entice crocodiles to come in to the habitats FPL created,” Lloret said. “We clear greenery on the berms so that the crocodiles can nest. Because of rising sea levels wasting nests along the coasts, Turkey Point is important for crocodiles to continue.”
Well, now I’m almost disappointed. I didn’t want anything to do with a nuclear crocodile until I found out they don’t exist and now I’m bummed out about it. This is not a normal reaction, I know. I will spend some time thinking about what this says about me on a personal level. Maybe there will be an accident at another plant and there will be an actual nuclear crocodile by the time I figure it out. That would be nice.