Ernest P. Worrell, the prolific pitch man shilling all sorts of products in the 1980s, is the result between John Cherry’s opportunism and Jim Varney’s rubber-faced charisma. Ernest became an advertising icon who moved into the star protagonist of seemingly a zillion movies. Being the idiot yokel gave struggling actor Varney a steady paycheck, fame, and fortune.
I have some nostalgia for Ernest’s antics — one of the first movies I saw on VHS was Ernest Goes to Jail. However, my now adult sense of humor can take idiotic attempts at hilarity in small doses. Let’s trace the creative evolution though a sample of horror-themed works. Continue reading “How Jim Varney Used Ernest as a Horror Hero”
National Wrestling Alliance held a press conference this morning at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta. They are holding TV tapings at the GPB Studios tonight and tomorrow and announced their weekly show will be on Tuesdays, 6:05pm on YouTube and Facebook Live. Here are some notes of what happened. I paraphrased comments, so there may be errors. Continue reading “NWA Press Conference Notes – 30 September 2019”
For me, Nintendo-mania reached a fever pitch by 1989. September 4, 1989 is the premiere of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show starring Lou Albano and Danny Wells and the power plumbing brothers. Kids were astounded(?) with the cheesy variety-show-quality live action comedy mixed with the cheesy animation based on elements of Super Mario 1 & 2 Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, we all giggled at Link’s attempts to woo Zelda in the Legend of Zelda cartoon which replaced the Super Mario cartoon that day. Communism would fall and all was good.
As a six-year-old kid without a sense of good taste in entertainment, I was in awe of special guests to Mario & Luigi’s home(?) like Magic Johnson, Roddy Piper, Ernie Hudson, Inspector Gadget, and Captain Lou Albano. Six years old is probably the maximum age where someone could tolerate live action segments with the craft of a Brady Bunch variety show. That said, six-year-old me liked seeing Mario every weekday finishing each show with a dance (Do the Mario!) so I was entertained. Seven-year-old wasn’t pleased at the totally radical Club Mario nonsense that took away Capt. Albano and Mr. Wells a year later.
The cartoon segments were fine back then. The Super Mario animated stuff would sometimes rip off a movie or genre like Indiana Jones or James Bond. I recall it was odd that the fire flower was used a lot, but super mushrooms never came into play. The Mario cartoons would get slightly more ambitious with the later Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon, but limped along with the meme-tastic Super Mario World.
The Super Mario Super Show is up on YouTube and Netflix USA as I type this. Now swing your arms from side to side in Albano and Wells’ honor.
Finally, the tag team of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back in Bad Boys for Life long after their box office drawing power dipped. The red band trailer for the third movie in the buddy cop action franchise glimpses at major set pieces and the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. As presented, the duo’s friendship hasn’t missed a beat. There are two things that would keep me awake: Smith’s presence toning down Martin’s annoying habits and the cool outrun/synthwave/whatever-it-is visuals of Miami.
Not surprisingly, the For Life trailer shows its Michael Bay influence with explosions and the required our-heroes-are-cool attitude. Bay won’t be missed, but will audiences welcome back Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as major movie stars? Whether this spectacular trailer makes for a really spectacular movie remains to be seen. Bad Boys for Life, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, is set to launch in January 17, 2020.
Let’s sum up TBS’ sitcom The Last O.G.: Tracy Morgan can anchor a show with varied personalities but his character, Trey, is scattered. Tiffany Haddish is woefully underused and her character, Shay, underwritten. The tenth episode, the season one finale, doesn’t wipe the slate completely clean for Trey.
In the season finale named “Clemenza,” Trey decides he wants revenge on Wavy for snitching on him. Trey, inspired by the Godfather films, plots a murder with his fellow ex-cons at the halfway house. Referencing The Godfather in this episode and in the pilot would be a witty reference if I cared so little about Italian mob movies and shows. That goes awry when Big Country couldn’t cleanly hide the gun in the coffee shop bathroom where there’s a hidden camera (more on that later).
Before Trey does the deed, he visits Shay’s house one more time. Shay is distraught that her husband, Josh, hasn’t come home last night. With the help of social engineering access to Josh’s credit card info, Trey finds Josh in a bar shirtless almost going out his mind relapsing to his old heroin addiction. After Trey and Josh have a talk and Trey shows off his new Air Jordans (Josh lets that credit card purchase slide), Trey is off to confront Wavy. Continue reading “The Last O.G. Season Finale Could’ve Been Better”
Now’s the time for Fox to eagerly tout their upcoming Blu-ray release!
Famous people got fancy and prepared for adulation at the 90th Academy Awards happened last night. The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. Such major successes will carry momentum when Shape’s DVD/Blu-ray/4K comes out on 16 March.
I didn’t watch last night’s Oscars, but followed the event’s winners. Haven’t cared about its ceremony or presentation since David Letterman hosted. (Ah, the innocent days when Letterman and Adam Sandler were the height of comedy.) However, I’m happy to see Jordan Peele win Best Original Screenplay and Blade Runner 2049 win two Oscars: Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Continue reading “So, The Shape of Water Is Apparently A Big Oscar Winner”
Update: Koko wasn’t there after all.
The first wrestler to enter the ring on WWE’s Monday Night Raw, Koko B. Ware, won’t be on the Raw 25th anniversary show. Maybe he was bluffing on Cerrito Live and may make a surprise appearance, but I suspect it won’t happen. Continue reading “Koko B. Ware: Not Present But Not Forgotten”