Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rainy Day Movies Meet Low Expectations

My good friend Pope Don Paul would even concede it has rained a lot recently, driving people to the movies to watch television.

Of course, I’m talking about the recent movies based on the television series, “The A-Team” and “Sex and the City.”

I felt it was my moral obligation to see them both. All right, check that. It was raining, I couldn’t play tennis or golf and I was bored.

So I checked out “The A-Team,” which was based on the surprise 1980s NBC hit that featured movie star George Peppard and somehow made Mr. T a star. It was a big cartoon, as anyone who cares to watch episodes on Channel 2’s digital channel, RTN, can attest.

Sure there wasn't a believable moment in the action film. That was expected. Still it was an ideal movie to see with my 17-year-old son, who is smart enough to realize that we were going to see a loud, explosive cartoon about a Special Forces team that defied serious analysis by movie critics.

We weren’t disappointed by the film, which featured Liam Neeson in the Peppard role and was stolen by Bradley Cooper of “The Hangover” fame as Face.

Cooper is the guy that Sandra Bullock said on a recent award show has been in several hit movies except for the one he made with her (“All About Steve”).

He first came to my attention in a supporting role in an underappreciated former WB series, “Jack & Bobby,” and later headlined a short-lived Fox series, “Kitchen Confidential,” that deserved a better fate.

In any event, Cooper’s boyish charm was appreciated in the rare moments when “The A-Team” paused from some ridiculously entertaining special effects scenes.

In short, there are much worst ways to spend a rainy day than seeing "The A-Team."

I’m not embarrassed to say I feel asleep during “Sex.” The movie, that is. Other than an opening musical number featuring Liza Minnelli and a later musical number that I can’t recall (to be honest, I can’t recall much of anything a week after seeing it with a friend who was dragged to it by his wife).

I think I feel asleep some time when the Fab Four women – Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda – were killing time in Abu Dhabi.

However, I must report that I was awoken by laughter from the audience of mostly women who obviously got the entertainment they were expecting.

The one line I did enjoy was hearing Charlotte lament that she would miss her buxom nanny more than her husband if her hubby left her for the sexy lady.

But save a few good lines and some clever PG-13 and R-rated word play, “Sex” was a disappointment and seemed longer than some marriages.

I drew the line at going to see “MacGruber,” the film based on a recurring “Saturday Night Live” sketch. I couldn't be paid enough to watch that film. Notably, it hit the cheap theaters in record time.

While I’m on the movie beat, let me suggest anyone looking for a very good movie should check out a couple of foreign films – “The Secret of Their Eyes” or “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” They are the best movies I’ve seen since semi-retiring. But they come with a warning. They have sub-titles.

* Channel 4 anchor-reporter Lisa Flynn has told her Facebook friends that she is retiring in two weeks, as first reported here a few weeks ago. Flynn couldn’t be reached for comment. It will be interesting to see if the station uses anchors Jacquie Walker and Don Postles to fill the 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts or promotes someone from within.

The most likely in-house candidate is Melissa Holmes, who now anchors in the morning. It is hard to see the station hiring someone to replace Flynn in these economically-challenging times. I mean it has been looking for a sports anchor-reporter for several months.

* Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said Channel 4’s demographic victory in the May news sweeps doesn’t tell the whole story. He said that his station closed the gap in several newscasts from a year ago when comparisons are usually drawn.

* You've got to love what local TV news considers news. At the top of Channel 7’s midnight news Thursday after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title, the station lead with a story about a police checkpoint south of the city looking for drunk drivers. At the end of the report, viewers were told no arrests had been made. In other words, the news was that was no news.

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