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Joe Corey’s PARTY FAVORS - 3/2006

Posted by Ken in Party Favors (March 1, 2006 at 12:55 am)

TURIN - Is it safe to stop calling this town “Torino?” Sure it’s sexier to add two “O”s. But it seemed to be the only thing sexy about this Winter Olympics - outside of the hole in the medals.

I’m just going say that if anything was lacking from these games, it was sexy moments. The ice skating turned into “last woman standing.” The same with the skiing. When are they going to dump the spiderman outfits for the alpine squad? And the ski boarding team with those white with barely there black pinstripes baggy uniforms made them disappear in the half pipe. Sure we had the “Flying Tomato,” but he was wrapped up in the giant burrito. The US hockey uniforms looked dull. Can we not design a jersey the intimidates? I want a logo on Erik Cole’s chest that a kid from Sweden fears having bruised into his ribcage. Enough with the friendly logo action. Why not just put a smiley face on the uniforms?

You want to know why the US didn’t “win?” Because we didn’t dress like winners. We didn’t even dress like tourists. We dressed like we were hungover.

My favorite moment was the Texan speedskater who went from national hero to pain in the ass loser in one event. A fellow speed skater didn’t want to race in a phony “team” skate event. And the golden boy whines since he won’t be able to collect five gold medals. So frickin’ what, Tex? The guy won three medals of all the colors. But he’s gotta be a little bitch. Ice skating should never be a team sport. He does need to send one of his medals to Bode Miller for taking the “most annoying athlete not named Terrell Owens” title. Did anyone really want to go visit “” Wonder how many people in New England are going to name their kids Bode this year or will they settle for Goat?

I’m happy this Winter Olympics was cancelled after two weeks. The only sad thing is that now they want us to watch “The World Baseball Classic.” Who cares about international pick up baseball that had teams picked by random weirdness. How exactly did Nomar and A-Rod get considered for countries they aren’t citizens of? Here’s my little rule for international play - whatever country collects the most income taxes from you is the country you should play for.

Will I watch this made for…I don’t know who this freakish tourney was made for. And why is it already a “Classic?” This is the first time it’s played. There’s no history. You should not be able to call something a classic until something else comes along to threaten your standing. There wasn’t Coca-Cola classic until that New Coke. And now that there’s no New Coke, we don’t call Classic Coke “classic” anymore. If Coca-Cola is willing to drop the “classic” title, why must every frickin’ sporting event latch onto it?

And after the failure to attract eyeballs for international pick-up hockey at the Olympics, does the world really want to watch teams of pros playing a tourney before they’ve even had a spring training warmup? Why not an International Kickball Classic Tourney featuring NFL kickers?

if you catch me watching any WBC games, it’s because I’ve been bribed by Bud Selig.


Lately I’ve read too many reports of home crowds booing their superstars. And I say, don’t do that. Booing must be reserved for those pesky visitors.

I’m not giving you some namby-pamby advice to hug your homers. Nope. If your favorite player is stinking it up, you need to let him know that you don’t approve. I prefer to shout out, “Come on!” or “Please get it right!” These are encouraging words that also let the player know that you expect more from them by shouting, “I paid $60 to put my butt in this seat. Don’t half ass it, millionaire!”

There’s only one time when you should boo a home player, when you know he’s going to skip town and play for the Yankees. Boo him or throw batteries…make that throw car batteries. They deserve scorn so they’ll get used to it when they have to button up the pinstripes and insert the pole up their rectums.


I hate to curse a series, but I hope that “Free Ride” lasts longer than a single DVD. The new Fox show is a great depiction of college graduate with no desire to get a career. Nate Stahlings (Josh Dean) returns to his folks house in order to recover from his education overdose. Friend of the Favors Allan Havey plays the boy’s dad and he’s nailed his character. He’s the dad who wants to remain hip and figure out why his wife is going nuts on him. I’m rooting for Havey. Cause if this show doesn’t stick around, he’ll end up in my biopic of Foster Brooks: “Drunk Before Dishonor.”

But the real star of the show is Dove. He’s that guy who thought you could get advanced placement credits from smoking cigarettes in the woods between 4th and 5th period. He’s got a kickass job at a faux-Costco so he can party in bulk. He has a monster truck so nothing blocks his view. And he’s got all the Journey records - well the ones that didn’t suck. Dave Sheridan plays Dove to the hilt. The best is the second episode when he dates Nate’s aunt.

You might remember Sheridan as the nutjob guy who practiced his mad kung fu skills at the mini-mart in “Ghost World.” The man has the potential of being one of the great comic actors of our time. Worship the Dove now!

Now watch Fox cancel this show by the time this column gets posted.


Now that Johnny Cash, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis have all had their lives turned into Hollywood movies (or mini-series in the case of Elvis), when is the final member of the Million Dollar Quartet going to claim a slate? Where’s “The Carl Perkins Story?”


Things are looking really bad for “Rollergirls” as the series winds up. A&E has given them up for dead like a coyote on the side of the road. There’s no more Friday night rerun. It’s the Monday night original and a replay at 2 a.m. No weekend marathons. No major promo push for the finale.

Why no love for Punky Bruiser?

According the ratings: the premiere of the series had a new episode of Dog The Bounty Hunter. Everyone’s favorite “Escape From New York” character pulled in 2.7 million viewers. Only 1.6 million stuck around for the heavily promoted Rollergirls. And the second episode (without the benefit of a new Dog) only brought in 600,000 folks. That over 2 million people who turned off the wheeled gals from Austin. And I’m guessing the numbers haven’t gone back up since there’s no hype for the show.

Maybe a few of the girls will get invited to be on the Surreal Life. Although I do wish none of them end up on “Flavor of Love 2.” That show still creeps me out. I can almost understand being Jerry Hall’s boy toy - she’s got a nice laugh and sultry stare. But Flava? I’d rather guest star on “Taking A Second Whack at Love with Ike Turner.”


For all of you people who complain about how recent movie trailers give away the entire plot, I ask that you take a look at the “Story of Dogs” bonus feature on “Lady and the Tramp” DVD. Watch how Walt Disney’s guys give away the entire film in storyboard form on his network show. And Walt didn’t give us a “spoiler warning!” He just gave away the tale and yet people still came to see the film.

Perhaps Walt understood that if you have a really good movie, people can know the story and it won’t ruin it. It also doesn’t hurt that most of Walt’s feature animations were based on fairy tales so everyone already knew what they were about. But I think it comes down to one big fact - if a movie is really good, even if you know everything that’s going to happen - you still want to see it happen.

It’s not like a crummy M. Night Shyamalan movie. Did you really want to see “The Village” after you were told the “gotcha” moment? I didn’t want to sit through 2 hours to be “gotcha”ed. By the way, I really take offense when M. Night had the nerve to call DVDs a “souvenir” of a movie. If anything, a DVD is more than the movie. When done right, it allows us a chance to see a film in context of both it’s time and content. A great “making of” documentary gives us a sense of what made this film important. It also reminds us that certain elements were the basis for the hacks that ripped it off over the years. And unlike seeing a movie in a theater, I don’t have to tolerate a 100 urchins roaming the aisles. I don’t have to pay $6 for my popcorn. What about image size, you declare? When I get my video projector, i’ll be able to watch a 25 foot image on the side of my neighbor’s house.

A movie barely lasts a month or two in the theater. It’s shortest part of a movie’s “life” is on video. M. Night needs to understand that the theatrical release of a movie is the “advertisement” for the DVD.

And if I can advise you, pick up “Lady and the Tramp” just for the footage of Peggy Lee working out the songs. It’s funny to see what she had to do for a home multi-tracking.


I bought “The Electric Company” DVD set for one reason - to hear Morgan Freeman sing the Easy Reader theme song. When I was a kid, Easy Reader was like Shaft - except we only saw the newspaper ads for RIchard Roundtree. And as I slowly watch the 20 episodes included in the collection, the show still holds up. It’s a great educational tool and nostalgic fun. Shout! Factory has done another great job.

My wife and her girlfriends loved watching the series to check out the groovy early 70s fashions.

And here’s a piece of freakish trivia: the first head writer of the show was legendary character actor Paul Dooley. Save that piece of “betcha don’t know” for a big moment.


The local cable guys had a free preview weekend of their in-car camera action for the Daytona 500. It was kinda fun to swap channels and glimpse Tony Stewart or Dale Jr’s view of the road. But it became annoying in that every few seconds the feed would break up. Half of the time nearly half of the cams weren’t working. It became too much of an effort to find a channel with a moving view.

What I enjoy about NASCAR is that it’s something nice to nap while watching on a Sunday afternoon. I find the roar of the engines as they lap the asphalt (much more soothing than viewing it in person) soothing. Having the in car cameras on my remote control didn’t make me fall asleep. My brain couldn’t drift. I kept flipping to try and find the car that would crash next.

If only the feeds didn’t keep breaking up, I’d recommend this for any hardcore race fan. But at $100 for the year, it’s not worth the aggravation.


Why exactly does director Terrence Malick get treated like a cinematic wonder?

You think the guy’s name means gold with the way film critics faun over him. Yet there seems to be so little currency associated with his name. Norman Taurog holds as much value to the marketplace than Malick,

Malick created a wonderful mythology of himself with his early films of “Badlands” and “Days of Heaven.” He plays himself off as the intellectual hermit who shuns the spotlight and normal Hollywood channels. He doesn’t make movies - he creates cinematic poetry. If Stanley Kubrick didn’t care about scripts, he’d be Malick.

But ultimately Malick creates films for people who don’t pay to see them. He creates films that don’t attract the subject’s audience. He goes out of his way to use his quirks to drive producers nuts. He creates films that he doesn’t have to answer for. And he is forgiven for his transgressions more easily than his peers. He shot “Days of Heaven” for nearly as long as “Heaven’s Gate.” But Michael Cimino gets nailed to the wall for making a box office dud in “Gate.” Even though “Days” didn’t cost nearly as much to shoot the entire film at magic hour, it was still a box office stiff barely pulling in $3.5 million. Which is about what “Gate” made.

Malick helped create his mystique by disappearing for two decades before he decided to comeback by remaking “Thin Red Line.” The original film directed by Andrew Marton was a neglected masterpiece with Keir Dullea and Jack Warden battling each other and the Japanese in Guadalcanal. Malick loaded up his version with tons of Hollywood talent including Sean Penn, George Clooney, Woody Harelson, Nick Nolte and John Travolta. He went down to Australia to shoot the film with what read like a great script. But once he conned his producers into funding his “vision,” he threw out the script and had his actors improvising. While the film had it’s moments, it’s a war movie without gusto or true reflections. It’s a war movie about a bunch of guys trying to write poetry and merely confuse the Japanese into giving up with metaphysics.

I rarely saw any critics compare Malick’s version with Marton’s treatment of the James Jones novel. And it helped that the original film never came out on VHS or DVD in the U.S. I had a copy from a dead man’s collection of stuff he taped off AMC (before the channel sucked). I remember trying to discuss the original with three major film critics who gave Top 10 honors to the remake. None of them had seen it. None of them had experienced the amazing feat of a dream sequence that mingles a flashback of America to revisiting the Private’s first kill and wraps it up in a harsh awakening.

While the critics praised Malick, the movie scored a box office anemic $36 million - especially compared to the $216 million racked up by Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” There was an audience for World War II movies that year and Mallick didn’t connect with them. And when a few producers wanted to expose what it’s really like to work with the celluloid poet, Malick took their names off the film.

Malick then used his name to executive produce new filmmakers’ works. But he didn’t quite score Spielberg returns. “The Beautiful Country” didn’t make half a million dollars. For his first two films, David Gordon Green made films that followed Malick’s poetry over plot productions. When they teamed up to make “Undertow,” Green scored a box office of $124,171. It’s got to suck when you work with your idol and produce a film that doesn’t even score half of what your first indie film did. Sure there are folks that blame the situation at United Artists for the tanking, but if people really cared, they’d buy tickets. We’re living in the days of the internet so they can know where a film is playing without needing a full page ad in the New York Times.

What got me to write this piece is how annoyed I’ve become at Malick’s behavior with the release of “The New World.” This telling of the John Smith and Pochontas story was supposed to be one of the big films of Christmas. But then New Line got smacked around trying to please Malick to the point that they got scalped. After a limited opening in New York that scored high per screen numbers, Malick decided he wanted to cut 15 minutes out of the film so the wide release would be only two hours. Malick supposedly thought his ass fell asleep while watching Colin Farrell. And then before he puts it out, he also lets his minions squeak out the fact that the DVD will have a three hour cut of the film. Right there and then I boycotted the film. What version of this movie am I supposed to see? Am I supposed to waste 7 hours and 15 minutes of my life watching all three versions? Maybe he’ll come up with a forth version? Who dares tell the poet that he’s needs to shut up and realize that silence around him isn’t awe - it’s boredom.

It must be amazing to wake up as one of the ball-less wonders at New Line having allowed Malick to make his special cut only to witness their New York wonder turn into a film that couldn’t outgross Big Mama’s House II. “The New World” has made $12 million. It didn’t win any major hardware. And now it’s time to make the money in the next stage: home video.

The DVD of either the 2 or 2:15 hour version is due out soon, but then we’re told there’s going to be a second DVD coming out in a few more months with an extra hour and tons of bonus features. The devoted Malick fans won’t care because New Line will be sending them free copies to review. Nothing makes consumers happier than knowing that if they buy early, they’re paying for less.

What’s the point of Malick’s name going above the title? You can rationalize that he makes art films that aren’t meant for the masses, but the nearly $50 million that was spent to make and pimp “The New World” could go a long way in the art world. Tyler Perry’s name goes before the title on “Madea’s Family Reunion” and it matters since it made $30 million its opening weekend. Tyler equals box office gold. Malick’s name means another batch of producers were taken for a bath under the promise that somehow he’s going to make ‘em either rich or Oscar worthy.

In the end, Malick gets to make another one of his freaky voice over flicks that irritate my mom when they appear on TV yet allows movie critics who don’t want to be entertained to feel like they’ve experienced cinema. Of course these critics are also people who don’t have to pay $10 to see these films. I recommend Malick take a job as a Wal-Mart greeter for a month so he can learn how to engage an audience.


I feel sad that Don Knotts has died. One of the big regrets of my work on Split Screen was that I wasn’t able to make my dream project. It was going to be Don Knotts, Steve Buscemi and John Waters sitting on the front porch of a large house. They’d be cranking ice cream and talking showbiz. The budget was too much. It would have been fun.


I can’t watch MTV anymore. Every time I have turned on the channel it’s been a freakish dating show. Can this new generation date without a TV camera? They want people to date mothers, to date a busload of suitors, to date who their parents pick or to date people who look like lame musical stars. What does the M stand for at MTV? Cause it has no reason to be hanging around that station.


Gotta love the Sex Pistols telling the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame to screw off. It’s sad that the Hall spokesperson tried to act like it was an act. Get a clue, Johnny Rotten thinks your Hall of Fame is a lame joke. And what a joke since they refuse to give a nomination to Van Halen or Kiss. I’m not even a major fan of either band, but they are Rock music in America. Where’s Rush? Where’s Yes? Where is Kansas? Yoko Ono will get in the hall before Patti Smith.

The Rock Hall of Fame is a joke. And thanks to the Sex Pistols for pointing at those snobs and laughing. The whole point of being a punk is to not give a crap about pleasing the popular kids.


Forget “March of the Penguins,” this month brings the DVD release of Tennessee Tuxedo. The late Don Adams voiced the animated penguin who seemed to know just a little bit more. Get it for your kids.


“Reel Paradise,” a fantastic documentary about John Pierson dragging his family to Fiji to run a movie theater is out on DVD. Please buy it so John can drag his family to run a Drive-In theater in Antarctica.


Neil Cavuto read two of my letters on the air in one episode including one about Gene Simmons’ tongue. I’m a pundit!


One Response to “Joe Corey’s PARTY FAVORS - 3/2006”

  1. Joe Corey Says:

    A&E has pretty much given up on Rollergirls. They will be burning off the final three episodes in a marathon on April 2 (a Sunday).

    And for those wondering, Sister Mary Jane is already back from teaching in Hawaii. Guess she couldn’t get enough Maui Wowee.

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