Guilty Pleasures as Charged: Sharknado 2

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

 

Sharknado 2 proved to be a hilarious waste of time. As social events go on television and movies, this may be as close to a phenomenon as we have seen in many years.

These national amusement moments used to happen with more frequency, but probably were higher in quality. If you were expecting anything extra out of Sharknado 2, you may have been surprised by the tackiness.

It started with a bang. Borrowing heavily from the famous Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner facing a gremlin on the plane wing, we had Ian Ziering seeing sharks flying by. It didn’t help much that Robert Hays, formerly of Airplane!, was now piloting this catastrophe. You might also see Downtown Julie Brown, Andy Dick, Robert Klein, Billy Ray Cyrus, among others.

Other gems included finding Judd Hirsch driving a New York taxi. We almost expected Tony Danza to show up too, but instead were treated to Kelly and Michael and Today’s Matt Lauer and Al Roker.

The concept of a EF5 tornado/hurricane with sharks falling at two inches per hour may be hard to swallow. But, the Jaws wannabes do swallow plenty of New Yorkers.

Of course, the obligatory chainsaw to cut through the shark seems to be a crowd pleaser. Twitter tweeters were expected to explode the system. It was definitely a movie that requires friends to assist you with the shared moment.

Even if you wanted to turn away from the silliness, the film held you in a way that Snakes of a Plane could not.

Syfy has tried to recreate bad horror movies of the 1950s with bad horror movies of the 2000 teens. They have given us our basic yardstick for future reference. It was godawful.

Paul Pierce Versus Jon Lester: Boston Send Off

 DATELINE: HUMOR

 lester&beckettLackey

Media insiders are having fits over the departure of Jon Lester after seven years and World Series glory.

For the goldfish memory world of attention deficit old timers, Lester is the worst that could happen in Boston sports.

Pardon us: Didn’t we have this same experience last year with Paul Pierce—and his kemo sabe, Kevin Garnett? Wasn’t that twice as worse? Or are we being half-bad?

PPnet

If you like Chinese water torture, the media has plenty of drops to fall on your head. Each day now for a month, the media supplies us with “So long, Lester,” stories. As we recall, this refrain lasted months with the Celtics. It could have been a year in the making.

Pierce was on the Boston scene for much longer than Lester, and the Celtics really didn’t insult him with one lousy, lowball contract offer.

The Red Sox took their vaunted cancer-survivor lefty starter and offered him a box of Crackerjack and the secret prize if he stayed in Boston. Talk about opening the door a crack and singing, “Hit the road, Jack.”

Paul Pierce and Jon Lester both have told media insiders how much they love Boston and may want to end their careers here—some day. Ain’t sentiment sweet?

Of course, such impassioned feelings may change by the time the final hammer is dropped on your noggin.

Let’s not hear how players will do anything for money when it comes to Pierce or Lester. It is the creepy media that creates tidal waves of destruction on their cat’s paws. When the online world and radio blabbers of sport say your time is up, you better believe it.

Smarmy Ben Cherington Destroys Red Sox

DATELINE: SPORTS WHIMSY

Hynkel's Dance Partner

You can place blame for the sell-off, send-off, let-down, set-down, down-the-drain Boston Red Sox season on one man: General Manager Ben Cherington.

Smiling Ben is about as much fun as the man who makes nooses to hang around town.

Cherington dismantled the band of bearded brothers almost immediately after they surprisingly won the World Series. He sent key players packing, unwilling to pay more than ten cents on the dollar for a contract.

Then, he set about destroying the clubhouse chemistry.

It was easy: bring in A.J. Pierzynski and let Ortiz be overpaid and overbearing.

Once the bad apples were in place, your barrel of fun was over.

Cherington is now orchestrating the fire sale of the century for the Red Sox. His August version of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre featured Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford, who were sent packing by machine gunners holding violin cases. Everyone loved that scenario. Now Ben is planning another massacre.

He intends to dismantle the Fenway Cathedral one brick at a time. Jake Peavy went sailing off on his duck boat, and now Jon Lester is taking the A-train.

Other future free agents may go with him. So long to Koji, Johnny, Carp, Dubront, and anyone else who smiled more than Ben. The list is long.

It does not matter much that the clubhouse now resembles a place where dead men tell no tales. Suppose you hold a resurrection party in a morgue, and none of the corpses came back to life? You have an idea of what it’s like to be on the Red Sox champagne voyage of 2014.

That’s the style of Ben Cherington.

The New Flipping Flipper: David Ortiz of the Red Sox

DATELINE: HUMOR

ortiz

Not since that aquatic Flipper have we seen someone quite so agile enough to be called the New Flipper, but David Ortiz of the Red Sox has now taken on the task of being the new bat-flipping flipper.

Once again he has put on his talents at a show in the heart of the SeaWorld show business in Tampa Bay. The Rays have not taken a liking to the post-home run bat flips of Mr. Ortiz.

It caused David Price to throw a ball at his back subsequently, and now another pitcher for the Rays has taken exception with Big Papi’s style of celebrating.

Rays pitcher Chris Archer took umbrage with the latest flipping behavior of the serial flipper. He called it showboating and a serious offense against the game, which he believes Ortiz disrespects.

In addition, he thinks Ortiz has an ego that makes him think he is bigger than the game of baseball. Imagine that! Someone else other than the Boston media has now discovered the secret vice of David Ortiz, revealing the hidden hitter.

Flipper Ortiz has fired back by saying that he really won’t take any comment by a young pitcher with an ounce of respect. Of course, he won’t take criticism by anyone with a grain of salt. He pours more salt on the wound than the girl with the umbrella on the saltbox.

To top it off, with the Red Sox collapsing with more alacrity than an imploding skyscraper, Ortiz has even turned on his manager Dudley Do-Right Farrell for not calling for replay on his home run the other night (caught by a fan and ruled a ground-rule double).

 

 

Red Sox Fire Sale Begins!

 DATELINE: HUMORESQUE

primordialsoup

Smarmy Ben Cherington will continue to dismantle his formerly winning 2013 team, transformed into misfits and losers in 2014.

Mike Carp, another super backup who gave a modicum of his best last season, now wants out. There is no honor sitting on the bench of a last place team.

Will the Sox trade him, as per his request? Carp may be another whose delusions of grandeur were enhanced by 2013’s fluke year. Now he believes he is the Lou Gehrig of pinch-hitters.

We could go down the list from Ellsbury to Saltalamacchia, from Peavy to Carp, from Lester to Gomes. We hardly knew ye.

Yes, Ben Cherington’s fire sale is driving fans south to escape the flames. Each day while Cherington fiddles, the fans show up for the best ticket in town: New England Patriots training camp.

It’s free, open to the public, and gives opportunity to watch Bill Belichick smile at reporters and dodge legal bullets.

Baseball seems over for this year. That July run from the cellar ended quickly than a Quabbin Reservoir squall.

David Ortiz will likely start squawking now that his importance is wasted on a last-place bunch of losers.

Dustin Pedroia, lifelong staple of the Sox, has heard the mutterings that premature age now bedevils him.

The Red Sox have become the new Boston Celtics, leading us all to believe that there would be summer fireworks (as promised by Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck). Instead, we have heard a few pops, but like this year’s Fourth of July festivities on the Boston Esplanade, the Pops were duds.

It has not been a good year in Boston sports—and the pessimism is exploding all around us.

Gone to a Far, Far Better Place: Jake Peavy

 DATELINE: HUMOR

Peavey's Island

The Red Sox are desperate, and no one wants to help them. So they are helping themselves by divesting themselves of former World Series stars. This week: Jake Peavy. Next week: Jon Lester.

Today, about a year after the winner of the Jeremy Renner lookalike contest arrived in Boston, he is about to depart.

The Departed 2 may soon become a movie like the original, but this time about the elimination of Boston athletes by Ben Cherington’s gang of mobsters.

Jake Peavy made a few waves during his brief tenure with the Red Sox. He made heads twirl when he started cussing on the mound, but he was cursing only himself for not firing strikes. He seemed to fit in with all the other crazies on the Red Sox pitching staff.

If we ever remember Peavy in the future, it will be for his movie star looks and his spontaneous buying habits.

After riding in a duck boat for the World Series parade of winners, Peavy was so enchanted with the experience that he wanted to own it forever. He bought a duck boat: the actual one he rode on the streets of Boston and sailed on the Charles River.

It now sits on a pond on his home estate where he can always call up former teammates during the off-season for rekindling those happy memories.

Of course, right now the winning of a World Series in 2013 seems to be about as far off as the next installment of Star Wars in a distant galaxy.

Good-bye to those movie star looks.

Waitresses Dump Noodles on WEEI’s Morning Show Fool

DATELINE:  HUMOR

 Dumb America

As the world turns on Kirk Minihane, his own station now has decided his apologies were perfunctory and insincere.

WEEI has now suspended the gadfly Minihane.

If you want to note that horse has already fled the barn now that the radio station is closing the door, you would be among a growing chorus.

The fallout never ended, and Minihane wrote self-aggrandizing blogs to say he “screwed up.” But, he also noted that those media critics had an “agenda.”

Apparently advertisers, other networks, and radio guests, all have agendas: they don’t want to work with a slug.

NESN (New England Sports Network) and Fox have been among the heavyweights to dun WEEI. Just a few days ago, one of the shills over there noted that Minihane had made a “triumphant return” after a few days of vacation time.

We suspect the indefensible comments may have been buried as misguided praise by the second-rate radio station. Its parent company Entercom seems to have heard the public hue and cry.

The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show where Minihane plied his dregs may also be heading for the last roundup. The two major stars may be hard-pressed to win an extension contract after September. All the parties may soon be unemployed.

All have nitwit Minihane to thank. What can we expect from a man who apologizes to Erin Andrews for his comments, and adds the caveat that if she were 15 pounds heavier, she’d be working as a waitress.

There goes the waitress fan base with the out-to-lunch Minihane. He may never eat in a restaurant again in this town.

 

NESN Kingpin Beheads WEEI

DATELINE: HUMOR

JUNKYARD pooch

A few days ago we called on WEEI, one of Boston’s all-sports talkfest stations, to rid itself of gadfly Kirk Minihane, a self-professed iconoclast.

He finds a rock to hide under on the Dennis & Callahan Morning Show at the radio station. Latest brouhaha with him was hardly a haha funny moment in which he called a fellow media reporter/analyst a “gutless bitch,” though the sobriquet might better fit him.

We did not think that host cable network NESN, owned by King John Henry VIII, would be the one to call for the removal of the head of Minihane. Yet, lo and behold, NESN has announced that they are severing all ties to Dennis, Callahan, WEEI, and Minihane.

What more do you need, Entercom Productions? Fox Network, no bastion of honor, has even told its talent to avoid your station and that show in particular.

Local liberals have hated D&C Morning Show for ages. The two sports-savvy hosts are too conservative for the area. They are also too intelligent and knowledgeable. They have however gone wrong in an attempt to appeal to ratings. Minihane is a step in the wrong direction.

Oddly enough, John Dennis and Jerry Callahan may find new jobs when their contract runs out in September as they have some abilities. Yet, it is Minihane who will inherit the show, as he is the last one under contract by WEEI.

We will miss the occasional peek at the simulcast show that often stole our best humor for their own edification.

Shameless PBS “Documentary” on Sherlock

 DATELINE: TV MASHUP

sherlocks

Though we basically enjoyed watching the two “episode” commercial for the PBS series Sherlock, the documentary by PBS called How Sherlock Changed the World is nothing more or less than an advertisement for the PBS series with Benedict Cumberbatch.

The so-called documentary used the theme from the recent series to discuss the Conan Doyle stories. Instead of relying on another PBS favorite, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett that more accurately made the point that Holmes was the first CSI.

The current state of documentaries has deteriorated another level with this hackneyed attempt to sell a series by presenting a film that explores the impact of Doyle’s work over 100 years ago.

The repetition of the message over two episodes may be a kind of cognitive device to make sure dumb PBS audiences understand the key point. Talk about misjudging your audience.

To watch some of the most successful criminologists of our time compliment Doyle and Sherlock is indeed heady stuff as they use modern cases to prove how advanced the Doyle stories were. It’s true that Holmes may have looked like sci-fi in his day with blood trace issues and chemical tests of evidence.

The best part of the shows included scenes of Doyle being interviewed and explaining his inspiration of a former professor at medical school (Dr. Joseph Bell) who even posed once in a deerstalker cap for a laugh.

We love Sherlock, and we love documentaries that are genuine. We don’t love being manipulated shamelessly.

How Sherlock Changed the World is pleasant, but obviously it is a commercial effort to publicize the Cumberbatch series–and that grates.

Seldom Heard Discouraging Words for Red Sox

DATELINE: HUMOR

lester&beckett

When Frank Sinatra sang, it was: “Flying high in April, and shot down in May.” If you’re the Red Sox, it is flying high in July, and shot down in July.

They had a second-ten game streak that made them look like world series beaters, but then the reality set in upon them like the hounds of the Baskerville.

Each time the Sox seem to pull together a moderate winning streak, the ever-optimistic media starts yodeling a happy tune, but it is just the right pitch to start the avalanche.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Once in the A.L. East cellar, you are doomed to remain there.

Like Sidney Carton, the Sox have only one chance to escape their self-imposed Bastille—and alas, that is only to see the blood-thirsty crowd waiting for his head in a basket. So it is for Ben Cherington’s assortment of candied yams.

You will never see the crowds crowing for the lions to eat the unfortunate Christians, as they used to in the days of Ancient Rome.

In polite Boston, the crowds will continue to plop their fannie hearts into the seats to soak up the ambiance of Fenway, even as Jon Lester begins to pitch for the Pinstripes.

High-priced players will soon go the way of all bargain basement garments. The Red Sox hose will be filled with the cheapest young players, sort of like the Boston Celtics.

The Patriots will soon be the only game in town.