Movies & TV / Columns

Movies/TV’s 3R’s 05.15.12: The Avengers, Will Ferrell, Community, John Travolta, More

May 15, 2012 | Posted by Porfirio Diaz

Welcome to Week 150 of The 3 R’s for the Movie/TV world.

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Without any further ado, here is…

  • Avengers breaking records at record speed: More over movie peasants. Despite the 50% drop from its second weekend of sales, The Avengers is looking to take your records and drunk-text your mothers, probably (via Box Office Mojo):

    – Second-weekend grossed $103.2 million, which earns title for best second-weekend ever – Avatar held the previous record with $75.6 million!

    – Fastest movie to $200 million – 3 days. Former holder: Dark Knight – 5 days.

    – Fastest movie to $300 million – 9 days. Former holder: Dark Knight – 10 days.

    – Fastest movie to $350 million – 10 days. Former holder: Dark Knight – 14 days.

    – Highest 8-Day ($299 million), 9-Day ($342 million), and 10-Day ($373 million) grosses. Former holder: you guessed it – Dark Knight with $262, $290, and $313 million respectively.

    – Became 12th movie to surpass $1 billion worldwide (currently at $373 million domestic and $628 million foreign). Right now sits 18th on the all-time domestic list and 11th on all-time worldwide.

    Does this mean Disney will continue their plans for an official Avengers sequel? Maybe! Geez. With the amount of money the studio is raking, we’ll end up having around twelve of them. Put it this way: Disney is using all of their earnings from the first Avengers movie to build five giant diamond-encrusted golden pool banks in preparations for all the earnings from the sequel.

    What do you think Thorgi?

    Via imgur

    “I require sustenance! Arf arf.”

  • Marvel announces two unknown projects in works: It was only a matter of time before The Avengers conquered the world but what about the future of the individual movies? We know Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and Captain America 2 are in the blueprint but what of these two-previously-unannounced films is Marvel talking about?

    Feige spoke with Bloomberg, revealing that in addition to sequels for their planned properties they have a couple more moving ahead.

    “We want to do two films a year,” he said. “Avengers is our only film this year. In a week and a half, we begin filming Iron Man 3. By the end of the summer we’ll be working on the next Thor film, early next year the next Captain America film. Those are the three we’ve announced so far. We’ve got two beyond that that we haven’t announced yet that we’re working on.”

    Several films are possible for this; there is the Ant-Man film, which Edgar Wright has been reportedly writing the script for, a Black Widow/S.H.I.E.L.D movie starring Scarlett Johansson, a new Hulk film, the long-rumored Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy or something else previously unreported on. – 411mania via Bloomberg

    I would be fine with any of the listed suggestions above but honestly my first choice would be a Doctor Strange film. “Who doesn’t love Doctor Strange?” I say to no one in particular. He’s not in the same limelight as the rest of his Marvel counterparts – his most relevant appearance to date me thinks is in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – so this would be the perfect time to introduce Stephen Strange into the main cinematic world. Come on. Do it for David Caruso. Do it for the recently cancelled CSI: Miami. Do it as a eulogize send-off to the show that just kept on giving.

    (puts on sunglasses)
    Looks like I’m about to head out into…

    (takes off sunglasses)
    … a strange new world.


    Yeah that was awful. I got nothing.

  • I got your TV renewals right here: We like TV shows and we hate it – nay, we throw Internet hissy fits – when our viewing favorites become terminated by those big bully networks. These shows did not become that. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more popular shows that will officially come back for another season and keep television from turning wack for a little while longer:

    30 Rock (NBC): (All together now) yes.

    Parks and Recreation (NBC): Yes.

    Community (NBC): YES.

    Coummnity has been renewed for season four with a shortchanged order of 13 episodes. While the small size of the order is alarming, not to mention a fifth season dangerously in limbo, we should just be happy the show is still on for the time being. 30 Rock will be back for their seventh and final season of 13 episodes. They’re also the victim of a short order of episodes but all concerns will vanish if given a proper sendoff. Park & Recreation has been renewed for a fifth season to the count of a full 22 episodes. This is great and awesome (greawesome?) at the same time. I don’t know what we did in order to appease the network execu-kings since all we do is rag on them for a bunch of stupid stuff but pray that we don’t push their buttons any further… for now.


    Happy Endings (ABC): The ABC comedy will return for a third season with an order of 22 episodes. I’m really missing out with Happy Endings unless it’s because I’m supposed to but I heard people love it so very very much. Maybe I should put my dreams of becoming an astronaut space pirate – “Houston, I’m a space pirate. Arrr.” – on hold and give this show a looksee before it’s too late.

    Parenthood (NBC): In my case, this falls in with Happy Endings. Critics and viewers fell in love with this show and I wonder if I’m also missing the boat on it. Parenthood will live to see a season four. If ever there was time to join the bandwagon, I suppose now would be good.

    The Simpsons (FOX): Me: Yay the show I haven’t watched in forever is getting more seasons I don’t care if terrible I would still watch them I just don’t seek them out as I used to co-dependency what that? Everyone else: THIS SHOW IS DUMB AND STUPID NOW HASN’T BEEN GOOD SINCE LAST EXIT TO SPRINGFIELD I USED TO BE WITH IT BUT THEN THEY CHANGED WHAT “IT” IS AND WHAT’S IT SEEMS WEIRD AND SCARY TO ME.

    (Update: I wasn’t paying attention. Turns out The Simpsons was already renewed last year – through its 25th season in 2013 and 2014. Please accept my apologies with this GIF of Bart and Conan. Thank you.)

    “Stay perfectly still. Only I may dance”; via Warming Glow

    Family Guy (FOX): Much like The Simpsons the spark I had for Family Guy has not been the same. Once in a while they do pull me back with episodes like “Back to the Pilot” but then it should tell you something when that was also the last time I saw a Family Guy episode. Holy crap they’re about to enter their eleventh season? How did that happen?

    American Dad (FOX): Sometimes I think this show gets a bad rap for being a “MacFarlane” product but American Dad – renewed for an eighth season – is the best animated show going for FOX. Maybe even a battle with Archer for best animated sitcom right now. Or South Park. Or Futurama. Gah. So many quality animated programs, so little time. Sidenote – Ugly Americans: underrated.

    New Girl (FOX): I’m conflicted. Sure, more Zooey Deschanel is a good thing but not when that thing is that thing she’s in, although apparently it’s been on the upswing as of late since it’s OK to like New Girl now. I’ll put it under Right for the time being but still, ugh. Sometimes I wish I could be like those filthy Neutrals. “I have no strong feelings one way or the other.” PS: Zooey’s new iPhone commercial is turrible and other more hilarious people have noticed. But I still like you Zooey. Twitter me!

    Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (ABC): One of the trendy new shows of the year was picked up for a second season. The PTC truly hates this show, which means you should watch, even if out of spite.

    The Mentalist (CBS): Renewed for a fifth season. Receives special mention because they once filmed part of an episode in Sacramento back in 2009 and I was there for it – well close enough for it anyway.

    – Note: Cougar Town was actually canceled by ABC but the good news is TBS has stepped in and renewed the show with two more seasons (fourth and fifth) at 15 episodes apiece. TBS also bought the rights to the show’s first three seasons and will air on their channel in due time. This just got real y’all!

    Other Right notables: Grimm, Once Upon a Time, The Amazing Race (a race too amazing to be cancelled?), Hawaii Five-0, NCIS, NCIS: LA, 2 Broke Girls, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Modern Family, Law & Order: SVU, Bones, Glee, Raising Hope, Fringe

  • Cancelled shows that deserved to be cancelled: The list is not long but I guarantee our world will be a much better place without these shows polluting the airwaves: Rob, Are You There Chelsea?, H8R. Without having the option to watch these shows, our lives can be that much richer.

    *plays Modern Warfare 3 for 52 straight hours*

  • The roasting of Kim Kardashian’s IMDB bio page: I was surfing along the Internet on Sunday when a thought occurred: I’ve poked fun of Kim Kardashian for several consecutive weeks now but she’s hasn’t done anything to warrant a mention this week. What to do?! Luckily my search led me to her IMDB bio page, written by Jon Hopwood, and OH MY GOSH you guys it’s simply EPIC. LOOK:

    Kim Kardashian is emblematic of the shallowness of American culture in the first two decades of the new millennium. While some cultural critics call her the prime avatar of the “famous for being famous” faux celebrity crowd, she along with Paris Hilton is a new breed of cat whose celebrity comes from the release of a sex tape and the canny exploitation of the resulting publicity. Like her good friend Miss Hilton (their relationship predates Kim’s “celebrity”, Kardashian is possessed of photogenic good looks but is short of any other discernible talents outside of the bedroom. Both expanded their celebrity by becoming reality TV “stars”.

    Porn pioneer Harry Reems has commented how surprised he is at how porn stars like Jenna Jameson are accepted now in mainstream culture. His life was ruined by his participation in porn in its “Golden Years”. As for Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the release (accidental or not-so-accidental) of boudoir tapes didn’t result in shame but celebration. America like ancient Rome seems to have shuffled off the moral coil of virtue of the Republic and is now enjoying its Imperial self in an orgy of ignominy. It’s always more fun on the toboggan ride down the hill than it was schlepping up it in the first place. – Kim’s IMDB Bio Page

    And that’s just the first two paragraphs. The rest is simply epic, but I’ve already mentioned that. Quick, someone give Mr. Hopwood the hooker version of Scarlett Johansson and a six-pack.

  • Whitney survived cut?!: AND Celebrity Apprentice renewed for TWO MORE YEARS? Seriously NBC what the hell?

    That’s fine I suppose. As long as Whitney stays far away from all the other shows I like then maybe nothing bad can possibly come out of this.

  • Community moved to Friday nights… behind Whitney: “Coming to Friday nights on NBC, a full hour of laughter with back-to-back new episodes of Whitney and Community starting at 8. That’s right, the funniest television show right now, followed by the ratings clog called Community. But don’t worry because this move will fix everything. More colorful. Only on NBC.” *Promo results in the destruction of several small cities*

    Here are the only good things I can think about this move: it keeps Community away from the ratings juggernaut known as The Big Bang Theory and the rest of the Thursday lineup, Community has so much of a built-in fanbase that they will follow the show wherever it goes, and being sandwiched between Whitney and Grimm is not the worst idea ever, ratings wise.

    Now what that out of the way, excuse me while I step outside…


  • The Will Ferrell-hosted episode of SNL: disappointing: Will Ferrell can make anything funny, which is why I’m puzzled how last week’s Saturday Night Live managed to go by without nearly a laught from me. It’s like they decided to forgo coming up with good sketches because they had one of the funniest people in Hollywood – and a former cast member at that – and thought his name power alone would generate comedy. Even the return of his George Bush persona felt felt in what would be a recurring theme for the evening. No fault from Ferrell himself since he was inactive for a good portion of the episode but still disappointing, the most by far this season.

    Also, where the F was my Celebrity Jeopardy? Harry Caray? Neil Diamond? Mr. Tarkanian? Instead we got Broadway Sizzle and a somehow unfunny skit about ESPN woman’s golf.

    The show did have its moments: the appearance of Liam Neeson and the highly entertaining 100th Digital Short. But Justin Bieber, UGH, Justin Bieber. The great tribute was nearly ruined because of him. You already ruined boxing for everyone Justin. Thank your lucky stars that Justin Timberlake, butt pirate Michael Bolton, a baby-throwing Natalie Portman, and Jon Hamm dry-humping you saved the day. Sergio!

    Jon Hamm: national treasure; via Beaver Paralyser

  • Your reason to watch The Dictator: the Anchorman 2 trailer teaser. Wait what?: Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator – premieres May 16th – has received a fair amount of reviews and most of them ranged above acceptable (75% so far according to Rotten Tomatoes). But in case you need another reason to go out and spend $10 on Cohen pulling 911 jokes out of his hat for 2 hours then here is the official press release about how the teaser trailer of Anchorman 2 will air exclusively before the showing of The Dictator.

    A teaser for Paramount Pictures‘ sequel to Anchorman will go up with prints of the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator. Why, Ron Burgundy himself just tweeted it. Here it is, verbatim: “Dont get Twirter. Anchorman2 teaser w Dictator tom night. Dont know what a teaser is. World is crazy? Having a scotch.- Deadline

    I dislike trailer teasers and I don’t understand the point of pointing them in theaters when someone will eventually post on YouTube for free to which I’ll probably embed in this column next week and then everyone will be happy except those who hate it. No actual footage will appear from the movie since usually trailer teases exist to tease a tease. I hate that. What would happen if you order steak and the waiter gives you one-fourth of a picture of a tiny sample size of steak before telling you to wait 2 years for your meal? Argh! And yet the teaser will still be funnier than 90% of last week’s SNL because it will be. Also this:

  • The description to CW’s Arrow sounds terrifying: I won’t give you my input on the show until you read the synopsis below. Go ahead and read it:

    After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine. – Comic Book Resources

    I guess the Green Lantern movie pretty much led to the blacklist (greenlist?) of all future titles with the word “green” in it. So… the description. Umm… hey what’s that picture below?!

    Pictured: the very special episode of Arrow; via Paiwings
  • LOL!: Avengers averaged more per screen than LOL’s entire gross: You probably didn’t know – what with the continued Avengers craze, Mother’s Day, and playoffs in sports (die Lakers die!) – but Miley Cyrus’s LOL premiered in theaters last weekend. The film only appeared at 105 locations and I don’t remember ever seeing a promotion on television or on the Internet, and that’s weird because half of the Internet is nothing but promotions. This falls on the hands of Lionsgate as they didn’t give it the slightest chance to make any monies. The idea of putting the film as a Direct-to-DVD feature was also not an option since a contract provision basically states “at least 100 theaters shown domestically or HAMMER BAN!”

    But now for the hilarious portion of the story: LOL’s entire opening weekend gross was $46,500. Compare it to The Avengers, which earned $47,698 per theater. Don’t let me tell you about it. Here’s math wizard Vince Mancini with the snoop:

    The film’s entire opening weekend gross came to $46,500. By comparison, The Avengers, whose actual weekend gross of $207 million exceeded the already-record-breaking early estimates, earned $47,698 per theater. Yes, more than LOL‘s entire run. Aw, I hope this doesn’t mean we won’t still get to see Miley in Allan Loeb’s I’m Like, So Undercover (yes, that is a real movie).

    Some math: LOL‘s per-screen average was $440. Divide that by $11, which is about your average ticket price, and it comes out to 40 people per theater who saw LOL this weekend. The closest theater to me showing LOL had five showings per day. If we take that as about standard, multiply that by three days, fifteen showings, and that’s 40 people into 15 screenings, meaning, if my math serves (and I fully acknowledge that it might not), that the average screening of LOL had LESS THAN THREE VIEWERS (2.667). Holy shit, you could have a Yanomami take attendance at those. – Film Drunk

    In other words, who better than LOL? Try everything.

  • People are pirating the hell out of Game of Thrones: People love Game of Thrones. It’s electrifying, violent, racy, and produces a plentiful supply of meme-inspired images. So, yeah, a show that’s fun for just about anyone. People love it. In fact, people love the show so much that it’s on track to become the most pirated TV show of 2012.

    With its popularity swelling and no easy way to watch for viewers without cable, HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is inspiring massive levels of piracy, according to numbers from the BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne. By the firm’s rough estimate, the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April, and its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day.

    “It certainly appears to be the most pirated show of the year,” says John Robinson, a senior media analyst with Big Champagne. He says it’s too early to measure definitively, but the company’s data so far as well as the popularity rankings on download site the Pirate Bay point to “Game of Thrones” as filesharers’ favorite show of 2012. “The fact that it’s consistently at the top of the Pirate Bay’s top one hundred TV show chart seems like a pretty in-your-face leading indicator of the huge volume at which this is being shared.” – Forbes

    Game of Thrones was also the second most pirated show of 2011 (3.4 million downloads compared to 3.04 million in estimated U.S. TV viewers) with first place honors going to the sixth season of Dexter (3.6 million downloads compared to 2.19 million in estimated U.S. TV viewers). Piracy is only going to rise higher when the only option to watch Game of Thrones is via expensive cable means and even then you still may need to subscribe to HBO Go in order to watch it right away. New episodes are not available by the usual alternative options – Hulu, Netflix, and such – which limit the choices down to two selections: legal cable package and illegal torrents.

    Truth be told, this would have gone in the wRong section if I didn’t feel like a total hypocrite. I’m no stranger to the dark shadows of torrents, as my hard drive once held the complete first season of Game of Thrones and the first season of Walking Dead. I now have the Blu-ray copy of Game of Thrones and downloaded Walking Dead from Amazon’s Instant Video service but it doesn’t excuse stealing them and it still doesn’t completely cure the woes for cable companies. And here I am again very tempted to download each episode from season 2 but will probably just wait for the Blu-ray version.

    People are willing to pay for content like Game of Thrones if it was made available to them. This is a major problem for both sides and people such as those in this Reddit discussion and the creator of The Oatmeal have voiced their displeasure. But thanks to the cable company’s inability to make way for easy accessibility for their shows – HBO co-president Eric Kessler said that moving away from traditional television to an internet-based model is just “a fad that will pass” in the same article linked above – the piracy numbers are going to keep growing and growing and growing.

  • Nude John Travolta Taiwanese’ed for your viewing pleasure: I honestly had no idea about this John Travolta lawsuit until the good people at Taiwan NMA TV explained it in simple images I can understand. Now I kind of wish I haven’t. What I learned:

    – The alleged story involves Jules from Pulp Fiction making hamburgers
    – Choking a live chicken is used to describe “reverse massage with happy ending” (and yes I do know the meaning)
    – A gardener hired to “unkempt his hair” was denied access by miniature-sized Disco John Travolta
    – The masseuse would rather pour bleach in his eyes than look at another man’s wang (biggest conundrum ever)
    – “Thousands of miles away” means hiding in a closet of the Jewish version of the Millennium Falcon

    I think I’m up to speed now. Now let us never mention it again.

  • So what’s Jon and Kate been up to?: Remember former reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin? Been a while since we last talked about them. Well it has been two years since the cancellation of their children farm reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8. So how are they doing now? Did they eventually find out that riding through life by their shelf-life fame is not the way to go? Let’s find out.

    First up, Kate. Last time I heard she was organizing together a fantastic cruise where her adoring fans could meet her. How did that turn out?

    Kate Gosselin’s event on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been canceled because of poor turnout and low ticket sales, has exclusively learned.

    The mother of eight was supposed to set sail from August 12 to August 19 at a rate of $1,900-$3,175 per ticket, but it’s no longer happening and all cruise-goers have been fully refunded. – RadarOnline

    Ouch. Well I’m sure Jon’s life is full of his own thrills and adventures, poppin’ the bubbly and attending super important Hollywood functions with an expensive Bluetooth in one ear and a hot supermodel chewing on the other. YEAH!

    The father-of-eight and a former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star has a day job, working in construction, but last night Gosselin proved he also has a talent for spinning records.

    The 35-year-old was spotted at D.H.H Langel Middle School where he and his current squeeze – Liz Jannetta – kept the party going for the 13 and 14-year-olds.

    One of the kids exclusively tells that he gives JD Jon eight out of ten for his skills. – RadarOnline

    “I think you’re cool, Jon Gosselin.” “Sandra, that was mean.”

    I’m not a monster. Believe it or not, I do feel some level sympathy for both people, though more towards Jon than Kate. It’s not a bro thing but my feeling is this: at least Jon is out there in the world trying to make ends meet whereas Kate still thinks she can get a wage off of her attention whore life. And won’t someone please think of the children?! They need to eat too, you know. And also, more Latin House music Jon!

  • Gratuitous Adorable Animal Video of the Week

    I have to credit 411’s hot chick posts overload AJ Grey – real person or figment of our sexually frustrated imagination? – for this one. Essentially this video is 10 seconds of a cute puppy batting away at big boobs. If you think of a better use of 10 seconds, I’d like to ignore you.

    ^My first GIF ever made. Tears. Tears of joy. Unlike the ones from Green Arrow.

    Why is it a problem that Cameron wants to make Avatar movies? Its by far the highest grossing movie ever and was damn good at that as well as groundbreaking in the 3D medium. Why is it OK for 8 Harry Potter movies, 24 James Bond movies, 12 Friday the 13th Movies etc etc.. but its wrong for Cameron to make 4 Avatars? – Posted By: FCT (Guest)

    Because James Cameron is a cartoon troll villain and he plans to engulf the world with versions of a 3D utopia with his evil hypnotic ray.

    But on the other hand…

    James Cameron has always come off as an egotistical prick, but damn if he doesnt make movies that appeal to the masses as rack in the cash.
    If he want to make Avatar flick until he dies, crappy or not, he will and they will make money. – Posted By: APrince66 (Guest)

    That. On the other other hand…

    Avatar sucked, that’s why. Special effects were cool but I didn’t give a shit about the characters or the story. The main human character transferred into one of the alien bodies which I found to be completely stupid. – Posted By: Guest#9333 (Guest)

    This is my official stance: I was one of the few who didn’t mind the first Avatar movie. I watched it, I enjoyed it, I moved on. If James Cameron wants to make 100 Avatar sequels, then that is fine BUT how much more can he do for the next Avatar sequel, much less Avatar 4, when the paper-thin storyline from the first was already a recycled Dances with Wolves plot? What more can he offer when people have accepted 3D movies as an optional median? Everyone saw the first one because of pretty new 3D technology and now it’s not so new anymore. The Avatar franchise will still rake in a lot of money, no doubt, but I don’t want to watch the sequels if they involve blue bear monkeys wrecking the crap out of the planet home to blue fish warriors. No, wait… do I want to see that?

    Also, James Cameron has the death grip on Battle Angel Alita where he won’t let anyone else direct it. If he puts that off in favor of Avatar 4: Blue Bear Galactica then tons of piss will be given. Or maybe not. Hmm… Blue Bear Galactica huh?… I don’t know what to feel anymore.

    looks like the DNR will not only break a sweat but will have to all-out sprint to match or better the Avengers numbers.

    Just saying. – Posted By: Imadethefirstjump (Guest)

    I think this makes for a fantastic discussion once their money-gobbling run ends: can Dark Knight Rises overtake The Avengers at the box office? Can Batman ever get along with a team like the Avengers? Won’t someone please think of Spider-man? What other sh*t will Batman say? (Videos brought to my attention by Ben Piper)

    Last word: BTW, I promised a piece about the time I went to the Ultimate Marvel Marathon two weeks ago and there it is. Long story: *click on link* Short story: *input whatever the written down version of a glee noise here*

    And I will be watching The Avengers in IMAX this Tuesday, breaking my own rule about never paying to watch a movie more than once. Exceptions can be made, right?


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    Porfirio Diaz