Friday, October 22, 2004


Back in August, longtime readers of this column may recall that I inaugurated a new Friday feature: BAD CALL FRIDAY. It was such a stirring success that it was never once repeated... until NOW. Yes, it's time for another series of horrible mistakes made by celebrities, corporations, and public officials.
We start in Hollywood, where it was announced, a month or so ago*, that John Woo would be directing a new movie based on the venerable property, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This is what experts refer to as a TRIPLE BAD CALL:
  • Last year, they tried to resurrect He-Man with a new cartoon. The cartoon was awful, failed miserably, and was cancelled. Ergo, a new He-Man movie is a BAD CALL.
  • Last year, they tried to resurrect He-Man with a new line of toys. The toys were super-crappy, failed miserably, and the line was cancelled. Ergo, a new He-Man movie strikes me as a BAD CALL.
  • This year, they had the brilliant idea to make a new movie, based on a popular character, that had been portrayed in a shitty 80's movie by Dolph Lundgren. This film defied all odds by being almost as bad as (or worse than, depending on who you ask) the original, and was a critical and box-office disappointment. One can draw from this the conclusion that a new He-Man movie would be aBAD CALL.
And really, if you're going to take one 20-year-old piece of shit and bring it back with new "talent", why stop there? Remember "Band Aid", the African poverty benefit supergroup that narrowly avoided a trademark-infringement lawsuit from Johnson & Johnson? You know, the ones that put out the "Do They Know It's Christmas" song that has been inescapable for two months a year ever since? Well, they're remaking it. BAD CALL.
I mean, the original is bad enough. Sure, it's generally thought of as the best of the "save the hungry people" charity songs, but look at its competition. Plus, it was mostly British people, and that gives it bonus cultural cachet that obscures its general crapitude. But a remake? And it's not like they're getting the band (aid) back together or anything. No, this time they're assembling an all new "super"group of today's artists to re-record the song!
Farewell, Bono! You've been replaced by COLDPLAY. That's gotta fucking hurt. The only guy from the original Band Aid that's even remotely close to still relevant, and the coach pulls you out of the game so that those whiny "Yellow" fuckers can belt out "Feed The World". Remember Sting? You know, back in the 80's when he didn't entirely suck? Well, pack him into his Jaguar and send him off onto the ice floe, we've got Travis now. Boy George? Boy Schmorge! We've got a whole BAND full of glam assholes, The Darkness! And remember, when the remake comes out, every single time it gets pirated over the Internet, a child in Africa DIES.
And finally, the right-wing simply can't let "Fahrenheit 9/11" die. The DVD's been out for two weeks, which means it's now officially outside the "window of visibility", and gets stocked back with all the other "F" titles in the Documentary section. Most of the discussion of the film happened over the summer anyway; the DVD release really didn't incite any new arguing. But since the right can't just get on with it, today brings us theBAD CALL release of "Celsius 41.11", a movie title so bad and un-funny that it could have only come from pissed-off conservatives.
This new documentary**, written by Lionel Chetwynd, the man that gave us that stunning piece of Showtime fiction about how incredibly brave and decisive Bush was after 9/11, is named after the temperature at which your brain starts to deteriorate.BAD CALL. Chetwynd is quoted as explaining that "You tell enough lies, and the brain starts to die." Again, BAD CALL. I've thought of at least eight different punchlines for that quote in the time it took me to paste it. Make us lead the target a little, Chetwynd! Don't just stand there with a big target on your ass!
The documentary, intended as a "rebuttal" to Fahrenheit 9/11, spends a lot of time talking about John Kerry, which Fahrenheit didn't mention at all. Oops. Let me make fun of Chetwynd a little more, because his name sounds like an 80's prog-rock band, and because he said something else that was realy fucking stupid. ACTUAL BAD CALL QUOTE TIME!
"What was getting to me was Michael Moore's almost preternatural obsession with getting rid of Bush." - Lionel "HO-Scale" Chetwind. If "preternatural" means "beyond natural", and Moore's desire to get rid of Bush is "almost preternatural", that means it's almost beyond natural, which means it's COMPLETELY NATURAL. Along with the similar desires of anyone who's been paying attention for the past four years. Remember, kids. Being a complete dumbass in public is always a.... BAD CALL.
*They can't all be up-to-the-minute topical, you know.
**Note my kindness and taking of the moral high ground by not putting quotes around it.