Category Archives: Film, F Entertainment

Favelas

I’ve never been to Brazil, though it holds massive appeal to me. There’s a lot to like: rainforest, soccer (they call it futebol), the culture, various meats served on swords. Even the notorious ‘rough’ parts of Brazil seem kind of alluring. Let me explain.

MMMMMMMeat on swords

MMMMMMM sword meat…

I’m always interested to see how ‘the other side’ operates and navigates day-to-day life in any country. Not in an idiot poverty-gawking American sense (Look, Ma! That feller’s peein in the street!). My interest in the world’s ‘wrong sides of the tracks’ isn’t academic, journalistic, do-gooder based, thrill-seeking or scientific. I think it’s mostly just inquisitiveness. It’s also practical.

For one thing, I find that meeting people who look and live different than you do is the spice of life. Also, fancy places are pretty similar the world over. Shopping malls in Chengdu, Cape Town, Calcutta and Columbus are largely indistinguishable. Wealth seems to breed insipidness, as well as the propensity toward being a pompous jerk.

Poor places in general are usually just more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that there is nothing fun, quaint, exciting or entertaining about poverty. There’s nothing nice about high infant mortality rates and not having access to life’s basic essentials. What I’m trying to say is that whatever country you’re in, it’s usually the poorer areas where you’ll find the most interesting people, the warmest hospitality, the most innovation, the most unique experiences, and the best food.

Getting a sense of how the poor, the forgotten, the feared and reviled, the outcasts and outliers live is always an enlightening experience. How do they survive? What’s their life like? This seems like a good starting point for trying to figure out a country, and understanding the people who make up a country. Continue reading

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Filed under F Commentary, Faith, Film, F Entertainment, Foreign Lands

Flight of the Conchords Favorites

Like a glorious (New Zealand-shaped) comet streaking across the night sky, the Flight of the Conchords series on HBO was an ephemeral masterpiece that left us agape with wonder and yearning for more. Two seasons of delightfully earnest New Zealanders Jemaine (Jemaine Clement), Bret (Bret McKenzie) and Murray (Rhys Darby) trying to find their way in New York City was not nearly enough.

They are still with us of course. The Flight of the Conchords band (Jemaine and Bret) recently toured with the great Dave Chappelle, Bret scored the music for the most recent Muppets movie (and another forthcoming sequel), while other stars from the show are slaying it on Twitter and elsewhere. But the show was something special.

While the episodes relied heavily upon the inimitable deadpan of Jemaine, and the easy-going Kiwi naiveté of Bret and Murray, the writing was also brilliant. The songs, the dialogue and lovable characters all meshed and harmonized like a formidable All Blacks attack (token New Zealand rugby reference there… sorry it was either that or a Lord of the Rings analogy, or perhaps a reference to your admirable and robust textiles industry).

There are many great moments and songs from the series that deserve special praise, but here are just a few to honor the memory of a show that was gone too soon.

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Filed under Film, F Entertainment

FjØrdShärks!

In a shameless attempt to cash in on the trend of stupid movies and shows featuring sharks, here’s a pitch for a new feature length film, FjØrdShärks!®

In the Arctic wilds of western Norway, something evil is afoot. After two boatloads of hard-partying, fjord-gawking tourists go missing in the span of two weeks, authorities start to suspect foul play. They should be suspecting SHARK-PLAY because FjØrdShärks® have arrived… and they are hungry!

After their own search party gets attacked by some of the savage beasts, Norwegian authorities are forced to call in the mysterious, legendary scientist/shark hunter, Biff Sharkman. Sharkman (played by Daniel Day-Lewis, or Lorenzo Lamas if Mr. Day-Lewis is unavailable), heads to Norway immediately. Much to his dismay, rival shark hunter and personal nemesis Haley “Hammerhead” Hall (played by either Dame Judi Dench or Meryl Streep; or Brooke Hogan if Mrs. Dench or Mrs. Streep are unavailable) has beat him to the punch and already has an investigation underway. They engage in very sharp repartee. They very clearly don’t like each other!

Fjordsharks - - Attacking your screen soon!

Fjordsharks – – Attacking your screen soon!

The rival research teams set up camp on opposite sides of the fjord. Unfortunately for the Sharkman team, they set up their tents a little too close to the water. Bad move! The first night they’re there, a team of FjØrdShärks, using their recently-evolved shark-legs, crawl up on shore and drag Sharkman’s trusted assistant, Dirk Finman, into the icy depths. Sharkman gets a glimpse of the beasts taking his friend under, and begins to pound the shore and shout for the heavens as he screams his promise for vengeance. Continue reading

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Flossing

An excerpt from a new show we’re pitching to A & E called Flossing: Scared Straight.

<Cut to a middle-aged man with bad teeth, addressing a group of troubled youngsters>

Y’all just take a seat right over there. I wanna talk about your teeth.

I used to be just like you. Cruisin’ through life, not thinking about my teeth. Sure, I knew in the back of my mind it was wrong to not floss; I had seen the commercials and whatnot. Momma always told me it was important. I suppose I knew there would be consequences one day.  But I didn’t care; I was young and invincible, right?

<really starts yelling and getting into frightened kids’ faces> Look at me! Look at me now! You don’t want to be like me! Bleeding gums, needing a prescription mouthwash and a special toothbrush…

You think this is funny? Advanced stage gingivitis homey!

Listen, y’all. I see a lot of nasty snaggleteeth here today. I bet not one of you has flossed in the past month. <gets into one kid’s face in particular> I know you haven’t. Have you? Have you, Hollister T-shirt?

‘No sir.’

Man, they don’t even know! You talk to them. Continue reading

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Flanders, Ned

Father. Neighbor. Holy Roller. True believer. Mustachioed. Lefty…

One of the most beloved residents of Springfield, Flanders, Ned (full name Nedward) has given us so much over the years. A faithful provider of positivity, forgiveness, uplifting exhortations, enduring catch phrases, and gentle reminders of hell’s eternal flames, steady Ned has been our delightfully cheesy moral compass since his debut in 1989.

Longtime fans of The Simpsons have been through quite a lot with Ned. He’s been subjected to more tribulation, twists and turns than perhaps any other character on the show (other than Hans Moleman).

'I was saying Booo-urns.'

‘I was saying Booo-urns.’

He’s lost a wife and nearly his faith on multiple occasions. He’s had to endure living next door to Homer for more than two decades. But despite all this trauma – or perhaps because of it – it seems Ned has also experienced the most profound transformation of any Simpsons character.

From “Funny” to Beloved

The Simpsons has undergone quite a transformation itself over the years. From its humble beginnings of getting cheap laughs from Bart’s sassy one-liners (Eat My Shorts!), and the crudely drawn family engaging in crude behavior (Homer choking Bart, shocking one another at Dr. Marvin Monroe’s clinic, etc.), The Simpsons eventually became the smartest, most insightful, most important TV show probably of all time.

How did they go from “funny” to an unmatched intergalactic phenomenon with legions of devoted fans?

I think a key to the program’s rise to greatness can be found in Ned Flanders’ ascendance from one-dimensional goofballery, to the complex, nuanced man that eventually emerged. Continue reading

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Festivus

A Festivus for the rest of us!” – Frank Costanza

Dear friends, Festivus is fast approaching (Dec. 23). Don’t worry I didn’t get you anything either. That’s okay because Festivus is not that kind of celebration.

While Festivus was technically created in the 60s by writer Dan O’Keefe, the holiday as it exists today was introduced to us by the great Frank Costanza (via O’Keefe’s screenwriter son who wrote it into the script) in one of the best Seinfeld episodes of all time, “The Strike.” This 1997 episode was packed with legendary antics and one-liners that would quickly become part of our vernacular (“The Human Fund,” the “Two Face,” Kramer on strike: “It’s a walk out!” Elaine’s sub card, etc.), but the introduction of Festivus spawned something transcendent: an actual holiday that is observed around the world to this day. It is officially a thing. And while invented for comedic purposes, perhaps other major holidays could learn something from the traditions of this special day?

Festivus means different things to different people, so I can only offer what it means to me. But together, I hope we can unearth the true meaning of Festivus.

To kick things off, let us begin with… the Airing of Grievances. Continue reading

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Filed under F Commentary, Faith, Family, Film, F Entertainment, Fun Phenomena

Fozzie Bear

With the election safely behind us, let us now get back to the important things in life… like talking about lower-tier Muppets. Please welcome back our resident 80s expert Mr. Paul Washington and join him in showing some love for an under-appreciated icon.

By: Paul Washington

Today, we’re going to shine the spotlight on one of the great sidekicks of all time, Fozzie Bear.  For nearly 40 years, this struggling ursine stand-up comedian has faithfully stood in the shadow of his famous best friend, Kermit the Frog.

A frog and a bear: nature’s best friends.

Fozzie spent his pre-school days under the watchful eye of Nanny, having nursery room adventures with the aforementioned Kermit, as well as Miss Piggy, Rowlf the Dog, Animal, Bunsen and Beeker, and the twins, Skeeter and Scooter.  Even at that early age, his penchant for stand-up was evident.  It was also then that he honed his patented “Wocka Wocka Wocka!” after telling a bad joke.

Fozzie (here, a cartoon baby) was an early standard bearer for the letter F and a pioneer in promoting its virtues even before this blog took up that mantle.

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Filed under F Commentary, Film, F Entertainment