The Concession Stand

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Movie Cliches: You Give Me Fever

"You Give Me Fever."

Do you have a woman in your script who has (ahem) loose morals? Want to know the quickest way to let your audience know that she is supposed to be the town tramp? Other than dressing her like a teenage talk show guest, (Next on The Maury Povich Show: "Maury, help me with my wild teen!") there's another surefire way to drill this fact into your audience's head- get her in a red dress and have her sing or dance to the song "Fever".

I'm sure you've seen this on too many movies and TV shows to count. (Married... With Children had Kelly Bundy do this in its third season, but I think we already knew by then that Al's Little Girl was "Open for Business".) Either we see the spectacle happen early on in the film or show to establish that this woman is a "friendly girl" or else it is used to symbolize a change in a bookish woman's demeanor. After all, how many times have we seen straight-laced schoolmarms or librarians take off their glasses and rip off their conservative clothing to reveal a tight-fitting red dress, all done to the tune of "Fever"?

Many people have commented on how a quick way to make money in the music industry is to write a Christmas song that takes off, then sit back and watch the money roll in. I would imagine that an even better way to rake in the cash would be to write a new song that could be used by Hollywood as a replacement to "Fever." Until then, I would imagine that the people who own the rights to that song are happy that Hollywood movies and television shows are still full of sex crazed women- and written by lazy writers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Totally Fake Classic Movie Anecdotes

"... Nobody was more careful about watching the budget on the Cleopatra set than Elizabeth Taylor who always took on the extra responsibility. 'The studio is already investing a ton of money, so I feel an obligation to help out by keeping my requests and those of others at a reasonable level.'  Ms. Taylor made sure to keep her special requests at a minimum and was always chastising cast members who didn't follow her lead..."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blind Kiyomi Sunday MST3K Quote

"Shut up and watch the deer get slaughtered! It's fun!"

-Tom Servo from the MST3K riffing of Circus on Ice

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blind Kiyomi Saturday Bad Movie Quote

"I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer."

-Claudette from The Room

Friday, December 27, 2013

Things You Don't Want To Hear Inside A Movie Theater


10. “What? You’re calling me with important news? No, tell me everything, I’m not 
doing anything important.”
9. “Okay, one large popcorn and a large Pepsi. That will be $64.50”
8. “Welcome to tonight’s showing of Whitney: The Movie!”
7. “As long as you prop your feet up on the seat in front of you, the rats won’t bite.”
6. “…..starring Barbra Streisand!”
5. “Welcome to tonight’s showing of After Earth!”
4. “Um, those aren’t Raisinettes….”
3. “Look, there’s Pee-wee Herman! Is he waving at us?”
2. “Welcome to tonight’s showing of Waterworld 2: Kevin’s Revenge!”
1. “…..directed by Barbra Streisand!”   

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Movie Cliches: The Hip-Hop Retirement Home

“Hip-Hop Retirement Home”

You’ve seen this shortcut many times. A grandmotherly woman (or grandfatherly man) is totally hip with what the kids find so popular these days. And they express their hipness for cheap laughs. How many times have you seen a movie grandma use horrendous profanity or discuss her womanly needs in grotesque TMI fashion?

Another example of the “Hip-Hop Retirement Home” shortcut is to pick any older authority figure (A judge, priest, university chancellor, etc.) and have everyone afraid of doing something inappropriate in front of him or her. Everyone goes out of his or her way to make sure that nothing goes wrong when this person arrives. (typically for an inspection or contest) When the authority figure does arrive, everyone is aghast when things go completely wrong. Of course, everyone assumes that they’ve flunked the inspection/lost the competition. There’s always a tense moment until . . . it turns out that the elderly authority figure is down with the youngsters! He (or she) just wants to party down, tap the keg and smoke out. She (or he) then announces that the youngsters have won the contest or passed the inspection. Of course, this shortcut wouldn’t be complete without seeing the authority figure partying down with the winners!

So what else besides the “Foul-Mouthed Granny” or “Hip-Hop Authority Figure” fits into our “Hip-Hop Retirement Home” shortcut? Why the “Hip-Hop Retirement Home” itself! Who hasn’t seen a situation in which a youngster is forced into volunteering at a retirement home, only everyone there is so drugged up and pathetic that he (or she) figures they have to liven things up. In this case, she (or he) either stops giving the old folks their medicine or, by some cruel twist of fate, makes some “special brownies” that get served to the old folks for lunch. In either situation, the retirees start boogying down and getting jiggy with it. Of course, this results in our volunteer getting fired from his (or her) volunteer stint. Everything turns out all right at the end, however, when the volunteer gets asked back because the retirees love him (or her) and just want to get down!

To sum up, the “Hip-Hop Retirement Home” is typically used for the cheap laughs it usually gets. Interestingly, the same people who laugh at this Hollywood Shortcut would probably be more than just a little freaked (and a trifle bit disgusted) if their real Grandma and Grandpa acted in this manner. But as long as they do laugh, we’ll still get foul talking grannies and boogy down grandpas.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Movie Cliches: All Good Hippies Went To Berkeley

“All Good Hippies went to Berkeley”

This Hollywood shortcut is near and dear to my heart, since I went to Berkeley and all. You see, other than having someone wear tie dyed articles of clothing, the best way to let an audience know that someone is a free spirit or a hippy is to let everyone know that they attended, taught at or just lived in Berkeley.

This shortcut was used in the comedy classic Grumpy Old Men; as you might remember if you’ve seen the movie, we are told that Ann-Margret’s character has retired from a professorship at Berkeley. This doesn’t surprise her neighbors, since she is portrayed as a free spirit who we see doing a lot of things that could be described as being kooky. While the things that she does (hot tubbing, bizarre artwork, etc.) show us how strange she is, the fact that she once worked at Berkeley seals the deal. (Although the writers could have been lazier and simply made mention of her ties to Berkeley without providing any examples….)

This shortcut was used heavily in the 1980’s when Hollywood was enamored with stories about “hippies” turning into “yuppies”. Typically, the revelation of someone having gone to Berkeley would be matched with a poorly doctored picture of the actor wearing a tie dyed shirt and sporting an Afro. (Yes, even if the person in question wasn’t African American.) Sometimes they would be pictured with a known activist like Joan Baez, Jane Fonda or Tom Hayden.

So, even though the Berkeley campus is decades removed from any sort of activism, the legend lives on in Hollywood- because all good hippies still go to Berkeley.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Really Bad Ideas: Howard the Duck: Special Edition


Howard the Duck: Special Edition

HOLLYWOOD (RPS)- George Lucas triumphantly announced today the complete restoration of his classic 80’s production Howard the Duck. “I am excited to finally see my real vision up on the screen,” noted Mr. Lucas, “Imagine what a little CGI can do for this classic film!”

Among the many noticeable changes, the most jarring will be the use of a CGI Howard in place of the animatronic one used in the original film. “I always wanted Howard’s character to be more like Jar Jar from The Phantom Menace.” Howard is also getting a new voice to go along with his new look. “I was never satisfied with Howard’s voice in the first film, but when I first heard Gilbert Gottfried speak, I knew I had finally found the right person to bring Howard to life!” Other notable changes include having Jar Jar himself play Howard’s friend in the duck universe, (“I want to tie this movie’s universe 
in with the Star Wars one,” noted Mr. Lucas) and the digital erasing of Lea Thompson from the movie. (“One look at Caroline in the City and I realized what everyone had been telling me; what the hell were we thinking?)

Mr. Lucas seemed confused when asked whether he was consulting with the original director of the movie, Willard Huyck. “Willard who? The Original director of the film? I thought I had him taken out back and-“ Mr. Lucas was then reminded by a PR assistant about the new footage shot for the movie. “We have shot all new footage that makes the film more relevant to today’s audiences and inserted Justin Timberlake into the movie.” When asked how this would make the film more relevant, Mr. Lucas insisted that it was at the behest of his daughter. “It’s not like she’s ever steered me wrong 
before. I mean, I eventually decided to edit NSYNC out of Attack of the Clones, didn’t I?”

Mr. Lucas plans to release the movie this Fall into theaters at the request of Universal Pictures, which wants the opportunity to have the DVD release out by Christmas, a situation that Mr. Lucas finds unlikely. “This is, quite possibly, the best special edition I've ever done. At least until I get my hands on The Phantom Menace. Jar-Jar wasn’t accepted as well as I had initially thought, so I’m replacing him with that Gecko from those insurance commercials. Doesn’t that sound cool?”

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blind Kiyomi Sunday MST3K Quote

"This isn't Bakers Square."

-From the MST3K riffing of The Dead Talk Back

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Steven Spielberg presents: "Manos: The Hands of Fate"

Manos: The Hands of Fate

Hollywood, CA (RPS)- Famed director Stephen Spielberg announced his intentions today to remake the cult classic Manos: The Hands of Fate. “I am truly excited about this project,” noted Mr. Spielberg, “Imagine how much better this classic would have been with an all star cast and a budget into the hundreds of millions?” Mr. Spielberg says that he has always wanted to re-make Manos, ever since he saw it back in college. “I remember telling everyone I knew how great that movie was. Unfortunately, I now think I was extremely drunk when I first saw the movie, but who cares? Slap my name on this baby and you’ve already got at least a $75 million dollar opening.”

Mr. Spielberg announced that his movie will differ from the original in that it will be called Steven Spielberg’s Hands! The Hands of Fate. “Our initial research shows that most people don’t realize that manos is Spanish for hands, so we figured we’d put it in the title so that nobody gets confused,” noted Mr. Spielberg.

Another major change will revolve around the signature character from the original movie, a half man, half goat named Torgo. “I always thought that Torgo would be better as a CGI character, not a real actor,” Mr. Spielberg said, “I also thought the perfect voice for our CGI Torgo would be none other than Gilbert Gottfried himself!” Other casting choices will feature Tom Hanks as the wayward father, Meg Ryan as his wife and Dakota Fanning as their little daughter who gets caught up in the Satan worshipping cult along with her parents. The fearsome Master who orders his minion Torgo around and draws Tom Hanks’ family into his web will be played by none other than Christopher Walken. “Chris Walken gives me the creeps. He’s perfect for this role!”

Hollywood super couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore will make cameos as a smooching couple that witnesses some of the action. The roles of the ineffectual lawmen that try to find the lost family were not filled at press time, but Mr. Spielberg noted that he was courting such Hollywood luminaries as Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. Mr. Spielberg hopes to begin shooting in early 2005 in Prague. “I know that the original movie was shot in Texas, but I wanted to spend vast amounts of money to recreate the landscapes in Prague. I really like shooting movies in Prague. Heck, I just like saying the word Prague.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Movie Cliches: The Leno Effect

It is well known in Hollywood that whenever a screenwriter wants to take a shortcut to quickly illustrate a character’s importance or how embarrassing a situation is, they simply insert a clip of a Jay Leno monologue in which the character or event is mentioned. This typically occurs right after another character tries to reassure the embarrassed person that everything is okay. For example:

TOM: Honey, nobody noticed that your top fell off, trust me. Now let’s watch TV.

(Tom flips to a news program.)

NEWS ANCHOR: On the lighter side of the news tonight, Lindsay Davenport, heiress to the Davenport Potash fortune exposed a little more than she bargained for when-

(Tom flips to another channel.)

JAY LENO: Did you hear about this? Apparently socialite Lindsay Davenport had her top fall off. It went down faster than Monica Lewinsky.

(Tom flips to a third channel.)

HISPANIC ANCHOR: Este es un clip de “Lindsay Davenport”-

(Tom quickly shuts off TV.)

Of course, the audience is meant to find this funny and accept it as proof that the character is a Very Important and Famous Person. A lazy shortcut, of course, that still crops up in American films.

Things have obviously changed, however. Now that Jay Leno has been exposed as a backstabbing douchebag whose credibility in Hollywood is at an all time low, will they still use him as the go-to guy for these type of scenes? I suppose only time will tell whether Jay retains these roles or they get passed on to someone else. Ideally, Hollywood should probably think about retiring this creaky cliche, just as Jay Leno should have retired his creaky act.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Movie Specs: "Violation of Privilege": An Ashley Judd Thriller

With the recent revelations that Ashley Judd has accused her sister of spying on her, we bring you the latest idea for an Ashley Judd Thriller.

Violation of Privilege

Louella Grant (Ashley Judd) is a high flying attorney who always wins her cases and works alongside the senior partner in the firm. (Morgan Freeman)

Suddenly and without warning, she begins losing cases after the opposition seems to keep getting inside information on the firm's internal conversations.

She enlists the help of the law firm's snarky streetwise PI (Joe Pesci) who discovers that her bitchy sister (Katherine Heigl) with the help of a geeky IT Tech (Colin Hanks) has been spying on her to sell secrets to her opponents. 

Her sister's spying has made some powerful enemies. A high level drug kingpin who lost a case because of the leak (Jimmy Smits) orders a hit on her sister. 

Does she protect her family, or allow the criminals to exact their revenge on her bitch of a sister? Also, she bangs a police detective (Jason Statham) who is investigating the shady drug runners.

**Okay, Hollywood, where do we pickup our  checks?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Movie Cliches: The Sainted Witness

So- you’ve got a protagonist who is mostly a good person, yet currently finds himself in a regrettable situation that makes him appear to be completely depraved. How does the filmmaker make sure that the audience knows how messed up this situation is? By letting The Sainted Witness view the proceedings, of course!

The Sainted Witness is typically a respectable person who we would imagine has never seen such depravity in his or her life. While The Sainted Witness is often a nun (dressed in full nun regalia), he or she can also be a priest, minister or an innocent looking elderly person. The protagonist often tries to explain things, but almost always makes things worse. If he’s naked, his efforts to reassure The Sainted Witnesswill often result in him exposing more of his privates or (even worse) him becoming entangled with her.

Other possible misunderstandings-

* He injects himself with insulin, but The Sainted Witness assumes it’s illegal drugs.

* He’s entangled with someone else by accident but it appears that they are engaging in sexual intercourse. (Bonus points if he’s getting married and the person he’s entangled with is not his fiance.)

* It appears that he is trying to destroy or sully a religious article.

* He just suffered a painful injury and screamed the filthiest profanity he could think of as loudly as possible. (Bonus points if it was in a church.)

While The Sainted Witness might actually confront the protagonist with righteous indignation, oftentimes they say nothing; their mere presence at the scene of the embarrassment is enough to get a laugh out of the audience.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blind Kiyomi Sunday MST3K Quote

"I'll offer to park cars. For charity."

-From MST3K's riffing of Devil Doll

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blind Kiyomi Saturday Bad Movie Quote

"If it hadn't been for you I would now be in someone else's digestion."

-Maxie, from Titanic: The Legend Goes On...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Really Bad Ideas- TV Remake Insanity!!

With the release of “I Spy: The Movie” I think that it is safe to say that Hollywood has scraped the bottom of the barrel
when it comes to movie remakes of old television shows. (And I thought that “Car 54 Where Are You?” was as low as they could go.) Soon, however, I bet that they will begin to mine 80s television shows to put on the big screen. While there might be some shows that will make a good transition, I’m sure that there will be many that will fail miserably. Of course, since this is Ralphland and we’re talking about Really Bad Ideas, we’ll focus on-

Really Bad Ideas- TV Remake Insanity!!

Who’s The Boss: The Movie!: Fading “Cute Actress” Meg Ryan stars as Angela Bower, a working mother with little time to care for her aging but sex starved mother (Debbie Reynolds) and her way too cute son (Jonathan Lipnicki). She hires the tough talking Tony Micelli (Tom Hanks) after a cute misunderstanding at the Nanny agency. (She thinks he’s the stripper she’s hired for her mom’s bachelor party… don’t Meg and Tom’s characters always “meet cute” in these movies?) Tony moves in with his even tougher talking daughter (Christina Ricci) and not only brings order to the house, but sweeps Ms. Bower off her feet and down the aisle. The film ends in Central Park with the camera panning away, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan staring dreamily into each other’s eyes and the strains of a Harry Connick, Jr. song filling the air.

Jeopardy! The Movie: Desperate to be loved and to win an Oscar, Jim Carrey takes on the role of Alex Trebek, a smarmy know it all game show host whose grating on camera demeanor hides darks secrets at home. You see, Mr. Trebek is only trying to protect himself from love. But little does he know that love is about to come knocking! He becomes smitten by a complex, sultry contestant (Played by Angelina Jolie) that he begins dating against the wishes of his producer and best friend Merv Griffin (Played by Nathan Lane). Despite the rough patches that threaten their budding relationship, this couple is guided down the aisle by fate and syrupy Celine Dion songs. Even though the movie is factually wrong in practically every way, it becomes a blockbuster to the chagrin of Alex Trebek, who considers a lawsuit against the movie’s producers. Despite the massive Oscar campaign mounted by the studio, Mr. Carrey again (deservedly) goes home without an Oscar.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bad Ideas: "Family Circus: The Movie!"


Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt team up again as the hilarious father and mother from the Family Circus comic strips. This time, however, the family has been re-imagined and the kids have grown up!

Frankie Muniz is Billy, the oldest son. Hillary Duff is the hilarious Dolly and Haley Joel Osment is little Jeffy. The fun begins when mom decides to return to the working world, leaving her teenaged kids in the hands of their frantic cartoonist father. Unfortunately for him, the devilish “Not Me” and the scheming “Ida Know” have returned to wreak havoc on the family hizzouse!

Getting jiggy with the family by voicing this double trouble duo are Eddie Griffin as “Not Me” and Loni Love as “Ida Know”. Featuring a fun new song by the Baha Men, (“Who Let Not Me and Ida Know Out?”) and enough jiggy-ness to fill four hizzouses, Family Circus: The Movie will blow the roof off the mother- father!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Toy-Based Movies

Universal Pictures and Hasbro have announced that they are teaming up to produce movies based on Hasbro’s various toy and game lines. This unbelievable bit of news has “epic failure” written all over it and appears destined to produce the sort of movies that would eventually end up being mentioned here at So what types of projects can we expect? Probably a few bad ideas like these:

Monopoly: The Movie

Starring: Adam Sandler, Gene Hackman, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rooney and a gaggle of washed-up SNL actors.

Story: Gene Hackman plays a maniacal billionaire who is desperate to own every piece of land in Atlantic City. He ends up owning everything- except for the highly prized Boardwalk, which is owned by another eccentric billionaire played by Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler’s character is a kind hearted guy who rents it out to an orphanage run by a priest (Mickey Rooney) and a sexy social worker (Jessica Alba). Frustrated, Hackman’s character mounts a vicious takeover attempt to gain control of the Adam Sandler character’s company and therefore gain ownership of the elusive Boardwalk. Of course, Adam Sandler won’t go down without a fight, and ends up ruining his rival’s company, and bedding that sexy social worker. In between, we get treated to Mr. Sandler’s baby voice, a random Steve Buscemi cameo and Rob Schneider’s “You Can Do It!” guy.

Michael Bay’s Risk

Starring: Big explosions and special effects plus a new batch of expendable actors.

Story: Apparently there’s a war going on somewhere with loud explosions, cool CGI effects and scantily clad women running around. That’s about it. (What do you expect from a Michael Bay film?)

The Easy Bake Oven Movie

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Judge Reinhold and Meg Ryan

Story: A young girl (Dakota Fanning) discovers that her Easy Bake Oven is magic and can produce delicious three course meals. Her single father (Judge Reinhold) decides to enter his daughter in a cook-off contest, figuring that there’s no way she can lose. After winning the first round of a million dollar cook-off with a stunning beef ragout, the contest organizers get suspicious and send a sultry divorcee (Meg Ryan) to investigate. Of course Ms. Ryan’s character gets a lot more than she bargained for and ends up getting swept off of her feet and down the aisle by Mr. Reinhold. Miraculously, Dakota’s Easy Bake Oven stops working after the wedding, but she’s so happy with her new mom, she doesn’t really care.

My Little Pony

Starring the voices of: Mike Myers, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, Gilbert Gottfried and Vanessa Hudgens

Story: The world of My Little Pony comes alive in CGI! Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens provide the voices of two ponies who have a crush on a cute guy pony voiced by Zac Efron. Unfortunately, all is not well in Ponyland, because an evil Scottish pony, voiced by Mike Myer (who else?) wants to take over the world, aided by a wisecracking sidekick voiced by Gilbert Gottfried. Since Hollywood believes that (Mike Myers’ Scottish Voice) + (CGI) = BIG MONEY, it doesn’t really matter what happens next.

Aggravation: The Game Movie

Starring: Jim Carrey, Dane Cook, Jessica Simpson, Ashton Kutcher and Carrot Top

Story: While the game involves moving marbles from one place to another on a game board and “aggravating” your opponents by bumping them back to start, this movie consists of each star aggravating the audience with their lame shtick. See Jim Carrey “talking” with his buttocks, Dane Cook rambling on and on about nothing, Jessica Simpson’s “acting”, Ashton Kutcher being a douche and Carrot Top just being himself.

First Draft Film Titles

Horse Faced Lady and Her Three Slutty Friends

Dolly Parton Runs A Whorehouse, But You Still Won't See Her Naked Rack.

We Might As Well Just Flush The Studio's Money Down the Toilet, Starring Dane Cook

Two Dudes Bang Each Other On A Mountain

Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers Collect Another Paycheck

Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry & Tyler Perry Star in Who Cares, This Movie Is Going To Make Money No Matter What

Foul Mouthed Old Ladies Are Hilarious!

Has-Beens on a Plane

Let's Just Blow Stuff Up, Directed By Michael Bay

Stuck-Up College Frat Guys Get Their Comeuppance

Whiny Emo Makes An Indie Film in Which He Gets a Date With His Dream Girl Even Though She Laughed At Him In Real Life

Whiny Emo Who Grew Up Rich Makes An Indie Film About How Troubled His Childhood Was

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Three Line Movie Summaries: Santa Claus Movies

**Santa, whose intelligence is shown to be just above that of a chimpanzee, gets caught in a trap by an evildoer, gets lost or becomes sick.

**The Care Bears, According to Jim, Strawberry Shortcake, The Shrek and/or Jim J. Bullock are enlisted to help “save Christmas” by finishing Santa’s route.

**Santa is saved or recovers and thanks his new friends for “Saving Christmas”, because as we all know the true meaning of Christmas is getting material goods on the morning of December 25th and not a day later.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Quintessential Lifetime Original Movie

Taking a look at cable television, it seems that most channels cannot keep their supposed concepts pure. Desperate for ratings, most channels will sacrifice their alleged themes to air anything they think will attract viewers. That’s why Law and Order reruns get aired on the Sci-Fi Channel or The Learning Channel will show just about anything regardless of whether any actual learning is involved.

But one channel is not only good at keeping its concept pure, it also seems to have spawned an entire genre of films that only it could air. Of course, we’re talking about the Lifetime Cable Network, home of the “woman in peril” film, known to one and all as the “Lifetime Original Movie”.

The Lifetime formula is simple really; take Meredith Baxter, Joanna Kerns, Tori Spelling or any number of young or middle aged actresses, give them a perfect life, then pull the rug out from under them. Slap a ridiculous sounding title that sometimes has little to do with the actual movie (Like Fatal DeceptionStrip Me Deadly, They Took Her Son, They Took Her Life or Fatal Accomplice) and you’ve got a Lifetime Original Movie!

Some people simplistically try to claim that every Lifetime Original Movie features the central thesis that “Women are good and Men are bad.” This is far from the truth; for example, if the guy is Meredith Baxter’s son, he’s probably good. In fact, about the only thing that is a must for a Lifetime movie is that everything must start out perfect for the main heroine. In fact, we know that everything is perfect because our heroine will spend the first fifteen minutes of the movie living the good life and telling everyone around her who will listen how perfect her life is.

Then comes the bombshell- it can be anything really, but it has to bring the world down for our heroine and provide her with a cause to pursue. Rest assured, however, that regardless of the depths her life sinks to, our main character will triumph, even getting a chance to gloat about how she’s back on top.

So just to illustrate how easy it is to put together a Lifetime movie, let’s create one for Meredith Baxter-

With Friends Like These

Meredith Baxter is sitting on top of the world. She lives in a lavish McMansion with her husband Bruce Boxleitner and her days are spent shopping in lavish malls and taking advantage of the tony country club she is a member of with her best friend in the world, played by Megan Mullaly. With her young daughter out of the nest and working in the city with a high paying job, Ms. Baxter’s character anticipates growing old with her husband and preparing for the loads of grandchildren her daughter will no doubt bear.

But then- disaster strikes! Ms. Baxter’s husband dies in a freak accident. Bereft, she takes solace in the fact that her husband had a hefty retirement portfolio so that she can continue to live the life she has grown accustomed to. Unfortunately, her husband’s employer is an Evil Capitalist(tm) who points to a clause in her husband’s retirement plan that doesn’t require him to pay out a nickel due to the circumstances of his death. Luckily for Ms. Baxter, he tells her that he has a heart and cuts a check for $1,000. Ms. Baxter tries to see what her legal recourse is, only to discover that she has none and should just get on with her life.

Soon, she finds herself having to sell off the McMansion to pay the bills her husband left behind. She must give up her country club membership, which makes her wealthy friends look down their noses at her. Even Megan Mullaly ignores her calls. ‘At least I have my daughter’ thinks Ms. Baxter, but when her daughter discovers that there isn’t going to be an inheritance, she becomes cold to her own mother.

Depressed and forced to make a living on her own, Ms. Baxter takes a job as a waitress at a coffee shop. She makes a new friend in one of the other waitresses, a sassy black woman played by Alfre Woodard. Ensconced in a cheap apartment and blessed with a steady job, Ms. Baxter is down, but not out.

In the course of her work, Ms. Baxter stumbles upon a problem in the food service industry that she thinks she can solve with a unique invention. The invention is a success at the Coffee Shop, but she needs seed money to fully capitalize on her million dollar idea. The Coffee Shop owner, a jerk who has little regard for women rejects her, as do her old friends, who laugh in her face. Dejected, she sees her opportunity to make money on her invention slipping away. But, there was one person who she hasn’t asked yet- Alfre Woodard. Ms. Woodard’s character tells Ms. Baxter that she’s been squirreling money away for a rainy day and “It’s rainin’ cats and dogs today, honey!” At this time, Ms. Baxter reconciles with her daughter who admits how stupid she was and also invests in her mother’s idea.

Ms. Baxter and Ms. Woodard become partners and use their spare time to produce their new product. After a few tense minutes with their first potential customer, they soon discover that their product is a hit. Money starts rolling in and they both quit their jobs, leaving their jerky former employer speechless. The ladies soon become the toast of the town and the business world, getting their pictures in every business magazine and newspaper. Soon, their small company outgrows its small offices and they find themselves overseeing a million dollar business with hundreds, if not thousands of workers.

So, is the movie over? Not yet. You see, Ms. Baxter has to gloat, so her old friend Megan Mullaly invites her to lunch. Ms. Baxter accepts the invitation and calmly catches up with her friend. “That was a bad spell for you wasn’t it?” notes Ms. Mullaly, “Lucky it’s now all over. Let’s do lunch again next week.” Cue Ms. Baxter’s angry tirade. Ms. Mullaly gets to purse her lips and look embarrassed when Meredith storms out of the restaurant, vowing to never see Ms. Mullaly ever again.

So, is that it? Nope, because it appears that her husband’s old company somehow wants to buy her new company because they are making so much money and are somehow in the same line of business. (Something we barely learn at this point.) Ms. Baxter triumphantly enters the office of the Evil Capitalist(tm) who tells her that he hopes there’s no hard feelings and that the buyout offer is more than fair. At this point, Ms. Baxter refuses the offer and a member of the company’s board of directors storms into the office to shake Ms. Baxter’s hand. Why, you ask? Because they are selling out to Ms. Baxter’s company, of course! To add insult to injury, Ms. Baxter hands the Evil Capitalist(tm) his severence check- $1,000!

So, is the movie over? Yes, mostly. But first, we see Ms. Baxter, Ms. Woodard and Ms. Baxter’s daughter sipping champagne a few weeks later- in what used to be the Evil Capitalist’s(tm) office! Then we fade out.

That’s it- the quintessential Lifetime movie, right off the top of our heads. Substitute Joanna Kerns or throw something to do with cancer in there and you’d have an entirely new film. See how easy it is?

**Keep in mind that this idea is (c) Ralphland Productions, so if you work for Lifetime and see this, don’t get any ideas. (But if you like the idea, we can talk…..)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bad Movie Quote

"I'm going to ask you a straightforward question: isn't it true that you have, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a certain habit through association with certain undesirable people?"

- Dr. Carroll from Reefer Madness

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Things We Learned From The Movies

Every single woman living in NYC has a gay friend who makes Liberace look like Rambo.

If you hear a noise and think it’s just your cat- you will be murdered in a few minutes.

Irresponsible singles are frequently put in charge of caring for babies, unruly children and/or dogs.

All women have a crazy friend, a slutty friend, a boozy friend & an “ethnic” friend.

A plucky young white teacher is the only thing needed to turn around a struggling inner city school.

It is possible to stop any plane by running in front of it and waving your hands at the pilot.

Every swinging single guy is really just looking for the right woman to step in and take over his life.

Any guy who says his life is perfect while looking at a picture of his family will die within 15 minutes.

When you start singing & dancing everyone around you will join in and know all the lyrics & dance moves.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mundane Films

“The Mailman of Alcatraz”

“The Happiest Thousandaire”

“Plan Nine From Outer Poughkeepsie”

“Brewster’s Hundreds”

“The Fry Cook Who Loved Me”

“Casino Normal”

“Throw Momma a Party”

“The Best Little Outhouse in Texas”

“The Sneezeguard”

“Willy Wonka and the Cardboard Box Factory”

“The Coke Bottle Redemption”

“Captain Antarctica”

“(500) Days of After-school Detention”

“Die Hard- Of Natural Causes”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Totally Fake Classic Movie Anecdotes

“… Donna Reed found the It’s A Wonderful Life shoot to be extremely dull up until the infamous “Pottersville” scenes. ‘Get me a scotch!’ she shouted, ‘Then watch me do a dance that would make Gypsy Rose Lee blush!' When advised that she would be playing a spinster librarian, Miss Reed became upset, but she soon got her revenge when she revealed that she was wearing nothing underneath her character’s matronly overcoat. ‘Have you seen the rare Pottersville beaver?’ she asked. When Jimmy Stewart admitted that he hadn’t, she quickly disrobed, sending Frank Capra through the roof…”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life & Roadhouse?!?!?

Every Christmas, millions of people watch the timeless classic It's A Wonderful Life. Millions more stumble upon a similar classic while drunkenly flipping through cable channels- the immortal film Road House. Wait, what?

Yes, it's true. There are startling similarities between the Jasper, Missouri of Road House and the hell hole of Pottersville, the alternate universe in It's A Wonderful Life. Most people forget what life in Bedford Falls would have been like if George Bailey had never been born.

Full of neon and wanton women, Pottersville is supposed to be a frightening place. There's divey bars full of trashy, loose dames:

Wild, boisterous fights:

Shady establishments filled with sultry harlots catering to perverts:

Run by a tyrant interested only in money:

Sound familiar, Road House fans? The Jasper, MO of Road House would give Pottersville a run for its money.  There are sleazy dives:

Trashy, loose women:

Sultry women catering to perverts:

And wild, boisterous fights:

All in a town run by a greedy tyrant:


Both Dalton from Road House and George Bailey even have frumpy, frigid women to deal with:

But while they may have had similar experiences, they resolve their problems in strikingly different ways....

George Bailey discovers that life is beautiful and merely chooses to reverse his wish that he was never born, thus relegating "Pottersville" to non-existence:

Dalton from Road House cleans up Jasper by kicking ass and taking names:

So while many folks will celebrate the holidays with the traditional, heartwarming story of one man's importance to his family and friends, maybe it's time to have a Patrick Swayze Christmas this year!