Friday, September 19, 2014

Internet Famous

Not even Boo the dog can monetize his Vine.
In college, the peak of awesome was senior bar crawls. Of course going to a sorority formal out of town was always a good time, but nothing validated an ego like being asked to be a bar crawl coach. A girl asking you to be her bar crawl coach was saying to you, there are 40,000 people at this school, but you are the coolest, please come dress up like an idiot and black out with us.

Predictably I went all out for these affairs. On the Tri Delt bar crawl I dyed my hair black and wore full goth make-up. To this day, high school cliques is the most creative theme party I've ever been a part of and possibly the most fun.

On the Kappa bar crawl, I distinctly remember doing lots of body shots. I have done body shots before...but not like this. Of all the members of the 2009 Kappa Senior class I have probably licked most of their stomachs, all while dressed like an Indy 500 redneck (college is glorious!) That was also the day I joined Twitter. So for the last 5 years my Twitter picture has been me, dancing on a stripper pole upstairs at Sports. Go ahead, it's still there.

I planned our Phi Psi bar crawl and my entire team (except for me) was arrested that night. Our theme was pub golf, and I distinctly remember waking up my 2 Pi Phi caddies, driving to jail and bailing out all of my buddies. We celebrated with breakfast at Village Deli and then went to Kilroy's.

The bar crawl I remember the least about is Chi O. One thing you have to remember about Chi O was that they gave zero fucks. You could pregame at Chi O, smoke cigs in the courtyard. There were no rules. For some reason my coaching partner and I showed up to Chi O at like 5pm that day and proceeded to pregame for like 4 hours. Literally the last thing I remember about that night is calling one of my teammate's dads and telling him I got his daughter pregnant. I think this was worth like 25 points, totally worth his threat of murder. Then I ordered a Hairy Bear (8 shots in a 32 ounce cocktail...this is still the FIRST bar, mind you) and then I blacked out.

I woke up in a panic the next day, What happened last night? Who is this girl next to me? What's going on outside?

I came downstairs to see that there were already about 200 people drinking in my front yard, a DJ had set up and there was a kiddy pool full of beer. Somehow I tripped into the pool and just kind of sat there for a while. At that moment my team from the night before showed up...still in costume, "Moeller you're awake!" Then my friend Andrea proceeded to pour Grape Kamchatka down my throat.

At that very moment I thought to myself. "I am going to be famous some day."


Five years have gone by and as I write this I sit in a production office waiting for some dickhead to ask me to make him coffee or something. I have not sold a script and I have like 500 Twitter followers.

I am not famous.

I made a 12 second appearance of Betty White's Off Their Rockers and in the fall I briefly appear as a murderous bunny rabbit in a direct to DVD film about haunted houses. I was paid $200 for the role.

I am definitely not famous.

It's kind of a bummer, I missed the social media boom. There is no doubt in my mind that if I would have graduated a few years later I could have turned my Bloomington semi-celebrity into something tangible. A few thousand Twitter followers, I would likely be a contributing editor to lifestyle sites like BroBible or Total Frat Move, potentially even Barstool Sports. Unfortunately I had no foresight back then to capitalize on this brand, pre-2010 you didn't get famous even on a micro scale, just for being awesome. You had to do shit. Make funny self aware videos like Jimmy Tatro parodying your fraternity lifestyle. Start a Youtube show like my buddy Ty, or run a steady blog like Broslikethissite, frattinghard (precursors to BroBible and TFM) or BetchesLoveThis. College kids have nothing but time on their hands and love to read self-gratifying pieces about their problem free existence.

But I missed the boat. I was too busy drinking to make anything cool and too hungover to be creative.


Is that such a bad thing?

I mean, don't get me wrong. I still really want to be famous. I want to be famous for all the reasons that famous people hate it. I want to throw money around, openly do drugs in the VIP rooms in clubs, party in the hills and aggressively high five fans that see me on the street. I will also be extremely nice and generous with my wealth and time, creating a likable bad boy image.

I have thought this through before.

But that level of fame requires one to be a movie star or musician. Perhaps a top tier athlete or maybe even a young hot shot director.

The type of fame I could reasonably expect to achieve is second-tier reality star. Maybe on something like Bravo's Below Deck. I would spend 8 weeks working on a show like that and then once a year for the rest of my life I would be recognized at a bar for being from the show, it would result in either a bro buying me a beer or an older woman trying to take me home.

Even the guys on The Real World don't have it as great as you would imagine. Sure, they can do Real World/Road Rules Challenge once or twice and go down to MTV Spring Break on the Viacom dime for a while, but that dries up quick.

I remember my first job in Chicago, the day of orientation, Davis the gay guy from Real World: Denver was there. I originally wondered if he was some sort of key note speaker. But what the fuck would the gay frat boy have to say about selling electronics? He was in fact, going to be a member of my training class. Apparently by 2009 (RW: Denver aired in 2007) the old MTV well had dried up. So like me, without other options, good ole Davis was going to sling computers for $25,000 a year.

One would assume that like a retired athlete, a semi-famous guy from MTV would excel at sales. Like if you're going to buy a Honda, are you going to purchase it from a dude named Bob or Larry Bird. Similarly, if you're a nerdy IT guy, don't you want to know what was REALLY happening Tyrie and Brooke?

Apparently not...Davis was fired when it was discovered that he would just call into Moviefone for hours on end and research ways to launch a modeling career. So while it may be cool to have 10,000 followers on Twitter, it doesn't really do anything. I know actors who are basically broke, but if they post a shirtless photo they will get 2000 likes and OMFG RAPE ME! comments. But that's not getting you much either, except an offer for statutory rape from a 16 year old.

The thing is, you can't fake it. There is no shortcut to fame. You can have a video go viral and get a million views. BUT, 99.9% of the time you won't be cast as Taco on The League. You will just be a guy that had a video go viral once and got a 17 dollar check from Google. If you go on the Bachelorette and make it to the final 6 and then get eliminated, you will get to have sex with a handful of starfuckers after the fact, but it will just leave you hollow and potentially with a curable case of the clap.

Of course there are exceptions to this, if your dad defended OJ, step dad won a gold medal and you have sex with Brandy's brother, you can cheat your way to fame. But unless you were already a multi-millionaire when you did all of that, it's probably going to end up with you being a Social Media Correspondant at the VMA's. You will get into all the cool parties, you will often drink for free. You will struggle to pay your rent. Even my favorite bloggers that have hundreds of thousands of page clicks a day are constantly struggling to monetize their site just so they can afford to live in Manhattan.

I'm probably never going to get there. But...there is an alternative.

There is a world in which you quietly have a successful career writing in Los Angeles. You start a bidding war for your Romantic Comedy set in the Greek system. There is a classic scene where the male lead kisses his quirks platonic friend on a bar crawl (BUT WAS IT ONLY FOR POINTS OR DOES HE LIKE ME?!?!) The script sells for 2 million dollars and nets $20 million on a 3 million dollar budget. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 37%

By the time the sequel comes out, you have a membership at Soho house, and occasionally dip your toe in the lifestyles of the rich and famous when an actor pal of yours invites you to a dinner party in Bel-Air. You feel awkward there and leave early.

The last pilot I wrote is about Rebecca Martinson, she's the chick that freaked out and sent a house email decrying her entire sorority for being "SO fucking awkward and so Fucking boring." She then famously threatened to cunt punt them out of the house if they did not improve. Said email went viral. Ms. Martinson was then published in Vice about her first time sucking a dick with her best friend and subsequently got a staff job over at Brobible. She is internet famous. I guess I would just rather be the one writing a story about her, as opposed to actually being her.

And maybe, some day I will actually improve my craft to the point that I can get something on the air. Something timeless...something that will stay. Something to be remembered by...something like this classic scene from Hard Ticket to Hawaii. Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Third Wave Hipsterism: Bro Core

If you aren't a pretentious mega-douche such as myself, I wouldn't necessarily expect you to know what "third wave" means. See for years there have been these people with opinions and what not ill content with the status quo. Invariably these causes are turned into "-isms." For explanations' sake let's use feminism as an example.

Feminism is of course the advocacy for women's rights and the advancement of strong independent women. Or something like that, I have only a cursory knowledge on the topic after a few Jezebel hate reads.

Second wave feminism (or post-feminism) says something like "yay we won the war, more women are in positions of power than ever and there is actually a disproportionate amount of women seeking post graduate degrees, this is awesome!"


Again, cursory knowledge. I don't really know anyone like this personally, but I hear an Orange is the New Black writer dumped her husband to start fucking one of the lesbians from the show. I bet that person is the third wave feminist hero.

But this is not an entry about women or men. It's about fashion.

Yep...fucking FASHION.

Many of you assume that since I prance around in pink polo shorts, H&M v-necks and Rainbows that I have no sense of fashion and am secretly gay.

You would be INCORRECT. I just have a nose for what will be cool in the future.

Right now according to my friends in the know, there is something going on called NORM-CORE in fashion. This is in a sense a type of post-hipsterism. Basically there must have been a few kids in Brooklyn who were like, holy shit, I can't believe the whole skinny jeans, plaid and beards thing went  mainstream. Now in an effort to rebel they are dressing...NORMAL.

Wait a second? Are you saying that hipsters have become anti hipster to reject the mainstreaming of hipster culture by wearing crew neck shirts from the Gap and Abercrombie jeans?

That is exactly what I'm saying. But the problem is, this is becoming normalized behavior. "Norm Core" is already a thing that people talk about. And while your dad might be able to get away with wearing Dockers and an Izod sweater, your neighbor that just shaved his beard and started shopping at Esprit. He has been exposed, so it's only a matter of time for the third wave hipsters to do something drastic, and since dressing like a homeless person and dressing like a 40 year old from Pittsburgh have already been tried, there is only one thing left to do...


That's right, third wave hipsterism is going to force these 3rd generation hippies to become the thing that they most hate. Popped collars worn unironically coming to a fraternity near you AND all of the shitty music venues in Silver Lake. Williamsburg will reign supreme in Sperry's no socks, and Martha's Vineyard will not be the only place to see Vineyard Vines oxfords tucked into 5 inch inseam chino shorts.

You know the look. It's the fashion of not giving a fuck. Buying shots at the bars for all of your bros and bitches, because fuck dad owns a dealership. It is white privilege at its best/worst. People that dress like this have trust funds. People that dress like this have sex with rich white girls without condoms because STDs are for poor people and all sorority girls are on birth control.


A massive paradigm shift is among us. There will be so many black people trading in their Dope Couture snap backs for tucked in solid color polos that you will think Kanye West released The College Dropout 2, and in their adoption of frat bro culture they will simultaneously discover hockey and lacrosse...and dominate.

Women will line up in droves to set fire to their high waisted denim, it will be like a good old fashioned Nazi book burning! They will start dressing like Marisa Cooper before she died on the OC and her acting career faded and she got fat.

...and the bro tanks. Oh god will there be bro tanks. Just because all of the hipsters will have adopted a uniform preppy dress code does not mean expressionism is dead. You know how at a college football tailgate each frat has a witty bro tank. "Keep Calm and Tau on" you know, some bullshit like that? Well just imagine how many clever tanks there will be when an entire sub-culture of millions is cranking these out. #SurfboarT OMG look at that tank, it's a Beyonce reference!

But see hipsterism reaches beyond just the thin grasps of fashion, it's an entire movement, every facet of society will feel its impact.

For example...the arts. You like Georgia O'Keefe's abstract vagina paintings? NOPE! Bros like Bob Marley posters and panoramics of Wrigley Field.

On like that acoustic folk rock shit where people say "ho" and "hey?" NOPE! Bros like dub step and rap, only because it feels really good to not censor the N words when you KNOW there are no black people around.

On film...You like independent family dramas featuring an autistic yet precocious teen forging a friendship with a much older woman? FUCK THAT. TWO WORDS. Buddy. Comedy. Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, drug jokes, nudity, PROFIT.

On television Entourage will of course be picked up for another 12 seasons, because SUNDAY NIGHTS YOOOOOO. We're getting high after chapter to see what Vinny and the boys are up to this week!

Aside from fashion and the arts I imagine mandatory pubic waxing will re-enter the void. There will be a shift from marijuana and heroin to cocaine and molly (and I guess marijuana too. See we're not all that different!) In fact Colombia will become the wealthiest nation in the Western world due to the sudden craving of eight balls. PBR will be replaced by Keystone Light and veganism will die as people adopt an all-Chipotle and delivery pizza diet. There will be a government mandated siesta from 6pm-9pm so everyone can dip and play video games. Oh, and people don't smoke American spirits anymore or roll their own...P funks only. America's tagline will probably read USA: ZERO FUCKS.

But such as the cyclical nature of life, this cannot go on forever. Fundamental questions must be raised. How will you be able to tell the difference between reel bros and hipster bro poseurs? At first you won't, but then the think pieces will start cropping up. Then TMZ will run headline: BIEBER CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN WEARING SEERSUCKER FOR YEARS, next to a time stamped photo of dropcrotch sweatpants July 2014.

And as soon as it arrived, third wave hipsterism; Bro Core will collapse upon itself, leaving every closet full of theme party garb that they no longer have use for.

So what happens next? After the collapse of bro core is there a fourth wave? Do the true hipsters start dressing like homeless people again? Maybe they take it a step further and CHOOSE to be homeless, it seems to be working for this guy. That would fit into the time is a flat circle, blah blah history will always repeat thing. But I have another theory. I think after the collapse of bro core. After a long and bitter war of exposing the frauds vs the OG bros, the TRUE trendcasters and purveyors of cool will just decide that they are just too awesome for this world and commit a large ritualistic suicide, you know just to make a statement. Nothing is hipper than offing yourself man.

Or you know...maybe they will develop a sense of self and stop chasing the next big thing. Trying to stay ahead of the curve just sounds exhausting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Get off your Fucking Soapbox

"Learn to spell before telling me what to do!"

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Unfortunately, in the internet social media age we life in, these opinions are much more accessible than they once were. Microblogging site such as Twitter and Facebook have become spawning grounds for social outrage. The sports and entertainment blogs that I once cherished for my special interest news have become home to social justice crusading thinkpieces about everything that is wrong with the things I love. Well I'm fucking over it. I realize that I choose to watch certain programs, consume certain content, but am I supposed to avoid the internet completely? How else will I know who can and cannot shed baby fat? How will I find out what celebrity died? Most importantly how can I scoff about "OH GREAT YOU'RE ENGAGED! GOOD FOR YOU!"

The point is, a certain amount of media consumption at this point is unavoidable, so the last thing left to do is humbly plea that everyone shut the fuck up about how they feel on these oh so pressing issues that are affecting society as we know it.

On the celebrity nude photo hacking scandal...
Oh it's not a scandal it's a crime? Then find the guy responsible, throw him in jail and shut the fuck up!

I am not going to take the conservative Fox and Friends approach and say some contrived shit like "If you don't want naked photos to leak, don't take naked photos." THIS IS AN OPINION FREE ZONE, I feel like you should do whatever the fuck you feel like. But know this...sure there is a reasonable expectation that private photos should stay private and not be exposed to the public; but let's talk a little bit more about that reasonable expectation.

There is a reasonable expectation of the following:
- That your plane will not crash
- That you will not be hit and killed by a drunk driver when going to McDonald's at noon
- That a church gargoyle will not fall on you in downtown Chicago.
- That a falling tree won't smash you to death while on a bike ride in Chicago.
- That you won't be stabbed to death when walking through your neighborhood.

But you know what? Shit happens. These are just the realities of the world we live in. I wish we lived in a world where planes never crashed and the fucking gargoyles didn't fall out of the sky (but seriously, blame it on the bad guy from Hunchback of Notre Dame) <---seriously click="" p="" that.="">Hell, I wish that Back to the Future was a documentary. But time travel isn't real and sometime shitty things happen to nice people, sometimes it's an accident, sometimes there is malice involved.

I have sent and received nude photos. Millions of people have. And most people won't have their phones hacked, and those photos will stay private forever. But as long as there are attractive celebrities out there taking nude pictures, there will be a million nerds doing their best to expose them, and there is no amount of moral shaming that will ever make them stop, so just give it a rest. And if you looked at the naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, you're not a bad person, OMG MOCKING PEOPLE THAT LOOK AT CELEB NUDES IS THE NEW SLUT SHAMING!

On Ray Rice and domestic violence...
Why did he hit her? Why was he only suspended 2 games? Why did she stay? THE NFL HATES WOMEN! It's none of your damn business why she stayed, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Let's throw this out there, Ray Rice is a dick. I can't imagine ever hitting a woman, if I'm an NFL player and my fiance spits on me, I probably break up with her and wish her a happy life of NOT being a millionaire. But apparently these idiots just can't help themselves.

Did you hear about some of these clowns? One of the NFL guys currently in the middle of the legal process, beat his wife with the seat of the toilet bowl, mashed her on the sink and then threw her onto a couch full of automatic weapons. It was basically like the opening to Casino Royale. But nothing will likely come of it because there is no video.

This is not the point. The point is, Ray Rice hit his wife, got caught, and now his career is over. Why Janay Rice pleaded with cops to drop charges is irrelevant, that has nothing to do with victim blaming or Stockholm Syndrome, maybe her husband just had a bad night and she was trying to make sure his net worth stayed in excess of $40 million dollars. Maybe she knew what she was doing and doesn't need your #whyILeft or #whyIStayed campaign. Violence against women is despicable, but so is shoving your fucking nose in someone else's lives.

And where is all your outrage when an NFL player gets arrested for this like once a week? Or do you need the video. What would happen if a video surfaced now of Vick blowing a puppy's head off with a shotgun? What if a video surfaced of Manziel ripping hundreds of lines off of hookers' tits?

And the whole back lash of THE NFL KNEW!!! THEY HATE WOMEN! THEY JUST DON'T CARE. I'VE BEEN LIED TO! Well first of all, the NFL doesn't owe you shit. They put your favorite sport on TV for 10 hours every Sunday and give you an excuse to drink. You would still watch football is people started dropping dead from concussions in the middle of games. The truth of the matter is, I've never heard of an NFL player leaving prison on Sundays on a work release to play a home game. So maybe the American justice system has a problem with domestic violence. Just get this fucking discussion off of Deadspin. You know, Goodell probably did see that video before he gave the 2 game suspension, but what the fuck did you think happened in that elevator? They mutually masturbated and then she slipped on his jizz? Janay Rice is sorry she wore heels with bad traction. Come the fuck on man.

On racism in the NBA and otherwise...
Sterling is a racist, Bruce Levenson is a racist...OR IS HE? OR DID HE STAGE RACISM to drive up the value of his team quickly in the event of a fire sale!!!?! Who fucking cares, shut up about it.

Donald Sterling had a track record for being a big piece of shit, but the thing that took him down was a private conversation (BUT WHAT ABOUT HIS EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY) I guess it doesn't matter when everyone already hates you, but the NEW buzz is that the owner of the Atlanta Hawks sent a RACIST email that said essentially the following:

I'm not afraid of black people, but most southern whites are. There are a ton of black people at our games, they hang at the bar, don't bring their families, don't spend a lot on merchandise and cheer quieter than white people. I think we should stop playing rap, make some of the cheerleaders white and stop giving away so many free tickets in poor neighborhoods, this should positively impact our bottom line.

Frank? Sure! Sound business? Maybe. Racist? DOESN'T MATTER!

Here is the thing about racism. It sucks, but fortunately it will likely fade from society as old people die out. Frank? Sure. AGEIST? MAYBE!

Look fuck this guy's email. It does not impact you. Even if you are a black man from Atlanta, he didn't propose pricing out the lower class, he didn't propose an Apartheid seating chart. This guy wanted less rap and a few white cheerleaders. So I suppose the people impacted by this email are like the 10th, 11th and 12th best cheerleaders on the minority heavy squad who will be replaced by white girls. I will allow their complaints.

And for you conspiracy theorists out there that think this is a trick to drive up the value of the team. I ask, were you going to buy the Atlanta Hawks at a 500m price tag, but now that it may creep closer to a billion are you not interested? No? The shut the fuck up.

On Michael Sam getting cut because he was gay...
Oh wait, he landed on a practice squad and now it's not a hip thing to complain about anymore? Great moving on.

There are shitty things that happen to good people, and when they happen to you. I invite you to bitch. But when you are a passive observer? I don't need your input.

Are you a white Columbia grad student living in Brooklyn, weighing in on racism in Atlanta? DON'T; SHUT THE FUCK UP. If there is one thing I don't need, it's an ultra educated urban male complaining about the plight of the African American.

Are you a gay woman that writes for Jezebel and thinks that we should boycott football in support of Janay Rice? NOPE NOPE NOPE. Spend your time bitching about the parking situation in Nob Hill. If I want to know why Janay Rice stayed with her abusive boyfriend I'll fire out a tweet to @Janay_Rice.

Are you a transgender pre-op black woman in St. Louis that thinks looking at nude leaks is the new bullying? SHUT UP. FEMALE NUDE LEAKS DON'T AFFECT YOU. IN FACT, you probably can't wait to send pictures of your brand new black cock once you transition to life as a man.

Lastly, are you a white gay college football player at Fresno State who still thinks Michael Sam was undervalued? Did you see how fucking bad the Cowboys defense was? He'll be starting week 3.

The take away is, I don't want to hear any more about your faux fucking outrage. Why Donald Sterling hates black people is his business. If I want a reaction to Donald Sterling's racist tendencies I will ask Chris Paul, not Peter in Houston who posts a combination of kittens and Pro-Russia propaganda to his Pinterest page.

If I want to know about Free Israel I'll ask Donald Sterling and Bruce Levinson (OH GOD HE INSINUATED THAT JEWS HATE THE BLACKS)

Worry about yourself and get off your fucking soap box, the world is a much more interesting place when you are speaking from your heart and your personal experiences. Having a black friend or liking Beyonce's music doesn't qualify you to speak about the plight of a black youth in America. Save your thoughts on Ferguson. Just because you have a sister doesn't qualify you to talk about celebrity nude scandals. No one gives a shit about pictures of your sister, she has zero oscars (wait does someone have a picture of that dude's sister naked? Text me)

The internet is both a blessing and a curse, it is a forum for art and creativity, progressive discussion and new ideas. You're better than just being a sheep bitching about the scandals of the day and trying to prove your moral superiority. Do something different, you're better than that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

10 More 90's Classics Ruined by Egotistical Film Critics

Actual Tagline: The Cubs needed a miracle...they got Henry Rowengartner.
A few years ago I dressed as a Looper for Halloween. You remember that Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie about time travel with the crazy shotguns? Yes, I went as one of those guys. But to add to my outfit, instead of carrying around a toy gun all night, I made a functional potato cannon. I then went to a Halloween party where I knew basically no one, did a ton of drugs and shot potatoes all over the neighborhood. Because our society is horrible and rewards awful people doing terrible things, I was a huge hit and ended up going home with slutty Pocahontas.

The next morning I woke up in a stranger's bed in West Hollywood. Pocahontas left a note on the bed that she had absconded to brunch and to please lock the door on my way out. My phone was dead, my credit card was missing and I was experiencing delirium tremens. It was Sunday and I had the worst hangover of my life. I had a wadded up dollar bill in my pocket and that was basically my only tangible asset. I was also still dressed like a looper and had a fucking potato cannon to lug around.

I walked a couple miles down La Cienega until I found a bus stop that would eventually get me back to Venice. I got on the bus, with a fucking Blunderbuss and no one said a word. The reason being, most of the people that ride the bus in LA are on meth. I sat next to a cordial African American fellow who was on his way to work.

"You got to a Halloween party last night?"

"Ya...I uh...didn't quite make it home."

"You find a nice lady to sleep over with?"

"I did."

"And she wouldn't give you a ride home?"

"I'm sure it's karma for the drawer of 10 dollar bills I would reach into for shacker cab fare in college."

"Damn, that's cold...does that gun thing work?"

"Ya, it shoots potatoes."

"It's funny man, if I got fucked up and walked around town with a shotgun looking thing I would be shot. White kid does it, it's cute. World's fucked up man."

It sure is. But you know what else is fucked up? I found 10 more CLASSICS from the 90's that the mainstream media deems unfit for consumption. Some fucktards had the audacity to not recognize the genius of the aft mentioned art. Everyone loves a sequel (and they usually make more money) so here are 10 more "rotten" classics.

10. Hocus Pocus (1993) 33%

A critic said: "It strictly remains more "trick" than "treat."- Matt Brunson (I see what he did there!)

Why he's wrong: 
I am known to be a fan of many female-targeted things. I've watched the OC series at least 5 times, I'm a massive Gossip Girl apologist and I tear up at the "It's you Peyton" scene from One Tree Hill EVERY TIME. But I never got into Sex in the City for two reasons. 1. Sarah Jessica Parker is heinous looking. 2. New York is fucking dumb. However, 21 years ago SJP did not yet look like a horse, and she was cast as "Hot witch" in the Disney classic Hocus Pocus. (Side note: The second suggested search result for Sarah Jessica Parker is "Sarah Jessica Parker horse." The first, and almost ALWAYS the suggestion on a female celebrity is feet. I think there are far more foot fetishists out there than we could have possibly imagined.)

The film also feels classic performances from a talking cat and Thora Birch. Do you know what Thora Birch is famous for? She had herself emancipated at 16 so she could legally show her tits underage in American Beauty. What a hero. Anyway, I remember Hocus Pocus scaring the shit out of me when I was a little kid, mainly because of Bette Midler's face. I think the Jewish version of hell is just Bette Midler and the annoying woman that gives Zach Braff the shirt in Garden State nagging about you being underdressed for the weather for all of eternity. I also liked the zombie in Hocus Pocus, he was cool.

9. Richie Rich (1994) 24%

A critic said: "Most of the time, Richie Rich is too busy oohing and ahhing over the junk that money can buy to relax and have a good time." - Stephen Holden

Grantland did a piece a while back about how to make a successful tv show. It was a simple formula. Rich white people doing rich things and integrating an outsider. The OC, Gossip Girl, 90210, Melrose Place...just ask Josh Scwartz how well this is working out for him. Look for my new show next fall "Black kid moves to Manhattan Beach"

AND HOLY SHIT did this movie have it all. Kevin McCallister lived in a castle with his own roller coaster, a person launcher and A MOTHERFUCKING McDONALDS! It was every middle class kid's dream. And the comic relief of this flick! When he tries to bet the poor kids $10,000 he can't hit a home run off them and then does it anyway? It's an allegory about the rich staying rich and keeping the poor people down.

If this movie ran into any problems at all it was the flimsy "missing parents" subplot. All I really wanted was an extended episode of Cribs. Can we explore this McDonalds more? Does it have a dollar menu, or is it like one of the shitty airport McD's with the elevated prices. Ha, it doesn't matter! He's fucking rich! After seeing this movie I begged my dad to build me a roller coaster. Honestly, I didn't even care if it was shitty, one inverted loop would suffice. Come on Dad. Oh we can't afford it? I bet we could if you worked harder. Seriously, go into the office this weekend, I won't miss you at my little league game.

8. Blank Check (1994) 13%

A critic said: "One of the worst films to pass itself off as family entertainment features a flirtatious woman, a rich kid no one questions, and a brutal series of gags." - Felix Vasquez

And speaking of middle class dreams, my God did anything make my pre-pubescent dick harder than watching Preston Meyers aka Mr. Macintosh build a god damn water slide from his room to his pool? Nope, nothing.

One of the main knocks on this movie is that he spent WAY more than a million dollars, that house alone should have put him over the top. However, allow me to educate you for a moment. Most of you, my readers, are wealthy, or at least your parents are. You grew up in rich suburbs of major metropolitan areas across the country. 

Blank Check is set in Indiana, in a small town no less. In a small town in Indiana you can buy a mansion for about $60,000. Hell in the mid 90's you could get a house on the water in Geist for about $300,000. Every condo I have lived in post college has been more valuable than the 5 bedroom house I grew up in, because in Indiana everything is cheap. I think the movie took place in Ft. Wayne (filmed in Austin, TX by the way) so that castle would have probably cost about 400k, another hundred for the Go Kart track, water slide and we'll set aside another 200 grand for the assorted TV's, video games, toys, clothes he bought. That leaves $300,000 for that party he threw at the end and whatever he was paying his limo driver. I mean it was a big party, but nothing over a quarter million, unless they were putting 8 balls in all the goody bags.

Ok, I did some further research and  according to Maxim I was a little off on my numbers. How could I have forgotten about the human bowling, or the GIANT BUCKET of ice cream. And the Aerotrim? What the fuck is that? Looks like primitive Zorbing, something that you should never do in Russia.

7. A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) 5%

A Critic Said: "It's a missed opportunity for introducing the Mortal Kombat generation to medieval combat that was really mortal." - Carrie Rickey (apparently Carrie wanted MORE FATALITIES) 

Thomas Ian Nicholas, a man with three names, really enjoyed a strong transition from child star to fourth billed bro in a moderately popular franchise. I mean we can all admit that he is the least compelling character in the American Pie movies right? Then again, he does get the secret book from Casey Affleck that teaches him how to eat Tara Reid's box, so I suppose he was essential to the plot.
More on Thomas later. Let's discus the forgotten classic, A Kid in King Arthur's Court.

First of all...the cast is unreal. We have Hans from the Mighty Ducks playing Merlin. The aforementioned Tommy Nicholas basically playing (another) Little League baseball player who falls through the earth after taking a called third strike (foreshadowing that he was destined to be a Major League pitcher?)

And in Merlin-Land we get James Fucking Bond, in an obscure supporting role and Kate Winslet pre Titanic nudity playing a princess, but not the main one.

All that talent and this movie could only muster a pathetic 5% on the tomatometer? How could this be?
Well, first this poor kid from Reseda (I love that in the 80's and 90's if you needed to depict a working class youth it was Reseda, such great Valley Shaming) twice uses a Sony Discman to defeat an opponent: once by amplifying rock music and scaring him, the other by using the laser of the disc reader to temporarily blind him. He then wins over the princess by inventing roller blades and bicycles and taking her on killer dates.

Just watch the trailer. Go to 1:48 for a nut shot, these were compulsary in 90's flicks.

6. Dunston Checks In/Ed/RocketMan (1996/1996/1997) 6%/0%/24%

A critic said: You know what...fuck the critics, all monkey movies are great, even Congo.

Sorry, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't choose just one film with a monkey actor from the 90's. I don't know what it is about a monkey adorably causing hijinks amid nut shots and fart jokes. I will never not think that is funny. Instead of critiquing the films, let's do a monkey by monkey breakdown.


Dunston Checks in:
Monkey name: Dunston
Type: Orangutan
Special Skill: Jewel Thief
Human Pals: Jason Alexander and the little kid from The Santa Claus
Special note: There is a scene where Dunston pushes Faye Dunaway (hotel owner) into a very large cake. Faye Dunaway has an Oscar. This movie features a cameo by Peewee Herman

Monkey name: Ed
Type: Chimpanzee
Special Skill: Plays Baseball
Human Pal: Joey from friends
Special note: There is a scene where Ed is about to die, but Matt LeBlanc leaves the team in the middle of a baseball game to give Ed his glove. Ed inexplicably recovers. I remembered this scene after my grandma had a heart attack and put a present that she had given me on her bed at the hospital, no such luck.

Monkey Name: Ulysses
Type: Chimpanzee
Special Skill: Astronaut
Human Pal: Harland Williams (one of the stoners from half baked)
Special Note: This movie was written by one of the hosts of the Script Notes podcast. So all you aspiring writers out there, just know you are taking advice from the guy that is responsible for all of this.

As much as I love animals playing sports, Ed isn't even the best. That honor would go to Air Bud (whom conveniently excels at like 17 sports bc Direct to DVD sequels are cash cows for Disney) Dunston narrowly edges out Ulysses because Dunston's movie poster looks like this...

5. Little Big League (1994) 33%

A critic said: "Forgettable in every way. The kids-in-big-leagues theme is thankfully dead for now." - Phil Villareal

There is nothing better than a real sports cameo in a fake movie. But I have to admit, when Ken Griffey Jr robbed Lou's home run at the end of the game, I turned on Griffey forever. What a dick.

So what do we have here? Oh another 12 year old fantasy come true! A struggling single mom raises her middle school son and then one day Grandpa dies and leaves the Minnesota Twins to his grandson, 12 year old grandson instantly installs himself as head coach. If Jerry Jones ever sees this movie, the Cowboys are fucked.

A 12 year old thus travels on the road with the team, becomes friends with the players, watches soft core porn in hotel rooms, hijinks ensue. Here are a few questions I have about this movie.

1. If your grandfather owns a professional sports franchise, I doubt he would allow his daughter (your mom) to work as a waitress and live in a one bedroom house struggling to raise her son. I mean I know baseball franchises weren't selling for BILLIONS 20 years ago, but pappy had a nice chunk of change, all the sports franchise owner offspring I know (like 3 people) have trust funds in seven figures.

2. Likewise, the B story of this movie is Billy Heywood (great baseball name) trying to help his two buddies build a little boat, so they can take hot chicks out on the lake and presumably have an orgy. These friends quickly turn on him because he misses multiple boat building appointments. However, if I ever have a good friend who like inherits the Chicago Blackhawks, I would let him pee on me whenever he wants. As long as it gets me good seats. And also, what kind of father runs away from a wife who is heir to the Minnesota Twins??? At least wait til she gets the team, THEN divorce and take half. Anyway back to the boat, Billy should have told his homies to fuck themselves and bought a yacht.

When I was 12 years old I still thought I had a decent shot at going pro in baseball. I was probably the best hitter in my league, though I struggled to catch pop-ups. The best pitcher in my league plays for the Nationals, but I washed out of baseball before high school even started, because there are the types of kids who love getting up at 6am on Saturdays to take batting practice and the kids that hold it against their dads for not letting them sit in the basement and play Goldeneye. I was the latter. Now my only hope for involvement in pro sports is for me to inherit a team from an unknown relative. Come on Dodgers.

4. Rookie of the Year (1993) 39%

A critic said: "Above average baseball yarn with director Stern and friends paying homage to their beloved Cubbies." - Michael A Smith (love the positivity Michael)

Ahh, it's our buddy Tommy Nicholas again. This time instead of living out the 12 year old as Owner/Coach fantasy we have a 12 year old as a pitcher, FOR THE CUBS. And in the most Cubsiest thing of all time, he is discovered when (after his broken arm heals poorly causing it to snap down at super human speed) he throws a frozen rope to home plate after a visitor hits a home run in the bleachers. I mean think about that. You have 1. The bleachers 2. Throwing an opponent's home run ball back onto the field 3. A team so bad that the GM says FIND ME THAT KID AND SIGN HIM.

Hilarity ensues.

Sidenote: Thomas Ian Nicholas throws out a first pitch at a Cubs game once every couple of years and then does the whole Take me out to the Ball Game thing during the 7th inning stretch. He is always completely bombed. Apparently he doesn't act much anymore, does a little producing and directing but mostly plays in his band. Check out his most recent effort, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the movie, he floated it. STILL GOT IT. This guy has the life. But back to the movie!

Daniel Stern plays a pitching coach with a knack for getting caught in confined spaces and a not yet crazy Gary Busey plays the mentor to young Henry Rowengartner and love interest for his single mother. (Single moms was a big thing for 90's sports movies...presumably so she could fall in love with the male coach/mentor/star) So young Henry plays for the cubs and becomes their ace pitcher, but at the end of the season with a playoff berth on the line, Henry slips on a fucking rosin bag and has to get 3 outs in the bottom of the 9th without his super strong arm.

So how does he do it you ask?
1. Hidden Ball Trick
2. Baiting a runner into stealing second via "chicken bawk bawk bawkkkkk"
3. An Eephus pitch (think slow pitch softball)

The Cubs win the pennant. Henry's mom has sex with Gary Busey and Henry goes back to being a mediocre little league player. The crazy connection with A Kid in King Arthur's Court and Rookie of the Year. They both feature the same actor playing in a little league game when something crazy happens that begins a journey, and at the end of the journey he is unchanged except by being marginally better at baseball. I'd like to hear that pitch meeting...

"So this poor kid like strikes out ALL the time, ya? And then he like goes to medieval times or plays for the Cubs or some shit and at the end his journey he has learned to take the outside pitch to the opposite field."

"We'll need a washed up player to have sex with his mom..."

"How about Busey!!!!"

"Haha YES! Let's do some lines!"


To be a writer in the 90's...

3. Heavyweights (1995) 29%

A critic said: "The first American movie to explore the link between processed cheese and the need for love. A Hamburglar Joint."- Martin Scribbs (A Spike Lee reference in a movie review about Disney  fat kids...interesting) 

People tend to think that Judd Apatow's rise to fame started with Freaks and Geaks or Undeclared. However, you would have to go six years prior to discover the genius film Heavyweights. Heavy Weights is about a bunch of fat kids going to a camp where they would maybe drop a pound or two but more importantly have an awesome summer making tons of new friends.

ENTER BEN STILLER. In what may be his most entertaining role to date, Ben Stiller destroys all of the fun of the camp and sets out to MAKE THOSE FAT FUCKS SKINNY. He's like Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser but possessed by the devil.

Honestly, I didn't much care for this movie when I was a child, because I didn't like fat people. I couldn't empathize with their plight. I thought, hey maybe they should send these kids to a regimented internment camp, then in the fall they will be skinnier and better at sports. Girls might talk to them. In fact I personally preferred 1994's Camp Nowhere, where the kids ran the camp and anarchy reigned!

But then when Ben Stiller ordered the destruction of the blob, I turned on him. The Blog was this giant sack of air that you would jump onto and then bounce into the lake. I have spent all of my life post 1995 in search of such a contraption with no such luck to date. If ANYONE finds this, alert me immediately. I will book a one way flight today. And then never leave.

I forget how the movie ends, I think they tie up Ben Stiller and his evil sidekick Lars and then go challenge the athletic summer camp to a sports challenge or something, which of course the fat kids win, because it's a movie and it's fake. Fun note: Paul Feig (director of Bridesmaids et al) is featured in a rare acting role as the nice skinny counselor Tim!

2. Tom and Huck (1995) 25%

A critic said: "Long, tirelessly epic tale of TeenBeat cover boys. Little girls scream, critics fall asleep." - Michael Clawson

Long before Brad Renfro overdosed on heroin and JTT found out live as a 5'4" male is rough, these two were 90's heart throbs. Like they were the Harry Styles and 2010 Justin Bieber (before everyone had turned on him) but that's not even fair comparison. These two (well at least JTT) was bigger. Every girl had him plastered on the wall above her bed. If a picture of these two taking selfies of their dongs were to leak it would have been bigger than THE FAPPENING. Every 14 year old girl would have been asking their parents for rides to the ghetto mall, because you know that one had a store that sold sex toys cheap JTT posters.

But 1995 was a more innocent time, there were no cell phone cameras, alas Brad Renfro could snort whatever he wanted at any Hollywood party and not worry about who was taking pictures of it. And there were no internet forums discussing JTT's "true height" they could cast short actresses and put him on lifts and as long as you didn't see him at brunch outside the Ivy you would be none the wiser.

But the movie, I believe borrows more from the Tom Sawyer story as opposed to Huck Finn (which Disney had made 2 years prior with Elijah Wood) thus Tom (played by JTT) is the hero in this film. The movie revolves around his antics with Huck trying to retrieve some sort of treasure stolen by the evil "Injun Joe" but at the same time try to kiss a pre 'She's All That' Rachel Leigh Cook. Both noble endeavors. Two scenes to me stick out.

1. When Tom is sneaking out of his house, he puts a tarantula on his sister and says if she moves or says a word it will attack her. Remember 90's obsession with spiders? Especially tarantulas? They were like the collective number one fear. No one is afraid of spiders anymore, in a post 9/11 world, we are more afraid of WMDs.

2. There is a scene in which Tom is watching his own funeral (is this validation that this is a fantasy for everyone?) because he has been missing and is now presumed dead. Becky (RLC, Tom's crush) says I wish I could just see him one more time, I would kiss him right here in front of everyone. Hearing this, Huck pushes Tom off the balcony that they are watching the funeral from. He crash lands in front of Becky and instead of kissing him, she punches him in the face. CLASSIC ROLE REVERSAL.

1. Air Bud (1997) 45%

A Critic said: "Air Bud may be bland, but it's also offensive." - Maria Garcia (To who? Clowns? Dogs? NBA players turned janitors?

Quick trivia, what is the most prolific film series of all time? Hint: I alluded to it already early on this list.

Come on you can do it...6 different actors have played the lead.

It's been more than 25 movies over 50ish years...

Give up?

James Bond.

That said, I suspect the Air Bud series is close with THIRTEEN fucking movies. You ready for them?

Air Bud
Air Bud: Golden Receiver
Air Bud: World Pup
Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Air Bud: Spikes Back (Beach volleyball? REALLY?)
Air Buddies (Ok so now there are two of them playing basketball)
Snow Buddies (Now they're...playing in the snow?)
Space Buddies
Santa Buddies
The Search for Santa Paws (A follow up to Santa buddies?)
Spooky Buddies
Treasure Buddies
Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (If you weren't paying attention we now have a spin-off trilogy contained within a 13 part series)
Super Buddies (In which we started at an abused dog that played basketball, we now have dog superheroes...that is a very thin through line...but fuck it, I'm in)

Fun note: There are also thirteen Land Before Time movies. Perhaps I should stop writing coming of age dramedy and write like a low budget sequel to My Dog Skip.

But I digress. Air Bud is about...YOU GUESSED IT! A struggling single mom and her despondent son (Josh) who move to a new town in the wake of the father's untimely death. Josh is slow to make friends but meets a stray dog, Buddy, who can play basketball. Against her better judgment, Josh's mom let's him keep Buddy.

Josh decides to be the basketball team water boy because he lacks the confidence to try out for the team. But after the coach is fired for abusing players and 2 kids quit the team, Buddy and Josh join the squad, now led by the newly promoted janitor Bill Cobbs, who turns out to be a former New York Knick...because A. Every movie in the 90's needed a wise black janitor and B. A high school janitor is a normal post NBA career move.

Air Bud leads the team to victory but his true owner, a drunk and creepy clown, eventually finds out about Buddy's talent and wants to exploit it for  financial gain. The climax of the movie takes place in a HEATED court room setting in which the judge tells the dog to decide who he wants to live with. I would hope this has stuck as legal precedent in canine custody hearings. Buddy chooses Josh and everyone lives happily ever after except for Air Buddy the dog, who died of cancer shortly after the film's release.

I don't know why we live in a world now where animals doing stuff that humans do isn't good enough anymore. Our obsession with kids living out obnoxious fantasies has been replaced with hyper realistic portrayals of the tragedy that is the human experience. I blame the terrorists, 9/11 didn't just rob us of thousands of lives and our collective feeling of safety, they also robbed us of our innocence. But then again, the highest grossing movie of the year featured a talking tree, a ill tempered raccoon and a 70's obsessed protagonist named hey, maybe we're on our way back.