Hollywood Playbook: Wednesday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Wednesday's Top 5 News Items

Unfortunately, Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Tammy’ Is Rated R

The “Tammy” (July 2) trailer is funny. No question. Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon should make a good team. But — here we go again — it’s “Rated R for language including sexual references,” which, if recent past is prologue, means it’s going to ruin The Funny by trying to top Judd Apatow with off-putting and tired vagina and body fluid jokes:

I have nothing against anything R-rated. Currently, I’m obsessed with re-watching “The Sopranos,” which has more f-words and naked Bing babes that anyone can begin to count.

But once again it has to be said that this push in film comedies to gross the audience out is a turn-off, letdown, and buzz-kill in the extreme. Especially when women do it. There’s nothing funny about someone sexually debasing themselves. When the ladies do it, it just makes me sad.

I want to laugh and relax during a comedy, not have to be embarrassed for the actors.

The “Tammy” trailer made me laugh; Melissa McCarthy makes me laugh –  but when I saw that R-rating, the air went out of me. I just can’t sit through another version of “The Heat,” where this time it’s Sarandon spouting vaginalogues.

“Tammy” will make money. “The Heat” made money. Some Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell movies make money. But history will not be as kind as it has been to the R-rated “Caddyshacks” and “Animal Houses” that managed to charm audiences instead of making them wince. 

Will this fad pass or just get worse? 


Kyle Smith: The 19 Greatest Movie Moms In History

You know what I love most about Kyle Smith’s Greatest Movie Moms list? It’s comprehensive. Unlike almost every other movie list you see today, Smith actually reaches back further than the year “Star Wars” came out.


‘Spring Breakers’ Sequel Will Feature Extreme Militant Christian Group

Apparently there was a first “Spring Breakers.” The second one promises to be brave, edgy, avant-garde, and ballsy by trashing … Christians.

Emma Stone tried this in 2010 with the dreadful “Easy A.”

Easy A” showed that from a strictly comedic point of view, going after modern-day evangelical Christians is tough. Christians are not above satire (I love Monty Python), no one is above satire, but the audience goes into these movies fully aware that Christians are constantly singled out by our Entertainment Overlords, which can make the “humor” look like a mean-spirited, bullying, pile-on — because that’s usually what it usually is.

Audiences know that Christians don’t have or use the power to fight back in popular culture and that they’re outsiders and underdogs in popular culture. And through their own experience, the audience also knows that most everyday, run-of-the-mill Christians don’t fit the stereotype or deserve a beating from millionaire filmmakers and actors.  

Christians are a cheap and easy target. For comedy to work, it has to be based on truth, be good-natured, show a little bravery, and not pick on the underdogs.


I’m Holding My Goodwill Towards ‘Star Wars’ Hostage

The good news is that George Lucas is no longer creatively running everything. That must be said.

Screen Rant reports that six “Star Wars” films are in the works. This includes a new trilogy beginning with “Star Wars VII” (Dec. 18, 2015), and “at least three” spin-offs that will share the “Star Wars” universe but not the storylines of the new trilogy.


You want to up my goodwill towards all of this; you want me to feel good about “Star Wars” again; you want me give the franchise a fourth chance after three lackluster prequels and “NOOOOoooooo!!!!”…? Then tell that meddling, money-grubbing George Lucas to give me my sacred and pure childhood memories in 1080p.

I’m going to resent everything “Star Wars” until I can buy the original g**damn cut of the original g**damn trilogy on g**damned Bluray. All I want are Bluray copies of Episodes IV, V, and VI before that g**damned George Lucas got his fat, clammy, bungling, on-second-thought g**damned hands all over them.  

Until this happens, I am holding my goodwill hostage. And the gun to my goodwill’s head is one Greedo shot first with.


Study: People Pay for 189 Channels, Watch 17

A new Nielsen studies shows that even though people are paying for 189 channels (up from 129 just 6 years ago), they only watch 17 channels and the 60 channel increase has not budged that number.

In other words, through your bundled cable or satellite, you are subsidizing 171 channels you do not watch.

Are those 17 channels really worth it? Do you really want to continue to subsidize CNN, MSNBC, Jon Stewart, and MTV, just to watch 17 channels — half of which are probably available for free with a pair of rabbit ears?

The average cable bill is around $80!

Try this experiment: Pledge to go a week without watching your cable or satellite and see if you can survive on Netflix, Hulu, etc. Fox News runs stuff through Roku. There is the Internet.

Just try it.

One week.

For America.


Quick Hits

Why Leslie Jones Can Say What She Likes

Mr. Majestyk Prepped for Blu-ray

Chuck Lorre Shoots Back at Chinese Authorities Over ‘Big Bang Theory’ Ban

Real Killer From ‘Bernie’ is Free and Will Live in Richard Linklater’s Apartment

18 songs with sequels

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Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC              


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