After six weeks co-teaching a series of film classes in Hong Kong for a group of young New Mexico filmmakers, I’ve returned to the land of Enchantment, refreshed, revitalized and eager to give Alibi readers the scoop on crapola like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Oh, boy.)
Earworms for everyone
Spinoffs from advertising campaigns aren't all that rare. A recent example is the short-lived "Caveman" sitcom based off the GEICO commercials. Or the slew of fast-food mascots turned movie- or video game stars (the most successful being 7UP's 1993 Sega Genesis game Cool Spot, in this reviewer's opinion). And it's all too common to see blatant product placement on the big screen; this was best demonstrated (via parody) in both Wayne's World movies.
Stiller and co-stars bite the hand that feeds them in epic Hollywood parody
Hollywood making fun of itself on screen is a dicey prospect. Occasionally, it can produce high-quality zingers (1992’s The Player, 1995’s Get Shorty, for example). But, more often than not, it ends up as unfunny, in-joke-filled navelgazing. (Have you seen 1993’s The Pickle? Of course you haven’t. Don’t.) Leave it to Ben Stiller and pals, though, to come up with a poke in the movie industry’s eye that is both accurate and blisteringly, brutally funny.
Go Ahead, Sucker. Get Verklempt.
"The Singing Office" on TLC
No, it's not a musical episode of the original, British "The Office," including such great hits as "Free Love Freeway," the best worst song you ever rocked out to. Chorus:
The Week in Sloth
"XXIX Summer Olympics"(KOB-4 7 p.m.) Hey, the Olympics are on—did ya know? Tonight: the women's individual all-around gymnastics finals, swimming finals, beach volleyball and canoeing. Sweet!
"Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" (Bravo 8 p.m.) The fourth season of Kathy’s homage to her less-than-celebrity celebrity status comes to an end with tonight’s episode. Kathy visits our troops in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to prove laughter really is the best medicine. You go, girlfriend!
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival returns Wednesday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 20 at a number of venues around The City Different including Lensic Performing Arts Center, Center for Contemporary Arts, The Screen and more. Night one kicks off with a 60th anniversary screening of Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot at 3pm at Jean Cocteau Cinema and caps off with opening night film, Just Mercy at 7pm at Violet Crown. Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Brie Larson star in this dramatic true story of Harvard grad Bryan Stevenson, who heads to Alabama to defend people who were wrongly condemned because they could not afford legal proper representation. Dozens more thought-provoking features, documentaries and shorts from filmmakers around the world follow. Tickets for the opening night film and party are $30. Learn more at santafeindependentfilmfestival.com