Ask 411 Movies for 09.16.13: The Exclusive Collector's Special Limited Edition Unrated Extended Cut
Posted by Chad Webb on 09.16.2013
Has The Simpsons overstayed its welcome? How good are the latest episodes of Breaking Bad? Who has played the best real-life president on film? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Movies!
An "Ask 411 Movies" column would be nothing without questions, so please toss them my way. Why should you ask me instead of using Google? Well, perhaps I'll tell you something you can't find there, or maybe you just like my conversation and soothing words. You can post any questions or thoughts below in the comments section, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a tweet using the links below:
I'm still trying to watch as much as I can, but this week the amount of movie titles I logged were a bit less than last week because I'm trying to catch up on the Arrow episodes I missed, season 2 of Veep, season 3 of The Killing, and season 4 of The League. Steph and I also just started Behind the Candelabra, which has been on the DVR for awhile.
I did see Ain't Them Bodies Saints, which was terrific. I also saw The Grandmaster, the Chinese cut, which was brilliant. I watched Brian De Palma's Passion, which sucked. This past week also had me attending a concert featuring Chris Jericho's band Fozzy, and the U.K. group Saxon. It was a lot of fun. Jericho is a great showman, but Saxon tore the house down. Check them out if you like bands such as Iron Maiden.
If you liked what you just read and want to know more about my movie tastes, check out my page on Letterboxd by clicking right here. Also, make sure to look at all the great articles and writers at 411, particularly in the Movie-zone because that's where I predominantly am, but all of the zones.
Q: Hey Chad,
I only have one question, but if I think of any more I'll send them your way...Who's the redheaded cutie that is the new spokesperson for Wendy's?
A: Her name is Morgan Smith Goodwin. Morgan is an actress/singer from Birmingham, AL. She has worked mostly in the New York theater, as well as on TV/film. If you want to visit her official website, click here. This is her webseries, click here. Here is an article on her, click here.
Q: Why do the final 4 episodes of Magnum P.I. seem out of the norm for the series? They seem just thrown in as afterthoughts (seeing his mother in D.C., finding out his child is alive, and Rick's wedding). I heard rumors the show was going to end with Magnum in a coma after the shoot out, are those true?
A: Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the American CBS television network.
Ok, the answer to your second question is actually a good lead-in to answering your main question. At the end of the seventh season, Magnum was killed off, and this was intended to be the end of the series. However, there was outcry from fans, and an eighth, final season was produced, to bring Magnum 'back to life', and to round the series off.
The producers anticipated that the series was going to be cancelled in the spring of 1987, so they filmed a dramatic and surrealistic two-part finale, using almost all of the occasional characters, in which Magnum was shot and killed and went to heaven. When the series was unexpectedly renewed for a last season, it was explained that he had not died but had instead dreamed of going to heaven in his confusion. The series' real finale aired as a movie in May 1988 and was one of the season's highest rated programs - but it still left a lot of loose ends. Magnum was reunited with his long-lost young daughter, quit the private eye business and rejoined the navy, while Rick was married (or was he?) and Higgins was finally revealed to be Robin Masters (or was he?).
So the fact that the episodes feel like afterthoughts to you might be because this season was not meant to be an actual season in the first place. It was made because fans demanded it and to bring closure to certain aspects of the show so people didn't get upset. That being said, I love Magnum P.I., but have not seen the entire series, mainly random episodes, so I can't weigh in personally on how it ended. I do know that "Legend of the Lost Art," (S8E10) was thrown in as a sort of "gift" to Tom Selleck because he had to decline in accepting the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark due to scheduling conflicts. Eventually he didn't have those scheduling conflicts, but by then the role had gone to Harrison Ford. So this episode parodies that film franchise.
Q: With The Butler still in theaters, I was wondering which actor do you think gave the best portrayal of a real life president?
A: Well, I'm not sure if you're asking about best of all-time, or just the best in the movie The Butler, so I'll answer both. I didn't like The Butler. In fact, I kind of hated it. The US Presidents in that film were nothing more than decorations. They hired recognizable people to get the mannerisms and voices down, but for the most kept them looking like the actor so that viewers could point them out. The exception to this was Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, who looked the part and did his best to sound it, though you could tell he was struggling to keep his accent subdued.
If I were to pick the best depiction of a real President of all-time, I have two that spring to mind. You can't talk about this now without mentioning Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. He is Daniel Day-Lewis. Enough said. The other would be Paul Giamatti as John Adams in the mini-series John Adams. This list could go on, but that are the two best in my opinion, with a slight edge to Giamatti because he had more time to develop that character.
Q: What's going on with the whole G4/Esquire channel thing? The switch was supposed to happen in April, then in September, and now Style is the channel that's going to be switched instead? Why?
A: Bonnie Hammer, the chairman of NBCUNiversal Cable Entertainment Group, announced that it would be restructuring the female-demographic Style Network as an upscale male-demographic Esquire Network.
As you said, originally the rebranding was supposed to be geared towards technology and gaming, for the G4 Network, but apparently the content on the Style Network was overlapping with E!, Bravo, and Oxygen. This new development is meant to diversify what cable offers. Plus, the Esquire Network will be seen in more homes because the Style channel was available in 75 million households, as opposed 62 million on G4.
The rebranding goes into effect on September 23, which will potentially layoff as many as 100 employees. Hammer previously worked on defining the branding for television station Syfy and USA.
Q: Its good to be back Mr. Webb
1.) As a breaking bad fan, what do you think of the new episodes? Just wondering
2.) A lot of shows has stayed past its prime. In your opinion, which tv shows that are currently on air should get cancelled. My biggest pick would be glee.
3.) Lastly, what is the most underrated movie or tv show? A movie in your personal opinion that should be considered a classic. You can say the same about actors or directors.
A: 1.) They are brilliant. Breaking Bad is all but guaranteed to be one of, if not the greatest show ever.
2) I'll list a few of them here, as it's a good way to close out the column this week. I'm counting reality television for this instance. One could argue that most reality shows have gone on too long, but I'll stick with on in particular:
The first show that I think of is undoubtedly How I Met Your Mother. How I Met Your Mother is an American sitcom that premiered on CBS on September 19, 2005. The 2013–14 season will be the show's ninth and final season. The series follows the main character, Ted Mosby, and his group of friends in Manhattan. As a framing device, Ted, in the year 2030, recounts to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting their mother.
The first few seasons were outstanding. I love the characters and the situations and the writers did a fabulous job of mixing comedy, romance, and drama. But that didn't last forever. The whole concept of "who the mom is" got delayed and kept going on and on because we keep returning to the idiotic Ted/Robin storyline. The writing of the last few seasons has dropped off considerably. The show isn't as funny, the plots are increasingly ridiculous, and Ted has gotten more annoying as a lead. It should have ended two seasons ago. But this upcoming season is set to be the last.
Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that airs on the Fox network in the United States. It focuses on the reconstituted William McKinley High School glee club, New Directions, which competes on the show choir competition circuit while its members deal with relationships, sexuality, social issues, and learning to become an effective team. The initial twelve-member main cast encompassed new club director and Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), Will's wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), and eight club members played by Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, and Jenna Ushkowitz. In subsequent seasons, the main cast has expanded to fourteen and fifteen members. The series was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, the last of whom first conceived of Glee as a film.
I admit I watched the first two seasons of Glee. The first season was good and I still stand by that statement. It was entertaining and produced solid musical numbers. The second season immediately went downhill. They made fun of the fact that they used classic older songs and began to rely on newer, Top 40 type tracks. In addition, the writing went beyond silly and became moronic, with characters changing so much and doing things that didn't make sense. I stopped then, but by all accounts, the show did not really improve and has overstayed its welcome.
American Idol is an American reality-singing competition program created by Simon Fuller. It began airing on Fox on June 11, 2002, and has since become one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. For an unprecedented eight consecutive years, from the 2003–04 television season through the 2010–11 season, either its performance or result show had been ranked number one in U.S. television ratings.
I hate these karaoke contest shows, but no one can dismiss the popularity and influence of American Idol, for better or worse. I've seen enough episodes of the show to know that when Simon Cowell left, so did the majority of its quality, not to mention any semblance of respect people had. Now these shows, especially Idol, have painted themselves into a corner with celebrity judges. The networks pay top dollar for notable names, and when those names leave, they have increased pressure to hire a name as big or the ratings will decline. I could go on about how terrible these shows are, that they aren't about music, etc, but you get the picture.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.
I have always preferred Futurama, but no one can deny the impact this series has had. I have enjoyed many episodes over the years, but I never watched it consistently. I'm sure defenders of the show still exist, but most people I talk to who still tune in concede that it should have ended its run long ago. When a show passes its peak, the creators have a choice to make. Do they continue on because the ratings are still there, or do they close it out on a high note? I don't think it's cruel to say that Matt Groening and company elected to keep it going despite the quality decreasing a significant amount. I can't say for certain how much its legacy will be/has been affected by the decision to keep going for so many extra years, but we'll see.
3) Your third question will be put on the backburner for the future. Obviously if you have more questions in the meantime, please keep them coming. I will answer them asap.
I received so many questions last week, via comments and through email, that I can't possibly get to them all in one column. So thank you! I want to make sure I give each of you an appropriate response. If I have not addressed your question this week, I promise I will get to it soon.
"The plural of Chad is Chad?"
--From the movie Recount