"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Posts Tagged ‘Brian Levant’

The Flintstones (30th stoniversary revisit)

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024

May 27, 1994

THE FLINTSTONES was undeniably one of the big movie events of the summer of ’94. Sure, it got poor reviews, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone who thought it was anything more than fine, but people definitely went to see it – it made almost $300 million over its budget, the #5 grossing movie of the year. Since we all agree that box office is important because movies are a business etc. etc., this figure proves that THE FLINTSTONES made a bigger mark than SCHINDLER’S LIST, PULP FICTION, THE CROW, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, SHORT CUTS, ED WOOD, and CLERKS that year. Only THE LION KING, FORREST GUMP, TRUE LIES and THE SANTA CLAUSE were more impactful. Sorry, that’s just science. There are fossils to prove it.

So I thought it was important to include in this series, and also I wanted my sainted wife, who had never seen it, to watch it with me. (Don’t worry, it was fine, she didn’t hate it.) But when I did that and then I re-read my review of the movie from the Summer Flings series in 2017, I realized that oh jesus, I covered this very thoroughly at that time. Didn’t leave much more to write about. (read the rest of this shit…)

Problem Child / Problem Child 2

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

On the 4th of July weekend in 1991, a whole lot of people went to see part 2s. #1 at the box office was the brand new game-changing action masterpiece TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY. #2 was the previous week’s big new release, NAKED GUN 2 1/2: THE SMELL OF FEAR. And then down a couple slots at #5 was the only movie released against T2, Universal’s PG-13 rated kiddy comedy sequel PROBLEM CHILD 2.

P2 would go on to gross an okay $25 million and be #54 at the year’s box office, above such part 2s as FX2, HOUSE PARTY 2, THE NEVERENDING STORY II: THE NEXT CHAPTER, AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST, HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING, MANNEQUIN: ON THE MOVE, KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD BACK and BEASTMASTER 2: THROUGH THE PORTAL OF TIME. If there’s one movie on that list that’s worse than PROBLEM CHILD 2 it’s MANNEQUIN: ON THE MOVE, and I’m not so sure about that. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Flintstones

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

May 27, 1994

The Flintstones are an example of a pop culture phenomenon that’s long past its relevance, but it’s so simple and recognizable that it lingers like a ghost in the public memory. Or like a fossil! As the first prime time cartoon, it originally aired between 1960 and 1966, but more than half a century later – whether because of the spin-offs and TV movies, the vitamins and cereals, or just cultural omnipresence – almost any American could identify the show on sight.

That doesn’t mean they’ve given it much thought, though, because there’s not much to chew on here. I know I watched it for some period of my life, but couldn’t point to a favorite episode, or even a specific one. There are different stories, technically, but the joke doesn’t really go beyond “what if there was a Honeymooners type family sitcom, but with cave men?,” and with the gimmick that modern lifestyles and technology (cars, drive-in theaters, kitchen appliances) exist, crudely constructed out of rocks, bones, wood, animal skins, and talking, subservient prehistoric animals. The plots reflect the same middle class concerns as a normal show would – trying to keep your job to pay for the house, trying to make your wife not mad that you spend too much time out with your buddies – but mostly it’s that one anachronistic joke of “the modern stone age family.” It’s humor with one wink and a whole lot of taken-for-granted cartoonist ingenuity. (read the rest of this shit…)