Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Planet of the Sequels

This week's entry is, ah, late. We're hosting some family (a daughter and three granddaughters, the daughter's nieces), and while they're good kids, they kind of like to get your personal involvement in things that may use up time. All three, for instance, insist that they want to learn to play tennis during this trip. That's a challenge, considering that none of them are yet twelve, nor have any of them ever played before.
But that hasn't stopped me from doing certain things, like watching the NBA Finals. I have lots of respect for the players, and don't really care if they are overpaid. When they succeed, of course, everyone sees it, but the opposite is also true. When a player fouls up, every non-athlete sofa jockey anywhere is free to mercilessly mock the guy.
The commercials, I find, are either getting more interesting, or my attention span is getting shorter. Anyway, I seem to notice more of them. For instance, did you know that the NBA has an "official car"? No, the League doesn't need an official car any more than the Olympic Games needed an official soup (Chinese boil-up noodles) a few games back. And you'd never guess the car, but, for what it's worth, it's the KIA Sorento, made in Korea, carrying an Italian-ish name and sold in the USA. Since the average NBA player is something like 6"7", I kind of doubt that many could fit into a Sorento, but I suppose the teams all have shorter employees, too. How did the Sorento earn the honor? I presume in the usual way - outbidding the competition.
Then there's the movies they're hoping to show to packed houses this summer. If you can sum them up with one word, that word would be - sequel. Think about it. There's the X-Men sequel, the Hangover sequel, and others: Kung Fu Panda, Pirates of the Caribbean and another Transformers on the way. They've even got a new sequel for a series that goes back to the sixties - Planet of the Apes.
I have a theory or two why sequels are done so often, but then I'm talking about business, a subject which has baffled me throughout my life. There's even a movie coming, though I'm not sure this is really a sequel, but it would certainly cover some old ground, entitled Cowboys and Aliens. I suppose we're all going to root for the cowboys since they 1. have to somehow save the planet for humanity, and 2. are usually better actors than aliens. But explain to me if you can, why they recruited Daniel Craig, a good welterweight actor (as James Bond), but about as American as mu shoo pork, as one of the cowboys. Maybe the studio's hoping that people will buy tickets with that very question in mind.


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