Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some Contents May Have Shifted During Flight and May Contain Sharks

In the eighth season of the acclaimed comedy series Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Elaine Benes tries to convince a date to see a frothy, light-weight comedy called Sack Lunch instead of the oppressively pretentious The English Patient. "So do you think they got shrunk down, or is it just a giant sack?" she asks. The date marches off to see the more acclaimed film, and Elaine enjoys a good low-brow movie wallow by herself. 

There's something wonderful about fully surrendering to a low-concept film, as I was thinking last night when I saw a trailer for Let's Be Cops. Yes, I definitely would have spent a little more effort on that title. And while on the surface it seems as mouth-breathing and misogynistic as a lot of the usual summer fare aimed at the all-powerful teenaged boy demographic, it really is a fun idea -- who wouldn't want the power and excitement that comes with a police uniform and a black and white cruiser?

To pile on the irony, the film's trailer ran during the premier of the brilliantly titled Sharknado 2: The Second One -- in case you didn't get that it's a sequel, they told you twice. It's a cheesy follow-up to last year's SyFy hit, and it serves up an entire gallery of guest stars: Kelly Osborne as a violet-haired flight attendant whose head is consumed by a shark in mid-flight; Judd Hirsch, who starred on the series Taxi 35 years ago, driving a taxi through a shark storm; and Robert Hayes, who played the reluctant pilot who saves the day in the '80s comedy Airplane!, to name just a few. The premise has something to do with climate change prompting an increase in tornadoes; why they suck up multitudes of sharks and deposit them in mid-town Manhattan is never quite clear. 

In a world of 24-hour news feeds and a constant barrage of reality pinging at us from all our devices, I think we could all benefit from kicking off our shoes and relaxing with a nice, empty Sack Lunch or Sharknado. Personally, I think the family was shrunk down to sack lunch size. 

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