Late Thoughts on Jon, Shaun, The Fantastic Flop…and Arby’s

The thing about going on vacation — you miss some stuff.

Now sometimes that’s good, take “Fantastic Four” — please.

Looks fant-four-stic

I considered not beating on the dead horse that is 20th Century Fox’s latest mishandling of Marvel Comics’ first family, but that might make me look like some kinda brainless cheerleader who never badmouths a bad superhero movie. So I’ll just say a few words and move on to more important things.

I actually somewhat liked Tim Story’s Fantastic Four movies, a feeling that isn’t shared in most nerd circles. Sure they weren’t perfect, and a bit campy at times, but that’s the thing about the FF — they’re a bit goofy. Their strong guy is made out of rocks. And he’s named The Thing. And his battle cry is “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” Their arch enemy is named “Doctor DOOM.”

It’s no wonder they’re hard to translate into live action.

But the answer, as we’ve all learned by now, is not to take them down the Grim and Gritty road. Ben may be Grimm, but he’s not grim (I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for that). As if that were the only thing director Josh Trank (or the Fox executives who reportedly reworked the movie) got wrong. I’ve already given this waste of film too much space here, let’s just say if I never see a naked Thing again I will have a happy life.

profile-pic-2The movie you really should’ve seen over the weekend was “Shaun the Sheep.” I haven’t seen it myself, but I’m confident it’s fun for all ages. It’s by those wonderful crazies at Aardmans Animation, who gave us the wonderfully crazy Wallace and Gromit series. In fact, Shaun made his debut in the W&G short “A Close Shave.”

The plot has Shaun and his buddies go to the city to rescue their farmer friend. It’s all done without dialogue because, you know, animals can’t talk. I’m confident it’s better than “Minions” and probably “Inside Out.”

Which brings us to Jon Stewart’s final week on “The Daily Show.” Fortunately I managed to be in my hotel room every night at 11 p.m. (Utah time) so I didn’t miss anything. I was taping it in case I did.


Plenty of post-mortems have been written and said about Stewart’s tenure on the fake news show and I don’t have anything new to add. It was hilarious, it was maddening, it was thought-provoking, it was sometimes too crude for my taste. I enjoyed the way he would stick it to politicians — all politicians. But mostly I appreciated the way he would stick it to journalists. God, I hate journalists. And journalism. And what it has become.

What was really noticeable in watching the last week of shows is how it’s not just Jon leaving — everybody else was already out the door. By the end there were three correspondents left and I couldn’t tell you any of their names. We’ve gone a long way from the glory days of Colbert and Carell.

So now what will I do for my news fix? I hate relying on Yahoo News because they’re always distracting me with stories about Marvel. It’s hard to believe people are writing news stories about Marvel Comics every day but there they are in my news feed. It’s as if they’re targeting me.

6a00d8345392f069e200e553e1b44b8833Finally, I would like to say a word or two in praise of Arby’s. Oh, I rarely eat there but I did one day this week to show my support to how well they handled being the butt of Jon Stewart’s jokes all these months.

See, we live in this tiresome world now where everyone gets offended by everything. Every day somebody’s feelings get hurt and they demand a public apology. And the media feeds on this like the low-life scum they are.

And yet, there’s Jon Stewart making fun of Arby’s almost every night, saying some of the meanest, most slanderous things you can say about a fast food restaurant. Any other corporation or celebrity or politician or news channel would’ve started a twitter war or filed a cease-and-desist order and publicly whined, whined, whined.

Arby’s took out ads during the show thanking Jon for his work and wishing him well.

Bravo, Arby’s. If only everyone else in the world could take a joke.

Love your curly fries.


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