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John Krasinski* The smart and likable John Krasinski of “The Office” may be out of the running for the Captain America movie though his agent appears to be keeping busy. I take it some fan boys didn’t think he was sufficiently ultra-muscular or traditionally handsome or something enough for the role, but I find that a bit weird — especially considering that Steve Rogers starts out as an ordinary guy and it’s not Krasinski’s McLovin or something. He’d be a good choice and I hope they change their minds.  The other reputed candidates aren’t as well known to me, but the guy from the “Tron: Legacy” trailer certainly doesn’t strike me as anything too special based on what I saw there.

* It used to be that winning the best picture Oscar had major repercussions at the box office. At least for the so-far low-grossing “The Hurt Locker,” that might not be the case, though I’m sure it’s DVD sales will be a lot better than they would have been otherwise. The Iraq war drama appears to be caught in the crossfire between theater owners and studios over DVD releases.

* The show has taken its share of critical lumps, but Sunday’s Oscars did just fine in the ratings.

* Jim Emerson on the latest self-destructive move of Variety. Why do newspapers of all stripes seem to think that increasing prices and decreasing value is the way to salvation? I’d really like to know how that’s supposed to work.

* Howard Stern can be funny, but this item and accompanying clip, about his and cohost Robin Quivers’  nasty, idiotic reaction to “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe’s career prospects reminds me of what made me dislike him rather strongly back in the day– it’s not just the nastiness, it’s the fact that he doesn’t have a damn clue what he’s talking about. Or is it the case that John Goodman, Chris Farley, John Candy, Victor Buono, Dom De Luise, Nick Frost, Jonathan Winters, Jonah Hill, and countless other, admittedly mostly male, actors who are in the fat-to-obese category have had “no” careers over the last several decades?

Not that overweight actors, especially including severely obese ones like Ms. Sidibe, shouldn’t try to lose weight if they want a larger selection of parts and a longer and healthier life, though it’s always vastly easier said than done. Still, it’s definitely not true that she will “never” work again if she stays at her present weight. She’s already got work on Showtime.

* In Hollywood, imitation is the sincerest form of success envy. And so, it’s possible that Warner Brothers may be looking at the huge first-week success of “Alice in Wonderland” and thinking about going to meet the Wizard. One thing is true — as wonderful as the MGM classic is, the weirdness of the very long series of books has barely been touched by the movies,



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Chris Farley’s family OK’d DirecTV ad

Chris Farley and David Spade

As a huge (no pun intended) fan of Chris Farley in general and “Tommy Boy” in particular — there weren’t many more popular or quotable movies on campus during my college days — I wasn’t sure what to think about the new DirecTV ad featuring the late comedian’s classic “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” scene from the 1995 movie (watch it below). DirecTV has been running similar commercials for a while now, recreating iconic movie moments from films like “Aliens,” “Back to the Future” and “King Kong” to help illustrate why DirecTV is (allegedly) so much better than cable. I had enjoyed the other spots I saw but, for some reason, watching a re-dubbed David Spade in the “Tommy Boy” commercial with the original footage of Farley seemed…strange. “Tasteless, insensitive or just plain weird” is how the guys at described some of the public reaction to the commercials, which prompted Asylum to contact Spade’s publicist in search of a statement. Here is Spade’s response:

“When DIRECT TV came to me and the Farley family with this idea about ‘Tommy Boy,’ we talked and thought it would be a cool way to remind people just how funny Chris was. It is a clever homage to my friend and a movie that we loved doing.”

Spade said the commercial reminds people how funny Farley was, but it hit me that there may very well be hordes of college kids who have never even known how funny Farley was (he died in 1997) and have never seen “Tommy Boy” or “Black Sheep.” (We can only hope they haven’t been exposed to “Beverly Hills Ninja.”) Will “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” prompt some of them to download rent “Tommy Boy”? Absolutely.

Asylum also heard from a DirecTV spokesperson:

“We should look to Chris’ family and friends for the ultimate opinion on this subject. They were involved from the beginning of this project and felt that the spot was a great tribute to Chris.”

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. If Farley’s family was comfortable with the commercial, shouldn’t we all be? What is there to be offended by, anyway? Considering Farley’s short life was all about making other people laugh, he certainly wouldn’t want people to take this commercial — or his legacy — so seriously.


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