O.J. Simpson

naked gun nothing to see

This week was the third anniversary of Leslie Nielsen‘s death, which also marked the definite end of the most brilliant eras in movie spoof history. The period didn’t begin with his induction into the genre, and he certainly helped usher in a wave of weak entries (he even starred in the first movie written by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer), but he is still the actor most associated with these kinds of comedies, mainly due to his collaborations with the trio of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker. Following his scene-stealing work in their classic Airplane!, they cast him as the lead on a short-lived TV series called Police Squad!. After it was quickly canceled, Nielsen spent time with serious parts in films and TV series before being brought back for the movie spin-off, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the movie’s theatrical release, when it opened at #1 before going on to be among the top-ten grossers that debuted in 1988 (about half its take came following the new year). The success of this action movie parody led to sequels of diminishing quality, but the brand is in its entirety still one of the more celebrated comedy franchises. And this initial installment is still considered one of the top three favorite spoof movies of all time. To adequately honor all its hilarity would be difficult here, as the gags and jokes in The Naked Gun are so abundant, not […]

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OJ Simpsons

Hug your loved ones, reflect quietly on your life’s better moments or make peace with your God because according to The Wrap, a living human being is going to spend $65M to make a thriller out of the Nicole Brown-Simpson murder case where O.J. Simpson was acquitted due to a wardrobe malfunction. That human being is Joshua Newton, who most recently wrote and directed the not-good  Iron Cross. The idea behind An American Mystery (no kidding) is to present more suspects and more information in order to shift the story into the mystery genre. No word yet on how Hercule Poirot will be involved, but Newton has already cast newcomer Charlotte Kirk (who will be seen in a small role in the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop) as Brown-Simpson. Naturally, the project also has the backing of several former athletes and current politicians. Because, you know, why not. While I fully recognize we’ve reached such a critical mass on 80s nostalgia that the 90s are cowering in the corner (hello, Captain Planet movie!), this is not the childhood memory I was hoping would see the screen. Especially because it feels like the worst kind of ghoulishness — scratching at a painful wound and then skipping town before providing any antiseptic. Newton is apparently promising new facts, but still wants the film’s audience to weight the merits of Simpson’s guilt. Because we didn’t do that already. Twenty years ago.

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