Some links before getting started. Norma wrote about various issues. Yesterday having had been a Friday, Parsnip had a Square Dog Friday. Eve had some news. Shelly had an installment of an online novel. And Ivy asked what you would eat.
Onto today's mischief, bringing back a familiar fellow entirely in love with himself.
Director Announces Latest Overblown Project; Reporters Make Unanimous Eye Roll
Los Angeles (CP) Reporters were summoned to the office headquarters of Digital Domain for an announcement by director Michael Bay, who has a long standing habit of making over the top explosion filled pointless popcorn films like Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and the Transformers franchise. The quite egomaniacal director, who is in the midst of multiple projects, had yet another new idea for an upcoming film. Real reporters were filed in with the fawning entertainment reporters, those halfwits and buffoons who have no idea how stupid they are. This reporter found himself wondering what he could have done to merit such punishment from his tyrannical editor (editor: damn you, enough with your complaining asides! You ran over my foot with your car!).
This reporter sighed with dismay, knowing that his tyrannical editor might not be able to fire him (thank you so much, iron clad contract), but still had the power to send him out on pointless garbage assignments like covering the press conference of a hack director so in love with himself that he had full length mirrors out on stage for every single press conference. And sure enough, as this reporter came into the auditorium with other reporters (real and entertainment reporters alike), there was the standard mirror set up right by the podium.
An aide announced her boss, and lo and behold, there he came. Michael Bay, in his standard appearance, stepped out on stage. The slightly dishevelled hair, the day or two of stubble, the jeans, sports jacket, and shirt without a tie look that he favoured. He walked out with that big, vacant looking grin, waved to the reporters, seemed entirely oblivious to the raised middle fingers coming from the real reporters, and walked to the podium. And true to form, he looked himself in the mirror, smiled again, and faced the crowd. This reporter felt the seventh eye roll of the day start to take form beneath his eyelids (editor: does that mean your eyes were closed? Were you sleeping during a press conference? Answer the question!)
Despite the tyrannical editor not having the self awareness to actually grasp that this reporter was not asleep (editor: stop insulting me!), this reporter was indeed paying attention, and glancing at his watch, wondering when this latest exercise in Michael Bay self glorification would end. Bay spoke up. “It’s great to see you all out here today! Of course you had to come, because I’m Michael Bay, and everyone wants to know what Michael Bay is up to! You know, it’s not exaggeration when I say I’m the greatest director of all time. I don’t know why the Oscars don’t see it that way, but I’m pretty sure that all of my upcoming films are going to rectify that in a big way. And that’s why I’m here today. I have a big announcement about a new film that I’ll be directing down the line.” He paused, smiling again in that same vacant way that made one wonder just how many squirrels were running around in between his ears.
And then he continued. “A friend of mine up north of the border told me a story. Of a heroic character who was misunderstood. A bright and polite and capable man, always handy, always there for you. And yet there were many who felt a deep and overwhelming hostility to this man. They found the politeness to be... grating. This man spent many years doing commercials, and over time the hostility grew to the point that the company realized they had to pull the ad campaign. I am speaking, of course, about The Canadian Tire Guy.”
There was a murmuring among some of the reporters. This reporter, being Canadian, knew the infernal demonic Canadian Tire Guy all too well. For eight years until 2006, Ted Simonett had played the overly helpful neighbour in a series of commercials infesting the television airwaves. His fingernails-on-the-blackboard cheerful neighbourhood busybody was known for turning up in the garages and yards of literally everyone within five kilometres of his home and going on and on about whatever piece of crap he had just bought from Canadian Tire. The Canadian Tire Guy was, essentially, Ned Flanders without the religious pompousness and speech impediments.
Bay continued on. “I thought there was a real story here. A misunderstood hero who had garnered the distrust of his community by trying to be helpful but who, in a terrible turn of events, could be the one person they could count on. And that’s the kind of film I wanted to make. I thought of calling the film The Canadian Tire Guy, but as we all know, that title won’t fly in big parts of the Flyover part of America, where they think a mile high wall of permanent snow starts the moment you reach the Canadian border. So the film I’ll be telling is going to be set in a fictional town. It could be Canada, it could be America, who knows, and who cares? The point is the hero of the story, and a man cast out by his community for being too helpful and too much into everyone else’s business. We’re talking about an epic disaster film for the ages, a film with blizzards, snownadoes, explosions, more explosions, and avalanches, and only one very resourceful hardware store loving guy able to save the day. If he can persuade his neighbours that he’s there to help.”
This reporter actually heard the eye rolls of every other real reporter as he rolled his eyes. An egomaniacal director like Michael Bay was actually using a commercial campaign as inspiration for a feature film? Bay seemed to ignore the eye rolls. “I thought of having the original Canadian Tire Guy, Ted Simonett, come out and play, well... himself. I mean, he’s an actor, after all. I was told though that he’s living under an assumed name after lots of hate mail, pies in the face, death threats, and vows of eternal vendettas came his way while that ad campaign kept going on and on and on and on. So he declined. So I went in another direction for casting, and slightly changed the name. Ladies and gentlemen, starting out our cast...”
“Let me guess. Shia LaBeouf?” this reporter asked.
“No, but he is in the cast, no thank you for interrupting,” Bay replied, and flashed his usual dimwitted grin yet again. “Ladies and gentlemen, playing the central role of Theodore Sedgwick, I give you Mister Nicolas Cage!"
Cage came out on stage, waving and drinking from a bottle of Scotch. His hair weave was even stranger than usual, and he was sporting a few days of stubble. “Hello there!” he said, a bit unsteady on his feet. “It’s going to be a whole lot of fun playing this character, the hero, the main man, daddy-o!” This reporter wondered how drunk Cage was, let alone if he had learned a single thing from playing the lead role of an alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas.
Bay grinned as Cage stood by him. “And of course in a film like this, we have to have a love interest. Only they don’t start out that way. See, she finds Theodore to be just as grating as everyone else in town, but when he steps up and plays the hero, she starts thinking differently. Ladies and gentlemen, in a casting coup reuniting Nic with his leading lady from Leaving Las Vegas, playing the local mayor Alison Parker, I give you Elisabeth Shue!”
The actress stepped out on stage, looking a bit wary. “Hi, um, I sort of got roped into this whole film without really thinking things through. Please don’t think less of me.”
Bay laughed. “What a sense of humour! Now then, we’ve got a father and son dynamic in this film. It seems the two Sedgwick men don’t see eye to eye on much these days. Young Brad Sedgwick just wishes his dad was less of a busybody. Theodore wants his son to show more interest in hardware goods. Playing Brad, I give you Shia LaBeouf!”
Shia LaBeouf came out on stage, waving in that vacant way suggesting very little was going on in his head. “Hello! Shia is pleased to be part of this film project! Shia needs the money to pay off some fines and his lawyers after some legal troubles! Shia shrugs off legal troubles!” He took his place by the others. This reporter sighed with dismay, and contemplated banging his head against a wall.
Bay grinned again, and said, “And playing the part of the easily annoyed next door neighbour Larry O’Neill, I chose someone else I haven’t worked with before. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Tim Allen!”
The comedian, once the star of Home Improvement, and really only capable of playing himself, came out on stage, smiling in that goofy and baffled way. He waved to the crowd. “Hi! You know, I could have played the lead in this, but really, I’ve already kind of played the annoying tool obsessed guy once, so that would be typecasting myself. Instead I get to play the guy on the other side of the fence. Only as I recall, Wilson wasn’t so easily annoyed by me. I mean, Tim. The guy I played. Right. Because as we all know, stand-up comedians can’t respond to any name but their own when they actually act.”
Bay looked dazed for a moment, as if like a deer caught in the headlights. “Note to self: rename the Larry O’Neill character to Tim O’Neill,” he muttered to himself and continued. “And playing the film’s paranoid survivalist villain Dirk Van Zandt, I give you one of my favourite actors, my go-to guy, the one, the only... Steve Buscemi!”
Buscemi walked out on stage, a mix of his usual creepiness and a bit of shame in his face. “Someone please break me out of my contract to work for this guy. The man’s a hack!”
“Steve, you’re such a kidder!” Bay said with a laugh. “Ladies and gentlemen, the main cast for Snowpocalypse Now, soon to go into production. Francis Ford Coppola can kiss my ass if he thinks he can prevent me from using that title.”
With that, Bay left the stage with his actors. This reporter shared mutual grumbles and sighs of dismay with other real reporters. Entertainment reporters, meanwhile, could be heard uttering phrases like “film of the century” and “wow, did you see that cast?” like the blithering idiots they are. This reporter wondered how long he would continue to be in journalistic purgatory (editor: I hate you. Your next assignment is going to involve you getting infected with the Ebola virus).
That long, huh?