Category Archives: Movies

Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz #3 *Results*

what the hell happened big

It’s time to review the results of another What the Hell Happened Pop Culture Quiz.  I have collected all the papers and the grades are in.  Let’s see how everyone did.

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Review: Maleficent

Jolie - Malificent

There is nothing Hollywood likes more than a formula.  You can hardly blame them.  Given the astronomical budgets of modern movies, studios like to play it safe.  That means recycling old ideas in hopes of enticing audiences into seeing them one more time.  Disney’s Maleficent follows a formula laid out by previous revisionist fairy tales like the studio’s previous hits, Oz the Great and Powerful and Alice in Wonderland.

Not surprisingly, first time director Robert Stromberg served as the production designer on both of those films.  So he knows how to create a wonderful fairy land out of CGI.  Maleficent is, if nothing else, a feast for the eyes.  Although those with a low tolerance for CGI-created wonderlands may find themselves screaming “enough already!” before the story even takes flight.

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Poll: Which Super Hero Should Get Their Own Movie?

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy reclaimed the top spot at the box office four weeks into its run.  The movie which features a bunch of comic book characters even comic book fans were not familiar with has officially become the biggest movie of the summer.  Marvel gambled on some of their least-beloved characters and the gamble paid off big time.  You can bet that success will open the floodgates for other obscure super heroes to start getting their own movies in the near future.

Since they are coming whether you like it or not, let’s pick who should be making the leap over a tall building and onto the big screen in a single bound.

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A-List: Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt 2014
The summer movie season is winding down as kids across the country are mostly back in school  It’s been a lousy summer for Hollywood.  It’s been so bad, that the studios could barely breathe a sigh of relief when two late summer releases over-performed.  Last week, the third and likely final movie in the Expendables franchise tanked.  This weekend, Expendables 3 dropped out of the top five entirely leaving a lot of aging action stars crying in their beers.  The lone hold out from The Expendables 3, Bruce Willis, returned for Sin City 2, the long delayed sequel to the 2005 comic book noir hit.  Even without the convenient excuse of an internet leak, Sin City 2 opened below The Expendables 3.  That shredding sound you hear is everyone in Hollywood losing Frank Miller’s phone number.

The biggest new release this week was the adaptation of the YA novel, If I Stay.  That movie, which starred Chloe Moretz, opened at #1 on Friday but fell behind during the remainder of the weekend.  It will land at #3 for the weekend behind the massively popular holdovers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The space adventure from Marvel Studios reclaimed the #1 spot during its fourth week in theaters and will officially become the highest grossing film of the 2014 summer box office.  Which is a dubious distinction considering how poorly the summer box office has performed, but appropriate for a movie about losers who come out on top.

As the lead of Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt is now poised for big things.  He’s launched a charm offensive by entertaining sick kids in costume and posting one of the more memorable ice bucket challenge videos.  But has the Summer of Pratt earned the actor a spot on the A-list?

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Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz #3

what the hell happened big

We’re celebrating four years of WTHH with a series of quizzes to see what you have learned!

The quiz starts after the jump.  No cheating off your neighbor!

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Poll: Who is your favorite “old school” action hero?

"The Expendables 3" Stunt Photocall & Press Conference

It was a rough weekend to be an old school action hero.  The third movie in The Expendables franchise got spanked at the box office.  It didn’t just get beat by popular hold-overs like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy.  It came in 4th place behind the $7 million dollar comedy, Let’s Be Cops.

There were extenuating circumstances to be sure.  An internet leak allowed millions to watch the movie for free weeks before it opened in theaters.  Clearly, that had an impact.  But it’s still a bad sign for the franchise.  Which is bad for old action dude everywhere.  For a lot of these guys, a shot at an Expendables movie is the best thing going.  With the franchise on life support or critically wounded, a lot of these guys are looking at spending the rest of their careers in video limbo.

But let’s not dwell on the sad fate that awaits many of our favorite brawny senior citizens.  Instead, let’s remember them for their glory days.  Who was your favorite old school action hero?

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Lebeau’s Le Show: Episode 006 – Pop Culture References

Episode 006 Cover Image


Everyone makes pop culture references in one way or another every day.  Sometimes, we use an expression or a phrase without even knowing its origins.  Other times, we’re specifically referencing one of our favorite movies or TV shows.  Depending on how well your reference matches your audience, pop culture references can provide a great form of short hand.  They convey complex information in just a few words.  Or they miss their mark entirely and everyone thinks you’re weird.

This week, Daffy and I discuss the power of pop culture references both common and obscure.  Of course we hit the essentials like Caddyshack and Star Wars.  Daffy provides a few musical cues that frankly you just have to hear.  I talk about my co-workers and their weirdly narrow backgrounds in pop culture.  Hopefully none of them are listening.  Daffy talks about how he alienated the cast of his recent theatrical productions with references to Sunset Boulevard and Mommie Dearest.  And he ranks his favorite shelled candies.  It’s a can’t miss hour of fun and excitement!

In the spirit of references, we even reference some of the things we have been talking about here at Le Blog and on Twitter.  One lucky reader even gets name-checked.

The show is embedded after the jump.  Hope you like it.

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A-List: The Expendables 3

expendables 3 cast

Recently, I read an article about “The Expendables Effect”.  The premise of the article was that The Expendables franchise was responsible for one comeback after another.  It was suggested that actors of a certain age and type were falling all over themselves to be cast in the next Expendables movie.  With the exception of a couple of stubborn hold-outs, franchise creator Sylvester Stallone could pick and choose from the population of less-than-relevant action heroes because he and he alone had discovered a cinematic fountain of youth.  It was a franchise that could resurrect any flagging career.  It was viagra for the aging action set.

So what does it mean when an Expendables movie proves to be expendable?

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Pop Culture Quiz: What the Hell Happened Quiz #2 *Results*

what the hell happened big

It’s time to review the results of another What the Hell Happened Pop Culture Quiz.  I have collected all the papers and the grades are in.  Let’s see how everyone did.

Read the rest of this entry

A-List: Megan Fox

Megan Fox Launches Avon Foundation #SeeTheSigns Of Domestic Violence Campaign In the What the Hell Happened series, I take the long view of an actor or actress’ career.  That series explores whether or not an actor or actress ever reached the A-list.  If not, why not?  If so, what happened?  There is a full career arc from unknown to household name to What the Hell Happened subject.  In this series, which I am simply calling A-list, my focus is not on what happened but on what is happening right now and what may happen in the future.  Sure, that’s going to involve looking back on what brought us to this point.  But the focus is primarily on the now.  My subjects will be actors or actresses whose status has recently shifted up or down.  Some of them may be A-listers who have suffered a set-back.  Others may be A-list hopefuls. Read the rest of this entry


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