Sunday Times

FREDDY RE­BOOTED FOR HAL­LOWEEN

An an­i­mated piss-take of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is even more ridicu­lous than he is in real life, writes Matthew Vice

- Entertainment · Movies · Halloween · Celebrations · Jamie Lee Curtis · Donald Trump · Stephen Colbert · Stephen Colbert · Wolf Blitzer · God · Vladimir Putin · A Nightmare on Elm Street · Jackie Earle Haley · Robert Englund · Madagascar · Alex Blumberg · Zach Braff · Tiya Sircar

Ilove Oc­to­ber for one main rea­son: Hal­loween. Peo­ple from all over the world get into the spirit of it, even if it isn’t cel­e­brated in their coun­try, and you can be damn cer­tain that in at least a few places in the world, on some TV chan­nels, Jamie Lee Cur­tis is be­ing men­aced by a knife-wield­ing ma­niac. It’s also the per­fect ex­cuse for me to hunt down movies and shows that speak to my affin­ity for all things dark and op­pres­sive.

THE HOR­ROR, THE HOR­ROR

Stu­dio Univer­sal (chan­nel 112) seems to be get­ting into the swing of things with a se­lec­tion of hor­ror movies this month. My pick from this chan­nel might be a bit po­lar­is­ing, A Night­mare on Elm Street, the 2010 re­boot, which you can catch on Fri­day at 10.05pm. What can I say? I just re­ally liked Jackie Earle Ha­ley’s ren­di­tion of Freddy Krueger, the night­mare-dwelling, re­venge-driven, knife-handed mon­ster who kills the chil­dren of Elm Street.

For a while, I re­ally liked the new di­rec­tion the movie was go­ing in, hint­ing that Freddy was cre­ated when a group of Elm Street res­i­dents lynched an in­no­cent man by burn­ing him alive, cre­at­ing a ghost who then pro­ceeds to mur­der their chil­dren in re­venge. The film sets this up very well — but then it seems ei­ther the writer’s or the pro­ducer’s balls fell off at some point and they thought, no, we can’t have that hap­pen. We’d bet­ter make him as de­spi­ca­ble as pos­si­ble. This doesn’t flow with the ev­i­dence the char­ac­ters were un­cov­er­ing up to that point and it smacks of an eleventh-hour re­write.

Per­son­ally, I think the in­no­cent Freddy idea was way more in­ter­est­ing and you can tell they wanted to go in that di­rec­tion. Still, the movie has all the clas­sic Elm Street el­e­ments: kids try­ing des­per­ately to stay awake for weeks at a time for fear of be­ing killed in their dreams by Freddy; and a pro­tag­o­nist fig­ur­ing out how to kill him this time. As I’ve al­ready men­tioned, Jackie Earle Ha­ley’s ver­sion of Freddy is great too, far darker and less cheesy than Robert Englund’s clas­sic por­trayal.

THE TRUMP CARD

I ac­tu­ally ex­pected to find more qual­ity Hal­loween of­fer­ings than this. There’s some on of­fer on var­i­ous chan­nels, but noth­ing else worth men­tion­ing, dis­ap­point­ingly.

So, mov­ing on from hor­ror to the next clos­est sub­ject — Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. If you like a bit of po­lit­i­cal satire, you might try Our Car­toon Pres­i­dent on M-Net, chan­nel 101, Fri­day at 11.10pm.

It’s an an­i­mated piss-take show about the daily life of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, and if you’re won­der­ing how it could pos­si­bly be por­trayed in a more ridicu­lous light than it is in re­al­ity, well, it comes to us from Stephen Col­bert, who voices CNN po­lit­i­cal an­chor Wolf Bl­itzer and God in the show. I think Col­bert is up to the task for sure. Co­me­dian Jeff Bergman voices Trump. I checked out some clips and it’s pretty amus­ing. Pol­i­tics isn’t ex­actly my wheel­house, but I got most of the jokes. I loved the line where Trump asked Mar­garet Talev if she was an in­com­ing or out­go­ing cabi­net mem­ber, and the clip where, in a meet­ing, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin tries to get Trump to di­vulge po­lit­i­cal se­crets, but comes to re­alise the or­ange gib­bon is not only too dumb to pick up on cues but even too dumb to be fooled.

THAT GEEKY GUY AGAIN

There’s got to be one more thing I can put in here. Ah, there’s an­other new show on M-Net (chan­nel 101) this week, Satur­day at 6.30pm. It’s called Alex, Inc., a sit­com based on the doc­u­mented ex­pe­ri­ences of for­mer US ra­dio per­son Alex Blum­berg’s en­deav­our to found a pod­cast com­pany. Blum­berg seems to have man­aged it, and the types of shows the com­pany pro­duces range from busi­ness talk to ra­dio drama to kids sto­ries.

Alex, Inc. stars Zach Braff, who I al­ways re­fer to as the geeky guy from Scrubs, as Alex Schu­man, a for­mer ra­dio per­son who leaves his well-pay­ing job to start a pod­cast com­pany called Startup, much to the cha­grin of his wife Rooni (Tiya Sir­car) and his kids, pic­tured. Un­for­tu­nately the show didn’t do as well as the ac­tual en­deav­our that in­spired it, so this 10-episode sea­son is all it got – and I can kind of see why.

The trailer I watched left me kind of luke­warm about it, with its boil­er­plate hu­mour and un­der­cur­rents of feely fam­ily drama. Per­haps the pro­duc­ers were un­der the im­pres­sion that ev­ery­one wants to rally be­hind the idea of a small com­pany given that they named it “startup”, a word that seems to em­body a be­lief that’s taken hold in the last decade that any­one can strike out on their own and be suc­cess­ful in the dig­i­tal age. Well, we don’t. Peo­ple start­ing up their own small com­pa­nies are an­noy­ing be­cause it con­sumes their ev­ery thought and is all they can talk about.

 ??  ?? Co­me­dian Jeff Bergman voices US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in ‘Our Car­toon Pres­i­dent’.
Co­me­dian Jeff Bergman voices US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in ‘Our Car­toon Pres­i­dent’.
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