Author Archives: Joe Froemming

I’m a reporter/copy editor for the Bemidji Pioneer. Previously, I worked for the Worthington Daily Globe as a copy editor and before that, I had a brief stint as the Fine Arts Columnist for the St. Cloud Times. I was born and raised in St. Cloud, a graduate of St. Cloud State University and worked in record stores for 10 years before wandering into the world of journalism. I live in Bemidji with my wife Gina and our cat, Mac. All the papers and towns mentioned above are located in Minnesota.

Watch Paul Rudd Make Fart Noises While Doing Press For ‘Ant-Man’

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Press junkets are usually pretty boring. Reporters are lined up like cattle to interview celebrities about their current project they are plugging. They are usually pretty tame, unless you are some jerk who wants to piss off Robert Downey Jr. They basically are soundbites to fill space on news or entertainment programs.

Enter actor Paul Rudd, who — while doing one of these press events to promote “Ant-Man” — decided (after he found out his chair made a particularly funny noise) to make fart sounds while being interviewed by Clevver Movies Erin Robinson. Because farts are funny, I don’t care what anybody says to the contrary. Childish, immature, crass? Sure. Hilarious? Absolutely.

It’s particularly funny to watch Robinson try to interview around the said noises, as Rudd goes about in his obvious prepped responses to the typical questions with a brilliant deadpan face.

It is quite entertaining. Not since Rudd’s insistence to show the same clip from “Mac and Me” for every movie he promoted on Conan O’Brien has he made an interview this much fun.

Now They Are Making ‘Monopoly’ Into A Movie

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“Monopoly,” a game that pits players against one another in a mad cash-grab full of questionable business and moral ethics in order to find one victor and toss the losers into the desperate pit of bankruptcy will now be a family fun feature film.

Yes, the board game that historically has brought out the worst in people (including me) during family game nights will finally make it to the silver screen because, why the hell not at this point. Never mind there is no story to the game: Players just annihilate one another through buying up properties and making sure others pay through the teeth if they happen to land on a place that has a hotel on it — especially if that place is Boardwalk or Park Place. Then, to add insult to injury, losers usually have to auction of their prime real estate in order to keep playing, knowing full well there is no return to victory at that point.

It’s a fantastic game. I love this game so much!

And much like the time they made a movie out of “Battleship,” the minds in Hollywood are looking at anything to make movies out of — everywhere besides things that have plot and narrative. It’s almost like a dare at this point to make a movie out of just about anything — including board games.

According to The Wrap, the film will be about “a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey. Along the way he will have to make his own luck, while hoping to avoid going directly to jail.” So expect them to shoe-horn in those weird game pieces like the hat, race car and the inexplicable thimble as characters into the film, because again — why the hell not at this point.

The film will be produced by Lionsgate and Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures.

Hip-Hop Legend Alex Trebek Raps ‘Fresh Prince’ Theme Song

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Alex Trebek is many things. Game show host. Wordsmith. Reciter of Mötley Crüe lyrics. And now, he can chalk up hip-hop maestro to his long list of accomplishments after Monday night’s episode of “Jeopardy!”

Trebek, born on the mean streets of Greater Sudbury, Canada, showed off his mad-and-rapid-fire-flow during a segment of his game show. He called upon his inner-Will Smith and recited the lines of the theme song to”The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” And it was fantastic. Not since the Brian Williams/Snoop Dogg mashup has things been this amazing in the world of hip-hop. Except maybe the time Kanye West assured us that the music streaming service Tidal is in no way associated with the Illuminati (but we aren’t buying that).

We can only hope for more Trebek hip-hop tracks in the near future.

Don’t Worry, Robert Zemeckis Says A ‘Back To The Future’ Remake Will Not Happen In His Lifetime

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back to the future

These days, it seems like some studio somewhere will announce a remake of a film every hour — despite the fact these movies were perfectly fine to begin with. In fact, I didn’t even bother to write up the fact that they are remaking “Kindergarten Cop” because this type of news gets old, and it gets kinda depressing.

That sentiment seems to be echoed by director Robert Zemeckis, who discussed the idea with The Telegraph. “Oh, God no,” Zemeckis (and pretty much everyone else at this point who are sick of this trend) replied to a question about whether he would ever consider remaking his classic “Back To The Future.” Finally, a breath of fresh air from an apparently sane person who works in Hollywood.

He went on to say that “That can’t happen until both Bob (Gale, co-creator) and I are dead. And then I’m sure they’ll do it, unless there’s a way our estates can stop it.” He went on to add such refreshing thoughts with “I mean, to me, that’s outrageous. Especially since it’s a good movie. It’s like saying ‘Let’s remake “Citizen Kane.”‘ Who are we going to get to play Kane?’ What folly, what insanity is that? Why would anyone do that?”

Finally, finally someone out there understands that remakes are usually a really bad idea. Perhaps Hollywood can start pumping out original ideas for films, because I doubt creative people bust their hump writing screenplays to one day be the person who wrote a script based on another, successful script of a film that has already been made.

Behold — A Deep Fried Big Mac!

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Usually it takes a State Fair-type scenario for people to take just about any food item, toss it into a deep fryer and then plop said monstrosity upon a stick for the world to gaze upon its unholy existence. Now we can thank a food blogger who has followed this demonic trend, and at the same time found a way to make a McDonald’s Big Mac even unhealthier — by deep frying it.

big mac

Look at that. Mac Sauce dribbling down this thing, this disgusting, disgusting thing — like cholesterol-lava flowing down a sadness volcano.


Look at the inside of this. It’s like a hellish vision out of William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch.” What kind of maniac would unleash this upon an unsuspecting world?

There are some things one simply cannot unsee. We now live in a world in which deep fried Big Macs exists. We don’t need to deep fry everything.


A War Of Words Between Donald Trump And Neil Young

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neil and donald

The day when satire and reality officially blended into one another was last week, when Donald Trump — a businessman who fires celebrities on a reality television show — announced he was seriously running for president of the United States.

Trump announced his GOP candidacy with an event that featured the song “Rockin’ In The Free World,” a famous song made by a famous Canadian — Neil Young. A song that is also highly critical of the Republican president at the time it was written, George H.W. Bush.

You can’t make this stuff up.

To add to this perfect storm of ridiculousness, Neil Young (or “Bozo” as Trump probably calls him now) came out and said the use of his song was not authorized and that he supports another candidate who will not be president, Bernie Sanders.

Proving his sage ability to take any sort of criticism and thus proving he is ultimately a great diplomat, Trump went to Twitter:

Take that Neil Young. Trump doesn’t love your bozo song anyway.

NBC Cancels Its Only Good Show: ‘Hannibal’

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The first time I watched Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal,” my first thought was “this show is too good for NBC.” My following thought was “this show will never last on NBC.” I thought that for two reasons. The first reason is NBC has a long tradition of basically running garbage TV. Their comedy bloc has dwindled to nothing after “The Office” and “Parks and Rec” went off the air, and they canceled “Community” only for the show to be revived over at Yahoo. Their drama shows are pretty much non-existent at this point (“Aquarius” is interesting, but hit-and-miss). The network is pretty much made up of reality TV shows now. It seems like there is not much room at NBC for well-written shows anymore.

The second reason was the obvious: The show itself. The graphic nature of “Hannibal” went over the line almost all the time, it was pretty artistic in how it was filmed and written (a lot of symbolism), it didn’t operate at a breakneck speed and played with uncomfortable themes. It wasn’t like sitting down to watch “Law & Order.” It was a show that you need to be ready to watch, not just to watch because it is on.

If you are unaware of the show, it is a modern take on the books/stories by Thomas Harris, which follows the relationship between FBI criminal profiler Will Graham and the cannibalistic murderer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Stories made famous by their film adaptations.

So I wasn’t surprised when NBC decided to give the show the ax this week. It wasn’t a ratings juggernaut and at this point, I’m not convinced the network knows what it is doing anymore. There was also allegedly issues with getting the rights to use Clarice Starling from “Silence of the Lambs.” Which would be hard to have a world in which she doesn’t exist with Hannibal Lecter, but not impossible.

There is still hope for this show. As we have seen, streaming sites are reviving cult favorites (“Arrested Development,” “The Mindy Project” and “Community” come to mind). They have an interest in shows like these because they have a built-in fan base and binge-watching are usually associated with how the fans approach these programs. I binged the first season of “Hannibal” (like I do with most television shows) on Amazon Prime.

There are many petitions over at for the show to be saved. I’m pretty optimistic that saving this show can happen. Fuller has started a social media campaign for it. There is enough interest in the show to sustain it on a streaming service. This is too good of a show to not get picked up again.

Spider-Man Contractually Destined To Be Kind Of Lame In The Movies

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peter parker

Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) is one of comic books’ greatest nerds. A scrawny high schooler interested in science and photography, he is a character that many outsiders can relate to. And Sony, apparently, wants to keep this tradition with the character — even to the point of demanding it in writing.

Since their embarrassing hack last year, many documents have shown some of the more horrible and questionable things going on in Hollywood. One of the items, according to Gawker, is a licensing agreement stating how Spider-Man and/or Peter Parker are to be represented on the silver screen.

Here are the traits they want out of Peter Parker:



As you can see, these are pretty much what the character’s traits are in the comics. And same for both incarnations of the character in the films. Which is funny, because having Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and — less than a decade later — having a whole new (yet, kinda the same) franchise with an identical origin story kinda sunk those new films. And now, with a third franchise in the works, that means we will see — yet again — a nerdy Peter Parker get bitten by a radioactive spider and thus giving him powers.

Also looking at this character trait list, Peter Parker is so white bread he sounds like a character from “Friends.”

What is interesting is the demand that Peter Parker must be Caucasian, middle-class, from New York and straight. Not that there is a huge issue with that, but it seems like a weird demand to tie a scriptwriter to. I mean, how can they try to do something different with the character (again, whom we have seen two almost identical origins of this character in the past 15 years) while being stuck with such limitations? But given how the Internet exploded in a troll rage of anger and Cheetos dust when it was announced that Johnny Storm will be black in the new “Fantastic Four” film, who knows how angry a black Peter Parker would have made them.

But before people lose their minds and jump to conclusions, there is a sneaky way for Spider-Man to be different:



So, Spider-Man can come from any walk of life as long as his identity is not Peter Parker and it goes along with a canon character. So maybe, just maybe we can see Donald Glover finally grace the screen as Miles Morales’ Spider-Man.

Also, they had to state Spider-Man doesn’t torture and/or sell drugs, probably to circumvent some Nolan-wannabe from making a dark, gritty Spider-Man film where he waterboards Doctor Octopus for losing his smack shipment — I guess.

So, with these limitations, we are almost guaranteed that Spider-Man will remain a white, nerdy stick-in-the-mud who has to design his first red and blue costume because that, too, is a weird trait demanded.

Watch All 6 ‘Star Wars’ Movies — At The Same Time

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Fairly recently, in a YouTube video only a click away…

In this day and age, binging through movies and TV shows is common place. And Star Wars fans have been binge watching those movies since the day they came out on VHS, and have continued to do so with the current run of all six films on BluRay. And with “The Force Awakens” arriving in December, many people are probably making plans to revisit this series so they can remember certain things from the films. Like what the hell Midi-chlorians are.

Yet, watching six movies back-to-back is a daunting task. To sit and watch each episode of the Star Wars saga back-to-back, you are looking at about 13-plus hours of your life. And that is a lot, considering at least about two of those hours will consist of sitting through the wretched “Phantom Menace.” Remember, that is two hours of your life you can never get back, and it has a lot of Jar-Jar in it to boot.

Thankfully, filmmaker and “Archer” animator Marcus Rosentrater has made a way to watch all six films in a easy and convenient manner — by superimposing the films over each other. In one fell swoop, with a running time of 2-hours and 22-minutes, you can watch all six movies at the same time. And it is as crazy as it sounds.

It’s actually interesting to watch, and with each film flowing in and out of one another, it makes for interesting video art. It’s also a spot-on representation of a fever dream you’d have if you sat through the 13-plus hours of each film back-to-back.

So, here it is. All six Star Wars films running all at the same time. Enjoy!

Top 5 Episodes Of ‘Seinfeld’ For Beginners

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Next week, Hulu will begin streaming television’s most famous show about nothing, “Seinfeld” — which aired from 1989-1998. All nine seasons will be available at the push of a button for subscribers, and for some whom may be just getting familiar with the show (I know, it’s on all the time in syndication, but in this day and age, not everyone has cable) it may be a little daunting as to where to begin.

See, “Seinfeld” was not a huge hit when it first began. In fact, it really did not begin picking up steam until the third season (the first two seasons are fine, just not classic). So it might be a little easier to settle in with a few of the more classic and established episodes to get the feet wet and then perhaps begin watching in chronological order. Or whatever order you want. It really doesn’t matter.

The premise of “Seinfeld” is pretty basic. Four friends living in New York are dealing with everyday issues and social norms, but with their hilarious misanthropic twist on things. Jerry is pretty much the straight man living among an insane group of friends. You have George Costanza (based on co-creator Larry David) who is the king of making-a-bad-situation-worse; Elaine Benes who is Jerry’s ex-girlfriend and often is the one who tries to be the voice of reason (in the first few seasons at least); and Kramer, Jerry’s moocher next door neighbor who is constantly cooking up some sort of scheme with shady folks, like his good friend Bob Sacamano.

So I will share what I think are the top five episodes for beginners to sink their teeth into.

The Chinese Restaurant: Season 2, Ep.11

This is pretty much considered the most classic episode of “Seinfeld.” It was also one that NBC did not want to make because of how different it was. It is basically a bottle episode (takes place in a singe place) that has no real story beyond the fact that Jerry, George and Elaine are waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant before they go see a movie. But it really is a hilarious episode, with joke after joke landing in a consistent manner. It also epitomized the show’s theme of “being about nothing.”

The Library: Season 3, Ep. 5

In this episode, Jerry is being hounded by a library cop who claims he never returned “The Tropic of Cancer” in 1971, thus resulting in an outstanding library fine. Jerry tries to figure out what happened, as George is convinced a homeless guy in front of the library is a former gym teacher he had fired for bullying him in high school. This episode also happens to be my personal favorite just for the Library Cop’s talk with Jerry.

The Contest: Season Four, Ep. 11

George is busted by his mother for — being alone with a Glamour magazine, *ahem*. Which causes her to fall over and be hospitalized. This leads to a contest among George, Jerry, Elaine and Kramer to see who can last the longest being — the king of one’s castle or the master of one’s domain if you will. This was pretty edgy TV, even by today’s standards it is hard to believe this would air on prime time television. They — incredibly — worked around the actual content of the contest with euphemisms and so forth, without explicitly saying what the contest was.  But it remains one of the most classic moments in television.

The Soup Nazi: Season 7, Ep. 6

This episode gave the show one of it’s most lasting catchphrases: “No soup for you!” Kramer tells Jerry, George and Elaine about the best soup place in New York. But the man who runs the place, The Soup Nazi, is very strict about how people order at his establishment. Like asking for free bread, which can cost one a soup. The Soup Nazi strikes fear into the hearts of those who desire his soups but who also do not follow the rules. Except Kramer, who for reasons unknown can just hangout and shoot the breeze with the man at his shop. Except he messes with the wrong woman, when he banishes Elaine for one year.

The Strike: Season 9, Ep. 10

This episode is probably best known for giving the world Festivus, a made-up holiday from George’s dad, who grew tired of the commercialism of Christmas. We also find out the reason Kramer never has had a job during the show’s run is because he has been on strike at a local bagel shop for 12-years. George creates a fake charity called The Human Fund so he can give his co-workers false donations in their name during the holidays.

I think that is a pretty solid starting point. This show has a lot more classic moments, too many to realistically list here. Yet, these five are some of the strongest episodes of the show’s run.

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