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.

‘Seinfeld’ Coming To Hulu In June, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

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seinfeld

Earlier this month, streaming service Hulu dished out millions of dollars for a show about nothing. Good thing for Hulu is that show, “Seinfeld,” happens to be one of the most successful television shows of all time. It’s quite a snag for the service, since Netflix seemed to put its eggs in one basket and got “Friends” last year, you know that hip show with its complicated shoes! For some streaming connoisseurs, being free to now binge “Seinfeld” is a plus to head over to Hulu — a freedom much like being stripped down to your waist and eating a block of cheese.

It has now been announced that on June 24, all 180 episodes of “Seinfeld” will be available on Hulu. Yeah, that’s right, next month Hulu subscribers can stream any episode of the show at anytime — while eating a Snickers bar with their knife and fork, waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant, on a “Merv Griffin Show” set rebuilt in their apartment, making a salad in the shower, basically anytime.

So there you have it, “Seinfeld” will soon finally be streaming. Now we can be satisfied until Larry David decides to do another season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It’s a Festivus Miracle!

 

Out Of Eden Prairie? ‘Mallrats’ Sequel Looks To New Mall For Filming

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mallrats

Much like some doomed kid who ignores the dangers of escalators, it seems like Kevin Smith might be ignoring the Eden Prairie (Minn.) Center for the sequel to his 1995 movie “Mallrats.” The Eden Prairie Center was were the original film was shot (for the most part). And that little slice of Minnesota is now canon (“The Eden Prairie Mall”) in Smith’s “New Jersey Trilogy” that now spans six movies, plus two more with the “Mallrats” sequel and “Clerks III.”

“Mallrats” followed a day in the life of a bunch of 20-something Gen. X slackers as they deal with relationships, debate pop-culture and beat up the Easter Bunny. They alsomall crash a dating show that, for some reason, is being filmed in a mall. It also functioned as a prequel to Smith’s first film, “Clerks.” The sequel will mark the 20th anniversary of the film.

Officially called “MallBrats,” the title seems to imply a new generation of mall slackers (because if a 40-plus year old Brodie Bruce is still lurking in malls with his refillable Dixie Cup, that would be a little creepy). Or the offspring of the original characters. According to Philly.com, Smith is eyeing a location in Philadelphia, the Granite Run Mall to be exact. Though that might not work, since that mall is destined to soon expire like the film’s poor Julie Dwyer did in mid-backstroke in the YMCA pool.

“I would love nothing more than to shoot at the Granite Run Mall,” Smith said, crushing the hearts of Minnesotans and “Mallrats” purists. “It’s gorgeous, it’s iconic, it looks exactly like what we need, and they’re getting rid of it. The only problem is they want to knock it down fairly soon, in September I think. We can’t do September because Jason Lee isn’t available until October, and he’s the lead.”

Not that Smith never considered a return to Eden Prairie. Smith said returning would be “would be a dream.” However, he said he financial backers would make them go “wherever we get the biggest tax break.” Making those backers sound like Mr. Svenning before he gobbled down that tainted chocolate covered pretzel.

Smith has said he is making the “Mallrats” sequel in tribute to his friend Jim Smith, who was a producer on the original who passed away last year. The big question will be if Ben Affleck will reprise his role as the sleazeball from Fashionable Male. Only time will tell.

So, it doesn’t look like Eden Prairie will have another go at film stardom in a Kevin Smith movie, for now at least.

Here Are A Bunch Of Grainy Photos Of Jared Leto’s Joker On Set Of ‘The Suicide Squad’

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joker 5

Kids these days don’t realize how good they have it. There was a time when people actually had to wait to see what the film adaptation of their favorite comic book characters looked like. Yes, waiting whole months for a photo to appear on TV or in a magazine to give them a glimpse of what was to come.

Of course, technology has changed everything. Anyone with a cell phone and a social media account can now unleash plot details and characters from films instantly. For filmmakers and people who hate spoilers, the world has turned into a cruel and unjust place.

Alas, more photos have leaked of Jared Leto’s take on The Joker. And the Internet exploded in a nerd rage due to the fact that those goofy tattoos where not simply just for a publicity photo, those tattoos are staying for the film. Though the rage at the idea of Joker having tattoos, and folks barely batting an eye at the fact these photos show the Clown Prince of Crime smacking his partner Harley Quinn like a pimp from a 70s-era exploitation film, is kind of messed up.

Also, for a character historically known to smile all the time, Leto’s Joker in these photos look like the Joker never smiles. Why so serious?, indeed Jared.

The scenes look like they are probably part of a flashback, due to the fact The Joker is not part of the Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn doesn’t look like someone ready to got to an Insane Clown Posse concert in these photos.

“Suicide Squad” is set for release in 2016 and also stars Will Smith as Deadshot.

Anyway, here are some of those photos:

joker

joker2 joker 4 joker 3

 

David Lynch Is Returning To ‘Twin Peaks’

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twinpeaks3

That favorite gum of ours apparently will be coming back into style after all, as David Lynch has announced he will return to Showtime’s revival of “Twin Peaks.” This is big news, considering he announced his departure from the project on Easter, claiming negotiations fell through with funding of his and co-creator Mark Frost’s scripts for a third season. A third season fans have been waiting 25 years for.

So what happened? At this point, that remains as much of a mystery as just what exactly happened to David Bowie’s character in the show’s film prequel. But it seems that the massive social media surge on Showtime’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, with the hashtags #SaveTwinPeaks and #NoLynchNoPeaks, may have had a hand in pressuring Showtime into funding the project up to Lynch’s standards, or at least got everyone negotiating again. According to the Official Twin Peaks cast run Facebook page, actress Sherilyn Fenn posted a message from Lynch claiming the social media onslaught helped bring things around.

TWIN PEAKS

There is more. According to TV Line: “Showtime president David Nevins followed that up with his own Twin Peaks-y statement, in which he announced that fans will be getting more than nine episodes now. ‘This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever,’ he said. ‘Totally worth the extra brewing time and the cup is even bigger than we expected. David will direct the whole thing which will total more than the originally announced nine hours. Pre production starts now!’”

So, there you have it. A Lynch-led “Twin Peaks” revival seems to be back on. Unless he leaves again, which could start this whole mess all over again in an endless, nightmarish loop, much like a David Lynch film.

 

‘Robble Robble, America:’ The Hamburglar Returns

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hamburglar

Caught in his insatiable thirst for stealing burgers, there are two entities out for the masked man known as the Hamburglar: The corporation known only as McDonald’s and his wife who just won’t stop hassling him, man. Because if sitcoms have taught us anything, it’s that broad stereotypes get the laughs exist.

Above is the first manifesto from this criminal whose goal in life is to disrupts our lunch hour. As we can see, he is on the run and his wife keeps calling him despite his obvious social cues that he wants to hang up the phone. “I’m actually at the Party Store,” he tells his significant other, spinning even further into his web of lies. What kind of monster sneaks out behind his wife’s back and steals hamburgers? And then lies about it to the mother of his children?

Yes, the whole clip is basically the Hamburglar being visibly annoyed by his wife, and trying to get off the phone with her. Because, again, broad stereotypes.

Also released is video of a Hamburglar not being bothered by the woman who chose to spend her life him, despite his dressing like this in public as a full-grown adult. In this video, we hear that he has returned for some limited edition burgers.

What this monster does next is anyone’s guess.

Not Even ‘The Fugitive’ Can Evade A Reboot

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milhouse

It seems like Harrison Ford’s acting past cannot outrun the long-arm of Hollywood’s reboot/sequel patrol. It already has “Star Wars” and “Blade Runner” in its custody; franchises that have brought/are bringing back an elderly, grumpy Ford to reprise roles he has made iconic. But now its on a manhunt for his character of Dr. Richard Kimble from “The Fugitive.” A manhunt in which no amount of running will deter the company in its quest, due to the fact this character once made them money.

According to Consequence of Sound, Warner Bros. is attempting to bring in “The Fugitive” for another installment. It began as a 60s TV series, and was remade into an award winning film in 1993 starring Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. They are bringing back producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson and has set Christina Hodson to write the script. They didn’t say if Ford and/or Jones will come back for the project. But if Ford does, we can probably assume he will mumble and mutter his way through a cameo.

‘The X-Files’ Will Return In January — Or Will It?

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Ever one to latch onto crazy ideas, Fox announced that the “X-Files” will be returning in January with a six-episode miniseries, which obviously aroused the skeptic in all of us.

“Fox, how are you sure this is for real,” we ask the network, promptly raising an eyebrow to show our skepticism. “This press release could mean anything.”

An exasperated Fox Network throws a pile of papers in the air and looks us all in the eye with a determination bordering on obsessive. “Come on America,” Fox yells. “The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Look, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have said they are on board. The show’s creator Chris Carter says it is happening. You have got to believe us!”

Yes, it was announced that the show will return in January, according to Deadline.com. The show, which followed two FBI agents who investigate the paranormal and get caught in a web of government conspiracies that aired between 1993 and 2002, will return for a limited run. The six-part series will debut after the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 24, and will take “Gotham’s” place on Monday nights (which will return in the Spring). All the principle actors are on board to return. Vince Gilligan, who wrote for the show, is not returning, so all of our “X-Files”-“Breaking Bad” crossover dreams will probably not happen.

McDonald’s Gives The Hamburglar A Gritty Reboot

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McDonalds-Hamburglar

For decades, a masked bandit in the McDonald’s world terrorized the denizens of a city under the watchful eye of Mayor McCheese. A stunningly indictment of the failed policies of the McCheese administration, this criminal with a inexplicably large head and a distended grin would steal hamburgers from poor souls wishing only to eat dinner, rarely to be caught and pay for his crimes. Known only as the Hamburglar, his chilling thievery was only topped by his catchphrase, a catchphrase that only added to the confusion to his true identity: “Robble, Robble.”

hamburglar

Since 2002, the Hamburglar has been silent. A silence that only adds to the chill of fear whenever one bites into a Big Mac, wondering if today is the day when this short boy-man will strike again and steal their lunch. Not even the Grimace, a creature that obviously cannot be stopped itself, could bring this maniac to justice.

Now he has returned. And McDonald’s has decided that the horrifying look of Ronald McDonald’s arch nemesis was not creepy enough. Taking a cue from Christopher Nolan’s dark take on Batman, the fast food chain decided to not only bring the Hamburglar back into the public conscience, but to make him even creepier by making him more human than mascot now. And give him some sort of origin story of domestic life that is cut short by his insatiable need to steal hamburgers.

See the striped apron? His handling of the spatula? The radio telling this tortured soul that the franchise has specialty burgers for only a limited time? An ad that obviously plays upon his dark desire to steal other people’s food? It seems like the Hamburglar will indeed rise again.

“We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he’s been out of the public eye all these years,” Joel Yashinsky, McDonald’s’ Vice President of U.S. Marketing and fast food’s answer to Frank Miller said in a statement to Mashable. “He’s had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time.”

And that look is indeed troubling. This new, adult Hamburglar, is darker. Sure, some of the old costume is still in play, but now his head is made of flesh and bone, and not plastic, with a five-O’clock shadow that shows he is no longer a punk kid criminal. No longer stealing burgers from the dollar menu, this Hamburglar is out for the premium stuff.

So in 2015, we may not get the Hamburglar we want, but the Hamburglar the franchise needs.

 

Lucasfilm Confirms/Threatens Another ‘Indiana Jones’ Movie

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indiana jones

There was a time when George Lucas was a brilliant young filmmaker, until the 1990s when CGI and an obsession to tinker with his past art seduced him to the dark side. It was a moment first felt in movie theaters in 1997 when millions of people shouted out in agony during the revision of “A New Hope” and suddenly went quiet — until they went home and got on the Internet. Then in an effort to destroy all the good he had contributed, he unleashed a prequel trilogy made up of wooden acting, endless trade negotiations and quasi-racist CGI characters.

But the real crime was when a belligerent Lucas decided that mucking up “Star Wars” was not enough. “No,” George might have thought. “Let’s set out to make my second best franchise a laughing stock. Let’s bring back Indiana Jones and — add space aliens to the mix!”  And he did, bypassing the brilliant third film’s title “Last Crusade” and adding Russians to replace the Nazis.  A Cold War-era “Indiana Jones” movie people really didn’t ask for because they had already been burned by Lucas with “Star Wars.”  He even tricked us by bringing Steven Spielberg back to the fold, a fold in which the directer even admitted he didn’t care much for the story.  A story he was directing. And like those prequels, “Crystal Skull” was met with groans — especially that refrigerator scene — that even furthered many opinions that Lucas now seemed to be a vehicle for really bad ideas. To be fair, that fridge scene was Spielberg’s idea — proving he too can have really bad ideas.

Now, in the wake of releasing Lucas of his franchise obligations, Lucasfilm has announced there will be another “Indiana Jones” sequel. They just do not know what the story will be, if Harrison Ford will reprise the role or be replaced by Chris Pratt and when exactly it will come out. It seems George Lucas did have a story in mind, but since he sold this and “Star Wars” to Disney, a company that pretty much didn’t use his ideas for the new sequel “Star Wars” films, what the new “Indiana Jones” will be is still up in the air. And considering Ford is in his 70s, who knows if he even will be interested in reprising this role.

I Went To The Wizard World Comic Con In Minneapolis

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eddie

Eddie McClintock (“Warehouse 13″), Gina and I at Wizard World Comic Con in Minneapolis.

Last year, my wife Gina and I went to the first-ever Wizard World Comic Con in Minneapolis. Because of how much of a blast it was, we decided to make this our yearly tradition — because families sometimes need traditions that are not wedding anniversaries or national holidays. No, this tradition speaks to the nerd in us, despite our conflicting nerdiness due to the fact I’m a Star Wars fan and she enjoys Star Trek — and not even the William Shatner Star Trek either. Like, that Next Gen and Voyageur stuff.

Here is the thing about Comic Con: It is a huge event. Like last year, we got the three-day passes. Three days may seem excessive, but it really isn’t. It allows us to pace ourselves instead of trying to rush everything into one day. You literally can see people who just go on a Saturday — the busiest day, I may add — flopped on the floor or draped over chairs, looking like how their cosplay costumes probably looked in their closet the day before, by 4 or 5 p.m. And the con goes until 8 p.m. And I don’t blame them because after a few hours, for me, it can get to be stimuli overload. Hence, spreading it out.

Last year for me was getting my feet wet. This year, I went in with a game plan for my three days. I mostly stuck to this plan, but made exceptions when needed. Here I will breakdown the three days of Comic Con.

Day One

ecto 1

Yeah, that’s right

My plan for Friday was to scope everything out, and know where I was going for the next two days or so. We showed up a little later than the year before — with the three-day passes we learned that there is no reason to rush. My plan was that since last year I did the photos with celebrities and cosplayers, this year I would focus on starting to seriously begin a nice library of comics — since I’m not a collector, I went in with an eye toward the paperback collections of books (the lazy man’s way to collect).

* We got free “Walking Dead” comics for buying our tickets. That’s a nice start.

* Right away I saw the Ecto 1 from “Ghostbusters.” My wife and I promptly got our photos taken with it.

* Within 10-minutes I bought a Batman collection I had wanted. I realized I kinda suck at not impulsively buying stuff when it is on sale for cheap.

* Gina got her photo taken in the Batmobile.

* Saw a “Mortal Kombat X” competition, thought about joining, but realized I didn’t want to publicly lose a video game to a kid half my age.

The collection from day one

The collection from day one

Day Two

Day two we went with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. He was on a mission to find some original Frank Miller Daredevil comics, not a cheap mission. My mission was to pace myself and not go and buy something right away. I need to learn to control the urge to not haggle and not just buy stuff when I happen to have cash on me. I made a modest budget for myself (an impressive $25). This was the long day too, we were there at 10 a.m. because the three of them were doing photos with an actor from the “Stargate” TV show.

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Mallrats

* Within 10-minutes I bought “The Watchmen” collection and “Walking Dead Vol. 1.” That was all the money I budgeted to spend on comics.

* Gina and I got our photo taken with Jason Mewes, from the Kevin Smith movies. Dude hasn’t aged in 20 years.

* Gina got her photo taken with Gillian Anderson, from “The X-Files.”

* I ran into two friends I use to work with in St. Cloud randomly. One I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years.

* Ran into an old friend from Worthington.

* Got my photo taken with cosplayers dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Cobra villains from “G.I. Joe.”

* While in line for Mewes, I saw Lance Reddick from “The Wire” at his booth. I stopped myself from going over there and bothering him with questions about “The Wire.”

* Met up with an old friend from college.

Day Three

Day three was short. We were pretty burned out at this point. Last year, there was deals everywhere because not many people were around. Not so much this year, as it was still insanely busy the final day.

* Got our picture taken with Eddie McClintock from “Warehouse 13.” Dude was really cool and showed me an autographed vinyl of “Dark Side of the Moon” he had bought that day. I was very, very jealous.

Then we left. It was a blast, once again. My comic collection grew from two to five now. It was a little more fun knowing more going in this year, and we are looking forward to next year.

I was jealous

I was jealous

cobra

Cobra

stay puft

Stay Puft

sailer moon

sailer moon

powder toast man

powder toast man

xena

xena

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