Is there anything you expected less that “CHiPs: The Movie?” (Well, maybe “Heathers: The Musical.”) CHiPs was a family-friendly police drama that ran six seasons from 1977 to 1983. It starred two - well, they weren’t entirely unknown actors - as California Highway Patrol officers keeping the paved jungles of Los Angeles safe.
Erik Estrada played the colorful character of - and this is a mouthful - Officer Francis ("Frank") Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello, while Larry Wilcox played the straight-laced Officer Jonathan ("Jon") Andrew Baker.
I’m not totally shocked that Dax Shepard was inspired to find big-screen material here. The 42-year-old actor would have been pretty young to have enjoyed the series during its first run on TV, but Shepard is a longtime fan of facing motorcycles and rebuilding classic cars. He’d be the perfect CHiPs fan.
The R-rated movie, which opens Friday, March 24, will certainly be a huge departure from the TV show, in which the two dutiful officers reportedly never pulled their weapons or fired a gun. (My guess is that streak ends 2 minutes into the movie.)
Here are five more things you probably didn’t know about the original CHiPs series, according to IMDB.com: …
Abe Froman may be the sausage king of Chicago. But Domino's Pizza is now the king of TV commercials, thanks to this Ferris Bueller tribute/TV ad spot.
You'll probably notice that it's Alan Ruck ("Cameron") as the driver in the Audi (taking over the role of Ferris' dad). But can you name the actor playing Ferris? That's Joe Keery, aka "Steve" from the Netflix series Stranger Things. Nice, Domino's. Nice.
After a white-hot career in the movies during the ‘80s - yes, even Youngblood - Rob Lowe has been more than paying the monthly gas bill with amazing TV performances for the last few decades. The West Wing, Dr. Vegas, Parks and Recreation, The Grinder, Code Black. So it’s no shocker that he’s planning a new series soon on the A&E Network. It’s just the subject that’s so odd.
Tulsaworld.com, of all places, just reported that Lowe will star alongside his two sons in a 9-episode series called The Lowe Files. The nonfiction show will follow the Lowes (Rob, Matthew and John Owen) as they travel the country to explore strange and unsolved mysteries.
"Since I was a kid, I’ve loved unexplained legends, strange phenomena and the scary, supernatural stories told around campfires," Lowe said in a press release. "When I became a father, I shared those tales with my two sons. Together, we bonded over Bigfoot, UFOs and every creepy and bizarre story we could find, passionately debating if they were real — or not. And we swore that someday the three of us would go on our own adventure to find out."
No word on a premiere date for The Lowe Files, which Lowe will also produce. …
We haven’t played Monopoly in years, but that might have to change soon. Queen guitarist Brian May has revealed there’s a new Queen Monopoly game in the works. The board game should be available in May.
"We've been very secretly developing Queen Monopoly for over a year. And it's due in a shop near you in May," May wrote on his official website. "I'm excited – it was a blast working on it – like making an album! We hope you love it!"
According to Rollingstone.com, the Queen Monopoly game differs from the regular version in that the goal is not to become a real estate icon, rather the game allows fans to build up the band’s career while avoiding the traditional Monopoly pitfalls of “taxes, jail and bankruptcy.” Talk about being "under pressure," but if you "want it all" you risk being the next player to "bite the dust." (Sorry, the puns were unavoidable.)
Even the player tokens for the Queen version are custom and include the robot from News of the World, a bike for Bicycle Race, the vacuum cleaner from I Want To Break Free, the hammer from Hammer to Fall and, of course, May’s guitar. (What, no "fat-bottomed girl" token?)
Think the ‘80s nostalgia movement is nearing its end. Not even close, bud. Deadline.com reports that Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck) will soon be producing a drama for FX that is set in our favorite decade.
Set in 1986, the TV series will be called Pose and it will be focused on “the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York City: the emergence of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world,” Deadline reports.
Casting has only just begun so no names are attached yet, but the show is aiming for “new and unknown performers.” Pose is scheduled for a 2018 premiere.
Pose would join other recent ‘80s-centric shows on TV including Stranger Things, The Americans, The Goldbergs, Red Oaks, This Is Us and Halt and Catch Fire.
Maybe Adam Ant is considering buying a home in Florida? (He did recently live anonymously in rural Tennessee.) His newly announced “Anthems: The Singles Tour” begins with four stops in Florida (including a Sept. 8 date at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre) and then ventures forth to the Northeast before wrapping up in Los Angeles.
This will be the first full tour following the death of his guitarist Tom Edwards. We can assume by the tour’s title that this road trip will revisit Adam’s biggest hits with such tunes as Strip, Goody Two Shoes, Apollo 9 and Stand and Deliver. Recent Ant tours have focused more on celebrating a single album title.
VIP presale tickets are available on March 21 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be on sale to the general public on March 24 at 10 am local time. Watch for special presale opportunities through Spotify on March 23 from 10 am to 10 pm. Password: ANTHEMS.
ADAM ANT 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Sept. 6: Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sept. 8: Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, FL
Sept. 9: The Beacham Theatre, Orlando, FL
Sept. 10: Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Jacksonville, FL
Even in the '80s, we loved brackets. And so it's time to vote for Round 2 in our ongoing National Eighties Tournament. The topic this year: The best movie villain of the '80s. We've tabulated the results of Round 1 and so get ready to vote again in Round 2.
We're happy to see Gordon Gekko made it into the Sour Sixteen. Even though he basically becomes a good guy in Wall Street 2, don't forget what an SOB he was in the original flick.
Hollywood doesn't normally release its best work in the month of March. But 1987 could have been an exception. Raising Arizona and Lethal Weapon both debuted that month 30 years ago. But so did some other unremembered gems.
In this week's podcast, we take a look at two different flicks that you either loved, hated or didn't see at all: Blind Date and Tin Men. You decide if we're crazy or not.
Also, we debut a new seggie this week: "I Want My MTV Theme Song." Yes, it needs a new title. But we hope you enjoy it anyway.
On Sunday mornings, I like to eat turkey bacon, listen to Peter Gabriel concert clips and search the Internet for Star Wars clips. Today is like the Fourth of July and Boxing Day all rolled into you: Behold the "BBC Dad" and Star Wars mashup that the world needs now more than ever.
Give Back to the Future all the credit in the world. When the world heard on Saturday night that the great Chuck Berryhad passed away at age 90, all the messages from '80s fans on Facebook read: "Marvin Berry's cousin just died."
And why not? It was Marvin Berry and the Starlighters played the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance on Nov. 12, 1955. And with the help of some kid named after underwear, they helped invent rock 'n' roll. Well, with the help of his cousin Chuck.
Harry Waters Jr. played the part of Marvin Berry in Back to the Future. (The role also appears in Back to the Future Part II.) Prior to the movie, Waters had played bit roles in Laverne & Shirley, Matt Houston and Cagney & Lacey. He would go on to play roles in Death Warrant and TV's Adventures in Wonderland.
Michael J. Fox, of course, didn't do the actual singing on Johnny B. Goode. That was handled by Mark Campbell, who also appears in the 1985 movie Tuff Turf as a member of Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. …
I confess: I fell in love with this coffee table the moment I first saw it. This mix-tape replica is called a "Tayble" and it's real and yes, you can buy one.
Well, more or less. Right now, the original "A-Side" Taybles are for sale online, where they start for $1,699. A respectable price when you consider it has LED lights with a rechargeable lithium battler, birch hardwood construction, stainless steel cupholders and a specially designed vinyl label that is sealed and protected with a clear epoxy coating so that you can use a dry erase marker on it.
But Taybles is also pre-selling a "B-Side" version with fewer frills that starts at $250. You have to go through their Kickstarter campaign to make that happen. I've already pledged my bucks for my own version. The Spears Lair must have this coffee table.
Eddie Murphy could be penning a sequel to 1988’s Coming to America. That’s a great idea, in the sense that Coming to America remains one of his under-appreciated gems. It’s a very very bad idea, in that Murphy and Hollywood (individually and together) don’t have the best record when it comes to sequels.
So you see, my dear ‘80s fans, there is a very fine line between love and nausea.
The UK’s Daily Mail reports that Murphy tweeted a photo of actress Vanessa Bell Calloway dressed as “Princess Imani Izzi” from the movie with the comment: “Coming to America sequel?”
The tweet has since been deleted, but TMZ says friends close to Murphy say the comedian is indeed in the “early writing stages” of a sequel.
It’s been nearly 30 years now - gasp! - since the original flick, which left us with Prince Akeem marrying Lisa McDowell. There are so many potential storylines to pursue. For example:
- Akeem could finally ascend the throne when his father King Jaffe Joffer retires.
- The children of Akeem and Lisa could be due for their own marriages.
- Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate reunites for a Grammy performance. …
Back in 1987, Bruce Willis, Kim Basinger and John Larroquette were just beginning their hikes into stardom.
Willis was in the first few seasons of Moonlighting, and Die Hard was just a year away from theaters. For Larroquette, he was tearing up the small screen as “Dan Fielding” on TV’s Night Court. Basinger had caught movie-goers attention with Never Say Never Again, The Natural and 9 1/2 Weeks.
And then came Blind Date, a movie that was not so ironically just like an actual blind date: How it was depended on whom you asked.
The movie - directed by Blake Edwards - followed Ted (Willis) and Nadia (Basinger), who are set up on a blind date by relatives. Ted is warned that letting Nadia drink will be a big mistake, and so of course he immediately grabs a bottle of wine for the evening. And things get really uncomfortable when Nadia’s ex-boyfriend (Larroquette) begins stalking them all night. You probably can guess the rest.
Blind Date’s script, it turns out, was rewritten so many times that even the original author disavowed the movie by the time it reached theaters. …
The Eagles crowed about never performing again after the death of Glenn Frey, but they’ve changed their minds already. The Eagles will joinFleetwood Mac, Journey, Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire and The Doobie Brothers for a pair of music festivals this summer.
The Classic East and Classic West are two-day festivals to be help July 15-16 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and July 29-30 at Citi Field in New York.
Deacon Frey, Glenn’s 22-year-old son, is rumored to be the replacement for the Eagles, according to NME.com.
“The band are still dealing with the issue of replacing Glenn and have secretly held talks with some performers, but they are also discussing the possibility of sharing his duties between them,” a source told the website.
Not that Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who finds himself being punched out on camera these days, needs any more enemies, but he has them now in the form of Depeche Mode.
That’s right, Spencer, you’re gonna want your own personal Jesus after you hear what Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan and the boys think about you.
Well, actually I can’t print what they called you in a family-friendly blog. Those Brits can be a little cheeky with their profanities. (Just google it if you’re really interested.)
It appears the trouble started back in late February when Spencer declared that “Depeche Mode is the official band of the alt-right.” Whether Spencer was kidding or not, the band felt the need to set the record straight.
“That’s pretty ridiculous. Depeche Mode has no ties to Richard Spencer or the alt right and does not support the alt-right movement,” a band rep told Esquire.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.