Clichemageddon 4: The Victors

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Way back in May 2012, when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes seemed inseparable and Taylor Kitsch’s career seemed bright, Overthinking It announced our 4th annual summer movie cliche contest. The challenge: fill in the blanks to create taglines for 11 different genres. The prize: nothing. The judging criteria: unclear. Dozens of you participated for some reason.

Some of you have noticed that it’s been seven months, and we still haven’t announced the winners.

Well, that’s because of something else that happened in May 2012: G.I. Joe: Retaliation was pushed back from a June release to a March 2013 release, which is a hell of a delay for a $185 million movie with an expensive marketing campaign already underway. The reason? They wanted to convert the thing to 3D, and also to shoehorn in more Channing Tatum.

This is such a good idea it makes me want to punch myself in the face.

There is nothing in this world that cannot be improved by making it 3D and adding Channing Tatum. Do you like ice cream sundaes? How about Channing Tatum flinging an ice cream sundae right at your face? Was the birth of your child a miraculous event? What if your child was Channing Tatum, and he was flying out of your wife’s birth canal at 48 frames per second? You got a nice refund on your income taxes? What if you got that return in $1 bills, presented to you tucked into Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike g-string?

So we’ve spent the last seven months negotiating with his team of agents, managers, and waxers, and we’re now pleased to bring to Clichemageddon 4: The Victors, now with 27% more Tatum and a hasty conversion to 3D.

KINDLY PUT ON YOUR 3D GLASSES

channing-tatum-1

What’s up, bro-dawgs? It’s me, the Chan-Man.

Me and Matthew McConaughey are on his sweet-ass yacht, and I’m dictating this to my personal assistant Petey while I’m wrestling with a righteous swordfish. Guess how many shirts we’re wearing? Dude, I haven’t even seen a shirt in four days.

Anyway, here’s how this is going to work: first this guy Matt is going to announce the winners, and then I’ll let you guys know what the C-note thinks.

This is for Maxim, right?

 

Category #1: Superhero Movie

First off, this entry by Chris gave me a sad: “He’s the hero we are stuck with. Not the hero we fell in love with and married all those years ago.” It’s like The Incredibles meets Revolutionary Road.

Because I was born before 1995, I heartily endorse this one by DFFF: “He’s the hero we thought was played by Tobey Maguire. Not the hero we saw in The Social Network.”

For its sheer plausibility as an actual tagline for an offbeat superhero comedy, I liked this one by Cat: “He’s the hero we settled for. Not the hero we tried to contact first.”

But for the winner, I think it has to be this one by Mark: “He’s the hero we will have deserved. Not the hero we had been going to need. James Franco is The Conjugator.” I can pretty much see James Franco starring in this Funny Or Die sketch. “Help us Conjugator, the bomb is going to explode in 10 seconds!” “Don’t you mean the bomb was going to explode in 10 seconds?” They look at the bomb. “Hooray!”

channing-tatum-2Wait, that’s the winner?

Run that by me again, Petey?

What kind of a contest is this, anyway? Bro?

I got to say, if that’s the winner, than you must not have had a lot of entries. Here, I’ll fix it for you. “He’s the hero we deserve. Not the hero we need.” That makes a lot more sense. You’re welcome.

Beer me.

 

Category #2: Aliens Attack the Earth

Runner up goes to Chris: “Here’s the projection for 24 hours. This is 48. And within 72 hours, we will be drowned in Mountain Dew. Mr. President, I suggest we go to Code Red.”

And once again, because of its plausibility as an actual line in a Zuckeresque comedy, Runner Up goes to John H: “Here’s the projection for 24 hours. This is 48. And within 72 hours, all of the major U.S. cities will be destroyed. Mr. President, I suggest we go to Code Yellow, because I already have.”

But the winner is definitely Rob: “Here’s the projection for 24 hours. This is 48. And within 72 hours, I won’t love myself anymore. Mr. President, I suggest we go to Codependency.” It’s not only clever, but it conjures up some American President-style plotline about a White House analyst who falls in love with the President, and can only express herself via Powerpoint presentations.

channing-tatum-3Dude, honestly, how could you not pick the Code Yellow one. You had gold right there!

Let me break it down for you. The guy’s scared, right? Cities are being pounded like Auburn when they play Alabama (roll tide!!). We’re talking major freaking carnage, hardcore rated-R action. Then he mentions Code Yellow, and the audience is like, “What’s that? Nuclear counterstrike? Tactical assault team?” And then BOOM, right hook of comic fury!

Sure, it will take the audience a little while to get it, but when they get it they’re going to go ape. APE.

Petey, get Mark Wahlberg on the phone! I have a hilarious line to run by him. No, not THAT phone. The Sidekick. Matches my Raybans.

 

Category #3: Heist Movie

Second runner up is S: “If we’re going to pull this off, we’re going to need grit, determination, and most importantly, a whole lotta lube.” Who doesn’t want to see this movie? In all seriousness, I had flashbacks to the episode of The Simpsons where Santa’s Little Helper gets stuck in the air ducts and Groundkeeper Willie has to grease himself up to go in there.

First runner up is Cat: “If we’re going to pull this off, we’re going to need heart, determination, and most importantly, a team of highly skilled professionals with an arsenal of advanced technology.”

And the winner is Rob: “If we’re going to pull this off, we’re going to need a deus, an ex, and most importantly, a machina.” I’m imagining a Greek God, a disgruntled-looking girl, and a tricked-out Lamborghini.

channing-tatum-4Listen Bro-sephus, a little free advice. You know how the computer puts a red squiggle underneath certain words? It’s because those words are spelled not good, okay? It’s supposed to be “deuce” and “machine.” I guess “ex” is correct, but who wants to think about them, right? I mean, maybe when you’re alone and you’ve got an hour to kill before you have to be on set…

Speaking of which, whoever wrote the lube one needs to call my agent pronto. You feel me bro?

 

Category #4: Nicholas Sparks Adaptation

So guys, which is more disturbing? This one by Chris: “I’ve loved you ever since the day you let me pay for my heroin with sex.” Or this one by Stratton: “I’ve loved you ever since the day you killed my wife and put on her skin, hoping I wouldn’t notice.” Both of you should be writing for SVU – bravo.

But the winner is Timothy Swann, who took the Nicholas Sparks thing very seriously. “I’ve loved you ever since the day you jumped off that boat chasing the love letter you wrote to remind me of that time we kissed in the rain even though I told you we were too different to fall in love after I nursed you back to health when your fall from your horse gave you temporary amnesia. Want to go walk along the beach?”

channing-tatum-5A lot of people assume Nicky spends his free time collecting sea shells and weeping to himself. So not true. We were on break from Dear John and Nicky rents a car to drive us out to Vegas, shotgunning Natty Light all the way. Hits the Bunny Ranch on the way into town. And when I say “hits,” I mean hits with his car on the way into the parking lot. Wins like 15 grand at craps, spends it all filling up a bathtub at the Bellagio with Johnny Walker just to hear the sound it made as it went down the drain. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember that Amanda Seyfreid had to flash the cops at the station house before they’d let us out of lockup the next morning.

Good girl, Amanda. Real smart, professional as hell, freakishly large forehead. Like a sexy Easter Island head.

Petey, go watch Le Miz, tell me how she was.

 

Category #5: Happy Madison Comedy

I like this one by Marc a lot: “Al Pacino had life all figured out. That’s when he was cast in a movie where Adam Sandler played a woman and Al had to pretend to find her attractive. [RECORD SCRATCH!] [Cut to picture of Adam Sandler wearing a dress and a wig playing Jill.]” I’m imagining a meta Adaptation-style comedy about what it’s like to be caught in the soulless Adam Sandler hit machine.  Wait, that was Funny People, right?

Because I’ve been known to waste a few hours as a Medic, just to feel needed, this one by Stratton gets Runner Up: “Heavy Weapons Guy had life all figured out. That’s when Scout decided to hit him with a bat. [RECORD SCRATCH!] [Cut to picture of Adam Sandler wearing a baseball cap, dog tags, and finger gloves.]”

And in honor of Overthinker and biochemist Dr. David Shechner, this one by Rob gets top honors: “Rosalind Franklin had life all figured out. That’s when Jim Watson decided to deny her authorship. [Record scratch!] [Cut to picture of Adam Sandler wearing a Nobel medal.]” Not only did you do something cute with the “had life all figured out” part, but I can imagine a movie where Rosalind and Jim use their amazing biochemistry skills to play hilarious and mutagenic pranks on each other.

channing-tatum-6The Nobel Peace Prize is pretty good, I guess. Morgan Freeman won that, right?

But hey, y’all hear that I’m People’s Sexiest Man alive? Woo hoo! Just like road-dog McConaughey over there, grilling those sweet sweet brats! Once you factor in those Costa Rican models we’ve got downstairs, this yacht is probably the sexist place on Earth.

Yo Petey, you’re bringing our average down! At least take your shirt off or something!

Ha ha, I’m kidding, don’t do that. Honestly, I don’t know how you can spent all day stacking up Vitamin Waters in my garage and still not have a six pack. Beer me.

 

Category #6: Middlebrow Rom-Com

I have no idea what is going on here in this one by Stratton, but I want to find out: “Sometimes love is in the same place you left your keys. [Cut to BEN AFFLECK frantically searching the living room of his expensive apartment. JENNIFER ANISTON pops up from under the couch cushions with a set of keys and a smug smile.] Search for loose change, and find a quirky romantic adventure, in BETWEEN THE CUSHIONS.”

But I believe the winner is by DFFF: “Sometimes love is the fireplace you liked so much when you first bought the apartment but never end up using. The Fireplace II: Rekindle The Flame.” There’s something so gloriously bland about this. Also, what was The Fireplace 1 about? We already know they haven’t used the fireplace in the apartment, so perhaps there was another fireplace earlier in their relationship, that brought them together. Come to think of it, what kind of apartment has a working fireplace?

channing-tatum-7Right now I’m going to say something and it’s going to seem like I’m making a pun, but I am being goddamned serious.

I look hot in front of a fire.

You put me in front of that fireplace shirtless, give me some sort of rug to lie on, and I can pretty much guarentee that every woman in America is going to be there on opening night. That’s trailer magic there.

And if my agent can stop polishing his Beamer long enough to get Anne Hathaway on the phone like I keep asking, that fireplace scene is going to be in the all-time Spank Bank Hall of Fame, right up there with Basic Instinct.

Yes, I honestly think I can play in that league. You get me that fireplace and Anne Hathaway, and I will finally wipe that dreamy smile off Ryan Gosling’s face.

 

Category #7: Apatovian Bromance

James summed up the sentiment of many entries with: “This Summer: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan both phone it in for each other.” The thing is, I like both those guys quite a bit, but there’s no denying the idea of them in a movie together provokes a weary sigh.

I was intrigued by: “This Summer: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen give kidneys for each other.” I’m imagining a “Gift of the Magi” type story in which both men have one failing kidney, and they both secretly arrange to donate their one working kidney to the other, knowing that it will kill them but allow their friend to live a long, full life. That would be a bromance written by Nicholas Sparks.

But the winner managed to provide a believable premise and simultaneously explain why said premise would be tiresome: “Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen are two totally distinct white, middle-aged, out of date, slightly Jewish, quirky, most-likely stoned, lovable goofball protagonists who switch places to implausibly get the girl for each other.” Yup. The problem is they tend to play the same dude, again and again. (Actually, that’s not quite fair. I liked Seth Rogen in Observe and Report, in which he went to weird unsettling places. Check it out.)

channing-tatum-8One time on the set of 21 Jump Street, Seth and Paul dropped by to visit. So we all got to playing Madden, and then we start talking about how we should drive over to Steve Carell’s house and prank him good. They want me to dress up like a male stripper, do a little candygram dance, and I am so down with it. Once a dancer, always a dancer, and I’m already wearing my best thong under my cargo shorts.

So we sneak up his driveway, they hide in the bushes, I strip down to my lucky thong and ring the doorbell. Then his ten-year-old daughter answers the door. And that’s why I’m not legally allowed to visit schools anymore.

Anyway, I hate this tagline. Next.

 

Category #8: Inevitable Bridesmaids Clone

First off, Timothy Swann captures the essence of it with “They’re funny. They’re offended that you’ll be surprised by the next sentence. And they’re ladies!”

I love me some puns (see The Spider-House Rules) so I give Runner Up to DFFF’s entry: “They’re armed and dangerous. They’re dressed for aerobics. And they’re ladies! The Spandexpendables.”

And the winner is the grandma of OTI commenters, Gab, who delivered a whole elevator pitch: “They’re high. They’re fly. And they’re ladies! The Doobie Sisters. Three female pot-heads embark on a journey of self-discovery together while trying to find a necklace that their dead companion had pawned off for some pot money a while back, the goal being putting it on her body at the open casket funeral.” This is actually a very solid pitch. Hollywood loves to make bittersweet chick flicks about old friends reunited by a weepy death. Oooh, maybe one of them can reveal that she’s pregnant in the second act, then name the baby after the dead friend! Also, somebody has sex in and/or hotboxes a coffin.

channing-tatum-10Petey, when’s the last time I was in a handcore chick flick?

You damn well know what kind of “chick flick” I’m talking about.

Oh yeah, me and McAdams in The Vow! But it might be good for me to do a sensitive guy thing again. Maybe I can cook in this Doobie Sisters thing. Women love it when I cook onscreen. Next year I’m doing a whole calendar of me cooking stuff with my shirt off.

Speaking of, Matty boy! Brat me, bro!

 

Category #9: Weekend at Bernie’s Clone

DFFF wins the coveted Golden Goatse Award for the most disturbing entry in the whole contest: “One corpse. One group of unfortunate hostages being stapled to it ass to mouth. And a whooooole lot of laughs! National Lampoon’s Human Centipede.”

As for the winner, this one by Dr. Demento was an easy call: “One corpse. One corpse. Two corpse. Three corpse. Five corpse. And a whooooole lot of laughs! The FibiNazi Sequence.” This is just awesome. It combines zombie Nazis with math.

channing-tatum-9Okay, I get that zombies are hot. To be perfectly honest, there’s a good chance we stick some zombies in 21 Jump Street 2. But Nazis? They’re a little played out. Sure, Tarantino did it, but he’s Tarantino. I guess we could play up the cheese, maybe toss Jonah in there as a scientist working on a cure. Hold the freaking phone. Petey, get me the rights to Wolfenstein 3D, pronTISimo, bro-misimo!

Wait, somebody already did it? Oh hells no, give me the Sidekick.

Roger? It’s Channing. No, not Stockard Channing. I’m a man, bro!

No, she’s not my mom. Yes, I get that all the freaking time.

 

Category #10: Twee Auteurish Unclassifiable Movie

I like this one by RebelPoet a lot: “I know we’re not the main protagonists, and essentially disposable. But I don’t care. I’m going to check out the abandoned doll factory overlooking the Indian burial ground.”

Runner up goes to Marc: “I know we’re only spoiled white twenty somethings. But I don’t care. I’m going to keep pretending everything about my life is unique, dramatic and poignant. Poignant, damn it!”

And the winner was by Cat. It was along the same lines as Marc, but more specific: “I know we’re only waifish, maladjusted, socially awkward teenagers. But I don’t care. I’m going to travel across the country cataloguing tea houses.” Can they maybe do it in a motorcycle with a sidecar?

channing-tatum-11I gotta say, I don’t see a part for me in this one. Maybe I could run a tea house? Maybe the Yakuza are using the tea house to launder their drug money flowing out of L.A.?

Wait! Petey, have I hooked up with an Asian chick yet? Onscreen, obviously – I’ve got two Asian chicks in the hot tub right now. Hey Matthew, save one for me! Okay, I’m undercover trying to bust the triads wide open, she’s the daughter of a mob boss, I want to see headshots and measurements of all the cover models from Teen People Japan in 30 minutes. I’ll be in the hot tub, or possibly having sex.

 

Category #11: Every Summer Movie Ever

The Golden Well Actually Award goes to S: “Many years ago, there was a prophesy that people would learn to spell the word ‘prophecy’ correctly. Now, all the signs say it’s coming true. You have a great gift. Use it for humor, not for pedantry.” S is absolutely right. A “prophecy” is what you produce when you “prophesy.” Well done!

Runner up goes to Dr. Demento for this one: “Many years ago, there was a prophesy that one man would have the sexiest voice of all time. Now, all the signs say it’s coming true. You have a great gift. Use it for getting laid, not for narrating trailers, trust me on this one.” I like it because it could totally work as a real movie. Has there ever been a comedy about rival voiceover actors? Maybe starring Will Ferrell? Who’s a young comedian who can do silly voices?

Finally, the winner is Lexicon, who submitted this as the final entry before we closed the comments. It’s funnier if you imagine Strongbad saying it: “Many years ago, there was a prophesy that said something but we were drunk at the time. Now all the signs say it’s coming true, we think. You have a great gift or was it the other kid, never mind. Use it for… something, I think it’s to do with… fire or water, some element anyway. Not for making the bad thing happen. Again not sure what the bad thing is… maybe the bad thing is fire. Here’s an old blunt sword and this weird scroll that’s important for some reason. Now, off you go.”

channing-tatum-12Sounds epic, man. You just know that sword is going to shoot laser beams or something, and the scroll is probably like super important. Maybe it shoots laser beams too.

You bros know that I screen tested for The Hobbit? I fly down to New Zealand banging two stewardesses for good luck, and drink a whole case of Red Bull on the cab ride over. I am pumped and ready to just act the crap out of that script. Then they bring in this guy Andy Serkis. He’s wearing a blue suit, and they tell me he’s supposed to be Gollum. Well dudes, he doesn’t look anything like Gollum. Gollum’s not supposed to be blue – I’m not an idiot. So then the blue dude starts asking me these riddles. The script says I’m supposed to be scared, but it’s hard to be scared of a dude in a unitard. So instead of sticking to the lines, I just go with the moment and start whaling on him. I may have broken Andy Serkis’s nose, but that’s just part of acting, right? I even invited him to go heli-skiing afterwards, but I think he had to go play cricket or whatever they do in New Zealand.

Anyway, I didn’t get the part, but I did shred some righteous powder.

 

Thanks to everyone who entered, and special thanks to guest commentator Channing Tatum, who is going to be a dad!

7 Comments on “Clichemageddon 4: The Victors”

  1. Lee #

    I’d just like to say for the record that, in spite of the fun we are having at his expense, I think that Channing Tatum is a fine actor and makes the occasional good movie. His performance in Magic Mike was, well, magical.

     
    • Matthew Belinkie #

      Oh yeah, I guess I could see how you might get the wrong impression, but I think Channing Tatum is great. He does action, he does comedy, he does romance, and supposedly he’s a real down-to-earth guy. Like Tom Hanks with gluts.

       
  2. Dan Harris #

    “Petey, go watch Le Miz, tell me how she was.”

    Beautiful. I love C-Tat, as people should be calling him.

     
  3. Mike Chan #

    Sorry guys, but there can be only one Chan Man.

     
    • The Discuss List #

      The Chan Man I know was much more of a Stud than Mr. Tatum could ever be.

       
  4. Gab #

    Kids these days… ;p