This was back when Lance Bass was in the closet, or at least, if you pay no attention to celebrity news. Also, Justin Timberlake, while still making terrible music, hadn’t yet claimed the title of King of Pop, nor banged his way through America’s celebrity date wishlist. Also, I have newfound respect for whichever New Kid it was who appeared in that Boston spoof of “Mad Men.”
‘N Sync to Return to Mothership
Attempt to soak up cosmic rays, rejuvenate fading star power
by Brendan and no Bravestarr characters this time
One thing you have to say about the Bush administration’s Star Wars defense plan; it may not stop the Russians from launching nuclear missiles into space, but it does stop them from launching evil monsters.
From Critters to Leprechaun to Ernest, the fourth installment of any horror series features the star going to space. And since there’s nothing more horrific than mass-manufactured pop music, ‘N Sync decided the best way to celebrate the release of their fourth album would be to send one of their own into orbit.
The obvious choice for this role was Lance Bass (real name: Hershel Glockenspiel), whose facial expression testifies to his ability to survive in a vacuum. Like any good millionaire, Lance decided to bribe a government into letting him do stuff the rest of us aren’t allowed to do.
Lance planned to buy the entire nation of Russia a sandwich in exchange for a ride on a space launch, but he was canned from doing so by somebody who realized that if a teeny bopper were to ascend Olympus, the gods would smite us all in anger. Except me, because I’m wearing rubber-soled Converse All-Stars. Eat it, tricks.
But that didn’t stop the members of ‘N Sync from taking to the stars, as they conned their way into Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, pissing off geeks everywhere by getting chicks and a part in a Star Wars movie. The geeks, who took this as a personal insult, immediately circulated a batch of rumors, from ‘N Sync asking to be in the movie (is that all it takes?) to George Lucas’ daughters assuming casting duty.
I don’t know why the geeks are so testy. The movie is called Attack of the Clones. That’s better than any title I can come up with for an ‘N Sync movie. It’s also better than the one they actually made. It was called “ABOVE THE LINE” or “BEHIND THE RIM” or something that sounds vaguely like it might be either porn or sports. You may have seen it if you were driving down the street next to the truck delivering the film canisters. I don’t know of any theater that showed it. It starred Lance “Jar Jar” Bass and one other one…Ginger or The Professor. I’m not sure either, cause it was the completely-ignored Normal One.
Every boy band has some combination of The Cute One, The Plain One, The Ucking Fugly One, The Freak, The Child Molestor, The Party Boy, The Baby Faced One, The One That Wishes He Were Badass, and The One That Looks Like a Damn Girl. To put this another way: New Kids on the Block. If I understand this correctly, it breaks down as follows:
Our boy Lance looks like the Child Molestor, and he would be the Baby Faced One, except his boss is this horrible tow-headed accident:
Look real good, because I want you to understand; chicks want this guy. And not because he may be likeable after he’s done pissing off 100 million Americans by infecting the radio with yet another “Girl You Are My Forever One” virus. No, they want him in a raw, animal, sex trophy kind of way. This is the way boy bands and their girl audiences have always been, and is explainable. But it in no way explains the fact that Britney Spears, who could conceivably bed The Pope, has opted to date Dennis the Menace here.
And don’t tell me it’s because he’s a nice guy. Nice or not, if you were Barbie Incarnate, would you hang out with a guy as doofy as this?
Of course you wouldn’t. You know why? It would just embarass you, and I don’t care if Britney Spears wears leather pants to bed; NOBODY is enough of a rock star to balance out that. Look at Lenny Kravitz. He’s so mysterious he doesn’t even need to write lyrics; he just has junior high school students send him their notebook scratchings, and a few power chords later we get to hear “I wish that I could fly so very high into the sky.” And you know what? Not even he could be seen in public with this guy. Look again:
This is the kind of face that halts orgies. My only guess is he’s so cruelly handsome, he hides his true visage from all humanity. Because otherwise the only things he had going for him were money and fame, and Britney Spears doesn’t have to split that with four other guys who have to wear name tags to be identifiable. If you can still believe she’d date him, try to imagine that face hovering over you, twisted in orgasm. Riiiight.
George Lucas is the man who brought you Jar Jar Binks, Howard the Duck, and the entirely fuct Star Wars storyline in the first place, so it’s not weird that he’d bother putting ‘N Sync in his already half-loopy trilogy.
Star Wars is great if you don’t ask more from it than bad-ass villains and exploding space stations, but the rest of it’s just a bunch of fucking cavemen beating the crap out of robots. Which is kind of like spending 600 million dollars to produce five Pauly Shore movies, each one of which has him shaming a different Pulitzer Prize winner with his superior blend of “I’m a spoiled fuck from California” comedy. Except to get you to pay for it, there are laser beams. And you do.
So between the laser beams and ‘N Sync setting up permanent residence, it’s practically Disney World, only with a less rigid Empire controlling things. Either way, some stupid puppet is going to ruffle your hair and hug your teenage daughter too long.
But at least the puppets at Disney World don’t pretend they’re smarter than you. Sure, they’ll teach you a little history, maybe they can do math problems faster than you can, but at the end of the day, who’s bolted to the floor? Abraham Lincoln Unit #4-9, that’s who. And anybody smart enough to dispense history is smart enough to know that when his feet don’t move, all you have to do is push him hard to break his knees.
Not so the Star Wars puppets. Every one of them thinks they’re the Buddha. Yoda might be right, because he’s what’s going to happen to Kermit the Frog in 900 years, but still. In my town there are tiny men who live in a lean-to behind the swamp; they’re called winos. And the last advice one of them gave me was to get the bugs out of his brain because their Delta Force nano-circuitry was preventing him from making contact with the aliens and overthrowing the One World Government. And you know something? He was right.
But that didn’t mean I should have listened to him. He also touched his belt too often and smelled like vinegar. No, if there’s one thing I know, you leave the winos in the swamp. You don’t train with them. And if you do, the only thing you’re going to learn is how to harvest someone’s fillings with a filed-down spoon.
Then there’s Jar-Jar, the frog everybody hates. And I can only speak for myself, but I gave it a fair chance. I know it’s there for kids. I figured I could just ignore it. But since 1/3 of the movie’s entire plot relies on its hideous jabberwocky language, I found myself wishing for subtitles when entire scenes were this:
QUI-GON: Pink frog thing, you must help us convince your people of the urgency of our cause!
Maybe dancers make lousy voice actors. Or maybe it was just a bad idea from the start.
George Lucas and everyone who’s ever licked his shoes insist that this is the best part of the movie; that whole reels of film were ruined as Jar Jar’s antics cracked up cast and crew alike. Unfortunately, none of those moments were included in the film. Instead, we get fart jokes, only without the joke part.
So you have to feel kind of sorry for ol’ Lance Bass. Not only does he live in the shadow of a guy who wears football jerseys and kerchiefs that don’t nearly cover his perm, but he’s forced into close quarters with Britney, only he can’t possibly put a move on her. Plus he’s really creepy to look at. He seems to be sculpted from putty and bacon fat, and unless he’s hydrochephalic, he has a pudgy forehead. The cards were stacked against him to begin with.
Then somebody tricked him into starring in a movie called “On the Line,” and you can almost forgive him for trying to escape into space. Basically, he meets a girl on a train, and a few despairingly bleak looks into his life later, he gets around to deciding he should pursue her. Then there’s his flatulent roommate, who I think is Joey Fatone, but I don’t know for sure. For now we’ll call him Pinky. Pinky is the comedic relief. So we have Lance (rhymes with “romance”) and Pinky (rhymes with a bunch of first-grade insults), but we don’t quite have a romantic comedy. We have a kinky romance about a guy with nothing going for him, his flatulent roommate, and the girl he couldn’t be bothered to woo.
Not surprisingly (unless you’re a damn moron) the film did poorly. Maybe it was the fact that the movie’s whole selling point was watching two guys nobody cares about not bother to get the perfect girl. Or maybe it was the fact that one of them was named Joey Fatone, which sounds hilariously like a bad TV show mafia strongarm. Come to think of it, so does Pinky.
Here’s a quote from On the Line‘s producer, Wendy Thorlakson: “Miramax underestimated what this film could’ve done. I think they believed that the core audience for this movie would be just ‘N Sync fans, and I think they don’t believe there are as many as there are.”
This woman controls more money than you ever dream about winning. And she’s not only spending it on ‘N Sync, but she wonders why the movie doesn’t make more. ‘N Sync’s core audience are 9 to 15 year-old girls and their puss guy friends who want to fit in. So while Wendy Thorlakson staunchly avoids reality’s frigid kiss, you think about this: Miramax not only didn’t think anyone but ‘N Sync fans would see this movie, they didn’t think there were that many to begin with. And like so many paranoid schizophrenic winos, they were right.
You know something? I haven’t seen this movie. I even did my best to ignore the tagline. So that means Wendy Thorlakson had at least 120 times my chances of rejecting this piece of crap before production began, but she didn’t. Now the movie’s circling the globe like a bad case of clap, and we’re all the worse off for it. Some say it’s wrong for me to criticize the movie without seeing it. Others say I should be president. Who’s right? You decide.
The closest I came to it was reading a few press releases and synopses, all of which told me he’d get the girl in the end. When you give away the ending to your movie in the initial paragraph, you’re basically saying nobody should bother coming to it.
Stupidity is everywhere, and highly successful. Don’t contribute to it. Fight it wherever it reveals its pudgy head with the eyes too close together. Fight it hard. Kick it if you have to, burn it if you don’t. Either way, when you’re fighting stupidity, you’re fighting evil. A good rule of thumb is if someone has to spend millions of dollars to convince you their product rules, it probably doesn’t. Just let it go on by. Then they’ll be the idiots, not you. And we can keep ‘N Sync and all their kind safely confined to Orlando.