Sunday, April 22, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Bad Santa 2' is definitely bad, and not in a good way

Sometimes being sophomoric, transgressive and unimaginative isn't enough. That's the problem with Bad Santa 2, the dismal sequel to the 2003 hit Bad Santa that merrily trashed the holiday season.

The three principals are back: Billy Bob Thornton as the drunken ne'er-do-well Willie Soke, a department-store Santa; Tony Cox as hot-tempered, elfin Marcus; and Brett Kelly as the adult version of chubby, bullied Thurman Merman.

The main addition to the cast provides the movie's only spark, and that is Kathy Bates as Willie's down-and-dirty mom. She brings energy, and something approaching real humor, to her ultra-sleazy personality and malicious manipulations of Willie.

That's about it for the positive side.

For the record, the plot involves a Christmas-time plan by the Sokes to rob a dubious charity, headed by wealthy sex-pot Diane (Christina Hendricks), who, remarkably, develops the hots for stumblebum Willie. Meanwhile, Marcus puts the moves on libidinous, zaftig security guard Gina (Jenny Zigrino).

What Bad Santa 2 is really about, though, is an attempt to tickle your devilish side, and in a day when outrageous comedy is omnipresent, that's tough to pull off. After a while, the avalanche of crude sex jokes, alcohol humor, trash-talk insults and slapstick starts to work on your nerves.

It's rote stuff, not nearly as funny as filmmaker Mark Waters and company seem to think. The original writers (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa) are only credited in this sequel for "characters"; Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross get the "written by" credit.

A fall-off in writing is part of the problem, but I think a more important issue is the replacement of Terry Zwigoff (Crumb) as director. Zwigoff's humor is razor-sharp and incisive, qualities missing from Bad Santa 2. Zwigoff wasn't involved with Bad Santa 2, and he dodged a bullet.

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Monday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosIndyCar: Grand Prix of AlabamanoonNBCSNBaseballAutosIndyCar: Grand Prix of AlabamanoonNBCSNTwins at Yankees7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege softballTennessee at Alabama7 p.m.SECLouisville at Florida State7 p.m.ESPNUNBA playoffs...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Published: 04/22/18

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Published: 04/21/18
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Published: 04/21/18
Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

LOS ANGELES — Actor Verne Troyer from the Austin Powers movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s spokesperson that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday. No cause or place of...
Published: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by country artist...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

NightstandLee GoldbergGoldberg, the author of 30 books, has also been a writer and producer for several TV shows, including Monk and Diagnosis Murder. His new novel is True Fiction, an Ian Ludlow mystery. When we caught up with him by phone recently ...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

Here's all you need to know about this decade's explosion of electronic dance music in America.In September of 2011, Swedish DJ Avicii played a late-night show at a nightclub on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.By June of the following year, he was headli...
Published: 04/20/18
Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

The campy gem known as Reefer Madness is screening at 10:30 p.m. tonight at the history Tampa Theatre, a perfect bit of programming on 420 Day. Today's day is 4/20 and it has beeen adopted in some circles as Weed Day because of the numeral code used ...
Published: 04/20/18
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Published: 04/20/18