Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Against the Crowd '17: Blogathon



Dell and KG are at it again, so my advice is we check it to wreck it. Let's begin.

In terms of blogathons, these two dudes drop probably the biggest event that I know of (or, uh, am loosely invited to), and it can be summed up in three lovely words: f--k you, everyone! Wait, what?

Here are the rules:

1) Pick a film that everybody thinks is a wonderful achievement in the arts, and let them in on the little secret that it's no better than a massive turd, rolled up in wet newspaper and microwaved on high.

2) Pick a film that everybody thinks is a raging dumpster fire, and let them know that if they ever say anything else bad about said movie again, the only thing burning out of control will be their toothlesswithered corpse.

3) Make sure, after reading your entry, no one ever talks to you again.

Welp, here goes...everything. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's preventable, that's the worst part.

It's late summer of 2017, and when I turned on the news this weekend, the flickering headline said three dead at white nationalist rally. Being that my kids were already asleep, I was able to watch the footage for a few minutes, and all I could think to myself was how f--ked up this godforsaken country is. How I absolutely dread where we're headed...

...moments after kissing the cheek of my precious four-year old girl. Seriously, where am I supposed to find comfort in this world, when I'm the father of such a little kid? Where's my solace?

Oh, right. This level of awfulness?

It's nothing new.

I wasn't super excited to see Detroit this past Tuesday, but I'm increasingly glad I did. It's rare that my wife and I get a night to ourselves, and I knew she wanted to see something light and fun. Yeah, about that. See, shocking no one, Kathryn Bigelow's latest? It's the direct f--king opposite. 

It's late summer of 1967, and after the police raid an unlicensed club in downtown Detroit, hauling out many African American veterans in the process, tensions between the police and the people on the street escalate exponentially. Despite being encouraged to chill the f--k out by community leadership, the crowd turns violent and rioting and looting erupts.

The next day, as local police and national guardsmen patrol the city, the film's action picks up with an officer named Krauss pursuing a looter. The dude flees on foot, and instead of letting him go, Krauss shoots him in the back. Multiple times. By the time Krauss gets back to the station, he is informed that murder will be indeed, the case they give him. Inexplicably, however, he's allowed to finish his shift.

Well, at least he'll probably play it cool, right? Being that his ass is most definitely grass, right?

Right? *crickets*

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

That was beneath you.

I don't have a job that keeps me staying late at work. No out-of-town conferences. No sexy co-workers putting their hand on my toned shoulder, laughing and turning in slow-motion.

I've been with my wife for so long, I wouldn't even recognize any ex that could show up on a rainy evening, with a broken high heel, scraped knee and a bottle of wine. Not that I have a lot of them any way. [Seriously, I might have more buttholes than legit ex-girlfriends.]

I don't own any sleeveless shirts. And I wouldn't ever cut wood on a hot day, never would wipe my brow with the aforementioned sleeveless t-shirt, revealing the rock-hard abs that I don't have.

The lady next door is pretty old, and if I was ever caught sleeping with her, jealous is the last thing my wife would feel. I'd lean more toward nervous. Or nauseous.

My point? If things ever go south between me and my wife, she has nothing at all to be jealous about. The only place I ever go is...uh...here. The only person I talk to late at night?

Is you.


When I saw the preview for Unforgettable earlier this year, I knew I was going to absolutely Redbox the shit out of it. I knew I would happily pay my two dollars and twelve cents (uh, gotta go with the blu ray, right?), and knew that I would unequivocally love hating it. But what I didn't know, and totally should have, was that my wife would fall asleep before the f--king thing even started.

*dramatic pause*

That. Bitch.

Actually, I'm not really mad at my wife, as she busted her ass yesterday and deserved the early snooze. No my fire and fury is solely reserved for everyone involved in this smoldering garbage can. See, I wanted a glorious dumpster fire to roast delicious f--king s'mores on using only my bad-movie boner as a skewer. But instead, what I got? A lame flick and a limp dick. Here's why...

Julia (Rosario Dawson, hot as ever) has met some dreamy guy and is headed by car in some direction (West, one could only assume) to spend the rest of her life with him. She loses her luggage on the way, but get this, not her baggage. Oh, f--k me. Anyway, it turns out that said dreamy guy is David, owner/operator of a successful brewery, Crazy Slut Ale House. Okay, that's not the name - you got me. Anyhow, detective, David's got a scarily hot ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl, still with a great set of personalities), who, shocking no one, ain't all that stoked to be replaced. But instead of stepping aside like a regular person, Tessa cranks the crazy up to eleven...million... and makes Julia's life a living Hell by always walking around topless and unnecessarily washing really dirty cars.

Okay, that also didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I'm not dead. I'm just...regrouping.

I don't know what the Hell is wrong with my house, but if you step outside for more than a minute, there's a good chance you're coming in with at least one mosquito bite. If not eleven.

Outside of the time I got very, very sick from a bite a couple of years ago, these little annoying f--kers don't even phase me any more. But my wife and kids? Goodness. They come in the house holding their arms and legs like they got shot.

And while I used to think they were being dramatic, I'm starting to think they're underselling the pain. Cause a bullet? Shoot.

That ain't nothing. 

Quite the circle jerk, no?
I started to lose track near the thirty-minute mark, but I'm pretty sure that every character in Ben Wheatley's Free Fire takes at least one bullet, if not eleven. And for the most part, even after getting shot, this gang of motley scumbags, keeps on keepin' on. It might be admirable...if it were altogether decipherable.

Set in damn near real-time, the setup is both simple and entirely convoluted. The initial gang we meet, led by that handsomely terrifying bastard Cillian Murphy, is gearing up for a late-night meeting in some abandoned factory. On the agenda? A pretty epic arms deal. Brie Larson and Armie Hammer are helping to broker the deal, in addition to some low-level grunts tagging along to do the heavy lifting. Literally.

On the other side of the table, is the consistently charming Sharlto Copley. He and his crew haven't exactly brought the right weapons, but as far as he's concerned, a gun's a gun. And after a tense moment or two (and a shit ton of shit-talking), it appears the deal is a go. The money is counted, the van pulled 'round. Pleasure doing business, ya know?

Oooh, about that....

Monday, July 31, 2017

This is my malfunction. I can't be 'meh' about anything.

Look, we were all in high school at one point. We all got off on hating that shit that everybody else loved, right? I did, you did, we all did. Well, except that one guy, he was too cool to hate...or like...anything. A real trendsetter he was...never setting a trend.

But, man...I'm telling you, there's this trend going around that I refuse to participate in. Like, I'd rather be caught licking ice cream of a dead donkey's dick, then to perpetuate this black eye on the jizz-riddled face of humanity. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher (a shitty one), or maybe it's because I'm a 'blogger' (also a shitty one), but I can't stand the constant need for shortcuts in everything writing. So it should be pretty clear when I say:

I f--king hate emojis. Hate every stupid f--king thing about them.

This is clearly the work of Satan.
But I love my kids. And being that it's my daughter's birthday, and my adorable little angel devours those awful things, I had to take her and her brother to see The Emoji Movie. But didn't you just say you loved you kids? 

Good point.

I'm not going to say that I enjoyed any aspect of this dreadful movie, but after hearing that it was possibly the steamiest of steaming piles of dogshit, I hate to report that it's really not that bad. Oh, it's terrible, uninspired, hopelessly boring and sends likely the worst message to kids in the history of time, sure.  But, uh, what would one reasonably expect from something called The Emoji Movie? I mean, at least it's not eighty-six minutes of an older gentleman acquiring Tin Roof from the shaft of a decaying ass. Uh, why do you keep typing that?

Because, uh, obviously, there's no emoji for it.

But what there is an emoji for is 'meh', and perhaps shockingly, he's is the star of our film. Yep, it turns out the little shitty character responsible for how stupid people explain indifference (myself included), Meh (as voiced by T.J. Miller), is having a bit of an identity crisis. And instead of thinking everything is, you know, meh, this f--ker has feelings that he feels the need to express.

Using...*throws hands up* emojis. Well, of course he does.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

There's no hiding from this, son.

You're reading a movie blog, so I know you know.

You're sitting there in the theater, waiting, eager. Yeah, this is fun, but it's not a game. You've arrived on time (missing the previews means missing the movie), set your phone on vibrate, dimmed the screen, Hell, maybe you've even taken your shoes off. You might even have your notepad out. Nerd. 

I mean, fellow nerd.

Anyway, you're sitting there, and you hear them coming. Could be loud kids, a family, an old couple - whatever, but you hear them coming and you think, what the f--k is wrong with people? Is this not a civilized world we live in? And you watch them loudly look for their seats and you cross your fingers so tightly, they just about snap off at the knuckle. The tension mounts.

Lord, just let me make it through this. This will be the last time I ask, I swear.
I just want to do what I came here to do...and get the Hell home. 

Take this tension, this momentary flutter of the (geeky) heart, and multiply it by say, infinity, and you have your average ten-second span of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. Sitting in the theater last Tuesday night, I'm not sure if I was breathing too fast or not at all, but as a cinematic experience, few have had the emotional impact of Nolan's latest.

However, like I imagine it to be for a soldier, the impact of what I have seen...keeps evolving and frankly, getting more intense as the days go by. So much so, I don't think I want to revisit it.

Ever. 

Many of the films I've seen this summer struggle with keeping one story straight (or consistently interesting), but with Dunkirk, howeverNolan deftly weaves together three. Each is a rather intimate tale of strength and survival, shockingly free of any of the hallmarks previous war films have hung their hat on. While the stories are indeed small, they eventually come together to create something that borders on spectacle. It's so smart, so technically stunning, you almost don't feel your heart being ripped out of your chest. Almost. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

That's okay. We all make mistakes.

I know it's possible, but how the f--k does one person make a better sandwich than somebody else?

I'm serious. If all the ingredients are the same, it should be impossible to have such a varied experience. Say you enjoy one person's B.L.T, then for f--k's sake they all should be good, right? You take the bacon, the goddamned lettuce, and a f--king tomato, slap that shit between some bread and it's hoo-ray, lunch is served. If you've got the slightest f--king clue about basic sandwich composition, you can't f--k it up.

But here's the thing. Bad bacon, is still f--king bacon, so if you like it, it's good times. You can't really f--k up lettuce or tomato, unless that shit is moldy or wilted, and then you're just an asshole for serving it. Ah, but what about the delivery system, right? What about the bread?

Turns out, you can totally f--k up the bread. 


The main problem with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and they're are a host of them, is definitely the f--king bread. While the rest of the film is serviceable (if not awkwardly chaotic) science-fiction, it's the dysfunctional duo of actors holding it all together that are squarely responsible for this film's epic failure. While some of you may dig these two, not a single f--k could I give.

And I wanted to!

Luc Besson has served up some pretty tasty movies in his career, and if memory serves me correctly, one helluva B.L.T science fiction flick (known around here as The One Where the Lady Has Rocks in Her Belly). But while that one had Bruce Willis and Mila Jovovich to leap through Besson's chaotic sci-fi world, in Valerian, we're stuck with two strung-out looking cool kids that are supposed to be top-tier government agents.

Right, like someone so unqualified and utterly miscast could ever rise to such a position of power in the government.

Oh, f--k me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

This ain't no treasure hunt you're on.

When the hotel my father worked at changed hands, apparently the new ownership had to technically rehire every single person that worked there. And whenever they (symbolically?) lined up the twelve hundred employees, according to him, my pops was rehired first. Yep, the man that I will inevitably look just like, was goddamned Employee number 1. 

While that story may be totally number two, his clout at that massive Hawaiian resort was impossibly legit. Years later, as a fellow employee (wonder how I got that gig?), and even as perpetually clueless as I was (/am), I could feel it. In fact, whenever I f--ked up, I didn't even have to mention who my dad was. Not only because I'm not that kind of asshole (clearly, I'm a different kind of asshole), but...

..because somebody else always would. Immediately.

Half the time, it totally sucked having people always kiss his ass when they spoke to me, as if I was going to run home and say, Gee, Dad! One of the bartenders said you're a swell guy! But the other half...well...occasionally...

...it had its moments.

Speaking of a fleeting moment here and there, let's talk for a quick second about Winter Kills, a political thriller from the year I was born, 1997. I mean, 1979. One of those.

Watched so I could (perhaps intelligently) appear on the 93rd episode of Todd Liebenow's rad podcast Forgotten Films, director Willaim Richert's flick is, to put it lightly, a mixed bag...of absurd nonsense. 

When we first meet Nick Kegan (a very young, very handsome Jeff Bridges), he's on some sort of ship, in the middle of the ocean. A helicopter lands, and they hastily bring aboard a man wrapped in bandages head-to-toe. Apparently, before this dude dies, he's got some information for Nick.

See, nineteen years ago, Nick's half-brother was assassinated during his term as President of the United States. This bandaged guy, in between moans and gasps, claims he was one of the gunmen. In fact, if Nick heads to some building in Philadelphia, he'll find the murder weapon stashed in the floor. Oh, okay then. Guess he'll have to sit around a gigantic boat doing nothing some other time.