Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My eyes are wide open, sir.

I love movie henchmen. Not the second-in-command guys, no. They're too important, as the actually get to speak and maybe even land a punch or two. I'm talking about the random assortment of peripheral guys. Slicked-back hair, ill-fitting-suit wearing anonymous a-holes, only capable of grunting and/or screaming. Those guys.

When given a gun, these guys are good for destroying the walls and furniture near the good-guy, but without? Well...I'm pretty sure they die. For real.

I unequivocally loved The Raid: Redemption [review]. I have routinely told anyone that will listen, it's the best action movie ever made. Easily. And I don't say black-and-white shit like that, either. When they announced that they'd be making another one, I was f--king terrified. But excited. Short of one of the actors entering the theater and stabbing me in the balls mid-screening, then kneeing me in the face, there was simply no way anything cold top the unrelenting greatness of the first one. Well, about that...

The Raid 2 is epic. There's no other way to describe it. While the first one had about ten minutes of story, this f--king monster probably has ten times that (it's 150 minutes long!). For a minute that concerned me, but anytime things got too talky, all Hell would break loose with the best fight scene I had ever witnessed. Then an even better one. Then another one. Oh, yeah...then the best one ever. People (rightfully so, I guess) jizz all over themselves at the action in the Marvel movies, but at the end of the day, it's a lot of CGI silliness compared to the intense f--king brutality in any given five minutes of The Raid 2. Sure, boundless praise like this is going to ultimately disappoint some of you, and I'll apologize right now for that. But when I see a guy kicked three-quarters out of a car window, only to scrape the top of head on the ground moments before smashing into an open car door at seventy miles an hour? I get giddy.

Goodbye my sweet, hairy prince.

Though it's hard to trust anyone who hyphenates their name in the first place, it's even more difficult when both names are the same. Regardless, I not only fully trusted, but totally adored Prof. Rodriguez-Rodriguez. This woman, presumably in her early-thirties at the time, presided over the first course I ever took in my college major (meaning she was going to have an impact). The theme of her Intro. to Mass Communication class was simple, yet extremely valuable: The news is a f--king joke. 

That may be obvious to just about anybody alive today, but as a seventeen year old college freshman in the fall of '97, this thought blew my fragile, little mind.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues will likely never be shown in a college classroom, but I imagine it will make the rounds in the dorms (like a certain video with Pam and Tommy Lee back in my day...ewww). Buried under dozens of vagina jokes and general idiocy, however, is a tastily subversive look at the modern television news industry. Sure, you'll have to wade through a motor home full of hit-or-miss f--kery, but at a buck fifty from Redbox, it'll be well worth it.

Ron Burgundy is an idiot. Seriously, if he were a five year-old, you'd still be disappointed by just about everything he says and does. But somehow, he really is great at reading the news. And when he decides, along with his crew from San Diego, to give America exactly what they want from their TV news, he changes everything. Goodbye nuanced interviews with foreign dignitaries, hello car chases and patriotic kittens. Sure, ol' fictitious Ron isn't really responsible for any of this, but watch thirty minutes of your local news, and it doesn't seem that far-fetched.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You know that a little pony dies every time you do that?

Encyclopedias and dictionaries. Maps and stand-alone GPS units. Alarm clocks, calculators and even poin-and-shoot cameras. Hell, basic human interaction. The proliferation of the cell phone has eliminated the need for many things we used to rely in life, all of those aforementioned items included. But when it comes to sex, nothing can replace the intimacy and pleasure from actually seeing and touching another person. Well, nothing other than a cell phone.

Or a land line. A pink land line.

Being that my wife was three states away on business, it's curious (and purely coincidental) that I should stumble on to 2012's For a Good Time, Call..., a breezy comedy about would-be phone sex operators. Now, outside of begging for a text full of titties, I've never engaged in any phone-based friskiness. Not only does it seem way too expensive, but it seems like it would be way too awkward as well. Not to mention cumbersome. Oh, and pathetic.

Total bullshit aside, I actually enjoyed this flick. Sure, that poster screams like, awfullllll!, but it really isn't. Initially, I was just looking at run times, and at 83 minutes, this was definitely a winner. And while my cable box so kindly asked me to wait One moment please...I was thinking this movie was In a World... (I thought Ari Graynor could have been Lake Bell's name, because I can never come up with it). Damn ellipsis. Ellipses. F--k it. The dot things...

Anyway, while it starts with a plethora of quirky-movie horseshit (nice apartments, no real jobs, bad dialogue, Justin Long), it quickly settles into, for me, a decent comedy. Sure, lines like 'do you have freckles on your dick?' may not be funny to you, but delivered earnestly by a pretty blonde, and I'm calling pure movie magic.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?

If two years ago, you helped me fix my car and it broke down again, I'd call you up. If two years ago, you, me and another guy rescued some kittens, and yesterday, on my walk home, I found more kittens in peril, again, I'd call you up. And if two years ago, you, me and a bunch of bad ass motherf--kers saved the f--king planet from an alien invasion, guess what I'd do if it was happening again?

I'd partner up with the weakest of the bunch, call a guy I met a week ago, and take care of it with them.

I really wanted to love Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I did. The early buzz painted a picture of some sort of cinematic masterpiece, besting many, if not all, of the previous entries into the the Marvel Universe. And while I enjoyed the film enough, I'd like to go on record with a simple five word response to the unanimous praise heaped upon Cap's incredibly broad shoulders. Are you f--king kidding me?

The Winter Soldier tells an impressive story about a dark force buried deep within the core of S.H.I.E.L.D. It turns out no one can be trusted, and this sinister group has plans on killing as many as twenty million people worldwide. Turns out they tried to cleanse the world by force some time ago, now the plan is to have the masses ask for it. Honestly, this angle was pretty cool.

Another positive would have to be the cast. Anchored by Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and featuring newcomer (to the 'verse, anyway) Anthony Mackie as Falcon, I enjoyed the second look at Cap and his crew. Each member of this likable trio delivers a solid, if slightly unspectacular performance. They all look the part, seem to be enjoying themselves, and most importantly, kick enough PG-13 ass to please the masses. Sounds good so far, right?

Friday, April 4, 2014

What is it, old girl?

As much as I often envy my dog, Dodger, sometimes I feel really bad for him, too. Sure, he gets to lie around in the sun all day, which is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me, but what about everything else? The poor pup was likely taken away from his family when he was young, and will never get the chance to see them again. He has us, and we love him, but as our own family has grown, he gets less and less attention. As depressing as that is, I'm pretty sure the same thing will eventually happen to me, too.

As a rule, I never post about movies I've already seen. And I'm 99% sure I'd somehow managed to never lay eyes upon Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Like everyone, the spaghetti incident was familiar to me, as were those creepy Siamese cats (and their awful, awful song). Otherwise, I knew almost nothing about the Lady, and even less about the Tramp. In fact, as a kid, I thought the lady was a tramp, and that the title foreshadowed the duality of the protagonist. Yeah. I was a pretty smart kid.

Lame (mostly)jokes aside, I found this to be an enjoyable flick. Almost sixty years later, it hardly qualifies as a children's movie anymore, but that's not a knock. For what the film lacks in hyperactivity and bright colors, it makes up for with a compelling look at what it's like to be a dog. A regular dog, at that. Not some time-traveling, wise-cracking undercover abomination.

For the other person alive who doesn't know this story by heart, let me break it down real quick. some guy pulls the super-clutch move of getting his lady-friend a puppy for Christmas. Sweet, right? Of course it is. Over time, the dog goes from family focal point to that dog! as the couple eventually welcomes a baby. Their lovable Cocker Spaniel notices the changes (with the help of some neighborhood dogs), but maintains her 'good girl' status anyway. Aww...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This is all I do. And it's over.

As I've gotten older, it's become harder to let go and just believe. Where once my faith was unflinching, now that steadfast belief has eroded into an ugly and unwelcome indifference. I desperately want it to be like when I was a kid, back when I was excited to spend just an hour or two in His presence. Back then, I didn't really even know what He was saying, but I liked the way the words sounded, and I loved what He stood for. He was my universe, no, our universe.

Hell, he was Mr. Universe.

While much of the movie-going world was experiencing the religious epic Noah this past weekend, me and four other chumps spread out in theater 8 and watched Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest, Sabotage. For a moment, I was thrilled to see my boyhood hero kicking ass (yet again) on the big screen, but we don't go to the movies for a moment, do we (outside of a glorious nude scene, naturally)? We typically go for something slightly more substantial (like a much longer nude scene) . 

Now, don't get me wrong, there actually is a little substance here, but it's completely buried under a cast of characters that f--king suck. Seriously, I can think of few movies where I literally wanted the entire cast to die in horrific fashion (though Only God Forgives comes to mind) just so I could be not pissed. And even when that actually started happening I was still furious. Wait, whaaaat?

Sabotage is like Predator in the fact that we've got Arnold leading a team of badasses with cool names. Instead of Mack and Billy fighting an invisible angry vagina monster from space, we've got Grinder and Neck fighting each other, relatable human emotion, and various Mexican drug cartels. I'm sorry, they don't use that term any more. Anyway, unlike the team assembled to level the jungle, most of the guys in Sabotage come off as the worst people alive. Especially the girl. Turns out, when you don't like the crew...it's hard to like pretty much anything.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can I say something crazy?

Unfortunately, I live in the real world. I'm just a regular guy doing regular things, fairly regularly. But sometimes, sometimes...I want more. Sometimes I think I'd like my life to be like a Disney movie. I want...
  1. People to break out into song and dance simply because that's what people do.
  2. Fantastic adventures! Filled with strong, handsome men. And magical, gorgeously doe-eyed younger women, sassy and innocent at the same time.
  3. To live in a place where the season's never change. Oh, can you imagine it being...
...cold. Every day. FOREVER?

Hmm...about that last one.

Since the day my wife took our son to see Frozen back in November, to the day last week when it arrived from Amazon, it seems as if those of us on the east coast of the United States have been living in a perpetual winter storm. Unfortunately, instead of princesses, talking snowmen and overly-cautious ice queens, we've been dealing with bitter a-holes, broken snow shovels and overly-cautious school districts. A Disney movie, it ain't.

As we trudged through this winter wasteland, I felt as if I was the only person alive who hadn't seen Frozen. Yeah, I had caught The Nut Job [review], which was lame, and the God-awful Walking with Dinosaurs [review], but my wife took the reigns with Disney's latest. In fact, I had somehow managed to not hear Let it Go till I saw it performed on the Oscars. Well, I wasn't the only one that didn't know what the Hell was going on. Apparently, John Travolta was right there with me.

Anyway, after sitting down and watching it with my son (who insists he doesn't like it), I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed. Being that it's the highest grossing animated film of all time and has been showered with damn near unanimous praise, I was expecting some sort of life-changing event. Yes, it was cute and the songs very well done, but I didn't enjoy it any more than anything else Disney has released lately. In fact, I actually liked Tangled more (in terms of 'girl' Disney films). But, as so often is the case with family films, however I feel about it after watching it once is completely irrelevant. It's the 900th time that really matters.