Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Something cool!

Last Tuesday, just before the movie started, I got to see the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To for the first time (I don't watch trailers online...ever). It was kind of jarring at first, seeing Lloyd and Harry again twenty years later (you don't even know what kind of kick in the balls that is), but my initial thought was I have to see this. Immediately. But right after Lloyd blew the dust off his hand, I leaned over to my friend and said, mildly irritated, it's the same f--king movie! 

But since I loved the first one so much, my question is, who gives a shit if it's the same old thing? It's those two guys that I love, doing the shit that I love, again.  As far as I'm concerned, why not? 

For 22 Jump Street, I didn't wait decades to see the first movie rehashed, Hell, I'm not even sure I waited a month. So, if anyone should be pissed and hate this movie, it's me, as the original gags and characters were entirely fresh in my mind as I sat down for the sequel. But like a wise man once said soon to be twice said), when it comes to this movie, I like it a lot.

Maybe it was the lukewarm responses from other (trusted) bloggers that lowered my expectations, or maybe it was the fact that with no one else in the theater, Grunden and I could laugh like a-holes, but I loved 22 Jump Street. And just like the first time, for me, it was all about Channing Tatum and Ice Cube, as almost everything they said (or did) killed me. That's not a knock on Hill, as he's hysterical as always, it's just that Tatum and Cube get to let loose even more, and each guy really delivers.

The plot, as likely everyone involved with this movie (both on and off screen) would tell you, is completely secondary, as it's the same f--king this as the first time. Instead of infiltrating a high school to break up a drug ring, it's a college. And instead of Hill's performance as Peter Pan, it's Tatum playing football. But outside of those colossal differences, and a bigger budget, this whole endeavor is just another excuse to hang with Schmidt and Jenko again. Oh, and Captain Dickson. I love that motherf--ker.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thanks. They're actually very informative.

I ran. At the time, I felt like I had no other choice.

I turned my back on a building full of crazy kids, put my head down, and ran. Fast. And for a while it felt good. Real good. But just last week, I got caught. And now they're hauling me back inside. In the nearly ten months since I made my move, I was free. No inherent sadness, no teen desperation. No messed up kids. But here I am again, being led back to a place I thought I'd escaped.

I'm teaching middle school. 
English.

Again.


I'm not sure if you're ready for Short Term 12. I know I wasn't. Repeatedly mentioned by the awesome and insightful Brittani over at Rambling Film, I knew I had to see it. And while it's not at all about middle school English, or even school at really, it is about some of those kids I've taught over the years. It's powerful, it's intense and it tapped into every single feeling I've experienced working with 'underprivileged kids'  for the better part of a decade. In short, you'll smile, you'll laugh, but you may never want to experience it again.

Presented in a very drab, very unspectacular way, deliberately of course, Short Term 12 tells the story of what it's like working in a halfway house for troubled youth. It opens with Mason (a charming John Gallagher, Jr.), a goofily handsome counselor happily telling the story of when he shit his pants following a kid who fled the premises. And in under two minutes, this movie had me. Done. Because in that quick scene, I saw the perverse joy and satisfaction that comes from something awful happening to you in a low-pay, high stress job, where literally, you're covered in shit. People don't give their lives to 'horrible' jobs like this because they want to, it's because they have to. They have to help these kids.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'd stand up for you, kid, til I drop.

I saw the title first. Damn it. This is going to be boring.
Then I saw the year. Shit. I'll never make it to the end.
Then I saw the runtime. F--k. There is no way in Hell I can finish it.

Then I pushed play.

The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946's 172-minute epic, absolutely floored me by how great it was. Set after World War II, the film tells the story of three very different servicemen all returning to the same small town as each attempts to re-enlist into civilian life. While each character likely could have had their own feature, there's a beauty and charm to how all three tales are woven together. It's a fantastic film, start to finish.

Anchoring the film, is the story of Fred Derry (brilliantly embodied by Dana Andrews), an average guy (minus being a big hunk of heaven) who spent his military career dropping bombs out of airplanes. Fred's come back to a sexy wife but a decidedly unsexy life.Simply put, Fred needs a job. And a drink.

Homer, the youngest of the bunch, is a sailor returning home to his parents house and his love, Wilma, literally the girl next door. Despite sharing names with each half of iconic (television) couples, the reality of their relationship falls vastly short of anything written for the small screen. See, Homer has returned home without either of his hands, and can't get a grip (too soon?) on the idea that anyone could possibly treat him normally, let alone love him. Homer's gonna need some time. And a drink.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'll show you what horror means.

If the sun never set, would we all be better people? Not in a logical, scientific way, silly goose. I mean, like, would we all have a nicer, less impulsive and reckless existence? While most of us are sort of operating at a 6 or a 7 when the sun's up, why does nighttime unleash the Kraken? Sure, we drink, fight, kill, and f--k during the day, but multiply it all by nine hundred when the moon's out, right? Is our nighttime self who we really are, or is it simply the break we allow ourselves from the rigidity of the day? With so many unanswered (and stupid) questions, perhaps I should consult a physician...

Trust me, Hyde looks much more menacing in the movie.
This guy just looks like a douche.
In 1931's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the idea of man's dual nature is the catalyst for destruction and mayhem in one of horror's oldest stories. While someone like Dracula is a refined monster of the night, Mr. Hyde is man at his most primitive. He cavorts about aimlessly, looking to start trouble and get laid. He's not quite the irrational monster I imagined him to be (think the Hulk, if he weren't strong and a huge dick), but he's also not as enviable as I thought, either. He's actually a real bastard.

Originally only stemming from an elixir created by the brilliant (and charming) Dr. Jekyll, it doesn't take long for Mr. Hyde to show up whenever he damn well feels like it. And much like anybody with a bad haircut, intense, caveman-like brow and a propensity for wearing capes, there isn't a party he's really welcome at. Eventually he falls for (read: kidnaps) a lovely young woman named Ivy Pearson (the super hot Miriam Hopkins) and ruins her life, and pretty much everyone else's, too. Jekyll claims he can control the beast, but it's going to take more than good intentions to do so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ape did this.

While this isn't news to anyone that knows me or somehow manages to frequent this site, but I'll watch anything. Really. But possibly even more telling, is that I will watch an entire film for one single moment. Yes, sometimes...that may have to do with a nude scene or something, um, salacious (was there another reason anyone saw Swordfish theatrically?), but generally if I hear something like, eh, it's oooookay, but there's this one part...I'm in. Say no more.

Sometimes, it could be as simple as a ridiculously good knife fight [here], or someone trying to shut a door in the wind [here]. Once,a personal favorite moment of ridiculousness,  it was someone throwing a f--king horse! [here] It can be the tiniest of things, but if great/horrible enough, it can make for something special.

But this time, man, this time. This time it's an ape. Ha, that's funny.
An ape riding a horse. Which is pretty cool.
Through fire. Oh shit, really?
While holding a machine gun. *pantomimes getting an erection*

In each hand. *actually dies*

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is good summer entertainment. It's not as mind-blowing as some might have you believe (um, despite what I just suggested) but it's filled with enough entertaining moments (and by moments, clearly I mean bits where apes do cool shit) that it should certainly satisfy fans of the original. Years ago, my wife reluctantly saw the first one and liked it. And this summer, she had a good time with this one, too. And if you can't trust a mother of two who's just happy to be not at home, who can you trust?

Actually, in the second flick of the reboot series, trust is going to be paramount. Years after Caesar initiated the primate revolution in the first flick [review], here we find him as he has settled into the role of wise leader, favoring diplomacy over fisticuffs. The humans, what little remain of them (after the simian flu wiped them the f--k out) need to do some work where the apes live (the foggiest hills on the planet), and even though they just recently shot an ape in the face, Caesar trusts that everyone will all be like little Fonzies, you know? Even that one shifty guy, with the rotten attitude and awful face, whose entire family was wiped out by those damn dirty apes. Even that guy's going to cool. Scout's honor.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: Blogathon

Okay, this one has been spreading like wildfire, but in a good way. Perhaps it's selling like hotcakes? Spreading like hotcakes? No. Definitely not that. Sounds weird...

Anyway, Nostra at My Film Views has created yet another inspired blogathon where bloggers are tasked with connecting two random cinematic figures in six (or less) steps. Apparently this is a thing that exists with or without Kevin Bacon, who knew?

Brittani, over at the seriously rad Rambling Film, has tasked me with connecting that handsome devil Leonardo DiCaprio to child star Shirley Temple. I wonder if Leo likes animal crackers, you know, in his soup? Hold on, I'll text him. In the meantime, this is how I've got it figured:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Does this scenario ring any bells?

Nowhere else...
   ...would you basically have to get felt up/totally naked just to sit somewhere for an hour or two.
   ...would your 'seat' be considered an acceptable place to spend more than ten minutes.
   ...would seven pretzels be considered a snack, unless you still count your age in months old.
And absolutely nowhere else would you feel ecstatic by having a cold plastic wall to lean against (let alone being equally thrilled to not have that at all, but a place to extend one of your legs - occasionally).

But nowhere else is like an airplane. And up there? Logic is like a crying baby. You can bring it with you, but it's not really welcome.

In Non-Stop, Liam Neeson takes his special skill set to 30,000 feet, playing Bill Marks, Alcoholic Air Marshall. While basically any action film (starring an 8 foot tall, sixty-one year old Irishman, no less) may ask you carefully stow logic in the overhead cabin above you, Non-Stop pushes this request to new heights. Especially by the end. But along the way? Well, it's not only got just enough thrills to keep you interested, but it's got a frantic Neeson trying to do his job, dammit! And as far as I'm concerned, that's good enough for me.

The plot is simple: A passenger on board an overseas flight will be killed every twenty minutes, unless 150 million dollars is transferred to this account. The catch? The guy doing the killings is on the flight (well, sort of, anyway). That means that we're going to get a lot of close-ups of random ugly-ass guys, so someone in the room can point and say, Oh, it's totally that f--king guy. It's basically like the special education version of Clue. It's in the airplane, they're using the same weapon, and it ain't Col. Mustard. So, this shouldn't take long.

Fortunately, it's a little more difficult than that, only because this plane is filled to the brim with a record-level of suspicious-looking a-holes. Hell, even Julianne Moore can't escape scrutiny, as she inexplicably dons Brick Top's glasses and goes all Nancy Drew on us. It's a ludicrous, silly ride, but that's a good thing. What would you expect from a movie based on a plane called Non-Stop? Tender moments during an in-flight movie? F--k that. You want a hole in the fuselage, and at least one or two seats being sucked out, right? I mean, everybody does.