Thursday, December 31, 2020

I'll always love you Diana, no matter where I am.

In an effort to be courteous, let's go ahead and mark this year down as less than favorable

However, in the infinite darkness/shit sandwich that was 2020, there were certainly some slivers of light/morsels of ham. In exchange for going to the movies, family gatherings, shaking hands, traveling, events, successfully educating children (that's a stretch, sure), we got...infinite time at home with our families. And honestly, in the decades preceding the pandemic, that would have been something I would have fervently wished for. But, as the saying goes...

Be careful what you wish for, you dumb son of a bitch.

Probably the dopest poster ever.
Oh, Wonder Woman 1984, how I wished I loved you so. When early word dropped of your enormous girth, er, runtime, I couldn't have been happier. One hundred and fifty-one consecutive minutes with Gal Gadot, you say? Yes, please. And when it was announced that for some horrible reason the two-hundred million dollar film would premier in my effing living room, our local coroner was going to have to bubble in exploding boner as my cause of death. This was all too good be to true, right?

Yeah. Like, for sure.

Okay, as far as I can tell, this is what WW84 is about: Diana has been chilling in the 80s, kicking ass in the food court, during breaks from writing hearts around the name Steve in her dream journal. But in a routine (and impressively poorly-planned) local jewelry store heist, some small-time rascals have unearthed some sort of dream stone. Uh huh, a magical rock. That was in a mall. Fine, whatever, not great mind you, but Diana's simultaneously kicking ass and gliding around Waldenbooks like an even sexier Wayne Gretzky. The news still good, the soundtrack still great.

(spoilers to follow)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

If you believe, it's all possible.

I hate lying to my kids. 

My daughter is seven years old, and her belief in Santa Claus has been steadily waning. This year, she's been rather boisterous in calling faaaaake whenever anybody mentions jolly ol' St. Nick. There is no part of me that is willing to say, now, you wait just a minute, young lady...

Typically, you could blame the older sibling, but I'm not even sure Matthew is the reason she ain't having it. Maybe in a year where friends, family, sports and school are taken away from you, maybe you grow up real/too quick?

So, in an effort to renew her faith, without being dishonest, I did what any responsible parent would do.

I put on a holiday move. And in an effort to write something for this I hadn't seen.

And shocking no one, I watched it with just her, as my wife and son bailed almost immediately on Netflix's color-soaked 2020 musical, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. Recommended to me earlier that day by a co-worker (sorry, Margaret), I thought what better way to get in the spirit, right? And you know what?

It worked. [insert stoic, Tiger Woods-style fist pump]

Jangle is a good dude, proud father, and frankly, bad-ass inventor, and when we meet him, the final component for his greatest creation yet arrives in the mail. In a flash we see what is destined to be the toy of the century, some insanely articulated and wildly articulate Matador-type mechanical doll named Diego (voiced by Ricky Martin, clearly livin' la vida loca). Diego is special, so special in fact, he balks at the idea of being mass-produced and convinces Jangle's somewhat lowly assistant Gustafson to bounce up out of there real fast. And to, uh, grab Jangle's idea book on the way out the door. Major naughty-list behavior right there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

I've just told you to f--k off twice, yet you're still here.

At some point in your life, you've said something you regret. It could have been stupid, offensive, hurtful, misguided, uninformed or even my personal specialty, all of the above.

Sometimes you can get lucky and know you f--ked up right away, but in other situations it takes time for the combination of words your big, dumb brain and your big, dumb mouth shat out to get you in trouble. 

Could be a day or two...

...or even the better part of a decade.

I wish I could tell you the exact day and time that blogging legend (/wielder of sharpened knives) Margaret from cinematic corner. recommended that yours truly check out the 2009 ass-kicker, In the Loop, and I wish I could tell you what I said in response, but after pouring through over five-plus years of comments...I've got nothing. I bet I said something flippantly like, of course I'll check that out, and also of course, I absolutely did not. 


(turns out I'm not the only mostly-agreeable asshole saying things that would have major unintended consequences)

After rather casually saying that conflict in the Middle East was unforeseeable during an interview, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander, absolutely killing it) draws the Sauron-like stare and ire from Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi, my absolute f--king hero), the Director of Communications for the Prime Minister. Tucker tells Foster to toe the line, which is government code for talk, but don't say a goddamned thing, you f--king twat. Oh, and that's not a direct quote. I cleaned it up a bit.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

I'm gonna need to give this a think, I think.

Once - pretty sure it was one time - I snooped around before Christmas. Fine, maybe twice. Three times. Whatever.

Anyway, my mom had an errand of some sort, and as soon as I saw her white Jetta carefully back down our narrow driveway, I instantly became (a much less handsome) Ethan Hunt. With the Mission: Impossible music in my head (though at low volume, in case she forgot something) I swooped into my parents room to gather intel. No boxes moved, no wires tripped. The Sega Genesis I had dreamed of was buried in the back...and in a few short days, it would be mine. Oh, yes.

I'm not proud of this, mind you, as it was probably one of the sneakiest things I ever did at Christmas time. But sometimes, during the holidays, you never know what you might find in the closet, right?

Or, on the rare occasion, who.

Wait a sec. That introduction sounds like I might be implying that I'm gay, which with how much I love Dan a distinct possibility. Eh, actually, it's not me flip-flopping in regards to my sexuality that we're concerned about, but instead Mackenzie Davis' character Harper, the protagonist in Hulu's latest holiday offering, Happiest Season

While watching the massive Davis routinely bite her lip over whether or not she really, really loves KStew wouldn't ordinarily be something I'd sign up for on opening night, you throw in any amount of Dan Levy (and Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza) and not only will I be there, but for some reason, with motherf--king bells on. (I looked up the origin of this statement and it still doesn't really make sense)

Coming home for the holidays is frightening enough, but combine that with coming out for the holidays, and just like that, you've got yourself the edgiest Hallmark movie ever. At least that's what Happiest Season feels like...initially, you know, like those schmaltzy silly flicks where Candace Cameron gets amnesia hanging stockings or whatever. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

We're not here for bookclub.

Every year, as a teacher, you're guaranteed to get that kid. The one that's only happy when everyone else is utterly miserable. And last year, that student was a young lady named...well, let's call her Joanna. Joanna hated everything about school. Every adult. Every kid. Every subject. No lie, for someone who was weeks out of elementary school, this young lady was terrifying.

But before she got kicked out for coming to school high (at age twelve), not coming to school at all, telling most adults exactly where they could go (and what they could do to themselves when they arrived), and basically trying to fight everyone, I decided we were going to be friends. Best friends. Our bond? It was going to be over books. Good books. And whatever book was her favorite?

I was going to read it. IMMEDIATELY. And we'd have our own little book club. 


This is something that I did.

Somehow, in my almost forty-something years on the planet, fifteen as a teacher, thirty-five plus as a reader, and all of them as a horror-loving weirdo, I had never read anything by R.L Stine. Welp, turned out ol' Joanna was a fan of the Goosebumps series, and with 235 books to choose from, she recommended/demanded I start at the beginning with Welcome to Dead House. And, to my absolute bewilderment, it was actually pretty scary. Not Joanna during standardized testing scary, but close. *shudder*

For the Halloween season, me and the other residents of the fallout shelter didn't watch all that many scary flicks, but we did manage to crank up (and out) 2015's Goosebumps flick and it's moderately disappointing follow-up, 2018's Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Though my kids were not super into the idea of watching these spine-tinglers initially, by the end of the double-feature (spread out over weeks, because of course it was) they'd been converted into fans of all things R.L. Stine. So when I broke their fragile, little hearts with the news that there would not be a third film, I figured the fact that there are literally hundreds of books they could choose from would ease their pain. It did not. You have to read books, with your eyes and your brain, and even my own kids are like, nah, we're good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

...I'll eat a bat with you.

It's amazing what you can get used to. 

When even the absolute craziest shit ever, might get you to glance up from your phone for a blink or two, you know humanity is pretty much f--ked. They always talk about lowering the bar, but we all know the goddamned bar melted at the earth's core years ago. And when it did, it didn't even trend on Twitter. Maybe because some handsome young dude said he liked wearing dresses that day, because that? That's UNBELIEVABLE. I mean, what about the children? Won't anybody think of the children?

Anyway, when you do get shocked, you know, when something finally rattles your cage a bit, it can make you feel alive. 

Or dead. It kind of depends on who's behind it.

As the poster may or may not tell you, Sacha Baron Cohen has the biggest balls in Hollywood, and in case that slipped your mind, he reminds us all in the Amazon-exclusive, Borat Susequent Moviefilm. Released way back in October, when Trump was still officially? the President, the sequel narrows Cohen's crosshairs not just on dumb Americans, but dumb Americans under Trump. It's a lot like the first one, but now with added racism! Who knew you could cram any more in there?

It turns out the events of the first film brought great shame to Kazakhstan, so the setup here is that Borat will have to make amends. His plan is to go to America a peace offering (in the form of a monkey), but Borat's newly-discovered daughter becomes the gift instead. It all doesn't really matter, because all absolutely f--king insane. But really f--king funny, too.

Where you and I need oxygen and sunshine to survive, apparently Cohen is able to live and breathe on a combination of danger and cringe, so it's a good thing the second Borat films has a shit-ton of both. Clearly, the guy is an absolute mad-scientist of satire, a giant in whatever-the-Hell genre this is, and as hard as Subsequent Moviefilm can be to watch at times, doesn't mean it's anything short of legendary. Cohen straight up risked his life for this shit! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

He's not dead. I just can't see him.

As a little kid, I'd always choose flight, because, Hell, it's flight. Like, you could just fly around the world like Superman, or, because I'm old so very old, like Mighty Mouse. Or, and I'm not a hundred percent sure on this, Captain Caveman. Regardless, you were flying, and that was all that mattered. You saw yourself zooming over your neighborhood like the opening shot to every kids' movie ever, and you'd think there's nothing better, that would be amazing.

But when young boys become young men, things change, and instead of the super-hero ability of flying, you choose invisibility, because, well, boobs. I'm pretty sure that was all I was thinking about, and quite frankly, I'm kind of pissed that I had to consider this hypothetical, when that's less time for pondering, the aforementioned chesticles. Because in your teenage boy mind, there's nothing betterand they would be amazing.

Maybe there's something better, but you know what also is pretty amazing? Leigh Whannell's updated look at the Universal classic, The Invisible Man

While that might be a bit of an overstatement (it's good), after catching the preview in the theater back when those were a thing, I had zero expectations the film would be anything more than more rehashed garbage for a variety of reasons. It was being released in February, it didn't really have anybody in it, and the biggest offense? The preview showed the whole goddamned movie. Oh, and a little bit of guilty-by-association with that f--king updated Mummy flick [review] with Tom Cruise, because that movie can suck all the dicks, whether they've preserved for all eternity or not.

While I've never seen the original flick from 1933, and my memory of Hollow Man is spotty at best (did Kevin Bacon show his invisible wang, or am I just wishing out loud?), this latest version of the classic tale features an optics inventor/eccentric millionaire nutjob stalking his (theoretically) now-widowed wife, Cecilia. Yeah, according to everyone but Elizabeth Moss' character, the maniacal Tom offed himself a while back likely after casting his mail-in ballot for Trump. Good riddance, as the minute we spent with this guy was nothing short of toxic. And not the fun Britney Spears dressed as a flight attendant kind, but more of the date-rapey, woman-hating, full on f--kface variety. Oh, that kind.

Cecelia wants to believe this good news about his grisly suicide, but Tom was a top-shelf asshole, so she's pretty f--king skeptical, to put it mildly. Lucky for her, she's now living with good friend James, a full-time cop and single father/part time chiseled Greek god. I don't know about her, but I feel safe, even with that mysterious chair indentation and unrelenting sense of dread around every corner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

We'll survive together.

Remember a short time ago, when you'd watch an end of the world flick and you'd think, imagine having to stay inside all the time, scrounging for food, barricading yourself in from zombies/weather/sound-monsters/what-have-yous as the government failed you and your family wjile all once-reliable social systems collapsed? Remember when the end of the world was a far-fetched idea that greenlit a movie...

... and not just a story on your local news after one last check on the weather?

That poster on the left? I'm pretty sure that's featured on Netflix's preview panel for the 2020 flick #Alive, and being the asshole that I am, thought it showed the likely protagonist taking a goddamned selfie surrounded by f--king flesh-hungry zombies. While a movie proudly boasting that idea would, on the right night, certainly be my cup of tea, Il Cho's flick is a bit more serious than that. Oh, it's still an end of the world zombie-infested nightmare, it's just a bit more...quiet? than you might expect.

Joon-woo is a twenty-something streamer living in an apartment with his family. One day, when they are out, the news flashes in the background something about a highly contagious illness spreading throughout the country. Joon-woo, like all characters in these movies, doesn't exactly notice. Well, not until the wifi signal goes out. 

Once it's clear that this event is quite the situation, our dude realizes, like I assume many of us would, he's utterly f-ked. He's alone, he's out of food and water, everywhere he looks, flesh-eating zombies are running rampant turning the few survivors braving the hordes. Joon-woo's like f--k it, and decides to kill himself. And I'm not sure you can blame him. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

It's not my first time seeing someone die.

Have you ever found out the year someone was born and you're instantly furious, or are you not a giant creeper idling around nearby parks in your unmarked van? Because let me tell ya, it's the worst feeling. Oh, and I know that awful bullshit that some a-holes say, you know, about age being a just a number and such. But you know what else is a just a number?

The length of a prison sentence.

In the first flick, the ultra-ridiculous The Babysitter [review], I spent the majority of the runtime drooling over the lovely Samara Weaving, who played Bee, the titular sitter of babies. Weaving, at the time, was in her mid twenties, so, yeah, I'm a still a perv, but like, the bridge I live under is pretty nice. You should stop by sometime.

This time around, in The Babysitter: Killer QueenBee's gone, and the lead actress is Emily Alyn Lind who is also pretty lovely FOR AN ABSOLUTE CHILD. Obviously, she looks young, but typically everybody in movies does (or old, because this is a high school flick), but Lind straight up is a high school girl. *shudder* Her sexiness would have been super appreciated two decades ago. Now, I just feel like an infinitely less charming and handsome version of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Except at this point, I'm pretty much Wooderson's dad for f--k's sake.

Speaking of not alright alright, that's the general vibe from critics regarding this film, with the consensus being it sucks a giant bag of (age-appropriate) dicks. While it's not as good as the first, I still found it an absolute blast and would enthusiastically recommend it. To fellow perverts.