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.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Let the madness begin.

If concerts were still a thing, and you and I went to one, we should probably have that pre-show conversation before we get out of the car. No, not the one about what song we hope they open with, nor the one about how many people you're going to hook up with in a drunken haze, but the one where we nail down our rendezvous point when the show's over. My vote's the port-a-pottys near the trees, but if you want to meet near the homeless guy in the wheelchair, that works too.

Assuming, you know, neither one of us gets murdered by a satanic cult. Or Republicans.

I think the cool kids would call my watching of We Summon the Darkness a thirstwatch, and I'm all for it. It wouldn't be the first time. Once again, I skanked the meanest pickle directly into the mosh pit that is Alexandra Daddario's filmography, and this time? My nose isn't bloody, my shirt isn't ripped. Hell, it was actually kind of.. fun?

When the flick begins, even though it feels like a decade later, we're told it's 1988. Three sexy ladies are heading to a metal show somewhere in the Hoosier state, when news breaks that a satanic cult has once again murdered innocent people. Death count is now at eighteen. The girls blow it off, but when they meet some potentially sketchy dudes pre-gaming it outside of their date rape-y van, not only are freak flags flying, but red ones are, too.

In a move that almost jettisoned me from my couch, the girls are into these dudes, and these bootleg Jack Black-types get the invite to Daddy's house in the middle of nowhere. Daddy's big ass house. Uh, y'all sure about that?

From there, the shit hits the fan, though in a way that many of you will probably see coming a mile away. Me, I wasn't thinking with my big head, and what goes down next totally knocked me on my ass. No, it wasn't an unnecessary shower scene set to Quiet Riot's Bang Your Head, though that would have been (pathetically) appreciated, but instead a fairly grisly murder. Yeah, turns out the darkness that was summoned was like legit evil, where I was hoping it was a collective name given to Dadarrio's boobs. Though let's be honest, they're more like the sun.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I mean, have you ever actually seen your brain?

Being a middle school teacher has never been easy. Not by any stretch.

But now, the fact that I exist solely in a three-inch box on some kid's iPad (in some kid's room...yikes), the challenge feels borderline monumental. It's not the content, either, because let's be honest, no one gives a damn about any of that. What I'm trying to do, what I've always tried to do, is inspire my students. I want to show them some amazing piece of work, and then give them the tools and the desire to make something amazing themselves.

You'd think that all the technology in the world would help this process, but stylish devices and intuitive applications can only get you so far. 

Turns out you need humanity.

Because I was trying to fit a lot in, I lost my way a little bit in that introduction. And that's fitting because I was also a little bit lost when I sat down with the 4K version of Ghost in the Shell last week. Of course, I knew I was settling in with something visionary and the inspiration for countless sci-fi films to follow, but I didn't know it would be so...arduous.

If I followed it, which I more-or-less didn't, Ghost in the Shell tells the story of a (now) near-future where the lines between man and machine have been increasingly blurred. A cyborg agent, known as Major, is trailing some dude known as the Puppet Master, as this a-hole is hacking into 'people' and wreaking all sorts of havoc. That's the straightforward bit.

Along the way, and frankly, much more often than I would like, Major stops to contemplate whether or not she is more machine than human. If I were smarter, or weren't more into kickass mechs blowing things up, this exploration of what it means to be alive would have been some sort of geeky wet-dream scenario. But instead of damp sheets and mild euphoria, I awoke with two things on my mind: mumbo and jumbo.

Monday, September 7, 2020

I always act weird with myself.

I could be wrong, but I don't think I've changed all that much as I've gotten older. I'm on the verge of turning forty-one, and here I am, still doing the same shit I've been doing forever. Hanging out, playing Nintendo. I'm a nice enough guy, might even make you laugh once or twice. But what I won't ever do? Surprise you.

And I'm okay with that. 

But I could also just be delusional.

(who allows the names to be over the wrong actors??)
Also entirely clueless, are Bill S. Preston, Esq. and 'Ted' Theodore Logan. Back again in Bill & Ted Face the Music, the duo from my youth are anything but dynamic. But they're nice dudes. And apparently, there aren't a lot of those left.

Being that the first flick came out when I was Ted years old, er, ten years old, I was the exact target demographic for the twenty-nine years later sequel. Like me.

Just me.

A movie about two older dudes trying to fulfill the promise of their youth? Uh, yes, thank you. That is definitely my jam. 

Unfortunately, the song is more of a toe-tapper, then full-on banger, as Bill and Ted's latest journey is not what I expected. But it's exactly what it should be. 

Our guys aren't having some out of control adventure this time around (which is what I was hoping for), instead, they're stumbling around their mid-fifties like some mellow older dudes totally would. Turns out Bill and Ted never wrote the song that was to unite the world, and have essentially an hour and half to do what they couldn't in two and a half decades. Pressure's on, dudes. Or is it?

Saturday, August 29, 2020

What am I looking at?

I love bad movies. 

Maybe not as much as I used to, back in that place where the beer flowed like wine, but even in my forties, terrible flicks can still be a great time. With that advanced age, comes advanced wisdom (or it should). And like any responsible adult, I now know my limits. One bad movie at a time, you know?

Not f--king FOUR OF THEM.

This came out on Valentine's Day? Aww, so romantic.
What the actual f--k, Fantasy Island? What were you thinking, Blumhouse? It's not that I remember a goddamned thing about the old television show (outside of Tattoo shitting his tiny pants about the plane), but I'd assume at the end of an episode, the audience had something resembling a f--king clue. And the will to continue living.

Fine, maybe this rebooted idea had a chance on paper. A magical island is pretty f--king dumb, but done right, that shit translates into all bets are off. Tops, too. Unfortunately, instead of Alexandra Daddario having a slow-motion pillowfight with Gal Gadot for two hours, we get four increasingly shitty scenarios. In no particular order...

1) Two bros want to have an epic pool party, with sex and drugs...and jet skis. And guns? Whatever. This one at least makes a little bit of sense. Sort of. It's f--king awful, but yeah. Boobs. Dongs. Booze. Music that's cheap to license. It's all here. 2) A romantic proposal, redux. Sexy Lady said no effing way to some dude that wanted to marry her and now she wants a chance to finally say yes. Uh, okay. I guess? She initially said no because she thought she was a terrible person. How has that changed exactly? 3) Saw, part 900. Some chick was bullied in high school, and of all the possible dreams she could have, torturing her old bully tops her list. Giving Brad Pitt a handjob was probably second. Regardless, this one is stupid and painful and makes me want to bully whoever wrote it. 4) A dude wants to enlist in the army, because his dad died...in the army. Yeah, f--k this one, too. Top to bottom, I'd rather wash my hair with fresh diarrhea than ever talk about it again. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

I'm inside all of you.

It's not Sunday, but I think it's time to confess a trilogy of sins. No, no. My movie sins.

I think I've seen two-thirds of the Before trilogy. Missed the last one, but I assume they walk around Paris and talk to each other about stuff? I'd guess they pontificate about love and relationships, but for all I know, they side-eye each other dreamily while discussing..

..the Three Colours trilogy. And which film is their favorite. But as I've never seen any of them, that would be spoilery, wouldn't it?

Speaking of spoiling, I've also heard countless things about how Sofia Coppola ruined the third Godfather film, but, uh...I'm going to have to take everyone's word on that one. I've only seen the first Godfather film. But I have seen it twice.

Wow, just saying it aloud...I already feel better.

Or I would, had I just not completed Pitch Perfect 3 with my wife, thereby finishing off the Fat Amy Trilogy. Fine, that's (probably?) not what it's known as, but no matter what you call it, I've seen all three Pitch Perfect films. Fully on purpose, too.

I'm more or less full of shit, because between you and me dear/poor reader, ain't nothin' I love more than a goddamned cinematic sing-a-long. Especially one led by the lovely duo of Ana Kendrick and Brittany Snow. But m.brown, you're so effing manly, with your movie blog and color-coded closet. I know, I know, Italics Guy, I'm shocked too.

Also moderately surprising, is the fact that there even is a third film in this series, because if I remember correctly, the second one kind of sucked (guess I could watch it again, you know, for research). And whoever, well, (successfully) pitched this premise, had to have used the most epic f--king Jedi mindtrick ever. *waves hand* You will greenlight a Pitch Perfect film that heavily features DJ Khaled. And yet I'm still not complaining.

Monday, August 17, 2020

What the f--k are we doing?

It's been a busy summer.

In addition to moving from my old house to my new house, we've also moved my dad from Hawai'i...to our old house, my sister from Seattle to my mom's house, and my mom, who's currently in Hawai'i...to our old house. Where my dad now lives. 


And now that that's (mostly) done, I have to start/finish a class I signed up for in May, and all the coursework is due in nine days. Nine.

Luckily, it's interesting, as the course is all about learning how to more effectively reach students who have experienced great trauma in their lives. Obviously, it's very difficult to learn when your brain has been subjected to traumatic experiences, and the authors provide many different strategies to create an environment where they can thrive. I haven't finished the book yet, but I can't wait to get to the chapter where...

...you give the kid a hammer and tell him to make it hurt.

I've finished exactly one entire movie in the last five weeks, and it took my four nights to do it. While I thought the title was fitting for my current blogging situation, there wasn't much else I got out of You Were Never Really Here. The triple AAA call up version of Joker [review], this Joaquin Phoenix-led flick is like Ferris Bueller's economics teacher telling you about a nightmare he once had. Pedophiles. Pedophiles. Butchering pedophiles, anyone? Anyone? It's unsettling for sure, but dry as f--k and in no particular hurry, either.

As far as I can tell, Phoenix plays Joe, a tormented veteran who has seen/done some bad shit in the desert. At this point, Joe's carved out a career as a fixer of some sort, getting results for whoever hires him. What he lacks in emotion he makes up for in effectiveness, as his blunt-force tactics get the job done. And despite bashing f--kers with a hammer, we root for him, because it appears he's doing the right thing. I mean, I think he is, because we're given very little concrete information to go on (which is cool, except when you can't keep both eyes open). Word? Word.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Nothing worse than going through this shit alone.

F--k me, now more than ever, the days all seem to be the same.

Nothing much stands out from one day to the next, as quarantine (or whatever the f--k we're [somewhat] doing is called ) has essentially eliminated anything even close to special from happening. I don't really go anywhere ever (other than Lowe's to buy paint), and my social life consists of the occasional short conversation with the same five or six people (mostly about going to Lowe's to buy paint). It's just an endless cycle of not much.

But the really weird part? I kind of like it.

Much more than kind of liking, I straight up f--king loved the Hulu-exclusive film, Palm Springs. The latest entry into the burgeoning time loop genre, this charming little flick is an absolute blast from start-to-finish, even if it it ends, uh, basically... where it started?

Andy Samberg fully delivers as Nyles, an initially apathetic dude attending a wedding with his lame girlfriend at a resort in Palm Springs. When we first meet him, Nyles is equal parts The Dude and Yoda, coalescing into the quintessential  enlightened slacker. He doesn't really seem to give a f--k about anything, until he delivers what some will regard as the best wedding toast ever. Wait, this guy's smart? Uh, sort of.

Turns out Nyles has been living someone else's special day over and over again, and he's gotten pretty f--king good at it. So much so, he's actually pretty f--king bored with it. But when he inadvertently gets Sarah, the maid of honor also stuck in the time loop with him, perhaps shockingly, everything is about to change.