Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tell me something good.

At the one end, you've got Professor X. He's invading minds, looking dapper, and pretty much better than you in every single way. At the other, you've got this poor kid at Camp Crystal Lake, getting a knife buried in his head before he rolls down the longest staircase in North America. In the f--king rain, no less.

Cinema has given us quite the wide-range of wheelchair-bound gentlemen to root for, but rarely are we cheering for them to get the girl.

And as a person who often favors checking run-times over reading plot synopses, I was quite surprised (and delighted) to find myself able to be firmly in the corner of a disabled man in his quest to fall in love with a pretty young woman. It's soooo romantic.

I mean, what a happy story, right? Right?

What the f--k, Me Before You? You had one job, one job! and you totally f--ked it up. You were supposed to be a delightful love story set to the poppiest of pop songs and take place in a world where even a torrential downpour would make you feel happy to be alive. Wasn't that what I signed up for? Wasn't that what we all signed up for?

And you, with that poster, and those famous faces, you were supposed to make me, sitting there with my exhausted wife, in our messy house, on our shitty IKEA sofa, you were supposed to remind me that no matter what happens in this cruel conquers everything. You totally f--king failed, didn't you? Didn't you?

But guess what, Me Before You? Even though you left something in the bed that would even gross Spud out, and even though you ultimately might not deserve it, well...

I f--king love you. With every fiber in my decaying, hate-filled heart.

I do. And I always will.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Quit being so f--king mysterious.

Election season is a real punch in the dick. And even if you don't have a dick, I'm sure there's a dick you'd like to punch. Candidates spend hundreds of millions of dollars vividly describing the limitless Hell we've found ourselves in, or will find ourselves in, assuming the other party wins. But cast your vote for me, angel, and we can both ascend together.

But that miserable f--king Hell is surely a relative place, right?, as likely half the people either didn't think it was so bad, or, maybe worse, didn't know until you told them. And we do this awful dance every four years, hoping things will change. 

Or...stay the same. For the most part.

It's like this endless f--king loop, that while truly inspiring (or awful) at times, ultimately ends up with all of us right back where we started. Which begs the question...

...why bother in the first place?

Seriously, that tagline should probably be plastered all over the polls in Nov.
Fine, Southbound, a 2015 horror-thriller, isn't actually about a certain political party here in the US, but it may or may not share some key features with it. Namely, narrow-minded murderous cults, a person who should not be in any hospital performing surgeries, and most obvious, a pair of decaying skeletons, flying over the Midwest terrifyingly eviscerating what's left of humanity. 

Though I counted four, apparently Southbound, something of a horror compilation, contains five interlocking stories, all set in a nameless shithole of a desert town. 

Our first story opens with a bang, as two bloody and battered dudes attempt to leave the aforementioned town, after some gnarly shit apparently went down. Off in the distance, some scary ass demon/skeleton thing is waiting for them, and eventually things get...well, messy.

From there, we get a couple of groovy minutes with a girl band, until their van breaks down along an isolated stretch of dreary, desert highway. Along comes a horribly Ned and Maude Flanders-esque creepy couple, promising to take the girls to the local the morning. After freshening up at their house, of course, and presumably taking long hot showers where each lady takes an environmentally-damning amount of time scrubbing their filthy bosoms. Oh, my bad. I was transcribing my dream journal again. Dinner is served, and chaos ensues.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My wife doesn't act like this.

Our photographer sucked.
We didn't even get a videographer.
I failed to invite any of my co-workers, some of whom are now basically family.
And my actual family?  Most of them didn't even bother to show up. Or send a card.
The guy who officiated the whole thing? Totally went off-script during the ceremony.

But the number one regret I have about my wedding? My Friday wedding?

The only place I went away to, afterward, was straight back to work on Monday. In a f--king middle school.

While we absolutely got what we wanted months after our wedding (uh, exactly nine months after [Will Smith ain't the only Deadshot]) with a healthy baby boy, we never got what we wanted days after, as a romantic getaway simply wasn't in the cards. But after finally digging up/into my first scary movie of the season, well, I might be okay with that, actually. More than okay.

In 2014's Honeymoon, young couple Bea and Paul take their post-marriage bliss to a cabin by the lake. Not only to get away from it all (and f--k like rabbits), but also as a bit of a f--k you to Indian food, as previously ingested spicy dishes shit all over prior plans to go camping. 

As newlyweds, they aren't exactly living inside of dead horses or finding mysterious stick bundles, as Bea's family has a fairly rad cabin. In the woods. And outside of some non bra-less sex (read that again) and a brief run in with a former...friend who was a boy, the whole getaway is perfectly romantic. But like any guy who thinks he's going to have days and days of uh, passionate love-making (I'd be more vulgar, but...I'll save it for the locker room) with his wife, something unexpected comes along and majorly f--ks up everything.

Let's just say long hairy things are supposed go in that opening...not come out of it. (Unless I've been doing it wrong all these years...)

Monday, October 10, 2016

You have never been a more endangered species than you are at this moment.

When a major Hollywood studio remakes something that people consider a classic, it's supposed to end up some soul-less cash grab that everyone rightfully hates.

And when that wholly unacceptable remake features live-action talking CGI-animals that occasionally break into song? We're supposed to collectively jettison the entire project to the darkest depths of movie Hell, and pray it stays down there for at least twenty seven years.

These are the rules, and it's foolish to even question them.

Well...unless the movie's really good. Then we're really f--ked.

Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book is really, really good. So good in fact, it's sure to only have the powers that be crank the Live-Action Regurgitron 5000 to eleven and churn out the remakes at warp f--king speed. But if they're as good as this one? Well, go ahead and pencil me in for whatever's coming next.

(Uh, after Beauty and the Beast that the Beast looks like a Saint Bernard had sex with a goat in the Upside Down.)

You know the story, but here goes, anyway. Young Mowgli was left alone in the jungle as a toddler, only to be rescued by a panther and raised by a pack of wolves (an origin story that probably describes a quarter of my previous students' upbringing). He's doing well as the only man-cub in the jungle, but unfortunately, the times they are a changing. A mean-ass tiger named Shere Khan shows up, and doesn't exactly want a human at the top of Pride Rock. So, Mowgli's got to go.

While his wolf-mom's not too hot on that idea, it's in the best interest of everyone. And on the way out of town, that nasty tiger shows up (out of nowhere, my goodness!), and attempts to kill the kid, but the super-rad panther Bagheera holds off Kahn long enough for Mowgli to tumble away on the Wildebeest Express.

Monday, October 3, 2016

There's something wrong with this place

If you ever get the chance, look up the story of Centralia. It's a small town in Pennsylvania that has been all but abandoned after a series of awful decisions led to what some would call an outright environmental disaster. Basically, the town sits on an underground mine fire, one that's potentially going to keep burning for the next two-hundred years.

Basement walls were hot to the touch, the ground began to crack, a sinkhole opened and tried to eat a kid, and as a result the state bought the whole town and told everbody to f--k off.

Not all of them did.

Apparently, a handful of people, not concerned about their health (or the fact that the town has been taken off maps), still live their today.

Sounds like a great setting for a scary movie, right? About that...

As the only feature in Block E at the Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival last month, Lotus Eyes certainly had my attention. Set in a future ten years after peak oil (and filmed in and around Centralia), director Joshua Land's film feels appropriately desolate and unstable. But, unfortunately, it also feels aimless and decidedly low-stakes.

Simon is a typical teenage boy, awkward around girls and uncertain about his future. When his mom's struggling business is robbed...again, Simon decides it's time to leave his shitty, dilapidated town and head south to uncle's idyllic commune. Despite the world being in a steady state of upheaval, his uncle's farm promises plenty of work, and even more enticing, plenty of food.

After a spectacularly awful attempt at getting the local hot chick to come with him, Simon loads up his backpack and begins the journey on foot. Lucky for him (and us, as watching this dude walk around alone for eighty minutes would have had me begging for the end of the world), he quickly runs into two twenty-somethings having a bit of car trouble on their way to wherever. Though Simon can't get a girl, he's a master at revving actual engines, and the three head out to a local campsite for the evening before parting ways in the morning.

Sounds cozy, right?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

HHFF 2016 Block E Recap: Shorts

A year ago, on the weekend prior to my birthday, my wife and I attended our first film festival, the Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival. Though, like any sequel, this year's birthday plans were going to be bigger and feature not only a trip to the groovy Midtown Cinema for the festival, but also an intimate appearance by Coolio, Tone Loc, and Vanilla Ice (among others). Unfortunately, thirty four sixth graders intervened as my birthday just so happened to fall on the dreaded back to school night, sadly devastating our plans to see the 90's hip-hop show mere blocks from our house. Fifty percent of my thirty-seventh birthday plans? Devastated. This was certainly no Gangsta's Paradise.

Luckily though, no children, not even my own, could impede our attendance to the film festival, as Block E was slated for Saturday afternoon at three o'clock. With the kids dropped at my mom's house and the twenty-five minute drive north to Harrisburg complete, we we're officially go for launch. Now, all Movie God had to deliver was 120 minutes of compelling, low-budget cinema.

About that...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I eyeballed it.

As I write these words (well, wrote), I'm anxiously waiting aboard Flight 5065 (with non-stop service to Charlotte) for the flight attendant to shut the cabin doors so we can get the Hell outta this place.

Wait a second...ah, nevermind. For a minute there it looked like that beefy dude outside was going to leave my luggage just sitting there on the runway, but he finally tossed it on the conveyor thingy.

Anyway, on the way into the plane, I managed to catch a glimpse of the pilot. He looked like a competent enough guy, with a profile landing somewhere between Harold Ramis and Jim's Dad, Eugene Levy. And as I stared at him, I couldn't help but think, no matter how good he is at flying airplanes, it's highly unlikely he's the best.

How can I now sit aboard his plane and have the stones to say such a thing? Well, to be quite honest, I've already flown with the best pilot ever. And judging by the box office numbers...a lot of us have.

And that guy looks a lot like Tom Hanks.

I don't know (or care to know, frankly) what liberties were taken in bringing Sully to the big screen, but whatever was added or omitted, the result is a fantastic (though thoroughly gut-wrenching) film. Under the direction of the legendary Clint Eastwood, something I never wanted to see in the first place became don't blink cinema. Happy endings aren't supposed to be this sad.

I'm sure you know the story, but if not, he's the short version. After a routine take off on a cold January morning in '09, Captain Chelsey Sullenberger's plane suffered total engine failure as a flock of Canadian geese flew into and disabled both main engines. With only moments to spare, Sully and his co-pilot decided to land the plane on (in?) the Hudson river, and unbelievably, everyone survived.

"And that's where the story ends. Sully was a hero for a couple of days, and everyone lived happily ever after. I guess. [flicks cigarette]. Are we done here?" -m.brown, the world's biggest a-hole,, had you asked him about the Miracle on the Hudson.

Okay, speaking of miracles, our flight attendant is super hot. She just literally handed me my nuts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

You tell me what God would allow this?

There was a very short time in my life (basically a weekend...or two) where my friends and I would wait until it got dark and watch people in their homes. The rumor was that this one woman in this one house walked around naked, and as seventh graders, the idea of exposed breasts was seemingly worth committing a misdemeanor.

As it was laid out by my older, moderately sketchy friend, it seemed like the perfect plan. We would wait until it got dark, take our ready positions, and boom: boobs. It would take all of like, five minutes. Sure, as the super nerd of the group, I was totally scared about getting caught, but everyone else in our crew basically told me to shut the f--k up. We'd get what we desperately needed, and she'd never even see us. 

What could possibly go wrong?

Don't Breathe is f--king crazy. Like, an absolutely hold-your-junk, try not to piss your jorts, f--k all of this shit level of crazy...and I loved every second of it. And possibly even more f--king insane? My wife liked it, too. A lot.

And she (supposedly) hates scary movies. A lot. 

Three young kids of varying levels of sketchiness seem to have being f--k ups down to a science. Alex, basically the brains of the operation, sets up low-risk/high-reward burglaries for he and his two partners, Rocky and Money. It's a pretty sweet setup, as Alex is able to get his crew in and out using insider information from his father's security company. Dick move, sure, but he's a kid. Those skinny jeans aren't going to by themselves.

Rocky, the poster girl to the left, is your typical moderately hot home invader. She's probably smart enough to do something better with her life, but is basically looking for the fastest way to get the f--k out of Dodge, er, Detroit, as her homelife is a real shit show. Oh, and surprising no one, Alex totally has a boner for her, and he reluctantly keeps up the burgle business to get her more money. Lower case money, that is, as the dude named Money is a real f--ker, and consistently ruins...well, just about everything. And I'm pretty sure he's banging Rocky (I guess he has a thing for young Jodie Foster, huh?), but it's been three weeks so I might be a little fuzzy on that one.