Friday, May 16, 2014

I can't promise what's gonna show up at the door.

I'm not very handy. At least as far as 'around the house' is concerned. You need an obscure movie title, or a poorly written sentence about that movie? I'm your man. But say you live with me. And say there's a live animal trapped in the crawlspace, or an intermittently clogged main sewer line, or possibly even a broken storm door. There's nothing I can do about these things. I'll give it a shot, sure, but I'm going to make the problem worse. I'm basically worthless. 

So much so, when my wife and I were watching a movie last Sunday night, upon seeing a man completing actual tasks, she actually said 'If only we could get a convict to come to our house...' Ridiculous, right?

Fine. Maybe it isn't. But what is ridiculous, is just about every single frame of Labor Day. Redboxed, on paper anyway, as something my wife would potentially enjoy (while awake), but secretly because parts of it infuriated fellow bloggers Fisti and Brittani (which always make me curious), I didn't have any real hopes for this Jason Reitman directed love story. In fact, also didn't have any real idea what it was about, either. About that...

Set in 1987, Labor Day tells the story of divorced and depressed mother Adele (a permanently bewildered Kate Winslet), trying to hold it together for her early-teen son, Henry (an oddly engaging Gattlin Griffith). Dad has moved on and remarried (and is running S.H.I.E.L.D), leaving the two to tread water without a strong man in their lives.Enter Frank, a handsome drifter, quietly demanding they take him in. Obviously, Mama Bear's claws come out, that is until her dress comes off.

See, it turns out that this goateed mystery man is actually an escaped murderer with a bum appendix. Yeah, that old bit. And as Adele nurses him back to health/hides him from the authorities, she realizes that ol' Frank is exactly what she is looking for, twofold. A manly man for her burgeoning son, and a manly man for her burgeoning loins. It's been a long time since she's been in love, so you can't blame her if she's in a hurry. I might have bought her falling for Frank in a few weeks, but this chick signs up after a few hours. I guess that was some magical chili.

Winslet and Brolin are fine actors, and the story, as a whole, is actually kind of sweet. But I needed more than a few grains of salt to buy this romance, as it happens over a long weekend. Sure, movies tell us that true loves doesn't play by the rules, motherf--ker, but it might me take more than three days to replace the drain in our tub, let alone fall in love, teach a boy to be a complete man, make 900 perfect meals, clean an entire house, load the car and move to f--king Canada. But hey, that's just me.

Speaking of things that barely work, here are the Yays and Boos. If you can see through their gruff exterior, rugged good looks and calloused man-hands, they're just big ol' teddy bears who want nothing more than to love you. Passionately. All night long. Oh yeahhhhhh.... Oh, and your bastard kid, too.

You're close, Adele. But my appendix is actually located in my scrotum.

  • Ah, the ol' coupon book present. 
  • Frank is a scary f--k. There's no way he's getting in my c--, oh, wait. He's wearing a Red Sox cap. Pick 'em up!
  • JK Simmons. Even if it's only for two minutes, I'll take it.
  • If Jason Biggs and his pecker made you not want pie, this movie features the direct opposite of that. Not Jason Biggs, not f--king a pie, resulting in you wanting pie.
  • Barry the wheel chair kid. I loved this kid. Loved him. 
  • I'm not going to look it up, but was that Young Brolin a real dude, or come CGI witchcraft? Either way, I liked it.
  • Speaking of, old Brolin looked pretty fantastic, too. Almost just like that guy in those Dr. Pepper Ten commercials...
  • Brolin's Frank is a tough sumbitch, lemme tell you. He basically walks around with this dang ol' appendix is actin' up again look for the entire duration of his visit.
  • Officer Dawson! The most helpful asshole in the history of cinema, if not time.
  • I'm pretty sure we've got a world record here for loving glances.
  • Whoa, original Spidey is in this? And was that Mary Jane Watson in bed with him?
  • And finally, the ending. Even though I found the movie more or less unintentionally hilarious, the ending was very, very sweet.

  • Have a catch. Ugh. Guys, it's play catch. It just is.
  • A little heavy with the ol' ominous score, no? Jeez. I half expected Jaws to come out and eat Winslet's giant calves.
  • Frank, I realize you're pretty intense, but was the only movie in 1987 prison a very early cut of Batman Begins? That's the only way his voice makes sense. The only way.
  • The whole tying up scene. This is probably the sexiest home invasion ever.
  • Talking with your mom about sex is an easy Boo. Talking about sex with your mom in a f--king hammock that you're both sharing?. Something much worse.
  • I've already mentioned how oddly industrious this guy is, so it kind of goes without saying that working around the house might not be the best way to lay low. Just a thought.
  • Henry, the kid. This poor bastard face is permanently stuck on one emotion. It's hard to describe, other than to say that he looks like he's the first person to find out that aliens are invading Earth. He's terrified, but he's trying to be cool, too.
  • Hearing your parents doing it. This is bad, guys. Real, real bad. Unless you're my son, because, you know...(that means I'm doing it)
  • There's a point in the he-is-the-most-handy-guy-in-the-world montage, where it got extra ridiculous. Honestly. It's like a lifetime of accomplishments in just over 24 hours.
  • Cheese it! It's the cops! Let's get out of here! Hold on. Let's clean the entire house before we flee.
  • Guy at bank! F--k off, man. Just give my money, you overly cautious dickwad.
  • And finally, after that long weeked where that ex-con guy kidnapped us and ruined our lives even further, I think it only makes sense to commit your life to opening a bakery in honor of that magical weekend, don't you?
As if all those Yays and Boos weren't enough, we've got something else for you. The extremely good and the extremely bad, known today as the F--k Yeahs and the F--k Offs.

F--k Yeahhh!
  • Okay, did Adele have to buy the jacket Hank was wearing when he kidnaps her? 'Cause that's just awesome if she did. Oh, yes. We'll take the jacket, too. He really likes it.
  • The 80's, just as I remembered them. Yes, the use of a card catalog quietly thrills me, but having a motherf--king Fribble at motherf--king Friendly's? Brilliant.
  • Standing behind people as means of instruction! Man, Frank (a recently escaped convict, hmmm) loves this move. He not only uses it to improbably teach hand mixing, he also uses it to teach Adele how to swing a baseball bat. Hopefully she doesn't mind that souvenir sized Louisville Slugger in the small of her back.
F--k Offf!
  • Seriously, this movie takes a turn. It's all reasonably sad, and reasonably dramatic and then they hit you right in your soul with some seriously awful shit. Whoa whoa whoa, Labor Day. I came for a sniffle or two, not to be emotionally devastated.
  • Evelyn, the neighbor. Usually, awful characters end up in the Boos, but this bitch is f--king deplorable as a character. I'm not even sure how they cast her, and pray that she was CGI. Anyway, not only is this c-nt the worst neighbor ever (Can you watch my kid? Can I have my pan back?), but she is apparently the worst mother ever. Ever. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke the life out of her. C'mon, Frank. Step up. If you're already killed a huge f--king bitch, what's one more?
  • But even worse, is this little slut filling Henry's fragile little mind with all kinds of nonsense. Sure, Marsha Mathers (she's dressed like Eminem) may be willing to kiss you on a whim, but she honestly says the dumbest shit ever (Does he have charisma?). If there's an award for the worst written character of all time, let me cast my vote now. F--k. Off. 
While the number of projects around my house piles up, it really does appear that I am incapable of finishing anything. I'll start, sure, but I'll end up screwing it up and/or therefore never really seeing it all the way the through. But, I'm not completely worthless. There are some things I'm very thorough with. Some things I fully complete.

Take this post for


  1. I kept going through your boos thinking "where the fuck is the annoying teenage girl?" But you clearly saved the worst for last. I hated the neighbor, and I hated her. I wish Frank would've killed THEM. (or someone, anyone really)

    1. I can't think of a movie with such a small cast that featured not one, but two candidates for worst character ever. Usually, there's one person you just have to f--king hate, but with these two bitches, it's a toss up.

      It's been a week and I still want to punch both of them in the vagina. Vaginas?

    2. O
      I love that you both hated the fuck out of that teenage twat! I wanted to punch her in the face. I also wanted to punch the neighbor bitch...and Tobey Maguire, for speaking.

    3. You're anti-Tobey stance it's hysterical. I didn't mind him in the least.

      But that young girl? I wanted something very bad to happen to her. Or, the person who created her, at least.

  2. I don't know what hurt more, imagining the turn in this film or the last line in this post.

    Four lists in one post? Christmas came early, again! Winslet looks so good on these stills that I kind of want to see this film. You know, because my brain doesn't need enough bleaching already. I have a theory, though -- the boos are greatly exaggarated (especially the maybe-CGI-chick) and you, Brittani and Fisti just went full American because of the move to Canada in the end. Sounds about right, no?

    1. The turn is pretty least a little more than that last line, anyway.

      I certainly got carried away with this one, but that tends to happen with the super melodramatic films. This one just pours it on. Almost relentlessly. If you do end up seeing it (for the lovely Winslet [if that's your real reason]), let me know what you think. I'd love to blame Canada (I especially hate Montreal right now), but the fault here isn't those pointy-eyed goofballs.

      It's that chick. And the other one. They are THE WORST.

  3. This looks so unintentionally hilarious I may even give it a try. I remember ridiculous promos for that movie with romantic music in the background it looked like one of Sparks' adaptations.

    1. YESSSSS! I totally thought this was more Sparks goodness/awfulness too, but dice. It's still ridiculous all the same.

      But careful, it goes to a pretty bad place for a minute or two. Or thirty.