Saturday, August 29, 2015

This is not troubling to you?

In yet another installment of Not Being an Adequate Adult, I'm really bad at the whole present thing. Like, embarrassingly bad. I'd totally prefer to just give you my money, but being that I don't really have any, ever, that's not exactly a solid plan. Honestly, I'd rather you not get me anything, and we can silently agree that I'm going to do the same. Sounds fun, no?

But then people go and get married. Or have a kid. And then it's time for the dreaded registry. I've got two words for anybody referring me to their registry: The first one's F--k. The second, go ahead and take your pick between You and Off. Either one will suffice (actually, you can take both if you want). Sure it removes the guesswork, but it's basically a f--king ransom note. 

The worst essentially-mandatory present ever, though? The f--king housewarming present. Hey Hon, did you see our friends just bought a nicer house than we'll ever have? Fantastic! You know what we should do? We should buy them something for it.

Last Saturday, I managed to convince my ladyfriend to accompany me to an evening showing of Joel Edgerton's The Gift. Had I told her that we were seeing something scary (for her, anyway), she would have vehemently protested, but being that we're married and have kids, most conversations are a series of defeated sighs. But if there was truly a present exchanged that night, it would be the sheer delight I take in seeing her basically do a backflip during a jump-scare.

Oh, I f--king love that.

If you're not sure from that creepy ass poster, here's the quick-and-dirty. Late thirty-somethings Simon and Robyn, have relocated to the West Coast, in order for Simon to pursue a lucrative new job. Simon, played by that boyishly handsome Jason Bateman, grew up nearby, so this new gig is a bit of a homecoming.

Robyn's left alone to hold down the new house, and as played by the sublimely elegant Rebecca Hall, seems moderately interested in doing so. Robyn's taking some time off it seems, as the stresses of her former life in Chicago are the chief culprit in her recent miscarriage. The plan is to keep calm and make a baby. What could be scary about that?.

Well, not much, really, until they happen to run into Gordo (Edgerton), a real oddball claiming to have gone to high school with Simon. Initially Simon appears to have no idea who this guy is, possibly a faint recollection at best, but as the story unfolds it's readily apparent that Gordo is a rather unforgettable guy. Especially when he keeps showing up at your house with presents.

I'm not sure The Gift is a great movie, but I sure as Hell had a great time watching it. The atmosphere is a wonderful mix of pure serenity and throat-closing uncomfortable, as a beautiful house has rarely looked so appealing and awful at the same time. The performances are surprisingly engaging, even though you're covering your eyes and shaking your head with just about every made decision. Edgerton, who's been in every movie I've never seen, is particularly awesome, playing Gordo as a Lost Puppy with a Heart of Gold. Assuming of course, that said puppy quite possibly wants to cut your face off while f--king your wife in a koi pond. 

Speaking of sentences that should never be typed, here are the Yays and Boos. I've given them a week off for good behavior. Now if only my new students follow suit...

Yes, those are some nice pillows, sure. I'm just not sure if they're
fail-to-recognize-a-psycho-f--k-staring-you-down nice.
  • Initially, Gordo's relentless awkwardness is majestic. I almost died when he said he had one too many wines.
  • And the Academy Award for Helicopter Sound Effects goes to...
  • Eventually, Gordo has Simon and Robyn to his place for dinner. This scene is magic top-to-bottom, but the fact that Gordo leaves his own party makes my Awkward Moments Hall of Fame. Ugh. I loved how awful that was. Like, can you imagine?
  • Mr. Bojangles! What an adorable pup.
  • While Hall is really, really good, I think the casting of Bateman was f--king brilliant.
  • There's a lot of misdirection here, which I'm all for. I didn't see that guy showing up there. Poor bastard. 
  • Three. As in, the number of small heart-attacks my wife suffered during this one. The first one was sooooo loud, I think I spilled my Coke Zero in this funny line running from my crotchal region, down the side of one my pant legs. Bizarre, no? But that last one? That was a f--king doozy.
  • And finally, speaking of f--king doozies, how about that ending? My oh my, forget The Gift. This shit reminded me of The Game. Possible, yes. Plausible? Not f--king likely.
Simon: Do you like me?
Circle YES or NO
  • Yes, I love how awkward Gordo is. I do. But, if there's anything that I arbitrarily hate about another human being, it's people that linger. Gordo is a monster at silently standing around.
  • Note to self: never ever write anything on the fridge. (these are the worst moments in life, by the way, when you have to guess if someone saw/heard something awful you said)
  • Okay, f--k anyone who decides to snoop around another person's house. I'm not only mad that you're dragging me with you, and we're totally gonna get caught, but I'm also pissed that if I didn't go with you I'd that person's house. *shudder*
  • Private gates not opening. Coming? Impressive. Going? Terrifying.
  • Slash my tires. Record me and my wife walking around our house. All acceptable levels of mind-fuckery. But taking my dog? Not cool, bruv.
  • What was with White Detective Guy? What a weirdo.
  • As a teacher, and a parent, I've heard my share of atrocious apologies. But here? Just the f--king worst. I mean, really. You might as well just punch the guy. Oh, wait.
  • And finally, even though I secretly loved it, I'm pretty sure The Gift sets a cinematic record for REFRIGERATOR DOORS PROPPED OPEN. Yes, there's something inherently terrifying about what'sprobablybehindthatdoor! But after awhile, all that incessant door-opening made me think that Simon and Robyn didn't have parents when they were growing up. At least not good ones. Will you shut that f--king door already? Ma, I got it. Relax.
As bad as I really am at it, I've decided to go ahead and get you something special. Something that I know you really want. 

ITEM: END THIS F--KING POST ALREADY                  WANTS: 1          HAS: 1          NEEDS: 0

You're welcome.



  1. I agree with you about writing things on the fridge. I learned that the hard way. My husband and I always write stupid stuff on ours, and one morning I wrote "big floppy donkey dick" and never erased it. Then we had our realtor over when we were house hunting and he saw it. It was so awkward.

    Also fuck the jump scares in this movie, one of them got me. I haven't had that happen forever. Damn you, Gift!

    1. This comment is still cracking me up days later. I really wanted to tell my wife, but if I mentioned 'bog floppy donkey dick' to her, she'd look at me even more puzzled than usual. I saw SP: BLU in the theater...four times. I couldn't get enough of that damn movie.

  2. Great review! I saw this yesterday and really loved it. I've seen it compared with The Game more than twice now, so I'm definitely going to check that one out as well.

    1. Haha. Thanks, man. I remember being baffled by The Game, so feel free to let me know if that one holds up. As I remember, it's pretty frickin' absurd...but I guess that's a good thing.

  3. Love the caption about the pillows. Good stuff. Great review, as always. Sounds like a fine entry in the psycho stalker genre.

    1. Yeah, Dell. It's definitely a good entry into that particular genre. I would certainly recommend it. And if you can pull it off?

      The LOUDER the BETTER.

  4. I've got to say I'm relieved to read your wife reacted to jump scares - if she didn't I'd seriously worry her sleeping is some sort of narcolepsy condition :P

    1. Yeah, I'm with you. The other night, I'm pretty sure she fell asleep mid-sentence.

      Though, to be fair, I was the one talking.

  5. Ha, I love that you tricked your wife to see this. I figure if you went to see 'Pitch Perfect 2' with her, she kinda owes one.

    1. It was the only way to get her to go, well...outside of her undying love of Mr. Bateman.

      Pitch Perfect 2 sucked, but I simply can't regret time spent with Anna Kendrick. You could leave her on my front porch anyday. Rowr.

      (that sounded much creepier than I would have liked)

  6. Love this! Yes, Gordo was the perfectly awful and awkward creeper. And I agree that Bateman was perfectly cast... he's good at playing a dick but this REALLY played to that strength. "Sublimely elegant" is the perfect way to describe Rebecca Hall. Everyone did such a great job in this. And yeah that ending... so horrible and freaky but also so damn unlikely but I didn't care.

    1. Bateman was perfect because we WANT to like him. Even in full-on dick mode, I was still like, Aww, that's Teen Wolf. Too.

      I felt like the cinematography made me love Hall even more than I naturally would. Like, Gordo was behind the scenes (I know...he was...sort of) creating these luscious frames of Hall just milling around her house or heading out for a jog. She was soooo good.

      I'm with you, totally. Ridiculous? Yes. But awesome? Yeah, that too.

      Thanks, Jess!

  7. Duuude people who linger are the WORST. It's like... have some social convention and take a cue. You ever throw a party and there's that one guy left (it's always a guy) who just won't take the hint to leave and then you're finally like, "Yo, leave." So glad you got that feeling from this movie as well. His lingering was so damn creepy.

    1. As a teacher, trust me, it's only going to get worse in the next decade. Social cues are lost on anyone under the age of twenty. I don't think they exist anymore.

      Yeah man, Gordo just didn't get it. Or, when he did, it was like two hours too late.

      I would die to hear someone drop a sweet f--king YO. LEAVE.

      (maybe I'll try that in school tomorrow)