Saturday, January 30, 2016

I'll take no pleasure in it, I promise.

I hate other people's houses. Clearly there's something (potentially very) wrong with me, but I never quite feel comfortable in someone else's home, no matter how many times the host insists the opposite.

If their house is nice, it's this tangible reminder of all the poor decisions I made in my life, and how I really wish I had a fireplace. And if their house is rundown, or inadequate in some way, I'm generally overcome with some weird guilt thing, which makes me mad because it explicitly lets me know I'm a giant asshole. Either way, I generally punch the ballot for let's get the f--k out of here, asap. 

Oh, and in the unlikely situation that their house happens to be just like mine (read: shitty), then I'm stuck thinking, I had to get in a car for this? (And I can't even take my pants off?)

But worse than other people's stuff, in other people's houses?

Other people's kids. 

And it's not even close.

I didn't really know anything about The Boy heading into it, outside of the one-sentence summary the Regal Theater app afforded me. Despite strolling into a late Tuesday night showing of director William Brent Bell's latest horror flick essentially blind, it wasn't what unfolded on screen that really surprised me. Nope. It was the fact that I wasn't utterly f--king alone in the theater. In fact, it was damn near sold out. 

What the f--k is going on around here, exactly?

Which is what our protagonist Greta (the doe-eyed Lauren Cohan) would have asked, repeatedly, had this little horror flick not been reaching for all that PG-13 cash. Instead, she wanders through a creepy-ass house, owned by creepy-ass people, while taking care of their creepy-ass...son?

See, Greta, after some domestic event that led to a restraining order back home, arrives/flees to some mysterious (and cavernous) English manor. Her job? To watch an elderly couple's son as they head off on a much needed holiday. The catch? Their son, this cheeky little wanker named Brahms, just so happens to be a f--king doll. Yeah. you read that right. And after a quick rundown of how to take care of little Brahmsy, his parents get the f--k out of Dodge, leaving Greta (and the paying audience) thinking...where did I go wrong in my life?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Now you'll learn what's Hell in Yankee Land.

Apparently, there's a drug problem in this country? Wait. What?

Now, I'm not much of a drug user, legal or otherwise, but I may just know a few people who dabble in such adult-oriented activities. I may even be related to some of them. Maybe it's my defeatist attitude, or general lack of interest in others, but people are going to do what people are going to do, regardless of the what the law says. .

Especially if it makes them wealthy, feel good, or...both. Even I personally don't agree with it, as long as there's a buyer, there will always be a seller. I'm sure of it. And you'll never be able to stop it.

No matter how big you build that wall.

Director Denis Villeneuve's 2015 thriller Sicario may not be about blowhard political candidates, but it's equally frustrating and hollow. Taking place on and around the border between the United States and Mexico, Villeneuve's latest effort depicts the ugly politics behind the even uglier war on drugs. It's an incredibly tense ride, that unfortunately ends right where it begins: somewhere f--king hopeless.

Emily Blunt dials down the badassery of the Full Metal Bitch only a notch or two, playing tough as nails federal agent Kate Mercer. Kate  is a pro, specializing in the kidnapping and rescue side of the drug trafficking business. After a raid in Arizona goes tits up, the straight-laced Kate is recruited by the extra slick, and vaguely-titled, Matt Graver (a moderately slimy Josh Brolin). You can imagine Matt as equal parts of each Jeffrey Lebowski, a laid back goofball who conducts business with little concern for the proper channels. Joining the aforementioned duo is a mysterious man named Alejandro (Benecio Del Toro, fulfilling his destiny), and let's go ahead and file everything about this dude as questionable. 

Mercer, after begrudgingly agreeing to join Matt's unit is thrust into the murky waters of unofficial business. Matt and his crew are getting things done in Mexico, but ethics and transparency were left at the border. Behind her unblinking eyes and unflattering gray t-shirt, it appears that Kate should have stayed behind, too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Y'all wanna lie on the ground and make snow angels together?

Roughly thirty years ago, I fell in love with a storytelling genre I didn't even know existed - the murder mystery. The film that opened my eyes had this small cast of eccentric characters, a story that occurred over just a few short hours, and was set entirely in one location. I sat there, wide-eyed and completely riveted, desperately trying to figure out who did it (where and with what). For a kid, the back-and-forth among the colorful characters was compelling, not to mention consistently hilarious. I wanted to tell everyone (meaning: my parents) about this amazing film, but there was one part I was unsure about. I mean, at one point, someone got shot. Once. 

And I...laughed? Was there something wrong with me?

Hey, what do you expect from a (until that moment) Clue-less seven year-old?

Wait, I know this one. Not much.

For Quentin Tarantino's eighth film, however, I was expecting quite a bit, honestly, and for the most part, I got it. The Hateful Eight delivered on all the things that make a Tarantino movie a Tarantino movie, without skimping in the least. In fact, the only real problem may be how much it delivers, as ol' QT makes a fairly simple story f--king epic.

Kurt Russell (and his infinitely badass mustache) plays John Ruth, a veteran bounty hunter hauling in a huge score going by the name of Daisy Domergue (a gnarly-ass Jennifer Jason Leigh). We're not sure what crime Domergue's responsible for, but the bounty is ten grand, and as were not far beyond the Civil War, that's a nice piece of change. While this bitch is certainly one, Ruth's got 99 other problems, too. An impending snowstorm is somewhere on that list, sure, but at the top? Well...motherf--kers keep showing up needing help. And even though pretty much everyone involved is some kind lying, racist asshole, there's an odd code-of-honor that exists among all of them. .

Hey Lloyd, look there's some people that want a ride, too! Pick 'em up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Scouts forever!

As kids, we weren't exactly encouraged to participate in any extra-curricular activities. On the off chance that one of the five of us inadvertently signed up for some after-school endeavor, the news would be met with only a passing curiosity. Not about the activity we longed to be a part of, no, that was irrelevant. The real burning question my parents always had?

So, how do you plan on getting there? 

Somehow, I managed to play varsity basketball in high school. And somehow, I actually held an after school job (cleaning the school, by the way - and you high school chicks are nasty). But that was when I was older and had a license. As a younger dude? No such luck.

No karate.
No swim club.
And worst of all?

No Boy Scouts.

Not that I was desperate to be a Boy Scout at fourteen, but after catching the f--king ridiculous 2015 horror-comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, I'll go ahead and fill out the application now. Scouts are cool as shit on a normal day, but when their town is taken over by the undead? Well, these dudes become f--king legendary.

Like a more hardcore version of The Monster Squad, Scouts Guide tells the story of a small group of social outcasts using their nerd-powers to save the f--king day. It's consistently funny, intermittently charming and I imagine (though I will never confirm) insanely re-watchable. I finished it at damn near three in the morning and actually considered watching it again. Immediately.

Ben and Carter are juniors in high school, and according to Carter, it's time to bail on being a Scout. But being that tonight is the night that their 'buddy' Augie is reaching Master Scout (or some shit), they reluctantly decide to set up camp one last time. Until Augie's asleep, and then they'll ditch his goofy ass and head on over to a top secret party across town. Ben's the honorable, straight-man of the group (as opposed to Carter, who's an obnoxious a-hole), and doesn't really support this. But...Carter's sister is going to be there, and well, she's pretty frickin' hot. That Massive Boner Handler badge isn't going to earn itself.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Whose juices have I tasted?

Oh God, yes. 

I don't even have to ask myself the question anymore. But the answer? It's always there. Momentarily shoving aside any rational thought I was in the midst of, I come to this conclusion with the speed and calculation usually reserved for...blinking. It happens all the time, and even if I really concentrate...there's little I can do to stop it.

And when I told my older brother of this process, he nodded. No shit. We all do that.
And when I (innocently/foolishly) told my wife of this process, she frowned. What's wrong with you?

Clearly, there's something wrong with me, but I'm just thinking if I'd have sex with the women that cross paths with me, not when. Or where. And there's a million caveats to my imagined scenario (like, assuming I wasn't married, for example).

Sleeping with Other People, on the other hand, presents us with not only with the wandering eye of your typical guy, but also his wandering dick. In addition to the oh-so-typical womanizer we're used to (the charmingly sleazy Jason Sudeikis), here he has a female counterpart, played by Alison Brie. Even in her attempt at monogamy she is missing the mark, as her guy belongs to someone else: His wife.

As convoluted as that may sound, it really isn't. After a brief hook-up in college, both then-virgins Lainey (Brie) and Jake (Sudeikis) go their separate ways. And after a chance encounter (at a sex addiction meeting, no less) they reunite, only to do what people in movies do: have an entirely meaningful relationship...with zero sex (wait, they're married?). Yeah, it's one of those plans that even on paper is terrible, but somehow two moderately-functioning adults would agree to. Hmm..I wonder how it will end?

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm here to put on a show. I'm not here to be comfortable.

Look, I'm a man. A married man. A married man with a pretty solid wi-fi connection.

So, I would never, ever lie to you and say that I don't. Because I have. And, Hell, I do. But soon enough? I'm going to have to change that to did. 

And while it's certainly to each his own, I suppose, there's so much out there...I don't even remotely understand how anyone could ever, ever enjoy a second of it. Yeah, I guess in a way it's all bad, sure, but I like to think that sometimes, on that rare occasion, everyone is actually enjoying themselves. It's a show, right?.

An adult show. Starring, you know...adults. Willing. F--king. Adults. Literally. Cause anything else? 

F--k that. Hard.

Shortly after Will Smith's Concussion [review] helped piss all over my enjoyment of professional football, along comes the Netflix documentary Hot Girls Wanted to crush the viewing pleasure of a different, um, full-contact sport. This one, all kidding aside, is a pretty tough one to swallow.

I should delete that.

Set in the impossibly seedy world of professional-amateur porn (yeah, that's a thing), this Rashida Jones-produced documentary tells the story of a handful of young girls living their dream of making it in the world of adult entertainment. Or, at least, that's how it begins. In an industry where most girls (wisely) bail after one month, Hot Girls Wanted primarily follows three young ladies for closer to a year. Safe to say, there's nothing happy about any of these endings.

Riley is a pimp. And I don't mean that as a compliment. As loosely as the term 'talent-scout' can be used, this former Applebees dish-washer has transformed his life in three simple steps: 1) move to Miami 2) buy a dumpy house and 3) get internet is aforementioned dumpy house. From there? Riley baits his hook simply by typing in the title of this documentary and casting his line into the murky waters of Craiglist.

The bait is taken damn near instantaneously. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Die with the lie.

I've been robbed once. At least, only one time that I'm fully aware of, apparently, as the thieves stole every dime I my bank account. No lost wallet, no missing debit card, just some (possibly?) hi-tech thievery that rendered me, for about a week, absolutely penniless.

Initially, I imagined it was a guy behind it. Some random asshole. And in my mind, he was a fat f--ker, with greasy hair and a face you'd love to punch. Maybe that mental image was the irritated result of all the bank-related f--kery I had to deal with to get my money back, or maybe that punchable face (belonging to an unsavory scumbag) was more of an amalgamation of bad-movie stereotypes.

Notice I said bad movie. 'Cause in good movies? 

Thieves don't work alone. They work in teams. Teams full of sexy, smart and ultimately likable characters.

Like... aww, I'd wish they steal from me!

Perhaps stealing two hours of the most precious commodity, time, is the 2015 crime-flick, Focus. Starring the rather dashing duo of Will Smith and Margot Robbie, Focus tells the tale of an master con-artist falling in love with his lovely young apprentice. 

Or does he? Because in these kind of flicks...who the f--k really knows?

What I do know, however, is that despite having two extremely capable leads, a groovy soundtrack, and style hanging out of its perfectly round ass, Focus seems to be missing something, even if just barely.

After a bungled con-job on Smith's veteran grifter, Nicky, the doe-eyed Jess (the always amazing Robbie) decides she wants in. Nick and Jess, after probably the sexiest on the job training scene ever, take their talents to the Big Easy, where a big game has turned Bourbon Street into sucker central. Nicky and his crew deal in volume, aka a lot of a little, and hustle and pickpocket their way to a solid $1.4. Or do they?

Ever the risk-taker, Nicky manages to lose all of the team's, um, earnings, after the weirdest pissing contest ever. Taking the form of an outrageous series of prop-bets with mysterious millionaire Luyaun (BD Wong, kicking ass for ten minutes), Nicky can't quit while he's ahead, and manages to lose everything in the blink of an eye. Or does he?

Okay, okay. I'll stop now.