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.

Or will I?  Actually, it's the constant questioning of reality that tends to blaster-shit the bed of credibility, as the script throws us one curve ball after another. While the surprises are certainly enough to keep you leaning forward, it's the accompanying explanation of how it all went down that may send you reeling back. Yeah, seeing how it all happened is generally kind of cool, but there's only so many major f--king coincidences that you can ask the audience to swallow, you know? This isn't The Game.

With Smith and Robbie in the front seat and an even more impressive supporting cast in the back, I'm willing to roll the dice and recommend this flick, as long as you're not looking for a lot of substance. It's not that a movie about a con-man with a (potential) heart-of-gold needs to say something, but the presence of Will Smith, coupled with a decided non-presence of aliens/and or robot spiders gave me the impression that this film might. Spoiler Alert: it doesn't.

Also lacking substance and not really saying much of anything, ever, are the Yays and Boos. These two aren't big gamblers, as in the only currency they've ever earned came from this website. It's not like casinos accept Comments or anything. Or do they?

No bullshit. This is the Discount Double Check Guy.
And he's f--king amazing in this movie.
  • When Nicky gets caught as he's about to bang Jess, her 'husband' barges in to start the con. Nicky's too cool for that. In fact, he goes into detail about how dirty it was about to get. Like, R.Kelly, drop-cloth shit.
  • The pick-pocketing f--king jamboree they put on is so incredible, I almost wanted someone to steal my shit. Well, fine, I really only wanted Robbie to, um, rob me, but still - those scenes are oddly delightful. Oh, did I mention I carry my wallet in my underwear? Yeah, it's the one that says Bad Mother F--ker on it. Well it used to. But I sweated the Bad part off.
  • Not enough people are called Shit heels anymore. Let's bring that back, Shit heel.
  • Nicky's not a fan of Australian women. This little speech is contextually funny, as it's delivered to Jess, who's played by Robbie, and quite possibly from a large island nation.
  • I don't really know much about Gerald McRaney, but I know enough not to f--k with him. I loved his character Owens, as this guy is all f--king business. Oh, and his speech about sarcasm and the contemporary man? Might just be worth the price of admission alone.
  • And finally, even though it was a bit hollow, at the end of the day, at that moment, that's exactly what I was looking for. My next post will bring greater clarity as to why mindless entertainment is totally something to celebrate. 
Unrelentingly sexy, she is.
Amazing Amy she ain't.
  • So, you can set up an entire organization of thieves...and no one steals anything from the pile of stolen shit? Sure. I'll buy that.
  • All those bets at the game kind of f--ked me up for a minute. Seriously. I was uncomfortable. And not just 'cause of my wallet.
  • Hey, cool. thanks for that ass. Here's eighty-grand. Now, get the f--k out.
  • The second half of the film features a whole race-fixing thing, that I gave not a single f--k about.
  • Same goes for main bad guy, Mr. Europe Man  (though I don't think that was his exact name).
  • What the Hell was with that car-crash scene? We've spent the whole film being overly cunning, and then we get that? Subtle, it ain't.
  • The final twist rubbed me the wrong way. I think the margin for error is a little too f--king high, don't you think? 
  • And finally, Will Smith. Dude...when the Hell are you going to age? I looked decidedly older after the movie. This guy hasn't aged in fifteen years.
Hey, I'm sorry about that. While you weren't looking, I just robbed you blind (and you didn't even realize it). It was a pretty good score, too. I managed to grab six, maybe seven minutes of your life, and you're never getting them back. 

Or are you?

No. I just checked. You aren't. But at least you don't have to argue with the bank about it.


  1. lol this review. That's terrible you got your money stolen from you though. I got my car broken into in college and was super pissed about everything they stole, but getting into a bank account is so much worse.

    This film never interested me. Until I read this review, I had already forgotten what it was supposed to be about. Whoops. I'm glad the Discount Double Check guy was good though..


    1. Aw, you just reminded me...some a-holes totally broke into my car too. I don't even know what they took, but f--k those guys. Dicks.

      Honestly, that guy is so great in this movie, I now HATE those commercials less.

      Oh, and pass on this movie. It looks great...but that's about it.

  2. Absolutely love that first Boo. Actually, most of your Boos are spot on because we see eye-to-eye on this one. And margin of error is far too slim for anyone not using The Force. Seriously, that was ridiculous. Though I will own up to loving the car crash scene because of how dude prepared for it. Anyhoo, missing something, just barely is a perfect description. If you care, my review...

    1. Yeah, that guy was certainly ready. I feel like I should drive around with a neckbrace on...just in case. I knew a kid in high school who drove with a helmet on, so...this is kind of the same thing (though that kid was an asshole).

  3. "the always amazing Robbie"

    Oh, you :)

    I should finally finish it if only so I can slap it with that 5/10 I wanted to rate it, but there's always possibility the latter part of the film is even worse than what I saw so far and it will be lower

    1. Ha! We officially have a private joke. Well...Brittani might get it. But awesome regardless.

      I wouldn't bother, not that you would...unless I told you a time-traveling Harrison Ford and puppy-holding Tom Hardy show up and the end and fight Jason Statham's character from Spy. But, as I recall...I don't think that happened.

    2. I just got turned on reading this.

    3. Well, that makes two of us then. Rowr.

      (I'm sorry, I'm not even sure what creepy joke I'm going for here. I'll show myself out.)