Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Ten: Best Christmas Movies of All Time

It's my favorite time of year again.

No, no. Not the annual Lexus December to Remember sale, silly goose, but that time of the year when some wonderful person invites me to a blogathon...and I basically shit all over it. This year, it's the lovely and talented Brittani at Rambling Film who (accidentally? begrudgingly?) invited me to the party. Better yet, this year? It's a holiday party. So, here it is...

My yule log.

Nostra is the brains behind these rad relays, and this year's race is no different. The premise is simple: ten (Christmas) movies are passed from blog to blog, with each new site being tasked with dropping one flick and adding another in its place. The rules are better explained here, so feel free to pop on over to My Film Views and check 'em out.

For me, the toughest part of these relays has always been not being an uber-dick and tossing out the flick of the person who invited you, you know? So it's a good thing that Brittani jingled my bells by adding Gremlins with her selection. I mean, any movie where a monstrous creature is microwaved by an attack victim, totally deserves a spot on The Best Christmas movies of all time. Seriously.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I don't know if this is an appropriate story...

I know you should never say never, but I feel like I'm never, ever, never ever going to be a stepdad. I've got two kids of my own, and trust me - that's more than enough.

If the situation ever arose where I wasn't married to my lovely wife anymore (um, is she divorced me, obviously), I would probably move to an abandoned cave like the Grinch and hope to die as quietly as possible with a dog I taped antlers to.

Remember, I teach other people's kids for eight hours a day. The only solace I take in this miserable existence? At least I don't have to parent them.

Daddy's Home is the laziest of lazy comedies. Likely written on a Jimmy John's napkin and fleshed out on a series of Post-It notes, this 2015 comedy is as bland and nonsensical as they come. Oh, there are certainly some laughs to be had, but Wahlberg and Ferrell could (and possibly did) do this in their sleep.

Ferrell plays, get this, an adorable loser lacking the respect of most people around him, namely his two step-kids, Sassy and Jerkface (that may not be the names of their characters). Shockingly in reality, but par for the course in a lame comedy, this giant doofus has a (relatively) smoking hot wife. And when her ex shows up to be a part of everyone's life again, it's not only the Daddies that are home.

So is the hilarity!

Even more pressing than the question why would I write that? is the question why would I watch this? The answer is two-fold, my sexy friend: one, I'm a moron and two,  my son has been desperate to see the second one (damn that ubiquitous trailer), so I wanted to take a look beforehand. Um, that's a negative, Ghost Rider. So consider seeing this flick a bad decision/good parenting.

Uh, or something.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Show me what you got, muchacho.

It's hard to talk to your kids about how much life sucks.

Try explaining to a little kid that loves his toys, that someday, he's going to have to put them in a box and grow the Hell up. Try telling your little girl about that moment when she'll start the transition to adulthood, and her brain will basically implode to the point where no one will want to be around her. For almost a decade.

Or, better yet, see them through a happy childhood, and then drop on them the idea that their dreams of having a family of their own...might not ever come true. Tell them that maybe the best thing they have to look forward to, is obliviously drifting through the cosmos, slurping chum through a straw as machines live their lives for them.

Go ahead. Gather the most precious thing in the world to you...and break its adorable little heart. 

Or, better yet?

Have PIXAR do it for you.

This time around, with their latest film Coco, the fine folks that gave us Buzz and Woody (before ripping them out of our hands), have gladly put the toys away and set the table for a party. A party, you say? Yes. A party. For everyone in your family that's dead. Including that one guy that was violently murdered. 

Wait, what?

Set during the Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos, Coco focuses on a fine young dude named Miguel. Born to a family of shoe makers, Miguel's got more soul than sole, as he dreams of playing and making music like his undercover hero, classic movie star Ernesto de la Cruz. But, as the legend goes, it was sweet, sweet music that almost destroyed Miguel's family, and on this day to honor his now deceased ancestors, nobody wants to hear anything resembling a melody. In fact, it would probably kill his grandmother to hear Miguel's angelic voice and/or the strum of his acoustic guitar in the upcoming talent show. Maybe he could enter it...secretly?

No. No chance, amigo. By jamming on a magical guitar he never intended to play, Miguel ends up crossing over to the land of the dead, and well, everyone's gonna find out about 

Which might just be his curse.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Something tells me we're not getting the band back together.

Who was your favorite member of the team, Dad?
Who's on that giant sticker you slapped all over your laptop?
What do you think I should dress up for next Halloween, dearest husband?
Why won't the DCEU just go away forever already?

...why are you looking at me like that? I just want to go to sleep. I have a headache.

Obviously, Wonder Woman is the answer to each of the  above (mostly non-fictional) questions, and also the reason I have already seen Justice League twice in its first week of release. Oh, I got the memo I'm supposed to hate the shit out of this movie (and essentially the entirety of the DCEU), but I'm simply going to reject that logic. In fact, I'm going to reject all logic. And you should too. This is a (comic book!) movie, for f--k's sake, about people with superpowers (well, most of 'em) fighting something that looks like Benedict Cumberbatch had an insane three-way with an armored goat and a CGI tree. Eat your popcorn, watch things go boom, and chill the f--k out. And if you're still not enjoying yourself? Wonder Woman.

Remember when Batman killed Superman? Me neither. But apparently he did and the world has become an extra shitty place (though, let's be honest, living in fictional Gotham and Metropolis where hope doesn't exist still seems better than say, I don't know, actual America). Good thing Bruce Wayne has a plan, and that plan involves forming a team of superheroes, which he will presumably lead. The catch? Bruce is the weakest member of the team, moving with the grace of a wounded snowman.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

This was never a beach-side puzzle.

In Utah, assuming you've perpetrated a horrendous crime, you can choose, yes, you can opt into, the right to be executed by a firing squad. Like, right now. Twenty-seventeen. But only because they're currently all out of lethal injection drugs.

Wait, what?

Apparently, there are five volunteer shooters (all trained) that carry out the execution, but only one of their guns is loaded with an actual bullet. The other four are firing blanks. Perhaps obviously, no one knows who has what gun, so the person who ultimately kills the murderous bastard remains a mystery. 


A bunch of seemingly random people getting together in the snow-capped mountains, with the collective intent to kill a killer. 

Don't judge me, but I loved the trailer, too.
I've never read (or seen) the works of Agatha Christie before, so please forgive me for enjoying Kenneth Branagh's updated take on Murder on the Orient Express. Apparently, this movie sucks hard, and is significantly worse than the film version that came before, but I was more or less captivated for the hour-and-fifty-four-minute runtime. And being that I'm obviously a moron, I didn't see anything coming. And quite frankly, I'm not sure how you could.

Hercule Poirot is the world's greatest detective, and though the competition is stiff, he also just might be my favorite dick on the planet. See, Poirot's gift is totally his curse, as his insane attention to detail consistently robs his life of joy. When we meet Poirot, he's just publicly solved a case at the Wailing Wall, and is looking for little rest and relaxation (and, if I'm being frank, time for a little Dickens). Unfortunately, fate ain't exactly interested in all that, and throws Poirot an Oliver of a twist, routing him back to London to solve an urgent case instead. Lucky for him, there just so happens to be one seat left on the most regal of locomotives, the exquisite and opulent Orient Express. Should be a relaxing ride to London, right? Well, it could have been, had Edward Scissorhands not been stabbed to death along the way.

Monday, November 20, 2017

If you have to go, go. But it would be really great if you stayed.

I don't remember what the priest said exactly (he went way rogue during, the ceremony), but I'm sure the whole in sickness and in health thing came up. I mean, it's part of the rules, right? You pledge your life to someone, you can't f--king bail on them when they get sick, right?

But what if you're not married yet? Hell, it took me seven years to propose. I was already being enough of an asshole. If she had gotten sick, I wasn't going anywhere.

Okay, dickhead. Try not to pull anything patting yourself on the back, okay? What about if you're not even dating? What if you've already broken up?

Uhhhhh....about that.

Being that I'm a moderately-functioning consumer of moving pictures, it goes without saying that of course I had heard about The Big Sick prior to watching it with my wife the other night. Of course I knew it was based on Kumail Nanjiani's real-life relationship with Emily Gordon, and how their relationship persevered through her life-threatening illness.  And of course I was going to love the shit out of it, because, well, it's not like I'm a f--king heartless prick, incapable of joy and basic human empathy.

Uh, so Kumail, at least, is a good dude, amusingly struggling through life a burgeoning stand-up comedian
(and Uber driver). After a show, as I'm sure is so often the case, this funny dude meets a seemingly lovely young woman and they hit it off. Turns out this chick is, you guessed it, Emily, and after a quick check on the guy your mom married, she heads the Hell home. Clearly Kumail wants a little more than a one night stand (wait, what?), and the inevitable game of cat-and-mouse begins. The catch? Kumail's family are some pretty traditional Pakistanis, and are desperately trying to arrange his marriage. To a fine Pakistani woman. Ain't nobody got time for some white chick and all her bullshit. If he's going to pursue Emily, he's gonna have it covertly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Watch out for his fingers...they make sparkles.

My son has been having a rough go of it lately. Awful nightmares, sleepless nights...rough mornings.

My wife questioned him at dinner the other night, and he immediately broke into tears. Red face, head in his hands, quiet sobbing - the whole bit. Of course, she looks right at me, equally saying/staring to me, What did you take him to? What was the last movie you two saw? (Could that be it?) 

Instantly, I put my hands in the air. No, hun. I promise. There's no way that movie could have given him a nightmares. No. Way.

I mean, that movie? The last movie we saw together?

It was a dream.

Loki is basically a massive dick on this poster.
Thor: Ragnorok was everything I/we hoped it would be...and more. Maybe a little too much more, in fact. Me and the boy had been waiting patiently to see it on the big screen since that rad trailer debuted months back, and it's safe to say, it didn't disappoint either of us.

Miraculously caught on opening night (we had to be ready to give up our seats if someone, er, (st)rolled in), the third Thor flick opens with the God of Thunder in the worst hammock ever, captured by some giant lava-monster thing, likely planning on world domination. There's some witty banter, a few extremely solid jokes (the spinning!), a few moments before Thor frees himself and kicks all kinds of ass. It's funny, cool as Hela to look at, and is a perfect five minute snapshot of what will happen in the next two plus hours.

Honestly (/annoyingly, I know), if I have any gripe with Taika Waititi's kickass entry into the MCU, it's the fact that here, in the third Thor flick, this sumbitch is over two hours long. I enjoyed my time in and around Sakaar (can something be sexily downtrodden?), but I think I would have been cool if Mr. Waititi hadn't added those thirty-plus minutes after Comi-Con. Unless, those minutes belonged to Korg, of course. Cause that motherf--ker's like, mandatory.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Everyone was warned...but no one listened.

There are many great mysteries in life. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Who is responsible for all of this?

Sometimes, these questions overwhelm me - freak me out a bit. So I go to the movies to escape the infinite emptiness of life (and have some popcorn, let's be honest). But when I sit down...the questions? ...They return.

Why am I here? What's the point of all this? And most pressing...


In the case of my latest trip to the cinema, it's quite clear the butler did it. Yes friends, our old pal Leonidas, Mr. Gerard Butler himself, has again given  us the ol' One Two straight in the greasy dick of good taste, by starring in the 120 million dollar shit-fest, Geostorm. I've always assumed I'd be bummed out by the end of the world, but if nuclear death means I'm unable to see the next great/totally shitty disaster film, sign me up. Somebody grab Little Rocketman by the p-ssy, asap.

Actually, for about three, maybe four seconds, Geostorm was kinda cool. See, in the near future, the world's climate has gone to Hell and major storms have killed countless f--kers. A team of scientists, whatever those are, creates a massive system of satellites capable of neutralizing any weather-related threat. Say a major hurricane is forming directly over your house. Well, whatever the perfect conditions are for that f--ker, these satellites, known for some reason as Dutchboy (the finger in the dyke kid, if I recall correctly), beam down the opposite requirement, immediately negating the shit-storm that was about to ensue. And since this system was a joint effort of many nations, it seems the world has found itself...relatively peaceful. The only real titty-twister apparently, is who gets control of Dutchboy next. The USA was steering the ship...but in just a short time, it's time to pass the Dutchie on the left hand side, know what I'm saying? 

Yeah. Me neither.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Somebody's gonna kill me tonight.

Wake up. Begrudgingly.
Shower. Stoically.
Put on one of the same five outfits... the same 32 miles. Hate job, hate life...for eight hours. Drive those 32 miles in reverse...
Come home, kiss my wife, hug my kids, momentarily feel like a person. Eat. Workout.  Go to sleep. Then, guess what?
Wake up. Begrudgingly... 
Aw, a cake? Really? You shouldn't have.
Oh, and also, murdering me later? Too much! Stop!

To a degree, we're all living our own version of Groundhog Day, but the trick to repeating our days over and over again...well, it's living to see the next one. In Happy Death Day, Tree Gelbman has found herself in the unenviable/aforementioned spot of living the same day again and again, but unfortunately for her, she keeps dying at the end of it. Like, actually dying...not just a tiny piece of her soul every twenty-four hours, like the rest of us.
If I remember correctly (and I probably don't), Phil in Groundhog Day was doomed to repeat his day for the rest of his life, while young Ms. Gelbman seems to have an infinite number of tries. See, when she wakes up in the morning, she feels the ill effects of her murder the night before. She doesn't look like she's been flattened by a bus during a sexy catfight (redundant, no?), but she certainly feels like it. Basically, she's gotta find the f--ker who keeps killing her before he does it...again. Good thing the list of suspects is about yay long *makes grand gesture toward crotch*.
While this flick isn't anything more than a tame/lame ripoff of the 1993 Bill Murray classic, it's surprisingly unoffensive. It's been almost 25 years since Ned Ryerson got hilariously punched in the face (also redundant, I realize), but clearly, we've got bigger cinematic fish to fry, bigger Hollywood injustices to be concerned with. Hell, one of the characters flat out states that this story is a rip-off of Groudhog Day, but Tree's a college girl. She's never f--king heard of that movie (a moment that made me smile like an a-hole). So let's all chill the f--k out, you know?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Give 'em heck.

It's not easy being in a relationship with a woman. Especially when you're a f--king jerk.

I've been with my wife for over sixteen years, and I have done many stupid and selfish things. Nothing major, mind you, nothing to kill our relationship, just a repeated pettiness akin to death by a thousand cuts. Oh, she's not perfect either, but I know, deep down/rather obviously she's a wonderful, caring person, willing to sacrifice anything for the people she cares about. Including... Someone who's basically a f--king idiot, more or less drifting through adulthood like a giant child, occasionally charming enough to be considered...likable.

It's like, sometimes, I think we might be direct opposites of one another.

Even though I wanted to drag her to Blade Runner 2049, I knew my wife would be way more interested in writer Simon Beaufoy's Battle of the Sexes. We had caught the real-life retelling of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs' famous tennis match on her favorite TV show, CBS Sunday Morning (did I mention she has the television viewing habits of an out of touch grandmother?), so a quick plot synopsis as we drove kid-free to the theater was very reassuring for her. A decided lack of flying space cars, a 6:30 start time and a smuggled in piece of cake (if only I were joking) essentially guaranteed one of us was going to enjoy ourselves.

About that...

While the real-life event must have been a spectacle in its day, there really isn't that much fight in Battle of the Sexes. Featuring a perfectly charming cast, an infinitely fascinating story and an early 70's setting presented in all it's awful glory, it was somewhat surprising that, for me, the whole thing didn't amount to much. Clearly/sadly, this story is as relevant as ever, but simply being timely isn't enough. A little urgency would've been nice.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's America at it's f--king finest.

I've never done anything illegal.

Not really.

Hell, I've driven too fast, probably gone a place or two I shouldn't have, but all bullshit aside, I've lived thirty eight years on this f--king planet without getting into any trouble. You'd think an impeccable conscience would be a good thing, right?

You'd think.

Not that I'm looking to be on the run from the law and/or various factions of international drug cartels, but holy f--k American Made presented living a life of crime nothing short of scintillating. Directed by my teenage hero, Doug Liman's latest is an absolute blast from beginning to end. And Tom Cruise? Well, f--k me sideways, but this might be one of his best...ever? (shit, lately seemed like faint praise...).

Starting out in the early 70s and rollercoastering through the mid 80s, American Made tells the brilliantly twisted tale of Barry Seal, a one-time TWA pilot turned government reconnaissance pilot/international drug mule/CIA operative/jack-of-all-trades. Karl Malone can politely f--k off, because it's Barry Seal that always delivers.

Generally, I'm a real bitch about these incredible true stories, but even if only a tenth of this shit happened, Seal's story is so f--king rad I'm gonna go ahead and embrace any embellishments. And seriously, as much fun as this movie is, why the Hell wouldn't you?

As the preview so perfectly captured, Barry's a good pilot flying the friendly skies for TWA. Apparently he was their youngest pilot ever, and when he's approached by the quietly mysterious Schafer to work for the good guys, Barry isn't asking too many questions. You got a job? He'll take it. More work couldn't hurt for a young dude with a young family (and a lovely...lovely, young wife).

Sorry, I'm drooling for some reason.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This isn't science. This is pseudo-science.

I'm not saying she doesn't earn it, but when my wife falls asleep moments after we put the kids to bed, let's just say it's...disappointing. She'll sometimes sleepily say something to the effect of, no, no...I can make it...and I just nod along, like I don't know exactly how this story ends. Maybe one minute after her pledge, she's basically dead to the world.

I could do just about anything (aw jeez, not that) and she wouldn't even remotely come back to life. She's just frozen in place, and I'm left wondering, now what the f--k am I going to do? You know, other than sulk for the next day and a half...

Anyway, I've figured out a solution. And it's a good one. When she grabs a blanket, I grab my keys.

No fair, man. I want to die next.
Look, some of you a-holes might know that I don't give a damn about the quality of films I'll see, but now that I've got a MoviePass, I don't give a damn, shit or f--k. Ten bucks a month? I'll take one ticket to...whatever the f--k you got. Which, combined with my inanimate ladyfriend, is exactly how I ended up at an opening night showing of Flatliners. Not only did the movie suck an entire bag of dicks, but it also sucked the life out of me. I was good for the first hour-plus, then my neck could no longer support my skull.

A remake/reboot/regurgitation of the 1990 Joel Schumacher flick, this updated version fails in just about every way imaginable. It's incredibly bland, entirely nonsensical, and the its biggest's not even remotely scary. Oh, and it's rated PG-13. No tits. No asses. Nothing. The only thing that gets the dialogue.

Apparently, med school is hard and the teachers are super mean and all anyone's got time to do is study (and have sex...offscreen). Things are like, so difficult and demanding, it takes like, an extra mysterious invite to get a bunch of these Doogie Howser bitches to meet in a vacated classroom in the bowels of an all-glass hospital in the middle of the night. Seems Dr. Juno is hard at work on studying the brain...of dead people. Now she just needs a few not very good almost-doctors to assist her in this hush-hush study group. But instead of highlighters and cocaine, all you need to bring is your unsteady hands and a desire to go to prison. See, instead of do no harm, these kids are planning on killing this chick...waiting a minute (or nine) and then bringing her back. I mean, what could go possibly go wrong?

Monday, October 9, 2017

I'm not gonna

Buying them? The best. Shaking the box and imaging the impending possibilities is pure no matter how old you are.

Building them? Even better. Meticulously, feverishly, everything comes together. You step back like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Yeaaahhhhhh. Look what I have createddddd. 

But then there's the third interaction. When you're not exactly sure what to do with them. You just kind of stare at them blankly. what?

Sadly, it feels like all the initial joy and wonder of the shockingly good duo of previous LEGO movies [reviews here and here] might have finally worn off. And there, sitting on the shelf collecting The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Built with love but ultimately doomed to a Ziploc bag of anonymity, the third go-round with the shiny plastic pieces is ultimately missing a few bricks, to say the least.

I know nothing of the lore of the television show and its (number) year run on (television network), but as any moderately savvy dad of an eight year-old boy, I was at least remotely familiar with the LEGO Ninjago franchise. Color-coded ninjas used giant mechs to stop evil. Uh, and stuff.

The movie (perhaps?) adds a little more to the equation, with team-captain/Green ninja Lloyd, dealing with not only swarms of invaders on a daily basis, but the life-sucking secret that his own absentee father is in fact, their leader. After a few hilarious battles, Lloyd confronts his dad, the delightfully ridiculous Garmadon (Justin Theroux, doing his version of the Will Ferrell-lovable jerkface character), and sets in motion a series of events that will change their relationship forever. Lloyd was on the verge of throwing the relationship with his father away forever, but ultimately couldn't do it. And it's not because his dad never taught him how to throw.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

No. I don't think that's extreme at all.

Going undercover seems like it would be pretty f--king great. Honestly.

Infiltrating some nefarious organization with the hopes of blowing it to Hell from the inside out, would be like, the coolest shit ever. Yeah, it would suck when I'd inevitably end up balls deep, Donnie Brasco-style, and unable to turn off the charade, likely disappearing into the requisite facial hair forever.

But as much as losing everything in my real life would bother me, what would really keep me up at night?

All the goddamn studying. You gotta know f--king everything.

After a relatively compelling preview, I schemed out quite the f--king elaborate plan to catch an opening-day matinee of American Assassin. And after I had arranged all the fringe players (uh, my mom...and my wife, to a degree), clearly defined their roles in the covert operation, I made the soul-crushing mistake of doing a little extra reconnaissance. And by that, clearly I mean I skimmed the early, mostly shit-tastic reviews. 

While I was convinced that no film starring Michael Keaton as a military hardass could be anything less than f--king brilliant, trust me when I say this movie basically sucks. It has all the components to be a competent revenge thriller, but unless you're a thirteen year-old girl (who has never been to the movies), the only thing American Assassin kills is about two hours of your life. Good thing on that day...I had nothing but time.

Though it seems in (extra) poor taste in light of current events, the film opens with a lovely young couple enjoying a vacation at a picturesque beach resort. The dude, Mitch, proposes to his impossibly sexy girlfriend...moments before some terrorist motherf--kers show up and start indiscriminately gunning people down. Mitch gets hit, but he's going to make it. The love of his life? Uh, no. She's gone. And when we next see Mitch eighteen months later, he is too. Instead of that romantic goofball on the beach, he's basically become the f--king Terminator, training to kill anybody and everybody that had a hand in the death of his woman. Aww.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

There is bad men everywhere.

At any given moment, we're all terrible people doing selfish things, lacking any level of regard for the world around us.

But we can be redeemed.

After catching the shorts at the Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival, as soon as intermission was announced, my wife and I ravenously burst out of the tiny theater and basically extreme shuffled our way to the concession stand. Yeah, some pretty crunchy dudes run the joint, so the popcorn is about as flavorful as a Ziploc full of gravel, but it's warm and salty so...yeah...we'll have a large. Or we would have, had that f--king stand not been boarded-the-Hell up. Turns out, not only was popcorn out of the question, but so were drinks, candy and other deliciously terrible thing you could think of. We weren't pissed...but, rather disappointed might be the best way to put it.

If you recall, I had just found out that my grandfather had finally passed. Yet here I was...

...mad about snacks.

In Happy Hunting, the feature that anchored our block of films, Warren is also a miserable bastard living his life painfully (blissfully?) unaware of what really matters. But instead of being a selfish prick like me, he's something way more honorable: a raging, knock-down drunk.

One day, Warren comes out of a stupor long enough to answer the phone, and it's mostly apparent that someone has died, and Warren needs to get his ass to Mexico to sort some shit out. That might be a tall order for any of us, an abrupt trip across the border, but Warren is a major f--k up, so this endeavor is bordering on Mission: Impossible. Good thing he's already got some crank cooking on the stove, and a pair of human shit-stains nearby willing to buy it. Um...kinda.

After the uh, transaction, Warren hauls ass down to Mexico, but ends up getting stuck in the little town of Bedford Flats (pop. 135), Texas, along the way. The townsfolk are little more than absolute f--king whack jobs, and it's all-too clear that Warren has stumbled into some impossibly weird shit. Unless you find an annual hunting and murdering of drifters not all that weird (honestly, at this point in seems kind of...possible). So, not only is our main dude dealing with a bunch of blood-thirsty rednecks, but he's also dealing with the shakes, the sweats, blurry vision and maybe even hallucinations. Sounds fun, right?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

HHFF '17: Block D Recap: Shorts

My grandfather, Richard Brown, passed away last week at his home in Bristol, Connecticut. He was surrounded by two of my aunts and two of my uncles, and apparently it was as peaceful a passing as one could ever hope for. He made it a day past his 92nd birthday, which was two days after I turned 38. Shocking no one, I was sitting in a movie theater when I got the call.

I didn't answer my phone, but seeing that it was my own father calling from Hawai'i (and it was not on a Sunday), I knew the contents of the voicemail awaiting me. Though I'm sure he made his fair share of mistakes, and was far from a perfect man, he was an excellent grandfather. He always had time to listen to my nonsense, but even better, he had time to tell me some nonsense of his own. And when one of his ridiculous stories would end, he'd often sum it up with a favorite go-to phrase:

You don't have to be crazy, but it helps...

Had he been sitting in the third row with us (shoot, maybe he was), my grandfather could have turned to my wife and I and used his old punchline once again to perfectly sum up how we, attending our third consecutive Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival, felt as each short ended. All of the films were well-made, and one could assume, deeply personal, but as likely the only people in the sparse crowd not in the cast or crew of the entries, it's safe to say we didn't enjoy them as much as everybody else seemed to, you know? 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

That's not something you get to talk about.

Last year, I had just enough time to see Sully [review], and when I returned to work that night, I was rattled to say the least. I had to meet and greet the parents of my new students less than an hour after sobbing my way through the Miracle on the Hudson and I recall not really giving a damn about what anybody was saying.

This past Wednesday, a day shy of one year later, I managed to sneak in another flick before the dreaded Back-to-School Night kicked off. I wasn't the shell of a person I was in 2016, but my head clearly wasn't fully in the game (not that it ever is). See, it's hard to talk about some kid's future...

...when you've just spent two hours thinking about your own kid not having one.

Wind River, despite being set in the cold, hopeless dead of a snowstorm is an absolute f--king fireball of chaos and anguish. Anchored by men who've seen it all but don't say much, writer/director Taylor Sheridan's latest film is one of the best films I've seen in quite some time, and easily the highlight of the summer. But didn't you see it on back to school night, dickhead? Hey! Get that logic the f--k outta here.

I don't imagine working for the Fish and Wildlife Department is typically a life-or-death job (unless, you know, bears), but when Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner, cementing his status as the absolute f--king man) is recruited by FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen, incredible as always) to help with a homicide case, the body count has just begun. And while the people we'll lose along the way will certainly sting, it's the people that died along time ago that absolutely destroys us.

Cory is an expert tracker, with not only a vast knowledge of the unforgiving Wyoming landscape, but also an expert of many of the people that make their home on it. When Banner shows up to the Wind River Indian Reservation to investigate a homicide, it's pretty clear she ain't exactly dressed for this party. She's smart and incredibly resilient, but she's young. And these old men aren't exactly thrilled to be answering to a girl that's old enough to be their daughter.

About that...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Glad I got to meet you before you died.

Where did you get these stains from?

As a young man, this question could quickly test your ability to craft a quality tale of fiction, but in this case, I opted for the stone-cold truth.

Oh, I got those in the sewer. 

My mom, as I recall, didn't bat an eye, and likely didn't even offer a follow-up question. She was more concerned with how the Hell she was going to get this brown stuff off the back of my white T-shirt. See, as a chubby sixth grader in the fall of 1990, along with a rag-tag crew of my friends, I used to explore the sewer system that ran throughout our quaint Hawaiian town. Crouching, we'd enter the small drain that emptied out into Josh's backyard and then find the main drain that flowed through the center of town. It was so tall we couldn't touch the ceiling, not that you'd want to in the first place. And being that it didn't rain much in our town, there wasn't really much down there of note. Well...

...until we found a dead body. 

(of a pig...but still)

Oddly enough, that same sixth grade year was the first (and only) time I read Stephen King's epic novel, It. As a kid, it was surely a memorable read, but I can't honestly recall if the exploits of Pennywise the Clown started or stopped our sewer-exploring exploits. We were really dumb kids, obviously, so it could have went either way (and perverts, too, as I read that one scene more than once to this group of deviants).

As an adult who ain't got time for any of that (reading lenghty novels and/or sewer browsing), I somehow found myself dealing with that creepy f--king clown again, exactly twenty-seven years later. But instead of swinging a dying flashlight around a musty drain pipe with Josh, Aaron, Jenny and Jess, it was me and Grunden and a packed f--king house to see the big-screen adaptation of It. Regardless of what anyone actually thought of the film, it was nice to be at a f--king event. 

While the book bounced back and forth between the childhoods and adulthoods of the main characters, director Andy Muschietti and his writers instead tell the sordid tale of Derry, Maine by focusing only on the early days of Bill, Eddie, Ben, Richie, Mike and Beverly. It's an interesting (if ultimately unsurprising) decision that pays off handsomely in the hands of such a gifted and charismatic cast of young actors.  While the film is certainly unsettling at times, it is an absolute joy to spend two hours with these incredible kids. And I don't say that lightly, as you know, I'm a teacher. Meaning?

I f--king hate kids.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

When I talk to him, I feel like I'm outside.

Being that I'm four-fifths unsightly troll, I had to work really hard to get a girl to like me in high school. Really hard. I had to like, be witty and stuff. Always. I had to (not) captain our (winless) varsity basketball team for two tumultuous seasons of BIIF (Big Island Interscholastic Federation) competition. Hell, I wrote f--king poems, you guys. Actual rhyming words, for f--k's sake. Oh, and Taco Bell? It's on me, m'lady. And, yeah, f--k it. Get some Cinnamon Twists, too. I'm making those part-time high-school janitor dollars.

But maybe love shouldn't be such hard work, right? Maybe it takes more than the personality and charm of a middle-aged bus driver catch the eye of a lovely young woman. Maybe it takes something more universally coveted. Something like...

..long hair.

And a f--king skateboard.

Risk sanity...for everything...everything.
In yet another episode of m.brown is a stupid asshole who watches shitty movies like a middle school girl, I decided to give something called Everything, Everything a go. Redboxed from the gas station nearest my house (which for some reason, creepy Google has decided is my place of employment), this teen-drama made me feel like a very old man. Like, the young people were talking, but a f--k I could give. Yeah yeah yeah, your life sounds real hard, kid. 

Try being a f--king adult.

Maddy is days away from turning 18, when the edgy and brooding Olly moves in next door. While it would be nice to meet him behind the U-haul for an e-cigarette and some dry humping, ol' Maddy can't leave her house. Ever. Yep, this chick has some ultra-rare immune deficiency or something, and any contact with the outside world will kill her immediately. Or so says her mom, Dr. Pauline Momlady (possibly not her real name). And maid Carla, you know, the one who just walked in from outside and handed Maddy the f--king mail. 

You're probably smart enough to know how this one ends, but clearly I ain't exactly setting the world ablaze with my mental capacity, so it took me way too many of the 96 minutes to figure it out. While I was hoping Olly would put 'em on the glass for Maddy to gaze at longingly, these two lovers are going to surprise everyone/no one, and break all your goddamn rules in the name of true love. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017


In order to quickly find some common ground with my students, every year I begin with a short presentation about my life. I talk about my hobbies and interests, my dog, my depressing job history (they're always rather impressed I used to work at Best Buy), and most importantly, my family. And while I cover each of my four siblings (and my own kids) in some detail, I can't help but take a little more time for my favorite of the bunch: my little brother.

Obviously, everybody in my family means a great deal to me, but there something a bit more special about the goofy/handsome bastard born after me. 

It's like, even if he doesn't need it anymore, I feel like I gotta take care of him. Or at least look out for him, you know? But there's a price for that extra love.

I also give him a little more shit, too.

My kid brother didn't accompany me to the early afternoon showing of Logan Lucky I somehow managed to catch this past Friday, but I left the theater feeling like he had. Turns out, when you spend two hours watching a pair of goofball brothers bumble their way through an elaborate heist, you can manage to steal time with someone you haven't seen in almost three years.

Wait, what?

Channing Tatum plays Jimmy, fifty percent of the unfortunate Logan brothers, each seemingly doomed to a failed existence. When we meet Jimbo, he's doing the single-dad thing with his adorable little daughter Sadie, and trying to scrape together an honest living. Jimmy was supposed to make it to the NFL, but after ripping up his knee, ended up working construction near his shitty home in Bumf--k, West Virginia. Which is exactly where his boss sends him, after laying him off due to the dreaded pre-existing condition. 

Shit, right? Sounds like Jimmy might need a drink. So he heads to the local dive bar, which just so happens to be run by his one-armed brother Clyde, played by the delightfully/perpetually sullen Adam Driver. Clyde is a good dude, even if he doesn't have much to show for it. And when Jimmy decides to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway, shit, Clyde doesn't bat an eye. His brother needs help. It's not like he'd ever say no. He's just gonna talk a little shit first.

Friday, August 25, 2017

He slammed into something he shouldn't have slammed into.

Being that it's late August, and having completed ten glorious weeks of basically being nineteen again, regrettably, I have to go back. To work. 

Back to the classroom. 
The one with kids in it.

And as I sleepily drive to school every morning, I start to (once again [this is an annual event]) fantasize about all the other jobs I'd rather be doing. At my lowest moments, it's essentially anything else, but there's been a steady top 3 for years.

  1. UPS Guy: the shorts! the truck! the solitude!  
  2. Landscaper: listening to music! driving a small car with blades on it!
  3. Garbage man: um, when you're not hanging on the back of a moving truck, your jumping off of it, lifting something heavy, and throwing it into a hole where it gets smashed to Hell. *squeals*
Deep down, I know I'm not ever going to be any of those things, but it doesn't hurt to dream does it? But maybe I need to step a little outside the box, you know? Maybe fantasize about doing something so might just work. Something like...

...butter sculptor? Or, better yet, used car salesman.

One of my best imaginary friends (we've never actually met, but still) has a thing for a certain actor, and there is, at this point, no way I can disassociate the two. I think of her, I think of the the actor. I think of the actor, I think of her. And when I stumbled onto a little film called Butter (barely) starring said actor, there was simply nothing I could do. I had to watch it. 

Especially when I was pretty f--king sure that she hadn't seen it. 

I say all this, because I'm thinking an elaborate and /or nonsensical story is the only way one ends up watching director Jim Field Smith's 2011 goofball comedy. Like, it was the only DVD Grandma had...or, after visiting the World's Largest Rocking Chair, we needed to wind down with a movie...

Set in the world of competitive butter carving, this flick tells the the story of Laura Pickler, the domineering wife of a newly retired state champion named Bob. Despite the nice house and affable husband, ol' Laura ain't really got all that much. Except a flaming stick up her ass, frankly, as Bob's glory was what she hung her hat on. Now that he's bowed out, she's Hell-bent on taking the title herself. Unfortunately, Laura will not go unopposed in the run up to the big show. She's going to have to beat a trio of upstart competitors: a kooky cat-lady, an angry stripper, and of course, a talented orphan.

Hmm. I wonder who's going to win? Here's a hint: not us.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Let the pain run through you.

She comes in, and you can just tell, something isn't right. On many fronts.

She's talking to everyone in the theater, and though I can't hear what they're saying, it's obvious that she's asking them to check their tickets. Eventually, she clamors up into my section, and stares down at the good folks also seated in Row D. Through the glasses clinging to the tip of her nose (I'm assuming that prior to the movie, she had been reviewing ingredients for stew), she eyeballs everyone, before noisily demanding that the people to my left are in her seats. She keeps saying, I have 7 and 8. I have 7 and 8. But she's talking to 5 and 6 (after already badgering 2 and 3). 

Finally, she's next to me, 9, and she's trying to put her drink she brought from home in the cup holder to my right, and it's not fitting, because, you know, it's holding my phone. But she ain't giving up. I eventually intervene and unearth my Galaxy, and after collapsing into her seat, she looks up at me and says, why's it so dark in here? It's at this point I see the little boy she's towing behind her. I kind of shrug to myself, thinking, it's usually pretty f--king dark in the middle of the goddamn movie.

And when she finally looks at the screen, she notices Idris Elba is shooting everyone in his path, and she asks 5 and 6, what movie is this? Their response contains only three words, but their tone suggests many more.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, she bellows. We must be in the wrong theater!

I'm assuming that crazy lady was trying to take her grandson to see The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, but somehow ended up tits deep into The Dark Tower. And while I truly commend anyone taking a little kid to the movies on a hot summer day, her noble attempt was nothing short of calamitous. See, even if you mean well, you can still f--k up a good thing.

Despite having read a shit-ton of Stephen King books when I was a kid, I don't recall reading any of The Dark Tower series. When the film was announced, the general consensus seemed to be a combination of it's about f--king time and don't f--king bother. Apparently, these books were so good, there was simply no way one film could do them proper justice. Especially if it was only ninety-five minutes long...

...and f--king terrible.

About that...

Honestly, as I've said countless times before, expectations are everything. If you're like me and head into this one not knowing the books and knowing that its currently just getting its drivers license over at Rotten Tomatoes , you're not going to expect all that much. Which might work in the film's favor, oddly enough. Clearly, it's not the worst f--king movie ever, which would have been pretty cool, but instead? It's the one thing a film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey shouldn't be: inexplicably boring. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

I look for pleasure in the details.

I'm not sure if other dads do this, but I tend to say lots of ridiculous and untrue things to my children.

I invent countless fictional characters, give them horrible accents, and try to make my kids laugh by detailing the horribly unfortunate lives these accident-prone individuals lead. This summer was dominated early by the unholy trio of Trixie Biscuits, Skooch MacGillicuddy, and Pumpkinspice Malone.

But when my son came home from camp one day and told me that there was a pair of German siblings in attendance, everything changed. Otto and Gunther, two young and very serious German boys became my go-to characters.

And it turns out, perhaps surprisingly, lots of crazy shit happens in Germany.

If I had to take a test concerning the finer plot details of Atomic Blonde, I'd probably be rolling the dice on at least half of the questions. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the movie (um, as someone who appreciates beautiful women, that would be f--king impossible), it just gets to a point where who's working for who and for what reason becomes about as relevant as anything in this post that's not a giant picture of Charlize Theron.

Basically, this flick plays out like most spy films (at least in premise), with a coveted item unfortunately ending up in the wrong hands. Shocking no one, this hugely important thing is likely to be sold off to the highest bidder, a.k.a the guy with the thickest accent and/or deepest voice, so we're going to need an agent in there yesterday to recover that sumbitch. Like, a secret one, right? Like...someone that will just blend in. Not a nine-foot tall goddess made out of equal parts porcelain and adamantium. Because, you know, no one would notice her.

Turns out, buried deep within a wrist watch that I imagine, at some point, was up the ass of Christopher Walken, just so happens to be a list with the true identity of every single undercover agent in the Cold War. And being that no one knows who the f--k is who (including me, the viewer) or who the Hell they work for, heads are certainly going to roll in the process of securing this timepiece. Well, I guess they're not going to roll, exactly, more like cave in or explode. The Berlin Wall came down on a Thursday, but trust me, leading up to that? It's quite the Blue Monday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Against the Crowd '17: Blogathon

Dell and KG are at it again, so my advice is we check it to wreck it. Let's begin.

In terms of blogathons, these two dudes drop probably the biggest event that I know of (or, uh, am loosely invited to), and it can be summed up in three lovely words: f--k you, everyone! Wait, what?

Here are the rules:

1) Pick a film that everybody thinks is a wonderful achievement in the arts, and let them in on the little secret that it's no better than a massive turd, rolled up in wet newspaper and microwaved on high.

2) Pick a film that everybody thinks is a raging dumpster fire, and let them know that if they ever say anything else bad about said movie again, the only thing burning out of control will be their toothlesswithered corpse.

3) Make sure, after reading your entry, no one ever talks to you again.

Welp, here goes...everything. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's preventable, that's the worst part.

It's late summer of 2017, and when I turned on the news this weekend, the flickering headline said three dead at white nationalist rally. Being that my kids were already asleep, I was able to watch the footage for a few minutes, and all I could think to myself was how f--ked up this godforsaken country is. How I absolutely dread where we're headed...

...moments after kissing the cheek of my precious four-year old girl. Seriously, where am I supposed to find comfort in this world, when I'm the father of such a little kid? Where's my solace?

Oh, right. This level of awfulness?

It's nothing new.

I wasn't super excited to see Detroit this past Tuesday, but I'm increasingly glad I did. It's rare that my wife and I get a night to ourselves, and I knew she wanted to see something light and fun. Yeah, about that. See, shocking no one, Kathryn Bigelow's latest? It's the direct f--king opposite. 

It's late summer of 1967, and after the police raid an unlicensed club in downtown Detroit, hauling out many African American veterans in the process, tensions between the police and the people on the street escalate exponentially. Despite being encouraged to chill the f--k out by community leadership, the crowd turns violent and rioting and looting erupts.

The next day, as local police and national guardsmen patrol the city, the film's action picks up with an officer named Krauss pursuing a looter. The dude flees on foot, and instead of letting him go, Krauss shoots him in the back. Multiple times. By the time Krauss gets back to the station, he is informed that murder will be indeed, the case they give him. Inexplicably, however, he's allowed to finish his shift.

Well, at least he'll probably play it cool, right? Being that his ass is most definitely grass, right?

Right? *crickets*

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

That was beneath you.

I don't have a job that keeps me staying late at work. No out-of-town conferences. No sexy co-workers putting their hand on my toned shoulder, laughing and turning in slow-motion.

I've been with my wife for so long, I wouldn't even recognize any ex that could show up on a rainy evening, with a broken high heel, scraped knee and a bottle of wine. Not that I have a lot of them any way. [Seriously, I might have more buttholes than legit ex-girlfriends.]

I don't own any sleeveless shirts. And I wouldn't ever cut wood on a hot day, never would wipe my brow with the aforementioned sleeveless t-shirt, revealing the rock-hard abs that I don't have.

The lady next door is pretty old, and if I was ever caught sleeping with her, jealous is the last thing my wife would feel. I'd lean more toward nervous. Or nauseous.

My point? If things ever go south between me and my wife, she has nothing at all to be jealous about. The only place I ever go The only person I talk to late at night?

Is you.

When I saw the preview for Unforgettable earlier this year, I knew I was going to absolutely Redbox the shit out of it. I knew I would happily pay my two dollars and twelve cents (uh, gotta go with the blu ray, right?), and knew that I would unequivocally love hating it. But what I didn't know, and totally should have, was that my wife would fall asleep before the f--king thing even started.

*dramatic pause*

That. Bitch.

Actually, I'm not really mad at my wife, as she busted her ass yesterday and deserved the early snooze. No my fire and fury is solely reserved for everyone involved in this smoldering garbage can. See, I wanted a glorious dumpster fire to roast delicious f--king s'mores on using only my bad-movie boner as a skewer. But instead, what I got? A lame flick and a limp dick. Here's why...

Julia (Rosario Dawson, hot as ever) has met some dreamy guy and is headed by car in some direction (West, one could only assume) to spend the rest of her life with him. She loses her luggage on the way, but get this, not her baggage. Oh, f--k me. Anyway, it turns out that said dreamy guy is David, owner/operator of a successful brewery, Crazy Slut Ale House. Okay, that's not the name - you got me. Anyhow, detective, David's got a scarily hot ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl, still with a great set of personalities), who, shocking no one, ain't all that stoked to be replaced. But instead of stepping aside like a regular person, Tessa cranks the crazy up to eleven...million... and makes Julia's life a living Hell by always walking around topless and unnecessarily washing really dirty cars.

Okay, that also didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I'm not dead. I'm just...regrouping.

I don't know what the Hell is wrong with my house, but if you step outside for more than a minute, there's a good chance you're coming in with at least one mosquito bite. If not eleven.

Outside of the time I got very, very sick from a bite a couple of years ago, these little annoying f--kers don't even phase me any more. But my wife and kids? Goodness. They come in the house holding their arms and legs like they got shot.

And while I used to think they were being dramatic, I'm starting to think they're underselling the pain. Cause a bullet? Shoot.

That ain't nothing. 

Quite the circle jerk, no?
I started to lose track near the thirty-minute mark, but I'm pretty sure that every character in Ben Wheatley's Free Fire takes at least one bullet, if not eleven. And for the most part, even after getting shot, this gang of motley scumbags, keeps on keepin' on. It might be admirable...if it were altogether decipherable.

Set in damn near real-time, the setup is both simple and entirely convoluted. The initial gang we meet, led by that handsomely terrifying bastard Cillian Murphy, is gearing up for a late-night meeting in some abandoned factory. On the agenda? A pretty epic arms deal. Brie Larson and Armie Hammer are helping to broker the deal, in addition to some low-level grunts tagging along to do the heavy lifting. Literally.

On the other side of the table, is the consistently charming Sharlto Copley. He and his crew haven't exactly brought the right weapons, but as far as he's concerned, a gun's a gun. And after a tense moment or two (and a shit ton of shit-talking), it appears the deal is a go. The money is counted, the van pulled 'round. Pleasure doing business, ya know?

Oooh, about that....

Monday, July 31, 2017

This is my malfunction. I can't be 'meh' about anything.

Look, we were all in high school at one point. We all got off on hating that shit that everybody else loved, right? I did, you did, we all did. Well, except that one guy, he was too cool to hate...or like...anything. A real trendsetter he was...never setting a trend.

But, man...I'm telling you, there's this trend going around that I refuse to participate in. Like, I'd rather be caught licking ice cream of a dead donkey's dick, then to perpetuate this black eye on the jizz-riddled face of humanity. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher (a shitty one), or maybe it's because I'm a 'blogger' (also a shitty one), but I can't stand the constant need for shortcuts in everything writing. So it should be pretty clear when I say:

I f--king hate emojis. Hate every stupid f--king thing about them.

This is clearly the work of Satan.
But I love my kids. And being that it's my daughter's birthday, and my adorable little angel devours those awful things, I had to take her and her brother to see The Emoji Movie. But didn't you just say you loved you kids? 

Good point.

I'm not going to say that I enjoyed any aspect of this dreadful movie, but after hearing that it was possibly the steamiest of steaming piles of dogshit, I hate to report that it's really not that bad. Oh, it's terrible, uninspired, hopelessly boring and sends likely the worst message to kids in the history of time, sure.  But, uh, what would one reasonably expect from something called The Emoji Movie? I mean, at least it's not eighty-six minutes of an older gentleman acquiring Tin Roof from the shaft of a decaying ass. Uh, why do you keep typing that?

Because, uh, obviously, there's no emoji for it.

But what there is an emoji for is 'meh', and perhaps shockingly, he's is the star of our film. Yep, it turns out the little shitty character responsible for how stupid people explain indifference (myself included), Meh (as voiced by T.J. Miller), is having a bit of an identity crisis. And instead of thinking everything is, you know, meh, this f--ker has feelings that he feels the need to express.

Using...*throws hands up* emojis. Well, of course he does.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

There's no hiding from this, son.

You're reading a movie blog, so I know you know.

You're sitting there in the theater, waiting, eager. Yeah, this is fun, but it's not a game. You've arrived on time (missing the previews means missing the movie), set your phone on vibrate, dimmed the screen, Hell, maybe you've even taken your shoes off. You might even have your notepad out. Nerd. 

I mean, fellow nerd.

Anyway, you're sitting there, and you hear them coming. Could be loud kids, a family, an old couple - whatever, but you hear them coming and you think, what the f--k is wrong with people? Is this not a civilized world we live in? And you watch them loudly look for their seats and you cross your fingers so tightly, they just about snap off at the knuckle. The tension mounts.

Lord, just let me make it through this. This will be the last time I ask, I swear.
I just want to do what I came here to do...and get the Hell home. 

Take this tension, this momentary flutter of the (geeky) heart, and multiply it by say, infinity, and you have your average ten-second span of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. Sitting in the theater last Tuesday night, I'm not sure if I was breathing too fast or not at all, but as a cinematic experience, few have had the emotional impact of Nolan's latest.

However, like I imagine it to be for a soldier, the impact of what I have seen...keeps evolving and frankly, getting more intense as the days go by. So much so, I don't think I want to revisit it.


Many of the films I've seen this summer struggle with keeping one story straight (or consistently interesting), but with Dunkirk, howeverNolan deftly weaves together three. Each is a rather intimate tale of strength and survival, shockingly free of any of the hallmarks previous war films have hung their hat on. While the stories are indeed small, they eventually come together to create something that borders on spectacle. It's so smart, so technically stunning, you almost don't feel your heart being ripped out of your chest. Almost. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

That's okay. We all make mistakes.

I know it's possible, but how the f--k does one person make a better sandwich than somebody else?

I'm serious. If all the ingredients are the same, it should be impossible to have such a varied experience. Say you enjoy one person's B.L.T, then for f--k's sake they all should be good, right? You take the bacon, the goddamned lettuce, and a f--king tomato, slap that shit between some bread and it's hoo-ray, lunch is served. If you've got the slightest f--king clue about basic sandwich composition, you can't f--k it up.

But here's the thing. Bad bacon, is still f--king bacon, so if you like it, it's good times. You can't really f--k up lettuce or tomato, unless that shit is moldy or wilted, and then you're just an asshole for serving it. Ah, but what about the delivery system, right? What about the bread?

Turns out, you can totally f--k up the bread. 

The main problem with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and they're are a host of them, is definitely the f--king bread. While the rest of the film is serviceable (if not awkwardly chaotic) science-fiction, it's the dysfunctional duo of actors holding it all together that are squarely responsible for this film's epic failure. While some of you may dig these two, not a single f--k could I give.

And I wanted to!

Luc Besson has served up some pretty tasty movies in his career, and if memory serves me correctly, one helluva B.L.T science fiction flick (known around here as The One Where the Lady Has Rocks in Her Belly). But while that one had Bruce Willis and Mila Jovovich to leap through Besson's chaotic sci-fi world, in Valerian, we're stuck with two strung-out looking cool kids that are supposed to be top-tier government agents.

Right, like someone so unqualified and utterly miscast could ever rise to such a position of power in the government.

Oh, f--k me.

Monday, July 24, 2017

This ain't no treasure hunt you're on.

When the hotel my father worked at changed hands, apparently the new ownership had to technically rehire every single person that worked there. And whenever they (symbolically?) lined up the twelve hundred employees, according to him, my pops was rehired first. Yep, the man that I will inevitably look just like, was goddamned Employee number 1. 

While that story may be totally number two, his clout at that massive Hawaiian resort was impossibly legit. Years later, as a fellow employee (wonder how I got that gig?), and even as perpetually clueless as I was (/am), I could feel it. In fact, whenever I f--ked up, I didn't even have to mention who my dad was. Not only because I'm not that kind of asshole (clearly, I'm a different kind of asshole), but...

..because somebody else always would. Immediately.

Half the time, it totally sucked having people always kiss his ass when they spoke to me, as if I was going to run home and say, Gee, Dad! One of the bartenders said you're a swell guy! But the other half...well...occasionally... had its moments.

Speaking of a fleeting moment here and there, let's talk for a quick second about Winter Kills, a political thriller from the year I was born, 1997. I mean, 1979. One of those.

Watched so I could (perhaps intelligently) appear on the 93rd episode of Todd Liebenow's rad podcast Forgotten Films, director Willaim Richert's flick is, to put it lightly, a mixed bag...of absurd nonsense. 

When we first meet Nick Kegan (a very young, very handsome Jeff Bridges), he's on some sort of ship, in the middle of the ocean. A helicopter lands, and they hastily bring aboard a man wrapped in bandages head-to-toe. Apparently, before this dude dies, he's got some information for Nick.

See, nineteen years ago, Nick's half-brother was assassinated during his term as President of the United States. This bandaged guy, in between moans and gasps, claims he was one of the gunmen. In fact, if Nick heads to some building in Philadelphia, he'll find the murder weapon stashed in the floor. Oh, okay then. Guess he'll have to sit around a gigantic boat doing nothing some other time.

Friday, July 21, 2017

King Kong is dead.

When the end of humanity is finally upon us, I hope there is a moment before the impending carnage, where we all take a second or two to realize how, more often than not, conflict can generally be avoided. Things don't have to end in battles or wars, but instead can end in conversation, compromise and ultimately, peace. Share a Coke and a smile, for f--k's sake.

Yes friends, peace is entirely possible, if people weren't such stupid f--king bastards, Hell-bent on ruining shit for the rest of us. Sometimes, it's a collective that destroys everything, like a political party, or a nefarious corporation damning us all in the name of profits and shareholders. Other times it's simply an unhappy prick, gleefully sharing his or her own personal misery with the rest of us.

That said, when the world as we know it is coming to an end, I ask you, dear reader, to tip your cap to the dickhead who started it all. You know, that blonde-headed twat, who had to ruin everything. Again. The one with the name you'll never, ever forget. The one, the only...

...Draco f--king Malfoy.

While Tom Felton has made a career out of being a no-good dipshit, the Battle for Hogwarts can't hold a magically floating candle to the War for the Planet of the Apes. Malfoy helped destroy Hogwarts, sure, but Felton's Dodge Landon (the douchey zoo-keeper from 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes [review!]) helped destroy the f--king planet. And unfortunately, he wasn't the only one.

Continuing the trend of awful human beings doing terrible shit, Matt Reeves latest Apes film opens with a tactical force infiltrating an Ape stronghold. Caesar, further evolved and as badass as ever (Serkis for Best Everything), manages a victory and even catches a few prisoners of war. Instead of killing them like, say, a wild animal, he instead releases them to return to wherever it is they came from, in an effort to stop all the senseless violence on both sides.

This gesture is appreciated, and the humans bid the Apes good day. 

And by that, clearly I mean they don't give a f--k, double back in the middle of the night and slaughter Caesar's sleeping family.

Wait, they did what? F--king people are the worst!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Obviously, I got second pick.

This is my six hundred and fifty second post.

For over half a decade, I have reviewed every single film I've have seen. Sometimes, I can start writing about a movie without the slightest bit of hesitation (it helps when my definition of 'writing' is mostly coherent horseshit, with commas!). But occasionally, I get stuck. Very stuck.

It gets so bad that I don't even open my laptop to do non blog-related things, simply because I'm consumed by this invisible demon breathing down my neck. I thought hobbies were supposed to be fun.

They are, but how can you create something when you've got absolutely nothing to say? 

Oh, right.

Just add Minions.

In full-disclosure, I think I wanted to, but yes, I hated Despicable Me 3. Had I not been flanked by in-laws (yeah, you read that right -one on each side), I'm quite positive I would have fallen into a deep, deep slumber. 

And if I had, and been rudely awoken to find out that I had not only been loudly snoring, but for the first time in my life, had actually shit my pants publicly, I still think I would have left the theater in a better mood than I did. At least in this imagined scenario, my shit was fresh. Because what was on screen, was anything but.

Four-ish movies in, and we're already at the desperate point where Gru has recently discovered that he has a long-lost twin brother. And if that's not dick-crushingly bad enough, his twin brother's name is Dru, and he's a stupid asshole.

While Gru and Dru are essentially having an epic tickle fight no cares about, Gru's (once?) adorable little daughter Agnes is chasing a mythological unicorn in the forest. Yep. Enjoy that. 

In fact, things are so bad even the Minions have bailed! These little ubiquitous yellow bastards have somehow ended up in prison, where if there truly was a Movie God, they'd collectively drop the soap, and wake up the next day feeling like everyone (over the age of 9) who put money on the counter for Despicable Me 3. 

So, what you're saying, Blogger Guy, is that there's no way in Hell I should ever, ever, see this abomination, right? Like, even at gunpoint, take the bullet, right?