Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I should be the one that's writing angry letters!

I get it. I do. It may sound strange to you...but I'm cool with it. It's just how some of us deal with things, I suppose.

See, in a way, I also write letters to the universe. But I write mine because I have kids, you know? This dumpster fire you're currently standing in is a gift for them when I'm gone (Dad, you shouldn't have. Like, for real. Stop.), whatever the circumstances may ultimately be.

Yet, even though no one owes me a response, I'm not gonna lie: I certainly welcome it.

Collateral Beauty is the 2016 bullet point on Will Smith's resume of annual holiday-season/feel-bad movies. Released this past Christmas, the once freshest of princes plays Howard, a father still mourning the loss of his young daughter to cancer. Howard hasn't moved on, and we find him quietly drifting through his life at the film's outset.

Personal tragedies are typically just that - personal - until three top execs at Howard's company have finally had enough of his downward spiral. Turns out, it isn't exactly top form that their former fearless leader spends days in his picturesque office setting up and knocking down dominoes. Oh, it's totally rad, sure, but cost-effective it ain't, and they decide to walk the dangerous path of proving he's mentally unfit to steer the ship.

Knowing their boss has actually written letters to the universal concepts of Life, Death and Time (the former benchmarks of their advertising firm), these three kooks cook up a wickedly deceptive, three-step plan: 1) hire three actors to play Life, Death and Time 2) film their interactions with Howard on the streets of NYC and 3) digitally remove the actors making Howard look like a f--king psycho.

Wait, what?

Yeah, I kinda rolled my eyes too, but with a cast this fantastic and ninety-four minutes to spare, I basically went all in on Collateral Beauty. Sure, it may be sappier than a Lifetime movie about disabled puppies at Christmas, but I found it thought-provoking enough to be enjoyable, even if I was left utterly bewildered at the end.

Oh, shit! They made a Hancock sequel?
Oh, and that end? Well, I might be the only person on the planet who didn't see it coming, but it wouldn't be the first time that something impossibly obvious flew directly over my thick head. Still, you can go ahead and f--k off with those Really?-shaped eyebrows jutting off your lovely face, okay? Some of us aren't that smart, and instead have to settle for being impossibly handsome. Or liars.

Look, I might be a moron passively staring at the flickering light box mounted to my living room wall, but sometimes my heart gets in the way of my head. Shitty movie or not, get me thinking about losing either one of my little kids to a mystery disease that no one saw coming and whether you deserve it or not, you've got my attention. 

Speaking of bittersweet endings, here are the Yays and Boos. Ultimately, we're not that mad that Smith keeps pursuing that little statue every December. Honestly. But we're stoked as Hell that in 2017 he's chasing something very different this time around [holy shit!].

In the 90s, I think I owned all of these outfits.
  • Maybe I'm not watching the right movies (um, obviously), but holy shit is it good to see Edward Norton in something, even if he appears moderately half the time.
  • You know how real badasses walk away from explosions without looking back? Well, Howard's twice the bamf those dudes are, as he walks away from exploding, er, tumbling dominoes without admiring his handiwork. That shit's hardcore!
  • Wait, you can get a key that opens every mailbox in the world? Really?
  • No lie, this film is f--king astounding to look at. 
  • Helen Mirren is a bit annoying here as Death/Old Hippie Lady, but I still very much enjoy her. In everything.
  • Which also sums up my feelings about Keiraa Knightley, who here, looks fuller then I remember (this is not a bad thing in the least). Love the little time I got to spend with...well, Love...even if her role unnecessarily complicates everything I thought I knew about these damn 'people'.
  • So, that grief counselor lady is kinda hot, right? Kinda helps ease the pain, if you know what I'm saying...
  • Dude. Howard basically f--ks up Time, and I couldn't have been happier. Time's a real a-hole, you know?
  • But that little battle can't really hold a candle to the brouhaha that Howard gets into with Death on the subway. Oh, she's a nice enough lady, but when you're talking about a six-year old girl, Death can go straight to Hell. I don't care who's watching.
  • Um, did Claire (Kate Winslet, trying to be relevant in this film) eye-hump brother Time? I don't know about you, but it looked like those two were about to get it on, uh, for the greater good.
  • And finally, even if this movie is silly, and even if my wife instantly fell asleep and watched it on her own the following day, let me put my hands together for a very spirited post-movie discussion between Mr. and Mrs. Two Dollar Cinema. Yes, she had that adorable look on her face knowing that I didn't see the twist coming (she did, of course), but I fought a good fight for awhile. I think I had found some shit that she hadn't considered, and she almost, almost conceded to one of my theories about the end. My wife eventually (almost) agreeing with me on something? Talk about movie magic.
I am Jack's wicked daughter.
  • According to movies, the only memory I can have of my daughter involves me twirling her around in a sunny park. I have failed you, Violet.
  • I'm not super familiar with the grieving process, but apparently sitting alone in the dark all night and ignoring Kate Winslet bringing you tasty take-out is part of it. Sounds terrible.
  • As does riding a bike down a one-way street in New York City. At night.
  • Okay, you know how every movie has the coolest office ever? Welp, the one that Howard works at may win the f--king gold medal of bullshit workspaces. Seriously, all they need is a fire pole and Topless Tuesdays and this place is where I hope to wake up in after I die.
  • Hey, look! A scene where a bunch of parents are talking about their dead children! Great. If the disc ejected itself from my PS4 and bisected my would only be marginally worse.
  • Uh, is did this film take place during the warmest, brightest NYC Christmas ever? No? Oh, then it's just a glimpse of what winter will look like after four years of the Trump administration.
  • Kate Winslet's character is having problems getting pregnant. For some reason, this matters (trust me, this is handled rather poorly). A Pop-up Video thought bubble indicating this would have been more graceful.
  • Look, I'm not exactly good with, well, pretty much anything, but can you really digitally remove someone from any video? 
  • And finally, that f--king ending. Not only the thing with that person, which I begrudgingly accept (but somehow didn't see coming), but more pressing is that other epic dick-punch they hit us with. I don't think there's any logic behind that insanity, but my wife totally accepted it as reasonable. But again, exhibit A to her overwhelming lack of credibility? She married me.

Writing this blog for (the adult versions of) my kids (and you, dear reader), isn't the easiest thing to do. You're all essentially these unseen forces I feel in my heart, but never see with my eyes or touch with my hands. So, if you don't necessarily exist...does it make sense to keep writing to you? I don't want to end up the crazy guy that people film in the subway.

Shit. *deep breath*

It seems like I'm a bit of a crossroads here, doesn't it?

Screw it. I'm gonna keep writing. I mean...

...I don't really have the counter space for all those f--king dominoes.


  1. "Hey, look! A scene where a bunch of parents are talking about their dead children! Great. If the disc ejected itself from my PS4 and bisected my would only be marginally worse."

    I seriously laughed my ass off reading this. And I completely understand. The whole movie was like a string of depressing scenes. Then it just got damn crazy at the end. Since talking about this film gets me down let's move on to something less suicide-inducing. Helen Mirren in that pic you use...milfy. Or, is that gilfy? Clearly, it's after my bedtime. Yeeesh.

    1. See, I'm glad you're with me. This shit is depressing (but compelling too, no?). Did you see the twist(s) coming?

      Okay, this comment cracked me up. It was six in the morning when I first read it and lo and behold, I'm contemplating milfy vs. gilfy. Thank you, good sir.

      I'm wondering if Mirren has ventured into great-gilfy? Or Ggilfy, perhaps...

    2. I'll say yes on compelling. I did see the twist with the actors coming, but not the other twist until he decided to show up at THAT house. Then I rolled eyes pretty hard.

      Great-gilfy has definite possibilities. I'm not sayin' - I'm just sayin'. Know what I'm sayin'?

    3. Great-gilfy?

      oh...but I'm the one who is pervy, huh? :D

    4. Ah...Dell is having a "sorry not sorry moment." Seriously...dudes. Y'all are pervy.

    5. Totally proud.

      (and totally pervy)

  2. Oh we exist.

    Of course you saw that one. I was going to watch it for laughs but didnt get to it yet. I am childless so this probably wont move me but I like Keira so I am sure at least her scenes are worth seeing

    In Logan during some action scenes they had CGI double for Hugh. If technology can recreate THIS then removing someone from the video is child's play.

    Are u gonna see Fate of the Furious?

    1. Yes, yes you do.

      Of course I did? Hmm. The implications of that statement are rather damning don't you think? Are you saying that I only watch shitty movies that everyone hates? Because that's.......totally fair.

      Keira....*sigh* She's so lovely.

      No, no. If on my cell phone, I shot someone talking to you, and their body totally obscured 90% of yours...could I hastily remove them and have you standing there talking to thin air? Uh...that seems impossible.

      I was going to go...but I haven't seen Fast apparently I'll be lost????? Somebody went to great lengths to warn me of my perilous plan.

    2. I'm saying you watched Passengers and this when there is quality stuff waiting for you to watch. I mean to me that is just insane but it happened so I'm still gonna go with saying that yes, removing someone from video is possible :P

      I saw Fast 6 and Fast 7 before but those films don't really have a plot...I think you can easily just watch either of them without knowing anything about this franchise. I brought this up because Mirren is there and while she is in it only for about 2 minutes she steals the show along with Statham

    3. Haha...I know. Sometimes I'm almost intimidated by quality films, because I know they're going to be more difficult to write about. Shitty movies? There's soooo much to say (even though nothing really needs to be said).

      I could certainly use a little more Statham in my life, but I have a feeling if I manage to see 7, I'll probably end up missing out on 8.

  3. I read the spoilers for this movie and nope'd out of it. If it ever comes on HBO, I may get some wine and watch like I did for 50 Shades of Grey. (so many laughs)

    1. I think if you're half drunk (or fully sober) there's definitely some laughs to be had. Alone...without any knowledge of where this one was headed...I bought in fully. And I'm such a p--sy, I was doing all I could not to cry like an elderly woman.

      Much like I did during 50 Shades...but then I was just crying for humanity.

    2. That crying for humanity bit cracks me up. I'm proud to say I've neither seen nor read 50 Shades or any of its nefarious sequels. Reading reviews of the movie is much more entertaining.

    3. Oh, c'mon. You should give the first one a go. It might be the funniest movie ever made.

  4. This sounds brutal. Not as brutal as that scenario with the DVD player suddenly ejecting a disk and ... damn! Now I'm going to have that image in my head all day.

    1. It's not that bad! In fact, a woman I work with (who is an absolute chore to speak to),...quite loved it. She was talking about the movie at lunch and I had to snicker quietly to myself (even though I didn't hate it).

      Oooooh, sorry about that. Bisected weiners are no fun for anyone apparently. Who knew?

  5. I'm so glad you ended up watching this! I shamelessly love it more and more every time I think about it. I wouldn't say I guessed the ending, it was more of a 'hey wouldn't it be cool if...' kind of moment, but ugh, I just love it anyway. I love trash.

    1. YES! I'm so glad that you're standing next to me in the support of this film. I too love trash, and this was perhaps even the best kind. Totally ridiculous, but in a way that made me feel better (or worse) about life, you know?

      I really didn't see the ending coming...either part. I'm such a moron, honestly.