Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thanks Dad :)

I think any father has thought about what they would do in that situation. What action they would take if their child went missing. It's not a game I enjoy, but sometimes my mind wants to play it, so of course, I've kicked it around a few times...

Earlier in the baseball season I lost my son at a Phillies game, after he failed to hear/comprehend the let's head this way command. It was probably the longest forty-five seconds of my life, but luckily that's all it was. He did the right thing and told the nearest police officer that he'd lost his family, and before they could even begin the search, we'd doubled back and reunited.

But my original plan, if one of my kids went missing? The one I've given some thought to? Oh, it's simple: absolutely lose my f--king mind. 

Good thing, unlike me, David Kim's an actual adult, capable of solving problems involving those he loves the most. Starring the impossibly-underrated John Cho as the aforementioned Mr. Kim, Aneesh Chaganty's Searching is a gut-wrenching thriller you definitely need to check out. And as cool as it was to see on the big screen, turns out, it might just be better to catch it on your laptop. Wait, what?

Taking place solely on a lone computer screen, Searching ups the found-footage ante to eleven in the clever presentation of a desperate father's frantic scramble for his missing daughter. While it works better than Unfriended [review] - which I remember liking a bit -  there are still some moments and scenes where you're gonna have to shut your eyes before they role out of your f--king head.

Maybe you kids see nothing wrong with every moment of every day being live-streamed by everyone, but there were a few occasions where things got pretty ridiculous. Maybe I'm just not on YouTube when the local news streams footage of a car being pulled out of a lake, or I've never logged into a live broadcast of a f--king funeral, but these moments seemed beyond absurd. (rambles the guy on his blog)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monster Mania Con 41: Wrap and Crap

Having two highly-deviant older brothers, I grew up watching a lot of horror flicks. While they were likely in it for the requisite shower scenes, I was too young to be enthralled by a soapy co-ed. At least initially. Instead of focusing on the double-d's, I was more fixated on the double v's. That is, the villains and the violence. Yeah, those two were doing something in the bed, but did you see how Jason jammed a spear through both of them? Wowzers.

But if there was anything I was even more obsessed with than late 80s/early 90s horror, it was the simple act of acquiring the indecipherable scribbles of someone other people had heard of. Or, as you might put it, collecting autographs. Never to sell, but always to gawk at, I spent too many nights writing letters to moderately famous...athletes, in hopes of getting a much sought after Herbie Hancock. 

If only three decades later, an event would be held near my house where my two long-forgotten obsessions could coalesce into a writhing orgy of unrelenting nerdiness. 

If only.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Who bit your boner?

Gary Maynard was the second film professor I'd ever encountered. And maybe my favorite.

While he looked like the lead singer of The Verve, he moved and sounded like Professor Frink from The Simpsons.  When he would introduce a film, he would almost always describe one of the characters as milquetoast, which perhaps unsurprisingly, was the perfect noun to describe Professor Maynard.

Other students who took the class because Bro, all you do is watch movies made fun of him behind his back, but I f--king adored this dude. You just knew, he was living his dream. And when he casually turned our MC 270 - Techniques of the Cinema class into solely a study of film noir, you could tell it was for no other reason than it was his favorite genre. Quickly, I became a fan. Night of the Hunter was so good, and Double Indemnity was even better. Before long, I knew all the hallmarks of the genre.

Except, you know, f--king puppets.


And the award for Most Apt Title in the history of cinema goes to...
And you can emphasize that either way, frankly, when slogging your way through The Happytime Murders. Because not only is this film about actual f--king puppets, but also about puppets actually f--king. And quite vigorously, at that.

Ah, late summer - you vengeful bitch. Not only was the latter part of August the cruel reminder that I would soon have to go back to work, but it's was also where all the bad movies go to die. And with the clock ticking on time I still had to waste, foolishly, I took my wife to the f--king puppet movie.

Why? Well, I figured as absurd as the whole premise appeared, The Happytime Murders simply wouldn't exist unless the film weren't utterly f--king hysterical. Combining that (horribly misguided) logic with the fact that Melissa McCarthy playing a hard-ass cop in an R-rated comedy (not to mention she needed to atone for the shit-tastic Life of the Party [review]) and the laughs were seemingly guaran-f--king-teed. Yeah, about that.

Instead, the only thing guaranteed was a mostly unfunny tale of murder and revenge starring a grizzled ex-cop named Phil and his estranged human partner, Connie (McCarthy). Of course, their past is decidedly checkered with Phil having inadvertently shot an innocent puppet in a bust gone wrong. And on that fateful day, Connie took a hit and ended up with a, you guessed it, puppet vagina liver. No. Really.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The great game continues...

I would have looked you in the eye and said it was five miles, easily, but according to Google Maps, it was only one point four. Whatever the distance may have been, the mileage was more or less irrelevant: the walk home from the bus stop was treacherous.

Along the route there were many obstacles a middle school kid could encounter, many factors that could make the trek tumultuous.
  1. Oppressive heat (afternoons in Hawai'i? Might hit 82 degrees)
  2. Rogue elementary students, swinging bookbags and/or throwing rocks
  3. High school kids driving by (and being dicks)
  4. Weird old people that wanted to say hello for an hour.
  5. Shortcuts that not only weren't shorter, but were littered with a generous amount of kiawe thorns (Google it, I dare you) just waiting to tear your shi(r)t up
  6. And, if you wanted to take an actual shortcut across the golf course, an overzealous Marshall, waiting to bust us
But to be quite frank with you, none of this along the way stuff ever really bothered me. In fact, it was the calm before the storm. Because when I got close to home, like almost there, I-can-see-our-roof level of closeness? That's when all hell broke loose. The final stretch.

That's when the shit really hit the fan.

OPTION 4: See another movie.
Mile 22 isn't about an annoying kid trudging home from school, but instead tells the tale of a covert group of hardasses attempting to get an informant from point A to point B. Brimming with an overzealousness that borders on f--king hysterical and cobbled together with the grace of flaming sledgehammer, Peter Berg's latest collaboration with Mark Wahlberg is a tactical strike gone horribly wrong. And as we search through the rubble for survivors, there's one overwhelming positive: only a few people were foolish enough to be in the theater when the (box-office) bomb went off.

I may be enjoying the smell of my own farts too much, sure, but good God Mile 22 is a chaotic mess. And not in a good way. The story is simple enough (dude knows some stuff, people want to kill dude, America must protect dude during twenty-two mile trip to airport), and the actors are all game (f--king John Malkovich is in this!), but the wheels fall off almost immediately. Good thing I stayed around till the end, because, and this is likely because I'm a moron, but...that shit was a banger.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Why you actin' like you ain't got skin in the game?

I didn't vote for Donald Trump.

Since I have eyes and ears (not to mention a brain and a heart), I never even considered it. But being that there was (supposedly) no way in Hell the obnoxious prick from The Apprentice could possibly be voted in to our nation's highest office, what I did consider, with a sort of morbid fascination at the time, was what the future would be like if he somehow pulled it off.

But I couldn't come up with anything that made sense, you know? Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos, jokingly echoed through my head (about that brain I mentioned earlier? Scratch that.) when I imagined this exceedingly far-fetched scenario. 

How was this guy going to change things so drastically? President Obama was the most radically different person I'd ever seen in office, and everything still felt...normal, right? How could Trump really change our future?

Turns out, by making it a lot like our past. 


As it's been just under a month since I've seen Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, safe to say I've had some time to sit and think about. And while most films tend to dissipate in the noise of life (and it's been especially noisy as of late), remarkably, I still haven't been able to shake this one off. Which shouldn't be surprising, considering it's so f--king heavy.

At times?

See, the (mostly true?) story of Ron Stallworth (a fantastically droll John David Washington) starts innocently enough, with the young man joining the Colorado Springs Police Department back in the early seventies. Initially banished to the records department, Ron desperately wants to do more, and is reassigned to work undercover. His first gig? To check out a meeting the local black student union is hosting. There, Ron meets a lovely young lady, the politically-charged president, Patrice. Sparks don't necessarily fly, and Ron's going to have to work the long game.

Good thing his career is on the fast track, however, as Ron is not only reassigned again (to the intelligence division) in record time, but somehow manages to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in the blink of an eye. While it didn't take more than a phone call to get the invite, Ron can't exactly reach out an touch a white supremacist someone. Instead, he recruits an impossibly reluctant co-worker named Flip Zimmerman, played by the perpetually unimpressed (though thoroughly impressive) Adam Driver. Together, they'll play the character of Ron Stallworth: Proud American/Racist F--kface.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Promise me you won't ever watch that video.

I guess the hook in the car door is pretty stupid when you think about it. Same for the call that came from inside the house! I'm not even sure how that one's even possible.

And as a kid growing up in Hawai'i, we had the Nightmarchers, who as I recall, were spirits that lined up single file and, well, marched toward you. At night. Even worse, was the local Hawaiian belief that you should never, never ever never, whistle at night, or tiny demon spirit things (menehunes? obake?) would descend upon you, sending you to the depths of madness.

Whatever the legend was around where you grew up, I'm sure in hindsight, it's pretty f--king stupid if given the slightest amount of rational thought. But whatever it is, whatever it is that you and your friends told each about other all those years ago? I absolutely guarantee you one thing.

It's scarier than f--king Slender Man.

Just kidding, of course, as the Slender Man movie is thoroughly f--king terrifying from beginning to end. Assuming, of course, you're afraid of Freddy Krueger. Wait, what?

Possibly the most boring 'horror' film I have ever seen, director Sylvain White's latest had me wishing I was the one who had mysteriously vanished on a high school field trip to the, you guessed it, creepy old cemetery. Based on an urban legend I am infinitely too old to give a f--k about, this suckfest takes every horror trope you've ever known and somehow makes them even more...trope-y. Assuming that's  even a thing/possible. It was summer, and I was a carefree fool, and still, I did all I could to not fall asleep.

Here we have teenage girls doing what teenage girls do: f--king around online late at night. After nervously laughing at some porn, they decide to check out some lame-ass video you're not supposed to watch. Think The Ring but minus all the hair brushing, dead horses and ladder-play. Days later, everybody is having visions of a downtrodden Jack Skellington silently rehearsing This is Halloween in the woods. Big f--king deal, right? Right. Just turn around. Don't look at him. He's in a shitty tux and skulking about like the Cloverfield monster. It's not like he's Jason Momoa Voorhees with his dick hanging out. Assuming you're able to (mostly) stand, it's fair to say you can outmaneuver this lanky a-hole.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Squeaky clean, so to speak.

My cousin Tony used to call it the two dollar theater, because, shocking no one, all the shows were only two bucks. While I'd never (necessarily) turn down a trip to the movies, chances were if a flick had made it to the cheap seats and I hadn't seen it? Well, there was probably a good reason.

But on the off chance we would go? It was always kind of cool, you know? It was like a f--king time machine. Like, Oh, yeah. I remember this. 

Now, uh, can we get the f--k outta here...and go back to the real deal?

During the height of MoviePass' extended period of good f--king luck seeing a movie tonight, my wife and I managed to catch Ocean's 8 at our local two-dollar theater a few weeks back. But being that it's 2018 and not 1998, make that the five dollar theater, we caught Ocean's 8 at. That spy movie with Kelso's girlfriend was going to get us home too late, so we basically had no other choice.

And while maybe it truly was the sticky floors and broken chairs of the once-esteemed South York Cinema, let's just say the whole evening felt dated and unnecessary. Even if I was surrounded by eight, er, nine lovely ladies...

Debbie Ocean has just got out of jail, and instead of drifting about and getting a job as a school bus driver like every other ex-con, she immediately swan dives back into her sexy, criminal lifestyle. In lieu of push-ups and finding religion, Danny Ocean's sister planned and schemed her next big score for every day of her five-year sentence. She's run the numbers over and over, and apparently, her math isn't just good, it's f--king exceptional. All she has to do is put together a rag-tag crew of one-trick ponies, and bickety-bam, justice, vengeance and maybe even a little decadence are hers for the taking. The only problem? Oh, right.

There is no problem.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Anybody up for some shenanigans?

Jonah Hex has one. So does Doctor Strange.

Hellboy has two. And his name is Hellboy. Blade? The Daywalker has a trilogy, for crying out loud (even if I don't count the last one, honestly). And the Fantastic Four? However many they have...well, it's too many. And speaking of too many, I still wake up with visions of Dr. Manhattan's um, giant stethoscope, swinging through the sky. Yikes.

My point, if there is one, is I get it. It seems like all kinds of superheroes - including those of the once obscure variety - have had their movie made. Heck, maybe even their own franchise.

I mean, Hollywood once gave the green light to Green Lantern. 



While Hollywood is likely searching for yet another Batman to light up a marquee, poor Robin has yet to get his big chance. He's painfully aware that it's probably never coming, either. Painfully, self-aware, in fact.

In this summer's Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, based on the ubiquitous Cartoon Network show of the same name, the Dark Knight's sidekick hilariously laments this cruel reality with his sidekicks, the Teen Titans. Though the animated flick starts out as a rainbow explosion of sight gags and fart jokes, it quickly becomes incredibly subversive and beyond self-referential. If you've seen the show, you know what to expect. And if you haven't? This might be a good place to start.

After getting embarrassed at a big premiere, Robin decides that he and the rest of the Titans need to immediately leave Jump City and head to Hollywood. There, they meet leading-director Jade Wilson (that name sounds familiar, hmm), and she bluntly tells them the only way they'd ever get their own movie, is if they were the last superheroes on the planet. So what does Robin do? Um, quite brilliantly, he undoes every origin story. 

I mean, there is no Batman...if Bruce's parents never get killed.