Thursday, July 23, 2020

Nothing worse than going through this shit alone.

F--k me, now more than ever, the days all seem to be the same.

Nothing much stands out from one day to the next, as quarantine (or whatever the f--k we're [somewhat] doing is called ) has essentially eliminated anything even close to special from happening. I don't really go anywhere ever (other than Lowe's to buy paint), and my social life consists of the occasional short conversation with the same five or six people (mostly about going to Lowe's to buy paint). It's just an endless cycle of not much.

But the really weird part? I kind of like it.

Much more than kind of liking, I straight up f--king loved the Hulu-exclusive film, Palm Springs. The latest entry into the burgeoning time loop genre, this charming little flick is an absolute blast from start-to-finish, even if it it ends, uh, basically... where it started?

Andy Samberg fully delivers as Nyles, an initially apathetic dude attending a wedding with his lame girlfriend at a resort in Palm Springs. When we first meet him, Nyles is equal parts The Dude and Yoda, coalescing into the quintessential  enlightened slacker. He doesn't really seem to give a f--k about anything, until he delivers what some will regard as the best wedding toast ever. Wait, this guy's smart? Uh, sort of.

Turns out Nyles has been living someone else's special day over and over again, and he's gotten pretty f--king good at it. So much so, he's actually pretty f--king bored with it. But when he inadvertently gets Sarah, the maid of honor also stuck in the time loop with him, perhaps shockingly, everything is about to change. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Suck it yourself.

Prior to meeting my wife, there had been many women I had wanted to have sex with. Many. 

Clearly, as the adult writer of a blog, I wasn't all that successful, but it was never for a lack of trying. Being that I didn't drink/smoke/sniff glue or whatever, I always had to play the long game, as chance encounters were few and far between. For my wife, I pulled out all the stops: poetry, thoughtful gifts (maybe a mix tape or seven), ten-hour AIM chats across five time-zones, you name it. Hell, I once filled my entire apartment with red and pink balloons (like knee deep) so we could spend Valentine's Day getting high off of the smell of latex together. Aw, sooo romantic (/corny).

What a waste of f--king time. Literally.

Turns out all I needed to do to hump her for hours was kidnap her and throw her off a goddamned boat.

*shakes head* Yeah, I don't think so.
Oh Getter, look what you made me do. See, one of my blogging heroes casually mentions one day that she just watched a terrible movie filled with female nudity, and for the desperate proprietor of Two Dollar Cinema that's essentially like cranking up the f--king Bat Signal. Except instead of a handsome millionaire descending into his cave of weaponry and technology, it was an old fat guy shuffling off to his basement with a journal and a box of tissues.

Just kidding. I didn't bring my journal.

Oh, dear reader, that was (mostly) a joke, which is fitting, because this f--king movie is utterly (and unintentionally) hilarious. Like an hour and fifty-five minute commercial for cologne for your boner, 365 Days is quite possibly the most inexplicable phenomenon I've ever laid my pathetic eyes on. Imagine 50 Shades of Grey [review] minus all the subtlety and nuance. Or if a European sex robot managed to write a screenplay. However this was created, after watching it, you end up f--ked. Hard.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

You think you've heard every Batman story?

Keaton's coming back.

An older, weathered Batman, thirty years after his prime...connecting some grand DCEU universe together? Holy (cash) cow, Batman. I would have never even considered this as something remotely possible. Ever. Combine that with news of the Snyder Cut finally seeing the light of day means it's basically raining new Batman content. Hell, and that's not even counting on whatever the heck Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson have cooked up for us next year.

Clearly, the debate will forever continue, who is the best Batman? It's probably/obviously Keaton, but I'd be willing to listen to arguments for Bale, Affleck, Kilmer, West, Clooney, Pattinson or even...Ninja. 

Wait, what? I must have heard you wrong. Swear you just said Ninja.

No, I'm not talking about that effing streamer guy who just made thirty million dollars yesterday, but instead the badass animated wizardry known as Batman Ninja. Released in 2018 this animated flick is straight up bananas, and while it might not make a lot of sense, neither do a lot of pretty things. And this eighty-five minute flick is an absolute orgy for the eyes.

Turns out, Gorilla Grod had big plans to rid Gotham of its most notorious villains, and building a time-travel device was just the beginning. But before he could safely send the Joker and others to another timeline, monkeyshit goes sideways and everyone ends up in feudal Japan of all places. Seriously.

Batman is just as confused as you are, but no matter, because before you have time to realize how ridiculous this whole premise is, old-school Japanese versions of Joker and Harley Quinn show up and all Hell breaks loose. Eventually, we've got warring mechanized castles shaped like Two-Face and Poison Ivy battling a giant golden monkey made out of an infinite number of smaller monkeys. I've never taken drugs, but I'd be shocked if they made me feel as good as a Voltron-style team of mechanized buildings fighting a two-hundred foot tall Batman made out of equal parts monkey and actual bat.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The train's the world, we the humanity.

Almost six years ago, my son and I met my dad in Seattle, where the mission was to spend some time with my sister, Tatianna. She'd been living in the Emerald City for a couple of years, and we were the first contingent to fly out and see her (um, and oddly enough, the last).

Obviously, I made sure the Mariners were in town, so I could take my son to a baseball game (he was turning five and probably couldn't have cared less), because as important as it is to see family (which in my family, it isn't), it's even more important to see a new baseball stadium. We sat in the second row of the King's Court as the Mariners beat the Braves, 4-2.

But not everything came up Milhouse, no, as across the street from our hotel, the Mediterranean Inn, there was a movie theater like, right there, but apparently, it's not cool to go the movies while you're on vacation? I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.

Had I been able to sneak away to the SIFF Cinema Uptown, I'd have caught Snowpiercer theatrically, and been absolutely floored by how awesome it is, er, would have been. Guys, it was 2014, which at this rate, feels like seventy-five years ago, you know, simpler times. This story of oppression in a blistering wasteland created by vast human ignorance would have felt like peak science fiction. Now? Circling a frozen, lifeless planet with the last two hundred people on the planet?

Sign me up. 

Apparently, there's an American thriller series airing on TNT as we speak, but without sports, the television is dead to me, so let's keep this strictly movie. Strictly...six year-old movie.

The short version of what's going on here, is this: after destroying the planet in an effort to quell climate change, all that's left of humanity endlessly ride a powerful trained designed by some reclusive billionaire. The cars are grouped by class, with the hoity-toity folk riding up front, while the lower-class jerks waste away in the muck and the mire of the caboose. And honestly, whatever car you find yourself in, well, it ain't pretty.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

It's the best bad idea.

I have to be honest with you, fake shit really ain't cutting it anymore. 

Real life has become more dramatic and compelling than anything Hollywood could ever come up with, and when my kids aren't around, I can't seem to turn off the news. And it's all so unrelentingly terrible, it's like the longest horror movie ever.

And that was when it was just the f--king pandemic.

Prior to the nightly/rightly burning of America, I decided to give The Lovebirds a shot. It's not a stretch to say that the trailer was a bit eye-rolly, but both Rae and Nanjiani are funny and talented enough individually, you'd think Voltron-ing them together would guarantee some laughs. And it totally delivers.

Some laughs.

Leilani and Jibran were that couple, the one that seemingly everyone around them envied. When we really settle in with the titular lovebirds, it appears their relationship has finally  run its course. And just as their personal shit hits the fan, some random dude hits their windshield. The cop in pursuit commandeers their car and runs the dude over multiple times. Shit.

And just like that, instead of clearing their heads after a bad break-up, Leilani and Jibran must clear their names after a grisly murder. I mean, they could just go to the authorities and explain themselves, but...nah. It would be way better to follow a series of dicey-at-best leads with a person who minutes ago you never wanted to speak to again. Yeah, that makes sense.

Some sense.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

COVID-19 Cinema: Yellow and Red (11)

Is it really over?

I don't know what it's like where you are (probably better, I'll assume), but in my part of Pennsylvania, in terms of quarantine stages, we've just recently moved from RED to YELLOW. For some people, this move down down the rainbow doesn't mean much of anything, but for fellow mask-wearing anti-Americans like myself, I think it means we can kind of go back to a version of normal life. Sort of. Small gatherings are cool again, childcare is open, retail stores are back...I mean, wow, right? I'm sure everyone will be totally be responsible and this quarantine thing will all be a distant memory.

In honor of crowded beaches and everything working out just fine, I'm going to suspend COVID-19 Cinema at the conclusion of this post. F--k you coronavirus, full-length features are back! Uh, once or twice a month.

Because, as good science will tell you, if you get bored of doing something, stop doing it, jackass. Even if it was totally working. (and even if you weren't bored)

Film: Pokemon Detective Pikachu
Runtime: 104 mins   Rating: PG
Audience: Violet, Dad, Marilyn
Status: Gotta Catch Some Zzzz's

I was in college when the Pokemon craze hit, and outside of some enthusiastic friends of mine that played it ironically (sophomore year, sigh), I have little personal experience with Pikachu and friends. My son has Shield...or Sword, but that's about the extent of it.

But when I saw the trailer for Detective Pikachu, I was in, not only because it looked cool, but I figured it might be another avenue to reach the requisite weird kid in class, because that little a-hole typically eats and shits all things Jigglypuff. 

Turns out, my 6 y/o daughter Violet might just be that weird kid, and has taken to catching them all. Okay, not really, but she digs it enough so it was time to finally sit down and see what the Hell this is all about. And after seeing it? Honestly...uh...I still don't know.

As far as I can tell, there is a world (or a place) where every human has a Pokemon, and they all kind of co-exist. Some kid's estranged father dies  mysteriously (shocker), and he has to investigate what happened to his dearly departed dad. The kid doesn't really know where to begin until he meets a Pikachu, who for some strange reason...he can fully understand. From there? Yeah, no clue.

Yay: There's a sequence early on where enraged monkey-things are attacking and it's, well, bananas.
Boo: I love Ryan Reynolds, but this dude's voice it too damn distinct to be Pikachu. I half expected his to drop an f-bomb and electrocute someone's balls off. (the Boo is that he totally didn't)
Homeschool Lesson of the Day: See, kids. Even Pokemon use primary sources in their research.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

They are surprisingly effective goofballs.

I love dogs. And I'm pretty sure I always have.

When I was little kid, we had a mostly-black German shepherd named Pharaoh, and he was the best dog ever. Until I got my first puppy that is, and Koko then became the best pup the world. Okay, she actually wasn't , as that damn dog was bananas and died horrifically, but for as long as I had her, I loved her (honestly, I remember very little about this dog, which is probably my brain doing me a huge favor as I was a little kid home alone it happened).

Then, friends, dreams do come true. We got Monty. Or Montgomery, or during formal events, Montel, the runt of a litter of Gordon setters, who was, without a shred of a doubt, the greatest dog the planet had ever seen. I had moved to college by then, but summers and Christmases?

Oh, that was Monty Time. 

While the above explains how I got here, Scoob!, the latest entry in the theater-in-your-home experiment explains the origins of Scooby-Doo, another dog I've always adored. Well, it tries to...just not very hard.

Maybe there were other trailers that I didn't see, but I was kind of shocked when this alleged origin story abruptly (but thankfully) ended and an updated version of the TV show's theme song kicked in. Then, it was suddenly modern day Mystery, Inc., and away we went. Pup Scoob and young Shaggy were more like a short film that played before the real feature. Again, thank goodness, because I wanted to punch little Shaggy in his whiny face. We get it, kid - you don't have any friends. Don't be such a dick about it.

You guys, this show was my jam as a little kid, so there's no way I wasn't going to like this movie, but for whatever reason, instead of being about ghosts and a haunted amusement park, it's equal parts outer-space adventure and Hanna-Barbera world-building exercise. If you dug Wacky Races (like I did, sigh), seeing some of these old characters dusted off is momentarily, um, ...exciting, I guess. Or it would have been, but I dozed off three-quarters of the way through (on the first watch).

Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Cinema: Unsafe at Home (10)

I enjoy staying in my house. By choice.

Well, I did, but this mandatory stay-at-home order is getting a bit tiresome, if I can be honest with you. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not so angry about quarantine that I'm going to get an assuault rifle, camouflage up and order a five-dollar footlong with my like-minded a-hole, friends. No. I'm just going to be quietly disapointed like a regular person, stay the Hell home, and cross my damn fingers that no one I care about gets sick. I mean, don't these f--kers realize it could be much, much worse than being at home all day?

And I'm not even talking about the coronavirus.

FilmThe Lodge
Runtime: 108 mins   Rating: R
Audience: a trusting father
Status: Chilled

Because it makes no sense.

Hanging out with your Dad's new girlfriend probably sucks no matter how you slice it, but in The Lodge, this unenviable scenario is cranked to infinity.

Mia and Aidan have just recently lost their mom (to put it mildly), and for whatever reason their father thinks it will be a solid plan if they spend some time with his soon-to-be new wife, Grace, in a remote cabin in the woods. Being that this guy is obviously incapable of reading people, let alone the room, it's a bit shocking that he's an accomplished author. Oh, it should probably be noted that Dad writes about suicide where he met Grace, the lone survivor of some Heaven's Gate type of shit. Wait, what?

Yeah, and if picking up chicks at the scene of a notorius mass suicide weren't a red flag, the fact that he leaves this woman alone in the middle of nowhere with his still-mourning kids just might be. At least he gives her a loaded gun (that she's all too good with). I'm sorry, did you say a loaded are you f--king kidding me? 

(this movie is super f--ked up and all kinds of creepy, but to be frank, the setup is so inexplicable, any rational thought sort of cuts the balls off of all of this, you know? But impossibly improbable or not, it's still beyond unsettling at times, which seems like exactly what you horror f--kers are into these days...with your scurrying devil moms and your build-a-bear boyfriends)
Yay: Hell, yes! Alicia Silverstone, the one time love of my life, is in this!
Boo: Well, she was.
Homeschool Lesson of the Day: Turns out, you can actually drive a crazy person insane.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

I'm having a birthday party, but you're not invited, but you can come if you want.

I did it. Well, we did it.

Today is Two Dollar Cinema's ninth birthday, and as is the time-honored tradition, it's time to look back on the year that was. Prior to the world-crippling pandemic we currently find ourselves in, this past year was, to put it mildly, an absolute f--king shit show. Wait, what?  Did you just say prior?

Me, recycling the same jokes for almost a decade.
In the past twelve months, my grandmother passed away, my aunt passed away, my wife's grandmother passed away, and what really broke my f--king heart, was the death of my loyal pup, Dodger (his passing came out of nowhere). Writing dumb shit about even dumber movies had been getting harder over the years, and with the constant barrage of grief, it became damn near impossible.

But with the unwavering support of a select group of people (and a little help from my kids, shockingly), I was able to go from hanging it up to hanging in, and managed to keep this train on the tracks. And once again, this post is dedicated to them. But more on that in a bit...

In the last twelve months, I managed seventy new films, which comes out to about every five days. While those numbers may seem slight to some of you, that's actually eleven more than the previous year. Forty three were in the theaters (remember them?), ten were Netflix exclusives, with the rest being a disc I bought or some other streaming service. And whatever the Hell Trolls: World Tour counts as, I'm not really sure (I'll check with Brittani, being that she loved it so much).

For brevity reasons, here are my top ten films from the last year in an order I would best describe as...flexible, followed by my bottom ten films. The word I would use to describe them? Competive.