Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Save your children. Take me outside.

Every year, without question, I participate in a cult-like tradition that divides my family. I feel like it's for the greater good, but my wife and friends think it's terrible and unnecessary. And despite it making me look and feel like a crazy person, there's something cathartic about gazing into the mirror and seeing that I've truly let go. Once a year, I distance myself from the pressures of adult society and succumb to a more primal state of being.

In other words, I grow a playoff beard.

Similar to my annual facial-hair disaster, The Purge may be slightly better in idea than execution. An impossibly clever setup ultimately ending in thriller-movie goofiness, this flick is better before you actually see it. And if you happened to catch the highly-effective trailer? You might be good. Just sit back, search your brain for any home invasion movie you've ever seen, microwave some popcorn, have the well, what would you do? conversation with your friends and save yourself ten bucks. Done.

But, if you do go, like my brother Nikos and I did, you'll probably enjoy yourself regardless. The Purge is breathtakingly brief and never really lets up. Yes, you've seen Dad defend his family from sick f--ks countless times, but at the end of the day, it's still fun. This logistically impossible idea of a twelve hour window of madness may be such a good summer movie idea that it's hard to resist. But it's also hard to end, too.

Though the movie is far too silly overall, I actually appreciated all the things it says about class and culture. The short run-time doesn't really allow for any personal reflections or anything (not that that's what fills seats in June), but I really got into the countless moral questions and ambiguities. It made for some solid post-movie conversation. Personally, I don't even kill spiders, much to my wife's chagrin. But given a chance to murder say...the guy who pulls out in front of me when there isn't a single f--king car behind me for miles!? That kind of sounds enticing, if only just a little bit. But then again, I am a teacher. There's probably forty five kids that would surround my house on the night of The Purge. Imagine the next day at school?

Speaking of vengeful punks, here is the latest round of Yays and Boos. We've been watching so much hockey lately instead of movies, they feel kind of left out. They don't get that the potentially winning the Stanley Cup is the biggest Yay possible. And the fact that this year I'm opting in on mustache? Huge Boo. Huge.

Shame none of those trophies are for choosing a good boyfriend.
  • 85 minutes. Good or bad, I'm home in under two. Brilliant.
  • Good night is so played out. I'm going with Safe night! from now on.
  • The bad guys, essentially the most hardcore Socs ever, are awesome. Loved the main guy, Polite Stranger, played by Rhys Wakefield. He was the right kind of creepy.
  • And his hair! Who knew that the opposite of sideburns makes you scary as f--k. Worse than an awful beard, right? Right?
  • Ethan Hawke. I've actually gone on too far without mentioning this guy. Hawke finds himself in some of the most random bullshit I've ever seen, but damned if he doesn't always kick ass regardless.
  • I have to mention his hardcore wife, too, played by the sexy Lena Headey. Turns out this Lannister is actually pretty forgiving, as long as you don't f--k with her shit, Neighbor Lady.
  • I really need to get a letter opener. And a pool table. And some balls. Pool balls, jerk.
  • Okay. Serious time for a minute. The scene when they first let the guy in the house was all kinds of crazy. I mean, things go from an approachable level of this is unfortunate to holy f--king shit in a matter of seconds. That homeless dude is basically a ninja.
  • Speaking of crazy...the masked a-hole who tickles? Nuts. Cut my head off, fine. But don't you dare make me giggle uncontrollably. I'll cut your face off and wear it over my own.
  • And finally, I love home invasion movies. Not because I'm into that awfulness or anything, but no matter how serious it gets, I'm always reminded of one of my favorite cinematic legends: Kevin McCallister.
Someone call Robin Williams to hug this kid. It's not your fault.
  • In every movie, someone has to suck. And unfortunately, it's usually the kid. In The Purge, it's no different. Not only does this kid look like an amalgamation of all of Michael Jackson's kids, which is weird enough, but he just flat out sucks as a character. Sorry.
  • Growling instead of saying I love you? What a terrible idea. What's worse? It reminded me of all the dumb things I said to girls when I was younger/right now.
  • Oh, darn. I almost forgot to turn on the security system on the most deadly night of the f--king year. What a silly-billy!
  • And speaking of, let's make sure that even our highly impressionable/panic room having/scary RC car driving goofball 10 year old son...let's make sure he can override the system anytime he feels like it. That should be fine.
  • If I'm ever in your house, and you decide you want to protect me, may I suggest one thing that might help us both out? F--king untie me! Please.
  • As I hinted at earlier, the ending sucks all kinds of balls. That was the reason?
  • And finally, even though I secretly want to cheer for his dexterity and ingenuity, my younger brother is the biggest pussy ever. He not only covers his eyes during scary movies, but he also puts his fingers in his ears too. Imagine if we'd seen something actually scary.
Much like Ethan Hawke in this movie, I too, have a great wife. Not only is she cool as I leave her and my son to head to the movies to see whatever, but she's also supported my annual obsession with the Boston Bruins and their quest to win the Cup. Lucky for her, there's no game tonight. But not so lucky for her, that's another twenty-four hours the beard (ugh, and the mustache) gets to grow.

But a week from now, win or lose, I will remove the undesirable hair by force, and cleanse myself of the beard. Now that's a purge we can all support.


  1. Yeah, this one is decent but feels like it wastes its premise a bit. I'm not mad that it seems to be getting a sequel for that reason. The ending just kind of happens, and people in my theater actually booed because they wanted revenge so bad. Ethan Hawke was awesome though as usual.

  2. We had a lively crowd, too - but no booing. As much as I hate audience participation, I might welcomed some jeering.

    I was wondering about a sequel. They could basically make these annually like the Saw movies (if people keep showing up...I'm sure they will).

    Hawke! That dude rules.

  3. "Hawke finds himself in some of the most random bullshit I've ever seen, but damned if he doesn't always kick ass regardless." Absolutely. This guy is awesome - he was in a fair share of terrible films but I never thought he was bad. Clearly no matter what this is more to him than just getting paid for being in the movie - he actually tries.

    I'm gonna catch it on DVD just for Lena. I'd see anything for this woman.

    1. He was nominated for an Oscar and yet he still finds himself in things like Daybreakers. Crazy! But what can you say about a guy who has The Purge and Before Midnight in theaters at the same time?

      DVD should be fine for this one. Hell, it'll probably be available by August.

  4. http://www.buzzfeed.com/erikmalinowski/why-overtime-playoff-hockey-is-the-best-kind-of-sports

  5. The Hubby and I are considering seeing this one, mainly because we're really intrigued by the premise. It might even provide him with a sense of wish fulfillment. "You motherf--kers don't respect police officers? Let's see how you like going a whole day without police protection!" Of course, within an hour, our house would probably be surrounded with dumbasses he's arrested.

    Excellent review -- it's thoughtful and balanced as well as hysterically funny. Winning combination. I'd see this just for Ethan Hawke and Lena Heady, but this sounds like one to wait for on DVD.

    1. That's awesome. Maybe that's what it would take for more people to respect police officers...but it probably still wouldn't work. Those people are just inherently stupid or insanely stubborn. Or both.

      Thanks! Let me know what you think when you do!

  6. Totally agree with your Boooos. I dug the film, but that damn kid, man. I get it, the entire premise of the film is based on that kid being a moron and doing moronic things, but Come. On.

    1. If the bottom line is that we need that guy in the house, is there another way that you can think of to get him in? I mean, annoying kid might be the only way that makes sense.

      Even if ultimately, it didn't.

      It's just unfortunate that he got saddled with all the bad moves in the movie. Well, outside of her boyfriend anyway...

  7. Really hated this film, it was so boring and stupid. I agree about the ending too, so lame ha.

    Nice review!

    1. Wow, hated?. Really? I'll give you stupid, easily...but it was so short and moved so quickly...I don't think I can join you on boring. But honestly, I'm easily amused.

      Thanks! I dig your site. Very cool stuff over there!