Wednesday, April 30, 2014

He don't like strangers peeing on him.

This is going to be my final post.

See, I have this idea for a movie, you guys, that's so good, I'm probably done working for free. Shit, I may even contact HBO and see if they want to make it into an eight-part mini-series. It's all pretty exciting.

The story takes place years ago, deep in the dirty, sweaty south. Two guys are investigating a murder that most people could give a f--k about. Allegedly behind the crime, is a real f--king psychopath. A truly demented piece of shit. Further complicating things, it seems, is the fact that each of the guys digging up the past are batting demons of their own. This makes the case secondary at best. Every turn leads to more and more sexual depravity, with someone getting tied up and screwed senseless. One half of this duo will be played by the extremely inquisitive and impossibly handsome Matthew McConaughey. The other half? I was thinking we should cast an actor who made his mark in television, but has since blossomed into a full-on movie star. He's a real badass motherf--ker, too.

Obviously, I'm talking about Zac Efron.

Bullshit aside, what the f--k is The Paperboy? No really. Tell me how this film even exists. Tell me how Matthew McConaughey is this film. No, f--k that. That almost makes sense. Tell me how in the world Nicole Kidman is in this? Did she read the script? Does she have an agent? Or is item 9,000 on her bucket list to piss on the face of Zac Efron? Because after spending 107 minutes drenched in the stank of Lee Daniel's 2012 flick, I need some answers. Or at the very least, a shower.

Also in need of some soap and extremely hot water, is every single aspect of this film. Set in a seedy Floridian town in the tumultuous 1960's, The Paperboy tells the story of two-would be journalists attempting to free a wrongly-convicted murdered just prior to his impending execution. Complicating matters is Charlotte (a bewildering Kidman), a trainwreck of a woman seemingly in love with Hillary (John Cusack, in the midst of an epic bender), the psycho f--k fingered for the murder. This crazy slut has never met Hillary, but due to her penchant for writing to locked-up scumbags, claims she has found her true love. Chasing this giant ball of shit as rolls straight to Hell is Jack (Efron, enjoying himself) a retired swimmer ('cause that matters) and younger brother of Ward (McConaughey), one of the reporters.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You just surprised me - that's all.

Sometimes, even though I know better, I can't help but be totally envious. I'll be sitting there, watching a movie, and think I wish this was me. I wish this was my story. But the other night, after going through those familiar (and pathetic?) emotions, I realized the guy on screen kind of was me, actually. I was that bumbling oddball, working at a cool place near the beach for the summer. Even better, I had exactly what he had. The goofy work friends, the lame uniform, and even my share of embarrassing moments, too. Hell, I even had the intriguing blonde. Incredible, right? I had it all, really, except for maybe one thing. One very important thing.

I didn't have Sam Rockwell.

Wow. Let me tell you, I loved just about every aspect of The Way Way Back. There have been few films I have seen recently that were so simple and so quiet, yet still managed to resonate with me so much. Ah, to be young again...

Released in 2013 but featuring a vibe from decades prior, The Way Way Back tells the coming-of-age story of a young dude named Duncan. Shuttled away for a fun summer! at the beach by his mom, Duncan finds himself riding in the titular third row, as Mom's boyfriend Trent captains the old-school station wagon to his Massachusetts' beach house. Initially, it's pretty clear: this vacation is going to be work.

Duncan is undoubtedly awkward as it is, pale and hunched over, as if his body is following the lead of his personality and attempting to disappear entirely. Along for the trip, is Trent's (slightly older-than-Duncan) daughter, Steph. She doesn't really do much, other than serve as a nearby reminder as to everything the 14 year old Duncan isn't. Meaning? She's attractive and popular, and likely can successfully maintain an actual conversation. Mom has Trent. Steph has her beach friends. Duncan? Well, he doesn't have anything. Not even a clue.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Is imagination now a felony?

My main man Wendell, over at Dell on Movies,
is hosting a blogathon, with an idea rather groovy.

It's all about poetry, so I thought I'd give it a go,
I found a horror flick, about Edgar Allen Poe.

Featuring Lloyd Dobler, with a face that's unshaven,
I fired up Netflix, to experience The Raven.

Read on if you must, though this post might bore ya.
but participate you should, it might be good for ya..

Set in the last week, of Poe's cut-short life,
we see the young author mired in strife.
He's back in Baltimore, his old neighborhood,
but despite being famous, not much else is good.
Poe is a drunk, his career has hit a wall,
But he has a sexy girl, to take to a ball.
Their relationship is solid, and they plan to wed,
but a killer is loose, and bitches be dead.
In addition to murder, this guy's a real jerk,
his outline for the killings? Is all of Poe's work.
The inspector is rattled, and utterly clueless,
So Poe has no choice, he's got to do this.
Time's running out, and he's taken Poe's lady,
this well-read nutcase, is all kinds of shady.

To say anymore, might be bad luck,
but this movie was shocking, in that it didn't suck.
Poe's character was endearing, and rather well-written,
and the girl who played Emily? Consider me smitten.
It's a little bit Misery, with equal parts Saw,
combine that with history, and there's hardly a flaw.
Clearly that's overselling it, 'cause perfect it ain't,
But I thought it would stink, like a dead poet's taint.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A great day this has turned out to be.

As far as I know, my parents weren't undercover agents or international drug smugglers. They were simply two people that wanted their kids to see the world. For me and my younger brother and sister (suck on that, older half-brothers!), this meant, at some point in our young lives, we were going to Europe. With just my dad. While everyone else stayed home.

In the summer of 1987 (yeah, my playoff beard has a few grays in it), my pops and I left our home in Texas, stopped over in NYC for a couple of days, then headed to our final destination, Greece. Our last flight called for a brief layover, which, for whatever reason, turned into us being trapped in the airport for ten hours. As a kid, there's only so many circles one can run in, only so many vending-machine waffles to be eaten. I had to accept the harsh truth. Me and my dad were stuck. Helplessly.

In f--king Belgium.

A similar fate awaits Ray and Ken, the main characters in the excellent 2008 film, In Bruges. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, the film focuses on two low-level hitmen sent to Belgium to await directions from their boss, Harry. See, something went awry on their last job, so Ray and Ken are justifiably anxious - to say the least. Instead of being exiled to somewhere tropical, Harry thinks the picturesque town of Bruges will be a real special treat. But, depending on who you ask, it's a real shit hole.

Instead of waiting by the phone (as directed) for their next move, Ray (a brilliant Colin Farrell) and Ken (the distinguished Brendan Gleeson) hit the town. Ken, a reserved, introspective older gent, appreciates the rich history Bruges offers. Ray, impatient in every way imaginable, doesn't. Luckily for him though, he strolls onto a movie set and meets a women that will change his life forever.

To say anymore would likely ruin many of the twists and turns the movie offers (f--k off, I know it's six years old), but I will say that I really enjoyed it. With a good story, a great cast and an extremely interesting setting, it's hard not to like. And I haven't even mentioned the, um...little guy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My eyes are wide open, sir.

I love movie henchmen. Not the second-in-command guys, no. They're too important, as the actually get to speak and maybe even land a punch or two. I'm talking about the random assortment of peripheral guys. Slicked-back hair, ill-fitting-suit wearing anonymous a-holes, only capable of grunting and/or screaming. Those guys.

When given a gun, these guys are good for destroying the walls and furniture near the good-guy, but without? Well...I'm pretty sure they die. For real.

I unequivocally loved The Raid: Redemption [review]. I have routinely told anyone that will listen, it's the best action movie ever made. Easily. And I don't say black-and-white shit like that, either. When they announced that they'd be making another one, I was f--king terrified. But excited. Short of one of the actors entering the theater and stabbing me in the balls mid-screening, then kneeing me in the face, there was simply no way anything cold top the unrelenting greatness of the first one. Well, about that...

The Raid 2 is epic. There's no other way to describe it. While the first one had about ten minutes of story, this f--king monster probably has ten times that (it's 150 minutes long!). For a minute that concerned me, but anytime things got too talky, all Hell would break loose with the best fight scene I had ever witnessed. Then an even better one. Then another one. Oh, yeah...then the best one ever. People (rightfully so, I guess) jizz all over themselves at the action in the Marvel movies, but at the end of the day, it's a lot of CGI silliness compared to the intense f--king brutality in any given five minutes of The Raid 2. Sure, boundless praise like this is going to ultimately disappoint some of you, and I'll apologize right now for that. But when I see a guy kicked three-quarters out of a car window, only to scrape the top of head on the ground moments before smashing into an open car door at seventy miles an hour? I get giddy.

Goodbye my sweet, hairy prince.

Though it's hard to trust anyone who hyphenates their name in the first place, it's even more difficult when both names are the same. Regardless, I not only fully trusted, but totally adored Prof. Rodriguez-Rodriguez. This woman, presumably in her early-thirties at the time, presided over the first course I ever took in my college major (meaning she was going to have an impact). The theme of her Intro. to Mass Communication class was simple, yet extremely valuable: The news is a f--king joke. 

That may be obvious to just about anybody alive today, but as a seventeen year old college freshman in the fall of '97, this thought blew my fragile, little mind.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues will likely never be shown in a college classroom, but I imagine it will make the rounds in the dorms (like a certain video with Pam and Tommy Lee back in my day...ewww). Buried under dozens of vagina jokes and general idiocy, however, is a tastily subversive look at the modern television news industry. Sure, you'll have to wade through a motor home full of hit-or-miss f--kery, but at a buck fifty from Redbox, it'll be well worth it.

Ron Burgundy is an idiot. Seriously, if he were a five year-old, you'd still be disappointed by just about everything he says and does. But somehow, he really is great at reading the news. And when he decides, along with his crew from San Diego, to give America exactly what they want from their TV news, he changes everything. Goodbye nuanced interviews with foreign dignitaries, hello car chases and patriotic kittens. Sure, ol' fictitious Ron isn't really responsible for any of this, but watch thirty minutes of your local news, and it doesn't seem that far-fetched.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You know that a little pony dies every time you do that?

Encyclopedias and dictionaries. Maps and stand-alone GPS units. Alarm clocks, calculators and even poin-and-shoot cameras. Hell, basic human interaction. The proliferation of the cell phone has eliminated the need for many things we used to rely in life, all of those aforementioned items included. But when it comes to sex, nothing can replace the intimacy and pleasure from actually seeing and touching another person. Well, nothing other than a cell phone.

Or a land line. A pink land line.

Being that my wife was three states away on business, it's curious (and purely coincidental) that I should stumble on to 2012's For a Good Time, Call..., a breezy comedy about would-be phone sex operators. Now, outside of begging for a text full of titties, I've never engaged in any phone-based friskiness. Not only does it seem way too expensive, but it seems like it would be way too awkward as well. Not to mention cumbersome. Oh, and pathetic.

Total bullshit aside, I actually enjoyed this flick. Sure, that poster screams like, awfullllll!, but it really isn't. Initially, I was just looking at run times, and at 83 minutes, this was definitely a winner. And while my cable box so kindly asked me to wait One moment please...I was thinking this movie was In a World... (I thought Ari Graynor could have been Lake Bell's name, because I can never come up with it). Damn ellipsis. Ellipses. F--k it. The dot things...

Anyway, while it starts with a plethora of quirky-movie horseshit (nice apartments, no real jobs, bad dialogue, Justin Long), it quickly settles into, for me, a decent comedy. Sure, lines like 'do you have freckles on your dick?' may not be funny to you, but delivered earnestly by a pretty blonde, and I'm calling pure movie magic.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?

If two years ago, you helped me fix my car and it broke down again, I'd call you up. If two years ago, you, me and another guy rescued some kittens, and yesterday, on my walk home, I found more kittens in peril, again, I'd call you up. And if two years ago, you, me and a bunch of bad ass motherf--kers saved the f--king planet from an alien invasion, guess what I'd do if it was happening again?

I'd partner up with the weakest of the bunch, call a guy I met a week ago, and take care of it with them.

I really wanted to love Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I did. The early buzz painted a picture of some sort of cinematic masterpiece, besting many, if not all, of the previous entries into the the Marvel Universe. And while I enjoyed the film enough, I'd like to go on record with a simple five word response to the unanimous praise heaped upon Cap's incredibly broad shoulders. Are you f--king kidding me?

The Winter Soldier tells an impressive story about a dark force buried deep within the core of S.H.I.E.L.D. It turns out no one can be trusted, and this sinister group has plans on killing as many as twenty million people worldwide. Turns out they tried to cleanse the world by force some time ago, now the plan is to have the masses ask for it. Honestly, this entire angle was pretty cool.

Also overwhelmongly positive, would have to be the cast. Anchored by Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and featuring newcomer (to the 'verse, anyway) Anthony Mackie as Falcon, I enjoyed the second look at Cap and his crew. Each member of this likable trio delivers a solid, if slightly unspectacular performance. They all look the part, seem to be enjoying themselves, and most importantly, kick enough PG-13 ass to please the masses. Sounds good so far, right?

Friday, April 4, 2014

What is it, old girl?

As much as I often envy my dog, Dodger, sometimes I feel really bad for him, too. Sure, he gets to lie around in the sun all day, which is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me, but what about everything else? The poor pup was likely taken away from his family when he was young, and will never get the chance to see them again. He has us, and we love him, but as our own family has grown, he gets less and less attention. As depressing as that is, I'm pretty sure the same thing will eventually happen to me, too.

As a rule, I never post about movies I've already seen. And I'm 99% sure I'd somehow managed to never lay eyes upon Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Like everyone, the spaghetti incident was familiar to me, as were those creepy Siamese cats (and their awful, awful song). Otherwise, I knew almost nothing about the Lady, and even less about the Tramp. In fact, as a kid, I thought the lady was a tramp, and that the title foreshadowed the duality of the protagonist. Yeah. I was a pretty smart kid.

Lame (mostly) jokes aside, I found this to be an enjoyable flick. Almost sixty years later, it hardly qualifies as a children's movie anymore, but that's not a knock. For what the film lacks in hyperactivity and bright colors, it makes up for with a compelling look at what it's like to be a dog. A regular dog, at that. Not some time-traveling, wise-cracking undercover abomination.

For the other person alive who doesn't know this story by heart, let me break it down real quick. Some guy pulls the super-clutch move of getting his lady-friend a puppy for Christmas. Sweet, right? Of course it is. Over time, the dog goes from family focal point to that dog! as the couple eventually welcomes a baby. Their lovable Cocker Spaniel notices the changes (with the help of some neighborhood dogs), but maintains her 'good girl' status anyway. Aww...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This is all I do. And it's over.

As I've gotten older, it's become harder to let go and just believe. Where once my faith was unflinching, now that steadfast belief has eroded into an ugly and unwelcome indifference. I desperately want it to be like when I was a kid, back when I was excited to spend just an hour or two in His presence. Back then, I didn't really even know what He was saying, but I liked the way the words sounded, and I loved what He stood for. He was my universe, no, our universe.

Hell, he was Mr. Universe.

While much of the movie-going world was experiencing the religious epic Noah this past weekend, me and four other chumps spread out in theater 8 and watched Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest, Sabotage. For a moment, I was thrilled to see my boyhood hero kicking ass (yet again) on the big screen, but we don't go to the movies for a moment, do we (outside of a glorious nude scene, naturally)? We typically go for something slightly more substantial (like a much longer nude scene) . 

Now, don't get me wrong, there actually is a little substance here, but it's completely buried under a cast of characters that f--king suck. Seriously, I can think of few movies where I literally wanted the entire cast to die in horrific fashion (though Only God Forgives comes to mind) just so I could be not pissed. And even when that actually started happening I was still furious. Wait, whaaaat?

Sabotage is like Predator in the fact that we've got Arnold leading a team of badasses with cool names. Instead of Mack and Billy fighting an invisible angry vagina monster from space, we've got Grinder and Neck fighting each other, relatable human emotion, and various Mexican drug cartels. I'm sorry, they don't use that term any more. Anyway, unlike the team assembled to level the jungle, most of the guys in Sabotage come off as the worst people alive. Especially the girl. Turns out, when you don't like the's hard to like pretty much anything.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can I say something crazy?

Unfortunately, I live in the real world. I'm just a regular guy doing regular things, fairly regularly. But sometimes, sometimes...I want more. Sometimes I think I'd like my life to be like a Disney movie. I want...
  1. People to break out into song and dance simply because that's what people do.
  2. Fantastic adventures! Filled with strong, handsome men. And magical, gorgeously doe-eyed younger women, sassy and innocent at the same time.
  3. To live in a place where the season's never change. Oh, can you imagine it being...
...cold. Every day. FOREVER?

Hmm...about that last one.

Since the day my wife took our son to see Frozen back in November, to the day last week when it arrived from Amazon, it seems as if those of us on the east coast of the United States have been living in a perpetual winter storm. Unfortunately, instead of princesses, talking snowmen and overly-cautious ice queens, we've been dealing with bitter a-holes, broken snow shovels and overly-cautious school districts. A Disney movie, it ain't.

As we trudged through this winter wasteland, I felt as if I was the only person alive who hadn't seen Frozen. Yeah, I had caught The Nut Job [review], which was lame, and the God-awful Walking with Dinosaurs [review], but my wife took the reigns with Disney's latest. In fact, I had somehow managed to not hear Let it Go till I saw it performed on the Oscars. Well, I wasn't the only one that didn't know what the Hell was going on. Apparently, John Travolta was right there with me.

Anyway, after sitting down and watching it with my son (who insists he doesn't like it), I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed. Being that it's the highest grossing animated film of all time and has been showered with damn near unanimous praise, I was expecting some sort of life-changing event. Yes, it was cute and the songs very well done, but I didn't enjoy it any more than anything else Disney has released lately. In fact, I actually liked Tangled more (in terms of 'girl' Disney films). But, as so often is the case with family films, however I feel about it after watching it once is completely irrelevant. It's the 900th time that really matters.