Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thank you, David.

Outside of my family, we've never really had any overnight guests at our house. And if they're any indication, ThanksI'm good. But I could dream, right? (cue the Wayne's World doodley doo, doodley doo transition)

Say, one of my wife's old college friends showed up at the door, needing a place to stay for a few days,, I don't know, a messy divorce. Or after her car broke down, on the way to NFL Cheerleader Camp, assuming that's a thing. Either way, it's raining, she's soaked, and despite her insistence she doesn't want to impose, she comes inside and I make her some tea. Herbal tea (this would be the first time I've made anyone tea, by the way). My wife's happy to see her old friend, but she's tired - and she has to work in the morning. Good night, Sally. No, Suzie. F--k, I don't know, what's a wholesome/totally slutty name? We stay up...and uh, chat.

Anyway...things happen, she ends up having to stay a few extra days. You know, that part from her car? Backordered. Darn it. So what happens when this visitor stays longer than expected? Well, in reality, you grow tired of them and the endless f--king mess they leave in the bathroom. But in a well-scripted fantasy?

F--king everything.

Obviously, after that intro, it's safe to say there's something wrong with me, but what's really concerning is how much I loved 2014's The Guest. Recommended to me as a further look at It Follows [review] lovely star Maika Monroe, this flick is completely f--king ridiculous. And, clearly I mean that as a compliment, as not a single minute is wasted in this film. It's pretty much insanity, start to finish.

Especially the finish.

I feel like we've been down this road before, you know? Honorable (and handsome) stranger changes the lives of a normal family, only to be revealed as well, not so honorable. But in director Adam Wingard's The Guest, things unravel with such a stylistic intensity, this road trip has that new car smell. And with Dan Stevens doing the driving? Well, f--k me. I'll go just about anywhere. We can even go the long way.

Anyway, I went in to this one blind (though I do recall a certain steamy pic from a certain blog where they feature that kind of thing on the regular) and left missing all my other senses, too. What starts out as delicious mystery, boils over to an 80's bloodbath, and as jarring as it was, I f--king devoured it. I was so amped as the credits rolled, I immediately wanted to do some push-ups and punch a high school quarterback in the dick. But instead, I let the dog out and went to bed.

Or did I? Since you don't really know might not want to trust anything I say. Well, wait. I'm not super-handsome. So...yeah. Honesty's kinda my thing.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's really important that Cap never finds out about this.

He drives me absolutely crazy at times. He's a total scatterbrain. He looks at you, but he's not really paying attention to what you're saying. He leaves his stuff everywhere. He's way too sensitive. He loves telling the same (bad) joke over and over again. Oh, and he's kind of a gigantic geek. And according to the lady that lives next door to my mom, he looks exactly like me. 

In other words, he's me....just shrunken down.

Not only was Ant-Man my son's first theatrical movie starring people, but it was also his first big-screen viewing of a Marvel flick. And perhaps surprisingly, I can think of no better way to introduce him to the MCU, than with Earth's favorite person, Paul Rudd. Oh, and ants. Lots and lots of ants. 

Director Peyton Reed's Ant-Man is the second annual breath of fresh air for the MCU. Likely trumped by last summer's Guardian's of the Galaxy [review], Reed's film is still impossibly accessible and, wait for it, fun. Turns out these 'obscure' characters have this coveted superpower called enjoying life. Sounds amazing, right?

Anyway, not that you don't know, but I'll give you the quick version (from a moron's perspective). Many years ago, legendary genius Dr. Hank Pym came up with a way to shrink things down. Like, to the size of, oh I don't know, a f --king ant. And as it always goes, the Suits showed up and wanted to weaponize it. So, the good Doc, did what good Doc's do: he buried it. Good or bad, no one would ever be able to use his invention. In the wrong hands, it could end the world.

Friday, July 24, 2015

I hate everyone except for you.

I write all my posts in the order I watch the films. I'm not sure why I'm so principled about it, but ever since I've started, that's been a rule. Generally, this is just proof of how many bad movies I watch (often, in a row), but sometimes, inadvertently, a theme presents itself. And when I chased It Follows [review] with a film about sexual addiction, I started to think the universe is trying to tell me something.

I mean, it's not like I'm always thinking about sex or anything. Heavens, no.

I didn't know what Thanks for Sharing was about when I started it. Between you and me, I can't read the Netflix summaries from across the room, so this one got dialed up because of all the pretty people who star in it. Shallow? Yes. But with my wife at my side (on a night when the kids were gone), somehow, this one just seemed right.

Though that's the way that all posters look these days, the image to the left perfectly captures the plot of this movie. Three couples (one each of the married, dating and just friends variety) are connected by the strange bond of, you guessed it, sexual addiction. And their love of blondes. And while everyone looks oh so happy! eventually each story will intersect in some major (upper-class) catastrophe.

Oh, and Pink will shave Olaf.

It would be easy to write this off as another movie starring a lot of famous people that isn't really good, but shockingly, I kind of enjoyed Thanks For Sharing. It's not a perfect film by any stretch, but it's a decent story anchored by some really solid performances. And it's got Mark Ruffalo, so, why the f--k not? I mean, you're basically playing with house money.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You could pass it on.

I've never had an STD. I mean, they sound kind of awesome though, right? At least how you get them does.

Look, you're either a total slut, had sex with someone who's a total slut, or at least caught something randomly, of course, having sex. Technically, dirty sex at that. Sound like a win. It's like telling someone a story about something that happened at the gym. You get to say, Well, I was working out...and you don't necessarily sound like an asshole. But here? It's even better. So, like, after we banged...

That's great, you know? It's not like it permanently scars you by secretly following you around the rest of your life, threatening to kill you at any given second. Cause that's decidedly not great. Or awesome.

But what is awesome, especially days later, is the slow-burning greatness of It Follows. Horror movies are known for their cheap scares and supernatural villains, but David Robert Mitchell's film axes those ideas in the face. Instead, we're treated to something still terrifying, but in a nuanced, semi-realistic way. And arguably the best horror movie villain ever.

Set in a Detroit suburb, It Follows is a pretty simple story. After a jarring opening (think The Ring, expect less terrifying) we meet neighborhood hottie, Jay (a lovely Maika Monroe). Jay is out at the movies with her boyfriend, when things head south. Not that, perv, but her man sees someone that Jay can't. Yikes.

Bad as that is, they end up doing it in his car, and Jay wakes up, you guessed it, tied to a f--king wheelchair [insert Taylor Swift saying Oh no here]. Very quickly, this f--ker explains the rules and seems Jay will now have some sort of demon following her until she can pass it off to someone else. Well, f--k me, how can she get rid of this thing? I think you just answered your own question. Ohhhh.

I don't get it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm losing confidence in the team.

Maybe it's because I've never been on one, but in my mind, there's something inherently sexy about a business trip. 

Maybe sexy is the wrong word, but the idea of traveling and getting shit done, seems so f--king cool, you know? Walking through the airport with one of those wheelie suitcases, and without a wandering child sounds so f--king rad. Then you get to go over numbers on your own little tray table, all the while pushing your glasses back on your nose like you're solving global hunger. Shit, bitch. I'm working in the sky. Then it's catching f--king shuttles like your goddamn Superman, laying on a queen-size like a King, and follow all that up with the longest, hottest not-home shower you've ever taken in your life. It's...motherf--king magical..

Oh, and the eggs. The eggs. At home? Maybe you eat eggs every other Sunday. But on a business trip? Every single morning. 

With bacon.

As concerned as I am that Vince Vaughn has officially lost every single drop of his once overflowing mojo, I'm still willing to help him look for it. Even after sitting through his latest offering, the impossibly uneven Unfinished Business, I'm still a fan of the big guy. And probably always will be.

While the preview made it seem like yet another wild R-rated comedy! it was more like yet another tame R-rated dramedy. For whatever reason, in addition to the promised business trip antics, we're also served a generous helping of misguided family turmoil. Yes, it provides Vaughn's character's motivation, sure, but it's also really f--king weird. Oh...and not in the ballpark of funny. Or interesting.

For those who don't know/didn't give a shit, Unfinished Business is about a small materials company teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Funny already, right? They are about to close a big deal, but in order to do so, must fly to Berlin for a few days to shake hands and finalize the contract. The problem? Other than the fact that three people had to attend for a handshake (and despite two of them being essentially useless), is that it appears another much larger company has moved in at the last minute, threatening to ruin everything. If only I knew how this was going to end!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BLOGATHON: This is 'How I Work'

For her first blogathon, Mariah over at A Space Blogyssey is asking fellow bloggers to share the finer points of how they create and maintain their blog. Maybe I should say blog again. Anyway, it's a very cool idea that allows everyone involved to get a closer look at the inner workings of the many talented and beloved bloggers around the web. And me.

With that said, let me slowly pull back the (curiously stained) curtain on Two Dollar Cinema. Which, when I look at some of the other entries, might as well be stapled on a telephone pole in your neighborhood, rather than exist shoulder-to-shoulder with people that actually use the internet. 

How you know I'm old (school?):
a) unopened physical media b) still un-watched [long out of business] Blockbuster rental 

c) pens, one of which is from the bank  d) journal I bought at Target for 29 cents
e) gigantic HP laptop that, when on, is marginally quieter than your typical airplane bathroom

Monday, July 20, 2015

I don't want you to take this the wrong way...but I hate you.

It might seem crazy what I'm bout to say.

If you ever were a kid, or happen to be a parent of one (or someone who generally enjoys unhealthy eating), you might know that McDonald's lures kids into its restaurants with the promise of a mysterious toy. Yeah, there might be food involved, some sort of actual meat and potatoes, but what the kids really want is the cheap plastic toy awaiting them at the bottom of the box.

It might be kind of cool for a minute, but's just another shiny piece of uninspired junk

Maybe that's a bit too harsh, but I was bored out of my skull during the Minions. My wife was, too. Though clearly we're not the target demographic for this kind of flick, eventually, so was our son. And as a kid that loves (loved?) all things Despicable Me, that was the biggest disappointment.

Initially, however, things were going quite well. Anchored by the stellar narration of Geoffrey Rush, Minions begins with the charming story outlining the origin of the little yellow goofballs. It's such a fun few minutes, you'd think they would have made the preview out of it. Oh, yeah....

They did. 

But what they didn't really explain (well, not until the final preview), was that the movie is essentially a heist film, where Bob, Stuart and Kevin set out to steal the Queen of England's crown. While the particulars may not even matter (it is a Minion movie after all), this angle is so perfectly generic, even the presence of (once) lovable characters can't inject any life into that premise. This horse is dead, for the love of God, stop beating it.

It feels stupid now, but I fully expected to enjoy this movie. Early buzz was that it was funny, and I truly consider the first film a classic (the second one? not so much). But with about a month left in Summertime Movies, this is, surprisingly, the biggest disappointment yet. Yes, it's making a killing. And there is something Minion-related in every aisle of the grocery store. But unless it's yellow toilet paper or hemorrhoid creme coming out of a tube shaped like Stuart, I ain't buying it. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

You go. And you don't look back.

So, let me get this straight: if I go back, I can change the future. Which is actually the present. But if I go back, haven't I already gone back? Because how else could I get to the point where I could go back? And then do I have to keep going back every time I get to the point where I went back?

And if you go back, are you gone, like, mid-sentence, and we just carry on without you? Or are we just all frozen in place, hoping we don't disappear in any Polaroids you're carrying with you?

Okay, so maybe questioning time travel is simply a bad idea, but I'm starting to think that having it be the focal point of a movie is, too. At least when you get to the third or fourth version of the same event.

It's not that I didn't like Terminator Genisys, I did, but it's readily apparent that the whole timeline is beyond f--ked. I could time travel back to my twenties, re-enroll in college, major in advanced robotics, host a radio show that only plays You Could Be Mine, pull off a sweet internship at Cyberdyne, marry Kate Brewster, and I'd still officially have no f--king clue what's going on. 

I know these movies (fairly well, anyway), and still, as I really thought about what was unfolding onscreen, I felt like a giant hydraulic press was crushing my exoskeleton beyond repair. Good thing my dick arm was hanging out and everything can proceed accordingly.

Anyway, as we get to Genisys, it's kind of a good news/bad news situation. Sarah Connor (the entirely too young-looking Emilia Clarke) is on the verge of going through the entire first movie again, but yet another T-800 is already there and saves the day...from the original T-800. F--k, really? Yes. It seems that one was sent back to her childhood, in order to protect her as a young girl. While I guess that makes sense, why not just go back and kill her mom? Or her grandmother? Please make it stop.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I like Predator a great deal.

I would assume if you're reading this, you have a boss. Not because you're not worthy of being in charge, no, but let's be honest, to stick around here? You have to be patient. You have to be thoughtful. You have to be okay with listening to someone drone on about God knows what. But what you really, really have to do to last at Two Dollar Cinema? 

You have to, like, read.
Written by a person.

The f--k a boss know about reading? Bosses ain't got time for that shit.

Horrible Bosses 2 is exactly like the first film. In fact, so little has changed [embarrassing review here], it's hard to believe there was three year gap between the two. It's not that that's a bad thing, not at all, but if someone told me that the sequel was cobbled out of extra footage from the first, I wouldn't doubt it for a second. These dudes simply don't age. It's kind of weird...but I like it.

Another thing I take perverse joy in, is how much my wife loves Jason Bateman. I may have mentioned it before, but Mrs. Two Dollar Cinema, in the decade and a half! we've been together, has probably pointed out an attractive gentleman, maybe...four times total. But when Mr. Bateman's handsome face flashes across the screen, she never fails to mention it. adorable, right?

Anyway, this time around, instead of a villainous trio of horrible bosses, Nick, Kurt and Dale are only dealing with one, played by that smiling devil, Christoph Waltz. Waltz' character is a real prick, and not only reneges on a major deal that would have made our boys immediately wealthy, but essentially plans to destroy them, too. Why? Just because he can. 

Does any of this really matter? No. Does Jennifer Aniston reprise her role as a dick-hungry dentist? Yes. So...we're good, right? 

Monday, July 13, 2015

So if I purchase these Trix, there'll be no trouble?

I had a monkey.

It was actually more like a gorilla, and it had long white fair (fur?) with tan hands and feet. I don't actually remember the damn thing, but I've looked back at enough pictures to be able to say with confidence that ol 'Gorilly' [not his name] was rather odd looking (that's code for f--king terrifying). But, according to family legend, I loved it and dragged it around wherever I went. But if I still had it with me today?

It would be fraying at the edges, utterly filthy, and probably not worth keeping around..

Shocking no one, Ted 2 is exactly what you'd expect from a summer sequel: a bigger, badder version of the first. For me, someone who enjoyed the original Ted [review], I didn't mind spending another two hours with Mark Wahlberg and a talking teddy bear. Well, at least not the first hour and a half anyway...

Glancing back at my previous post, I pretty much covered it all there. Ted 2, like the original, gets by on the rapid fire wit of MacFarlane, not to mention his extreme willingness to routinely say the worst thing imaginable. Even if only half the jokes land, I bet there was still fifty times I laughed out loud. Lowest common denominator or not, that's oddly commendable.

The setup for the sequel is suprisingly decent (this is a talking teddy bear movie, for f--k's sake), as Ted and John hit the road to prove that Ted isn't property. Along for the ride is a young attorney, Samantha Jackson, played by the lovely Amanda Seyfried, who in my eyes easily (is sexily a word?) fills in for the absent Mila Kunis.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Take her to the moon for me, okay?

It sucks growing up.

Every morning, as I'm sleepily brushing my teeth, I've noticed something strange is happening to my body. The hairs on the top of my head are quietly retreating into my scalp, only to reemerge on my jawline. But somehow, along the way through my skull, they've lost all that dark-brown sexiness and turned whiter than a dentist's smile. And while this phenomenon has been occurring somewhat steadily for some time, the last two years the increase has been exponential. Which is weird, you know? I daughter is about to turn two.

Totally unrelated, right? What could be stressful about a little girl?

I feel really bad about Guilt not being on here.
Inside Out is yet another brilliant animated film from the master storytellers at Disney PIXAR. Set inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl, the film cleverly captures the unrelenting turmoil as we clamber from the carefree days of our youth to the murky waters of adulthood. It's witty, heartfelt, and at times, hysterical, with every frame presented in a wonderfully primary color palette.

My only hesitation in seeing Inside Out was when word spread that it was a real tear-jerker. Knowing that I'm prone to the waterworks with very little provocation, I was convinced a public viewing wouldn't end well. I imagined my almost six-year-old son telling me it'll be okay, Daddy, as he and my wife dragged me out of the theater. But full-disclosure? No tears were shed. It's certainly an emotional movie (misty eyes/lumpy throat for sure), just not as much as I'd expected. 

What the Hell?

You can't really understand what someone else is going through until you've walked a mile in their shoes. 

I'm sure you've heard this one before, right? It's a good saying, simple and fairly straightforward. It's a phrase that provides both the speaker and the listener a nice metaphor to mull over. In a world where most (if not all) conflict comes from a lack of understanding, it works. 

Unless of course you take it literally. Then it's kind of stupid.

Rented (as the free second movie) seemingly months ago, The Cobbler is the latest entry into the mindf--k that is the Adam Sandler resume. While the idea might have worked on paper, the resulting execution left a little something to be desired. Which is odd, because I wasn't expecting much. 

Sandler, free of many of his usual co-conspirators, stars as Max Simkin, a lonely shoe repairman in NYC. Initially Max is one of those characters that knows his life is shit, but doesn't really seem to care one way or another. His job sucks, he lives with his mom, and his only friend is a similarly downtrodden schlub, Jimmy, who happens to own a barber shop next door.

Whilst cobbling, um, and stuff, Max's machine breaks down and he is forced to use an old family relic to get the job done. Turns out, ye old cobbling machine has magical powers, and surprising no one, allows the shoemaker access to, you know, stroll a predetermined unit of distance in their footwear. 

Yes. You read that right. He fixes their shoes and then he becomes them. And by them, obviously I mean M-E-T, H-O-D Man.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve.

I'm going to type this here, only because I don't think I could ever say it anywhere else. 

After a three and a half year battle with cancer, my cousin Tony passed away late Tuesday night. He was one of my closest family members, the Best Man in my wedding, and without the slightest hint of hyperbole, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. If you needed something, I'm telling you, he would do whatever he could to get it done. 
Tony and I at Fenway, June 23rd, 2006. This is the look of someone who has just listened to me for 3 hrs.