Sunday, September 3, 2017


In order to quickly find some common ground with my students, every year I begin with a short presentation about my life. I talk about my hobbies and interests, my dog, my depressing job history (they're always rather impressed I used to work at Best Buy), and most importantly, my family. And while I cover each of my four siblings (and my own kids) in some detail, I can't help but take a little more time for my favorite of the bunch: my little brother.

Obviously, everybody in my family means a great deal to me, but there something a bit more special about the goofy/handsome bastard born after me. 

It's like, even if he doesn't need it anymore, I feel like I gotta take care of him. Or at least look out for him, you know? But there's a price for that extra love.

I also give him a little more shit, too.

My kid brother didn't accompany me to the early afternoon showing of Logan Lucky I somehow managed to catch this past Friday, but I left the theater feeling like he had. Turns out, when you spend two hours watching a pair of goofball brothers bumble their way through an elaborate heist, you can manage to steal time with someone you haven't seen in almost three years.

Wait, what?

Channing Tatum plays Jimmy, fifty percent of the unfortunate Logan brothers, each seemingly doomed to a failed existence. When we meet Jimbo, he's doing the single-dad thing with his adorable little daughter Sadie, and trying to scrape together an honest living. Jimmy was supposed to make it to the NFL, but after ripping up his knee, ended up working construction near his shitty home in Bumf--k, West Virginia. Which is exactly where his boss sends him, after laying him off due to the dreaded pre-existing condition. 

Shit, right? Sounds like Jimmy might need a drink. So he heads to the local dive bar, which just so happens to be run by his one-armed brother Clyde, played by the delightfully/perpetually sullen Adam Driver. Clyde is a good dude, even if he doesn't have much to show for it. And when Jimmy decides to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway, shit, Clyde doesn't bat an eye. His brother needs help. It's not like he'd ever say no. He's just gonna talk a little shit first.

While the incessant small-town quirk could have sunk this film twenty minutes in, the relationship between Tatum and Driver keeps the ship fully afloat. And then, then, we meet Daniel Craig playing backwoods explosives expert Joe Bang, and our quaint raft becomes a f--king torpedo. I haven't seen Craig in many other things outside of his Bond films, but holy shit is he having fun here. To call this inspired casting wouldn't do it nearly enough justice.

This is Fish and Sam Bang. I thought I was going to hate these two dudes. I was wrong.
I also thought that f--ker on the right was Andrew Garfield. Again, also wrong.
(I also didn't know that dude on the left was Brendan Gleeson's son!)
See, this is a film about family, and even if Joe Bang ain't a Logan, he and his brothers, as f--ked up/thoroughly principled as they are, fit right in with their down-on-their luck partners in crime. On paper, everyone seems capable of double-crossing one another, but they're all just too damn nice to ever follow through with it. I'm not sure how to describe it, other than to say everyone's just so darn...courteous, you know? And not in a bullshit way, either. They're just good people. Who happen to be low-life criminals, content with stealing millions of dollars.

No lie, that's the raddest f--king cardboard box model I've ever seen.
And remember, I deal with those for a living.
Speaking of oxy-morons, or just regular morons, here are the Yays and Boos. Though we've started a couple of others, Logan Lucky marks the first film we've completed since school started up again. It might take us a post or two to not be the worst thing you've ever read. 

I had just left my daughter at home with my wife, and five minutes in...
....I'm totally missing my little girl. (dammit!)

  • You guys, I got Movie Pass. I will now see everything. Good or bad. Fine. Nothing has really changed, it'll just cost me a lot less, you f--king killjoy.
  • Um, what's with sis's bra always showing? Like, I don't want to be that guy that's always checking out your sister...but gosh, it's kind of hard. (the not looking...)
  • Katie Holmes as a southern trophy wife? Yes, please.
  • Jimmy throwing their cell phones in the fire made me so happy. F--k those guys!
  • But you did make breakfast....
  • But even better? I looked it up on the Google.
  • I'm telling you, Adam Driver has never been better. I loved the way he was always looking down when he spoke. Like, he's this great f--king guy, but he's got zero confidence (at least around his brother). Aww.
  • Usually I'm not a fan of cockroaches. Usually.
  • Holy shit Dwight Yoakam rules in this flick. I know, DY playing a southern slimeball ain't exactly cutting-edge shit, but his turn as the monumental shit-heel Warden Burns is straight up delicious.
  • I loved Ms. Goodwin, my eleventh grade chemistry teacher, even if I didn't know what the f--k she was talking about. But, sorry Ms. G. Next semester, I'm signing up for Joe Bang's class instead. This motherf--ker can preach chemical compounds. (and those eyes!)
  • The dead or worse conversation still has me smiling. 
  • Is there a better song than John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads? Ha. Trick question. There is no answer. You're supposed to just start singing when that song is mentioned, silly goose.
  • And finally, how about that f--king ending? Man, I was so happy, and I didn't get a dime.
The Boo is that Joe Bang isn't in every movie ever made.
  • Wait, Umbrella is a code for Rihanna's vagina? Not everyone knows this.
  • Uh, what was with f--king Seth MacFarlane's character not being edited the f--k out of this movie? Could have saved at least twenty minutes!
  • The Bear in the Woods? What the Hell is even happening here?
  • Did we kiss? Look, I'm not even remotely cool enough to have ever asked this question of another human being (without being 900% certain of the answer), but even I know it's the ultimate dick move, Jimmy.
  • The prison dudes were cool-as-f--k, but the whole Game of Thrones thing felt forced-as-f--k.
  • The infighting with the NASCAR team? That dude's healthy living thing? Why do I need to know this? Isn't this what DELETED SCENES are for?
  • Guys, maybe we can argue while the money vacuum is still turned on. Just a thought...
  • And finally, that ending! Why is she there? Unless we're getting a sequel, let it go, lady. Go be The Next Karate Kid or something. F--k.

After a personal record-long absence at the cinema, combined with the dreaded return to school, there's a chance that Logan Lucky isn't all that good. But for me, finally sitting in a theater again, with popcorn in my teeth and nothing on my mind, I couldn't have asked for anything more. Logan Lucky was consistently funny, sweet, and surprisingly clever. And the cast was shockingly impressive, you know, like, how the f--k are all these people in this damn (late August-dump?) movie? level of amazing.

Okay, fine. You got me. There is one thing that would have made this damn movie better.

But he lives five thousand miles away, for f--k's sake. 


  1. Almost nothing about this movie worked for me. It fails in its depiction of the South, of Southern Accents, of Nascar, of comedy films, of heist movies. Nothing. The inspired bits of casting are all this movie has in my opinion, and Driver and Craig (for all the fun they're having in whatever movie they think they're in) are NOT that at all for me. Keough and the daughter are the best thing in this thing.

    1. Really? Maybe it was the butter-free popcorn high I was riding, but I totally dug it. It was all pretty low-stakes for a heist movie (like, there was never any doubt they would pull it off), but I loved the ending so much all was forgiven. And...I didn't understand what the Hell Tatum's character was up to. aren't a fan of Joe Bang? Say it ain't so...

  2. I want to see this because I love Adam Driver, but I was kind of bummed to see it was PG-13. I'll still catch it eventually.

    I'm starting to hate Seth MacFarlane, if I just fast forward through his scenes will I miss anything? lol

    Great review! Now that school has started, once again I'm bummed my kid won't have you for a teacher.

    1. Ha. I don't think it needed to be R, but I'm not a total nude-hound.

      If you even remotely dislike MacFarlane, this movie will likely push you way the f--k over the edge. And fast forwarding his bullshit won't hurt the film in the least. Honestly....I don't think his part matters at all.

      Aw. That might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Mr. Brown. Ever. (thanks!)

  3. This is already on my shit list because the only thing that has the right to have that title is the porn with me and boo boo. But I will probably check it out anyways, I like Craig outside of those Bond flicks, he's not bad but he is just not believable as the dude all the ladies want to bang

  4. I really liked this movie, but I wish it had done better at the box office. It's distribution model was so unique, but people just didn't care about the flick. And yeah, one qualm with the film was that it was so tightly constructed (but loose at the same time), but that MacFarlane stuff was just silly.

  5. I watched it this week and it was just delightful. The way in which Driver ended up in jail still has me laughing. And that scene with Sadie singing was so lovely. I agree about MacFarlane and Stan. they didn't need to be here. Swank randomly showing up 20 minutes before the end was also odd as hell. But still, one of the more pleasant movie watching experiences

    1. I'm so glad you liked it! Aw...Sadie was so adorable and sweet. Like, the direct opposite of MacFarlane.

      Hahaha...I forgot about Swank popping up. What the Hell was she doing here?