Sunday, December 31, 2017

You're the worst criminal of them all.

The sad part? I actually thought it was cute at the time.

See, a couple of months ago, word got out that LeBron James, a demi-god of professional sports, was cheap. Like, extremely cheap. The joke was that his Pandora account still had all the advertisements in it, because he wouldn't spring the extra ten bucks a month for an unlimited subscription.

And while this seems like the appropriate time to mention that James' basketball salary alone for 2017 exceeded 30 million actual dollars (and his endorsements deals border a cool billion overall), that's none of my damn business, quite honestly.

But the real rub? When Pandora found out about this...

...they upgraded him for free. I mean, why not, right? Why should the crazy-rich have to pay for anything?

I'll never be crazy-rich, super-rich, or average rich for that matter, so, clearly, I don't get it, but J.P. Getty does. As the protagonist in Ridley Scott's thrilling All the Money in the World, Getty was, at the time, the richest man on the planet. Portrayed by Christopher Plummer (at the buzzer, from way downtown), Getty is the cheapest of cheap-skates, amassing an incredible fortune but hardly willing to spend a f--king dime of it.

In fact, he's not even going to lend you a dime. Nope. Not a single ten cent piece, not even to make, say, an important phone call from a payphone. You know, like the one he had installed in his f--king house. 

When his (favorite?) grandson Paul is kidnapped in Italy and held for ransom, the stubborn old cocks--ker refuses to pay up. Flatly. The same way you or I might quickly dismiss the nineteenth request to help save a homeless pet (oh, f--k off Petco)Getty ain't even gonna make that fake move for his wallet. He has fourteen grandchildren and as even an average businessman could figure, obviously, that's fourteen ransoms. Pay now, and he'll be paying forever. And he's got three responses to that scenario: Stop, no and don't. Or was that Eazy-E? I always get them confused.

What isn't confusing, is the kind of relentless awesome that All the Money in the World constantly exudes. Fueled by fantastic performances and an incredibly (mostly?) true story, this flick, for me, was a rare case of lean forward cinema. Maybe you savvy types knew the real story, or aren't overly amused by shiny objects (coughcoughMarkWahlbergcoughcough) like I am, but I'm telling you, this f--ker was a helluva ride. Throw in the whole Plummer/Spacey thing and what's probably a good film borders on something miraculous.

Michelle Williams is excellent (as always) as Paul's mom, Gail.
Her performance is so good, I can't wait to see what she does next. In fact...
I don't want to wait. For our lives to be over.
Speaking of miracles, or the direct opposite of, here are the Yays and Boos. This was actually the last film I 2017, so we might be a little bit hazy on some of the details. I know, I know. Usually I'm so precise....with my lame dick jokes and general nonsense.

I can't wait to see what Plummer's version of Verbal Kint.

  • There are few things I love more than seeing a film theatrically that I've never seen a trailer for. Okay, there are a lot of things I love more, but we'll talk about them when you're older.
  • Man, Michelle Williams is amazing. In every sense. But, to perv for a moment, let me give my best rowr for her look that can best be labeled as Diane Lane peak MILFness, edition.
  • I'm not sure I've ever been so proud to be an Italian. No, really. Yes, the greaseball kidnappers aren't exactly something I want to embody, but goddamn the rest of them? Fantastic. From the old ladies who just handle shit to Gail's badass lawyer dude, these wop bastards are the f--king best.
  • What steps will you be taking in regard to your grandson's kidnapping, Mr. Getty? [without hesitation] None. (hahahahaha....that's f--king awesome)
  • Maybe they faked all of it, but even if that's the case, let me at least foolishly applaud the fact that some badass locales were scouted and used. 
  • Romain Duris plays Cinquanta, basically the head kidnapper/Paul's handler. I f--king dare you to find a better dude than this guy. Hell, I double dare you. Truly the MVP of this story. Possibly even the unanimous one. Oh, and when he tells you to get drunk. GET DRUNK.
  • Yo, Paul's initial escape was bananas. We're talking some pre-MacGyver ingenuity, you know?
  • A great lesson this film reinforced dramatically? Never help anyone ever. Especially that dirty hippie who looks both terrified and emaciated.
  • Oh God. The ear. [my wife buried her head and 'whispered' tell me when it's over]
  • You wanna pay me? Do it in newspapers. 
  • Fletcher Chase (Wahlberg) is an interesting character, especially considering he's so f--king level-headed during most of the ordeal. But when he finally gets emotional? Holy shit, I got emotional. Such a badass rant, I was pretty much hoping that Wahlberg would just drop trou and unleash the Diggler.
  • And finally, Christopher Plummer. Clearly, Plummer is nothing short of amazing in every way imaginable, but I still can't wrap my head around what he did here. And I'm not sure if it's the performance, the script, or both, but Getty is an utterly remarkable character that I never knew how exactly to feel about him. You can't love him, no doubt, but you sure as shit can't hate him, either. I respected how awful he was, because it was so buried in...principle??
This scene was filmed in my college apartment.
  • Man...those Italian hookers? They're like Buzz's girlfriend. Woof.
  • Paul's dad was the worst. He basically f--ked it all up every chance he got. And he got a lot of chances.
  • Joking about getting kidnapped is probably a bad call no matter who you are. But when your grandfather is C. Montgomery Burns J.P. Getty? It's the direct opposite of excellent.
  • Can identifying a charred corpse ever be good time? Well...about that...
  • Sgro was a real prick. I guess there's always gotta be one rotten f--k on the crew, doesn't there? That one dude who's dream was to be an ugly hench...
  • I have no money to spare. This was first.
  • Please, and I'm being totally serious, what are we supposed to make of the minotaur statue? Is Getty a liar? Or just stupid? Or a stupid liar? I'm telling you the truth...I have no f--king clue. 
  • Working in the mailroom probably sucks on a day when you don't open an envelope with a f--king ear in it!
  • Wait, there are tax deductions on paying ransoms? Can you still get the child-credit when you file? Even if your kids were stolen? Asking for a friend...
  • Um, what dastardly plan features a kid with a slingshot? Oh, right. A terrible one.
  • The very end (of Getty) felt like a misstep. That whole thing was unceremonious to say the least. Think Daniel Plainview...but even less showy. 
  • And finally, how the f--k was Kevin Spacey ever actually in this movie? Not only logistically (I'm still not sure how they reshot the whole damn thing), either. It makes no f--king sense to cast him as Getty in any way, shape or form. Plummer is not only significantly better as the old man (er, I'd imagine, anyway), but he's also, get this: an actual old man.  Wait, what? They still have those? But we've got all this bad makeup laying around.
Yikes. I need to get to sleep an hour ago. I haven't stayed up this late (on a school night) in a long time. But, what can I say, it feels good to have my 2017 blogging slate finally clean. I can now move on to the (two) flicks I've seen this year. 

Lucky me, I can drive to my shitty job tomorrow, exhausted, but happy in the fact that I finally got this post finished. And when I'm falling asleep at the wheel, there's only one thing I can think to do that'll help me from drifting into oncoming traffic...

Crank up the [non-premium] Pandora, of course.


  1. So that's a yay to the movie and a boo to kidnapping? Asking for a friend.

    1. Tell your handsome friend it's a resounding YES to both.

  2. You seen the Teaser Trailer for Teen Titans Go! To the Movies?

    1. Nope. But I'm sure I'll just go ahead and see it anyway.

  3. Man, so late to this, but happy new year!

    For what it's worth, you actually made me curious about this film. I wasn't before, because of the whole ordeal around it and so on, but now I'm like, I should watch it. Especially since I want to see Wahlberg's acting in this.

    1. Happy New Year!!

      Check it out, if you get the chance...I think you'll dig it. Obviously, I wrote this before all the shit about Wahlberg came out...but I dug his performance. But Plummer is the real deal, goodness.

  4. Ugh this flick looks so uninteresting to me. Also it's Scott...and we all know how Covenant turned out.

    1. No lie, I wasn't all that excited to see it. Granted, I didn't know what it was about, but even the poster looked boring.

      But it's good! I promise. Just like...Covenant??? (remember, I actually liked it)

  5. Love this! And yeah, I genuinely can't imagine anyone other than Plummer playing that part, especially someone significantly younger. I wonder, when/if the dust settles, if Ridley would release the Spacey version. Ridley loves to recut his movies, so I could see it happening.