Thursday, August 9, 2018

Humans? Monsters? What's the difference?

This November, my wife and I (assuming she hasn't eaten my head like a lady praying mantis) will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Mr. Piven, your thoughts?

While the weekend getaway is always nice, at this point, staying at a hotel again is a bit played out. Not that I wouldn't enjoy myself, mind you, but I'm thinking my wife would like something a little more rewarding for putting up my brand of nonsense for a decade. Something a little more...beachy, perhaps. But being that we live in lame-ass Pennsylvania six weeks shy of Christmas, I don't think sun and fun are something we could pull of in a short amount of time. Unless, of course...we went on a cruise.

But who wants to spend valuable time stuck on a boat with a bunch of a-holes?

Perhaps surprisingly, after seeing Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, I'd be all for the open ocean, even if we too, were headed to the Bermuda Triangle. Sure, a cruise is essentially a hotel on water, but if it's this much fun, who cares?

Yes (possibly ex) friends, the third installment of a franchise that absolutely no one asked to go this long turned out to be a pretty good time. My wife had fun, the kids had fun, and even though I thoroughly loathed the second one [review], Hell, I had fun. 

A long, long time ago, Drac and his crew were attempting to travel by train when that goofy bastard Van Helsing showed up and tried to kill the whole lot of them. Ever since, Van Helsing has been obsessed with hunting Drac, the same way Elmer Fudd always twies to kill that wascally wabbit. But no matter how far he shoves that gun down the hole, Van Helsing always shoots himself in the face.

Fast forward a bajillion years, and we catch up with a lonely Drac scouring his phone in an attempt to meet a lady. Poor dude has been a widow for over a century, and even if he's got his sexy daughter and her family to keep him busy (um, and the hotel), he can't help but long for the warm embrace of a lady vampire. Aww.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

This is stupid.

Take five minutes and look up the Kyle Maynard story. Go ahead, I'll wait. Hell, you probably won't even need all five of them to believe.

Born with a condition that prevented him from developing limbs, this dude decided at an early age to be an absolute powerhouse. And though I saw his story years ago, it's never left me. Kyle has no arms and no legs. And he wanted to be a MMA fighter. And he did.

While many disabled people simply want to be treated like the rest of us, let's not really kid ourselves, okay? They are not like the rest of us. 

They're better.

While Kyle Maynard fought his entire actual life, in Skyscraper, fellow amputee the fictional Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson, continuing his streak of great fun in not-so-great movies), will fight for one incredibly long day. And a helluva day it turns out to be.

After losing his leg in a horrific blast years prior, we meet up with Sawyer as a loving husband and humble father of two, simply trying to make ends meet. He's left the S.W.A.T. team far behind, and is currently running a small security company. Inexplicably, he gets hired by a mysterious zillionaire to determine if there are any security concerns in the world's tallest building, a 225-story behemoth known as The Pearl. Turns out, there's a few. 


Not an hour after his presentation, the seemingly gentle-giant Sawyer straight up murders a dude. Sure, it was in self-defense, but good God this is a man that clearly, is not to be f--ked with. But what do some low-level gangster types do? Something worse than f--king with Sawyer. They f--k with his family. And shocking no one, he ain't exactly having that. And even with one leg, The Rock, yet again, is kicking twice as much ass. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The American people don't need this!

Twelve hours...and I can do anything I want? Like, anything-anything? That sounds f--king fantastic.

I've got it. I know exactly what I would do, motherf--ker. Exactly. *rubs hands together, Mr. Burns-style*

But, it still considered a nap if you do it for half a day?

Somebody in Marketing needs a raise. And probably a passport.
It's not that The First Purge was sleep-inducing or anything, but this was the only time in four films I thoroughly didn't give a shit. Dialing the series back to how the annual night of lawlessness began was a solid (if unsurprising) way to further the lore, but the results are mixed at best. Maybe it's because series creator James DeMonaco finally didn't direct his own script (he was three for three prior), or maybe seeing how it all began was simply... redundant. I mean, we all know how the Purge began, or well, will begin. It's f--king happening all around us.

Turns out, the (fictional) initial Purge was a bit of a bust. Confined to Staten Island, most people just wanted to get high and dance in the streets like coke-fueled MC Skat Kats. These opposites don't attract however, and the recently-elected New Founding Fathers of America (the NFFA, derp) have a big f--king problem on their hands. After going all in on this absurd/brilliant (if you're Thanos) concept, the NFFA see firsthand that America, well, a certain segment of it, ain't exactly all about the murdering of their neighbors. Even if you pay them to do it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

You are the World's Greatest Grandma.

My wife, seated three seats to my right, leaned forward, beaming. She was saying something, but with my brother Bryan next to me, and Violet next to him, I couldn't make it out. The house lights were coming on, and all the rookies were leaving.

She basically doubles over, saying, I said, 'pretty much the best Marvel movie ever', right?

I nodded. And then sat back, disappearing behind my brother, who, along with Violet, may or may not just have rejoined the grownups in consciousness.

Best Marvel movie ever? It barely makes the top three. Of this year.

It's not that I didn't like Ant-Man and the Wasp, it was fine, but I honestly don't think I was ready for how small small-scale would be. Obviously, following the universe-enveloping events of Avengers: Infinity War [review] is an unenviable task for just about any comic book film - I get that. And of course, someone had to take that bullet/vicious finger snap and be up next, so I commend Peyton Reed and his crew endlessly. But, even as it was happening, the more I thought about the second Ant-Man flick, the less I cared.

It's not that I don't get it, of course I would drop everything for Michelle Pfeiffer - who wouldn't? But heading into the Quantum Realm to rescue the original Wasp wasn't as intriguing as I hoped it would be. I don't know how to explain it, but I wanted more Ant-Man. And more Wasp. I'm not even sure this is possible, but I felt like neither of them were in the movie that much. Hank's fine, Luis is beyond awesome, the secondary dudes in the crew absolutely slay. There's not a character I don't like.

But during all the silly bickering and back-and-forth, what I found charming in the first film...felt like filler. The daughter (adorable as she was), the villain (cool as she was), both great, but haven't we got bigger fish to fry, ladies? Purple Cable is (about to be?) up in the sky tossing Uhura off a cliff and we're down here arguing over a tackle box? C'mon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A creature from the future, made with parts from the past.

A Chinese Lantern.
William Shakepeare's signature. 
The elusive Albino Humpback. 
Someone genuinely excited about Scarlett Johansson's next role.

In an age of copies and mass production, it's a good thing the world still offers up something unique and rare on occasion. Something we can gaze upon and collectively marvel at its overwhelming scarcity. The kind of thing that you'd turn to the person next to you and say:

Wow. I didn't even know that was possible.

It's funny that it took a theatrical showing of something as derivative as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for me to realize that my own niece and nephew, ages 15 and 12 respectively, had never seen a freakin' Jurassic Park movie. I didn't know this astounding fact when I invited them (and my father-in-law) to a mid-week screening. Frankly, it was a good thing too, because I probably wouldn't have let them tag along otherwise. I mean, what responsible uncle/movie nerd lets his own family walk into a part FIVE without at least a ten to four-hundred slide PowerPoint about Dr. John Hammond and the nefarious InGen Corporation. 

Think about that for a second. Two kids, both of a (previously believed) perfectly normal and appropriate upbringing, had, in a home with many screens, somehow avoided what one could argue is the most popular film franchise of all-time...and it absolutely made my life to let them in on it. When we walked out of the movie, these two normally reserved goofballs were ablaze with nerdy questions and comments about what we'd just seen unfold. If I have a better time at a movie this or any year, tell my wife and kids (and Dodger) I loved them all, because I probably died during it.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I actually kind of like that.

Remember when Chris Webber called a timeout he didn't have against North Carolina (and narrowly missed traveling before that...)? Or when he dunked on Sir Charles after going behind the back on an outlet from Spree? Of course you do. Who doesn't?

Hell, what about that time Nate Robinson threw down over Spud Webb to win the dunk contest? That was nuts. Almost as crazy as when he jumped on Big Baby's back to form Shrek and Donkey in the Finals for the C's.

Shaq (/Neon Boudreaux) has too many moments, right? Like when he brought down the hoop against the Nets. Or when he so delicately declared, Kobe. Tell me how my tastes.

But nothing tops Reggie Miller destroying Spike Lee and the Knicks in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. The next day at practice our coach had to ask everyone to cut the shit with choke signing everyone after a made three. As stupid and pointless as it was, we couldn't help ourselves.

I also couldn't help myself from seeing Uncle Drew, as stupid and pointless as it was. Hell, even if I didn't have an eight-year old son who lives and breathes all things N.B.A, being a lifelong hoophead/bad movie aficionado?This flick, based on a series of Pepsi commercials (!) -of all things- was 100% must-see cinema.

Uncle Drew, played by current NBA all-star Kyrie Irving (who I completely hated as a Cav, but endlessly respect as a Celtic), is an old-school playground legend. And when local good-guy Dax (Lil Rey Howery aka the funny dude in Get Out [review]) loses his Rucker tournament team at the last minute, he begrudgingly turns to the old timer for help. Uncle Drew is in, uh...rather long as Dax gives him the full LeBron, and lets him assemble and run the team. Meaning? Naturally, we've got to get the gang back together The Muppets [review] style with an epic and episodic (and utterly nonsensical) road-trip. Apparently, nobody has a cell phone. Got all that? Good. But, guess what?

It doesn't matter, even if you don't.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a 'film' starring old NBA players about even older streetball legends isn't exactly rocket science. Hell, Uncle Drew isn't even Weird Science. It's almost offensively predictable and impossibly bland, but in a shocking turn of events...still pretty damn amusing. Um, assuming you absolutely love the NBA. And watching men have a dance-off. Both of which, I'm a firm supporter of, truth be told.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

She isn't gone.

I should have just went to sleep.

Yeah, I was a little bit spooked, sure, but it was late. No one would have questioned me if I had gone straight to bed.

But I couldn't get it out of my head, you know? There was no way I was going to fall asleep. Not with that massive f--king burden coursing through me.

So when she asked me how was it? I did the worst thing possible you could do to someone who doesn't like horror movies: I told her. Everything

Why would you tell me this? Why? 

Um, because trust me, letting you find out on your own is worse. Way worse.

Hereditary, written and directed by Ari Aster, has pretty much permanently f--ked me up. I'm not sure I ever wanted to see some of the things I saw that night, and goddamn it, now I can't unsee them. And because of that, I really want you to see them, too.

I was (unfortunately?) raised on horror movies as a little kid so I'd argue my tolerance for scary shit is pretty high, but needless to say, I wasn't prepared for this one. As the film opens, Annie (Toni Collette, who I assume hates sleeping. And joy.) is giving the eulogy for her recently departed mother. Turns out, ol' grandma was a bit of a handful, and may have been batshit crazy. And grandma's favorite kid? It's not Peter, Annie's high-school aged son. Nope. It's Charlie. Annie's infinitely creepy middle school daughter who will straight-up haunt my nightmares til the day I die. 


I know it's basically after the fact, but I'd still rather not spoil anything for those of you lucky enough to have not seen this film (still not sure if I should add yet to the end of that sentence). Safe to say the next hour and fifty minutes will absolutely knock you on your f--king ass, even if your audience was as shitty and distracting as mine. Sure, I left the theater hollow and a healthy combination of confused/disappointed (I initially thought it went waaaaay off the rails in the last twenty minutes), but after talking with my sister [who has seen this movie more than once] I think most of my questions have been answered. So if you've seen it, give me another minute or two of your time and let's talk it out below. And if you haven't? Good f--king luck.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Done properly, parenting is a heroic activity.

I've mentioned it before, but I tried instituting a We Go To The Movies policy with my wife and son a few Christmases back. Shocking no one, neither of the passengers in my car were on-board, and good ol' Dad ended up being the only one having any fun. Welp, scratch that, shall we? But, uh, isn't Christmas really about what Dad wants?


Okay, fine. We'll never do that again. But on Father's Day, dammit...
We Go To The Movies. 

And this past Father's Day? We did. But how it all shook down? Let's just say it was Incredible.

But more on that in a bit.

No, lie. I love doing laundry. Even love folding it.
But putting it away? Uh.....
Like pretty much everybody else walking the planet, I was a big fan of 2004's The Incredibles. Clearly Brad Bird's first go-round with the Parr family stuck with me, as I ended up naming my kids Dash and Violet years after the fact. (fine, Matty's middle name is Dashiell, as I wimped out at the hospital - but still). Not only was I looking forward to finally catching up with the family of supers fourteen years later, but safe to say I pretty stoked to have both my kids by my side as well. Uh...about that.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that Incredibles 2 is easily as good as the first film, if not better. Picking up immediately after the conclusion of the '04 film (always a nice touch, right?), Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and the kids defeat the Underminer in a thrilling and chaotic clash beneath the city. Unfortunately, as these things tend to go, the collateral damage is too much, and once again superheroes are forced back into hiding. Scarlett Witch feels their pain.

Luckily the Deavors, a rich set of siblings, contact the Parrs, and in honor of their late father, decide to launch an epic PR campaign to get the Incredibles (and other costumed crime-fighters) back in the good graces of society. While Mr. Incredible is beyond excited, it takes his wife Helen a little longer to get on board. Good thing the Deavors want to feature her first, leaving Bob to go from being Mr. Incredible to Mr. Mom.

Monday, July 2, 2018

You work with what you got, not with what you hoped for.

I'm good for at least three or four a year. 

One to two of them are adults only, meaning our anniversary or my wife's birthday. I say it's because she needs a break, but I think everybody involved (including my wife) sees through that selfless gesture. The other two are with the kids, and are usually the respite after a hellacious inter-state car ride that would make even Clark W. Griswold turn this damn car around. 

Clearly, the whole point of staying at a hotel is to relax and recharge your batteries. But whether it's alone with my wife, or together with my kids...I'm typically ten times more exhausted checking out then checking in.

Even if the reasons are wildly different (ahem), when it comes to a hotel stay, I can't get a decent night's sleep.

After getting less than nine hours sleep Monday and Tuesday night combined, I foolishly decided to celebrate the last day of school with a Wednesday matinee showing of Drew Pearce's Hotel Artemis. 

I raced to the theater high on the smell of empty lockers and disinfectant, knowing that this flick was about to begin the nine weeks of heaven I had earned for the previous ten months of Hell. But being that I had (kind of) already begun the celebration with consecutive trips to see the Red Sox buttf--k the Orioles (getting home after one AM each night), I overestimated just how far pure f--king elation would carry me. In short, I fell the f--k asleep.

Not entirely, which would have been nice, but more like the way my grandfather would nod off at the dinner table: long blinks at first, followed by the slow and steady drooping of the head, culminating in that awful snap back + snarl/snort combo. What'd I miss?

From what I gather, Jodie Foster is The Nurse, a kind older woman who runs a hotel/urgent care clinic in downtown Los Angeles. Hiding in plain site, this facility serves criminals and all sorts of bad mamma jammas, but only for members that are down with a set of non-negotiable rules. Think that badass hotel in the John Wick movies, minus the class and charm. The Artemis is kind of a shit-hole.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

I loved her like an ocean loves water.

I think it took the first one less than five minutes to firmly establish its hard R rating. Whether it was the incessant profanity, the rampant sexual innuendo, extreme graphic violence or even the onscreen butt sex - whatever offends you the most (or least), the original had it all. And despite all of my eleven year old students having seen it more than eleven times each - it certainly wasn't meant for kids. But the sequel?

Total. Motherf--king. Family. Film.

I loved Deadpool 2. F--king adored that shit. After being That Guy in regard to the first one [review], I reluctantly strolled into the sequel weeks after the fact and damn near moonwalked the f--k out of it. Maybe it was the lowered expectations, maybe it was the (at the time) almost-summer magic. Or maybe, just maybe...this movie was really, really f--king good.

Screwing with the timeline once again, Deadpool 2 more or less begins with Wade Wilson blowing himself to a million f--king pieces. He's trying to convince us that despite his severed head slowly tumbling through the air, that what we're watching? Is actually a film about family.

Wade and Vanessaaaaaaaaaaa sorry...drool makes the keys stick) are planning to have a baby when unsurprisingly (for a murderous mercenary), shit goes very much sideways. Very bad things occur, and Wade finds himself begrudgingly joining the X-Men as a result. On his first assignment, trainee Deadpool encounters a young mutant in the middle of a fiery meltdown outside of an orphanage/treatment facility. Almost instantly, Wade senses the kid's (f--king Ricky Baker, y'all!) being abused and kills one of the staff members in the scrum. They both get locked up, and not long after that, all Hell breaks loose. Again.

Friday, June 22, 2018

That hurt good.

The Matrix. 
The Terminator. 
Blade Runner. 
I, Robot. 

Movies have been telling us for years that machines will eventually take over and enslave us. And life, generally, seems in agreement.

But, uh, between you and me, who gives a shit? I mean, if it makes life better *checks phone*...can it really be that bad? Might as well throw our hands up roller-coaster style and enjoy the downward spiral *checks phone again* ...together? I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

Oh, right: Upgrade, that sneaky f--ker of a flick. Definitely low-budget but possibly high-concept, writer/director Leigh Whannell has crafted the ultimate cautionary tale in the continuing saga of man v. machine. This time, however, the man is the machine. Just not at first.

After dropping off a fully-restored muscle car to his mysteriously mysterious client, Grey and his beautiful wife Asha head home in their driver-less vehichle. Apparently, Siri's been drinking and instead of Jesus taking the wheel, no one does. In fact, all Hell breaks loose and our happy (and mid-bang) couple is involved in an epic car crash. Good thing they've careened into the hobo section of the highway, where the greasy denizens desperately want to help Grey and Asha.

I'm sorry, I think autocorrect malfunctioned. That shouldn't have read help. It should have been f--king murder. 

But as homicidal a-holes tend to do, it seems they didn't finish the job entirely, and Grey wakes up a quadriplegic. A suicidal one, at that. Realizing that his wife is gone, Grey emphatically wards off anything that could prolong his miserable life, and repeatedly tries to end it all. Too bad the machine that administers his meds is programmed not to kill him. Yep, first a machine nearly killed him, and now one won't let him die.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

You might wanna...buckle up, baby.

If you lined up all the fictional character in the world, there would only be a handful I need an orgin story for. Continuing their story? Even if it's way after the fact, sign me up. Because in order to create an established character's beginning, you inadvertently destroy all tension and peril along the way. I mean, obviously, they're gonna get out of whatever jam they're in, thrilling as it may be.

And even if we're all good with the fact that we know how it ends, can we talk about the casting of a prequel? No matter what, it's gonna be distracting. Do they look the part? Do they sound right? 

Are the still almost eight feet tall and covered in luxurious hair?

You can revel in the financial failure of Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story all you want, but even without any real dramatic tension (or that f--king guy from The Age of Adaline [review]) - I still had a good time with it. Yes, it might be a case of too much, too soon - I get that, but I think we might be unnecessarily bashing the latest Star Wars flick. I mean, it has Chewbacca in it for f--k's sake. Who doesn't love a goddamn wookie?

While a fraction of that is a joke (a very small fraction), outside of Woody Harrelson being in a Star Wars movie (I'm still coming to terms with this) or the general hotness of Emilia Clarke (also hard to believe), frankly I'm all in on all things Chewie. From his initial meeting/battle with Han, to his decision to help his, uh, people (and everything in between), maybe this prequel wasn't warranted, but Chewbacca's MVP award for it, is.

In case you were wondering about non-wookie matters, here goes: Young Han Solo vows to return home after attempting to escape his shit life in the downtrodden underbelly of Corellia. The last second failure forced Han to leave behind his lovely lady Qi'ra, so he enlists in the Imperial army in hopes to eventually get back to her. After a few years/few bits of narration, his plan goes tits up however, and Solo ends up deserting the army and joining up with a gang of unscrupulous smugglers instead.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The living are not permitted here.

Except for, you know, dealing with children, teaching Ancient Civ rules. For the most part.

While dawn of man/Mesopotamia is kind of lame, the Code of Hammurabi is beyond rad. Egypt is a good time, sure, but China tends to drag (remember these are eleven year-olds). So does India. And the Hebrew Kingdoms. And everything else that comes before the Greeks.

Everybody loves Greece. The inventions, the battles, the impact on government (just kidding, no one cares about democracy anymore) - THE GODS!?!?! Damn near all of it. But what they love the most? What they will actually stop talking (about Fortnite, mostly) for a few moments to learn about? The myths. 

Too bad most of them are beyond filthy. 

I mean, try explaining the origin of the minotaur to a room full of pre-teens without getting arrested.

If only they made a family-friendly movie set in contemporary times that featured mythological beasts and dabbled in Greek history just enough to be passably relevant to an administrator who decided to see how things were going.

If only...

Somehow, even in a teaching career spanning more than a decade, I had managed to avoid seeing Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Maybe it was the fact that my former grade-level partner showed it every opportunity she was given (jesus, lady - other movies exist, for f--k's sake), or maybe there was something about the idea of  potentially/definitely leering over a young(ish) Alexadra Daddario in a room full of children that didn't sit right with me. I mean, a creepy old guy lusting after a beautiful young maiden?

Uhh...this is beginning to sound almost ....mythological.

Outside of his affinity for water and crippling dyslexia, Percy Jackson seems like your typical high school kid. That is he did, until, on a field trip, his teacher turns into a Fury (think winged, lady-demon) and tries to murder him. Turns out, probably after the Under the Sea dance (*nudges you with elbow* huh? huh?), Percy's mom bumped uglies with Poseidon and boom, a demi-god was born. But with great power comes great culpability, and it appears that Percy is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Zeus' coveted lightning bolt. To clear his name, PJ and his crew are going to have to go on an modestly-budgeted/epic journey filled with modern versions of ancient legends.

You get all that? Me neither. But Daddario shows up swinging a sword and nothing else mattered. Not even the fire drill that took place during the film. Mr. Brown, *shakes shoulders* Mr. Brown! WE HAVE TO LEAVE.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mom, why did you do this?

I knew this couple in college who seemed to have it all figured out. Smart people, athletic, attractive - just two solid individuals, you know? And while Pete and Michelle basically nailed college, it was after graduation where they reached hero status. I caught up with these delightful bastards at a wedding years later, and between beaming smiles and hand-holding they let me (and my wife) on a little secret: They shared a job. 

Wait, what? This is a f--king thing?

One job. That they each took turns doing. Just not at the same time. And never together. 

Dear (Movie) God, I wish that Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy would follow Pete and Michelle's lead, and never, ever work together again. Each of them seem like fine individuals (full disclosure: I adore McCarthy), but when they work the same movie at the same time, moderate to intense failure seems like the only result. Unless you count a trailer full of decent bits as mission accomplished, that is.

Life of the Party may have been one of the most boring/uneventful films I've seen in years. And trust me, that's saying something. Where the concept could/should have worked, for whatever reason (and outside of a few bits of inspired lunacy), it all falls shockingly and desperately flat.

If you somehow missed the trailer (you lucky jerk), here's the setup: Doting mom/loving wife Deanna decides to go back to college after her douchebag husband unceremoniously dumps her sorry ass. As she had to put her life on hold twenty one years ago, ol' Mom fell just a few credits short of a degree, and with all this time on her hands, welp, it's Back to School she goes. But with nary a Triple Lindy in sight.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

I had a dream last night. That you were dead.

The privacy fence out back with the missing strips.
The bedroom light that still doesn't have a fixture.
That bare spot in the top corner that my paintbrush simply couldn't reach. Eight years ago.

I wish I could tell you it's because I like to see things through, but ask my wife, that's total bullshit.

Wish I missed the resolution.
There really is no excuse to rent Fifty Shades Freed with actual currency (you shouldn't even use Kohl's cash), and even less of an excuse to stand up, walk across the room and place it in the blu ray player after doing so. Sadly, I'm guilty of both offenses. Look, I enjoy bad movies as much as anyone (uh, maybe more so), but let me be quite clear with you: this movie is f--king horrendous. 

Right, Wolf Blitzer can sit the f--k down because clearly that ain't BREAKING NEWS, I realize. But after being mystified by the first one [review] and delighted by the idiocy of the second [here and here], I actually found myself foolishly/ridiculously/morbidly looking forward to seeing how this whole nonsensical phenomenon wrapped up. I know...I also can't believe I just said that.

Please, please don't think I give anything resembling a hard f--k about Anna, Kristoff and their 'relationship', because I don't. At all. This is car-crash cinema at its finest, dammit, but I'm way more curious about the people looking at the accident than the accident itself. At least that's what I tell myself.

Oh, and there's the small bonus of wholly relishing the fact that Jamie Dornan delivers each ridiculous line like he's just been pulled from a wreck that should've killed him. Like, he convinces everyone he's fine, only to discover that two days later, while washing his luxurious mane, the emergency brake from his Audi is still lodged in his skull.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

You shouldn't have come back here. You're too good for this place.

After tooling around looking at deer and cows, yes, cows, our incredibly overzealous tour guide willed yet another bus up a fairly steep hill into a wooded enclosure. She demanded silence, then gingerly plopped out of the bus and damn near struck a superhero pose upon hitting the ground. Gently, she called out.... [insert embarrassing animal name for a majestic wolf]. Chino? Schlomo? I've got no clue, really.

Anyway, the majestic beast emerges, and quietly comes over to the fence. It paws the ground twice. She nods, and flips him a treat. Awww. Chewing, he looks up at her. And does it again. 

It was amazing. This animal that could probably rip this lady's face off (then mine), played by rules it had no business knowing.

But it still wasn't the most eye-opening thing I saw a wolf do this week.

I spent five hours on a bus filled with thirty eight eleven year-olds last Wednesday, and despite their (relatively) decent behavior [we left behind seventy five of them], it was, by all accounts, straight-up torture. But seeing that wolf do something amazing for thirty seconds? Made it all worthwhile.

And pretty much everything bad that had/would happen was immediately and totally forgiven.

Wolves, from writer/director David Hayter, was also a tortuous experience - but its mama raised it right, clocking in at just over eighty-something minutes. And like the aforementioned field trip, the entire experience was saved by a singular moment. Shockingly, it wasn't a wolf that produced it. Nope.

It was a fox.


Not that any of this matters, but since I'm pretty much a Jedi in pointless endeavors, here's what you/no one needs to understand about the plot of Wolves, you know, before rushing off to watch it. Cayden is a high school senior, who after freaking out on some a-hole during a football game, gets his first boner and almost kills his girlfriend in the process. Apparently, he either has never had such feelings or desires before AS A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYER, or the 1,000th time's the charm, and his sexual arousal turns him into something resembling a werewolf. And not the groovy, Michael J. Fox-kind, either. Like, the gross kind, that you'd expect to f--k your chickens before actually eating them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

I can't believe we survived that.

Look, it was a bad game. Let's be honest with ourselves.

The graphics weren't even that good (for the era), and any time a neon sign is the reason you're dead, well, f--k that noise. Same goes for that f--king tank they'd trot out when you'd just about wrapped up a level. That was some ending up naked and afraid when you'd just destroyed Cleveland.

But, and there's always a but, if you were ever lucky enough to eat the guy on the toilet, or even better, punch a commuter train over to your friend, only to have him or her immediately punch it back to you - well, that shit's basically heaven, right there, you know?

Because sometimes, it really is the little things in life. Especially when those little things turn into big things...

...and f--king eat and destroy everything.

Discerning adult, lover of time, you really have no business being on this website at this hour, just like motherf--king Rampage has absolutely no business being so f--king good. Read it again, I'll wait.

Based off of the Midway arcade game from the mid-eighties, Brad Peyton's latest action flick is not only a helluva ride, it's also further proof that The Rock can make just about anything must-see cinema.

Some nefarious coroporation is running some sketchy ass operation in space, when things go decidedly tits up. The result? Not everything burns up upon reentry and toxic debris cascades all over the f--king planet. While bad shit raining down from the heavens is a general cause for concern, multiply that by eleven when it tuns out that the aforementioned sketchines is actually some gene-tinkering tomfoolery.  Seems this bad corporation has been mutating (space?) animals for, you guessed it, in order to weaponize beasts.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The rabbit is correct.

Ten years is a long time to do anything. Especially considering many people have an attention span measured in syllabl-...and I've lost you.

Even more impressive than a decade of doing anything people still care about - is doing it well. Maybe the competition, after defecating on it and setting it ablaze, has set the bar impossibly low, but the winning formula, rote as it may be, is damn near undefeated.

Hell, even if you only like half of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and would be all for the rest of them quietly fading away from existence, you still need all your damn fingers to count the good ones. 

Half. Half. 

Half is a lot to love. And it's even more to lose.

I liked more than half of Avengers: Infinity War, shit, I pretty much enjoyed the whole damn thing. As the (current) culmination of a decade-long endeavor, Marvel's latest cash-cow is everything you could hope for in a two-and-a-half hour who's-who of the MCU.

Now that we've established a few dozen characters, a handful of allegiances and locales, it's time to unleash the Kraken. But instead of a tentacled anus monster, we're talking Thanos - a huge purple dude with a nutsac chin. Thanos has been looming large in the background for awhile, but apparently, the time has come. According to Gamora's step-dad...

...the world must end. So that it can survive.

Wait, what?

Actually, I'm a big fan of Agent Smith's Thanos' plan, as it calls for an indiscriminate swiping left of the entire universe. Turns out, half of you bitches gotsta go, or else eventually, we're all gonna die. So...yay, Angry Grimace, right?

Not exactly, as Tony Stark and his crew ain't exactly too keen on this whole kill half the population agenda, even if the last time we saw the whole gang...they were splitting into even sides and fighting to the f--king death. Well, fine no one actually died in Civil War... unless you count Rhody's ability to play hopscotch as an actually fatality. Which I do.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Did I tell you about my birthday?

The Magnificent. 
Years (both Itch and In Tibet)
Days in Entebbe.

The number seven has been celebrated in many things cinematic, and as of this evening, Two Dollar Cinema joins the party. Happy birthday to... we?

And while I haven't seen a single film mentioned in the above list, in the last three hundred and sixty five days, I did to see (and 'review') seventy six films. Yes, that's likely an all-time low for a calendar year, but remember, it's not quantity that's quality.

Oooh...about that.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Why is sex even bad?

My prom night was the worst. Full-on golden sombrero.

1) I took my best friend's girlfriend. K looking.
2) I was named prom king, but didn't even dance with the queen, who was essentially the girl of my dreams/the girl I was no [super vague was how we rolled] Swinging on high heat.
3) I bailed on the all the post-prom parties, and instead went to the f--king movies like an asshole. I won't even make it worse and tell you what I saw. Down looking on a knee-buckling curve.
4) The fact that I'm willing to admit any of this, let alone compare it to my wife's own prom story (more on that never)? Strike three. Bases loaded. Get the f--k outta here.

Typically, teen sex romps (if that's a thing) are about a couple of horny guys trying to get laid (see: Porky's, American Pie, Revenge of the Nerds, etc.). Blockers, from director Kay Cannon, punches those traditions square in the dick, as it not only focuses on three young ladies trying to get lucky, but also the parents' quest to intervene. Sometimes sweet and routinely funny, this little R-rated comedy had me and my wife rolling.

But it also had me thinking. A lot.
And crying.

A little.

Julie, Kayla and Sam have been friends for, like, forever. As senior prom approaches (and college looms), it's clear that this night may be their final big blowout together. And what better way to never forget one all losing their virginity on the same night. Um, okay. Sign me up. Er, the 1997 version of me, that is.

Anyway, Julie (the blonde) has a super-sweet boyfriend and a Walgreen's candle, meaning getting boned should be easy-peasy, lemon-booty squeezy. Kayla (the jock) just kind of picked some rando named Connor, and he seems down for...well, for just about anything. Book this one, too. Just do it pencil, as Connor's a bit into herbs and spices, so who knows what condition he'll be in, come Hammer Time. But young Sam? Well, she kind of reluctantly entered the pact to begin with, and her date Chad? Well, he ain't exactly wetting her whistle, despite rocking such a killer fedora. Sam looks to be a long shot on the deal-sealing side of things.

Monday, April 30, 2018

That was nuts what happened in there.

Give me a second - carry the three - got it. I ran the numbers and while the math is good, the result is not. My wife and I have one couple we regularly spend time with. We've flirted (wrong word) with a few others, but they've all been, more or less, one-and-dones. A dinner. Maybe some...bowling (once)? Sure. But never the feeling of we should do that again.

And ever since our kids were born, outside of a wedding or two - any get together we've ever mustered, has always had children present. Ours and theirs. The kids have fun, which is great. The adults...not as/so much.

But imagine the fun we could have if they weren't around?

That's not what you think it is.
Certainly nothing like what's featured in 2015's The Overnight, a relentlessly shocking and awkward (shockward?) comedy from Patrick Brice (uh, the dude responsible for Creep [review]). Running a scant 70+ minutes, this cringe-fest about making new friends as a grownup might make you reconsider your next evening among adults, in addition to your own policy on posing for a portrait.

Alex and Emily, with their young son RJ, have recently relocated to sunny Los Angeles. While Emily settles into her new office job, Alex is doing the stay-at-home dad thing for awhile. It's a sweet gig, sure, but not when you (and your son) don't know anybody in your new neighborhood.

Begrudgingly, Alex takes the kid to a birthday party, where instantly they meet a fairly awesome (though marginally peculiar) dude named Kurt, who has a son around the same age as RJ. Thanks to some gummy worms, the boys hit it off quickly. The adults? Same. Kurt insists that Alex and Emily come over for dinner that night. Which, of course, sounds nice.

From there, well it's anyone's guess, as what starts out as dinner and conversation ends up with bong hits, full-frontal dong shots, peephole-laden all-night massage parlors and incredibly intimate portaits (to say the least). And that ain't even the half of it. While The Overnight isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, it's so incredibly bizarre and charming my wife (yes, she stayed up) and I were enthralled from start to finish.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Your father will always protect you.

I have been a father for almost nine years.

And outside of the rad homemade cards from the kids (and the fact that I'm, quite literally, a motherf--ker), the best part about being a dad is I'm now qualified to give advice at anytime to new fathers. Even if they didn't ask for it. And even if I don't know what I'm talking about. For example...

Always park closest to 'cart return', even if it's a mile away from the entrance. You'll thank me on the way home.

Mom is outworking you - always. You might think because the kids are sleeping, she might actually let her guard down. She doesn't. She's just worrying less. 

But most importantly, when buying your kids toys, their enjoyment is secondary. I don't care how happy they were in the store when they saw it. Ask yourself, how will this feel to step on? How long will it take to put away? And if that toy emits any sounds...are they something that could potentially drive you insane?

Oh, and one last bit of advice?Ditch your kids and go see A Quiet Place in a crowded theater. Just don't bring my mom with you.

Set in a near-future where our planet has been ravaged by deadly monsters, the story centers around the everyday struggles of a singular family comprised of mom, dad and three kids. When the film opens, even a quick trip to (what's left of) town, is a life-and-death chess game of us. versus them. Apparently noise triggers these vicious creatures, and one false step, er, sound, will result in the grisly death of whoever made it. Simple? Sure. But effective, Hell yes.

This f--ker could easily be the most tense film I have ever seen in my entire movie-going life. Few films have sucked the air out of me as quickly John Krasinki's latest, but absolutely zero have ever sustained such breathlessness throughout their entire duration. If not for the emotional break that comes from wanting to straight-up murder the person sitting to my right (oddly enough, the woman who gave me life), I might have actually died during this one. Meaning? I absolutely f--king loved it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Look, no one cares about you now.

Ah, the things we do for the people we care about.

Some people will skulk around a deserted wasteland for days, where the only happy face they'll come across is pasted on their own narrow ass.

Others will get knocked up, gear up, and formed an armed militia of mothers-to-be. Cause, you know, there's nothing expecting mothers love more than brandishing assault rifles.

And others still, in order to maintain the existence of their own family, will do nothing but take and destroy life. Maybe it's the hunting of an animal to eat, or the murder of a fat man bartering gas for ass, you know, those old cliches. And maybe, if you in a real pinch, maybe you'll cut the arm and leg off a young woman...and cook that shit for dinner. I mean, the kids gotta eat...

But me? Well, I ain't really about killing anything...except time. So, if they ask me, (eventually) I'll watch a terrible movie for someone that means a lot to me. Well..

...used to mean a lot to me...

Fine, I still have nothing but love for Margaret over at the [at times] wondrously perverted cinematic corner, but after guilting/violently coercing me into The Bad Batch, the exact amount may be in question. I mean, sweet Jesus, this one makes Butter [review] look like Citizen Kane [review], for f--k's sake.

Apparently, a lot of people really dig/dug A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (no disrespect, but I fell asleep every time I gave it a try). The film's director, Ana Lily Amirpour parlayed that success into her next feature, 2016's The Bad Batch. Obviously I can't say whether this one is a step back or a step forward, but if this is progress...holy f--k. 

Set in a seemingly not-too-distant future, the film opens with some chick named Arlen getting branded as bad, and then unceremoniously dumped into a dry and dusty wasteland somewhere near Texas. Almost immediately, she's knocked out and wakes up to find that some gnarly bitch is cutting her arm and leg off. You know, because she's hungry. 

Hey, Blogger Guy, why don't they just kill her and eat her other arm and leg, too (and ass, frankly)? Uh, because if you keep her alive, she'll grow new limbs like a f--king gecko, you dim-witted asshole. Stop trying to use logic, facts, reason, or any other nerdy f--king tidbit of that thing you call reality. Reality doesn't always look cool, bruh. The Bad Batch, does. Oh, um, also...if they killed her and ate her? We'd have no one to watch limp around the desert FOR TWO F--KING HOURS.

Monday, April 16, 2018

These days, reality is a bummer.

Read any of these posts. Talk to me for more than five minutes. Fine, three will probably do, too.

Chances are, I'll make a reference to something else, typically a movie from my youth. I (used to?) do it so frequently, even my own material is often met with a polite laugh and the question...

...Is that from something?

Hell, I don't even know anymore, I'm in so deep sometimes. Can it get annoying? Of course, my horse. But the way I look at it, even if I miss on one or two (...dozen), there's always a chance you'll like whatever I can come up with next.

And if not, well, up your butt, Jobu.

I'm not sure I fully understand the virulent backlash aimed its way, but I had a really good time with Ready Player One. Based on the (hugely?) popular novel from Ernest Cline, Steven Spielberg's latest flick is a chaotic flash mob ofr  eighties and nineties pop-culture references. While the moves might not be for everyone, you have to at least admire the effort, you know?

See, as a 38 year old man/large boy, who came to be in this surfeit of awesomeness (every reference is plucked straight from the best time of my life), Ready Player One is pitch after pitch directly in my wheelhouse. To hate this film would essentially be to hate my youth, and that's like me failing English. Unpossible.

If you don't know, Ready Player One imagine if in the not-too-distant future, The Matrix vigorously dry-humped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The world has essentially gone to Hell, resulting in the entire population, rich and poor, spending every waking hour online in something known as the OASIS. The OASIS is basically a fully immersive internet, where users don fancy VR rigs and and live their lives as hi-res avatars. You can basically do whatever you've ever dreamed of, which since this flick is PG-13, includes becoming Hello Kitty, not...well, something else to do with Japanese, uh, pussy...cats.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Some of us live better in a broken world.

Peanut butter and jelly.
Eggs and bacon.
Captain America's ass and fill lighting.

While the aforementioned are all spectacular examples, there are few better combinations than robots and monsters. Like the above, either member of the set is beyond spectacular, but when you delicately place giant, metal machines together with tentacled beasts from space, and make them fight to the death, it's pretty much instant boner time.

However, it's inevitable that eventually you are going to finish your sandwich.
The clock will strike noon, and unless you're a drunken college kid, off-the-clock hooker, or lax vampire (or the unholy combination of all three), eating breakfast will be frowned upon.
And Cap, well, the way I see it, great ass or not, he might want to stay away from (any and all light), if early speculation holds.

But robots fighting monsters? That never, ever gets old.

Which is really unfortunate, when you think about it.

As much as it (unsurprisingly) guts me to say it, Pacific Rim: Uprising is exactly what you'd expect it to be: only interesting when loud things go boom. Because giant mechs using laser swords on oversized space-lizards will always be cool as shit, I can't imagine too many years will pass before we get another entry into a series that may have already run its course. When they fight, we win, but when they talk, we snooze.

Supplanting a fairly rad cast of adults from the original Pacific Rim [review], the sequel is yet another film featuring the next generation... of people we ultimately won't give a f--k about.

There's Dead Guy's Kid, the requisite Young Girl That Can Do Everything, Clint Eastwood's Son (ugh, that ol' archetype), Pointless Hot Lady, Russian Ice Teen, and of course, Handsome Asian Dude. Despite earnest and noble performances from most of actors who play them, each character seems to exist solely to out-generic one another. All we needed was a guy with an eye-patch and a cigar telling them they were the sorriest group of cadets he'd ever laid eye upon, and we'd have been in cliche heaven.

See, Pacific Rim: Uprising ticks all the boxes that Independence Day: Resurgence [review] did a year-and-a-half ago (including totally reversible, post-colon nonsense in title). It just didn't grant us the industry-standard courtesy of waiting two decades to do so. Mostly unknown cast with a few returning favorites? Check. Boring interplay between pretty much everyone on screen? You betcha. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Looks like we got a war on our hands.

Billboards, of any kind, are not allowed in Hawa'i. Banned. Outlawed. Not happening. F--k off, McDonald's. Eat a dick, State Farm Insurance.

But racism? Totally alive and well in the islands. You can hate Hawaiians (mokes), white devils people (haoles), Filipinos (flips), or pretty much any culture you can think of. We're typically more tolerant of everybody out there (the weather's too nice to give a f--k, really), but if you want to be a racist dick, go for it. Knock yourself out.

What they also have in paradise (though I've never looked for it myself)? Hell, the thing that probably guided my parents into dragging four boys 3,500 miles away from their schools and friends?


Missouri certainly ain't paradise, Hell, it isn't even Iowa, but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri might just be the perfect film. At the very least, the perfect script. Crafted by the wickedly brilliant Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards is easily my favorite film of this past award season. I know, I know...and it doesn't even have a mute lady f--king a mer-man.

When the film opens, a few months have passed since Mildred's teenage daughter was raped. And murdered. Furious at the lack of movement on the case, ol' Momma Bear has scratched some money together to rent three billboards off the side of some backwoods road near her home. She's calling out the town sheriff, in hopes that her blunt words might light a fire under his ass.

Chief Willoughby is actually a pretty good dude, but he's sick, like, real sick, and the whole town ain't exactly keen with Mildred's tactics, even if you can't necessarily blame her. And right quick, bad things start happening to Mildred, but she sure as shit is not going to back down. Not even when the people who may or may not have helped her with those f--king billboards start to find themselves on the wrong end of the town's ire. Sucks for them, sure, but Mildred is on a f--king mission. Hurt feelings and bogus jail-time be damned.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I wished that you liked me.

My senior year in high school couldn't have been more idyllic. I attended a super-small private high school tucked away in a rainy town on the Big Island of Hawai'i. It had the greatest assortment of teachers ever assembled, a mere three academic classes a day, an infinite number of beautiful girls, and - get this - an off-campus lunch break of just under an hour. Hell, you couldn't really ask for anything more, right?

And even better, during these wondrous times known as the late-nineties, my parents were not only raking it in, but, as far I was concerned...they were actually happy. With each other!

But like any senior in high school...

I was so f--king over all of it. 

Lady Bird, outside of a jarring(ly hilarious) opening sequence, is presented as fiction, but could easily pass for a f--king straight-up documentary of the day-to-day shit-storm that goes with being an annoying, cluelessly self-absorbed high school know-it-all. Even though I wasn't a Catholic school girl traversing the pitfalls of Sacramento in the early aughts, I sure as shit saw a lot of my (hopefully former) self and my friends in this flick. But even more frightening...I started to see some of my own kids in it, too. I'm already starting to feel bad for my wife...

Greta Gerwig, making her directorial debut, perfectly captures the relentless awful that goes with the best time of your life. That time where we're all overcompensating for how little we know be being know-it-all a-holes. It's the f--king worst, sure, but being, um, twenty years past all that noise, it's also kind of the best.

When we meet Christine McPherson (the impeccable Saoirse Ronan), currently answering to Lady Bird, she's in the midst of a pre quarter-life crisis. It's her senior year and she's desperate to attend college on the East Coast. Unfortunately, not only is her family's current financial situation less than ideal, Lady Bird isn't necessarily Ivy League material. She's smart...enough...but there isn't much in her application to make her a stand out. She decides to diversify a bit, and joins the school's theater program. Though her part's small, she scores big: Lady Bird finds a boyfriend. Awww.

Problem(s) solved.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Even when the subject is repellent, the body can be tricked.

When me mum, er, when my mom gets sick, which is fortunately a very rare occurrence, I do what every loving son does: I call her after the fact and ask her how it went. And now that she's better, could she please watch my kids for me?

Cold and heartless? Maybe. But not by design.

But you daughters? Man, do you ladies go all out for ol' mom. Phone calls. Hot meals. Hot pads. Flowers. Cards. Cards with flowers on them. Enrolling in Russian F--k Schools and learning how to murder spies with your Siberian beartrap. 

Honestly, at times, it's simply too much. 

Turns out, the odds are never in my favor.
I don't know what you've heard by now, but Red Sparrow is a strange f--king bird, indeed. Starring some of Joel Edgerton and all of Jennifer Lawrence, this f--ker was not what I expected when I caught it a few weeks back (on opening night). Oh, it ticks the boxes of most thrillers set abroad in a world of spies and espionage....but it also ticks some I wasn't expecting. Namely all those having to do with whore school. 

When Black Widow graduated Russian spy school, she got two things: a pistol and sterilized. I mean, it's way harder to scissor kick a bad when you're wearing a Baby Bjorn. At Red Sparrow's State School 4, while you're not exactly encouraged to get knocked up, you're basically trained to get down. At any time, with any body. You don't say?

Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a former ballet star coerced into the role of undercover lover, as a way to finance her mom's incessant medical care. She's a quick study, though class is a f--king nightmare. No, really. It's a f--king nightmare. Literally. You know how you hate being called up front to give an oral presentation? It's the worst. But instead of a book report, at State School 4, it's a blow job.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Welcome to detention.

Video games, for the most part, are supposed to be fun.
Movies, too.

It's a pretty simple formula.

That pretty much every movie about video games totally f--ks up.

After raking in a bajillion monetary units at the domestic box office, I assumed rather incorrectly, that I would enjoy Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I love The Rock and Jack Black, like Kevin Hart enough, and am always up for a pretty woman unnecessarily kicking ass in unnecessarily tight clothes. Sold, sold and...totally sold.

Yet, by some sort of shit miracle, the combination of all those aforementioned things amounted to absolutely nothing for me. My son, who is eight and a half had a decent time with the flick (I think he sniffs out my like/dislike before), and it looks like most critics did as well. Maybe it was the thirty seconds I stepped out to piss that made the difference, or maybe I fell asleep and only imagined a painfully unfunny movie where nothing happens, but whatever the case may be, I will never understand the praise slathered all over this one. Like, ever.

This time around, the mysterious Jumanji game isn't made out of cardboard and plastic, but instead it's an Atari-like video game system. Four kids, who have ended up in detention for reasons that I would personally celebrate (in my own classroom), are tasked with cleaning the bowels of the school. Instead of clapping erasers and taking crayons out of pencil sharpeners (or whatever, I had already stopped giving a shit/damn), this rag-tag crew ends up balls deep into Jumanji. Literally.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This will be a game night to remember.

She f--king loves board games.

Maybe even the occasional video game, too, (I have the late eighties photos of her enthusiastically face down in a Game Boy), but a board games are definitely her thing. Just make sure you have enough time for her to thoroughly read the directions. Aloud. Then, and only then, can we proceed.

But she just likes to play, you know? Winning, well that's completely unnecessary to her, and pretty much besides the point. It's all about spending time together. Having something

Sitting on the other end of the spectrum, er, couch is me. Her husband. And when it comes to games, I greatly prefer video to board. But regardless of the medium, unlike my lovely wife, I play to f--king win. At all costs, dammit.

Well, kind of. I play games mainly so, in the name of competition, I can be an asshole and talk shit.

And you can talk a lot more shit when you win. 

If these are the choices, I call red.
I know it's early, but if I see a funnier movie this year than Game Night, I probably won't make it out of the theater alive. Turns out, it's pretty hard to breathe when you're laughing your ass off.

Max and Annie (Bateman and McAdams) are the perfect couple. Too bad they'd greatly prefer to be the perfect parents instead. It seems ol' Max is shooting blanks, and it may have something to do with his overly competitive nature. The guy simply tries to hard at everything. Including of course, party games, a love he and Annie have shared since the day they met.

When it comes to games, King Kong ain't got shit on Max. But the one larger-than-life creature he could never defeat is his older brother Brooks, a handsome and charming guy who's just that much better than everything. What a dick, right?, actually. Brooks is pretty f--king awesome.

As is his version of game night, that Max and Annie begrudgingly attend (along with two other couples), eschewing the traditional festivities at their own house. Shocking no one, Brooks' game promises to be bigger and better, as it's apparently a hyper-realistic murder-mystery/escape room type of thing. Like, holy shit, right? This is way more intense than pretzels and charades at Max's house. Those guys that stormed in and kidnapped Brooks? They really looked real. 

Damn, Brooks. This is going to be, like, so much fun!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

This never gets old.

People who like to argue about trivial matters (myself included), will often argue that a hero or heroine is only as good as his (or her, for f--k's sake) villain. Makes sense, I suppose, as you can't really save the day if the threat is as intimidating as a basket full of black kittens. So, it begs the question, what makes a good villain? 

You'd think that'd be easy, right? Motivation! Backstory! And what they're planning on doing because of it! Then why do so many movies botch the bad guy?

Typically, it's an all-too familiar, potentially too personal of a reason. Rough childhood. Tough break. Maybe a dash of long-festering criminal insanity, perhaps? All fine reasons, sure, but at this point, I'm not exactly leaning forward in my theater seat.

But what if we took all of those reasons, and added something like, say...oh, I don't know...abject f--king racism, perhaps?

Black Panther does something pretty f--king remarkable for a movie that is, all things considered, the eighteenth entry into the MCU: it's a comic book movie that has legitimate weight to it. It matters.

Oh, it has rad costumes, cool gadgets, kick-ass fights and cool one-liners - all the prerequisites of the genre are here and accounted for. And it's no slouch on universal accessibility, either.

But under all of that, Hell, triumphantly standing next to all of that? An ugly reality of racism, exploitation and greed fueling just about everything. Director Ryan Coogler deftly toes the line between an action movie and a call to action. And like any skilled move, I never saw it coming.

Many years ago, a mysterious object crashed into the African nation of Wakanda and bestowed upon its people an ultra powerful element known as vibranium. Yep. Whatever the Hell it is, it's the Swiss Amry Knife of shit from space, and allowed the Wakandans to transform their entire society into a utopia of technological badassery. Sweet, right? Well, it would have been, but eventually word, er, vibranium, got out, and the fate of the Wakandans was altered forever.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Mt. Rushmore of Movies '18 LINKS

Last year, we had an excellent turnout for the 2017 version of the Mt. Rushmore of Movies. Ten rad sites produced some very groovy monuments honoring everything from Ed Harris to the best scenes featuring food. Both equally tasty, amirite? Anyway, uh...there was even a monument about beards for f--k's sake! Beards! I mean, what?

This year, despite the numbers being a bit down, I'm here to tell you that once again, people carved the shit out of some incredible Mt. Rushmores. Some really cool stuff will be featured below. And while I hate to spoil anything, I might have to break your heart and tell you that there won't be one monument dedicated solely to beards this year. Nope.

There will be two.


created by: Sati
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Epic Sam Rockwell Dancing Scenes
Materials: Sick Beats and Dancing Feats 
When visiting: If you fall off the mountain trying to emulate the sweet moves, at least you'll die happy. Oh, and stop by the on-site tattoo parlor. Rooster designs are their specialty.

created by: Sonia
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Movie Villains
Materials: Charm, Arrogance and a touch of the Crazy
When visiting: Keep the windows up and the doors locked. And for the love of all things holy, don't pick up any hitchhikers. Even the handsome one with the big smile. Especially that guy, in fact.

created by: Getter
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Sam Rockwell Beards
Materials: Sharp looks and dull razors
When visiting: Pack an extra sandwich and make sure your phone's charged. Your wife and your daughter? They might spend an extra hour...or, visiting. And the moaning? Don't worry. They get a lot of that sort of thing.

created by: Dell
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Pam Grier Fight Scenes
Materials: Stink Eyes, Horny Guys and Nice Thighs
When visiting: Bras are totally optional (if not outright banned). And don't worry about dinner. The salad bar is, uh, stacked.

created by: Brittani
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Marvel Beards
Materials: I don't know where they got it, but I'm pretty sure they used Vibranium (what can't it do?)
When visiting: Try to keep it together, ladies. Like these guys aren't handsome enough...

created by: Jordan
Monument: The Mt. Rushmore of Bonkers Ladies
Materials: Hot Women and Cold Stares
When visiting: run in the other direction as fast as you can, goddammit! She's gaining on you!