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 matters....it'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 longer...dating? [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 another...by 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 om 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 called...fun?

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 Max...at everything. What a dick, right? Well...no, 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 five...um, 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!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I expect better manners from you, Dick.

Four years ago, it was clutch neighbors. The kind that would help you in a pinch. It was ode to all the people that have supported Two Dollar Cinema over the years.

Last year, it was boobs. Because, well, boobs. Boobs never need a boobs, erp, reason.

This year, for the third (and final?) installment of The Mt. Rushmore of Movies, I've decided to go with something you would simply never expect from a highbrow site like mine. Something you'd never expect to find carved into the granite walls of a majestic mountain in South Dakota. Welcome (former?) friends, to, you guessed it, The Mt. Rushmore of Dicks.

*spits out drink* Excuse me? 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Laser focused with a half thought-out plan.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it. - Mitch Hedberg,

There are a lot of stands to take these days, as the world, on a daily basis it seems, is becoming an incessant us vs. them cage match. I can't think of anything I've ever been staunchly opposed to, as I tend to roll with my good buddies, indifference and sarcasm. I'm not proud of this way of living in the least, but the things I love and the things I hate are so blatantly obvious, it would seem frivolous to make a stand one way or the other.

But if you believe in something, and it means a lot to you? Well, I support that.

As long as it's for the right reasons...

I 900% support the boycott of Sony Pictures' Peter Rabbit, but it has nothing to do with allergy bullying (I guess that's...a...thing...). The real reason parents should march against this film is because it's just short of f--king abysmal. I'd rather have a catastrophic allergic reaction induced by a small woodland creature shitting down my throat, than to ever see a single minute of this movie again.

Fine, maybe I wouldn't exactly line up for a squirrel to take a nutty dump in my face, but at least it'd make for a better story than the abomination that is Peter Rabbit. What I recall was a rather charming (if ultimately boring) series of books, has been bastardized into the most unlikable children's movie I've ever scene. And trust me, I see a ton of them.

Peter, voiced by the moderately douchey James Corden, is a total prick. Living in a picturesque little garden with his sisters Floozy, Boozy and Swampass (possibly not their names), this rat bastard harasses some codger named Old Mr. McGregor (the still [somehow] awesome Sam Neill) to f--king death. Literally. Cue McGregor's f--kwit nephew, Thomas (a severely demoted General Hux), fresh off getting shit-canned for being an asshole, to move to the country and into the old man's house. Thomas hates the rabbits, the rabbits hate Thomas, and me, well, I f--king hate everybody.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

It's me. I'm a mess. I need to get my shit together.

As a former frequent flyer of the friendly skies, I've certainly had my share of delays, cancellations and missed flights. They totally sucked at the time (holy shit, now I would kill a bitch for some unaccounted hours), sure, but looking back, there was always a silver lining.

Ten hours in Brussels? Ate a waffle out of a vending machine.
Eight hours in Minneapolis? Rented a DVD player and watched American Pie [so 90s]
Stranded overnight in Honolulu...on Christmas? Ate a burger (and two scoops of rice) on a picnic table. At midnight. With my dad.

But, honestly, I would have traded that greasy burger, Nadia and all the Belgian waffles in the world for one thing, and one thing only:

William H. Macy.

Turn the box over, and all the hardcore scenes are on the back.
Well, okay, not the actual f--king guy or anything (nice as he may seem), but rather the entire premise of the last film Macy directed, 2017's limp misfire, The Layover

Enthusiastically pissing in the face of anything resembling women's progress, The Layover tells the story of two impossibly beautiful women, seemingly of the BFF variety, shredding all forms of human decency in an effort to f--k the shit out of a guy with a severely bent dick.

What, that's not what you were expecting? Here's another shocker: I f--king hated every single minute of it.

Once again, my love of wondrous bosoms Alexandra Daddario ruined what should have been a nice evening, as The Layover fails on every front imaginable. It's boring, stupid, decidedly female ass free, and worst of all, painfully unfunny. I'd rather watch an eighty-eight minute version of a typical in-flight safety video than ever see this bullshit again. Like, please, please Flight Attendant Lady, show me again how to buckle a f--king seat-belt. I totally missed it the first time.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Blogathon '18: Mt. Rushmore of Movies

Where it used to be a triennial celebration around these parts, with our latest commander-in-chief behind the button (not to mention that nervous dude in Hawai'i sending out false alarms), I'm not sure we can wait once every three years. So, grab a handful of pink and red M&M's, dump the dead roses in the trash and take a shot of the dirty water they were sitting in, because Two Dollar Cinema is once again choo-choo-choosing you.

Like, I want them to participate, Gary, but not like this...
In honor of President's Day, yep, that seemingly random February Monday we have off for no reason, I'm once again politely asking/totally begging you to participate in a little blogathon known as the Mount Rushmore of Movies.

To participate, simply choose the top four of anything cinematic and explain why they should be carved into the side of a mountain forever. Remember, these are real people carved into imaginary rock - so choose wisely!

Whatever ridiculous(ly fantastic) monument you concoct will be accepted, so feel free to get a bit loose with it. Pour some wine, change out of those stuffy work clothes, grab whatever tools (ahem) you need, and let's do this.

Whether you want to do a Mount Rushmore of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, the top four Noose Rooster flicks, or a tribute to the most shocking endings of all time, embrace the madness and run with it. Four selections may seem like a lot, but depending on the topic, those spots can fill up quickly. Four years ago, some crazy bitches went wild with their monuments [take a peek here], and last year was more of the same [really]. Let's see if the 2018 can follow suit.

And of course, the business end of this thing I'm not paying you for:
  1. I'd like to have all posts done by Friday, March 2nd (where I'll create a master list, linking back to all of your, er, both of your sites), but it's cool if you finish way before that. Or later. I honestly don't mind.
  2. Send me a heads up/steamy nude pic on twitter @twodollarcinema , reply in the comments below, text me, e-mail me (twodollarcinema@gmail.com), fart in my general direction, whatever you want, when you've finished, okay? That would be mighty kind of you.
  3. In your post, please use the rad banner my wife designed when she should have been working.
  4. Share the announcement with every single person you've ever met. Or being that we're all bloggers, you're digital friends.
  5. Be awesome. And if you're here, already know that you are anyway.

And even if it's way ahead of time, thanks to everybody who participates, and even to those people who inevitably wished they had/could give a f--k about this nonsense. 

No, really. Thanks. For nothing. Ya bastard. That's real presidential of you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trust me, once you go down there...you wouldn't wanna come back up again.

Everybody who grows up in Hawai'i has a shark story. Sure, it was probably a dolphin while you were surfing with your cousin, but it sounds way f--king cooler if it was a shark.

I guess I should have started this post with the word almost, because despite growing up in the middle of the Pacific, I routinely found myself in the middle of a movie theater. But one with a great view of the ocean. 

Turns out I don't have a shark story, let alone a good one, unless I tell you about that time Samuel L. Jackson got eaten by a great white mid-f--king sentence! Or when that lady from Open Water was totally naked for absolutely no reason.

(Sorry, I don't watch a lot of shark movies)

And after catching 47 Meters Down on Netflix with my wife the other night, safe to say I won't be rushing out (or in) to see anymore. While The Shallows [easily one of my favorite reviews] was f--king awesome a few summers back, Mandy Moore vs. a Shark is anything but. Good thing, like an actual shark attack, it's all over faster than you can yell Barracuda!

When we meet Lisa, the tall one (Moore), she has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Fiancee? Tennis Instructor? F--k, I don't know, someone she was previously in a relationship with. Apparently, she never let her hair down (anybody?), and homeboy had to cut her loose. So instead of non-alcoholic margaritas and super-protected missionary, this Mexican getaway is gonna be a pity party.

Filling in for the guy is Kate, Lisa's flirty younger sister. While Lisa looking to wallow, Kate's looking to swallow. Sea water, you silly goose.

Anyway, after meeting two dudes who look like they might cut out your organs while you're sleeping, Kate plays the be a little adventurous card to Lisa, and basically double-dares her to go shark-diving with the fellas. What's a boring, overly-cautious, perpetual party-pooper gonna do? Well, like me pressing play on 47 Meters Down, something woefully against her better judgement.

Friday, February 9, 2018

You have a choice. Scream. Or don't.

I know it was 2004. October.

The Red Sox had just won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, and the Friday night before the victory parade, I dragged my cousin to the movies. Sure, Friday night at the movies was something we'd done a million times, but a Sox World Series parade was something we assumed we'd never see once. As we were both in the early stages of our careers in public education, we left the last almost-midnight screening f--king exhausted. Bleary-eyed ain't the half of it.

So tired, in fact, on the ride home we silently decided it would be a terrible idea to get up in a few short hours, drive a hundred miles north to Boston, only to freeze our balls off along the parade route cheering for Damon, Manny and Millar and the rest of the guys..

To be clear, we didn't go to perhaps the biggest f--king sporting event in our lives (up until that moment, anyway)... because I insisted we go see a f--king low-budget horror film the night before.

And they thought the 2004 Red Sox were idiots.

Saw and I didn't exactly get off on the right foot (I think there's a joke there) over a decade ago, so I'm not sure what would compel me to check out 2017's Jigsaw. I actually abandoned the series after the second entry, so jumping back in to part...carry the three...part eight probably wasn't the best call. But the wife was out of town, and the kids were at my mom's. What's a grown man supposed to do in that situation.

Not fall the f--k asleep. Which is why I rented the shortest movie they had. And still fell the f--k asleep.

As far as my dim recollection goes, Jigsaw stays pretty close to the winning formula of the previous films. Terrible people awake to find themselves in even more, uh, terribler situations, and we get to gleefully squirm our way through each grisly demise.

Here, the crux of the film concerns itself with five a-holes chained to the wall of an extremely elaborate death chamber. Jigsaw, who apparently/supposedly died a decade ago, has channeled his love for OK Go videos, and created a seemingly endless (and super f--ked up) version of Mouse Trap. And unless you confess to all the sins you've committed in your mostly-shitty life, well, you gon' die. And it ain't a laundry basket that's coming down on your head.

It's a...well, it's a...it's a f--king laser.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

He's happy to see me. Every time. Every day.

I'm a fairly nice guy, not physically imposing in any way. The only thing scary about me? Probably how handsome I am. And that I occasionally lie about my appearance.

My point? I've never considered myself a monster.

But I just might be, you know? Turns out, I'm a pretty big fan of hard-boiled eggs. I definitely enjoy a swim. And if you fall asleep on me, there's a good chance I'm sneaking out to the movies. And if you're not careful?

I just might eat your p....

You see...while the bones of The Shape of Water felt pretty familiar (it's basically a super f--ked up/inverted version of Shrek), it's the relentless attention to detail and dream-like nature of the film that elevates Guillermo del Toro's latest offering to something bordering incredible. Imagination and reverence damn near fly off the screen. But while I can't imagine it'll actually win Best Picture, I'd totally have its (scaly) back if it does. 

Set against the backdrop of the height of 50's US/Russia paranoia, The Shape of Water tells the (sorta fairy) tale of Elisa Esposito (the always lovely and often alarmingly naked Sally Hawkins), a seemingly mild-mannered cleaning woman. Elisa works deep in the bowels of a top-secret government facility in Baltimore, pushing a cleaning cart alongside her perfectly sassy best friend, Zelda (Octavia Spencer, doing that good thing she does so...good). Not only have they cleaned some shit at work, but they've seen some shit there, too (we all have, right?). But these ladies are smart, dig? They ain't saying anything about it. And in Elisa's case, literally, as this poor woman's been mute for as long as anyone can remember.

Monday, January 29, 2018

If the train don't kill me...the people will.

There is nothing sexy about my weekday mornings.

No kiss goodbye from the wife as she straightens my tie, no last sip of coffee as I tussle the hair of my lil' slugger. Nope. Instead, I stumble out of my house with the grace and gait of someone just recently rescued from sea, drive the thirty-one post-apocalyptic miles to a job that makes me wish I was dead. Or undead, depending on the radiation levels and bust size of my fellow zombies.

But between you and me? Those two mindless, traffic-filled hours aren't all bad. It's basically the only part of my day where no one needs anything from me, and I can just sit there, not giving a damn, shit or f--k. I just coast along, chasing whatever money they'll give me.

The Commuter, Liam Neeson's latest January journey, doesn't exactly coast along, but good luck giving a damn, shit or f--k about it. I'm glad that a ton of people got paid in the production of this movie, yay them!, but this flick felt like the ultimate rip-off. And at this point, we're so far down the Don't f--k with Liam Neeson rabbit hole, I'm not even sure what film this one cribs from the most. Oh, I know. The one where they f--k with the wrong guy's family, and he's reluctantly forced to do something about it.

Yeah. That one.

Seemingly moments after establishing that college is gonna be (perhaps too) expensive for oh Danny boy, Neeson's Michael MacCauley shows up at work and promptly gets shit-canned. I'ts been real, Mike, but ya gotsta go.

And breaking all stereotypes, the massive Irishman heads to a bar to hang out with a bunch of cops, who apparently, he used to work with. Wait, what? An ex-cop who just lost his job and desperately needs cash? What could possibly happen next?

Oh, right. A beautiful women will approach him on the train-ride home, provide him with the most cryptic way possible to make a little extra money, and chaos and conspiracy will ensue. The gig? All he has to do is find the premise that does not belong. Er, person. Find the person that doesn't belong. And identify them. So they can be murdered. Um, I think.

*raises hand* Uh, Mr. Neeson? I'm pretty sure I don't belong here.

Feel free to shoot me in the head. Or the nuts.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

He looks for the good in all of us, and somehow, he finds it.

These are very divisive times. There is so little in this world that can easily be agreed upon, even a simple decision can seem insurmountable. Where facts used to be something you couldn't argue with, something that could guide you, now everything is up for debate.

Perhaps making this situation even more troubling, is the fact that everybody has something to say. And with the proliferation of countless electronic platforms, it's easier than ever for them to say it.

But, who should you really listen to? Your friends? Your family? Some blogger you've never met? How about that guy at work who starts every sentence with, you know what you should do...? 

No. They're all morons. If you really want to know how to live your life right...

...listen to the talking bear. 

That dude knows everything.

I read somewhere that Paddington 2 was 'the sequel that no one asked for' and I'd quite honestly like to track down whoever wrote such nonsense and...and...give them a hard stare. Just three years after the original's 2014 release, this latest sequel is nothing short of fantastic, and should be prescribed by medical professionals to cure, well, just about everything that's wrong. In the world.

Paddington has settled into his life in London, and become a beloved member of the community. He's an incredibly positive little bear, and seemingly makes the lives of everyone around him that much better. Well, except for Mr. Curry. He's not really a fan.

Anyway, Paddington comes across what is possibly the most beautiful pop-up book in the world, and wants to buy it for his dear Aunt Lucy. She had always dreamed of visiting London, but the arrival of Paddington as a cub changed her plans forever. This book, featuring all the sights of The Old Smoke, would make for the perfect present. All Paddington has to do is earn a little money and the book is his. I mean, it's not like anyone else wants it. Nope.

Not even that wonderful/creepy guy from the steam fair. The one that used that used to be a real actor but now is in all those dog-food commercials.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We might die together. And I don't even know you.

When it comes to traveling with Kate Winslet, uh, cinematically, I've got a little good news and a little bad news for you. The good news? At some point during the journey, it's gonna be business time. It doesn't even matter if one of you is betrothed, either. You will be overcome with emotions, and will have sweaty, potentially life-altering sex in some place you shouldn't be.

But the bad news? Hopefully you didn't pack anything of value. Because not only will your luggage fail to arrive in a timely manner, but there's a good chance the vessel carrying you won't either. To be fair, shit tends to slow down when it's ripping apart spectacularly.

Oh, one more thing. All that romance, that was hot. My pants are still on fire just thinking about it. Too bad though, as your chivalrous ass is going to f--king freeze to death in the middle of nowhere.

If it had an 's', I'd say it's referencing Winslet. But just 'mountain'?
I guess they're referring to Elba.
Okay, so maybe there are many other cinematic instances where accompanying Ms. Winslet is a sex and disaster free endeavor. I'm open to that possibility. But being that The Mountain Between Us is only the sixth or seventh film I've ever seen with Rose Dewitt Bukater in the lead, I'm going to just assume they all end the same way. Maybe a sexy car crash on that Revolutionary Road, perhaps

Winslet plays Alex, a spunky (perhaps a wee bit bitchy) photographer attempting to head to her wedding in the Mile High City ,but crushed to find out her flight has just been cancelled. Overhearing this dreadful news is the dreamiest of McDreamies, Ben Bass (Idris Elba, classing up yet another stinker), also desperate to get the Hell out of wherever they are. Bass has a surgery tomorrow in Baltimore, where he'll be operating on my incessantly raging boner for all things Elba. Or a sick kid. One of those.

Cut to the unlikely pair hiring The Dude's brother to fly them out ahead of the storm. Ooh, about that. One terrifying as f--k plane crash later, and Alex and Ben are fighting not only the elements, a mountain lion and each other's survival instincts, but also the inevitable desire to bunk the Hell up (you know, to stay warm) when given the chance. That mountain between them...might just be made exclusively out of reproductive organs.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Now I just pretend to be a good dude.

It doesn't seem all that long ago, where the mere thought of a big-time actor starring in a 'made-for-TV' movie was the check engine light on a career careening off the road. A big screen star is going to be in something I don't have to pay for? I don't know if I should feel excited...or depressed.

But I'm (mostly) grown-up now, and a damn I could give about reputation. So by all means, Once Big-Time Actor, make that money. Make it any way you can.

Even if you have to star in something really weird, that a lot of people seem to really f--king hate.

Making a movie that only appears on Netflix is a far cry from The Hallmark Channel presents..., but it's still slightly jarring to see a big (moderate?) budget flick starring Will Smith exclusively debut within the (damn near ubiquitous) streaming service. But even stranger than the fact that Smith headlines David Ayers' latest, might just be what the film is about. And even stranger than that? How much I enjoyed it.

All of it.

While Bright might be full of all sorts of stranger things, it's played remarkably straightforward. Set in Ayers' favorite American wasteland, Los Angeles, this gritty world of bad good guys and good bad guys is essentially every cop flick you've ever...but with orcs, elves and fairies. Think a tamer version of Training Day set in the public housing section of The Shire, and you're on the right path.To Mordor.

But one where we grab In-and-Out Burger on the way.

Smith plays the pissed off cop Ward, just trying to survive another day in L.A.. If he's lucky, he'll make it home to his lovely wife Sherri, a nurse living in constant fear that next body they roll in to her will belong to her Shrek-loving husband. And if he's not, there's a host of weird-looking motherf--kers that could end up killing him. Including the dude not only with a shotgun, but the dude riding shotgun.