Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thanks Dad :)

I think any father has thought about what they would do in that situation. What action they would take if their child went missing. It's not a game I enjoy, but sometimes my mind wants to play it, so of course, I've kicked it around a few times...

Earlier in the baseball season I lost my son at a Phillies game, after he failed to hear/comprehend the let's head this way command. It was probably the longest forty-five seconds of my life, but luckily that's all it was. He did the right thing and told the nearest police officer that he'd lost his family, and before they could even begin the search, we'd doubled back and reunited.

But my original plan, if one of my kids went missing? The one I've given some thought to? Oh, it's simple: absolutely lose my f--king mind. 

Good thing, unlike me, David Kim's an actual adult, capable of solving problems involving those he loves the most. Starring the impossibly-underrated John Cho as the aforementioned Mr. Kim, Aneesh Chaganty's Searching is a gut-wrenching thriller you definitely need to check out. And as cool as it was to see on the big screen, turns out, it might just be better to catch it on your laptop. Wait, what?

Taking place solely on a lone computer screen, Searching ups the found-footage ante to eleven in the clever presentation of a desperate father's frantic scramble for his missing daughter. While it works better than Unfriended [review] - which I remember liking a bit -  there are still some moments and scenes where you're gonna have to shut your eyes before they role out of your f--king head.

Maybe you kids see nothing wrong with every moment of every day being live-streamed by everyone, but there were a few occasions where things got pretty ridiculous. Maybe I'm just not on YouTube when the local news streams footage of a car being pulled out of a lake, or I've never logged into a live broadcast of a f--king funeral, but these moments seemed beyond absurd. (rambles the guy on his blog)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monster Mania Con 41: Wrap and Crap

Having two highly-deviant older brothers, I grew up watching a lot of horror flicks. While they were likely in it for the requisite shower scenes, I was too young to be enthralled by a soapy co-ed. At least initially. Instead of focusing on the double-d's, I was more fixated on the double v's. That is, the villains and the violence. Yeah, those two were doing something in the bed, but did you see how Jason jammed a spear through both of them? Wowzers.

But if there was anything I was even more obsessed with than late 80s/early 90s horror, it was the simple act of acquiring the indecipherable scribbles of someone other people had heard of. Or, as you might put it, collecting autographs. Never to sell, but always to gawk at, I spent too many nights writing letters to moderately famous...athletes, in hopes of getting a much sought after Herbie Hancock. 

If only three decades later, an event would be held near my house where my two long-forgotten obsessions could coalesce into a writhing orgy of unrelenting nerdiness. 

If only.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Who bit your boner?

Gary Maynard was the second film professor I'd ever encountered. And maybe my favorite.

While he looked like the lead singer of The Verve, he moved and sounded like Professor Frink from The Simpsons.  When he would introduce a film, he would almost always describe one of the characters as milquetoast, which perhaps unsurprisingly, was the perfect noun to describe Professor Maynard.

Other students who took the class because Bro, all you do is watch movies made fun of him behind his back, but I f--king adored this dude. You just knew, he was living his dream. And when he casually turned our MC 270 - Techniques of the Cinema class into solely a study of film noir, you could tell it was for no other reason than it was his favorite genre. Quickly, I became a fan. Night of the Hunter was so good, and Double Indemnity was even better. Before long, I knew all the hallmarks of the genre.

Except, you know, f--king puppets.

And the award for Most Apt Title in the history of cinema goes to...
And you can emphasize that either way, frankly, when slogging your way through The Happytime Murders. Because not only is this film about actual f--king puppets, but also about puppets actually f--king. And quite vigorously, at that.

Ah, late summer - you vengeful bitch. Not only was the latter part of August the cruel reminder that I would soon have to go back to work, but it's was also where all the bad movies go to die. And with the clock ticking on time I still had to waste, foolishly, I took my wife to the f--king puppet movie.

Why? Well, I figured as absurd as the whole premise appeared, The Happytime Murders simply wouldn't exist unless the film weren't utterly f--king hysterical. Combining that (horribly misguided) logic with the fact that Melissa McCarthy playing a hard-ass cop in an R-rated comedy (not to mention she needed to atone for the shit-tastic Life of the Party [review]) and the laughs were seemingly guaran-f--king-teed. Yeah, about that.

Instead, the only thing guaranteed was a mostly unfunny tale of murder and revenge starring a grizzled ex-cop named Phil and his estranged human partner, Connie (McCarthy). Of course, their past is decidedly checkered with Phil having inadvertently shot an innocent puppet in a bust gone wrong. And on that fateful day, Connie took a hit and ended up with a, you guessed it, puppet vagina liver. No. Really.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The great game continues...

I would have looked you in the eye and said it was five miles, easily, but according to Google Maps, it was only one point four. Whatever the distance may have been, the mileage was more or less irrelevant: the walk home from the bus stop was treacherous.

Along the route there were many obstacles a middle school kid could encounter, many factors that could make the trek tumultuous.
  1. Oppressive heat (afternoons in Hawai'i? Might hit 82 degrees)
  2. Rogue elementary students, swinging bookbags and/or throwing rocks
  3. High school kids driving by (and being dicks)
  4. Weird old people that wanted to say hello for an hour.
  5. Shortcuts that not only weren't shorter, but were littered with a generous amount of kiawe thorns (Google it, I dare you) just waiting to tear your shi(r)t up
  6. And, if you wanted to take an actual shortcut across the golf course, an overzealous Marshall, waiting to bust us
But to be quite frank with you, none of this along the way stuff ever really bothered me. In fact, it was the calm before the storm. Because when I got close to home, like almost there, I-can-see-our-roof level of closeness? That's when all hell broke loose. The final stretch.

That's when the shit really hit the fan.

OPTION 4: See another movie.
Mile 22 isn't about an annoying kid trudging home from school, but instead tells the tale of a covert group of hardasses attempting to get an informant from point A to point B. Brimming with an overzealousness that borders on f--king hysterical and cobbled together with the grace of flaming sledgehammer, Peter Berg's latest collaboration with Mark Wahlberg is a tactical strike gone horribly wrong. And as we search through the rubble for survivors, there's one overwhelming positive: only a few people were foolish enough to be in the theater when the (box-office) bomb went off.

I may be enjoying the smell of my own farts too much, sure, but good God Mile 22 is a chaotic mess. And not in a good way. The story is simple enough (dude knows some stuff, people want to kill dude, America must protect dude during twenty-two mile trip to airport), and the actors are all game (f--king John Malkovich is in this!), but the wheels fall off almost immediately. Good thing I stayed around till the end, because, and this is likely because I'm a moron, but...that shit was a banger.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Why you actin' like you ain't got skin in the game?

I didn't vote for Donald Trump.

Since I have eyes and ears (not to mention a brain and a heart), I never even considered it. But being that there was (supposedly) no way in Hell the obnoxious prick from The Apprentice could possibly be voted in to our nation's highest office, what I did consider, with a sort of morbid fascination at the time, was what the future would be like if he somehow pulled it off.

But I couldn't come up with anything that made sense, you know? Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos, jokingly echoed through my head (about that brain I mentioned earlier? Scratch that.) when I imagined this exceedingly far-fetched scenario. 

How was this guy going to change things so drastically? President Obama was the most radically different person I'd ever seen in office, and everything still felt...normal, right? How could Trump really change our future?

Turns out, by making it a lot like our past. 

As it's been just under a month since I've seen Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, safe to say I've had some time to sit and think about. And while most films tend to dissipate in the noise of life (and it's been especially noisy as of late), remarkably, I still haven't been able to shake this one off. Which shouldn't be surprising, considering it's so f--king heavy.

At times?

See, the (mostly true?) story of Ron Stallworth (a fantastically droll John David Washington) starts innocently enough, with the young man joining the Colorado Springs Police Department back in the early seventies. Initially banished to the records department, Ron desperately wants to do more, and is reassigned to work undercover. His first gig? To check out a meeting the local black student union is hosting. There, Ron meets a lovely young lady, the politically-charged president, Patrice. Sparks don't necessarily fly, and Ron's going to have to work the long game.

Good thing his career is on the fast track, however, as Ron is not only reassigned again (to the intelligence division) in record time, but somehow manages to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in the blink of an eye. While it didn't take more than a phone call to get the invite, Ron can't exactly reach out an touch a white supremacist someone. Instead, he recruits an impossibly reluctant co-worker named Flip Zimmerman, played by the perpetually unimpressed (though thoroughly impressive) Adam Driver. Together, they'll play the character of Ron Stallworth: Proud American/Racist F--kface.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Promise me you won't ever watch that video.

I guess the hook in the car door is pretty stupid when you think about it. Same for the call that came from inside the house! I'm not even sure how that one's even possible.

And as a kid growing up in Hawai'i, we had the Nightmarchers, who as I recall, were spirits that lined up single file and, well, marched toward you. At night. Even worse, was the local Hawaiian belief that you should never, never ever never, whistle at night, or tiny demon spirit things (menehunes? obake?) would descend upon you, sending you to the depths of madness.

Whatever the legend was around where you grew up, I'm sure in hindsight, it's pretty f--king stupid if given the slightest amount of rational thought. But whatever it is, whatever it is that you and your friends told each about other all those years ago? I absolutely guarantee you one thing.

It's scarier than f--king Slender Man.

Just kidding, of course, as the Slender Man movie is thoroughly f--king terrifying from beginning to end. Assuming, of course, you're afraid of Freddy Krueger. Wait, what?

Possibly the most boring 'horror' film I have ever seen, director Sylvain White's latest had me wishing I was the one who had mysteriously vanished on a high school field trip to the, you guessed it, creepy old cemetery. Based on an urban legend I am infinitely too old to give a f--k about, this suckfest takes every horror trope you've ever known and somehow makes them even more...trope-y. Assuming that's  even a thing/possible. It was summer, and I was a carefree fool, and still, I did all I could to not fall asleep.

Here we have teenage girls doing what teenage girls do: f--king around online late at night. After nervously laughing at some porn, they decide to check out some lame-ass video you're not supposed to watch. Think The Ring but minus all the hair brushing, dead horses and ladder-play. Days later, everybody is having visions of a downtrodden Jack Skellington silently rehearsing This is Halloween in the woods. Big f--king deal, right? Right. Just turn around. Don't look at him. He's in a shitty tux and skulking about like the Cloverfield monster. It's not like he's Jason Momoa Voorhees with his dick hanging out. Assuming you're able to (mostly) stand, it's fair to say you can outmaneuver this lanky a-hole.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Squeaky clean, so to speak.

My cousin Tony used to call it the two dollar theater, because, shocking no one, all the shows were only two bucks. While I'd never (necessarily) turn down a trip to the movies, chances were if a flick had made it to the cheap seats and I hadn't seen it? Well, there was probably a good reason.

But on the off chance we would go? It was always kind of cool, you know? It was like a f--king time machine. Like, Oh, yeah. I remember this. 

Now, uh, can we get the f--k outta here...and go back to the real deal?

During the height of MoviePass' extended period of good f--king luck seeing a movie tonight, my wife and I managed to catch Ocean's 8 at our local two-dollar theater a few weeks back. But being that it's 2018 and not 1998, make that the five dollar theater, we caught Ocean's 8 at. That spy movie with Kelso's girlfriend was going to get us home too late, so we basically had no other choice.

And while maybe it truly was the sticky floors and broken chairs of the once-esteemed South York Cinema, let's just say the whole evening felt dated and unnecessary. Even if I was surrounded by eight, er, nine lovely ladies...

Debbie Ocean has just got out of jail, and instead of drifting about and getting a job as a school bus driver like every other ex-con, she immediately swan dives back into her sexy, criminal lifestyle. In lieu of push-ups and finding religion, Danny Ocean's sister planned and schemed her next big score for every day of her five-year sentence. She's run the numbers over and over, and apparently, her math isn't just good, it's f--king exceptional. All she has to do is put together a rag-tag crew of one-trick ponies, and bickety-bam, justice, vengeance and maybe even a little decadence are hers for the taking. The only problem? Oh, right.

There is no problem.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Anybody up for some shenanigans?

Jonah Hex has one. So does Doctor Strange.

Hellboy has two. And his name is Hellboy. Blade? The Daywalker has a trilogy, for crying out loud (even if I don't count the last one, honestly). And the Fantastic Four? However many they have...well, it's too many. And speaking of too many, I still wake up with visions of Dr. Manhattan's um, giant stethoscope, swinging through the sky. Yikes.

My point, if there is one, is I get it. It seems like all kinds of superheroes - including those of the once obscure variety - have had their movie made. Heck, maybe even their own franchise.

I mean, Hollywood once gave the green light to Green Lantern. 

While Hollywood is likely searching for yet another Batman to light up a marquee, poor Robin has yet to get his big chance. He's painfully aware that it's probably never coming, either. Painfully, self-aware, in fact.

In this summer's Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, based on the ubiquitous Cartoon Network show of the same name, the Dark Knight's sidekick hilariously laments this cruel reality with his sidekicks, the Teen Titans. Though the animated flick starts out as a rainbow explosion of sight gags and fart jokes, it quickly becomes incredibly subversive and beyond self-referential. If you've seen the show, you know what to expect. And if you haven't? This might be a good place to start.

After getting embarrassed at a big premiere, Robin decides that he and the rest of the Titans need to immediately leave Jump City and head to Hollywood. There, they meet leading-director Jade Wilson (that name sounds familiar, hmm), and she bluntly tells them the only way they'd ever get their own movie, is if they were the last superheroes on the planet. So what does Robin do? Um, quite brilliantly, he undoes every origin story. 

I mean, there is no Batman...if Bruce's parents never get killed. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

I'm beginning to see why you guys enjoy this so much.

Hey, Dr. Jones. No time for love!

I've gone on record likely too many times saying this, but I hate, absolutely loathe, the passionate goodbye kiss when the fate of the world is in play. The end of days is in your hands and you take a moment to clean someone's teeth with your tongue? Ridiculous on so many levels. The clock's ticking, dickhole. If you saved the entire f--king world, pretty sure the line to go down on you starts two streets over.


...when that same hero (or heroine) chooses against saving the world and instead saves someone that means something to them? I'm beyond cool with that. How can you let someone you care about die directly in front of you? You can't. Imagine if you kept the detonator, walked away, saved the planet, only to find out your loved one survived getting shot in the face?

That would be, like, so embarrassing. 

The only thing embarrassing about Mission: Impossible Fallout is how little I remember about the story. Kicking off shortly after the events of the stellar Rogue Nation [review] (whatever they were), Ethan Hunt finds himself forced between saving his friend and, you guessed it, saving the world. Unfortunately for the rest of, Hunt chooses his (and let's be honest, our) main dude, Marsellus Wallace. Er, Luther. The badass computer dude of the IMF team.

Hey, that's cool - the CIA will totally be cool with Hunt's loyalty, till they aren't, and assign a mustachioed rock-monster named Walker to aid Hunt in undoing what he done did, which is f--k the Hell up. See letting Luther live allowed some nuclear components to enter the hands of some unsavory types. Hunt and his crew gotta get that shit back, and Walker's gonna make sure they don't f--k up again. No pressure, really. Just imagine your boss standing over your desk every second of the day. And even worse? He's staring deep into your soul at all times, cocking his arms. Or arming his cock...whichever one makes you more nervous.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hey...I misjudged you.

You respectable types probably never do this, but being that I often get in way over my head, I, uh...well...I sometimes go back and re-read the plot synopsis of a movie I'm about to make a post on. Feels good finally saying it out loud.

I know, I know - it's pretty f--king embarrassing how terrible my memory can be, but despite stumbling around like a moron half the day, there's a lot going on upstairs, you know? I mean, how can you remember what a movie was about, when your head is full of baseball stats and the lyrics to 90 percent of every pop song ever recorded.

But even after watching it two nights in a the events of the film? I still couldn't tell you what the f--k it was about. And I read it twice. 

The good news? Even though I really can't tell you what the mission was exactly, I can, with exquisite detail, tell you that I f--king loved Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. I had so much fun, in fact, I was actually upset. Like, why the Hell did I wait three years to see this? 

Had I not looked it up, I would have told you this one was about the usual double-agent stuff...a list of operatives has gone missing, everyone's in danger, and Tom Cruise is gonna slow-motion jump through a window.

Turns out, most (if not all) of that is untrue, and this fifth installment instead finds the IMF being folded into the uncaring arms of the CIA. Ethan Hunt (possibly the long-dead CGI version of a 33 year old Tom Cruise) is desperately trying to prove his teams' worth to a government agency that ain't exactly feeling it. Yeah, Hunt and his crew always get the job done, but often at a spectacular cost. Just ask any one trying to take a selfie in front of the Kremlin.

Apparently, there's some mysterious/imaginary group of terrorist known as The Syndicate, and shocking no one, these a-holes are major fans of creating utter f--king chaos. Turns out they are going to assassinate some chancellor dude, and Hunt secretly enlists Benji (Simon Pegg) to thwart the hit. They do, sort of, and the game is officially on. Already beautiful people will continue their seemingly genetic lucky hand and pull off some of the most insane and daring things all in the name of world peace. Meaning?

Bullets will be dodged. Gadgets will be deployed. And, of course...faces will be torn off.

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.