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.

Ward's partner, the lone orc on the police force, is Nick Jakoby (the ever-awesome Joel Edgerton). Nick's a good enough...dude, I suppose...but he's not really a good cop. At least not yet. Nick comes across as equal parts bumbling noob and PR-friendly publicity stunt. Seriously, there are times when Nick makes Frank Drebben look like f--king John McClane. At least his heart is in the right place, you know? Assuming orcs have hearts, that is. I've always assumed they run on a series of tree roots powered by motor oil.

Eeeyyy, gross. Bed bugs.
Besides having to navigate a world full of angry orcs, pissed off co-workers and magical f--king wands on the daily, Ward ain't exactly thrilled to be tethered to whatever the Hell Nick is. Especially after Nick almost gets him killed. But as the night gets's Nick who's going to need to watch his back. From just about everyone in Los Angeles. Including Ward.

Not gonna lie, I totally dig everything about this look. Including the dirty nails.
You might want to watch your own back when the Yays and Boos are around, okay? 'Cause they'll f--king cut a bitch with their enthusiasm. We were stoked as Hell when early word got out that this flick was headed straight to...uh...every single device we own, but eventually our giddiness waned when rumor had it that Bright was the worst f--king movie of the year! Goodness guys, really? Did you see the one about the guy who dresses like Bigfoot to save a small town? I did.

Now back up, put the gun down...
...and get me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubblicious.

  • I don't even really remember the character he played, but Ike Barinholtz is locked in as automatic Yay until further notice.
  • That was Snoop on the soundtrack, right? He's (still) got that cultivating music that be
  • Orcs, whilst not exactly keen with the basic duties of policing, is keen in almost every other way. Say for example, his ability to smell.
  • How are your holes? I've felt a lot of emotions in cinematic shootouts in my thirty-plus years of movie-watching, but overwhelmingly awkward was definitely a new one.
  • Speaking of things I've never experienced in a movie, a dude gets stabbed with the rod of a foosball table for f--k's sake. You keep this film of your 'worst of' list just for that.
  • Usually seeing a bunch of cops shot dead isn't awesome. Usually.
  • Though I'm still not entirely sure what a wand does (or, at least, can do), it sounds a lot like my johnson: a nuclear weapon that grants wishes.
  • Smith is his usual consistent self, but good God, Edgerton kicks so much ass under all that orc makeup.
  • There isn't an insane amount of action in Bright, and some of what we get feels a little low-budge, but the shootout in the convenience store was fantastic. 
  • I'm going to assume you saw that twist coming, you brilliant devil, but I was shocked when that, uh, guy, didn't do uh, that thing.
  • And finally, I realize that this isn't super groundbreaking cinema or anything, but I'm going to clap it up for taking a f--king chance. Look, I get it, a cop movie set in Los Angeles is about as revolutionary as a porno set in a massage parlor, but the fantasy elements combined with the obvious racial undertones (perhaps that should read overtones) in a f--king cop movie set in Los Angeles, rubbed me the right way. And I didn't even need entirely too much baby oil to enjoy myself.
One of these dudes is the orc version of OG Bobby Johnson.
  • Man, fairies are some annoying-ass bitches. I'm the type of dude who doesn't kill spiders, but a fairy I would f--k up. Especially if I get to swing a broom like an axe.
  • The Joe Rogan experience gets a cameo. Really? What's the reason for this?
  • Sometimes, and mainly early on, I found the tone to be oddly all over the place. Is this shit supposed to be serious? Or is it supposed to be funny? 'Cause, uh, it can't really be both.
  • Did that guy with the sword basically ruin the movie? I mean, he basically spilled it waaaaaaay early on.
  • Um, I'm not sure I even want to know, but...what happened to that baby? 
  • Remember that badass club from Blade? Those f--kers knew how to an underground party. Music cranked to eleven, blood spewing from the fire sprinklers? Hell yeah. Orcs? Their shitty rave was...well, shit. Was the music supposed to be barely audible?
  • Why is that whatever the big bad is looking for, turns out to always be up his ass? Seems they would check there first, you know?
  • Will Smith is a pretty tough dude, but I'm not sure how the Hell Ward handles that elf chick as long as he does.
  • So, after all that shit goes down, they have to put that lady tits deep into the cleansing waters of Lake Minnetonka? Okay. I guess.
  • And finally, on that note, there are a lot of rules that come at us in Bright. A lot. And while I get it, it's a world that we're moderately unfamiliar with, the result is more expository dialogue than I'm generally cool with. Yes, there's really no good way around a lot of this, but I'm thinking I'd rather not know what the Hell is going on, than to be told exactly what's going on...and still have no idea.
They've already announced a sequel for Bright and I'm pretty psyched, honestly. More magic wands, more senseless killing of fairies (wait, they don't represent....nevermind), more gang-banging orcs and I'm especially looking forward to more time with...the characters that survived

And with the world essentially built, less awkward announcing of the rules. It's a win-win for everybody.

Except people who work at movie theaters. 

(unless they bring their phones to work)


  1. I can't believe I watched that. I thought the cinematography was nice and Edgerton was very good and had nice chemistry with Smith - that hospital scene near the end was hysterical, but ever since they find that wand this was just all over the place. It has potential, though so hopefully they work on better script for the sequel

    1. Yeah, I was kinda surprised that you saw it, myself. I ran through your 'boo-tinerary' and nobody popped up. Did you just watch it...for...for pleasure?

      With you though on your three positives, certainly, but clearly I enjoyed it more than you did. I think the next one could be really good. I am, in fact, looking forward to it.

      Hopefully all the nuclear missile warnings between now and then will also be false.

    2. I need to watch something without boos in it sometimes. You preserve that one tiny bit of sanity I have left

  2. I'm glad you gave it a shot. It was nowhere near as bad as people were saying. And the "How are your holes?" line was awesomely awkward.

    A big yay for you with both a South Central and a Purple Rain reference in the same review. I laughed my ass off on both. Not to mention how long I had to pause from laughter because of your comparison of a certain part of your anatomy to a magic wand. You da' man!

    1. Awesomely awkward, indeed. Edgerton totally nailed Nick's ability to just be weird...always. Made him endearing, even if he was a pretty lousy cop for the most part.

      Man, I'm just glad I got somebody who picks up on all this shit, because otherwise I'm making half court shots in an empty gym. Appreciate the catch, Dell. Big time.

      No, no, no. You da' man.

  3. I'm still bitter that Netflix promoted this more than Mudbound.

    1. Must. See. Mudbound.

      I could totally use the ugly cry face.

  4. Full of all sorts of stranger things? I like what you did there!
    I want to see this. I know I'm either going to love it or hate it, and either way it's going to be fun to talk about afterwards!

    1. I took a shot, Allie, I did.

      And so should you! I know you don't have all the time in the world to risk on a bad movie, but...this one is just crazy enough to work, you know?

  5. Are you gonna see Avengers: Infinity War?

  6. Bright sounds like a pretty good Netflix movie.

  7. Can't go wrong with Will Smith.

  8. Are you gonna see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?