Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I wished that you liked me.

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

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

But like any senior in high school...

I was so f--king over all of it. 

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

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

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

Problem(s) solved.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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

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

Cold and heartless? Maybe. But not by design.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Welcome to detention.

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

It's a pretty simple formula.

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This will be a game night to remember.

She f--king loves board games.

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

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