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.

I realize that in blogging/internet terms, this film came might as well have come out in the late 1970's, but I'll be goddamned if I'm going to ruin any of the surprises. At least up here (sorry, the Yays and Boos are nothing if not absolute spoilers). I saw this f--ker just a few weeks back, and was routinely floored by the twists and turns McDonagh's latest (and perhaps greatest?) took. Hell, I didn't even know Peter Dinklage and John Hawkes were in Three Billboards... so imagine my utter f--king elation when those fine gents showed up.

[And yes, I know their names are on the poster, jerkface. Well, I know that now. My name's m.brown not Encyclopedia Brown for f--k's sake. I'm looking for clues, not finding them...]

Penelope said 'begets'?  =  one of my favorite line/line deliveries in the history of cinema
Speaking of obscure references that no one's ever going to get, here are the Yays and Boos. If you step back, almost everything every character says or does in this film is entirely reprehensible, but that's what makes it so much fun. These are deeply flawed people doing deeply terrible things. And I loved all of it.

The only drawback to Rockwell winning Best Supporting?
He has to defeat Woody in order to do so.
  • Sam Rockwell, from the jump, is absolutely f--king stellar as the seemingly racist idiot, deputy Dixon. And even more astonishing than the performance? The degree which I flip-flopped on this sonuvabitch. I f--king hated this c--ksucker. At first.
  • Yo, second sign guy? That dude was hardcore. 
  • Woody, naturally, absolutely owns as Willoughby, the sheriff who has certainly seen some shit. While he never has a bad scene, his initial shakedown of Ebbing's advertising guy, Red, might just have been my favorite.
  • Speaking of, Red is an incredible person. kind.
  • Hey, Father, maybe you want to stop making housecalls, no? But look on the bright side, at least when Mildred murders you with her words, you've got an in with the Big Guy.
  • Has there ever been a sweeter dude than Peter Dinklage's James? Holy shit, this guy just might be the MVP of this entire story...but he gets like, zero votes from anyone in the whole damn town.
  • You got a real nice cock, Mr. Willoughby. Aw, so romantic.
  • You guys, I'm pretty sure when people are trained at work with how to deal with an unruly customer, a holographic image of my mom is used in the simulation. But, as hardcore as my mom is, I'm sure...okay, pretty sure, she's never kicked a highschool kid in the balls. Or the vag.
  • Isn't that racist? Holy shit, I almost choked to death I was laughing so hard.
  • Obviously, Frances McDormand sets more than the screen on fire in this one (she basically torches everyone in her path...repeatedly), and any accolades I could dole out would be, like the entirety of this blog, awkward and pointless. That said, Mildred is, at times, a hard character to root for, as she's beyond f--king relentless and gives zero f--ks about the collateral damage in her quest for justice. Still, in the hands of McDormand, we're given the slightest hints that Mildred ain't got it all figured out, you know? She might even be...unsure of herself, even if only for a second or two. Truly an unforgettable performance in an unforgettable role.
  • And finally, the ending(s). Each character is given an arc that allows them to not only seek, but ultimately find the sweetest of sweet redemptions. I still marvel at how Willoughby kicked so much ass after the fact, and even more impressive, how Dixon rebounded like Bulls-era Dennis f--king Rodman. It kills me how perfect these stories end. But even better? Like, please give me a sequel where they team up with John Wick and murder 900 rapists, is the last scene with Mildred and Dixon. It's so f--king good, I can't even begin to tell you. Top 5 endings ever.
I'm not entirely sure how Dixon kept his job as long as he did.

  • Look, I can handle some sick, gory shit, but uh...that shit at the dentist's office still makes me squirm. Yikes.
  • Apparently, nothing brings people together like coughing blood into someone's face. Like, I feel bad...but I also feel awful.
  • So, we can go ahead and lock that down as worst last thing you could ever say to your child...
  • I kind of expect nothing less than a relentlessly frightening intensity from any character portrayed by John Hawkes, but good God, this guy's a f--king firecracker to say the least. Dude's home for two seconds and he's got his ex-wife by the throat while his son has him at knife-point. Dial it back, Dad, for f--k's sake. (though the way everyone kind of was okay with this was kind of...amusing???)
  • Dixon is (initially) a giant piece of shit, right? But, well, it's not entirely his fault. See, apparently, the turd doesn't fall from the bowl, as Dixon's mom is a top-shelf miserable bitch. My mom best advice? Get a new job. Dixon's mom? F--k over her friends. Bren, you's a dick!
  • Holy shit, Willoughby. I'm glad you had a good day, shame you ruined it for the rest of us.
  • On that note, all of his letters were amazing. The Boo, however, is how much they devastated me.
  • Okay, Gift Shop Guy. Feel free to go f--k yourself. Clearly you have little to no shopping agenda. 
  • Hey, Mildred. I'm not saying you gotta marry James or anything, but the way I see it, there ain't nothing wrong with a little bump and grind, you know? At least a courtesy crank yank. I mean...he basically kept you out of prison.
  • And finally, this is a dilly of a pickle...and I'm not sure how to put it, honestly. Basically, I never thought I would be so disappointed that someone didn't rape someone else. I know, it sounds horrible, but if you've seen the movie, you probably/hopefully get what I'm saying...
I don't know how my life is going to end, and whether or not a time will come when I will seek some grand form of redemption like many of the characters in Three Billboards. I mean, I am a teacher for f--k's sake, if anything I expect droves of adults to show up at my chipped tombstone and apologize for the early grave their adolescent behavior likely doomed me to.

But what I do know? Where ever it is that I'll be buried... probably won't be too far from a f--king billboard. Hell, maybe even three of them.


  1. "And finally, this is a dilly of a pickle...and I'm not sure how to put it, honestly." - I'm not sure there is an instance or a way to put that in a way that is not awful but that certainly was not that way...Also it might have been an idea to root for someone not to be abroad after all and not someone getting raped...

    I love how the people who hated the film with so much passion read so many things in such a wrong way. There are some out there claiming that James is a piece of shit and he used Mildred because he wanted to get laid. He saved a dude from the fire. What have they done lately?

    So glad you loved the film! and I had no idea about Hawaiian policy on billboards.

    1. Noo! What I mean(t), is that I was gutted that That Guy wasn't the guy. I thought his (situational) innocence meant two people were going to get away with it. And I was crushed...that he didn't do it. And that's a strange f--king feeling.

      Maybe I should just stop talking. Just kidding. I should definitely stop talking.

      James was awesome. If he has a thing for Mildred, so what? And if you're finding fault with anybody in this question is...did they watch the whole thing? I'm pretty sure they did not.

      I really, really loved the film. I honestly think it contains some of the best dialogue of any movie I've even laid eyes/ears on. Almost up there with The Bad Batch (hahah...I almost typed that as The Bad Watch)

  2. I still thought Dixon was a garbage person by the end of the film but he was working towards being less so, hopefully.

    I love this movie so much. I can't wait to watch it again.

    1. What? Really? He was definitely a terrible, terrible person initially, but I thought he really turned it around. And how he is so accepting of what Mildred admitted to him? Seemed to me like he knew he deserved it.

      I'm totally with you on seeing it again, though. Can't wait.

  3. The fact that we start rooting for somebody so awful at the end makes this movie brilliant. It's not that he becomes redeemed by the end, he doesn't, but he is the most affected by the billboards by the end and well, Rockwell just... nails it. God, I loved his performance. The movie, not my favourite, but the performances.. brilliant!

    1. I totally agree. Although it looks like I was the only one who thought he had found redemption (with the beating he took at the bar, how he gathered the evidence, and his upcoming road trip with Mildred), I truly feel Dixon was at the very least on his way.

      Rockwell is the best. No doubt.

      Hahaha...for what it's worth, my mom (the pistachio lady) told me the same thing about Three Billboards just the other day. "Not my favorite movie, but the performances were so good". Hilarious.