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.