Monday, December 3, 2018

I don't require a vouch.

Because my wife's business is life insurance, I'm routinely strong-armed into making sure I have enough coverage in the event I die tragically, like in a fire, or before the end of a good movie. 

When I (jokingly?) tell her that she should just remarry immediately and not worry about the money, she makes this face suggesting this isn't a f--king joke you moron, we have kids and you can't leave them both fatherless and penniless, so stop being a moderately-clever asshole and grow the f--k up and be responsible for once in your pathetic life. 

Seriously, it's quite the look. 

But, I get it. I do. It's bad enough she'd have to deal with the sudden loss of her husband, and the last thing I'd want her to have to worry about would be money. Or the wives of the people I worked with. And their families. Or Chicago's corrupt political system, where nepotism and systemic racism run rampant.

At least she'd have our dog.

(I've always hated it when the names and faces don't line up)
Widows is too good a film, and Hell, too utterly f--king relentless to toss around a phrase like it's a slow burn, but I don't get paid for this shit, so go ahead and put that cliche in your pipe and smoke it. Slowly.

See, as I strolled out of the theater that day (with my lovely wife, no less), I simply wasn't wowed like I expected to be. It was good, sure, but it felt a bit like that mountain climber game on The Price is Right: all build up and a quick, not entirely satisfying ending. I know, I know, saying this film is anything but brilliant is sacrilege (at least on Film Twitter) so I should probably yodel my way off a f--king cliff immediately. But can I at least keep the waffle maker?

Unless you've repeatedly read the title as Windows, it shouldn't surprise you that this film tells the tale of four women (eh, let's go with three) coping with the sudden and violent deaths of their crooked husbands. And it wasn't just their dicks or their noses either, as these dudes were balls-deep in all sorts of illegal shit. While their charred corpses can be buried, it turns our their problems can't. 

Well, at least not at first.

Veronica, brought to the screen by the impeccable Viola Davis, was the wife of the group's leader, Harry, and it's basically up to her to keep the beleaguered widows of his underlings afloat financially. But don't think she's clipping coupons or selling Herbalife to pitch in, no, instead she's planning to pull off Harry's last big score with the help of a detailed plan he left her. Valued in the neighborhood of five million dollars, this last score will be enough to give each woman a new life, assuming they don't die a horrible death in the process.

Why take the bus when Dom can come pick you up in a Dodge Charger. Or a tank.
The setup, the characters, f--k it - just about everything is as good as you'd hope it would be in a Steve McQueen film, but for me, it may have been a little too methodical for its own good. Veronica is impossibly deliberate in damn near every aspect of her life, and the film seems to mirror this carefully calculated approach. It's not a grind by any stretch, as I was engaged from start-to-finish, but it's never very...exciting? Even the third act, which has a couple of legit holy f--k moments, didn't exactly catapult the film to the finish line. It arrived pretty much exactly where I thought it would, you know? And I'm pretty much a moron.

I'm not sure about the guy in the middle, but the dudes on the ends?
Yeah, you don't wanna f--k with them.
Which will be further proven in the Yays and Boos. My wife and I were easily the youngest people in the theater, which makes me think there may have been some actual widows at Widows. And judging by my wife's feelings regarding the film I dragged her to, she may have been rather envious of them.

I counted the ballots. MVP of this squad? Belle. 
And it wasn't even close.
  • It feels like these director intros are becoming a thing, and I'm all for it. You're welcome, Mr. McQueen.
  • That van explosion was pretty impressive, right? Well, outside of the fact that I, at the time, assumed they had just pulled off a huge heist, at the dynamite factory.
  • Maybe because I'm illiterate, or the fact that I live my life blissfully unaware of anything, I had ZERO idea that Robert Duvall was in this film. And if that wasn't great enough news, then he starts saying wallpaper over and over again and I'm pretty sure my soul started to float away from my body.
  • Hey, cool freestyle rap, guys. You really ended it with a bang.
  • I really need to hang out in more steam rooms, my goodness. Unless, two goon's come in looking for Viggo, they look like a lot of...sweaty fun.
  • That preacher dude not only had his congregation pumped, but I'm pretty sure I heard an amen in our theater.
  • Man, I love Bash. Well, loved Bash. 
  • Solid performance aside, Elizabeth Debicki is absolutely stunning as Alice, the early candidate for weakest link of the three widows. Sure, she might not be able to drive a car, but I'm assuming she can drive the lane. (and dunk with two hands)
  • Ladies, you're heist-gear game is top-shelf. 
  • Though I took a vow upon exiting the theater that day back in '99 to never speak of it again, I have to (silently) cheer the fact that the tagline of Ashley Judd's Double Jeopardy seemed one point during Widows. Oh, I know, technically it's not the same thing, but let me live my life, dammit.
  • And finally, unless something drastic happens in the next three-and-a-half weeks (say, a ten-minute overhead of Amber Heard doing anything in Aquaman), it's safe to say Widows will be home to my favorite shot of the year. Hands down. At first I didn't realize why we weren't in the car with Farrell and his assistant, but when it hit me I was stunned. Holy shit, how something so f--king simple as one long tracking shot could be so f--king brilliant is beyond me. There's more conflict and tension in that one five-minute shot than in half the films I saw this year combined. Okay, that's not saying much (I watch a lot of bad films), but still.  
Cheers to hiring a new accent coach.
  • Unless CGI has made massive leaps that I'm unaware of, that...uh...that wasn't stage kissing was it? (the Boo is for the lady next to me who winced at the obvious passion)
  • I've never seen the training videos for the S.W.A.T. team, but that incident in the van looked a bit aggressive, did it not?
  • The lovely Michelle Rodriguez plays Linda, a woman trying to hold it together for her young kids. Not helping Linda, at all, is her mother (in-law?), letting her know, at the funeral reception mind you, that his blood is on your hands. I guess Target was sold out of the It's all your fault card...
  • Hey, Big Man. Put down the dog, you f--king asshole. F--k me, that made me nervous.
  • Speaking of bitches and bad dogs, what's up with Alice's mom? Goodness, lady. Calling your daughter a whore is one thing, but sending her a link to be one? A bit aggressive, eh?
  • How you gonna talk shit to a lady sprinting for the bus, fellas? Especially one jacked enough to kick all your asses.
  • What the f--k, Widow Guy? What the actual f--k? Yes, I'm also not sure why this lady is in your dodgy living room...but I'm pretty sure it's not to make out.
  • Oh, and while we're discussing creepy dudes (this film has a shit-ton of them), what's up with Lukas Haas' David? For f--k's sake, man. Dial it back.
  • Poor Mike from Veep. No matter who he plays, he's pretty much always a gigantic loser.
  • Protip: Always use a seven when selecting a top-secret passcode. Trust me. It's way better than eights, sixes and ones.
  • Daniel Kaluuya, as always, is a total f--king badass. But, uh...that shit in the bowling alley? *shakes head* Even if he couldn't feel, sure as shit did. Yeee-ouch.
  • And finally, it's probably just me, but if you told me that this film was three hours and nine minutes versus the two and nine that it actually was, I wouldn't have doubted you for a second. Probably would have told you you're short by a half an hour or so. I enjoyed Widows a lot, and probably will even more if I give it a rewatch, but good God did this f--ker feel beyond epic. 
Life insurance, especially when you talk to my wife about it (bring a comfy chair, if you do), clearly isn't a joke. You need to take care of the people you love, especially if you check out a little sooner than expected. Sure, my own insurance policy will help, but if Widows taught me anything, money isn't everything.

In fact, the most valuable item Harry left his wife was a tiny journal. And being that I take notes on all the movies I see....well...not to brag or anything, but if journals are really that valuable, well...

. wife is all set. 


  1. Is a review on 'Wiggle Pop!' next?

  2. "Veronica is impossibly deliberate in damn near every aspect of her life," - I never considered this while watching but you are spot on about that. I just had a great time with this, I adored it. I'm in the Davis/Debecki wagon all the way to the Oscars. Give that dog a special Oscar too while they're at it.

    I lol'd when Mike from Veep showed up. Poor bastard.

    1. I'm glad you liked it so much! It honestly seems like everybody does. I haven't seen much, but I wouldn't be mad if anybody here gets an award or two. you think Debecki has a shot? Interesting.

      Poor bastard, indeed!!!

  3. How have you managed to review a movie that you didn't even love and get me SO DAMN HYPED to see it?! My local does a secret movie showing every now and again, always a movie soon to be released, and I was so darn sure it was going to be Widows. It was The Old Man and the Gun. Sigh.
    What's worse is I then missed my chance to actually watch Widows before it disappeared. Hoping for a speedy VoD release!

    1. I'd like to say it's because I'm good at this, but I'm thinking maybe it's the direct opposite???

      Tell me more about this SECRET SHOWING???? That sounds like the best thing in the history of time! Holy shit, I'm willing to uproot/fully abandon my family to live somewhere where a mystery movie is on the table! Wowzers.

      (sorry you missed it, though...I'm sure it won't be long...Hell, Venom is out next week!)

  4. Ah you are so right about the length, but now I feel like I've cheated time now so that's nice?! I really hate the guy who did that to the dog. And Alice's mum,

  5. Nope. HATED that shot. One time during the movie the assistant has something to do other than being humiliated by 'nen' and Stevie makes a ham fisted OH LOOK RICH AND POOR! Point. I am embarassed for Flynn for how she let him get away with that. The film was a mess and didnt Focus on titular characters enough.

    Thank God for Olivia

    1. HAhahaahahaha OF COURSE YOU DID!!!!!! While I'll give you it was the assistant's ONE scene to do something in, I don't give a damn. Everything about this movie is about RICH AND POOR and to see that the separation can be measured in minutes was absolutely perfect. One mile might as well have been another planet. So f--king cool, I can't stand it.

      I had to Google Olivia, dammit...only to find out, of course, it's the f--king dog. (but that dog was awesome)

  6. Hell yeah! Love this review. That shot, man. That damn thing floored me. And I love your first Yay!, because McQueen knows how to open a damn movie. Also, "Poor Mike from Veep. No matter who he plays, he's pretty much always a gigantic loser." SO true! That made me laugh out loud.