Monday, December 31, 2018

They're no dummies.

My dad was just in for his annual/semi-annual visit to the mid-Atlantic. Cooked a bunch, finished my basement, played an infinite number of games of Hangman with my daughter. Good times, indeed.

For as long as I can remember (but much more so in recent years), politically speaking, he's been incredibly involved. Consumed, even. No matter the topic, all roads lead to some massive injustice perpetrated by a sinister government on its innocent people. While there's a level of shame in discussing any of these crimes with my father, turns out there's a bonus level. The fact that I, his son, knew absolutely nothing about these terrible, terrible events.

What do you know about Cambodia? You know about Laos, right - what happened there? Do you know what the United States did to ________________? I either shrug, sigh, or go silent.

Because, me? I haven't really been the best student of history - especially U.S. History. But, uh, not to brag or anything...

...I do watch a lot of movies.

Vice, the latest cinematic dick punch from director Adam McKay. Packaged and sold as a movie, as in something one would enjoy with popcorn, Vice ends up being one of the most amusing/f--king dreadful two hour history lessons to hit the theater since McKay's previous effort, The Big Short [review]. Imagine your favorite person you the worst news of your life, and you might be on the right track.
It was only fitting that I took my dad (and my wife) to

Just short of shadowboxing my way into the theater (and wearing a white towel with a hole cut in it for a shirt), I felt incredibly confident heading into our evening showing of Vice. At 39, I'm old enough to have a solid recollection of the depicted events, theoretically meaning I wouldn't sound like a bigger moron than usual during the post-watch breakdown we were bound to dive into. Also, there was a good chance I would be the only who stayed awake the entire time, so, advantage m.brown.

Here's the thing, I honestly can't tell you, if knowing more (in this situation), can really be framed as an advantage - a positive. When the house lights came on, as much as I enjoyed my time in the theater, and letting the people flanking me know who snores louder, this depiction of the Bush-Cheney Administration absolutely gutted me. Vice, and the era that it portrays, is nothing short of an absolute f--king nightmare. Maybe the current administration has made some us long for the Dubya days, but seeing this film not only shatters those rose-colored glasses, but then it picks up the shards and jams them in your eye. I think this tweet sums it up the best:

What doesn't sum up anything well, are the Yays and Boos. I'm genuinely curious to see this film again, perhaps with my mom even, but I'm not sure I could talk her down afterward. Let's just say, when it comes to the Republicans...she's not a fan. And I like my currently non-gauged out eyes, as I'm assuming she'd enter full rage-mode by the time the credits rolled.

I haven't seen shit, but I don't care. That dude on the left?
Give him all the awards. Best Actor, too.
  • But we did our f--king best. And just like that, I'm already indefinitely on-board with whatever is to follow.
  • My God, was Rumsfeld really that much of a jackass? Because if so, Carell was perfect.
  • Do not sleep on Jessie Plemons. Ever. This dude, yet again, is amazing. And no, I didn't see the connection (or it) coming.
  • That impish smile of his. Holy shit, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. (My dad, too)
  • Aw, Jimmy Carter and his solar panels. So cool.
  • That fact that the movie almost ended, pretty much is the greatest thing ever. It's like, we were almost out of it, almost in the clear, but nope. Here comes Dick.
  • Even though it should utterly pain me, I actually enjoyed how much of a goofball Dubya was. Er, is. I mean, it's almost not fair having Rockwell playing an accomplice to the Devil, as that ol' Sam is inherently likable.
  • I'm pretty sure that's exactly how it went, the whole Shakespeare make-out session, right?
  • I shouldn't cheer how we stupid we are, but yeah...I'm totally against the death tax. Oh, an climate change? That doesn't sound so bad. (Poor Whoopi!)
  • I think it's written down somewhere, likely in stone, that when it comes to explaining something, nothing is better than Margot Robbie in a hot tub. Well, somebody get me a chisel, as I need to carve out Alfred Molina as a waiter in a restaurant.
  • There's a jump-scare in hear that almost killed two of the more important people in my life. And yes, this is a Yay.
  • I've heard some of you bastards ain't exactly fans of the little breaking of the fourth wall at the end, but let me go ahead and passionately disagree. I thought that little speech was the absolute perfect message to send us on our way. 
  • And finally, while it isn't subtle in the least, there's moment in this story when Dick Cheney is totally f--king heartless. Literally.
I heard they had to use CGI. To get rid of his horns.
  • They're going to be some times where Dick is almost, I don't know...admirable? Don't make this complicated, you know? I'm here to hate, goddammit!
  • I guess it's supposed to, everything, but what the f--k, guys? His leg is broken. Y'all just gonna stand around, not giving a f--k?
  • Lynne Cheney (Amy Adams, awesome as always) is a bit of a weird bird, to say the least. But that bit about her mom? Sad. And incredibly suspicious. 
  • Perhaps I'm an ignorant f--k, but I almost flew out of my chair when they showed Ronald Reagan saying we need to Make America Great Again. Did everyone know this shit came from him...because I had no idea. (granted, I was like...a few months old...but still)
  • Haliburton's financial package for ol' Dick? F--king ridiculous.
  • If Dick Cheney is Freddy Krueger, go ahead and pencil in f--king John Yoo as Jason Voorhees. He doesn't really have much to say...but he's absolutely lethal.
  • Get Powell. I was/am way torn up about this. Like, to the point where I want to do some research. What was Powell thinking when he stepped up? Did he realize the severity of what his credibility would afford? Am I supposed to feel anger...or sympathy? Both? (Oh, and a smaller Boo for Tyler Perry just not looking at all like Colin Powell [but goddamn was that the actual Condoleezza Rice?]
  • I don't know about you guys, but the more I learn about state, the more I need church. Because that's gone so well, too...
  • Wow, Liz. Wowwwwwww. Daddy's little girl, indeed.
  • I'm still having a hard time reconciling the fact that I enjoyed this movie. A lot. Like, no matter how you look at it, this shouldn't be fun. Or funny. But it is. And that's what I love about it.
  • And finally, my dad and I got into a bit of a heated exchange at dinner the following day. Basically, after discussing what Cheney's (er, Bush's?) administration was responsible for, I asked him, what would make you happy? The death penalty? Is that what you want? He gets up, goes and gets his laptop, and calls me over. Look, look at this. *jams Google Images results in my face* Yeah...I will never be able to unsee that. F--k me.
    Did I ever tell you that I joined my local zoning board? It's true. It's me and three pretty old white dudes (who all seem super nice, by the way), calling the shots about who builds what where. We've had one meeting so far and I had to second something and everything (I had no idea what was happening, honestly).

    Why would I ever do such a thing, you (didn't) ask? Why take on such an invisible role that most people don't even recognize as a thing?

    Well, someone put out a call that they needed help...and I answered it.

    What could be so bad about that?


    1. You need to stop with placeholders, I had no idea this was reviewed already and clearly neither did others. No worries I will link it

      I liked it but not as much as The Big Short. Bale was awesome though he needs to stop Malek from winning stuff

      1. Hahahaha....thank you! I try to get everything I see in a year posted in that same year...but, yeah...not working out. I appreciate the love, though.

        Eh, I think it could be a toss up, but I'm leaning toward Vice because I actually had a clue as to what was going on. Big Short? I felt that whole movie needed to be Google translated to me, as my brain was not firing properly with all the talk of economics and such.