In a few short months, I will reach the point where I have been with my wife longer than I've been without her. We're hovering around the twenty-one year mark, and I'm not quite forty two. Arguably, that's the most romantic math I've ever done.
I mention this because we are long past the point of grand gestures and blindly hitting the accelerator to the chorus of Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That). I would do anything for her, sure, but it's not like the opportunity, thankfully, ever really presents itself. I mean, it's not like there's hulking monsters waiting outside to devour us all.
They're pretty small, actually. Like, the size of Ted Cruz.Love and Monsters. Released (theatrically?) in the wasteland of 2020, and starring the affable lead from The Maze Runner trilogy (and Styles from MTV's Teen Wolf...which is/was apparently a thing), this little monster flick is gigantic fun.
Moments after romantic parked car time, Joel (O'Brien) and Aimee (the striking Jessica Henwick) arrive home to find the world in absolute chaos. Massive creatures have appeared and Hell, has officially broken loose. Joel and Aimee split up, but with the promise of seeing each other again. Uh, about that...
It's seven years later and Joel is possibly the least-valued member of a small band of survivors, all of whom are hiding out in a fairly rad underground bunker. Seems mankind attempted to nuke the monsters, but it didn't work, and not only was everyone forced underground, but the radiation mutated whatever the Hell is still living on the surface.
One day after a pretty costly breach, Joel, not so much alone but very much single, manages to contact Aimee after all these years, and makes a very hasty decision: he has to get to her. Unfortunately, she's 85 miles away, and if Joel were a bear, he'd be more Paddington, less Grylls.
But love is love. Rather than live for nothing, he'd rather die for something, you know? So off he goes.
Even if your cold heart is barely pumping enough blood to roll your beady, weasel-like eyes at this premise, I promise, you're gonna get behind Joel and his mission. He's not overly cynical, not annoyingly self-aware, he's just a good dude in a bad spot, and O'Brien makes us care about him damn near instantly. If you're still not sold, well, he finds a dog along the way, and if you can't root for a little pup in the middle of the apocalypse, then you should probably get back to cleaning the sticky fingerprints off your framed photo of Lindsay Graham, you absolute monster.
|Give these two their own spin-off and I'm so f--king in.|
Speaking of scaly demons, here are the Yays and Boos. Clearly we haven't been watching many (new) movies at all this year, so fingers crossed theaters can once again re-open and we can get back to it. Who knew all of this was fueled by Coke Zero and overpriced popcorn? [I miss the theater sooooo much]
|She's the best.|
- The animated opening, as they tend to be, was all kinds of rad.
- Aimee, whether in flashback or present day, is sooooo lovely, I almost couldn't handle myself. Not that I then actually handled myself or anything...but more of, no - you know what? Grow up.
- Guys, Michael Rooker shows up, as he's prone to do...as some sort of mysterious hobo survivalist guy, and unsurprisingly, he's tremendous. I don't even know if you cast Rooker anymore, or if he just meanders on whatever set whenever he feels like it, but however the process unfolds, I'm here for it. Mr. Svenning has fallen on hard times, sure, but he's making it work goddamnit.
- And not to be outdone, his 'daughter' Minnow is the absolute best. Little kids that know it all can be the worst in any movie (or actual life), but this young girl kicks so much ass. Seriously, Arianna Greenblatt is soooo good!
- Goddammit Boy, you are giving me life...but you're also kind of killing me, too. (Boy is the dog, by the way)
- In this reality, there once existed an android helper-bot thing named Mav1s (imagine Big Hero 6's Baymax plus that Toyota Partner Robot thing), and I'm convinced she's absolutely the coolest thing ever. Honestly, I think I love...her? I think I love all Mavis'sssss. (Sex-Ed, anyone?)
- On the opposite end of compassion and kindness? Grenades. Literal grenades. And that blast was INCREDIBLE.
- Yo, that other colony? That shit was niiiiice. Joel's crib was a top-shelf shit hole compared to that place, my goodness.
- Aimee, near the end (and always, honestly), is an absolute force. She houses that not-Vin Diesel guy both fast and furiously. Not that I expected anybody post-apocalypse to be a lightweight, but damn, that level of ass-kicking wizardry came out of nowhere.
- And finally, this movie was such a surprise, I gotta give it one giant slow-clap from my high school's bleachers. Okay, my high school didn't have any bleachers, but still. I'm probably over-inflating how good Love and Monsters really was, but f--k it, I really, really had a good time. A great cast, a sweet story, and shockingly cool monsters? For me, this was a low-key knockout.
- Man, Agatha really is out here f--king up everything, isn't she? But instead of a badass Kathryn Hahn, instead it's Agatha 616, the meteor that indirectly created, not so much the love, but definitely the monsters.
- While the monster designs here are tremendous, really, that frog one in the beginning? Not cool. Not because it was lame, but because f--k frogs. Disgusting little shits.
- A wee bit Zombieland-esque sure, there are some rules to live by in the new version of, uh, life. And rule #2 is Never Both. Meaning, you either get a good meal or good rest...but never both. That upsets me more than face-eating monsters, if I can be honest.
- I get it Joel, I do...but why would you split from Minnow and Clyde? *sees picture of Aimee* Carry on, then.
- I'm 41. I see leeches, I think of Stand by Me. I lay on the ground, get in the fetal position, and I weep. What we get here? Maybe even worse. *shudder* [okay, not really as nothing tops pulling one off of your junk, but they're still pretty gnarly]
- Oh, F you 'Cap', you handsome/charming bastard. First, you're not even American, so you ain't Cap. And second, what the Hell, man? Really? Doin' everyone dirty like that?
- Speaking of the (bootleg) Crocodile Hunter, what the Hell was with that crab thing? It kind of looked like it was wearing a pirate hat, and I couldn't really take it seriously. Yes, I just typed that. I couldn't take the giant monster crab seriously because it looked like it had just eaten at Long John Silver's. But I tried to.
- And finally, not sure about that ending. I know family is family, but c'mon Joel. That's twice now you've made the wrong move - what the Hell, man?