Friday, October 25, 2013

Bad Movie Blogger for Hire

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
This past week or so has been pretty standard… Dizzy stayed at my place most of the time due to the BART Strike & it was just easier that way… I didn’t mind at all. Heck, at least she picks up after herself, that’s more than one of my roommates. I’ll give you a hint which one… not a new one. Saturday, we did go to her house to clean up a bit & feed her cats… and then on the way to get some lunch, we drove by a place called The Junket which we had eaten at before (German place in a strip mall) and they were having an Oktoberfest celebration complete with dancers in leiderhosen & other traditional garb, an accordion player, free pretzels for patrons & plenty of delicious beer… so obviously we stopped for a pretzel & beer. I’m such a bad influence on Dizzy’s diet. She also bought me a fantastic gift… DAS BOOT!!! It’s a wonderful one liter glass drinking vessel shaped like a boot. It’s not the largest you’ve ever seen… but definitely the best looking. Holds about three beers & I may just have to test it this weekend with the Pumpkin Ale to show it off… so until then.

That evening, we went to have dinner with Dizzy’s Mom & Aunts at the aunts’ house. They prepared a wonderful meal as always… and we sat & chat it up… sipping on some seasonal beers like New Belgium’s Pumpkin ale which… also has like cranberry juice & spices mixed in… wasn’t my particular cup of tea… but also wasn’t that bad. Just seemed like they were cramming an entire Thanksgiving dinner into one sip… there might have even been some turkey & gravy in there, I wasn’t quite sure. We also tried Widmer Brothers’ Okto fall seasonal… and it was what you would expect, a very nice Oktoberfest inspired ale from Widmer, who makes some very good beer. Apparently they would also like to test our brews when we get them done… so they may be visiting us for dinner & drinks one of these days… or at least I’ll be transporting my homebrew across the bay… either way, it should be fun. They’re a great bunch of ladies.
Last week, I watched “Pain & Gain” starring Marky Mark, The Rock, Ed Harris & Tony Shalhoub… directed by the legendary hit-or-miss Michael Bay. The movie is loosely based on the true story about three bodybuilders (Marky, Rock & Anthony Mackie) who want to get rich quick after being inspired by self-help guru Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong). To do so, they kidnap a wealthy prick of a Columbian accountant (Shalhoub) and force him to sign over his possessions to them. What? A loophole about a notary having to be present? Taken care of… as Marky Mark’s boss is a notary… and not a particularly decent one. Problems pop up once they get the money & realize that they’re not really the smartest criminals in the world. It’s an action-comedy that had a few funny moments… but was pretty predictable (except for how badly the police reacted & how they grossly overcompensated afterwards, which is the truest part of the story) and I’d say watch it once if you’re into seeing lots of gun butter on Marky Mark, The Rock & everybody else. By the way… I’m actually kind of hoping that this partnership of Michael Bay & Dwayne Johnson leads to the reboot of a movie classic in a few years… by which I mean… “The Rock” starring… The Rock in the role made famous by Nicolas Cage. I could totally see him doing a nervous chemical weapons supergeek… and absolutely nobody mentioning the fact that he’s built like a double-decker brick sh*thouse. In Sean Connery’s role, Dolph Lundgren… why the hell not? Wishful thinking? Anyway, movie was okay… but not great obviously.
Next up was “Movie 43” starring Liev Schrieber, Katie Winslet, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Common & a whole bunch of other famous actors… but it’s basically a few sketches for quick movie pitches courtesy of the Farrelly Brothers. The premise is a writer-director at his wits end (Quaid) pitching movie ideas to a producer (Kinnear) and they’re all pretty f**king crazy… but the meeting is not stopped because the writer pulls out a pistol & basically holds the producer hostage to hear his ideas. Now… the movie’s not bad enough that somebody would have to hold a gun to my head to finish it (obviously) but I can easily see why it wasn’t a commercial success. It’s rated R… and basically all the worst aspects of a Farrelly Brothers flick on overdrive. Spoiler alert: Hugh Jackman literally has balls on his chin… for a good five minutes. You’ve been warned.
We also watched a comedy special called “Marc Maron: Thinky Pain” featuring, shockingly enough, comedian Marc Maron. It’s exactly what you would think… neurotic Jewish man rambling about life’s quibbles but he’s among the best & most insightful. I recommend it if you’re looking for a few laughs. That’s really about it. Shot on a stage, before a live studio audience, spoiler alert: No Hugh Jackman with balls on his chin.

Since it’s the Halloween season, I searched through the Netflix and found a Wes Craven directed nugget that I’ve never seen before called “The People Under the Stairs” starring Ving Rhames and a few people from “Twin Peaks” which Dizzy & I just saw. The story is about a young child living in the projects named Fool (guess the nationality) whose family has fallen on hard times & are about to be evicted ONLY because they can’t pay their bills. Well, the man whose around the house most of the time (Rhames) convinces him that he should help him & his partner rob the landlord’s house in search of a treasure of gold coins. Yup, that’s the plot. The landlords are very secretive & rarely leave the house… so they stake it out… and then one of them poses as a utility worker to gain access… by the way, God save any utility worker that comes to my apartment at any time of the day… because I’ll give you the 3rd degree while holding a katana that you can see & a gat that you can’t. There’s been a string of those robberies here in the Bay apparently. Anyway, the poser doesn’t come back… so now they have to go in… and they discover their horrible secret… they have a bunch of cannibals in their basement. Now for the review of the movie, I like Wes Craven. His movies are fantastic from a horror psychological perspective… and the “Scream” movies then poke fun at the genre… and he’s branched out into other things as well. This movie obviously is one that’s not referred to as much… but it’s still okay for what it is. Yes, there are some points in the movie where you going to go, “REALLY?” and some major plot holes… and some of the dialogue & noises that the landlord (Everett McGill) makes are laughable… and I still don’t know why he dresses up like a gimp when he’s running around with the shotgun (spoiler alert?) but I’m assuming it’s a prequel to “Pulp Fiction” since Marcellus Wallace (Rhames) is involved. Anyway, I’d say check it out… but it’s not the greatest movie ever. Not even close.
This next movie “The Future” was recommended to us a few months ago by one of Dizzy’s friends whose opinion I respect when it comes to movies. It’s an independent film from writer-director-actress Miranda July about a couple in their early thirties (hipsters?) who decide to adopt a stray cat… and basically they haven’t even adopted it yet… and it sends their lives down a self-inflicted rabbit hole of stupidity. They quit their jobs, cut off the internet (not that bad),  do nothing except ATTEMPT to make dance videos for YouTube & have affairs… or sell trees to homeowners in LA… throw in the ability to stop time & space for a minute and the narrations of the stray cat that basically have nothing to do with the story other than IT’S A CAT… and you have this movie.
It was pretty hard to watch honestly… and I checked a few of the metacritic scores to see if maybe I was missing something… and the overall score was like 28… and that’s because there were like 3 who rated it between 88 & 91… and I feel like maybe they need to have their critic licenses revoked. What? You don’t need a license to be a critic? SH*T!!! Then why aren’t I on the Hollywood payroll to support the lumps of sh*t that come out of there? I can give some quotes for the posters for the relative cost of my soul… and I’m fairly cheap with it. Heck, you could probably go back through a lot of my reviews of HORRIBLE movies and get a few decent quotes. For example…
The Room – “There are FIVE LOVE SCENES” or “It’s so bad that I almost wanted to watch it again…”
Freddy Got Fingered - “Maybe it gets better…”
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – “The movie wasn’t absolutely horrible”
Troll 2 – “Watch it with your friends!” or “It’s one of those movies that’s so horrible that it’s actually quite amazing in its mere existence”
The Core – I basically tore this movie a new one with semi-sarcastic text messages… but still fun to read
The Love Guru – “The great Stephen Colbert makes an appearance”
Battlefield Earth – “I sucked it up” or “I could go on & on…”
Those gems are without even trying… and you can always edit some things like “Watching to movie was about as pleasant as being led to a gas chamber on your birthday” and the edit would just be “A GAS” or something like that. Anyway, look me up Hollywood, I’m cheap & I speaks the English raw. You won’t be disappointed… and I hear there’s a real lineup of crap coming out next year with sequels & prequels & reboots. “Robocop” looks like it could use my help.
Anyway, that’ll do it for this entry. Hope you all had a wonderful time… and join us next time when I review Pumpkin Ale… FROM A BOOT!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!! Celebrate Halloween safely!!!

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