Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plus it's nice to see Corey Haim working in a movie.

I saw Crank: High Voltage last Friday, and I went ahead and spent the extra coin to watch the evening show, that way I could increase my chances of watching it with a crowd of loud people. Some movies, I actually want to watch with a talkative audience that have no qualms interacting with the screen or making their opinions heard. I only get pissed when I go see a quiet, deliberately paced movie like No Country for Old Men and then have to deal with some fuckin' asshole behind me giving a running commentary to his wife. I eventually felt that I had no choice, so I turned around and asked him to stop, and he gives me a look like I'M the asshole.

That's our society, ladies and gentleman, and the day the bombs drop, I will weep. I will weep for my family, and I will weep for my friends. But I will not weep for the douchebags, assholes or cunts. In fact, I will rejoice at the fact that every other piece-of-shit motherfucker like that will vaporize with me. I will at least have that pleasant thought run through my head before the nuclear shockwave blasts the flesh off of my bones.

So, as I was saying, I saw the movie with an awesome audience; mostly late teens and early twenties, and they all looked like the type of person that would use the word "bro" in a non-ironic sorta way. Which I guess makes them more pure at heart. When the title came up and filled the screen, they all cheered and I knew I was in the right place.

High Voltage starts where the last Crank left off; Jason Statham's character Chev Chelios has just fallen to his death. Then a van filled with Asian gangsters pulls up and literally scoops Chelios off the ground with a shovel, before tossing him in the van and speeding away. We cut to 3 months later and find Chelios alive and resting in a makeshift hospital room inside what appears to be a handjob house. The gangsters have since taken out his indestructible heart and replaced it with an artificial one and right before the surgeons harvest the rest of his organs, Chelios puts a fatal hurting to them and breaks out on a search for his real ticker. Because he accidentally disconnected the outer battery back that charged the rickety strawberry tart inside him, Chev now only has one hour before it goes out for good. In the meantime, he has to conduct electric charges into his body in any way possible to survive.

The first Crank was already over-the-top to begin with, a kind of overly caffeinated homage to the most base and vulgar moments of some R-rated Bruckheimer shit. High Voltage takes it to another level, telling its tale in an even more over-the-top manner and it feels like this time they've decided to make the biggest budget Troma movie ever made. The fact that Troma president Lloyd Kaufman has a cameo in this movie only makes it more positive that THAT'S what they were going for.

Now overall, I liked this movie. It's definitely some kind of masterpiece, but I was left a little bothered by some things. The movie gleefully wallows in bad taste whenever possible, and I have no problem with being politically incorrect. All races, ethnicities and sexualities get made of here and that's all good, but I swear the Asians get it worse than anyone in this motherfucker. It makes me wonder just how pure the intentions of the motherfuckers behind this movie are.

I mean, the South Park guys have made some fucked up jokes about fucked up shit, but you know there's a point behind the joke and that Parker and Stone are probably very smart guys. But the Crank guys' brand of off-color humor seems to be "say racist shit just for the sake of saying it", you know? It's like I imagine a couple of frat boys giggling in front of a computer saying "Hey, let's have him say 'chink' and 'slant-eyed', that would be fuckin' awesome, bro!" and then they give each other a high-five and date rape the 17-year old girl currently roofied out on the bed. I remember a few years ago some leader of some Asian group giving Sarah Silverman shit, accusing her of using words like "chink" in her jokes because she could get away with it and that she would never use the word "nigger" because then she'd really be in trouble. I can kinda see his point now, because it's like the filmmakers here knew that pissing off Asians is preferable to pissing off the brothas.

I'm also reminded of something Artie Lange once said on the Stern show; he said that because of his association with the show, he will occasionally run into some drunk person at a party or function who will tell him something like "Hey, you'll like this joke, it's right up your alley" and then proceed to start it with "Two niggers walk into a bar...". Some motherfuckers just don't get it, they think just screaming racial profanities is humor enough. They're coming from a totally different and more disturbing place. If Trey Parker is the Artie Lange at the party, then the filmmakers behind Crank: High Voltage are the drunk guys who Just Don't Get It.

But whatever, what do I know and why am I getting all humor Nazi all of a sudden? I use words like "faggot" all the time on this beautiful, lovely blog. I guess I don't get it either and it's not like anyone else seemed to be bothered during the movie when Chelios grabs an Asian gangster and says "Did someone drop some change? I just heard a chink!", the teenagers in the audience laughed their asses off and so did the fratboys. And so did I. So forget everything I've said, I'm just a dumb wetback.

Anyway, I spent like three or four paragraphs on a minor problem I had with the movie, so let me spend at least one paragraph on everything else I liked. In the age of pussied out action movies, it's refreshing to watch one that doesn't give a fuck about pleasing the whole family. I love that in the past year-and-a-half we got hardcore, bloody, severed balls-splattered-to-the-wall action flicks like Rambo, Punisher War Zone, and Crank: High Voltage, helping to take the pain away of witnessing R-rated franchises like Die Hard and Terminator go PG-13. I may have a problem with purposeless racial humor, but I have no problem at all with purposeless graphic violence. Bring THAT shit on, I say.

Severed limbs and heads? I'm good. A dying man trying to push back in his intestines? Cool. A man getting his elbow chopped off? Interesting. A stripper getting shot in her tits, followed by an extreme close-up of the silicone leaking out of them? Holy shit, I'll give ya points on originality there.

I also loved the music. It's by Mike Patton from Faith No More and I think it's his first movie score. Hopefully it's not his last, because I really dug what he brought to this movie and I'd love to see what else he brings to other movies in the future. It's a mixture of different styles, but some of my favorite tracks sound something like Ennio Morricone compositions performed by Faith No More with occasional backing vocals by Adam Sandler. No bullshit.

Also, there be titties here.

So if you're a 13 year old boy or if you just have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, you'll dig this movie. Otherwise, stay away and comfort yourself in the knowledge that you are a sane and mature human being. It's the rest of us that are fucked.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dakota Fanning is a funny drunk

(Here's a blog entry that I wrote almost two weeks ago and never posted until now. And here's a jimmy joke about your mama that you might not like. I heard she was the Frisco dyke.)

Back in the day, I went to see everything and I gladly drove all over the city and paid the $10+ for a ticket. But now I pretty much have to keep it local, and even then I still feel like I need to justify that $5-7 on a ticket by writing something about it afterwards. Which is why I've felt like shit for not writing about the last two movies I watched over the weekend; Push and Knowing. Laziness was a big reason, but so was that fucking piece-of-shit Shortcut to Happiness movie I was already due to write about.

I went to the ghetto drive-in to watch a double feature of the above-mentioned movies, but this time I went on a Saturday night. I've already written about having no problems going to the drive-in alone, but I've never gone alone on a peak weekend evening either. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the more couples and families around me, the more alone I was going to feel and I should've been ready for that. But I wasn't, it took a while to adjust. It took me from the street entrance to the inside of the drive-in to get over it. That doesn't sound like much, but because it was a Saturday night, it took me 25 minutes to cover that distance. Four lines of cars were sticking out of the entrance and into the street, creating a traffic situation. You'd think it was the Mexico/U.S. border the way it looked, and considering the majority of the racial makeup of the patrons, it might as well have been.

If you go to a drive-in theater by yourself, you arouse both heavy suspicion and pity. It's the policy of this particular drive-in to do a car check, and I was used to that from previous lone treks to this establishment. What I wasn't ready for was being surrounded by so many other vehicles that were filled with people. Again, one never feels more alone than when surrounded by couples and groups. I rolled down the windows low enough for only the guard to be able to look in, and not my fellow moviegoers. That's right, I live my life assuming that I'm so fucking important that people have to watch me. I know.

I was 25-30 minutes late for the first movie, Knowing, which was okay with me because they were going to replay it after the second one. But that left me with about an hour-and-a-half to kill, because I wanted to watch Knowing from the beginning. I can't watch a movie late and then catch up to what I missed later. I just can't. I'm sorry -- about my life and about not being able to watch movies well into the running time. So I changed the radio station to the Monsters vs. Aliens frequency, turned to my left, and watched about a half-hour of that. It was all right. I then switched it over to Fast & Furious and watched that for a while.

Eventually I decided to take a walk around the drive-in and soak in the atmosphere. I'm glad I did, because for some reason I really got a kick out of walking by the different sections, all packed with cars with the soundtrack blaring out of the open windows, or from boomboxes placed outside with the lawnchair crowd. I didn't feel so alone during this part. What's that line in Clerks? One character says something like "You hate people" and the other guy responds with "But I love gatherings"? Well, it felt kinda like that.

I enjoyed watching the different kinds of people watching the movie. Lots of families, lots of couples, and many groups of friends. Many brought their own food (as did I -- homemade popcorn mixed with olive oil and salt) but I also saw a lot of people coming out of the snack bar with treats. What I didn't understand was the occasional person stepping out with pizza from the snack bar. Snack bar pizza can't be that good, can it? Maybe I'm wrong. But I'm sure a $5 pizza sneaked in from Little Caesars is even better, right? I don't know.

I went into the snack bar and actually fuckin' enjoyed watching the lines of people as they snaked around the rails, waiting to purchase their popcorn, soda, candy, nachos, and that goddamn pizza. I liked the sounds of the popping and the whirr of the soda machines as the refrigeration kicked in, combined with the noisy din of the crowd. I'm such a teenage girl with this movie magic bullshit. It's enough to make a motherfucker think about getting a girlfriend. Then the motherfucker remembers the horrible past relationships he had and decides Fuck That! Better to die alone. That reminds me; a wise man (and decent comic) once said that the choice to get married or stay single was really a choice of either wanting to die annoyed or die lonely. One day, this wise man stepped into his shower, put a gun into his mouth and blew his fucking brains out. It's like he knew those were fucked up choices, so he decided to create his own third option.

I got back in to watch Push, and it was very entertaining. Some movies just scream Saturday Night, and this was one of them. Push is about a bunch of psychic motherfuckers with motherfuckin' psychic powers. Some can move objects with their minds, some can see the future, some can detect other motherfuckers, etc. One of those evil secret shadowy government agencies you see in movies is doing deadly experiments on them, trying to find one that they can make The Ultimate Weapon out of or something. I don't know, it's been a week since I watched this shit. The black dude from Blood Diamond ("You love SOCCER!") is the leader of the evil men in -- ahem -- black and he's got mind controlling powers too, so you know eventually someone in this movie is going to have to bring it to himself to throw down psychically with him in a psychic throwdown. That's just how it works.

The challenger in question is played by some white guy who was in Sunshine. He's been hiding out in Hong Kong since his father (a psychic motherfucker as well) was killed by Black Dude from Blood Diamond. Maybe "hiding out" is the wrong term, since he's found by three other psychic motherfuckers within five minutes; two of them work for the evil G-Men, and the other is played by Dakota Fanning. Fanning's power is that she can see the future, and as soon as she gets a vision she draws it in crayons on a sketch book for others to see. Both parties have come to White Guy from Sunshine for their own reasons. The G-Men want to know if he has come into contact with a runaway psychic motherfucker played by the hot chick from 10,000 B.C., and Fanning wants the White Guy to help her on some kind of mission to find a case filled with money even though the mission will end with both of them dead. No bullshit; she even drew it on her sketch book, colorful likenesses of the both of them with X's over their eyes and their tongues protruding from their mouths.

The rest of the movie is pretty much a chase scene; Both White Guy from Sunshine and Dakota Fanning are either chasing or being chased. They go running after the money, running after Hot Chick from 10,000 B.C., running away from Black Dude from Blood Diamond and his G-Men, and running away from some Chinese psychic motherfuckers with the motherfuckin' psychic ability to scream so loud that you bleed out and die. Push is a fun mixture of The Fury and X-Men, and I had a good time with it. It definitely plays well in a drive-in theater, that's for sure.

The second movie was Knowing with Nicolas Cage. I remember an interview with Cage way back in the day for some magazine, and he was talking about how he always looked older than his age. And yet I can't remember my multiplication tables, how about that? Anyway, that shit is still going strong because the dude looks like he's in his fifties, even though he's only 45. The hair plugs don't help either. Here, he plays an astrophysics professor who has discovered that an old letter written completely in numbers has somehow been able to predict major world disasters for the past 50 years. This fuckin' letter even tells you where it will happen and how many will die.

There are only 3 disasters left in the letter, and one of them comes true in front of Cage's face -- a plane crashes through gridlock traffic and bursts into flames. Cage reacts by doing what any other human being WOULDN'T do and runs towards the flaming wreckage. What follows is a pretty disturbing scene; it's all done in one take and we watch as victims from the crash run around burning to death. This movie is PG-13, but there's some pretty harsh imagery in this flick. I looked this movie up on the IMDB afterwards and there are comments by people that were as shaken up as I was by some of this shit, but there are also just as many who laughed and said it looked goofy and fake. I don't know, the drive-in version was a little dim and I was watching this through my windshield, but it certainly looked convincing to me. I think it's just the idea that even though this is a movie, you JUST FUCKING KNOW people died EXACTLY like this in real life plane crashes. These poor motherfuckers burned and died long painful deaths, crying in pain, crying out for their God or Gods to help them, and most likely dying with friends or family beside them.

So now that Cage knows that this letter is real, that leaves only two more disasters and the rest of the movie is about Cage trying to convince the people around him. This shit has been out for a while now, so you probably know where it's heading, but I'm going to go ahead and devote the rest of the "review" to some big spoilers and if you don't want to read them, go ahead and leave after the next paragraph. It's cool, I won't hate on you. If anything, I've done the same thing on other movie sites when given the opportunity. It's just that there's some stuff I'd really want to get into and I can't without giving the shit away. So here's the non-spoiler ending to this blog entry:

Knowing can get slow at parts, but overall I liked the movie. It's from the director of Dark City and I Robot , but in order of quality I'd put Knowing squarely between those two. I had a nice time at the drive-in, Hooray for Hollywood, Movies are Magical, I'll see you at the snack bar, and all that other bullshit. The End.




SPOILERS LIKE A MUTHA FOLLOW:

Ok, if you've seen the movie or hit up the plot synopsis over at Wikipedia, then you already know what this movie is about and I can continue. Good.

I figured it was going to be an End of the World scenario, but I didn't know about the Noah's Ark type of shit that was going to happen with the kids. I liked how the movie has it both ways; it's vague enough for people on the IMDB to argue about who the "strangers" were. There are those who believe they're angels and that this is God cleansing the Earth with fire (instead of water like the first time he had enough with people's bullshit), and there are those who believe the "strangers" are aliens wanting to give humans another chance by saving only the children. It allows you to bring your own beliefs to the party and take from the film whatever you want to take from it. Of course you get those assholes from both sides who complain and hate the movie because it's pro-Jesus or pro-Aliens and they don't want any of that shit and I say fuck these party poopers. Fuck 'em in their party poopin' asses.

One of the last scenes fucked me up, but not in a Boo Hoo tears kind of way. No, more in that way where you're just quiet and kind of depressed. I'm talking about Nicolas Cage's final scene, where he decides to go see his estranged minister father before the end. He arrives at the house, and there's his father along with his mother and sister. They're sitting on the couch, watching the final news reports, waiting for the solar flare to arrive and burn the Earth to a crisp and end all life. His father goes up to Cage and says something like "Don't worry, son. This isn't the end" and Cage nods and says "I know". Then the whole family gets into a group hug just as the fire engulfs them and destroys everything.

You see, I was a kid during the '80s and I remember that whole Cold War shit. That already made a motherfucker worry, but then I made the dumbass mistake of once watching The Day After on television. I was eight years old when I saw that shit and I spent a good few years worried about nuclear missiles dropping on us and vaporizing our miserable asses. It got to the point to where I got obsessed with that shit. I had to go down the street to catch the bus to elementary school with the other kids, and I somehow got it in my head that if nuclear war was going to happen, it would happen in the morning. That meant that many a time I would hear the sounds of an aircraft flying through the air and secretly freak out inside, thinking it was a fuckin' ICBM coming down like a Johnny Cash Sunday morning. I was a fuckin' kid, man! I shouldn't have that shit on my mind, I should be thinking of fuckin' Thundercats or girls with cooties or something! WHAT THE FUCK, MAN? It's a good thing I wasn't a kid during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I'd probably have taken Daddy's shotgun and give it The Final Blowjob rather than risk being around for that shit.

I had all these fuckin' Doomsday scenarios in my young head. Back then, I was as much of a night owl as I am now, so one of the many horrible nuclear armaggeddon scenarios I got in my head (inspired by a late night showing of the movie Miracle Mile) was "what if I was up watching T.V. one night and a news bulletin came in basically saying the bombs are dropping and we have thirty minutes to live?". I actually had the shrunken balls to ask my mother that; I asked her what if I was up late one night watching T.V. and suddenly I saw that shit on the news? Should I wake her and Dad up so they can be awake for the End? She said Yes, that way we can all be together when we go. That's a stupid answer, Mom, but I still love you, I told her. Then she'd get mad and tell me we weren't going to Disneyland and then I'd shit my underoos and start bawling.

Anyway, that final shot of Cage and his family embracing as everything explodes into fire around them reminded me of that. That was exactly how I envisioned it happening when I was a kid -- we'd all be hugging like a bunch of fruits. Loving your family with all of your heart is so fucking gay, and I wish I wasn't such a faggot sometimes. I wish I didn't feel the same way now as I did then about how I'd handle the End of the World. I wish I could be one of the many red-blooded males who answered the What Would You Do If The World Was Ending question with "I'd get fuckin' wasted and then I find a hot piece of ass and get jiggy with all three inputs before the bombs drop, baby! I'M A MAN!"

But no, I'm the asshole who wants to be with his family before he dies. You know who else wanted to be with his family before he died? Hennesey from Biloxi Blues. And you know what became of Hennesey in Biloxi Blues? He got sentenced to do hard time in Leavenworth because he was caught HAVING SEX WITH ANOTHER MAN on the base. Exactly. You know what? Fuck you, Neil Simon. Fuck you and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Mike Nichols, while we're at it. Not in a literal sense, though. I may want to die with my family, but I'm not a fuckin' Hennessey either. I'm more like Arnold Epstein. But then Eugene Jerome wrote in his journal that he thought Epstein was gay. Fuck, I can't win with you motherfuckers! This is bullshit! BULLSHIT!!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I once gave a waitress a 50% percent tip. Karma has since told me to suck its disease-ridden cock.

A couple of days ago I watched Observe and Report, and I agree with Roger Ebert when he once said something like, You can't really critique a comedy because it's the most subjective of genres, all you can say is if it made you laugh or if it didn't. You can't say that the motherfuckers failed at their job, because maybe they didn't, maybe YOU'RE the one who doesn't know how to enjoy a fuckin' joke. Something like that. Anyway, I laughed quite a bit at this movie.

Seth Rogen plays a mall security guard, and the movie follows him around as he fucks shit up and is totally oblivious to it. The movie has a bit of that episodic feel where you kinda have a plot, but it's really more about the people and how fuckin' funny they are to watch than it is about knowing where the story is headed. Rogen leads a crew of security guards at the mall, and they comprise of a right-hand man with a Mike Tyson-ish lisp, twin Asian brothers that are really into guns, and this young kid who is currently working as a host at a restaurant but is soon going to quit to work full-time with the crew. What's going to make or break this movie for you is whether or not you think you can hang with a very unlikable character as your lead. For me, it really depends on the kind of movie.

For example, last night I put on a movie called New York, New York. It's a Martin Scorsese movie that I've never seen, and after about 45 minutes of watching it, I realized that I'll probably never finish it. I couldn't stand the main characters, and I got the sense that somehow we were supposed to actually care for these assholes. I was like Fuck That Shit and took that movie off, and instead I put on a movie called Boss Nigger. I'll write about that one soon.

But with Observe and Report, while the main character is such a fucking asshole, the movie doesn't really ask you to feel for him. I mean if you want to, go ahead, but it's not necessary. It seems content enough that you just laugh your ass off at how fuckin' oblivious this dude is about his maximum levels of douchebaggitude. And I can definitely roll with that. At least, that's how it felt for me. I didn't give one fuck about any of the characters except for one -- this blonde chick working the counter at something called "Toast in a Bun". She's this really innocent and kind woman who always hooks Rogen up with free coffee. She does that because she has to (mall employees get free coffee), but you can tell she also does it because she likes the guy's company, which is kinda difficult to understand since he's such a prick, but whatever. The heart wants what the heart wants, I guess.

Unfortunately for her, Rogen's heart is after this other chick played by Anna Faris. She works behind the cosmetics counter and she's one of these self-centered party girl types that I think we've all met at least two or three times. Faris knocks it out of the park with her performance, as usual. She's very funny and fearless about looking very fucking stupid in this movie. But I was a little troubled watching her, because it looks like she's finally fallen big time into the Hollywood spell of getting work done on her face and losing way too much weight. Or maybe it's just the way she was made up in this movie. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt because I like her very much. Hopefully it's the fault of the cinematographer and the hair & makeup department, otherwise it was nice knowing you Ms. Faris. Enjoy your anorexia. Say hi to Brittany Murphy for me.

Ray Liotta is in this too and I think he's also had some work done, but since I don't fantasize about fucking him, that shit doesn't matter to me. Or does it?

It was a nice turnout at the movie theater I went to, but only a third of them laughed as much as I did. Most of them were quiet and only laughed a couple of times, at best. Maybe they really thought they were going to get Paul Blart 2 or something more Adam Sandler-like. So I don't have much faith in this flick being a huge success for Rogen like Knocked Up or Pineapple Express. Those two movies had a different kind of humor anyway, so that's probably what's going to turn off a lot of people expecting the same with this movie.

There's nothing warmhearted or even remotely human like there supposedly is in an Apatow flick, based on what people have told me about those movies. The only thing this movie has in common with an Apatow movie is the preference of male nudity over female nudity. That shit has got to stop, by the way. Maybe the right-wing wackos have a point about Hollywood trying to push a gay agenda on the country. Or maybe seeing fat guys running around with their tiny dicks flapping in the wind is just funnier to watch. Fuck that, I prefer titties to funny. There, I said it.

The humor here is less broad and more of the douche-chill variety, so if the idea of watching unlikable people creating uncomfortable situations makes you laugh, then you might dig this flick. Also, if you like the occasional jarring use of graphic violence in a comedy, you might dig this flick. I think what the filmmakers were going for with this movie was a comedic version of a Taxi Driver "God's lonely man" kind of flick. You're following a socially maladroit motherfucker and pretty much counting down to the moment he loses his shit and decides to make that step away from society and a step towards a scarier place where shit only makes sense to the damn near insane.

I can't speak for all of you, but some of us enjoy a masterpiece like Taxi Driver for what it is, but we also can't help but laugh at some of that shit because it's so fuckin' out there. Like that scene when Travis Bickle takes his date to a porno movie, and he honestly has no fuckin' clue that she would be offended by that. Or the scene where Bickle shoots the dude who was trying to rob the liquor store, and then the store owner starts beating the fuck out of the dude with a stick. Maybe we're laughing as a self-defense mechanism at this freaky shit or maybe we're laughing because we're sadistic bastards, but either way we're laughing. Observe and Report is a movie comprised of those kind of scenes. And that's it for the movie "review". Now on to me losing my shit online for your pleasure.

After the movie, I went to a local Norm's to keep up my fat disgusting fuck routine. They have a deal there where if you give them your ticket stub, you get a free sundae. I was so ready to enjoy that sundae after my dinner, but the waitress did something unexpected. She gave me my check along with my meal. I figured, Okay, she gave me the check, but she'll ask me afterwards if I want any dessert when I'm done, just like the other waitresses at this establishment have been doing with my fellow diners. Nope, she didn't. I figured she was busy, and I didn't want to get in her way and call her when she's got other people to serve. So I'll just wait for when she's got time to come ask me. I waited. And waited. Ten minutes went by. It turned into a game between me and her, even though I'm sure she had no idea there was even a fuckin' game going on. A battle of wills. She WILL come and ask me if I want a dessert, or a refill, or ANYTHING, I thought to myself. She didn't.

Twenty minutes pass. During this period, she happily served the guy to the left of me and the guy to the right of me. She happily put up with the fidgety diner to my left telling her about how his mother died two weeks ago and afterwards he came to Norm's to eat liver and onions but he couldn't finish it, and today he intends on eating the whole thing. She not only DIDN'T give him or the guy to my right a check with the meal, she asked them if they had any room for dessert. What did I do? I was nice. I'm always nice to the wait staff. Ask the few friends who've eaten with me. I'm always nice, I never send anything back, I tip minimum 20% and I pay "rent" if I stay over an hour. Back when things were good, I once gave a waitress a 50% tip because I thought she deserved it. I apologize to the wait staff if I happen to be eating with drunk friends in the mood to fuck with them. I convince my friends and family to go 20% minimum. I am of the belief that waiters and waitresses have to put up with a lot of shit, and nine times out of ten it's the customers fault. In the dining world, I'm fuckin' Mr. White to all the Mr. Pinks that eat with me. If you are a waiter or waitress and you get me as a customer, in all seriousness, you will be taken care of. I am one of the good guys. And yet this lady, this waitress, this fucking bitch is dissing ME? This. Fucking. CUNT!

Eventually, I went ahead and called her when she came to give the guy to my right a refill of coffee. She looked annoyed and I asked her for the dessert and gave her my ticket. She said she would get to it after serving the other guy next to me. I said fine. Finally she came back with my dessert, and asked me how the movie was. I told her it was funny. She responded by telling me that she heard that there was male nudity, and if that was true. I told her there was. She frowned and walked away. Too little too late, lady.

The "super schooner" I had was delicious. I finished up, cleared up my area, paid for the meal and left that fuckin' cunt 15%. That's the first time I've left a tip below 20%, and what kills me is that she won't get what I was trying to say with that tip. I was trying to say that the service was way below fuckin' par but she'll just come away thinking I was a cheap bastard. Because it can't be their fault, right? It's never their fault.

I know, I know. Somehow I'm in the wrong for this, right? Don't bother, I'll bury myself -- I'm a fat fuck who doesn't deserve decent service and I should die a horrible painful long death and when it happens I'll be alone. The End.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Elizabeth Hurley makes a hotter Devil anyway

I remember watching an episode of Family Guy back in its first go-round and Jennifer Love Hewitt was the guest voice, playing herself. There was a scene where she listed off a bunch of films she's starred in. I recognized all of them except for one called The Devil and Daniel Webster; it was a movie that was in production at the time but hadn't been released yet. That was around 2001 or 2002, and every once in a while I would look it up online to check on its progress. It finally came out in the summer of 2007, under the name Shortcut to Happiness. It only played a handful of theaters and I don't think it's even on DVD yet but I caught it on the tee-vee and here you go with a spoiler rundown.

Shortcut to Happiness is about a struggling writer in New York City named Jabez Stone. To show us what a kind sensitive soul Stone is, we see that he'll go as far as to use his employee discount at a upscale men's clothing store just to help an old man afford to pay for a tie to wear at his 50th high school reunion. The problem here is that Stone is played by notorious hothead Alec Baldwin, and while I think Mr. Baldwin is a fucking awesome motherfucker, I have as much trouble buying him as an innocent soul as I did buying old worn out Social-Security Pacino & De Niro as active duty chick-magnet police detectives in Righteous Kill.

Stone has never had anything published but he keeps on keepin' on, sending manuscripts to the top publishers, including one headed by a man named Daniel Webster. Webster is played by Anthony Hopkins, and he and Baldwin worked together before on The Edge. In retrospect I was better off spending my time on a second viewing of that movie instead of wasting my time on this one. Anyway, Stone sneaks his way to Webster and begs him to read his manuscript. Surprisingly, Webster gives him two minutes in his office to chat with him. Inside, Stone notices a tail framed up on Webster's wall. Remember that tail, people.

Afterwards, Stone goes to hang out with his fellow struggling writers at a restaurant, and you can tell they probably hang out here all the time to drink and bitch about how they're not famous writers while motherfuckers like Carrot Top are. Stone's friends are played by Dan Aykroyd, Amy Poehler, and some other fuckin' guy. Aykroyd breaks the news that his book is getting published and he's gonna make some serious fuckin' bank on it too. It's pretty awesome to watch Poehler and the other dude's reaction to this, it's total "That should be ME getting that, not you!". Aykroyd's publisher is played by Kim Cattrall and that immediately reminded me of that Sex and the City movie that came out last year, and I wondered how many men were dragged to see that shit by women who knew damn well they could've seen that shit with their girls. That's some fucked up Torture=Commitment shit right there.

On his way home, Stone gets his laptop stolen by your basic garden-variety street hoodlums and since that laptop also happened to have his latest magnum opus on it, he doesn't react well to it. He rushes back to his apartment, and starts typing like mad on an old IBM Selectric until it breaks. This causes Stone to get all Alec Baldwin by grabbing the typer and throwing it out the window. Well, tough fucking luck there, because that shit ends up landing on an old lady and killing her geriatric ass. Stone realizes he's fucked and that's when Jennifer Love Hewitt comes in as The Devil. She shows him that she's for real by saving him from the cops and bringing the old lady back to life, and then offers to make him a famous writer in exchange for his immortal soul.

I never understood the idea of that; let's say that my life is shit (and it is rather fecal at the moment) but then the Devil shows up at my doorstep with an offer to make it all better as long as I give up my soul. You know what, I'd say no. I mean, as terrible as shit may be right now, spending eternity in Hell has got to be worse, right? That's what I would tell the Devil, that anyone who would still make that deal even though they know they're damming themselves to Hades is a dumb motherfucker and I'd also say "You know what else, Devil? You've just proven to me that you exist, and if you exist, then God exists and that means there's a Heaven. You've just let me know that there is in fact a better place after life, and we can go to it if we act right. So take off and go fuck yourself, I'm off to the nearest church to start my life as a newly-converted Jesus Freak." Then I'd drive to my local Blockbuster to rent Fireproof while listening to Christian pop on my car radio and laughing at the gays because they can't get married.

But in this movie, the way one finalizes a deal with the Devil isn't with a handshake or by signing your name in blood on a contract. Nope, here you literally get into bed with the Devil and knock boots. Since the Devil happens to look like Jennifer Love Hewitt, I can see why Stone was a little quicker than most in making that deal. The next morning, Stone wakes up and starts running his hands across the Devil's bare back, and on his way down towards her booty he notices a big circular scar. Hmm, I wonder what used to be there? Whatever it was, the Devil doesn't like Stone touching her there, so she rushes off in a huff.

The following day he's already signed on with Cattrall's publisher-lady and from that point on his life is nothing but success after success. His books sell like hotcakes, Tom Cruise's production company buy up all the film rights to his work, and trucks of money start rolling in. He also moves to an expensive apartment, starts banging hot chicks, and becomes a big celebrity in the process. Of course, there is a downside to this (aside from the whole burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity thing) and it's that Stone doesn't even get to write the books he really wants to write. He's shitting out brainless fluff that gets him no respect from either the critics or his famous peers, which I guess makes him Dan Brown.

We also watch him also turn into more of a heartless dick in the face of tragedy. Aykroyd's character gets hit by a car and killed, and that other friend whose name I don't know ends up getting Cancer. The poor dude visits Stone to break the news of his terminal illness to him and the motherfucker can barely make time for him because he's busy with a photoshoot for some magazine. Suddenly the guy vomits all over a table and Stone's response is to get all annoyed and ask him if he came for money. Now THIS part of the Stone character arc I completely bought Baldwin in.

Of course, Stone realizes what an asshole he's becoming and doesn't want any part of this anymore, he wants it all to go away. The Devil isn't at all sympathetic; a deal is a motherfuckin' deal and this is what he wanted right? Stone tells her no, he just wanted to be a respected writer, not famous for writing garbage. Well, tough titty, responds Lucifer. I have to say, I agree with Satan on this one. The motherfucker should've known what he was getting himself into. But I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for him like we should feel sorry for those people who bought houses they could barely afford and now they're getting foreclosed and CHOO CHOO here comes the Bailout Express! All aboard! Ouch...sorry, I just fell off of my soapbox and hurt my knee. I hurt my knee, man. Hold my hand, man.

So Stone goes to bitch about this to Daniel Webster, because he put two and two together with that whole tail-on-the-wall deal; it turns out Mr. Webster has had previous dealings with the Devil before and is the only person to come out of it a winner several times over. Shit, the motherfucker even chopped the bitch's tail off once. Webster agrees to defend Stone for some reason that was never clear in this fuckin' mess of a movie. So Stone, Webster and the Devil all go to a barn in a small town in the country where a trial is held for Stone's immortal soul. Aykroyd's ghost is the judge and the ghosts of famous dead writers like Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Jacqueline Susann, and Mario Puzo serve as jurors. The stakes are made even higher when it's found out that not only will Stone's soul be up for grabs, but Webster's as well. The Devil, you see, has a hard-on for Mr. Webster. I can understand that completely, as I too have a hard-on for Welsh men in their sixties.

In the end, Webster wins over the jury with one of those Oscar-moment courtroom speeches you see in movies all the time and the contract is considered null-and-void. Stone's soul is saved, the Devil leaves pissed off and then we cut to the very first scene of the movie, which I assume means that Stone has been given a chance to start over again. Roll credits.

What a piece of shit. I know it's based on an old story which in itself was based on an old story and they've made at least one movie and a Simpsons episode from it, but goddamn this version fucking sucks. And you know what? Alec Baldwin would agree with me.

You see, this movie was produced and directed by none other than Mr. Alec Baldwin himself. This was his directorial debut and it was shot in 2001, which would explain why Baldwin looks a lot thinner in this movie than he does now. But a lot of shit behind the scenes kept this movie on the shelf; production was slowed down by financial and legal troubles with the financiers. Then Baldwin walked away from the project and took his name off due to creative difficulties, having had his unfinished cut of the movie taken away and re-edited. Then the re-edited version was re-edited.

Not having Baldwin's support or involvement and having very little money to complete the movie with makes for some interesting moments and choices in this version. In addition to that sudden non-ending I mentioned earlier, there's a long sequence in the middle that consists of what's supposed to be an Entertainment Tonight-style report on Stone's character. It's a bunch of shitty photoshopped stills of Baldwin placed on magazine covers, and the whole time a voiceover is explaining how Stone has been hitting photographers and other shit like that. You can tell this was done to bridge some narrative gaps and they chose to do it in the cheesiest way possible. It reminded me of the lame-ass news report in Death Drug with Philip Michael Thomas. Now you probably haven't ever seen Death Drug, and yet you probably have an idea of just how fucking bad it must be, because it's a fucking movie called Death Drug and fucking Philip Michael Thomas starred in it.

Another interesting choice here would have to be some of the voiceover scenes involving Stone; a couple of times in the movie, Stone's character narrates passages from his book or we hear him have conversations with other characters off-screen, but the voice is obviously not Alec Baldwin's. That's right, they went straight-to-DVD Steven Seagal on us and got someone else to do it. I don't have proof, but you can just fuckin' tell, bro. It sounds like they got his brother Daniel Baldwin to do it.

Eventually, over 30 minutes of the movie were cut out and the whole fuckin' thing was reshaped and restructured into an entirely different beast. What started as The Devil and Daniel Webster became Shortcut to Happiness. What was supposed to be Alec Baldwin's first film as a director is now credited as having been directed by "Harry Kirkpatrick". I miss Alan Smithee. According to the IMDB, Jason Patric and John Savage are supposed to be in this movie but I sure as fuck didn't see them in it, so I guess they were cut out. The movie plays like it's supposed to be a comedy, but from what I understand that wasn't the original mood or tone of the movie in Baldwin's version.

But I'm not sure how much better Baldwin's version could be. As it is now, the movie plays like a complete mess of very serious scenes smashed into very goofy scenes, but this is all from shit that he shot, right? Sure, the original longer version with the original structure might have made those scenes flow much better as a whole, but it still doesn't seem to change the fact that some scenes are played as broad comedy and the other scenes are played as incredibly solemn drama. Maybe a motherfucker like Alexander Payne could handle that kind of material better, he could straddle that shit like a stripper on a nerd with a fat wad of cash in his pocket. So I can't let Alec Baldwin or "Harry Kirkpatrick" off the hook completely with this shit. It just doesn't work.

It also doesn't help that Baldwin is seriously miscast in this mutha, I couldn't buy him in this part. I'm not saying that there aren't struggling writers in the same age bracket as Baldwin was when he made this movie, because there are struggling types of all ages out there. But like that other piece of shit Righteous Kill, you get the sense that the role was written for someone a little younger, which is kinda weird because I think this was Baldwin's baby from its inception and he was always gonna be the guy. Besides, let's be honest here -- if you're as big a fan of Baldwin as I am, it's probably because you think he makes a good asshole, or at least someone with asshole-ish qualities. He's got an edge to him and that makes him totally fucking wrong for this kind of innocent character. We're supposed to be shocked by his eventual change in behavior as he gradually loses his soul. But you don't feel any of that because ALEC BALDWIN is playing him. If anything, I was more shocked to see him play a nice guy in the first half of the movie.

I was more surprised with Hewitt; she does a pretty decent job here. This is probably her best performance yet, which I guess is an easy statement to make when you've got Can't Hardly Wait and I Know What You Did Last Summer to compare with. She's not ready for the fuckin' Oscar yet, but she's got some chops and I think given the right material and director, she can probably display them. I haven't seen that Ghost Whisperer show of hers so who knows, maybe she's kicking ass there for all I know. All I'm saying is that she definitely has it in her, and I'd definitely like to have it in her. HIGH-FIVE!

Friday, April 3, 2009

My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine and we realized that by the end of the year we will have known each other for ten years. Jesus Christ, TEN YEARS? Because my sad pathetic life revolves around movies, I used cinema and not life events to gauge just how much time has passed. I thought of all the movies I've watched with him and his friends, and now it all seems so long ago. I remember I went to see The Fast and the Furious with this friend back in 2001, and that shit feels pretty recent to me. But the truth is that I'm fuckin' deluding myself into thinking that wasn't so long ago. Now I'm much closer to my 30's than I am to my 20's and that's fuckin' life I guess.

But just because you're getting older doesn't mean you can't still live your life a quarter-mile at a time. That's what I learned recently when I found out that there was not only another Fast and the Furious flick coming out, but that they got the old gang back together for this one. I suspect they must feel the same way about aging as I do. These motherfuckers are in such a hurry to relive the glory days they didn't waste time coming up with a title, they just called this one Fast & Furious. Not The Fast and the Furious Returns or 4 Fast 4 Furious or The Fast and the Furious: The Quickening or any of that shit, nope -- they just took out "the" and "and" and in its place put in an ampersand.

I honestly had no intention of seeing this movie, figuring that I would wait for the DVD. But my local theater was having a midnight showing last night (or is it "this morning"?) and their tickets are pretty cheap and I had nothing to do, so there I went. It was a nearly full house, the crowd ranging mostly from 15 to 35. The only people I saw over that age was a mother and father with their tween son, and either it was spring break vacation for him or they were cool enough to take him on a school night to watch a flick he was all hyped up for. That's kinda like when my dad took me to watch the midnight showing of Dick Tracy; I'd never gone to see a movie that late before and instead of a ticket, they gave you a Dick Tracy t-shirt that proclaimed you as one of the first to watch it. Being the faggot douche that I am, I proudly wore that shirt the very next day at school, like that shit was going to get me all the prime grade-school pussy or something.

The movie opens with Diesel's character Dominic Toretto hijacking a tanker truck in the Dominican Republic, and he's got his girl Letty working by his side like old times. Also in his crew are two "wacky" Reggaeton-types and Han from the last sequel, Tokyo Drift. I thought that was pretty cool to add that extra bit of continuity, and considering what happened to Han in that flick, this must take place before Tokyo Drift.

They barely succeed with their caper, so Dom calls it quits because the heat from this past jacking along with Dom's added heat as a fugitive from U.S. justice will only make things worse on the entire team. They all go their separate ways, but Dom ends up sneaking off and leaving Letty in the middle of the night; he knows it's a matter of time before he's caught and he doesn't want to take her down with him. We then jump forward to Dom fixing cars in Panama, where he gets a long-distance call from Los Angeles; it's his sister Mia with bad news -- Letty's been murdered.

Now before you get all "What the fuck, dude! Why the fuck did you spoil that shit?", then my response is I don't give a fuck. I'll spoil shit if I think it doesn't matter, and you know what? It doesn't matter here. Besides, this is all in the first 20 minutes of the movie and I can't really give you a plot synopsis without giving that shit away. Also, this is a Fast and Furious movie, and I don't think motherfuckers watch these flicks for the intricate plots and surprising twists.

So Dom treks back to L.A. on a mission to find out why Letty was killed and to kill the motherfucker or motherfuckers responsible. It's pretty cool, because for a short while it almost looks like we're going to get the Vin Diesel version of Payback, but it doesn't quite work out that way. Meanwhile, Paul Walker is back as Brian O'Conner, now an FBI agent (and introduced with a shot that reminded me of Warren Beatty's final scene in The Parallax View) trying to bring down a major Mexican drug kingpin. The movie goes between our two main characters' efforts, and if you guessed that Brian's mission and Vin's mission will somehow intertwine along the way, then you's a smart mo-fo. Not really.

Poor Michelle Rodriguez, always getting killed off potential long-lasting franchises. I take that back, I don't feel sorry for anyone with more digits in their last bank account statement than me. The last thing I saw her in was the last fifteen minutes of a movie called The Breed, which was alternately dull and lame-as-fuck. I remember talking about her with a couple of friends, one who found her attractive and the other who didn't. Me, I'm in the middle. I guess it depends on how she's photographed and dressed. I didn't really care for her in the first film, but she cleans up pretty well for this one.

One of the side characters here is a fellow FBI agent that does nothing but look and act like an asshole. He's got this snide and smug demeanor to him, and he's always making fucked-up comments to Brian and I kept waiting for the moment that Brian would grab him and slam this motherfucker against the wall and scare the shit out of him. I figured it would happen near the end of the movie, and about halfway through when he comes up to Brian to give him more shit, I thought to myself "Goddammit, how I wish he could just give this motherfucker the business right now rather than later". Well, I guess the movie read my mind, because Brian not only grabs this cocksucker, but he proceeds to BEAT THE FUCK out of this prick. I've never seen the asshole side character in a movie get dealt with like this, usually they get one punch in the nose or they're shoved against a wall or they get embarrassed in front of their superiors. Not this motherfucker. He gets fucking OWNED and it is a beautiful sight to see, made even more beautiful when we see all the blood on his face afterwards. It's nice when a PG-13 movie gets all R-rated on you like that. The entire audience cheered and then spent the next couple of minutes laughing about it. That, my friends, is the magic of cinema right there. In a fuckin' Vin Diesel movie.

The bad guys have the requisite hot chick henchwomen, and she's an interesting bird, this one. She's very pretty and very tall -- she's pretty tall. She's also a little too skinny, but it actually fits her. Here is the rare girl that actually looks like she was built with this body, rather than forcefully trying to retrofit it like most Hollywood chicks. There's a scene where she tries to pick up on The Diesel and I liked the way it ended and so did the girl sitting behind me apparently, because she went "Awww" afterwards.

There's a scene that takes place in a party, filled with smoke, loud music and blacklighted rooms. It's been a long time since I been to a party with a blacklit room. I miss that shit. But I bet if I go to a blacklighted room now, I'll only succeed in embarrassing myself when all the cumstains show up all over my clothes, so maybe it's better that I never go back to one of those.

Let me count off each of the flicks and how I felt about them. I liked the first one, I thought it was entertaining and I'm a sucker for nice cars and shots of girl booty. The second one was one of the greatest homosexual love stories ever committed to celluloid, alongside Bulletproof with Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans. And Tokyo Drift was a decent flick, definitely better than the second, and it looked like they were starting to veer out into other characters and adventures. But Fast & Furious, while obviously an attempt to grab more cash and to heat up the careers of Diesel and company, manages to be almost as good as the first.

I say almost because the original thrill of seeing rice-rockets and muscle cars racing it out is gone, but what you do get with this one is a darker movie that can be considered a true follow-up to the first movie. You can skip parts 2 & 3 completely and miss nothing. The only downside of this one having a darker tone (for the most part) is that you do kinda miss the occasional moment of having a dude like Ja Rule screaming out "MENAGE!" or "NOOO MONICA!!!" and you miss the sincere douchyness of Paul Walker calling people "dog". But it's nice to see something that reminds me of my early twenties while watching these actors acting like they never missed a beat in between all these years. We're partying like it's 2001! (Minus the blacklight.)

I know it's only been 8 years, but it might as well be 18 the way things have gone for me. Things were simpler back then; you can walk across the street at night safely, candy bars cost a nickel, and all I did was party and get laid, I had my whole life ahead of me. That's all bullshit -- all I did was watch movies and eat. But I DID have my whole life ahead of me, and while I still watch movies and eat, it's less about joie de vivre and more about Jesus Christ I Need To Forget What A World Of Shit I Live In, you know what I mean? No you don't.

In my self-misery wallow, I forgot all about Jordana Brewster! She's in this movie too. Damn, I was totally into her but I guess as soon as the calender year changed from 2001 to 2002, she became out-of-sight, out-of-mind with me. But it's nice to see her again, and I guess it says a lot about me that I found her fashion of relatively demure styles hotter than the latex tampons worn by the hoochie-mamas running around in this movie. She seems to be dressed in what I could only best describe as late-90's Jennifer Love Hewitt. I guess I like the "nice girl" look.

During the movie, the guys down the row from me kept making commentary. I was okay with it because this is kinda what I wanted from this crowd anyway. It was amusing to hear one dude in particular saying things like "That bitch is bomb" or "That fucking shit is fuckin' fake shit" until his own friends told him to keep it down. At one point he tried to light a joint until his friend told him to stop. Another from the group started snoring near the end and his green-haired girlfriend had to shake him awake. The loud-talker was also downing tall cans of Bud and being rather conspicuous about it. That bothered me.

Back when I still drank, I loved sneaking in booze to the movies, but at least I was really fuckin' stealth about it. These kids today, they don't care if anyone else in the theater knows, and then they bitch when they get ratted on. Hey bitches, the rats can't rat if there's nothing to rat about in sight. Anyway, this kid ended up knocking over one of his open cans and soon the scent of spilled beer entered my delicate nasal cavities. I bet that's going to smell up the theater something nice tomorrow afternoon. To add insult to injury, the group left all their trash behind, beer cans included. It's these kinds of motherfuckers who ruin it for the rest of us moviegoing alcoholics & druggies, the ones who pick up after ourselves and don't make it obvious to others that we're sneaking a drink or a puff or a snort.

Okay, I'm wrapping this one up. Here's the deal -- you give me a decent action-adventure movie with flashy cars, cool races, fast chases and nice looking ladies, all for a $7 ticket price? That works enough for me. But add the extra nostalgic value and now you've got a friend for life, and I guess that's why you shouldn't really put any value on what I've been saying about this movie. But then I'm sure you haven't put any value on anything I've said in this entire blog either, right? If so, then you are very wise.