Monday, February 28, 2011

You know, I wasn't going to write this one because I'm sick, but fuck it, I spent gas money and froze my ass off to see this shit, so I'm writing about this shit

"Is it cold in here, or is it just me?" is a line twice-said in Demolition Man and the answer is Fuck Yes It's Cold, because it was. I know I'm just a pussified Californian because what passes for a heatwave in the East Coast was fucking my shit up with a serious case of the Brrr's, but you know what? Fuck you, East Coast, that shit ain't my fault, it's not my fault I live in a place with awesome weather and therefore can't handle anything below Freezing. Anyway, yeah, Demolition Man played at the New Beverly Cinema for a midnight show on Saturday (or Sunday, I guess) and I guess that shit is even more popular than I thought because the motherfucker was packed and damn near sold out despite the bitter chill.

Phil Blankenship showed up in his usual all-black ensemble, then would take deep audible breaths in between his extemporaneous paragraphs about what was playing next month at the New Bev (St. Quentin is programming March's schedule, it turns out). Turns out he was trying to buy time for the long line of concession-buyers that was snaking out into the audience; waiting until most people are able to get back to their seats is a typically considerate move by the New Bev'rs. The lights went down and I remember a couple of Wesley Snipes trailers; people laughed at the awesome Passenger 57 trailer and properly applauded at John Cutter's "Always bet on black" line. Fuck that, I'm capitalizing that shit because it's so awesome -- "Always bet on BLACK."

The audience then ha-ha'd the Boiling Point trailer, and I'm still wondering who to blame for that. I mean, I've seen Boiling Point and thought it was a pretty decent low-key crime drama/character piece from James B. Harris; I wouldn't laugh at that movie. The trailer, on the other hand, promotes that shit like it was Passenger 57 II (or Passenger 58 because Passenger 57 2 would look too confusing, that's for sure) with an extra dose of Retard and that's probably why back during one week in the spring of 1993, lots of my friends at school came back the following Monday to complain about going to see the new Wesley Snipes movie that looked Awesome but turned out Lame. I wish these same friends saw the Takeshi Kitano film of the same name, it would be funny to watch their reactions to that one.

In addition to Boiling Point, Demolition Man also came out in 1993, which I'm telling you because it'll add to the following sentence I'm about to write. The movie begins with a shot of a burning Hollywood sign and sounds of chaos and gunfire in the background, and when the onscreen title card declaring this scenario as "Los Angeles 1996" came up, everyone in the audience laughed their asses off, which wasn't much of a difference from how that shit was received when I first saw this flick in the theaters 17-18 years ago (give or take a couple seasons). Then Sylvester Stallone jumps out of a helicopter in some fuckin' bungee-harness thing and screams out PHOENIIIIIIIX while firing his pistol during free-fall and then some girl a couple rows ahead of me must've found that moment some kind of geek-out victory because she shot her arms up into the air like YES and all I could do in response was nod and say Fuckin' A, just like Alfredo Garcia in the movie.

The girl had friends who would cheer as well whenever Sly owned a motherfucker during the opening scene and that is a sentiment that I both understand and share. What I get confused with is someone who is having a good time but does so in a manner that distracts painfully sensitive (read: sober) people like me. I'm talking about this man or woman with an unfortunate distinct giggle in the audience. I'll do my best to describe it in the writing, but it's really something you had to hear to understand. It went something like UH-HEGH-HEGH-HEGH and it sounded like a baby's giggle with the pitch lowered down to the Satan's Minion setting and I've yet to figure out if it came from a man or a woman and even worse, I couldn't figure out the age range of said horrible laugh-er. I turned (so did a couple other people near me) but couldn't find this person.

To make things worse, he/she with the Rosemary's Baby giggle was mostly out-of-sync with the audience, so his/her laugh usually stood out during moments that should mostly be the property of the film's soundtrack. I wonder if this person had a different sense-of-humor than everyone else, or if this person knew he/she was making a spectacle of him/herself and did it on purpose. The Me of 5 years ago would guess the former, but Current Me thinks the worst of people now and assumes the latter. "Hey everyone, listen to my 'funny' laugh!" this cunt/dick probably thought, knowing it would be funny to his/her fellow jerkoffs in the audience.

Or maybe -- most likely -- I'm the jerkoff, and I'm just hard to have fun around. I mean, the guy next to me started taking slugs from his flask and I could smell the Jack Daniels and I was actually being a prissy girl about it, all Oh My Delicate Nasal Passages Are Offended, but to be real with ya'll, I was probably pissed at my current status as Former Drinker and even more pissed that I did not arrive slightly toasted in another manner. It is a midnight show, after all. Maybe I'm just a player hater.

Since the good guy is an eye-tie and the bad guy is a (Always Bet On) Black, it leaves a motherfucker wondering if that shit was intentional. Not in a Fueling The Race War kind-of-way, but in a Rocky I-III reclaiming past glory kind-of-way. Back when Eddie Murphy was funny and publicly homophobic, he had a hilarious bit on Italians coming out of the movie theater after a Rocky movie and I wonder if the same shit happened with this one. Alright John Spartaaaann! Alright, Sly!

I thought I read somewhere that Schwarzenegger was considered for the role of Simon Phoenix and I'm glad that shit didn't happen, even though I'm sure the Phoenix character would've been written differently to cater to Arnold's strengths, because I'm guessing lines like "They defrosted you just so you could lasso my piddly ass? Damn, you been had!" wouldn't sound the same coming from the Governator, nor would it sound right to hear Arnie extol the virtues of the scent emanating from an open manhole, saying it reminds him of biscuits and gravy.

As it is, they got Wesley Snipes, who is clearly having a ball with his villainous turn as Phoenix. Usually, I think the actor-ly thing to do when given a villain role would be to look at this shit from the bad guy's perspective; because the bad guy probably doesn't think he's the bad guy, he's just trying to do his thing. But Snipes probably realized way early the fuck on that this was no Spike Lee joint and he's not playing a motherfucker in a wheelchair (see: The Waterdance, no really, see that shit, it's really good) and then he probably called his people to find out if the check cleared, and after that, he just decided to just be one of those bad guys who are bad for the sake of being bad and have some fuckin' fun with it.

It's not like he's the only one. I mean Stallone is having a little fun with it, he knows this shit is pretty ridiculous, but he still tries to have his human moments, and besides, he's the hero and has to be kinda serious during these proceedings in comparison to the bad guy. But Snipes, he is totally comic-booking it up because he can, and I guess you really have no choice but to play it that way when your character's hair is dyed blond and your eyes are of mismatched color. Holy shit -- in that case, I think we need to keep a close look on Kate Bosworth because she isn't a natural blonde and her eyes are different colors too; for all we know, that chick's a super-villain in training.

So, Stallone's character John Spartan managed to capture Simon Phoenix and run all the way down a large building just before it completely explodes (they don't call him the Demolition Man for nothing) but it's all just a big Fail because the hostages he was trying to save were in that building. That means he joins Phoenix in "cryo-prison", where they put you in frozen isolation from the rest of the world. Cut to 2032, and society has become a horrifyingly pussied-out utopia of non-violence, political correctness and healthy food options.

You can't even swear in this motherfucker -- BUZZ! -- without getting a ticket from some nearby monitoring device for "violating the verbal morality". Shit --BUZZ! -- you can't even mutter that shit -- BUZZ! -- to yourself because that still counts as a "sotto voce" violation. Somehow, Phoenix escapes during a parole hearing (!) and trots off to "San Angeles", where he's like a kid in a candy store -- that is, if the kid is a psychopathic murdering criminal and instead of Snickers, lollipops and M&M's, you have weak unarmed shaky emo motherfuckers -- BUZZ! -- who need to get daily affirmations from a computer kiosk just to get by.

Faced with a bad guy they don't know how to handle, the San Angeles Police Department defrost Spartan and off he goes, looking to take this motherfucker down. Along for the ride is the fuckin' Gallo Negro himself, Benjamin Bratt and Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock. I like Sandra Bullock, and I was happy to see her win an Oscar for that movie My Pet Negro, but I still think she should've thanked Lori Petty because if it wasn't for Tank Girl getting fired from Demolition Man, they wouldn't have had Bullock replace her and who knows what would've happened.

For all we know, if Bullock never got her break, then maybe it wouldn't have been her driving the bus in Speed which would create a chain of events that leads to Miss Congeniality never happening and while I know some of you hipsters are probably reacting to that scenario with "Good!", I am going to disagree and once again declare my love for that fuckin' movie and if any of you want to take it up with me, we can square that shit out in the muthafuckin' Octagon. Because I don't fuckin' play around when it comes to Miss Congeniality. As far as Part 2, OK, I'll stand for a little shit-talking, but that's about it. Hey Hollywood, you know there's always room for a part 3, you know. Special Agent Gracie Hart could take up a new partner after the one from part 2 dies in a terrible multiple-gunshot accident, and the new partner could be played by The Adorable Amy Adams. I already have the script written if you want to get that shit on the road tout de suite.

Speaking of adorable, Bullock's performance is sprinkled with liberal doses of it. Her Lenina Huxley (ah, looks like someone's a fuckin' reader) character is obsessed with the 20th century and while the idea of someone fondly looking back at a time when shit was more violent might be kind of disturbing, I don't agree, it's kind of endearing, actually. But you want to know what does disturb me about lovely Lenina? The fact that she has a poster of Lethal Weapon 3 -- the worst in the series, I say -- on her office wall. I bet you she has an excuse, though -- the poster for part 3 was probably the cheapest one she could get (who wants that shit?) and it's not like she could afford to get part 1 or 2 on a cop's salary. Anyway, I got a kick out of her unintentional nerdery whenever she tries to use a late 90's phrase and gets it wrong or when she excitingly claps her hands when her favorite "mini-tune" plays on the radio, and if I ever have to be kicked out of some lady's house, I can only hope she does it in as cute a manner as Huxley's stomp-on-the-floor-while-pointing-toward-the-exit move.

Demolition Man is one of those movies with a cast that looks even better with the passing years. You have Sandra Bullock before she was a star, Benjamin Bratt before he became more established, the fuckin' warden from The Shawshank Redemption is being an asshole to Sly, that crazy fuckin' King George III is in this bitch trying to out-utopia his current utopia, you got Denis Leary when he was still the guy from MTV (as opposed to now being known as the guy who ripped off Bill Hicks), former governor/current conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura is here (not only does he not have time to bleed, he doesn't even have time for a line of dialogue), that fuckin' douche from MTV Sports shows up fast enough for you to not notice or give a fuck, and last but not least, the late great Glenn Shadix is here to further awesome this shit up with a Heathers vibe by saying "Greetings and Salutations" to everybody, which might be co-writer Daniel Waters' little shout-out to himself.

According to Blankenship, Mr. Waters was going to try to make it to the screening for a Q&A, but he was too busy getting drunk with hip filmmakers and stars after the Independent Spirit Awards to attend. Let me clarify, the part about Waters possibly attending was what Phil said, the rest of it is me projecting. But hey, the guy wrote Heathers and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, so he can do whatever the fuck he wants, as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I raise my glass to Mr. Waters for his past work. Mr. Waters, here's to you -- suckin' my dick! OHHHHHHHHH!

Also, Deuce Bigelow has a brief role in the movie, and I don't think I caught his name in the credits. What up with that? Did he watch the final cut and realize he wasn't able to ruin it, hence his displeasure with the final product and his request to go without credit? Only he and the producers know for sure. Whatever, he's not paying my bills, so fuck that guy. The movie was directed by Marco Brambilla, which gave me a Latin Pride boner back when I was a kid, but then I found out he's really a Canadian eye-tie, so fuck him too.

You know, I'm being unfair to the guy. He did a great job with this flick, the action was chaotic without being confusing and the whole look of the film is pretty tight too (calm down, I'm also giving credit to the late Alex Thomson's cinematography and whoever the fuck did the production design). I don't know how much this movie cost to make, but I'm sure you see every penny of it on the screen. There's a shot in the beginning, when Spartan is about to attempt his free-fall drop onto the building; there's all these tracer bullets being fired towards the helicopter hovering over the roof, fuckin' searchlights moving around, all bordered by fire and little explosions -- and it's pretty fuckin' spectacular to watch.

The music by Julie Taymor's husband is pretty epic for the most part; the shit that plays during the opening action sequence (and the climax) is probably my favorite bit from him. The only track I didn't like was the one that would play whenever Phoenix was doing his thing, it's like a mixture of White Guy Scratching The Turntable and this weird scratchy 60's blues guitar riff that would come on and every time I heard it, I got the douchechills something awful. Also, I like Sting but he almost manages to suck out all the goodwill earned by the movie with his theme song. Motherfucker shoulda spent less time having Tantric sex with the chick from Fair Game and more time trying to write a badass song.

It's funny that one character says something to the effect of "no kiss kiss, no bang bang" because that's kinda what the action scenes are like in this movie. It seems like every scene between Stallone and Snipes involves a lot of dialogue in between the attempted ownage, a lot of dialogue:

Phoenix: I've been dreaming about killing you for 40 years!

(Phoenix fires his gun at Spartan)

Spartan: Keep dreaming! 

(Spartan fires his shotgun at Phoenix)

It's almost like the gunfire is interrupting their conversation, the bullets are the exclamation marks at the end of their sentences. I mean, these guys can't do a single thing without prefacing it with some line. "You're on TV!" sayeth the Spartan, right before swinging a television set at Phoenix. Usually, you say that shit AFTER you own a guy, not before. Plus, it's kind of weird that in a couple cases, one guy will ask the other guy a question and then fire at him. I'm like, what the fuck, don't you want to hear an answer? If you kill him, you'll never find out!

Back to Brambilla; so the guy then went on to make Excess Baggage because star/producer Alicia Silverstone wanted him to direct it, leaving me amused at the thought of Cher from Clueless watching Wesley Snipes using a poor guy's severed eyeball to escape from prison and then declaring "That's who I want to direct my rom-com!" In fact, it was also her idea to cast Benicio Del Toro (back when he was just the weird mumbly guy from The Usual Suspects) to play her love interest. Holy shit, Alicia Silverstone is a fuckin' mad genius, when you get right down to it. I'll have to watch that one again, because I didn't like it the first time, but who knows. I sure as fuck won't waste my time with Brambilla's other stuff though, because they look like lame TV-movies about dinosaurs, which come to think of it, I think those flicks ARE lame TV-movies about dinosaurs.

I enjoyed Demolition Man even more with this viewing; maybe it was the venue or maybe the movie improved with age, or maybe it was a little of both. I saw this movie back in '93 at a movie theater that had the best popcorn, so naturally that place eventually closed. Then I saw it a year later at a friend's house, and now I'm no longer friends with him. My third viewing was at the New Beverly and now I'm afraid something bad is going to happen. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure Bosworth and Silverstone are going to be behind it and it will be hot to look at.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

TOM ATKINS is in this fucking movie, that's why you should pay money to see it

I arrived kinda early, so I stopped for a falafel because sometimes you're very hungry but at the same time you know that popcorn is both too expensive and not filling enough and when you have 20 minutes to spare before an early afternoon showing of Drive Angry 3D, you go for the falafel place. I ate that delicious terrorist cuisine in my car, listening to Jim Breuer's show on Sirius Radio. He was talking about a longtime fan/listener who went by the name Pocono Bob. This guy went everywhere preaching the gospel of Breuer and his Regulators, even on other radio shows. I remember once going on the radio show's message board and seeing that Pocono Bob's avatar was a pic of Nicolas Cage from Gone In 60 Seconds (the Angelina Jolie bullshit, not the original), which I thought was an interesting coincidence, considering that I was about to watch a Nic Cage joint. Anyway, the reason for all the Pocono Bob tribute was because Pocono Bob died of Cancer, because that's what Cancer does.

I do a pretty good job of keeping myself away from commercials and previews, and avoiding movie website talk about the same, so for the most part, all I know about a movie going in is the title and the actors and sometimes the basic premise. All I knew about Drive Angry 3D is that Cage was in it, Wes Craven's former editor directed (and yes, edited) it and that the poster looked like Gone In 60 Seconds II: Money Never Sleeps. Oh, and that according to the poster it was "Shot In 3D" which was written in type nearly as big as the title itself. That means that studios now have to distinguish their 3D movies from the shitty upconverts that have saturated the marketplace and have made many a moviegoer feel ripped off. "Shot In 3D" is basically saying "Hey guys, our 3D looks good, we promise! No three-dimensional noses here!"

So the movie starts off in Hell, looking kinda like the CGI hellscape from the 1997 film Spawn, only they added a city skyline and a bridge. Remember Spawn? I remember that shit. I remember being hyped as fuck for the first two-thirds of 1997 with my friends -- with the majority of young Americans, really -- and I would read some of the comics from my comic-nerd neighbor and I would tape the HBO cartoon series that aired Fridays at midnight during the summer (not like I had fuckin' parties to go to, or chicks to bang). Then my friends and I would catch the trailers on E! and in the local movie theater, and that shit looked fucking Spectacular. I'd see Michael Jai White in promos and declare that this motherfucker was gonna be HUGE, he was gonna be showing old-ass Schwarzenegger and Stallone how to be an action badass. Damn, Spawn was going to be THE SHIT, I tells ya. We were ready for that fuckin' movie. Then we saw the fuckin' movie.

Hard to believe, but I'm a glass-half-full motherfucker and I remember kinda defending the movie to my pissed-off/crushed pals, looking for things to like about it, but secretly inside I knew the truth -- Spawn was a majorly disappointing attempt at being a cool comic book movie. Anyway, I'm not here to bury Spawn, I'm here to praise Drive Angry 3D.

So yeah, it starts in Hell with William Fichtner narrating some shit I don't fuckin' remember. The important thing is that he's some kind of spectral presence known only as The Accountant, this suit-wearing motherfucker who I've yet to decide as being either an emissary of that bitch-ass Satan or if he works for both sides, but basically his job is making sure the right people die when it's their time and they end up in the right place based on their behavior on Earth. Shit man, I'll just say he's The Grim Reaper and be done with it, because that's what he pretty much is. Whatever the case, he keeps referring to "badass motherfuckers" so much during his narration, for a second I thought maybe I wrote this fuckin' guy's narration, you know?

After the Hellscape nonsense and The Accountant's narration, we then cut to some shit going down in Colorado (played by the tax-incentive-giving state of Louisiana) where this dude is car-chasing three redneck assholes and it ends with some nice ownage -- 3D ownage! -- that involves blood and limbs flying towards the screen. The dude is played by Nicolas Cage, who I will still declare as one of the most awesome fucking actors in the history of the cinematic arts. I'm sorry if you disagree (and many of you do), but I love how this guy treats every performance as performance art. Even in his most "boring" parts -- GODDAMN IT SOME MOTHERFUCKER OUTSIDE IS BLOWING A WHISTLE CONSTANTLY AND ITS BUGGING THE SHIT OUT OF ME I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT NOR CAN I THINK GAY WITH THE INCESSANT FUCKING WHISTLE BLOWING BY WHAT I'M SURE IS A LITTLE KID DOING IT FUCK FUCK STOP FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS OK HE STOPPED -- he still manages to find something odd and/or interesting to do or display.

In the case of Drive Angry, his character John Milton (named after that Paradise Lost-writing mofo, I reckon) is a bit on the morose side and he doesn't Turbo/Nitro-charge his line-readings or mannerisms, but that's probably because there's enough crazy shit going on around him that the only way to look crazier is to actually underplay his shit in the midst of all the bloody, overacting insanity. Cage was probably like How Dare You to his fellow actors and sure enough, he found a way to show those assholes that you never mess with a pro, motherfucker.

I mean, this is a movie populated by people who swear so much, you'd think that saying the word Fuck allows them to continue breathing oxygen (in other words, these people can probably step in and write some ramblings for this blog). This is a movie where the bad guys are not only Satanists, but redneck Satanists and that's even scarier. No shit, I remember once -- I'm not proud of this shit -- I was bored out of my mind in Oklahoma (how I got there is way too long to get into) and I stepped into this pawn shop because the neon sign in front said GUNS and I love me some phallic symbols.

So I'm there, looking at the Colt Pythons and Colt Anacondas and the whole time I'm being stared at by these Stock Central Casting Redneck types behind the counter. It's OK because I'm judging them and they're judging me (filthy wetback) and right behind them, I shit you not, hanging proudly on the wall and taking up most of the space, was a Confederate flag. The idea of those kind of dudes worshipping Satan and trying to sacrifice babies during a full moon so that Hell can come to Earth is frightening and frankly, really fuckin' useless because we already have Hell on Earth, we live that shit everyday. Ain't that right, Egypt? I'm sorry, Egypt, I'm confusing you with Libya. Whatever, you're all terrorists to us. Hey, don't get angry with me, I'm just speaking for America (fuck yeah). We love your falafels, though.

Yeah, so that's what the awesome fuckin' Cage is dealing with here; redneck Satanists who are led by this guy who looks like a younger version of what Billy Bob Thornton currently looks like. This Billy Bob motherfucker is a real fucking asshole villain of the Boo Hiss variety; he thinks he's like the Messiah of Evil (good movie, by the way) or something and he's managed to collect himself quite the army of redneck assholes who live for the Devil with their heads full of devilish things, which is weird because I figure they were all about The Christ over there, but then I figure these Satanists are sick of that shit or just acting out and being all contrary and shit.

The people who cast this movie must also cast Coen brothers films because everyone looks perfect for the part, particularly the redneck army of Satanists. They don't look Hollywood at all (probably because they were most likely locals) and even the way they dress is straight out of some comic book or Luc Besson production; some are dressed in casual hick wear and then you have Billy Bob with his country rock star clothes or this one henchwoman who is dressed like middle management for no apparent reason other than it's fucking awesome to have a bad guy named The Business Woman in the credits.

Billy Bob speaks in very low hissy tones, like he knows he's the shit, he probably genuinely believes he's the Evil Messiah and not just huckstering these poor Nascar-watching fools he's gotten to follow him. I wanted to see this fuck get dealt with big time, and it's that kind of movie, the kind where he indeed gets his shit dealt with hardcore by the same motherfucker who drank himself to death in front of Elisabeth Shue; an asshole move, when you think about it, because if there was anyone to ever be sober for...

Cage hooks up with this annoyingly hot waitress played by Amber Heard, and she's absolutely smoking throughout the running time, but in real life she's dating a chick which is both a turn-on and a disappointment because obviously that was the only thing that was keeping her from getting with me. I liked that Heard's character is never treated as a potential love interest for the Cage, she's just his partner in Billy Bob-hunting. Movies always try to shoehorn in romance in shit that doesn't need romance and it never works. Hey, don't get me wrong, I can be a weepy bastard watching two overpaid motherfuckers get googly-eyed over each other while the music swells up and Celine Dion does her thing but not when it's just a strictly calculated move brought on by some suit at the studio who is bitching about getting "the female dollar". Hell, Heard's character isn't even treated as a potential fuck buddy -- Cage is busy fucking around with 40-year-old waitresses.

By the way, can someone tell me how to enter the alternate dimension that this movie takes place in, because apparently in Drive Angry World, every waitress wants to bang you, at least if you look like Nicolas Cage. These waitresses, they're perfectly cast because I totally buy them as someone you'd see working a Waffle House in the middle of some long godforsaken stretch of highway. They are as horny as the guy who wrote the screenplay, I reckon (sure enough, the writer is also in the movie; he's introduced fucking some broad in his room -- he's also a big buff dude, so I'm just joking with you, Todd Farmer, please don't beat me up. No, I take it back -- fuck you, Todd Farmer; you're a screenwriter, you're not supposed to look hard, you're supposed to look scrawny and nerdy have Coke-bottle glasses and speak with a voice made for This American Life).

In case you haven't gotten the hint yet, this is one of those over-the-top slightly Miike-esque bad taste kind-of movies; it feels like something Neveldine/Taylor would've written, in fact, I'd say Drive Angry is like a Neveldine/Taylor script directed by someone with a more old-school sense of action filmmaking, like, I don't know, Andrew Davis or somebody. It's interesting (and very telling) that even though this movie was directed and edited by a dude who formerly made his living cutting movies, there's little-to-no half-second razor edits and Confuse-O-Vision that is pretty much the norm nowadays in action movies. I think Wes Craven's former editor made a wise choice; it's like he figured that this script is so fucking nutty, to fill it with flashy editing and Michael Bay-style camera moves, it would overwhelm the audience to the point of exhaustion to do that shit.

It's a good choice, really. I mean, you have a scene where The Fuckin' Cage is having a shootout with Satanists while fucking some chick in a motel room. If that's not all, he's holding his .45 in one hand and a bottle of Jack in the other. And if that's still not all, he's fucking, drinking and shooting while still fully clothed. If that was shot with a new angle every 1/12th of a second and with every shot spinning around the room and with constant fast-forwards and rewinds and whatever else the fuckin' Avid allows you to do, you wouldn't be able to take in how fuckin' insanely awesome that scene is.

I had a blast with this fuckin' movie; in between the cool action (in cool real 3D) there are dialogue scenes with very interesting characters. I read a tweet from someone who said this movie was made for DVD chapter stops but I'm not sure I completely agree because I was never bored at all during this. My favorite non-ownage scene is where a character describes the worst thing about living in Hell; I'm going to go ahead and spoil it, this character talks about how the worst punishment in Hell is that you're given a video feed where all you see is the suffering of those you left behind. It's a neverending loop of all the bad shit that happens to your loved ones, you don't get to see the other shit in their lives, just the worst moments, the anguish, the anger, the depression, the helplessness, over and over again, and you can't do anything about it. Compared to that, this character says, burning in a lake of fire is nothing. You think Hell is other people? Shit, it's even worse -- Hell is watching other people suffer. Go suck a dick, Sartre.

The whole movie was Good Times as far as I'm concerned. Blood, tits, action, some jokes, 3D, rednecks, David Morse looking really old and grizzled -- it has something for everyone. So it makes sense that nobody is seeing it, they're all watching Suicide Fail and the guy from SNL get into hijinks. The theater I saw it in was empty, which I guess was kinda cool because I was able to loudly asshole it up with some Fuck Yeahs whenever some cool shit happened. If this does poorly, I fear this is just one more step in Cage's career towards DTV-land (say hi to Seagal and Van Damme for me, and keep Snipes' seat warm for when he gets back).

Whatever. I dug it and I'm glad the movie was made so I can watch motherfuckers get owned by an awesome actor with a hot chick in tow and the occasional cheap use of CGI that all takes place in a location that looks to be for Millennium Films what North Carolina was for De Laurentiis Entertainment Group back in the 80's. Thanks for the Good Times, Buff Writer and Wes Craven's former editor. Thanks for being awesome, Nicolas Cage. And thanks for giving me a semi in the movie theater, Amber Heard; I'm lonely and if you ever leave that chick you're with and are looking to drop your standards from an astonishing height, give me a call. I'm in the phone book.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We've got provisions and lots of beer

I watched Phantasm for the first time last year and really enjoyed it, leaving me with an interest in catching the 3 sequels. So I was excited to find out that the New Beverly Cinema was going to screen Phantasm II, allowing me a chance to watch it on the big screen among other fans and first-timers. One of the stars of the film, Sam Phillips was going to attend and give a Q&A afterwards. I'm familiar with Ms. Phillips because she used to host a radio show with another chick named Sheena Metal on 97.1 FM -- "We're two chicks going at it in the middle of the night!" -- and I used to listen to that show because I used to listen to that station and I used to listen to that station because Satellite Radio didn't exist yet and because Howard Stern used to be my homie, used to be my ace.

Unfortunately, I was a little too stoned upon arrival -- I did not know the shit was going to be that strong -- so my memories of the first 20-30 minutes of this evening are hazy at best. I am basing this on my own fragmented recollections and the kindness of the married couple I invited (I made myself the third wheel, YAY!) clearing me up on some things. Before the film, Mr. Phil Blankenship asked the audience how many people had watched the first Phantasm in preparation for tonight's screening (answer: very few) and then a Hatchet II Blu-ray was given out to someone in the audience who got the question right (What do Phantasm II and Hatchet II have in common? The lead character was recast between films). Ms. Phillips then came up to the stage with the casting director of the film (they became friends during production). It's cool to know that she still does radio and it's cool to see that she still carries with her the upbeat nature of the eternally optimistic.

She admitted to being a chatty person during her lengthy intro, but that was fine with me because she seemed very nice and happy to be there and besides, I prefer a non-stop chatterbox at these events to because I get nervous/impatient waiting for them to finish their sentences. Also, I'm a non-stop chatterbox as well, so it's not like I could hate on my own kind. As the intro went on, she read an e-mail from writer/director Don Coscarelli and then I remember hearing something about "vagina hair", I think it had something to do with her being nude in the film and I think she wanted the audience to shout the words "vagina hair" at one point in the movie, but I wasn't taking that chance -- maybe I was making that shit up in my head and I certainly don't want to bring attention to myself that way, or any way, for that matter. I'm not gonna yell "vagina hair" in the middle of the New Beverly Cinema audience unless I'm 100-percent sure I was supposed to.

She also brought up how she pretty much thought she was wrong for her role (the script called for someone with blonde hair and big tits, and Ms. Phillips has brown hair and at the time was bosom-ly challenged; she happily admitted getting implants since, grabbing her chest for effect -- well, it certainly worked on me) but the casting director gave her a shot anyway. The only crime Ms. Phillips committed in this courtroom was the crime of giving away part of the ending, but since this movie is the second part of a four-part series, I let that shit slide. But next time I'll find Sam Phillips in contempt if she pulls that again, regardless of whether she discovered Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash back in Memphis, it doesn't give her the right to spoil the movie.

The munchies were kicking my fat ass, so I excused myself during her intro and stumbled up the aisle, where I noticed Phil talking with a couple people sitting near the back (some dude and his chick). I went to the concession stand and waited until I could get my medium popcorn (they've been out of large for a while, it appears) and then I noticed Phil come out of the aisle entrance and walk over to Michael Torgan (he was working behind the counter) and talk with him in a kind-of This Is Important So I Must Lean In manner. Then some other dude came out from the opposite aisle entrance and asked Phil if everything was OK.

Apparently, based on what Phil told this guy and to the best of my AK-47-clouded memory, some guy in the audience (probably the guy I saw Phil talking to a couple minutes earlier) was being an asshole during the intro (which was still going) and unlike your general well-mannered human being with a soul, he would not stop being an asshole even though Phil had given him the Stop Being An Asshole request. I was reminded of the time Phil got punched in the face by another piece-of-shit whose father did not believe in condoms and whose mother did not believe in abortion. That must've really sucked, but at least a bunch of New Bev patrons came out and held the motherfucker at bay until the police showed up and let the guy go, because the pigs have better things to do than take in some violent asshole who's punching people in the face.

The intro/trivia deal went on for a while, giving me time to scarf down my popcorn without disrupting the movie's soundtrack, then Phil came down and politely stopped Ms. Phillips mid-intro. He told her that he was afraid she might spoil a few more things for the audience and besides, she was more than welcome to stick around after the movie and continue. I think. I mean, I could be creating this in my head as I go on, which would be appropriate given the movie I was about to watch.

The movie starts with this chick named Liz looking through her journal and doing a favor for those in the audience who are unfamiliar with the first film, because she's been writing about her last dream/vision/whatever and it involves a recap of part one. Not that it matters; I don't think the movie makes any more/less sense whether you've seen the first one or not. All you need to know is that there's this creepy Tall Man running a funeral home/mausoleum and he's jacking the corpses and turning them into short, squat Jawa-looking motherfuckers. There are also flying killer balls.

Anyway, Liz has been having these visions/dreams/whatever involving the character of Mike from part one, even drawing pictures of him bordered with what I swear were little cutesy hearts. I don't know if there was a part of the journal with I Heart Mike on it, but I wouldn't have been surprised if there was. I thought it was pretty cool how they took the ending of part one and expanded on it during the opening sequence of part two, and I don't know how much of that was shot specifically for this film or if some of it was like, I don't know, outtakes from the original, because it all matches visually. I think there was like a ten-year gap between films, but they look very much like they were shot at the same time with the same film stock or something.

So Mike has since been spending time in a sanitarium, but bullshits his way out by telling the head doctor that he's all right in the head now, and the doc is like Sure Thing and lets him go. I didn't know it was that easy; I've always been under the fearful assumption that those joints are like a roach motel -- you check in but you won't check out, and the only way one can be truly free in a place like that is if they McMurphy your ass and/or you Brazil your mind into a better place (I remember reading how Robert Evans checked himself into one of those places, but then they wouldn't let him leave; he eventually had to escape. Could be typical exaggerated Evans bullshit, though). Anyway, Mike's ice-cream-truck driving friend Reggie picks him up and tells him that all that shit that happened at the end of Phantasm I and the beginning of Phantasm II never happened, it was all a dream. Then a fuckin' house explodes. Again. That's one of the awesome things about these flicks, you have no fucking idea what is real and what isn't, or if any of this shit even happened in the first place or why it's fucking happening.
In the Phantasm series, there are these flying killer balls that go swooping around the area, looking for someone to kill. Once they smack against an unfortunate schmuck, they hook into the schmuck's head and then a drill comes out and bores into the schmuck's skull, draining the schmuck of blood because the schmuck's head is like a milkshake and the ball is the straw that drinks it up -- which I guess would make The Tall Man in this movie Daniel Plainview. Except these balls are bulimic or something, because all the blood they take in, they immediately shoot out the other end. Gotta watch that figure, I guess.

What a fantastic allegory for the inevitability of Death, these Flying Killer Spheres! Try as you might, once that ball sees you and goes after you, that's your ass. As we get older, the flying sphere gets closer and closer; you can slam every door in the world to block it, you can take all the vitamins in the world, eat the healthiest diet around, exercise and deny yourself the pleasures of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, but that flying sphere -- DEATH -- will casually blast through them and it's only a matter of time before that shit catches up with you and leaves you fucked up in the most permanent manner imaginable.

Whether you're an atheist or a believer, there is a common belief that there is some kind of peace after death; either the peace of nothingness or the peace of going to a place filled with beautiful music and a giant bearded man who is happy to see you and there's my dead grandparents and my dog Shadow. Or you're some fuckin' terrorist who thinks you're going to get 70 non-experienced chicks to blow you -- sure, that sounds like fun. The Phantasm movies fuck me up in totally taking that belief, as well as taking the idea of treating the dead with the highest dignity & utmost respect and massively shitting all over it, and Coscarelli is all MWAHAHAHA about it.

"You think when you die, you go to Heaven. You come to us" says the Tall Man to some priest who was probably simultaneously pissing himself in fright and kicking himself over choosing a lifestyle that could possibly have been a giant waste of time. I mean, here's this old otherworldly motherfucker with superhuman strength and his Flying Killer Balls basically telling you that the only thing that awaits you in the afterlife is a life of slavery as a Jawa-looking motherfucker.

The idea of that scares me more than the idea of some hockey-masked psycho motherfucker, because at least once Psycho Freaky Jason chops you up, that's it for you -- the nightmare is over -- whereas once you're tits-up in the Phantasm universe, shit man, the party's just begun. Even if you don't get hired on as a Jawa-looking motherfucker and you end up getting cremated, there's just something so fucking unnerving about that fate as well; in one scene, this creepy mortician (I guess these are the Tall Man's henchmen) take out the bones that weren't totally crisped and starts beating the shit out of it with a mallet and all I could think was "Fuck, that used to be a human being."

That's some chilling shit -- even Death won't stop you from getting fucked with. I'm reminded of an old Sam Kinison bit where he talked about necrophilia; he imagined himself on the slab, having faced Death and now ready to move on to the other side, completely at peace -- until -- "Wait a minute, what's that? It feels like a dude's dick! IT NEVER ENDS! IT NEVER ENDS!"

While Liz is trying to figure out what's up with seeing Mike in her dreams and trying to make sure her recently-deceased grandfather doesn't end up getting Jawa'd, Mike and Reggie do a kind of miniature version of the Surplus City scene in Commando; they stock up on goods while creating weapons to fuck up the Phantasm-ites with -- Mike makes this pretty cool flamethrower and Reggie puts two double-barreled shotguns together -- and off they go in their badass Hemi Cuda to track down the Tall Man and his traveling circus of grave robbers. Along the way, they pick up this girl on the road named Alchemy, and that's who Sam Phillips plays. Mike and Reggie might be on a life-or-death quest, but a hot chick is a hot chick, and besides, she doesn't get weirded out by the fact that they take pisses together, so that helps.

The first film felt and looked like a bad dream, an atmosphere that is kinda missing in this one (which feels more like a straight horror flick), but in exchange we have bigger set-pieces, gooier special effects, and most importantly, nudity. I don't remember anything particularly new added to this film aside from a new type of Flying Killer Ball and some explosions; it's like Coscarelli was loathe to answer any questions in the first place, if anything, the ratio of Questions Answered to Questions Raised is probably like 1 to 10. He's more interested in adding more to the characters of Mike and Reggie than he is in explaining to you why the Tall Man is doing what he's doing.

But I guess that's part of the fun with this movie; it still manages to entertain you with some pretty awesome shit while remaining coy about What The Fuck Is Going On in this motherfucker. While I missed the nightmare logic of the first film, I still think this sequel is an improvement in overall Good Times. In addition to the creepy and unnerving settings, it's got some cool action moments and it's a genuinely scary film at times. I can see re-watching this one anytime I felt like it, while the first one you gotta be in the proper mood to watch (I watched part one around 4 or 5 in the morning and it felt perfect for that time period).

In the first film, Reggie was just some lame ice-cream-truck driver who liked to sing and play on his guitar; he was in over his head once he got involved with the Tall Man and company -- and in the second film he's still in over his head, but at least this time he's fucking Jawas up with his four-barreled shotgun and slicing Romero-gas-masked motherfuckers up with a chainsaw. That's kind of the best way I can describe the differences between movies, really.

I'm afraid to watch the last two joints; I've been told that Phantasm II is the best of the series, and it's my understanding that the series still isn't complete and probably never will be, so maybe this is a good place to stop. I don't know, I think part III is on Netflix Instant and curiosity will get the best of me, and eventually I'll end up watching part IV and if my worst suspicions are confirmed, I'm gonna feel as assed out as those who watched every episode of Carnivale or Deadwood or ALF.

After the film, Ms. Phillips came up to do a Q&A and give out signed pictures from the film to those who got her trivia questions right AND raised their hand (seriously, people -- raise your fuckin' hand, don't just shout). Phil then asked her about a series of films that she produced called Busty Cops. I don't know what Busty Cops is (probably because I don't have Cinemax anymore) but I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that they're gritty tales about hardened police officers and their day-to-day dangerous attempts to fight crime and the difficulties in working within a system with rules that favor the criminal. It definitely sounds like something I should watch soon; I've yet to see The Lives of Others, but I bet you if that shit was retitled Busty Cops Go To East Berlin, I'd have watched that shit four times by now. Anyway, Phillips talked about how the entire cast & crew worked under pseudonyms for Busty Cops (I think there's 3 of them so far, and parts 4 and 5 are going to be combined into one film) except for her, and then she went on to offer a role to Phil in a future Busty Cops installment.

Hey, if they need someone to play the Chief, I'm game -- Goddammit, Busty Cops! The Mayor is on my ass because of all the damage you created during the last collar! A hundred-thousand dollars in broken K-Y Jelly containers! Next time you pull some shit like that, I'm gonna have your badges, your guns, and your bras on my desk! And then one of the Busty Cops will say something about how that won't happen because they're the best cops on the force, and then the other will say something flirtatious, leaving me powerless at their charms and good looks, leaving me shaking my fist at them as those incorrigible hotties leave my office -- they might make a mess, but goddammit, they get the job done.

A couple things I learned from the trivia questions; first, Phantasm II was shot under the name Morningside (the name of the funeral home) for whatever reason; and second, Brad Pitt was up for the role of Mike, which James LeGros ended up playing (replacing A. Michael Baldwin from the original). That's funny to me because years later, LeGros was in a movie called Living in Oblivion where he played a character that many believed to be based on Brad Pitt. Do you know what the fourth Phantasm film is called? Oblivion. Holy shit, that's some full-circle, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon shit, isn't it? OK, I know it's not, but it'd be pretty fuckin' cool if it was, right? OK, fine, so it wouldn't. Be that way.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fractional Orders Deviating

(Full Disclosure: I know someone who worked on this movie. Not that you care, but I thought I'd let you know that I'm trying to write this and judge it on how I felt sitting through two hours of this shit, rather than what I already knew about it during its production. I wasn't going to do a blog on this, but I am a sucker for people who actually read this garbage and make requests. Haha, "people". More like person, but what a swell person to have asked me.) 

I have a headache. I tried a couple cups of coffee at Norms (along with the Bigger Better Breakfast, which was advertised with this ad inside the restaurant featuring a man holding his hands up triumphantly like Yes, Finally -- $5.99 For A Filling Breakfast!) and a couple aspirin and nothing's doing. It probably didn't help that I was sitting next to a retarded kid in the other booth. He didn't stop wailing and his parents have to act like they're not embarrassed and smile while imagining a different life, a quieter and more fulfilling life had they used a condom or aborted those damaged goods when they had the chance, but alas, they left it up to God, just like Sarah Palin, and now they found out too late that they don't have Sarah Palin money and ladies & gentlemen, raising a waterhead isn't as easy when you're lower middle-class aka poor. We're all going to die and Unconditional Love is going to pull the trigger.

The Dilemma is a serious film racked with tension, filled with sad scenes and occasionally visited by a rare slightly humorous moment, which is weird because I think it's supposed to be a comedy. It stars Vince Vaughn, who I remember being a good-looking tall dude back in the Swingers days but nowadays seems to be trying to beat Jon Favreau in the Fat Fuck game they're apparently competing against each other in. I don't know, I guess I'd have to ask my friends of the female persuasion if they still find Vaughn attractive, because you never know, there are people who still find Alec Baldwin attractive even though he looks like he swallowed Jack Ryan somewhere along the way. I can talk all this Fat shit because I am also a Fat Fuck, only I don't have celebrity bros to compete against, my only competition is Death and Death always wins -- this is something Adam Richman will find out soon enough (have you seen him recently?).

So yeah, Vince Vaughn plays Vince Vaughn, only this time Vince Vaughn's name has been changed to Ronny to protect the innocent, otherwise this is Vaughn right down to his politics; Ronny's a fast/smooth talking operator who wears Don't Tread On Me t-shirts and complains to his wife about paying for a bunch of overweight street kids' medical bills because "we're all on the same healthcare now" or something like that because Fuck Obama, he ain't even American.

I'm reminded of an old interview back around the time that Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake was coming out; I remember one article even went as far as calling Vaughn the new Steve McQueen and even now I still cringe when I think about it. But yeah, they interviewed Favreau for one of these articles and he talked about Vaughn's Republican leanings and how pro-America he was and how once at some fancy French hotel, Vince threw a shit-fit when he noticed that of all the flags outside the hotel, the American one was improperly placed. I'm with Vince there; fuckin' Frenchies thank this great country for saving their asses by pulling some shit like that? Nique ta mère, you ungrateful fucks. I feel like an asshole for having taken the time to learn your fucking language. Take Luc Besson back, he hasn't done shit for me recently anyways.

Because this movie takes place in one of those late 90's/early 00's sitcom alternate universes where you can be fat and sloppy and NOT rich and still get a hot wife, Ronny is hooked up with Jennifer Connelly, who's playing an Oscar-winning actress whose last few films didn't do so well, so fuck it, why not play third fiddle to Fred Claus and The King of Queens, right? Mrs. Paul Bettany is such a beautiful woman, I actually got lost a couple times during the movie just taking in her lovely face -- she is my ultimate argument for watching movies on the big screen, rather than on some bullshit iPod -- and it says a lot about her beauty that she still manages to be so luminous even after going on the Hollywood Stick Figure diet. I like Jennifer Connelly 2.0 as much as I liked Jennifer Connelly 1.0 (The Rocketeer, The Hot Spot), but like homeboy said in Innocent Blood, "you're a good-lookin' broad, but I gotta tell you, a little meat on the bones never goes out of style".

Since hangdog big-gut Vince is going with Jennifer Connelly, that means Paul Blart: Mall Cop is married to precious little Winona Ryder, who's eyes are even wider than usual, probably out of disbelief that she's married to this tubby bastard. She used to be cinematically hooked-up with pretty boys like Ethan Hawke and Johnny Depp, now she's making do with Adam Sandler and Kevin James and I'm sure in her next film she'll give an Oscar-worthy performance getting all up on Rob Schneider and/or David Spade and acting like she wants it while being grateful for the work. My crush on Winona Ryder has not waned though, even after noticing this time that she isn't quite the young pixie she once was. Further proof that Life Is A Motherfucker -- she's getting older, we're all getting older, and it's fucking depressing.

For the most part, I'm in total agreement with the old saying "You're only as old as you feel" because even now at the eve of Carousel, with my palm blinking, I feel like I'm still 20 years old -- a fat sedentary 20-year-old, but a 20-year-old nonetheless. The only time I feel old is when I listen to some of this shit the young kids who won't get off my lawn are listening to. But when I see an actress I grew up watching/went down masturbating starting to exhibit a little bit of age, never mind if she's aging like a fine wine, I'm still dragged kicking and screaming into The Cold Harsh Reality that we're all getting old.

Most movies now feature people my age, actors I remember playing high schoolers, then they moved to college students, then aimless young adults -- and now they're playing mothers and fathers and responsible adults and that fucks me up. Fuckin' Donnie Darko is playing a fuckin' medication salesman? Natalie Portman played a mother the year before and now she's going to be a mother this year? What the fuck is this bullshit? What is this getting older bullshit? Trust me, I'm no Peter Pan Syndrome motherfucker but I don't feel like going to bed early either and I don't like being reminded that I should be going to bed early, know what I mean? 

Anyway, Vince Vaughn and Paul Blart are the best of friends and they have that whole bromance thing going, and ultimately that's what The Dilemma is, it's a bromantic film about one bro wondering what to do after finding out that his bro's wife is sleeping with G.I. Joe behind his back. It doesn't help that they're on the clock with some American auto company (we still have those?), working on creating what basically amounts to a sound system you install in an electric car, that way it will sound like an old muscle car, not like some faggy putt-putt hybrid.

There was a whole brouhaha over the word "gay" being used in the movie -- not even the movie, it was in the trailer, the movie hadn't even come out yet and people were all up in arms over it. Because when Vince Vaughn says Gay in the movie, he means Gay as in Lame or Stupid or Has Sex With Men, but when other people hear Gay, they think of Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepherd and all those high-school kids killing themselves over being ostracized and bullied. In the end, the filmmakers took it out of the trailer, but they still kept it in the movie, probably because they figure those gay dudes aren't going to pay to see a film that uses a word they don't agree with. Based on the box-office performance, I don't think a lot of straights are paying to watch this movie either.

As it is, Ronny Vaughn uses Gay to describe how electric cars are seen in the general public's eyes, and there's a good scene where Ronny compares these putt-putts with more manly vehicles from the 1960's. "Took more virginities than Francis Albert Sinatra" says Ronny about the Plymouth Barricuda, and he's got a point because I really don't know how one can get business done in a fuckin' Hyundai. My first car was a 1965 Ford Mustang and man, I can only imagine all the action I would've had in that car if I actually had the balls to ask a girl out back then. I never did acquire the balls, but that was OK because soon I was well into acquiring booze and weed -- and my friend, that is all the balls one needs.

I liked how Vaughn's character slowly loses his shit, which is a big deal for someone who is very good at keeping his wits about (it's Paul Blart who is generally more of the worry-wart); he admits to Connelly early on that he sees Paul Blart and Ryder as heroes -- because they're two people so happy and in love with each other -- but after catching Ryder cheating on Blart, his entire foundation has been shaken and it's fucking him up and he doesn't know how to deal with it. My favorite scene involves Vaughn sitting alone at a bench, talking to God, getting choked up and teary-eyed and basically kinda wishing this wasn't happening because he can't handle it and because it's his bro that it's happening to. His fucking foundations, people. Shaken like a muthafucka.

Your foundations would probably shake too if you had those two bro-mosexuals pacing up and down your floor; I'm sorry, I can't get over this shit: Paul Blart has always been a shorter, squat Fred Flintstone, so there's no surprise there, but Vince Vaughn -- the Steve McQueen of 1998 -- he used to be lean and mean. Now he's just mean -- in The Dilemma, he keeps talking about these fat kids he met on the street, he keeps referring to them as fat and I couldn't stop laughing at the blackest pot in the fucking world talking about some fucking kettles. They don't call him Vince "Big Balls" Vaughn for nothing, I guess. That's because they never called him Big Balls, I just made that up. My doctor would probably call me Big Balls, that is, if I had medical insurance, but I don't, so when I drop dead of the Big C someone will probably go "Oh, so that's why his testicles were getting larger."

It doesn't help Vaughn's self-delusion that the movie still finds ways to visually fuck him over; side views that reveal just how much more Vaughn there is to Vince nowadays, or close-ups of him gobbling up sloppy spoons of cereal or slicing a huge piece of cake and shoving it into the same mouth that kissed many a starlet in films past. Should it be a surprise that Connelly's character is a chef? Probably not. Later on, he references the Donner Party and we're even treated to a quick flashback of said party (because it was necessary, I guess) and while he talks about these cannibal motherfuckers, I'm thinking Jesus Christ, Does Everything Have To Involve Eating With This Guy?! Haven't you seen Boyz N The Hood? Now one of us is going to get eaten!

He gets around in this movie by leaving his shirt untucked; the untucked shirt is my specialty (it's both a stylish choice and a way to slightly disguise the gut -- but let's be serious here, the untucked shirt is as effective as a fucking combover, you ain't fooling nobody) and if a movie star has to dress like me to get by, then be grateful that you at least have a bed of money to cry on, because me, I'm fuckin' broke. But not too broke for pizza, right, guys? HIGH FIVE!

The Other Man is played by G.I. Joe and he's probably the funniest thing in the movie, and yes, I just called him a thing because that's what he is, just a sexual object for Ms. Ryder to get off on. He's a living, breathing vibrator and appears to be slightly more intelligent than one. Eventually, that fat motherfucker Ronny meets up with this himbo and I think we're supposed to laugh during their violent altercation, but I thought it was pretty intense. It ends (or does it?) with Vaughn screaming in the middle of the street for what seems like five minutes, just going on and on about how he's gonna kill this motherfucker if he sees him again, leaving me to think out loud (there was no one else in the theater) whether this was intended to play like something out of a violent crime movie or like some fuckin' Western. Because that shit did not feel too out-of-place from Kurt Fuckin' Russell screaming out to that fuckin' cur in Tombstone about how he better tell all the other curs that he's coming and Hell's coming with him. Either that, or maybe Al Pacino could've joined my man Vince during that scene and been all like YOU THINK YOU'RE BIG TIME? YOU'RE GONNA FUCKIN' DIE BIG TIME! YOU READY? HERE COMES THE PAIN!

Some people might consider Winona Ryder's character very Boo Hiss worthy, but I'm not among them. I mean, sure, she does some bitchy things to both Vaughn's character and his fellow bro-mo Paul Blart, but I think she's operating more out of a Woman Scorned kind of playbook. Granted, maybe she's sticking it in and breaking it off a bit too much, and I don't agree with some of her actions, but you know what? I can understand why she'd want to do that. Or maybe she is a total cunt and I'm just forgiving it because she's Winona Ryder. I saw her on that late night show; either Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon, whoever it is who used to fuck up SNL by laughing all the time like he was fuckin' Harvey Korman or somebody. Anyway, she seemed to be doing a pretty good job being genuine when she talked about her fear of the Internet and computers. Kooky? Yes. But that's our Winona, people. She then brought up a picture she took on her iPhone -- a picture of her drinking out of the Stanley Cup -- and she held up her phone to the audience and was like Wow My Phone Has A Camera On It and if this was say, I don't know, Katherine Heigl, I'd have been like Shut Up Ya Fuckin' Lying Hag, but it wasn't, it was my favorite little klepto saying that, so I thought it was cute.

Ultimately, the movie has way less to do with beautiful Jennifer Connelly and precious Winona Ryder and more to with these two br-ags, Vaughn and Blart, and how they've been Friends Forever like that fuckin' song from that Zack Attack episode of Saved by the Bell. These guys, they're inseparable and they've been through thick & thin (in that they used to be the latter and are now the former) and even Queen Latifah's character seems to want to be a part of it, and why not, she's a Bro too, right? That's what I assumed; she has a kid, but does that really mean anything in this day and age? She wants to be one of the guys, and I'm sure that's why she wears pants instead of a skirt (that, and also because she probably has the kind of legs she would be doing the world a favor by hiding) and it's also why she keeps referring to her "lady-wood" like it was funny the first time or something.

In the end, I thought this was an OK movie overall. I chuckled a few times, but honestly, I thought this worked more as a dark ride through a trying time between two couples. There's a scene where Ronny Vaughn proposes a toast at Connelly's parents' wedding anniversary and that shit got more and more disturbing and uncomfortable as he went on. Again, I was all alone in the theater and wondered, how did this play with a crowd? Did they laugh? Or were they convinced -- as I was -- that they were watching a deleted scene from Paul Verhoeven's Turkish Delight? I don't know. All I know is that I'd like the movie a lot more if it was about Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder having some alone time. That movie is currently in post-production in my head but will play in the cinema of my mind soon enough, I reckon.

When the movie ended and the credits began to roll, I walked down toward the exit and almost bumped into the female security guard who had just come in. It was the last showing of the night and I guess she wanted to make sure I wasn't going to sleep in there or something. I felt the need to tell her -- in my usually douchey excited manner -- about my friend and how he/she worked on the movie as ***REDACTED***. The guard smiled, not totally believing me, and then asked me why I was sitting alone in this neighborhood theater, having paid to see a movie that my friend worked on. She told me that surely there had to have been one screening that my friend could've invited me to. I stood there for a moment, then looked at this guard and told her, "Between you and me, my friend is a fucking asshole."