Joe Rogan: Triggered

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I guess no one’s gonna be shocked that I didn’t like this special. The only person in the world I would watch Joe Rogan for is my brother who texted me, “Joe Rogan Triggered is perhaps the funniest thing I’ve seen since 2011” which is ironic because after watching it, I don’t think Joe Rogan has gone outside since 2011! Lots of stuff has happened since then Joe! So much stuff! !

Joe Rogan is like if a beer gained sentience and could love but also refused to understand gender. Some people might think it’s ironic to write a blog post about a special I didn’t like called “Triggered.” That’s probably why he named it that, because he thought it was a clever step ahead of online criticism. (I can tell he thinks he’s very clever!! Always a good sign for a comic!!) But if that’s the case, that pretty much encapsulates what was tiresome and boring about this special.

First of all, if that is the case (which I definitely believe it is) he’s misusing the word- it doesn’t mean you don’t like something or you were angry, it means there is a stimulus that aggravates a pre-existing set of conditions, social or physical, that you have. I wasn’t triggered by this special. I didn’t like this special. The fact that he preemptively uses the word incorrectly to anticipate other people’s problem with it- is exactly who he is onstage the majority of the time.

He literally tries to argue that he’s not sexist (spoiler alert, he definitely is!!) by saying his favorite people are women. In a bit where he keeps repeating over and over “Women can’t do strong physical labor jobs, they just can’t” he says, “and I know some of you are thinking that’s sexist. Well it isn’t. I can’t be sexist because my favorite people are women. My wife and my two daughters, those are my favorite people in the world. But I could beat the shit out of them.” The joke there about beating his family doesn’t bother me, but the notion that he can’t be sexist because he loves some/three women is false premise/he doesn’t understand what sexism is. It’s pretty clear he thinks it just means you hate all women. He goes on to say a bunch of other wrong things about sex and gender (I’m saying wrong because there’s just objective markers we have to acknowledge outside of opinion which is YES everyone’s OWN).

All his stuff about gender was very wrong, but it’s also probably not his wheelhouse, so we’re not allowed to judge him on that, right? (Isn’t it interesting how women always have to make room in their perspectives for men’s emotional exceptionalism but that is somehow never reciprocal or returned? Lol, just a fun observation from my 28 years on this Earth!) He did have interesting ideas, but then he drives them to a tired backwards point. He feels like the smartest dumb person that exists. He’s at the exact edge between enlightenment & stupidity and he keeps trying to make a bridge with his words to get to the other side but instead his words are vines keeping him where he is. Not that not understanding trans identity is being stupid, but I think being so assured of yourself when you have the knowledge that so much is unknown (which he reiterates again and again in reference to OTHER’S beliefs) is stupid.

He likens his ‘manhood’ (which first of all, gross, I haven’t use someone use that word in sincerity since some twenty year olds playing teenagers in She’s All That made a bet about their virginities but ok Joe) to a “tower of marbles” and living with his wife and two daughters as “chipping away at it” and goes on to clarify that each action they do is like taking two marbles, which “isn’t enough to balk at, but then you don’t have any left.” He then ties it all together by saying, “You find a man who could live with the Kardashians for all those years and not come out a chick.” So he is very clearly laying out his belief that being transgender is what happens because you’re around too many women. (I say very clearly because I know there’s SOMEONE in the universe who’s going to dig their heels in the sand and say, “he doesn’t believe that, it’s a joke!!!” There’s no joke here- just a misinformed belief about identity and gender).

There were two lines I liked specifically: “You’re in a box with rapists and murderers and the worst they can do to you is leave you alone” that’s Joe talking about solitary confinement, which is a really interesting perspective, and at one point he said, “I look like a thumb with two other thumbs” and that was funny to me.

After talking to my brother I have a slightly different perspective which is: don’t condemn the special for what it’s not, or write it off as unhelpful to all because it is unhelpful to me, but I do still think that most of the jokes are predicated on an idea that is inherently harmful to some populations and it wasn’t funny enough to outbalance that for me. Whereas in say, Dave Chappelle’s special (the first in that run he just put out on Netflix) where he clearly has similar feelings, it was. Mostly I just wished the men in all our lives listened to us and saw our nuance the same way they see their own and expect us to see their own.

But also, fuck Joe Rogan!!! Which I am allowed to say and feel !!!

Look, after talking about this with a couple of people, Joe Rogan seems to be the hill many men are willing to die on. So many men connect with him because he’s both masculine AND intellectual in a way they haven’t seen/experienced before and that is new to them and it makes them feel protective of him (sometimes because they assume that’s what people have issue with because that’s what’s new to them). BUT this is why gender norms are harmful for fucking everyone and not just a “women’s issue” (kill me) because there exist men who are both those things who also aren’t sexist and transphobic and whatever else he is under that button down, there just aren’t nuanced portrayals of masculinity in culture for them to see it.

Also Jesus Christ, if another man tries to show me Joe Rogan’s ‘light’ and ask me continuous questions trying to get me to acknowledge that’s SOME parts are good, not ALL of the special is bad-yeah he is KIND of sexist but SOME of these thoughts are interesting and why don’t you care about THAT-because I fucking don’t. I don’t need to make allowances for people I don’t think are funny, and also harmful. Is he the worst comic working? Not by a long shot. Does that mean I like him? No. Do I owe him anything like respect? No. If he’s your fucking hero, you talk about him. I don’t need to protect him from anything, especially my opinion, especially when his whole set is attacking other people who are different from him, who he doesn’t understand.

Fin. Thank you Joe Rogan for ruining this night, but also for triggering (!!!!!!!!!!! see what I did there) an interesting conversation with my brother. 1 out of 5 weed dolphins, wouldn’t masturbate again.

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Bad Moms

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In a shocking turn of events, this movie that looked like a vehicle for white wine with the tag, “Party like a mother,” is well-written and funny. When is the last time you saw a comedy that you were like, “the writing in this is interesting and intelligent?” Never/Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

The movie follows Mila Kunis as Amy Mitchell, a mom who can’t catch or give herself a break! She has a bowl of Apple Jacks for a husband (is that the douchiest sounding cereal? I think so) who ends up cheating on her online. (Which is still cheating!!! They have a back and forth about this in the movie and he’s like, “I never actually did anything” and it’s like, bro how dented is your moral compass to not understand it’s still wrong to mutually masturbate with someone else online while you keep it from your partner?)

Amy has 2 kids, a boy (who looks exactly like Gordo from Lizzie McGuire) who is a slacker and a daughter who is very concerned about what extracurriculars will get her into an Ivy League college even though she’s twelve. Amy does everything for her kids (even their homework sometimes which I also think is unethical but she stops eventually) on a quest to be a “good mom.” She, and most other parents, are tyrannized by the witchy (and not the cool kind of witchy, the bad kind) head of the PTA Gwendolyn Harris played by Christina Applegate. IMDB has made the interesting choice of not including last names of characters on the movie’s page despite them being in the movie so I’m just guessing on some of these.

So, when Amy kicks her husband out for cybering some woman with a huge bush (that is exactly how she is referenced in the movie) she starts deciding she has to prioritize herself. She scales back on her “cool coffee job” (a start up run by Clark Duke who I like so much. Hot Tub Time Machine 4evr), stops making breakfast for her kids, and quits the PTA in a fiery blaze then goes to a bar to drink. #Relatable.

At the bar she meets Carla, played by Kathryn Hahn. Kathryn Hahn is such a talented comedic actress and just talented in general. I love her. She was one of the only good parts of The Visit and she’s so funny in Parks & Rec and she’s underused in everything else but I hope she’s coming into a personal Renaissance (a Hahn Dynasty if you will!!). In this she plays a single mom who is DTF mostly everything and who loves her son to pieces even though she thinks he is stupid and “would rather go to Afghanistan than another baseball game.” She’s definitely the “FUCK THAT” element of the group, often facilitating big movements and pushing the other women to do things they should and want to do. There’s also a scene where Amy and Kiki call her to ask if she wants to go to a movie in the middle of the day and she’s already there and I respect that immensely.

At the bar she also meets Kiki (Kristen Bell) who follows her there after the PTA kerfuffle to tell Amy she’s impressed by what she did. Kiki is a stay at home mom who is very sheltered and meek and gets called “bitch” a lot by her kids (one time, but that’s still a lot). Her husband seems like the worst, very controlling and has a “isn’t that your job?” attitude towards parenting and gender in general. She starts wearing lipstick towards the end of the movie and it’s fun for everyone.

The women all drink dark liquor and go on a particularly rowdy trip to the supermarket together and I know that sounds lame but it’s shot in slow motion and is actually really wonderful. At one point (in slow motion) they’re making an alcoholic milkshake in the aisle and a security guard starts running towards them but then Kathryn Hahn charges him and he turns around midway and runs into a La Croix display and it’s an A+.

Gwendolyn has it out for Amy because the PTA is a dictatorship and she can’t have any insubordination, so she goes after Amy through her kids. Mainly her daughter because women are always targets but also because you can’t really “get” someone who doesn’t care about anything, which is kind of her son’s whole personality. So first Gwendolyn forces the soccer coach to bench Jane (which, I know this is a fictional character- but can’t we retire some names the way sports teams retire some jersey numbers? I think ‘Jane’ could take a few years off) then later plants drugs in her locker which I think we can all agree is too much. Amy decides she wants to run for head of the PTA to shorten Gwendolyn’s leash and invites women to her house for a get together to discuss. There are fliers. Gwendolyn throws a competing party with Martha Stewart and meatballs. The four women at Amy’s house (one woman came because Carla said she would have sex with her husband if she didn’t) start drinking and playing that game where you hold your phone against your head and try to guess the word through clues. Everyone (even Martha Stewart) ends up coming over to Amy’s because you can’t keep free white wine a secret and it’s a success. Amy even ends up fucking the hot widower afterwards that is inevitably in this movie.

I don’t really feel like going through every plot point, one of the things I liked about the movie was how quickly it moved, stuff just happens and they get to the next thing and each scene is funny and good and moves the plot forward. I liked that after she decides to divorce her husband (after seeing couples counselor WANDA SYKES!!!!!!!!) they honor the complications/nuance of their relationship/the situation and share a hug. Too many times in these movies the women leave their husbands (or vice versa) and it’s a completely easy decision! Which it never is! Someone can be a mean idiot and you still love them and it’s still hard to break up the life you’ve spent the past however many years creating. I liked that they hugged and had that moment. 

In the end Amy does get elected as head of the PTA after giving a speech. If in a movie you don’t know if your speech is going well, just wait and see if people start standing up and giving personal anecdotes full of humor and heart to address your points at the end. If they are, it is!! Lots of loose ends get wrapped up, her kids apologize for being assholes and Amy has a heart to heart with Gwendolyn who’s crying in her car and it’s so funny. Gwendolyn starts spilling all the things that are really going on at home and they’re all terrible and big except through tears with the same intensity she goes, “And my DVR just stopped recording Castle. How does that even happen???” and breaks down sobbing and it’s so funnyyyy. Christina Applegate is ALSO a wonderful comedic actress. It’s almost as if women are really funny? Like so many of them?? An undeniable amount???

There were so many lines in this that made me laugh out loud and happy to be watching which, let me reiterate again, doesn’t happen very often!

The takeaway from this movie seemed to be, “Don’t judge moms because it’s harder than you know and no one knows what they’re doing and just let everyone do their best” and that seems like a good message. There were things in this movie that the moms said that i had never thought of or heard that made sense- like Mila Kunis said she felt like the worst mom in the world at least once a day and that seems like something that people feel. Also she said in her end of movie speech that what works for her daughter rarely works for her son and that’s interesting I never thought about that-needing balance within one home for two kids. That’s valuable perspective to have! Hi mom!

At the end of the movie there were interviews with all the actors and their moms and it was so cute!! I watched Rush Hour 2 yesterday and I’m really a huge fan of these compilations that play during the credits with real scenes or bloopers or whatever.

It’s just really good, everyone should see it. 4 out of 5 store bought holes, (I just realized I never talked about this part but during the bake sale where no one can have items with gluten, nuts, white sugar, etc. etc. all these things, Amy just brings doughnut holes from a grocery store and Gwendolyn comes up livid and one of her minions says, “You can’t just bring store bought holes” and I liked it) would/will masturbate again.

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Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust

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!!!! Man, this woman. (Man, I feel like a woman!). I love Sarah Silverman. She is so funny and she has been for so long and the only thing I like about Jimmy Kimmel is that he has to be a good person if he dated her, that’s honestly the only thing keeping me from writing him off completely because I don’t forget The Man Show and I know that probably wasn’t mostly his doing and he was just taking an opportunity but it’s still content that was put out in the world and no amount of videos of parents eating their kids candy is going to change that. Anyway.

This special starts incredibly strong and I made a very enthusiastic snapstory endorsing it, and then it kind of trailed off in the middle a little bit, less punchy and she was playing with structure in a way that didn’t always work out for me (kept interrupting herself to say, “put a pin in that” or explaining a type of joke, or “doubling back” but didn’t always come back or have a payoff worth the interruption so then I lost a little trust the next time she did it) and I would say the second half was much more story-telling than jokes? Like she would take a while to explain something and then there wouldn’t be enough at the end to balance out (in my opinion). Most notably she did this act out about TV shows and how they’re shot and she explained a lot and crouched down and used people’s real names, it was a whole thing, then didn’t have a greater realization at the end as a button, just explained, “so that’s how they do that” for these particular shots in TV. And that was a little disappointing. And she brought a legal pad onstage which I can only assume was a set list which I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do for a special! So that was kind of shocking, but also it wasn’t very distracting, she didn’t look at it that much.

She also didn’t take the mic out of the stand until 40 minutes in- which I didn’t notice until she did it and I was like, ‘oh she hasn’t done that yet.’ There was a rape joke that I didn’t know if it was worth it (the rape kit after sex one, not the one about her sister) but she always jokes about “taboo” things in a tongue and cheek way and it didn’t seem reckless or unconsidered or anything, it just wasn’t the hardest hit for me personally.

She tells a “story” at the end (which kind of felt how when I have a bunch of ideas on one topic but I haven’t figured out how to link them all together yet, or made them all successful individual jokes yet) about how she almost died. She had an abscess on her windpipe and they had to remove it and it was a dangerous surgery and she was telling the audience about this video her friend recorded, and then after the special while the credits were playing, they showed it and somehow that was my favorite part (almost) it’s really endearing and touching in this odd way.

She talks about her family really in depth in a way I can’t remember her doing in other specials, with this level of specificity that doesn’t make everyone look good, including herself, and that was interesting to me, I like to think about how maybe people’s rules for what she can say about them onstage have evolved throughout the years.

She has such a range, she’s not afraid of any topic even if it’s intense or dark and by not afraid I don’t just mean not afraid to makes jokes about it, I mean not afraid to just talk about it for what feels like minutes on end before the joke, just living in it- that happens with rape, with abortion, with having hooks for hands, you know, things that affect all women. It kind of felt like she’s so funny she’s not scared to not be funny if that makes sense. Like when I do stand up for something important I want jokes to fill every possible second so there’s no doubt that I’m funny but you can see she doesn’t need the audience to validate her so she’s just talking about what she wants to talk about in the way that she wants to talk about it.

There was a weird editing glow, it kind of looked like there was a haze over her face? Or that the special was one long glamour shot? Which was odd, I wonder if that was an editing choice to make her look younger? Or just the filter on the lights? It was a little distracting only because it was so obviously tampered with in some way.

At the end she does this audience participation part where she brings a self-identified religious guy down to the front of the stage (Troy) and asks him if he would let God come in his mouth (he says no) and harkens it back to God asking Abraham to kill his first born son (“Chip”) and he would but most guys wouldn’t let God come in their mouths and that’s so funny to me, to juxtapose people’s hang ups about masculinity with their required religious blind faith. I don’t think she specifically asked for a man (I’d have to go back and look) I think she just asked for an audience member who is religious, the joke doesn’t hinge on it being a hang up with masculinity, I think people have sexual hang ups in general especially people who are raised religious, it was just an added layer for me because lots of men really reject anything that seems “gay” or emasculating about sex (like having things put in their ass even though that’s where their prostate/bundle of nerves is) so I enjoyed that.

Overall I really enjoyed it! Laughed out loud way more times than I normally do watching stand up. Her delivery is so composed, I can never tell what was planned and what wasn’t. There was an instance that seemed like a misspeak where she traded “NPR” for “NRA” but then followed it with, “completely different tote bags” which is so funny it made me think she included it just for that?? But could she have just thought of that then?? I mean ostensibly she could have, when you see the video of her drugged up and going to surgery at the end you see how smart she is, she’s explaining Brexit and laying out a neutral media plan for nationwide happiness. It was great. Also apparently whenever she and her boyfriend are parting they’ll go, “I think we should see other people” which is true love to me. Oh! I just remembered another part she never quite tied up she had this whole bit about how movies are ruining our concept of love that I was really investing in/following that she dipped out of for a second to indulge a quick pun then never went back to. And I was sad about that.

Anyway, I could write a million more things about this but I’m late for a show!!! Time flies when you’re remembering jokes about anal sex huh??? Anyway, 4.3/5 hooks for hands, would masturbate again.

Oh P.S. I really like the name of the special and the thought that’s behind it that isn’t even a joke just seemed like something she wanted to say and get across!! Cool. And the part about squirrels was really funny too!!

 

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It Comes At Night

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I just paid ten dollars to see this and I’m angry. Why. Why do people pay money to make themselves feel bad? I don’t understand this type of movie at all. Pointlessly bad. If you want to feel terrible just read a newspaper, pay attention to the world. It’s bad! I don’t understand the point of hiring a bunch of actors to film a script that has no fucking purpose- why create a world?? Ok I’m getting ahead of myself. Plot:

This movie takes place in a world where there is some unexplained disease that no one knows anything about that is transmitted through air or contact, we don’t fucking know, and so people moved out of the cities to escape it and now they live in the woods. Joel Edgerton and his wife and son (Carmen Ejogo and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) (and I just found out the director and writer are the same person, so great this was his *vision* ugh) live in a boarded up house where they just eat food and survive. Then one night someone tries to break into the house (this is after the Grandpa gets sick and has to be shot in the head then set on fire and buried- how did he get sick? We don’t fucking know. Why can’t the dog get sick? It doesn’t wear a gas mask. WHO KNOWS) and Joel ties him to a tree and he’s trying to figure out if he can trust him and the guy is just trying to get water for his family blah blah blah. Sarah (Joel’s wife) decides they should get the family and bring them back instead of bartering for food because they already know where they live, then they’ll have more people to guard the house, etc.

They bring them back, they have a young son, Andrew, and everyone seems to be co-existing fine. Travis who is 17 keeps having disease nightmares where his Grandpa vomits black blood on him and is just generally off-putting looking, he also has a sexual dream about Kim, the young mother who just moved in where she mounts him and then also vomits black blood on him. He always wakes up from these and honestly I’M sick of this device in horror (and all) movies, where they show a crazy scene then GUESS WHAT it was a dream!!!! You lazy piece of shit- why don’t you write a plot that’s actually good instead of showing things that aren’t happening and being like, “Just kidding!!! That’s not real!!!” like 5 different times in the movie. It happened like 5 different times.

Then one night Travis gets up and sees the door (the RED door because of cheap SYMBOLISM) that’s never opened, OPENED and he wakes everyone up then they have a meeting in the middle of the night and Travis swears he didn’t open the door, and maybe Andrew opened the door, because he was out of bed when Travis got up and found him, then they’re interrogating the little boy but he can’t remember anything because he was asleep and seven, so they all decide to spend some “time apart” in the quarantined house they all live in together, so they take rations of food and water to their respective rooms and lock themselves in.

Then Travis worries that Andrew is sick and he touched him, and he has another “dream” (fuck you!) where he is sick, but then he wakes up. He eavesdrops on the other family (he also was always creeping around listening to people, it was weird to me, I think he was supposed to come off a little weird) and he hears Andrew crying and Will and Kim (the parents) saying they’re going to leave. He wakes his mom and dad up & tell them, then they’re worried they’re going to take more of the food than they should so they get gas masks and guns to confront them.

Now, up til this point there’s been a lot of discussion of who can we trust, Joel has told Travis you only trust family, also there was a slip up it seemed when Will mentioned he was an only child but earlier he said they were staying with his brother. When Joel asked him, he corrected it was his brother-in-law but that he “felt like a brother.” A little suspicious. And again when Joel goes to the door and asks to come in, they’re acting suspicious & not letting him in (which makes it seem like they’re hiding something) but also they probably feel the exact same way-you can only trust family-and are being cautious. The situation escalates, as it always seems to when there are guns and you’re living in an apocalyptic world, and it kind of turns into a stand off and Joel gets Will’s gun from him (that he had been hiding this whole time) because Sarah was in the hall with a gun. He pistol whips Will and puts them in the corner (insert Dirty Dancing reference here) with Kim and Andrew. Then they’re leading them outside and Will pretends he’s weaker than he is and manages to get the drop on Joel (whose name in this is Paul but who cares it might as well be fucking Joel) and starts beating him in the head with the butt of a gun so Sarah shoots him, then Kim and Andrew run into the woods and Joel shoots at them and kills Andrew. Kim is screaming “you killed my son!” for about a minute, then he kills her too.

Travis has come out at this point and sees the whole thing. Then Travis gets sick and dies. Then there’s a flashback of him walking to the door that’s open (there are so many things that could have saved this for me and one of them would have been if Travis was lying about the door for some reason and he opened it and then didn’t say and caused this whole family to be killed for no reason) but it WAS open (what opened it? we have no fucking idea) and then the movie basically ends.

Why. Why make this movie at all? What is the point? I truly don’t understand and I’m mad. You want me to sit through an hour and thirty-one minutes of people trying to figure out a world, only to figure out nothing? Why? We don’t know anything about the disease, this family comes, they get killed, the son dies, the Grandpa died, the dog died, for us to not know anything? Is it supposed to be an expose on the human condition? By creating a false world then populating it with false choices and unnecessary death? I don’t CARE. The real world is awful enough??? Why did you need to make another one??

I’m having such a vitriolic reaction to this and I’m sure it’s for reasons outside the movie itself, but it seems pointless any way I slice it. I went to see this movie because The Weeknd tweeted about it. That is the truth. He tweeted, “watched “It Comes at Night” last night. beautifully disturbing.” earlier today and I was like, “Well I’m not gonna see Cars 3” and went. I feel like The Weeknd owes me ten dollars. HOw-why-what’s the point in choosing-is he just an unempathetic person? And needs to sit and get to know a character for 2 hours before he can feel for them and movies do that for him? I can cry at a commercial for toilet paper if they do it right. I also feel just generally terrible in my life between the President, myself, friends-why do you need to search out awfulness?? It makes no fucking sense. Movies are escapism, I truly cannot understand what person-and it’s not all horror movies. I used to think it was a pointless/base genre but then I saw some good ones and art horror and classic horror-things that explore a psychological construct or idea and make you think.

This type of movie doesn’t have anything to think about because they don’t give you enough-it was like The Strangers-you just drop someone in this terrible world for 2 hours then at the end it’s like, “That’s it!!! Just cause!!!” Fuck. Off.

I hated it obviously. I’m going to try to read some reviews because maybe there’s this huge thing I’m missing (I HOPE) and it wasn’t just a wasted experience I will never get back.

One out of four chemical apocalypse chickens, would not masturbate again.

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Riverdale

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God bless TV. Let me start out by saying I was AGAINST this reboot conceptually from the start. Fundamentally even. I thought it was stupid, unnecessary, bandwagoning, and unoriginal. To take characters whose whole being revolved around eating hamburgers and singing songs at pep rallies, then make them fuck each other and deal with murder? I read these comics as a little kid-like stacks and stacks and stacks of these comics and I was PISSED someone was just giving ’em the ole Christopher Nolan treatment to make them edgy-I was so mad. Then I watched the show.

And wowowow do I love it. I love it! At first I didn’t get why they wouldn’t just create a new series, why take these specific characters and turn them upside down? I thought it was lazy and uncreative and trying to capitalize off a fandom so you have a built in audience rather than creating something new and worthwhile, but then maybe in the third or so episode they had a line about the town and what happens to something so pure when something like this (the murder of Jason Blossom) happens to it- then later Jughead in his explanation of his fascination with the case reiterates, it’s a fundamental study of the elements and what happens when you drop chaos or darkness into something so pure. THAT angle is interesting to me- they’re examining what makes Riverdale Riverdale and what happens when you change that, what does it become?

Spoilers abound so stop reading if you haven’t seen it and want to: I really liked what they did with this season, the gunshot at the end I’m hella curious about if Archie’s dad dies or is just wounded.

Some thoughts: This seems to be another teen drama where the parents are no help/are constantly in the way and you have a group of high school kids literally solving murders and protecting each other and figuring out money issues and everything on their own. Betty’s mom specifically is an emotional roadblock-she seems to go on a journey from fucking evil, to I can act this way because of my troubled past, to uncaring bitch, to I guess I’ll be your mom again. It stresses me out. All the parents kind of suck. Veronica’s mom goes back and forth between spineless and conniving, Jughead’s dad (Skeet Ulrich???) wants to protect him by doing the worst thing for him?, Archie’s dad seems mostly good but has lapses. I was shocked by the Molly Ringwald reveal- then it made me wonder what other redheaded celebrities are they storing up? Also very curious about who Jughead’s mom and Jellybean are going to be-and Betty’s secret brother, these are all pots on the stove we have going.

As someone who loves the O.C and Gossip Girl I am worried they’re just gonna spiral through all the love triangles and teen crime tropes we all know and it’ll just be the same tall tale but with new faces- but I do think the crime/mystery element sets it apart and I hope they do a more intricate plot that has a payoff. Like I hope Polly is still in the picture and all the “clues” we have been given add up to be something, not just red herrings (lol) for in-episode suspense arcs that just get discarded.

Personal investments: I like Betty and Jughead together, I am fucking LIVING for Betty’s breakdown when she embraces this dark part of herself and loses control and Jughead and Veronica and her family try to save her but in the end it’s only Archie that can bring her back. I feel that coming and I’m really ready for it. I like Archie and Veronica together OKAY, I wish it had worked out with Val although they never really gave her a chance as girlfriend potentials go. Cheryl is someone I’m really routing for- I was so pissed that right after she tried to kill herself everyone just WENT to the Jubilee. Stay with her!! Brush her hair!! Don’t just leave her by an ominous fire!! Cheryl also has the best outfits and that makes me like her character more.

I like that there is a gay relationship that is forbidden for other reasons besides their sexuality, everyone’s like, “We don’t care that you’re gay, he’s in a biker gang and implicated in a murder cover-up and you’re the Sheriff’s son!! That’s why your love is forbidden, not cause of a misinterpretation of the Bible, DUH” very 2017 of them. Archie is so hot I can’t handle it most of the time (isn’t it cool how his scar between his eyes makes him relatable??), but it was so annoying when he was sleeping with Ms. Grundy and normally I like that!! I look for that porn!! But this was so boring and annoying-I did not like her at all and their “relationship” was annoying to me. She has a gun? She’s not really her identity? Who cares? And again I hope she comes back into the picture somehow and that’s explained, it wasn’t just a thing they created and got rid of for no reason. Same with the incest plotline- are the babies gonna be fucked up? Is their hair going to be purple? I hope this is all explored more.

A side note just for me and maybe 10 other people on the planet: there are TWO count’em TWO characters from Dark Angel in here and it makes my heart sing to see them again and together!!! Martin Cummins as Sheriff Keller and Peter Bryant as Principal Weatherbee (who was very rotund and white in the comics).

Some of the thematic touchstones I’ve appreciated, lots of teenage girls come together to tell everyone that slut-shaming is wrong and that’s tight, there’s also been a few times where Josie (Ashleigh Murray) has to tell Archie about racism and remind him that the band is black women for a reason and what that means/why they wouldn’t want their songs written by a white dude. I also liked when Betty’s mom tried to instigate some internalized sexism jealousy shit with Archie’s mom and Hermione Lodge in the bathroom and Molly Ringwald was like, “I’m having fun with both of my dates and I left and Fred is a big boy and he can do whatever he wants” it was a very You Go Girl moment for me, and all women everywhere.

Veronica’s character seems a little bland to me- I’m happy she’s not a straight bitch like she was in the comics and I feel like she explained that- she was at her old school but then she “learned” and “isn’t a bitch” now. I really liked that scene where she and Cheryl did the dance off for the Vixen’s spot- and I was interested when she joined the Pussycats for one minute- I want her to do something, not just wear a pea coat and bring lattes everywhere. (Also there must be some sort of trench coat store in this dang town, everyone has at least three different trench coats, all perfect and tailored and interesting-except Archie and his dad they did not get this noir memo).

Jughead gives too many speeches about how troubled and  “not like everyone else” he is for me, show don’t tell dude. And personally I think Archie’s dad didn’t want Jughead to stay with them, I think he could have stayed with them-people with DUI’s raise kids. Foster care is probably a lot stricter than I know but that seemed like bullshit.

I do like Betty and Jughead together, it makes sense, (the darkness) but I want Betty and Archie to be together too!! Also if we’re judging by sex scenes (and why the heck wouldn’t we) Archie and Veronica’s was lame as hell and very much like a homeschooled kid’s curriculum- No Chemistry. (Thank you, thank you). MEANWHILE Betty and Jughead’s was great before it got interrupted by that impromptu leather jacket ceremony. Also how cute was it at his new school when Jughead was laughing with all those other kids that like plaid?? He kinda seems to hate their school, maybe he would like South Side. Also who is this foster family?? Why do children need guardians?? I just want Jughead to live in his dad’s trailer with the Serpents bringing him classic movies on dvd when he needs them and killing anyone who tries to hurt him. A final Jughead thought: the way they made his signature hat a beanie is slick but also he was asexual in the comics and I wish there was an asexual character on the show I feel like teens could benefit from knowing what that is.

Not excited at ALL for Hiram Lodge’s return, I’d rather have more Ethel- also when I was on the IMDB page I accidentally saw who plays him- Mark Consuelos???? Which is very weird to me. Almost as weird as when Veronica’s mom says, “Mija” exactly one time each episode to remind us that she’s not white but never enough to actually introduce bilingualism to network TV.

Cheryl’s mom is weird as hell she hasn’t been given any depth yet, except a glimpse of it maybe when Archie handed her Jason’s jacket at the funeral, but it could have just been surprise/thinking he was onto some secret. Also how many letterman jackets does a kid on a football team get?? There was one Archie gave to her, the one with the flash drive, I thought he was buried in one but I’m probably wrong- but I’m just waiting for Polly to pull one out of somewhere. Maybe she’ll give birth to one.

Betty (Lili Reinherdt) is so beautiful I can’t look at her- but that black wig was terrible. I hope when she spirals they give her a better vamp look, one that works better with her skin tone. I can see her in a lot of smudged metallic makeup (bronze Betty!!) and dark blues and purples and lots of thigh high things. I really want her and Cheryl to team up and take over the town with witch feminism fueled by maple syrup and journalism but I know that’s a long shot. But IMAGINE the outfits if Cheryl was influencing her and paying for them, it’s too much for my heart.

I could keep writing these little half conjectures forever but we mostly get the point. I’m annoyed by lots of the parents, some of the love triangles, and I’m holding out hope for structural continuity in the show as a whole but I’ve been burned before. Overall though, a very strong opening for a show, I really can’t wait to see where it goes and what they do with these characters, and the two mysteries we have for the upcoming season: who’s distributing the Blossom drugs in Riverdale/who shot Fred Andrews and why.

Oohh also I forgot- I need the music to be better- if everyone says Archie’s a musical genius I’m gonna need more than a three chord hook and some lyrics about friendship, that Jubilee song was very disappointing and I think they knew which is why they kept cutting away from it. Apparently the actor who plays Archie (K.J Apa who is from New Zealand of all places) recorded a solo guitar album when he was 14 (also he’s Samoan and not a real redhead!!!!!) so I’m gonna need to hear that. 

ANYWAY, 4 out of 5 Pop’s milkshakes (is Pop’s ok????) would CERTAINLY masturbate again.

 

 

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Wonder Woman

wonder woman

A mad cap romp! I feel like people say that a lot, I’m not 100% sure what it means, but it seems pretty fitting here. This movie is everywhere recently- people saying it’s empowering, people saying it’s overrated, people saying it’s Zionist- everyone has an opinion!! Which is exactly what it feels like to be a woman!

Did I cry multiple times during this movie? Yes. Did I want to? No. Do I think it’s a feminist victory? Kind of? Not really?

Things I liked: An island with only women all of whom are warriors? Hell yea. A woman saving the world and killing a God? All about it.

Other stuff: Eh, some of it was annoying to me? Like, (and I know there’s this whole “that was the time” explanation but there’s also nuance all the time and you can have representation too) So-when she wants to go to war and they detour to take her shopping first. That was annoying. This trope of a bright-eyed, beautiful, idiot who needs to be led around all the time. I know she’s not an idiot but by placing her in a world she didn’t know she ended up deferring to a lot of her companions for knowledge and direction, etc. All of whom were men. Also she didn’t need to be that clueless? It felt male gaze-ish. Kind of like how on an island only of women they for some reason still chose to wear short skirts to fight and train in instead of pants? Obviously women can wear whatever they want and maybe I would wear thigh high slits in all my skirts and leather bustiers if I wasn’t worried about being raped all the time too, but it seems like it would be easier to move/better protection to have flexible durable pants rather than floor length skirts made of slitted metallic hides? And everyone’s wearing wedge sandals the whole time? Even in battle? And was their currency fishtail braids?

I guess I just wish she hadn’t been looking around wide-eyed at men for 2/3rds of the movie. I wish she had fought more (the fighting was AWESOME a lot of women flipping through the air, doing backbends off horses, and shooting three arrows at once), or figured more stuff out, or even spoke more. She doesn’t speak for a lot of the scenes in the movie which was kind of frustrating.

Continuing the representation thread, in the Greek myth origins thing her mom told her that was about Zeus/God making man in his image, blah, blah there were NO black or brown people in it. Not one! And we know they were there!! It’s white-washing to try and portray it otherwise, which is annoying, irresponsible and wrong. You can look up all of this, and you should. People have the internet now they should know better!

But again, did I cry? Like 4 different times. There’s a cool scene where she catapults into a sniper tower and blows it up with her legs? It’s awesome. The war stuff was also a little confusing to me- I guess not confusing but I needed to let myself forget history and be immersed in this world where World War I ended because a woman did enough fire backflips a Greek God died.

Usually I start with plot- I guess I should have done that earlier: Gal Gadot is a clay child her mother and Zeus made so that when Aries comes back to destroy the Amazons (and the world) there would be someone powerful enough to kill him. She lives with her mother, the Queen, and all the other Amazons on an enshrouded island (didn’t it sound like the name of the island was mascara??) in the middle of the ocean. A British spy fleeing from the Germans (Chris Pine) accidentally finds the portal to their world, and comes, bringing angry Germans with guns in tow. There is a fight on the beach, Robin Wright (the general?) dies protecting Gal (Diana) and the more Diana learns from Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) the more she realizes she needs to go and fight in this war.

So they go, after a shoreside stand off with her mother that was very guilt laden (“You know you have been my greatest happiness. And today you are my greatest sorrow”) and a weird sex talk on the boat (“Why won’t you sleep with me?” “The pleasures of the flesh?” “I know about that, but we don’t need men. Goodnight”) they get to land where he needs to deliver a stolen recipe book for chemical weapons before an air attack kills thousands of people, but first it’s imperative to go SHOPPING because people can see Diana’s legs.

We also meet Steve Trevor’s secretary, a slightly older, portlier woman who is allowed to be both of those things onscreen because she is funny, which is a whole DIFFERENT can of worms I don’t even want to get into-but just ask yourself have you EVER ever ever ever ever seen a movie where a fat woman is the romantic lead? Where her weight isn’t a gimmick (Shallow Hal) or something she’s apologizing for/trying to fix (Dreamgirls, Real Women Have Curves), or something that corrupts her sense of worth so entirely she will do anything to keep a man (The Honeymoon Killers)? And don’t say The Last Holiday because Queen Latifah isn’t fat. You haven’t and I haven’t because they almost don’t exist which has fucked me up BUT again, that’s for another time. 

They decide they need backup so they meet a ragtag group of accomplices in a bar, the group travels to France?, Diana is tight as hell and saves everyone, I cry, Chris Pine loses her trust, she kills a bad guy but it’s the wrong one, Chris Pine suicides on a plane, she picks up a tank, she thinks about destroying the human race but then decides to save it, she kills the right guy, the war ends but she’s without love so her life is basically meaningless in the eyes of society, she continues to save society anyway even though it was rude to her, she becomes an art dealer, Bruce Wayne sends her a picture of her boo thang, she tells us this story through a flashback in her mind, The End.

I’m looking forward to 5 years from now when we have better more feminist superhero movies where the most feminist thing about it isn’t that there’s a woman in a position of power or focus (cough Mad Max cough) but that it’s challenging latent sexism or ideas of gender etc. etc.

There was also an odd emphasis on romantic love-Love was what the human race was worth fighting for and saving, love was what made everything have meaning- they specifically made it romantic love though, which they didn’t have to do at all-they could have let her touch one baby (she kept trying!) and then it could have been about connection and future and life-but instead they made it romantic love which made it seem like she saved the whole world because she frenched a dude one time.

Like the scene at the end where Chris Pine dies (spoiler!) and it seems like she’s gonna kill the poison doctor and symbolically side with Aries to help him defeat the human race, then she remembers that Chris Pine loves her so she doesn’t? It makes her convictions (which were so strong when she was leaving the island) seem kind of guileless and weak.

I tried to go see this movie yesterday and I couldn’t because it was sold out and that’s good. In the screening I saw today I saw men alone or groups of just men and that’s good. But honestly that should be normal. There shouldn’t still be a question of, “Can women do this thing?” No matter what that thing is, I guarantee there are women who can do it. Not me, but women. I know women who can do three pull ups for Christ’s sake. Normal women just walking around day to day in the world. We can do anything! It feels condescending that people are like, “this women’s movie is doing so good!!” It makes me mad because women are every second person on the planet, you don’t think they can direct movies? Or coach Basketball? Or host Late Night? It’s all dumb. This movie is just ok as a movie. It’s embarrassing it’s the first vehicle superhero movie that has had a female lead (Are we all just ignoring Catwoman? I liked it), just the same way it’s embarrassing that this is the first season (out of 21) The Bachelor franchise has featured a black person. Ya late.

Gal Gadot is very beautiful, I was annoyed that she was so tiny-if you’re making her the most powerful woman in the world can you make her more than 125 lbs? I felt this way during Jessica Jones too, it feels like a cheat code to get both things- not that thin women can’t be strong, but if someone is picking up a tank let them have thick legs! And arms! And I know Gal fought in the military, probably because Israel requires it of all it’s citizens, but again, for representation it would be cool to see someone strong who looked liked someone strong.

Idk if some girl watches this and believes in herself more because of it great, but it seems like a very narrow idea of success and not for most women and I did cry but I was also mad because she looks exactly like everyone else I’ve ever seen succeed or deserve love in a movie and it’s not that groundbreaking to me. Honestly it’s annoying to me that people think it is!! I’m sure if I weighed 120 lbs I could dodge bullets too! Ah well.

2 out of 5 wedge sandals will probably masturbate again but won’t enjoy it.

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Personal Shopper

personal shopper

SO, THIS is a story all about how a twin medium’s life got flipped turned upside down, so I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you about how KStew became the ghost of a town called short hair. *Instrumental break* Did I lose you? I know it was a stretch at the end but I needed something that rhymed with Bel-Air and that was the best I could do. If you can do better, let me know and I’ll change it.

The first like 10 min of the movie is Kristen Stewart opening glass french doors onto bleak nothingness, and then pushing her hair around to let us know she’s upset. Phones and hair-pushing are like 80% of how information gets conveyed in this movie and as an audience member lemme just say, the phone is my preference. (More on this later!!) It makes me go back and revisit in my mind all the movies where we just had hair-pushing, and what a disaster those were. Kristen Stewart relies on certain sections of her head and face a disproportionate amount to convey emotion: top and sides of the head (where the hair is), bottom lip, and middle of the eyebrows. Any avid KStew fan knows, these three areas are where all the acting’s happening. You don’t even need to look anywhere else. You can, and you probably will, but you don’t need to.

So we’re kind of invested, because clearly she’s got a lot going on, but then the plot goes all the way to hell about 15 minutes into the movie. At the beginning you’re like, oh interesting a movie about a personal shopper that isn’t vanity driven or shallow but seems to be complex and she has stuff going on (not that personal shoppers can’t be complex but in movies they’re always chewing gum and saying something caustic about sweaters- it’s never a personal shopper discussing applied ethics in between dress fittings) and we’re curious about what that stuff is, until this monologue where we find out the stuff she has going on is: GHOSTS.

In this movie not only is Kristen Stewart a personal shopper, she can also sense “presences,” NOT GHOSTS SHE DOESN’T KNOW IF SHE BELIEVES IN GHOSTS OK JUST LET HER WEAR HER BEANIES IN PEACE. And wow does she have a lot going on. Her twin brother Lewis died 95 days ago of a heart attack caused by a congenital heart defect she also has. (We learn this in quite the shocking topless scene where her boobs tell their own story). Her brother was also a medium. Not at Old Navy, like with the dead.

KStew, “Maureen,” is waiting for a sign from her brother because while they were both alive they made an oath that whoever died first would give the other a sign. Did you know a vague pact with no clear or discernible meaning can provide momentum for 105 minutes of plot? I didn’t either! So, she’s waiting in Paris for the sign because that’s where he died. She’s American, I assume her twin brother is American, she lives in Paris but zips around to London a lot where her brother’s partner lives-I’m just saying they seem very cosmopolitan for two mediums? Is there a thriving medium community overseas? They’re kind of made fun of here (Mediums here are either from Long Island or a 1-800 number) but I would love it if it’s really well-respected other places. Like being a dentist, but for ghosts.

So there’s also this other thing where Kristen/Maureen seems to have a sexual relationship with the clothes she picks up for her boss (celebutante Kyra). Every time Kristen goes to a fitting, or a shoot, people ask her to try on clothes and I just don’t think that’s part of it? Why would they? It seems odd. (It’s sort of implied it’s because they’re the same size so they don’t have to bring it back to be fitted because that’s what it is for shoes, but when Kristen’s taking a selfie in a mirror in Kyra’s dress later she’s gathering it in the back because it’s too big, and we already saw a fashion week photo of Kyra in it and it fit, sooooo no dice!!). Kristen sort of has this, “I know I shouldn’t, but I want to” look in her eyes every time they bring out a tank top that is usually reserved for when someone wants to fuck someone who is married, but here is used for when she wants to try on a pair of shoes.

Then she’s texting with a spirit? An “Unknown” number texts her phone and keeps saying ominous weird things and asking her questions and first she thinks it’s Lewis but then it just seems like some guy from Tinder (“I want you. I will have you.”) You know when you think you’re texting your dead brother but really it’s just some dude trying to fuck?? So annoying! This texting conversation lasts throughout almost the whole second half of the movie. She travels between two countries and is still keeping up this conversation. It’s a long conversation is what I’m saying.

I will say a few things about Kristen’s texting grammar since we spent a lot of the movie watching her text (suspenseful!). She puts a space in between a sentence and a question mark and I APPRECIATE THAT because I do that too. When the question mark is right there next to the words it feels really urgent but when you type your thought then a space then the question mark, it feels like your words can be considered on their own, then the question mark adds tone, like, ‘what did you also think about this?’ Something I did NOT appreciate was that she’s either all or nothing with punctuation which is really extreme and off-putting. Either a sentence has nothing, or it has TWO question marks which is so aggressive! Her texts looked like 2 different people, both with mood disorders trading the phone back and forth. That’s probably enough about the texting grammar.

Her boss gets murdered at some point. After KStew tries on her clothes and masturbates in them, and she finds the body. She’s freaked out and runs away but then comes back and tells the police. In the middle of all of this she neglects her spirit text penpal which upsets it, so it comes after her/decides to frame her? But then tells her to got to a hotel, where we see some elevator doors open and close and it looks like the camera is following a ghost? Then Kyra’s illegal boyfriend (she’s married) comes out and the cops go for him and he tries to get away/shoots at them, but they arrest him. While this hullabaloo is happening, Kristen feels unsafe alone (because ghosts) so she goes and stays with her brother’s alive girlfriend who is now dating someone else from work. Kristen talks to him and tells him he has nothing to feel guilty about, which is cool and understanding of her.

Then her brother appears on the patio and breaks a glass but she’s not looking out for signs right this second and leaves the country to go visit her boyfriend (Gary) in Marrakesh or wherever he is (he’s been traveling this whole time and I really thought the writing was on the wall for him to be cheating on her but I guess not) and then she thinks her brother’s there because another glass breaks, but it’s not? Then it’s her?? She was dead the whole time? This movie ends with her saying, “I guess the ghost was me” and a white out. A WHITE OUT. What!

The medium thing was honestly out of control, to the point where people in the theatre (me) were laughing. At one point Kristen Stewart looks at a faucet that was on and goes, “I’m gonna need more from you.” Which was absurd and very hilarious. I did not believe her as a medium, mostly because it was such an afterthought? They gave her way too much going on I think- she’s doing these cross hatch drawings of a door, then cumming while putting on shoes, then deciding which 500$ belt would go with being rich, then riding her moped to another country, honestly the dead probably couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I bet her brother has been trying to give her signs for like 45 days she’s just too busy watching videos of prescient abstract female artists on her phone or doing weird hand things to notice. (She did SO MANY weird hand things. She would like, rim cups she was drinking or play a mini invisible piano while looking in the fridge or stretch one finger out before opening doors, it was a lot).

The only scene we see Kyra in other than the one where she’s lying in a pool of her own blood is her and her lawyer on a conference call and they’re going back and forth very seriously with someone about some gorillas?? Where they can and cannot be, and a lot of other specific details about a group of gorillas for some reason?? It was really a funny choice to make, I appreciated that. I wanted Kyra to start talking to Kristen after she died, that would have been ironic since she didn’t really talk to her in life, but I think this movie wouldn’t have liked that, too much of a bow. No one can accuse them of that!

Oh also the man who murdered Kyra encouraged Kristen to follow her dreams? What are we supposed to take from that? Kristen Stewart’s makeup in this movie was phenomenal though. The subtlety of her eyeshadow is something her acting aspires to.

Some stuff didn’t make sense to me-the beginning of the movie Kristen goes to this house to try to hear from her brother (but it’s actually someone else, a mad lady who vomits “ectoplasm”) but why are they doing a ghost appraisal on this house? Who are the people buying the house who she’s giving the spirit reports to? No clue.

Overall, incredibly odd, and not in a fascinating new kind of way, in a, “that’s what you did?” kind of way. Eh. 3 out of 6 neutral pullovers, would masturbate again if I’m still thinking about it in a year.

 

 

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The Fate of the Furious

fate_of_the_furious_ver3_xlg

Hello, hello, hello. What is this the 8th movie in this franchise? And I am going strong. I didn’t even learn the title I just said I wanted a ticket to The Fast & The Furious and she knew what I was doing. (It’s also my birthday today and she gave me free birthday popcorn!!!)

These movies seem like they would be bad just because all the trailers are people saying stupid things then explosions but they’ve actually been consistently SO GOOD. This one is a classic pit of Family vs. Justice- there is an evil cyber hacker named Cipher (we all watched The Matrix ok you could have stretched on that name a little bit) played by Charlize Theron. Number one let me just say, to make the villain of the movie a white lady with dreads is perfect. A chefs kiss. (They’re more twists? Idk what she was doing- it looked like the dollar store version of Angelina Jolie in Gone in 60 Seconds) They could NOT figure out how they wanted this lady to dress, in some scenes she looked like the floor manager of a Linens n’ Things and other times she was wearing Metallica t-shirts with blazers. BLAZERS. What in the world.

But so she’s this hacker (both computer mavens were women!! Yay casting and representation- ALSO this franchise is the only franchise with a majority non-white cast that continues to make hundreds of millions of dollars with each release) and she’s trying to get nuclear codes and a submarine just to threaten the world? She gives this weird speech about the end goal but it’s very vague and meandering. Dominic (Vin) is like, “You did all this to start a war?” and she scoffs, “It’s so much more than that” but then never really says what it is. She says it’s so she can do whatever she wants for the rest of her life- but like are you gonna detonate them? Just say that you have them? What?

Dom is in Cuba on his honeymoon (if it took Dom & Letty seven movies to get married there’s hope for you girlfriend!) and Charlize pretends her car is broken down and when Dom stops to help, she shows him something on a cell phone that makes him try to kill Hobbs (Dwayne The Rock Johnson) and turn on everyone. He also kisses Charlize Theron after they set off “concussion bombs” which alter your sensory perception for up to an hour and looked really cool, and I almost cried. I love Letty & Dom and I don’t care who knows it!!!

Also happening, Hobbs goes to jail since the mission got fucked up when Dom went rogue (they say “went rogue” like 50 times in this movie and I get it, but it was still too much. You get to say it one time and that’s all) and he runs into Jason Statham in prison. They have some history, I don’t remember what it is because the last movie came out a year ago and I did not store its every detail in my brain, but they don’t like each other. They do this weird machismo taunting fight bragging through their glass cells at each other, then Hobbs pulls a cement table out of the wall & starts bench pressing it, they agree that if they run into each other outside the cells they will fight a lot.

Almost immediately, the doors to Hobbs’ cell open because there are rich men with vested interests in stuff. But he’s trying to play by the book (he’s just a good cop trying to get it right for his daughter!!!) and all these guards with tasers come to apprehend him even though he’s not trying to get out but Deckard (Jason Statham) chokes one of the guards, makes him tase himself, then uses it to electrocute his locks and open his door. Then a truly excellent prison-wide fight scene happens with a GREAT song playing (I would like to purchase this soundtrack because I liked it very much) and eventually the suits come (Kate Hudson’s dad and Clint Eastwood’s son) and bring them to a warehouse to explain that GASP they actually need to put aside their feud and work TOGETHER because they share a goal (Cipher corrupted and abandoned Deckard’s brother).

Everyone is working together to try to track Dom and Evil Gas Station Barbie and there are some GREAT chase scenes. A personal fave was when Charlize hijacked all the smart car driving mechanisms so she made hundreds of cars in the cities drive against traffic, into stores, whatever. It was a really cool visual to see all the driverless cars causing havoc. Additionally she said, “make it rain” right before making a bunch at the top of a parking garage drive off the edge onto the street (they were trying to get nuclear launch codes from a Russian limo, typical) and that was sweet!! Also every time I’m on the upper level of one of those the death impulse kicks in and it was very very satisfying to watch.

They travel all over the world trying to track them and everyone ends up in Russia (the names of the places are superimposed over the landscape for the first shot of a new destination and I really liked that choice, it looks cool like a video game). Everyone was wearing FINGERLESS gloves in Russia and that took me out of it for a minute because that’s just not right. I’ve done winters in New York & Massachusetts which I’m pretty sure don’t have shit on Russia and you would NEVER wear fingerless gloves outside in that, so I know you wouldn’t if you were hundreds of miles further from the Equator. But oh well. The lady who did the costumes was named Marlene and this was her only mistake and I forgive her.

Letty punches a man off a railing into a moving submarine blade to kill him and people are driving over ice dodging torpedos- there’s a lot going on and it’s all wonderful. Jason Statham is doing a full fight scene with a baby because that’s what was on the cell phone- Dom has a son and Charlize got him and was blackmailing him with it. But they get the kid and then all bets are off. Dom immediately kills the bodyguard person who was with him and outdrives a submarine. Everyone saves the day, they end the movie with the CLASSIC Fast & the Furious dinner scene where people give meaningful toasts and eat corn, Letty meets the baby and you know she’s gonna help raise it cause she’s an angel on Earth.

The beginning of the movie has a really great race scene in Cuba where Dom races some guy with a nosering using a busted up old car that catches fire halfway through the race and he drives backwards through the flames and wins and the car crashes into the ocean and then all these Cuban children crowd around him and cheer for him like he’s a national hero, which he basically is. Helen Mirren has a cameo as Jason Statham’s mom, and we get a true gift of a scene where Dwayne The Rock Johnson is the coach of his daughter’s soccer team and he teaches them some sort of tribal intimidation chant and they do it on the field and it’s very wonderful and great.

Loved this movie, 4 out of 6 nuclear subs, will for sure masturbate again (especially when Dom is teaching his hot young son the ropes in the next one)!! Peace & blessings upon you and your racing family.

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The Boss Baby

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Y’all. I went to go see this movie because I could NOT figure out what the teaser of the conceptual plot even revolved around in the trailer. It’s a baby and he’s a boss? I don’t understand. So I paid my nine dollars like every other child in Kenner today to find out. And WOW.

So, first of all, this movie looked like one of the fake ones Adam Sandler did after he sold out on Funny People. You know the one where he’s a little merman that can talk? When I saw that I was like, “Do they really make movies like that?” They do, and apparently I am the type of person who goes to see them.

This movie never ends up making sense. It has all the pieces of a movie that makes sense: conflict that turns into personal growth through adversity, lessons learned, visual and thematic callbacks, character archs, opposing desires that come to a head, opposing characters joining forces, pirates, famous people doing voices, etc. etc. But it’s like when I saw Blue Velvet for the first time. You’re not gonna get anywhere by focusing on why there’s an ear on the ground. You just need to accept that now you’re in a world where there are ears on the ground. It’s almost exactly like that.

Basic plot: there is a child (Tim, voiced by Tobey Maguire, yes it’s weird) who loves his parents (no names, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow, less weird) and he loves playing with them all the time (he’s still very young). We open on a scene in the Congo with a white man beating up a gorilla and a narrator saying, “There’s always someone who wants to take what you have” and I was like, Does Dreamworks understand irony?? But I don’t think they do. It ends up being the kid and his dad (his imagination is like a character in the movie!) and they are playing. His parents play with him all day, when they’re not working at their job at the pet company, “Puppy Co.”

Oh also lol, before this movie there was a preview for a movie that started out “Two orphans have a dream” that was very odd and uncomfortable seeming. But, back to this.

So, it’s a wonderful life, then a baby in a suit comes in a taxi. Tim sees him pull up in a taxi with a briefcase and little leg suspenders (what are those called? To hold your socks up when people cared?). Then the parents present the baby like they gave birth to it and Tim is suspicious and hates it. That happens for like a week then there’s one night where he hears a telephone ringing outside of the home line. He goes to the baby’s room and finds him on a conference call and ambushes him. The baby (Alec Baldwin) has a speech that’s supposed to be a big breakdown but nothing actually gets explained. We just know now he’s on a mission that has to do with the parents and getting information. And he likes sushi and throwing money.

The opening credits scene was all these babies on an assembly line getting diapers and pacifiers and powder-puffed butts, then when they get to the end most go down a chute labeled “Family” and others go down one named “Management.” Which, initially without any context is hilarious. But then like 30 min into the movie when you still have no clue, it’s like, “We get that it’s cute that he’s wearing a tie but is there ANY semblance of thought someone put into this?” I think the answer is kind of no.

The haphazard explanation we get way later is that there is just a baby management world where babies drink a special formula to stay young forever and control…they never really get to that part. All things baby? Who knows. But in the middle of their cubicles (this could also be read as the most depressingly capitalist piece of art in the entire world where someone in their wildest imagination only could dream of integrating work and productivity into life earlier) there’s this big screen that has a pie chart breakdown of all the love in the world (because there’s a finite amount!) and it only goes to like 5 things and all of them are young things (babies, puppies, birds, goldfish, Lisa Rinna after her first marriage) and puppies have most of the love.

That ends up being the mission. The Puppy Co. is debuting a new type of puppy that stays young forever, so no one will love babies anymore. (Blue Velvet! Ears on the ground!) The Boss Baby was sent to find out about the puppy and alert the other baby managers so they could…? They never really had a plan, they didn’t get that far. Tim hates the baby and wants him gone. The baby explains that if he completes his mission he leaves the family and Tim can have his parents to himself again. If he FAILS they leave him with the family and stop sending him the special formula that keeps him young forever and he just grows up and stays with the family as a normal baby. So Tim decides to help him, so the baby will leave his family forever. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

They go to Las Vegas because that’s where you go to unveil a new puppy type, duh. Tim & Boss Baby are on a plane of only Elvis impersonators (*huffing unidentified gas from tank*-I am just realizing that if you haven’t seen Blue Velvet this review is going to make NO sense) and they make it to the puppy convention. They try to find the secret file and run into Francis Francis (Steve Buscemi) who is the head of the Puppy Corporation and the Babies’ rival. Come to find out he USED to be one of the Big Boss Babies in Baby Management but they kicked him out because he was lactose intolerant. Everything I’m saying is in the movie and true.

All this rigamarole happens with the puppies and a rocket and the formula and Tim’s parents getting locked in a huge stage heart and symbolic pirates and a crossdressing body guard brother, it’s a lot. Eventually Tim saves his parents, rescues Boss Baby from his own mind, thwarts Francis Francis (who is turned back into a baby somehow) and they all go back home. Boss Baby takes a cab to get his “promotion” in baby management heaven or wherever and the parent’s memories are erased. But Boss Baby and Tim miss each other and Tim sends a letter in crayon to the sky and Boss Baby gets it and comes back to live with the family and they grow up then they tell the story to Tim’s daughter in the hospital while her little sister is being born. Then the little sister wakes up and is wearing a business suit and winks. END OF MOVIE.

????? Normally I have some reaction or opinion on a movie but this one was just barely a cohesive mental experience, I don’t even think I have any reactions. My friend Anthony and I were the only ones in the theatre without kids and I think they were confused too. After one part a kid yelled out, “How are they doing this?” and it was like hearing rain in the desert.

It’s just such an odd concept with almost no logical mooring, and nothing else substantial about it. I think it’ll become a cult classic and film dudes in college will take shots every time Alec Baldwin sighs or takes a pager out of his diaper or something. Truly odd, certainly the David Lynch of animated movies. Just missing Laura Dern!! Get her in there! Anyway.

1 out of 5 abacus beads that represent emotional resources, would not masturbate again.

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The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium (Dave Chappelle Collection 1: Ep. 1)

Dave Chappelle At The Hollywood Palladium

!!!!!!! This special was fantastic. I’m never more sure than after watching this that Dave Chappelle is my favorite comedian and my favorite person to watch and hear speak about anything. He’s so brilliant and funny, the way he sees the world and can convey it is so skillful and enchanting.

This special was really interesting. He talks ONLY about things that matter: race, gender rights, OJ Simpson, concepts of masculinity and how they integrate within a global context, intersectionality, the police, his son liking Kevin Hart more than him, (which made me hear “Daddy Nick Cannon is hiLARious” over and over again in my mind!!!) Flint, Planned Parenthood, Carebears, etc. etc. I don’t need to agree with him on each of these things (and I don’t all the time!) but great standup isn’t about people agreeing with you it’s about showing someone a perspective and being funny.

Getting someone to laugh/see something as funny when they DON’T agree with you, I would argue is one of the most difficult social interactions that exists and he does it over and over and over again for an hour. Nobody in that audience agreed with every single thing he said but every single person was laughing and trusted him the whole time.

He has a way of making his truth undeniable and making the joke about something bigger than the part you don’t agree with. And I’m focusing on this because I feel like someone’s gonna write some piece about how he said he doesn’t like his wife’s gay friends or that “man and woman” should remain in the verbiage for marriage licenses but he’s being honest about who he is. No one has perfect opinions all the time. They might try to project that to not offend anyone or more likely, to garner favorable impressions in a contentious social climate but that simply isn’t true. Everyone has bias (to deny that is insane and unrealistic) and he’s exploring his honestly. Chappelle says of trans people, (The ‘T’s’) “They have the toughest road ahead of them because they have the biggest mental gap to bridge.” That’s true!! It’s not something many people intuitively understand. You can chose to believe someone about their own identity or you can fight them on it, but it can be genuinely confusing if someone is raised to strictly believe in the gender binary and/or so many other social constructs that are in direct conflict with the nature of gender fluidity. If you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with your 64 year old dad about trans women being real women even (especially!!) if they haven’t had surgery, you get where I’m coming from. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging your biases, it’s what you do after that. Chappelle is acknowledging his bias in the best way possible-publicly and honestly.

Now there’s a lot in that: the locus of education shouldn’t fall on the marginalized/oppressed groups, at a point proclaiming your inability to understand something becomes a choice, in no way should action or progress hinge on certain people’s understanding of an issue (although unfortunately often it does and that needs to be addressed) and do celebrities normalizing certain attitudes on a large scale translate to violence for certain groups? I believe it can. But first of all, I don’t think (and everyone’s entitled to their own interpretation) he was saying anything negative or hateful about trans people, just saying he doesn’t understand. Also, let’s say you do think he was being both those things, you have to decide what to do with that. Correlation doesn’t equal causation and I don’t think the answer to transphobia is comedians and their Netflix specials.  I don’t think not letting people say any opinions that might be problematic is the key to bring about progressive change. I think it’s more productive to have conversations about them and use people’s public forthcoming to educate (again, not the oppressed groups but the rest of us). I personally wanted my dad to watch this special so we could talk through some of these things through the accessibility of humor but he doesn’t have a Netflix password 😦

And can people can hide behind a lot of these things and wield the concepts I’ve just said exploitively? Of course. There’s judgement involved in discerning that. BUT there’s good people who don’t have it all the way yet and I (maybe optimistically) think that’s most people. And this special is for all of us (I readily include myself in this group).

There’s a lot of layers and I understand how this can sound apologist and ultimately I’m not trans and if trans people are saying something is violence to them that’s valid and real and should be treated as such. But in this instance I think that realization needs to be rooted in a dialogue of what is the role of comedy in society and to who, because that’s the heart of where this all lies. I also think there’s comorbidity here, a trans person can say, “this special is going to make my life harder” and that can be true but I don’t think then it makes his special wrong.

I’ll use an issue I can speak with authority on instead of trans rights because I’m not trans. In this special, Chappelle probably says the word “rape” over thirty times. It’s a punchline, it’s an explanation, it’s a reference, it’s a preposition, it’s everything. It’s basically that scene in The Wire where they solve the crime by only saying fuck but it’s “rape” and nothing is solved at the end. But just as good!!! So, one of his bits is him making up movie pitches to Hollywood producers at the Oscars. There’s two guys, one is gay and one is a big guy from Texas. He’s throwing out ideas he thinks they’ll like. This is key, because in the next breath when he proposes a superhero who rapes people (which is brilliant as a layered concept) there’s a satirical element that it’s not what he, Dave Chappelle, likes and thinks is funny, he’s trying to appeal to/make fun of this misogynist producer. He goes on to explain that this superhero is stronger than Superman and saves people, but he can only use his power if he touches a woman’s vagina. “Doesn’t have to be for long, just a few pats.” But so he paints this scenario of a building burning and people dying, and this man running up to women around the city pleading with them to let him touch their vaginas “just for a few minutes” (which felt like a political parallel to the Brock Turner defense that it was “only 20 minutes of misconduct”) then all the women say no and Chappelle pauses and says, “So he rapes them.” Which ALSO defining any unwanted physical contact, even a few ‘pats on the vagina’ as rape seems political and wonderful to me because there’s so much language surrounding “legitimate rape” (there’s some right there!) and a lot of women don’t feel valid in claiming rape if it wasn’t a violent act from a stranger, even though “gray rape” (a term that has been coined for nonviolent rape) by an acquaintance or friend is overwhelmingly the majority of rapes.

So he’s presenting this situation where the superhero is raping, but it’s ‘for good’ and it ‘saves more people than it hurts.’ (And yes, yes, why is violence against women always the go to and one of the reasons it’s able to be presented in a humorous context so easily is because it’s generally not taken as seriously or believed, I know, but come with me here) Anyway, he ends this anecdote and moves on. Then later at the end of the special (after he’s talked about Bill Cosby a lot) he ties it back in and does a loop de loop with all the things Cosby accomplished for black people (first black actor to win an Emmy, partnered with a clinical psychologist to make sure there wasn’t even a single negative portrayal of black people during the entire 8 seasons it was on) and does an echoed speech thing to tie these two together. The Superhero Who Rapes and Bill Cosby. And again, is it a false dichotomy? Yes of course but he’s speaking on a larger concept of legacy and the complex, nuanced perspective that lies within. Which is totally valuable and honors how so many people feel, especially older people of color by emotionally contextualizes them/their responses to the whole thing .

Also, to leave this topic for a while (and never return!) he tells this story about taking his son to see Kevin Hart and it is truly hilarious and he is a funny genius and I love him more than the sun. At the end, he leaves and everyone stands up and applauds him (he also entered to a full theatre standing ovation) then he runs back out and says, “I forgot!! The fourth time I met OJ Simpson…” because in the beginning he said, “before the night is over I will have told you about all four times I met OJ Simpson” and I can’t decide if he really did forget? Or orchestrated it that way to have a different pace? To look spontaneous? I don’t know, it really does seem like he forgot, but then that would be amazing that he’s structuring an hour not knowing how it’s going to end, just going. But I’ve seen him do an hour where he is just talking and I believe he can do that I guess I just assumed if you’re filming a special you’d plan it out a little more but maybe he didn’t! That’s honestly even more impressive to me. And he does tributes at the end to Garry Shandling and Phife and it reminded me of his show where he would have a musical guest at the end (because he left on a song playing) and ughhh it was so good and I can’t believe there’s another one (and then another!) and I want to buy these on tape so I can go to sleep listening to it every night he really is so fucking incredible. It’s even more incredible when you hold it up to all the other Netflix specials that have come out over the years, they fucking churn them out like butter but unlike butter they’re all bad and this was really really good and we’re lucky to have him and I hope he continues to create.

Oooh! And he rags on Key and Peele a little bit and I heard a radio interview with him where he talks about it a little more and I could listen to him talk about that forever. I don’t really have an opinion on that (nor do I need to) but I just think he got fucked over and rightfully is a little bitter that someone else got to do what he wanted without that.

Love him, love the special, loled. 8 out of 9 Kevin Hart jerseys, would/will DEFINITELY masturbate again.

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