Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mindhorn is the greatest movie of all time

Fuck, Mindhorn, or "Brain Thorn" as my female companion calls it, is dope. Just my type of movie... so weird. This out there premise involves one Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt who was the main guy in The Mighty Boosh and was also in a few episodes of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [do yourself a favor and watch that shit]) who was famous for a long forgotten fictitious television show on the Ilse of Man called Mindhorn. Long after burning all the bridges he's had in the entertainment business, Thorncroft returns to the island when a mentally disturbed young man sends him evidence of a murder, believing his character of Detective Mindhorn to be a real investigator who solves crimes with the help of a cybernetic eye that allows him to see the truth. This movie is amazing.

Last week while having dinner with friends at Falafels, we were all talking about movies and my female companion and I hyped Mindhorn up big time. Explaining it, the companion mentioned the Ilse of Man. This older guy eating there with his daughter and her boyfriend, overheard us and came over stoked, saying that he teaches there every other year in the summer, and asked if we had been there or something. Nope, just watched this ridiculous movie which you should totally watch. The dude seemed intrigued. The boyfriend, meanwhile, looked at us like he knew. But whatever. I hope he watches it as everyone should since it is the greatest movie of all time and all.

Pros: Super camp. Good pacing and humor. Interesting locale. Made me nostalgic for a show and place I've never seen. Again with the ridiculous cameos.

Cons: It is out there. There are a few times where it is hard to follow along.

I'd totes check this show out
Notes: While this movie is a totally odd comedy, it is also sort of a bummer of a movie. No one knows him anymore but he still thinks he can turn it all around. You have a guy that gambled on life and lost, taking his friends and people that depended on him along with him. As a result he is forced to find work in a bastardized perversion of his trade. Ironic punishment is a mother fucker, yo.

Some stuff I liked about this were the absurdity of it, the cameos, and the male lead. Whenever they show the show that he was on from the 1980s we get the old square television format while when it cuts to present day we get the standard widescreen picture. This was a nice touch that I liked and noticed for some reason. The main characters absurdity is my favorite though. Like a delusional wild-man for a protagonist and this one, whose name in the movie is Richard Thorncroft, is totally unself-aware. He meets Kenneth Branagh and treats him like an old friend (and later fantasizes he has gone bald and reveres him), thinks every lady wants to sleep with him (including a woman he ditched during the height of his fame), and thinks himself the Brad Pitt of the Isle of Man. He also thinks he can (and successfully does) dodge bullets by the end of the film.

The movie in a nutshell

Mindhorn has a super fan who is also delusional, thinking he is actually the role he plays on the elective teevee machine, sends him evidence of a crime he is wrongly accused of committing so he will clear his name. Lots of funny stuff here. When his hero is knocked out, for example, the super fan superglues fake hair, the guy's robotic crime solving eye, and fake muscles onto the actor so he looks the role. He is insane. As he is dying, hilariously, he says to Thorncroft, obviously dressed as Mindhorn, "One last thing, Mindhorn. Tell me the truth about Richard Thorncroft. Who is he?" Mindhorn/Thorncroft replies "Let's just say he's someone I used to know." The super fan then gets out "Right, that's..." and seemingly dies. Mindhorn/Thorncroft then says "You poor, deluded fool. I am Richard Thorncroft." The super fan then looks up at him incredulously and then dies. It's super awkward and the hero offers up to his love interest, the one he left years earlier, "At least he didn't die in vain."

Anyways, soooo fucking good. You should definitely make time for this insanity. The parade scene is worth it alone. Totes made me LOL which rarely happens.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is the greatest movie of all time

Though Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is one of the tamest of the franchise with kills that are just okay with gore that mostly happens off screen and basically no nudity, I still enjoyed the film and give it ye olde greatest film of all time tag.  Out of the six I've watched thus far, I'd put this at a solid second or third. I'll get to the rankings later on.

This installment sees the return of Tommy Jarvis with actor Thom Matthews (whom you may remember from Return of the Living Dead) taking over the role as the third actor to take on character in three films as Jason is back as supernatural killing machine with more or less complete invincibility. This is who Jason is for the rest of the franchise, it is important to note. An unkillable zombie that just loves murder. You also get a little bit more comedy in this flick than in the previous ones with Jason occasionally breaking the fourth wall like when he kills a paintballer by ripping off his arm and smashing his face into a tree which produces the "Have a Nice Day" smiley face. Here Jason looks at the camera like, "eh."

Pros: The real Jason is back and this time with a sense of humor. Cast is again pretty decent if not way over the top. Campiest of the series thus far. Pretty good pacing except for a couple of scenes where Tommy is driving around and escaping from the police (which happens multiple times).

Cons: Tamest of the series to this point. Sex and violence is mostly off screen which no one asked for. Could have probably shaved a few minutes off a couple of scenes and made it a little tighter.

What happened to the bald, tennage Corey Feldman?
Notes: Get the third Tommy who is going to kill Jason once and for all. He has a sidekick that is fucking jazzed about this when they are rolling up. This fucking guy is embarrassing. We are also supposed to ignore the fact that Jason was said to have been cremated several movies ago. They dig up Jason and he looks like shit. No surprise there. Then we see Tommy's poorly thought out plan not work. He is going to burn him but it starts raining. Get some blue lightning bringing Jason back to life. Jason walks over to the other dude and calmly punches his heart out. Tommy ghosts. Jason puts on the mask and is ready to fucking rock. Get the 007 intro thing but with Jason stabbing instead of Bond shooting. And here we fucking go.

Ballsy move. Lucky she's above the law.
Naturally, Tommy goes to the cops. Starts in with the talk. The cops are like, "uh, we don't need this shit. Also, what the fuck are you talking about?" Provoked, Tommy grabs a shotgun and waves it around. Good way to spend the night in jail or die if you are a minority. The sheriff's daughter shows up there at the jail then and wants to bone dude, which is a weird vibe to throw out there to a potentially crazy man while your dad the sheriff is standing there. Just saying. The sheriff is an aggressive asshole but come on. Then, when Tommy escapes the first time, she tells him her dad is looking for him in connection with some deaths. Dude is like, "Jason" and she is like "I will pick you up and help you evade my dad." If this were real she would be like, "uh, you are the murderer."Her abetting escalates to the point where she breaks him out of jail the second time, holding a deputy at gunpoint. That's a felony, sister.

Get a bunch of kills in this one but none were super great. The president from Scandal, one Tony Goldwyn, shows up with a lady. They make some bad decisions while driving around in a bug and get murdered. A group five or so paintballers in the woods get theirs. One is the "Have a Nice Day" kill. Jason then kills three with one machete blow. The nerd of group then pops up and shoots Jason with a paintball. Other than momentarily confuse Jason, this does nothing. See him mangled later when Jason stumbles upon a couple camping out in a graveyard. The guy is supposed to be gay or something as he is weird stereotype that 80s movies always play up. The dude is a dandy, basically, wearing a suit while camping and being uninterested in sex. They die.

From there Jason finds another couple camping out. These two are "glamping" in an RV. The dude counselor is such an idiot. He's fucking aggressively stupid. Uses the word "squaw" to refer to the chick that rides him. What a guy. They leave, thinking someone is watching them. Driving away, girl is like, "pull over, you can't drive this thing." dude is like, "no way babe, I've always wanted to drive a house, and I want to rock." It's the dumbest shit. Then he cranks the tunes and says a bunch of dumb shit. While this is happening the girl gets pulled into the bathroom by Jason. Dude is like, "what are you taking a dump?" Charming. She gets the face-plant into the side of the RV. Dude gets a knife in the ear whilst driving. Killed, thank fuck. RV loses control and flips several times. Jason is unphased by the crash. Interesting tidbit about the girl from that scene: she was fired from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and replaced by the lovely Deborah Voorhees under dubious circumstances. The way she tells it, during her audition she was asked to take off her top by director Danny Stienmann, she refused, she got the part, Stienmann then made a pass at her, she rebuffed him, then she was fired. She didn't sue for sexual harassment and to make it up to her the casting director ended up offering her a non-nude role in this flick... But then asked her to get nude anyway. Again, she refused, but this time they figured it would be way too fucked up to fire her a second time. Good call. She is a fucking human being and all.

A triumphant Jason surfs a flaming Winnebago

Around here Jason makes it to the camp, finally, and kills a couple of counselors. In the first one, Jason twists a girl's head off. The second one is done off screen but we see the gruesome aftermath. When the police show up there is blood everywhere in that room. Speaking of the counselors, they are actually responsible for youths as this is the only one in the series with real campers. Get some humor out of them here as one of the young girls is doing some light Sarte reading, No Exit. Existentialism, totally accessible for the kiddos. Jason doesn't kill kids though. Several police officers are killed though, making up for the lack of child death. One, the sheriff if I remember correctly, gets folded in half. This movie actually has a pretty impressive kill count. The final tally was 18.

Some spoilers below, if you give a shit about such things. So here we are at the end. Tommy has managed to dispel Jason by drowning him, tying him to a boulder with chains and throwing it in the lake, which sets up Part VII nicely, just before everyone's favorite supernatural zombie kills the sheriff's daughter, Megan. But wouldn't you know it, Jason manages to pull Tommy down with him to a watery death. Megan, however, is a camp counselor and didn't fuck around with her lifeguard training and pulls Tommy out of the water and even manages to necessitate using a little of the old CPR. I like to think the happy couple go on to live out their days together far from Crystal Lake, reminiscing about how they met while hunting a hellish killing machine that folded her dad in half as this is the last of the series in which Tommy appears. Good times. Good movie.


Let's check in with good old Joe Bob Briggs one last time and see how the Friday the 13th marathon ended on Halloween back in 1998.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Spider-man: Homecoming is the greatest movie of all time

Out of the three Spiderman reboots I've seen in my adulthood, I'd put Spider-man: Homecoming slightly above the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire iteration. People that hate on either of those don't fucking know. What puts this one above the other two is, more than anything, its tying into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. First Spiderman movie to do that since that has been a thing, which is dope.

Having just come off his debut in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, this film follows young Peter Parker as he adjusts to life as a superhero whilst going through normal, infuriating high school drama. After helping save the world or whatever, Parker finds life with his guardian Aunt May (the still lovely Marisa Tomei) to be pretty fucking boring. Plus he has father-figure Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Happy (Jon Favreau), Stark's bodyguard, monitoring his every move. As Parker hones his skills as a crime-fighter, the blue-collar villain Vulture (Michael Keaton) shows up to fuck shit up because reasons. It's not super clear but just roll with it. 

Pros: Fun. Funny. Solid cameos. Keaton. The beautiful Tomei. They skip the origin story. Outstanding soundtrack. Solidly grounded in the MCU. The twist at the end. Cool Stark engineered suit with the Iron Man talking computer thing.

Notes: The movie opens with an origin story for the bad guy rather than yet another rehashing of Peter Parker's transformation. With Spiderman we just get a little bit of a rehashing of what happened in Captain America: Civil War. I still like that they use a person that could actually pass for a high school student instead of someone in his mid to late 20s (although actor Tom Holland is in fact 21). They even portray him as sort of a screw up. Like when his buddy tells everyone at school that Parker knows Spiderman most no one believes it, especially this raging prick who is more or less Parker's bully. There is some humor that comes about as a result of this like when Spiderman pounces down on his car or something while fighting crime, smashing the car, as Spiderman swings away the dude asks him "if he knows Peter Parker." That dude is a fucking hater. Anyway, after that little recap of Civil War we jump right in. All of this is appreciated. Have a lot of time to do some character developing and what not instead of giving us a bunch of shit that everybody already knows.

He'll always be Troy to me
This is the funniest/most fun of all the movies in the MCU. We get humor almost right off the bat with Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.), whom is a father figure as both a business man and as a superhero in his alter ego Iron Man, ending a conversation with Parker in a limo by reaching over him to open the door. Parker thinks he was coming in for a hug. Stark goes out of his way to explain that was not in fact a hug and that he just wanted him out of his car. Lot of the other humor somewhat relies on the cameos and your having to know who several B-listers are and their appearance is amusing. One is Hannibal Buress, Peter Parker's gym teacher, who is in no way athletic and might genuinely be insane. His role as a teacher and coach is absurd in that he has obviously not one for physical fitness and is more one for getting stoned and eating garbage. He is also into showing his students videos of Captain America, as any true gym teacher would be. The other stellar cameo is that of Donald Glover who is Troy on Community, the main dude on Atlanta, and soon to be Lando Calrissian in the Hans Solo Star Wars prequel. He plays some sort of stoner drug dealer dude who is not phased by anything and super unimpressed with Spiderman. Also of note are small roles by Kenneth Choi (Lewis from Last Man on Earth, Judge Ito in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Martin Starr (whom you may recall from Party Down and Freaks and Geeks), and the Tom Hardy doppelganger from Prometheus (Logan Marshall-Green). Also get a glimpse of a picture of Kafka, one of my heroes and why I'm a vegetarian, who wrote the story "The Metamorphosis" about a dude who turns into a bug. It's god tier.

Way to crush those dreams, yo!
Another solid little thing I appreciated was that there were no Maguire spidey lips. When Parker scales the Washington Monument when his academic decathlon team travelled to DC and saves them from falling down an elevator shaft, his love interest, who has a thing for Spidey, stands near the elevator with Spiderman dangling upside down. She sort of starts to go in for the kiss but his web busts. No stupid kiss. Yay!

Anywho, I'm not going to spoil the twist at the end other than to say that there is one and woah ho ho. Also, the outro credits are really cool to watch while you wait for the standard post credit scene at the end of every MCU movie. This one was dope. The best, I say. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Idiocracy is the greatest movie of all time

There is no way to look at the greatest movie of all time, Idiocracy, as anything but prophetic. Now, with the collective year us smartypantses have had, it hard as fuck to laugh at this movie in any way besides sardonically. This is our fucking reality and it's fucking sick and hilarious. The entire time I was watching this with a nervous cringe saying stuff like “oh my fucking god” because it didn't take 500 years to get here, man. I am obviously a little worked up on this July 4 in the year of our lord 2017. Fuck.

ANNNNyyyy who, Idiocracy is about how Luke Wilson, an average soldier dude, and Maya Rudolph, a prostitute, are put in hibernation for what is supposed to be one year as part of a top-secret military project. When the bases shuts down, the duo are forgotten only to be disturbed from their slumbers 500 years later in the Great Garbage Avalanche of 2505. They wake to a dystopian future where Americans (and one would presume the rest of the world) having become so dumb and lazy that Wilson's character, Joe, is easily the smartest man alive. The satirical science fiction comedy was directed by Mike Judge of Beavis and Butthead and Office Space fame and also features Dax Shepard as, I shit you not, Frito Pendejo, Justin Long as Dr. Lexus, and Terry Crews in what I still think is his best roll as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Pros: A terrifyingly accurate representation of where we are headed. Fucking hilariously dumb. Insanely slick satire.

Cons: Some would fault it for its pessimistic view of the future (but they are probably Trump supporters).

Notes: Some of the disturbing shit that Judge got right... In the future they use offensive words like “faggot” and “tarded” and it is socially acceptable. Take this advise that Joe gets from his physician, Long as Dr. Lexus: “Don't want to sound like a dick or nothing, but it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all 'tarded... Don't worry scro'! There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.” As someone writing this waiting to board a plane, I am not impressed.

Using profanity in advertisements seems to be pretty ok now. I remember someone, American Apparel maybe, using “OMFG” as its slogan for a minute there. Examples from the movie, Carl's Jr. (Hardees for us Midwesterners), whose slogan at the time was “Don't bother me, I'm eating,” devolves into “Fuck You, I'm Eating,” Fuddruckers becomes Buttfuckers, and Starbucks serves handjob lattes. This isn't really that out there. If we can elect a guy that openly mocks the handicapped, boasts about grabbing pussy, and openly admits to obstructing justice without any consequences whatsoever and still retain the full support of his dipshit party, then electing five-time Ultimate Smackdown Champion and international porn superstar Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho President of the United States of Uhmerica is within the realm (that is fucking crazy)... And he'd be a better Commander in Chief! President Camacho totally defers to people that are smarter than him, he is honest as fuck, and he isn't blind to the fact that some issues are out of his goddamned control. This Cracked article makes a strong case for Camacho for el Presidente

Who would you rather have as the leader of the free world?
Something else that is horribly accurate is the whole entertainment aspect of the movie. The most popular shows on television are Ow My Balls! and Monday Night Rehabilitation. The first is a program that just features a guy getting repeatedly whacked in the nuts while the latter is a Running Man style reality program that features gladiators in monster tanks murdering criminals. I suspect these shows would be wildly popular if you put them on TV because people getting hurt, especially in the crotchal region, is always hilarious. Know what else is always funny? Farts. The top grossing movie in the future, according to this flick, is a film titled ASS which is just a hair butt farting for an hour and a half. It's dumb and sort of whatever. Thankfully we aren't there yet.

America, fuck yeah!
There is just so much that you will catch new shit every time you watch it. This was my sixth time watching and this time I picked up two new things I've never noticed before. The first comes when Joe is at a Carl's Jr. kiosk. The voice asks him if he would like an “extra big-ass taco now with more molecules,” which is pretty damn funny. The second is at the end of the movie after the credits roll. Rudolph, throughout the movie, keeps talking about her pimp, Upgrayedd (the other “D” is on account of his double-dose of pimping), who she says always finds a way to get his money. It seems ridiculous because he is surely long dead. However, the last shot is of Mr. Upgrayedd waking up and stumbling out of his hibernation chamber talking about getting his money.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, then you are doing yourself a disservice. You owe it to yourself to watch this glimpse into our ridiculous future. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

American Gods is the greatest show of all time

While somewhat uneven of a program, on the whole American Gods is beautifully shot, has a compelling, otherworldly storyline, and (with the exception of Twin Peaks) is a better show than any other drama on television right now. Also, pretty much any show I finish is going to be of the greatest show of all time variety.

Faithfully based on the universally loved Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, the show follows the recently released from prison Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle, only other thing I've seen him in is The 100), who starts working for a stranger he met on a plane, Wednesday (Ian McShane who is probably most remembered for Deadwood), who ends up being the Norse god Odin,  is rally a group of mostly forgotten gods (notably Czernobog played by Peter Stormare who was Karl Hungus in The Big Lebowski, Easter played by Kristin Chenoweth, Anansi played by Orlando Jones, and Mad Sweeney, a leprechaun, played by Pablo Schreiber whom you may remember as George "Pornstache" Mendez in Orange is the New Black, among others) who are about to get in on with new gods which include the likes of Media played by Gillian Anderson, Mr. World played by a surprising cool Crispin Glover,  Technical Boy, and others. While that is going on, Shadow is stalked by his recently deceased handful of zombie wife played by Emily Browning who was the little girl who survived the snap scene from Ghost Ship. Her and the leprechaun Mad Sweeney team up to try to get her life back to the normal persuasion.

Pros: Beautifully done. It's not on Twin Peaks' level when comes to the sheer beauty of the program, but it is damn nice to look at. This is especially true when we follow around the gods. Storyline is sick. Has some great source material. Has some noice kills.

Cons: Sometimes lags. Some of the stuff with the wife is not good.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: American Gods opens with a series of wildly ambitious gambits -- and rewards viewers' faith with a promising first season whose visual riches are matched by its narrative impact.

Notes: While I was disappointed with the first episode, the following couple of episodes were pretty sick. The show opens with a retelling of the prologue from the copy of Gaiman's book that I read where we see viking warriors come over a few hundred years before Leif Ericson, bringing with them their god, Odin (sort of like a Zeus in Norse mythology [read your Edith Hamilton if you didn't know that]). They make sacrifices and pay tribute to the wise one but it doesn't get them back home and they die alone in the new world. So when the vikings return, their god is there waiting for them. It is a hell of a way to open the series. From there though we get a drawn out meeting of the protagonist, Shadow, and this confidence man, Mr. Wednesday, that ends up being a god and eventually his employer. There are moments here that are solid but I didn't much care for the pacing in this early bit and was a bit worried I would make it very far. Some of the best parts that followed were the fertility goddess sexing peoples into a blissful death, everything involving Mad Sweeney, the meeting of Czernobog, the Slavic god of darkness, and his relations the Zorya Sisters (the Morning Star, the Evening Star, and the Midnight Star), and the bank robbery that the protagonists participate in.

Then I hit the fourth episode, "Git Gone," that follows Shadow's dead wife's life from the time when she meets her hubby to the time of her death. None of this stuff was in the book, or at least wasn't memorable, and provides a lot of unnecessary backstory. Throughout most of this episode I was checking the time left to see how much more I had to endure. Not a great sign. Though this was a whatever episode, there was a portion with some just amazing kills. Shadow is getting attacked and hanged by Technical Boy's goons when she comes to his aid with her super strength which she got from a coin that was accidentally given to her after her death, long story, that includes fucking buckets of blood. She fucking kicks a dude in the crotch causing his spine and skull to explode out the top of his body, shooting upward. It was sick.

At that point I hadn't really made up my mind on whether I liked the show or not, I was really unimpressed with that episode four. But then that episode "Lemon Scented You" rocked my shit and then it was fucking on like Michele Kwon. Here we get this amazing animated opening about a forgotten ice age god. The people who worship said god we see get killed off. This sets up this big meeting between old god Wednesday along with Shadow and the new--Media in the form of Marilyn Monroe, Technical Boy, and Mr. World, the god of globalization (his power is vast and cool). The meeting is powerful and sick. Mr. World has some cool shit going on. The group offer Wednesday a new life in the form of a North Korean nuke named in his honor to get the dude some serious zealots over seas and out of their hair. He declines.

In the episode "A Murder of Gods" we see what it is like to for a god to take such a deal. Vulcan, portrayed by Corbin Bernsen, the Roman god of fire, has gathered a group of loyal, gun-toting followers who are sort of Nazis. Life in the Virginia town where he has made residence revolves around the local bullet manufacturing plant. These sick bastards are REALLY into the Second Amendment. So Vulcan has adapted and has a little power but he's a dick. Agrees to make Wednesday a sword but then sells him out to the new gods. Having already made the sword, a total dipshit move, Wednesday uses it lop off his head. He then kicks his body into the molten metal that they make bullets out of which curses his worshipers, apparently.

The finale was on another level dope. The duo of Wednesday and Shadow, as well as, unbeknownst to them, the duo of his "dead wife" Laura and Mad Sweeney, are on their way to visit Easter, Chenoweth, an old goddess of spring and resurrection who has coopted the April holiday. This episode we get killer revelations, a killer fight, and a god going full on deity. It's dope. It's totes worth the watch just for the buildup of this final episode.

On the whole, the show is a stunning visual work of art with a solid story-ark that moves along nicely. It explores themes of religion, meaning, the past, the future, and the other.  It is a show that requires some active viewing, i.e. the best kind of show, that should be rewatched and discussed. Stoked about seeing the rest of this piece.