Movie Review: Men in Black: International

Here come the Men in Black…galaxy defenders.

Sorry.  That’s so 1990s.

BQB here with a review of the latest MIB film.

I’m not sure if this counts as reboot.  If anything, it must be a sequel.  I assume the past adventures of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones from the originals are still in MIB’s history logs, but now, new characters are going on new adventures.

In this rendition, Agent M (Tessa Thompson) is a rookie, and a non-traditional one at that.  While most MIB agents are recruited, she finds the agency on her own.  As a child, she had an alien encounter and has ever since dreamed of joining the mysterious, clandestine alien investigation organization.

Long story short, the agency gives her a shot and pairs her with Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) of the London bureau.  Together, they trot the globe, aiming to unravel a complex plot that involves the member of an alien royal family, shape shifting aliens, an arms dealer who literally has a lot of arms (Rebecca Ferguson) and, horror or horros, a mole inside MIB.  Add in a diminutive sidekick voiced by Kumail Nanjiani for good measure. Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson stop by as MIB higher ups.

Naturally, there are social justice updates, which is ironic because MIB was always one of the more woke franchises to come out of the 90s.  Agent J was, after all, played by Will Smith, who rapped the infamous theme song and he and K were eventually joined by a female agent.  In this go around, the title of the organization is questioned.  Why are Men in Black?  Why aren’t they People in Black?  Funny, Dark Phoenix asked the same question about the X-Men.  I suppose we should start looking for People in Black or X-People movies soon.

Anyway, I’d heard some bad reviews but I don’t agree.  It was a good installment and honestly, I did think Men In Black 3 from 2012 kinda sucked, thus showing signs that the franchise was in need of an overhaul if it was to continue.  Also good to see Hemsworth and Thompson working together again, since they first appeared together in Thor: Ragnarok.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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The Biggest Bug Ever Has Infiltrated BQB HQ

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BQB’s Uninvited House Guest.  Imagine this, but 100 times larger and also, it is most likely an airborne rapist.

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I opened my door for a second.  Closed it.  Went out my night and watched some TV.  I got up and as I moved about the house I heard a fluttering and low and behold the biggest frigging bug I’ve ever seen is buzzing around my downstairs.

It must have been in the room with me a long time, quiet, only to start flying around when I got up.  I stayed still because I could tell it was flying around in like a little fighter jet formation, trying to find me.

I debated what to do.  I could attack but maybe he’d sting me and though a bee sting is bad enough I have no idea what this sucker is and it is so big it looks like it is from the deepest, darkest depths of the jungle and is probably packing the ebola virus or something.

It landed on my lamp and rested and at that point I thought about grabbing a broom and smacking the shit out of it but then I’d break the lamp and I like that lamp.  Also, it’s a pricey lamp.  And maybe it would survive and attack.

So I went upstairs to bed.  And I’m lying here and I hear buzzing.  And moving.  Like its flying around and bumping into shit down there and honest to God, it’s so loud down there it sounds like burglars are down there.  Like if you woke up and heard this shit for the first time you’d grab a baseball bat or something…that’s how loud this little fucker is.

I thought about propping my door open.  Maybe the little bastard will fly out.  But then again maybe 50 of his brothers and sisters will fly in and rape me.  Like, I’m serious.  They’ll smoosh themselves together into the form of a burly longshoreman, drunk with lust and bourbon, lonely from his years at sea and ready to make mincemeat out of my backside.  I can’t have that.

There’s a part of me that just says grab the broom and have at it.  Whatever.  Smack him.  Knock over the TV and the pictures and the knickknacks and just destroy the house.  Whatever.  It’s fine as long as he goes with it.  I can buy more household shit.  I can’t buy another life when this giant buck stings me to death and then rapes my corpse and puts my head on a pike in front of his bug castle, wherever that is.

I’m serious.  I can hear the little shit moving around down there and so far my plan was to just shut my bedroom door because I’m worried he’ll figure out how to fly upstairs.  Other than that, I don’t know what my plan is for tomorrow.  I’m hoping he’ll fly into a wall and knock himself the fuck out.

Maybe I need a cat.  I could borrow a cat and he’ll eat the son of a bitch.

Either that or I could get a can of Raid, one with the little red straw thing to use for aiming long distances and try to shoot the fucker out of the sky but then again I’d be dousing my house in noxious chemicals.

I have also considered burning down the house just to destroy the bug but I can’t guarantee that would work.  I could picture myself at ease, staring at the flames, satisfied I killed the beast only to have it buzz up behind me, sting me, and then rape my corpse.

For some reason, I have decided this bug is a rapist.  I don’t know if there’s a lot of sexual assault in the insect kingdom.  I’m just saying, I think this bug does not respect the #metoo movement.  He has invaded my personal space and I am this close to talking smack about him on Twitter.  Fuck that bug.

What should I do to get rid of this bug, 3.5 readers?  Discuss in the comments.

Movie Review – Dark Phoenix (2019)

She’s a phoenix.  She’s dark.

BQB here with a review of the latest X-Man movie.

The reviews have been calling this the crappiest X-Men movie to date, but here’s my take, 3.5 readers. If you view the movie as a stand alone, it’s pretty good.  Lots of good action, special effects and what have you.

If you view it as part of a long, drawn out, lengthy timeline saga that the studio has asked you to consider, then it all falls apart.

You’ve got the early 2000s movies with Jackman, Patrick Stewart and so on.  You’ve got the newer, younger yet older timeline based movies with the quote unquote “new class.”  To date, nerds have been happy to see the timelines work but it falls apart here.

I could go on and on with the timeline errors.  At this late point in the timeline (I believe this takes place in the 1990s though there aren’t any guideposts to show it), Magneto and Professor X should be played by Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, rather than their younger counterparts, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy.  There are other little nagging things that don’t make sense to a nerd who is paying attention and ultimately, the “older” version of Jean Gray from the 2006 “The Last Stand” film (Famke Janssen) already became the Dark Phoenix so if the X-Men in that film were surprised she went dark then it doesn’t make sense if she already did it in the past, which is this film, which OK, now my head is starting to spin and I realize I need a life.

At any rate, in the early 2000s, older people were more accepted in lead roles in movies.  By the 2010s, every hero had to be barely out of puberty.  The conundrum FOX had is that according to the X-Men source material, Professor X and Magneto were two old men who had recruited their bands of mutants to fight one another and well, we couldn’t have old farts on screen for any length of time anymore so to make sense, the studio came up with historical flicks where Prof. X and Magneto were young.

To everyone involved’s credit, the idea went off largely without a hitch and there was an effort to keep the timeline in order but caution on the timeline was thrown to the wind with this one.

It’s unfortunate because again, on a surface level watch, it’s not a bad movie.  It just falls apart if you consider it in connection with the rest of the franchise.  Unfortunate, because I believe this is the last X-Men flick, at least in this go-around and any future ones, I assume, will be part of a reboot.

Sophie Turner and friends do their best and Jessica Chastain is great as a villain/alien who wants the dark phoenix power for herself.  There’s an unnecessarily placed F-bomb, which, if it works, I’m not against but it seemed like it was just placed here for shock value and one wonders why since, by and large, these movies are for children.

I don’t know.  Sometimes I think these movies are great.  Sometimes I wonder why I spent so much time watching a bunch of blue assholes (Mystique, Nightcrawler, Beast, etc) run around like idiots for two hours.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy, but you do have to watch it as a normal person and not as a nerd who with an in-depth memory of the timeline.  Going forward, I think given Hollywood’s base hatred of anyone over 40 (or really, 35), they’re probably just going to have to deviate from the source material and have Prof. X and Magneto be a couple of 20 somethings leading other 20 somethings and everyone over 30 can go F themselves.  So in other words, the new flicks will mirror today’s world.

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A Rap About the $1.42 I Made Selling My Books on Amazon

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BQB:

Aw yeah.  What you gonna do?

Aw yeah.  What you gonna do?

What you gonna do with your dolla forty-two?

Woke up in the morning, pulled my laptop out da sleeve.

Logged on to my bank account. Whoa! Do my eyes deceive?

Out of my throat, my heart did try to leave,

At the sight of some figures, so shiny and new

And wouldn’t you know it?  They added up to a dolla forty two.

CHORUS:

A dolla forty two.  A dolla forty two.

A man has got to hustle to grip that dollar forty-two.

BQB:

If you got a dollar and a half, some buster’s gonna want it.

So keep it in your pocket and you’d better well not flaunt it.

And sure you could feed the homeless and bring some happiness to the poor.

But I think I’d rather drive a new Bugatti through my garage door.

Cuz we all know some bitches love a man with a buck and some change.

So I’m gonna cruise the strip, on the hunt for some strange.

Ladies get excited, don’t know what they gonna do.

When they see a man got a wallet and inside there’s a dolla forty two.

CHORUS:

Dolla forty-two y’all.  Dolla forty-two.

BQB:

2019.  The year I clocked some green.  Peace.  I’m out.

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Movie Review – Aladdin (2019)

You never had a friend like me, 3.5 readers.

Wait, have I ever had a friend?  Probably not.  Geeze, now I’m sad.

Oh well.  Here’s a review of “Aladdin.”

Disney continues with its quest to live action-ize all of its classic cartoons.  This time around, its one of its biggest, “Aladdin.”

The challenge here is that cartoon was 99.99 percent based on the late Robin Williams’ manic energy.  Just as Williams would, at a rapid clip, move from one impression and silly voice to another, so too would the Genie.

There just isn’t a comedian today who matches Williams’ abilities and frankly, it would be lame to have someone just do a Williams impression anyway.

Ergo, I think Disney made a good choice in picking Will Smith.  He can sing.  He can dance.  He can do comedy.  He doesn’t try to copy Williams but rather makes the role his own.  Sure, Genie engages in some silliness, but there’s no attempt to copy Williams here.

True, Smith does look odd in blue genie form but the film tries to have genie in human form for as long as possible to make up for it.

Overall, the film is fun and a good time.  Not knocking Marwan Kenzari, but I think they might have picked a scarier actor to play Jafar but I get that Disney is going with mostly unknowns, perhaps to keep these remakes from being overpowered by star power or perhaps so they can go with one big star like Will Smith and not break the budget on a supporting cast.  I don’t know.  I’m not a Disney executive so what would I know.

I also give Disney credit for not being afraid to tinker with the plots of these movies and making them their own for a new generation.  For example, I think someone realized Genie couldn’t be a blue ghost for the whole film, so in human form he becomes more like Aladdin’s wing man and adviser.  I think maybe they missed an opportunity for laughs with Iago the parrot.  He was voiced by the parroty sounding Gilbert Gottfried in the original, but becomes a sinister little varmint in this reprise.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

King of the Monsters?  More like King of the Stinkers, am I right?

BQB here with a review of this turkey.

So, ever since the success of the Avengers, all the other studios want in on the “cinematic universe” idea, though ironically, with all the money and talent that Tinsel Town has to offer, no one but Disney/Marvel has yet to do it effectively.

Still, they try.  This film is set in the world of the 2014 “Godzilla” and 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island.”

Now, I actually liked the latest Kong movie.  It had a decent story.  A Vietnam War Colonel, angry that his country did him wrong, sees the fight against Kong as a way to achieve the victory his incompetent leaders denied him.  Add in a subplot about a WWII soldier who got lost on the island and the Monarch Initiative and it wasn’t a total waste of time.  It wasn’t my favorite movie but if I happen to be flipping channels and need something to watch in the background while doing other things when I come across it then sure, I’ll leave it on.  It was fun.

The problem is this Godzilla film suffers the fate of all Godzilla films.  Namely, they are all the same.  You get occasional awesome fight scenes where the big lizard fights other big monsters intermixed between long, drawn out scenes where scientists bicker about man’s audacity in thinking he control nature, his pollution and destruction of the earth, whether or not Godzilla is a villain or hero, and so on.

Here, the scientists take opposite viewpoints, that Godzilla may be looking to kill us all or maybe the destruction he does is to an end, namely, though he does take out entire cities, he only does so while fighting monsters who would take out the whole world.  He has to bitch slap these monsters to get them to behave and unfortunately, that means a lot of death, destruction and property damage but hey, it would be worse if these monsters weren’t bitch slapped and he’s got to bitch slap them.

The plot centers around a husband/wife scientist team who are at odds over the beast.  Vera Farmiga thinks titans, or any large monster, are earth’s response to a sickness.  Just as a fever helps burn off illness, so to do monsters smash the shit out of humanity and once our cities are destroyed, pollution is reduced and the world is saved.

In her quest to let the titans rule, she is joined by a British soldier turned eco-terrorist played by legendary baddie Charles Dance of Tywin Lannister fame, who is too good for this drek and no doubt is just collecting a paycheck.

Vera’s husband, played by Kyle Chandler, thinks this idea is stupid and humanity should be saved and the titans destroyed.  And so it goes.  Scientists bitch and moan and wax philosophical for long stretches of time and then once in awhile you are treated to a cool monster fight.  They could actually just cut the talking, show you 20 minutes of monster fights and call it a day and everyone would be happy.

Also, Millie Bobby Brown, as the couple’s child, has to overcome her fighting parents to save the day.

STATUS: Borderline shelf-worthy.  I think Godzilla movies are just born to suffer the same fate.  Many years ago, when the film industry was new, some Japanese dudes figured out that if a guy gets in a rubber lizard suit and stomps on a model of a city, it looks cool.  It was awesome for its time but unfortunately for Godzilla, its not something that impresses us in today’s CGI laden landscape.  Maybe one day Hollywood will come up with the plot that will make us want another Godzilla movie, but they haven’t done it yet.

Although, there seems to be talk of an upcoming sequel, “Godzilla vs. King Kong” so…maybe….

 

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – West Side Story (1961)

Gee Office Krupke, Krup You!

BQB here with a review of “West Side Story,” 3.5 readers.

Though it won the Oscar for best picture, this movie has been criminally underrated ever since, basically being lost to the annals of musical aficionados rather than watched by everyone as it should be.

Every generation thinks it is the first to discover a whole host of societal issues – race, crime, poverty, immigration and so on.  Truthfully, each generation deals with these issues in their own way and the older folk are left to babble on, reminding everyone these issues have been around forever.

In the 1960s, the Jets (white kids) and the Sharks (Puerto Rican kids) fight for turf in the Upper West Side of New York City.  Their “fights” are well choreographed dance routines where they dance at each other with reckless abandon.  Both sides feel the other is encroaching on their turf and trying to change their way of life.  Neither side realizes they all are looking for the same things and if they’d just talk, they could work on improving their lives together.

See?  Times never change.

Amidst this backdrop, Tony, a Jet who to his gang’s dismay, has gotten a job and is trying to go legit, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Shark leader Bernardo.  Theirs is a Romeo and Juliet type story – two star crossed lovers from groups that historically hate each other.

Somehow, they must find a way to keep their love going against all odds and the pressures that their respective gangs put on them to break it off.

There’s two great musical numbers that, when you watch them today, you realize that these problems have faced our society for many years.

First, in, “Gee, Officer Krupke” the Jets parody the whole system that juvenile delinquents go through.  Posing as adults, Riff is passed through the police, a social worker, a psychiatrist, and the prison system.  Each “adult” or a kid posing as an adult, has a different opinion on why Riff is so screwed up and none of the adults consult with each other.  They tell Riff that he’s screwed up because of his parents, because he needs a job, because he’s inherently bad.  Treatment options range from he needs to talk to a shrink to he needs to find work to he’s got no good in him and needs to go to jail.  The system becomes a joke as the kid is just passed from one part of the system to another and ends up no better than when he started.  This pretty much still happens today.

Second, in “America,” the Sharks square off on their differing opinions of the immigrant experience.  The pro-America argument is that the country is great.  Washing machines and apartments and jobs and so on.  The anti-American argument is you have to ruin your credit to get the washing machine, the apartment is so expensive you have to put 20 people in it to afford it and the best jobs you’ll get are waiting tables and shining shoes.  This debate rages on even today, doesn’t it?

“America” is especially fun to watch.  The choreography is great as the dancers all match their movements together and turn on a dime.

Anyway, last I knew it was on Netflix, so check it out, 3.5 readers.

 

 

 

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Rewatching Game of Thrones

I think it’s worth another watch, 3.5 readers.

Since the last episode, I’ve been watching it all from the beginning.  I still have a long way to go, but I think it really enriches the experience.

See, over the years time goes on, it is hard to follow all the characters so when a year goes by between seasons, you just end up like, “Uh that’s the dude without a dick and uh that’s the guy they keep killing who comes back to life and that’s the guy with the burned face and that’s the bitch with the dragons and they’re all doing some shit.”

For example, it was lost on me how much help the Hound gave to the Stark girls.  He intervened a number of times to help Sansa while he was in King’s Landing.  Then, when he left he helped Arya a number of times too.  It’s character development.  He comes across as an angry bastard yet if he sees someone being abused, he intervenes.

I also forgot how Ned had ordered Dondarrion to hunt down the Mountain.  Dondarion tells about it after the fact, that he was killed by the Mountain and Thoros begs the Lord of Light to bring him back and it actually happens.  It seems like that would have been a cool scene to show but maybe they couldn’t show everything.

Anyway, over the years, I missed how certain characters came into the storyline but if you watch it all again, a lot of questions are answered.

Happy Memorial Day 3.5 Readers

Enjoy your day.  Put a hamburger on the grill for BQB.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

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Hey 3.5 readers.

Yet another Clint movie and I don’t think I’ll spend too much time on it.  This one wasn’t his best but it wasn’t bad either.  Worth your time but nothing to rush to get to.  In the grand scale of Clint’s catalog, it’s somewhere in the middle.

Here, Clint is an aging gunnery sergeant who once won the medal of honor at Heartbreak ridge in the Korean War.  While Clint’s character, Sgt. Highway, kicked ass in the corps, his personal life suffered greatly.  His wife left him, not able to take him being gone for so long.  Meanwhile, the modern corps, in his opinion, has become pussified, bogging him down with red tape and rules and overall, a bunch of pansies who haven’t seen battle are showing him their gratitude for his service by trying to get rid of him.

He gets one last assignment – training a bunch of doofus recruits which include Mario Van Peebles, who wants to be a rock star more than a marine.  Long story short, he whips the chumps into shape and ships off with them to Grenada.

Typical Clint fare in another movie where he bitches about how things have gotten too modern, which if he didn’t like 1986, he probably wouldn’t like things today.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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