Daily Archives: September 11, 2016

BQB’s Classic Movie Roundup – License to Drive (1988)

“You mustn’t fuck with the department of motor vehicles, Mr. Anderson. We can make your life a living hell.”

Sigh.  Good times.

Every once in awhile I see an old movie on TV that I feel the need to tell my 3.5 readers about.

While “classic” might mean “Oscar caliber” to some people, I’m just going to use the term loosely whenever an older film strikes my eye.


This afternoon, I caught License to Drive, a 1980s comedy starring the decade’s two most popular Coreys, Haim and Feldman, respectively.

I’ve seen this one so many times and I can’t help but watch it again whenever I’m channel surfing and happen to catch it.  No matter what generation you’re from, it really captures the importance of being able to drive and how a license can totally change a teenager’s life.

Sixteen-year-old Les (Corey Haim) lucks out in scoring a date with uber hottie Mercedes (Heather Graham’s breakout role).

He figures it will all work out because his driver’s license exam is that week and he’ll be licensed by the weekend but no, he epically fails and thus a series of terrible events occur.

Not wanting to miss out, Haim defies his father (Richard Masur as a typical angry that my kid is so dumb dad) and swipes his grandfather’s cadillac to take Mercedes out.

You may not realize it, but this movie really combines sights, sounds, and backstory to create a funny experience.

In the beginning, we learn that Les’s grandfather loves his car and that he’s likely to start World War III if so much as a scratch is left on it.  Thus, throughout the movie, from a narrow road in the forest where tree branches swipe against the car, to Mercedes getting drunk and dancing on the hood in her heels, to goons getting mad at Les and trashing the car, to a drunk barfing in it, you, as the viewer, end up cringing with every single scrape, bang and ding.

Corey Feldman of Goonies fame and Michael Manasseri are Les’s buddies, the carefree Dean who eggs Les on to break more and more rules and uber nerd Charles who is afraid of everything.

To top it all off, Les’s mother (Carol Kane) is pregnant and could need a ride to the hospital at any minute which isn’t good seeing as how her son ran off with the family’s only method of transportation.

My favorite part is the scene where Les takes his driver’s test.  We see scenes where his test and his twin sister (family favorite Natalie played by Nina Siemaszko) gets a super nice tester who takes her for a nice, quiet drive through the country while Les gets a super angry tester (James Avery aka Will Smith’s uncle in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air).

When James literally tosses his clipboard out the window and informs Les that if a single drop of his coffee spills its over, you know its going to be funny.

Great movie.  Reminds me of my childhood, being a teenager and overall, simpler times.

Sigh…and it makes me sad that we lost Corey Haim too soon at age 38.  Life sure can be unfair sometimes.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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The Illiad Rebooted – Chapter 12


The games had begun. In the glorious amphitheater of Sparta, Tyndareus and the boys sat and watched as Helen’s suitors raced chariots, fought wild beasts, and sparred with one another, all in one great big bloody battle royale.

The old king looked away just in time to avoid seeing a lion chomp its fearsome jaws down on Aristonymos the Awesome’s head.

“Oooh,” Odysseus said as he tossed some popcorn into his mouth. “That’s gotta hurt.”

“This is revolting, Odysseus,” the king said. “Shouldn’t we put a stop to this?”

“Ehh,” Odysseus said. “We could but the more dummies the lions eat, the less dummies you have to interview.”

The king shook his head. “Carry on.”

A giant of a man swung a battle axe that was so heavy only a man of great size could wield it. He used it to lop off heads and limbs as he pushed his way through the onslaught of warriors.

“My gods,” Castor said. “Is that….”

Odysseus grinned. “Ajax!”

The warrior looked up from battle and acknowledged the royalty with a nod.

“Ajax the Great!” Odysseus called. “Get your ass up here!”

Ajax sighed. As he lumbered towards the stands, three warriors jumped on his back. Ajax flexed his muscles and sent the annoying gnats flying every which way.

“Is this wise?” Castor asked.

“He looks angry,” Pollux noted.

“I’ve got to know,” Odysseus said.

Soon enough, Tyndareus and the boys found themselves staring up at the giant, who towered over them.

“Errgh,” Ajax grunted.

“Ajax the Great!” Odysseus said. “You honor us with your presence. You must answer a most vexing question. Do you possess a gigantic…”

Tyndareus cut in. “A gigantic sense of bravery.”

“Erggh,” Ajax said.

“No,” Odysseus said. “I want to know if he as an enormous…”

“Physique,” Tyndareous said. “Of course he does. He is the pride of Greece. That will be all, Ajax, thank you. Please return to your murders.”

“Errgh,” Ajax said as he returned to the battle.

“Why’d you cut me off?” Odysseus asked. “Now I’ll never know if he has a…”

“Odysseus,” the king said. “Your wit is quick and your tongue is sharp but if you are to ever rule you must learn about diplomacy. Question a man such as Ajax the Great about his genitalia and he’ll be liable to smash you like a bug so much as look at you.”

At that moment, Odysseus watched as Ajax cleaved an opponent in two.

“Duly noted,” Odysseus said.

The king felt a hand on his shoulder. The royals turned around to see Agamemnon and Menelaus decked out in their finest, jewel bedazzled robes, sipping from wine goblets and sneering.

“King Tyndareus,” Agamemnon said. “You’re looking well for an old codger.”

“Agamemnon,” the king said.

“O-douche-eus,” Agamemnon said to the adventurer.

“Butthole brother number one,” Odysseus said to Agamemnon, and then to Menelaus, “Number two.”

Menelaus grunted and took another sip.

“How long will this charade go on?” Agamemnon asked.

“Charade?” Tyndareus asked. “What ever do you mean?”

“Cut the shit, old man,” Agamemnon said. “We both know that either Helen will be Menelaus’s bride or Sparta will burn.”

“Not exactly the best argument to win my good will,” the old king said.

“I’m not in this to be loved,” Agamemnon said. “I’m in it to be feared. Fear will get you what you want more than love any day.”

Tyndareus rose and put his hands on Agamemnon’s shoulders. “Agamemnon. You stand before me a king of kings, the great ruler of the Achaean League, commander of an army so vast it could never be quantified. Will there ever come a day when you’ve had your fill of the world and decide that you’ve had enough?”

Agamemnon smiled. “Never.”

Tyndareus sighed. “As great as you have become, I still see that sad little boy when I look in your eyes.”

“And I still see the same tired old has been when I look in yours,” Agamemnon said.

Odysseus stood up. “All suitors are expected to fight.”

“Rules are for vagrants and commoners,” Agamemnon said.

Menelaus guzzled the last of his wine then cast his goblet aside. “No. I’ll fight.”

“Shut up, fool,” Agamemnon said. “No one asked you.”

“A man could hardly be considered worthy of the most beautiful woman in the world if he won’t prove himself in combat,” Odysseus said.

“Bah,” Agamemnon said as he slapped his brother on the back. “Fine!”

Menelaus drew his sword and headed for the rumble.

“But stay on the sidelines!” Agamemnon shouted at his brother. “Don’t stab anyone until they stab you first!”

Once Menelaus was out of ear shot, Agamemnon addressed Odysseus. “The gods themselves could not create enough words to describe how much I despise you.”

“What?” Odysseus asked as he shrugged his shoulders.

Castor stared at Agamemnon. “Old…” Castor struggled to get out the words. “Old…friend…what does it matter to you whether or not your brother marries Helen?”

“Her beauty does you no good if she’s wed to another,” Pollux added.

“She is a prize,” Agamemnon said. “And all prizes belong to the royal family of Mycenae.”

The ruler of the Achaean League turned his back on the group and walked off, but not before delivering one last ultimatum. “Get with the program or get dead, shit bags.”

The old king and his boys returned to their seats.

“And you’re going to tell me diplomacy will work with a man like that?” Odysseus asked.

“No,” Tyndareus replied. “With a man such as Agamemnon, one’s choices are either capitulation or war.”

“I’m sorry that you feel you have to choose capitulation,” Odysseus said.

Tyndareus patted the adventurer on the back. “As am I, my boy. As am I.”

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TV Review – Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

This is the best show that you probably never saw.

Dead revival powers + lighthearted mysteries + awkward (and dangerous) romance = Pushing Daisies.

BQB here with yet another TV review.

It often astounds me what the network suits decide should be cancelled and what should stay on.  It was truly a “grave” (ha, puns!) injustice that this show didn’t get more seasons.

How to explain it?

As a child, Ned learns he has a mysterious, supernatural power – he can bring the dead back to life with his touch.

Of course, nothing is that simple and there are some catches:

  • If he brings a dead someone or some thing back to life, a live someone or some thing in the surrounding area will die to balance things out.
  • If he touches the revived dead again, he/she/it will die again, this time permanently, and the touch will not work on that subject again.

As an adult, Ned (Lee Pace) has opened up his own pie show, “The Pie Hole” but it is failing financially.

So, he teams up with private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride).  Ned touches murdered people, he and Emerson ask them how they died and (hopefully if they know, who killed them).  They only have sixty seconds to make their inquiries and then Ned must touch the person before someone else in the area dies in the revived dead person’s place.

Emerson then passes it all off as though he solved the crime through his masterful detective skills and splits any ensuing reward money with Ned.

The situation becomes complicated when his childhood friend Charlotte aka “Chuck” (Anna Friel) returns to her hometown, but not as Ned would have hoped.

Chuck has been murdered, but when her body is shipped home for burial, Ned brings her back to life.

Chuck is grateful and joins in Ned and Emerson’s crime solving routine.  Alas, Ned and Chuck must figure out a way to keep their romance alive despite Ned not being able to touch Chuck ever again because if he does…she’ll die.

Without giving too much away, it involves a lot of plastic wrap.

I’m not sure where you’ll be able to watch it, 3.5 readers. At the time of this writing, I wasn’t able to find it on Netflix.  I’m sure it must be around somewhere and I suppose if you have the dough and love the show enough you could buy it but if you know where it can be streamed let my 3.5 readers and I know.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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