Monthly Archives: December 2017

My Computer Died

Sad news 3.5 readers. My MacBook died. Apple doesn’t crack, my ass. Oh well, in the meantime enjoy my back catalog.

I have ordered a Microsoft Surface Book so this fine blog should return to normal operations soon.

I’m sad to report though that 50,000 out of 100,000 edited words of Toilet Gator were lost in the destruction and now I must restart the entire process.

This sucks and Franklin should sue Apple for making the world wait longer for the release of the best novel ever written about Toilet gators.

Movie Review – Bright (2017)

Orcs, elves and humans, oh my!

BQB here with a review of the fantasy buddy cop thriller, Bright.

Netflix continues to wage war on conventional cinema, streaming a summer blockbuster type movie, helmed by veteran sci-fi action star Will Smith.

BQB here with a review of the fantasy buddy cop thriller, Bright.

Netflix continues to wage war on conventional cinema, streaming a summer blockbuster type movie, helmed by veteran sci-fi action star Will Smith.

In alternate world of this film, humans, orcs and elves co-exist in the modern world of today.  Despite historic tensions due to past conflicts, the three races try, more or less, to get along, though biases and suspicions continue.

Life is not easy for Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), an orc cop who straddles the lines of two worlds and is hated by the residents of both of them.  Orcs, relegated to being impoverished, inner city dwelling second class citizens, despise him because he’s a cop and orcs feel that cops unfairly target them.  Cue scene of an orc getting wailed on in a savage act of police brutality.

Humans aren’t found of Jakoby either.  Orcs, according to human sensibilities, aren’t pleasant to look at and they took the wrong side in an ancient war.  They basically view him as an untrustworthy animal.

Jakoby is just Jakoby, a normal dude who, despite his orc-ish appearance, is just trying to make it in the world.  He likes burritos and giving his partner health tips and other dorky things.  But depending who you ask, he’s a pussy (according to the orcs) or a beast (according to the humans.)

Ward (Will Smith), has an equally tough time as Jakoby’s partner.  On the one hand, human cops demand that he find a way to trip the orc up and run him off the force.  On the other, he feels that bond of loyalty that any cop feels towards his partner.

Against this backdrop, an elf bright (i.e. a rare user of magic, Lucy Fry as “Tikka”) is on the run and in possession of a magic wand.  In this world, a wand is considered the equivalent of a loose nuclear weapon, something that if it were to fall in the wrong hands, could be used to unleash death and destruction.

The wand is valuable as it can grant whoever wields it untold power, so naturally, the various groups who want it begin stacking up.  Mexican and orcish gangsters, corrupt cops, Federal agents and rogue elves all hunt Jakoby and Ward as they seek to off the dynamic duo and abscond with the wand.

I have to say, the negative reviews of this film are undeserved.  Here’s the deal.  THIS FILM IS <GASP> ORIGINAL!  It’s a new idea.  It’s fresh.  It features a childish concept (i.e. orcs and elves and magic) and infuses it with adult themes (i.e. swears, over the top violence, gunfights and lots and lots of naked titties.)

A Hollywood suit would have been within his rights to put the kibosh on this project for fear that it wouldn’t find an audience.  Kids who like magic can’t come and adults who like violence and titties might be turned off by magic.

But this film is good and it proves that Netflix will persevere as an outlet for films that are original, experimental, on the edge and can’t find a home elsewhere.

The film serves as an interesting vehicle for dialog about racial issues.  Ironically, the main human in the film, Ward, a black man, must fight his own internal biases against orcs (he was once shot by one so now trusts none of them) in order to save the day with his orc parter.

Good writing.  A lot of showing instead of telling.  Good world building.  The rules have been established so sequels are entirely possible.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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I’m So Proud of the Toilet Gator Covers



Book 2 – Son of Toilet Gator:


Book 3 – Toilet Gator in Space:


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Somewhere Over the Rainbow vs. There’s No Place Like Home

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB again.  Really, who else would it be?

Another observation about “The Wizard of Oz.”

There are two sentiments expressed in this movie, and they are very much opposed to one another.

In the beginning, Dorothy sings, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” i.e. somewhere out there is a whole shit ton of happiness…it’s out there, I swear.  It’s coming just around the corner.  It’s right there…over the rainbow.  You can’t get over a rainbow?  You can see the rainbow but you can’t get over it?  Don’t worry.  That amazing happiness is coming.

Then at the end, that bitch Glenda tells Dorothy that her ruby slippers held the power to bring her back to Kansas all along.  I call Glenda a bitch because she could have told Dorothy up front that her slippers could bring her back home and saved her a lot of trouble.

However, Glenda makes a good point.  Dorothy had to struggle through various ordeals in order to figure out that her happiness wasn’t in a fantasyland but it was at her home all along.

To put it all together, Dorothy thinks life in Kansas sucks big time balls.  She has to do chores and live on a shitty farm and get bossed around by Aunty Em and there’s an old bitch in the neighborhood who is constantly trying to murder her dog.

So she dreams of a better life in a better place.  But then she gets there and learns it is even harder.  To get anywhere good in Oz, she has to fight a witch that can throw fireballs, fend off winged monkeys, venture into a spooky forest, and help three assholes find their heart, courage and brains, respectively.

In short, she was better off at home.

Are you better off at home than chasing a dream?  Hard to say.  Dorothy fought through all the bullshit only to find out that her dream, i.e. a magical wizard named Oz who could grant all her wishes, was just a dumb ass hiding behind a screen.

Your dream might be real.  To get there, you might have to fight through a lot of shit and, well, yeah, you might get there and your dream might turn out to be bullshit, the equivalent of a charlatan working a fake head from behind a screen.

So maybe you are better off at home….better off in your shitty farm house with your Aunt and Uncle who love you and three apparently single, middle-aged farm hands who are capable of viewing a young girl as their friend and not engage in any perverted activities because it was the 1930s Midwest and adults were considered to only have good intentions toward children, not all how perverted and messed up it is today.

What do you think, 3.5 readers?  Is happiness over the rainbow, or is it at home?

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I Paid Money for This Too…

…so watch it, you nerds.  I have to get my money’s worth:

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I Paid Money for This…

…so I feel like I have to run it every once in awhile:

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Movie Review – Office Christmas Party (2016)

Party, party, party.

BQB here with a review of “Office Christmas Party.”

It’s a challenge to make a movie set during Christmas time.  People who don’t see it in the theater won’t feel like watching it until the next Christmas.  No one wants to watch it in say, August of the next year.

Moreover, it’s got to be memorable, somewhat touching and if it is, it may very well become a staple of any movie buff’s yuletide Christmas watching.

“Office Christmas Party” is fun, though not laugh out loud funny.  Frankly, now that I’ve seen it once, I doubt I’ll ever watch it again and don’t feel a need to watch it every year.

The set-up – Justin Bateman is the right hand of TJ Miller.  Together, they oversee the regional branch of a computer company.  Miller reprises his role as basically the same dopey, happy fun time party boy he plays in “Silicon Valley.”

When Miller’s sister, played by Jennifer Aniston, the head of the company, threatens to cut jobs if profit demands aren’t met, Bateman and Miller team up to wine and dine a corporate executive, throwing a wild, lavish Christmas party in the hopes this will convince him to hand over a lucrative account that will save the day.

As you can imagine, the party gets progressively out of control and wacky chaos ensues.

Honestly, I judge comedies by one single rule – did it make me laugh uncontrollably?  No.  No, it did not.  It’s fun but it’s not going down in the laughter hall of fame.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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Top Ten Observations About the Wizard of Oz

Follow the yellow brick road, 3.5 readers.

I had the chance to watch this classic the other day.  It’s been years since I’ve seen it and as an adult I noticed a lot of things.  Most good, a few just me being my typical jerky self.

Without further ado:

#10 – Literally everybody in the film is frigging dead.

And not just dead but dead for like, a long ass time.  The movie was made in 1939 and its still a staple of childhood viewing for kids today.

It just makes me sad to see all these people in costume, singing and dancing, having a good time, then thinking about how they are all dead, many of them died before I was even born.

I mean, holy crap, the actors who play Oz, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion were all born in the late 1800s.  Frickin’ Abraham Lincoln was tooling around in the same century.

Sigh.  Such is life.  Here one minute…

(EDIT: I found a reference on the Internet that says Jerry Maren, an actor who played a munchkin, might still be alive.  Hang in there, Jerry.)

#9 – Toto is the best dog actor ever.

I feel like there must be cut footage in a vault somewhere of the dog playing Toto taking a dump on Dorothy’s slippers or something.  Maybe not.  All I know is as I watch the movie, the dog playing Toto is like, the best train, most well-behaved on-screen dog I’ve ever seen.  The little guy walks in a straight line, following the actors, going where he needs to go, and does this even in scenes where like there’s hundreds of people behind him.

#8 – It’s a special effects bonanza.

People credit “Star Wars” for unleashing the special effects tidal wave, but I don’t think the movie industry would have gotten there without this picture.  While it pales against today’s standards, there are still some effects that are interesting to watch and probably made jaws drop in its day.  It was no doubt ahead of its time.  Dorothy looking at the twister out her window and seeing two dudes rowing through the wind in a rowboat is one example.

#7 – The Wicked Witch of the West is Justified in Her Anger.

I’m sorry, but the green bitch’s sister had a damn house dropped on her and then when she tries to collect the slippers, i.e. the property that should go to her as she is the rightful heir, Dorothy keeps them and Glenda threatens her that a house might drop on her too.

I mean.  Holy shit.  Is there any doubt that ugly people are treated like shit?  Imagine if the Wicked Witch were pretty.  Do you think people might, I don’t know, be like, “Um, yeah someone kills my sister and steals her shit, I’d be pissed too.”

I get that both witches were wicked and up to bad shit so the house drop was probably a good thing.  It’s kind of like if you were drunk driving and run over Hitler…yes, it’s good that Hitler died but still, you were drunk driving.

Then again, I suppose it wasn’t Dorothy’s fault her house went out of control.

By the way, Margaret Hamilton is having way too much fun playing that witch.

#6 – Judy Garland was better beyond her years.

She’s only 17 in this role but she’s just amazing, full of heart and perfect pronunciation.  So sad that she became a pill fiend.  I guess Hollywood will do that to you.  She performs better than any adult could have in this role.

#5 – Dorothy disses Tin Man and Lion.

I know that “I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow” has come to be thought of as a really heartwarming line, maybe something even tell people when they’re saying goodbye, but as a kid watching the movie pointed out to me, “Lion and Tin man are right there!”

Seriously.  How would you feel if you and two friends said goodbye to a fourth friend and she singled one friend out for extra missing?

Dorothy might as well have said, “Yeah furball and rustbucket, I’ll miss you guys I guess but holy shit, Scarecrow, I will miss the shit out of you.  I mean, Lion and Tin Man, you assholes were ok, but Scarecrow, I’m going to be balling my eyes out every night until I see you again, buddy.”

#4 – It’s possible for make-up to be better than CGI.

Scarecrow looks more like a talking scarecrow than a computerized version would, in my opinion.  I don’t know what they did.  They perfectly blended his head with whatever he was wearing to make his head look like a bag full of straw.

Tin man is no slouch.  He looks like an ancient attempt to construct a robot.

Lion basically looks like a dude in a lion costume which, ok, CGI might do better there.  Then again, why can’t people where lion costumes now?

#3 – I doubt a remake would be as good.

I’m surprised with all the reboots and remakes, Hollywood hasn’t remade this one.  Crap, I hope I didn’t just put that idea out into the ether.  Oh well, only 3.5 people read this blog anyway.

This movie has so much heart and is basically Hollywood’s first special effects extravaganza (I think, correct me if I’m wrong.)  A remake would be like that kid who has his mom do his art project vs the kid who does his best with macaroni and string.  Yeah, the more polished version would be better but the macaroni has more heart.

#2 – Dorothy and Friends Get Stoned

They can call them poppy flowers all they want but we all know that Witch got our favorite quartet stoned on opium.  Oz and Afghanistan, two places to avoid if you’re an opiate abuser.

#1 – “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” is the Most Profoundly Emotional Song Ever

Did you write it off as cheesy fluffy?  Think about it some more.

No…actually, think about the worst person in your life.  Surely, there is someone who lives to make you miserable.  They make fun of you.  Mess with you.  Hurt you.  Ruin you.

If that person were to die, you might secretly be glad on the outside, but out of sheer respect for the value of life, you’d probably feign an, “Oh that’s too bad” when someone tells you of the bully’s untimely demise.

The Munchkins, on the other hand, don’t just hate the Wicked Witch of the East, they despise her, so much that when a house is dropped on her head, they break out into a spontaneous song and dance number, engaging in perfect choreographic precision, expressing to Dorothy just how happy they are that she capped the Witch.

Literally, the song and dance routine goes on for several minutes.  Munchkins young and old take part.  There are interludes where various munchkin groups and dignitaries opine on the happiness they have over the witch’s dead, the coroner is consulted just to make sure that the celebration is in order, and the Mayor provides a joyous decree.

I mean, I don’t know what that witch was doing but imagine how awful she must have been to those munchkins for them to have broken out into such a dazzling, Broadway style revue to express their happiness at the hag’s death.  It’s almost as though those literally people were secretly rehearsing the routine in anticipation of the Witch’s death.

Can you imagine it?  All those little people huddled together in a back room.  “Oh man, we hate that bitch so much that we have to totally nail the song and dance routine we’ll give when she finally kicks the bucket. Ed, you get the costumes ready and Fred you call the Lollipop Guild.  We are going to rock this house when that hag croaks.”

I believe there is a line about bondage so the East Witch must have been enslaving the munchkins…or forcing them into a perverse BDSM lifestyle.  Either way, they’re happy she’s dead and they have a song to prove it.

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it.  If you can honestly say that all the people who know you will break out into a song and dance number when you die, then you might want to make a few positive lifestyle changes while there is still time.

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Santa Claus is REAL!

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

It has come to my attention that one of my esteemed columnists, Miss Monica Duncan, Professional Bad News Breaker, wrote a nonsense column on this fine website in which she stated that Santa Claus is not real.

Balderdash and poppycock, I say.  Santa is very much real so please, all 3.5 of you, be sure to tell your kids the fat man exists and Monica doesn’t know what she’s talking about.