Monthly Archives: May 2018

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They are delicious.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Roseanne Destroys Her Show with a Tweet

Sigh, 3.5 readers.

If you ever wanted a lesson in how to ruin your career and/or lifetime legacy in less than 24 hours, today was the day.

I was really enjoying the “Roseanne” reboot.  I enjoyed the show as a kid and to see it back again was like seeing long lost friends come home.  Roseanne and Dan, Becky, Darlene and DJ, their kids, Aunt Jackie, all the extended friends and family that would stop by.

There have been so many attempts at rebooting old shows that have fallen flat (IMO) but this one was a winner.  I think Roseanne had cemented herself as the comeback kid and probably could have kept her show going for several years.

Alas, imagine my sadness when I heard the news that Roseanne referred to former Obama advisor (not sure of her official title) Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes have a baby.”

Oh God, Roseanne.  Why?  Why???  So wrong on so many levels.

Roseanne has a history of writing controversial tweets but this was one that couldn’t be ignored.  Aside from sadness that this thought was in her mind and that’s bad enough, but that she didn’t have any kind of self restraint to hold herself back.  How she thought she could post that and still have a show by the end of the day is mind boggling.

I feel bad for the cast members.  Goodman has been the most successful over the years, though Laurie Metcalf was recently nominated for an Academy Award.  Sara Gilbert was (is?) on a View-esque talk show.  That girl who plays Becky and Michael Fishman (DJ), this was probably their big break so to see it go for them is sad.

So, a lesson learned, 3.5 readers.  First, if you are thinking such thoughts, cleanse your mind and your soul.  Second, develop a filter, an internal control that keeps you from releasing unfiltered thoughts into the atmosphere.

This is so ridiculous that there is a part of me that wonders if Roseanne did this on purpose….maybe she didn’t want to do the show anymore and wanted to go out with a bang.    I don’t think she did. She lost too much money.   I think she just rattled off a tweet without thinking but then again, she’s been in show business so long that it amazes me she didn’t realize this was a career killing tweet.

What say you, 3.5?

 

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Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, 3.5 readers. I hope you all have a good day.

Toilet Gator Second Draft Complete!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I’m so happy to report that the second draft of Toilet Gator is complete.  It will need a third draft, but there is a light at the end of this toilet.

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Movie Review – Death Wish (2018)

Paul Kersey is back and his death wish is stronger than ever!

BQB here with a review.

SPOILERS ABOUND!

You know 3.5 readers, in today’s highly politically correct times, I’m surprised “Death Wish” was ever made.

Then again, the original 1970s version was controversial.  In that one, Charles Bronson played architect Paul Kersey, who, after the death of his wife and rape of his daughter, he starts packing heat.  Technically, he never commits a crime, but rather, he walks the mean NYC streets and when trouble finds him, he doesn’t back down, run away, or become the next victim.  Rather, he stands his ground and shoots the trouble.  The message?  If everyone had a gun, criminals would go extinct.

Controversial then but even more so now given the epidemic of school shootings our nation is seeing, especially with the push for gun control that liberals are pushing for.  Ironically, liberal Hollywood has been churning out more films that feature gun violence than ever before, but as long as its just random violence that’s considered OK, but if its a man who buys a gun to defend himself, family, and home then God forbid.

In this go around, the original “Death Wish” formula is followed, but also broken away from.  Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis, who is one of the most well-preserved sixty-somethings out there, though he’s flattering himself in an attempt to play a late 40s/early 50s man) is an ER doctor who sees the effects of gun violence daily as he treats gunshot wounds all too often.

Alas, when a robbery of his home goes wrong, his wife (Elisabeth Shue, another well preserved older person flattering herself by playing a woman in her 40s) ends up dead and daughter ends up in a coma.

Just as the original Kersey, he blames himself.  He feels he’s failed as a man and begins packing heat.  He dons a hooded sweatshirt as he takes out various criminals, causing the media to dub him, “The Grim Reaper.”  And unlike the 1970s, everyone has a camera phone today, so his exploits are caught on video and shared all over the Internet for armchair spectators to gawk at.

Now in the original version, guns weren’t the only controversy.  The race issue was controversial as well.  Kersey blew away white robbers, black robbers, he wasn’t focused on the color but rather, on saving his life even though he was out looking for trouble.  Still, the number of black bad guys capped in the original was high and as I watched it recently, I knew that would never stand today.

In this new version, there’s, well, what I can only describe as an attempt at what I might call, “conservative political correctness.”  Yes, at one point in the film, Kersey, a white man, goes out and shoots a black drug dealer named “The Ice Cream Man” for the poison he deals out of an ice cream cart.  The dealer is sitting, hasn’t drawn, and that’s a deviation as the old Kersey always waited to be attacked first then defended himself.

The optics are bad – a white man shooting a black man, as well as a black man portrayed as a criminal.  But then the debate in the film begins.  A radio show featuring black hosts takes on the issue.  One host thinks it’s wrong, a black man killing a white man.  Another hosts argues it wasn’t so much a white man killing a black man as it was an arguably good man killing a bad man and doing the community a favor, ridding the world of a bad person.

In fact, Kersey learns of the Ice Cream Man in his ER when he treats one of his victims, a young boy, under ten years old, forced into a life of drug pushing by the dealer, shot in the leg for failing on a deal.

Meanwhile, the film goes out of its way to put black people in positions of power, from doctors and nurses that Kersey works with, to a cop he treats for a gunshot wound, to one of the two detectives investigating his wife’s murder (Kimberly Elise, partnered with the illustrious Dean Norris of “Breaking Bad” fame, appearing here in a quasi-Hank reincarnation.)

And Kersey even gets his first foray into vigilantism when he guns down two white guys trying to kidnap a black woman, saving her from being raped, sold as a sex slave, whatever ill fate would have happened to her.

So, the overall message seems clear – black people aren’t a monolith.  All too often, we see violence, whether it’s in the news or in a TV show or movie, and we look at the perpetrator’s race and people get offended that the member of X (whatever race) is being portrayed badly.

But what this film seems to be arguing is that not everyone in any given race is the same.  It isn’t about black or white but good vs. bad.  Paul is a good person, just as the black doctors, nurses, cops, and detective he encounters regularly are good people.  The black drug dealer and white kidnappers are bad people.  Good people who do the right thing of all different races, colors, religions, backgrounds should stick together and stand up against bad people of all different races, colors, religions, backgrounds who do bad things.

If it’s got to be a case of “us vs. them” then let the “us vs them” not be one race against the other but rather, good people vs. bad people.  Kersey, a (prior to the start of the film) law abiding doctor, has little in common with the white kidnappers, even though all three are white.  Meanwhile, Detective Jackson (Elise) is law abiding and has zero in common with the Ice Cream man, and doesn’t exactly cry a river over the Ice Cream Man, even though both are black.

Overall, it’s a good film, though there are some gaping plot holes.  For example, an early scene seems to argue that it’s rather unfair that Kersey has to wait a long time, do lots of paperwork, take a class, jump through hoops to buy a gun when he has an obvious need for self defense, given the recent murder of his wife.  Yet, later, when he needs a gun stat, he’s able to get one from the same gun shop ASAP and that’s never explained.

And the main deviation from the original is that while Bronson’s Kersey never caught the baddies who ruined his life (a young Jeff Goldblum in a Jughead hat leading a gang of toughs), this Kersey does focus on tracking down the men who ruined his life, with the occasional deviation into extracurricular vigilantism.

So, there you go, I pretty much ruined the movie for you, but in my self-defense, I did give a SPOILER warning up front.  It was no surprise to me that this film was rushed out of the theaters quickly.  But then again, it’s just as surprising this film was ever made.  Bruce Willis, one of the lone conservatives in Hollywood, was probably one of a handful of actors willing to even touch the script.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

He did it all for the wookie…the wookie…so you can take that cookie…and stick it up your…

Sorry.  BQB here with a review of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

I don’t know why I expected this movie to suck bantha dookie.  Probably because “The Last Jedi” sucked so much of it, that I lost faith in the Force completely.  This film renewed it though.  My official opinion is that it doesn’t suck at all.  In fact, it’s quite good.

Should I spoil the plot?  Probably not.  Suffice to say, it’s an origin story, and somehow director Ron Howard, without even casting Tom Hanks as he does in many of his other movies, gives us something that feels original and yet, it satisfies all of us long suffering nerds who know “Star Wars” inside out and have a checklist of things we want to see in a Han Solo biopic.

How did Han (Alden Ehrenreich) get that infamous blaster?  How did he become a great pilot?  How did win a card game against Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to get his mitts on the Millenium Falcon?  How did he complete the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs? And, most importantly, how did he meet his big, furry, BFF, the one and only Chewbacca?

All these questions and more are answered and they’re answered thoughtfully – like, not just a nod to all of us old geeks who want to see the pop culture of our youth remain intact in today’s films.  But it’s not done in such a stodgy manner that (I assume) the youngsters who may not get all the references won’t still enjoy it.

Ehrenreich plays Han well as an anti-hero who is in it for himself, yet when given the chance to do good over bad, picks the former.  As Han always has, he makes it up as he goes along, often infuriating his colleagues with his imperfection and fly by the seat of his pants style, even though few ever realize that when the chips are down, sometimes you just have to punch it and hope for the best.

Donald Glover is the living, breathing reincarnation of a young Billy Dee Williams, part homage and part parody of everyone’s favorite self-absorbed, duplicitous space gambler.  From his closet filled with way too many capes to his attempts to narrate his own biography into a hologram recorder, Glover manages to make us laugh, though there are some scenes where we see his softer side and he makes us cry.  It’s almost enough to make us wonder when will Disney make a Lando standalone?

Emilia Clarke thrills as Han’s love interest, Qi’ra.  I’d been worried about her.  While she’s always a delight as the Khaleesi on “Game of Thrones,” her movie career got off to a bad start with the godawful “Terminator: Genisys.”  I never thought the problem in that movie was her so much as a) the script sucked and b) she was miscast, recruited to play the ultra butch lady soldier Sarah Connor even though she’s the very definition of femininity.

Here, she excels as the stuck up priss, the hot babe Han is happy to be bossed around by, hoping that one day by doing so, he’ll get to complete her Kessel run in 12 parsecs.  Thankfully, she does so well that the Terminator film has been terminated from my memory.

Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Jon Favreau’s voice round out the cast as a troop of ne’er-do-wells who give Han his introduction to the criminal underworld of space, with Woody’s Beckett serving as Han’s impromptu father figure.

For awhile, I did wonder if Paul Bettany, known to us as Jarvis and later, the Vision in “The Avengers” was miscast.  Could the proper Brit play a sinister mob boss?  Turns out, he can and he does.

Overall, it’s great, and I do think its success proves one thing – the best films in this franchise are set during the Vader/Palpatine Empire years.  Perhaps one day, some great writing team will come up with a fantastic premise for a future for “Star Wars,” but they haven’t done it yet, and should probably keep the tales set during the Empire’s reign until they do.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Hi 3.5

That’s it for today.

Daily Discussion with BQB – Judge Orders 30 Year Old Man to Move Out of Parents’ House

Hey 3.5 readers.

Have you heard about this one?  Do a web search for it and you should find an article about it.

Short version.  There was a 30 year old man living in his parents’ house.  Mom and Dad wanted him to move out.  They gave him five written notices to move out and when the son didn’t move out, they took him to court to evict him.

So, this has become a funny story like, “Oh my God.  Adults have become such losers that parents have to go to court to make them move out of the house now.”

I side with these parents.  I haven’t read anything to make me believe that they are bad people with bad intentions so as far as I can tell, they probably wanted their son to get out, get a job, live his life, become a productive member of society.  (In fairness, I don’t know if he is an unproductive slug or anything, though one of the notices from the parents tells him he needs to get a job.)

I think it’s good that the parents did this and in their defense, I wonder if they would have held off on court action if son had just taken some life improvement steps – i.e., helped around the house more, gotten rid of a broken down car the parents wanted off the property, gotten a job, etc.  The parents probably wanted some signs that son was working on improving and seeing none, they saw no need to continue letting him live with them.

Although the son does come off as a bit of a dingus, I do want to defend young adults, maybe not this guy, but in general.  I keep hearing commentators saying, ever so shocked, “Millennials have the highest rate of adults living at home, those lazy bums!”

And while this guy isn’t the best representative, there isn’t much recognition of why so many young adults are living at home.  The economy tanked in 2008, was a shit show for years and is only starting to show signs of getting better recently.  Maybe some are happy to live at home but I assume many are not.

House prices are higher than ever too so who can blame a young person for saving for a few years until they can make that down payment?

Keep in mind a college degree isn’t worth as much as it used to be.  It used to be that if you had a college degree, you had it made.  Now everyone and their uncle has one.

So…yes, this story is funny.  I think the parents did the right thing here and son might have been spared some embarrassment if he’d met his folks half-way and demonstrated some kind of intent to turn things around but overall, yeah, keep in mind that it isn’t as easy to get a good, life sustaining job as it used to be.

Discuss.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – I Have Nothing to Discuss

So discuss things amongst yourselves.  Thank you.

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Great Musings of the Twenty First Century – #301 – 325

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#301 – An item lost in dried cement can eventually be chiseled out, but it’s easier to pull it out before the cement hardens.

#302 – Boll weevils are neither bolls nor weevils.  Discuss.

#303 – I hope there’s not a cougar in my cupboard.

#304 – It saddens me that in all the time I spent trying to make a go of it in Hollywood, not a single executive made a pass at me.  It would have been unwelcomed, but still, it’s common courtesy.

#305 – I can never be sure if there’s a monster hiding under my bed unless I keep looking under my bed at all times.

#306 – The beautiful will never understand the plight of the ugly.

#307 – I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were gay lovers.  It’s just that I can’t prove they weren’t.

#308 – Always pinch your produce before you buy it.

#309 – I’ve figured out a magnificent way to avoid sleeping outside when I travel: I stay in a hotel.

#310 – Elvis Presley’s greatest invention was the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I prefer chunky peanut butter in mine.

#311 – Gray hair is a sign of experience…and also the loss of follicular pigmentation.

#312 – I’ll support raising the wage of fast food drive-thru workers to $15 on the day they get my order right.

#313 – Hijinx will get you nowhere.

#314 – Bacteria is never something you want present on top of your potatoes au gratin.

#315 – Fart in a can today and smell it tomorrow.

#316 – Deja vu is a freaky experience and by the way, deja vu is a freaky experience.

#317 – Madame, I’ll have you know I’m in the CIA – the Clitoral Investigation Agency.  Our motto: “We’ll find it sooner or later.”

#318 – Sure, you think its adorable when dolphins make all those little squeaky sounds, but keep in mind that the squeaks translate into a trail of obscenities that would make the most boorish longshoreman blush.

#319 – I will go to my grave thinking this thought: anyone who rides a rollercoaster and enjoys it is a total asshole.

#320 – Sugar is the best way I know to sweeten my coffee.

#321 – Eagle sex is  simultaneously the most disgusting yet exceptionally patriotic act you’ll ever witness.

#322 – Glory is the best reason to do something.

#323 – Abraham Lincoln earned his spot on the penny.

#324 – Dish rags can clean a dish, but what cleans the dish rag?

#325 – Adventure: it’s what’s for breakfast.

 

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