Monthly Archives: September 2018

TV Review – Kidding (2018)

Do you ever think the people you cheer you up on TV might be the saddest of all?

BQB here with a review of “Kidding.”

I’m not sure what to make of this show.  It seems like I should be laughing but instead, I feel like crying.  I’m an adult, so I rarely, if ever, cry, but you know what I mean.

Jim Carrey returns to TV in this series about an icon of children’s television whose life has run off the rails.

To his fans, he’s Mr. Pickles, a Mr. Rogers-esque storyteller who lives in a world of make-believe, surrounded by puppet friends.  He’s a multi-millionaire dollar industry who has inspired books, toys, and merchandise and keeps PBS afloat.

Outside of TV, he’s Jeff Piccirillo and here’s the rub of the show.  His family thinks he should be a normal guy who sins and swears in his personal life but Mr. Pickles isn’t an act.  Jeff is Mr. Pickles 24/7 and he displays the highest levels of courtesy and kindness to everyone, even his family who constantly dumps on him.

A year has passed since one of his two twin sons has died in a car accident.  His wife, Jill (Judy Greer) is so saddened by the loss that she can’t stomach Jeff’s nice guy persona anymore.  His surviving son, Will (Cole Allen) can’t take it either.

And thus, a great contrast is struck.  Millions of fans cheer for Mr. Pickles, sending constant thank you letters detailing how he has changed their lives for the better with his inspiring words of wisdom.

But the kindness that makes him universally loved by the world makes him despised at home.  When he tries to talk to Will about the grieving process, the boy calls his old man a pussy.  When he learns his wife is sleeping with another man, he, to her disappointment, doesn’t get mad but instead bakes her a pie and asks to discuss it in a polite, civilized manner.

Back at the studio, Mr. Pickles is a family business. His sister, Deirdre (Catherine Keener) is the show’s head puppeteer with problems of her own.  Her arc sort of mirrors Jeff’s.  While she doesn’t have that happy persona, she loves her job but isn’t happy with her home life.

Meanwhile, veteran dramatic actor Frank Langella steals the show as Jeff’s father, Sebastian.  “Seb” is cold, calculating, and cares only about the bottom line.

Jeff wants to test some limits on the show.  He wants to process his grief in the only way he knows how, by bringing his feelings onto the show.  He wants to do a show that teaches kids about how to deal with the death of a loved one, but Seb won’t agree, arguing that parents will just change the channel and Mr. Pickles’ bottom line will go bust.

When you watch the trailer, you might think that this show is just a parody of Mr. Rogers.  It is but then again, it isn’t.  Perhaps Mr. Rogers benefitted from the fact that he lived during a time when morals and values were upheld.  They weren’t followed by everyone but they weren’t openly mocked and scorned by public figures either.  People at least paid lip service to the idea of being a good doobie.

On the other hand, Mr. Pickles lives in a time when being kind is confused with weakness and being nice gets you called a pussy.

As a viewer, you end up wondering who is right.  Jeff processes his grief by being there for his family, even though they hate his guts.  He takes their abuse and comes back for more, being more concerned about his well-being than his dignity.  Most men insulted by their wives and kids too many times would just walk away but Jeff hangs in there.

Is Jill right for looking for solace in a new fling?  Is young Will right for smoking pot with a new group of dopey kids?  These bad behaviors are typical of people whose lives were destroyed and yet, these behaviors also get them nowhere.

Jeff is unusually, bizarrely kind and you begin to wonder if he is abnormal in his graciousness, or perhaps he’s the only sane one in a world full of cynical, miserable crazies.  Everyone is drinking and swearing and debasing themselves, descending into meaningless misery, despair and hedonism, lashing out at everyone.

Thus, maybe Jeff is the only one who is smart enough to walk a higher path.  He most likely is doing the right thing, though in his personal life, it gets him nowhere.

The crux of the show seems to be making us wait to see if Jeff will have a full on breakdown.  Will he grab his wife and give her a vigorous banging?  Will he tell his kid to shut the eff up and get off drugs?  Will he tell his father that on the show, it’s his way or the highway?

Or maybe he’ll flip out in some other unexpected way.  Will Mr. Pickles fly off the handle and do something awful that blows up the pickles world altogether?

If it’s a comedy, it’s a dark one.  You laugh at things you feel you shouldn’t and me, personally, I do root for Mr. Pickles.  There’s a part of me that wants to tell him to just start giving shit back to the people who are shitting on him but then there’s another part of me that thinks Jeff will score a victory by being nice to the bitter end.  His family will ultimately destroy him if he does, but at least he will have been right.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Movie Review – The Predator (2018)

I can’t tell if I hated it or just found it mildly passable.  I didn’t love it, that’s for sure.  At any rate, I’ll be collecting my thoughts about this movie for a while but in the meantime, here’s my review of “The Predator.”

The original “Predator” with Arnold Schwarzenegger was sublime.  As action/horror movies go, perfection.  In 1987, Arnie had spent the past decade flattening baddies with his pinky finger, such that he needed a real challenge, and an intergalactic big game hunter who traveled to earth to hunt humans was it.

The sequel with Danny Glover was…OK.  It’s watchable.  It’s acceptable.

Other than that, there have been sequels that have been lame, forgettable and don’t even get me started on the Alien vs. Predator movies.

I wanted to hate this sequel a lot.  It’s lame.  It focuses more on humor and gives a lot of screen time to the humans and not so much to the Predator.  Sequels have never been able to capture the magic of the original (plus that film starred two future governors.)

I will give this sequel this:  since Predator 2, it’s the least shitty of a series of shitty sequels.  (To clarify, P2 is better than this.)

The humor is 1980s style camp that you don’t see much of anymore.  It made me nostalgic to watch, though at the same time, it’s not something I needed to see in a Predator movie either.

The plot is that a special ops sniper (Boyd Holbrook) happens upon a Predator landing, steals his equipment and his own government decides to throw him in prison to shut him up.

While being transported with a gaggle of other Army burn outs dubbed “the loonies,” he convinces them to break out to fight the Predator.  Loonies include Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Key of Key and Peele who mostly provides comic relief and to my surprise, ex-Punisher Thomas Jane.  Olivia Munn rounds out the cast as a sexy vet (the animal doctor kind) recruited to analyze a captive predator.

Sterling K. Brown stars as a government agent hunting the loonies and as a nice touch, Holbrook’s son has Aspberger’s syndrome which makes him bullied at school yet his “special” brain makes him the only one who can figure out how to use predator tech.

The movie is filled with plot holes, stupidity and it kinda makes you want to puke until people my age realize that many 1980s action flicks were like this but people took them seriously because they didn’t know better…so I suppose as an homage to the films that made Arnie a star, I can let the foolishness slide.

STATUS:  I think it is possible to make a sequel that isn’t stupid.  But I suppose they can do all the cash grabs they want without affecting Arnie’s original.  Not worth a movie ticket or a rental.  Feel free to stream it on cable.  It is very stupid and silly and only becomes redeemable when you realize it’s on purpose as a 1980s action flick parody…which would be fine except I think that under-utilizes the predator.

Tagged , ,

How are you 3.5 readers?

Just checking in. Are there still 3.5 of you?

I Haven’t Forgotten All 3.5 of You…

I’ve just been blogging more on toiletgator.com

You should go there.  You can learn about toilets, gators, and toilet gators.

Movie Review – A Simple Favor (2018)

Be careful when a friend asks you for a simple favor, 3.5 readers.  You never know when it might come back to bite you in the ass.

BQB here with a review of “A Simple Favor.”

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=a+simple+favor

Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  Holy freaking crap. This was such a good movie.  It’s so cool when you go into a movie, not having heard much about it and it turns out to be a real nail biter.  I really recommend it.  Go see it now.

Let’s get into it.

Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, a super mom.  She bakes those cupcakes.  She does all those volunteer jobs for her son’s school.  She even has her own mommy vlog where she records videos full of tips to help mothers become the best mothers they can possibly be.

Meanwhile, Blake Lively is Emily, a rich, powerful business woman, an expert at making money but at mothering?  Not so much.

Long story short, the moms meet when their boys have a play date and become unlikely friends.  Stephanie is an awkward goody two shoes.  Emily swears and drinks like a sailor.  Somehow they put their differences aside and compliment each other.

Alas, chaos ensues when Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor.  She asks Stephanie to pick up her son at school and babysit him for the evening because she is swamped at work…and then she never comes back.

Thus, it’s up to Stephanie to solve the mystery of her friend’s disappearance.

If this is a spoiler, then so be it.  I’ll shout it out now.  SPOILER! Look away.

The cool thing about this movie is for the most part, it is a heart pounding mystery thriller, somewhat in the style of “Gone Girl.”  Where’s the girl?  What happened to her?

Then, at some points, it moves from seriousness and provides laugh out loud humor.  Much of this is at the expense of Anna Kendrick, who is often featured in comedies as the sweet, naïve type and she excels at this here as a fish out of water, a super mom who just wanted to make a friend and now she’s thrust into a world of murder and intrigue.  She engages in a lot of self deprecating humor to get her through.

Meanwhile, we see an evil side of Blake and her evil comes out in scary ways but also in funny ways.

I have no idea how to explain it other than picture a movie that goes from being an edge of your seat mystery to all of a sudden it’s like something you’d see on SNL and then it’s back to being a serious mystery again.

Doesn’t make sense?  You’ll just have to go see it and get back to me.  I’ll give it this.  It’s very original and I give Hollywood kudos for greenlighting a movie that doesn’t make sense on paper but scores points in the execution.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Not gonna lie.  Blake and Anna have both provided me with many a boner over the years, so much so that I’ll probably buy this movie when it comes out on demand just so I can use it as fapping material.  Sorry.  I just ruined my review but hey, it’s scary, it’s mysterious, it’s funny, and you can also fap to it.

FUN SIDE NOTE: While I was in the theater, there’s a part where the Blakester is going full out evil scary mode and at the same time, a woman in the theater roughly the same size and shape as Blake tripped and fell (not really fell but sort of stumbled down the stairs) and it scared the crap out of me and a bunch of other movie watchers as I think we all thought it was some kind of scary interactive shit or something.

 

Tagged , , , , ,

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Deliverance (1972)

Grab your banjo and hide your butts, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Burt Reynolds’ most critically acclaimed drama (as opposed to his many car chase movies), Deliverance.

It’s every straight man’s worst nightmare – getting forcibly butt blasted against his well by a pair of drunken redneck perverts.

Yes indeed, Hollywood has created a number of monsters over the years.  However, if you’re a straight, red blooded American male who dreams of titties and vag 24/7, the scariest, most unimaginable nightmare you can possibly think of is to be forced to “squeal like a pig” as what happened to Ned Beatty in a scene that is, frankly, hard to watch.  Honestly, you might want to fast forward through it.  I watched this movie years ago and would watch it again but for that scene that I never want to see again.

Four friends and city slickers (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voigt, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty) go on a canoe trip to explore the great outdoors.  When they reach town, they have a banjo duel with a creepy local boy, setting the eerie tone of what is about to transpire.

At first, it’s fun.  Beer, canoeing and fishing.  Burt’s character, Lewis, is actually an experienced outdoorsman who carries the rest of the crew on his back and his scenes where he shoots bad dudes with his bow and arrow are iconic.

Long story short, one canoe gets lost.  Ned and Jon are accosted by dirty mountain man perverts who attack Ned’s tucas while Jon is forced to watch.  Lewis saves the day by shooting one of the rapists in the heart with an arrow.

Alas, the other perv escapes and stocksthe rest of the canoers as they try to make it down the river to civilization.  Ergo, the city slickers must band together to protect their lives and more importantly, their butts.  Yes.  These are manly men who will fight to the death to protect their butts from illicit invasions.

I doubt Hollywood would make this movie today.  First, it implies the South is an awful place….eh, that’s probably a debate for another post, though Hollywood has never been shy about dumping on the South.  But the main reason they wouldn’t make it again is because they’d be afraid people would assume that all homosexuals are looking to rape straight men’s butts which really is far from the truth.  Just because these particular homosexuals were butt attackers doesn’t mean all are and surely audiences can be trusted to direct their disdain at these two outliers who deviated from the field containing the vast majority of homosexuals who only engage in consensual butt related activities.

Anyway, it’s a loaded subject matter.  No, straight dudes shouldn’t fear gay dudes.  But yes, straight dudes are going to fight like hell to protect their butts when in the presence of the very occasional, not representative of the norm, gay rapist because to a straight man, getting your butt invaded by another dude is a fate worse than death.

Hollywood, if they were to remake it today, would probably have Ned Beatty’s character be scared of butt activity only for him to decide he quite enjoys it and then he celebrates the butt invasion and then he moves to the country and opens up a bed and breakfast with his attackers.

Not gonna lie.  Even by 1970s standards, the film’s a little freaky.  They probably could have just made the rednecks a couple of crazed, homicidal murderers who like to kill people and the audience would have been given the requisite sense of dread without adding the butt attack scene which really, you’ll feel like you have to bleach your brain just to forget that terrible, terrible scene.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but I’ll never watch it again.  Cool as Burt is with his bow and arrow, I just can’t watch Ned get butt attacked again.  Frankly, Ned should have gotten an Academy Award just for having the courage to play, as far as I know, the first male on male rape victim caught on film.  That’s some shit that even Daniel Day Lewis won’t do.

Tagged , , ,

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Howdy, 3.5 readers, y’all got your ears on?

BQB here with a review of Burt Reynolds’ greatest movie.

It’s the late 1970s.  The Bandit (Reynolds) is a notorious driver, known along the open road by truckers as an awesome dude.

The fabulously wealthy (and eccentric) father/son duo, Big and Little Enos get their kicks off of betting drivers that they won’t be able to transport booze across state lines within a certain time period.  Although alcohol is legal, transporting it in large quantities across state lines without the proper permits is considered illegal bootlegging.

Bandit takes the bet, agreeing to move 400 cases of Coors from Texas to Georgia within 28 hours.  He runs blocker car in a badass Trans-Am, while his buddy, Cledus (Jerry Reed) drives the rig full of beer with his hound dog Fred in the passenger seat.

Along the way, Bandit picks-up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), and this infuriates Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason aka the Smokey) as Carrie was about to marry his son until she got cold feet and ran.

It’s obvious that Gleason loved playing this character.  Outside of playing bus driver Ralph on “The Honeymooners” this role is the one other role that he’ll be remembered for.  Buford’s character essentially invented the movie stereotype of the fat Southern Sheriff who thinks a little too highly of himself and lives to persecute unsuspecting motorists….except in this instance, Bandit probably deserves it yet you root for him anyway.

The movie is essentially a series of skits and stunts strung together as drivers throughout the country get on their CB radios to cheer Bandit on and pull of schemes to get in Justice’s way so its smooth sailing for Bandit.  There’s one cool scene in which a series of rigs coordinate to hide Bandit from the Smokey.

Anyway…it’s cool.  It’s funny.  And Burt was allowed to play Bandit as a man…a manly man…a dude who likes beer and fast cars and he doesn’t get the girl by crying or being a metrosexual or sharing his feelings.  He gets her by being a manly mustache wearing stud who occasionally offers a witty remark or funny one liner.

God, I hope Hollywood never remakes this.  They’ll probably make a female Bandit or something.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Tagged , , , ,

Hurricane Florence News Coverage

BQB: Hello, welcome to the BQB Network’s hurricane news coverage.  First, because everyone at home is too dumb to imagine what heavy winds and rain look like, here’s some asshole reporter we lashed to a post in the middle of the storm.  Asshole reporter, are you there?

ASSHOLE REPORTER LASHED TO A POST: I’m here, BQB!  Boy, this hurricane sure does suck big hairy donkey balls!  As you can see, the water is rising, rising, rising but I’m at the top of this post so I should be fine for awhile and…aw shit, the water’s at my waist, isn’t it?

BQB: You’ll be fine, Asshole Reporter.  Moving on, here’s an interview with Some Dipshit Who Didn’t Listen to the Evacuation Order.

SOME DIPSHIT WHO DIDN’T LISTEN TO THE EVACUATION ORDER: Boy howdy, them government boys told me I got to leave but I said, no sirree, bob.  I am staying put in this house because my great-grandpappy built this house with his bare hands and also I will be damned if I will allow looters to abscond with my precious collection of potato chips that bear a striking resemblance to Harry S. Truman.  But I do thank the 50 emergency rescue team members who risked their lives to save me once the water got so high that I had to tap dance on top of my roof with my dog under my arm.

BQB: And here’s some Bubba who, well, we’re not making fun of him.  I mean, it sounds like we are but he’s cool so we won’t.

BUBBA: My name is Bubba Bosephus Jones and I am from Kentucky and I done come here on my own accord so I could assist authorities in saving folks with my own rowboat and I done already saved 78 old ladies, 4 cats, 3 dogs and 1 hamster.

BQB: It’s like, I want to make fun of you, because the idea of volunteering to go to help people in a disaster is silly to me, but then when I say it out loud, I realize that you’re the good person and I’m the asshole.  Anyway, let’s talk a Democrat to see the political fall out of the storm.

DEMOCRAT: Trump is a demon warlock who causes hurricanes!

BQB: And the president had this to say.

TRUMP:  I will knock out the hurricane with my own penis.  That’s right, people.  My dong is so huge that it can knock out bad weather, believe me.  The fake news media will tell you that it can’t but it totally can, believe me.

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Movie Review – White Boy Rick (2018)

Hey 3.5 readers.  Do me a favor.  If any of you are in Detroit, MOVE ok?

BQB here with a review of “White Boy Rick.”

Based on a true story, it’s the 1980s and Rick Wershe Sr. (Matthew McConaughey) is a small time gun runner, doing illicit arms sales on the sly in the hopes of raising enough money to pull his family out of poverty.  His wife has left him.  His son, Rick Jr. (Richie Merritt) is going nowhere and his daughter, Dawn (Bel Powley) is a junkie.  Oh, and his parents (Piper Laurie and Bruce Dern) live next door and pull no punches in letting Rick know how disappointed they are in him.

Blah, blah, blah, I won’t give away too much but suffice to say that Rick Sr.’s petty dabbling in crooked schemes gives his 15 year old son a taste for the criminal underworld.  Alas, Rick Jr. is a better crook than his old man ever could be and is quickly welcomed into a black gang who affectionately dub their new recruit as “White Boy Rick.”

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Chaos ensues.  The FBI (Jennifer Jason Leigh in a potential comeback role) sets up Rick with the “product” he needs to get in deep and become a major player, allowing him to keep his profits while he informs on kingpins.

After awhile, it all gets confusing and it is hard to keep track of who is playing who.  Rick Jr. is portrayed well by Merritt, who plays the character as a dope who doesn’t really understand the gravity of the situation he’s in and sort of just lucks his way into a life of crime, “luck” being a dubious word as the money is nice for awhile until the luck runs out and the shit hits the fan as it always does.

McConaughey turns in a great performance as Rick Sr. who truly loves his kids but…maybe it’s out of desperation, maybe out of stupidity, maybe out of a need to be somebody, goes along with Rick Jr.’s schemes and is tortured as to what is right and wrong.  Is it right to stand by while his son gets deeper into a life of crime?  Is it right to try to make him stop when all he has to offer is a life of poverty?

SPOILER: There’s a scene where Matthew really exercises his acting chops, caring for his daughter while she’s coming down off of drugs.  She screams at him.  Curses him.  Fights him.  Pukes all over.  Matthew just takes it with the face of a father showing his kid unconditional love.  Now that’s acting.

I have mixed feelings because while Rick Sr. and Jr. are portrayed as poor folk who fall prey to lack of economic opportunity, desperation to get ahead, and being duped by the criminal justice system.  In many ways I feel for them because yeah, holy shit, it’s tough out there and perhaps Rick got a raw deal given that, according to this movie, the Feds basically pushed the kid into a life of crime and if they hadn’t he probably would have just been a regular poor teen staring at the ceiling of his bedroom.

On the other hand, you know, they did sell guns and drugs and in doing so most likely got a lot of people hurt…I don’t know.  It’s not up to me to moralize.  Overall, a good film, good story….interesting subtext that White Boy Rick is instantly taken in not just by a black gang, loved and treated as one of their.  Not exactly sure this was Dr. King’s dream when he said he wanted black and white people to come together in peace and harmony but hey, it’s a movie.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Didn’t really get what Rick’s stoner accent was all about.  Possible Oscar bait.  Matthew’s already got one but he really brought the “I just don’t want my kids to think I’m a loser dad anymore” game.  Bruce has got one too and although he’s not in it for long, he does steal a few scenes as the irate grampa trying to teach his son and grandson a thing or two.

Tagged , ,

The Last Driver Garage!

Hey 3.5 readers.

You didn’t get to be this site’s first 3.5 readers. That’s fine.  Few recognize genius in its early stages.

Toilet Gator: The Blog! already has 3 readers.  It’s not too late to become the .5th reader of that fine site.

Meanwhile, check out The Last Driver Garage

You can be the first 3.5 readers of that site.  It’s to promote my upcoming serial.  For the near future, I don’t expect to do much on either of the new blogs, but I think it will be good to establish a little web presence.

Advertisements