Monthly Archives: May 2019

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.


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


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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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Play Misty for Me (1971)


Bitches be cray, 3.5 readers.

My Clint Eastwood kick continues and this time I’m talking about the Clintster’s 1971 flick, “Play Misty for Me.”

My generation knows Jessica Walter as Jason Bateman’s booze soaked, trash talking mother on “Arrested Development” or in cartoon version on “Archer.”

But many years ago, she was the woman who refused to go away.

Clint plays Dave, a small town radio disc jockey in Carmel, California.  He plays jazz music, reads some poetry, and hopes that one day his show will take off and he’ll find fame and fortune.

Alas, he’s also an epic poonhound and let’s be honest.  We all are.  All men like sex but while it’s easy to find a dealer to feed your drug addiction, it’s not so easy to feed that sex need.  Most of us can just find one special someone and commit.

Clint or Dave, rather, is a hunky stud who gets it all the time.  And unfortunately, this causes a rift between him and the love of his life, Tobie (Donna Mills).  He loves her and she him, but she’s tired of his philandering ways and has already left him at the start of the film.

Meanwhile, every night a sultry voiced woman calls into Clint’s show and asks the host to play the jazz song, “Misty.”

On one fateful night, Dave, while chilling at his favorite bar, picks up Walter’s Evelyn.  The two start a casual fling but differ on how serious it is.  Dave thinks they’re just friends with benefits.  Evelyn is ready to walk down the aisle.

As the film progresses, Evelyn becomes increasingly jealous, needy and well, insane, chasing everyone in Clint’s life, from his cleaning lady to his love with a big ass knife.

By today’s standards, you might criticize the film, arguing that it is basically saying women are nuts and will chase you around with a butcher knife if you jilt them.

But I think on a closer look, when we peel back the layers of this onion, we reveal some fears that we all have when it comes to romance, love, relationships and dating.

On one hand, dating can feel like a magical thing.  You meet someone.  They deem you worthy of their time.  You get that intimacy that you crave.

On the other hand, maybe the relationship won’t work out.   Maybe you’ll damage that person by leaving.  Maybe the damage won’t be on the surface but maybe that rejection will hurt them on an emotional level.  Or worse, maybe they just won’t take no for an answer.

Maybe it won’t happen with such a dramatic flare but sure, it’s entirely possible that an ex might go from trusted friend to psycho stalking your every move and chasing you around with sharp kitchen implements.

On another level, probably one thing we as a society need to think about is this rush to bed we all do.  Sex after a few dates is pretty standard now and yet how could you possibly know a person until you’ve spent more time with them?  We share our bodies with people who we think we know but let’s be honest, we barely do.  If you wouldn’t share your bank account, key to your house, or other things requiring trust with someone then you probably shouldn’t share your body with them.

Unfortunately, people who want to wait to get freaky are deemed odd and that’s where we are.  And maybe sex right away won’t necessarily lead you to running away from a knife wielding Jessica Walter, but you know…once you start boinking only to find out someone you’re dating is a weirdo, it becomes that much harder to leave.

There’s a scene where Clint cradles Jessica in his arms.  I won’t give it away but she’s gone so nutty that he feels bad and is now scared to dump her.  There’s a look in his sad, sullen eyes as he holds her that says, “Wow.  That pussy was not worth it.”

It isn’t.  And ladies, I assume the penis isn’t either.  I doubt this post will start a movement but to anyone reading, let’s all put sex on the shelf until we get to know someone.  Until you’re sure, really sure, absolutely sure that you could leave without getting chased around with a knife, you shouldn’t whip your privates out and invite your date to go to town on them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Lingering Game of Thrones Questions

In no particular order:

#1 – If Sam becomes Archmaester, what happens to Gilly and his adopted son and the son on the way?  Are Gilly and the kids always going to be Sam’s taboo secret family, hiding in the shadows?  There should have either been a line like, “Oh good, it was just decided that maesters can get pussy now” or Sam should have left the maesterhood and just become another kind of wise adviser – Master of Laws or what have you.

#2 – If Bran can see the future, then didn’t he know Daeny was going to burn everyone in King’s Landing and let her do it anyway?

#3 – Did Ellaria Sand get crushed in her cell during the dragon attack?

#4 – Is Daeny really dead?  Keep in mind people come back to life on this show all the time.

#5 – Wouldn’t it have been better for Arya to become an assassin for good, using her faceless man skills to strike down the wicked?  Or maybe she has learned the ills of revenge and is now using her family fortune to explore.

That’s all I have for now but feel free to pose your own in the comments, 3.5 readers.

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Game of Thrones Series Finale Review – The Iron Throne

Hey 3.5 readers.


Alas, it’s over.  This show that was a Super Bowl for nerds lo these many years has come to an end.  Despite all the criticism it is taking, it’s over and I’m grateful HBO made it.  I do think the last two seasons were a bit rushed and some plot points were forced but overall, it gave us a real ending.  It didn’t cop out or give us a do it yourself ending.  Choices were made and an actual resolution was given.

Jon Snow takes out his boo and Daeny croaks, effectively stopping her from become fantasy world she-Hitler.  Drogon is so pissed and just as you think he’s going to burn up Jon, he burns up the Iron Throne instead, pissed that his mother died over a lousy chair.

He then grabs Daeny and swoops off and frankly, if you ask me, Jon Snow was too honest for his own damn good.  Instead of admitting to the deed he should have just been all like, “Dudes.  Check it out.  I was all trying to get up in my girlfriend’s snootch with my iron bone when that damn dragon went crazy and burned up everything and flew off with Daeny so…oh well that sucks but I guess if y’all want me to be king now, I’ll do it.”

Meanwhile, it does seem out of left field that Bran would become king.  It was sad that the lords and ladies laughed at Sam’s suggestion of pure democracy, but at least there will be a little bit of thought put into picking the leadership from now on.

While Bran does seem like the least douchiest character and the least likely to use the throne for ill, they spent the last couple of seasons pointing out to us that Bran had become a supernatural being, the mystical three-eyed raven who is above all titles of nobility.  He refused to become the Lord of Winterfell for this very reason.  There’s sort of a nod to the fact that apparently Bran saw all this coming and was ready to be named king all along and it looks like the realm will be in good hands but still, I don’t know.  You can’t just say the kid is a god for several seasons and then suddenly say oh yeah and he can be king too.

I thought the romance between Brienne and Jaime was forced.  Those two seemed like, at best, they had a respectful friendship.

It seemed unlikely that the Unsullied would have accepted anything less than Jon Snow’s head on a pike.  They wouldn’t have been ok with him just going to the Wall.

What happened to the Dothraki?  I don’t recall an answer.  Those berserkers are just roaming the countryside, raping and looting I assume.  Sorry.  Maybe that’s dothraki profiling.

Snow has a better than expected ending.  The Watch doesn’t interfere as he leaves and joins the Wildlings.  His life won’t be fabulous but at least he’ll be free…free in the cold barren north but free.

Arya will become an explorer.  Sansa is Queen of the North.  The Stark children really clean up and make out like bandits in the end, all except Jon.

To my surprise, it was actually a happy ending when I expected that everyone would just be totally dead or someone terrible would end up ruling.

Jon and Daeny’s talk about power and Daeny talking about how people who disagree with her are evil is a bit scary and has some echoes to the world we live in today as we have all become so politically divided.

Anyway, I know the show is taking a lot of heat but hey, that means people love it enough to have strong feelings about it.  I think it ended well, though again, it does strike me as odd that Bran could be a three eyed raven and king at the same time.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Game of Thrones Finale

Well what did you think, 3.5 readers?

I Will Miss Game of Thrones

Hey 3.5 readers.

Just want to say that win, lose or draw after tonight’s episode, I will really miss Game of Thrones.

Not that you want to hear my life story, but the past decade was hard for me, due in large part to some not so bright moves I made at the end of the previous decade.  I spent the last decade digging myself out of a hole (or climbing out of a hole?) and long story short, this show was always the one constant I could look forward to.

Come spring time, every Sunday night, I could turn on HBO and for a solid hour I could forget about all my problems and just get lost in the fantasy.  Honestly, the time when Boardwalk Empire was on before it was great.  And for awhile True Blood was on, I forget, before or after it so really, Sunday nights were great for a while.

What is HBO going to replace it with?  Does anyone know?  Come to think of it, from the Sopranos to True Blood to Boardwalk to Game of Thrones, HBO has been my required Sunday night viewing for a long time now and I wonder what is coming next.

I know a lot of people are down on what happened with Khaleesi last week and it will be impossible to make anyone happy with the ending this week.  Part of the problem is that the show is, indeed, going to end and endings are always sad and leave you wanting more of what you can no longer have.

I do think the past couple seasons felt a little rushed but overall I have a feeling that the ending will be unexpected.

My prediction is that invaders from a yet to be explored land will come in and take it all.  Arya mentioned there is more unexplored land a couple seasons ago so it is possible.

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Movie Review – A Dog’s Journey (2019)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  So, this movie is the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose” and it continues with author W. Bruce Cameron’s tried and true formula of pulling on the heart strings of pet owners.  You might remember in the original, Bailey died and reincarnated over and over, becoming a different dog each time, helping a slew of owners along the way as he pined to return to his original owner, Ethan (Dennis Quaid).

In this go around, Bailey croaks again and again, reincarnating over and over so he can help Ethan’s grandaughter, CJ, as he finds her again and again throughout numerous dog lives.

You cry when the dog dies.  You rejoice when the dog lives again.  Honestly, these movies are one step above being Hallmark films but somehow they make you care about the characters and the dog and I suppose the message is we all need unconditional love in our lives and dogs are better at providing that than humans.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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