Monthly Archives: March 2020

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Night Hawks (1981)

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Hey 3.5 readers.

As an aficionado of 1980s action flicks, as well as everything Stallone, I was shocked to find this movie starring Stallone and Billy Dee Williams as two cops chasing a terrorist, Rutger Hauer as Wulfgar.

So, I watched it and I have to say, overall I was impressed.  It has a degree of seriousness, almost in the vein of “Day of the Jackal” where a London based terrorism expert moves to NYC to educate Stallone and Williams on how to track Wulfgar, that this cunning sociopath is a master of disguise and deception and could be anywhere at any time.

The key plot point is that Stallone, as a cop, is also a master of disguise and deception.  The film begins with an old woman about to get mugged.  She kicks the muggers’ asses, and rips off her mask to reveal that she is Stallone and Billy Dee jumps out of the shadows to provide backup.

My main complaint is about halfway through the film, the subterfuge or cat and mouse angle of the film is blown and it goes from an understated mystery thriller to an all out action flick.  At the beginning, I thought the point was Stallone was going to lull Wulfgar into a trap, but he just goes at him guns a blazing.

Still, there are some riveting action scenes, as well as some prophetic discussions of terrorism and how terrorists operate that seem eerily accurate post-9/11.

Ironically, I think with a few tweaks and perhaps a more serious title, this film could have gone down as one of the great ones.  Instead, it became lost, at least to me, until I found it on Netflix and only then I was on a coronavirus inspired deep Netflix dive.

And I’ll give it this – the ending makes the whole thing.  I don’t want to give it away, but it really is a great, unexpected, and redeeming ending.

STATUS: Shelfworthy.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Tootsie (1982)

Hey 3.5 readers.

So I’ve been watching movies to pass the time during the coronavirus outbreak, and last night I settled on Tootsie on Netflix.  It’s funny how movies you saw as a kid come across differently to you as an adult all these years later.

Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an actor with immense talent who can’t get steady work because he’s an unwavering perfectionist, refusing to obey the most basic commands of his directors if he disagrees with them.

When his friend, Sandy, a fellow thespian (Terri Garr) auditions for and is denied a part as a hospital administrator on a soap opera, Southwest General, Michael, desperate for money to produce his roomate’s play (Bill Murray as Jeff) decides on a lark to don a dress and wig and try out for the part, introducing herself as actress Dorothy Michaels.

Miraculously, he nails it and while the rest of the women on the show are portrayed as brainless females who swoon at the first sign of male authority, she plays the part as a tough talking, no nonsense feminist.

A star is born, but along the way, Michael will have to figure out his feelings for co-star Julie (Jessica Lange) who only knows him as her BFF Dorothy, and fight off advances from Julie’s father and a male costar.

It’s interesting to watch the film in the light of the MeToo era.  There’s a point in the film where Michael confides in Jeff that being a woman is exhausting, that he has to spend his money on countless products just to look pretty, and that all day long, he’s fending off men who are trying to force themselves on her.  Maybe all men should have to walk a mile in Tootsie’s heels.  (Tootsie being an unflattering name the chauvinist director Dabney Coleman gives her.)

There are some things that don’t hold up in modern times.  Men who learn they have kissed a man pretending to be a woman are horrified.  Julie’s father openly states that the only reason he never killed Michael is because the two didn’t kiss.  While these sentiments would likely be felt even today by a straight male who kisses a woman who is, in fact, a man, the looks of panic and horror wouldn’t be appreciated on film.

And of course, it’s important to note to these men that “Dorothy” never tried to kiss any of them.  Pervs.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Coronavirus Blues

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:::Harmonica Riff:::

Ba bum ba bum!

Ba bum ba bum!

Oh lord, I got the corona!

Oh lord, I got the coronavirus blues!

Yes, lord I got the corona!

I got the coronavirus blues!

Baby, haven’t you heard the news?

I got the coronavirus blues!

Woke up this mornin.’

Had to take a poo.

Nothin’ to wipe my butt with.

Oh what’s a man supposed to do?

I say I got the coronavirus!

I got the coronavirus blues!

Baby, fetch me my walking shoes!

I gotta get outta here!  Before I catch that corona too!

Ba bum ba bum.

Ba bum ba bum.

Everything’s closed down.

All my friends are out of jobs.

I got a big frown,

And I’m livin’ like a slob!

I say I got the corona

I got the coronavirus blues!

Baby, I think I just heard my cue!

It’s time to talk about the coronavirus blues!

Ba bum ba bum.

Ba bum ba bum.

Never used hand sanitizer before.

Now one bottle will never do.

I just sold my left kidney.

For some Purell and a couple of clorox wipes too!

Oh, I say I got the corona!

Yes, I got the coronavirus blues!

Baby, don’t you know that you’re my muse?

Sing with me about the coronavirus blues.

Ba bum ba bum.

Ba bum ba bum.

Well this looks like the end.

The apocalypse has finally come.

The economy will never mend.

And I still can’t wipe my bum.

Oh, listen up y’all, cuz I got the corona!

I say I got the coronavirus blues!

Time to gulp down some delicious booze.

Cuz I’m so low with the coronavirus blues.

Uh huh.  Yeah.  Coronavirus blues right here, baby.

Someone fetch the neighbor’s cat.

That’s right. I gotta wipe my tucas something fierce.

 

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TV Review – Tiger King (2020)

3.5 readers, this will be short, but I have to recommend the new docu-series Tiger King on Netflix.

Heck, if you’re huddled inside, trying to stave off the corona, what better time than now to check out this little gem?

The long story short is that there is a crazy, wacky, world that you have likely never heard of before.  That world is the world of privately owned (as in by a person rather than by a professional company) tiger zoos.  Shoddily run by dudes with tremendous egos who act like their ownership of giant kitties is a super power, these joints are teaming with tabloid fodder and this series brings it all to your screen.

The most wacky of all tiger zoo owners is Joe Exotic, a gay country singing bigamist cowboy from Oklahoma who is addicted to social media and putting content on the web.  He loves the limelight, putting some of the silliest videos of himself imaginable out there, acting as though he is some sort of larger than life cartoon character.

Over time, he gets into a public feud with Carol Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue, a preserve that gives a home to big cats once owned by zoos such as Exotic’s.  Baskin says Exotic is mistreating his kitties.  Exotic says she’s just trying to steal his cats for herself.

Ultimately, the feud takes a gruesome turn when Exotic moves from clown to criminal, getting arrested for his part in a hit for hire plot against Baskin.

Some of the things you’ll see in this series just defies belief.  Dudes who play with giant tigers without a care that they could easily become lunch.  Hangers on who work for next to nothing because they either have nowhere else to go or they just love the lifestyle.  Women turned big cat owner groupies.  Young men enamored by Joe’s money to the point they marry him even though they are straight.  Money thrown away on zoos that essentially become money pits and expired Walmart leftover meats that are fed to kitties.

This is one to watch, 3.5 readers.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

 

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Be Well, 3.5 Readers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here.

I don’t blog as much as I used to.  I’m getting older, have less energy, and ultimately, I feel like the little time I do get needs to be spent on writing books.  I feel like if this little enterprise has any chance of making any money, it will be with books.

But anyway, just want to wish all 3.5 of you well.  I have to admit, when this all started, I thought a lot of the panic seemed to be BS.  Sometimes I still wonder that, though at the same time, I realize that it would be better if the worst that happens is if we go without movies, restaurants and other pursuits for a while than end up with humanity being wiped out.  It’s all about perspective I suppose.

It’s funny though.  I never used hand sanitizer before (I always thought it was just gross and lazy and if you feel your hands need to be washed then you should just wash them) but now that I can’t get any, I want it.

Take care, 3.5 readers.  I hope all the things you are working on go well and in the mean time, I will keep working on my universe of stories where animals eat people on the toilet.

 

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Coronavirus E-Mails

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Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here, hunkering down in BQB HQ as we ride out the coronavirus pandemic.  Don’t worry about me.  I’m fit as a fiddle.  COUGH COUGH!  Whoa?  Is that phlegm or a Jackson Pollock painting?

Anyway.  Fun fact about the social media age.  Literally, everyone is an epidemiologist know, and everyone has an opinion they want to share, immediately, directly to you, right away.

Worse, every company I have ever given my e-mail address to wants to tell me what they are doing about the coronavirus.  In case you haven’t received these missives, allow me to summarize:

  • My preferred pizza parlor wants me to know that if I so desire, I can choose the “no contact delivery” option while placing my order, and the driver will set the pizza down on my stoop, ring the doorbell, and then run away, really fast, with his arms flailing about, to and fro as he screams about how we are all doomed and the end times are here.  For five dollars more, I can get the super extra no contact delivery, which means the driver will slow down to 30 mph and throw the pizza out his window, allowing it to splatter all over my front door.  I tried this once and found the pizza box on my front lawn, while the pepperoni ended up on the grass and the cheese was in my neighbor’s rose bush.  Not the best way to eat a pie, but the good news is, I am coronavirus free.

 

  • My local car dealership wants me to know that if I want to test drive a new car, I can do it online.  They have some type of app where I can virtually drive the new car off the lot, virtually wince as the sticker value decreases by half, virtually get cut off in traffic, and virtually get honked at when the light turns green and I wait one fraction of a second to hit the virtual gas because the honker, as you know, is a very important person and needs to get where he is going right away.  He is probably on his way to a meeting where he will announce his invention of a device that will cure global warming and not just some ass hat on his way to buy a bag of Fritos and a gallon of Mr. Pibb.  Oh, and if I need any service done on my car, I can choose the no contact service option.  That’s right.  I can just point the car at the dealership parking lot, slow down to like 10 mph and jump out at the last minute before the car rams into a brick wall and sure, the car will need major body work after that buy hey, there was no contact…with other humans.

 

  • My favorite big box store emailed to let me know they have spritz down everything in the store with sanitary goo, as opposed to the years and years where this goo was not applied and I was allowed to shop in what essentially was a steaming cauldron of airborne fecal matter.  Also, they are working overtime to make sure that additional rainforests are being chopped down so that all the nervous nellies out there can fill their basements with toilet paper, because, God fordbid the apocalypse comes and you might have to wipe your ass with a leaf or a newspaper or a magazine or your neighbor’s cat or something.

 

  • My movie theater wants me to know that they are selling only half the seats because they don’t want it on their conscience if anyone catches the coronavirus while watching such masterpiece works like “Brahms: The Boy Part 2” or that Fantasy Island reboot where someone thought it would be a good idea to bring a lighthearted 70s romp into a horror movie.  It’s probably due to the coronavirus and not because everyone was already at home watching Netflix anyway.

 

  • My florist will also offer a no contact delivery option.  If I want to cheer up the special lady in my life, they’ll be happy to fill a cannon full of daffodils and shoot it at her front door.

 

  • Finally, my psychotherapist emailed to tell me the joke’s on him, for all these years, it turns out I was right about social distancing, and everyone was so very, very wrong.

Have you received any fun coronavirus emails from your favorite places of business, 3.5 readers?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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Movie Review – Bloodshot (2020)

Hey 3.5 readers.  Your old pal BQB here, braving the Coronavirus so you don’t have to.

Also here with a review of Bloodshot.

Hollywood has mined so much gold out of the Marvel and DC universes that they’re turning to the lesser known Valiant comics.  Did you even know they existed?  You’re not a true nerd if you didn’t.  Could this be the start of a Valiant comic cinematic universe?

Anyway, Vin Diesel plays Ray Garrison, a soldier who dies in battle and is resurrected by a team of scientists.  He now benefits from nano-tech in his blood, which reconstitutes his flesh in seconds after he is shot, stabbed, injured or what have you.  Looks cool on screen.

From there, he joins a group of ex-soldiers who have all died and been brought back in larger than life ways thanks to technology.

I have to admit, for the first half-hour or so, the film seemed pretty basic.  Not dull but not really grabbing me.  However, without delving into spoilers, a surprise twist occurs that left me on the edge of my seat for the rest of the film.  I thought it was clever and worth watching as the twists and turns keep coming at a rapid clip after that.

I’m sad critics don’t seem to agree and unfortunately audiences might not get to vote with sales due to the pandemic.  However, I hope word of mouth spreads because I think it is a great flick that could be the start of an awesome franchise for Diesel.  Obviously, he’s done great with Fast and Furious, though attempts to double that momentum with Riddick fizzled.  I think he’s got something here with Bloodshot though the critics disagree.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Toilet Monkey Test Chapter

Giving it a spin to see if it works.  What say you, 3.5 readers?

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June 4, 2019 – 8:00 P.M. EST (Eastern Standard Time) – Museum of Historic Antiquity – New York City

Ah, the Big Apple.  Home to stars of stage and screen, an inspiration to poets and painters alike, and also, at this precise moment, an obese security guard who had spent the past twenty minutes in a dirty bathroom stall, looking at a retro porno mag as he worked on giving birth to the most furious of turds.

“Oh yeah,” Jim said as he unfurled a centerfold inserted in a copy of Bush Fever.  “Now that’s quality fur burger.  Ergh!  Get…out…of me…you beast!”

The fat man’s radio squawked.  “Jim…hello?  Jim?”

Jim closed the centerfold, then turned a page.  He read an article.  “Nixon not trustworthy?  Hmm…you know, these writers were really onto something.”

Squawk.  “Jimbo!  Answer your damn radio!”

Jim rolled his eyes and fished around on the floor, where his radio was still attached to his downed pants.  He grabbed it and hit the call button.  “You rang, Larry?”

Squawk.  “Yeah.  Where the hell are you, man?  You were supposed to do a round a half-hour ago.”

“Larry,” Jim said.  “When nature calls, nature calls.”

Squawk.  “Nature calls?  Jim, you know, nature would call a lot less if you’d take that Pizza Pirate app off your phone.”

“If you know…ugh…another…ergh…company that can deliver a quality Hawaiian pineapple sausage-fest within a thirty-minute window, then I’m all ears.”

Squawk.  “Hey, there goes the point, flying right over your head, dipshit.  Pinch that loaf and do your round!”

“Ugh,” Jim said.  “For twelve bucks an hour, I’m really gonna bust my ass trying to…”

Squawk.  “You took the job, dumbass.  Now do it.”

“Fine.”

Squawk.  “And you’d better not be looking at retro porno mags in there again, Jim.”

Larry scoffed at the very idea.  “Lawrence, you have besmirched my honor.”

Squawk.  “You know the boss said he’d fire your ass if he ever caught you bringing one of those old timey bush mags to work again.  What’s wrong with you?  Why don’t you just sneak a peek on your phone like the rest of us?”

“Because Internet porn doesn’t come with the class, the style, the savoir faire of a 1970s era beauty who has grown a lush thicket to hider her femininity, thus delaying access to her rose petal while trapping in the robust scent of…:

Squawk.  “Put that shit in your locker and never bring it to work again.”

“Bah,” Jim said.  “I’m surrounded by simpletons.”

Squawk.  “Seriously, man.  In the history of the minimum wage security guard industry, there has never been a laziest guard than you, dude.  One of these days, this place is going to be robbed blind and it will be all your fault.”

“Errgh…argh!  Ah, there it is.  Thank God.”

Jim stood up, his porky face round and sweaty.  He set his retro porn mag down on the toilet tank, then hit the call button as he reached for the toilet paper.  “Please.  The day when a criminal gets one over on old Jim Dunleavy is the day that…”

Jim went cross-eyed as he stopped talking mid-sentence.  Like a fully chopped tree, he fell forward, bashing through the stall door and ending up face down on the cold floor.  His radio clattered across the room.

Squawk.  “Jim?”

A tiny, furry paw raised its way out of the murky, poopy depths of the toilet bowl. It was clutching a used hypodermic needle, the contents of which had been injected into Jim’s backside.

Squawk.  “Jimbo, you there?”

The needle was dropped to the floor.

Squawk.  “Man, if I have to come find you, I’m gonna be pissed.”

A diminutive capuchin monkey with a mix of white and black fur, barely over a foot tall and weighing no more than four pounds, climbed onto the toilet seat.  The tiny fellow shook the brown water from himself, waved the stench away from his face, then unzipped his wetsuit.  He removed all of his equipment, including his mask, scuba tank and breathing apparatus.  He cast these parts off, uncaring as to where they landed.

He leapt from the pot and landed on the floor.  His little feet sailed past the body of his victim.  Jim’s eyes were closed, his mouth was agape and a pool of drool was forming.

“Eek,” the monkey said as he put his paws on Jim’s face.  The simian intruder had a happy lark, moving the fat man’s face into various positions, giving a smile one moment and a frown the next.  He settled on leaving the inept guard with a smile, then skittered towards the door.

“Eek, eek.”

Squawk.  “Damn it, Jim, you need to get your ass transferred because if I have to put up with one more night of this shit, I’m going get you fired myself.”

So, This Happened…

I have decided to greenlight this very important project:

Movie Review – The Way Back (2020)

Booze and hoops.  Booze and hopes.

BQB here with a review of the Ben Affleck drama, “The Way Back.”

 

It’s a story we’ve seen again and again in a film.  A curmudgeonly coach takes on a new team.  He’s doubtful at first but as he gets to know the kids, he learns they are winners and just need someone to guide them.  He provides that guidance and in doing so, finds his own redemption.

That essences is here, and yet…not.  This isn’t the Bad News Bears.  There’s no humor and there’s no schmaltz.  Alcoholism has gripped Affleck’s Jack Cunningham in its icy hand and it is not letting go without a knock down, drag out fight.  From the booze he hides in his office to the cases upon cases that fill his fridge, Jack is a rummy through and through.  We see how this disease weighs him down, tearing his life apart, destroying his relationship with his family and making it nearly impossible for him to find any real meaning.

There’s no overnight miracle here.  Coaching the kids helps and Jack finds he isn’t as useless on the court as he is in most areas of life.  But there’s no happy, feel good moment where Jack pours out the hooch, quits cold turkey and becomes the greatest coach of all time.  As any recovering addict will tell you, fighting that monkey on your back is a daily grind, and this film shows that grind in all its gross glory.

This film might have also been about Affleck exercising his own demons.  Affleck has spoken publicly about his own battle with alcohol.  Jack has to come to grips with his divorce and estrangement from his wife, and Affleck has said publicly that he regrets his divorce Jennifer Garner.  In fact, coping with regret is a big part of the film – accepting what we cannot change, learning how to improve upon our mistakes where we can, learning how to not tear ourselves apart over the proverbial spilt milk where we can’t.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  It’s a decent film.  Not something I’d watch over and over.  Not something that’s Oscar bound.  Affleck exercises his dramatic chops and it might give you some food to thought if you’re battling your own demons.  Other than that, I wouldn’t call it a good or bad movie, just somewhere in the middle.

 

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