Sing it with me, 3.5 readers. Ohhhhhh…FREE stuff is good. FREE stuff is great! FREE stuff is the best! FREE stuff is better than all the rest!
Why is FREE stuff awesome? Because it’s FREE. Why, 11 out of 7 scientists at the Advanced Institute For Bogus Statistics agree that the reason why FREE stuff is good is because you don’t have to pay for it. That means that you get something while not having to part with your money.
You earned that money, possibly by doing one of the following:
#1 – Winning the lottery
#2 – Fighting a duel with river pirates for it using your ninja skills
#3 – You were walking through the forest one day and came across a dead man holding a stack of bills. You looked around, saw no one watching, then just took it because hey, it’s not like he needed it anymore. Then again, maybe he had a family with bills to pay, you insensitive son of a…
#4 – You inherited from your long estranged, Great Great Great Great Great Uncle Tiberius, who left a provision in his last will and testament that you will get a lot of moolah if you survive one night in a haunted house. You laugh, but many a 1960s horror film started in exactly this manner. For some reason, many of the 1960s elderly wanted their younger kin to spend nights in haunted houses. Toughened them up, I suppose. I mean, the old people of that time were born in the late 1800s, a time before toilets, TV, and basic civil rights so they probably didn’t think asking their descendants to spend a night in a haunted house was that big a deal.
#5 – My advisors advise me this is the most likely scenario – you worked for it. You performed a series of tasks in a job in which you are gainfully employed and received fair market value compensation for your time. BRAVO! (Though you really should have fought pirates for it. Lazy.)
Anyway you got your dough, you should keep it. Don’t spend it on my book because my book is free. Instead, spend your money on:
#1 – Candy. 78 out of 5 Bogus Stat Scientists say it is good for the lumbago.
#2 – Robot friends. Don’t bother with human friends. They are very fussy and more often than not, they disappoint. Instead, buy your very own robot friend and program it to like you.
#3 – Puppies.
#4 – Bribes to the King of Norway to meet Thor. You know he can hook that up.
#5 – A robust and healthy combination of goods/services/shelter you need to survive, along with a good habit of saving, a strategy that includes cash reserves in the bank as well as a modest stock, bond and mutual fund portfolio to ensure that you won’t have to peddle your wares under a bridge well into advanced age just to make ends meet. My advisors advise me this is totes what you should be doing with the money you saved by not buying my book.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?
Finally, like ten minutes into this post, you ask. CONSPIRACY THEORIES RUN AMUCK! There is a homeless man. He shouts conspiracy theories at everyone all day. Most think he is a kook, but apparently he has stumbled on something that puts a bee in the bonnet of a certain government agency that may or may not exist.
I’m Crazy BQB and my book prices are so low, I’m giving them away! Bah ha ha!
3.5 READERS: BQB, how low are your book prices?
BQB: I’m glad you asked. My book prices are lower than:
#1 – A crooked Congressman
#2 – A snake trying to win a limbo contest
#3 – That shawty in the Flo-Rida song with the apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur who got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low (while the whole club was looking at her.
In conclusion, get this free book?
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Was there a low point in your life? (BTW the price of this book is lower than that.)
Maybe don’t feel too bad about that low point. Maybe that bad thing that happened turned out to be the best thing for the world.
Case in point. Evan Brooks has wasted his life pining for his ex, “the one that got away.” After some interference from a mysterious stranger, he learns their break-up was the best thing for the world, for by going their separate ways, they avoided having a son who becomes the world’s worst dictator. Now that he sees that world, Evan will have to figure out how to put the world above his own selfish needs.
Just wanted to give a quick shout out to this fun flick I watched on Netflix last night. I saw it years ago and its sad how quickly the time has passed and of course, the things I didn’t notice or realize then that I do today.
What if I told you there was a movie featuring some of the biggest stars today in their bright eyed, bushy tailed youth? Here, you’ve got Chris Evans about a year before he became Captain America. Idris Elba before he became Thor’s BFF Heimdahl. Zoe Saldana before she became Gamora of Guardians of the Galaxy fame. Jeffrey Dean Morgan before he picked up Neegan’s bat in The Walking Dead.
In short, you’ve got some very young looking actors before they reached the heights of comic book movie fame, ironically in a comic book movie. Though it’s not very comic booky in that there are no capes or spandex, it is based on a comic. It’s about a squad of U.S. military, double-crossed and left for dead in Bolivia, forced to take on one last mission to save the world, promised that their names will be cleared and lives restored if they are successful.
Bonus points for Jason Patric who chews scenery as a villainy who positively exudes villainy (he freely shoots members of his entourage in public for making the slightest, most trivial mistakes) and his henchman, a brown haired young Holt McCallany, before he found his groove as gray haired FBI agent Bill Tench in Netflix’s Mindhunter.
It was a fun walk down memory lane and though I knew most of these actors at the time, it’s wild to think about how far they’ve all come in the decade since this movie. Sad there may never be a sequel because to get them all on the same set now would cost boku buckaroos.
Also, it’s short and sweet, about an hour and a half run time. They do a lot with a little and the action never stops.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Where does the time go? Watch on Netflix.
Crazy clown women! Super sucking starfish! Genuinely weird and wacky nonsense!
BQB here with a review of The Suicide Squad.
I’ve ranted about how DC totes wrecked its movie universe before, but let me sum it up with this early quote from Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the hard ass G-Woman who bosses the squad around, in her intro of Bloodsport, an assassin played by Idris Elba:
“He’s in here for putting Superman in the ICU with a kryptonite bullet.”
Yeah, I know, right? My reaction upon hearing that was, “Wow, I’d much rather be watching that movie right now. An assassin who bests Supes with a krypto-bullet? I’d buy a ticket and munch some popcorn to that.”
But alas, DC handles its movies the way Marvel handles its shows. You want to see Iron Man and Hulk and Thor and Captain America? Not in a Marvel Show. In a Marvel show, some ancillary character will be like, “Oh you just missed Thor. He stopped by to grab a tea and a scone and bounced.”
But that’s ok. It’s just a show. You’ll see Thor in a movie.
Meanwhile, how long has it been since we seen Superman and Batman in a movie in this latest attempt at a DCU movie universe?
But I digress.
Long story short, these films are fun in the moment. Worth a watch. You’ll be entertained, but you won’t be wowed. They’re good movies, but they aren’t great and that’s sad because they could have been great.
For the uninitiated, SS is about super villains who get conscripted into service on dangerous missions to save the country, the world, the day or what have you. Agent Waller runs the show with a device that lets her explode the baddies’ heads with an implanted chip if they try to run or disobey orders. Word has it that Amazon is testing a similar device that will ‘splode employees if they even think about taking a pee break. (I kid, I kid. Wait, do I? Yes! Yes of course. I kid. I kid. Amazon would never do such a thing. Look, just because Jeff Bezos has a net worth that is more than most small nations and can travel into space whenever he wants does not mean he is a supervillain, OK?)
These aren’t the good villains though. You’ll never see a team-up between Joker and Lex Luthor, although to the film’s credit it, the SS comics feature the bottom of the barrel villains too (except Harley of course, she’ll always be number one to geeks everywhere.)
OK no more rambling. A fictional banana republic nation if under new, Anti-American management after a violent coup, and Waller dispatches her flunkies to secure the data behind U.S. involvement in a clandestine research facility where ghastly experiments are underway.
All hell breaks loose, and boy howdy does this film earn its R rating. So much blood. So much dismemberment and body parts flying everywhere. So many gratuitous F bombs. Now, I’m no teetotaler and I’m not against the occasional well-placed F-bomb, but I feel like all the comic book movie makers are trying to copy Deadpool, with the idea that they can just stuff dummies into costumes, make them say “Fuck” and the result will be as funny as DP and no, no it will not because Deadpool is a comic genius whose F-Bombs are strategically timed for optimal hilarity.
Rounding out the crew are Ratcatcher Two (controller of rats and daughter of Ratcatcher One), King Shark (voiced by Sly Stallone in his best work yet) whose power is that he can eat people, mostly foes but occasionally friends and not always on accident, Polka Dot Man (the power to hurl killer, colorful dots), The Peacekeeper (John Cena stealing the show as he says hilarious things in a deadpan serious tone. He is basically an evil Captain America. Very righteous. Very patriotic, loves peace but unlike Cap, he doesn’t care how many people he has to kill, often quite unnecessarily, to get it.
Cena really shines here and while I understand F9 wasn’t a comedy, I still don’t get why they didn’t give him more to work with in that latest FF offering.
STATUS: Shelf worthy. It’s fun but also gross and not for the feint of heart. Part of me enjoyed it and part of me wondered what has become of adults? Why were adults of previous generations so hard that studios knew not to bother making such nonsense for them because they wouldn’t want it. What has changed today? Does this mean that today’s adults are silly and less serious for lapping up such drek? Because this one is definitely not for the kids. Sure, it has a shark man and a polka dot man and a clown woman but nope….not for kids. Don’t let the kids watch this one.
I was one of a handful of people who thought the 2016 version was good and I don’t think this one lives up to it but it’s a good time just the same.
My last complaint is I didn’t like what they did with Waller’s character. She is usually portrayed as very calm, cool and collected. She speaks matter of factly, never loosing her cool. She plays chess while others play checkers and is adept at forcing, blackmailing and pushing people to do bad things, literally nothing is too bad if it will keep America afloat, but she is rather stoic while doing it.
Here, she’s a screaming, obscenity spewing mess and I didn’t like it. It’s just not the badass Waller we came to know in the original.
Stream it on HBO Max…whenever HBO Max is working (which for me, isn’t often. They def have some kinks to work out of that service.)
BQB here with a review of the ninth installment of this long-running gearhead fest.
Alright, I’m just going to say it. I was disappointed. I didn’t want to be, but I was. For the past decade, seeing that a Fast and Furious movie was out was like having a three day old piece of pizza in the fridge. I know it’s there. I know I shouldn’t eat it. I know I’m going to be sick later but during the moment of consumption, it’s going to be oh, so enjoyable.
Long standing franchises are, in a way, like old fridge pizza. They’re not the best choice, but you know what you’re getting. Just like that pizza will have nice, cold sauce and perfectly congealed cheese, so too will Star Wars always have awesome lightsaber duels and James Bond will always ask for his martinis to be shaken, not stirred. It’s all mostly sub-par, but dependable, and occasionally, a masterpiece happens once every five years or so – just like Fast and Furious’ Fast Five (see the scene where Dom and Brian drive a bank safe down a Brazillian highway via cords attached to Dodge Chargers for more) or Star Wars’ Empire Strikes Back (see the whole thing for more) or James Bond’s Skyfall (again, see the whole thing for more) or that run of pizza pies in 2017 when Vinny’s Pizza hired a pizza chef from Italy and he made some fantastic pies before he left and started his own restaurant.
But I digress.
Here’s what I have come to expect from “The Fast Saga.” These are the three reasons I have, time and time again, plunked my cash down on the ticket counter:
#1 – Scantily clad women. (Yes, I said it. I don’t know how we all became puritans all of a sudden but yes, men like to watch movies in which hotties with little to nothing on shake their moneymakers. Shocking, I know.)
#2 – Bald, testosterone addled musclebound bodybuilders beating the crap out of each other. (It reminds men of their cavemen days when they would lift rocks all day so as to grow their muscles large and then they would challenge each other to fisticuffs in order to impress the hairy cave women.)
#3 – Insane, borderline comical car stunts. (There was an Onion video years ago where a newsman says he’s going to interview the screenwriter of the Fast and Furious franchise. Cut to a little boy smashing his toy cars together saying stuff like, “And then Dom is gonna drive his car really fast and jump over a train and then Brian is gonna jump his car over a helicopter and…” Yes, that’s pretty much the writing process.
So, why am I disappointed?
In this outing, I only got #3. Getting all three makes these movies great and sometimes two out of three ain’t bad, but three is all you get here. You might argue we get 2 because Vin Diesel is in it and he’s as big and bald as ever but it’s never been more obvious than it was in this installment that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham have been carrying these films on the shoulders just below their big, bald heads.
Seriously, that’s what this movie was lacking. It needed Hobbs. It needed Shaw. Obviously, as the proprietor of a blog that is only read by 3.5 readers, I was not privy to the creative process of this film and/or why The Rock and J-Stath took a powder in this go-around, but I can only assume it’s because Universal blew their bald, muscular action star budget on 2019’s Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw, which, though a fun flick, might have been penny wise and pound foolish, for they really need to be present in “the saga” itself for it to continue.
And sure, this film tries to pull out all the cameo stops. Various appearances from this person and that person where you squint and say, “Oh yeah, I think they were in that FF movie from like, seven years ago. Wow, that’s some fabulous continuity!” but none of it compares to our favorite chrome domed warriors.
Sure, John Cena is in it. He’s big. He’s muscular. He’s not bald though. For a true action flick, the stars must be bald, because then you realize that this dude is so big and bad that even his hair ran away screaming in terror one night and with a full head of hair, you know Cena isn’t that tough if his hair isn’t afraid of him.
All kidding aside though, I was excited to see that Cena was joining the cast, but I don’t think they gave him enough to do. He has carried films before (See 2006’s The Marine and the grossly unrecognized 12 Rounds (2009) for more.) If he’s to return in future FF’s, I hope they let him off the proverbial chain.
BTW he stars as Dom’s long-lost, totes estranged brother, who became super evil over a brotherly spat. In any other film series, introducing a here-to-fore never discussed brother who has been committing acts of super-villainy for years but has never been discussed would be considered a gaping plot hole, but this series, to its credit, is self-aware and slaps its holes shut with a wink and some silly putty.
Alright, so it fails on #2.
Does it succeed on #3? Of course. There are some truly insane, awesome car chases. Part of me wants to say there isn’t anything as awesome as, say, Cypher’s taking control of all the cars in the city and hurling them at Dom like a kid who just dumped out a tub full of Matchbox cars (ala The Fate of the Furious) or Fast Five’s bank vault down the highway scene, but there are still some pretty intense scenes. I suppose I shouldn’t give it away (SPOILER WARNING) so I’ll just say that electromagnets, a Tarzan-like swing (from a cable…across a ravine…in a damn car…crap I said I wouldn’t say it but I did, oh well just pretend I didn’t) and space are all involved.
But I must say, the movie fails, utterly, fails when it comes to #1. There are no scantily clad females to be seen at any point in this film’s much too long 143 minute run time. I mean, seriously, you can get me to sit down for car chases, but if you want to keep me glued for two and a half hours, there needs to be some hot babes in various states of undress.
Just as we can always count on James Bond to ask for his martini to be shaken and not stirred, so too can we always count on a FF movie to have at least one drag race scene where a voluptuous vixen in skimpy attire drops the flag, a signal to the gearheads that it’s time to step on the gas.
A mere 4 years ago, 2017’s Fate of the Furious gave us a scene in Cuba where a hot babe with a dress so short and revealing that I honestly wondered if maybe there was a wardrobe malfunction where maybe she left the skirt in the dryer too long and it shrunk and no one from the wardrobe department noticed. You caught glimpse of partial cheeks and everything and I’m just saying that as a movie buff and not as a lonely man who ran that scene back a hundred times.
Flash forward to today and naturally, there was a drag race scene, but the flag dropper just wore a pair of jeans. Like, not even revealing jeans. Like, Costco dungarees two sizes too big. She didn’t give a rousing speech or anything. It was just like, “Eh, this is my job. I’m the flag dropper. Here, flag dropped. Done.”
“But BQB” you might say. FF has a number of recurring, hot female characters. Surely…”
No. Charlize Theron reprises her role as the villain Cypher, but she’s barely in it. She’s in a glass cage in most of her parts, kind of suggestive of Charlize maybe saying, “Yeah, I’ll be in this stinker if I can show up for a day, two days tops and do all my lines in a glass cage and then I’m out.”
But just in case you were worried you might be aroused, they gave her a Moe Howard style bowl cut. I don’t have time in this post to rant about the growing trend where Hollywood seems to feel like the only way that female characters can be empowered with strength is to dude them up (see Teela in the He-Man sequel cartoon for more.)
Look, I’m not saying that’s what they were going for here because again, I wasn’t privy to the decision making process. All I’m saying is they took one of the most beautiful female movie stars today and made her look like a grumpy 1930s male comedian. That’s all I’m saying.
Oh, I almost forgot, there is a Cardi B cameo.
“Oh thank God, BQB, the movie is saved!” you might say. “Cardi is known for her popular music videos where she shows off her impressive, bouncy derriere. Surely, she…”
Yeah, she and a group of super hot chicks save Dom whilst clad head to toe in SWAT team body armor. Oh, sorry, I should have announced a spoiler. SPOILER ALERT – Dom gets saved from the baddies by being arrested by a SWAT team, only for the big reveal later to be that the SWAT team removes their helmets to show they are a team of hot chicks led by Cardi B. (Being 5 feet tall didn’t give it away.)
So, anyway, if a lady rapper known for showing off her hiney having said hiney covered by kevlar is your thing, then by all means, turn this movie on and knock yourself out.
Look, I get it. We are in the #MeToo era. It was a long time coming. Some very bad men in the entertainment industry got the comeuppance they so richly deserved. All I’m saying is, it seems unjust that average chumps like me who, let’s face it, the closest we’ll ever come to a hot babe is seeing them in the movies, have to suffer because of the terrible acts of evil men.
I mean…seriously. Harvey Weinstein is an uber sleezy pervert for thirty years, and literally all of Hollywood covers for him for thirty years…and rather than just punish him and his ilk…I have to be denied my one every 4 year chance to oggle hot bikini babes in an FF movie.
STRIKE #1 – They can’t afford big time action stars like The Rock and Statham anymore, and frankly, I don’t really see a lot of action star talent coming out of the millenial generation. Unless the next film involves an avocado toast heist, this franchise might, itself, become toast.
STRIKE #2 – No more hotties in skimpy outfits because Harvey Weinstein was a pervert. I mean, look, I’m no Hollywood expert, but there probably are women who would very much like to show off their hot bods on film, so like, Hollywood, if you could get all the necessary lawyers together in a room and hash out all the various and sundry consent forms to make sure these women really do want to appear on film in various states of undress, maybe even hire a bona fide fortune teller who can predict whether the women won’t regret it later and then like, once the consent decrees are signed in triplicate and the fortune teller or the Minority Report style pre-cog guarantees that the woman won’t regret it in the future and alright….I can see how getting a woman naked for the big screen has now officially become more complicated than launching a nuclear missile so…yeah, fine…just put the drag race flag wavers in jeans from now on…maybe a nice turtle neck…goose down parka. You know what? All women in this franchise should just appear under piles of 50 blankets or more. Thanks Harvey. Thanks a lot. A-hole.
WHAT SAVES IT – The insane car stunts, though I fear it’s only a matter of time before those are taken away too. Someone will complain that all this driving at high octane speeds is bad for the environment, so the next film will probably be Dom drag racing a Prius. The flag dropper will be Sister Mary Elizabeth from Our Lady of the Perpetual Iron Underwear. She’ll come out in full habit, drop the flag, and then Dom will floor his environmentally conscious ride all the way to the Quinoa stand.
STATUS – Moderately shelf-worthy, but on life support. You’ll be entertained and it’s worth a watch, but it’s not what it used to be. You know, it’s funny, when I saw the ads where it showed Cena vs. Vin, I thought “Wow, they’re kicking it up a notch” but then after a half hour in I was like, “Wait…no Rock? No Statham.” I don’t know why I thought they’d be in this one. I guess you just come to expect it but I realized “Oh yeah, they weren’t in the ads. Crap.”
So, you know, times, they are a changing and I suppose movies are made for the young, though I admit I have never seen a generation in so much of a hurry to be old. Maybe they can reboot the franchise with a new cast, perhaps one where Dom has a fedora and glasses and urges his Uber driver to drive at a brisker pace so he can be the first in line at the soy latte stand. The Uber drag race can be kicked off by a hot babe wearing a cardboard box.