Monthly Archives: December 2021

Some Thoughts After Binge Watching Seinfeld

I’ve been on a month-long binge watch of Seinfeld, 3.5 readers. It’s funny the things you notice when a) you watch it all within the same time span and b) when time goes by and you notice actors/actresses who had bit parts on the show who later went on to hit it big.

Some observations:

#1 – Co-creator Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame is in it a lot, but you might not have noticed if you weren’t a super fan. He has bit walk on roles such as “Frank Costanza’s Cape Wearing Lawyer” (actual name of the character, the cashier who gives George back a twenty dollar bill with lipstick on the president, a mad scientist in a late-night B sci-fi movie that Jerry is watching. He also does a lot of voice over work, people yelling at the characters from off camera. Of course, his big claim to fame is that he did the voice of George’s boss, the gregariously boisterous NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

#2 – Speaking of LD, it’s eerie how much of a spot on accurate Larry David impression that Jason Alexander is doing in the character of George Costanza, who is based on the Curb star. Poor George/Larry. Their whole schtick is that they are unattractive bald men who screw up constantly who, despite their myriad of flaws, can only be happy with perfect women. They know in their hearts this is wrong and they might be happier if they could accept women with flaws the way they wish women would accept them for all their flaws but their dumb brains just won’t let them do it.

#3 – It’s a rare series that gets better the longer it goes on. You can tell the showrunners are trying to figure it all out in the first 2 seasons and then it finally hits its stride around season 3-4. Early seasons, they try to give more depth to everyone and then they eventually hit the formula where it becomes quick and snappy and everyone is a caricature every situation is a parody of some sort of social conundrum that everyone faces sooner or later. Understandably, Jerry wanted to go out on top by ending the show after season 9 rather than go on longer even though NBC offered him plenty of money to keep going. Some of the most memorable episodes with the quotable phrases that became part of the pop cultural language come between seasons 7-9.

#4 – Famous actors/actresses who were on Seinfeld and then went on to hit it big later. (Hard to make a complete list.)

Dayton Callie – You might know him as Charlie on HBO’s Deadwood but he played a cabbie in the Puerto Rican Day Parade Episode who has to put up with Elaine’s indecision over whether she wants to stay in the cab and wait for the traffic to clear up or to get out and walk.

Breaking Bad – Walter and Skyler were both on Seinfeld before Walt built his blue meth empire. Anna Gunn was on the long list of Jerry’s girlfriends dumped over comically trivial reasons (George loses his glasses but while squinting, is certain he spotted her smooching it up with Jerry’s despised Cousin Jeffrey). Meanwhile, Bryan Cranston had a recurring role as Jerry’s dentist Tim Whatley, who converts to Judaism just for the jokes and brands Jerry a rabid anti-dentite for making dentist jokes. (Sidenote a young Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame is in this episode too.)

Mariska Hargitay, Amanda Peet, Sarah Silverman, Courtney Cox, Janine Garafalo, Teri Hatcher, Megan Mullally, Lauren Graham and the list goes on and on. It seems like every up and coming 1990s actress took a turn as one of Jerry or George’s (sometimes Kramer’s) long suffering girlfriends. I say sometimes Kramer because oddly, any woman dumped by Kramer just seems to feel lucky to have had the unlikely stud in their lives.

Meanwhile, Jon Favreau (as a clown), Bob Odenkirk and a very young Patton Oswalt as a video store clerk stop by.

#5 – My last observation is how many of the premises wouldn’t exist today. So many of the episodes involve the quartet splitting up and not being able to find each other in the big city. Today, a lost friend is only a cell phone call away from being found.

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Bookshelf Battle Cast – Movie Trailer Outro

I paid for these, so I feel like I need to post them and give them a little mileage once in awhile.

Anyway, I had a go who does a mean movie trailer voice do this and he did an awesome job.

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TV Review – Hawkeye (2021)

So many arrows, so little time, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Disney Plus’ Hawkeye.

It’s about time The Avengers’ arrow blasting badass got his own movie…except I guess they didn’t want to give him one so this TV show will have to do. That’s ok, Hawky. The Hulk could never carry a movie by himself either, even with those big green mitts. Hulk smash everything…except box office records.

Here, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is on a holiday vacay to NYC with his kids, the hawklets, in tow. After taking in an Avengers style broadway show (watch the entire thing after the end credits of the last episode), he has a run in with Kate Bishop (Hailey Steinfeld), an archery champ who was inspired to become a champion arrow slinger in her own right after witnessing Hawkeye take out some alien villains during Loki’s attack on New York back in the 2012 film when she was just a child. My, how time flies.

Kate has had her own run in with the aptly named Track Suit Mafia over a misunderstanding when she accidentally dons the Ronin costume, the same garb that Hawkeye wore during the blip phase of the last Avengers’ film, a time when he missed his deleted family and took vengeance out on the evildoers of the world with no remorse.

Assuming Kate is Ronin and wanting revenge, it’s a mad cat arrow infused romp as Clint and Kate shoot their way out of this mess, one flying pointy stick at a time.

At first, I felt there was a bit of a bait and switch here. Vile patriarchist that I am, I’m not a fan of this trend to replace longstanding male characters with females. In some cases, like when a character is more of an idea than a person and anyone can step in and be them, it works. In other cases, where the studio is just like, “OK this dude has a vag now” it makes little sense. It’s like the studios are saying that women can never be fully complete unless they grow ding dongs and become dudes, as if they were born deficient when they were born vaginized.

Moving on, my main complaint was that it looked like we were going to get very little Hawkeye and a lot of Kate Bishop, which seemed deceptive for a show called Hawkeye, but ultimately, we got a lot of the Hawkster. It’s basically like a mismatched buddy cop show about an old veteran arrow slinger taking a fresh, naive, lots to learn rookie arrow slinger under his wing.

I have to give this show kudos because it does show the dangerous side of super-heroing, particularly when the hero is just like, a person with no supernatural and/or scientifically assisted abilities. (Sidenote – isn’t it a gaping plot hole that Tony Stark never just outfitted the entire team with his Iron Man armor?)

Clint is deaf, having had a front row seat to plenty of gunfire and explosions in his day. Movies never tell the viewer this, but explosions and guns are loud. In the movies, people just stand around explosions like nothing’s wrong but in reality, if you’re lucky enough to not be vaporized in the blast radius, you’d still most likely be knocked on your butt and/or left with long-lasting, perhaps life-long hearing loss.

Kate and Clint get knocked around throughout the show and to the show’s credit, the pain shows. They’re constantly hurt, and they are never without band-aids and stitches on their face, so A plus to Disney for giving us a look at how hard it is to be a super-hero when you’re not a God, or haven’t been gifted with amazing strength and/or health regeneration, be it through magic or science. When you’re just Joe or Jane Average, getting your ass kicked hurts, a lot, and afterwards, you’re going to be limping and covered with bandages and you’re probably going to need a drink and a nap. Also, a dog. Bonus points to the show for adding a dog.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but SPOILER ALERT. Looks like Kate will take over the Hawkeye role, so where does that leave Clint? Where does that leave Jeremy Renner? Is he exiting the franchise? Will he come back as Ronin? Probably not since he burned the costume, then again, a new costume is only a call to the tailor shop away.

Meanwhile, Lady Thor is on the way and I guess, I don’t know, they’ll probably chop off the Hulk’s ding-a-ling eventually just to be fair to out of control green lady rage monsters.

Double bonus points because Vera Farmiga is in it. I have had a crush on her since she appeared scantily clad in The Departed.

Triple bonus points because the show is Christmas themed.

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TV Review – The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 1 (2021)

Hold on to your helmet, 3.5 readers. Disney Plus is getting a little extra awesome courtesy of the galaxy’s favorite bounty hunter.

Temuera Morrison. It’s a name that has gone unknown except to the truest of Star Wars fans all these years. He’s the actor who played Jango Fett in the prequels and of course, since the Clone Troopers were cloned using Jango’s DNA, he played all of them too. Flash forward to today and he’s playing Boba Fett sans the helmet (Boba being the adopted son/clone of Jango as we saw in the prequels). Finally, TM is getting his due in a series all his own (and we can say the same of Boba.)

When last we saw BF, it was in the court of deceased Tatooine crime boss Jabba the Hutt, who you may recall met an untimely demise when Princess Leia choked him out with a chain whilst clad in a tawdry slave girl costume. We thought Boba ended up as sand monster poop, only to become one of the franchise’s most popular characters, so naturally, he’s back, alive and taking control of the desert planet’s crime scene.

With his trusty right-hand Fennec Shand (Ming Na Wen), Boba is trying to rule the crooked game’s players with respect rather than fear. Whether or not that strategy will win the day, only time will tell.

If you’re a SW fan, you’ll love this. It gives us deeper immersion to the world, staying true to its rules and backstory while giving us new sights to feast our eyes on. In this first episode, we see Boba’s journey from the monster’s belly to freedom, juxtaposed with new threats on his reign in Jabba’s hot hutt seat.

Disney may have stunk up the sequel movies, but it really has hit home runs with the streaming shows – The Mandalorian and now this. It is a little odd seeing the Fettster sans helmet and time will tell if he’s interesting on a personal level or maybe his allure came from him being a baddie of few words, with a cool costume who let his killer gadgets do the talking in the original films.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

This Is Not Arnold Schwarzenegger Clip

Hey 3.5 readers.

I tried to do a podcast once. Alas, The Bookshelf Battlecast was thankfully short lived. Actually, it never really lived. It was dead on arrival.

I enjoyed using the software to cut sound clips together and it’s funny how you never really learn how to do something until you try to do it. It all seemed very confusing at first but before I knew it, I was mixing sound and fading in background music, the whole shebang.

Sadly, I, BQB was the weak link in the BQB cast. I have a face for radio, a voice for print, and a writing style for unpaid blogs that any schmuck with a computer can start. On the mic, I was about as exciting as listening to paint dry and I realized I was better off not on air at all.

The fun byproduct is that I hired various celebrity impersonators to do intros for the podcast. With their talent, they brought scripts I wrote for them to life and a few of them even told me that they had a lot of fun performing what I wrote. I’m like 50 percent sure they weren’t just saying that.

Anyway, here’s a clip of a talented Arnie impersonator doing a bit I wrote:

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Movie Reviews – Being the Ricardos (2021)

3.5 readers! I’m home!

BQB here with a review of Amazon’s Lucille Ball biopic.

Reviews of this film haven’t been great and all I can say is this: whether you like this film or not will depend on what you were hoping for when you turned it on.

If you were looking for laughs, you’ll be sorely disappointed, which is strange, given that it is a film about the life and times of the 1950’s Hollywood power couple that invented the sitcom. All the funny half hour shows you know and love have Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo to thank for convincing the network suits that Americans love to laugh, not just once but over and over again in perpetual re-run syndication.

If you were looking for scandalous backstage power plays and intrigue, you’ve come to the right place. I have to admit, when I first heard about this movie, I wondered if Aaron Sorkin was the right man for the job. He gave us The West Wing and is best known for political drama, his calling card being characters who walk and talk while giving exposition dumps (and sometimes those dumps are so long they end up doing a lot of walking…is it me or have these characters covered enough ground to make a football field?)

Sure enough, the walk and talk happens here and Sorkin fans might chuckle as we see Nicole Kidman’s Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem’s Desi Arnaz walk and talk across studio backlots while they discuss the latest doings with the various cast and crew members who made “I Love Lucy” the powerhouse it was (and in many ways, still is.)

The film allows us to be a fly on the wall during a rough week for the Ricardos (technically, shouldn’t this be called being the Arnazes? Being the Ball-Arnazes?) With all the turmoil and infighting, it is a wonder that any show makes it to the TV screen, and given the number of obstacles in Lucy and Desi’s path, it’s a wonder they had the careers that they did.

Lucy faces false commie charges, having registered for a worker’s political party in her 20s just to please her labor loving grampa who raised her, unaware the act would be used some 20 something years later to lob accusations of being a Bolshevik loving Trotskyite. Desi, who fled Cuba to escape the Castro regime, the violence of which he saw up close and personal, publicly defends his wife though in private, informs her that she did indeed “check the wrong box.”

The accusation threatens to derail the show and put Lucy and Desi on the unemployment line (ahh, the type of political intrigue that Sorkin loves). Meanwhile, Lucy has to deal with Desi’s wandering penis (the press is also lobbying charges of Desi’s infidelity, which he strongly denies but, well, if you’re familiar with the story then you know the score.)

As if that weren’t enough, Lucy has to fight Hollywood suits who don’t want her pregnant on TV because damn it, talking about pregnancy is admission that the pregnant woman had sex and you can’t talk about sex in any way shape or form on 1950s TV. (In retrospect, one wonders how we went from Lucy and Ricky sleeping in separate beds in the 1950s to the Sex and the City girls humping their way through Manhattan with no detail spared in the 1990s.) See that? If Lucy and Desi hadn’t convinced the suits that the world wouldn’t end if a pregnant woman appeared on TV, then you wouldn’t have all these shows where characters bang a new person every week with zero consequences and…well…I’m not sure that’s even what L and D wanted but moving on…

Did I mention Lucy and Desi were the first interracial couple on TV? Somehow, Lucy must navigate the choppy waters of telling off suits who don’t want to see a Hispanic man married to a white woman on television. Meanwhile, Desi comes from a Cuban culture where, as the film tells us, “the man is the man” and thus it can be hard for Desi to play second fiddle to his wife, who goes out of her way to make sure everyone knows that Desi is indeed, a first fiddle, especially when it comes to making all the business decisions of the Desi-Lu empire.

Side intrigue comes from staff writer Madelyn Pugh (Alia Shawkat) trying to make her way in a boys’ club, Nina Arianda as Vivian Vance (Ethel on the Lucy show) fighting storylines/jokes on the show about how Ethel is pretty enough/worthy of being elderly Fred’s wife (J.K. Simmons excels as Fred actor William Frawley who imparts words of wisdom to Lucy during rare moments of sobriety.)

My main criticisms? The show brings a lot of modern wokeness and I’m not sure how much of it actually happened or how much of it is Sorkin wishing it had happened. Lucy and Desi’s fights to keep an interracial couple on TV while one half of the couple is pregnant are well known, whereas, for example, was there a lot of handwringing about whether or not the Lucy character should be stronger and less infantile? (I’m no Lucy historian but there probably was). (In the show’s defense, it did explore the ins and outs of so-called traditional gender roles in an episode where Lucy and Ethel go to work only to freak out on a chocolate candy production line that moves too fast while Desi and Fred nearly drown in a soap sud tsunami created by their incompetent dish washing…this might have been mentioned in the film…and I suppose in some ways, the old “they did the best that the 1950s would allow” comes up again and again.

STATUS: Shelf worthy. Nicole Kidman in prosthetics is virtually unrecognizable. She does a raspy voice, typical of Lucy impersonations though she didn’t really get that smoker’s rasp until she was older and the smoking caught up with her. Then again I could be wrong. As I said, I’m not a Lucy historian. Bardem lays the accent on a little thick and though Desi had a thick accent (jokes about Lucy not understanding what Ricky was saying were a constant show staple) I’m not sure it was as thick as Bardem played it.

A good film but ultimately, if you wanted laughs, you’ll be disappointed. If you want to see the strife that ensues when an interracial power couple fights against a Hollywood machine in a time that didn’t want them and achieve a series of TV firsts, this is your movie.

One final criticism – the movie does these side interviews where older versions of the crew come out and pretend like they are being interviewed. This surprised me as the documentary style interviews struck me as real and genuine, yet in my mind, I kept asking, wouldn’t all these people be dead by now? True enough, I looked it up and the interviews with older versions of crew members were acted out by older actors/actresses. In other words, I spent all of last night thinking that Madelyn Pugh went on to appear in Alice’s Diner in the 1980s and looks fabulous even though she must be like 100 years old only to realize it was Linda Lavin of Alice’s Diner playing an older version of Pugh. I’m just not sure the interviews make sense given that…well I’m not sure if anyone involved in I Love Lucy is still alive today but if they are, they have to be pushing 100 or more. I take that back. Desi and Lucy Arnaz (the kids of the marriage) are still kicking though up their in years in their own right…and maybe if there was a kid backstage selling newspapers or shining shoes or something they’d still be alive but old but that’s about it.

Movie Review – The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Jesus Fucking Christ, this movie makes The Room look like Citizen Kane.

BQB here with the horrid poopy stinkfest that is the fourth installment of the Matrix franchise.

Let me begin by saying please support your local movie theater. If you’re (understandably) afraid to take in a show due to Covid concerns, maybe just buy a gift certificate and throw it in a drawer to spend on tickets on that long-awaited day when the rona becomes about as dangerous as a bad case of gas. Or what the heck? Just buy a seat online and don’t go.

I know. I’ll never do such things and you won’t either. Neither of us has the money to waste.

My point is this movie is the type of schlock you get when streaming services reign supreme and theaters go bye bye. As long as they meet their subscriber quota and have enough people paying monthly fees to keep the service going, they don’t give a shit if you actually like the movie. They can make it as dumb or stupid or preachy or lame as they want.

Meanwhile, the latest Spiderman flick is breaking box office records and doing the unthinkable, putting butts in theater seats, the moviegoing masses uncaring they might catch a debilitating illness because apparently the movie is that awesome and therein lies the rub – for a movie to make it at the theater level, it must be good, like, really good…so good that Hollywood suits might put in actual effort.

But I digress.

Way back in 1999, The Matrix was a surprise hit, a new twist on the sci-fi genre about a world where the machines have won a war and turned the defeated humans into batteries, placating their minds with a false simulation. Those smart enough to figure out the world is an illusion gain superhuman like abilities, which they’ll need to fight the system’s evil agents designed to keep free thinkers down.

The underlying message and/or food for thought? Life is a game and if you figure out how to hack it, you can break all the rules and do whatever you want.

I don’t think any of us fans blamed the Wachowskis for making the shitty 2003 back to back sequels. They stunk big time though the second had a few cool moments, the fight scene on the big rig in particular. The then brothers (now sisters because apparently they took their own message about hacking the life game’s code quite literally) had wowed us with a pretty awesome flick so who could begrudge them a 2 sequel cash grab?

But this latest one? It is truly an unmitigated pile of horse manure, covered with pig manure, drenched in pigeon poop, and then like, a dozen syphilitic hobos peed all over it and then the whole thing was left out in the hot sun to rot and fester and grow mold and mushrooms on it and then a bunch of rats and mice and assorted vermin burrowed into it and called it home and that’s before a bunch of drunk frat boys puked all over it.

No, really. It’s that bad.

The plot? It’s a super meta Matrix movie about the other Matrix movies. The main villains are Neal Patrick Harris and the literal Warner Brothers Corporation. (You read that right, as in the studio that gave us Bugs Bunny. No one thought it was funny when WB made itself a central plot point in Space Jam this summer so I don’t know why they thought it would work this go around.)

SPOILERS ABOUND

NPH is an evil psychiatrist who seeks to keep Neo (Keanu Reeves) under control by convincing him none of the stuff from the first three films ever happened and that it was all dreamed up by Neo’s real life identity Thomas Anderson, a video game designer who put elements of his life into a super realistic video game, ranging from his controlling boss (Agent Smith) to the soccer mom he likes to oggle at his favorite coffee shop (Trinity.)

When Warner Brothers, the parent company of Anderson’s gaming company, orders an unnecessary sequel (the studio only gets so many points for making fun of itself), Anderson goes into a deep state of depression over having to return to a bunch of stories he’d grown tired of until a plucky band of cyber warriors led by Bugs (Jessica Henwick in a dual reference to the rabbit that leads Alice down the rabbit hole and WB’s perennial carrot chomping mascot and seriously, whoever it is at WB who thinks it is a good idea to make WB a key part of movie plots needs to be both fired and publicly shamed, preferably at the same time)….

….where was I? Oh, right. They break Neo out of his funk and into a whole new world of data driven conspiracies.

Fan favorite characters Agent Smith and Morpheus return, but in different digital bodies played by Jonathan Groff and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. They try but they don’t hold a candle to Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburne who, I like to think (or hope) they turned down this crap because there wasn’t enough money in the world to make them lower themselves enough to be associated with it.

Meanwhile, Carrie-Ann Moss reprises her iconic role as the leather clad biker babe Trinity and the gang must save her from the life the Matrix has cruelly assigned to her, that of a suburban soccer mom, because apparently, she would be better off getting sucked out of a pod full of goo and forced to live as an underground freedom fighter aboard a stank ass, dank, dark tunnel dwelling ship than, God forbid, raise children and be the important matriarch figure in their lives.

STATUS: To quote John Lovitz’ the Critic, “it stinks.” I watched it so I could tell you that you shouldn’t. To be fair, the final 20 minutes is a fun special effects bonanza, so if you want to put up your HBO MAX app and fast forward to the last 20, I wouldn’t blame you. You certainly shouldn’t sit through the first 40 where very little action happens and NPH and Keanu just pontificate over Mr. Anderson’s depressed state as a video game designer forced to make an undesired sequel. What about us fans who were forced to watch an undesired sequel? Will WB pay our therapy bills?

Oh wait. Now that I think of it, no one forced us to watch it and if we’d stop watching them, the studios would stop making them. Perhaps the system really can be hacked after all.

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Movie Review – Don’t Look Up (2022)

Don’t look up, 3.5 readers…then again, maybe you should.

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s big holiday release.

Let’s face it, 3.5 readers. We are all so hopelessly divided that we don’t agree on even the most basic of facts. If I said the sun is yellow, at least 2 out of 3.5 of you would tell me it is orange.

We are also obsessed with social media. It’s tough to get our attention when…hey! A new kitty cat video! Wait…what was I saying?

On top of all that, we have become a what’s happening now society, such that if it isn’t going to affect us within the next 24 hours, then we simply lack the foresight and/or mental bandwith to worry about it. Planning for tomorrow, let alone for the next month, or next year has gone the way of the dodo.

Director Adam McKay and an all-star cast mock these and more terrible aspects of society when astronomers Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky identify a comet on a collision course toward earth, destined to cause the end of the world in 6 months. Jennifer Lawrence is her usual snarky self as Kate while Leo goes against type to play a wimpy, worrisome nerd who needs to puke his guts out before he goes on live TV.

Alas, these intrepid scientists find that everyone is too stupid to pull their heads out of their butts long enough to come up with a solution. Mother/son team President and Chief of Staff Orlean (Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill doing their best Donald Trump and Don Jr. impressions are too worried about their own political scandals to worry about the comet.

Randy and Kate are left with no choice but to conduct their own media blitz, quickly discovering that people, by and large, are genuinely stupid and care more about the duo’s looks, physical appearance, their tones of voice, basically anything other than the fact that they’re trying to warn everyone about a freaking incoming killer comet.

Rounding out the film is Mark Rylance’s Peter Isherwell, turning in a performance that can only be described as a cross between Elon Musk and Jordan Peterson. The multibillionaire/owner of the world’s largest cellphone and tech company wants mine the comet rather than destroy it, putting the safety of the world at risk for profit.

Overall, the film serves as a warning against all the things we aren’t looking up at or even just at. We go about our daily lives, wasting our time on social media and we do very little to fend off the very real problems that are headed our way. Will we, as a collective society, ever pull our heads out of our butts long enough to solve the world’s problems before it is too late?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. My one complaint is this is largely an anti-conservative satire and indeed, Trump has done much worthy of parody, but Biden has been prez for a year and I don’t really see him solving any problems either. There might have been room to lampoon the two-party system or to point out it isn’t enough for Democrats to say they want to save the environment. They actually have to be proactive in achieving goals toward saving it.

Bonus points for Cate Blanchett who is virtually unrecognizable as a stereotypical blonde bombshell cable news babe. With all the phony hair, makeup and the plastic surgery look she was given for the role, I didn’t figure out it was her until halfway through the film.

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Merry Christmas, 3.5 Readers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

Tis the season for looking back and reflecting and with my overall goal of becoming a super awesome big time fancy writer, I have to take stock of how far I advanced toward that goal.

This year, I published three books:

In January, I put out “The Second Death” about a fame seeking weirdo who seeks long lasting infamy, the kind that survives long after his demise.

In February, I published a collection of six short stories – “BQB’s Twisted Shorts: The Complete First Volume.” Werewolves, superheroes, sabotaged skydivers, wacky conspiracy theorists and more.

And finally, in March I published “The Phone Did It.” This one popped into my head at random and I felt it was inspired. It’s about a salesman with an unusual product, an automated cell phone that knows you so well, it just does whatever you would have done anyway. Ahh, but what if said salesman has demented thoughts that he would have never acted on without a soul-less mobile device willing to do the dirty deeds for him?

Funny, I published three books in the first three months of the year. I hoped I would keep it up and publish one book a month but unfortunately I stalled out by April. The key seems to be to publish very short books, approximately 100 pages or so. The longer the book, the longer it takes to publish. Even so, 3 books in a year is pretty good and here’s hoping I can add to my BQB Amazon catalog in 2022.

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Top Ten Reasons Why Die Hard is a Christmas Movie

Welcome to the party, 3.5 pals.

John McClane. You know him. You love him. He’s America’s favorite divorcee turned terrorist fighter. Is his movie a Christmas movie? Yes it is. From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, USA here are the top ten reasons why Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

#10 – It’s All About Love

You don’t think so, but it is. John and Holly love each other but are going through a rough patch and trying to work things out. Officer Al loves his wife and his job and is trying to overcome his feelings of inadequacy so he can be the man his family needs him to be. Even Hans Gruber’s #2, Karl, loves his brother so much that he vows vengeance upon McClane when he kills and defiles his brother’s corpse. (Seriously, I get JMC had to defend himself but did he really have to put a Santa hat on Karl’s brother’s dead body?) BTW what is the name of Karl’s brother? I’m too lazy to look it up.

I’ll admit it is a lack of character development in that we don’t learn who Hans loves, or if he is capable of love. Frankly, he is cold and calculating and just loves money. It would have been cool to have gotten some backstory on how he ended up this way. Rather than the two stupid post trilogy sequels, Hollywood might have invested in some Hans prequels telling us how he became a terrorist/robber. Hollywood, feel free to hire me to write this. I’m not doing anything constructive.

#2 – It Takes Place at Christmas

A lot of movies and TV shows reference or take place during Christmas, but Christmas is a big part throughout. I mean, it happens during an office Christmas party, right?

#3 – A Lot of Rooftop Action

Santa and John. Two dudes that like to hang out on your roof. Santa goes up there to deliver presents. John goes up there to transmit radio messages, hide from terrorists, shoot at Al’s car to get his attention and so on.

#4 – Christmas Music

Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis. Al humming Let It Snow while he buys twinkies. (BTW where does that fat store clerk get off busting on Al for being fat when he, himself, is fat?)

#5 – There’s a Pregnant Lady

You know who was born in a barn? Jesus. You know who was born at the Nakatomi Office Christmas Party? Holly’s secretary’s kid. Oh, wait. He or she wasnt. But the pregnant lady was pretty close such that your first time watching you wonder if amongst all the chaos there’s going to be a baby delivery as well.

#6 – Hopes. Dreams.

Hans and friends hope to be super rich. John hopes to save the day. (Sidenote: should John have just sat back and let the crooks run off with the dough? Answer: no because remember the crooks were going to load everyone on the helicopters and then blow them up as a diversion so the cops think the terrorists croaked and don’t look for them when they run to the Carribbean and earn twenty percent interest off their stolen bearer bonds.) BTW why do so many robber movies involve bearer bonds? Channeling Seinfeld. What’s the deal with all these bearer bonds? Why do I want to buy a bearer bond when anyone can steal it from me and claim to be the bearer of the bond?

#7 – Al Gets His Mojo Back

Funny how times change. Back then, Al shot a kid and was benched because he became psychologically unable to draw his weapon again. This made Al ineffective as a street cop because if he faced a bad guy carrying a bazooka, three chainsaws, a nuclear bomb, 17 handguns and a pile of ginsu knives, Al still wouldn’t draw his gun because of the fear that he might accidentally shoot a kid again.

Times sure have changed. Today, quite understandably there is a lot of heat on cops to make sure their shoots are clean, in light of a lot of high-profile cases where police shootings have been anything but. Back in 1988, we cheer for Al when he finds the courage to draw his gun and gank Karl before he gets the drop on John but ultimately, if the movie were made today, Al probably would have been canned after shooting the kid and would have never even made it to Nakatomi.

#8 – Every Tool is a Johnson

You know the FBI agents who play into Hans’ hands are Johnson and Johnson, the joke being the government has oodles of non-descript, clean-cut schmucks ready to go by the rulebook even when the rules are being thrown out the window….did you know the anchorman Dick Thornburgh fights with is Harvey Johnson? In conclusion, every useful idiot is a Johnson though I’ll admit I have no idea how this connects to Christmas. Maybe because it’s funny and Christmas is a good time for laughter?

#9 – Who Wouldn’t Want a Ride Through LA in Argyle’s Christmas Limo?

I sure would.

#10 – It’s Christmas, Theo. It is the time for miracles.

Hans wants the miracle of independent wealth. John wants the miracle of saving everyone and reuniting with his wife. What miracle do you want? Now is the time to think about it.

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