A Dramatic Reading of a Conversation I Had With My Cable Company (Embellished Version)

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE REP (CSR):  Hello, thank you for calling Big Ass Cable Company.  We’ve already told the NSA how much porn you watched today.  How may I help you?

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER: Hello, ma’am.  Bookshelf Q. Battler here.  I’d like to schedule an appointment to get a cable jack installed in my house.

CSR:  (typing sounds). OK, Mr. Battler.  I see here you just ordered an Awesome Box and it is on the way.  I’ll schedule your tech visit after your Awesome Box’s arrival.

BQB: Oh, ok.  Hey, listen, this might be confusing but I’ll try to explain.  You see, I just got a new TV for my BQB office.  I really shouldn’t have spent the money but, well, you can’t take it with you and I doubt I’m ever going to have a hot, big breasted blonde to spend the money on, so I figured I needed a brand new TV so I can see Ben Affleck’s hair plugs in high def whenever I watch “Reindeer Games” and relive my 1990s glory.  Anyway, I ordered an Awesome Box for this TV but your company made a mistake and sent me a Suck Box instead.

CSR: Uh huh.  I’m pretending to understand.

BQB: Well, at first I was irate, but then I just decided to re-order the Awesome Box and pray to Jesus that you get it right this time.  In the meantime, you’re in luck, because your company’s incompetence has born fruit.  I decided that at the low rate you’re offering the Suck Box, I can afford to attach it to a small TV in a room I rarely use.

CSR: OK.  One moment please.  Hold on…I’m processing this information.

BQB: Sorry, this has gotten so complicated.  You know, to simplify this, we don’t really need to be worrying about any boxes.  All I need is for a human being from your company to come to my BQB HQ and install a jack…

CSR: A jack?

BQB:  Am I using the right terminology?  An outlet?  It’s the plate in the wall that you would attach the cable to your cable box and then in turn, you’d attach the box to your television.

CSR: I see.  OK we can do that.  I’m going to cancel your order for an Awesome Box and just make the note that the technician can bring an Awesome Box for your appointment and…(typing sounds)…oh, sir, I’m sorry but my system won’t let me arrange for a technician to install your Awesome Box until it arrives.

BQB:  (breathes deeply and sighs for dramatic effect.)  I’m sorry, maybe I’m not explaining this well.

CSR: That’s ok.

BQB:  Why I am calling has nothing to do with any boxes.

CSR: OK.

BQB: The box situation is fine.  We can stop talking about the boxes and move on.

CSR: OK.

BQB: What I need is a cable outlet installed…

CSR: For your new Awesome Box?

BQB: (breathes loudly and sighs.) No.  Alright, let me try this again.  I got a new TV.

CSR: OK.

BQB: The new TV is located in a position where there already is a cable jack in the wall.

CSR: Got it.

BQB: I ordered an Awesome Box to attach to this new TV via the already installed cable jack.

CSR: OK.

BQB: Your company, in error, sent me a Suck Box instead of the Awesome Box instead.

CSR: OK.

BQB: I don’t want a Suck Box for my Awesome TV.  I want an Awesome Box for my Awesome TV.  It’s in a room I spend a lot of time in.  Ergo, I want to be able to watch Nicki Minaj videos where every little droplet of sweat pours off her copious butt cheeks in high definition surround sound, an experience that the Suck Box just can’t offer.

CSR: OK.

BQB:  But, I have decided to reward your company’s stupidity.  You see, there is a smaller, suckier TV in a room I rarely use.  And, for the low rate you offer for the Suck Box, I figured I can attach the Suck Box to the Suck TV in the room I rarely use and I will rarely, ever watch this Suck TV with the Suck Box but I figure, you know, since you’re offering a cheap deal, it will be worth it whenever I have a family gathering and I can excuse myself from all the relatives and friends I despise.  I can tell them I have to go to the room I don’t use and hang up my company’s coats or some bullshit that sounds like I’m working hard on my hosting duties, but really I’m going to just going to pull up a bean bag chair and watch Suck TV on the Suck box.

CSR: OK.

BQB: And for this rare occasion, I don’t need the high performance Awesome Box.  I can get by with the low def for watching, I don’t know, the 11,000th episode of NCIS or whatever will be on while I’m hiding out from my guests next Thanksgiving, drowning my sorrows with cheap beer and wondering where I went so wrong and what can I do better next year so I’ll end up celebrating with people I actually like.

CSR: OK.

BQB: I don’t need much for my Suck TV.  I don’t need HD to watch Fox News and learn how Trump’s farts cure cancer, or when I watch CNN and learn how Trump’s farts cause cancer, or when I watch MSNBC and learn how Trump’s farts cause cancer and AIDs, or when I watch C-SPAN and get to see the raw footage of Trump’s farts and am left to determine on my own their potential curative properties or lack thereof in relation to cancer.

CSR: OK I think I understand.

BQB: To review, I’ve got the boxes I need.  Now, all I need is for a human being experienced in the installation of cable outlets to come to my house and install one.

CSR: Uh huh…. (typing sounds) …OK, sir, I’m sorry I’ve tried putting this into my system but I’m afraid I just can’t have the tech install your Awesome Box unless I cancel the delivery of the Awesome Box and…

(BQB covers the receiver.  Screams loudly out of fury and exhaustion.  Retreats to the fridge to eat half a cheesecake.  Returns to the phone.)

BQB: Ma’am, please, I’m trying here.  I really I am.  Listen, let me break this down.

CSR: Fuck you, mansplainer.

BQB: Pardon me?

CSR: Sorry, bad connection.

BQB: OK.  You work for a major cable company.  Your company is in the business of providing channels that come into TVs via cable installations.  My question is…

CSR: I understand your question, sir.

BQB: Do you?  Because it sounds like you’re telling me that your cable company cannot install a cable jack and to me, that’s like going to Dunkin Donuts and being told by the worker at the counter that they only have peanut butter celery sticks, or showing up at Starbucks and being told I’m a shithead for thinking that they would have coffee.

CSR: OK.

BQB: So, ok, drumroll, moment of truth here, please, just yes or no, can your cable company, which is in the business of providing cable, install a cable outlet in my house?

CSR: Sir, if you’d like to install your Awesome Box on your own, that’s fine, we’d just have to.

BQB: Am I being Punk’d?  Is Ashton Kutcher going to jump out of my closet and laugh at me?

CSR: I have no idea what that means.

BQB: I give up.  I’ll just assume you’re telling me that you can’t install a jack.

CSR: A what?

BQB: (eats the other half of the cheesecake): Look, it’s fine.  It’s not you.  I blame the public school system.  I need a cable jack.  I’m not sure how it’s done. I think someone smarter than me crawls the fuck around in my attic and feeds a cable line down my wall and then cuts a hole with expert precision that, when all is said and done, will allow cable to appear on a television.

CSR: You could just plug your Awesome Box into the…

BQB: The Suck Box…Look, just…I….I’m sorry…I need to hang up now and crawl into a corner and curl up into the fetal position and question why my luck is so terrible.

CSR: OK.

BQB: Because seriously, whenever I look at Facebook, all my high school friends are playing golf and eating lobsters on yachts and jamming on guitars and strolling through Tuscany and I just know that whenever they call your company in need of a jack they just get a person who knows what to do…

CSR: Would you like to upgrade and get STARZ and CINEMAX for the low price of…

BQB: Goodbye.  To the fetal position I go.

 

 

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A Rap About the $1.66 I Made From Selling My Books On Amazon

BQB Editorial Note: I made $1.66 on my Amazon books, which you might scoff at, but do keep in mind that this is the first time I’ve made over a dollar so…it can only go up from here.  Here is a rap about it.

rappa

Aw yeah.  Aw yeah.  Mic check…1…2….1…2…

Lay down the beat, here’s what we gonna do.

I’mma head out on the town, take out my baby boo.

I got a dollar sixty six in my pocket to buy some drinks for me and you.

Oh, wave your hands in the air, if you a true player,

Throwin’ down two thirds of two dollars without havin’ any care.

But just beware of the limelight.

Busters want yo dollar and change and they gonna start a fight.

Blak-kak-kak-kat goes the gun blast!

Down to ground goes my ass.

Blood in my eyes, much to my surprise.

Some fool got my buck and a half, he capped my ass and now am I gonna die?

No, cuz I look to the sun and I know there’s more to do.

Gotta make another buck sixty six for me and a buck sixty six for you.

Gonna party on a yacht full of fat ass bitches.

Use all my dollar sixty sixes to eighty six all the hatas and da snitches.

Cristal flowin’ like a river and the shoties show me love.

Someone upstairs lookin’ out for me, cuz’ this dolla sixty six came from up above.

Uhh.  Yeah.  Uhh.  Yeah.  Dolla sixty six y’all.  Y’all wish you had a dolla sixty six.

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TV Review – Escape at Dannemora (2018)

We’re all living in our own personal prison, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora.”

FYI – This TV show was based on real life events that were all over the news in the summer of 2015.  To that end, it’s hard to say there are SPOILERS ahead but there are, because even if you watched the stories, there’s still a lot in the show you may never heard of.

At any rate, if you haven’t watched this show yet and want to, I’d recommend looking away and coming back after you’ve seen it.  Otherwise, come on in.

Yes, 3.5 readers.  We’re all stuck in our own personal prison.  We all have our hopes, our dreams, our wants and our desires and yet, we also carry around with us our only personal set of bars comprised of our own circumstances and our own preconceived notions that keep us from attaining what we want.

That’s what I took away from this show and I must say, while I assumed it was going to be a piece of slapped together “ripped from the headlines” trash going into it, it really is a great work of storytelling and I hope it gets many awards.

The hard part of writing a story is that to retain the audience’s attention, the main characters must be presented as likable or at the very least, sympathetic.  Otherwise, it’s too easy for a viewer to say, “I hope that piece of shit rots” and change the channel.

How does one make these characters sympathetic?  After all, you’ve got two heinous killers who deserve every second of their sentence and then some and their illicit lover/accomplice, i.e. someone who was trusted to work with prison inmates and teach them how to sew in a tailor shop only to betray that trust by having sex with them and smuggling in their escape tools. Throw the book at them and call it a day.

Ironically, Ben Stiller, long known for his wacky, zany comedies, breaks out of his own comedy prison to provide a serious crime drama and excels, perhaps letting us know that his “Simple Jack” days are behind him and he now has his eyes on Oscar gold.

In a masterful use of “show don’t tell,” Stiller manages to find a little kernel of in this gruesome trio and ultimately the show becomes a morality tale about how dangerous and destructive it is to hope for outcomes that are far beyond your abilities to achieve them.

The best example comes early in the series when prison seamstress Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell (Patricia Arquette), a 51-year old wife and mother, gets dragged by her dopey husband and co-worker, Lyle (Eric Lange) on the worst date ever, a small town history museum in upstate New York.  As Tilly heads outside, she looks across to a bar, where a man with a flashy car is getting doted on by two hot, young babes.  Stiller doesn’t spell anything out.  The expression on Tilly’s face tells us everything.  She smiles.  She gets lost in her mind.  She wishes she was one of those hot young babes getting squired around town by a man with a lot of money.

Alas, Tilly’s frown turns upside down.  Darn it.  She remembers.  She’s not a hot young babe.  She never will be.  She’s a chubby 51-year old woman with a closet full of novelty sweatshirts and a small house and two dogs and a dumb husband and a set of bad teeth and bad hair and she has no money and well, the list goes on and on and on.

Ironic, isn’t it?  We constantly hear in the news about the struggles of men who believe that they are women or vice versa.  What about people who, on the inside, believe they are awesome despite an exterior that looks anything but?  Where’s the civil rights march for dumpy old ladies who truly believe they are worthy of being treated as a rich man’s latest conquest?

It’s a great scene and anyone interested in TV writing should study it.  Arquette’s facial expressions tell us more than any narrator could.  By the way, speaking of breaking out of our personal prisons, this is a role that is totally unlike anything I’ve ever seen Patricia Arquette in.

I’ve always thought Arquette was a decent enough actress but I’ve never been a huge fan because she tends to be one of those celebrities that gets extra political and also she tends to play school marmish characters.  To her credit, she’s long been a strong woman who plays strong women, but she breaks the mold here by playing a woman who is the very definition of weak, if not stupid and naïve.

Arquette gets uglied up and then some for the camera.  Make-up artists worked their magic to crap up her hair, skin and teeth but Arquette brings it home.  As Tilly, she has a look on her face of constant confusion, torn every which way.  You’ve heard of the man child that never grows up?  Tilly is the woman child, unable to accept her limits, her circumstances, her inability to realize that being arm candy for a rich stud is not in the cards for her and that perhaps she should try to make the best of it with her husband who may be a complete doofus but at least he’s a loyal and loving doofus.

How did Arquette master Tilly’s face and mannerisms?  Beats me.  She has this look like she just smelled a fart while sucking on a lemon.  She can go from utterly befuddled loser to cunning duplicitous backstabber and back again.  Occasionally throughout the series, she is confronted by her co-workers and husband who see reasons to be suspicious and she reacts in the classic mode of a child throwing a temper tantrum after being caught with her hand in the cookie jar.  It’s not my fault that I did something bad.  It’s your fault for catching me doing something bad.

Honestly, I can’t praise Arquette enough here.  She deserves an Emmy.  In fact, all of her co-stars do because they all seem to be breaking out of their traditional roles.

Benicio del Toro has built a career on playing strong, swarthy, stoic Hispanic men of little words.  At first, it seems like he’s cast to type as Richard Matt, the convicted killer who bosses and bullies her fellow prisoners around and turns them into his subordinate underlings with little more than an angry glare.

Like Tilly, Matt has a dream that is beyond his means.  He wants to be free.  He keeps closing his eyes and envisions himself riding on a horse on the countryside.  He keeps hoping this despite the fact that he’s stuck in a cell that’s a glorified closet.

SPOILER ALERT:  Does hope get these characters anywhere?  Nope.  Del Toro retains his stoic, ultra-macho façade for most of the series until the last episode, where the reality of being on the run from the law doesn’t match up with his dreams. He dreamed of being a cowboy on a horse.  He got walking all day and night through the forest, sleeping in ditches, drinking germ infested stream water that makes him puke and it all culminates in him cracking under pressure, drinking himself into a stupor until he chases away his accomplice who was practically carrying him.  The emotion and weakness is unusual for a del Toro character, but he does it well.

Even Paul Dano as convicted cop killer David Sweat goes against type.  He’s usually plays youthful, baby faced dimwits but here he plays well, a youthful, baby faced young man who is getting run through the ringer of prison’s school of hard knocks.  No doubt he deserves to be there, but each knock makes him tougher and harder, much more so than any previous Dano character.

Long story short, Matt is the con man that secures the illicit escape tools.  Dano is the brawn that stays up into the wee hours sneaking into a catwalk and cutting and breaking through various barriers until an outside manhole in a suburban neighborhood is found.  Meanwhile, Tilly is the dope who somehow believes that a life where she becomes the plaything of two dangerous criminals on the run in a lavish lifestyle on a Mexican beach is actually attainable and/or something that would work out and be fun to do.

Stiller plays with us throughout.  There’s a scene where Tilly brings a twenty dollar bill to a hardware store purchase cutting tools for her boy toys.  She looks at the receipt, sees the total is 21-something, looks at the impulse bag of chips that she’s already begun stuffing her face with, then shrugs her shoulders and uses a traceable credit car to buy the illegal contraband, showing us that a master criminal she is not.

He also pays attention to details in the setting.  The area surrounding the prison is presented as a real life Hoth, any icy American Siberia where it is bone chillingly cold throughout the year and people have to bundle up well into the summer.  Prisoners freeze their asses off.  Residents are stuck in their houses because it is oppressively cold to go out and do anything else.

On top of that, the soundtrack is a playlist of 2015’s top songs.  Tilly constantly listens to pop songs – Nicki Minaj, Meghan Trainor, Bruno Mars et. al, another sign she has a childish brain in an aging body.

Well, if I say much more I’ll give away the whole story but one more credit to Stiller.  He focuses most of the show on the planning of the escape itself, giving us the details of all the evil doings that happened, followed by an episode that begins with a long shot where Dano does a trial run through the long path he has cleared through the bowels of the prison.

Then, just in case you had a little bit in you that said, “Wow!  Amazing that they managed to escape!” Stiller gives us the second to last episode where he reviews in detail the heinous crimes these men did, the lives they destroyed and ultimately reminds us that as remarkable as it is that these men managed to escape, they still deserve to rot in jail for they are examples of true evil.  I won’t get too far into it, but it is made clear that both men did despicable crimes that can’t be forgiven or explained away or written off as the byproduct of a bad upbringing or something.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Awards deserved for the cast and director all around.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – What Are Your New Year Resolutions?

Hey 3.5 readers.  Your old pal, BQB here.

It’s sad that we don’t always pick a random time of year to start doing better.  Hell, if you realize on October 7th that you’re a blind, stinking drunk alcoholic then you should really stop drinking on October 7th, rather than wait and say, “I’ll just keep drinking and stop on January 1.”

But at any rate, the New Year is often a time to reflect on the past year and to think hopeful thoughts for the incoming year.

In other words, you had such high hopes for change in the past year.  You were going to eat better, exercise more, finally get that project done, save more money, work harder, etc.  Then by March 1 you were freebasing Big Macs while spending your money on losing lotto tickets and using your treadmill as a coat rack.

Think about what you wish you had done in the past year.  Now realize that although it seems so far away, January 1, 2020 will be here in the blink of an eye.  What do you hope will have done by then?  Then, go do it, or do as best as you can to get close to it.

Think about your future self for once.  Your past self, that lousy mooching fuck, didn’t think about your current self, did he? (or she because in the current year, women can be lousy mooching fucks too).

So think about what will make the you that will exist on Jan 1, 2020 and work towards that happiness.  Come on.  Don’t be a lousy mooching fuck, screwing up your present life so future you will have to pay the bill.

Eh, this is all well and good.  I give myself pep talks like this all the time and then in reality, little ever changes.  But maybe you can change.

What are resolutions, 3.5 readers?  Post them in the comments and you never know, maybe on Jan 1, 2020 I’ll revisit this post and congratulate you if you achieved them or subject you to ridicule if you didn’t.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – I Will Try to Discuss More

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

I blogged less in 2018.  I still blogged a lot, but not as much.  I was making an effort to get Toilet Gator, the best book ever written about toilets, gators, or toilet gators, done.

2019 I will have to blog even less.  I feel 2019 needs to be the year that I turn a profit, otherwise this little enterprise can’t go on forever.

So I will have to focus on books and less on the blog.  That means less writing funny columns and so forth.

At any rate, I will do my best to check in once a day with a daily discussion.  At some point, this blog may just become all about movie reviews and daily discussions.

In the meantime, if you could all start to multiply, I would appreciate it.  Stop being 3.5 readers and start becoming 350,000 readers.

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Movie Review – Outlaw King (2018)

Hey 3.5 readers.

Gotta break it to you, I’m getting old.  Also, it’s the holidays, so I’m eating too much.  The combo means I watch a movie and then boom, I fall asleep and miss twenty minutes here and there and am too lazy to roll it back.

That’s what I did with this film and lost large chunks of time.  Overall, I think it was good.  Sadly, because of my slumber this will be a lousy review.

Remember Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart?”  This is more or less the sequel.  In the aftermath of William Wallace’s defeat during a Scottish vs. English war, the Lords of Scotland surrender and pledge loyalty to King Edward of England.

The truce doesn’t last long as the lords are merely placating their elder lord.  I don’t know his name but he was in Game of Thrones, as is King Edward and no I’m not looking up their names because remember I said this would be a bad review.

When the elder lord dies, his son, Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) is all like, “Deal’s off, fuck face” and then he runs around Scotland for the rest of the movie either getting his ass kicked or recruiting Scots to fight the English.

Meanwhile, King Edward has a son who is a doofus and it’s one of those toxic father/son relationships where the father always dumps on the son and no matter what the son does, it is never enough, so the son wants to prove himself worthy so he goes apeshit and runs all over Scotland, killing Scots and hanging them and burning up their castles and houses and shit to punish them for siding with Robert.

Ultimately, I don’t know how Robert wins because like I said, every so often I’d fall asleep, lose twenty minutes, then when I’d wake up, more people would be dead.

Note this film has some nice scenes of the Scottish country side but also intense battle scenes.  In fact, I think we take modern warfare for granted.  Yes, I know modern warfare is tough and can be brutal, but just a reminder that roughly 600 years ago, dudes were hacking each other with axes and murdering swans as sacrifices to God so that he would great them the strength to hack their enemies to pieces.  Entrails.  Loss of limbs.  I mean, holy shit.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Maybe some day I’ll watch it with a Diet Coke so I will stay awake.

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Movie Review – Bird Box (2018)

Birds!  In Boxes!

BQB here with a review of the Netflix film, “Bird Box.”

Is it a zombie movie?  No.  It’s somewhat reminiscent of that genre, but also different entirely.

The delightful Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, an expecting pregnant mother (your guess is good as mine because I love Sandy but I assumed her vag had gone sandy years ago but maybe not.  You never know.)

On her way home from a doctor visit, there’s an outbreak of some kind of mysterious force that causes people to commit suicide.  The film establishes all sorts of rules, the most pertinent being that people can’t be outside without a blindfold on.  If they stay indoors, they’re fine, but outside, if their eyes are open then they’ll see something that will make them kill themselves in the most violent, terrifying ways possible, often taking out others with them along the way.

Meanwhile, birds serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine as they serve as early warning systems, freaking out in their cages and letting humans know that evil is afoot.

Sandy ends up in a house full of survivors, so there’s a bit of a “Walking Dead” feel for a bit.  Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich, B.D. Wong, Trevante Rhodes and others round out the cast.  They go on typical supply runs, somehow managing to navigate the outside world with their eyes closed.

Eventually, Sandy has to make a blind river run in a rowboat with two kids in tow, an unlikely task if there ever was one.

Overall, it’s a good flick.  Scary.  Has a less is more vibe.  It’s less about CGI monsters and gore and more about seeing people’s reactions to the evil playing out before them.  The first few minutes where chaos breaks out really set the scene and get the film moving.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Check it out on Netflix.

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Merry Christmas, 3.5 Readers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Merry Christmas.

I’ve been writing this blog since 2014.  Next March, it will be 5 years.  My Christmas wish is that next year this little enterprise will actually start turning a profit.  Toilet Gator will hopefully come out in 2019 and if a book about an alligator who eats people while they are pooping can’t make me a millionaire then I don’t know what will.

In the meantime, check out one of my books below and if you have a spare 99 cents, feel free to buy one.

What is your Christmas wish?  Discuss in the comments.

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Movie Review – Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Hey 3.5 readers.  I’m busy getting to my Christmas stuff but just wanted to throw out some love for this movie.  It’s funny and better than your average, run of the mill romantic comedy.

Girl meets boy then finds out he’s rich and she has to struggle to fit in is as old as Cinderella.  But this takes it to a new level.  Rachel has been dating Nick for a year when he takes her to Singapore for a family meeting only to reveal that he’s the heir apparent of a wealthy hotel/real estate mogul family.  They’re rich.  Super rich.  Crazy rich, even.  They spend all their dough on fancy cars and wacky parties, full of vibrant colors and fireworks.  But Nick is also Asia’s most eligible bachelor and that makes Rachel unpopular among the babes who want to be in her position.

Awkwafina is the icing on the cake as Rachel’s wacky friend who teaches her how to make it in the crazy rich Asian scene.

Great movie.  Worth a rental.  Makes me wish I was a crazy rich Asian.

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Movie Review – Aquaman (2018)

So many fish, so little time.

BQB here with a review of “Aquaman.”

I’m just going to say it.  This movie is solid.  I think “Wonder Woman” was better.  There were some parts of this movie that were silly and it’s a half hour too long (two and a half in total) but it’s a feast for the eyes, very beautiful with a lot of colors and great action.

In other words, DC/Warner Brothers screwed the pooch by getting the super friends together first in “Batman vs. Superman” and “Justice League.”  Rather, they should have intro’d all the heroes in their own films with an ongoing subplot that ties them all together i.e. the Marvel model.

Oh well.  Perhaps now that the super heroes are doing the solo act, DC/Warner will be able to figure out their piece of the comic book movie pie.

Suffice to say, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is half Atlantian and half human, the product of a lighthouse keeper (Don’t know the actor’s name) getting his fuck on with a runaway Atlantian queen (Nicole Kidman).

Note that this is the second movie in recent years where a human fucks a fish person so Hollywood might be into some pervery behind the scenes but I digress.

The hard task here was to make a likable Aquaman, one who is cool and awesome that you want to root for.  The problem is that Aquaman has always been the joke of the superhero universe.  You scoff but think about it.  Given your choice of superpowers, you’d surely choose flight or indestructibility or invisibility or any host of awesome skills before you’d say, “I want to be able to boss dolphins around.”

But the filmmakers lived up to the challenge here.  Arthur lives among humans, an outcast not welcome in Atlantis, using his abilities to save people and is fresh off of helping the JL save the world from Steppenwolf.

Alas, Arthur’s half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson) (the product of a fish person fucking another fish person and call me old fashioned but that’s the way it should be) is solidifying his power with the other fish kingdoms with the help of another fish person king (Dolph Lundgren doing the most acting he’s ever done in his entire career) and seeks to lead a vast army to the surface world to destroy and conquer.

Ergo, it’s up to members of the Atlantian royalty to commit treason and help Arthur overthrow the king.  Those traitors include Vulko (Willem Dafoe who looks out of place in this movie and literally at any minute you end up wondering if he’s just going to look at the screen and break the fourth wall and say, “How the fuck did I end up playing a fish man in this schlock?  I was in Platoon, for Christ’s sake!”

And of course, there’s love interest, Mera, played by Johnny Depp’s one who got away Amber Heard.  Mmm boy, now there’s some sushi I wouldn’t mind in my take-out box.

Hmm.  That comment was probably inappropriate.  Oh well.  Good thing only 3.5 people read this blog.

Did I mention there’s a kickass fight scene in Italy with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul Mateen II?) I enjoyed the visuals but also the entire time as Aquaman and Manta pummeled each other I wanted to call my travel agent and book a trip to this exotic locale.

There are a few moments where it is absurd but the absurdity comes with a bit of self-awareness.  For example, SPOILER ALERT, Willem Dafoe makes a more skeptical than usual face when the long lost, thought to have been executed queen (Kidman) returns.  Heard shrugs it off and tells him, “It’s a long story.  I’ll tell you later.”

I took that as a wink as if the writers were telling me, a member of the audience, “Yeah, we’re sorry we couldn’t think of a reason why she’s back but aren’t you glad she is?  By the way, keep plunking down your ticket money and we’ll tell you why she’s back when we figure it out.”

Overall, the flick is a good time and a sign that if DC/Warner take their time and worry more about putting out good movies rather than rushing to put their characters together, it will pay off.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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