Tag Archives: basketball

Movie Review – Space Jam (The Original) 1996

I believe I can fly, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of this classic.

I can’t believe it, but yes, I said classic.

Have you ever had an ex that you dumped because of X reason, but then the years go by, the world beats you up, you suddenly realize nothing and no one is perfect, and all of a sudden, you wish you had them back in your life because the alternatives are so bad that X reason doesn’t even seem like a good reason for dumping them any more?

That’s how I feel about the original Space Jam in light of the new Space Jam.

When I was a kid, I thought the original was a horrid mess, just a dumb piece of film, sans plot, just one big ad for the NBA and Loony Tunes, a marketing ploy to get people to pay attention to both.

Ah, but the new one made me go and seek out the old and…well, it still is a very silly movie…but I’ll admit…there is a better attempt at a plot and much more success at humor.

The thin plot? Swackhammer (Danny Devito) is the crooked owner of the intergalactic theme park known as Moron Mountain. Sales are dwindling, so he wants to kidnap the Looney Tunes and force them to perform for park guests until the end of time. He sends his tiny minions, the wimpy nerdlucks, to kidnap Bugs and Co and while they lack physical size, they make up for it with enormous ray guns that the tunes can’t beat.

In true Bugs fashion, the wascally wabbit sticks a post-it note in a made-up rule book that says the Tunes get a chance to defend themselves (he could have just written you have to let the tunes go but then the movie wouldn’t happen.)

Long story short, Bugs challenges the nerds to a game of basketball, thinking his opponents are so small that he and his loony friends will easily dominate them. Alas, the nerds manage to steal the skills of famous 90s players like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues and a few others whose names I forget already.

This makes for the funniest parts of the film, as it becomes an ongoing sideplot where the players and the NBA investigate how they lost their skills. The NBA assumes a mysterious virus is in play, so they cancel the season so they can tent and fumigate all the basketball forums, almost a blast from the past that we can relate to today in this age of covid.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles and friends visit doctors, healers and all manner of quacks in the hopes of figuring out how to regain their skills, each scene funnier than the last.

The Tunes kidnap Jordan so he can become their star player, and the film literally wastes no time on Jordan wondering how the heck he got there or being shocked that cartoons and/or aliens are real and so on. Like, it almost would have made more sense if they had spent a minute or two with Jordan being shocked about this, but His Royal Airness is just like, oh well this is just an unexpected pain in the ass thing I have to deal with.

Bill Murray and Wayne Knight round out the cast, Wayne of Seinfeld fame being Jordan’s toadyish sidekick/publicist and Bill declaring that he always harbored a secret desire to play pro ball. B-Ball legend Larry Bird has a few funny scenes, the funniest being when he and Murray witness Jordan being sucked down a golf ball hole and decide that they’re too busy to do anything about and not to worry because he’ll probably be OK.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Both the original and sequel have major plotholes, though both have the attitude of plotholes being so silly that they make the movie good. However, the original at least made an attempt at patching the holes together with tape and glue, while the sequel doesn’t try. I noticed more second and third billing tunes were allowed in the original, which makes me think these cartoons are so old that today’s kids only know about Bugs and his immediate friends. The original is only an hour and a half long, whereas the sequel drones on, and the Tunes get way more screen time. The film has a self-depricating approach, where the tunes themselves mock things that don’t make sense, spiriting plotholes away with a joke.

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Movie Review – Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

I couldn’t help but notice the distinct lack of Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” but I’ll review it anyway.

I was a kid when the original Space Jam came out and my thought at the time was, “This is the dumbest movie ever made.”

And then I blinked, half my life passed me by and now they’ve made the dumbest sequel to the dumbest movie ever made.

But let me back up. The sequel inspired me to watch some clips of the original and I’ll admit, as an adult, I appreciate the original a bit more and I somewhat understand what everyone involved was trying to do.

Basically, in the 1990s, Michael Jordan conquered basketball, but unlike Alexander the Great, he didn’t weep, because there were plenty of other worlds to conquer…and boy he tried, oh how he tried. His Royal Airness tried to dominate baseball but didn’t get too far. He got into shoe design and succeeded, Air Jordans being more popular than ever.

And he attempted a foray into Hollywood with the original, “this is so bad it is kinda good” movie…at the very least it developed a cult following. If you were a 1990s kid and you loved cartoons and basketball, then you loved this movie.

Meanwhile, the Looney Tunes had grown stale, stagnant. The world had become a rougher place and there was less appreciation for their brand of pie in the face, slapstick comedy.

Thus it was a match – a movie that allowed Jordan a Hollywood victory while keeping Bugs and Co. alive well into the twenty-first century.

Skip a head a couple decades and some change and Lebron James is today’s numero uno basketball star. Hollywood is remaking literally everything, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before they remade a movie that was odd to begin with.

The main criticism you may have read already? It sells out. The entire movie comes across as one great big commercial for Warner Brothers’ movie catalog, perhaps even taking advantage of the opportunity to rekindle old IP claims.

Disney is a master at this and there are times when Mickey and Co. collaborate with the House of Mouse’s stars, only for the audience to gasp at how far reaching their cinematic universe is.

So it feels like WB wanted to mimic that…but I mean…you know…come on now…how many kids were waiting to see a cameo from Casablanca, or A Clockwork Orange or What Happened to Baby Jane? (I actually thought that one was an odd looking Marilyn Monroe until the web told me different).

My 2 cents is the massive sell-out saves the movie, and is probably the only way it could have been made. The plot, if you can call it that, centers around “Warner 3000” or the Warner Brothers Studio server, controlled by an algorithm or to be exact, “Al G. Rhythm” and honestly, I’d love to be the writer who came up with that name. He was probably like, “Yeah I have to get this draft in soon and I don’t want to be late for pilates so Al G. Rhythm it is.”

Even worse, Al is played by the great Don Cheadle. Part of me feels bad that Don, a longtime established thespian who has taken on great, dramatic roles and appeared in some of the biggest movies of the past few decades, lowered himself to appear in this drek…but then the other part of me reminds myself that Don cashed the check so…moving on.

Al considers himself a great genius deserving of glory and will never be famous for as long as he remains hidden in the Warner Server-verse. So, blah blah blah, long story short, he hatches a plan to kidnap Lebron’s son Dom and challenges King James to a basketball game, to be livestreamed to the public, the clicks of which will no doubt give him the attention he desires.

At first, Lebron thinks this will be a cinch, for he can call on WB’s greatest champs, like Superman, the Iron Giant, King Kong and so on to take on Al G.’s Goon Squad consisting of NBA and WNBA greats mashed up with animals to become b-ball dunking monsters.

‘Alas, you guessed it…Bugs Bunny and friends are the only back up that the Warnerverse will put at Lebron’s disposal.

In my opinion, the Tuney crossover into the Warnerverse saves the movie. I get why people think it’s a sell out, but 30 minutes into watching Lebron act (hey no offense, but everyone has one talent gifted from God and people want to see basketball players act about as much as they want to see Meryl Streep dribble a ball)…watching Bugs chase down his pals who migrated to other corners of the Warnerverse gave me the laughs I needed to keep watching.

For me, Wyle E. Coyote and the Mad Max villains chasing Road Runner and Wyle E. holding up a sign that reads “Witness Me!” was all I needed to stay…and at a run time of 2 hours for a plot as thin as tissue paper, you really do need a good laugh.

On the one hand, it’s fun. It’s got a lot of pretty colors and great graphics. If your kids like sports, they’ll like it. If they don’t like sports, just fast forward through the first half hour until Bugs shows up.

On the other hand, I have to question several of the cameos. While Disney’s characters are family friendly…much of the Warnerverse? Not so much.

Examples? Rick and Morty return the Tazmanian Devil to Bugs, after apologizing for conducting experiments on “his weird badger thing.” Yes, R and M is a cartoon but no, this is def not a toon you want your kids watching. Frankly, you shouldn’t watch it either. It’s that naughty.

Others? Well…the game at the end is attended by a vast, sprawling audience consisting of WB characters, with one side devoted to the villains who cheer Al G. on. Some are fun…like an assortment of Batman villains, decked out in their garb from the 1960s, 80s, 90s and so on. Danny Devito’s Penguin hanging with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and Cesar Romero’s Joker etc. The Flying Monkeys from the Wizard of Oz? Sure.

Of course, good guys like The Jetsons, the Flintstones, Scooby and the Gang show up to cheer for Lebron and Co.

But then the cameos take a weird turn. Pennywise – seriously, who thought a clown who murders children would be good in a kids’ film? The Nuns from Ken Russells’ The Devils, a film so sexually explicit that WB had to make big cuts to it during the 1970s, which was basically the Wild West period of filmmaking – post Hollywood’s Golden Era where people just agreed nothing naughty should be on film and before the 1980s’ invention of the rating system, which at least gave viewers a heads up if they were about to watch something naughty.

Perhaps the strangest of the strange cameos are the Droogs. Keep in mind that noted skunk pervert Pepe LePew was cancelled, forever banned from the Loony Tunes line up. Those unfamilar? He was a skunk who spoke with a French accent who fancied himself the world’s greatest lover. In each of his toons, a female black cat would accidentally be painted with a white stripe down her back, thus fooling Pepe into thinking there was a hot lady skunk afoot. The Pepester would then pursue the female cat with reckless abandon, refusing to take no for an answer, constantly hitting on her and usually getting clobbered to funny effect in the process.

All I can say is once upon a time, context existed. Pepe never existed to say that men who act like him are to be admired – far from it. He was a character used to make fun of such men and show how ridiculous they are and how women are reviled by them.

But all 2020s Twitter saw was a pervert skunk…so be it. The stinky twerp was cut from the film. I mean, a good writer could have drummed up a quick take where Pepe is called into WB Studios and told that he’s being fired for being a problematic, socially unacceptable pervert skunk (I thought I read somewhere they tried something like that but even a scene where Pepe is shown as problematic would be problematic apparently.)

Where was I? Ah, yes. The Droogs. Have you seen Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Don’t. It will warp your mind. It focuses on mind control experiments where the government tries to wash all violent, sexual and evil thoughts and actions from London’s criminal gangs. One such gang, the long john wearing, bowler hat sporting Droogs, conduct a home invasion where they abduct a poor, unsuspecting woman and do horrible things to her.

I won’t belabor the point but like so many who have already opined on this, I find it odd that the pervert skunk had to go, so awful was he that he couldn’t be included even with a joke about him being a pervert skunk, but a gang of brutal rapists, also from the 1970s pre MPAA ratings period, were placed front and center at the b-ball court.

No one seemed to find it odd that Game of Thrones cameos were included. On one level, dragons and white walker zombie cameos are fun and ostensibly kid friendly, just as long as kids don’t ask their parents if they can watch Game of Thrones…because that surely isn’t a show for kids.

Overall, I could go on and on about this point. Warner Bros wants to flash all of its kid characters on screen? Sure. Have it. Flintstones? Jetsons? Scooby? Bring it on. But leave the cameos from adult movies and shows at home. The adults won’t find them that interesting and won’t want to have to explain who that is and who that is to kids who are better off not knowing who they are.

Alas, I can picture the thought process of the WB suits (who, to their credit, are also parodied). “Sure we can cancel Pepe the Pervert Skunk but…WHAT?! You want the Droogs out of the movie?! But someone might see it and want to watch it and then we’ll make more money!”

Which just goes to show that Pepe LePew could have gotten away with sexually harassing poor, unsuspecting white stripe painted female felines for decades to come as long as he made Hollywood money. Disagree? Research the Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby cases and get back to me.

STATUS: Shelf worthy. I applaud it’s good message where Lebron advises his son that whatever he wants to achieve in life, he needs to put in the work. An early scene shows a young, unfocused teenage Lebron who almost lost a game due to a lack of focus, a mistake he vows to never again make, thus leading to his success. Focus and hard work. You won’t get far with out either.

There’s also the inevitable lesson for kids who feel pressure from their parents to choose a career path they aren’t interested in, to abandon a dream that seems unlikely. Lebron and Dom lock horns as Lebron wants his son to follow in his b-ball footsteps, while Dom dreams of becoming a video game creator. (I mean, not exactly relatable as most kids might dream of being a b-ball star or a video game creator but instead, their parents want them to go to plumbing school to learn how to install toilets or something, but you get the gist.)

But I must knock off 1 million shelf points because many of the villain cameos were inappropriate and ill advised. Warner, you aren’t Disney, ergo, you might have a Warnerverse, but leave the murderous kid killing clowns and roving gangs of 1970s London based rapists in the vault.

And you know what? Adults don’t really want to see this stuff in a lighthearted kids’ movie either. I get sometimes writers/producers of these movies will throw in the occasional joke that will sail right over the kids’ heads and make the adults laugh as a thank you to those who bought the tickets, but do adults who signed up to watch a movie about Bugs Bunny and Lebron James playing basketball want to see murderous clowns and rapists and evil nuns and so on in the background? No. No we do not. WB should have asked a focus group that question and would have easily found the answer is no.

Want to feel old? The star of Space Jam 3 probably hasn’t even been born yet, or at least hasn’t started playing ball. Here’s hoping I’ll be alive to make fun of the third installment in another 25 years.

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I Have Become Obsessed With Basketball Cards

Give me the rock, 3.5 readers.

How the heck did this happen?

Well…about a year and a half ago, I became obsessed with collecting comic books. I suppose that’s a post for another time.

After that I became obsessed with collecting coins. I don’t know if that warrants a post or not.

Then out of a random thought to diversify, I went down the rabbit hole of basketball cards, having been somewhat interested ever since the news reports a couple months ago about how Target had to stop selling cards (from sports to pokemon) because people were getting into fights over them.

My initial reaction was why would people care but apparently, these have become big business.

Part of me is sad about that. When I was a kid, my town had an old, run down movie theater, with a perfectly placed comic book and baseball card shop next door. It was a pretty common past time, for parents to take their kids to a movie then stop in at the collectible store after. Frankly, it’s my last memory of a store of that kind making any money. Pre-internet and in a good location where parents were hard pressed to say no.

I was never into sports, not as a kid, not as an adult. There was a teacher/football coach who really encouraged me to try our for football, but academics were my thing so I passed. In retrospect, sometimes I wish I had. Maybe I would have embraced exercise and built up muscles and cardio at an early age to carry with me through life…but then again with my luck some dumb kid would have knocked me the wrong way and I would have ended up a paraplegic. Yes, my Eeyore-ish ability to talk myself out of doing things for fear of the worst case scenario has existed since childhood.

Anyway, while I was never into sports, I did like stopping in at the shop. Oddly enough, I wasn’t that into comic books either unless they were funny. I was always a humor buff. Sneaking downstairs to watch SNL and at the comic shop, I’d bypass Iron Man, Captain America and so on to grab copies of Mad Magazine.

On occasion, I’d buy packs of baseball cards, not so much out of a love of the game (it was non existent) but from a junior tycoon thought that I’d tuck them away and maybe when I’m an adult, one of those cards would make me a millionaire. (Huh, come to think of it, what did I do with those cards? Damn it, Ma, you just HAD to have a clean house, didn’t you?! What?! Oh, yeah, sure, it’s my fault ‘cuz you warned me 1000 times if I didn’t clean up my room you were just going to go in and throw everything away.)

Sigh. How many collectible fortunes have ended in the junkyard in the name of spring cleaning?

Anyway, if you check the prices, they are ridiculous. We’re talking hundreds, even thousands, in some cases for a single card if the player is popular enough…or in other cases, for a box.

Collectors speculate on cards like brokers speculate on stocks. The key seems to be to try to grab up rookie cards of new, popular players in the hopes that they’ll be the next Jordan or Lebron. It sounds like losses, even big losses are possible. After all, maybe that rookie having a moment now will fizzle out in the future. The game always has players that fans know, but only a handful of athletes per year gain household notoriety. The key is to get that rookie card for that decade defining player. Your algebra teacher doesn’t know random point guards, but in the 80s, they knew Bird and Magic, in the 90s they knew Shaq, in the 2000s they knew Kobe, in the 2010s they knew LeBron.

Anyway, I think like most obsessions this too will fizzle out for me. I’m interested but ultimately can’t afford it. I splurged on a Zion Williamson card and will keep my fingers crossed that this kid will end up a megastar, in movies and everything…so that he can be happy, of course and oh if I could sell my card and buy a summer house in Bermuda that would be a nice bonus.

But that’s it. I had to put my foot down and cut myself off. I can see the potential for people to throw away obscene amounts of money on this and not make a penny in return. They have livestreams where people can buy like, a share of an unopened box, i.e. it’s preagreed that you’ll pay like, some absurd sum and then the box will be opened live on the internet and you’ll be randomly assigned a certain amount of cards from the box. With my luck, I’ll be assigned like, the player who keeps running around backwards, accidentally scoring points for the other team. (Coincidentally, that would have been me if I had played sports, why I never got into it in the first place.)

Anyway, I just wanted to ramble about my latest obsession. I would not advise getting into it. Part of me does feel bad for the kids. I remember when you could get a pack of cards for like a buck and they would come with a stick of bubble gum so hard it would cut your gums, but that’s what kids could afford and you’d put them away…and some kids would dream of becoming sports stars and kids like me would dream of becoming card tycoons…but the point is kids could afford it and now…with these prices kids will be shut out…sad because cards should be for the kids first. (I know I’m a hypocrite because I bought a card at a high price and will lock it away in the hopes it will appreciate like a mutual fund.)

Enough from me. Here’s an unboxing video from KOTQ

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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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The Plight of Watching 3D Movies for People With Glasses – A BQB Special Report

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Lousy norms with their perfect vision.

Nerds.

Thanks to the rise of the Internet, social media and the overall acceptance to let your nerdy freak flag fly, they’re a rising demographic.

And no, hot attractive person who watched half of Star Wars once then texted all your friends with “O-M-G I am such a nerd” I’m not talking about you.

I’m not saying all nerds have glasses, but a vast majority of them do. It goes with the territory.

I’m sure my story is similar to that of many a geek, dweeb and/or poindexter.

There I was minding my own business. I start having a hard time seeing what the teacher is writing on the board. I mention it in passing to the parents, my little brain unaware of what that means. They get me tested. I end up with spectacles for the rest of my days, which didn’t seem all that terrible when I was a little kid but alas, they were no fun as I got older.

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Bookshelf Q. Battler – Blogger for 3.5 Readers/Glasses Wearer

PROBLEM KIDS WITH GLASSES FACE – Other dumb kids think they’re funny and want to grab your glasses and try them on.  Oh sure, dumb kids and why not grab that other kid’s crutch while you’re at it. Hey, go push that kid out of his wheelchair and go for a ride. Let’s just nab everyone’s medical devices and have a grand old time.

Shit. Kids are stupid.

PROBLEM ADULTS WITH GLASSES FACE – Some may argue our romantic prospects go on the decline once we put on our specs. This could be a chicken or the egg scenario. There are a lot of people who won’t go for people with glasses but there aren’t so many that the bespectacled have to live in caves by themselves forever. Part of the plight of the glasses wearer is that it becomes harder to get involved in sports and stuff so we end up reading and studying and becoming interested in comic books and superheroes and shit to pass our time. Some of us even start blogs and write for the benefit of 3.5 readers. Thus, the gateway to nerd-dom opens.

But I’m not here to talk about all that.

I want to talk about why it sucks as a nerd to go to a 3D movie.

As a World Renowned Poindexter, I have had a hard time ever since movie theaters started bringing back the 3-D movie craze.

Movie theaters, I get it. With people able to stream films on their televisions, laptops, tablets, phones, and coffee maker screens, you need to come up with new ways to keep putting butts in seats.

And honestly, I hope you continue to do so, because the last thing I want to see happen is for movie theaters to go the way of the dodo.

I don’t know about the rest of you bespectacled nerds, but when I go to a 3D movie, I have a problem.

Case in point. Last night I went to see Captain America: Civil War.  I spent half the movie trying to line up the 3-D glasses to fit over my regular glasses.

It’s a logistical nightmare. My peepers are trying to keep track of all of these costumed schmucks running around at warp speed and my eyeballs need to look through one set of lenses that help me see and another set of lenses that help me see in 3-D.

When both lenses don’t match up, my eyes end up sort of seeing some parts of the movie in 3-D and then other parts look blurry.

For me, screen size is part of the problem. I have gone to 3D movies in large IMAX style theaters and there’s less of a problem. I’m not sure why, but when you have more screen to look at, it works out for me.

But at my local East Randomtown normal sized theater, I usually just avoid the 3D showing. I don’t know the exact science of it but an average sized screen plus 3D glasses plus an action movie where there are lots of people running around like jackasses makes for a not so great viewing experience for a glasses wearing nerd like me.

Unfortunately, I was preoccupied during the non-3D showing or else I would have gone to that one.

It’s not that I want 3D movies to go away just for the benefit of nerds with glasses.

Rather, I’d like to see the movie industry cater a bit more to their nerdy fans.

Because let’s face it, movie industry representatives. Nerds with glasses account for a high percentage of your movie sales:

  • It’s not like we have much of a social life so you can count on us to be there opening night for the latest movie about costumed assholes fighting other costumed assholes.
  • We live for movies about costumed assholes fighting other costumed assholes. We’ll talk about them on social media, blogs etc. so you get a lot of free advertising from us.
  • Sure, beautiful non-glasses wearing people watch movies too, but they’re too busy having fun parasailing, surfing, skiing, climbing mountains, running across beaches, banging hot chicks, flying F15 fighter jets and doing all of the other awesome things that I assume people with perfect 20/20 vision do while we nerds are struggling to watch movies about costumed assholes as we try to line up our regular glasses with our 3D glasses.

BQB, I’m a corporate shill for the movie theater industry and I just came across your blog by accident. I’m not sure I’ll do anything to help you glasses wearing nerds enjoy 3D movies more because if it is one thing you nerds have shown, you’ll all crawl on your bellies through a pit of fire just to watch movies about costumed assholes fighting other costumed assholes.

But, for the sake of argument, suppose I cared. What can I, a corporate goon, do to help make you glasses wearing nerds happy?

Thank you. I’m glad you asked, corporate goon.

When I was a boy growing up in the 1980s, one thing I used to do when I wasn’t busy worrying about the Soviets conquering America and confiscating all our toilet paper, I watched a lot of basketball.

There was a player by the name of Kareem Abdul Jabbar.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him? He played a copilot in that hilarious Airplane movie.

Today, he’s a) still alive and b) a novelist.

Here he is during his heyday with the LA Lakers:

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Notice anything?

Yup. Kareem was a nerd. But he refused to allow his vision problems keep him from becoming one of America’s favorite dunk masters and he owed it all to those fabulous goggles seen above.

That’s right. He had goggles set to his eyeglass prescription.

  • They were large so wherever he looked, he could still see well, even in his peripheral vision. Today, glasses keep getting smaller and smaller and when society calls for us nerds to sacrifice larger specs for fashionable petite specs, we also lose more ability to see out of the corners of our eyes.
  • They were made out of a durable material, so if Larry Bird accidentally bonked him in the face with a basketball, he didn’t have to worry about his glasses shattering and cutting his eyes up.

BQB it’s the corporate goon again. I get impatient when points aren’t made within 3.5 seconds.

Sorry corporate goon.

Here’s my point.  Stop being all like, “Well f%&k those nerds if they want to watch 3D movies in comfort then they should have not been born with genetic predispositions to vision problems like the rest of us norms.”

Help us out.  Take goggles like the ones Kareem wore and put 3D material in the lenses.

Have 3D goggles available for nerds at the theater. We’ll be happier. We’ll go to 3D movies more. We’ll spend more at your movie theaters because as nerds, we tend to drown our sorrows about being lonely and dateless with movies about costumed assholes fighting other costumed assholes and we usually buy a lot of soda and candy to zit up our faces and perpetuate our nerd-dom while we do.

Hell, if I had the scientific and/or engineering know-how, I’d develop these myself through a kickstarter or some shit and make a mint on 3D goggles nerds can take to the movies themselves.

Anyway, thanks for listening 3.5 readers. And you corporate goons, get to work on this.

For I guarantee the first movie theater that starts putting out 3D goggles will enjoy increased profits from nerds the world over.

Stop catering to the norms. The norms will get around to watching your movies eventually. They usually go the second or third week when they can fit your movie into their busy schedules of having perfect lives.

We nerds are your base and if Meghan Trainor has taught us anything, it’s all about the base.

No, I’m not saying we’re similar to a chubby singer’s butt. Just get to work and make the damn 3D goggles already!

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Movie Review – Trainwreck (2015)

A hard partying, traditional lifestyle loathing gal is forced to face her fear of commitment when she meets a man worth committing to.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of Amy Schumer’s comedy Trainwreck.

SPOILERS ahead that will totally wreck your good time if you haven’t seen it yet.

Trainwreck – Movieclips Trailers

3.5 Readers, let me start with this:

I LOVE AMY SCHUMER.

Male or Female, I think she’s the funniest comedian out there right now.

Her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, regularly leaves me in stitches.  In particular, two sketches she put out this season have caused her stock to rise:

  • Last F*&kable Day – Amy has a picnic with Julia Louis Dreyfus, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette and hilariously discuss how the media puts an expiration date of female actresses, leaving them unable to play anything other than frumpy mother types whereas male actors are left to play leading men until a ripe old age.  (“Remember how Sally Field played Tom Hanks’ love interest in Punchline and then five minutes later she was his mom in Forrest Gump?”)
  • Twelve Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer – In a parody of the classic jury deliberation film, twelve men deliberate whether or not Amy is hot enough to be allowed on TV, thus pointing out how women are often judged more on their looks than what actual talents and qualities they have to offer.

But before you rush to label her some kind of radical feminist, keep in mind she’s an equal opportunist when it comes to dishing the dirt, and in this reviewer’s eyes, there’s no better sign of a great comic than pulling no punches.

In other words, while she’s been great at pointing out difficulties women go through, she also gets men have it tough at times as well.  Thus, there’s the sketch where she dons the guise of a karate sensei and educates men on how to verbally spar with their angry girlfriends (“She will be unable to defy the authority of therapy and Oprah”)  or the sketch where women walk through the “Museum of Boyfriend Outfits” and react to various bad outfits worn by boyfriends as if they were some of history’s greatest atrocities. (In other words, sometimes women judge men a bit too harshly as well).

In short, she’s great.  I’m a big fan.  A big, big fan.

That’s why it’s hard for me to say answer this question:

Is this a good movie?

Answer:  It depends.

If you’re going because you love her TV show and were hoping this movie was going to be Amy’s big break to knock it out of the park, then you might be disappointed.

At least I was.

I judge comedies based on one question:

Did it make me laugh?

Answer:  Only a few times, and mostly at characters other than Amy’s.

Laughter is the most honest of emotional reactions.  Either something tickles your funny bone or it doesn’t.

For the most part, this didn’t.

Everyone’s sense of humor is different.  You might disagree and love it.

Colin Quinn doesn’t disappoint as Amy’s dad, Gordon, the womanizing commitment phobe whose bad example sets Amy up for a lifetime of cheap one-night stands and avoidance of any real intimacy.

Surprisingly, NBA superstar LeBron James steals the show.

Often times, sports star cameos in movies are flat.  Athletes aren’t trained in the theatrical arts, after all.  But LeBron, who plays himself as the friend of sports doctor Aaron (Amy’s love interest), turned in a funny performance that left me feeling like he was comfortable in front of a camera.

Hell, if this basketball thing ever stops working for him, he has a second career waiting for him as a thespian.

But while Colin and LeBron provided me with some chuckles, Amy just didn’t razzle my dazzle in this one.

Am I being too hard on her?  Maybe.  Maybe it’s just because her show is so great that I was expecting to roll in the aisles for this movie.  Maybe I built it up too much in my head.

Or maybe gut busting laughter wasn’t what the film was meant to be about, because if your goal in seeing it is to take in a sweet romance (albeit with R rated debauchery mixed in), it does actually deliver.

The theme that ties the movie together?  People today are so interested in petty nonsense that doesn’t matter.  Looks.  Status. Fashion.

Amy works at a stereotypically fluff magazine where she and her co-workers write catty articles that judge people all day.

But as the story points out, if you’re too focused on getting drunk and random hook-ups, then you might let someone who’d bring a lot of joy into your life pass you by.

There’s been a bunch of movies where the man is the one who needs to tone down his playboy lifestyle in order to let a special lady into his heart.  Here, Amy puts a modern twist on that old rom-com trope by being the woman who needs to decide whether meaningless trysts are worth passing up a good life with a wonderful man who’d do anything for her.

For me, the scene that makes the movie work comes when Amy’s nephew asks his aunt whether or not she likes Aaron.  Amy stumbles, says yes, but then starts to go into a longwinded explanation as to why that’s not enough, but the kid just interrupts with a, “Why don’t you invite him over?”

TRANSLATION:  So many potentially great relationships hid the skids when people talk themselves into dumping people they like for silly, superficial reasons.

If two people like each other and get along, they need to hold onto each other for dear life, because those kinds of relationships are hard to find.  If passed up, they rarely, if ever, come along again, at least not anytime soon.

STATUS:  C- Comedy.  B+ Love Story.  Amy and Bill get a chance to display their acting chops.  Not the knockout I hoped it would be, but don’t feel too bad for Amy.  Her mug’s all over the place these days.

Not shelf-worthy but worth a rental.

(But for the record, few people in the entertainment industry have done more to champion the idea that people shouldn’t be judged based on their looks than Amy Schumer, so on that note, A+)

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