Tag Archives: Comedy

Movie Review – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

They’re dirty. They’re rotten. They’re scoundrels.

BQB here with a review. (Yes, it’s on Pluto TV. I’m really getting my money’s worth out of this app, which is zero.)

I remember thinking this movie was funny as a kid but now as a geezer, I think it is more clever. I was able to guess the jokes as they were coming, partly because they are memorable and partly because 2019’s “The Hustle” starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in a modernized female version with basically the same plot kept the jokes fresh in my head.

Michael Caine, looking rather dapper at roughly 55 here and man what a life you can live if you eat your Wheaties, plays Lawrence Jamieson, a master con artist who lives a lavish lifestyle in a wealthy town in the south of France. He finances his mansion, servants, travel, wardrobe, extravagances, etc. by bilking rich women out of their money, often by telling them he is a prince living in exile, trying to coordinate a rebellion against the communists who have conquered his non-existent nation. The ladies think they are donating to the cause of freedom, while Jamieson simply pockets the dough and gives the women the heave-ho.

Freddy Benson is also a con man, but on a much less impressive scale. He is an American, conning his way through Europe with stories about his sick grandmother and how he can’t afford lunch because he’s saving up for her operation. Freddy bilks rich women out of free lunches and pocket money.

When they meet on a train, Freddy demands that Lawrence take him on as a student, that he become Darth Vader to Jamieson’s Emperor, which is funny because Palpatine himself is in this flick. Ian McDiarmid plays Jamieson’s trusty butler Arthur, who assists in the cons. I know McDiarmid has a long career but personally, I believe this is the first non-Emperor role I’ve seen him in (at least that I can remember.)

Lawrence and Freddy go out on the con together but soon butt heads, finding it difficult to work together as they rarely see eye to eye. They settle their differences with a bet. First one to con super sweet soap company heiress Janet Colgate out of $50,000 gets to stay in town, while the loser must leave.

From there on, it’s a mad cap romp as Lawrence and Freddy constantly one up each other, telling one lie after the next and apparently they have no fear of burning in hell for there’s nothing, literally nothing that they aren’t willing to do to defraud this poor woman.

To the film’s credit, I remember it being a common trope in many films where a character sets out to defraud another character (sometimes it’s a man defrauding a woman or vice versa) and then after they get to know one another, they fall in love. Here, love does bloom amidst this twisted triangle, but (SPOILER ALERT) the duo is not rewarded for their treachery. The ending is rather ingenious and if you’re watching it for the first time, unexpected. I thought it was better than the old “Oh OK I forgive you for being a fraudulent piece of crap and will reward you with my love and trust now” ending that so many other movies go with.

The late, great Glenn Headley plays Janet and this movie reminded me of how sad I was to hear of her passing. She also played Dick Tracy’s Tess Trueheart and I always thought that movie illustrates the dilemma many a man finds himself in. Dick wants Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) because she’s hot, but knows she’s trouble as she can have any dude she wants. Tess, on the other hand, is true blue and will be there for Dick through thick and thin. Ultimately, you bang Breathless and marry Tess…or maybe just skip breathless and marry Tess because Tess will dump you if you knock up Breathless. Whatever. God, my knowledge of film stretches back to some super old movies. No one even gets these references I wager.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. I do remember repeating Steve Martin’s bathroom at the dinner table joke over and over as a kid.

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Movie Review – Coming 2 America (2021)

Wasn’t it Thomas Wolfe who said you can’t come home again?

BQB here with a review of the sequel to Eddie Murphy’s classic film.

For the uninitiated, in 1988, Eddie Murphy, the hottest act in 1980s comedy, virtually guaranteed to leave you in stitches such that you’d be grabbing your sides and shouting, “No more, no more! Bah ha ha!” proved what was then thought to be impossible – that raunchy R-rated comedies can have a heart. “Coming to America” was the story of Akeem, the young prince of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda, whose father, King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) demanded his son take a bride amongst the many dutiful royal babes available.

Alas, Akeem realizes these women are lacking in personality. They just want him for his money and position and are willing to do whatever he says (one of them literally barks like a dog on his command), uninterested in challenging him or being his intellectual equal, he and his trusty man-servant Semi (Arsenio Hall) flee to Queens, New York (where else would you look for a future Queen?) in search of a soul mate.

Disguising themselves as a poor immigrants from Zamunda, Akeem and Semi take jobs at McDowell’s (a ripoff of McDonald’s though owner Cleo swears it isn’t), Akeem falls for the owner’s daughter Lisa, but faces adversity in winning her heart, i.e. his father, like Jaffe, wants his daughter to marry rich (in the form of Soul Glo jerri curl dynasty heir (Eriq LaSalle.)

Ultimately, it’s a coming of age story, similar to the struggle every young person faces. Every young adult wrestles with their dreams vs. harsh realities, the desire to go forth and chase their hopes vs. the pressure to be practical – to do what they actually want to do vs. what their parents and family demand they do. It can be hard for a young person in that they have experienced little of the world, know little of its dangers, and when parents demand they give up X dream, they often do it from a place of good i.e. maybe they tried to do something fabulous when they were young and it backfired and they want their kids to do better, but yet, the parents might know little of what is in the kid’s heart, what the kid is and isn’t capable of, what will and will not make them happy.

I saw this movie as a little kid – in the movie theater. I probably shouldn’t have, what with the jokes about the royal bathers and what have you, but the 1980s were a weird time and parents were like, “Eh. Whatever. It’s just a movie.” Thus was the sentiment that allowed me to see Robocop in the movie theater too and I swear seeing that mutant guy being run over and smashed to bits didn’t warp my young brain at all. Hmm. Maybe I need to tell my shrink about this.

Moving on. Long story short, I’ve been a comedy fan my whole life, from a young age, ever since I figured out it was possible to sneak downstairs while the ‘rents were sleeping to watch Saturday Night Live. At that young age, I knew Eddie had made something special with this movie, something the world hadn’t seen before.

Since then, I became an adult and sold out big time. Yeah, sadly, I caved to what my own personal Jaffes wanted rather than go forth and sew my oats. What can I say? I didn’t have a trusty manservant Semi to back me up I guess. It didn’t work out…or maybe it did. I do have this sweet blog that is only read by 3.5 readers after all, so that’s something.

Alright, enough stalling. Let’s get to the review.

In short, Coming 2 America is a cute stroll down memory lane, but if you were expecting a raunchy festival of frivolity equal to the original, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Watching Eddie in this movie is like watching Da Vinci paint with one arm tied behind his back. It just feels like Amazon clipped his wings and had a whole list of woke hoops that Eddie had to jump through.

Now, mind you, it did dawn on me there might be an alternative argument. At some point, we all get old. We realize we’ve done all we can do in this life and times have changed and we have to move over and let the kids take a turn. Apparently, the kids really like all this highly sanitized, run through ten focus groups to make sure no one’s feelings are hurt drek, so who are we oldsters to deny it to them? Eddie’s older Akeem faces a similar challenge in this film, having to grapple with a desire to please Jaffe’s old adherence to tradition, or to say to hell with it and bring in modern reforms as he assumes the crown.

At times the film feels like Mom and Dad pulled out their old photo albums and gathered the kids around to tell them stories of the past. The kids begrudgingly roll their eyes and sit through it. Mom and Dad have to run the story through their internal brain censors, sharing the good and hiding the bad. Mom and Dad were once naughty kids when they were young, after all, but now as adults, they need the kids to do what they say and not what they, well, once did.

The plot? Remember that girl who barked like a dog in the first film? She and her brother are all grown up now. Wesley Snipes literally steals the show and appears to have had a really fun time playing General Izzi, the brutal dictator of Zamunda’s neighboring country (literally called Nextdoria). When he isn’t busy training his adult soldiers with shake weights or his child soldiers in the finer arts of deploying C4, he is demanding that Akeem join the ruling families of Zamunda and Nextdoria in marriage. Bottomline – Akeem already thumbed his nose at the Izzi family once by turning down Iman (the dog barker) and General Izzi won’t stand for it twice. If Akeem can’t produce a male heir to marry his daughter, the general will declare war, and as Jaffee humorously warns, Akeem is too weak to fend it off. (James Earl Jones rivals Snipes in stealing the show here.)

Ah, as luck would have it, Akeem does have a male heir in the form of Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) a ticket scalper from Queens trying hard to make an honest living, but kept down by a cold world that won’t give him a break. Apparently, one night, while Akeem and Semi were in America, Akeem was drugged and taken advantage of by Leslie Jones’ Mary, thus explaining where Lavelle came from. (Apparently we still have much woke progress left to make as jokes about men getting raped by women are still considered funny. Literally nothing else is considered funny but Leslie jumping Eddie’s bones while he is an intoxicated state is supposed to be a laugh riot.)

While there is plenty of time for us to get reacquainted with older characters – Akeem, Lisa, Semi and the gang, there are large swathes of the film where it feels like Saved by the Bell: The New Class, the New, New Class, how many new classes are we up to now? There are large parts of the film where the kids take over and work out their differences, i.e. Lavelle got the short end of the stick as he spent his life begging for scraps while he had an uber rich side of the family he never knew about vs. Meeka (Kiki Layne) Akeem’s eldest daughter who trained her entire life to rule as Queen one day, only to be ousted out of nowhere by Lavelle.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. As with all sequels and reboots of old, classic films, I do wonder who is this for? Is it for today’s young adults? I don’t know but I have a hard time thinking they enjoy stuff like this. Kids today probably just smile and nod politely when adults tell them about all their favorite 1980s movies like I smiled and nodded politely when my parents tried to tell me that cowboy movies and Frank Sinatra were the shit. Is it for adults? Maybe. Part of me enjoyed the nostalgia. Part of me felt old as fuck thinking it feels like just yesterday when I was wowed by the original and now so much time has gone by that they’ve already made the highly sanitized remake. Maybe it’s for Eddie, who deserves to cash in in his old age after spending his youth making us smile, but I do feel like Eddie is like this film’s caged lion. If a studio would remove the cage, he still has enough energy left inside to roar, and leave us roaring in hysterics, but alas, studios with cajones have gone the way of the dodo.

But still, it’s cute, and has its funny moments. Hell, Amazon got me to sign up for Prime for a month just to watch it. Oh Jeff Bezos, you devious mastermind, you did it again.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Quick Change (1990)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB’s corona movie marathon continues.

I loved this movie as a kid. If you’ve never seen or heard of it, you’re in for a treat. In fact, you should drop what you are doing and stop reading this and go watch it and then come back. If you read on then without seeing it, the surprise will be spoiled for you.

Ok, for those who stayed, Bill Murray stars as Grimm, a NYC city planner and ultimately, an average guy who, with the help of his girlfriend, Phyllis (Gina Davis) and longtime friend, Loomis (Randy Quaid) rob a bank.

The opening bank robbery scene is clever, hysterical and full of twists, so again, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

Ironically, while the bank robbery is a success, the trio have the worst time making a getaway. Loomis is jarringly stupid and that stupidity catches up with them, but on top of that, the city conspires against them at every turn.  Their goal is to catch a flight to the Caribbean, but mobsters, gun wielding citizens, muggers, cab drivers who are terrible at their jobs, incompetent city workers who don’t know how to put up directional signs, bus drivers who demand exact change and convenience store owners who won’t give change unless they buy something are among the many challenges they must face as what should be a quick trip to the airport turns into a night long nightmare.

As if that isn’t enough, they are being chased by legendary police chief Walt Rotzinger (Jason Robards) a veteran lawman with reputation for always getting his man.

The cool thing about this movie is you end up rooting for both sides. While in reality, you should never root for someone to get away with a crime, it is hard not to, on a fictional level, root for Grimm and friends to make their escape because these are not hardened criminals but rather, just a trio of average schmoes who up and said screw it one day and decided to cheat a system that has long been cheating them.

On the other hand, retirement looms large on Rotzinger’s mind, and though he has successfully closed a number of historic, headline grabbing cases, he fears that if he does not nab this robber (a robber who dressed like a clown gets a lot of media attention), the press will have a field day and his career will have been for naught.

I’ve always thought this movie didn’t get as much credit as it deserved. Murray tends to be remembered for his franchises like Ghostbusters, or one and dones like Groundhog Day or What About Bob but if it hasn’t gotten it already, this one deserves your attention.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Movie Review – The Wrong Missy (2020)

Careful what you text, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the Netflix comedy, “The Wrong Missy.”

Adam Sandler and friends, his coterie of 90s era comedians who usually do his Happy Madison production company movies, have had their share of hits and misses, and sadly, in recent years, its been more misses. Their style of comedy (silliness for the sake of silliness without much else thrown in) has by and large gone the way of the dodo, and we can have a debate over whether or not that’s a good thing another time.

This one is a hit.  That’s my opinion, but its topping the charts of Netflix’s offerings today, it’s release day on the streaming service. I think eventually, people will agree.

It’s got two things that Sandler’s flicks have been lacking during their last few (eh, make that several) outings – heart, and actual laughs.

David Spade plays Tim, a brokenhearted bank executive who has given up on love, unable to get over a breakup with ex-fiance Julia (Sarah Chalke). One night, he goes on a blind date Melissa #1 – (Lauren Lupkus of Orange is the New Black Fame who I always confuse with comedienne Kristen Schaal, so much so that I wonder if Kristen and Lauren’s agents are in a perpetual war over who can race to get their client any and all roles that call for a crazy, wild eyed brunette.)

Anyway.  That blind date doesn’t go well, for many wacky reasons but the chief one that comes to mind is that she carries a Crocodile Dundee sized knife in her purse and whips it out often, threatening to use it willy nilly.

Tim brushes Missy #1 off as a psycho, but while in an airport one day, he meets the woman of his dreams, also named Missy, or Melissa (Molly Simms) when he and she mix up their bags at the airport.

Long story short, Tim, urged by BFF Nick Swardson, texts his preferred Melissa with an invited to come on his company retreat to Hawaii. only to be aghast when “The Wrong Melissa” shows up on the flight instead.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. This Melissa is nuts. Tim’s job is at stake because his boss is basically using the retreat as a means to choose between Tim and another candidate for a promotion but Melissa can’t stop saying and doing crude, obscene things and the rest is history.

I think one of the better decisions made with this movie is that Spade cancelled his “I just like to rag on everyone even though deep down inside I wish I was them but I can’t because even though I’m awesome on the inside I’m short on the outside” routine.

Instead, Spade plays Tim as the straight man, the foil to Melissa’s absurdity.

Indeed, there’s plenty of room for criticism. Spade, God help me, is 55 now, and less well preserved, less famous and less wealthy men of his age generally grab hold onto whatever they can get, whereas in this film, Spade is juggling two Melissas as well as his ex who begins to wonder if she missed out on something good if all these Melissas are after her ex’s hanglow.

But Lupkus shoots a cannon in the name of this film’s self awareness at that age difference early in the movie, saying, “What are you? 65? I don’t care.”

I’ve checked some other reviews and the criticism is fairly standard.  Spade should be playing opposite some age appropriate women and how dare Melissa #2 be presented as the end all be all just because she’s uber beautiful.

Part of me wants to point out that old rich men are able to land hot younger women because, all arguments about equality aside, men tend to be more attracted to beauty while women tend to be more attracted to security (the biggest cavemen thousands of years ago, or the man with the biggest wallet today.)

That of course, doesn’t apply universally and it probably doesn’t even apply here. Hollywood wants those hot babes on screen, whereas male actors can be schlubs (although ladies if you think you have it hard trying to live up to Hollywood standards of beauty, try competing with the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine if you’re a man and ok…I’ll be quiet now).

If this is a spoiler, then so be it, but what I did like about this movie is it didn’t go the road that rom coms usually go in when a main characters is forced to choose between two love interests. Inevitably, the writers always make the decision for the character, making one of the interests do something so awful and unforgivable that the choice becomes clear.

Technically, that doesn’t happen here. Spade has to make a choice between two women he loves and he makes it….though you do have to suspend your grip on reality to believe that a successful businessman is going to choose a woman who force feeds him dog tranquilizers and speaks in devilish tongues as part of a she’s so quirky routine would not just go for the demure Miss USA contestant.

Lauren Lupkus is great in this and hopefully Hollywood will take further notice.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Full Monty (1997)

Are you looking for hot stuff, 3.5 readers?

Hulu has a nice collection of old movies, so I’ve been turning to it lately, only to find this oldie but goodie.

Gaz (Robert Carlyle) and Dave (Mark Addy) are a couple of friends and unemployed steelworkers. Their hometown, Sheffield, England, was once a great place to live, but when the steel mill upon which the local community depended went out of business, it wreaked havoc on the community.

Being out of worked has caused them to lose their mojo and for Gaz, it has wrecked his marriage. His wife has left him and his continued ability to see his son depends on his ability to pay child support.

One fateful night, they pass by the only business in town that is packed, a male strip club where the ladies converge upon, throwing away their hard earned cash just to see buff dudes.

Gaz realizes he and his pals are no studmuffins, but in doing the math, realizes that if some how, if he can pack the house, the cut that he and his pals will get will be enough to keep him on his feet and his support payments paid.

They recruit their old foreman, Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), who once barked orders at them but now that he is out of work, spends his time taking dance lessons with his wife, to be the team dance coach. Along the way, they recruit Horse (Paul Barber), Lomper (Steve Huison) and Guy (Hugo Speer) all locals with their own down on their luck stories thanks to the tanked economy.

Together, they will have to overcome their fears – that they’ll look like fools, that this was a stupid idea, that none of them are exactly Chippendale’s material, and in Dave’s case, that he feels bad that he’s fat.

If you set aside the ridiculousness of a bunch of average man setting out to become male strippers, there’s humor in drama in the lengths that long term unemployed people have to just to get a job. Be out of work long enough and society will write you off as a loser, and you’ll have to reinvent yourself, and perhaps event a job for yourself just to get back out there again.

Also, no one’s saying that women don’t have it rough, but this movie does meditate on some of the things that men have to go through. Its a myth that men don’t have their own body issues, and men tend to rest their self worth on their ability to be good providers, perhaps that just goes back to the caveman days.

“A few more years and men won’t exist,” is somewhat of a prophetic line in the movie. Is it true? I’m sure we can debate all day long about it. And no one can blame women for wanting the independence and security that education and good jobs can provide but somewhere along the way, men like the Full Monty dudes were left in the dust, no way to make a living and what does it matter, because nobody no longer needs them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Worth a watch for no other reason that it is so hard to believe that Mark Addy, so young and insecure in this film, went on to play boorish prick King Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones and then in other ways, it isn’t hard to believe because Robert is almost a parody of a shitty king that only a comedian could really handle.

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Movie Review – Stuber (2019)

Laughs.  Action.  Driver ratings in peril.

BQB here with a review of Stuber.

At the outset, this is a fun action comedy.  It’s not something I’d want to watch over and over again, but it was worth the rental fee.

Kumail Nanjiani plays Stu, a down and out sporting goods store clerk who makes money on the side driving for Uber, thus earning him the undesired nickname, Stuber.

He pines for friend Becca (Betty Gilpin, and who doesn’t?) but despite his best efforts, including forking over his savings so she can start a spin class business, he’s permanently in the friend zone.

His life of boredom is interrupted for a night of action, adventure and sheer, out and out terror when Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), a bad ass cop on the hunt for his partner’s killer, who rather conveniently just had eye surgery and can’t drive (or in reality, do anything but you have to suspend disbelief) hires him to drive and forces him into service as his unwilling partner for the evening.

They become the ultimate odd couple, Vic helping Stu to man up, Stu helping Vic to tap into his softer side.  Will Stu be able to save the day, get the girl, and maintain the highly coveted 5 star rating that all Uber drivers desire?

Bonus points for adding Mira Sorvino to the cast.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Is Dave Chappelle Insufficiently Woke?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Trying to post a little more.

It saddens me that the PC police are coming after Dave Chappelle.  This guy was the king of comedy in the early 2000s only to be branded a villain today.  Sorry to say it but he didn’t change.  You all did.

Oh, how I loved my Chappelle’s Show DVD box set in the old days.  I’d just watch those sketches over and over.  The guy was such a comedic perfectionist that he left 50 million on the table and walked away because he couldn’t phone it in like so many others did and the stress of doing comedy right got to him.

The weirdest argument, among many, is that his R. Kelly sketch normalized R. Kelly.  I remember that sketch.  He hanged R. Kelly out to dry as a whacko, urine obsessed degenerate pervert.  How that supposedly “normalized” R. Kelly I’ll never know.  If anything, it trashed him and made people more aware of his pervyness.

It’s just sad to see everyone getting on his case.  Your thoughts?

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Movie Review – The Oath (2018)

This movie is garbage.  Just total, red hot garbage.

Seriously.  I don’t know why I’m even bothering to review it but here goes.

BQB here with a review of “The Oath.”

Somewhere out there is a movie about a family of people from different sides of the political spectrum who overcome their differences over the holidays and end up all the better for it.

This film is not it.

Initially, it seemed like it was trying to be.  It takes place in a world where the government has sanctioned a supposedly non-mandatory oath, asking citizens to pledge their loyalty to the president.   Talking head pundits explain that the pledge is not required, though mounting pressures make it so that those who don’t sign will be ostracized.

Enter Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish, a liberal couple who have vowed to not sign the oath.  The deadline to sign is Black Friday and the majority of the film takes place during Thanksgiving week.

Over the course of the holiday, Ike gets angrier and angrier as he finds out everyone in his life who he thought was going to stick with him against the oath caves in and signs out of fear of retribution.

Meanwhile, in true Hollywood fashion, conservatives are portrayed as either monsters or dopes who blindly sign the pledge.  Old man in a restaurant attacks people who don’t like the pledge with his cane = monster.  Ike’s brother and sister-in-law who sign the pledge because they think it’s the patriotic thing to do = dopes.

Ironically, if there ever was an issue that would unite liberals and conservatives together, it would probably be a state sanctioned loyalty oath.

The film is schizophrenic and isn’t sure which direction it wants to go in.  It’s billed as a comedy, but my funny bone was never tickled.  It eventually turns into a violent, dramatic quasi-thriller, or at least it wants to be but the premise is so ridiculous that it makes who wonder what substance was being smoked by whoever green lit it.  Worse, comedic elements are weaved into the mayhem, which just comes off as gross and stupid.

To the film’s credit, Ike works himself into a lather throughout the first half of the film, culminating into a crescendo where he loses it at Thanksgiving dinner, chews out his family of oath loving conservatives (and liberals who caved) and tells them they’re all pigs who should be hanged.  Point made.  If you get yourself so worked up over your political leanings that you start talking about breaking out the nooses for your own family, you might want to chill out and realize you’ve become the ogre that you claim to despise.

It could have ended there as a somewhat lackluster, forgettable film but then two agents from a government agency that administers the oath show up.  Blah, blah, blah, mistakes are made and Ike and family end up in a brawl that ends with the agents severely wounded and held hostage.

At this point, you can almost hear whatever attempts at comedy had been made getting sucked out of the film.  There are some jokes throughout the second half that fall utterly flat because, Jesus Christ and holy shit, there are two government agents who have been beaten half to death in the living room and yet somehow (SPOILER ALERT) no one ends up going to jail. Worse, some of the beatings are so hardcore that you wonder how they ended up in a comedy film because really, they’re the stuff of horror flicks.

I hate to give bad reviews of movies.  After all, I’ve never made a movie before, so who am I to judge?  This one sucks.  And blows.  It sucks and blows.

Is there a movie where a big, extended family that features a mix of die hard, conservative MAGA hat wearing Trump fans and hardcore, liberal pussy hat wearing resisters come together over the holidays and learn to love each other despite their disagreements?  There is.

I doubt Hollywood could ever make it because both sides would have to be treated equally.  That would require a script where jokes are made about BOTH liberals and conservatives AND conservatives would have to be portrayed as something more than the stereotypical hillbilly boogie man.

Moreover, characters would have to be allowed to discuss the major issues of the day and characters on BOTH sides of the aisle would have to be portrayed in a manner such that the audience could understand what life experiences the characters had that led them to that conclusion.

Hollywood could never do it.  “Orange man=bad.  Conservatives = hillbilly moonshine swigging boogie man who wants to kidnap all your non-white friends and hogtie them with the Confederate flag.  The End.”

It’s too bad because if a legit comedy that gave us the ins and outs of a mixed family of conservatives and liberals could be made, it would be award winning stuff.

Again, this film isn’t it and it’s too bad because it could have been.

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy.  The worst of 2018.  Try not to blame Tiffany Haddish.  She does her best to shine amidst a movie that is a pile of shit.

 

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Is Comedy Dying? – Kevin Hart Out as Oscars Host

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I weep for the future of comedy.

Several years ago, comedian Kevin Hart wrote a tweet, the gist of which was if he ever saw his son playing with his daughter’s doll house, he’d shout, “That’s gay!” and then break the doll house over the boy’s head.

My two cents?  Comedy is like gymnastics.  Imagine yourself as one of those tiny Russian gymnasts at the Olympics.  You could push yourself to leap in the air, do seven airborne backflips and land into a rolling somersault.  Maybe you’ll pull it off and get the gold and the accolades, or you might mess up a complicated move and end up with a broken foot.

Similarly, comedy can be hit or miss.  If you’re going to break taboos and push lines, the joke should be outstandingly funny, so humorous that it brings a begrudging smile to the face of even the most dour of school-marmish scolds.  Otherwise, the risk that you just end up looking like an asshat instead of a clever joke-smith is too great.

This joke was only so-so.  People need to grasp the context.  The joke isn’t on the son, it’s on the father.  Hart was making fun of his own sense of manliness, his own insecurities, his own insane fears that the slightest showing of a softer side can turn someone homosexual.

Imagine if this joke hadn’t been in a tweet but rather a sitcom.  Kevin is a typical dumb sitcom dad.  He comes home from work, sees his son playing with his daughter’s dollhouse.  Close up on a freaked out look on Kevin’s face.  Close up on Kevin as he looks off in the distance, imagining what this could lead to.  Cut to grown up son performing as a drag queen, accepting “Best Drag Queen of the Year Award,” and he says, “Thanks for the doll house, Dad!”

Cut to Kevin freaking out and like the Incredible Hulk, he smashes the house into a thousand pieces.  The daughter cries.  The son says, “Dad, what the hell, man?  I was pretending that doll house was Cobra Commander’s secret base and I was attacking it with my GI Joes!” (or whatever today’s equivalent toy is.)

Enter mom, livid that she has married such a buffoon.  Cut to Kevin staying up all night gluing all the pieces of the doll house back together.

I don’t know.  I get some of the backlash to the tweet.  It wasn’t the best joke and it comes across as mean spirited to gay people.  As a society, we’re trying to get parents to accept their kids as they are instead of trying to mold them into something they don’t want to or can’t be.

But at any rate, I think Kevin was just making fun of himself.

I’ve never thought Kevin was a great comedian or a terrible comedian.  He was somewhere in the middle.  He plugs along.  A ham and egger.  But one thing I give him credit for is he is one of the few comedians left who TRIES to be funny.  He tries to think up funny situations for his acts and movies and rarely delves into politics but rather is into the humor for humor’s sake.

Meanwhile, and look I don’t care if you love Trump or hate Trump, but mainstream comedy has basically gone from actual comedy to this oddball world of people just standing up, saying something to the effect of, “Orange man bad!” and then cue the canned audience laugh track.

On top of that, why is Kevin being singled out?  Alec Baldwin was arrested and he’s still on SNL. Jimmy Kimmel once appeared in blackface.  He was still allowed to host the Oscars.  Sarah Silverman once appeared in blackface.  She’s still allowed to do voices in Disney movies.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed Family Guy and have looked at Seth MacFarlane as an example of someone who made it in Hollywood by sticking to it and pushing himself, but there have been some times where I’ve watched that show and been like, “Wow, this is going way too far” and then I’d change the channel.  And he was allowed to host.

I don’t know.  Just seems like there should be one standard.  Why are we combing JUST through Kevin Hart’s past?  Either the rule is that anyone who hosts the Oscars must be as clean as a whistle, or some past transgressions are ok as long as they aren’t doing it now….but to hold Kevin Hart to one standard and others to another is lame.

Oh well.  Who cares?  No one watches the Oscars anyway.

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Great Musings of the Twenty-First Century – #376 – 400

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#376 – Existing isn’t the same as living.

#378 – Grapes are small pieces of fruit.

#379 – Physically, we aren’t able to see what is behind us.  Mentally, we are always looking at the past that’s unchangeable.

#380 – Birds of a feather flock together but kittens of a whisker don’t do much of anything interesting whatsoever.  Sorry I mentioned it.

#381 – Every lacrosse team has at least one Chad.

#382 – I don’t know who I am anymore.  I’m not sure I ever knew in the first place.

#383 – Stars are nature’s glitter.

#384 – One day I would like to learn judo.

#385 – I’d like to make a banjo with nothing but a cigar box, a broom handle, fifteen rubber bands and the assistance of a professional banjo maker.

#386 – I once was lost but now am found. I was in the last place I thought to look for myself.

#387 – Ducks love bread.

#388 – How fast is a light second?

#389 – The other day I was in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store. I picked up a product labeled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” I set the container down and moved on.  Sorry, but if the manufacturer is unable to believe that the contents do not consist of butter then I don’t know why I’m supposed to.

#390 – I’m going to think of something ridiculously clever and insert it here later.

#391 – Broadband does not include broads and if it did, those broads would not join a band. Discuss.

#392 – Are mole people friendly?  I’m talking about people with moles on their faces, not the people who live underground.  We all know the latter are dicks.

#393 – I love my microwave.  Frankly, whenever I think about how I own a device that can harness the power of the atom just to cook my frozen pizza, I get a little hard.

#394 – If Frankenstein has sex with a lady werewolf, would their baby be a Frankenwolf or a Wolfenstein?  If it’s the last one, would they have to pay royalties to the people who made that video game?

#395 – I bought a dry erase board in the hopes that I would think of something clever to write on it.  My first note on it? “Remember to return dry erase board.”

#396 – Right now, at this very moment, two horny penguins in Antarctica are getting their fuck on.

#397 – Why are people always offering poisoned people antidotes? People, it’s not that hard. Just don’t drink dotes in the first place.

#398 – Whatever happened to Mario Van Peebles?

#399 – Is it a violation to use sidewalk chalk on driveways?

#400 – I’d eat cake at every meal if I could.

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