Alien Jones said it was primitive in comparison to his spaceship, but I was still impressed:
Alien Jones said it was primitive in comparison to his spaceship, but I was still impressed:
Adulting is hard.
Sadly, kidding (child-ing?) is getting even harder.
BQB here with a review of “The Florida Project.”
I’m not totally sure what the point of this film was. It’s not exactly plot driven. It meanders quite a bit. Large chunks of the film are devoted to young child actors around six years old, saying lines that I’m not sure they’d ever really say if there wasn’t someone, I can only imagine but not confirm, hanging off camera promising candy or toys or something.
Obviously, the overall intent is to give the world a glimpse into what life is like for the poverty stricken, as well as the lives of those whose job it is to take care of them.
On the strip leading to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, there’s a series of tourist traps – hotels, discount gift shops, all catering to folks who are visiting the House of Mouse on a budget. The film doesn’t quite explain it well but there was a time, before Disney developed the ever loving crap out of its property, when tourists who wanted to save a buck would go have fun at the parks then stay at a cheap, non-Disney motel. Today, Disney has a vast array of hotels catering to almost every type of budget.
So, if this film is to be believed, many of the strip motels have turned into sad, depressing welfare slums. Once such establishment is “The Magic Castle,” where young mother Halley (Bria Vinai) lives on a weekly cash basis with her six year old daughter, Moonee (Brooklyn Prince.)
Sidenote – if your name is Brooklyn that’s like, a guarantee your parents were all like, “this kid is becoming a child actor!” right?
The film strings together a series of shenanigans. Moonee and her young pals from the motel wander about aimlessly, spitting on cars, throwing dead fish into pools, harassing paying customers and generally making life miserable for Bobby, the motel’s overworked, underpaid, vastly put upon and long suffering manager, played by Willem Dafoe, whose presence, honestly, is the only thing that makes the film watchable.
Covered with tattoos and constantly high, Halley is unemployed and unemployable, making money by begging tourists for cash, occasionally running scams to bilk them out of money and yes, even turning tricks. You get the general sense that she wants to do right by her daughter but are unsure if it’s just that impossible to pull herself out of the proverbial hole she’s in or if she’s so drugged up she’s not able to help herself in any way.
It becomes clear that poverty is inter-generational, though whether bad parenting leads to poverty or poverty causes bad parenting is sort of a chicken vs. the egg argument. Halley’s life sucks and you are led to feel sorry for her and realize there are so many people trapped in such difficult circumstances.
At the same time, we see other parents in the motel who are similarly poor, yet they stay off drugs, work menial wage jobs and are actively attempting to better their lives and instill morals in their kids, making the most of the little they have.
Amidst this mess is Bobby, who might have one of the most thankless jobs I’ve ever seen. He works tirelessly, fixing broken equipment, painting, repairing, moving heavy stuff and the second something goes wrong, the tenants he’s given thousands of passes to on their mistakes rip his head off and raise hell over the slightest problems.
I’m inclined to think that Bobby is every adult in your life who a) wasn’t your parent but b) had a job that required him to help you and c) yelled at you for something bad you did or some rule you broke and you think he’s just an asshole because all you saw was the stern facade. You didn’t see how he returns to his office and looks so pained because he knows you’re suffering and yet there’s little he is able to do to help you.
Despite a rule that prevents tenants from staying too long and becoming permanent residents, Bobby helps Halley circumvent this rule by moving her every so often to a different room within the motel. Moonee raises hell and drives other guests nuts, constantly breaks things and makes more work for Bobby. Meanwhile, Halley’s extracurricular activities bring all kinds of heat for the motel.
In short, Bobby could throw this problem customer out on the street any time and improve his life 100 percent and yet, he refuses to do so, putting his own job on the line because his gut tells him that something bad will happen if he doesn’t bend the rules and let Halley and Moonee stay.
If this a spoiler, then so be it, but literally, at no time, does Halley ever show any kind of acknowledgment that she understands Bobby is doing her a favor. Halley makes all sorts of demands for Bobby to overlook the rules, let it go that she’s late with her rent, forget that she’s doing all sorts of bad things or that her unsupervised kid is driving everyone nuts. Yet, when Bobby asks Halley for just a little bit of help in complying with the rules, she freaks out, leading to a used maxi pad being slapped on his office window in one gross out scene.
SIDENOTE – I’ve seen tampons and pads being thrown at helpless victims in too many films now. Is this something women dream about doing all day long now? Whenever someone pisses them off, they just want to whip out their bloody cooch covers and whip ’em at some poor, unsuspecting schmuck?
Mixed feelings. It’s more of a learning experience/acted out documentary than a fun movie. There are some emotional parts though. Poverty is hard and nearly impossible to break out of. Good parenting and/or harping on kids to do the right thing can increase the chances of breaking out of it.
Perhaps there’s some irony that all these kids are suffering and are poor when just down the road there’s a theme park where wealthier parents dump tons of cash on toys, candy, rides and fun for their little brats.
But ultimately, the most I got out of it is that there are probably a million Bobbies out there – low level business employees who see people suffering hardships all day, who may come across as hardasses laying down rules but also are never thanked when they bend the rules and put their jobs and livelihood on the line to help those in need.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Not sure the film itself is Oscar worthy though Dafoe’s performance is and he is overdue for some recognition.
A gaggle of Cole’s former police officers, now Grover County Sheriff’s deputies, buzzed around the room that had once served as Cole’s office, packing up and moving out their ex-boss’s belongings. Three deputies carried out the stuffed heads of Cole’s tiger, bear, and wild boar.
Cole stepped out into the main floor, carrying an open cardboard box filled with his possessions. As he did, the officers clapped until Sheriff Hammond whistled loudly.
“That’s enough of that,” Hammond said. “I don’t care what you all did before but there will be no applause for losers on my watch.”
Cole glared at Hammond. “You don’t think the Mayor will turn on you one day?”
Hammond chewed on a piece of gum. “The Mayor plays ball. I play ball. That was always your problem, Cole. You never knew when to sit down and shut up.”
Cole did not feel like prolonging the pissing match. He walked on, only to soon find that Maude was following him, gas tank in hand.
“What are you doing?” Cole asked.
“I only work for the Sitwell Police Chief,” Maude said. “If he’s not here anymore, then it’s time for me to retire.”
“Noble,” Cole said. “But stupid. I can’t let you do this.”
“You’re not letting me do anything,” Maude said. “You think you can stop me?”
The old lady turned around and faced the room full of officers. “This is bullshit! This has nothing to do with the investigation. This is all about sandbagging Cole because that Mayor can’t stop himself from getting behind the wheel while he’s snookered!”
“That’s enough lip outta you,” Hammond said.
“Aww, go sixty-nine the Mayor, flatfoot,” Maude said. “And the rest of you. Are you all going to take this lying down?”
Rusty, who had been standing in a back corner, gulped and stepped forward, joining Cole and Maude.
“This isn’t right,” Rusty said.
“Deputy Yates!” Hammond shouted.
“Cole,” Rusty said. “You say the word and I’ll walk out this door with you.”
Cole stood there silently and said nothing.
“Oh thank God,” Rusty said. “I mean I don’t want you to go but shit, I got overdue bills up my ass, I’m nowhere near retirement age, I’d be throwing away years of contributing to the pension fund.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Cole said.
“I won’t,” Rusty said. “Thanks Cole.”
“Pussy,” Maude said.
“Shut up, Maude,” Rusty said.
“Know your place, Deputy Yates,” Hammond said.
“Yessir,” Rusty said as he fell back.
As Cole and Maude reached the parking lot, they found Sharon and Gordon saying their goodbyes.
“It’s not a problem,” Maude said. “You deserve to run lead on this.”
“This isn’t how I wanted it to go down,” Gordon said.
“I know,” Sharon replied. “Buck up. Finish this and before you know it, we’ll be back together in Miami in no time.”
Sharon and Gordon embraced. Cole winced.
“He’s definitely plowing her,” Maude said.
“Thanks Maude,” Cole said.
“Sorry,” Maude replied.
Sharon noticed Cole and smiled at him sheepishly. “I’m sorry about all this. Looking back, maybe it wasn’t right for me to take on an investigation involving your town. I should have recused myself.”
“No,” Cole said. “It has nothing to do with you. The Mayor’s punishing me because I stood up to him and he’s punishing you to get to me.”
Sharon sighed. “America loves to put assholes into office.”
“That it does,” Cole said.
The exes stared at each other for awhile before Cole stepped away. “Goodbye then.”
“Cole?” Sharon said.
Cole stopped in his tracks. “Yeah?”
“What are you going to do with the rest of your day?” Sharon asked.
“The gun range crossed my mind,” Cole said.
“Want to give me a ride down to Miami?” Sharon asked. “Gordon drove me up here.”
Cole felt this was a ridiculously bad idea but he could not help himself from saying, “Sure.”
“I’ll get my stuff and be back and five,” Sharon said as she walked away.
Maude shook her head.
“What?” Cole asked.
“Pussy,” Maude said.
FBI computer scientist Jeff Harvey labored over a computer screen at the Sitwell Police Department. While Sharon and Gordon watched his every move, the pencil neck geek played with a neon orange toy. He grabbed it by the center, gave it a spin, and then allowed the unsharpened blades to twirl around and around in a circular motion.
“What the hell is that thing?” Gordon asked.
“It’s my Stress Spin-a-ma-jig,” Jeff answered. “It calms me down in stressful situations.”
“What’s so stressful about this?” Sharon asked.
“I dunno,” Jeff said as he punched a few keys on the keyboard. “Maybe because I’m tracking the only viable clue in an internationally publicized, high profile serial murder case and the two investigating agents have nothing better to do than jerk off behind me as they watch my every move?”
“No one’s jerking off,” Sharon said.
“Figure of speech,” Jeff said as a worldwide map appeared on the screen.
Cole, Rusty, and Maude entered the station.
“It’s about time!” Sharon snapped at Cole.
“Yeah,” Cole said. “Listen, Sharon, I thought I was doing the right thing by getting out of the office, given our…”
Sharon threw up her hand in a “stop” motion. “Say no more. I understand.”
“But I thought about it,” Cole said. “And I really do want to help.”
“I’m glad you’re on board,” Sharon said.
“Also,” Rusty said. “We have doubts as to your ability to solve this case because of your vagina.”
“Shut up Rusty,” Cole said.
Sharon sighed. “Same old Rusty. Hasn’t changed in ten years.”
“Tell me about it,” Cole said.
Jeff stopped his spinning toy. “We’ve got a hit!”
“Where is he?” Sharon asked.
Jeff tapped his finger right into the heartland of America. “Wisconsin.”
“Why would he be in Wisconsin after everything that happened down here?” Sharon asked.
“Beats me,” Gordon said. “But we’d better get the Milwaukee field office on the line.”
“And now he’s in San Francisco,” Jeff said.
“What?” Sharon said.
“Shanghai,” Jeff said. “Mumbai. Amsterdam. Australia. Whoa, now he’s in Monte Carlo! I hear it’s lovely there this time of year.”
While Maude returned to her desk to sort through paperwork, the agents and cops watched Jeff’s computer screen as a little red dot traveled all over the world.
“How is this possible?” Sharon asked.
“Whoever this guy is, he’s good,” Jeff said. “Like, next level good. He’s masked his phone signal, making it appear as though it’s pinging off towers all over the world.”
“Who has the knowhow to do such a thing?” Sharon asked.
“Either an MIT scientist,” Jeff said as he twirled his Spin-a-ma-jig. “Or a random computer nerd with plenty of time on his hands.”
“Well shit,” Cole said. “He must be from out of town because I can’t think of a single person in Sitwell with a brain like that.”
It came from the toilet…
Hello 3.5 readers.
If any of you are in Hurricane Matthew’s path, please be careful.
I only have 3.5 readers so I can’t afford to lose any.
Oh and also I love you all and am concerned for your safety and so on.
I’m Vinny Baggadouchio and if sucking is the disease, then I’m the cure.
If you’ve come down with a bad case of suck, then pick up one of my anti-suck books today:
Be the Not Sucking Person You Were Meant to Be
101 Ways Suckiness Creeps Into Your Life
Stop Sucking This Instant
Goodbye, Suck. Hello Not-Sucking.
Don’t Stop Sucking Tomorrow. Stop Sucking Today!
Why Do Sucky Things Happen to Non-Sucking People?
Drop That Suck!
Don’t Want to Suck? You’re In Luck!
The news sure has sucked lately, hasn’t it 3.5 readers?
In fact, a whole lot of suckage has happened in Orlando, which is surprising, because you’d think between the great weather, cartoon mouse park, the wannabe cartoon mouse park, that park where they make whales do tricks, all the beaches filled with scantily clad women and the ability to buy oranges anywhere every two minutes, it all blends into a very not-sucky place.
But so much tragedy struck in the course of a few days. A budding singer was shot dead. 50 gay people were killed in a night club. Another 50 wounded.
Plus a kid got eaten by a damn alligator.
So much suck. So, so much suck.
3.5 readers, I have counseled world leaders and useless peons such as yourselves through very dark times and inevitably, someone always poses the following question to me:
Why does the world suck?
What a loaded question. I’m tempted to say that question sucks but in as much as it gets the mental gears turning, it does not suck at all.
Before I reach an answer, I must first back track to another inquiry:
Does the world, in fact, suck?
You’ll notice the subtle difference between the two questions.
The first one presupposes a sucky world and seeks knowledge as to why it does suck.
The second does not automatically assume a sucky world but rather inquires whether or not it sucks.
“Does the world suck?”
It all boils down to a matter of perspective. What sucks to one does not suck to another.
Suck is truly in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps I should say, in the eye of the be-sucker.
I’m paid big bucks to stop the sucks. Thus, life seems pretty good to me. The world is my oyster. And it tastes like it doesn’t suck.
But for the many, many suckers out there, life sucks and by extension, they view the world as a sucky place.
Life is precious. We are all given a short, finite supply of time to not suck in this world. Everyone should do their best to not suck.
Yet, many aren’t able to escape the feeling that their lives suck and therefore by extension the world sucks.
The world’s supply of suck ebbs and flows. Sometimes its suck cup runneth over. Other times it putters along at an excellent, suck free pace.
Overall, all non-suckers must not taking their suck-less lives for granted. They must cherish them and do what they can to guide suckers by the hand and walk with them hand in hand down the road to non-suckitude.
Many suckers are out there wallowing in their own suck filth, waiting for a kind non-sucker to show them the way to not-sucking.
Meanwhile, many suckers are so stuck in their sucky ways that try as they might, no one is able to snap them out of this suck spirals.
As much as it sucks to admit it, even I, a world renowned anti-suck expert, have met a few suckers who I wasn’t able to rehabilitate and turn into productive non-sucking members of society.
On top of all that, many suckers become suckers, not due to any sucky things they did per se, but because they are trapped in environments, situations, or circumstances that suck.
Non-suckers will always have a duty to work towards desuckifying that which sucks up life for so many sucky people.
So does the world suck? It all really depends on your perspective.
To get to the original question – “Why Does the World Suck?”
That, too, is a question with so many answers.
It’s never easy to go through sucky times.
And in the wake of sucky tragedies, it’s only human nature to want to know what can be done to keep all the suck from sucking up people’s lives again.
To answer the question, I could go on for days.
I could talk about:
I could write a book on each of those points (wait a minute, I have!) but suffice to say, I believe the world itself does not suck.
The world is water and trees and land and so on. At its core, it does not suck. It is the things that sucky people do that make it suck.
To non-suckers, the world does not suck. To suckers, it does.
What can be done to rectify the situation?
Non-suckers must continue to embrace their suck free parts of the world. Help those who shout, “I don’t want to suck anymore! Teach me how!”
Suckers must keep their suck to themselves and not export it to suck free parts.
And while it’s never a fun concept to talk about, non-suckers must be vigilant and take the necessary security measures to keep suckage from spilling over into their not-sucking areas.
Keep moving forward. Keep not-sucking. Be an inspiration to all those who suck yet aspire to not-suck.
Thanks for your time, non-suckers and suckers alike.
Remember, buy my anti-suck books. They’re available at bookstores that don’t suck.
And if you want to know when my latest anti-suck column has been posted, be sure to follow BQB on twitter – @bookshelfbattle
By: Some Random Jerkface, BQB’s Editorial Assistant
Hello 3.5 readers. Some Random Jerkface here. While BQB was mired in the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse, yours truly was living it up in sunny Florida.
So in Orlando, there’s Walt Disney World and its unruly upstart rival, Universal Studios.
Who puts on the better Halloween shindig?
Probably all depends on who your are and your personal preference.
MICKEY’S NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY
Yeah. They aren’t lying about that not so scary party part. They pretty much take the guy in the Mickey Mouse costume and whip a Halloween costume over his mouse costume.
Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. After all, it’s Walt Disney World. Of course Mickey isn’t going to be scary. If you have ragamuffins, this is where to take them on Halloween.
Maleficient is a little scarier:
Meanwhile if you ever go on a Disney Cruise, you might spot Jack Sparrow, up high:
Or down low:
However, if you’re sans ragamuffins and want the ever loving crap scared out of you, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is the place you want to be.
Disney has Mickey in a Halloween costume. UHHN has Jack, a damn murderous psychopathic clown:
He brings up “spectators” on stage to be maimed and/or murdered in his show, the Carnival of Carnage.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m pretty sure she’s just an actor pretending to be one of Jack’s victims. Still, if you see Jack walking down the street, you might want to beat feat in the opposite direction just to be safe.
Oh and don’t forget his hot she-clown girlfriend, Chance:
Yeah, she’s a total Harley Quinn ripoff but she was funny just the same. Jack and Chance know how to work a crowd, or work it over, as the case may be:
But try to stay off the stage:
For the Bookshelf Battle Blog, this has been Some Random Jerkface