Tag Archives: ice cube

Movie Review – Fist Fight (2017)

Ice Cube vs. Charlie Day in a fist fight?

A good premise that fizzles.

BQB here with a review of the movie that took his money and time and refuses to give either one back.

Yeah, it stinks.  It’s pretty bad, so thank me for watching it so you don’t have to.

Charlie Day and Ice Cube are teachers at a high school.  On the last day of the year, the senior pranks are out of control, ranging from paint bomb explosions to a mariachi band getting paid to follow the principal (Dean Norris) wherever he goes.

Charlie inadvertently gets Ice Cube fired.  Ice Cube’s response?  To challenge Charlie to an after school fight, a move that so many students have used to resolve their differences in the past.

Charlie is presented as a wimpy worm who then goes on a series of adventures throughout the day in an effort to keep the fight from happening.  Perhaps that would be humorous except for the reality that Ice Cube is twice the size of Charlie and twice as menacing, ergo anyone in their right mind would avoid a fight with him.  Somehow, the writers want us to think, “Ha ha what a wuss Charlie is for avoiding a fight with Ice Cube” but who wouldn’t want to avoid a fight with Ice Cube?  Ice Cube has put at least thirty years and some change into developing a “don’t mess with me” persona.

I realize in comedy, the rules often go out the window in the name of humor.  However, there is usually at least some kind of premise that the jokes can build on.  Here, there isn’t one.

It’s unlikely that a teacher would challenge another teacher to a fight, but we’re shown Ice Cube’s character is a hot head so, ok, we’ll go with it.  But even after Charlie fixes the mess he made of Ice Cube’s career and smooths it all over, Ice Cube wants to fight anyway.  There’s literally no making sense of any of it.  No matter what happens, Ice Cube wants to fight.

At some point, the writers need to create a villain, someone to blame the fight on, so Norris and the Superintendent (the guy from the All State commercials whose name I don’t feel like looking up right now) are briefly shown as firing teachers, making a lot of budget cuts…somehow we’re told the fight is the result of all the stress the bosses cause teachers except, well, if you watch it, that really had nothing to do with it.  In reality, Ice Cube’s character did something worthy of being fired and most teachers in Charlie Day’s position would not have hesitated to tell on him.

Tracey Morgan as the school’s incompetent coach who can’t win a game, Christina Hendricks as the hot French teacher who mistakenly believes Charlie is a pervert who deserves to be beaten down by Ice Cube and Jillian Bell as a sex crazed guidance counselor were not able to save the movie.

Bell’s character is particularly disturbing.  She lusts after male students, openly declaring her love of “teenage penis” or “tenis.”  I get that it’s done to parody so many news stories where a teacher has been caught doing inappropriate things with a student, to say, “hey, look, teachers who do that are bad people” but I don’t know, the jokes just seemed more gross and inappropriate than funny.  Maybe it’s because it’s so sad and disturbing when teachers abuse their position of trust like that, that somehow it just doesn’t seem like a laughing matter.

The movie culminates in a Daddy/Daughter talent show competition, as Charlie has been concerned all day that the impending fist fight will cause him to miss performing with his daughter.  At the last minute, the daughter changes the song from the theme to the musical “Rent” to a vulgar, profanity laced rap song by Big Sean.  Charlie is unaware of the song’s content so goes along with it, only to be horrified when his little girl, who can’t be more than eight years old, starts rapping and spewing out F-bombs to a horrified crowd of little kids, parents and teachers.

I get there was supposed to be a joke somewhere in the shock value, but it just made me want to pick up the phone and call child services.  I mean, I guess it’s legal to hire a little girl to say the F-word over and over again on film…but should it be?

That’s the rub when it comes to shock comedy.  When done right, it can leave you slapping your knees and rolling in the aisles.  When done wrong, it just leaves you questioning the comedy chops of the people behind the film.

STATUS:  Not-shelfworthy.  I watched it so you don’t have to.  Go ahead and skip this one.

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Movie Review – Straight Outta Compton (2015)

You are about to witness the strength of SPOILER knowledge.

Straight outta East Randomtown, crazy blogger named BQB.

I write all the time but only 3.5 people ever read me.

BQB here with a review of the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.

Oh, just an FYI – this trailer has butts in it.  In fact, this movie has a lot of butts in it because these guys partied hard.  So don’t watch the trailer or the movie it if you don’t like or are offended by butts.

Rap.  It’s been around since the 1970’s.  But there was a time when the most controversial lyrics came from the Sugar Hill Gang complaining about having to pretend the food at your friend’s house is good even though it makes you want to reach for a bottle of Kaopectate.

That all changed in the mid 1980s when a group of friends got together to form NWA.  If you’re not in the know, I’ll let you figure out what the N stands for on your own.

Our tale begins in 1986 with Dr. Dre getting lectured by his mother that he has to quit being a DJ and get a job to support his son.  Meanwhile, O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube scribbles lyrics in a notebook on the school bus.  Eric Wright aka Easy E starts out as a heavy duty gangster, participating in serious drug deals.

I’ll let you watch rather than spill the details, but long story short, these three (not to be rude but other than Dre, Easy E, Ice Cube and MC Ren I have a tendency to forget the names of the other NWA members) end up with some studio time.  They encourage Easy E, who has never rapped before, to give his rendition of Ice Cube’s Boyz In Da Hood and the rest is history.

But their road to stardom is rocky.  There’s the logistical problem.  They’re openly swearing and talking about sex, drugs, and violence and that wasn’t exactly a surefire way to get what every aspiring musician needs – radio airplay.

Then there’s the political problems.  They have a song called F$%k the Police which as you can imagine, doesn’t make the police very happy.  On top of that, people aren’t happy about the idea of young people listening to music about sex, drugs, violence etc.

But somehow against all the odds they hit the big time.  They find an unlikely ally in Jerry Heller, a music business manager who represented a lot of acts in the 1960s but didn’t inspire much confidence in the 1990s.  The boys call him Mr. Furley (the bumbling old landlord from Three’s Company).

I won’t give too much away but suffice to say, disputes over money break the buddies apart.  Dr. Dre and Ice Cube go out on their own.  Fighting ensues, sometimes hilariously in the form of “diss songs” filled with lyrics in which NWA and Ice Cube trash each other, at other times tragically as violence ensues.

One criticism levied at the film by movie reviewers has been that the film might paint NWA in too good a light, that maybe they left some disturbing things on the cutting room floor, Dr. Dre’s physical attack on a female reporter, for example.

Then again, the film is pretty open about a lot of negative things, some of the most memorable:

  •  Easy E is shown taking part in a drug deal turned violent.
  • Dr. Dre, who left NWA to work with Suge Knight, goes out on his own again when he witnesses Suge using an attack dog to scare a man into hiding under a table in his underwear.
  • Ice Cube takes a baseball bat to the office of a record executive who he feels has not given him his due.
  • A dude comes to the boys’ hotel room looking for trouble.  Easy E pulls a gun on him.  The gun is so elaborate with a scope and various attachments that it looks like it belongs on a battlefield instead of in the hands of a rapper.

Could troubling aspects of their past been left out?  Maybe, but perhaps that was only because they only had two hours to fit in all the disturbing stuff they did put in.

It’s well produced, acted, directed, a good story worth a rental.

Are they heroes who promoted free speech or outlaws who cashed in on dirty lyrics, opening up the floodgates for artists to focus less on the art and more on being controversial?

You be the judge.  I have mixed feelings.  I don’t really want to “F$%k the Police.”  But I also enjoy a good beat.

All I know is I’m getting old.  Doesn’t seem like it was long ago that these guys and their proteges were on the radio all the time.  Actors playing Snoop Dogg and Tupac stop by.

Millennials, you’ll know when you’re old when the Justin Bieber Story comes out.

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