Tag Archives: movie reviews

Movie Review – The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022)

War! Spies! Beer!

BQB here with a review of The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

I’ve got streaming services, 3.5 readers. I’ve got streaming services out the wazoo. No, seriously. Check my wazoo and you’ll see nothing but services streaming out of it.

Apple TV is one of those streaming services and for the most part, I wonder why I bothered to sign up for it in the first place, though occasionally, I find a rare gem like this flick that makes the expense worthwhile.

The premise? It’s the 1960s and merchant marine John “Chickie” Donahue is a wayward bum. Yes, he does work on commercial shipping vessels, but then does nothing but sleep and drink all day during the months between voyages. He and his father disagree on this. Dad calls it sloth. Chickie calls it his downtime, like a professor’s sabbatical.

The Vietnam War is in full swing and every day, there’s news of one of Chickie’s high school friends who died in action. Upset by protesters (his sister is one of them) and negative news coverage, Chickie and his fellow barflies at a dive run by an old WW2 colonel simply called “The Colonel,” (an almost unrecognizable Bill Murray in terms of haircut, voice and demeanor), lament over booze that US soldiers aren’t getting enough support. Press and protesters suck, in their point of view, and while people are lining up to criticize America’s fighting men, no one is doing anything to thank them.

And so, a scheme developed in the mind of a bunch of boozehounds is hatched. The Colonel donates a giant gym bag full of brewskis that Chickie will take to Vietnam, where he will then seek out every one of his enlisted high school classmates and give them a beer and a thank you.

At first, it sounds ridiculous. But then when you realize Chickie has access to commercial shipping vessels, it sounds less ridiculous. Chickie takes a job aboard a cargo ship hauling ammo for the military and for a brief moment you wonder if he can pull it off only to realize there’s an enormous difference between bringing supplies to a port controlled by the US Military and a civilian traipsing around a war zone.

Personally, I wondered why Chickie just didn’t pop the gym bag full of brews down on an ammo crate, shake the hand of one of the soldiers who came to pick it up and tell him to pass the beer out to as many boys as he could. But when it comes to beer, Chickie does nothing half-assed.

I won’t spoil the rest other than to say from thereon, Chickie goes on a whirlwind adventure as a civilian traipsing around wartorn Vietnam. Attacking Vietcong, shady CIA spies, and US military appalled by how stupid anyone could be to come here if they don’t have to are among the many threats that Chickie has to contend with.

At times, the movie feels silly and one wonders how much of it is real and how much of it is embellished for film. Chickie survives by the skin of his teeth through a series of lucky breaks, miracles and misunderstandings (many soldiers help him move around under the false assumption that Chicky and his truthful story of being on a beer run is just a wink, wink, nudge, nudge cover story because the truth, that some idiot from New York thought it would be a good idea to run around a war ravaged country handing out beers, is too unbelievable.

Bonus points for the movie bringing home some serious points about war. On one hand, as the Colonel points out, television has ruined America’s chances of ever winning a war again, for, as he argues, if America had received daily live reports showing the carnage of the Battle of the Bulge, Americans would have demanded an immediate end to WW2 and the Nazis would reign supreme all over the globe today.

On the other hand, Chickie, aided by a warzone correspondent played by Russell Crowe, comes to learn that press and protestors have valid concerns about the war, that there’s no way to win it so to continue to let US soldiers die in a hopeless quagmire is wrong and those who make this argument aren’t trying to hurt the soldiers but rather help them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. A great performance by Zac Efron as Chickie. There is a book this movie is based on but I haven’t read it yet. I would be curious to know how much of the film is real and what was fictional just to make the movie watchable. If it is all real, then Chickie must have had a guardian angel watching over him during his epic beer run.

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Movie Review – A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

You’ll laugh! You’ll cry!

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s A Futile and Stupid Gesture.

Brace yourself, noble reader.

What if I were to tell you that the man most responsible for the modern state of comedy is a man you most likely have never heard of?

Heck, I’m a comedy lover from way back and I had never heard of the late, great Doug Kenney. As a 1980s kid, I had a vague notion that National Lampoon was a company that made funny movies like Chevy Chase’s Vacation series but until I saw this film I had very little knowledge about how National Lampoon really started it all.

It’s the tale of Doug (Will Forte, perhaps in a role he was born to play) and Henry Beard (Domhnall Gleeson), two 1960s Harvard buddies who had a lot of fun when they were writers/editors for the Harvard Lampoon, Harvard University’s long-running comedy magazine.

When graduation threatens to tear the dynamic duo apart, wacky Doug talks straightlaced Henry into ditching law school (he has been accepted at several top schools) to run to New York to start a comedy magazine, “The National Lampoon” (done by leasing the name rights from Harvard.)

Numerous publishers tell the duo to eat dirt and/or pound sand but all it took was one yes and away they went. After struggling to get the publication off the ground, soon anyone interested in comedy is knocking on their door and their office becomes a veritable who’s who of the 1970s comedy scene, with pretty much every big name you can think of from that era getting their start in those hallowed halls.

Bill Murray. Chevy Chase. Gilda Radner. John Belushi. Christopher Guest. PJ O’Rourke. Harold Ramis. Anne Beatts. Michael O’Donaghue. The list goes on and on, many you have heard of, others you might not have but who were instrumental behind the comedic scenes. All got their start, not at Saturday Night Live as you (and even I) always thought but at National Lampoon.

Doug and Henry become big time successful dudes. While Henry maintains a level-head and handles the business side of things (sadly might be why you might not have heard of him until this movie and don’t worry I hadn’t either), Doug cracks under the pressure. All the deadlines, the demands from the publishing company, having to deal with the talent, working on a magazine and a radio show plus the need to continuously top his last project (always be funnier than your last project or else you lose fans) lead to Doug becoming an emotional wreck.

Alas, Doug falls victim to the twin vices of cocaine and women. He indulges in the white powder liberally, stuffing enough up his nose to kill a horse throughout the film. Though lucky to have a wonderful wife, Alex, he can’t control himself around women. Technically, most men can’t but most men never get the temptation. A comedy all star raking in the dough on the other hand? Too many babes to count. He loses his wife through cheating. He finds a loving girlfriend and just when you think he might have learned the error of his ways, alas, more cheating.

While Doug’s personal life is a wreck, his comedy success is non-stop. Becoming a millionaire from writing jokes would satisfy most people, but Doug is understandably irked when legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels hires away all of his talent – his writers, his actors, pretty much everyone, to staff a new show you might have heard of, Saturday Night Live, Doug is bummed. To be fair, the movie claims that NBC pitched the idea of a National Lampoon comedy TV show to Doug’s publisher first and said publisher turned it down without Doug’s knowledge.

At any rate, Doug is forlorn from missing out his own opportunity to create TV gold and worse, that someone else spun gold from his yarn. While many would take their money and run at this point, Doug is motivated to go Hollywood and produces Animal House, what was at that time the highest grossing comedy movie ever made, ushering in a new era of raunchy comedy – all basically Doug’s revenge for SNL hiring his talent away.

I could go on but to do so would be a spoiler. Needless to say, the drugs wreck his brain. The loneliness of the cheating on and losing good women lifestyle takes its toll. Ultimately, he is his own worst enemy. While he has plenty to be proud of, he feels constant pressure to always top his last project. If his next project isn’t as funny, then he feels he has failed. Sadly, some family trauma from his youth comes into play, as he strives to be a success in the eyes of his parents but feels he can never please them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy and I’m surprised it has taken me this long to see it. The film is mostly an homage to Kenny, but also a love letter from today’s comedians to the 1970s heavy hitters who started it all. Various comedic actors play those 1970s legends but to be honest, the film doesn’t really go out of its way to hire actors who look like those legends or at least try to make them up so they look like them. The film makes fun of this and of itself often. The story of an underdog who took a very unlikely project, turned it into a multi-million dollar empire, become filthy rich before he hit 30, got screwed by a greedy corporation only to come out on top with a hit movie of his own, all while dealing with drug and sex addiction…this is the stuff that Oscar films are made of and while the cast does great, I can’t help but think that if Netflix had invested a bit more money into this, they might have won some gold statues and been able to give Doug more of the recognition he deserved.

BONUS POINTS: Doug also made Caddyshack, which he thought was a lackluster sell-out movie, which is sad because I always thought it was very funny. Joel McHale, who starred alongside Chevy Chase in Community, does a decent Chevy Chase impression, though none of the actors really go out of their way to mimic their alter egos and you just have to pay attention to when the movie says who they are.

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Movie Review – You People (2023)

Meh, it’s ok.

But honestly, when I first heard about it, I wanted to love it, given the cast of famously funny people, but I’ll give it a solid C. Not a total waste of time but not something I’d rush to watch again either.

Let’s get to the review.

In a modern re-telling of Sidney Poitier’s classic film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Jonah Hill plays Ezra, a stockbroker who hates his job and yearns to podcast full time with his buddy Mo (Sam Jay.) An Uber mishap brings him together with Amira (Lauren London) and the duo fall in love.

Six months later, the kids are ready to get married but alas, they have to navigate the waters filled with their wacky in-laws. Sounds like a typical rom-com in which the protagonist couple is getting married.

Eh, but then the waters get choppy. Julia Louis Dreyfus, she of Elaine on Seinfeld fame, plays Ezra’s mother as a walking, talking, living parody of liberal white guilt, constantly showing off her perspective African American daughter in law to friends and family as though she has won a “See?! My Black Daughter in Law is Total Proof that I’m Not Racist!” trophy. Ezra’s Dad, played by David Duchovny, he of X-Files fame, attempts politeness only to drone on and on in his first meeting with Amara about what a fan he has always been of the rapper Xzibit, culminating in him cluelessly asking if she has ever met him.

Meanwhile, Amara’s parents, Akbar and Fatima (Eddie Murphy and Nia Long) are devout Muslims and no fans of Ezra. They are, however, huge fans of Louis Farrakhan, culminating in a clash with Julia over Farrakhan’s controversial remarks about the Jewish people. I think this scene was intended to be funny but it is a bit cringe, IMO. Akbar later invites Ezra on a series of escapades designed to trip him up and prove his lack of worth as a future husband and son-in-law.

The shenanigans culminate in the happy couple splitting up, deciding that their cultural differences are too great to get around. Somehow, it’s up to Julia and Eddie to come together and find a wake to fix what they broke with their parental meddling and make their kids happy again.

On one hand, there are some good messages. The first is a tale as old as time in many a flick, namely, that at some point in your adult life, if you’re ever going to become an adult yourself, you have to tell your meddling parents to stick a cork in it and back off. This could have been a chance for the film to show how despite our cultural differences, parents trying to run their kids’ lives well into the kids’ adulthood often occurs. Parents of all different backgrounds love their kids, think they know what the right path is for their kids, but don’t always understand what their kids are going through, what their kids want, that sometimes they just need to chill out and if they are right and the kid is indeed making a mistake, then the kid needs to fall flat on their face and pick him/herself up and learn the lesson on their own. Then again, maybe what they are doing is the right move for them even if it isn’t what makes the parent happy.

On the other hand, the film takes the Netflixian hype woke approach of demanding that everyone be constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY aware of racial differences at every turn. And look, I’m not saying that such awareness is a bad thing. It’s a good thing but holy smokes, I spent the whole film waiting for the part where the Ezra’s and Amari’s fams figure out that they’re more alike than they are different, that they all just want the best for their kids, that the more time they spend together, the more they’ll start to trust and respect one another.

Maybe I just didn’t get it but the film almost comes across as arguing that interracial marriage sets up such a difficult minefield – that the black half of the couple must keep their head on a swivel, constantly on the lookout for oppression from their white love interest, and said white half of the couple must constantly walk on eggshells, as any comment, any mistake, any foot in mouth moment will be taken as a horrendous offense, as if black people aren’t able to tell the difference between true racism and someone who said something boneheaded but they still love them.

In other words, it almost comes across as saying that interracial marriages are too much work, too filled with hostility, destined to fail because neither side could ever possibly understand the other. Honestly, I can’t say I understand that because I’ve never been in a racial marriage but of all the interracial couples I know, I don’t get the impression that they spend all day tip toing around with their words, making sure the other understands that their words and actions should not be misconstrued as racial offenses. They just seem to love, respect and get each other, as all healthy, happy couples do.

SIDENOTE: Eddie Murphy, one of the GOATS of comedy, in a role where he barely cracks a smile and is given nary a funny line. Julia Louis Dreyfus, one of the greatest sitcom funny ladies of the 1990s also in an unfunny role. Jonah Hill, one of the funnier actors in modern times…so many funny people in a movie that’s about as funny as watching paint dry.

STATUS: Borderline shelf-worthy. To be fair, there are a few good one liners. Ironically, David Duchovny, the one actor in the cast known for having a dramatic, not funny resume, rattles off some of the flick’s best hits, at one point schooling Amari’s parents about how his wife is so not racist that she hated “Gone with the Wind” long before white people became aware that they were supposed to.

It had the potential to be good but all in all, I don’t get the idea of a streaming service that casts practically every couple in their movies and TV shows as interracial making a movie that paints interracial marriage as an arduous chore such that both parties must spend every waking moment worrying about how their actions might be misinterpreted by the other, how they might accidentally offend the other, how it’s all too difficult to bother with…eh…I just…it had the potential to be moving and funny but I have to agree with the majority of critics who call this flick too heavy handed. It took a jump but just didn’t quite land the dismount.

Still worth a watch but not something I’d watch again and again. We live in America folks. Love is love and life is short and in a country where people of so many different races, religions, ethnicities, backgrounds all live so close to one another, interracial, inter-religious, inter-this or that marriage happens all the time. It’s not a bad thing and it shouldn’t be seen as an arduous chore.

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Movie Review – M3Gan (2023)

Movie over, Chucky. You’ve got competition.

BQB here with a review of the latest killer doll movie.

When I saw the trailer for this movie late last year, I thought it looked stupid. In fact, when the trailer said it was coming out the first week in January I thought, “Yeah this seems about right for a January movie.” January, after all, is a notorious dumping ground for Hollywood’s worst schlock. All the kids have gone back to school. All the adults have gone back to work. Everyone is focused on getting the new year started and only a handful of brave cinephiles are willing to go to the theaters so early in the year.

But then the reviews came in. All positive. Suddenly “Megan” was popping up everywhere. After a Megan sketch on Jimmy Fallon, followed by a Megan sketch on SNL, I said OK, I need to see what all the hullabaloo is about, so I sucked it up and paid the $20 rental fee to watch it on my TV.

#1 – It is better than expected and deserved more of a March placement than its January parking spot.

#2 – It is not as good as the hype suggests but few hyped up movies ever live up to the hype. It’s a decent flick but not really the gamechanger that all the latest pop cultural homages would suggest.

The plot? Gemma (Allison Williams who, no matter what she does, how many Oscars she wins, how many breakout roles she snags, will forever be known as the chick who got her butt eaten on the HBO series Girls) plays Gemma, a robot scientist employed by a toy company, under intense pressure by her dickish boss David (Ronny Cheng) to develop a toy robot that will rake in boku buck-a-roos.

Gemma’s been working on M3gan, a creepily close to real life child’s doll for years, but the company wants her to focus her energy on a cheapy, easy to produce furry little line of toys that say silly things and make fart noises. Kids do love fart noises after all.

Blah blah blah. Gemma cuts some corners and rushes her M3gan bot out believing it is the big thing that will make her career. Coincidentally, her niece Cady (Violet McGraw) ends up in her care when her parents die just in time for her to become a test playmate for M3gan.

At first, M3gan seems like a real winner – i.e. the friend that every kid wants. The friend that has your back no matter what, always plays the games you want to play, doesn’t make fun of you, doesn’t gossip about you and always stands up for you.

Eh, but the problem is that the Megster takes her duty to protect Cady way too seriously. Suddenly, everyone who so much as looks at Cady cross-eyed ends up deep-sixed and slowly but surely, Gemma suspects her creation is to blame.

It’s fun. It’s a good time. For me, it was worth the 20 dollar rental but then again, I did make a whopping 36 bucks in self published novel sales last year, so I can totes afford a superfluous movie rental. If you’re asking me if it is worth a rental or a trip to the theater, I’d say yes but eh, I could also say it’s not quite up to the hype so feel free to wait till it is on your favorite streamer.

Personally, I think the film’s chief villain is not Megan but the PG-13 rating. I have a hunch that Hollywood was trying to make a movie that would largely appeal to the teenage Tik Tok crowd. The trailer was full of wacky Megan dances and other scenes that are popular on social media but don’t play that large of a role in the actual movie itself. The PG 13 rating hooked a youthful audience but alas, fans of gory horror will be disappointed because the rating prevents Megan from racking up a high kill count, and her methods are far less bloody.

In other words, Chucky’s crown as the murderous doll who spouts off swear laden jokes while he savagely murders his prey in the most horrific, disgusting, deranged and yes, sadly, often humorous ways, is safe. Megan just doesn’t have a chance at dethroning the Chuckster until Hollywood is willing to let her have an R rating.

(SIDNOTE: Maybe it is because I am seeing this movie as an adult whereas I first saw Chucky as a kid but Chucky is just way scarier to me. Chucky is a serial killer who put his soul into a doll via voodoo after being shot by the police while on the run and now his goal is to kidnap a kid and put his soul into the kid so he can be alive again. Also he is a sadistic serial killer so he delights in murder. Meanwhile, Megan is more of a malfunctioning appliance. You just wonder why someone doesn’t just smack her with a baseball bat and throw her in a closet until the repairman stops by.)

(DOUBLE SIDENOTE: The film did a good job of bringing Megan to life. They could have relied solely on CGI and it would have been just a glorified, cheesy cartoon. Though I am not a filmmaker so I don’t know for sure, I get the impression that they used a combination of CGI, puppetry, and a kid actor in a Megan costume to provide a more realistic approach.)

(TRIPLE SIDENOTE: As old folks who saw the original Child’s Play when it came out will tell you, the scares came not at first from Chucky but from the mystery/suspense. Throughout the flick, there’s a question of whether Chucky is really killing everyone or perhaps it is coincidence or maybe Andy is a homicidal little psychopath but then when the scene comes where Andy’s mother threatens to throw Chucky into a fire if he doesn’t reveal himself and he does, coming out of the gate swearing and stabbing, holy crap, you really want to crap your pants. Here, you pretty much know from the start the doll will be a killer.)

(QUADRUPLE SIDENOTE: Whereas Chucky meant to do his kid buddy Andy harm, Megan wants to do harm to everyone who might, and I stress a big might, do her BFF Cady harm. So in a way, she’s somewhat of a noble killer doll in that she’s trying to protect her kid pal, though her programming doesn’t understand nuance or morality or the Christian concept of turning the other cheek or that if everyone murdered everyone who slightly offended them, the entire world would be dead. There is an underlying lesson about absentee parenting i.e. Aunt Gemma sways back and forth between seeing Cady as a blessing and a burden, the joy of having a child vs. the cramp it puts in her career goals. Megan is less of a kid bot and more of a killer Mama Bear in a kid bot’s body and even makes the case to Gemma that you can be a superstar at your job, or you can be a parent, but rare is the person that can do both, so you have to decide early in life whether you want to be a parent or have an impressive career because rare is the person who can pull off both.)

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Storywise, there’s a lot to ponder here. We all long for a true friend, but ultimately, we want the perfect friend, the friend who knows exactly what we want and caters to our every whim and says and does the right thing at all times. Such perfection only comes with silicone and micro-chips. Alas, if we can accept our imperfections and the imperfections of others, there are plenty of friends out there to be had. Even so, you have to learn to understand your best friend is yourself, so try to be a better friend to yourself, because I don’t know about you, but for most people, the number of friends who are there for you through thick and thin can be counted on the fingers on your left hand if you’re lucky.

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Movie Review – Shotgun Wedding (2023)

Guns! Violence! Nuptials!

BQB here with a review of J-Lo’s rom-com action flick, Shotgun Wedding.

Two observations at the outset:

#1 – It was a rather disappointing, lackluster holiday season when it came to movies. Usually, Hollywood brings their A-game during the holidays, but nothing really seemed worthy to go to the theater (I thought the first Avatar was overrated so I wasn’t going to sit through 3 hours of the second) and usually the streaming services put out a holiday blockbuster or two but nothing drew me in, so my viewing low these past few months has been lackluster. (The good news is I discovered Yellowstone but more on that in a future post.

#2 – Most streaming movies have turned into hot crap on a stick. In the beginning, Netflix brought a lot of good stuff but then over the years, it became weaker and more formulaic than network television. Show after show that looks like it was designed by a committee of people who are going out of their way to not offend anyone. Either that or they pay big money for stars then save on the writing. IMO, Amazon has been the worst offender as much of their schlock is unwatchable. Ergo, when Amazon makes a good movie like this, it’s almost like I can’t help patting them on the head and giving them a cookie for an unexpected job well down.

Onto the review.

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel play Darcy and Tom, a couple about to get married in a luxury resort in the Philippines. J-Lo has either discovered the fountain of youth and is keeping its location a secret from the rest of us, or she works out like a monkey on crack and has literally never ingested a carb or sugar in her life, or a combination of the two. Meanwhile, Josh looks more his age but that’s ok because he’s still a handsome SOB.

I complained about this in my review of Ticket to Paradise and I’ll do it again. Apparently there’s a new trend for aging stars in their 50s to pretend to be 40 and I resent that because I’m in my 40s and I remember seeing all these people in movies when I was a teenager. Just embrace your age, stars. No one cares if you’re playing people who get married in their 50s. People find love when they find love.

I will admit though that J-Lo is well preserved enough to pass for 40. Bonus points as the film gives us some gratuitous shots of her infamous tushy, which is a national treasure unto itself. J-Lo’s booty really should be put on display in the Smithsonian.

Moving on.

Typical rom-com fare. The couple fights on the eve of their wedding, bringing up absurd, nonsensical fears as to why the relationship might not work. The in-laws do not get along. Darcy/J’Lo’s father, played by 70’s pot comedy icon Cheech Marin, is super rich and complains that the resort is a dump and he could have thrown a better wedding if the kids had taken his money. Tom’s mother, played by Jennifer Coolidge, is a mother hen who smothers yet embarrasses everyone.

Sidenote – Jennifer Coolidge is really running victory laps around Hollywood lately. Between this movie, the Watcher, and the White Lotus, she must be making bank, always playing more or less the same character i.e. the old lady with a dirty mind and says naughty things. Irony is I don’t think J-Cool is old enough to be Duhamel’s mother. More like his older sister at best, but again this is Hollywood and no one wants to admit their real ages.

Long story short? OK. When a squad of pirates attack the resort, looking to hold the wedding party hostage in exchange for ransom, it is up to Tom, Darcy and the in-laws to set their comedic bickering aside and save the day, kicking pirate booty in fun action scenes, each more outlandish than the next.

Will it win Oscars? No. Will you remember it a year from now? Maybe, but not really in a OMG that movie was so good way but more in a that movie was fun but now that I have seen it I can put it on to entertain me while I clean my house sort of way. There are lots of pretty colors, kick-ass explosions, the occasional lesson about how marriage and romance is a commitment and you take the good with the bad.

J-Lo really is one of the last true movie stars, beautiful as she is charming. To her credit, it is funny when someone so beautiful rolls around in the muck, gets her hands dirty, is put into comedic situations and made to say silly things. I don’t think one of her middle-aged competitor beauties, say, the illustrious Angelina Jolie, could score as many laughs in a rom com. Pop culture historians such as myself will remind you that J-Lo’s early days were spent dancing on the set of In Living Color, so I doubt one can spend that much time with the Wayans Brothers without some of the funny rubbing off onto them, and the early flicks that made her uber famous were rom-coms. She was a rom-com staple in the late 90s/early 00s so she’s going back to her roots here, but now with action.

Oh and rock star Lenny Kravitz puts down his guitar to stop by as Darcy’s old flame, invited to the wedding by Cheech – there’s a whole subplot about how Cheech likes Lenny more and wishes Darcy were marrying him instead. Sigh. Those pesky in-laws.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Amazon hits a home run here but I have to admit sometimes I wonder if a subscription service that at best, wows me with one, maybe two movies tops per year is worth it.

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Movie Review – Wakanda Forever (2022)

Wakanda forever, 3.5 readers. Wakanda forever indeed.

BQB here with a review of Marvel’s latest. SPOILER WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!

With the tragic, untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman at the much too early age of 43, Disney/Marvel had some giant shoes to fill when deciding to carry on with the popular Black Panther franchise. They could have recast the role, rebooted the movie, gone the prequel route focusing on past panthers or what have you.

Would any of that have satisfied fans? Most likely not. Thankfully, writers/producers/director etc. stayed faithful to the original film by handing down the Black Panther claws not to a new cast addition but to the most likely heir, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright.)

When King T’Challa passes, the royal family of Wakanda is devastated. Meanwhile, around the world, a vibranium arms race ensues, as various nations test Wakanda’s limits, believing that the loss of the Black Panther leaves the country vulnerable, and that plunder of the raw material that can lead to deadly technological devices and weapons is possible. To their dismay, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), now Wakanda’s ruler in the wake of her son’s loss, turns out to be an effective leader, able to foil many a plot to heist the precious metal.

As it turns out, there was another nation built on vibranium all along. Superpowered merman Prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta) leads an underwater dwelling civilization of ancient mer-people who were happy to remain hidden underwater for centuries until the world’s lust for vibranium leads to the construction of a vibranium detecting machine that leads U.S. operatives to search for it in the ocean.

Fearing his nation will be wiped out if he does not wipe out the world first, Prince Namor vows to strike first, and has the ability to reduce all nations of the world to rubble and ash. He urges Wakanda to join him as an ally, but warns they’ll be the first to destroyed if they decline. As you can imagine, from there, the war is on.

MIT student scientist RiRi Williams (Dominque Thorne) joins the cast as a female Iron Man (Iron Woman?), Julia Louis Dreyfus, heretofore only seen on Disney Plus shows as CIA Director de Fontaine (more or less the new Nick Fury) is front and center while Martin Freeman reprises his role as Everett Ross, the Wakandans’ CIA BFF who feeds them intel.

First movie faves such as General Okoye, M’Baku and Nakia (Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Lupita Nyongo) all return.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It is very much a Shuri-centric movie and it is her challenge to figure out how to pick up her brother’s mantle and defend Wakanda, not in his way but in her way, coming into her own. At three hours long, the film is a time commitment though to its credit, it didn’t feel like it. Coming up on 3 weeks in theaters now, it still remains strong.

Truly, Chadwick Boseman’s passing was a blow to many, not just to his fans, but obviously to the family and friends who loved and knew him best. There were many directions Marvel/Disney could have taken, even just letting the franchise go, but it was too popular and they found a way to keep it going while remaining respectful to and honoring Boseman’s legacy.

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Movie Review – Ticket to Paradise (2022)

Even the oldsters need love, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the wacky rom com, Ticket to Paradise.

I gotta be honest. I have avoided this one for the following reasons:

#1 – I dislike most rom coms. Not because of the romance or the comedy or the blending of the two. It’s just while I love all kinds of crazy action sci-fi films with monsters and aliens and spaceships and heroes surviving massive explosions, I find these more believable than two people finding long lasting love despite all the odds, which tells you a lot about my jaded love life, or the lack thereof.

#2 – George Clooney is in his 60s. Julia Roberts is in her mid 50s. Both were in movies when I was a little kid yet they are trying to pull off roles as early to mid 40 somethings who met in college in the late 90s, got married quick, had a kid, then got divorced and spent the last 20 years despising one another. As someone who is in the age range they are playing, someone who did go to college in the late 90s, I kinda resent these oldsters playing early 40 somethings.

Seriously, when they put out the commercial where the kids are dancing and George and Julia are wallflowers till they ask the DJ to play something more their speed so he plays House of Pain’s Jump Around – “Bullshit!” I cried. Bullshit, I say. Pardon my French, but Bullshit. I remember the time when House of Pain was popular, G and J. George, you were killing vampires in From Duck till Dawn and Julia, you were the prostitute with a heart of gold in Pretty woman and I was still in freaking braces so stop it. You two are so far from being young enough to have danced to Jump Around at a college party, you AARP carrying geriatric schmucks.

OK but once we get past that, yeah, it’s actually a charming enough movie.

The plot?

As mentioned above, Georgia (Julia) and David (George) Cotton were college sweethearts who got married right after graduation. Theirs was a fun, whirlwind romance at first but at last, as they got buried by work, bills and responsibilities, they grew to despise and resent one another, each believing the other had cost them opportunities, a great life, a great career, oh the greatness I could have had if I hadn’t met you, never realizing that perhaps their love was the greatness they were seeking all along.

For the past 25 years, they have only stayed in contact for the sake of their daughter Lily (Kaitlyn Dever). As an early scene where they attend Lilly’s law school graduation shows, whenever they are in the same room, they cannot help but heap large portions of insults upon one each other, many of which, to the film’s credit, are funny. The mental gymnastics they go through to blame each other for any little thing that goes wrong is a laugh riot, and sadly, not unlike many a dysfunctional relationship we have all likely seen at some point in our lives.

In true rom com fashion, Kaitlyn visits the tropical paradise of Bali as a post law school romp before she snags a big job at a law firm, yet those plans are derailed when she meets hunky Balinese seaweed farmer Gede (Maxime Bouttier), falls instantly in love, and the two decide to get married a mere two months later.

Naturally, Georgia and David are irate at this notion and so when they fly out to attend the wedding, they pledge to put their differences aside in the name of a truce designed to shut down the wedding at all costs and put Lilly back on the path to being a corporate lawyer.

Comedy hijinx ensue as the duo concoct elaborate schemes to tear their daughter’s romance asunder, all which blow up spectacularly in their faces. As is obvious even in the trailer, in the course of working together to deny their offspring love, the old flames of their long lost love are rekindled. Now that they are oldsters who have been knocked around by life quite a bit, do they realize that all the imperfections the refused to accept in each other when they were young are now acceptable because if its one thing old people understand, it is that you’ll wait forever if you wait for life to be perfect?

Naturally, there are a lot of plot holes to ignore. Lilly did all that work in law school only to throw it away, though it is indicated she only did it to make her parents happy and she now truly believes that being a Balinese seaweed farmer’s wife is her true calling. Even so, the hundreds of thousands of dollars of law school debt could only be absorbed by a kid with rich parents, which she is, but this is never mentioned outright. A sad reality of life is that higher education is a dangerous gamble, one which kids often belly up to the table at a time when they understand very little. They take out massive loans under the assumption the degree will lead to big buckaroos, only to suffer when they don’t find that high paying job, or they do but realize it isn’t for them and have to do it forever to pay those loans off or seek out something they do like but remain forever crushed by debt. Only when you have rich parents can you throw it all away and become a seaweed farmer.

STATUS: Fun. Funny. Not something you’d watch again and again but worth the time of one viewing. George and Julia are two of the last big movie stars so it’s nice to see them yukking it up on screen. In an era where talent is getting increasingly cheap, we may never see their likes again. Both are beautiful rich people playing beautiful rich people doing undignified things for laughs, so that’s surreal.

Bonus points:

#1 – the film focuses on the theme that the best marriages require the perfect time, the perfect place and the perfect circumstances. Maybe you meet someone and you could have been great if you hadn’t been focused on building a career or a recent disappointment in life. Maybe you meet them but alas, you have to go home to LA and she to New York. Maybe you two could be happy if you lived together on a mountain goat farm but unfortunately you live busy urban lifestyles. So focus on building those things that make you happy and love will solve itself, noble reader.

#2 – The ever present conundrum of a kid deciding what will please their parents vs what will please them. I think often young people don’t understand that their parents harp on them to do practical things because they are old and have been knocked around by life. They know big bills and debt are coming your way and know in the long run, you’ll be happier if you can pay them than if you are living on the street giving hobo hand jobs for crack because you tried and failed to chase a silly dream.

The only caveat I’d add is that in today’s economy, trying to secure any job that pays a life sustaining salary requires the applicant to engage in a Mortal Kombat style battle royale for victory against any and all opponents. Ergo, when it’s a freaking uphill climb to get a job in the seemingly practical world of, say, auto insurance claims adjusting, then you might as well just make that uphill climb toward being an actor or an artist or some other thing that parents are mentally trained to tell you to avoid because you’ll totally make big bucks in the law or dentistry or HVAC repair. Mom and Dad don’t realize we’re in a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome job market now, and it is a struggle to get almost any job.

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Movie Review – A Christmas Story Christmas (2022)

A Christmas Story…Story? No way. Come on, Hollywood. You’ll shoot your collective eye out.

BQB here with a review.

Actually, it’s not so bad.

If you own a TV, then surely you have seen 1983’s A Christmas Story. TBS runs it 24 hours a day on Christmas and I can still recall laughing up a storm the first time I saw it. Even years later, having seen it a zillion times, it’s hard not to leave it on in the background while you go about your holiday merriment.

Alas, the sequels didn’t come until much later, presumably because the film didn’t really become the much beloved classic until cable TV started blasting the crap out of it over the airwaves in the 1990s. By then I can only presume all involved had moved on and unable to make a sequel. Either that or is a single ever possible for such a great film?

Ah but once the film grew a big fanbase, the sequels were attempted. 1994’s My Summer Story is largely unknown. 2012’s straight to video A Christmas Story 2 was cute but ultimately forgettable.

Thus I was surprised a new sequel was attempted this year.. It stars original Ralphie Peter Billingsley, though when I first learned that I doubted if that was enough to save it. Turns out, the answer is a resounding, “Not bad.”

The plot? in the 1970s, Middle aged Ralphie lives in Chicago with wife Sandy (Erin Hayes) and kids Mark and Julie. Ralphie has taken a year off to write an epic sci-fi novel, which seems like something Ralphie would do, given his love of pop culture and all things nerdy as a kid in the original film.

Alas, the publishing houses have all told Ralphie to eat the proverbial big one and as the end of the year draws nigh, he knows he needs to either publish or perish, to make money on a writing career or give up and take a boring old job and get a steady paycheck.

At least he has a planned Christmas visit with his parents to look forward to, but sadly, his old man, “The Old Man” passes and a loving tribute to the late Darren McGavin, who passed in 2006, is paid.

Ah, but the older we get, the more adults tend to, well I was going to say they don’t fear death but they still do, it’s just, by the time you’ve hit the elderly stage, you’ve run out of tears to cry, for you have experience so much loss already. This, Ralphie’s mom (played by Airplane comedy legend and owner of the sweetest voice ever Julie Hagerty who takes on the role as Melinda Dillon has retired from acting) urges Ralphie, Sandy and the kids to buck up and have the best Christmas ever, for this is what the Old Man would have wanted.

Comedy hijinx are mixed with somber moments. There are plenty of Easter eggs and references to the original film, while this one tries its best not to so much repeat old gags but play homage to them, or at least repeat running themes. Adult Ralphie still has a wild imagination that gets him into trouble and riddles him with anxiety as he pictures the smallest hangup leading to horrifying consequences. Bullies go to war with Ralphie’s kids who must learn to stand up for themselves. Comical injuries abound. Ralphie still wants to be an old west sheriff because what Baby Boomer didn’t?

A cavalcade of ex-child actors from the original film, now all grown up and in the middle of life, stop by, and it is surreal. Not knocking anyone but as you see adult actors reprise roles like Flick (the kid whose tongue froze to the light pole) or Schwartz (was he the kid who double dog dared him? I forget) and the once evil bully Scott Farkus (can bad kids mend their ways in adulthood?) you can’t help but think time is really a bastard. All these kids were so cute once and Hollywood was happy to capitalize on their cuteness, but sadly none of them really grew up with the looks that Hollywood wants to see in leading men. Even so, as a fan I’m happy to see them, like walking around your home town and bumping into an old friend. Even Ralphie’s little bro, an all grown up Randy drops by.

Does it all add up to something? I don’t want to give it away but if you think about how adult Ralphie yearns to be a famous writer, and author Jean Carroll leant his iconic voice to the original film but did so in the role of adult Ralphie telling the story of one wacky Christmas in his youth…OK I’ll let you figure it ou.

STATUS: Shelfworthy. If you have HBO Max, it’s free and worth your time. It won’t win awards. It won’t be something you’ll want to watch again and again. What it is is a loving tribute, a rare sequel that straddles the line between capitalizing on your love of the old flick but still remaining true to its spirit. There are sad moments, funny moments, emotional moments. If you’ve ever lost a parent, you know the pain adult Ralphie experience, the expectation of an adult to keep moving on even though a person who comprised a large part of their world has shuffled off the mortal coil. Everyone involved did well here.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Airplane! (1980)

Seriously, you can’t be reviewing a movie this old, BQB.

Yes, I am…and don’t call me Shirley.

A review? What is it? It’s a summary and commentary of a feature film, but that’s not important right now.

This is one of those movies that a child of the 1980s knows by heart. Growing up, even well into the 90s and early 2000s, it was on TV all the time. You’d catch bits and pieces of it and have a good laugh. It really is a silly masterpiece, the likes of which had never been seen before, and will undoubtedly ever be seen again. Many have tried, but the team of the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams were a one of a kind trio. They went on to more success with Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun series as well as the Top Gun parody Hot Shots. Others would go on to try parody movies that would only fizzle. A number of parody flicks released in the 2000s by lesser talents were so God awful that the parody genre pretty much died out in that decade.

What is a parody? Take an established film and give it a mocking re-write. Throw in as much mocking as you can about other movies and or subjects as you can. The uninitiated may not be aware that Airplane is itself, a parody of the 1957 film Zero Hour! That film’s legit plot was about ex-WWII pilot Ted Stryker, called upon to make a split second decision that got a lot of his fellow pilots killed. Years later, he is torn apart and wracked by guilt, unable to function, often fired from several jobs. His wife, Ellen, an airline stewardess, dumps him with a note, saying she will start a new life in a new city her airline job will deliver her to. Ted buys a ticket and hops aboard, hoping to beg her for one last chance. The crew and pilots get sick from food poisoning. Ted is the only one who has flown and must land the plane. He does so while being talked down by an ex air force colleague who hates his guts over his war mistake. In the end, Ted lands the plane, is redeemed, loved by his wife and can move on to a happier life.

Airplane! is literally that same movie, except with lots of shenanigans and silliness. In fact, I believe the rights to Zero Hour! were bought just so ZAZ could make a silly re-do for Paramount.

Don’t call me Shirley. I take my coffee black like my men. Jim never orders a second cup of coffee at home. Stewardess, I speak jive. The list of hilarious jokes goes on and on. So memorable. So quotable. And yet, sitting down and watching it from beginning to end, I hadn’t done that in a long time. Even the lesser known jokes and bits are pretty hysterical. It is a laugh riot.

And it brought back memories. Sigh. Oh, as a little kid I really loved comedy and hoped maybe I’d be a comedian one day. I worshipped ZAZ, between Airplane and the Naked Gun, to the point where I tracked down a copy of their first foray, the lesser known Kentucky Fried Movie. Not their best, but they were just getting started. Basically just a series of dumb sketches tied together.

Eh, but I grew up. Went the so-called practical route. I say so-called because the practical route was supposed to be easier yet nothing in life is easy so the older I get, the more I wonder if it all just isn’t a crap shoot and if it’s hard to make a living as a ditch digger or an accountant or a bus driver or a teacher or a cop or a pharmacist or a podiatrist or what have you then you might as well do what you love and try to find a job in the silly movie game.

But that ship has long sailed. At least I have my silly blog.

Cue the obligatory, “Oh, this movie would never be made today in these woke times” rant.

Nope, it wouldn’t. First, there are naked gratuitous titties. In one scene where the passengers flip out and run around the plane going nuts, a woman runs by for a close up of her jiggly bosoms. Harvey Weinstein’s evil doings put an end to that. Harvey was a sex fiend for 30 years so now every director in Tinsel Town is afraid to ask an actress to take her top off. You’ll never see a set of nude sweater puppets on film ever again. Thanks Harvey. Jackass.

Second, there’s the funny scene when the woman flips out. Starts shouting, “I gotta get outta here!” One person slaps her. The next shakes her. Suddenly, there’s a long line of people brandishing weapons waiting for their turn to torture her. I never really saw this as a joke about abusing women. ZAZ pokes fun at movie tropes throughout this flick, and here they are mocking the movie trope where someone freaks out, so another person slaps them or shakes them and yells at them to calm down. I mean, seriously, is that really the best move? Someone is cracking under pressure, I don’t think smacking them would really help. It’s like no one who ever wrote a movie thought that if a person is flipping out, maybe you ought to put your arm around them and say, “There, there. It’ll all be OK.” But no. Every character in movie world is somehow trained to see a person suffering a panic attack and sock them in the jaw like they’re a wannabe Sugar Ray Leonard.

There’s the sick little girl who makes funny faces, near death because the stewardess playing a song to cheer her up on the guitar keeps accidentally slapping out her IV whenever she moves the guitar around. That would be seen as ableist hate speech now.

Don’t even get me started on the scene where Ted joins the peace corps, visits a tribe in Africa, hands them a basketball and the tribesmen start dribbling and dunking with the skill of the best NBA players.

Stewardess, do you have any light reading? How about this one page leaflet? Famous Jewish Sports Legends.

The Jive guys speaking Jive like it is a foreign language with subtitles.

Sigh. Jokes that would never make the cut today. I suppose we can debate whether or not that’s a good thing. As I watch the film, I get the sense that here is an airplane full of people of all different races, colors, creeds, religions, backgrounds, ages. They all came together to survive a doomed flight, and the ZAZ team made fun of everyone, not in an attempt to be mean, but maybe just maybe in the sense that if we can learn to laugh with (and not at) each other, then maybe we can learn to get along.

Gotta be honest though. When I was a kid, I just thought the pilot asking the boy if he’d ever seen gladiator movies was just a strange, silly man. Today as an adult I realize, yeah the joke is that the pilot is a sex pervert attempting to “groom” the boy. Sigh. Parents, keep your kids away from adult men who like gladiator movies.

Bonus points that the film took known Hollywood tough guys like Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen and Peter Graves and got them to basically do their same tough guy schtick, but while delivering silly lines in their tough guy style. Leslie Nielsen, long a serious actor, would go on to a longer second act as a comic actor due to this film.

Double bonus points for Julie Haggerty. She really is the perfect combination of beautiful and sweet. Maybe it’s just the character she is playing, yet deep down every man wants a wife who is beautiful yet kind. Often times in our society, the beautiful don’t have any reason to be kind. Eh, then again, there are a lot of mean ugly people too.

At any rate, there’s a scene where Ted (Robert Hayes) is in the hospital after the war and he does a spit take. Julie just sort of takes a gallon of spit to her face, shakes her hands and cringes like she expected it (not that she knew the spit was coming as an actress but that her character knew this was what Ted was like so knew the spit was coming) and just goes right on talking. Hard to explain. You just have to watch it.

BTW, I can’t count the number of times when I or another kid I knew growing up would pretend to have hard time drinking a glass of water and be like, “Ha ha! I have a drinking problem!”

STATUS: Worthy of the highest shelf! I can’t go on long enough about how great this film is and how it inspired me as a kid, even inspires me today. We will never see its like again, not just because the ZAZ team thought they could never top it, and not because of how many wannabes tried and failed, but alas, these jokes are out of style.

Surely, we can debate long and hard over whether that’s a good thing…and don’t call me Shirley.

Catch it on HBOMax.

SIDENOTE: Woke problems aside, there’s also the issue of audiences being less willing to suspend disbelief and less appreciative of good humor. So many of the jokes are just word play. The running joke is someone says something, the other says what is it, the first gives a definition but that’s not important now.

Stewardess – there’s a problem in the cockpit.

Ted – The cockpit? What is it?

Stewardess – its the little room at the front of the plane where the pilots sit, but that’s not important now.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Misery (1990)

Caca doody poopy, 3.5 readers.

Caca doody poopy, indeed.

BQB here with a review of this horror classic.

I was flipping through HBO Max’s selections the other day and this one popped up. James Caan, who passed this year, is the star, so I figured I was overdue for a re-watch. I hadn’t seen it since a kid.

The plot? Famed horror novelist Stephen King brings to life his worst nightmare, likely with a douse of parody of his most bothersome fans. We’re not talking about the typical fan who asks for an autograph. We’re talking about the nutjobs who live, breathe and think about their favorite author’s writings so much that they a) lose their minds and b) believe they have the right to dictate what the other does with their favorite characters.

Case in point. New York City based novelist Paul Sheldon has become rich and famous from a series of romance novels about the character Misery Chastain. In an early scene with his agent, played by Lauren Bacall, yes she of Casablanca fame, Paul laments that he feels the Misery series is schlock, and though he’s grateful it gave him a name and a fortune, he intends to write one last book where Misery is killed off so he can move on to write novels that would be less commercially successful but more critically acclaimed to show off his brilliance.

Off he heads to Colorado, where his longtime practice is to hole himself up in a countryside hotel away from the world and focus his writing. When his new novel is done, he sets out on the long drive back to NYC, only to accidentally run his car off the road during a snowstorm.

Local Nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) happens upon the wreck and carries Paul to safety. He awakes days later, confined to a bed in Annie’s house. His legs are broken, leaving him to either stay in bed or move about in a wheelchair.

At first, Annie seems a godsend. How lucky was Paul that a nurse found him and fixed him up? She comes across as a fan of his books, but merely of the starstruck variety. Yes, of course I’d be happy to answer all your questions about my books, Annie, and sure you can read my new manuscript. You saved my life, after all.

Alas, what starts as a series of little white fibs turns into boldface lies as Paul realizes that Annie has no real intention of ever letting him go and that due to his immobile condition, he is dependent on a wack job if he wishes to keep living. The first day or two, “the roads are still covered with snow and the phone lines are down so the hospital is unreachable and no one can send an ambulance” is believable but when she’s still singing the same old song and dance weeks later, Paul knows something is up.

From there it is a game of cat and mouse. Paul contrives schemes to take Annie out only to be foiled. Annie tortures and punishes Paul until she eventually drops the pretense of snowy roads and downed phone lines and just openly admits he is her prisoner and she will never allow him to leave. Old newspaper clippings indicate she has been suspected of, yet never convicted by, local law enforcement of all sorts of evil doings in the past.

Everything culminates in a final showdown over Paul’s new book. Psycho fan Annie is uber pissed when she learns that Paul has killed Misery off and orders a re-write, pronto. Paul declines at first, but eventually sees a re-write as the distraction he just might need to lull Annie into a false sense of security so he can strike.

All in all, I have to assume that Stephen King has had his share of psycho fans in his day, people who enjoyed his books but got way too personal and creepy about it. This was his way at poking fun at them, as well as the jerk fans who aren’t so crazed that they’d kidnap him or anything but they feel like they have a right to boss him around about his creative decisions, tell him to write this, don’t write that, freak out over his decisions, etc.

This was a boon for both actors. James Caan saw great success with his role as Sonny in the Godfather, but his career waned in the 80s before this film helped him resurface. Somehow, he straddles the line between coming across as an intellectual type capable of literally prowess and the rough and tumble type who has no compunction about bashing his captor over the head if that’s what it takes to escape.

Meanwhile, Kathy Bates, a relative unknown at the time (and I hate to admit it but obviously not the typical Hollywood hottie actress Tinsel Town is known for rallying around) soared to super stardom in the 90s, all thanks to Stephen King’s creation of a psycho nurse who loves reading romance novels but gets depressed that she’ll never have a life as exciting as the characters she reads about, so takes out her frustrations with a double life of murder and mayhem, all the while maintaining the persona of a nice lady who refuses to say naughty words. Murderous fits of rage are fine but naughty words? Never.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. A 32 old film that holds up to modern woke standards. Nothing really stood out to me as violating today’s rules of wokery. If anything, it is exceedingly woke for casting a woman as a psycho murderer and being strong enough to get plenty of licks in during gruesome fight scenes with a man who once played a notorious mobster. So yeah, one might say this film was ahead of its time.

SIDENOTE: Dude, seriously. We often laugh at today’s superhero movies where the tiny five foot tall, 90 pound waif-like starlet taps a 300 pound brute with her pinky finger and he goes flying, but when you watch this, there are scenes where Annie comes at Paul like a football linebacker high on crack, PCP and bath salts. There is a legit sense of fear and danger, a distinct possibility that Paul might be overcome in the fight and end up beaten to a pulp by a female.

Hmm. How can I put this delicately? Hollywood, if you want believable fight scenes where women look like they are actually kicking a man’s ass (instead of just requiring us to believe they are defying the laws of physics), hire larger women to fill these butt kicking roles. Somewhere out there, a large woman was robbed of the Black Widow role by Scarlett Johanson.

DOUBLE SIDENOTE: I watched this as a kid and thought it was scary, you know, because it is about a crazy woman who holds a man hostage and beats him and tortures him. Today, I found it scary because I am now so old that Kathy Bates’s Annie looks young to me. That’s less of a complaint about this film than it is about Father Time, though.

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