Tag Archives: netflix

Movie Review – The Bubble (2022)

Aw sweet! Cliff Beasts 6 is out already, 3.5 readers!

Come with me for a review of…The Bubble, not Cliff Beasts.

My first reaction is this is typical Netflix fanfare combined with typical Judd Apatow fanfare. Large ensemble cast. Basic structure but largely improvised dialogue. Too long. Could have benefitted from some editing. Not very coherent but it ended eventually. I assume Netflix likes such movies because they can spend heavy on the cast and not so much on anything else.

But that’s where I was wrong. This is a very special effects intensive film, largely because they are making fun of Hollywood, the film production process, pretentious actors and of course, action flicks. The ensemble, featuring the likes of Karen Gillian, Keegan Michael-Key, Fred Armisen, Leslie Mann, David Duchovny, that girl who played Borat’s daughter, Pedro Pascal and plenty of others who I’m probably too old to know their names star as the cast of the Cliff Beast franchise, a series of lousy action films in which a team of heroes assemble again and again to defeat evil dinosaur like creatures who dwell on cliffs.

This fact alone leads to the biggest laughs of the film as we get a comparison between how CGI scenes look very cool once rendered vs. what buffoons everyone involved looks like when they are shooting such scenes.

The overall premise is that at the height of the pandemic in 2020, back in the early days of the rona when everyone was so worried that they were wiping down their potato chip bags, a major studio dares to be one of two companies still willing to produce a major film. Accordingly, the cast is cloistered in a posh hotel in the British countryside and are forced to live together, not go anywhere or do anything fun for fear of coming down with the dreaded rona. Hotel staff have to pamper these rich entitled bums who are used to getting their way and are willing to throw outrageous temper tantrums over trivial things whereas the rest of us working stiffs have grown used to not getting our way.

Hijinx ensue that’s pretty much where the coherence ends. Each character has their own subplot and it all culminates in the ensemble yearning for a way off the set, for the film itself becomes a nightmare. Mistakes and errors cause the production to drag on for months and months and there’s no exit from the hotel in sight. The actors try almost every option to get out of the film except, you know, being good actors.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Not really a great film and not something I’d want to watch twice. It does have a lot of laughs and parodies Hollywood extensively. The behind the scenes looks at actors working on a green screen set are a laugh riot. I suppose we’ve come a long way in two years, from the time when people wearing scuba type helmets on dry land seemed like a great idea to now, when a film can laugh at such silliness.

SIDENOTE: I’m not entirely sure a dry land scuba helmet is a terrible idea. I’d wear one if it were socially acceptable.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review – The Adam Project (2022)

Ryan Reynolds stars as himself, traveling to the past to join forces with…his younger self.

BQB here with a review.

This movie is fun but somewhat basic. It’s typical Ryan Reynolds fast talking funny guy schtick, mixed with some great special effects. Not the most captivating backstory, one of those films you’ll munch popcorn to while it happens but the next day you’ll forget all about it. In other words, it’s standard Netflix fare.

RR stars as middle aged Adam from the future, who travels to the past to evade evildoers of the future who want to abuse the time travel tech his father Louis (Mark Ruffalo) invented. Along the way, he joins forces with his 12 year old self (Walker Scobell doing a pretty funny kid version impression of Reynolds). Jennifer Garner rounds out the cast as mother to the Adams.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, but not a lot more to say about it.

Tagged , ,

Movie Review – The Tinder Swindler (2022)

Beware the Tinder Swindler, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of this Netflix documentary. SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

Stories abound of men doing dumb, stupid, even horrible things for a beautiful woman. Smitten men have lost their lives, their fortunes, their reputations, careers, livelihoods, even committed crimes and gone to jail, all in the name of a pretty face.

As my 3.5 readers know, I am absurdly ugly, such that I could describe myself as a bad DNA mix of Ron Pearlman, Steve Buscemi, Willem Defoe and a bulldog and still not begin to describe the depths of my hideousness. While this has led to many crappy aspects of life, I can tell you the one and only good thing is it has prevented me from being hoodwinked by women. A beautiful woman tells me she’ll love me forever if I do X stupid thing? “Ha!” I cry. “That’ll be the day!” I already know no woman could ever love my gargoylish Quasimodo self and thus it would be pointless to jump through her hoops.

Long story short, this documentary posits the hypothesis that rich men are to women what beautiful women are to men. While we should never get bogged down in absolutes as I’m sure there are many women who wouldn’t be foolish enough to lose their wits at the sight of a dude with a big bankroll, there are some members of the fairer sex who throw common sense out the window in the name of a man with a fat bank account.

Think back to all those Disney movies. Does the Princess ever go for a commoner, or does she long to be rescued by…yes, a Prince with a lot of dough? Take away The Beast’s big bottomline and that movie is just a horrid tale about an ugly dog monster man who kidnaps French beauty Belle and holds her hostage. Take away Christian Gray’s fat stacks and 50 Shades of Gray is just a horror show about a weirdo who likes to spank female fannies.

Ultimately, for…not all women but some women…a man with money is their kryptonite. Perhaps this brings us back to our primal caveman days when prehistoric cavewomen would flock to the strongest caveman who could protect them from saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. Today, strength and protection take the form of cold, hard cash.

And thus, here is a tale about women who met a man claiming to be the son of a fabulously wealthy Israeli diamond merchant. Simon, as he calls himself, pops up on the Tinder apps of many a lonely lady and when they see his wealth, his fancy clothes, his expensive cars, his personal private jet, his cadre of servants, bodyguards and flunkies, and his globetrotting lifestyle that lets him go from one swanky hotel to the next, they truly believe they have become modern day Cinderellas who have met their Prince Charmings.

Alas, if only these women had consulted a human gargoyle like me, for like the person who sits in the back of a theater showing a horror movie shouting out warnings to the victim about what the baddie is about to do, I found myself shouting at the TV, “No girl! Don’t do that! He’s going to….ugh!”

First, so many of these women get on this dude’s private jet and fly away with him on the first date. My initial reaction is why are these women so dumb to not realize that getting on a stranger’s plane after a first meeting a bad idea? Don’t they know he could very easily fly them to a shitty country where laws don’t apply and they could end up being drugged up, internationally trafficked sex slaves for the rest of their lives? Have these women never seen Taken? Egads.

Luckily, none of them are turned into sex slaves. But they are taken for big bucks. Once Simon woos them, he bombards his lady marks with tales of peril, various reasons why he has lost access to his cash and great dangers that will befall him if the women don’t fork over their dough. These ladies end up not only handing over their life savings, they also take out massive loans, racking up insane credit card debt that they have no hope of repaying, all in the name of…well they think they are saving Simon from peril but in reality, are funding his lavish lifestyle.

The key lie in Simon’s repertoire is to claim that he has “enemies” i.e. he is a rich diamond merchant and various evildoers want to do him in because…I don’t know, he has a lot of money and they want it I guess? At any rate, the S man simply tells his befuddled babes that very bad, naughty men are tracking him through his credit cards, so he has to use theirs but don’t worry…he’ll pay them back.

So, don’t get me wrong. I get that at the end of the day, the con man is responsible for the con. No matter how dumb you think the conned might be, the conner is the one in the wrong who has done a terrible thing.

Even so…yeah, as an ugly gargoyle whose only credit as an ugly gargoyle is an immunity to being conned by a pretty face, I found myself shouting at the TV. “Really, girl? A man that rich claims bad guys are tracking him through his credit cards and so…he needs YOUR credit card? That doesn’t set off a red flag for you? There’s no other alternative for a man that rich? There isn’t like a secure banking service or a security expert or some sort of banking method a man with that much money can use in this type of situation? Borrowing his girlfriend’s credit card and racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt is the only thing he can do? Give me a break.”

I will say part of me gets why the women are duped. Simon appears to have so much freaking money that it seems like it would be easy enough for him to pay the loans back to the ladies. Still, the cynic in me wonders why these women never asked why a man that rich doesn’t have say, the resources necessary to access secure, untrackable credit and ultimately, if that money is a lot to these women, enough to cripple them financially for life, why take the risk? The documentary’s answer is that they do it for love, that they genuinely care for Simon and worry about his safety but…there’s a part of me that wonders if these women saw Simon as their Prince Charming, their lifelong meal ticket who could give them a fabulous lifestyle, so they’d best not question it and do whatever he says, throwing all common sense out of the window.

In other words, if Simon looked like gargoyle old me and had my shitty lifestyle, they probably wouldn’t let me borrow five bucks if I gave them a promissory note signed by the Pope, let alone throw me a life preserver if I were drowning, but they’ll be duped into committing credit card fraud and get stuck with the bill for a handsome man posing as a wealthy adventurer.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. You know, the strongest among us has their kryptonite, the chink in their armor, their Achilles heel, so I am sympathetic to what happened to these ladies. I just…I don’t know. It was hard not to watch this movie and think if I only had like, a tenth of Simon’s looks, if I had a tenth of his fast talking abilities, if I had just a bit of money…I could have some hotties in my life and wouldn’t be so lonely . I would use those powers for good and treat the hotties right but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Que sera, sera.

Tagged , , , ,

TV Review – Joe vs. Carole (2022)

Meow, meow, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the drama based on the wildly popular Netflix documentary, Tiger King.

At the outset, let me ask two questions:

1 – How did Netflix, after Tiger King became so popular, not scoop up whatever rights it needed to produce its own drama based on the documentary?

2 – Did we really need it?

Answer to the second, no, which might explain why Netflix didn’t bother in answer of the first. Then again all these streaming services love money, which is why Peacock did it. Sidenote – this is basically a rare moment where I used my Peacock app.

For the uninitiated, Tiger King is a documentary that takes us deep into the wild and wacky world of big cat ownership. Apparently, unbeknownst to the general public, there has long been a subculture of private, for profit zoo owners who rule their little fiefdoms like kings, raking in bucks from clueless tourists who stop by to cuddle with baby tiger cubs, all the while paying their employees bupkis. These owners tend to be their own personal cults of personality, from Doc Antle who poses as a guru with a harem of hot babes who follow him wherever he goes to Jeff Lowe, an old man who dresses like he just stepped off the set of a 1990s NSync video.

Central to the doc was the feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, he being a self-described gay redneck blonde mullet sporting gun toting cowboy who loves to blow shit up and can’t stop marrying young husbands half his age. At one point, he becomes a polygamist when he openly marries two.

Meanwhile, Baskin is a flower crown wearing hippy who operates a not for profit cat rescue shelter, working to put for profit cat owners out of business as she exposes their animal abuse practices. A big subplot of the series is, well, while it is never proven conclusively, there are a lot of, shall we say red flags, that might make one ask questions as to whether she might have had something to do with her ex-husband’s death.

When Carole sets out to put Joe out of business, claiming abusive animal practices, Joe responds with a series of online videos that rake Carole’s reputation over the coals. The feud descends into madness, eventually culminating in Joe hiring a hitman to kill Carole only for the hit to be botched, as Joe botches most things in his life.

Ultimately, the Peacock drama is unnecessary yet fun filler, kind of like those M and Ms you ate before dinner but wish you hadn’t. The steak adds protein, the broccoli adds vitamins while the candy is fun at first but later you get sick and wonder why you bothered with it. At times, it feels like a high school drama club took the main beats of the documentary story line and acted them out.

To the show’s credit, it does give us some new aspects. For example, we see a young version of Joe we never saw in documentary, one where he meets an out and proud gay man while in rehab after a car accident. Said man encourages Joe to embrace who he is rather than hide it, saving him from going down the path of marrying a woman as a beard and denying who he is, a life Young Joe admits would have eventually ended in his own suicide.

Living out and proud allowed Joe to meet his first husband, the only stable and age appropriate relationship he ever had. Together, the duo open a pet store and eventually that venture morphs into the zoo and said husband is such a grounding, stabilizing force in Joe’s life that one wonders if he hadn’t died young, perhaps Joe would have never picked up so many vices and become a respectable member of the community.

Meanwhile, we see Carole’s younger days, being abused by two husbands and while the abuse leaves her with a broken heart, she also grows stronger as she learns to make money and become independent so she never has to rely on a man who might abuse financial power over her ever again. In middle age, she meets dweebish Howard Baskin and its a romance filled with love and support.

Where the show differs from the series is Carole (Kate McKinnon) is portrayed as the hero of the series, with patriarchical misogyny being the true villain (hey it is in every other show these days so why not this one?) The theme is that all these big cat owners have fragile male egos who prop themselves up by owning and imprisoning wild animals who should roam free. If you see some of the footage of Joe and other cat owners, there’s probably a lot of truth to that.

However, the drama does ignore critical aspects of Baskin. While it does raise the question of her ex husband’s disappearance, it paints her as a victim of gossip who is innocent of the allegations whereas the documentary raises some points that…well…let’s just put it this way. They aren’t so conclusive that I would vote to convict her if I were on a jury, but they do leave you scratching your head.

Overall this is the main difference between the doc and the drama. Carole is the hero of the drama while in the doc, she’s painted as just one more weirdo in the world of big cats.

John Cameron Mitchell provides a decent caricature of Joe though one wonders why David Spade, who looks, sounds and has even sported Joe’s mullet in his Joe Dirt character, didn’t get the part he was literally born to play. At least Dean Winters, who made a career playing obtuse, blissfully unaware characters who truly believe they are more awesome than you when they clearly aren’t, won the role he was born to play in Jeff Lowe.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy but unnecessary. You’ll watch it but wish you hadn’t…not that its bad but just because time on earth is so limited and you could have done so many other things.

Tagged , , , , ,

TV Review – Murderville (2022)

Murderville? Try Stinkville, am I right?

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s new improvised comedy series.

Maybe this one just flew over my head. I’m two episodes in and while it is mildly entertaining, it’s one of those shows I might put on while I’m vacuuming the house, just to occupy my brain so I don’t get bored by the housework but don’t get so intrigued by the show that I put the vac down and start watching. Ultimately, if you want background noise while you suck up dirt, this is the show for you.

Critics love it but maybe I’m just a bumpkin with bad taste.

The premise is that Will Arnett stars as broken down, stereotypical tough guy TV detective Terry Seattle. Every episode, he must solve a murder with the assistance of a celebrity trainee. Thus far, I’ve seen two episodes, the first with trainee/late night TV host Conan O’Brien and the second with football star Marshawn Lynch. Marshawn apparently loves guest starring on sitcoms ever since that episode of Brooklyn 99 where he was a terrible witness because when a prison bus flipped over and exploded behind him, he was too focused on the music in his earbuds and the burrito he was eating to notice or care.

Murderville’s hook is that it is semi-improvised. Will and all other cast members have been given scripts. The celebrity guest trainee goes in cold. They play themselves as a police trainee and must come up with their dialogue on the fly. I assume this means that the cast has to improvise on the spot if the trainee says something that doesn’t jive with the rehearsed lines of the script.

While fun to see the celebs act silly, I feel comedy as a general art form has been dead for many years, everyone so afraid to offend. This show is just one in a long line of wannabe comedies that straddle the lines of humor but never quite get there.

STATUS:Borderline shelfworthy.

Tagged , , , ,

Was The Seinfeld Series Finale That Bad?

What’s the deal with all these posts about Seinfeld, 3.5 readers?

Ah, Jerry Seinfeld. He was that comedian who taught us all that you don’t necessarily need a punchline so long as you can offer a humorous observation. In 9 seasons, he brought us a show about nothing that surprisingly, meant something to many of us, not to mention how it added a lot of sayings and expressions to the cultural zeitgest.

Channeling Jerry. “What’s the deal with bloggers using the word zeitgest like they know what it means?”

The finale was greatly panned back in the day and there are still fans who despise it. Why am I even talking about it 23 years later? 23 years. Wow. It’s been off the air that long.

In the last episode, Jerry gets the call he has long been waiting for – that NBC has decided to resurrect his long defunct Jerry TV show. An earlier season saw Jerry and George trying to get the NBC to pick it up only to fail in a variety of humorous ways, from skirmishes with the actors to misunderstandings with the network prez.

Jerry, now a network big shot, is granted free use of the company plane, and decides to celebrate by taking pals Elaine, George and Kramer to Paris. Alas, a Kramerian goof up causes to the plane to have to make an emergency landing in rural Massachusetts. There, the quartet runs afoul of a new Good Samaritan law which requires bystanders to help those in need. The fab four sees a portly fellow getting robbed and rather than help, they laugh, make jokes – heck, Kramer even records it on a camcorder.

This leads to a trial that basically turns the whole thing into a glorified clip show. The DA argues that the 4 are by far the most selfish, self-absorbed people in the world, with a long track record of hurting people with their cavalier debauchery filled lives. He even brings in all the people who have suffered due to their shenanigans over the years, from the old lady that Jerry stole a marble rye from (in his defense, George really needed it) to Cidra aka Terri Hatcher who is convinced Elaine’s accidental stumble in a gym sauna was designed to determine if her breasts were real or fake so she could report the info to Jerry. (In Jerry’s defense, Elaine’s stumble was an obvious real accident because given the option, men have no problem finding out on their own, and frankly, would prefer doing their own detective work.)

It’s funny how time flies. I remember being very young when this came on. I remember everyone being disappointed. Yet, I also remember thinking basically the same thing I think today. How else could they have possibly ended it?

Larry David’s rule for the show was “no learning, no growing.” Seinfeld is a comedian’s comedian who truly believes his job is to make an audience laugh. It isn’t to educate or lecture or scold or give you a special message or anything like that. He makes with the ha ha and if you want a show where characters learn or grow, you’d better change the channel.

Ultimately, they worked that into the series. The characters literally never learn or grow. They start the show as a quartet of young schmucks and they end the show as middle aged schmucks. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer all have their problems. They’ll be the first to tell you that, ad nauseum and in way too much detail if you let them. Yet, for some strange reason, they demand perfection, be it from their lives, their careers, or most frustratingly, from their mates.

George is bald but has qualms about dating a bald woman. George isn’t very handsome but has a problem dating a woman with a big schnozola. Jerry is a skinny health nut germaphobe and on the show, is a comedian who earns a middle class living on his craft. He’s a better catch than George but he’s far from perfect and rejects women for having man hands, catching gonorrhea on a tractor, having a belly button that he imagines has a funny voice and on and on.

Elaine’s boyfriends are more of a parody of what women have to go through – the schmuck who takes “it” out on a first date, the guy with a bad back who buys her an orthopedic mattress and she can’t tell if it’s because he is trying to give her a thoughtful gift or if he’s hoping to sleep with her and so on.

Kramer is the wild of the bunch. Is he so stupid he has no idea that his life is a mess or is he so smart that he has realized the secret that life is a mess no matter which way you play it so you might as well goof off all the way through it?

At any rate, though I admit the finale is rather lackluster, I’m not sure they could have done better. Could they have had Jerry and Elaine get married? Could they have had George finally settle down? Ultimately, as the jail doors close on the crew, the final joke is that these four are stuck in an eternal purgatory- they will never change their ways, they will never settle for less yet they will never get better enough to accomplish more (Which Larry David has always said is the source of his psychosis as well as his comedy.)

To the show’s credit, there is a moment where Elaine almost tells Jerry she loves him when the plane is going down, Jerry and George do finally get their big break (albeit as George says God would never allow him to be successful and thus why something bad happens to intervene) and it does feature the greatest Newman “I’ll get you, Seinfeld” speeches followed by maniacal laughter of all time.

Bonus points because it tackled the whole “why do people stand around, making fun of someone and recording them in peril rather than help them” long before cell phones with video cameras were ever invented. Overall, the Good Samaritan law seems rather unlikely because while it sounds like a good idea to demand people help those in need in theory, in reality, could an untrained bystander really disarm a mugger without getting mugged or killed him or herself?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Credit to Jerry for going out on top rather than try to squeeze another five years, let the show get crappy while he cashed in. It’s not the best episode but I’m just not sure anyone could have come up with a better ending. The idea behind the show is that these people never get a happy ending or even any kind of an ending or closure. They will never change their ways and thus, they are forever trapped in a purgatory of their own design, a Waiting for Godot style life that they carry with them wherever they go.

Tagged , , ,

Some Thoughts After Binge Watching Seinfeld

I’ve been on a month-long binge watch of Seinfeld, 3.5 readers. It’s funny the things you notice when a) you watch it all within the same time span and b) when time goes by and you notice actors/actresses who had bit parts on the show who later went on to hit it big.

Some observations:

#1 – Co-creator Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame is in it a lot, but you might not have noticed if you weren’t a super fan. He has bit walk on roles such as “Frank Costanza’s Cape Wearing Lawyer” (actual name of the character, the cashier who gives George back a twenty dollar bill with lipstick on the president, a mad scientist in a late-night B sci-fi movie that Jerry is watching. He also does a lot of voice over work, people yelling at the characters from off camera. Of course, his big claim to fame is that he did the voice of George’s boss, the gregariously boisterous NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

#2 – Speaking of LD, it’s eerie how much of a spot on accurate Larry David impression that Jason Alexander is doing in the character of George Costanza, who is based on the Curb star. Poor George/Larry. Their whole schtick is that they are unattractive bald men who screw up constantly who, despite their myriad of flaws, can only be happy with perfect women. They know in their hearts this is wrong and they might be happier if they could accept women with flaws the way they wish women would accept them for all their flaws but their dumb brains just won’t let them do it.

#3 – It’s a rare series that gets better the longer it goes on. You can tell the showrunners are trying to figure it all out in the first 2 seasons and then it finally hits its stride around season 3-4. Early seasons, they try to give more depth to everyone and then they eventually hit the formula where it becomes quick and snappy and everyone is a caricature every situation is a parody of some sort of social conundrum that everyone faces sooner or later. Understandably, Jerry wanted to go out on top by ending the show after season 9 rather than go on longer even though NBC offered him plenty of money to keep going. Some of the most memorable episodes with the quotable phrases that became part of the pop cultural language come between seasons 7-9.

#4 – Famous actors/actresses who were on Seinfeld and then went on to hit it big later. (Hard to make a complete list.)

Dayton Callie – You might know him as Charlie on HBO’s Deadwood but he played a cabbie in the Puerto Rican Day Parade Episode who has to put up with Elaine’s indecision over whether she wants to stay in the cab and wait for the traffic to clear up or to get out and walk.

Breaking Bad – Walter and Skyler were both on Seinfeld before Walt built his blue meth empire. Anna Gunn was on the long list of Jerry’s girlfriends dumped over comically trivial reasons (George loses his glasses but while squinting, is certain he spotted her smooching it up with Jerry’s despised Cousin Jeffrey). Meanwhile, Bryan Cranston had a recurring role as Jerry’s dentist Tim Whatley, who converts to Judaism just for the jokes and brands Jerry a rabid anti-dentite for making dentist jokes. (Sidenote a young Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame is in this episode too.)

Mariska Hargitay, Amanda Peet, Sarah Silverman, Courtney Cox, Janine Garafalo, Teri Hatcher, Megan Mullally, Lauren Graham and the list goes on and on. It seems like every up and coming 1990s actress took a turn as one of Jerry or George’s (sometimes Kramer’s) long suffering girlfriends. I say sometimes Kramer because oddly, any woman dumped by Kramer just seems to feel lucky to have had the unlikely stud in their lives.

Meanwhile, Jon Favreau (as a clown), Bob Odenkirk and a very young Patton Oswalt as a video store clerk stop by.

#5 – My last observation is how many of the premises wouldn’t exist today. So many of the episodes involve the quartet splitting up and not being able to find each other in the big city. Today, a lost friend is only a cell phone call away from being found.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review – Don’t Look Up (2022)

Don’t look up, 3.5 readers…then again, maybe you should.

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s big holiday release.

Let’s face it, 3.5 readers. We are all so hopelessly divided that we don’t agree on even the most basic of facts. If I said the sun is yellow, at least 2 out of 3.5 of you would tell me it is orange.

We are also obsessed with social media. It’s tough to get our attention when…hey! A new kitty cat video! Wait…what was I saying?

On top of all that, we have become a what’s happening now society, such that if it isn’t going to affect us within the next 24 hours, then we simply lack the foresight and/or mental bandwith to worry about it. Planning for tomorrow, let alone for the next month, or next year has gone the way of the dodo.

Director Adam McKay and an all-star cast mock these and more terrible aspects of society when astronomers Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky identify a comet on a collision course toward earth, destined to cause the end of the world in 6 months. Jennifer Lawrence is her usual snarky self as Kate while Leo goes against type to play a wimpy, worrisome nerd who needs to puke his guts out before he goes on live TV.

Alas, these intrepid scientists find that everyone is too stupid to pull their heads out of their butts long enough to come up with a solution. Mother/son team President and Chief of Staff Orlean (Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill doing their best Donald Trump and Don Jr. impressions are too worried about their own political scandals to worry about the comet.

Randy and Kate are left with no choice but to conduct their own media blitz, quickly discovering that people, by and large, are genuinely stupid and care more about the duo’s looks, physical appearance, their tones of voice, basically anything other than the fact that they’re trying to warn everyone about a freaking incoming killer comet.

Rounding out the film is Mark Rylance’s Peter Isherwell, turning in a performance that can only be described as a cross between Elon Musk and Jordan Peterson. The multibillionaire/owner of the world’s largest cellphone and tech company wants mine the comet rather than destroy it, putting the safety of the world at risk for profit.

Overall, the film serves as a warning against all the things we aren’t looking up at or even just at. We go about our daily lives, wasting our time on social media and we do very little to fend off the very real problems that are headed our way. Will we, as a collective society, ever pull our heads out of our butts long enough to solve the world’s problems before it is too late?

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. My one complaint is this is largely an anti-conservative satire and indeed, Trump has done much worthy of parody, but Biden has been prez for a year and I don’t really see him solving any problems either. There might have been room to lampoon the two-party system or to point out it isn’t enough for Democrats to say they want to save the environment. They actually have to be proactive in achieving goals toward saving it.

Bonus points for Cate Blanchett who is virtually unrecognizable as a stereotypical blonde bombshell cable news babe. With all the phony hair, makeup and the plastic surgery look she was given for the role, I didn’t figure out it was her until halfway through the film.

Tagged , , ,

BQB Watches Seinfeld – Season 5, Episode 2 – The Puffy Shirt

What’s the deal with puffy shirts, 3.5 readers? Why are they so puffy and why would anyone wear them as a shirt?

Kramer dates “a low talker” i.e. a woman who speaks so quietly that people can barely hear her. At dinner, Jerry politely nodes and says yes, yes to whatever she says, only to find out later that he has agreed to wear a puffy, pirate style shirt on the Today show (the low talker is a fashion designer and apparently, a bad one.)

This is one of the iconic episodes that everyone remembers and it portrays the great lengths we’ll go to in order to not appear rude and/or to fulfill an obligation, even if it is one we signed up for by accident.

Sideplote: George becomes a hand model and like Icarus, walks a bit too close to the sun.

Tagged , , , ,

BQB Watches Seinfeld – Season 8 – Episode 13 – The Comeback

Hey 3.5 readers.

Don’t you hate it when you think of the perfect comeback response to some idiot’s rude comment, only you think of it hours, days, weeks, even years later? I’ll tell you, to this day, I’ll have an epiphany of what I should said to some moron…twenty years ago.

Alas, we never think of what we should have said until it’s too late. Even then, our mind is a controlled environment. We think a response might be biting, but in reality, we might flub the execution, or the rude person might even bounce off your comeback with an even better comeback. As the old saying goes, sometimes it is best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Not George. Here, Costanza is feasting on shrimp at a Yankees executive meeting when a nemesis says, “Hey George, the ocean called. They’re running out of shrimp.”

On the car road, the G-Man thinks of…well, what he thinks is a witty retort. “Oh yeah? Well, the jerk store called. They’re running out of you.”

George then makes it his mission in life to deliver this comeback, going so far as to fly to Ohio to bate his nemesis into insulting him again so that he can use his jerk store line. Is it going to go as well as George thinks it will? Watch and find out.

Sideplots: Elaine becomes enamored with a video store clerk’s pick wall. Kramer wants to find someone who will pull his plug when the time comes. Jerry squares off against a tennis pro who isn’t a pro at all.

Tagged , , ,