Tag Archives: netflix

TV Review – Ali Wong: Baby Cobra

Sex, feminism and trapping a man.

BQB here with a review of Ali Wong’s stand-up comedy Netflix special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra.

I consider myself a comedic historian and to the best of my knowledge, this special marks the first time that a comedian took to the stage while seven months pregnant.

With her baby bump on full display and not slowing her down a bit, Fresh off the Boat writer Ali Wong makes all manner of freaky sexual jokes that might offend your virgin ears, puts political correctness through a meat grinder, dishes on all the hilarious methods she used to “trap” her Harvard Business School graduate husband, and even sends up feminism (all women had to do was stay home and some bitch had to go and ruin it).

Her words (paraphrasing), not mine.  Different comedians are definitely able to say different types of things and get away with it in today’s politically correct age.

I’d never heard of Ali before and just watched her special on a lark but I was glad I did.  The one thing I notice is she speaks with almost a devilish charm, like she’s trying to come across as evil to make the jokes work yet you are also left with the impression that she isn’t half that evil off the stage.

Then again, how would I know?  I never asked her trapped husband.

 

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Movie Review – I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Ridiculous amounts of cartoonish violence and ennui.

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.

Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), a nursing assistant, is epically bummed.  Inconsiderate people surround her wherever she goes.  From the guy at the supermarket who always drops something on the floor then leaves it for someone else to pick up, to the dude with unnecessarily huge exhaust pipes on his truck belching smoke into the air, to whoever is allowing their dog to poop on her lawn everyday, there just seems to be an unmitigated lack of concern for others in this world.

All these bad vibes culminate when her house is robbed.  Rather than go the usual route of being content to file a police report that goes nowhere, she snaps and sets out on a mission to hunt the house robbers down.

She finds a sidekick in her neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood), a martial arts enthusiast who is more likely to nunchuck himself than actually do anything useful.

At first, I thought this was going to be a dark comedy, almost a parody of the 1993 film Falling Down, in which frustrated office worker Michael Douglas snaps and lashes out at all the flaws in society, even going so far as to pull a gun on the fast food worker who refuses to make him breakfast after 11 am.

But no.  Instead, as Ruth and Tony delve deeper into the criminal underworld to which the home invaders belong, the violence gets bigger, badder, bolder, and frankly, ends up being absurd, comical and a gonzo-esque attempt to freak out the viewer.

I’m not sure how to describe it.  It wants to be a dark comedy but it isn’t that funny.  Or, if that was the intention, someone behind the film mistook shock for comedy.  At any rate, the body count piles up and Elijah Wood delivers the few laughs of the film.

STATUS:  Bordeling shelf-worthy.  It starts well then loses its way.  But if you’ve got Netflix and nothing else to do, check it out.

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TV Review: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

Murder.  Courtroom theatrics.  A car chase involving an infamous white Ford Bronco.

VGRF here with a review of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Even after being told by all sorts of people that this series was worth a look see, I avoided it.  After all, I was alive in the 1990s and if you were too, then this case was splashed on every TV channel all day, everyday.  Though I was in high school at the time, like every other human on the planet, I gained a working knowledge of details, workings, and controversies behind the case, simply because it was impossible not to, given that the whole country was captivated by it.

In other words, I just didn’t think a new TV show about it could tell me much I didn’t already know but I was wrong.  After giving the first episode on a shot on Netflix, I was instantly hooked.

If you’re a youngster, here’s my best attempt at a quick rehash.  At one time, O.J. Simpson was a beloved American icon.  He was a football star dubbed, “The Juice,” known for his incredible speed and pulling off amazing moves on the field.  After his athletic career ended, he found a second calling in TV commercials for Hertz rental cars.  Further, he played the lovable Nordberg in The Naked Gun, taking all manner of comic abuse from incompetent Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen).

In 1994, Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were gruesomely stabbed to death.  Incredibly damning pieces of evidence against O.J. were found, ranging from O.J.’s blood being found at the crime scene to Brown’s blood being found at O.J.’s home property.

Seemed like an open and shut case of a jealous ex-husband seeking the ultimate revenge against his ex-wife and a man she was either seeing or was just unlucky to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Perhaps people with better memories can remind me but as far as I recall, it sounded like Nicole and Ron were considered to be an item largely due to the fact that he was at Nicole’s home to return a pair of sunglasses left at the restaurant he worked at and restaurant workers are unlikely to do that sort of thing without some kind of romantic intentions.

Alas, the case didn’t turn out that easy.  DNA evidence was relatively new at the time.  People were having a hard time grasping the concept that science could be used to match blood to the person who bled it.  Prior to DNA evidence, blood found at a crime scene could have belonged to anyone as far as the police knew.

On top of that, LA had been devastated by massive, widespread riots over the result of the Rodney King beating case verdict, i.e. police officers were caught on top beating a suspect, were let off the hook, and the community was none too pleased, to say the least.

Against that backdrop, the O.J. case became a microcosm of varying points of view against the different groups that comprised America:

  • Many African Americans saw the case as an example of a poor black man who pulled himself up, found fame and fortune, and was being railroaded by a system that didn’t want to see black people get ahead.
  • Others saw the case of celebrity status run amuck.  To paraphrase comedian Chris Rock’s take on the case, had O.J. been a bus driver, he’d of been “Orenthal the bus driving murderer.”  In other words, had O.J. not possessed the star power needed to dazzle the public along with the financial resources to dole out a fortune to a “Dream Team” of the country’s most famous attorneys, he most likely would have been found guilty.  Thus, many didn’t see this as a racial case so much as a case of how the rich and famous are able to game the system and get away with crimes the poor and obscure never could.
  • Some even saw it as an example of the struggles of battered women.  There had been a long history of Nicole being beaten by OJ running up to the murders yet nothing happened.
  • Ultimately, the case was the first courtroom battle to be broadcast round the clock on twenty four hour news stations.  It was sensationalized to the max, and everyone and their uncle came out of the woodwork to cash in on the O.J. case.

Anyway, enough of the backstory.  What captivated me about this series is that I was treated to something I didn’t see in the 1990s, i.e. what happened behind the scenes.  That turmoil is best expressed via the individual experiences of the key players:

  • Robert Kardashian (David Schwimmer) – O.J.’s best friend who serves as an attorney on the Dream Team.  This is some of the best acting I’ve seen coming out of Schwimmer, as he makes me believe that he truly loves O.J. and that love keeps him blind to the possibility that O.J. could have been behind these murders.  Also, he was the father of the Kardashian clan, aka Kim Kardashian, as well as Khloe, Kourtney, and Rob, not to mention ex-husband of Kris.  There’s a scene where Robert lectures his young children that values like friendship, loyalty, hard work and so on are much more important than fame and glamour, but something tells me the kids weren’t listening.
  • Robert Shapiro (John Travolta) – Also some of the best acting I’ve seen out of Travolta, who portrays Shapiro as a sleaze who is overly concerned with his reputation and what the public thinks about him.  Known as a celebrity plea bargainer, i.e. an attorney who helps celebrity defendants get the best possible deal rather than taking the cases to trial.
  • Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) – Tough lead prosecutor who starts out thinking the case is a slam dunk only to have it consume her life when it becomes more than she bargained for.  Hard as nails as she wants to see justice done for the victims.  Victim of a sexist media that routinely comments on her physical appearance, clothes, and hair style.  Her family life suffers as she has to hire babysitters to watch her kids all the time, leaving her ex-husband to challenge custody.  Vastly outnumbered against O.J.’s team of the best lawyers money can buy.
  • Johnnie Cochran (Courtney B. Vance) – Was often parodied as a flashy charlatan at the time of trial as he wore loud suits and spoke in rhyme (“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”)  This series gives his reputation gets a bit of an upgrade as we see Cochran’s past work in representing African American defendants and families of victims of alleged police brutality.
  • Chris Darden (Sterling K. Brown) – In a widespread, star studded cast, probably has the most compelling story.  He is a co-prosecutor on the case, yet family and friends from his old neighborhood view him as a sellout because they feel O.J. has been falsely accused and is being railroaded by the man.  Ironically, having worked in a dead end position in the LA DA’s office in which he investigates allegations against police officers that never go anywhere due to a system that prevents this from happening, he is aware that the LAPD is not without its share of problems.  Yet, he also believes what’s right is right, what’s wrong is wrong and in this particular case, feels strongly in O.J.’s guilt and that letting a murderer go free isn’t the way to fix a broken system.

Last but not least, Cuba Gooding Jr. reminds us why he won an Oscar in his portrayal of Simpson.  This had to have been a difficult character to play.  Even behind the scenes, Cuba as O.J. maintains his innocence.  At no time are you given a proverbial smoking gun, so if you think he’s guilty, you are free to interpret O.J.’s actions/outbursts/odd activities as those of a guilty man, or if you think he’s innocent, you are free to chalk it all up to the stress of a falsely accused man being railroad.

Although, let’s be honest, holy shit, O.J. was totally guilty.  I’m not sure if there was ever any kind of poll but as far as I know, everyone thinks he did it and the evidence is pretty undeniable, even though the jury denied it at the time.  The family of Ronald Goldman was able to win a civil judgment against the Juice.  What clinches it for me (among many things that clinched it) was that years later, OJ released a disturbing If I Did It book, explaining how he would have done it – not exactly something that a person “falsely accused” of murdering an ex-wife he claimed to love would do, IMO.

Ironically, years later, O.J. ended up going to jail after a failed burglary meant to steal pieces of his sports memorabilia.  One would think that a man who so miraculously beat a murder rap would have kept his nose clean from then on, oh that wacky O.J.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Binge watch it on Netflix today.

 

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Stranger Things Season 2 Trailer

Hey 3.5 readers.

Video Game Rack Fighter here.  BQB continues to live a life in exile at the Random Motel.

Did you miss the Stranger Things 2 trailer during the Super Bowl?  Here it is.  Good news?  Eggos and Ghostbusters.  Bad news?  It’s not back until October!

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TV Review – Santa Clarita Diet

Zombies!  Murder!  Mayhem!  Sitcom stupidity.

Video Game Rack Fighter here with a review of Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.  Meanwhile, enjoy your BQB free diet because that nerd will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever write on this blog ever again, ever.

So, Netflix has taken the iZombie idea of a zombie who can still basically function as a human who speaks normally and Dexter, where the protagonist murders bad people, except here she does it for food.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as suburban California realtors Joel and Sheila Hammond, just another boring couple living a quiet life with daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) on an idyllic cul-de-sac where all the houses look the same.

In the first episode, Sheila inexplicably dies and yet, does not die.  SPOILER ALERT: there’s a lot of vomit involved.

Sheila’s heart beat stops, she can be injured without being hurt, she loses control of her base desires and just wants to have sex with her previously sex deprived husband all the time.  Clearly, there’s been a big change.

Rather than, you know, consult a doctor, the family brings in a nerd, creepy next-door neighbor kid Eric (Skyler Gisondo).  He diagnoses Sheila as a zombie because, you know, he reads comic books and shit so apparently he’s an expert.  It’s all presented tongue in cheek and the audience is winked at to just go with it.

There are parts that are funny and parts that are just gross.  I feel sad for Timothy Olyphant.  I got so used to watching him play the tough cowboy in Justified that it seems depressing to watch him become the stereotypical pussy sitcom dad, completely impotent and unable to get any respect from his wife or kid and left to write sternly worded letters to the company that failed to design his toaster oven properly.

The main rule that all good writers must follow is, “Show, don’t tell.”  Viewers prefer to see things happen rather than be told that things happened and yet, at least in the first episode, we are told that things happened rather than shown that things happened.

I almost wondered if that might be a result of the episodes only being a half hour long.  With only a half hour, the show comes across as a zany sitcom.  With an hour, the characters could be developed more without the characters just blurting out the details of scenes we missed.

The verdict is still out on this show.  The first episode had its ups and downs but it was interesting enough to get me to come back for more.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, and I hope BQB enjoys spooning with Leo McCoy in the Randomtown Motel because he will never be allowed to Netflix and chill with me in BQB HQ ever again.

Also, as a grammar issue, I think the show should be called, “The Santa Clarita Diet.”

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They Ruined Last Man Standing

OK.  I’m about five years late with this complaint, but I guess that’s what happens when shows are preserved forever on Netflix and you can watch them whenever you want.

For the most part, I hate it when there are cast changes on a TV show.  If a group of actors/actresses wowed everyone in the first season then every effort should be made to keep the band together.

You don’t change your socks in the bottom of the ninth.  To change an actress is to change the character altogether.

In the first season, Last Man Standing was basically Tim Allen taking his winning Home Improvement formula and applying it to modern times.

On Home Improvement, Tim Taylor lusted after power tools, was kept in check by intelligent wife/psychology student Jill, and was a father to three wacky boys.  From time to time, he’d seek advice from his TV show co-star Al or his mysterious neighbor, Wilson.  During his Tool Time TV show, he’d regale the studio audience with a rant about some subject related to a problem he was experiencing with his family.

On Last Man Standing, the three boys are traded in for three girls.  Mike Baxter lusts after crossbows, shotguns and assorted pieces of hunting equipment.  He’s kept in check by intelligent wife/geologist Vanessa.  He seeks advice from his boss/confidant Ed.  In a modern twist, he regales the Outdoor Man website visitors with rants related to some problem he is experiencing with his family.

Symmetry.  Gotta love it.  Then they ruined it.

In the first season, Mike’s eldest daughter Kristin is played by Alexandra Krosney.  Her backstory is that she got pregnant during her senior year of high school, thus destroying all of her college hopes and dreams while leaving Mike with his only male ally in a house full of girls, his little grandson Boyd.

There was definitely a subtle lesson behind that character.  The message to young people who have kids way too young is, ok, you made a mistake.  But life isn’t over.  Kristin gets up everyday, works at a rancid diner, takes care of her son and occasionally takes a college class when she can fit it into her schedule.  Mom, Dad and younger sisters pitch in to help Kristin out.

Happy family.  Gotta love it.  You’re left with a hope that as long as Kristin keeps plugging away, she will eventually get her long awaited award.  She’ll get her education and she won’t have to work at a stank ass diner anymore.

Alas, in Season Two, Krosney is replaced by Amanda Fuller.  I don’t mean to knock Fuller.  She’s playing the character she was hired to play but, this version of Kristin stinks.

Jordan Masterson is brought in to play Boyd’s dad, Ryan, who in the first season had been played by Nick Jonas in a one time guest spot.

New Kristin and Ryan become liberal foils to conservative Mike.  What used to be a sweet, funny show about a happy family descends into a weekly political debate show where everyone comes across as though they want to slap the crap out of each other over the latest political happenings of the day.

I have a hunch what the network was trying to do.  They essentially moved from modern Home Improvement to modern All in the Family.

If you missed All in the Family, it had the same vibe.  Die hard conservative Archie Bunker would go toe to toe with his super liberal daughter Gloria and son-in-law Mike aka Meathead.

People tend to forget that as much of a hard ass Archie Bunker was, Mike and Gloria were, at times, unbearable in their own ways.

Archie had his pros, namely, he was a good provider and the only one in the household with the brains needed to earn a dollar or get any work done.  He also had his cons in that he was brutish and harsh, stubborn and set in his ways, though occasionally a heart of gold peeked through.

Mike and Gloria had their pros.  They cared about people and the world and were happy go lucky flower children.  But they had their cons, namely, neither one of them could work their way out of a wet paper bag and by the end of the show they had ended up a pair of forty year olds dependent on their elderly father/father-in-law because they were too free spirited to figure out how to earn a living on their own.

In short, the show runners, in my opinion anyway, were trying to say, “Hey, look, both sides have some good ideas, and bad ideas, no one has a complete lock on right and wrong and sometimes when people on opposing sides lock horns, all reason is thrown out the window.”

Apparently, the “new and improved” Kristin and Ryan worked enough to keep the show going for years but personally, I liked the first season better.  I get they are going for modern day Archie vs. Meathead and Gloria in the form of Mike vs. New Kristin and Ryan, but to me, it just comes across as this once adorable, happy family now hates each other.

Mike, like Archie, is a bit of a hard ass, though nowhere near as hard as Archie.  His conservative beliefs clash with New Kristin and Ryan’s liberalism, and the trio spend at least half of every show duking it out in a war of ideology.

Like Archie, Mike is a good provider, but he does try to foist his beliefs on his kids.  Like Meathead and Gloria, New Kristin and Ryan believe their way is the best to help people, but they do come off as ungrateful brats who boinked one night in high school and now they expect their father/father-in-law to raise and pay for their kid for them but they still want to lecture him on how to do it and tell him that he’s doing a shitty job when they should be thanking him for being there for them.

All I know is I just end up missing the happy family that loved each other in season one.

Plus, the bitter political divide the country suffers from can be seen everywhere.  Did we really need to see it on this show too?

Anyway.  Thanks for listening to my five year old complaint, America.  Bring back Alexandra Krosney.

Blah.  I don’t know if I’ll even bother to keep watching it.

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TV Review – One Day at a Time (2017)

A single mom, two kids and a hot eighty-five year old reboot the Norman Lear classic sitcom, exclusively on Netflix.

BQB here with a review of One Day at a Time.

As a Gen X-er (I swear we exist), I have vague memories of the original One Day at a Time.  Single mom Bonnie Franklin balanced raising two daughters, a job and a friendship with a wacky landlord during a time when TV viewers were just starting to accept seeing divorced characters in lead roles on TV.

I recall the show being mildly interesting but it wasn’t, say Facts of Life or Family Ties or one of those 1980s shows that has been handed down through the ages.  It was one of those shows that you’d watch while you were waiting for one of those other big shows to watch.  I can’t remember much from it other than it introduced the world to Valerie Bertinelli.

The show’s been rebooted with a modern flair with a Cuban-American family.  Justina Machado stars as single mother/Afghanistan war veteran/nurse Penelope.  She juggles her day job, raising two kids, her “I’ve made a deal with the devil to keep looking this young” mother Rita Moreno and a friendship with wacky landlord Schneider, who has been given a hipster makeover for modern times.

It has all of the sitcom cheesiness: canned laughter, silly jokes, formulaic plots and so on.  The family faces millennial problems that Bonnie Franklin couldn’t have dreamed of, i.e. daughter Isabella refuses to have a quinceanara because she thinks it is an outdated, misogynistic ritual, for example.

At any rate, the show is a good example of a reboot done right.  It takes a show that was popular back in the day but didn’t really develop a long lasting, post-run fan base, capitalizes on the name and the plot formula, yet makes it fresh and new.

And besides, Schneider was a hipster before hipsters even existed.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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TV Review – Last Man Standing (2011-Present)

If you were alive in the 1990s, chances are you, at least one time in your life, turned on your TV to watch Tim Allen grunt like a gorilla as he played with power tools.

Home Improvement was born out of Allen’s stand-up schtick in which he poked fun at men who begin playing with power tools only to feel surges of testosterone that cause them to regress into primates.  The schtick evolved into a show in which Tim would work on his home improvement television show by day then be a father at night.

I’m very late to the Last Man Standing party, mainly because I believe that by and large, the sitcom formula, though not technically dead, is certainly on life support.  Cheesy jokes, holding back on swears, formulaic plots, cookie cutter characters – all out the window ever since cable TV started producing their own television shows.

However, I noticed it was on Netflix the other day and feeling nostalgic for my youth in which Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor was one of celebrity father figures my TV offered me, I checked out and yeah, I have to admit, as cheesy as it is, it offered me an occasional laugh or two.

Allen has recycled his gorilla grunting tool man schtick into the form of Mike Baxter, an executive of sorts at “Outdoor Man,” a large Bass Pro Shop/Cabella’s type sporting goods store.

By day, Mike sells crossbows, knives, and hunting equipment, complaining about how unmanly men have got all the while.  By night, he reconciles his macho tendencies with the fact that he is outnumbered in his own home by his wife (Nancy Travis) and three daughters with no one but his infant grandson Boyd to turn to.  At times, he finds allies in the form of his hard ass boss Ed (Hector Elizondo) and his daughter’s boyfriend Kyle.

Gorilla grunts have been traded in for complaints about millennial hipsterism.  Baxter is sort of a less offensive Archie Bunker-esque character, unabashedly unapologetic with his conservative views yet twist his arm enough and he might try to see everything from the millennial hipster’s point of view.

An episode in the first season sums up the character.  When his company’s baseball team is forced to go co-ed (let females play), Mike is torn between his belief that men should be allowed to have their own time when they can grunt, snort, burp, drink beer and tell dirty jokes without worrying about offending women.

Co-ed sports are lose-lose for men as Baxter explains that if a man beats a woman at baseball he’s considered a bully, but if he loses to a woman he’s considered an embarrassment.

On the other hand, as a father of three girls, he dislikes the idea that someone might tell his daughters they can’t do something.  Ultimately, he recruits his most tomboyish daughter for a spot on the team and she crushes all the dudes.

Mike, who rants regularly on in videos on his store’s website, sums up a feeling that a lot of men think but few are willing to say out loud, “I want a world where women can do everything a man can do…and just don’t want to.”

Tim Taylor has grown up and morphed into Mike and Mike, like many of us modern men, suffer from an identity crisis.  Women have no idea what they want us to be anymore and we’re just as equally clueless.

But one thing’s for sure – we men need crossbows, and beer, and hunting equipment, and on occasion, the ability to burp and drink beer and tell obscene jokes without being judged by the women folk.

We’re just too evolved now to tell the womenfolk that they can’t join in on the outdoor crossbow hunting trips, but they’d better start burping and drinking beer and telling obscene jokes if they want to keep up.

File under – “Women Have the Right to Act Like Men Now…But Why Would They Want To?”

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Available on Netflix. Good show for when you need something not too complicated to watch for twenty minutes before you fall asleep.

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TV Review – Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 11

I love this show, 3.5 readers.

Season 11 just dropped on Netflix and Season 12 is underway on FXX.

Twelve seasons for a comedy show.  That’s got to be a record.  I feel like I just started watching this show yesterday.  In a way, I feel like I grew up with these guys a bit.  I’m about their age, give or take a year or two.  And I guess we were all adults when it started but still, how time flies.

In Season 11, the gang parodies 1980s ski slope movies (a genre that sadly, or perhaps thankfully, lived and died by the end of that decade).  They catch a leprechaun, accidentally kidnap people with a St. Patrick’s Day themed party bus, litigate the trial of the century against the disturbingly inbred McPoyle clan and go to hell after being trapped inside a cruise ship’s boat jail.

They can keep making this show forever as far as I’m concerned.  Dennis, Dee, Charlie and Mac are the biggest group of scumbag scammers around and they will no doubt keep failing at their attempts to make a quick, dishonest buck so they might as well keep those seasons coming.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Available on Netflix.

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Movie Review – Way of the Dragon (1972)

I love it when I can watch movies related to a project I’m working on and call it research.

Bruce Lee’s signature film, a super hairy Chuck Norris and a whole helluva lot of kung fu.

BQB here with a review of Way of the Dragon.

I have to be honest.  This film is considered to be the quintessential martial arts film but when I look through it via a modern frame of mind then…well, yeah, it kind of stinks.

It’s basically one step above being a high school AV club project.  The plot is goofy.  In Rome, a  mafia don wants a restaurant owned by Uncle Wang and, I guess his relative of some sort, maybe his daughter or some shit I don’t know because it’s hard to understand, so what the hell, we’ll just call her his daughter, Chen Ching Hua (Nora Miao).

Chen’s other uncle from Hong Kong sends a friend, Tang Lung (Bruce Lee), to Rome to help protect the restaurant and beat up some motherfuckers with his kung fu skills.

Throughout the film, there are cheesy jokes aplenty.  For example, Tang Lung arrives at the airport and an old lady stares at him, unsure what to make of him.  He then orders soup at an airport restaurant but his elderly waitress is confused as to what he wants.  He points to soup on the menu a bunch of times, so she brings him like twenty bowls of soup.

Being a gentlemen, Tang Lung eats it all and then throughout the first part of the film it becomes a running joke that he needs to keep asking for a bathroom because he has the soupy shits.

Meanwhile, the don’s top henchman is a flamboyantly gay, scarf clad stereotype, so outlandish in fact that I’d love to get Ken Jeong on the phone just to ask if he based Mr. Chow in The Hangover films on this character.

Blah, blah, blah, there are a lot of jokes, a lot of fights, a lot of squabbling over what is going to happen to the restaurant and then, wham!  There’s the big finish in which the don hires American martial artist Colt (aka Chuck Fucking Norris) to take down Tang Lung, because apparently, he really wants that fucking restaurant.

Add to the list of the movie’s plot holes a lack of an explanation as to why this restaurant is so important.  The don goes through like nine-hundred henchmen just to get his hands on this joint.  Is gold buried under the floor boards?  Is it prime real estate that can be sold at a high markup?  What the hell is going on here?  Oh well.  Nobody knows.

And I also digress.  This film was Chuck Norris’ big screen debut and holy shit, was he a sight to behold in his youthful, pre-mustache glory.  The man had a bear-like mange of chest hair, so luxurious that Bruce tears a hunk out of it during the final fight scene.

The man’s back was even hairy.  That shit just wouldn’t fly today.  If you want to be on screen then you have to be waxed, but they didn’t care about that shit in the 1970s.  Hell, hairiness was a sign of virility.  The hairier you were, the more poon you got and let me tell you, by the look of his back, young Chuck Norris was swimming in strange.

Can you believe I once had a girlfriend who complained about my hairy back?  Shit.  I bet young Chuck Norris didn’t have to put up with uppity broads trying to rub Nair all over his shoulder blades.

I have digressed again.  Look, the film is on Netflix so you should check it out.  Don’t shit on the film as I have but rather, keep in mind that it was a 1970s flick, made at a time when martial arts films were just getting started.  Ignore the cheesiness, the silly jokes, and the terrible English voiceover dubbing.

The final fight scene is intense.  Bruce and Chuck never speak to each other but it is clear they are both professionals.  They silently taunt one another but they also fight with honor and respect.

Come for the movie.  Stay until the end for the epic final showdown between Bruce and Chuck, two titans in all of their glory.  Sadly, the world lost Bruce way, way too young, but at least Chuck stuck around long enough to grow a sweet mustache, appear in a shit ton of B movies and become an Internet meme.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Invent a time machine and bring me back to the 1970s, a time when men were men and the only limit to the amount of chicks they could bag was measured by the amount of bear-like fur on their manly chests and backs.

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