Tag Archives: netflix

TV Review – Paradise PD (2018)

My eyes!  What have I seen?  God, help me!

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s Paradise PD.

There’s a part of me that says the master print of this show should be burned, the ashes dissolved in acid, the remnants of whatever is left put into a rocket to be shot into the sun.  It’s that gross and I don’t know why, there’s just something about seeing cartoon animated disgustingness that makes me feel like my soul was warped upon seeing it.  There are scenes that haven’t left me feeling this weirded out since I saw Sausage Party, which, although I laughed at, I pledged I’d never see it ever again and to date, I never have.

On the other hand, I haven’t had such a good laugh in so long.  It’s hilarious – rapid fire jokes upon jokes upon jokes, jokes that are quick, jokes that you get right away, jokes that you get after you think about it after a minute.

Even better? It pulls no punches.  It takes no sides.  It whams, bams, and slams everyone and everything.  It is an equal opportunity offender to one and all.  If you haven’t been offended within the first five minutes, give it another five.  Don’t worry.  They will eventually get to something that offends you.

Ironically, that’s what unbiased comedy is.  When comedians savage one side, one group, one idea, then leave the opposite untouched, it’s biased.  We see that in comedy today when it comes to politics.  Comedians have their sacred political cows and they won’t touch certain topics with a ten foot pole.

Here, liberals and conservatives are parodied with equal vigor.  There’s a particularly funny episode that skewers the cable news channels – CNN, MSNBC and FOX, how they feature knee jerk commentators who skew things to fit their agenda.

I laughed.  I laughed.  I laughed some more.  Still, there’s something about seeing a cartoon penis that seems wrong, even in a cartoon that is intended by adults, and by the way, please, I don’t care if this is a cartoon, if you kid tries to watch this show, please do whatever it takes to stop them from watching it, even if you have to take an axe to the television.

The set up?  Kevin is a loser who ends up as a police officer under the command of his constantly angry police chief father, in the town of Paradise.  There’s the super fat Dusty, the disgusting Hobo Cop (a hobo turned cop), the walking poster for police brutality Gina, the elderly Hopson (owner of the cartoon penis the sight of which makes me want to power wash my eyeballs), the drug addled police dog Bullet and Fitz, the African American cop who, in one wacky episode, accidentally shoots himself in the penis and then gets arrested for committing police brutality against a black man, i.e. himself.

Part of me wants to apologize to Jesus for recommending this.  Part of me appreciates the good laughs it gave me as I watched it the past week.

The best description is that it is basically what you might imagine if Family Guy were able to take the freak outs that it does now but then crank it up to 1,000 with no holds barred.

Honestly, there should be some holds barred.  It’s funny, but I hope this doesn’t mean we’re moving toward a future where all cartoons meant for adults end up this disgusting.

I can’t give it a shelf-worthy rating.  I also can’t not give it one.  See it if you want to laugh and laugh heartily.  Don’t see it if you are easily offended, feint of heart, or if you just believe in common standards of decency…which I do, so why I watched this I don’t know.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Movie Review – The Voices (2015)

Your dog says behave.  Your cat says be bad.  What to do?  Why, read this review, of course.

SPOILER ALERT – I can’t really get into much of this film without giving it all away, so for now, if you haven’t seen it and your stomach isn’t turned by the thought of guts, gore, murder and also, the fact that somehow this is a comedy (a dark one) then go ahead and watch it on Netflix, then report back here to discuss in the comments.

I caught this at random, just searching through Netflix for something to watch and was surprised that I had never heard of this one.  It’s got Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick and it’s been out for so long yet it fell below my radar.

Moreover, Ryan Reynolds does some honest to God acting in this flick.  You laugh, but I think that even Double-R would admit he has been depending on a snarky, over confident, self-absorbed schtick for a long time now.

Here, RR plays someone different, nay, three someones.  First, he’s Jerry, a shy, socially awkward bathtub factory worker.  To his coworkers, he’s a bit of an odd duck yet still a member of the team.

In his personal life, he’s clearly bananas.  Living in an apartment above a bowling alley, he talks to his pets – Bosco the dog and Mr. Whiskers the cat.  Bosco is Jerry’s good side so naturally, the cat is the villain.  Bosco advises Jerry to behave while Mr. Whiskers urges Jerry to give in to his deepest, darkest impulses.

Usually, Bosco wins, until a fateful night when Jerry scores a date with the babe of his dreams, Fiona (Gemma Arterton).  Alas, Jerry accidentally kills Fiona and Mr. Whiskers takes advantage of this to push Jerry over the line and urge him to kill again, this time on purpose.

Potentially in the crosshairs is Lisa (Anna Kendrick), another coworker who has harbored a longtime crush on Jerry.  Her fate will depend on whether Jerry starts paying more attention to his good pet or his bad pet.

From a writing standpoint (and look away for this is a big SPOILER), Jerry’s medication plays a big role from a “show, don’t tell” perspective.  Prior to the chaos, Jerry has been seeing Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) for treatment related to a traumatic childhood.

She urges Jerry to take his medication.  When he doesn’t, his world is happy, calm, peaceful.  He believes he has a pretty comfortable, sweet life, living in a nice, swanky apartment with his best four-legged buds.  Heck, the dismembered head of Fiona, now kept in his fridge, even talks to him, saying all the sweet nothings he longed to hear from her.

What happens when he takes the medication?  Reality sets in, and it’s a grim one.  The apartment isn’t a nice place to live at all.  It’s filled to the brim with filth – dog and cat poop, unwashed dishes, various warning signs that this wack job has not been taking care of himself for quite some time, as well as the bloody remains of his victim.  Worse for Jerry, his pets don’t even talk.  They’re just a cat and a dog.  And yikes!  Fiona is no longer a happy go lucky talking head but as you might have guessed, a silent, rotting head.

As Dr. Warren later explains with advice that could help everyone, no matter their level of crazy, most people hear “voices” though to most people, those “voices” come across as thoughts – ideas of self-loathing, disappointment, urges to do bad things and most people know well enough to push those thoughts aside and not be consumed by them.  Others, like Jerry, hear literal voices and create false worlds to avoid reality.

Scary, dark, funny though it seems like it shouldn’t be, the film has, surprisingly, a good message about facing reality, warts and all, learning to accept ourselves, rally around our strengths, forgive ourselves for our weaknesses, confront problems rather than pretend they aren’t there, to not live in a fantasy land because improving the real world around is often too hard.

It’s a good film where Ryan actually convinces me that he’s shy and awkward even though he’s anything but and to boot, he hams it up as an angelic dog and devilish cat.

It’s a good flick that probably deserved a little more critical acclaim than it got so its worth a watch, unless you aren’t into comedies about crazy men who talk to heads and killer kitties, then you know, don’t watch it.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Tagged , , , , , ,

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Swordfish (2001)

abustany-movie-reel-800px

Halle Berry’s titties.

For years, that’s all I remembered about this film – that (those?) and also that it seemed kind of dumb at the time.

In the early 2000s, you couldn’t have asked for a better collection of actors.  John Travolta was knee deep in his “Pulp Fiction” career recovery.  Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry were fresh off of being X-Men (Wolverine and Storm, respectively).  Meanwhile, Don Cheadle was in, well, everything.

But…sometimes you can take a bunch of awesome things, like graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate and create something awesome, like s’mores.  And sometimes you can take some awesome things, like pizza, beer and an all night dance party and end up puking your guts out.

In other words, the actors were great but the plot sort of came across as though a bunch of writers got together and said, “Let’s just bypass this whole plot thing and have a lot of awesome explosions, action and get Halle Berry to gratuitously flash her funbags for no reason.

Interestingly enough, I caught this on Netflix after having not seen it since I did in the movie theater oh so many years ago.  And for the first hour or so, I recalled why I thought the movie blew chunks in the first place.

Jackman plays Stanley Jobson, supposedly the world’s greatest hacker, currently on parole after pissing off the government with his hackery.  With a life reduced to poverty, he’s forced into becoming a hacker for Gabriel (Travolta) a mysterious, off-the-books, anti-terrorist operation runner.

The idea sounds awesome in theory but in practice, it’s a lot of just running around, things exploding, Halle Berry eating Twizzlers in a bizarre effort to seem interesting (she already was and didn’t need candy), and Travolta chewing scenery as he hams up his (to the best of my recollection) first villain role with great relish and gusto.

Well, if it sucks then why am I recommending it?  Because, in hindsight, the last half of the film is eerily prophetic.

You see, this film was released in the summer of 2001, a mere three months before the 9/11 attack.  For most of the film, Gabriel comes across as a psychopath who just wants Jobson to use his hacking skills to score some cash.

However, we learn (spoiler) that Gabriel was never just a bank robber, but in fact, he’s running his own anti-terror unit.  As he explains, any time a terrorist attacks American interests, he’ll use the cash to fund his own private Army that will hit the terrorists back tenfold.  Why, if he learns that countries are harboring terrorists, he’ll hit those countries back as well.  Uncle Sam doesn’t want to get his hands dirty, so he’ll do it for him.

Three months before 9/11, the idea was sort of a throwaway.  Sure there were terrorist attacks for years before 9/11, and Americans were vaguely aware of the existence of Osama Bin Laden due to attacks on American embassies in Africa and on the USS Cole, for example.

But the idea that a 9/11 could happen was inconceivable.

At the end of the film, Gabriel tries to convince Stanley that he was never the bad guy.  He poses a question to Stanley – if it were possible to develop a cure to all diseases known to man, but in doing so, one child would have to die, would Stanley do it?

Stanley answers no.  It would be immoral to let the child die.  Gabriel argues that it would be immoral to let so many die just to save one life.  The greater good.

Yes, three months before 9/11 I was just a young adult in the early part of my life, happy go lucky and carefree and I wrote the film off as just a fun diversion and a chance to see some delicious caramel flavored titties.

What I wouldn’t realize until 17 years later is that this relatively obscure action flick posed, right before 9/11, the great question that has plagued, and alas, even torn this country apart, namely – how hard is too hard when it comes to fighting terrorism?  Is it moral to go to war overseas in the hope of stopping it?  Is it moral not to, knowing that if terrorists are rooted out of hiding, they may kill Americans at home?

Whether it is moral to bring the fight to the terrorists or to just live life and accept terrorism as just another sad part of life (i.e. “the new normal”) has been the main source of feuding between conservatives and liberals for nearly two decades now.

Terrorists hiding in other countries.  America fighting back.  Shadow ops to take the baddies out.

Sigh.  We had an early warning in the most unlikely of places, that being a cockamamie action film that rested largely on fake CGI action and real titties.

Very real titties.

I love you Halle.  You tried to save America with your titties and never got the credit you deserve…until now.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy…mainly for the second half and only if you think about the questions raised by the second half in the context that this film was released three months before 9/11.

Tagged , , , ,

TV Review – Orange is the New Black – Season 6 Review (Spoilers Abound)

Hey 3.5 readers.

I don’t have time to give this season the in-depth review it deserves, so I’ll try to break it down quickly.

I felt the first couple seasons were an interesting look into prison life.  Hollywood tends to really ham up prison portrayals –  i.e. that classic scene where the main character enters the joint for the first time and the prisoners throw rain garbage and flaming pieces of whatever down upon him out of their cells.

While I’m sure violence is an ever present threat in prisons (and is portrayed a lot on this show) the show gave an aspect that other shows about the clink rarely showed, i.e., that it’s all one great big glorified high school for adults, complete with social cliques, winners, losers, a great big fishbowl where everyone is in everyone else’s business and the slightest bit of gossip can wreak all kinds of havoc.

I felt in later seasons, the show started to jump the shark as the more outrageous the shenanigans got.  At times, some of the tomfoolery seemed unlikely and increasingly far fetched.

But this last season really brought the series home.

Here, the OITNB girls, or a segment of them anyway, end up in the “max” prison, following a riot that goes bad.  Alas, they find themselves as pawns in the neverending war between two geriatric sisters with a longstanding grudge that has existed since the 1980s.

Lots of emotion, sadness, all sorts of bad things happen.

If the showrunners wanted to, they could probably end the series here.  Piper goes home and assumedly, like the real Piper she was based on, will write a book about her time in the can.

Vause looks like she will atone for her sin of putting Piper in prison in the first place – then again, maybe not as it looks like the boss she had to swear allegiance to in order to get Piper off the hook is no longer around.

Taystee goes down for a crime she didn’t commit but is the poster child for how the system swallows poor young African Americans up.

Black Cindy will forever want to do the right thing, be unable to do the right thing, but always feel guilty for not doing the right thing.

I could go on and on, there are so many characters that I dont think it’s possible for all of their storylines to be resolved (other than most of them will be in the slammer for a long time) I think overall, this season finale brought home a lot of stuff for the main members of the ensemble.

I’ve read that there will be a season 7.  I assume this will be where Piper the ex-inmate becomes Piper the author.  Perhaps the writers will figure out a way to get Taystee out of the fix she is in.

At times, the show goes overboard and over the top.  Sometimes I think it is too liberal as many of the women are portrayed as poor little birds who couldn’t help but be there.  Many of the back stories show people who started out somewhat ok, then just made one bad choice and ended up in jail.  Flaca, for example, sold colored pieces of paper, told kids it was acid to make a buck, only to be charged when a classmate was dumb enough to believe he was tripping when he wasn’t and kill himself.

But then at other times, the show will get real…sometimes too real…the backstory scene where we learn what the 1980s bitties did to get locked up is too scary for words.

Guards are often portrayed as roid addled, power tripping losers but then we also see how they suffer behind the scenes too.

The show could end here and be a rare show that ties up all the ends but it sounds like it has at least another season left.  The writers will have to keep towing that difficult to balance light between humor and abject horror, never going too far into one side or the other.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

Movie Review – Father of the Year (2018)

I’m going to make this a short review.

I generally avoid Adam Sandler and Co’s movies lately.  They’re all usually straight to streaming on Netflix and they remind me of a brand of humor that was edgy in my youth, but seems, for some reason, like it doesn’t work today.  I hate to see former SNL faves getting older.

I put this one on just for something to watch in the background while I did some housework and ended up laughing a lot.  Maybe Happy Madison’s still got it after all.

Childhood best friends turned college graduates Ben and Larry (they are too young and irrelevant for me to learn their actor names) come home for one last summer in their New Hampshire home town before they head off into the real world.

Blah, blah, blah, shenanigans ensue, a bet is made that Ben’s dad (David Spade) could totally beat up Larry’s dad (Nat Faxon.)

Various attempts at a fight ensue.  Hijinx galore.  Ultimately, the main idea seems to be to stop trying to control your life because no matter what you do, your fate will be out of your control.  Ben’s dad is a total loser but is blissfully oblivious to his scumbaggery.  Larry’s dad tries to do everything right but is bossed around shamelessly by his wife and young stepson.

I don’t know.  Lots of gross out humor.  It’s funny.  Watch it. End of review.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review – Train to Busan (2016)

Zombies on a train!

BQB here with a review of “Train to Busan.”

As a zombie fan, I’ve been hearing mumblings about this movie in the nerd-o-sphere for awhile now.  It’s foreign, the characters speak Korean and it’s in subtitles, but foreign language films don’t necessarily stop me as long as the subject matter is something I’m interested in.  Personally, I prefer to read the subtitles and that combined with listening to the tone of voice and facial expressions I can get the gist of what’s going on even though I don’t speak the same language as the actors.  Funny how there are some things that transcend language barriers.

Anyway, in many ways, it’s a typical set-up.  Mom is divorced from Dad, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), ostensibly because he works too much in his job as a stock broker, and apparently no matter where you are in the world, wanting to work hard is considered a crime by the ladies but that’s ok.  My review doesn’t need to be spoiled by my personal baggage.

Young daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim) misses her mother, who lives in Busan, and wants to cut her visit to her father’s home short.  After much wrangling, Dad concedes and hops a train with his kiddo.

Yadda, yadda, yadda…zombies!  A virus breaks out and South Korea is overrun with brain biters.  Worse, they’ve overtaken most cars on the train, leaving human survivors with only a few cars to move around on.

What happens next is a heroic tale of survival.  It becomes a constant running test when survivors are faced with a constant, repetitive choice, namely whether to slam a door between cars shut, sacrificing the life of a survivor who hasn’t made it through yet in order to protect one’s self and loved ones from the incoming zombie horde that’s chasing the unlucky human.

What would you do in that position?  Risk saving a fellow passenger, or slam the door in their face to protect yourself?  It’s a choice that’s made again and again, and as the movie progresses, we are left with a hope that maybe Seok-woo’s cold, businessman mentality might give way to a more humane, caring side.

Daughter Soo-an foils her dad’s efforts to think only for himself and his daughter.  She often lends a hand to complete strangers, putting herself at risk and in doing so, involving her old man in situations he’d rather avoid.

Meanwhile, the noble Sang-hwa (Dong-seok Ma) serves as a more overt check on Seok-woo’s conscience, almost bullying the man half his size to do the right thing.  While Seok worries chiefly about his daughter, Sang is worried about his pregnant wife, Seong-kyeong (Yu-mi Jeong).  Yet, he believes he can save her, his unborn child, and everyone else he can.

No movie would be complete without a villain and that comes in the form of Yon-suk (Eui-sung Kim), a train company executive who, unluckily for everyone else, happens to be riding on the train and is willing to sacrifice just about anyone and everyone just to save his oily hide from the gray matter chompers.

Overall, it’s a great film, a real thinker, with special effects that rival a Hollywood blockbuster.  Perhaps one of the more harrowing scenes comes when Seok, Sang and high school student, Yong Guk (Woo-sik Choi) form a three man phalanx and narrowly scrape through a tight car full of brain chewers in order to rescue their respective loved ones.

3.5 readers, Asia has really embraced the action genre and I don’t know if this is a new thing or perhaps it’s just something I’ve been turned onto thanks to Netflix, where you can find a vast cornucopia of Asian action films in subtitles.  Some are dubbed with American voices, but I do prefer to just read the subtitles, so catch this one before it obtains a mainstream level of popularity and they ruin it with dubbing.

The Ip Man Series and almost anything with Donnie Yen are worth watching and while Hong Kong seems to be Asia’s Hollywood, South Korea is catching up with this flick.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Seriously, I know a lot of people are like, “Ugh, I have to read subtitles?  No thanks.  Too much work.  It’s worth it and there’s plenty of action on screen to make up for it.  It’s currently available on Netflix.

Tagged , , , , ,

TV Review – Mindhunter – Season 1

The 1970s!  The FBI!  Sex with decapitated heads!

BQB here with a review of the new Netflix series, “Mindhunter.”  (BEWARE SPOILERS)

Hey 3.5 readers.  I heard a random recommendation for this show on a podcast the other day and had I not heard it, I would not have known this show even existed.  I’m not sure it’s getting the credit that it deserves because it’s well done, dramatic, smart, good timing, pacing, writing, acting, the whole she-bang.

I have no pull in Hollywood but I hope I can at least push the 7 eyes of my 3.5 readers to this outstanding series.

So, what’s it about?  It’s the late 1970s.  Watergate, Vietnam, and a series of 1960s political assassinations have left the public with what President Jimmy Carter once referred to as a “malaise” (although he never actually used that word but I don’t want to veer too far off track.)   Essentially, the institutions society depended on were breaking down and people started losing faith, accepting that life kinda blows and there’s not much to be done about it.

Against this backdrop, a new form of criminal emerges.  While the FBI was born in the name of stopping the likes of Dillinger and Capone, i.e. crooks with a clear motive (profit), there are now killers whose crimes are inexplicable – Charles Manson, Son of Sam, et. all.  Murders that are bizarre, disturbing, gruesome and incomprehensible.

Young, late 20s FBI agent Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff), an instructor of hostage negotiation tactics at the FBI training academy at Quantico, wants to understand how humans become monsters and sees potential in applying psychology to criminology.

Alas, Unit Chief Shepard (Cotter Smith), a typical gear clogging government bureaucrat, sums up the FBI’s thoughts on psychology – it’s bunk, hippy dippy nonsense, pointless prattle about thoughts and feelings that are not worth the bureau’s time.

Enter Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), a stereotypical gruff and grizzled, buzz cut sporting G-Man.  He believes he’s found a golden gig in the FBI, teaching “road school,” i.e. each week he visits a different city, trains local law enforcement with a condensed version of FBI tactics, finds a lot of free time to hit the local golf courses, then heads home on the weekend to the wife and kid until he turns around and does it all again the next week.

Alas, Holden is assigned to work with Tench and as you might expect, he becomes a real turd in Tench’s punch bowl.

Holden sees a lot of potential in the road school’s downtime.  During a visit to California, he talks his way into a prison visit to interview serial killer Edmund Kemper (Cameron Britton), a 6’9,” 300 pound man who infamously killed his grandparents as a juvenile, only to be released as an adult, where he turned around and killed a number of women, cut off their heads and well, did unsavory things to said heads.  He even did this to his own mother before finally turning himself in.

Holden arranges for multiple interviews with Kemper and slowly but surely, talks the skeptical Tench into believing that locked away in the minds of serial killers is the information needed for the FBI to develop the new science of “criminal profiling” i.e. looking at traits held by certain people and determining the likelihood they might kill based on those traits, perhaps maybe even one day being able to stop such gruesome murders from happening.  Even further, they hope to be able to look at aspects of a crime, determine what kind of traits would be in a potential suspect and from there, be able to find the killer that much easier.

Thus, the FBI’s first behavioral science unit is born and soon enough, it grows in the form of Dr. Wendy Carr (Ana Torv) a professor turned FBI consultant.

As season one progresses, more serial killers are interviewed.  Although Holden and Tench are amalgamations of the real life pioneers who convinced the FBI to incorporate psychological profiling into its box of detection tricks, the killers interviewed are all real, i.e. actors doing their best imitations of said murderers.

Britton steals the show as the socially awkward Kemper, who blames his mother for all his problems, and is apparently so lonely that he starts to live for Holden’s interviews.  A crazy giant who kills people and fornicates with their heads is not exactly someone you want on your speed dial.

Happy Anderson plays Jerry Brudos, a hulking beast who murdered young women and stole their shoes (also blames his mother, it’s sort of a running, I don’t want to say joke but maybe a point that all the killers blame their moms).

Other killers include Montie Rissell (Sam Strike) who killed his female rape victims because he wanted them to be quiet and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie) who committed perhaps the most horrific acts in serial killer history, kidnapping a house full of nursing students and murdering all eight women in a single night.

The dynamic between Holden and Tench makes the series not just watchable but bingeable.  Holden is fascinated by what he sees as psychological tidbits being mined from the brains of these madmen – aspects of their childhoods, experiences, upbringings, things that can be looked for when hunting murderers.

Tench reluctantly admits the research will be helpful and yet, the research disgusts him.  While Holden views the interview subjects as victims of their own psychiatric circumstances, Tench views them as scumbag losers who couldn’t handle life so they flipped out and then blame everyone else but themselves for their own evil doings. At times, the buddy cop dynamic is fun and humorous.

From a writing perspective, it’s an example of how good writers can incorporate infamous figures from a history (here, a dark history) and incorporate fictionalized interactions to create something that is interesting.

Of course, no science is perfect and the ethical ramifications are explored.  Is it possible to use profiling to stop crimes before they start?  If a person is law abiding but exhibits strange but legal traits, should that person be deprived of a job, of a livelihood, cast aside from society, treated as a criminal before committing a crime?  Holden wrestles with these issues as his research causes him to start seeing potential psychos everywhere.

As the buddy cop duo continue their research, they often get called into the field to help local police departments catch killers, giving Holden and Tench a chance put what they have learned into practice.

SIDENOTE: Congrats to McCallany, who is one of those actors who has long played tough guys in movies, one of those actors who is in a lot of stuff but you never know his name…until now.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. I can’t wait for season 2.

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

BQB’s Netflix Pick of the Week – Lost in Space

Danger 3.5 Will Robinsons.

I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet but previews look good.  Why don’t you 3.5 readers watch it and get back to me on whether or not it is worth my time.  I can’t do everything around here, you know.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review – The Outsider (2018)

Domo arigato, 3.5 Mr. Robotos.

BQB here with a review of the Netflix film, “The Outsider.”

3.5 readers, if it’s one thing that the Yakuza are known for it’s open-ness.  The Japanese mafia really like newcomers who change things up…not.

Jared Leto plays Nick Lowell, an AWOL US GI in 1954.  At the start of our tale, he’s in a Japanese prison.  He performs a favor for one Yakuza member and that favor is returned with a grant of his freedom.  Oddly, the Yakuza boss’ son welcomes Nick as an equal right away and after awhile, he manages to turn various Yakuza members from thinking he’s a dirty foreigner to deciding he’s just one of the guys.

Honestly, it would be a nice tale about tolerance, diversity, and acceptance if so many people weren’t being shot and murdered and so on.

Overall, a good film, very dark, could have used more info on Nick’s backstory and I feel like there should have been more karate but maybe that’s a stereotype on my part.  Do all Yakuza know karate?  Is it more offensive to the Yakuza to say they all know karate or that they all don’t know karate?  Which is it?  I don’t want to offend the Yakuza.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

Tagged , , ,

BQB’s Netflix Pick of the Week – Heat (1995)

Hey 3.5 readers.  Is there anything in your life that you couldn’t walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner?

Well, this means you’re probably a good person but would be a lousy bank robber.

Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, the two best Italian-American actors of their day or perhaps any day, gave fans a thrill when they squared off in this crime drama.  Ironically, it’s roughly 3 hours and yet it moves fast, like you almost don’t feel the length of the film.

There’s an iconic scene where Al and Bobby D set aside their game of cat and mouse and meet in a diner where they learn there’s not much difference between them.  Both are bored with the idea of a hum drum life.  Both are thrill seekers.  Both have failed relationships because they can’t stop chasing something, the big collar for Al, the big score for Bob.

By the way, Val Kilmer is nuts in this flick.  Epic shootout in the end.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll do it every week but I am a prolific Netflix watcher so I’ll try to give you a streaming recommendation whenever I can so this movie is my first suggestion for you.

Tagged , , , , ,
Advertisements