Tag Archives: oscars

Movie Review – Parasite (2019)

Get lots of references for your new hires, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of this Oscar Winner for Best Picture.

I know a lot of people won’t watch movies with subtitles, not out of an aversion to foreign films but because if they want to watch a movie, they don’t want to read.

I get it and I admit, the subject matter really has to intrigue me to watch a subtitled movie.  Ultimately, to read the subtitles requires a lot of concentration.  You can’t do other things during the movie, and you definitely can’t get up to take a wizz or microwave a chimichanga.

Thus, I waited for an evening where I could give my TV my full, undivided attention and I’m glad I did.

This movie starts out strong as a fun, lighthearted comedy.  The Kim family are poor in cash but rich in spirit, taking their impoverished lives as basement dwelling pizza box folders in stride, making jokes as they search for free wi-fi, all the while dodging the various bug and homeless bum urine streams that threaten to wreak havoc on their cramped home.

When Son uses forged credentials to defraud his way into a position as a tutor to the daughter of the wealthy Park family, inspiration strikes.  One by one, the Kims paint a humorous masterpiece of deceit, setting up the Park family’s servants to be fired so that they can, whilst posing with fake identities, take on those jobs themselves.  Sister, Dad, Mom all get in on the act and before you know it, they are all on the Park family payroll and able to pay for luxuries like wifi and pest extermination.  Alas, the peeing bum never stops peeing.

It’s hard to not root for the Kims.  They are poor through no fault of their own.  We learn that Dad has suffered through one lousy job after the next, being laid off or having companies he worked for go out of business.  The world economy has suffered greatly over the past several years, and when there is a mention of a security guard position that gets 500 applicants with college degrees, one can’t help but think that poor folk like the Kims can’t pull themselves out of the gutter without a bit of subterfuge.

Meanwhile, the Parks are lovable but hopelessly naive and trusting.  Having not suffered much in life, they never developed that inner bullshit detector that causes them to question certain situations so as to avoid being duped.  Mother Park is all about fancy parties and doting on the children while servants do all the heavy lifting.  Father Park is all about business.  You eventually come to love both families.  You want the Kims to succeed, but you don’t want the Parks to be hurt.

Unfortunately, at the midpoint, the film takes a dark turn and goes from witty comedy to blood soaked horror fest.  The laughs are lost and the mayhem ensues.  While I get the film had to go somewhere, I don’t agree with the direction it went at all and feel there were plenty of other options.

I won’t give it away, though I’m not sure it jived with the film’s overall message, or at least my interpretation of it.  I thought the film was trying to say a) sometimes a family can do everything right and still be poor and when the economy tanks, it’s hard to blame them for trying to fib their way to the top.  B)  When you juxtapose the plenty of the Parks with the little of the Kims, it can be easy to hate on the rich and demand they turn over all of their shit to the poor.  But then again, keep in mind that there are nice rich people and kneecapping the people who are winning the race of life doesn’t really do much to help those who are losing win.

A happy ending would have been great but….for some reason, there was just a lot of murder.  Maybe there are no happy endings when it comes to class warfare.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  I’d like to see a re-cut with a happy ending.  There was actually one point in the film where I thought it was going to ramp up the silliness and lead to a silly ending but…nope.  That point was abandoned for murder.  So much murder.

Maybe after you 3.5 readers have a chance to see it I’ll say how I thought it should have ended.

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My Lamentations About the Academy Awards

This was a year where I had seen many of the movies nominated for best picture and to my surprise, I liked most of them.  They were hits that really drew the viewer in and overall were supremely watchable.  Movies like Ford vs. Ferrari, Knives Out, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Naturally, the award went to Korean foreign language film Parasite and my first reaction was “Oh, yeah, the Academy always has to award the movie no one has seen” but I’m going to reserve judgment till I see it.  It was made by the same director who made Snowpiercer so it may very well be a great movie.  I will check it out and let you 3.5 readers know what I think.

I have to say, the guild is off the lily for the Oscars, at least it is for me anyway.  These shows got so “woke” that they can’t even have a host anymore.  No, literally no one wants the job.  Can you imagine that?  In an entertainment industry where performers are vying to be seen, no one wants to get that much airtime…because maybe you made some off the cuff remark ten years ago and it will all come back to haunt you thanks to social media.

I tuned in for a moment and Steve Martin and Chris Rock were joking about a lack of diversity about the Oscars.  There was a joke about how the actress who played Harriet Tubman hid black people so well that the Academy hired her to hide black people from the nominations.

Funny but also uh…why not just nominate her?  They made a joke about Eddie Murphy being hidden but again, why not nominate him?  I didn’t see Harriet so I can’t tell you if it’s a good movie or not.  I did see Dolemite and I thought that was a good movie with a lot of heart, basically a big underdog story about a man with an impossible dream, a washed up entertainer in his fifties, everyone telling him to give up on ever being in the movies but he puts all his money on the line and to make a movie and succeeds.

When I saw it I thought if Eddie was ever going to get an Oscar, it would be for this, but of course, Dolemite was also a comedy so we can’t have that.  Not at the Oscars ever.

I tuned out and tuned back in one more time to see Brad Pitt win for best supporting actor.  Maybe it’s just me but it bugged me that here’s this guy who has been acting for so many years, has been in some of the biggest movies ever in some of the greatest roles every yet he has never won an Oscar for acting.  And sadly, he felt the need to share part of his brief speech time to complain about John Bolton.  If he feels that Bolton should have testified, I suppose it’s his right to say it, but Bolton just comes across as a charlatan and huckster out there promoting himself, trying to promote his book.  To me, it felt like Brad crapped on his own long awaited acting award speech but if that’s what he wanted to do then that’s what he wanted to do.’

Ultimately, these awards are less about the movies and more about promoting Hollywood’s pet projects, though admittedly, they did have some decent movies in the running this year.

I also wondered if Avengers: Endgame shouldn’t have gotten a little recognition – the culmination of a decade long experiment where a studio was able to make all these movies that weaved together, where none of the actors had hissy fits and were all willing to share the spotlight.

End of rant.

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Oscar Predictions

BEST MOVIE:

Critics seem to be united in thinking it will be 1917, largely because of its style that makes it look as though it were done all in one take, which is a pretty amazing feat.  Birdman did it in 2014, but its much more impressive to do it when there’s gun fighting and plane crashes afoot.

But I have a hunch it will be Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  Tarantino inspired a generation of writers in the 90s to start at the end and work back to the beginning, yet he’s only won for screenwriting.  This is a rare movie where, for the most part, more or less, he plays it straight, with a minimum of blood and guts and wacky dialogue and overall silliness…though he does put that all in at the end.  It’s also a love letter to Hollywood and the Oscars like that….though it does basically say that 1969 was a turning point where Hollywood abandoned good movies to make crap instead so…

I’ll guess Once Upon a Time, but won’t be surprised if it is 1917.

I’m going to be lazy and that will be my only prediction this year.  Who do you think will win, 3.5 readers?

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#OscarsSoPretty – The Oscars Are Still Too Pretty

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

The 3.5 of you who continue to read this fine blog are aware that among many things, I am one of, if not the, world’s foremost ugly rights advocate.  If an ugly person is being discriminated against due to their wretched, horrifying ugliness, then I will be there to champion their cause…at some point, but probably never, because I am very busy and also I just baked a pie.

But I do speak out from time to time about the injustices perpetrated against the uggo community (I can say that, it’s our word) on this fine blog and nowhere is anti-uggo discrimination more prevalent than at the Oscars.

Seriously.  Do ugly people ever win these things?  How can Hollywood, year after year, only give awards to good looking people, all the while ugly kids are crying themselves to sleep every night because they never see anyone on TV that looks like them unless they turn on the National Geographic channel.

Thank you for listening, 3.5 readers.  All I can do is spread the word about the cause of the ugly, and if all I can do is write this post so that it will be visible to your 7 eyes then so be it.

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Movie Review – Green Book (Oscars 2019 Best Picture Winner!)

Hey 3.5 readers.

Funny.  I actually went out tonight.  I usually stay in on Oscar night and watch the show but I went out and saw Green Book instead.  To my surprise, it won.  It wasn’t surprising, as it was a good movie.  It’s just that I thought BlackKklansman had it locked up

So, that’s a first for me, seeing an Oscar movie in the theater the night it wins.  Someone give me an award for good timing.

Anyway, BQB here with a review.

 

You know, 3.5, as it turns out, there’s more that unites us than what divides us.  We’re all different.  Different races, sexes, classes and yet we’re all just looking for one thing – dignity.

Dr. Don Shirley (Mashershala Ali) is an educated man with multiple doctorates, but in the 1960s, he is most famous for being a talented classical pianist.  So great are his skills that he fills concert halls and moves everyone in attendance with his ivory tickling skills.

He prides himself on dignity and self-respect.  He’s well read and doesn’t care for rudeness, bad manners, bad grammar and so on.

An odd couple road trip is set into motion when nightclub bouncer Tony Lip is recruited to be Doc’s driver and protector on a concert tour through the deep south.

Hard to say it out loud, but Tony hates black people.  In an early scene, a pair of black repairman come to his house to work on an appliance.  When his wife gives them lemonade, he throws the glasses into the trash can, not wanting to drink out of the same glass as a black man.

When his club shuts down, Tony’s out of money and options, so he takes the job driving the Doc and watching his back.

At first, the duo can’t stand each other.  Tony is an uncouth bore, telling inappropriate jokes and constantly shoving fast food in his face.  Tony isn’t a fan of the Doc either, thinking his client is a holier than thou book worm.

Together, they learn and grow.  Doc teaches Tony some much needed gentlemanly skills – how to improve his speaking skills, how to write better, etc.  Tony teaches Doc how to grease the wheels and get out of jams.  In other words, Tony comes across as a dumb brute until his cop bribing skills and willingness to knock punks out comes in handy in the Jim Crow south.

Eventually, Tony drops his racist ways and he and the Doc become the best of friends.

I understand there’s some controversy brewing in that the movie isn’t all that woke in comparison to the other nominees.  Today, we definitely hold people to a higher standard.  You should never be racist and it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since a racist incident.  If you did something racist, then you’re gone.  Tony doesn’t fit that bill because he begins the film as a racist then by the end of the film he has an awakening that makes him a better man.

I don’t know.  On one hand, I get the need for people to be not racist from the start.  On the other hand, we should be encouraging people to be better and improve themselves so…I don’t know.  Somehow those two standpoints need to be reconciled.

There are a few powerful scenes in the film.  Spoiler Alert – the most moving is when Doc and Tony stop along the road to change a tire.  The black workers in the field, one assumes descendants of slaves who worked in the field look on in amazement as it becomes clear to them that Doc is the boss in the back of the car and Tony is his employee.

It’s a good film that tugs at the heart strings.  On top of racial clashes, all types of conflicts are discussed.  Class struggles.  Education struggles.  At times, Tony and Doc class less about race and more about their different education and class levels.  Ironically, Tony is less accomplished than Doc, yet Tony can walk into any establishment while Doc has to wait outside.  Sad to think that this was once the way the country was.

Admittedly, Viggo basically plays a cartoon character version of a mob connected Italian, but to his credit, he does transform into an entirely different person.  He’s lively and humorous, whereas Viggo is usually known for playing quiet, brooding characters.

I enjoy Ali’s performance as well.  At times, I could feel the crushing loneliness Doc felt.  He held multiple doctorates, was rich and talented, but the same rich people who would hire him to play would then turn around and tell him not to use their bathroom after the performance, and generally, had no interest in befriending him or treating him as an equal.  Sadly, at the time, black people didn’t have much access to higher education at the time, so they don’t know what to make of this fancy man in his fancy suits with his fancy way of speaking.  He is utterly alone and no one understands him.

Not sure it was the best film out of those nominated but still a lot of good messages just the same.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Melissa McCarthy Snubbed! #OscarsSoPretty

Melissa McCarthy isn’t ugly but she is chubby and unfortunately, the Oscars will never allow a person who isn’t skinny to win.  It’s sad such discrimination against people of size.

How long must my people suffer before we are finally recognized by the Academy?

For shame, Academy.  For shame.

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Willem Dafoe Snubbed Again! #OscarsSoPretty

The Oscars are too damn pretty, 3.5 readers.

I rooted for Willem Dafoe to win Best Supporting Actor last year and for Best Actor this year.  He’s lost two years in a row.  The Oscars just won’t let an ugly man take home a little gold statue.

An outrage!  Outrage, I say!  On behalf of all Ugly-Americans, I am offended.

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BQB’s Oscar Predictions – Best Picture

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Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

As you know, I have long been an advocate for ugly rights and this year, I have no doubt that ugly actors will be snubbed yet again.

But moving on, my thoughts on Best Picture:

THE NOMINEES:

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star is Born

Vice

WHAT I DID NOT SEE:

I didn’t see The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, Vice.

Vice, to me, seems like just one big long early 2000’s era SNL sketch about a presidential administration that is long forgotten.  Doesn’t seem like it should be but time moves fast.  So, I’m not sure it is Oscar worthy but again, I didn’t see it.

SNUBBED:

Crazy Rich Asians was a rare enjoyable romantic comedy.  Asians get so few lead roles in American cinema and on top of that, there was a message about how every young adult has to choose between making his/her family happy and making him/herself happy that is universal around the world.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?  I actually just saw this tonight and I didn’t expect it to, but it really moved me.  There is just something about Melissa McCarthy as a lonely old woman balling her eyes out over the death of her cat, quite literally her only friend in the world, that provides a look into the depths of loneliness and sadness that grips many people.  It’s something that a million hottie actress could never convey, no matter how much you ugly them up.

A Quiet Place – I might be alone here but I feel like this could have gotten some love.  It achieved a lot with very little.  It told a whole story with only a handful of words ever spoken.

Chappaquiddick – A powerful case study on how there is one set of laws for the rich and powerful and another set for the rest of us schlubs.  But, you know, Kennedy was loved by Hollywood so, on and on the vicious cycle goes.

WHO WILL WIN? (And What Did I See?)

Black Panther was a good superhero movie.  It’s watchable again and again and when I went, there were so many black people in attendance in traditional African garb that I figured there was no way the Oscars could ignore it.  They’ll never give an Oscar to a super hero movie (though if the Avengers series ever finally ends, they should consider giving that last movie an Oscar as they did with Lord of the Rings, another comic booky type of movie series, just to celebrate the achievement of finishing a series that lasted so long.)

Bohemian Rhapsody was touching and a good story about a) doing what you love b) being loyal to those who help you do it c) choosing one love over lots of meaningless sex will, surprise, surprise, make you happier.  D) Confidence will get you places.

But it won’t win because alas, the original director has some perv allegations.  I actually agree with that.  We can’t reward alleged pervs.

A STAR IS BORN – It’s long, too long.  And sad.  Yet, at the same time, it was hard for me to feel sorry for Lady Gaga or Bradley Cooper.  They are both just too beautiful.  It did have some important messages about keeping your jealousy in check in a relationship and also, as you age, you’ll have to learn to accept that you’ll never be as fabulous as you were in your prime.

PREDICTION: BlacKkKlansman will win.  It was a good movie.    It tackled a serious subject with, surprisingly, a lot of humor.  It’s one of Spike Lee’s best.  I think the Academy will pick it not necessarily because of the movie itself but because it is critical of Bad Orange Man and in case you haven’t noticed, Awards shows like to dump on him.

 

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#OscarsSoPretty – Once Again, the Unattractive Are Shut Out of the Oscars – BQB Goes Over Best Actors and Roots for Willem Dafoe

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Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

If you’ve been following this blog for a long time (and my condolences if you have.  I hope your situation improves soon) then you know I am a vocal advocate for rights of the ugly everywhere.

One day, I hope that there will be a constitutional amendment that prevents the government from passing laws that would force us to wear bags over our heads.

Further, I, personally, have been arguing with attractive women for years, informing them that I’m trans-handsome and if they don’t treat me as handsome then they are hateful bigots but alas, no one has been woke enough to see my side of things.  Maybe someday, my fellow uggos.

Anyway, every year, I direct most of my vitriol against the Oscars.  Why? Because they’re too damn pretty.  You’d think after my years of advocacy, they’d put more ugly actors and actress into the mix.  After all, the vast majority of Americans are hideously ugly and totally unbangable, so it’s high time that we see more ugly representation at these awards shows.

As usual, Hollywood disappoints.  Follow along, will you?

BEST ACTOR

Bradley Cooper – I like Bradley Cooper.  For a handsome man (I can say that without being gay) he has managed to develop a good personality.  Still, fuck that guy.  He looks like a Ken doll.  Life was good enough for him already.  Next!

Viggo Mortensen – Holy shit.  The charmed lives that the attractive live.  The dude dropped the N word in public and he’s still nominated.  I mean, OK, he said it in reference to a broader discussion and there didn’t seem to be any malicious intent but still, had he been ugly…

Christian Bale – A handsome man dressed up as an ugly man, i.e. former Vice-President Dick Cheney.  You know what I call this? Ugly face.  Good looking people get all the parts and on the rare occasion when there’s a part for an old bald gray haired man with a permanent scowl, they don’t actually find such an old man, they just make up a good looking guy so that he looks like.  Ugly face!  This offense to the ugly cannot stand.

Rami Malek – This is a tough one.  He’s not ugly, he’s just nerdy.  If I were a woman, I might call him cute.  Again, I’m not gay or anything.  More confusing is he plays Freddie Mercury, who wasn’t really all that ugly but people at the time made fun of him and made him feel like he was ugly because of his teeth.  So a not ugly guy playing a man falsely accused of being ugly…I’m not sure of the official term but whatever.  Rami is not ugly enough to qualify as ugly representation.

Willem Dafoe – 3.5 readers, do you have any idea how long this dude has been around?  Like, for freaking ever.  He was in Platoon, for Christ’s sake.  He’s been in all kinds of big award winning critically acclaimed flicks.  He was the friggin’ Green Goblin.  He’s done it all.  Do you think any other actor who has been around this long has been snubbed so regularly?  No.  Why does he get the shaft?  Because the dude’s ugly.  I love the guy.  He’s a great thespian, but the dude looks like a damn skeleton man.  I complained about this last year because he was nominated for “The Florida Project” and he did great with that, by the way, but he didn’t win and I think they’ll just keep nominating him forever because the Academy wants to placate Ugly Rights advocates like me but they’ll never let him win.

Anyway, he’s up for playing Vincent Van Gogh in some picture no one saw.  Fuck it.  I didn’t see it. But I want him to win.  He is an ugly man playing a motherfucker who cut his damn ear off.  Sounds good to me.  It actually doesn’t.  The Florida Project was good.  He deserved it for that one, largely because for the first time, Hollywood allowed an ugly actor to play a respectable man, i.e. a hard-working motel manager who runs around behind the backs of all the drugged out losers who stay in his motel, keeping an eye on their kids and keeping them out of trouble but gets zero thank yous for it.

I’ll be rooting for Willem.  In the meantime, if you can think of any ugly actors who are being snubbed, list them in the comments.  I’ll be back later to explain how the Best Actress award is biased against ugly broads.

By the way, before you argue that it is unwoke for me to use the word “ugly,” I remind you that I too am very ugly, so we ugly people can use the ugly word.  That’s our word.

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Is Comedy Dying? – Kevin Hart Out as Oscars Host

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I weep for the future of comedy.

Several years ago, comedian Kevin Hart wrote a tweet, the gist of which was if he ever saw his son playing with his daughter’s doll house, he’d shout, “That’s gay!” and then break the doll house over the boy’s head.

My two cents?  Comedy is like gymnastics.  Imagine yourself as one of those tiny Russian gymnasts at the Olympics.  You could push yourself to leap in the air, do seven airborne backflips and land into a rolling somersault.  Maybe you’ll pull it off and get the gold and the accolades, or you might mess up a complicated move and end up with a broken foot.

Similarly, comedy can be hit or miss.  If you’re going to break taboos and push lines, the joke should be outstandingly funny, so humorous that it brings a begrudging smile to the face of even the most dour of school-marmish scolds.  Otherwise, the risk that you just end up looking like an asshat instead of a clever joke-smith is too great.

This joke was only so-so.  People need to grasp the context.  The joke isn’t on the son, it’s on the father.  Hart was making fun of his own sense of manliness, his own insecurities, his own insane fears that the slightest showing of a softer side can turn someone homosexual.

Imagine if this joke hadn’t been in a tweet but rather a sitcom.  Kevin is a typical dumb sitcom dad.  He comes home from work, sees his son playing with his daughter’s dollhouse.  Close up on a freaked out look on Kevin’s face.  Close up on Kevin as he looks off in the distance, imagining what this could lead to.  Cut to grown up son performing as a drag queen, accepting “Best Drag Queen of the Year Award,” and he says, “Thanks for the doll house, Dad!”

Cut to Kevin freaking out and like the Incredible Hulk, he smashes the house into a thousand pieces.  The daughter cries.  The son says, “Dad, what the hell, man?  I was pretending that doll house was Cobra Commander’s secret base and I was attacking it with my GI Joes!” (or whatever today’s equivalent toy is.)

Enter mom, livid that she has married such a buffoon.  Cut to Kevin staying up all night gluing all the pieces of the doll house back together.

I don’t know.  I get some of the backlash to the tweet.  It wasn’t the best joke and it comes across as mean spirited to gay people.  As a society, we’re trying to get parents to accept their kids as they are instead of trying to mold them into something they don’t want to or can’t be.

But at any rate, I think Kevin was just making fun of himself.

I’ve never thought Kevin was a great comedian or a terrible comedian.  He was somewhere in the middle.  He plugs along.  A ham and egger.  But one thing I give him credit for is he is one of the few comedians left who TRIES to be funny.  He tries to think up funny situations for his acts and movies and rarely delves into politics but rather is into the humor for humor’s sake.

Meanwhile, and look I don’t care if you love Trump or hate Trump, but mainstream comedy has basically gone from actual comedy to this oddball world of people just standing up, saying something to the effect of, “Orange man bad!” and then cue the canned audience laugh track.

On top of that, why is Kevin being singled out?  Alec Baldwin was arrested and he’s still on SNL. Jimmy Kimmel once appeared in blackface.  He was still allowed to host the Oscars.  Sarah Silverman once appeared in blackface.  She’s still allowed to do voices in Disney movies.  Overall, I’ve enjoyed Family Guy and have looked at Seth MacFarlane as an example of someone who made it in Hollywood by sticking to it and pushing himself, but there have been some times where I’ve watched that show and been like, “Wow, this is going way too far” and then I’d change the channel.  And he was allowed to host.

I don’t know.  Just seems like there should be one standard.  Why are we combing JUST through Kevin Hart’s past?  Either the rule is that anyone who hosts the Oscars must be as clean as a whistle, or some past transgressions are ok as long as they aren’t doing it now….but to hold Kevin Hart to one standard and others to another is lame.

Oh well.  Who cares?  No one watches the Oscars anyway.

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