Tag Archives: oscars

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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Daily Discussion with BQB – The Oscars Add Best Popular Film Category

You know, 3.5 readers, I’m actually old enough to recall when it wasn’t entirely impossible for a popular film to also be an Oscar film.  Sure, even when I was younger, the Oscars were known for pretentious snobbery, but movies like “Braveheart” or “The Departed” were well received by the public as well as having Oscar potential.

This is new category is laden with tacit admissions: 1) They’re admitting the films they nominate are basically just high falutin’ tripe 2) they’ll never, ever give the gold to a comic book movie.

You might forget that “The Dark Knight” was nominated for Best Picture in 2008 and funny, it was added to Netflix recently.  I rewatched it over the weekend and was struck at how relevant it is  – how longstanding evil can’t be defeated without great sacrifice, how sometimes defeating evil requires a man to get down into the muck, how there has to be darkness before there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, plus the immortal debate over whether or not all men are corruptible given the right circumstances.

Didn’t win.  Had an asshole dressed as a bat.

My guess as to why are they doing this? 1) Back in the day, people would actually become fans of a film and would watch the Oscars to see if their favorite movie wins.  Why, I recall people openly debating which films were the best…because they’d seen them.

No one saw the films this past year and if they did, the convo would be, “What, you think the film about the deaf woman who fucks a fish monster is better than the film about the grad student who statutorily rapes his employer’s teenage son?  How dare you?!”

Second, there is a movement in all walks of life for minorities to be treated equally everywhere and that should be no different in film.  So…the issue is that Oscar films usually deal with heavy subjects, so if a movie featuring black people wins, the black people are usually portrayed as slaves, or downtrodden, poor, caught in an oppressive system…and it’s not that I’m saying those films aren’t important but…

…oh well the hell.  They’re probably doing this because they want “Black Panther” to win an Oscar but they can’t bring themselves to give a gold statue for best picture to a movie about superheroes, even if the movie was able to use sci fi and comic book elements that a) appeal to young people and b) do a better job of explaining the historical arguments of how to obtain civil rights for African Americans.

Honestly, an argument could be made that BP deserves Best Pic outright and this could be Oscar night’s one chance to say hey, we aren’t snooty, we gave it to a super hero film.

But they just can’t do it.

Besides the Black Panther argument, black people (well, I don’t mean to speak for them so if I have any black readers feel free to educate me but I think I’m right)…they don’t ALWAYS want to watch TV and see black people as either slaves or downtrodden people.  Sometimes they want to see black people living life, having fun, going on adventures and so on.  To that end, a movie like “Girls Trip” might take home some gold.

Aside from the “Oscars So White” issue, I think the Academy is wrestling with its view that popular and/or comic booky/action/comedy/horror or fun or blockbuster popcorn films are taking on more and more social issues.  “Captain America: Winter Soldier” for example looked into whether we are sacrificing our right to privacy by putting so much of our lives onto the Internet – data for the government to mine and use and abuse.

I know the Academy prefers their precious, snooty little films about Cold War fish fucking but it wouldn’t hurt them to just give the award to a super hero movie one time…especially one like BP with a lot of cultural significance…and then they could go on to give the film to a snooty fish fucking film next year.

In the early 2000s, they gave the gold to one of the LOTR films, a popular, high grossing film, and then went on to give it to snooty films in following years.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Hollywood Wants Me to Chop Off My Penis to Cover Their Asses

 

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.  Does the title of this post sound harsh?  Good.  It’s meant to be.  I am one unhappy movie buff.

First, a recollection.  3.5, when I was a young man, I had a dick boss.  You can all relate?  Good.  This dick would constantly make bad decisions.  I’d warn him that what he was telling me to do was going to backfire in some big way but he’d tell me to do it anyway.  Dutiful employee, I’d obey and the backfire would ensue.

Naturally, when the dick boss would be called upon for an explanation of the backfire by his higher up boss, the dick boss would cover his ass and blame me.  And then really, what am I going to do?  A young kid in his early 20s is going to go over his immediate boss’ head and talk to a higher up boss?  I think not.

But hey, at least I got paid to be my dick boss’ human blame shield and his shit.

I never got paid to eat Hollywood’s shit.  In fact, I paid to see a lot of their crummy movies this year and I even helped promote them with reviews on this exceptional blog and what did I get when I tuned in to see the Oscars?

I got a heaping bowl of shit.  Specifically, a bunch of fabulously wealthy, like almost supernaturally wealthy and good looking people who were all aware that sexual harassment was rampant in their industry but did absolutely nothing about it until it was exposed, now want to blame ME and YOU, the average Joe Blow, work a day viewer.

3.5 readers, let me ask you a question.  Did you rape a Hollywood starlet?  Did you ever tell an actress she had to shake hands with Mr. Winky if she wants a part in a movie?  Wait, do you even have any pull over what happens in the movie business?  Umm…have you even been to California?

I have not done any of those things.  I’m just a random guy who has been respectful to women my entire life.  Sometimes, and I hate to say it’s possible to be “too respectful,” but I know I lost a few women because when the moment was right, I hesitated to give them the old smooch-a-roo and that was it for them.  They deemed me unmanly and moved on.

But I digress.

This was basically the theme of Oscar night this year.  It wasn’t Harvey Weinstein or any of the other big shots with a casting couch and their demands for sex in exchange for stardom.

It wasn’t any of the famous and super wealthy movie stars who knew this was going on for years and due to their wealth and fame, could have easily exposed it, concerns about losing acting work be damned because they’ve already made a zillion times more than what the average person makes in a thousand lifetimes and never have to worry about money ever again.

Nope.  It was me.  And you.  Anyone with a trouser snake.  Jimmy Kimmel, who apparently has been neutered since his days at “The Man Show,” which was a show on Comedy Central in the early 2000s that focused primarily on drinking beer and watching “The Juggies” i.e. big breasted women bounce up and down on trampolines, joked that Oscar was the perfect man because he didn’t have a penis.

Nope.  I assure you Jimbo, if you look at the numbers, the vast amount of penis owners aren’t doing anything illicit with their penises.  The vast majority of men have been torn down into becoming impotent shadows of what their manly grampas used to be.  The average man yearns for regular access for poontang but then settles for a sad, tear laced personal wank session whilst watching the latest updates to PornHub.

It wasn’t me.  It wasn’t you.  It was Harvey and all the powerful big shots like Harvey and all of the powerful big shots who protected him for years and years.  That’s who did it.

You know what I would have liked to have seen Sunday night?  I would have liked it if one of these celebrities who knew what was going on, just one, would have gotten up and said something like, “Hey everyone.  I knew.  A lot of us knew.  We didn’t do anything about it because we like being celebrities.  We like appearing in movies and on TV shows.  All that attention, it’s like a drug and being a celebrity is the closest a person can get to immortality, knowing that years from now, people will still be watching films we were in.  We were afraid of losing that but we shouldn’t have.  We should have realized that the possibility of being retaliated against and getting pushed out of the movie business was less important than blowing the whistle and making sure that not one more aspiring actress would be molested or put in a bad situation.  Now that we know that the public is listening and will support us if we speak up and that the industry won’t tolerate bad behavior anymore, we will sound the alarm if we ever come across those who abuse their power.”

That’s it.  I’d of said bravo and way to take responsibility.  But nope.  The penis is to blame.  If you have a penis, it was your fault, even if you’ve never even been to Hollywood.

All I know is my heart sunk a little when Jimmy Kimmel said, and I quote, “I wish I were a woman.”

Sigh.  It’s not enough to say, “I support women.”  Nope.  You have to publicly demand that your penis be replaced with a vagina now.

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My Oscar Observations

Quickly, because I’m a busy nerd this morning:

#1 – I tuned in and out but in general I haven’t heard anything too controversial about the ceremony itself but I might be wrong.  Let me know if there was anything.  Generally speaking, all these wealthy, powerful people who could have drummed the sexual harassment out of the business decades ago but did nothing and now they’re all like “Hooray for #timesup and #metoo” is a little sickening.  Better late than never?  Maybe.  But they could have done better years ago.

#2 – Shape of Water winning gives me mixed feelings.  As a nerd, I think it’s great that a scifi movie won and I don’t think people realize this was sci-fi…and a bit of a dark comedy melded into a love story.  Take away the French music and it could have been a kooky episode of the X-Files.  This will be the year the gold went to a movie about a lady who fucks a fish.

#3 – Ugly actors are snubbed again.

#4 – Frances McDormand’s laugh will haunt my nightmares, though I know she meant well.

#5 – Three Billboards was the stronger film.  “You don’t get to do bad things to others just because something bad happened to you” is a message the world needs.

#6 – I admit, I have never seen “Call Me By Your Name” but just reading the plot makes me nauseous and no, not because it’s about gay love.  To each their own.  It’s ironic that in the year Hollywood is vowing to erase sexual harassment from the workplace, a movie about an older man who statutorily rapes his employer’s underage son is getting so much Oscar recognition.  I realize there are a lot of people who think this movie is great and is all for gay empowerment and that’s fine, but if that’s the case, then just make both characters of legal, consenting age.  Rape = sex without consent and minors, by law, do not have the mental capacity to give consent to sex because they are deemed incapable of understanding the consequences.  Thus, laws are on the books to dissuade older people from preying on the young.  If you are older, you are expected to know better and will go to jail if you don’t.

If you think I’m being a fuddy duddy, imagine the plot is tweaked.  An older male has sex with the underage daughter of his employer…you’d want whoever made that movie run out of Hollywood on a rail and their career ruined, right?  So, let’s just all agree that underage boys and girls need legal protection against older predators and movies shouldn’t be made that glorify older people who perv on the young.

 

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Once Again the Oscars Ignore the Plight of the Ugly

What an outrageous night so far, 3.5 readers.  So many beautiful people awarded and not an ugly face among them.  With all this talk about diversity, which I’m not arguing against as it’s needed, there seems to be no commitment toward making sure physically ugly Americans aren’t left out of the movie industry.

I’ll admit Sam Rockwell is kind of ugly, but not full blown ugly.  “Kinda ugly” is about as far as the Academy is willing to go.  “Full blown ugly” is not a step they are willing to take, thus veteran actor Willem Dafoe loses the gold on this, his third nomination without a win.

How much longer must ugly people suffer knowing that they are not wanted anywhere near the silver screen?

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Why Willem Dafoe Must Win Best Supporting Actor at Oscars 2018 – #OscarsSoPretty

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Holy crap, 3.5 readers.  Look at that crazy eyed, buck toothed mother fucker.

As you are all aware, I am a great philanthropist, a lover of all peoples and above all else, a tireless advocate for the civil rights of the incredibly ugly.  We didn’t choose to look like Plymouth Rock landed on our faces.  We were born looking like Plymouth Rock landed on our faces.

I love Willem Dafoe but seriously, the man looks like a giant greasy dump that grew a pair of ridiculous, incredibly haunting googly eyes.  Further, he’s got a set of teeth that look like they were designed  by MC Escher.

But did that stop our hideous hero?  No.  Despite the fact that he was born looking like the stuff of children’s nightmares, he headed off to Hollywood as a young man, a move I can only assume was met with derision by friends and family who told him he was way too ugly.

Yes, if you’re as ugly as Willem Dafoe the best you can hope for is a job as a bus station janitor, but this man refused that destiny and found box office success, starring in such critically acclaimed films as “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” blockbusters like “Spider-Man” (so ugly he played a goblin) and he even played Jesus Christ in “The Last Temptation of Christ.”

Seriously.  Imagine how good an actor you have to be when you are so ugly that it’s possible the entire Christian faith may be offended by an ugly man playing their savior but then didn’t get mad because Dafoe was such a good actor.

Dafoe has been nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor – 1987’s “Platoon” and 2001’s “Shadow of the Vampire.”

Let me ask you this, 3.5 readers.  Why is it that Willem Dafoe was such a staple for big time movies for so long and yet has never been recognized with Oscar gold?  Why are so many young actors awarded before this longtime thespian?

Simple.  Ugly bias.

Willem Dafoe is super ugly, but he dared to become an actor and yes he often plays deeply scary, sphincter tightening roles but he’s proven his chops and branched out into other roles, sometimes even taking heroic turns.

In “Florida Project” Willem plays an ugly motel manager who is like the de facto father figure for the impoverished residents of a slum motel.  As a ugly American myself, it would bring me such great joy to see a fellow ugly man to take home the gold and not for playing a villain (typical staple of ugly actors) but for playing a positive role model.

Yes, if Willem wins it will be a boon to ugly people all over the world.  So many ugly boys and girls will feel free to take the paper bags off their little heads and believe in themselves for the first time ever.

3.5 readers, whether you are good looking or ugly (and let’s face it, if you’re good looking and you’re reading this blog then give me your looks because you’re doing it wrong), please join me in promoting the #OscarsSoPretty hashtag and also tweet your support for Willem Dafoe.

Maybe, just maybe, ugly Americans can rest a little easier knowing their contributions to the world are recognized.

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Movie Review – The Florida Project (2017)

Adulting is hard.

Sadly, kidding (child-ing?) is getting even harder.

BQB here with a review of “The Florida Project.”

I’m not totally sure what the point of this film was.  It’s not exactly plot driven.  It meanders quite a bit.  Large chunks of the film are devoted to young child actors around six years old, saying lines that I’m not sure they’d ever really say if there wasn’t someone, I can only imagine but not confirm, hanging off camera promising candy or toys or something.

Obviously, the overall intent is to give the world a glimpse into what life is like for the poverty stricken, as well as the lives of those whose job it is to take care of them.

On the strip leading to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, there’s a series of tourist traps – hotels, discount gift shops, all catering to folks who are visiting the House of Mouse on a budget.  The film doesn’t quite explain it well but there was a time, before Disney developed the ever loving crap out of its property, when tourists who wanted to save a buck would go have fun at the parks then stay at a cheap, non-Disney motel.  Today, Disney has a vast array of hotels catering to almost every type of budget.

So, if this film is to be believed, many of the strip motels have turned into sad, depressing welfare slums.  Once such establishment is “The Magic Castle,” where young mother Halley (Bria Vinai) lives on a weekly cash basis with her six year old daughter, Moonee (Brooklyn Prince.)

Sidenote – if your name is Brooklyn that’s like, a guarantee your parents were all like, “this kid is becoming a child actor!” right?

The film strings together a series of shenanigans.  Moonee and her young pals from the motel wander about aimlessly, spitting on cars, throwing dead fish into pools, harassing paying customers and generally making life miserable for Bobby, the motel’s overworked, underpaid, vastly put upon and long suffering manager, played by Willem Dafoe, whose presence, honestly, is the only thing that makes the film watchable.

Covered with tattoos and constantly high, Halley is unemployed and unemployable, making money by begging tourists for cash, occasionally running scams to bilk them out of money and yes, even turning tricks.  You get the general sense that she wants to do right by her daughter but are unsure if it’s just that impossible to pull herself out of the proverbial hole she’s in or if she’s so drugged up she’s not able to help herself in any way.

It becomes clear that poverty is inter-generational, though whether bad parenting leads to poverty or poverty causes bad parenting is sort of a chicken vs. the egg argument.  Halley’s life sucks and you are led to feel sorry for her and realize there are so many people trapped in such difficult circumstances.

At the same time, we see other parents in the motel who are similarly poor, yet they stay off drugs, work menial wage jobs and are actively attempting to better their lives and instill morals in their kids, making the most of the little they have.

Amidst this mess is Bobby, who might have one of the most thankless jobs I’ve ever seen.  He works tirelessly, fixing broken equipment, painting, repairing, moving heavy stuff and the second something goes wrong, the tenants he’s given thousands of passes to on their mistakes rip his head off and raise hell over the slightest problems.

I’m inclined to think that Bobby is every adult in your life who a) wasn’t your parent but b) had a job that required him to help you and c) yelled at you for something bad you did or some rule you broke and you think he’s just an asshole because all you saw was the stern facade.  You didn’t see how he returns to his office and looks so pained because he knows you’re suffering and yet there’s little he is able to do to help you.

Despite a rule that prevents tenants from staying too long and becoming permanent residents, Bobby helps Halley circumvent this rule by moving her every so often to a different room within the motel.  Moonee raises hell and drives other guests nuts, constantly breaks things and makes more work for Bobby.  Meanwhile, Halley’s extracurricular activities bring all kinds of heat for the motel.

In short, Bobby could throw this problem customer out on the street any time and improve his life 100 percent and yet, he refuses to do so, putting his own job on the line because his gut tells him that something bad will happen if he doesn’t bend the rules and let Halley and Moonee stay.

If this a spoiler, then so be it, but literally, at no time, does Halley ever show any kind of acknowledgment that she understands Bobby is doing her a favor.  Halley makes all sorts of demands for Bobby to overlook the rules, let it go that she’s late with her rent, forget that she’s doing all sorts of bad things or that her unsupervised kid is driving everyone nuts.  Yet, when Bobby asks Halley for just a little bit of help in complying with the rules, she freaks out, leading to a used maxi pad being slapped on his office window in one gross out scene.

SIDENOTE  – I’ve seen tampons and pads being thrown at helpless victims in too many films now.  Is this something women dream about doing all day long now?  Whenever someone pisses them off, they just want to whip out their bloody cooch covers and whip ’em at some poor, unsuspecting schmuck?

Mixed feelings.  It’s more of a learning experience/acted out documentary than a fun movie.  There are some emotional parts though.  Poverty is hard and nearly impossible to break out of.  Good parenting and/or harping on kids to do the right thing can increase the chances of breaking out of it.

Perhaps there’s some irony that all these kids are suffering and are poor when just down the road there’s a theme park where wealthier parents dump tons of cash on toys, candy, rides and fun for their little brats.

But ultimately, the most I got out of it is that there are probably a million Bobbies out there – low level business employees who see people suffering hardships all day, who may come across as hardasses laying down rules but also are never thanked when they bend the rules and put their jobs and livelihood on the line to help those in need.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Not sure the film itself is Oscar worthy though Dafoe’s performance is and he is overdue for some recognition.

 

 

 

 

 

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Movie Review – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

An angry woman’s descent into madness!  A total dick’s redemption!

BQB here with a review of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Seven months after the rape and murder of her daughter, Mildred (Frances McDormand) provides the town’s police department with a sign (actually, three) of her displeasure in their handling of the case.

In doing so, she calls out Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) by name, much to the anger of the townsfolk who love this pillar of the community.

As the conflict ensues, Mildred’s righteous anger causes her to engage in increasingly worse activity.

Meanwhile, Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a total douche of a human being, locks horns with Mildred due to his loyalty to Willoughby.  Along the way, his behavior gets better.

Thus, the main questions of the film.  Is it possible for a grieving mother to go too far in the name of righting a wrong?  Is it possible for a man who has been horrible his whole life to redeem himself in a single act of bravery?

The movie is definitely unique in its ability to weave drama with dark, dark, incredibly dark (nearly pitch black) comedy.  At times, there are plot holes.  Frankly, one wonders how Dixon and Mildred are able to get away with all the mayhem they cause as their bitter feud unfolds.

I’ve heard some negative reviews from movie critics, but I enjoyed it and found it to be a good study of the difficulties of the human condition, how life is difficult, how we often think we need to do things to “get even” before we can move on but how those things rarely improve a bad situation.

While “Darkest Hour,” in my opinion, tells a historically important lesson about resilience against an enemy, I think “Three Billboards” is the most moving film I’ve seen out of the Oscar nominated pack.

Still, they’ll probably give the gold to the film about the fish fucker.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Rent it today.

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