Unplanned (2019) review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

“Most Americans believe Hollywood’s God is money. No. Their God is a liberal agenda that they serve without fail. And we are anathema to that.”

Cary Solomon, one of the directors and screenwriters for the film

You know, I tend to get sick of the fact that the only films I’m willing to drag myself to the theaters for nowadays are either Clint Eastwood films, Mel Gibson films, and these glorified Hallmark Christian films.  Because, for starters, Eastwood and Gibson films are too few and far between, and Eastwood looks to be on the verge of croaking while Gibson looks to be assassinated by Israeli special forces at any moment.  And 99% of all Hallmark-like films suck (except for Miracles From Heaven, which surprised the hell out of me).  And I expected this to be, at best, another Gosnell-like flick whose heart is in the right place, but the talent isn’t (mainly due to the music and/or the dialogue).  Because believe me, when I say I want these movies to be good, I really fucking mean it.  But Hollywood has gobbled up all the real talent, and brainwashed them into delivering messages that tend to either ignore or preach the opposite message.

Although this right here is my kind of preaching.

So what I’m saying is, I’m currently still willing to shell out cash for films like these while they remain bare-able to sit through just for the sake of principle.  But there may come a day where I just can’t do it anymore.  Because ultimately, I want quality films, not this sort of thing that belongs in a direct-to-video bin but manages to get a theatrical release because of the significance of its message.

Goddamnit…

So, with that being said, I guess it’s an insult to call this film a glorified Hallmark movie because apparently this film is unworthy of being advertised on the Hallmark channel, and the Lifetime channel, and other channels owned by A&E, Discovery, and Disney (of course).  And all I can think is, “Ok, seriously?  The same cocksucking channels that give us those shitty Christmas films like Gift of the Magi, The Case for Christmas, When Angels Come to Town, Defending Santa, Have a Little Faith (they should take their own fucking advice), Ms. Scrooge, and Mr. St. Nick.  Seriously?  Unplanned is the film where they draw the quality line on?  Christ, no wonder the films on those channels fucking suck.  They wouldn’t know a good film if Jesus shoved it up their corporate-controlled asses while saying, “Here, you’ll probably enjoy taking this up the ass about as much as Mr. Corporate Devil Cockmeister fists you on occasion.  You see why we didn’t tolerate buttfucking homos in the Old Testament now?””  Those were my thoughts exactly.  But hey, at least Mike Lindell of My Pillow fame (because babies are made from pillowing) donated $1 million to help with independent advertising for the film.

“Feel like having an abortion?  Try having one on My Pillow!  My pillows are so soft, smooth, relaxing, and effective, they’ll soak up any and all blood and baby parts that come spurting out of your vagina!  Guaranteed or your money back!”

…  *sigh* …

“I love your pillow.  It’s a great pillow, tremendous.  It soaks up all those piss-stains.”

Guess I gotta get to the actual movie at some point don’t I?  At least if I intend to make this an actual review?

First off I gotta say, unlike with Gosnell, I didn’t do much research into the events of this film prior to seeing it, so I can’t make many statements regarding how accurate or inaccurate the events in the film are. It was basically a spur-of-the-moment thing to see this film when I found it was was coming out the next day.  So, I guess you could say me going to see this film was (puts on sunglasses), unplanned.

But I can safely say that the protagonist looks nothing like her real life counterpart, not unless she wanted to put a few dozen pounds onto her weight; and her face.

Reality on the right, fiction on the left.

So the film starts out basically as I expected.  Scripted dialogue.

“Well, isn’t all dialogue in film technically scripted?”

“Yeah, but it’s not supposed to fucking feel like it’s scripted!  Their words are supposed to sound natural!”

That’s the thing I hate the most about these Christian films.  They tend to be made by preachers who are so preachy they don’t even bother putting in effort to drop the pretense of dialogue written by preachers.  To be fair, some lesbian films like The Incredible True Adventure of Two Girls in Love suffer from the same issue (minus being written by religious preachers), but this primarily dominates films from production companies like Pure Flix (the one that made this movie).  Or certain pro-military films like Act of Valor.  But I hate it, no matter what kind of movie it’s in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with that form of negative expectation checked off, guess what the next one is that gets fulfilled?  That’s right, shitty music.  This movie has plenty of that when it would’ve been better just being silent during certain scenes (might also have helped with the budget, if that was ever a concern).

Grumpy Cat Meme | I WISH MORE PEOPLE WERE FLUENT IN SILENCE | image tagged in memes,grumpy cat,silence | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

So within the first few minutes, this film has already checked two items off the “Things I fucking hate in film” list.  More “scripted” dialogue follows, typical directing, average acting…

… then all of a sudden the film hits you with a gut-punch of a moment that will make you sick to your stomach.  I have to admit, considering how toned down that Gosnell film was given the nature of the subject matter, and the fact that this film was made by a Christian company, I was not expecting the disturbing moment that comes up during the film’s introduction.  It made me squirm, and that is not easy to do.  You see a pregnant woman patient, you see the ultrasound of the baby, and you see this tube get inserted into there near the baby, who kicks away at it and tries to stay away from it.  And then a switch flips, and the tube becomes a vacuum cleaner, and you see blood getting sucked though the tubes, and eventually you see the baby getting sucked through too, getting crushed from limbs to skull.  And you see much of it sprayed into this clear container.

I mean, holy fuck.  I’ve seen some violent/disturbing moments in film before.  But this one really got to me.

And then something else that hits relatively high (but not as high) on the “disturbing” meter happens soon after.  When the protagonist takes these pills that are supposed to induce abortion on a chemical level, making her bleed the baby parts out.  And then the agonizing pain that follows, all the blood that seeps out, and the little unrecognizable mini-chunks of baby that come out.

At that point, despite how much they may have bitched about it, I found the R rating the film received to be appropriate.  For a production company that prides itself on Christian values and being family-friendly, this is not a family friendly film.  Not so long as it has those sequences in it.  But without those sequences, this film would lose any impact it wished to have on the audience.  Those 2 sequences are the key moments to making this film work.

While that does sound like a pro, it ends up being a con.  Not because the movie shouldn’t have included those sequences.  Like I said, those sequences are the main selling point of this entire film.  The problem is that the first vacuum sequence occurs way too early.  The film blows its load within the first 10 minutes.  All because the movie wanted to do a, “This is what is going to happen, but let’s jump 6+ years into the past to see how she got there,” type of introduction.  A film like this would’ve benefited greatly from just sticking with a chronological order.  I mean, it’s already got that abortion pill sequence to let audiences know how rough this thing can get, and that could only be done early on in the film.  But the vacuum sequence, the penultimate sequence that serves as the game-changer for our protagonist and the main turning point in the movie that all the other bits of violence and horror was building up to; they put that at the very beginning?  And they thought this was a good idea?  Well on the one hand, that would give people a chance to gag and puke before they consumed too much popcorn and soda.  On the other hand, it’s a dumb decision that messes with the flow of the film.

 

 

 

 

 

Hence to say, once you get past those two disturbing sequences, the rest of the film is a cakewalk.  If you can endure the forced dialogue.  As the film went on, I eventually got absorbed into it.  I’m not sure if it’s because the dialogue improved as the film went on, or if I just got used to the “scripted” nature of it the same way you get used to the scripted nature of a professional wrestling match.  Either way, it didn’t bother me as much.

I also wasn’t initially a fan of the whole “tell don’t show” method of narration that occurred through a good portion of the runtime, especially during the first act.  But by the middle and last act, it actually felt proper.

 

 

 

 

I was also surprised to see both myself and the protagonist getting used to the environment and working at a Planned Parenthood clinic, with the co-worker comradery, general day-to-day life at the clinic, etc.  And while that was nice and all (I guess), I did wish the film would show more of life away from that subject matter for our protagonist.  I mean, most films tend to at least not make everything all about the subject matter initially.  Everything tended to revolve around “baby this,” “pregnancy that,” “abortion here,” “anti-abortion there.”  For fuck’s sake, can’t we get to know these characters outside of their work?  Like have them go to a baseball game and discuss, I don’t know, anything besides babies, patients, and Jesus.  You see what I mean about preachers being the script writers?

 

 

 

In any case, the film gets its message across effectively.  It has a nice anti-climactic court room scene (there aren’t enough of those done as well as this movie managed, which is another thing that surprised me) to basically end things on.  It’ll make you hate Planned Parenthood and abortion in general.  And… yeah.

 

 

While Gosnell made a strong case against late-term abortion (which seems futile considering post-birth abortion seems to be a thing now, you demented fucks), this film tends to be against abortion altogether, at least for those 8 weeks into pregnancy and beyond.  And there’s one other film coming out soon to complete this “trilogy” of pro-life films titled Roe v. Wade.  And to be honest, judging from the trailer alone, it looks really fucking bad.  I’m not looking forward to it, in spite of its historical message.

 

Anyway, all in all, Unplanned is a film I consider to be slightly superior to Gosnell, and I can give it a partial recommendation, assuming you know what you’re in for.  If nothing else, you could probably walk out after the first 10 minutes if you don’t think you can stand the rest.  Because, really, they put the most significant moments of the film in the first act.

 

Captain Marvel (2019) non-ass pro-drunk review/rant

Feminists, you’re going to fucking hate this.

The whole film is designed to be a feminine knee to the groin to us men who still have a pair of balls.  From pre-production to post-production to the film’s release and post-release, the cast and production company, plus various half-assed review sites, have done nothing but taunt us.  And speaking of taunting us and having half an ass, Brie Larson fits that description perfectly.  She wants less white men around about as much as she wants to have less of an ass.  Her and everyone else involved are completely aware of the fact that men love asses they can bounce a quarter off of, so what better way to put the joke on us by providing a lead with an ass where that’s physically impossible.  In fact, her ass defies the laws of physics.  It’s not only an ass incapable of bouncing, it does the opposite.  So if some poor schmuk decides he’s lucky enough to get laid by her, when he tries to penetrate/pound that ass hard enough to prove that it’s bounce-able, he will instead get sucked right into it, and then get shit out from the front end.

And he won’t survive the ordeal because her pussy will fuck you up.  Her pussy shreds her underwear to the point that it’s in style like it was at Victoria’s Secret.  So don’t believe Scarface what Scarface says.  When a cop points to the scar on his face and asks, “Where’d you get the beauty scar tough guy?  Eating pussy?”  The answer should most definitely be yes.  Samuel Jackson had to find that out the hard way, except the pussy ended up shredding his eye out rather than his cheek.  Not to mention her pussy has a void all its own as well, that’s why tentacles and shit come out of it.  That pussy spent too much time in Japan, maybe even too much time around Takashi Miike; it will also want to rape guys with those things so that they know how it feels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, of course, what makes a superhero special isn’t necessarily the powers they have gained or were given.  It’s not necessarily the skills they’ve acquired.  It’s not necessarily the experience they have.  Hell no.  It’s about what sex they are, or what sex they decide to define themselves as, and what sex they want to have sex with.  Because that’s an achievement based on merit which makes the world proud to view them as a savior.  Consider what would be so special about a gay guy, and what would make his merits stand out on his resume.

“‘We are proud of our gay son.’  I so I was saying, ‘That’s an odd thing to be proud of.’  Because, it’s not an achievement, you know.  It’s not something you work all your life to be gay or anything like that.  […]  These 50-60 year old men are actually bragging at work like, ‘Hey Bill, uh, my kid, we’re proud of him, Johnny.  He had graduated from Harvard, first in his class.  Now he’s articling over at Harvard law firm and uh…  oh and he loves cock!  He can’t get enough cock in his mouth, his ass.  I got a picture of the boy here sucking another man’s cock that I wanna show you.'”

It’s the same case with women.  It doesn’t matter their merits, it just matters that they’re their.  And if they love pussy, all the better, it will make them fit in with the men.  Next thing you know being in shape won’t be a requirement either, because we can’t shame the fat-asses from joining, especially those Latina chicks.  We gotta get them early before their ass fat spreads to the rest of their body.  We need an army build on diversity damnit!  Merit doesn’t matter anymore!

“So, are you finished?”

Nope, I’m just getting started baby.  All those rant paragraphs before are just me getting warmed up before I tackle this movie.  And I’m not going to tackle this one sober.  Time to get all fucked up.

“Wait, so you’re going to get blasted at a movie theater?”

While that is certainly a possibility, there are 2 problems with that.

1.) The alcoholic beverages are more overpriced at the theaters that sell them than they are at a fucking bar.

2.) I’d rather not give Disney my fucking money for this film, especially when both those working within the company, and the stars of Marvel films in general, tend to hate people like me; even when we’re being reasonable.  So if they’re not going to be reasonable with me, then I’m not going to be reasonable with them.

So if I’m not going to pay for it via some streaming service or at a theater, then what am I going to do?

“Thar she blows maytee!  And she is blowin’ hard!  Hand me a battle of the Caribbean Rum Jim, I’m going to need it before tackling this mighty beast.  After we’re done, the drinks are on me and we’ll go chasing wenches in circle like we used to be able to do at some fantasy place in Disneyland.”

 

 

 

 

Official movie poster.

Rated: I’ll tell you later

“The motherfucker who makes your fries at McDonald’s puts more effort into his job than this writing team put into this abortion of a script!”

— Weaponized Nerd Rage

So, the tribute to Stan Lee is nice.  Something they should absolutely do again for Endgame.  You know, to provide a proper closing.  To mark the end of an age.  To remind us all of the good times Marvel used to have.  Especially since he probably died of a heart attack after watching this movie and seeing how much his legacy has been, and is going to be, desecrated.

Speaking of which, looks like the fucking apocalypse is already upon us.  The film opens with darkness and ash and explosions and rubble flying all over the place.  The feminists have won and are taking over.  We need fucking Jean Luc Picard to travel back in time with the Enterprise again to stop all this.  Back to the 90s, quick, before Michael J. Fox develops Parkinson’s!

She has blue blood on her hands.  Oh my God, she killed the Smurfs.  Huh.  Maybe I’m going to enjoy this movie after all.

Oh, it was just a dream.  Hopefully that nightmare will never come to pass.

Capital of the Kree civilization.  Normally I’d say this doesn’t look half bad, except that every futuristic planet, whether human or alien, has been looking the same ever since Blade Runner.  The only difference is whether they want to shoot it in the daytime or at night.

Kree sounds nice.  It’s one letter away from being “free.”  Just like “Hero” is one later away from being “Her,” which is also one letter away from being “He.”  Muahahahah!  You ladies can’t escape from us lads!  You’ll always be building off of our backs!

“Do you know what times it is?”

“Can’t sleep.”

It’s the fucking daytime!  Well, then again, maybe this is more like Alaska.  It’s an alien planet.  For all we know, it has 2 suns, maybe 3.  Doesn’t seem to have stopped this “alien” planet from being populated with humans apparently.

“Wanna fight?”

Careful lady.  We all know how that turned out when Ryan Gosling asked that question (in the film that Stranger Things totally didn’t steal the music from).

In all fairness, the fight scene wasn’t half bad.  Showcasing how, uh, screw it, I’m just going to call her Brie for now.  Showcasing how Brie isn’t at the top of her game yet because she gets too emotional at times.  You know, like how people are going to get triggered at this review.  “I can’t beat him fairly.  Unleash superpower weapon, haaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”  Superpower being bitch and moan and whine and cry until moderators/corporations/politicians/authority gives them what they want.  Speaking of which, guess she has to go see “Supreme Intelligence.”  Which means she’ll have to go to puppet land and talk to Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

“What is the point of giving me *these* [gesturing her fists] if you don’t want me to use them.”

Try asking Bruce Lee about the art of fighting without fighting.

“Stop using *this* [points at the heart] and start using *this* [points to the head].  I want you to be the best version of yourself.”

I like this guy.  He has great advice for mental focus in fighting.  Here’s hoping he doesn’t turn into the villain later.

So the “Supreme Intelligence” can take any form, and takes for for each person who meets Supreme Intelligence (Jesus Christ, can’t they give it a name with fewer fucking syllables?).  And it takes the form of a woman in her 60s.  Her message is going to be, “So kids, vote for Democrats and people like Hillary during the next election season.  If men give you shit, protest by rubbing period blood on your face and running around naked and shouting.  Because no man in the world will want to fuck with you ever again once you start doing that.  And they will so take you seriously.”

“It’s all blank.  My life.”

And your face.

face warrant meme_marvel

“Put your people’s needs before your own.  We’ve given you a great gift.  […]  Master yourself.  What was given can be easily taken away.”

Ok, this is setting up for something.  Either Brie is going to go berserk and force them to take the power away from her (ala Thor), or the Kree and Supreme Intelligence (I’m just going to call it SI, and don’t fucking confuse that with the Spanish language!) are going to turn out to be the bad guys (like “The Dude” in Iron Man).

Hey!  It’s Korath!  That one guy no one really gives a shit about from Guardians of the Galaxy!  Can’t wait to hear his backstory that no one cares about.

Ok, I have to admit.  So far, despite my petty bitching, the first 8 minutes actually isn’t all that bad.  I’m just taking bets for how long it will take before the movie fucks it all up.

Wait.  So your going in to locate your spy, and then leave?  What, no exchange of information?  No rescue operation?  Or are they just leaving out that bit of information?  Eh, screw it.  I’ll just wait and see what happens.

“Nothing compromises the security of this mission,” he says while looking at Brie.  Jee, I wonder if she’s going to compromise the security of the mission.

Hexagon shields.  You know, if they were really that advanced, they’d be using triangle shields.

Phahahahahah!  Hahahahahah!  Ok, I heard they were doing callbacks to the 90s with this film.  But a fucking mohawk for their hair/helmet/armor style?  Seriously?  You haven’t even time traveled yet!  Then again, maybe this is their way of saying the 80s and 90s had awesome hair styles.  To which I will say… you’re goddamn right they did!

Ooooooooooh.  The enemy can shape-shift.  And here I started thinking they were just being portrayed as being misunderstood beings who want peace.

Great.  Brie thinks she’s ready for the military; next thing you know, she gets taken out and captured.

Whoop.  Timeline jump!  Now we’re on Earth.  Guess the aliens are starting to brainwash her.  They must be brainwashing her, because she walking all proud and smug and full of herself while in uniform.  You’re in an Army uniform (or Airforce, whatever), not in an MMA outfit.  If you want to act as smug as Ronda Rousey, at least do that much.

“My ass looks better than yours.  Damn right, it’s better than yours!”

“Where’s your head at?”

“In the clouds.  Where’s yours?”

“In Wakanda.”

Though all jokes aside, let us take a moment of silence for the air force pilot/consultant who gave the cast and crew pointers about real-life F-16 pilots/fighters, and then died in an F-16 crash.  Normally I’d say “Semper-fi,” but that’s a marine thing.  Guess I’ll go with, “Aces High.”

“Gotta show these boys how we do it.”

…  I’ll let that slide.  Just fun banter between the girls.

Holy shit!  She’s going to fly and crash into a circus tent!

Wait, what?  A flashback within a flashback?  Ok, you know what?  Fuck you movie.

“You’re going too fast!  You need to go slow!”

Says the “boy.”  Oh God.  I’m sensing a pattern here.  A fighting instructor who tells her to keep her emotions in check.  An “intelligence” telling her to more or less do the same.  And some random kid in a race cart telling her not to push herself.  There’s 2 possibilities, though just bringing this up is completely fucking rhetorical, especially when considering we’re dealing with a Disney flick.  Either she really is outta control and too much of a daredevil for her own good and needs to reign herself in (getting captured by the aliens seems to indicate as much), or the men and the boys are holding her back too much, and she needs to let loose and show them how it’s done.  Because having a bit of restraint is always a bad thing.  Says the guy who’s making a drunken rant about a movie with alleged feminist propaganda.

And then she crashes and burns and dies!!!!  Ahahahahahah!  Ok, I take it back.  I think this movie is leaning towards the former.

“What the hell are you thinkin’?  You don’t belong out here!”

— Brie’s dad?

Uhhh…

Another timeline transition to army camp, where she’s climbed atop a rope and intends to jump to the next rope.

*guy laughter*  “You’re not strong enough!”

She tries to jump to the next rope, fails, then falls.

“They’ll never let you fly.”

Grrrrrr…

“You’re a decent pilot, but you’re too emotional.”

Ok, I know I’m getting ahead of the movie here, but this guy is full of shit.  “Too emotional” is not a trait Brie’s face possesses.

You know, all this jumping around with the timeline, and showing the orange-haired pussy.  You’d think the film would take its own motherfucking advice and fucking “Focus.”

Holy shit.  She turned into Samus Aran!  Seriously, the way that “gun” thing attached to her hand looks (and speaking of female protagonists of the past who kick ass).

A Skrull screeches at her, she screeshes back.  ROFL!

But honestly, I’m tired of these action sequences Marvel comes out with.  All of them are assisted of CG, none of them compare to actual honest to God martial arts sequences made by Asians that Disney attempts a hollow recreation of (let alone the fight scene from Only God Forgives).  They peaked with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Everything else went downhill from there.  It’s just monotonous at this point.  If you’re going to have a fight sequence, either try to make it really fucking good, or just make the damn thing character-focused.  One of the best pointless fight sequences ever is in The Girl From Naked Eye.  One of the best character-driven fight sequences is Luke vs. Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.

I’m only 20 minutes into this movie.  I’m getting worried about my ability to keep going at the rate I’m consuming alcohol.  Maybe doing 20 push-ups will help.

*20 push-ups later*

Focused again.  Let’s see you judgemental motherfuckers try doing 20 push-ups while shit-faced.  I bet half of you reading this couldn’t do it while sober.  “Well why don’t you try making us look bad by doing 50 push-ups you pansy ass?”  Because I’m not in the military like Brie, much less the airforce!  I don’t have pecs you can bounce cherry’s off of and have women from all over the world salivate over like Dwayne Johnson does!

If a woman’s tits can do that, I would love to fucking see it!  Seriously, please, send me a link to an image where that happens.

Holy shit.  She is using those things like Samus Aran.  What the fuck Disney?  Why don’t you try making a Metroid movie?  Please!  With all this pro-feminism stuff you’re shove down our cocksucking throats, and with the amount of power-grabbing you’ve been doing in the film industry, that should be easy pickings for you.

Ok, I see where this is going.  She’s learning about how strong she really is when she lets loose and just goes all out with her powers (of feminism).  She can hold her own, take out a bunch of aliens fuck up their ship, and then hijack it (or at least attempt to).  Guess all the “men” and “boys” were wrong about her after all.  Next thing you know, Doctor Ruth will be telling her how she can dominate men sexually.

Heheh, and she blasts the computer monitor showing a man giving her advice.

Whoah, wait, what the fuck?  So a Skrull blasts one of the controller parts to the escape pod she’s operating, and she still somehow manages to use it to escape the ship?  And he taunts her before she hijacks it after that?  Well now I feel like shaking my head back and forth violently just because I’m pissed and not because of the fucking booze.

Looks like the ship is blowing up too.  Whatever.

Now you see, this is why I’m not really into these superhero films anymore, not since Civil War.  These fucking people, these fucking plots.  There isn’t any real stakes to the action sequences that go on for 90% of the time.  Why should we be worried about the protagonist when they’re faced against a dozen enemies that can physically assault them, when they’re capable of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere?  Why should be be concerned about the protagonists when they get blasted by some lazer beam (whether from a weapon or from someone’s hands, or eyes, or ass, or crotch, or tits), when their sparring partner shrugs that off during a training session?  Why should we ever give a rat’s ass about the action sequences when we are incapable of knowing what their limits are, let alone when they are pushing those alleged limits?  I just don’t really give a shit anymore about the superhero franchise because of this stuff.  It’s also why Batman is my favorite of the bunch (yeah, I know he’s not Marvel, but so the hell what?).  At least he’s relatable.  At least we know he’s human like the rest of us, and is thus susceptible to the same kind of harm we face everyday, Hollywood actions scenes where they take three times the amount of damage any normal in-shape person would be capable of sustaining aside.  It would help if we could at least be shown the superhero’s limitations.  Fuck, I need to watch One Punch Man at some point.

Ah yes, the Blockbuster video crash.  She’s the reason why they went Bankrupt, and now have to make their last stand in Oregon!  Why couldn’t she crash into an adult toy shop and long on a giant fucking dildo?  That’s the only thing that would want to penetrate her flat ass.

Pfft.  She sees someone, and her first reaction is to blast it (but it’s a poster).  Way to show how inconsequential letting loose your powers/emotions can be.

“Veers to Starforce command, do you copy?”

“This is Buzz Lightyear, I read you loud and clear.  Help me become real!”

Let the 90s nostalgia fly!  In all honesty, I was a Blockbuster person in the day (even if I had to deal with shitty DVDs and VHS tapes that customers somehow managed to scratch/fuck up; what the fuck kind of lessons in responsibility were those asshats taught?), but I was never really into RadioShack.  Do think it would make for an interesting location for a zombie apocalypse film though.  Now with that said, I’d like to see her kick the ever-loving-shit out of Bill Cliton, and then have the power rangers gang-bang her (that includes the yellow ranger, and whoever else was a female ranger), and then have Stone Cold Steve Austin give her a stunner, and then proceed to pour concrete into her pansy escape pod while giving it the birdy.  And then let’s see how well she stands up against moon shoes, skateboards, roller blades, pokemon, animaniacs, , and Super Saiyans!  While she’s in the hospital, she can watch Daria to recover emotionally.

And now the Beach Girls are coming after her.

Wait, what the fuck?  The Kree are 24 hours away from Earth, after doing a fucking mission on a planet where she was captured and then crashed onto Earth a few hours later!?!?!?  ‘Dis is what, as they say in the 90s, bullshit!  And the whole collect call for galactic communication is bullshit too.

“Have you ever been to CB53?”

“Once.  It’s a real shithole.”

Considering how the aliens tend to always land in either California, or New York, or Washington DC, I tend to agree.  Now just imagine if they landed in Mexico, or China, or somewhere in Africa or the Middle East.

“Witness says she was dressed for lazer tag.”

And if there were more kids playing lazer tag today compared to the 90s, there’s a decent chance there would be less fatasses running around.  You can say what you want about lazer tag being cheesy and made for infants, us motherfuckers who know what real lazer tag is like know that you have to be in as much shape for that shit as you would for paintball!  Run!  Jump over the barricade, turn 180 degrees, and shoot the motherfucker chasing you, assuming you don’t get your digital brains blown out by the guy who was after you!  On a personal note, that shit was more fun than this movie.

You know, I have to admit.  As much as I expect to dislike this movie, that Stan Lee cameo does tug at the heartstrings.

So I was ok with the fight sequence on the train (just “ok” with it, not considering it as good or bad), up until the point where after she break free of the 3 guys who were holding her back (why they would attempt to restrain her after seeing the backflips granny could do, I wouldn’t know, I’d be sitting back and eating my popcorn watching the event unfold if I was on that train at that point).  But the moment after that, when she’s pursuing the alien and picking up the crystal, everyone seems way too fucking casual at that point.  You’d think everyone would be wide-eyed and in shock.  I mean, it’s the fucking 90s for Christ’s sake.  Films like this haven’t been invented yet, even if that generation would be salivating over the idea of a film where some young broad would kick the shit out of an grandma.  That’s like every 90s teenager’s wet dream, next to getting married to The Little Mermaid and banging Sharon Stone.

“I’m still at the Blockbuster.”

Now wait a goddamn minute.  When the fuck did the Skrull manage to pull off that infiltration technique without anyone noticing?  Amidst all the police and SHIELD agents?  That’s just stupid, just like Rotten Tomatoes deleting 40k+ reviews.

Hey Jackson, shouldn’t you be calling in a top secret team for Area 51 or something to cover up this alien activity?  Or do you want Mulder and Scully to show up and blow the case wide open?

“Nice scuba suit.  Lighten up honey, got a smile for me?”

Yeheheheh.  Hehe.  Hehe.  Ehe-shaddup movie.

She just stole the jacket off that mannequin and exposed its tits!  She’s fucking sexist!

“How’s your eye.”

“It’s fine.”

Yeah, a fake-out over Nick Fury lost his eye.  Nice try movie.  We all know from Winter Soldier that he lost his eye because he trusted someone too much.  Someone is going to stab him in the back to cause him to lose his eye.  And this shouldn’t be the movie to make that happen.  Should be some espionage flick, preferably with Black Widow.

This is fucking stupid!  There’s no fucking way the buttfucking Skrulls could’ve infiltrated SHIELD personnel this quickly without being noticed!  What the fuck kind of an operation are they running here?  Just because this takes place in the 90s doesn’t mean they can get away with 90s film logic.  This isn’t a fucking Andy Sidaris film, which I would be watching instead of this, especially if I wanted to see a nice girl with a great ass.

Uh, where is Brie going on that motorcycle?  How would she know where to go?  Is she just driving around for the fuck of it like Easy Rider?  Explain movie!  Explain!!!

Flashbacks at a bar, including on a Street Fighter II machine.  Captain Marvel is so Mary Sue, she’ll whip anyone’s ass at Street Fighter II.  We’ll see what Sirin has to say about that (that’s an in-joke reference only the most hardcore of gamers would get).

A bar with air force photos?  Ok, now this film is being way too fucking coincidental.  Just like in The Force Awakens, where they’re all like, “Hey look, let’s pilot the Millennium Falcon!”  *8 minutes later*  “Hey look, there’s Hand Solo and Chewy to take the Falcon back!”  Damn you Disney and you lazy plot contrivances!

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?  How the fuck did fucking Jules track fucking Brie to that fucking bar?  Even for a fucking superhero film this is pushing the state of disbelief too far.  How the fuck did he pull that off?  Did he get into communication with Picard and say something like, “Energize me motherfucker!” and then just teleport to the fucking bar that they fucking knew she would fucking be at even though fucking technology didn’t develop fucking tracking devices that fucking far in the fucking 90s?

“Grunge is a good look for you.”

Grunge is a good look for anyone.  Especially with how shitty music is today.  Go back to the 90s when music actually mattered, like with Nirvana and Alice in Chains.

“I was never one to believe in aliens.  But I can’t un-see that.  Especially when their dicks are bigger than mine.”

“This is gonna get a little awkward, but I gotta ask.”

“Yes, I looked at it.”

“Can’t be too careful.”

“Ok, fine.  I thought about sucking it too.”

Jesus Christ!  What the fuck is going on!?  Fury decides to immediately spill his guts (metaphorically), put his trust in her, and then take this alien bitch to a top secret base?  Would’ve been more interesting if SHIELD ambushed her and took her there by force, and then Fury got to know her by interrogating her on the way there or something.  Hell, I can’t imagine him being so trusting after being a Cold War spy.  This film is bullshit.

“Lightspeed?  Can’t admit that’s the craziest thing I’ve heard today.”

Yeah, until you hear about the Enterpise’s warp speed.  I’m sorry; this fucking film makes it too goddamn tempting to resist make Star Trek and Star Wars jokes.  They’re practically writing themselves.  Weaponized Nerd Rage was wrong about this film, this movie is 100% riff-able.

Brie Larson isn’t worthy of wearing a NIN shirt.  She should be wearing a fucking Heart shirt, at best.  She’s not worthy of sporting grunge rock.

“Impressive.”

“Oh.  You should see what I can do with a paper clip.”

The potential for that line, especially in the context of espionage and stuff kept from the eyes of the public.  Operation Paperclips anyone?

You know, Brie, there’s less evidence of a break-in if you let Fury use his tape trick to open a door as opposed to blowing the fucking thing open.  On the other hand, I guess enough time has passed in this film to where you just had to blow something.

You know, at some point, you just have to take a step back and ask yourself just what the fuck these people are doing.  Seriously.  What is going on here?  How did we get from tracking down Skrulls on the planet, to going to a top secret base and looking at classified documents?  I don’t get it.  Asking about flight plans, the writing style of some individual.  Can we just have Cthulhu show up to bring the whole thing full circle or something?  Why the hell are these people here and why the fuck are they going through secret documents!  What the fuck does that have to do with the Skrulls?  Why the fuck should Brie even give a shit?  Guess she doesn’t, which is why she looks bored half the time.  Goddamnit, you’re making me want to watch a different movie.  And that orange pussy isn’t tempting me to stick around.  Seriously, what the fuck kind of a top secret facility is this where security cameras aren’t around to make sure the areas are clear (Terminator 2 certainly had them at an insane asylum for Sarah Conner, another chick more badass in the 90s than Brie is in the 2010s)?  What the fuck kind of a top secret facility has animals just wandering around?  Security guards would be using that orange pussy for practice.  Donald Trump would be paying a visit to that security by now and grabbing that pussy, especially since it matches the color of his hair.

“You ok?”

She’s fine!  Her wooden face expression hasn’t fucking changed at all since you entered the fucking room, much less the facility!

Regular hero, superhero, the face expression stays the same.

WHAT THE FLYING FUCK!?!?!?  She’s communicating to her space/alien superiors using a fucking phone from the fucking top secret military base!?  How the fuck is security not on top of this?

“It’s a Marvel superhero movie.  It’s not supposed to be taken seriously.”

Oh blow me!  You don’t use that excuse on Batman vs. Superman, let alone Justice League, or a Michael Bay flick!  And to all you fat tranny bitches with died hair, that’s not a literal invitation to blow me.  Learn about metaphors in Creative Writing 101 when your not sucking off your professor in Liberal Arts class.

Seriously, this Kree infiltration is bullshit.  Don’t the screenwriters know anything about buildup?  Tension-building?  Like letting the audience know that the Skrulls (that sounds like a 70s gangbanger) have been on Earth for a while, and have infiltrated the government on several levels or something?  ‘Cause as far as I can tell, we’re to believe that these illegal aliens landed and infiltrated 1, maybe 2 days ago tops.  Yeah, there’s that bit about some cunt-fingering Skrull who has been there long enough to write in a book that was confiscated by a top secret agency, but we’re not exactly getting a smooth introduction into this whole thing.

“But this was made for Marvel fanboys, and fangirls, and fanneutrals.”

The hell it was!  This film retcons more shit in the Marvel comic universe than Iron Man 3 did!  And the fanneutrals can kiss Bender’s shiny metal ass!

Mar-vel?  Ah.  Ahahahahah.  Ahahah.  Ahahahahahahahahah!  Ok, when does the plumber or milkman show up, and when does the porn start?  The plot is at that level at this point.  You mine as well as start calling someone Peaches, Tess Tingler, Butt Eiful, and Lick Bait.

How you get me to watch an Ant Man movie.

It’s very fucking apparent at this point that the Kree are full of shit.  If they build this up to some, “What a twist!” moment, I swear to God, I’m going to choke a fucking chicken after drop-kicking a pussy- … -cat through the ceiling.

Ok, I guess this flew over my head earlier because it’s so stupid.  And because I’m drunk.  Brie’s character name is Vers.  Not well versed in acting is she?  You see how fucking easy this film is making things for me?  It’s making it too easy!  I’m only 50 minutes into this thing, and I’ve spent over 3 fucking hours trying to get through this thing!  I should be watching fucking Blankman!

Brbrbrbrb!!!  And they didn’t see her come out that door on the stairway!?  You know what, fuck it.  I’m going to try not to care.  The film’s shit has already hit the fan at this point, so I mine as well as stop worrying about the dingle-berries.

Security guards disappearing until conveniently showing up later during action sequences.

I take it back.  As much as the potential would be great to have Fury’s eye blown out during a Black Widow movie, it’s possible to have some Skrull do it who is impersonating one of his close associates.

“Do you know how to fly this thing?”

[…]

“Yes.”

Piss off.

And they fly through a hanger where the doors to the landing bay are wide open, at a top secret military facility.  …  Go fuck yourself, with a cactus.

The fucking pussy cat is on the fucking plane too!?  Jesus Christ, that does it.  I need something else to watch.  This is driving me nuts.  Wait, scratch that.  I don’t need something else to watch.  I need something else to read.  Fuck Marvel and fuck DC.  Save me Patriotika!  Show them how a real superwoman with a great bust and a great ass can really kick ass, without the plot contrivances.

6 years ago?  Maybe she was a Russian who Tom Cruise blasted out of the sky during the 80s.  Makes about as much sense as the rest of this shit.

Hey!  Vers (aka Brie Larson) can smile!  Fuck this movie for shaming men otherwise for asking her to do so earlier in the film!  Her acting and emotions are still forced though.  It’s like she’s uncomfortable when she has to emote, and is more comfortable when she’s not giving a shit.

Was that the main baddie from Thor: The Dark World?  I thought it was widely accepted that he was one of, if not the, weakest villains in the MCU?  Guess Disney really does know their audience.

Nick Fury is a glorified lap dog in this movie.

Well, Vers uses her powers to heat up a tea kettle.  Nice to see that women are returning to the kitchen.  Now if only she would take that fucking NIN shirt off.  For one thing, she doesn’t deserve to wear it.  For another, hey, be nice to give us some fan service.  No?  Well that’s fine, other fans did it for us.  Rule 34 and all.

What?  Were you expecting me to push the envelope after the last image?  Get used to disappointments, like I have.

Phahah!  I love how the editing works with her conversation with her black friend.  How she’s shown to be chuckling and smiling one moment as a, “The good old times,” one moment, only to see her “bored out of her mind” face expression 2 cuts later.  “This is bullshit, I did not hit her.  I did naught.  …  Oh hi Mark.”

He’s an alien who kidnapped her and brainwashed her to the ways of his world before returning her to Earth.  It all makes sense now!

Is her black friend looking at her lines at various points during this conversation?

Where’s the fucking orange pussy at?  Shouldn’t the little girl be playing with it right now?

Ok, I don’t know if that moment with the Skrull drinking soda out of a cup was supposed to be funny or not, but it managed to get me laughing.

Shame on this movie for not making a, “The cat’s out of the bag,” joke.  It would’ve been stupid, but at least it wouldn’t be insulting my intelligence with trying to convince me that this is a smart movie.  It’s fucking dumb.  You mine as well as make fucking dumb jokes.

How would the Skrull be able to locate, steal, and bring about this CD with the audio recording?  It’s… um… I don’t even… fuck it.

And she survives that crash?  Without being knocked unconscious?  But that’s…  yay feminism!

“You’re blood.  It’s blue.”

“Yeah, well, how’s my hair?”

I have a feeling I’ll be getting back to that line of logic.

Heheheheheh.  Mar-Vel.  An old alien lady who is dying and gives her final death speech to some woman whom she hopes will carry on the legacy after she is gone.  Yep, seems like a good metaphor for Marvel studios today.  We already have old hags fucking up the Star Wars legacy.  Marvel is next on the chopping block.

Yep.  The Skrulls turn out to be the good guys.  The Kree turn out to be the villains.  Like how “her” isn’t really a “hero.”  Doop-dee-doo.

“Everything that I knew as a lie!”

So I guess you could say, *puts on sunglasses*, that you’ve been red pilled.  Yeahhhhhhhh!!!

Her acting here after being red-pilled.  It’s like Brie’s acting ability somehow gets worse as the movie goes on.

Refugees.  People viewed as villains who are simply misunderstood like Maleficent.  They’re really the good guys.  A message told in the presence of women and black people.  Like in reality.  Dumb-de-dum-dumb.  Now that we’ve got that bit of subliminal messaging out of the way…

Yeah, consider what kind of example you’ll set for your daughter.  Help out a superhero who doesn’t need any help at the risk of leaving your daughter without a mother.  It’s not enough that we’ve already got the “single mother” cliche going on here.

Brbrbrb!  Where’d she get the superhero costume?  Fuck it, nevermind.

Fuck off.  The neon light suit was great!

“How do I look?”

Not as good as this:

You know, I’m pretty sure things would’ve worked out better if no Skrull stayed behind disguised as Superbitch to let Mr. Bruce Lee know that “she knows.”  I’m thinking a better alternative was to scatter and let Mr. Villain search just a few hours more before the oh so convenient finale.

When blasting that ship off into space, shouldn’t the orange pussy be up against the back of the ship like last time?

Eye-roll moment of refugee family being on plot device ship.  I thought you motherfuckers already dealt with the whole refugee metaphor in Thor: Ragnarok?  Well, guess they gotta milk that message like they do the franchises they own.

Seriously?  They’re playing the Nirvana song everyone’s heard in the Supreme Intelligence scene?  How about you go a little more niche and play some fucking “Meat Puppets – Backwater” or something?

Alright already!  Jesus!  Stop bashing us over the head with the refugee theme!  Oh those poor innocent illegal immigrants who in no way contribute to the crime statistics!  Get fucked.

And the whole thing of, “She’s powerless to do anything about it.”  Come on.  Get it over with already so she can Mary Sue this shit.  I’ve been bored with this move for an hour now.

And there it is.  Finally.  Going all Mary Sue.  The cat too.  So I can watch the rest of this care-free, until I drop it into the blue.

So somehow, their weaponry can’t destroy an Earth vessel.  Mhmm.

Yadi-yada-fucking-yada.  Earth ship and Earth pilot can outmaneuver and destroy an experienced top class alien ship and alien pilot..

Oh come on.  Seriously?  She just wiped out a space fleet.  You expect there to be any tension in this final mono-y-mono showdown?  Ah, but they decide not to have that mono-y-mono fight.  Because they know she’s overpowered enough.  And because she probably knows she’s not skilled enough without her powers to beat him.  Ain’t that typical.  On the other hand, it would’ve been more insulting if they did show it that way.

Yeah yeah yeah, refugee home feeling stuff.  And Fury loses his eye over a pussy.  By trusting someone too much in Winter Soldier, he meant trusting pussy too much.  Put too much trust in the pussy, you’ll become partially blind to reason.  Makes sense to me.  Just get this film over with.

I have to admit, Samuel Jackson seems to be acting out of character when it comes to portraying Nick Fury in this film.  I’m not kidding, this is not the Nick Fury I’ve seen in ALL of the previous Marvel films, from Iron Man and onwards.  They toned down his seriousness more than they toned down Scarface in the edited for television version.

And thank fuck that’s over with.

It’s really hard to give a shit about this movie.  It’s boring, and at times annoying.  The only point in time when it had anything of interest to it was during the first 15 minutes, and that’s about it.  I don’t get what people see in this movie to make it a box office hit.  Plot contrivances, plot holes, betraying some of what was setup earlier in the franchise (and I’m sure there are Marvel fans who actually give a shit about this franchise who can tear this film a new one far better than I when it comes to contradictions and whatnot), and no tension whatsoever during the finale.  This film may not have killed the franchise, but it certainly put the nail on the coffin.  Maybe even hammered it in a small tap.  If Endgame doesn’t hammer that nail down even further, the film after that certainly will.

Otherwise, like I said, I stopped really giving a shit ever since Civil War.  I don’t have a dog in this fight other than rooting for the franchise’s downfall, and Disney’s destruction (or at least near-destruction until they change their ways).  Just for the sake of getting more decent films (on average) back into theaters.  Well, if this film, and the franchise, is so eager to capitalize on great stuff from the 90s and earlier, I say it’s only fair that I do the same, and continue watching films and shows from a better era.  TV shows of today may be good for now, but even their downward spiral is beginning.  It’s been happening ever since the last season of Game of Thrones.  It’s all going to come crashing down like the gaming crash of the 80s.  And I’m going to be stocking up in preparation for it.

So, in a nutshell, this film is dull.  Pass.

 

Rated: 1.5 pussy farts / 5

 

Dance Twerking GIF - Dance Twerking Funnycat GIFs

 

PS: Guess how long it took Letterboxd to take this review down?  I’ll give you a hint: it took less than 24 hours.

mv

Ferguson: A Report From Occupied Territory (2015) review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

This review appears to be shadow-banned on letterboxd, so I’m porting it over here.  Originally reviewed October 4, 2016.

 

“For example one teacher said that she felt that Darren Wilson wasn’t wrong, that she felt that he should’ve shot him.”
“And that’s what she said?”
“Yeah.”
“Verbatim?”
“Yeah.”
“What was the first thing y’all said in regards to how she felt?”
“My exact words were, ‘Man did you hear what she just said? She must be crazy.’ Those were my exact words. Like, when she said it, I couldn’t believe it like, i- it all saw makin’ me feel like, makin’ me wanna stay more distant from those teachers. Like, we can’t really relate so, how can you sit there and talk to me, like, I don’t understand.”

“If they catch us, we don’t know what could happen. We could be the next Mike Brown, for real. They wonder why we just take off running. It’s not that we doin’ anything bad, we scared to be around them. If they see young black kids, trouble, that’s what they think right off the bat, trouble.”

“Black folk are seen and thought to be innately criminal. Innately terrifying. More powerful, more strong, beastly. Which is why you can have a recording of Darren Wilson referencing Mike Brown as something other than human, as an ‘it’. And if that perception is guiding our engagements with folk, the biggest problem is not about the use of weapons alone, as in physical weapons, but as in the ideological weapons we need to rage war against.”

So I went in this documentary expecting to get pissed off. At the bias. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned about the Black Lives Matter movement over the past several months, it’s that the cases of police brutality they base the foundations of their cause on are horseshit. Case in point, Michael Brown. It doesn’t take long to debunk the whole, “He was an angel who did no wrong to the officer or to anybody,” theory. A video here, a video there, and you realize that the officer was in fact within his legal and logical rights to shoot that guy. But no matter. Once it made headlines by the biased sack of shit news media that chose to spin the story in the most racially-motivated way possible (as they continue to do to this day), the riots began.

Justice for Brown. Hands up, don’t shoot (a situation that didn’t happen at all, so even that is built upon a lie). So let’s also loot and burn down some buildings while we’re at it. The court house? The police station? No, that’s too dangerous, let’s take out the easy targets.

The riots were bullshit, and anyone who loots stores that had nothing to do with the events are sacks of shit, I don’t care if they’re crackers or niggers.

And of course the documentary didn’t cover any of that. Because the poor suffering black community has to be held in a shining light. It’s bullshit manipulation.

That being said, the documentary did go into a direction of understanding that I wasn’t expecting. Because the black community in Ferguson was (is) poor, the black community in Ferguson was (is) suffering. But it’s not because police are discriminately killing black people left and right because their racist emotions got the better of them. Oh no, it’s more logical than that, though no less anger-inducing. The city of Ferguson (and a portion of the city of St. Louis from what I understand) initially had a housing plan that developed in the 60s. Long story short, it fell through, and the city began doing horribly financially. And what’s the best way to generate income for the city if there is a sector of Missouri that isn’t offering a source of income due to failed businesses and minimum wage housing where the black community lives paycheck to paycheck (how and why the housing plan initially failed is left out of the documentary)? By ticketing the shit out of them. Get police to patrol areas and target low-wage earners for citations and ticketing, at which point they will go to court, where they can’t afford a lawyer, and they will most likely plead guilty to it, and they will be stuck having to pay off the fine, which is anything but cheap for them. Add onto that fact that there are more tickets that citizens living in the city, and you’ve got yourself a very bad state of affairs. But it got the city the money income it was looking for to keep itself going. And to make sure the process got more effective, they would hire more and more police officers.

“You need so many police officers that you start getting to a point where the quality of those police officers I think is being compromised, to say the least.”

This explains perfectly why there is such disdain between the black community and the police force. So why isn’t this in the news more often? Because it targets the higher ups? Top officials? Well if there’s any good that came out of this, it’s that ever since the riots and protests, despite how misdirected they were, something happened as a result of this.

“On March 4 [2015], the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report of the Ferguson Police Department. It confirmed that officers violated constitutional rights by disproportionately targeting African-Americans and exploiting them as sources of revenue.”

As a result, the mayor and the police chief and a few others stepped down from their positions. Now one can only hope that progress will be made. But to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how. What is an honest and legal alternative mean for the city to generate income and not go bankrupt? Is progress being made towards such a goal? I don’t know. I’m not an expert on the subject, and I just don’t know. What I do know is that, if there’s to be protesting, it would go a lot better if they picked their spots and methods for protesting more logically. Such as in front of the court house where they are given their fines to pay, or in front of the police station where the cops are at who hand out these tickets, or at the mayor’s office.

There is an injustice being done in similar towns with similar black communities, but this isn’t a nationwide epidemic as far as racism is concerned. Believe me, if they could pull this off on a white community, or dare I say a mixed community, they would. And they do. Because I’ve lived in and been to such communities. It’s nothing new for the police force to seek out giving tickets to citizens, because that generates their paycheck and is what keeps the courts going and generates revenue for the city. There needs to be a better way than that. This is something to focus on, on a city by city basis. So why can’t something like that be the focus of the media as opposed to this racially/viewership-motivated cherry-picking those fuckers do?

Michael Brown, Black Lives Matter, Hand up Don’t shoot, those are built on lies. The anger built from mistreatment by the police and the city government is not. Can we find some common ground here?

Metropolis (2001)

(I can’t stop loving you.)
I’ve made up my mind, to live in memory of the lonesome times.
(I can’t stop wanting you.)
It’s useless to say. So I’ll just live my life of dreams of yesterday.

— Ray Charles

Rated: 3 / 5

This film has an interesting way with music, and it works. It may not be traditional to play a Ray Charles song the moment when everything is blowing up as is bound to happen in an anime, but it pulls it off. It’s just too bad I didn’t feel the anime was strong enough to match up with the lyrics.

 

It starts out with red lines making intersections among a black screen. A target? Paths crossing? Or just a simple opening credits stylistic choice? Who know? More importantly, it starts black and white, and grainy, before emerging as a bountiful amount of yellow/gold lights, brightening up the dark. The film stays this well lit up until the coup, where the snow starts to fall and the colors become more and more muted, until near the end, encapsulating the film’s arc. As any film art 101 student would know, this indicates that life is good, then it’s not, but then it will get good again. But I find such a conclusion questionable for this film.

The main reason I went and watched Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was to prep myself for this version of it. This movie is not a shot for shot remake in the slightest. In fact, ziggurat and futuristic utopia with underground workers and some Christian metaphors aside, these are very different films. Sure there’s a robot girl created for different purposes among the 2 parties involved, but she behaves differently than in the 1920s Metropolis. The Supreme Being, as she’s called, is the 2 girls made one from the older film, both the demented robotic version, and the good version. She starts out good and innocent, and angelic as bluntly shown at one point, mainly due to her ignorance and lack of knowledge, and hair growing solar powers. But as she goes on and gains more and more knowledge about herself and those around her, she eventually transforms, quite suddenly actually, when some internal part of her (the heart part I believe) activates. Then she becomes an enemy to all of mankind, including Astro Boy.

The theme from the first film is that the mind and the hands need the heart as a mediator. Well, that’s not the theme from this film, though it does put some emphasis on the heart. If I understand correctly, when the heart activates, what’s really going on is that it’s shutting down. She no longer has a heart or emotions, just as her creator eventually desired. The repercussions are disastrous, because a Supreme Being without a heart will reign down destruction. One could say that she learned to be this way because of the violence she’s seen, but really, when you think about it, it just ends up being due to programming, which takes away from the film.

In fact, the finale is when things start to fall apart. Of course they designed the ziggurat to become an uncontrollable time bomb when a robot they had designed for it decides to take control. Of course there aren’t any backup security measures. Of course the tower would start to do things unexpected by the very people who built it. All this wiring and circuitry shit just comes out of the blue because, fuck it, anime’s need a big bombastic over the top finale. Things just happen manically because the script says so from that point, not to mention our two protagonists are the only ones to somehow survive the destruction of the ziggurat.

So, yeah, I found things that I disliked this time around, after haven’t having seen this movie for many years.

Like more films of today, the question and theme is on artificial intelligence. Can a machine think for itself? Can a machine love? Are machines better than humans? You know, all that bullshit, a theme that I’m not a big fan of. It’s not as universal as the themes found in the Fritz Lang original.

All that aside, the animations are largely fantastic, even if some of the CGI meshing doesn’t, you know, mesh all that well or look all that good compared to the 2D style. Many of the camera views aren’t close ups, they are pulled back to give a large view of areas of the city, allowing for a massive amount of detail to be captured in many frames. Close-ups are used sparingly, and largely saved for brief moments. Another difference between this film and the old silent picture is that there are less details shown about how this society functions, technology-wise. I mean, there are the robots, and the robot firemen, robot firehoses, robot garbage collectors, robot detectives, robot everything. As one character states, the machines will replace man and take all their jobs one day (which is a guarantee if the political cocksuckers keep attempting to raise minimum wage to the point where having and maintaining machines is cheaper than having human workers; sorry, tangent).

There are sectors of people who are for machines and their rights, and those who don’t believe machines have any, so they resort to violence against the machines, destroying them (some in the coup, others for security reasons). The film makes sure we are supposed to feel sad when machines are killed off. Killing off a machine that places some animal symbol in a spotlight. Killing off another that is up on some advertisement mannequin. And guess what? No explanation is given as to why those dumbass machines were there in the first place, which makes the film feel manipulative as hell. “Oh the poor machines, why do they have to kill them? Boohoohoo!” You know what, fuck the machines. There are only 3 to care about in the entire movie, who’s reasons for acting in such a way as to be killed off make sense and the context is understandable and more clear. The rest of them can burn in robot hell for all I care.

What makes me sad is that now I can’t enjoy this movie as much as I used to. And there’s plenty to admire about this film. Great animation, decent plot, interesting music, good characters. The first 3/4ths of the film are solid enough before the “the less fucks we give for the sake of the action, the better” finale, except for a few things:

* The mad doctor who created Supreme Being Tima. Not much motivation as to why he’s wants to run away with her, or what his real intentions of creating her are if not for Duke Red. There’s a brief moment when we first see him that gives a potential reason that links back to the original film. He’s glancing at an old picture of Duke Red’s daughter. But that’s all we get. You know, considering that this is a Japanese film, and that the Japanese aren’t know for being subtle when it comes to film, you would think they’d clear that up somehow. But they don’t, so I’m just assuming this is a nod to the mad doctor character from the silent film, and settling for a character with less dimensions to him.

* Some robots that die to make the viewer feel sympathetic about it, when the average viewer probably wouldn’t give a flying monkey shit about them.


So, what could’ve been done better then? Well, the above two points could’ve been easily resolved with more footage and an expansion upon the subjects. But the finale, well, why not link things back to what happened midway through the film? Duke Red creating the ziggurat with the intention not to make the city/nation more grand and beautiful, but also as a way to gain power and threaten the world with the power of the ziggurat, which can shoot lazers at the sun and cause the sun’s radiation (the sun’s rays) to hit the Earth and mess up the robots (not to mention the citizens themselves if the radiation was bad enough). Is it so difficult to have crazy blonde Tima just hijack control of the lazer and threaten to use it to destroy humanity or something? Or just control all the robots in the city and eventually the world (it does that already, but they need more More MORE!)? Build upon what you’ve laid the groundwork for movie! You can’t just pull shit out of the blue for the hell of it. We’ve already got Takashi Miike for that.

The main characters, Kenichi and Tima, their relationship with one another isn’t all that well developed, so when the turning point of the story happens, the emotional impact isn’t as great as is needed (not to mention that Tima’s turn happens a bit too drastically with no hint that it would happen in that way).

This film has some heart to it, but not enough. I rewatched this with the intention of enjoying it again, but I can’t enjoy it like I used to. Unless there’s something I’m missing, or some other way of looking at the film that I haven’t comprehended. Still, all in all, it is a beautiful looking film. The CGI may not mesh perfectly, but it’s the next best thing compared to Memories. Three stars is the best I can give it, and 1/2 of those stars is due to sympathy.

Continue reading

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma (2016)

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma : Extra Large Movie Poster Image - IMP Awards

Rated: 4 / 5

I expected this documentary to be more of a one-sided “make peace, not war” film which showed how muslims are becoming unjustly discriminated against and imprisoned for being potential jihadists, but are really just nice people.

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma - Watch the HBO Original Documentary | HBO

To my surprise, that’s not what this is.

 

This takes a hard look at both sides. The film mainly focuses on one incident where this guy gets arrested and charged and sentenced for 4 counts of conspiracy, an American born and raised muslim. It focuses on the family members, mainly the sister and occasionally the mother, who are saddened by this and say that there is no way he would ever do such a thing, etc. I expected the film to mostly compose of that, until it showed the other side, one of the officials discussing how he and others were tracking this guy, what led them to eventually arrest and charge him, why they did so, their history with cases like this, and so on. It becomes a very muddled grey area, where you can’t be sure if this guy was as innocent as his family claims, or not.

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma - Watch the HBO Original Documentary | HBO

But the film doesn’t just focus on that small scale. Throughout the runtime, it goes bigger, talking about how people become jihadists, how they become terrorists, incidents involving terror attacks (mainly the Boston marathon bombing and the Fort Hood attack), the culture and atmosphere of the environments such events lead to, etc. It even mentions the English speaking magazines written by whosoever that talk about how one can become a terrorist, make bombs, how to attack, etc. How a bad economy makes opportunities more rife for citizens to become terrorists.

HBO Canada – Bell Media

But most importantly of all, the film even offers a solution to the problem (not some solution that’s going to guarantee jihadist attacks never happen again, there’s no such thing as a 100% guaranteed solution, terror attacks have always happened since the beginning of civilization). That teachers and families must not be afraid to confront and discuss this issue with their children. Because one way or another, children will get curious enough to go online and look this stuff up and come to their own conclusions. Better to discuss it early on, at the right age, when they can be educated on why it’s bad and so on. Because one of the reasons some people go on to become terrorists, bad economy aside, is because it’s a subject considered too taboo for school and families. That’s bullshit, and that’s the wrong stance to take. It should be discussed, it should be talked about, there should be discussions about it.

The finale of the film couldn’t have been done any better. It all comes to a head when the CIA official, who talked about the why and how of arresting that potential terrorist guy, gets in the same room as that guy’s family, his sister and mother. They talk about the whole incident. Was it wrong? What should they have done? If they could go back would they change anything? Role reversal? Etc. It’s a fantastic thought provoking sequence that has no clear easy answers to it. It’s worth sitting through the entire film just to get to that moment it’s been building up to.

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma (2016) - Backdrops — The Movie Database (TMDb)

That being said, they could’ve trimmed a couple minutes off the runtime during some portions. But as is, it’s actually a fairly good documentary. It’s not as one-sided as you might think, takes a look at several sides (including the side of a muslim teacher who discusses the importance of the cultural learning and the consequences of not making the hard subjects talking points), and is something that I honestly think should be considered for viewing in modern culture classes.

Continue reading

Mystery (for now) review for Black History Month (because there’s no white history month)

“There’s a difference between having black skin and black thinking.”

— Spike Lee [1]

Long Introduction

So lately I’ve been told to lighten up.  To not take things so seriously.  Just lighten up, stop looking for metaphorical messages within films that you find insulting, and just enjoy the damn movie.  That’s the message I got from at least one individual in response to my Red Sparrow review.

 

Well, its well acted, well written and directed, good production values and that torture, knife fight scene was incredible. While all of this happened on screen you were pissed off, angry for what?

 

Gex
Well-acted is a bit more on the subjective side in this case, considering the use of Russian accents (or more accurately, the brief moments they weren’t used). In any case, the acting isn’t the main problem. It’s the portrayal.
Well written. In what way? It’s because of how they wrote some of these characters that irritated me in the first place.
Well directed. So well directed that it gets in your face (see strangulation scene). Though I won’t deny the director has talent.
Production values. That alone never makes a movie good. Especially when a large portion of that is spent on actors more for their name than for their talent and being best suited for the role. At best, production values can make a movie look good, not be good. The other factors determine if those good looks are put to good use.
The torture and knife fight. It’s decent. Not near enough to save this film. I’ve seen better.
As I stated in the review, I was pissed and angry about the depiction of both the men and the women, how they were largely charicatures made more to convey a metaphor, and it being a metaphor I despise from films made in this day and age that know fully well what kind of shit message they are peddling. That’s also why I disagree with the writing, enough to not even bothering to consider what leaps in logic this film may have in it, assuming I did get past the charicature issue. But considering that issue is something that negatively affects society today…
Or is it not obvious that this is one of those female empowerment films that empowers women at the expense of men by making the men out to be morally and mentally inferior? If I wanted a film about female empowerment, I’d watch fucking Thelma & Louis, or Basic Instinct, or Mad Max Fury Road, or Aliens, or Blood of Heroes. If I wanted a film about Russian espionage, I’d watch Gorky Park, or The Hunt for Red October, or No Way Out. And if I wanted a film where a lady gets revenge on despicable men who wronged her, I’d watch I Spit on Your Grave (preferably the remake).
Every single one of those films, for one reason or another, is superior to Red Sparrow.

 

Waldo WaldoOh my, all of what you say doesn’t have anything to do with the movie itself. Are you angry when watch movies? Methapors and hidden messages? In this movie?! You’re reading way too much into a simple spy film.

In Thelma and Louise, isn’t Darryl inferior then too? In Aliens, what about the Paul Reiser character? You gotta loosen up a bit. Just a bit.

 

“Oh my, all of what you say doesn’t have anything to do with the movie itself. Are you angry when watch movies? Methapors and hidden messages? In this movie?! You’re reading way too much into a simple spy film.”
If you don’t think metaphor is a part of film in general, then you have a lot to learn. Go back to watching Citizen Kane in film studies 101 or something for examples up the ass. If you want a film without a metaphor, go watch Reefer Madness and let them preach the message directly to you, loud and clear.
Allow me to provide an example from another female empowerment film I can recommend over this: Bound.
In that film, there is garden clippers, used during the first act by mobsters to clip the fingers off a guy they are interrogating for information. During the second act, a different mobster uses garden clippers to threaten his female companion. During the third act, a woman breaks free of the rope that binds her by using those garden clippers. It helps to enhance the viewing experience when one considers what those clipper represent, via metaphor. They represent the brutality of that power in the first act, desire to have and use such power during the second act, and finding that power and using it to fight for freedom in the third act.
A metaphor can be used on anything, whether it’s a person, an object, or a figure of speech. One could make the case that the female couple in Bound is a metaphor for same-sex rights, and their victory over the mob bosses represent victory over the establishment that stands in the way of those rights.
All I’m doing with my review for Red Sparrow is demonstrating how the metaphors are used in that film for similar reasons, but without the decency of adding more to it than that. Both the women protagonists in Bound had enough traits to them, plus background to their character, to make them more relate-able and easy to root for, and even the male antagonists had layers to their own characters. Virtually everyone in Red Sparrow has no such traits, and the closest thing I could find was the main protagonist having a history of temper tantrums (which honestly only seemed relevant two times in the film, and neither occasion made that dialogue reveal necessary simply because, well, plenty of people would react the same way under the circumstance; and that first act of revenge she did demonstrated that she has a temper), and that her uncle isn’t one to be trusted and is implied to have done bad deeds around the family in the past (which attempted to make their dialogue interactions interesting, with that sort of history shared between them, a pessimistic uncertainty). But that’s all we get. There really isn’t anything else with her character, or with any other character (save for that one chick who is revealed to have been in a lesbian relationship, but that was used strictly as a plot device).
The film is hardly subtle about what the metaphors are. But as you said, it’s a simple spy film. Simplistic because it’s dumbed down. It’s all about living a life where your life, and your body, don’t belong to you but to someone else. Then finding a gift within yourself and using that gift to fight back until it becomes your own life, and ultimately becoming superior to those who tried to own you in the past. The body of a female belonging to that of a man, as opposed to willingly sharing it with a man. The gift of feminism being the empowering force to fight back against and defeat toxic masculinity.
In Thelma and Louise, isn’t Darryl inferior then too?
Yes. But in that film, it at least had the decency to have the two female protagonist have faults in their character, faults which led to them making bad decisions that led them into the downward spiral. That film preaches to the choir, but at the same time it’s also very apparent that it’s meant to be all about women in a man’s world. It was designed from the ground up to be a feminist film. Red Sparrow had the gall to act like it would be more, when all that does is indicate wasted potential.
In Aliens, what about the Paul Reiser character?
Now you’re pushing it. He’s not a metaphor for toxic masculinity, or male dominance, or anti-femininity, or anything like that, not as far as I can tell. If it’s not apparent that he represents corporate/government interests at the expense of all else, then you’re not in much of a position to lecture me. Take into account that the film Aliens also has elements of the Vietnam War in it (I’m not making this up, documentaries and commentaries, including by the crew of the film itself, say as much), and you could also say Burke represents corruption leading to needless lives lost from a military and civilian point of view during that war.
Just because a guy plays a bastard who wants to do harm to one or more women in a film doesn’t mean he automatically represents the anti-feminine. It depends on the context, of what else is in the film that surrounds that character and his/her actions. On that note, my conclusions regarding the majority of the male characters in Red Sparrow does fit within the context of that film. Guess I just had to make that more explicitly clear to you so you could get the message.
You gotta loosen up a bit. Just a bit.
I’ll loosen up when I watch a film that isn’t supposed to be taken seriously. Or better yet, when I watch a film that is impossible to take seriously. Like Reefer Madness.

 

 

I’ve seen Citizen Kane and Refeer Madness. So my education so my education in film is done. Decency is a big point with you. I don’t get it. You got too many issues going on while watching a movie. That’s all right. Enjoy them in your way. Everything’s good.

 

Gex
It may be true that I have a few too many issues with films in general, but there’s a reason for that. 2 reasons actually.
1. I’m naturally picky about films, from the little things to the big things. I have no problem with this mainly for the sake of battling consumerism. The less films there are that please me, the less there are that tempt me to buy them. That, and there’s too many films out there in existence that set the bar high enough that I see no reason to lower it.
2. Protection from brainwashing. Particularly from elements like those in this film, among others that promote SJW virtues. I have been a victim of similar stuff in the past, and I’ll be damned if I drop my guard and allow it to happen again. So I aim to spot these little “lessons” that are in films like this, determine how deliberate and volatile they are, and if it’s bad enough, call them out on that bullshit.
The way I can ensure I don’t go over the edge with this is by being open to challenges on my position, and meeting them head-on, and see if my position stands up to scrutiny. That is one way I find out if I’ve been buried under the muck after a period of time, under the spell of one agenda or another. Losing a debate where much of what one was taught most of your life can be quite liberating and enlightening. Pity many on this site won’t allow for that anymore. And why? Because they’ve become the same brainwashed victim I used to be in the past; only difference being they’re not willing to see if their position stands up to scrutiny even while attacking the positions of others.
So now you know the why of my position. If you think I’m exaggerating on the influential powers films can have over people, I can link to a 20 minute youtube video that can show otherwise, but I have a feeling an escapist fellow like yourself isn’t ready for the black pill yet. Hopefully you’ll never need to be. It’s a funny thing though. I recall about a year ago you had no interest in debating the merits of a certain film, that you were on this site to have fun, not to debate. Nice to see you’re making progress. Who knows where you’ll be next year, or the year after. As for me, make no mistake. Having my position challenged and argued over is something I not only find fun, but also find that it tends to enhance the viewing experience of the film being discussed.

 

So yeah, I’ll admit, I’m a real hardass when it comes to these things.  So I agree, there are times when I need to learn to lighten up; though that’s probably a poor choice of words given that it’s currently black history month.  I should be darkening up.  Regardless, I aimed to find a film appropriate for the occasion.  Some film that, at least from the outset, seems like something I can take in a fully lighthearted manner.  Have a little fun.  Not be so judgemental.  Not attack it for its devious subliminal intentions (assuming it has any).  It’s a wish some ask of me.

 

 

Well…

 

 

soul man 1 GIF

 

 

… be careful what you wish for.

 

 

 

Soul Man (1986) review

Rated: 3 / 5

“I’m riding my man Obama.  I think he’s a visionary.  Actually, Barack told me the first date he took Michelle to was Do the Right Thing.  I said, ‘Thank God I made it.  Otherwise you would’ve taken her to Soul Man.'”

— Spike Lee [1]

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar at all with this film, well, it has garnered a reputation for being one of the most offensive movies ever made.  Why?  Because it’s about a student who just got accepted into Harvard, but doesn’t have the financial means to get into Harvard; so in order to get the scholarship funds needed to support himself in Harvard, he changes his skin color from white to black (via tanning skin pills; ’cause apparently that’s a thing), making him the prime candidate for gaining a black scholarship.  Oh yeah, this sounds right up my alley, one without the black muggers to fuck me up and steal my shit.

Is lynching a cabbage patch kid racist?

That’s right, it’s going to be one of those kinds of reviews people.  Brace yourselves.  I’m well past the point of giving a fuck.

Anyway, I went into this film expecting a lighthearted, albeit very non-PC, comedy with plenty of black jokes along the way, plus some intentioned and unintentioned morality race-relations lessons.  And for a while, that’s basically what I got.  The jokes were landing well a good portion of the time.  But there were a couple sequences that went on for too long that just ended up being cringe-inducing.  In particular, the sequence where Mr. Soul Man is playing basketball and failing (too) miserably at it.

There’s also the scene where he tells his girlfriend and parents that he’s white/black that also ended up being cringe.  You know, one of those scenes where the protagonist is on the verge of having his secret uncovered and landing him in serious trouble, and shenanigans happen where he tries to juggle one problem after another, until it all inevitably falls apart.  Those types of sequences drive me nuts simply because they exist just to prolong the inevitable.  All I can think it, “Just get it over with already!  Just let the fucking hammer fall!”  The only film that ever got away with that, mainly because the entire film is all about this, is The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Oh yeah, and Ronald Reagan’s son is in this.

Thankfully, those moments are few and far between.  There’s plenty of great dialogue which, while one would think it would get dated, only becomes more legendary due to events that happened over the last few years.  For example:

“Gordo, it’s going to be great!  These are the 80s man!  It’s the Cosby decade!  America loves black people.”

Although, without a doubt, the most hilarious and anti-PC moment in the entire film has to be the dinner sequence with Leslie Nielsen (yeah, he’s in this, and to my shock, he plays the whole thing straight-faced).

That sequence is easily the pinnacle moment of this film.  It had everything condensed during that minute and a half that I hoped would be in this film.  A play upon stereotypes, taken to the extreme, in the most over-the-top and hilarious (in my personal opinion) way possible.

“[Soul Man is a] cheaply-made cynical viewpoint of black involvement in American life.”

— Benjamin Hooks, then-executive director of the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore [2]

Normally this would be the point where I would set up some barriers for some who would take offense at me enjoying an offensive movie there-bye making me an offensive person who has offensive tastes, and mention how this is a segment that parodies black stereotypes just as much as it parodies white people who view blacks in that stereotypical fashion (thus making this satire and not just exploitative for exploitation’s sake), but what would be the point?  Plus I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t say I would’ve enjoyed the hell out of this film if it was racially offensive just for the sake of being racially offensive.  Because despite what people may say about how, “We all need to get along, and the way we must do that is by not exploiting minorities in any fashion no matter how well or ill-intentioned,” or, “Jokes like thee should never be made because someone will inevitably find them so offensive they’ll get all depressed and either commit suicide or harass/murder someone,” they’re all hypocrites who are completely and utterly full of shit (yes, that means the majority of you negative letterboxd reviewers; go ahead and block me and unfollow me, I’m used to that by now).

“Anyone who disagrees with my outlook on the world calls me a racist, in the hope that they’ll draw attention away from their own beliefs.”

— Spike Lee [1]

While they condemn any form of mockery done at the expense of, oh say, black people (of any gender and sexual preference), they would fully endorse the mockery done at the expense of white people.  Which in this case, I guess one could say the equivalent of this would be that film White Chicks.

And of course many films today usually make a mockery of straight white men, and Christians.  And many condemn the mockery from whichever direction because they proclaim it puts down one gender/race/belief in order to empower another.  And to that I say everyone, every gender, every race, every belief, deserves to get mocked.  Because I think we can all agree that there comes a point in your life when your just minding your own business and then something happens that makes you think, “…  You know what?  The human race is stupid.”  And we are.  No matter what race you belong to, what gender you are (in spite of what you may identify with to clash with reality), what belief you hold, there will always be something about you because of your gender/race/belief that deserves some mocking in one fashion or another.  So I say just sit back, relax, take the blunt of the jokes, and give some back, and enjoy the jokes made at the expense of others.  Sometimes if a joke is done well enough at your own expense, you’ll laugh along with it too.

Even the whole race-relations thing is a joke.  This film makes fun of black people just as much as it does white people.  For example, back to that dinner sequence, one could say it makes a mockery of black people by stereotyping them (let alone having the whole blackface thing).  One could also argue it makes a mockery of white people because it portrays them as individuals who look at black people in that stereotypical manner.  Some stereotypes elevate black people to a higher level than the average is capable of, such as when the mother fantasizes about the blackface guy ravishing her.  Some stereotypes demote black people as those who are heroin-addicts who mistreat their wives/girlfriends while eating watermelon.  And sometimes, dare I say, the stereotypes are accurate.  And every race has a stereotype.  From the black guys with big dicks, to the black girls with the fat asses, to the bitter old white guys who hate everyone non-white, to the white chicks who bitch about everything.  And I say it’s alright to have all of the above portrayed so long as it is done with the awareness that not everyone conforms to those stereotypes.  The danger would be in believing only in those stereotypes.

Back to the film.  So throughout the course of the film, the protagonist has this arc about understanding what it’s like to be black, kind of.  And this arc is accomplished by inserting even more stereotypes, done at the expense of white people.  You have the white stalker cop waiting to bust Soul Man for any little error made while driving.  You have the two white college guys always making black jokes.  You have the guy who owns the apartment building who is racist.  You have the bitter old white guy who hates black people.  And you have the hippy daughter who wants to sleep with anyone non-white so she can experience some of their repression, which should theoretically become liberated during intercourse.

And it’s that moment where I believe the film has a relevant message for all those people around nowadays who think they understand the alleged plight of the black race and wish to help them at the expense of others, and going to extremes to do so.  The message being, they’re friggin’ idiots.

To my surprise though, the film actually had some solid emotionally investing moments.  I wasn’t expecting that in this film.  And these emotional moments revolve around three specific characters.  The protagonist (played by C. Thomas Howell), his potential love interest (played by Rae Dawn Chong), and their teacher (played by James Earl Jones).  James Earl Jones plays his role in the most dead-pan manner, not once cracking a smile at any joke, only smiling when he’s sincere in something he is about to say, which does not happen often.  He’s the kind of instructor all teachers should consider to be a role model.  He doesn’t bullshit, doesn’t tolerate students that bullshit, and never accepts late work, no matter the excuse students may come up with.  Either you work as hard as is necessary to complete your studies, or you’re not good enough.  I loved how his commanding presence humbled Howell’s character at multiple points, not just wiping the smirk off his face, but also dismantling his goofball/asshole attitude.

It’s a similar scenario with Chong’s character, who is there strictly to work hard and learn, having no time to play along with Howell’s shenanigans.  Howell eventually learns, slowly albeit naturally, that he can’t approach his time at Harvard the same way he approached his previous schooling.  By not taking the school work too seriously, and trying to goof off and have fun a good portion of the time.  You know, like the majority of those college comedy flicks from the 70s through the 90s.  Hell, I’d say that attitude is still prevalent in most films of this genre.  Not that I have anything against those types of films per-se, it’s just refreshing to see a film that’s a bit more humbling towards films with that attitude, showcasing that hard work is necessary to succeed.  And the professor and female classmate demonstrate this clearly to Howell’s character.  And so he matures, and becomes a more responsible individual.  It’s a surprisingly solid arc I wasn’t expecting to be pulled off in this manner, especially in a film like this.

“A white man donning blackface is taboo. Conversation over — you can’t win.  […]  But our intentions were pure: We wanted to make a funny movie that had a message about racism.”

— C. Thomas Howell [4]

Where the film does tend to falter, in my opinion, is where many critics tend to primarily bash the film for, though more harsh than necessary because racism.  The whole thing of Howell’s character gaining insight with life from a black man’s perspective.  The segment with the cop tailing him and eventually putting him in prison.  How he brushes off the black jokes done by these two white guys until he starts to find them more and more offensive the more he becomes acquainted with the black lifestyle.  And, of course, the speech near the end where he gets in a serious conversation with the professor.  It becomes too much, and unnecessarily preachy.  Granted, I could tell the film was eventually going to arrive at a point like this, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  There are a few issues with this.

1.) The film starts to come off as having the attitude of that crazy hippy chick who wants to bang black people because she pities them.  As in the film starts to pity black people with how society treats them.  The typical portrayal of cops similar to how they are portrayed in films like Higher Learning.  The typical attitude that blacks are treated unfairly and are less able to attend college as a result of systematic racism.  I can’t fault the film entirely for this considering this was a mindset that is somehow just as prevalent today as it was back then.  But this is due to a misconception that is easier to swallow than some inconvenient facts to this narrative because society has been conditioned to believe this.  Several studies by those with PhDs, one of the more popular ones being published in a book known as The Bell Curve, indicate that the differences in race are more than just skin-deep.  Muscle mass and bone density aside (let alone average height), there has been shown to be an average IQ difference between the races.  That, on average, blacks have a lower IQ than whites.  Similarly, Asians tend to have a higher IQ than whites.  This is a study that has proved controversial, to say the least, to the point that these scientists who do these studies are shamed, publicly ridiculed, and sometimes have their careers ruined, even though all they had in mind was to report the facts in their studies when it came to their studies on the intelligence factor.  Today, it gets bad enough to the point where Asians are the ones being subjected to racial discrimination by universities, because the Universities give preferential treatment to blacks and latinos.  Not to say blacks weren’t subject to systematic racism in the past either.  And I can’t say in all certainty that this wasn’t a reality back in the mid-80s.  But the contradiction lies within the film itself.  How there is a black professor who is quite intelligent, and a few other black students studying at the same university, enough to match up with the average population statistics in the country.  Making the implications of the racial struggle a bit questionable.

2.) The film already had a strong (albeit overly convenient) plot point on how Howell’s character’s black impersonation to gain a scholarship had actual consequences, by having another black individual lose out on that scholarship opportunity because of him.  That development had enough of an emotional gut-punch to carry the film the rest of the way through to the point where all the other messages regarding discrimination look weak at best, pointless at worst.

3.) The worst of the film’s problems in this regard come near the end, when Howell’s character punches these two white guys who were making black jokes throughout various segments of the film.  For one thing, these two are just another typical white stereotype.  For another, it puts forth the message that it’s not ok to joke about black people.  Even though a good portion of the film (some would say the entire film) was spent doing just that.  And joking about white stereotypes in the process.  It’s not a good attitude to have.  As I said earlier, everyone deserves to be made fun of.  Everyone has stereotypes and flaws that could use some lighthearted mockery at their expense, so that they can learn to toughen up, not take them seriously, and learn to have fun at the expense of others as well.

https://www.thewrap.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/soul_man_cut_spike.jpg

“Our little film was maligned by the black community led by a jealous Spike Lee, who has never seen the film.”

“If you watch the movie, it’s really making white people look stupid.”

“It is adorable and it didn’t deserve it.”

“I always tried to be an actor who was doing a part that was a character versus what I call ‘blackting,’ or playing my race, because I knew that I would fail because I was mixed.  […]  I was the black actor for sure, but I didn’t lead with my epidermis, and that offended people like Spike Lee, I think. You’re either militant or you’re not and he decided to just attack.  […]  I’ve never forgiven him for that because it really hurt me.  […]  I didn’t realize [at the time] that not pushing the afro-centric agenda was going to bite me. When you start to do well people start to say you’re an [Uncle] Tom because you’re acceptable.”

“I am somewhat baffled by the big upset about Rachel Dolezal [former NAACP chapter president].  […]  Why is it such a thing now about her wanting to ID black? I say welcome her in — let her dress up in brownface and frizzy hair. It’s a compliment and refreshing. … I am tired of how the white liberal community, which is racist, and the black community, which is also racist, [is] overreacting yet again. We have bigger fish to fry these days like ridding the streets of guns [and] funding for mental health organizations to assist those in need.”

— Rae Dawn Chong [3][4]

And, of course, there’s the inevitable backlash over this film.  Something people still harp on today.  Spike Lee raised hell about it.  The NAACP raised hell about it.  And it has garnered enough of a cultural disdain (despite being a financial success at the box office) to where the film in of itself is considered taboo.  Some say that the film in of itself is racist.  Others will say that, despite the film’s good intentions (or what it believes to be good intentions), its effect on society could only be negative.  I say let’s turn the tables back on those people.  Rather than say the films “good intentions” are misguided, let’s say that those who decry the film as offensive and racist and harmful, are the ones who proclaim to have good intentions, but they wind up being the ones affecting society for the worse.  Rather than stating the film should be given the taboo label, say that it should be taboo to label a film as such when it has no intention of being anything more than just a fun comedy with a bit of heart to it.  At the very least, its heart is in the right place.  And I’m sure those who decry its existence believe their hearts to be in the right place as well.  Because, in all honesty, from what I’ve seen and heard about the incidents surrounding the film, it’s those who decry the film as racist who wind up causing more harm to society than the film itself.  Because they won’t allow more films like this to be made anymore, alongside other films that have no problem portraying whites as stereotypical as possible, portraying straight men and women as stereotypical as possible, in all the negative ways; while at the same time portraying blacks, latinos, and gays in a stereotypical fashion that is as positive as possible.

I say it’s time for society to learn to loosen up.  And hopefully generation Z will lead that charge.  Because if only some people can be made fun of, but not others, then that will lead society down a dangerous path.  So get back into the attitude and groove of the 80s and 90s.  We shouldn’t have any care about who we offend, so long as it is done in earnest jest with no harm intended.  Because when making a joke, it is often (if not always) done at someone else’s expense.  Well, let everyone get a taste of that expense.  For fairness.  And because everyone deserves to have a laugh.

“Soul Man [is a] very positive motion picture that is meant purely to entertain.”

— Bob Rehme [2]

Racist Thats Racist GIF - Racist ThatsRacist GIFs

 

Sources

[1] Mattera, Jason.  Hollywood Hypocrites.  p.104-5.  Retrieved on February 20, 2019 from: https://books.google.com/books?id=ZBZkt71qP8kC&pg=PT116&lpg=PT116&dq=spike+lee+soul+man+obama&source=bl&ots=uUriOrsW0K&sig=foVO3CK8RaZZ7spSZbpL_m9PvBs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXtIjts-fPAhUQ_mMKHb_DBsEQ6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=spike%20lee%20soul%20man%20obama&f=false

[2]  Thomas, Bob.  “Los Angeles NAACP Chapter Calls ‘Soul Man’ Movie Racist.”  The Lewiston (Maine) Daily, Friday, October 31, 1986.  Retrieved on February 20, 2019, from: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19861030&id=lwUgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_WQFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1221,6139469

[3] Doty, Mariah.  October 19, 2016. “Rae Dawn Chong Blames Spike Lee for ‘Soul Man’ Racial Stigma 30 Years Later.”  The Wrap.  Retrieved on February 20, 2019, from: https://www.thewrap.com/rae-dawn-chong-spike-lee-soul-man/

[4] Higgins, Bill.  June 25, 2016. “Throwback Thursday: ‘Soul Man’ Star Rae Dawn Chong on Rachel Dolezal: “I Say Welcome Her In.””  The Hollywood Reporter.  Retrieved on February 20, 2019, from: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/throwback-thursday-soul-man-star-rae-dawn-chong-rachel-dolezal-i-say-welcome-her-804252

 

Kull the Conqueror (1997) review

Rated: 4 / 5

“Your bride is over 3000 years old.”
“She said she was 19!”

This movie was made for me. I knew I would be in for a good time when the film opened with a fight sequence with Kevin Sorbo and his long chest-length “metal band” hair with heavy metal music being played over it all. This is how I like my cheese served! There so much of it, a glass of red wine is mandatory!

First I’ll say that Kevin Sorbo, he, uh, really can’t act.  But you still gotta love him. He’s like a polar opposite to Reb Brown for bad acting.  Reb Brown is wooden, but awesome when he yells and shoots heavy weaponry and is energetic.  Sorbo is almost never convincing, but he is less wooden and can put on some good sword and sorcery fight scenes.  It’s a shame neither of them were ever in a movie together. The 90s could’ve used it, and the best we ever got was this one episode from Hercules The Legendary Journeys which had a piss-poor fight scene between the two where neither one of them really did anything, and they took the whole idea of “the art of fighting without fighting” too literally. I mean, Kevin Sorbo was Hercules, and Reb Brown was Ares, the God of War. How do you fuck that up?

But anyway, this is a pure Conan rip-off, sort of. Originally, this was supposed to be the 3rd Conan movie titled Conan: The Conqueror, but Ahnold turned the role down, and so Sorbo stepped in along with a few small script rewrites. It kind of shows too, but trust me when I say that this cheese-fest greatly benefits from this, because the plot gets downright ludicrous in the most entertaining of ways.

And Taligaro, played by Thomas Ian Griffith, really cheeses it up with his heated rivalry with Kull. The way he stares at Kull, with that look of, “IIIIII’m better than you aaaaare,” is just great.

And then there’s the smokin hot antagonist Akivasha played by Tia Carrere; oh how I wish she was his main love interest. But then again, if she switched roles with Karina Lombard, the villain wouldn’t have been as good. After all, the whole idea is that she’s supposed to be a smoking hot seductress fire goddess (at least up until the finale, then she’s just a fire goddess).

kull demon GIF

The fight scenes, while nothing spectacular, are entertaining and well done, especially the fight in the ice cavern. That fight deserves special mention because of the heavy metal playing, plus Kull taking weapons out of the hands of frozen corpses and using them against everyone; it’s kind of awesome.

The film must have had a budget that is better than it deserved, because aside from some fire, green screen, and dated 90s cgi effects (this is no Jurassic Park in that regard), this has some pretty good set designs, props, and practical effect work on the fire goddess during the finale. She looks downright scary and evil for one moment with a face that only the devil himself could have, before completely transforming into something completely (albeit intentionally) over-the-top. And then it all culminates in a scene that should go down in legend the the greatest gross-out laugh-out-loud make-out scene in film history. I love this movie!

And there are plenty of other tidbits to keep you going up until that moment. Aside from the entertaining fights, and the portion of the movie where Harvey Fierstein shows up and feels completely out of place (probably how some people feel about Chris Rock in The Fifth Element, except that I didn’t mind his part in that movie), there are some great lines, so-idiotic-it’s-entertaining moments (why are the guards standing around and letting their king get killed? why isn’t Kull revealing himself to still be alive in public after the announcement that he’s dead?), and action sword and sorcery cheese delivered in the best way possible that only the 90s could do.

It may be one of the decades that produced some of the worst movies of all time (in the they aren’t entertaining in any way, not even the so-bad-it’s-good way), but when their films hit like this, I forget all about the other shit and fall into a state of pure metal rockin’ bliss. I can’t recommend this movie enough to anyone who is looking for a film that rips off Conan in the most entertaining ways since The Beastmaster, Deathstalker, and The Sword and the SorcererConan: The Barbarian should be taken for granted.

Hey, how about a three-way?

PS: I hadn’t seen this film since I was a kid, and in 1997, that was the only time I saw it. So watching it again now, now remembering very much of it, a spark came into my head when I saw the demon face on the moon. And I thought to myself, “For some reason, that seems more important and familiar to me than anything else in the movie. Why is that?” It wasn’t until the film was halfway over when I realized, “Oh! That’s why!” And then I couldn’t wait for the finale. If you’ve seen Deadly Friend and grew more eager in anticipation for an upcoming scene after that old bitch-lady takes the basketball away from these kids, you’ll know the feeling.

PPS: Oh yeah, this line is in the movie:

“I have altered our pact. Pray I do not alter it any further.”

Let the Star Wars jokes ensue.