Wednesday, January 17, 2018

We might die together. And I don't even know you.

When it comes to traveling with Kate Winslet, uh, cinematically, I've got a little good news and a little bad news for you. The good news? At some point during the journey, it's gonna be business time. It doesn't even matter if one of you is betrothed, either. You will be overcome with emotions, and will have sweaty, potentially life-altering sex in some place you shouldn't be.

But the bad news? Hopefully you didn't pack anything of value. Because not only will your luggage fail to arrive in a timely manner, but there's a good chance the vessel carrying you won't either. To be fair, shit tends to slow down when it's ripping apart spectacularly.

Oh, one more thing. All that romance, that was hot. My pants are still on fire just thinking about it. Too bad though, as your chivalrous ass is going to f--king freeze to death in the middle of nowhere.

If it had an 's', I'd say it's referencing Winslet. But just 'mountain'?
I guess they're referring to Elba.
Okay, so maybe there are many other cinematic instances where accompanying Ms. Winslet is a sex and disaster free endeavor. I'm open to that possibility. But being that The Mountain Between Us is only the sixth or seventh film I've ever seen with Rose Dewitt Bukater in the lead, I'm going to just assume they all end the same way. Maybe a sexy car crash on that Revolutionary Road, perhaps

Winslet plays Alex, a spunky (perhaps a wee bit bitchy) photographer attempting to head to her wedding in the Mile High City ,but crushed to find out her flight has just been cancelled. Overhearing this dreadful news is the dreamiest of McDreamies, Ben Bass (Idris Elba, classing up yet another stinker), also desperate to get the Hell out of wherever they are. Bass has a surgery tomorrow in Baltimore, where he'll be operating on my incessantly raging boner for all things Elba. Or a sick kid. One of those.

Cut to the unlikely pair hiring The Dude's brother to fly them out ahead of the storm. Ooh, about that. One terrifying as f--k plane crash later, and Alex and Ben are fighting not only the elements, a mountain lion and each other's survival instincts, but also the inevitable desire to bunk the Hell up (you know, to stay warm) when given the chance. That mountain between them...might just be made exclusively out of reproductive organs.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Now I just pretend to be a good dude.

It doesn't seem all that long ago, where the mere thought of a big-time actor starring in a 'made-for-TV' movie was the check engine light on a career careening off the road. A big screen star is going to be in something I don't have to pay for? I don't know if I should feel excited...or depressed.

But I'm (mostly) grown-up now, and a damn I could give about reputation. So by all means, Once Big-Time Actor, make that money. Make it any way you can.

Even if you have to star in something really weird, that a lot of people seem to really f--king hate.

Making a movie that only appears on Netflix is a far cry from The Hallmark Channel presents..., but it's still slightly jarring to see a big (moderate?) budget flick starring Will Smith exclusively debut within the (damn near ubiquitous) streaming service. But even stranger than the fact that Smith headlines David Ayers' latest, might just be what the film is about. And even stranger than that? How much I enjoyed it.

All of it.

While Bright might be full of all sorts of stranger things, it's played remarkably straightforward. Set in Ayers' favorite American wasteland, Los Angeles, this gritty world of bad good guys and good bad guys is essentially every cop flick you've ever...but with orcs, elves and fairies. Think a tamer version of Training Day set in the public housing section of The Shire, and you're on the right path.To Mordor.

But one where we grab In-and-Out Burger on the way.

Smith plays the pissed off cop Ward, just trying to survive another day in L.A.. If he's lucky, he'll make it home to his lovely wife Sherri, a nurse living in constant fear that next body they roll in to her will belong to her Shrek-loving husband. And if he's not, there's a host of weird-looking motherf--kers that could end up killing him. Including the dude not only with a shotgun, but the dude riding shotgun.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

You're the worst criminal of them all.

The sad part? I actually thought it was cute at the time.

See, a couple of months ago, word got out that LeBron James, a demi-god of professional sports, was cheap. Like, extremely cheap. The joke was that his Pandora account still had all the advertisements in it, because he wouldn't spring the extra ten bucks a month for an unlimited subscription.

And while this seems like the appropriate time to mention that James' basketball salary alone for 2017 exceeded 30 million actual dollars (and his endorsements deals border a cool billion overall), that's none of my damn business, quite honestly.

But the real rub? When Pandora found out about this...

...they upgraded him for free. I mean, why not, right? Why should the crazy-rich have to pay for anything?

I'll never be crazy-rich, super-rich, or average rich for that matter, so, clearly, I don't get it, but J.P. Getty does. As the protagonist in Ridley Scott's thrilling All the Money in the World, Getty was, at the time, the richest man on the planet. Portrayed by Christopher Plummer (at the buzzer, from way downtown), Getty is the cheapest of cheap-skates, amassing an incredible fortune but hardly willing to spend a f--king dime of it.

In fact, he's not even going to lend you a dime. Nope. Not a single ten cent piece, not even to make, say, an important phone call from a payphone. You know, like the one he had installed in his f--king house. 

When his (favorite?) grandson Paul is kidnapped in Italy and held for ransom, the stubborn old cocks--ker refuses to pay up. Flatly. The same way you or I might quickly dismiss the nineteenth request to help save a homeless pet (oh, f--k off Petco)Getty ain't even gonna make that fake move for his wallet. He has fourteen grandchildren and as even an average businessman could figure, obviously, that's fourteen ransoms. Pay now, and he'll be paying forever. And he's got three responses to that scenario: Stop, no and don't. Or was that Eazy-E? I always get them confused.

If you see Bigfoot, shoot him.

Despite that awesome footage of him traipsing through the woods and sternly looking back over his shoulder, I unequivocally do not believe in Bigfoot.

I've seen some pretty rad documentaries about ol' Sasquatch in my day, which while utterly hysterical (I wish I could track down a certain one that made me almost piss in my pants), didn't necessarily convince me there's a giant man-thing pantslessly skulking about North America.

Nope. Sorry.
No f--king chance he's real.

See, while there is basically zero legit proof that Bigfoot actually exists, and I'm utterly convinced he doesn't, I'm buying the fact that that hairy f--ker breathes the same air I do infinitely more than than the notion that an actual human being wrote and f--king made something called Pottersville

And I watched it. From start to finish.

As unfathomable as all of the above is, take a hairy dump in your hand and multiply that shit by 900, as you try to wrap your mind around the fact that Michael Shannon is the f--king star of Pottersville. 

Michael. Shannon. *deep breath*

Shannon, in a film I'm convinced was co-produced by the Hallmark and SyFy Channels, stars as Maynard, the affable proprietor of the general store in Bumf--k, New Hampshire Pottersville, NY. Naturally, the darn mill has closed and the town is struggling through another chilly holiday season. Aww. And on a whim, Maynard closes shop a bit early, only to head home to find his wife having an affair with the local sheriff. Sort of. Anyway, Maynard does what all of us would do, dons a cheaply made Bigfoot costume and saves the f--king town. 

What the f--k are you talkin' bout, Mr. B?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

You can hit me if you want. But leave the flower alone.

I'm not a fighter.

Got kicked around by my older brothers a bunch when I was little, had a few minor altercations (with friends, mostly) in high school, but since then, the only thing I fight is my desire to quit my job and live under a bridge.

But, if you're a fighter? Good for you. Get yours, regardless of the wake of destruction you may leave, you know? We need a little of that fire in the world. Me? I'm good.

I'll be outside, enjoying the view and smelling the flowers.

Well, trying to anyway.

Just like my ability to discern scents would be rated somewhere below good (likely a nice way of saying piss-poor), the same could be said for Blue Sky's latest animated flick, Ferdinand. Based on a cherished children's book published some eighty years ago, there's a lot to like in this sweet story about being yourself. But outside of John Cena's voice-work, there ain't all that much to love.

Ferdinand, or Fernando, as he's somehow known around my house, is a simple guy. Er, bull. While his size is nothing short of enormous, it's his heart that's truly gigantic. He's basically a massive puppy dog, content on spending his days smelling flowers, chilling with his lame brother Paco, and taking an eye on Nina (sorry, that's how my daughter puts keeping an eye), the lovely little girl from the poster.

But after a series of unfortunate events at the local flower show (which he wasn't supposed to attend), ol' Ferdinand ends up shipped off to a bull farm. The plan is to sell him to Spain's most legendary bullfighter, some pendejo known as El Primero, if Ferdinand can demonstrate his ferociousness with the other bulls. The problem? Well, if this was Fight Club, Ferdinand is most definitely breaking rule number one. And not only is he talking about Fight Club, he's talking about everything. Including, because he's such a nice guy, your feelings.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

You need something...alive.

I haven't been since I was six, but I still remember feeling it was a heck of a show on the ride home. I'm pretty sure my parent's friends took me (which was weird, even then [the fact that my parents had friends]), as they had tickets...but didn't have children. Of their own.

Uh, okay. Anyway...

We sat really close, and the elephants, the tigers, the sudden bursts of fire, shoot, even the dude dressed in purple flying all over the damn place (I'm going to assume via trapeze) we're right there. All of it was amazing, and all of it added up to something that I would never, ever forget. Even over thirty years later.

But what I also remember about going to the circus that day?

That even while all this cool stuff was happening, the whole place basically smelled like shit.

Hey look, a giant party at Hugh Jackman's crotch.
Maybe I can be Margaret's + 1.
The Greatest Showman, like the circus it's based on, is a tantalizing assault on the senses. And with buttery popcorn in hand, something that could be easily enjoyed. Assuming of course, you don't actually think about what you're seeing. 

Admire the singing, admire the message, and by all means, admire the endlessly talented force that is Hugh f--king Jackman. But when the part of your brain that houses knowledge and reason kicks on, feel free to head for the exits. Immediately. On the bright side, you could already be in your car when the tent catches on fire, killing everyone inside.

Like a stripped-down, family-friendly version of Moulin Rouge, The Greatest Showman is an all-singing, all-dancing tale of the struggles P.T Barnum faced in developing the greatest show on Earth. From his humble beginnings helping his dad tailor clothes for the wealthy, his doomed venture as museum owner, and up until he basically conquers the entertainment world, director Michael Gracey's presents Barnum as the ultimate dreamer. A man whose relentless obsession with entertaining the masses/making stacks of money was rooted in the idea that his own kids would never know what it was like to be looked down on, as you guessed it, he was as a kid. Aww.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sometimes, I think I might be unlovable.

Like a poorly-wrapped Christmas present, you totally know what you're going to get when you visit Two Dollar Cinema. For over six years now, this blog's bread and butter has been the fact that I watch a ton of shitty movies, then write a couple of piss-poor jokes about them in something not exactly resembling a traditional/engaging film review. This is a time-honored format that has resulted in dozens and dozens of pageviews.

But after being handed the baton in Nostra's rad The Ten: Best Christmas Movie relay I realized something rather troubling, I have been ignoring an important genre year after year.

The Holiday movie.

Check that. The shitty Holiday movie.

Okay, Love the Coopers doesn't exactly qualify as shitty, but it is a holiday movie. And it's not very good.

Earlier in the week, my wife and I revisited what I would have sworn on my chestnuts was a great Christmas movie! - 2005's The Family Stone (I have since dialed back that claim to moderately charming). I mention this uninteresting fact because the two films, despite being released a decade apart, seem to be plucked from the same poorly-made, coal-filled stocking. Both have large ensemble casts full of famous faces (including a Mean Girl), and both focus on hyper-quirky, multi-generational families where at least one sibling is a rotten prick. At first.

Oh, and both films also have Diane Keaton, playing, possibly for the only two times in her career, an eccentric white lady. One we're not exactly sure whether or not we like actually like, at that. Wait, what? Keaton goes full-on quirky broad? No way!

Yes way, which might explain why Keaton's Charlotte Cooper is trying to make it through Christmas before telling her kids (and grandkids) that she and her husband Sam (an emotionally and physically deflated John Goodman) are getting a divorce. Aww, that's kind of sad, right? 'Tis. Especially considering the main reason for their impeding separation is her reluctance to go on an African safari with him. 

*spits out egg-nogg* What the f--k?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Page-turners, they were not.

A job interview. 
A vacation. With the kids.

There have been many other times in my life where I have desperately waited for something to begin (for what felt life forever), only to find myself minutes later, adamantly begging for its immediate conclusion. 

I know they can't hear you scream in space, but can they hear you snore? 

Maybe The Last Jedi wasn't boring top-to-bottom, but holy shit did I lose interest quickly. In a f--king Star Wars movie, for f--k's sake. After patiently waiting since J.J. Abrams dropped the charmingly nostalgic The Force Awakens [review] a couple years back, I found myself (surprisingly) quite antsy in the weeks and days leading up to Episode VIII. Now, I don't have Chewbacca's face tattooed above my johnson, nor Jar Jar's bisected across my buttcheeks, but I'm a thirty-eight year old man with an eight year old son. I hold the galaxy far, far away close, close to my heart.

Turns out I like my space operas with a little more space, and a lot less opera.

The Force Awakens, however you felt about it, at the very least set the stage. A new cast of interesting characters was introduced, and each was given enough cool shit to do that we actually cared about them, you know? There was intrigue, mystery and even a few laughs, as Rey, Finn and Poe fought the good fight with Han, Chewie and Leia. Sure, killing off one of the best characters in the history of the written word was an epic dick-punch, but it felt like it mattered, and more importantly, I actually gave a shit. Like, a really big shit. Maybe even too big of a shit.