War Dogs

http://unlicensedfilmreviewers.podbean.com/e/war-dogs/

Sir Chase and special guest Hillary Hooper talk War Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Ben-Hur. Then they discuss some movie news including cash-grab spin offs and racism in movies. Then they finish by throwing out their ideas for good movie spinoffs. If you enjoy the show, leave a review and tell a friend.

Clown

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Hello, chums and chumettes…

It has been a while since I have written a review for a movie, which mostly has to do with my presence on the podcast Unlicensed Film Reviewers. I have a delightful time recording, so check it out if you get a chance.

Apart from that, I watched a little-known horror movie called Clown that could have been great if it didn’t suck. Let’s dig deeper…

Clown tells the story of a father who wears a clown suit for his son’s birthday party, only to find that it is not simply an innocent little costume. This sounds like a quality movie, right? I bet there wasn’t any hesitation when the writers first pitched it. Who thinks of this shit? What a terrible fucking idea. Then again, here I am sitting on my couch writing a review for a movie while Christopher Ford and Jon Watts write for a living.

Wait…it took TWO writers for this enchanted clown suit movie?

Jesus Halford Christ.

Clown stars a bunch of people you probably don’t care about along with Peter Stormare, who you might sort of remember. The acting is pretty decent, especially for a lesser-known horror movie, and there weren’t too many moments that were drenched in cheese for no reason. This is a strong quality for a movie of this nature. Normally, they would just hire a bunch of actors from some community theater in Burbank who keep telling you about that one commercial the back of their head was in when they were five years old.

The story is unoriginal and forced, and it seems like it could have been written by anyone with access to a stupid person. However, this does not kill the movie. We often expect this with lower-budget horror, and the good aspects of this movie keep it afloat (barely).

The violence and gore is a step up from what we often see in these films. The visual effects were pretty good, and it made the movie more fun. Clown was violent, with plenty of gore to quench your thirst for child-death. Actually, that is something I appreciated about this movie. It often feels like movies avoid killing children or pets. Not Clown! Being a child or a pet makes you extra dead!

Overall, Clown is not a great film, but it is a watchable horror movie. Apart from a shit story, the acting and visual effects make it an acceptable way to spend an otherwise uneventful evening. If I am being completely honest, this movie is about a hundred times better than It Follows, which received plenty of undeserving buzz (fucking terrible). All in all, Clown is not the worst horror film. It just isn’t very good either. I give it a two and a half out of five.

The Best and Worst of 2015

Greetings, children. The year of twenty and fifteen has come to an end, and I feel it is appropriate to present my picks for the best and worst movies of this past year. Now, some of you may be questioning my qualifications. Well, I saw An American Tale in theaters when I was a child, so…there is my resume. Overall, 2015 was a spectacular year for film. It is now a pleasure to sit and write as I reflect on everything I have seen, even if it is only my self-indulgent way of showing how important my opinion is. I did not see everything, but I saw enough to make me an expert in life. So sick back with a chalice of chocolate milk and a platter of boobs and enjoy Sir Chase’s Best and Worst of 2015.

The Besties-

5. Creed

Michael B. Jordan took the legacy of the Rocky franchise and carried it like a torch of delicious baked cookies into the future. Match that with a stellar performance by Stallone and you have my number 5 movie for 2015.

4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Star Wars franchise was in a coma for years. It was on life support and was being fed chicken noodle soup through a tube in its belly button while its family sat next to it and cried while reading fan fiction out loud. It was hurting. We were hurting. Then The Force Awakens was debuted and the world was right again.

3. The Revenant

Survival. Revenge. Nature. Violence. It was like watching a beautiful ballet of hillbilly death. Not to mention the magnificent work of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

It was perhaps the manliest fucking movie I have ever seen. It was beautifully shot, featured wonderfully creative characters, and the most kickass female of the year. It was tits in movie-form.

1. Sicario

My favorite movie of 2015 was Sicario. It took on a very real, very present topic, and it did so in a way that (apparently unexpectedly) made me want to go work for the CIA and destroy the Cartels. It was war and it was dirty. I loved it.

The Worsties-

5. Pan

If I wanted to watch a shitty fantasy version of Moulin Rouge, I would have watched Moulin Rouge. I did not give a fuck about anything in this movie.

4. Pitch Perfect 2

2015 was full of shitty sequels (I avoided Alvin and the Chipmunks at all costs). Pitch Perfect 2 is the first one on this list. It was one of those movies where my wife got mad at me for making constant comments about how stupid everything was. What the fuck was the point in having the god damn Packers in it? I mean, Clay Matthews is a specimen of a man, but still…

3. Sinister 2

Shit story. Shit acting. Shit characters. Shit scares. Shitty shit shit shit. I would have rather had a puma shit in between my toes than watch this shitty shit.

2. Knock, Knock

Surprise! Another Keanu Reeves movie that sucks! Everything about it was pointless, despite having a premise that could have been at least sort of interesting if they put just a little effort in (and cast someone less fucking boring). Honestly, the only reason it was not the worst movie of the year is because the majority of it featured attractive naked women. Still, boobs could not save this movie from being one of the worst movies of 2015.

1. Ted 2

Yes…Ted 2 is the worst movie of 2015. Why? Because Seth MacFarlene made it. The majority of the film becomes a courtroom drama about why a talking stuffed bear deserves the same rights as a human. Need I say more? It was basically terrorism.

There you have it. I did not see everything, but this is the best and worst of what I saw. Here’s to a splendid 2016!

The Revenant/Joy/Krampus/The Hateful Eight

On this day of chilly wind and pointy nipples, I debut not one, not two, NOT THREE (Nope), but four movie reviews of supreme justice. I know, I know…this is the greatest news since boobs. As the year closes, I feel it is necessary to view as many of the last-minute cinematic masterpieces as possible before we head into award season. I will probably toss a couple more reviews your way fairly quickly, but this is a good start.

The Revenant-

Rating: 5 out of 5

The first movie I would like to discuss is The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the baddest man in American history Hugh Glass on his journey for vengeance. This may be Leo’s most ambitious role to date (which says a lot considering some of his recent projects), and he plays a truly convincing warrior of the frontier. He is gruff, strong, and altogether tough as a Denny’s steak. I do not know if The Academy will be interested in this type of film (they do not seem to care very much for gritty tales of survivalists and ultra-violent scenes of hand-to-hand combat), and that’s okay. However, we all know that Leo has been grasping for a statue for years, and he really deserves it for this role. He did a great job.

Tom Hardy (my dude crush) plays Hugh Glass’ adversary John Fitzgerald, and it is another strong performance for him. He has a real knack for playing diverse, strong characters, and I have enjoyed him in everything he has done. I am not sure when he is going to get that Oscar-worthy role, but his acting is deserving of it every time. It was a treat to see Leo and Tom performing together.

The story is one I have heard before (thank you The Dollop podcast), and Alejandro Gonzalez did a fantastic job doing it justice. The film was beautiful and Mother Nature was a badass. Like…Mother Nature made even Hugh Glass look like a whiny little bitch. “Oh, a bear ripped you to shreds? Have some snow, pussy!” There were many intense moments that had nothing to do with the interaction of characters, but showed the intensity of weather and its destructive powers. The legend of Hugh Glass as told by Alejandro Gonzalez had some key deviations from the story I have heard, but those changes made the film more complete and more rewarding for the viewer. I think they made the film brilliant. Also, it featured one of the most intense combat scenes I have ever seen (think the knife scene from Saving Private Ryan, but bigger).

If I can sum this movie up, it is that the acting is tremendous, the story is brilliantly told in a way that shows the perseverance and strength that many Americans hold dear, and the film is shot beautifully. It helps that I love the shit out of survival stuff and take every opportunity to relive my childhood of battling Indians (isn’t it funny what was taught to the youth of America even a short time ago…not that I’m complaining), but I think the film is wonderfully done even without my personal tastes. In short, go see The Revenant and hope with me that Leo gets his Oscar nod. I give it a five out of five.

Joy-

Rating: 3 out of 5

The next movie I am going to discuss is the new Jennifer Lawrence film Joy, which tells the tale of a single mother who creates a family business empire by inventing products for home. Right away, this movie does not seem to appeal to people like me. It certainly is not a stereotypical film for men. However, do not let the description sway your opinion. Its faults are not in the story, but in its execution.

It is hard to deny the power of this cast. With Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro headlining, you already have the makings of a tremendous movie. As you would expect, they are all fantastic in their roles. I thought Bradley Cooper in particular was great as the enthusiastic home shopping executive Neil Walker. There was something about his energy that was really fun to watch. Although De Niro has been choosing some odd roles lately, I appreciated his character in this movie. It was different without being kooky, which is something I feel he has fallen into lately. Jennifer Lawrence was Jennifer Lawrence. She has a great personality and always showcases an ability to portray herself as smart, confident, sexy, and strong.

So far you are thinking this movie must be great. Well…it really is not. It is fine, but I could have better spent my time eating ice cream or watching my dog lick his own ass hole. About halfway through the film, I realized that I did not give a shit about the story or what was going on. I was bored. At first, I figured it was just me acting like a typical dude, but my wife felt the same way. While the acting was great, the story was slowly executed. I wanted to watch Ninja Turtles instead. I just did not care at all, and I think it was a fault in the writing and flow of the script, because the acting really was top-notch.
Joy was not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. It just was not a good movie either. I give it a three out of five.

Krampus-

Rating: 4 out of 5

Horror movies are (to me) the most difficult types of movies to review. It seems like most people either love them all or are very particular about them. Krampus is that even stranger sub-genre of horror comedy that is sometimes considered brilliant and most times considered horrendous. So, was Krampus worth watching? To me, it definitely was. Krampus is a Christmas demon who is accidentally summoned by a young boy whose faith in Christmas has been broken.

The film stars a great cast of funny actors including Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, and Conchata Ferrell. I enjoyed the way they interacted and I thought there were a bunch of great one-liners in the movie. The story was quite fun, but the real highlights of Krampus were the evil minions. Killer gingerbread men, a murderous teddy bear, and a monstrous jack-in-the-box made for a fun (but frightening) journey. They really were fun, and the gingerbread men in particular were adorable in all of their violent tendencies.

I was a little bummed that there was no real visible violence, but that is simply because I am a mild psychopath. I do not feel that the visual violence was necessary for this film. In fact, certain scenes were more humorous because the full scope of violence was not seen.

It was a dark story. Really dark. And the ending was a welcome surprise that made me happy because it does not happen enough. I loved the mixture of darkness and humor, and it was a welcome change to see this sort of horror-comedy out there with a decent budget.
Krampus was fun. It may not have gotten great reviews, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that people have such skewed views of horror in general. I thought Krampus was funny, cute (at times), and entertaining, and I recommend it for yearly holiday viewing. I give it a four out of five.

The Hateful Eight-

Rating: 4 out of 5

Yes, I think Quentin Tarantino is a dick head for what he said about cops. No, I do not care what your opinion is. Regardless, I love his work as a writer and director. I think he is one of the most brilliant storytellers in film history (or any history for that matter), and I always look forward to his work. I also love that he uses the same basic cast for almost all of his work. It makes it feel almost like a theater group; almost Shakespearean.

The Hateful Eight is the latest Tarantino masterpiece that tells the story of a bounty hunter who tries to protect his bounty while being stuck in a cabin with several odd characters. That bounty hunter is played by Kurt Russell, and it was great to see him in that role. He was violent, funny, and he had great facial hair. It was another trophy for his career.

I do not wish to spend time on each acting performance, because they were all great. However, I do want to mention Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walton Goggins. Jennifer was perfect as Kurt Russell’s bounty. I am not sure I know much about her, but this performance alone will make me check out anything she does. Walton was tremendous as always. I was so glad he got a big role in this film, because he is a spectacular character actor that needs to be featured more often. His acting is like chocolate on boobs…or something like that.

The film features, as always, lengthy portions of dialogue that are often a treat to listen to. There is always an undertone of surrealism no matter what topic Tarantino takes on, and the humor is always a welcome addition. He is one of the only writers and directors out there that can feature mostly dialogue and still present an interesting product. The Hateful Eight is no exception.

My one criticism would be that this film was not as interesting as some of his other films. I enjoyed it, but there were moments when I was feeling a little bored with the dialogue. I started longing for more action, which is not something I usually find with Tarantino’s movies (not since Jacky Brown). It almost felt like too much dialogue (weird, I know). Still, I enjoyed the flow overall and it felt very typical of his movies.

I liked The Hateful Eight a lot. I did not quite love it, but I liked it very much. It is not the perfect Tarantino film, but it is better than most films being made these days. I give it a four out of five.

That is it, kids! A slew of movies to check out this holiday season. Enjoy!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

How does one properly review Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Better question, how does one review a new Star Wars film without any sort of bias? Luckily, my method of reviewing has nothing to do with middle-of-the-road, uninfluenced dribble. I am simply here to tell you what I recommend you watch and what I recommend you avoid like a date night with Bill Cosby. Put plainly, I highly recommend Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The story takes place three decades after Return of the Jedi and follows a new threat, The First Order, as it attempts to rule the galaxy.

Disclaimer: If you are not a fan of the Star Wars franchise, you will probably not enjoy this movie. In fact, you are probably the type of person that enjoys terrorism, Adam Sandler, and huffing squirrel farts. You are definitely not the type of person that has any appreciation or respect for science fiction royalty, and you were probably picked as “Most Likely To Pee On Old People” in middle school. You probably only watch three hour black and white movies where the main characters stare into each other’s nostrils and name various types of flowers as a way of showing the inhumane treatment of diamond workers in Africa. All in all, you are probably a living turd.

With that said, I fucking loved the new Star Wars movie. It had everything you would hope for in the continuation of the franchise, and I feel it will help fans forget about some of the wounds caused by the last three movies. (Side note: I actually like the last three movies besides the horrendous acting of Hayden Christensen). While watching The Force Awakens, I was very happy. Giddy almost, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here.

The movie features fantastic action and battle sequences that take full advantage of the technology that filmmakers have at their disposal these days. The most important part of this was that it was done tastefully. It never looked like I was watching a sub-par video game, even when I was looking at bizarre alien creatures or intense fight scenes. Special effects are done poorly so often, I really appreciate when they are done well.

Let me focus on the creatures for a moment. The Star Wars franchise has always been known for its extremely creative, often humorous side characters. These characters always give the movies a greater likability and a more immersive experience. They are some of the most memorable characters (Cantina Band) and they bring the movies to a completely different level. This was just as present in The Force Awakens. Some of the strange creatures were so fascinating; I would have enjoyed watching an entire movie about them. It is one of those things that are so well done, you wish you could spend a lifetime exploring the universe further.

What can I say about the story and its characters? It was all wonderful. We reunited with old friends and met new icons that will live on for generations as the old ones have. The acting was great and the dialogue was littered with funny jokes and one-liners that always make for a splendid action movie experience these days. Daisy Ridley was a strong, refreshing female lead that kicked butt and will surely be the focal point of the coming movies. Oscar Isaac was entertaining as always, and I am glad he is getting high profile roles like this. He is a great actor. John Boyega did a great job of mixing humor with likability and made his character one that will shine throughout the films. Oh, yeah…he’s black. I forgot how that matters…

On the EEEEEEEVILLLL side, Domhnall Gleeson was terrific as the Hitler-esque General Hux, and Adam Driver used his engaging voice to make Kylo Ren a sinister force for the Dark Side. I would applaud everyone, but I’m typing.

Now that I’ve spent some time vomiting love onto the screen, I will address a couple things that I did not enjoy as much in this film (notice I said “as much”). Look, I love seeing the old beloved characters show up as much as anyone. It is like visiting old friends. However, it has become a trend in these sorts of movies where there is too much focus on their appearance and the clichés of their characters. It is never enough that they are in the movie. They have to have huge, overly-dramatic entrances so the entire theater can cheer, and they have to fill us to the brim with catch phrases and references to the old movies that we love. It’s great and everything…it just feels a little overboard at times. It makes me wonder how these moments will stand up to the test of time when children can simply watch all of the movies in one sitting instead of waiting decades to see these characters again.

Also, and this is just a personal preference, I want my Dark Side characters to be EVIL. I mean excessively evil. I had a problem with the bitchiness of Anakin (even though he did evil things, he was a bitch about it), and I have a similar problem with Kylo Ren. I thought his character was better, and the acting of Adam Driver was great, but his character just did not feel sinister enough to me. My hope is that the character is simply not fully devolved and will make me proud in the end, but only time will tell.

Finally, (I don’t want to spoil anything), but a certain character in the movie is way too advanced for not having any training whatsoever. Kylo Ren, highly trained in the Dark Side, should simply run through anyone who does not have the training that he does. I did not appreciate this little thing.

Overall, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of my favorite films of the year. I admit that this is due in great part to my love for Star Wars as a franchise, but it is a fact nonetheless. It stands tall with the best of the series and makes up for some of the downfalls of the last few movies. There is action, humor, interesting characters, and a good story. It is great for die-hard fans as well as newcomers. I give it four and a half out of five.

Timothy Doom – Chapter 1

This is the first draft of Chapter 1 of the novel I am writing. I am hoping that sharing it will motivate me to continue writing and finish this thing. I have been stuck lately.

Chapter 1

A great shadow blanketed the Earth. Behind it, a hero stood clad in his armor of justice. The dark suit and even darker tie that made up the hero’s super-secret spy outfit was enough to garner the respect of men and send ladies far and wide into torturous fits of lustful psychosis. Never mind the chocolate smeared on his collar or the grass stain on his left knee! This hero was simply a god amongst men. He was the sort of hero that could rip an entire army of maniacal extremist bed wetting war criminals limb from limb while petting a box full of slobbering kittens. He was most definitely a special someone.

He sniffed the air three times, each time lifting his nose slightly higher in an effort to fully embrace the cold stench that had swept up the hillside towards him. It was the smell of evil, and it was floating on the breeze like a stale fart in a doctor’s office. If there were two things the hero hated, it was stale farts and evil. It was clear that his heroic expertise would be needed on this day.

He removed a ball point pen from his breast pocket and twisted the cap. The chrome top protruded upward and wilted to the side as three mechanical arms emerged from the depths of the pen. The arms extended in several jagged twists and turns towards the sky before unfolding into three sharp, perfectly symmetrical propeller blades. The hero stood for a moment under the blanket of his strange, mechanical umbrella frame before tapping the bottom and watching as the blades began to spin and lift him slowly off the ground.

The hero tilted the pen forward slightly and began to fly downward towards the bottom of the hill where his destiny was waiting silently like some sort of very squishy invisible grandmother with a plate full of evil cookies. He soared over a pit of hungry gentlemen alligators and stared cautiously at the top hat and monocle-clad monsters as they snacked on cheese and whining orphan dolphins before turning his attention back to his target. The fortress that lay ahead was as dark as a black hole and as void of light as Wesley Snipes’ armpits. It was so dark; it made his suit look like an albino polar bear’s left butt cheek. Its towers pierced the clouds like daggers and its tall, uneven windows left even the bravest of souls quivering in soiled, soggy trousers. Fortunately, the hero was the bravest spy in the world, and neither an evil fortress nor three week old Indian food could compromise his pantaloons.

He sailed onward towards his destiny. The air grew thick, sticky with the oppressive stench of evil, and the propellers of his chopper pen slowed briefly against the dense farticles. He was getting close, and he descended into the tree line of the Really Dark Forest in order to avoid detection. A flock of flying porpoises fought over a frozen burrito wrapper while some aboriginal rocks pranced around a Screaming Tree like the savage little creatures that they were. They seemed to be in the middle of a sacrificial ritual, as one of their young pebbles was tied to a burning twig.

There were several wild unicorns starring up at him hungrily as he passed, and he wondered what would happen if his hand slipped from the pen and he fell to the forest floor below. Would they skewer him and eat him with a side of pickles, or would he be able to defeat them all by utilizing his skills in Ugandan Jiu Jitsu? He shook the thought away and brought his attention back to his mission. After all, heroes have no time for pitiful thoughts of horrific deaths! They only have time for evil fortresses, attractive ladies, and marathons of silly cartoons. He was pretty sure that was written somewhere in the Heroic Code of Ethics.

After what seemed like forever, but was actually 6 seconds, the hero broke free from the tree line and arrived at the base of the fortress. He watched his footing carefully as he landed near the great stone wall, making sure to avoid any mashed potato mines that may have been concealed beneath the poisonous dandelion weeds. There was no time to waste; he needed to find a way inside. He moved quickly before the crab grass could clamp onto his toes or mate with his ankles (they were lustful buggers), but he was ever-watchful of his steps. Though he could not see them, he knew that the perimeter of the fortress was infested with spies and cameras. In fact, the branches of a nearby birch tree seemed to have a very “counter intelligence” way of not doing anything in particular.

After a short jaunt along the perimeter, he found a small hole leading into the fortress beyond. It was too small for any normal person to climb through, and he wondered for a moment what it would be like to be very tiny. A flea or his Great Aunt Mildred could most certainly walk right in and make themselves cozy under a blanket of dust bunnies, but regular-sized folks needed a craftier way inside. Fortunately for the hero, crafty was his middle name. Now, it was not his middle name in any actual sense of the word, but merely in a figurative sense that indicated how awesome he was at any given time. He also had other figurative nicknames such as Brave, Extremely Attractive To The Ladies, and Shenanigans.

The hero removed a clothespin from his jacket pocket and placed it on his right index finger. He felt a sudden twitch in his hands and a tingling in his ears before the hole before him began to grow. He waited until the hole was just large enough to walk through before he removed the clothespin from his finger and smiled to himself. For every problem there is a solution, and for this problem he had the patented and potent Growing and Shrinking Clothespin. Though it did seem to be a rather terrible name, it did do exactly what one would imagine, and he was grateful that it was effective and did not take up much space in his pocket.

As he made his way through the crevice, he began to feel a chill biting at his skin. He noticed a thin haze in front of him, and he wondered for a moment if he should turn back. There had to be another, less annoying way into the fortress. Was any adventure really worth getting his favorite shoes dirty? He thought about it for a moment before deciding that he could simply have one of the weird teenagers at the mall clean his shoes for free. That would solve that problem.

The air was damp and cold, and he felt terribly uneasy as he passed beyond the vivid haze. It was as if he had left his own world and traveled into another realm. The feeling of death was all around, suffocating him and making him feel as though the walls were caving in. When he reached the other side, he placed the clothespin on his left index finger and watched as the hole behind him began to shrink again. He was careful to remove it before he got too big. The last thing he wanted was to have his body fill up an entire room until he popped. He had heard that explosions were a possible side effect of adding extra inches when growing, and he was not prepared to scoop his own insides off the ceiling.

He put the clothespin back in his jacket pocket and scanned his surroundings. It was quite dark, but a single torch on the far wall gave enough light to make out the silhouette of a long desk and chair. Though it was difficult to make out, he was fairly certain that the dancing flame was also giving light to a Morrissey poster on the wall. He winced at the sight. He had indeed found himself in a place of unspeakable horrors.

He shook the thought and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. The floor felt rocky and uneven, and it seemed to be damp for some reason. “Why are evil fortresses always so wet?” He pondered this as he shuffled towards what appeared to be a wooden door to his left. There was no telling what kind of sick and twisted booby traps were waiting to poke, prod, or tickle him to death. What if he tripped over a wire and a deranged liberal polar bear rappelled from the ceiling and chewed his face off like a piece of ridiculously tasty beef jerky? The thought sent shivers from his head down through his toes. As he tiptoed along, he noticed what appeared to be a small, silver flashlight sitting in a glass case with a note that read, “In case of emergency.” He wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but he had a feeling that evil fortresses probably didn’t pay their power bills very often. He removed the glass case with care and placed the flashlight in his pocket. It wasn’t stealing if it originally belonged to someone who might kill him. Anyway, he was certain this mission qualified as an emergency. When he reached the door, he tried to pull it open but it would not budge. After several frustrated moments, he gave the door a push and stared blankly as it squeaked open into a hallway. Typical.

The hallway was long and twisted, and the hero was fairly certain that whoever built it must have been blind or simply a very crooked person. The torches that lined the walls gave light to various portraits and paintings, and his eyes fixed themselves upon one particular piece of artwork that featured a pack of fruit snacks lying seductively on a red couch with a glorious diamond draped across its label. He stared in disgust for a moment before a memory of his mother muscled its way into his brain and reminded him that his face would stick in that grimace if he kept it up. He tip-toed along the wall towards a wooden door that was so large, it would have made even the tallest of spies feel like a tiny little booger as they stood before it. The hero paid no attention to such things; he was too busy being awesome.

He gave the knob a slow turn and struggled to push the door open enough to squeeze through. It must have been built for a basketball player or a woman in heels. As he squeezed through the opening, he noticed that the room was fully lit with what appeared to be over-sized fireflies hanging from the ceiling like creepy, crawling chandeliers. That was when he found what he had come for. Strapped to an old wooden chair in the middle of the room was Princess Olivia. She was the most breathtakingly beautiful human being that had ever plopped into the world. Her hair was silky and brown and it reminded him of chocolate. Her eyes were nothing short of emerald trophies that seemed to glow when she smiled. Speaking of smiles, the princess owned a smile that could turn the devil into a blubbering schoolgirl in a pen full of bunnies. Needless to say, the hero had a bit of a crush on Princess Olivia. Of course, he would never tell her such things. After all, she probably liked girly men.

She did not look much like a princess then. Her once shimmering clothes were now little more than rags, her hair was a messy mop of despair, and her eyes had lost their glow. It was clear that she had been through a great amount of turmoil, and he was there to bring her back to herself and to her people. He hurried to her and rested on one knee as he removed the gag from her mouth.

“Princess, are you all right? Are you hurt?”

“Yes, I’m fine.” She struggled to speak as she dealt with her freed jaw. “It was…horrible. My feet…they were tickled for ten hours a day. I was fed only with off-brand cereals and I was forced to listen to the same Rhianna song over and over again.” She looked away as if to discourage her tears. “I thought I would die here.”

The hero untied her arms and legs. “You’re safe now. Let’s get you out of here.”

He felt a sudden tickle at the back of his neck and swatted it away. The tickle returned as he loosened the last knot and freed the princess. He glanced up at her with a smile. Her battered face was frozen in terror and her piercing green eyes were fixed upon something behind the hero. Their eyes met and his hands slowly fell to his sides. He took a deep breath and turned around to face the horror that had been waiting for him ever since he entered the fortress.

The evil wizard was perched halfway up the far wall like a great black spider of death. His eyes were red orbs of fire and his mouth was twisted into a horrid, nightmarish grin. His beard spewed from his face like a serpent, flowing down the wall and on the ground as it reached for the hero. It seemed to move on its own, as if eager to consume them both.

The hero could not help but stare in a sort of momentary haze, watching as the beard slithered closer to his feet. The haze gave way to a searing pain that ripped through his left ankle and soared upward. The beard had wrapped itself tightly around his lower leg and was pulling him back towards the wizard, whose grin had transformed into a gaping hole. Clearly, the wizard had an idea that heroes were tasty creatures.

The hero did his best to maintain a supreme level of awesomeness as he made eye contact with Princess Olivia, who was still seated in the chair and seemed to be frozen in fear. “Just remain calm, Princess. I totally have everything under control!”

She nodded and forced a smile, and the hero could not help but feel that she somehow doubted him. He thought that she must be a very pessimistic person, and probably not much fun at parties. He could see, however, that she was the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen. There was something about that smile that could light even the darkest catacombs of Hell. A smile like that could not simply be forgotten and fed to some evil wizard with a hunger for princesses. No, that would be a travesty and a terrible way to spend an afternoon. He was given a mission to save the princess, and that was exactly what he was going to do. Saving her was his job and had nothing to do with the weird, mushy feelings that were bouncing around in his chest, or the butterflies that seemed to be living in the pit of his stomach. That was probably just indigestion or some sort of plague. Yes…that was definitely it.

He turned to face the evil wizard and removed a tiny metal piece from his jacket pocket. It was roughly the size of a matchstick, and he held it up for the wizard to see. A deep, disastrous cackle bellowed from the wizard as he gazed upon what appeared to be the world’s smallest metal pipe. He began to crawl up the side of the wall and the beard pulled the hero towards him; towards a torturous demise. The hero put the metal piece to his lips and blew. A bright white and yellow flame burst from the hero’s lips and scorched the beard just beyond his ankle. The wizard howled in anger and retreated into a grotesque web that was hidden in the far corner of the ceiling. The beard writhed and sizzled as it worked to put out the flames that threatened its evil white whiskers. He may have been an evil wizard, but he was no match for the surprise of the World’s Smallest Blowtorch.

The hero raced to the princess and took her by the hands. “You must stand, Princess! I have to get you out of here!” They sprinted towards the door, and he believed for a moment that they were going to get out of that dreadful place. The hero glanced behind him, but he could no longer see the wizard. Perhaps he had ran away in order to heal himself, or perhaps he had a change of heart and was making them all some hot cocoa. The thought was shattered from his mind when a blackened mass crashed to the floor in front of the door, causing them to stumble as the earth shook beneath their feet. The darkness began to rise and take shape, and the white beard of death began to flow onto the ground. The mass continued to grow until it reached the ceiling. It could only be described as nothingness; a towering inkblot that was void of any light or definitive shape. It was truly frightening, even to a spy that once survived a mission that required diving into a vat of sweaty jockstraps. There was no way for the hero to get the princess out of there without first destroying their enemy.

He dug into his pocket for another blowtorch and cursed to himself. What kind of idiot weapons developer would make a blowtorch with only enough fuel for one shot? Those fools had clearly never battled a powerful magical creature with a hunger for attractive royal ladies before. They were stuck there, trapped in the blazing aura of the wizard’s gaze. There was no way out; no way to escape. The wizard’s teeth began to gnash and grow into dripping, rotted fangs. The beard began to slither its way down the murky, unnatural form that still seemed to be filling the room with darkness. The wretched conjurer was consuming the light as he grew. The fireflies began to free themselves and swarm around the room in a panic before finding their way into the desolate pit that was the wizard’s mouth. The hero and Princess Olivia retreated backwards in search of an escape route. They found nothing but the cold stone wall. The darkness was closing in, engulfing their entire world in its form. The princess screamed and gripped the hero’s arm as they watched it sweep towards them.

Then the hero remembered; he was the toughest, most heroic, best smelling spy that ever lived, and he was not going to die in front of a beautiful princess! He was going to defeat whatever this wizard had turned into, and then he was going to carry the princess out of that fortress and back to her castle (if she wasn’t too heavy of course. Needless to say, some princesses were very dense). The hero searched his pockets for a weapon; two rose petals, a smashed chocolate mint, a clothespin, a red ribbon, a dime, three pennies, his lucky unicorn hoof (which he kept safely in a clear plastic box), and…a flashlight! Of course! How could he have been so forgetful? If any bizarre situation with an evil wizard could be categorized as an emergency, this had to be one of those situations.

The room was almost completely consumed, and the evil wizard’s eyes had begun to ooze a flaming substance that burned holes in the ground as it dripped. The hero held the flashlight in both hands and looked to the princess one last time. “Hold on tight!”

She clutched his arm securely as he turned on the flashlight. A bright beam of light shot from his hands and filled the room with a blinding whiteness that took over the shadow and everything else in its path. The beam was so intense; the hero could feel it penetrating his brain even with his eyes closed. He could see nothing but white heat and it seemed to be burning holes through his eyelids. After several excruciating seconds, he found the button on the flashlight again and turned it off. He shook the spots out of his head and threw the flashlight away. What sort of sadistic person would create such a thing!?

The princess was still clutching him. Her face was buried into his arm and she was sobbing softly. As the room cleared, he began to make out the chair, the flashlight, and a dark figure huddled in the far corner of the room. It was the wizard, and he had shrunken down to a fraction of the monster that had stood before them moments before. He could see that the wizard was trembling and was wiping tears away with his short, lifeless beard. The hero approached him slowly and raised his hands in preparation for combat. He hoped that he looked intimidating, but he imagined that walking and pretending that his hands were claws was probably not the best way to achieve this. He wished he had machete, or a mongoose, or a machete-wielding mongoose.

When he was within striking distance, he realized that there was no need to fight. He could simply feel it. The evil wizard was no longer evil at all. Whatever had possessed him had left his body, and what remained was a tired, scared old man.

“Please don’t kill me. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.” The wizard covered his face with his beard. The hero lowered his guard and motioned the princess over to him.

“Why did you take Princess Olivia?” The wizard looked towards the princess and shook his head.

“I-I’m sorry. I-didn’t know. The last thing I can remember is working on a new potion for toe hair removal in my lab. A sudden terror fell upon me, and all the world grew dark. I heard laughter. Horrible laughter that filled me with sorrow. I felt death. Actually felt death surrounding me. I saw a darkness rising out of the floor, its eyes burning holes through my soul…and my mind went blank.” He wiped his eyes and struggled to gain his feet. “Please, take the princess back to her people. You will have no more trouble from me. Thank you for freeing me.” The hero hesitated for a moment, unsure if he should trust the wizard. Perhaps he could instead eliminate him and leave his beard on a stake outside the fortress as a warning to any other evil doers in the world. He pondered this for several seconds and decided that the princess would not be fond of such an act. Instead he picked her up without a word and carried her out of the fortress.

When they emerged from the depths of the realm that had imprisoned her, Princess Olivia smiled and kissed the hero on his cheek. He put her down gently and straightened his suit as best he could. One bad thing about being a spy was the fact that his suit always ended up in shambles by the end of the mission. He made a mental note to create an indestructible suit when he got back to headquarters. He held out his arm and the princess wrapped her arm around the crook of his elbow. They walked into the tree line together, safe and on their way home. Princess Olivia took a deep breath and looked back to watch the fortress disappear behind them.

“Thank you for saving me.” The hero smiled at this. Gratitude was definitely his favorite part of the job. Sometimes he wished the world would line up single file in order to pat him on the back and hand him delicious ice cream sundaes.

“You’re welcome. If you get a chance, please give me a positive review on Yelp.”

“Of course. May I ask what your name is?”

The hero stopped and positioned himself in his favorite pose, with his fists on his hips and his chest puffed out like a manly Peter Pan. With a grin of confidence on his face he howled, “Doom. Timothy Doom.” Then he walked her home.

Pan/Goodnight Mommy

Pan – Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Goodnight Mommy – Rating: 3 out of 5

Sometimes you see a movie because you have been looking forward to it for weeks, months, or even years. Other times, you see a movie simply because your fucking wife wants to. Needless to say, that is why I saw Pan this week.

This movie did not interest me from the moment I first saw the trailer. It looked silly to me. Silly even for a children’s movie. Even though I have always been a Disney fan and a fan of the cartoon we all grew up with, I still could not bring myself to be excited for this movie. Still, the wife wanted to see it and she wears the pants in the house. My level of power is roughly…short shorts. So I sat my cynical ass down and tried to enjoy Pan.

The movie features Hugh Jackman as the villain Blackbeard and Rooney Mara as…well…a white native person with an English accent…weird…

In fact, she was apparently from a tribe that featured every race of people other than people that looked or sounded like natives. I guess Neverland really is a whimsical place.
I suppose that did not bother me too much. However, what did bother me was the random singing/chanting of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Blackbeard and his army of ruffians. Combine that with the later belting of Blitzkrieg Bop and you have the makings of a confused, less creative Moulin Rouge. It was unnecessary, unneeded, and downright annoying. I assume they were appealing to older music fans, so maybe I would have grown excited if everyone started screaming the words to a Judas Priest or Metallica song. That did not happen, so we shall never know.

I found the story to be “almost good.” It started out fine and I enjoyed the visuals. I also enjoyed Hugh Jackman’s performance. Unfortunately, the story quickly dive bombed into the realm of “I don’t give a fuck.” Our little Peter did a fine job acting, but his character was made to be a little whiny bitch, and it made me wonder why Blackbeard did not simply put his sword through his neck ten minutes into the film. It was not like Peter was going to stop him. He was just going to stand there pouting and crying about how he is never going to bow to the pirate villain.

Even when Peter finally discovered his true identity and powers, he had fairies do all of his dirty work. He just hovered around with a smug look on his face and I hoped someone would fart and gas him to death. I really tried to like this movie, and I even had moments in the first half where I thought, “Do I like this?” However, it was not meant to be. I left that movie unfulfilled and irritated that Pan was the worst protagonist that ever lived. I give Pan one and a half out of five.
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I also saw the German horror film Goodnight Mommy this week. The movie combines a bunch of German actors that amazing people like us in ‘Merica don’t care about because ‘Merica. Really though, they were just some foreign people I had never seen before. They did a good job though! In particular, the twins were quite haunting in their performances.

The movie tells the story of twin boys who move into a new home with their mother after she has cosmetic surgery on her face. More and more as they interact with her, they realize it is not the mother they remember. It is quite an interesting premise, and a fun story. There were some great visuals and decisions that were made with camera angles that created creepy moments and uneasy visuals. I enjoyed a lot of this movie. However, it was about an hour too damn long. I just kept waiting and waiting for things to get explained and for the exciting bits to show up. They definitely came, but it was almost too late. I was bored when the movie got good.

When the movie did turn itself up to eleven, I enjoyed it quite a lot. Without giving too much away, it was violent, sadistic, and downright mean. Everything I look for in my entertainment (not really). The thing that made it feel too long was the fact that the twist was extremely easy to predict. For me, this isn’t usually a bad thing, because I practice a mentality where I completely ignore the signs in an attempt to remain surprised and soak in the movie as it is. With this movie, when I realized what the twist was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and wondering when it was going to present itself. That is ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT. I hate that.

There were some stupid moments as well. For instance, Red Cross shows up at one point and just walks the fuck in because they feel like it. Apparently, it is customary in Germany to walk into people’s unlocked houses and conduct welfare checks on them. Pointless and annoying.

Overall, I enjoyed Goodnight Mommy, but it definitely had some flaws that needed to be addressed. The payoff in the end, though entertaining, was lessened by the fact that the journey to that point was too fucking long. Cut a half hour out of the beginning, explain a few more things, and this movie would have been great. With that in mind, I give it a three out of five.

Space Farts

An astronaut once asked himself
A very noble thing
Could he ruin space and time itself
If he made his butt hole sing?

“Can a fart be smelled in outer space?”
He wondered quite aloud
And then a thought popped in his head
With a force that made him proud

“I shall test this theory out for good
Then jot down my results.
I hope my colleagues will oblige
And act like good adults.”

And so he drifted through the air
Then sailed right past his friend
He grabbed her arms and let it out
So she could not defend

He let her go and she stood still
The fart seemed ineffective
He explained his plan and made her laugh
At his silly, dumb objective

But then her nose began to twitch
And her senses overloaded
She let out quite a woeful sigh
And then her head exploded

The astronaut cheered with all his might
Then used the intercom
He told Houston that he had found
A space-aged super bomb

And so the rest of that astro-trip
Was spent with great unease
The remaining folks were paranoid
Of who might cut the cheese