Jackass Forever (2022)

Jackass Forever is critic-proof.

If you like the Jackass franchise, you’ll like this movie. If you love Jackass, you’ll love this movie and, of course, if you hate Jackass, you’ll hate this one as well.

I like Jackass, so I laughed like a hyena at the mostly wall to wall nut punching.

Really, I already wrote most of the review when I reviewed the trailer.

To wit:

“I have a Y Chromosome, I will see this dumb movie.

I have a Y Chromosome, I will laugh like a dumbass at this dumb movie.

I mean, Eric Andre is in it, it’s fucking bulletproof.

I will see this movie and immediately forget about it seconds after it ends.

It is destiny.”

Some other notes:

One of the hidden successes of the film is normalizing male nudity. There’s like a lot–a lot–of dick. These aren’t the most handsome men and they are naked, bruised and proud, completely non-homophobic in their jokes. I am pro-male nudity because sexuality is not just the domain of hot women. And, when we take off our clothes, all of us are naked. Celebrate it. The Jackass crew does and then takes a ping pong paddle to the nuts.

This is also the first Jackass to feature a woman. And she’s just one of the Jackasses, as it should be. And the celebrity guest stars were all good sports, especially Tyler, The Creator.

Although Jackass seems like a throwback to a cruder time, this Jackass weirdly feels more progressive than the others with some new members along with some of the old guys taking brutal punishment. It’s just good, clean nut-punching fun. Wholesome family time with multiple shots of bruised nuts.

The challenges themselves are mostly old ones updated. I won’t say which as the surprise and “oh no” moment right before the stunt are my favorite parts. The most anxious trumps involved animals. Who knows what a vulture or bear or scorpion is going to do?

As always, the real VIP’s of the movie are the cameramen for outstanding cinematography and the guy who does slo-mo.

And the camaraderie of idiots.

Trailer:

Cleopatra Jones and The Casino of Gold (1975) (HBOMax)

Cleopatra Jones is back—Karate-kicking her way up The Hong Kong Drug Syndicate! </End Generic Lede>

The original Cleopatra Jones was a low-budget, sloppy charmer. Successful, the movie made four times its budget back after just four weeks of release. Cleopatra Jones and The Casino of Gold, according to Wikipedia, was a critical and commercial flop as the Blaxplotation Era was ending.

Man, I hate the metric of commercial success and even popular opinion as a guide to the inherent worth of a film. But, I wanted to start with some context, as I just came to the movie as a fan of the first Cleopatra Jones. I liked Casino of Gold, maybe even more than the first. It had everything you want in a sequel: bigger, self-deprecating, and more of everything you liked about the first. And Casino of Gold has all that. Plus, there’s little relationship to the first movie, so you can see it as a stand-alone without any previous knowledge.

There’s:

—Stella Stevens replacing Shelly Winters as The Dragon Lady running the Hong Kong Drug Trade with an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove. She sword fights and open-mouth kisses naked ladies.

—A new side kick, Mi-Lin Fong who almost out-badasses Cleopatra in the fight scenes. She also brings along a motorcycle crew for some great motorcycle stunts. This makes Casino more of a buddy picture and they both have the charm to pull it off. While some of the banter, and dialogue in general, is groan-worthy, the women commit to the script.

—Norman Fell. The upstairs landlord from Three’s Company plays Cleo’s exasperated, very white handler, a role he’s suited to play.

—More exotic locations: Hong Kong and Macao.

—A Casino destroying final.

—Tamara Dobson’s crazy 1970’s outfits.

Really, the reason to watch Casino is Dobson’s outfits. Sweet 70’s eye candy. Plus, she really rocks the silver/green eyeshadow.

I’m not sure why Dobson didn’t become a bigger star in the neighborhood of Pam Grier. Maybe the failure of Casino torpedoed her career. So sad. She can do the action scenes and is charming and relatable. Only the weak dialogue of this film holding her back.

Trailer:

Playtime (1967)

I will fail at this review.

It’s isn’t that I don’t like this movie. I do. A lot. But convincing you to see it may be difficult. It’s French. It’s an older movie. And there is almost zero plot. But I was riveted.

Full Disclosure: I watched the first half of the film three months ago and turned it off. Why? I was kind of overwhelmed by the film. There isn’t fast editing or any sort of cinematic shenanigans to trick you. And yet, keeping up was mentally exhausting, not knowing what I expected going in.

Most of the shots are medium or wide shots. I saw no close-ups. And director Jacques Tati fills every inch if the screen with something interesting. And almost every shot is Art Museum quality with fantastic framing and composition.

Not to sound arrogant, this movie is why we have movies. It’s freaking gorgeous. See it on the largest screen possible. The amount of detail is amazing. Tati designed and built a a small city and designed it for film.

As I said, there is little plot. Generally, we follow Monsieur Hulot (Tati) as he walks around a very modern Paris during the day. There are many, many Hulot doppelgängers, so we’re not even sure we’re following the lead.

The film, really, has a cast of hundreds, each with their own slightly absurd comedic micro-story. And that’s where the magic comes in. There is always something to look at. Something to figure out or enjoy.

Do you like people watching? Figuring out what everyone is doing and why is the narrative drive. It’s the ultimate people watching movie. Everyone in it is interesting. I didn’t even read or pay much attention to the subtitles precisely because the film was so visually interesting.

I think I’ll end up watching this film many times because it’s so good, it’s like an album. Every time I listen to Beck’s Odelay, I catch something new. I feel like I could see the film a thousand times and still catch something new. I can dip in and out.

This is the first Tati movie I’ve seen, another blind spot in my movie knowledge. Show this movie to the right twelve-year-old and you’ll make a movie-lover out of them. I’m excited to see the other two Hulot movies.

There are themes. The cool, metallic blues and grays represent a modern Paris as windows and mirrors often reflect the Paris of old. And inside the giant, super-clean, sleek modern buildings of a re-invented Paris, the ants scurry about their lives, repeating actions and ideas, with Hulot as the human spoiler.

Reading about the movie, this film completely bankrupted Tati. It was a box office flop. People are dumb. Remastered and re-edited, the Criterion edition is impeccable.

It’s a masterpiece.

The dude even makes traffic interesting.

Watch the trailer:

And here’s a clip:

Promising Young Woman (2020)

Premiered January 25, 2020

Hey guys, don’t rape blackout drunk women. Or, you know, rape at all. Or be a support system for rapists.

Cassie (Mulligan) spends her evenings pretending to be shitfaced so men take her home and take advantage of her. Then, she turns the tables on them. At heart, It’s a revenge film with a new twist. A lot as been said about the movie and it’s certainly a movie most people need to see to spark discussion. So, I don’t want to say too much. I like how visually, the film subverts the male gaze. Hollywood is built on the male gaze. It takes a shot or scene and goes in different directions than what you usually expect from film. There are tropes. The sassy black friend. The one nice guy in a sea of creeps. A too tidy ending.

While The One Nice Guy (Burnam) is needed in the film, both logically and emotionally, there are blind spots in the character’s memory, especially given how much he crushed on Mulligan’s character in the past. Tonally, it was both a relief and weird addition to the film. I mean, there’s a falling-in-love montage to a Paris Hilton song. And Jennifer Coolidge is a brunette and shows no cleavage. So, obviously, a drama. Way to go, movie, subverting Coolidge’s well-crafted image of a blonde bimbo.

The A-List cast of mostly TV actors succeed in bringing to life the slippery and morally ambiguous characters. Carey Mulligan should get an Oscar nod for an amazingly complex performance. I’d describe her actions as both wrong and fair. She gives the people she goes after a chance to repent. I mean, if John Wick can kill a thousand dudes over the death of his puppy, Cassie’s motivation and actions are downright angelic.

My friend Hersh always says most people have justifications for their poor actions, both before and after the act, and this movie certainly hammers that home. Even Cassie says she’s sick of hearing men justify their actions by saying, “We were just kids.”

Rape has been generally underserved topic in mainstream pictures and this film does take a new approach. They never actually show rape, although rape is the blanket that covers the film. The film expands what is generally considered rape in the movie. And that’s where the discussion begins.

On a side note, everyone should see the 2002 film Irreversible. It’s definitely a hard watch and I’ll never watch it again because, Jesus ‘Effin Christ, that 15-minute rape scene is brutal.

Trailer:

Evilspeak (1982)

Premiered August 22, 1982

Last week, on my week-long vacation, I did nuthin. Well, that’s not true, I did catch up on some Joe Bob Briggs movies and commentary on Shudder. This movie holds a special place in my heart. Back in Blockbuster days, I would always pick Evilspeak to watch, based on the awesome cover. But by the time I picked ten other movies, Evilspeak would get cut. And later, it sat on the DVR until I deleted it for space. Not really sure why.

I’m glad I waited because the Joe Bob commentary made me like the movie better. It’s harder to hate something when you learn how much work went into the project. Joe Bob interviewed Clint Howard, the lead and Better Howard Brother. Unlike most mass media interviews, the talk wasn’t really promotional, but focused on the struggle of how the movie got made.

Ok, Evilspeak is about a bullied Military Cadet (Howard) who finds a portal to Satan. He then gets revenge on the bullies. Pretty basic. Man, the stereotype is true: Satanists are big technophiles. Howard uses an Apple 2E to contact the underworld. And it’s a great program. If only the Catholics had a similar computer program, they could be diddling twice the number of boys today. The program was situation-aware, even when the computer was off, it still offered suggestions. Although, you know how phone-dialing in old movies stops the momentum dead, Howard spends ten minutes setting up the evil computer. Also, there’s a Satanic worship area in the basement of the Military Academy, is that a thing?

An average, but watchable, horror movie, Clint Howard is the reason to watch. More subtle than his later work like Ice Cream Man.

Trailer:

Sally Mae

Once upon a many rotations of the sun, Sally Mae was a small girl. Now, she is a big girl. But when she was a small girl, she was the queen of the world. From the trees in the back of the house and down the road that went nowhere into the bushes. From the huts on one side of the field to the pond on the other. Her father said she was the queen of it all and that was all there was. From the trees to the bushes and from the huts to the pond.

The small girl Sally Mae had many friends, eight to be exact. The brown ones, George and Janine. The yellow one, June. The black one, Jimmy. There were four big people who were her friends too, Rose, the yellow one who cooked. Pedro and Rosalita—two people both named rose, how crazy—Pedro and Rose, the brown ones who took care of the land. Did you know roses are also flowers, Sally Mae once said to Rosalita. Everyone agreed Sally Mae was so smart. And Sally Mae let Rose tousle her hair.  Oh, and there was the black one, Debra who assisted Sally Mae’s father. Small Sally Mae also knew two other big people, her father whom she called Father and Joanie her teacher, the biggest of the big people. So that’s ten people Sally Mae knew. 

Also, Sally Mae noticed that all brown people, either big or small, looked the same. And all black people looked like all other black people and all yellow people looked like all other yellow people. When Sally Mae told her father this, he tousled her hair and said what a smart girl you are. 

Sally Mae was special, no one in the whole world had a father, only her. Once Janine said she had a mother, but Sally Mae didn’t know what that was and said, “Motherfucker” because she had heard her father say those words. Janine disappeared for many rotations of the sun after that. But that happens, small Sally Mae thought. 

Sally Mae also discovered, surely the only one in the whole world, that there were people like her, not just in skin color, but also people not like her who had some knobby part where her “special place” was, above her legs. George showed her his knobby part one day down by the pond. His means boy and her means girl. Boy means knobby part, girl is regular and correct. After Sally Mae asked her father if he had a knobby part, George went away for many rotations of the sun. So many rotations of the sun that small Sally Mae never saw George again. But, no bother. 

Her father had one rule and one rule only for small Sally Mae, “You must never go into my room or beyond the trees or the pond or the bushes or beyond the huts.”

 And small Sally Mae obeyed those rules because she had everything anyone could ever dream of having and all the friends anyone could ever want to have. She was queen of the whole world and could rule all her eyes could see. 

You see, Small Sally Mae’s life was perfect. She had no reason to roam beyond the bushes or the pond or the trees or the huts. All of her friends came to her and she never even needed to leave the big house. There was a room of butterflies. A room of clouds. A room of dolls she arranged in so many different ways. There was a room of choo choo trains and a room of velvet curtains. A room of stars and a room of moons and a room of suns. Then there were father’s rooms. She was never to go in there and small Sally Mae never did. Except, truth be told, she did once. She saw smoke and fire and heard yelling and wailing. Small Sally Mae knew she wasn’t to be in this room, but was calm and after a few minutes left the fire room. Sally Mae did not want to upset her father, although didn’t understand what upset meant and had never seen her father upset. Sally Mae once heard her teacher Joanie use the word upset, but Sally Mae never asked what the word upset meant, so Joanie never told Sally Mae what upset was. And Sally Mae was left to guess. Sally Mae’s father alway said Sally Mae had to go to school with Joanie only for as long as Sally Mae wanted, so…

Sally Mae was happy to make the butterfly’s fly, the dolls dance, the choo choo  trains puff and smoke, the velvet curtains wave and the sun and moon and stars shine so so brightly. And Joanie would tousle her hair and tell her how smart she was.

Once she made Pedro jump in the pond and swim until she never saw him again. And he was big and how did he cry. Small Sally Mae had never cried and didn’t understand why any people, brown or yellow or black or him or her or Father would cry. Everyone and everything did what she said all of the time and this was how it was and it was perfect. Maybe if she told Pedro not to cry as he swam and swam and swam, He would not cry. But she did not think of that on that on this rotation of the sun so that is how it was suppose to be.

Once small Sally Mae saw her father go down the road and disappear through the bushes. She stared and stared at the place where father went and then he came back. Oh, how powerful and benevolent I am, small Sally Mae thought when her father came back, dusty and burnt, from the bushes.

And so it went. The sun rotated around the world and it was perfect.

After many rotations of the sun, small Sally Mae begin to think she was big and since she thought it, so she was. Big Sally Mae had saw her father disappear into the bushes many times and thought if father can break his rules, so can I.

So once, when the sun was low, Sally Mae set off to the bushes. As she creeped toward the bushes, she heard strange noises, whooshes and muttering and machines. She squeezed into the tall bushes and pushed against the branches and twigs. She pushed and pushed until she fell out onto a hard surface, like a catepillar falling out of a butterfly’s cocoon. The ground was like the floor in the basement. Sally Mae saw shadowy figures moving towards her. 

“Stop” she yelled. And they did. Then she saw the eyes of a black one and he burst into flames and there was yelling. A brown one was also on fire. A yellow one, also turned to fire. But all the people, the hims and hers and the yellows and the brown and the blacks kept coming all turning to flames and all coming toward big Sally May. A flaming hand grabbed her ivory horn and pulled her to the ground. Another hand made a slight scarred imprint on her pure bright red skin and all felt warm and comforting. The flaming bodies piled on Big Sally Mae until she could not see the sky and only felt the safe and comforting warmth of the flames. She couldn’t move and thought she may never see her father again, so she would never have to tell him she broke his rule and that was the right and perfect way. Or maybe she was upset, for the first rotation of the sun ever, Sally Mae wasn’t sure.

###

A Rubic’s Cube of Weird Emotions, Day 192, Knuckle-Busting The Year of Fun.

A Rubic’s Cube of Weird Emotions, Day 192, Knuckle-Busting The Year of Fun.

1. “This Time Machine is Three Seconds Late.” — A Line from Next Summer’s Big-Time James Franco/Seth Rogen Time Travel Movie ‘Let’s Kill Paris Hilton!’.

2. Putting The Blank in Blank Day.*

3. Rubicon — Kansas City’s Premier Going Too Far Convention.

* Era in Insufferable.
* Junk in Junction.
* Face in Facetious.
* Miso in Misogyny.
* Un in Cunt. (Do Not Use as Compliment. Or Ever.)

Music Video Today (MVT): One of my favorite Aimee Mann songs and it’s not from Magnolia.

Wordplay — Pun’s Older Brother.

The Weisenheimer Brainstorm, Day 130 In Touch With Your Year of Fun.

The Weisenheimer Brainstorm, Day 130 In Touch With Your Year of Fun.

1. Today on ‘Memories of What I Used To Eat,’ A Food Blog:
Misty Water-Covered Chestnuts.
Triple Decker Vienna Sausage French Toast Sadwich.
My Feelings.
Pictures Are Overexposed on Purpose.

2. Don’t Forget to Bag The Racked Over Coals of My Heart And Return to Store.
My Heart’s Switching to Frakking for The Big Corporate Payout.

3. Wow, No Number Three Today.
Let’s Be Lame and Blame The Day of The Week.
‘Effin Wed-nes-Day, Right?
It’s What Now?

Today is The Day I Jump The Shark, Sadly.
Strap on The Evil Boweevil Spangled Jumpsuit, Attach The Rocket To Your Crotchet And Blaze A Path to Irrelevance, It’s Ride Time.
Fortunately, Said Jumped Shark is Toothless, Blind, Bloated, On Land, Gassy and A Vegan.

Fishing for Memes at Dogma Lake, Day ’95, Reelin’ in The Years of Fun

Fishing for Memes at Dogma Lake, Day ’95, Reelin’ in The Years of Fun.

1. Watch Old Russ Meyer Movie, Pour Out Bag of Popcorn for My Homie.

2. It’s Adam and Eve, Not Toothbrush and Steve.–Shelly.

3. Inanimate Object Puppet Show for the Pets.

Vacation Today: Population Me.(Plus Lady Friend)

The 8-Track Columbia House Club of Fun, Day ’92, YoF Certified

The 8-Track Columbia House Club of Fun, Day ’92, YoF Certified.

1. D. Boon Pickins, My Minuteman Zine Celebrates the Lead Singer’s Birthday Today.

2. Your Joke Here.

3. I Love You Shelly and Everyone Else Is Also Great.
(Shameless Like-Whoring Day)

Let’s kill that stupid King Kim Joffrey Un Ill person before he wins the Throne Game.
Nuclear Winter is Coming.
(You’re Welcome, South Korean Sketch Writers)

Pop Culture Today: Orphan Black on BBC America. It’s Dollhouse meets that crappy SMG CW show, only way better.

http://www.bbcamerica.com/orphan-black/