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.


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.


—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.


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: