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A Look at Boobs (And Those Thingies Attatched to Them…You Know, Women)

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Women Make Important Contributions to Society…Naked

Semi-important editors note: This post was originally written for the December issue of a magazine, right around the time the author got that kind of amnesia that makes you think it’s Christmas 2013 all the time…you know the kind I mean.

December is here again, bringing jolly snowmen, dancing sugarplums, and adorable little elves. Everything is merry and bright. Too merry and bright if you ask me. Don’t you fret; this article will get you reacquainted with your inner rage demon. Yes, you will to go into conniptions, have a rage stroke and explode to death: guaranteed or your money back! You’re welcome. Let me start by saying I think we can all agree that this was a huge, double D-sized year for boobs. Angelina Jolie lopped hers off, despite our collective opinion that we would rather her life be jeopardized by a horrible, horrible disease than miss those marvelous mammaroonies. Seth McFarlane, the Sultan of Subtlety, the Potentate of Politeness, the Tycoon of Tact, performed a lovely ditty re the titty entitled, “We Saw Your Boobs” at the Academy Awards and a good time was had by all on that account. Also, boobs were still the main reason we watched HBO, even though Daenerys Targaryen doesn’t want to show us hers as much, and many disgruntled whiners want to see way less of Hannah’s Girls. It seems we were up to our ears in boobs all year, but what about on the big screen? Let’s take a look back 2013’s movies; a look back in anger. Warning: contains toxic levels of sarcasm.

                Two Great Men and One Super Man

Oz the Great and Powerful had all the enchantment of the original Oz, but without that sissy girl Dorothy waltzing her ovaries all over the place. Even though there are like four magical witches with magical magic powers running around, Oz is a fetid armpit land that plaintively pleads to be ruled over by an ordinary non-magical man from Kansas. That makes sense. Who ever heard of a woman, magical or otherwise, being able to rule anyplace? That’s why there’s no female equivalent to “king”…what would it be? “King-ina?” “King-ette?” I don’t think so. Good for James Franco for finally replacing Judy Garland as our Oz icon. It was about time.

                Gatsby was also Great this year. A man telling a story about another man was such a daring and fresh idea out of Hollywood…and it was directed by a man so you finally get a male perspective! Surprisingly, The Great Gatsby was by far the girliest movie out this year. The women in the girliest movie of the year were terrible. One was a vapid, shallow adulteress too spineless to get a divorce and the other was a vapid, shallow adulteress too spineless to get a divorce. But hey, it’s classic American literature, so watching the film was essentially the same, if not better than, reading the book.

                The Man of Steel was not just great; he was super. God, aren’t men the best? Lois Lane, the sharp-witted Pulitzer prize-winning journalist was just not even needed because Superman was so great. In fact, when Supes needs help on the spaceship during one of the film’s many climaxes, it’s not Lois Lane’s tenacity, talent, or intrepid spirit that allows her to save the day, it’s the spirit of Superman’s dead dad that tells her directly what to do. Look, I’m in touch with reality, even if it’s only as penpals. I’m not expecting Lois Lane to outshine Superman in a movie about Superman. All I ask is that she retain and utilize some of the spunk and integrity that made her iconic in her own right lo these 75 years since that comic’s first appearance.

Pacific Grim

One of the coolest chicks on screen this year was Mako Mori in Pacific Rim. She was an unstable rookie robot-pilot fighter-boxer or whatever and she got to whomp some monsters’ butts (not by herself, but whatever). Notice carefully: if you watch the trailer for Pacific Rim, you may wonder, as I did, if her character’s hook is that she is mute. Seriously, she literally appears to have no voice. Oh, the poetry. Ow, my sarcasm hurts from overuse.

Still Missing: Wonder Woman

                This year, in addition to Man of Steel, we got a third Iron Man, and a Wolverine. I plan to scream at the top of my lungs continuously until Wonder Woman gets her own movie.

Also Still Mostly Missing: Regular Woman

Here’s what women did star in this year in terms of major box office releases. The Call stars Halle Berry, and to its credit, Halle gets to save the pretty blonde girl from the big bad man at the end. (Spoiler. Whatever, you’re not going to watch The Call.) Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor (yes, TYLER PERRY) also stars a woman, but loses points because it also has a Kim Kardashian in it…and loses points because it’s another of Tyler Perry’s two-hour-long dookies. That’s about it. Man, ladies are desperate for some representation! This is all we get? Thank the stars Jennifer Lawrence has our back…again. She caught fire in Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Look, I know you’re tired of hearing it. Wah, wah, let’s see if crying about it will magically give woman fair and equal representation in the media. Oh yeah! Jennifer Anniston played a stripper this year! I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention that one! Anyway, I know. I’m tired of my own constant outrage. It’s just so hard to get over when movies are so obviously icky and terrible about women. I love movies but they just keep breaking my heart. I don’t know…Maybe women don’t need role models or big grand stories with female characters that inspire and stimulate. I’m…too disheartened. Can’t go…on. Too tired… to cry. Merry Christmas, everybody!

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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Scrapper: Scrapping for Scraps in All the Wrong Scrapheaps

Scrapper

With Tense Car Rides And Contemplative Staring Galore!

Scrapper (dir. Brady Hall) is that same old fairytale we’ve heard a billion times where the handsome scrap metal collector discovers a homeless teenager in a sex dungeon and proceeds to have a complicated relationship with her while undergoing a painful process of self-discovery. (Oh, I get it!  “Scrapper!” There’s two meanings ‘cause in addition to salvaging scrap metal they’re scrappy, too!) The place: Seattle. The cutesy indie character names: Hollis Wallace and Swan. Also: an actor guy who’s on Game of Thrones. You know, the one who had all those prostitutes.

Even if you’re some sort of ignorant moon-savage who’s never heard this particular story, you are probably familiar with the formula: a couple of unlikely heroes find each other, unlikely-ly, and form an unlikely alliance whereby they develop as characters and end up needing one another in some unlikely way. Like Shrek and Donkey. Yes, Scrapper is essentially Shrek, if Shrek were a serious indie drama with several uncomfortable sexual elements and creepy nightmare sequences. And, like Shrek, Scrapper adheres to this unlikely buddy formula in an effective way that culminates in a lingering uneasiness. (Yes, that ogre and ass seemed a little too chummy for my tastes.)

This feature-length narrative film is excellent for those who enjoy being bummed out yet stirred by the hardships of fringe-dwellers, and who also enjoy lengthy contemplative melancholy stretches interspersed with sudden bursts of sex and violence.

Iowans may enjoy this film at the upcoming Hardacre Film Festival in Iowa. (www.hardacrefilmfestival.com)

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Moneyballs

Moneyballs: Don't you see? People are ALL just numbers. You, for instance, are a big, fat zero! (Alternate dialoge found scribbled in Aaron Sorkin's diary)

Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller) is about a guy named Moneyballs (Brad Pitt) who is the handsomest boss of a baseball team in the land. His team, the A’s, is so destitute that they can only afford one letter of their desired team name, the fightin’ Antidisestablishmentarians. Because his bake sale cookies taste like ground up meal worms, Moneyballs has no cash to spend on fancy luxuries like hiring guys who are good at baseball. He has to hire guys who are bad at baseball but he still wants them to beat the rich teams with the good baseball players and monocles.

Moneyballs decides to listen to a brainy nerd (Jonah Hill) who thinks that math can be applied to real life instead of his chief baseball scout with 35 million years of experience (Huffy McWobblejowls) whose white blood cells show up as tiny baseballs under a microscope. Remember screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s last movie? It was about a guy who invented a social network but had no friends. Moneyballs likewise, has no money. But he does have…ahem. You know. Heart.

Aaron Sorkin is actually a really good writer for a man. However, like many men, he does not appear to be that familiar with the rules of baseball. Por ejemplo, he makes a big gigantic deal out of this cute injured family man, Hoffmussen or someone, and how Moneyballs and his pet nerd want him to play first base even though he’s never played first base before. Then, when the A’s manager (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) says, “That’s so stoopid!!!!!!!” (paraphrasing) and doesn’t play Hoffmusser at first, Moneyballs gets really mad. Finally, Hoffmuncher saves the day when PhillipSeymourHoffman finally plays him…as a pinch hitter. That means he CAN’T have been playing first base, for you boys who don’t understand baseball. So, like, PSH was all like, PPPPSSSHHH! to Moneyballs, but it was still okay, so I guess Moneyballs was just freaking out over nothing and isn’t as great as he thought.

Speaking of not as great as he thought, Moneyball: the Movie claims that Moneyballs and his mathwhizz changed baseball foreverandeverandever because now everyone only uses economics to pick players. Beep boop bip. But, I’m pretty sure baseball is still pretty similar to the way it was before 2002, The Year of Moneyballs. That’s what my dad says anyway. At best, in the movie at least, Moneyballs changed the A’s, who continued to be unable to afford more letters to add to their name, and the Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series. So hey, that’s still pretty good.

Still, it’s a good movie. Especially if you like underdog sports stories but don’t like to get emotionally involved with the players on the team.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

I Know, You Know?

On My Way to See Transformers: The Squeakual

I don’t know about you, but I’m a-tired of these slick-Hollywood types telling me what to like and underestimating me as a citizen of “middle America”. You know? Maybe I do wear plaid and pigtails sometimes and have a sort of sweetly naive outlook full of hope and ignorance, but also, you know, I can recognize a two-hour commercial, and I can tell when “Iowa” in a movie is some New York City screenwriter or a piggly-eyed Executive’s bizzare brain-collage of ’50s era Coca Cola ads and Norman Rockwell paintings, you know?

So, you know, I decided that it would be a mighty fine idea to make public my true feelings as a member of the heartland about what I am exposed to culturally. Yep. So that’s what I’m doing. Feel free to chime in.

I highly doubt that I will change the face of Hollywood as we know it; that these piggly-eyed Executives will crumple to their porky knees in simulaneous laughter and tears upon reading my reviews, have massive movie-style changes of heart and give us each a Christmas goose. But, you know, if that happens then you’re welcome.

I’ll start off with some reviews of films that screened at Iowa City’s own Landlocked Film Festival, which showcased the talents (and a few blunders) of midwestern filmfolk. After that, the sky is my limit! Who knows what I’ll react to? All I can say is, I react to things all the time. Like, at least once a week, you know?

I hope you, my dear reader, will enjoy a little slice of the life of a hayseed and frolick in the richness of culture that surrounds us like an ocean of corn whispering softly like a lover in your ear, “Ehhhhhh…..I actually would see Transformers: The Squeakual“.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized