“It came out in August, so I can’t get mad.”- me

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It’s about acceptance. If you go into this movie already accepting the fact that Meg is a clumsy, if not jokey upgraded SyFy film that is the bare bones of an untimely  Jurassic– Jaws mashup, as well as accepting the fact that Meg‘s director’s past accolades include (hopefully you’re sitting for this: National Treasure, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, (keep rewinding the tapes to) Phenomenon, and 3 Ninjas, then you’ll enjoy this movie.

It doesn’t offer anything new to the shark genre. I hear you; “But Brian! The shark is really big!” Yea, so was the whale in Free Willy, but in a time where great action movies are giving us some awesome scenes, fantastic special effects, and good characterization, you can’t help but be not overwhelmed or underwhelmed, but just…whelmed with Meg.  The true action takes a while to reel itself into the pinnacle of the movie. An R-rating would have made this movie more watchable, but then again it would not have made over $40 million opening weekend if that was the case. Star-wise: Jason Statham plays Jason Statham surprisingly well- arrogant but confident, a soft spot for an Asian child, and wonderful one-liners.  Rainn Wilson is of course, the delightful comedic relief that you can’t help but enjoy.

This movie is slow to warm up, and paced very much like 1999’s Deep Blue Sea, sometimes even matching the movie’s laugh-ability and “characterization” to attempt to have the audience feel…something…with its “emotional” scenes. Is Meg fun? Of course! Is it a one of a kind masterpiece that will be recognized and showered with awards. I’ll let you decide, girls.  That’s one secret I’ll never tell. XOXO

C-

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The Lauren Chronicles: The Health Epidemics

My friend, Lauren, likes to read my posts during her morning bowel movements. I feel bad for her, as she is homeless and uses a government phone, so I figured I’d honor her requests in posting about some topics she recently provided me.

The classic “how do you know if someone is vegan/on a gluten diet/ into cross-fit?” joke is timeless as it is accurate. (The answer is:  “Don’t worry; they’ll tell you.”) I obviously don’t intend to offend people here, but 2018 is the year of being offended, so gird your loins.

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*shoves fistfuls of barley, rye, and malt down throat haphazardly*

Gluten-free food options got popular about a decade ago it seems. Now, I totally respect the 1% of America that deals with celiac disease, but for those who don’t actually have that diagnosis but say they’re allergic to gluten- you are what’s wrong with the world. 1%, or about 1 in every 100 Americans, is as common as people diagnosed with schizophrenia- let that marinate.  I personally attribute the gluten-free diet fad to the housewives of America whose day-to-day consists of Botox, meeting the girls for lunch, and spending their partner’s money at boutiques. These ass-hats tend to gain weight on this “diet” when they don’t actually have the disease because eating carrots, cheese, milk, quinoa, nuts, and olive oil will do that to you if not in moderation, deep dishes.

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Vegans, I’m still mad at you, too. Not because of the lifestyle that you choose to lead, but because of the fact that you feel you have to let people know upon meeting them. “I’m a vegan. My name is _______,” isn’t necessary unless I’m carrying a tray of food and about to offer it to you, which will never happen because I hate cooking and I’m not a man servant (in this world, anyway). I don’t tell people about me being gay upon meeting them. It’s not who I am; it’s simply a part of who I am. The same should be said for the vegans. It’s 2018- if it doesn’t say it’s “gluten-free,” it probably isn’t. Eat at home. and choke on legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

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Speaking of people that may be better off as vegetables, that brings me to cross fitters. I support fitness! I don’t support you uploading videos of yourself flipping tractor tires, doing heavy clean-and-press workouts, and dropping weights unapologetically.  Fitness is to feel better about yourself, sure, in being physically active, but recording yourself to show people…I think you’re in it for the wrong reasons. It’s like finding a lady of the night to treat her to IHOP and talk about your days.

The Office irl

Most of the fives of you are well aware that I utilize my blog entries for praising or berating movies. I’m sure I will when America decides to put out movies worth my time. While I’ve been away, finding myself in Paris, I wasted my time in watching Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Rampage. I got close-to-home anxiety from Love, Simon. And I watched Deadpool 2 with satisfactory results. But that’ll have to be another day.

In recently starting my new job at a corporate office last week, I’ve had to start learning to adapt to office politics and dynamics that I’m not used to. Working at a coffee shop for 12 years was one thing. I learned how to carry a fake smile while getting yelled at because a coffee wasn’t 160 degrees. And then working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital for four years was another thing. I had to find the best hiding spot so that patients wouldn’t find me to stab me with a pen. And later working outpatient for one year with mostly geriatrics was another thing. I had to learn what the bowels of an 84 year old smelled like.

But here I am now: in my own cubicle, blending with the rest of the drones as we pile into the parking garage in the morning, to pile into elevators, to pile into our offices. It’s an odd thing, to get lost in the shuffle as you start to blend in with the rest of the collared folks. By the end of week one, I was camouflaged in as I made my way to the café area in the office and made myself a cup of hot coffee, making small talk with my new coworkers about how “I can’t function without this stuff this early,” (eye roll emoji).

This week- week 2- has already seem to have delivered some great office dynamics worth noting. Higher-ups are visiting the office this week, and office-wide emails have already circulated about….BRACE YOURSELF….. the window blinds. The email declared the blinds cannot be touched, under no circumstances! They are to remain lowered all the way down and open until the fancy folk leave. Snow, surely this can’t be that big of a deal. And yet, only an hour into “day 1” of the Blinds Incident of 2018, I’ve heard 3 people complain about the glare. Yes, sunshine. From the heavily tinted windows. Glare!

I overheard one coworker trumpet, “I can’t work like this. I can’t even see what I’m doing.” And another coworker greeted her cubicle neighbor, “Good morning,” only to be met with a “Morning, yes, I can see, with all this light coming in.” And yet my favorite: yet another coworker walking around with sunglasses her head, saying, “[My coworkers] are making fun of me with my sunglasses but it’s just so bright in here.”

Needless to say, this is probably as close to heaven as I’ll get. Sure, urinating in the small restroom with the echoes of a cave as an older gentleman literally gasps while having a BM is unsettling, but the office is in the heart of Metairie, and, coincidentally, in my heart as well (smirk emoji).

“Meets (not exceeds) expectations.”- me

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Spoiler-free. You’re welcome, world.

The world has been waiting 10 years for this moment. The Russo brothers (also directed Captain America: Civil War) worked with familiar territory in pacing this movie. With a lot of ground to cover, and so many characters to continue developing throughout Part 1, the editing was not offensive at all. Infinity War files through characters fairly evenly, not lingering too long or too short on anyone to make it feel choppy. This movie also goes against much of the typical Marvel movie structure in terms of scene and character development, which was refreshing. I’m not saying the Marvel universe is getting tiresome, but I am saying this could be Marvel pinnacle before we notice a gradual downward trend.

In clarifying, this is not the best Marvel movie. Without spoiling, some scenes occur in Infinity War that seem like they can always be reversed, creating an almost illusive quality of some of the detrimental and impacting moments. We’ll wait until Part 2 next summer, I suppose. Regardless, the action is great. It meets our expected standards in coming this far. It’s not pretentious. It delivers the action, drama, and laughter appropriately. Most interestingly is the journey we experience with Thanos; the directors allow us to experience many scenes with him in letting us see even his weakest moments, making him vulnerable and oddly likable. I’m not saying I have a crush on him because that would be weird. Silly, even.

B+

 

American Idol’s Top 10 for 2018 (and forever)

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And I say that with fire in my eyes. THIS SHOW NEEDS TO BURN TO THE GROUND. And I say that with confidence because I can assure you that the one who is the only contestant worthy of winning will not win. Let’s be candid: the audience that votes (probably still white girls with a mean age of 11) has hand picked, literally, a white guy (usually with a guitar) for seasons 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 15. And I’m telling you now- if one of those white guys in the above photo wins, I’ve lost any hope for America I somehow once had.

I’ll also chime in with the fact that Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan are showcasing their ignorance with today’s music industry. Luke Bryan: you acting like a stereotype of a southern hick is everything but adorable. Lionel Richie: hello? Is it 1981? Stop talking about the Commodores; you don’t even care about them. Katy Perry: bitch I try to like you, but your last album was forgettable trash that doesn’t even deserve to be set on fire. You all three are morons for sending some of the most talented contestants home prior to the Top 24, Top 14, and now Top 10. I’ll quickly pour some out for my homies:

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Lee Vasi (did not get into the Top 24): you caught my eyes and ears instantly. You have star appeal. You were my world for a week.

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Amelia Hammer Harris (did not get into the Top 14): genuinely one of a kind voice with a unique style that American pop needs. Idiots, America. IDIOTS.

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Mara Justine (did not get into the Top 10): this beautiful 15 year old bitch has a voice so incredible for her age. And yet our expert panel of deep dish dumb fucks voted for other contestants to move forward into the Top 10. Observe, through the viewing globe, as I rank these assholes based off of Sunday’s and Monday’s performances.

10. Michelle Sussett (Judge’s Choice)– Let’s not forgot this bitch twerked during a performance. Waitress, you vocals are like speeding a record- unpleasant and unnecessary. Your judges-proclaimed “pocket Ace” is that you can sing in Spanish, and so you sings most songs as bilingual. It’s not needed. It’s like playing a piano for every performance, or wearing the same dress for every performance. They are going to destroy your “career” (for lack of a better term for getting kicked off Idol and turning to prostitution) with their “sage” advice.

9. Caleb Lee Hutchinson– I’m glad you lost weight. But this isn’t Biggest Loser, although JESUS LORD is it appropriate?! Scotty McCrerry already won; we don’t need another white kid that can “sing” in a creepy deep voice.

8. Gabby Barrett– You look like every girl that works at Twin Peaks. You sound like every girl that looks like she could sing that works at Twin Peaks. I don’t know what ABC wants us to think, but compare her again, in any way, shape, or form, to Carrie Underwood, and we’ll have a legal issue on our hands. Points for being able to hold a note, I guess.

7. Dennis Lorenzo (Judge’s Choice)– I’ll admit: you’re one of the more okay singers in the Top 10, but sadly that’s saying very little due to the piss poor selection, courtesy of America’s votes and the judges’ four choices. The dull look and appeal won’t help you move advance much.

6. Michael Woodard– I don’t get it. I don’t see it. The judges treat you like you’re Jesus. To me, you simply are like a shape of Chris Brown with the voice of Chris Tucker. Points for being quirky, if I was being paid to be generous.

5. Cade Foehner– Sure, you sound like a talented version of Creed’s lead singer, but the downside is….it’s Creed. You’re good on a guitar, but I got enough of that from the other past “winners” of Idol history. Snooze.

4. Jurnee – You got the look and the name. Your voice is good, but not noteworthy.

3. Ada Vox (Judge’s Choice)– While I’m uncomfortable with drag queens in general because they can be very shtick, you can truly sing. You held your own against fucking Lea Michele in a duet. I’d be shocked if you made it through the next few weeks because the USofA is very MAGA!

2. Maddie Poppe– Cute name. Cute look. Cute style. You’re just cute! Your voice is so pleasant and effortless. Your version of “Walk Like an Egyptian” though!!!!

1. Catie Turner– I know. I know! But she is a genius vocalist. She’s quirky, not arrogant, refreshing, and just incredible. She will teach us that talent isn’t truly on the outside, despite how these idiot kids vote.

In closing, and to be clear, I truly only like my top 3 picks. The rest are expandable. Do what you want with them. Take them out back and shoot’em. Kidding. Gun jokes aren’t funny yet. This season is piss-poor with talent, sadly. I blame the judges 85% and America the 15% for now. All-time low ratings for this season would surprise me if we even get to make it to the finale.

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Sexy, funny, probably smart, and let’s add “damn good director” to the list. No, folks, I’m not talking about myself. John Krasinski directs A Quiet Place stunningly.  His use of silence is an absolute killer when it comes to suspense.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95%; Metacritic averages it an 82 (Black Panther got an 88, so). This tells you what you need to know. A Quiet Place gently puts itself into this redefining-horror genre where emotion is added to the pot, much like It did very well.

Much of the movie is in captions with the use of sign language; I can’t think of a movie where fewer spoken words were used, making the movie even more unique. His real life wife (heart eyes emoji) Emily Blunt is simply wonderful in this movie. And add Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe to the “gonna do big things in the future” list as they go beyond the dreaded “child actors” realm and show great use of emotion. I won’t give away plot details because I don’t want to ruin anything. But please let me say I enjoy horror more than most, and this movie quickly made my favorites with ease. I saw this movie twice in theaters. I haven’t seen a movie twice in theaters since The Ring, ass hats.

A+

*bows at Steven Spielberg’s feet*

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I read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One novel in 2011 and it easily became one of my favorite books. VR wasn’t even commercially available back then; this novel paved a literary path for such a concept. Steven Spielberg directing this movie instantly made me moist! He hasn’t directed a fun summerish hit in a decade #LongOverdue . And so he seemingly piles some great action scenes into this movie. While I will admit there is genuinely so much action and things to notice that it can be overwhelming, I can’t be upset. It’s like complaining about too much food at a buffet or too much gratification from watching Taylor Swift get punched “too many times”. Reading the book prior definitely gives you a leg up- this movies presses on pretty fast into the concepts of the virtual reality world that makes up the movie.

The actors are fine in this movie- nothing particularly noteworthy. Look forward to seeing Ready Player One has a summer blockbuster released in the spring time with some jaw-dropping action sequences (that car race scene thooooo), delightful CGI where it is warranted, and some well-placed humor. As a brief aside to close, I’d muster a guess that it’s not making as much money as it could because it’s aiming at a fairly specific audience- one that enjoys action/sci-fi and misses the 80s. The soundtrack and musical score are total throwbacks. I particularly enjoyed how much of the movie’s “technology” and style look both futuristic and 80s vibes-friendly. God bless Steven.

A-