Bad Santa

If you hate Christmas, or if you are a fan of black comedy, then let me share my favorite holiday movie with you. The movie I'm talking about is Bad Santa. The premise is: Santa & his Elf go from department store to department store robbing them each Christmas. However, they run into problems this time around because of a little kid and a mall security guard. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but it turns out to be pretty damn funny, and actually really sweet. Now, this isn't going to be a regular movie review...this is going to be an analysis of one scene, and then an extrapolation on ideas from two other scenes to hopefully learn some life lessons from this film. 

  1. The opening scene (included above) starts with Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. A gorgeous composition, that's beautifully performed. The piece exudes beauty, and longing. After half a minute of this piece, we hear Billy Bob Thorton's voice come in over this music talking about how rough his life is, and how horrible of a person he is. My theory is that this opening scene is providing the theme of the entire film; Underneath every person, there is beauty as well as the longing for something worthy of remembering. This beauty is underneath every human being regardless of what they've been through or how rough they are around the edges.
  2. The next scene I want to talk about is following Billy Bob Thorton destroying Thurman's advent calendar. Thurman opens the next day on his calendar to find a candy corn instead of the typical chocolate. He is clearly upset by this and Billy Bob's response is "They can't all be winners" ... I think that this is an important lesson to take away from this film. Not every day, not every meeting, not every plan is going to go your way. The world doesn't care what you are expecting. People will come along, ruin your expectations, ruin your plans, and move along without any consideration for how it affects you. This is just a fact of life that is inevitable. This leaves you with two options; (1) get upset about it, (2) move on. It is important that we remember this; not every day is going to be a winner.
  3. The last scene I want to over analyze is when Billy Bob is in the locker room with Tony Cox after beating the crap out of Thurman's bullies. He mentions that he is proud of beating up the kids. He feels like he did something good; something he could be proud of. I think that this is another important aspect of life that we need to strive for. We cannot simply go through the motions; go to work, meet up with friends, have a drink, go to sleep, repeat. I believe that in order to be truly happy, we have to try to accomplish something that we are truly proud of...something that we can brag about to people...something we can on top of a mountain and scream "LOOK WHAT I DID!"...we need to find our version of beating the shit out of a bunch of bullies. 

Well I hope that you enjoyed this pretentious over analysis of Bad Santa, and I hope I pushed you to go watch this film. If you are interested, it is streaming on netflix now, and the day this review comes out (December 25th) is the perfect day to watch. 

The Cable Guy

I know that I have missed out on a few FNAMBC, and I apologize. Life has gotten the best of me. I was planning on doing only "Holiday" movies during December, but decided to skip that and just save my favorite Christmas movie for the FNAMBC closer to Christmas. Today, I am talking about the 1996 Masterpiece The Cable Guy. Now a days it's fairly common for a comedian to branch out and do something a little different, or a little more serious, but in 96, this was shocking move for Jim Carey and it led to some pretty bad reception (no pun intended).

A one liner of the film is "Matthew Broderick breaks up with his girlfriend, and he becomes friends with the cable guy (Jim Carey)", but just like every other movie, there is so much more to it than that. What I believe this film is making a statement about is the infiltration of cable television culture into our every day lives and how it affects our relationships. If we look at Jim Carey (the cable guy) as the institution of cable TV, we can draw exact parallels between the characters in the film and our relationship with cable. I think this whole idea can be boiled down to two scenes.

1) The karaoke party scene, when Jim Carey & Jack Black get into an argument over Steven's (Broderick's) friendship. It is my theory that Jack Black is arguing as "Human Interaction" and Jim Carey is arguing as "Cable TV". Jack Black is a single Person, offering only one channel of friendship (cheesy, I know), and Jim Carey is cable, who brought a bunch of people to the party, and clearly, with dozens of choices (channels), cable wins. It culminates in Jim Carey saying to Jack Black "He's changing. Get Used to it". This could be viewed as a statement about Steven (Broderick), but I think it's more of a statement about society as a whole. Collectively we are moving away from our need/desire to interact with one another, and are becoming perfectly complacent with artificial relationships that are streamed directly into our living room.

2) The second scene is when Jim Carey visits Steven while he's in jail and says "I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. You seem to prefer the latter. I'm just here to comfort you" ... what is television other than a distraction from the real world, a comforting device in your life. Let's back up. At this point in the film, the majority of Steven's friends & family have taken a liking to The Cable Guy, and Steven is the only one who sees him for the truly manipulative person he is. Therefore, Steven is the only one fighting the integration of cable and everyone views Steven as a lunatic. By not blindly accepting the mind numbing push of Cable Television, Steven has become an outcast (cable becoming his worst enemy). If he were to just accept cable into his life, he would fit in, get along with his friends and family, and live a happily mindless life. It is not rare nowadays for people to think you're insane if you don't have cable, and this film forecasted that. 

There are multiple other scenes that can be used in this analysis. The scene when everyone is at Steven's Parents house and the cable guy recommends playing "Porno Password". This can be looked at as the increasing desensitization towards sexuality led by cable TV. And the final scene at the satellite dish really drives the theme of this movie home. It's about understanding your relationship with cable TV & understanding the long term effect that cable television can have on us.

At first, we were uncertain of cable TV. Sure, it offered us a lot of options, but there was a lot of garbage on there as well. Over time we began to adopt the medium, and actually began to love it and rely on it. Cable television has become so integrated into our society that is not uncommon for someone to watch 3-4 hours of TV a day. Sure this film came out almost 20 years ago, but the message is just as relevant (if not more) today as it was 20 years ago. 

I highly recommend this film! It's in my top 5 favorite films of all time, and it may even be my favorite Jim Carey role! Check it out!

Buy it on Amazon:

Tremors 5: Bloodlines

There are very few film franchises that can go for 25 years, spanning 5 movies and a tv series, all while remaining fresh. Tremors is one of the few that has accomplished this. Their secret formula = Burt Gummer.

If you don't know who Burt Gummer is, he is the incarnation of what the rest of the world thinks Americans are. Gun toting, survivalist, right wing, nut jobs. But somehow, it's impossible not to love Burt. Just in case you're new to the franchise, I have included essential viewing from the first Tremors film to illustrate this point.

It seems like more and more movies are losing their sense of humor and are beginning to take themselves too seriously. That is what makes Tremors 5 a breath of fresh air. It is balls to the wall, tongue in cheek fun... just like the original. This film doesn't try to recreate the original film, it just takes the absurd backdrop and tells a slightly different story. There's even something for us a film nerds in the form of allusions to films like Jurassic Park, Die Hard and Alien 3. If we boil it down to one idea, this is what action films in 80's would have been if they had CGI from 2015.

This is a super short Friday Night Action Movie Book Club, but the part that I want to dive deeper into would be a spoiler, and I don't want to do that. So I'll leave it there. You can find this movie on netflix, and I highly recommend it if you've watched and enjoyed any previous tremors films. I should also note that other than the film Scream, this is my favorite Jamie Kennedy role. 

Deep Impact

In the late 90's, there was a very special year. That special year was 1998. During this culmination of doomsday paranoia and visual effects gold rush, the same movie was released twice in the same year. This controversy split the world in to two camps; 1) Armageddon, or 2) Deep Impact.

If you have not seen either of these films, let me explain. An asteroid (armageddon) / comet (deep impact) is hurtling towards Earth. America sends astronauts to blow up the asteroid/comet. People sacrifice themselves for the good of the world. World saved. The end. Seriously. Both these films have that exact same story and they came out within 2 months of each other. 

I had always considered myself an Armageddon guy, but that's because I saw Armageddon in the theatre, and Bruce Willis sort of scares you into appreciating everything he does. But after watching Deep Impact again, I think I may be a Deep Impact guy. This is due to two main things. 1) Morgan Freeman is the president in Deep Impact, and 2) Neil Degrasse Tyson prefers Deep Impact.

In all honesty though, the acting is only decent in this film, the visual effects are dated, and the story is the same as every other apocalypse movie. It's nothing worth seeing. On top of all this, the film seems to have schizophrenia. They jump between 10 different stories, and do not focus on any of them long enough to develop any real empathy with the characters.

As I watched this movie, I was just desperately trying to find some deeper meaning. There is one scene that stuck out. After President Morgan Freeman tells the world that everything has failed, and the world will be destroyed, he walks out of the room. After he leaves the room, everyone is just left standing there. In my eyes this could be a parallel to two things:

  1. People are too focussed on careers. They allow their occupation define who they are and what they are. They do not have a personal identity, so the moment that their job position is deemed irrelevant, they are like a computer with no programming. They don't know what to do, and they don't know who they are.
  2. It could just be a knod to actions of a film crew following the wrap of a shoot. Everyone is in a state of shock because 6-12 months of work has culminated and finally come to an end. And it's bittersweet.

Okay, let's be honest. Those definitely are not what the film maker was trying to say, but it's fine to try and find meaning where there is none.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend buying this film, but if you have 2 hours to kill, and you want to see the end of the world; it's on netflix. And as I said, Morgan Freeman is the president and that can save almost any film. 

Office Space

This movie is an instant classic. A movie that you will come back to over and over again. Even if you cannot relate 100% to the office environment, the over arching themes and characters are relatable to any work environment. 

When I first saw this film, I was in high school and did not fully understand the genius of it. However, once I got an office job in college, this film took on a whole new life. I was witnessing in real time, characters from this movie taking part in scenes from this movie. I dealt with a real life Milton, and a real life "Corporate Accounts Nina Speaking". It truly is eerie, how well this movie mirrors the real world.

The acting is good. The story is good. But that's not what makes this film. The subtle jokes and mannerisms throughout the entire movie are what make it gem. Every single character including the background extras are relatable to someone you have dealt with in a professional capacity.

This film is just a perfect storm of awesome. I know that this film will not work for everyone, but here's what I recommend. Next time you have a crappy day at work, and your coworkers are driving you nuts, rent this film. Throw it on. And feel the wave of calm wash over you. That's when this film really shines, after a really crappy, stressful day at work. That's how I watch it, and every time, it makes me feel better. 

Can't Hardly Wait

Can't Hardly Wait is your typical coming of age story a la American Pie, but this movie came out a year prior. However, this film is more than a coming of age story of just one person. It is a multi-main-character coming of age story. You have your artistic writer, feminist, nerd, jock, pretty girl, and someone desperate to fit in. You have the whole cast of the breakfast club modernized for the late 1990's.

There is not much that I can say about this film, other than the fact that it is very relatable, very honest, and very dated. Just like The Breakfast Club, there are main characters that everyone can relate to. But unfortunately while watching this film it's impossible to not burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter at some of the clothes that people are wearing. Other than the wardrobe, this film definitely holds up 15+ years after it's release. 

I'm not happy with my top level summary thus far, so I'm going to pretentiously find meaning where there is none. Towards the end of the film, the nerd and the jock get drunk, make amends, and then get arrested. In the morning, the jock tells the cops that he beat up the nerd and forced him to drink alcohol in order to save the nerd from repercussions. Later, the nerd attempts to thank the jock in public, and the jock ridicules him. Finally, the film has a text layover saying that the Jock, gets kicked out of school, fired from his job, becomes unhealthy, and becomes an alcoholic. Here's what I propose...

This is not a story about a boy who falls in love, or a group of kids coming to terms with impending adult hood. This is the classic tale of redemption mixed with the classic heroes tale. From the beginning of the film, we are made to think of the jock as a jerk. He consistently confirms this idea throughout the film. Then towards the end of the film, we see him realize the error in his ways, and make a change. He sacrifices himself for the greater good, knowing that the nerd will go on to do great things in this world. He does not acknowledge his good deed in public because real heroes do not do good for the sake of glory. Lastly, he deals with the consequences of his actions, falling into a seemingly sad life, sacrificing himself so the nerd can continue on his current trajectory to improve the world. As I said, this is not a coming of age story, this is a hero's redemption story! 

If the story I propose is in fact the theme, then this film is not a comedy, it is a drama, and it is a huge, huge bummer. I highly recommend it.

Buy it on Amazon:

Citizen Four

Have you ever considered that your government is violating your rights? Have you ever thought that governments and corporations around the world were working together to spy on millions upon millions of people? If the answer to either of these questions is no, it's time to watch the documentary Citizen Four. If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then it's also time to watch Citizen Four, because it always feels good to have your suspicions confirmed.

In this film we follow Edward Snowden during his first meet up with the press in a hotel in Hong Kong, through the leak, all the way through him taking asylum in Russia. While watching the doc, we almost feel like another report in the hotel room with Snowden; unable to comprehend the technical jargon he is throwing at us, so we just take notes and nod our head. However, once we start to understand the implications of what we're being told, we stop nodding and we start to get angry. 

Prior to watching this doc, I had not done any research on Snowden, or looked at the leaked documents/information for two reasons. 1) I most likely would not understand a word of the technical documents, and 2) I don't want to be put on some blacklist. That second justification sounds like a joke, but it is not. Google searches are stored, and provided to NSA. Pretty damn unsettling if you ask me.

The film begs the viewer to ask the question, is my privacy really worth giving up for my safety? That's an incredibly valid and scary question to ask, and one that I don't think anyone wants to answer. After all, our privacy is one of our main freedoms and can we truly say that we are free, if we no longer have the ability to have a private conversation?


In this 1 hour 40 minute documentary we follow Dan Harmon and crew on their journey across the country on the first Harmontown (podcast) tour. There are funny parts, there are parts where you genuinely feel worry, but the overarching feeling you get from this documentary is hope. That hope comes from Spencer; the dungeon master for harmon town.

Spencer started out as an audience member at harmontown and one day got pulled on stage to run a D&D campaign. A few years later, he's still a part of Harmontown and he has become something of a celebrity. It's through Spencer that we are able to relate to the behind the scenes world of Harmontown in this documentary. He is one of us, thrown into this world, forced to come to terms with this new reality. However, throughout this journey he struggles, just like any of us would. That's what's so engaging about his story, and this documentary as a whole. Everyone in it is so human. Except for Jeff Davis...I think he's a robot.

With a name like Harmontown, you may think that this documentary would be about Dan Harmon. That couldn't be farther from the truth. This documentary is about everyone. It's about the underdog. It's about the people who don't fit in or feel like they belong. More importantly this documentary shows us that the unpopular, anti social, depressed, anxious, freaks that we are, are people too.

Life Itself

Life Itself is a documentary where we explore Roger Ebert's life. The events that make up his life do not seem extraordinary, however, he took a seemingly regular life and turned it into a voice that could affect an entire industry. 

What is most amazing about this documentary is the realization of how much (some) film makers loved this man. That is a side of the story you never hear. I have always heard about a critic giving a film a bad review and in turn the director hates that critic. You rarely hear about how a film critic believes in a film so much that they insist on reviewing it three times on national television; helping establish a filmmakers career. You never hear how a world renowned film critic answers a young film makers request to come watch his movie at Sundance. You would never read about how an honor given from two film critics helped save a great director's life and pull him out of addiction. We get to experience all these great things within this film, and it is heart warming.

Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. We also get to experience the deterioration of Roger Ebert. It can be difficult at times to comprehend what Roger was going through, but you always see him with a sense of determination and motivation that is astounding. I like to think that it was his love for movies (and his family) that kept him going through all the hard times. I just hope that we can all find something that we love as much as this one man loved films in order to keep us going when it seems like we don't have the will.

When watching Life Itself, I realize that talking about movies can be so much more than a pretentious over analyzation of a piece of art. It can create friendships, it can change perspectives, but most importantly it can show us what it means to be human. That's what we learned from Roger Ebert. See you at the movies Roger.

The Martian

Ladies and Gentleman. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh mai gawd! If you have been hiding under a rock and don't know what The Martian is, let me tell you. It is a movie (and a book) about an astronaut that gets left behind on mars, who has to survive until he can find a way to get rescued. Unlucky for Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), this planet is dangerous, and one wrong step can kill him.

Matt Damon really shines in this film. He perfectly embodies the Mark Watney we know and love from the book. He is a funny, sarcastic, and scared Botanist that is put in a horrible situation. However, at no point does the deadpan of Watney take you out of the story; you realize that his constant joking is his way of fighting off the crippling realization that "i'll probably die here". The remainder of the large cast did an amazing job as well, but my personal favorite was Donald Glover's portrayal of Rich Purnell. 

When I wasn't laughing at Watney, I forgot that I was even in a movie theater. That is because the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. There have been plenty of films set on Mars but none have made you feel like you're there; until now. 

The real story of this film is not on Mars, it's on Earth. We see the entire world forget about it's wars, and hatred for one another. We see Humans all across this planet converge and work together on a single problem (in this case, save Mark Watney's ass). It shows what we could accomplish as a species if we all had a common goal. I think that's what we should take away from this film. 

Overall, this film was a great achievement that I would recommend to anyone. It's also a very refreshing take on sci-fi where there aren't anti-matter Rays, dark matter drives, or alpha centaurians invading. There is still the subtextual social commentary for those pretentious viewers like me. 

Now go watch The Martian, and/or Buy the Book: Buy it on Amazon

The Net

Today is Friday, and that means Friday Night Action Movie Book Club. I want to talk about 1995 classic THE NET. I know that the majority of you are probably thinking that this film will suck, but you're wrong. This movie is great.

Before we discuss it at the pretentious level, allow me to sell you based solely on one persons involvement. The producer/director of The Net is Irwin Winkler. This guy also produced Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Good Fellas, The Mechanic, Wolf of Wallstreet...Basically, this guy knows what he's doing. Now that I've sold you on the film, let's do this.

The Net tells the story of "a computer programmer who stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger" ( Surprisingly, I think that this movie holds up rather well 20 years after it's release. That's because this isn't a story about what the internet was capable of in 1995, it focusses on much larger ideas. So let's go ahead and break it down into three overarching Ideas that I believe the film really focusses on. 

First. The Net plays off the fear that we will slowly lose our privacy as our information is transferred to a digital space. Sure, this film downplays the complexities of hacking and accessing peoples encrypted files. But the technical aspect of hacking is not what the film is trying to bring to light. It's showing that people don't think that there is any problem with the digitization of sensitive information. Society is lured into a false sense of security by a companies promise, when all it takes to gain access to your information is a single person or group exploiting a single flaw in security. 

Second. Around this time in the 90's, Americans trust of the government was at the lowest point since 1958 ( This led to an increased interest in conspiracy theories. The overarching story of this film is that of a conspiracy theory regarding infiltration and manipulation of the government by a large corporation. Over the last 5 years, the trust of the US government has reached points very similar to those during 1995. This could be another reason that I think this film holds up...we still don't trust our government and we feel like there are corporate puppets pulling their strings.

Lastly, I think that the majority of this film is an analogy for Alzheimers. This may seem like a stretch, but let me explain. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Sandra Bullock's mother who has Alzheimers. When we see Sandra's first visit, her mother does not recognize who Sandy B is. Later in the film, Sandra Bullock is put in a very similar situation where she is completely disconnected from the world around her. She is unable to tell if what is happening is real, or if she has had a mental break. The comparison between what Sandra Bullock is going through and what her mother is going through with Alzheimers is uncanny, and it illustrates the frustration that someone with Alzheimers might feel...trapped in a situation that is out of your control, constantly being told you're someone else, unable to understand what is must be truly horrifying.

I know what you're thinking; you've over analyzed the movie. Well maybe you're right, and to remove that judgement from your mind, here's a gem for you: when you're watching this film, wait for the ADR scream around 1:48:00. You're welcome. I do recommend watching this movie if you haven't seen it yet. Just remember to have fun while watching it and also remember that it was made 20 years ago.

Buy it on Amazon:

Nerdist Presents: The Hive

Greetings Earthlings. FNAMBC time. Today I'm telling you about the hive. I saw this move in theaters on Monday, September 14th at 7:30. The only showing of this film in cinemas. I decided to go because I love nerdist and want to support them, and I also have been a fan of Steve Aoki (Executive Producer). I also really enjoy these special events that have been happening more and more. They are like live DVD extras, which is tight.

The one liner for this film is "A young man suffering from amnesia must dig deep into the far reaches of his mind to remember who he is and save the love of his life before a virus that has infected him takes over" ( And that is a perfect, top level description of the film. Quint from Aint it Cool News described this as "Evil Dead Meets Memento" and that too is a really good top level description, or one line selling point of this film.

I think that when you watch this film, definitely pay attention to the clear parallel that can be drawn between the film, and societies crippling addiction to social networking and social media. It successfully explores the idea that everything we experience and do is uploaded to this "hive mind", also known as facebook or instagram. The issue is that unplugging from any of these mediums makes you an outlier from society. Someone who is considered a freak. 

I highly recommend this film, however, in order to see it, you will have to wait until it is released on demand. This release data has not yet been announced, but when it is, I am absolutely pre ordering this movie! I hope that all of you will buy or rent this movie because Nerdist has provided so much awesome free entertainment that the least we can do is support their first release! Well done Nerdist. Well fracking done.


It's Friday, and that means FNAMBC. Today I want to talk about the 2010 film, Monsters.

With a title like Monsters, you may think that we will be witnessing a lot of huge battle scenes a la Pacific Rim. However, that's not the main focus. Don't get me wrong, we see a LOT of amazing and beautiful views of the "Monsters", but I think the title is much deeper and much more subtle. Let's get pretentious. 

The premise of this film is that the Earth has suffered an alien invasion, and six years into this invasion, a journalist has to escort his bosses daughter back to safety. I know. That sounds horrible. But trust me. It's worth a watch. 

The characters in this film are extremely believable and real. There are almost no actions that leave you thinking "Come on. Really!?" On top of that, the acting is executed very well. I would hate myself if I didn't try to sell you on this film using Scoot McNairy. That's right. Gordon Clark form Halt & Catch Fire is one of the main characters, and he does a phenomenal job.  At times, the story is almost too simple, but that leaves a lot of room for the actors to grow their characters and for the writer to give us that subtextual nugget of truth that we all look for in Sci-Fi Films!

As much as I loved the acting, and the characters, I think that the most interesting and engaging part of this film was the commentary it's making about the US and Mexico. There is a clear and obvious comparison that can be made here. The USA wants to keep out the "Aliens", so they build a wall. The extra terrestrials are peaceful "creatures" who only want to protect themselves. They do not want to take over. It's my theory that the "Monsters" referred to in the title are not the extra terrestrials, rather, they are the people who are trying to eradicate a peaceful species who were brought here by us! 

Lets be honest here. That's the beauty of Science Fiction. It can make a statement without being heavy handed...although I fear my analysis may have removed any remnants of subtlety. 

You'll Like it if You Like: Sci-Fi Films, Horror Films, District 9, Pacific Rim, or Children of Men

Buy it on Amazon:

Area 51

Welcome to another edition of Friday Night Action Movie Book Club. Today I am sharing my thoughts about the film Area 51 with you. To give you a boring one liner describing the film...This film follows three conspiracy theorists who attempt to break into Area 51 and uncover the secrets of alien life that is hidden within the secret government facility.

However, before I go any further I think I should let you in on a secret. This was written and directed by Oren Peli, and if you don't know who that is, he wrote Paranormal Activity (only the first one) and Chernobyl Diaries. I feel like that's important to know because it really gives you an idea of what the film is going to be like. A found footage, low budget horror flick. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I will admit up front, the characters are not dynamic and the story is not the best, but I freaking loved this movie from start to finish. I think what I loved about this film is that it plays off all the desires that a conspiracy theorist like me has; to learn what's truly held in Area 51. We get to see how someone overcomes the security measures set in place to protect one of the best kept secrets in the United States, and then we get to see what's inside.

Yes, a lot of stuff is unbelievable, a lot of it can be ridiculous, the found footage aspect doesn't make sense to me, and the trailer shows way too much, but that's okay! If you have ever wondered what is in Area 51, or wondered if anyone could break in, then you will enjoy this movie (yes I know that no one in this film actually broke in to area 51). If you suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half, then your conspiracy theorist brain will get tickled in an extremely pleasurable way. 

You'll Like, if You Like: found footage films, horror films, alien films, conspiracy theories, or Paranormal Activity.

Buy it on Amazon:

Call Me Lucky

This Bobcat Goldthwait directed documentary, tells the story comedian Barry Crimmins. This man changed the scene of Comedy in the 80's. More importantly, he has changed the lives of many children who survived childhood sexual abuse.

When you hear someone say "I can't imagine what you're going through", you know something bad has happened. You just don't know how bad it can actually be. We find out how bad it reality can be for Barry Crimmins. However, once we get to that low point where we don't think Barry will survive, we begin to see the true beauty and humanism of this man. 

In the beginning of the film, Barry Crimmins tells a story about one of the executives of Exxon following the Valdez spill. He mentions how an executive said "Hey, nobody ever talks about how much oil didn't spill from the Exxon Valdez." ... That is the kind of optimism that we see portrayed flawlessly in this film; from tragedy can come the anger to change in the world. I think that's what this film is trying to portray. That you can survive horrible events in your life, and those events don't have to control you. You can take control of your life and turn the bad into good. 

I think that this film is necessary for everyone to watch. It may be difficult at times, but it's an important message. I know too many people crippled by fear or past events. If you watch this, you can learn to leave that all behind.

I know this review/recommendation is short and kind of cheesy, but I don't care. I just think y'all need to watch it, and learn from Barry Crimmins & Bobcat Goldthwait. That's why I'm writing this.

Big Hero 6

Happy FNAMBC! This Friday's movie is Big Hero 6 the obscure Marvel team created in 1998 and made into a Pixar smash success in 2014! 

This movie doesn't need a review, I know it, you know it, but here we are. I loved this superhero animated movie. In case you did not see this movie yet I will provide a brief summary and spoil it slightly. So, Big Hero 6 takes place in San Fransokyo in the not to distant future and  follows the cast of character (six mostly). The catalyst of the story is Hiro a prodigy who doesn't care about school and thinks he is smart enough already.  This all changes when he decides to apply at his brothers college and tragedy strikes. His brother dies during the science fair and doesn't get to show the world his invention Baymax a medical bot.

Hiro bent on finding the truth teams up with his brother's colleagues and become a super team. Baymax and Fred (TJ Miller) offer some pretty amazing comic relief.  The team become superheroes and defeat the villain. I dont want to tell the whole story because you should watch or watch it again and laugh at this wonderful movie.

Rewatching this movie has only made me love it more, this film made me realize a parallel between creators and superheroes and inspired me to write a whole piece over on The Paper Robots. I was so inspired by the story that wasn't being told directly but made me think and realize why we create. That article will go live August 22. 

Big Hero 6 gets 9 fist bumps out of an invisible sandwich.

Buy it on Amazon:

Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser

It's Friday. That means FNAMBC! Today I thought I would wing it and commit to reviewing a movie prior to watching or reading anything about the film. So that's what I did with Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser. 

David Spade is back, and he put the band back together for the sequel to the awesome 2001 film, Joe Dirt. Spade was able to track down Brittany Daniel, Dennis Miller, Adam Beach, and of course...Christopher Walken.  

Unfortunately, having the original cast, doesn't mean that lightning will strike a second time. Overall, the film was watchable, but the story and theme were unoriginal; realize that someone who loves you, doesn't want you to become rich and famous. They love you for you.

I guess I will come right out and say it. On first viewing, I wasn't the biggest fan. It seemed like some business person got their hands on the script and made suggestions to "make it more marketable" ... (they did a "thug life" video reference in the middle of the film!) ... but can't that be said about the majority of films? I can't fault this film for attempting to reach a new generation. I will just say that I was not as big a fan this trip around the Joe Dirt Lot. 

I will cap it off with a summary. If you want 1 hour and 45 minutes of Joe Dirt, than this movie will quench that thirst. It will make you laugh at points, and sigh at others. It is your typical revisitation of a film nearly a decade and a half after the original release. I think that just like the original Joe Dirt, the film will be funnier, more enjoyable and more quotable the second time around. So I plan on watching it again. However, I am just one person with one opinion. All I will tell you with any amount of certainty is that you should watch it for yourself and draw your own conclusions about it!!! Oh, and best of all. It's free! Just head over to and watch it to your hearts content...

And remember. Life's a garden. Dig it.

Black Swan

If you don't know what Black Swan is, let me tell you. It is the story of a young woman who has the dream of becoming the lead in the ballet. This honor is eventually granted to her. She plays the Swan Queen in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. She practices. She performs. Now that is the top level exactly what happens story. That's not the interesting part.  

To put it bluntly, the thing that I really appreciate about this film is the dynamic lead role played by Natalie Portman. We see this young woman that society might call uptight, or perfect. We see her mind and body go through such a dramatic change through this film that you can't help but feel an emotional connection to her. You are taken on this journey; no longer a spectator. 

Something that I found to be one of the most engaging tools used is the fact that this film follows the libretto of Swan Lake perfectly. It's just modernized. It's very meta. A telling of Swan Lake about Ballerinas fighting for the role of the Swan Queen in a performance of Swan Lake. It's so meta that I feel like Dan Harmon came up with the idea. But seriously, read the synopsis of the libretto and then watch the film. I want to do an in depth analysis and comparison of this, but I feel like that might bore you, so I will just move on and provide a link the the synopsis at the bottom.

The music in the film is amazing as well, but I don't know what else you would expect when the source material is Tchaikovsky! I guess what I should be saying is the selections were perfect. This score does exactly what it's supposed to do. Accompany the film and complement the story by almost becoming one of the characters in the film, and that's what this score does. The music grows and transforms along with the Natalie Portman. And lastly, the choreography. I am in no way a ballet expert, but I have watched a few ballets and appreciate good choreography, and this is incredibly well done (if you're looking for a really good ballet, look up The Rite of Spring Nijinsky Choreography. That's my favorite). 

I guess if I want to boil it down, It's a beautiful movie, with beautiful acting, beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, beautiful music, and a beautiful story. Watch it and enjoy it. 

Libretto Synopsis:
Buy it on Amazon:


It's Friday and that means FNAMBC (Friday Night Action Movie Book Club). Today I'm talking about a film called Unfriended. It is available on iTunes for $14.99 and it's a fun movie.  

In this film, we follow a group of friends who are on Skype one night and a random person keeps crashing their chat room. They can't get rid of the person, but they slowly realize (or at least imagine) that it is a fellow student who had committed suicide a year before. The reason the student took her own life was cyber bullying. 

First off. This film is in no way original or innovative. The only thing that could be considered partially ground breaking is that the entire thing takes place online on skype. I know you're thinking that sounds ridiculously boring, but they did a really good job and I found it very engaging...This could be telling us something deep down. Maybe it's telling us that we are far too comfortable with being on a computer. That we can watch a simulated computer screen for an hour and twenty minutes and be okay with it. Or maybe I'm just over analyzing it.

Second. The film really is trying to convey a good message. They are trying to stop cyber bullying, and hopefully along the way that will stop bullying IRL as well. They stray off the path and I think at points the message may get lost, but over all it's a good message, and I'll support almost any film that does try to help the perpetually bullied. 

Third. It was just a fun hour and twenty minutes. I didn't develop feelings for any characters. I didn't necessarily see any personal growth from any characters, but I was entertained for the time I was watching and if you are looking for something to entertain you for an hour and a half, this will do just that. Just keep your expectations low and eat some popcorn.


Paper Towns Review

I know, i know, I know. This review is not necessarily the most fitting within the context of the Friday Night Action Movie Book Club. However, full disclosure, I just saw the film, and I forgot to write a FNAMBC earlier...even fuller disclosure. I read the book and liked it, and enjoyed the movie as well. So... that's really why I'm writing about this. I'm sorry I lied. Moving on.

Paper Towns is a movie about a kid named Q who falls in love with his next door neighbor (Margo) when they are 8 or 9. In the years that follow, they drift apart and stop talking. But, as they are about to leave High School, they go on one last crazy revenge adventure, which I think I will call a Reventure.

The next day Margo leaves on her own adventure without telling anyone. This is not hard to hard for anyone to believe because she has run away so much in the past. Very few people seem to care about this except Q and his friends. They go on a hunt for clues to discover where Margo Roth Spiegelman has disappeared to...

I won't say anything more about the plot points, and I won't get analytical and discuss the over arching themes of the film, mainly because I cannot say them as eloquently as John Green. I will try and summarize it though... This film is a mixture of a coming of age film, a mystery book, a love story, and a road trip film. All these different genres, and ideas mix together very well and create a very fun and sweet film that people of any age can enjoy take something away from. I do recommend going to see the film, but only after you've read the book (link below). Don't forget to let me know what you think of the movie in the comments below.

PS: Don't go as a single guy who is almost 30. You will feel weird and get a lot of strange looks. I would know... Actually, screw that. Go and enjoy it anyways! 

PPS: Buy the book here...It's under $6! -