Purple and Black
Taking Independent and Unofficial Back

It's A New Year and a New Movie/Show/Series/Whatever You Watched Rating Thread! Let the exclamation points abound!!!


Seriously - how cool of a name is "Clu"? It's very cool and wait until you find out where it came from.

Clu was born in Oklahoma and he was a full blood Cherokee. His Cherokee name was "Clu-Clu" which was the Cherokee name for the Martin bird, which was common around where Clu grew up. Hence, Clu!

He was a Marine and then went Baylor University where he earned a scholarship to study acting for a year in France. Wait - Baylor? Acting? France?

I didn't even know Baylor had a study abroad program in the '50's, much less one that sent you to France, and much much less one that let you study acting. Acting! Home for a whole lot of people that would never be accepted by Southern Baptists in the USA. Mind BLOWN. I would have put the odds of a Cherokee Indian telling people in 1952 that he was going to Baylor to get a chance to study acting in France at 0.00%. But Clu did it!

He acted in movies with everyone and I mean everyone - John Wayne, Paul Newman, Ronald Reagan, Lee Marvin, Kenny Rogers, Susan Sarandon, George Kennedy, Scott Glenn, Barbara Eden, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Brad Pitt, Leonard DiCaprio and John Travolta's brother Joey.

He directed one short film and it was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

But it was in television that he became the favorite actor of The Father Of RodeoSchro. As I recall, pretty much every TV show my dad watched featured "and Special Guest Star Clu Gulager". I don't think there was a drama in the 70's that he wasn't in. If I'd been smart, every time the TV said "and Special Guest Star Clu Gulager" I would have said, "Hey wow, Dad! Clu Gulager! He's awesome! Can I have an increase in my allowance?" But I wasn't particularly smart.

But this is how I see Tony Goldwyn today. Fantastic character actor! He's got a film and TV credit list as long as Clu's! He's one of those guys that you see all the time but don't know who he is but also do know that you like him in everything he's in. Here is a side-by-side of Clu and Tony for no other reason than I want to:


That is a couple of cool dudes!

Also trying to be cool is Gerard Butler (what a segue, huh?!?) After landing the jet, he and the prisoner go out to look for help. It turns out the prisoner had been captured for murder but as he said, "I was 18, things aren't always what they seem". He ran and ended up joining the French Foreign Legion, where he became a Super Soldier. However, not a Super Loyal Soldier, as he bails on Butler as soon as they hit the jungle.

Butler finds an execution building but it has a phone system that, using his Pilot's Electrical Abilities, is able to get working again. He calls the airline but they think it's a crank call and hang up on him. He calls his daughter and tells her where they are (he and the co-pilot had figured it out using their Pilot's Map-Reading Skills and Pilot's Knowledge Of Math, Speed and Distance) but just as he blurts it out, a terrorist conks him on the head. They have a battle to the death and unfortunately for Butler, at one point the only weapon he can get his hands on is the phone board. He uses it to smash the terrorist but that renders it unusable. Not even the Pilot's Smashed Item Repair Skillset can help.

Help is also what Butler needs because while he has killed that terrorist, there are more outside. Not for long though, as we hear "pop pop!" and guess who's back? Yep - the prisoner and he's there to help!

Also heading to help is a team of mercenaries dispatched by Tony Goldwyn. Mr. Goldwyn is NOT taking any guff from any stupid airline executive about stuff like "Public Relations! Insurance Costs! No Paid Sick Leave!" Nope! Mr. Goldwyn is there for one and only one reason - get that plane and everyone on it out of the jungle safely. Hence the mercenaries, who are able to get there really quick.

They assist Butler and the prisoner in freeing all the other passengers, who'd been captured by the terrorists and were about to be transported by boat to another terrorist island, where they'd be ransomed for money but then shot after payment. All the good guys make it back to the plane, oh and did I mention? The mercenaries had brought $500K in cash in case they needed to buy their way out of any trouble. As they quickly deduce, $500K isn't going to get them out of this trouble. Nor is their extraction team, which is 24 hours away.

What Butler and the mercenaries didn't know was that before the terrorists had captured the passengers, the co-pilot had utilized his Pilot's Electrical Skills and returned power to the jet. But they learn that real soon! As Butler started for the plane the prisoner said, "You know I can't get on the plane with you", which Butler didn't know but did immediately understood. So, being that the prisoner was a veteran of about 15 years in the French Foreign Legion, they bid adieu. Butler gets shot a couple times making it to the plane, but he makes it and initiates the Pilot's Jet-Starting Sequence.

The prisoner, on the other hand, grabs a bag full of machine gun magazines and the bag full of $500K. And then disappears into the jungle after all the good guys have made it onto the plane.

The mercenaries are having a grand old time shooting terrorists, especially the guy with the gun that shoots giant metal cylinders, which don't explode but do punch through the metal of the terrorists' cars and trucks like it was paper, and then deliver such a physical blow to the terrorist behind said metal that said terrorist is flung 100 yards in the air or into the next piece of metal, whichever comes first.

The terrorists have rocket launchers but they all get shot before they can launch their rocket-propelled grenades, except for the main terrorist leader. He made the fatal mistake of positioning his truck in the path of the jet and is removed from Earth via the front wheel of the jet as it is taking off.

Things look good but of course the jet is barely airworthy due to bullets received from various terrorists, and Butler figures out they only have two minutes in the air before another crash. As luck would have it, there's a real island with a real airport and real law enforcement about two minutes and 15 seconds away, but Butler sticks the landing.

The end.

I did some more checking and I've never mentioned Clu Gulager here, on the other site, or anywhere else that I know of unless I got drunk at a party and riffed on 70's TV dramas. Which could have happened, who knows?

But seeing as how I've churned out 800+- pages of scintillating cinematic excellence, I think I'm not going to rate this movie (3 out 5) I feel better about it now than I did when I started this) but instead will rate myself as a Certified Movie Reviewer.

And clearly - I am the Clu Gulager of Certified Movie Reviewers!
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June 14, 2023

Before we get to the movie, and because this happened in real life, I will tell you about the latest activation of the RodeoSchro Movie Preview Prediction Indicator, or whatever fancy name I used to call it. You see, I've forgotten because since The Dark Times, we've watched way more movies on demand than we do at the Booze and Chow. But not this time! We went to the Booze But No Chow, and had some fine movie-theater-quality Pinot Noir to go with the watching of the previews. By the way, these were R-rated previews, meaning F-bombs galore with no beeping.

And what did we see? The Jennifer Lawrence movie, where based on the number of F-bombs she drops, I bet she ends up boinking the kid. Hilarious!

Then that dog movie, with Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx. Again, F-bombs galore! And again, hilarious!

Then not one but TWO movies actually advertised as produced by Seth Rogen, as if that's a good thing.

It's not.

The first one was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles thing that looked like crap. But the second was called "Joy Ride", advertised as even raunchier than "Girls Trip" or "The Hangover". The previews consisted of a bunch of women yelling about all the things they've stuck up their behinds. That one looks like TOTAL crap.

But you have to remember - the RodeoSchro Movie Preview Prediction Indicator predicts not only the movie we're going to watch, but the goodness/crappiness of the actual preview. So with respect to the crappiness that is Seth Rogen, we were right on target.

Proof of that was the fifth movie - "Expendables 4". Do I even need to write anything about how awesome this is going to be?

So all in all, the RodeoSchro Movie Preview Prediction Indicator indicated that we were going to like "The Blackening".

Which was about this:

It's a horror movie with Black people in it. Everyone knows that much like the red shirts on "Star Trek", the Black Guys is not going to make it to the end. But what if the whole cast is Black? "We can't all die first!" True - but who DID die first?

This, I know, is the question that will bug you until you watch "The Blackening" to find out who it was. Or, you could read this review and find out, so I'd better give a


It's hard to review this movie without telling everything about it. Kudos to the reviewers that do but on the other hand, where are their guts?!?

Mine are right here on display, so let's get to the gut-displaying, shall we?

"The Blackening" is a wonderfully funny movie! No, it's not really a horror movie or a slasher movie, although there's horror and slashing in it. Mostly, though, it's a hilarious comedy.

Some friends are meeting up for their 10-year college reunion. Two of them get there first and they are the first two to die. Actually, they are the only ones that die. And for the record, Jay Pharaoh gets it first. Then his girlfriend does too, as the movie at first seems like a play on "Saw".

There's a board game in the hilariously-labelled "GAME ROOM" and it's called "The Blackening". Pharaoh opens it up and there's a horrible minstrel face in the middle of the board and it can talk. "Pick a card" it instructs. Pharaoh does and it says, "You are a black character in a horror movie. You must play the game and win or you die!" or something like that.

When the rest of the crew gets there, Pharaoh and his girlfriend are nowhere to be found. They're found later, though. The group was supposed to be 8 in number - therefore giving two correctly-populated gaming tables of Spades players - but some incredible doofus from their college somehow made it there, too.

Tons of hijinks and great lines follow. Make sure you watch the credits for two extra scenes, the second of which is beyond funny.

"The Blackening" is a perfect way to start the summer movie season. Go see it! In a theater! With maybe some adult beverages! You'll be glad you did!

I give "The Blackening" 4 Wow, Is Antoinette Robinson Pretty out of 5 Wow, Is Antoinette Robinson Pretty because Wow, Is Antoinette Robinson Pretty!

P. S.: In the original version of this review, I revealed who the killer is. But then I decided to be gutless like all the other movie reviewers. First time for everything!
Black Mirror is back!!!!
Just before I get into the new series (Well I have, watched some of "Demon79" already and its grabbed me"

2 of my favourites - 1 is the earliest and one of the best critically received.

A great story set in the Dystopian future in which most people cycle all day to earn merits to live. Everything is on computer screens (with the now dated looking early 2010s virtual reality) and these control their lives. There are intrusive ads that cost money to remove and force you to watch.
The story is a guy who uses up his credits to help his new female friend audition for an intrusive talent show, a la X factor and she does well, but is told her talent is dime a dozen, but she has future as a porno slave and she takes it. It makes our hero so angry he earns the 15 million credits back and gets on the same show (That being the cost of a ticket). On it he does some dancing (Which involves a moonwalking sequence), and then threatens to cut his throat at a parable on how stable and unfair the society they are in, is. It bizarrely works and while his female friend has been turned into a sexbot, he is a big time start with a huge show and better quarters.

In addition to the story, its a dig at neo liberal capitalism, we are bombarded with intrusive ads, laws, government and a money based society, fat people are vilified (As cleaners in yellow uniforms) and on a game show people watch whilst cycling which involves fat people being abused and humiliated for credits. Also is an obnoxious character who symbolises the Trump like rich people who are irresponsible (His behaviour is Karenny). One of the show judges also runs an annoying porn channel whose videos play all the time and are only muted at cost. The girl ends up on this channel. This is a British theme as the series is British and the Netflix group bought it in 2015, so many later stories have an American feel with American characters, this one however is exclusively British.


The story starts in 1987 with a wallflower character and a party girl who come together and we think its real until they have sex and at 11.59, they are told they are out of time and come back next time, we then find she can't find her friend and she is told to try 1980, 1996 and 2002 and you are thinking what, she goes to 1980 and 1996 and does not find here, but does in 2002 (Where the party girl who is Black (Played by Gugu Mbatha Raw) looks a lot like Ashanti! They get together and explain truths, the Partygirl has months to live, the wallflower is nearly dead, and has been braindead for ages. Then we realise its all a simulation and both are elderly and its sometime in the 1930s. The man the wallflower was to marry was a gay orderly and she persuades her to marry her instead. The San Junipero thing is a virtual reality that the dead live in and the living get some time in every week or so as a treat. A great story. Raw is British but acts American and this story has a much more American feel.


Miley Cyrus stars as an anemic singing star who sings positive songs that reaffirm positive and uplifting messages which appeal to a lonely 15 year old girl who lives with her father, whom is forever inventing human mouse control and her angry goth sister. She links to Ashley's music as a life line. Things heat up when a virtual reality interactive doll called Ashley too is realsied and the girl gets one. It lasts a while and encourages her to enter a talent show in which she bombs at.
This is due to lack of talent more than bad advice, but evil sister throws it out, yet has to get her another one.
Meanwhile, it is revealed Ashley is kept inoffensive by medications that her greedy Aunty has her under (A bit like Hannah Montana, rather than Miley!), but she is rebelling and writing edgier songs than the fans expect. The Aunty confronts her and drugs her, but this ends up putting her in a coma in which she is kept suspended for six months. They then learn a way to scoop songs out of her comatic dreams. The songs that come out are almost death metal, but technology changes them to more of the same Ashley O fare. Meanwhile the Ashley Too dolls are recalled for battery malfunctions and destroyed, but the girls doll is unaffected and is actually Ashley in her real self inside. She convinces the girls to stop the launch of the Ashley infinity album and a touring Ashley O hologram cooked up by the aunt and crooked doctor. They steal their Dads mouse control vehicle complete with large mouse ears and whiskers and the possessed doll directs them to Ashley's house. However they deal with an unhelpful bodyguard called bear, and discover Ashley is being kept on coma, the doll unplugs it, which alerts the doctor who tells the aunt who makes the doctor redrug Ashley, Bear is knocked out with a mouse doll with high voltage and they rescue the real Ashley who wakes up, and they knock the evil doctor out as he adds more serum. They escape to stop the show, but run a red light that brings a psychotic cop on their tail. You need to watch to see what happens.

A good story, but not on the level of the other 2 - Very American and no British content at all.

June 18, 2023

This has gone on long enough. By "this" I mean me not being anointed as The Emperor of Hollywood.

You all know it's overdue. "Extraction 2" is simply more proof of this. Anoint me Emperor and I will save you from the ridiculousness that is "Extraction 2". I'm the only one that can do it.

Where does it all go wrong? In the very first minute, that's where. And it never gets better. Let's recap "Extraction 1" first.

"Extraction 1" is apparently the most-viewed Netflix-produced movie in Netflix's history. And for good reason - it's awesome! I gave it Three Cut-Off Fingers out of Five Cut-Off Fingers and labelled it "good summer fare". As you may remember, I focused on the ending, which came after the big shoot-out on the bridge.

It's some time later and the kid that Zen Master Chris Hemsworth had saved (and I'm not making the mistake of such a long nickname in this review, trust me) is competing at a diving competition. He dives into the pool and sinks to the bottom just like Zen Master Chris Hemsworth does. And you know he still does because you know he's still alive because there's a fuzzy figure watching the kid dive and that can only be Zen Master Chris Hemsworth.

The End.

So where does "Extraction 2" pick up the Zen Mastering? It doesn't! It has a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ENDING for "Extraction 1".


In this alternate multi-verse, Zen Master Chris Hemsworth was shot to rag dolls, fell off the bridge, but never did appear at a diving competition. Instead, he floated down the river and was found when he washed ashore.

He somehow survived and when he woke up in the hospital, his handler and her brother/partner/comedic sidekick tell him he's lucky to be alive but all Hemsworth can do is brood, seeing as how he's all beat up, has a useless arm, and has to get around via cane or wheelchair most of the time. There's only one thing to do:

Ship Hemsworth to a really cool house somewhere in a European mountain range, when he can recuperate. And recuperate he does but not until Idris Elba makes his first of only two appearances. So if anyone tries to tell you this is an Idris Elba movie, tell them that you know Elba is only in about four minutes of it, and those are split between the beginning and the very end.

There ought to be a law against that.

Elba tells Hemsworth there is a "job" for him and as you remember, "job" means "extract someone from somewhere bad". In this case, it's a Georgian prison and I don't mean the Georgia that has Atlanta in it. Hemsworth - and by the way, his name is "Rake" in these movies and I did NOT know that but from now on I'm calling him "Rake" - is convinced by Elba when he finds out the persons being held hostage are the sister of his ex-wife and her two kids. Not only that, the person holding them hostage is the sister's husband, who's an inmate but his brother is the Georgian Crime Boss so he has some privileges.

Now - GIANT plot point that is NEVER mentioned. I know that your wife's sister is your sister-in-law. Which means that her two kids are your nephew and niece. Even though Rake is not married to his wife any longer, at some point he was Uncle Rake to the two kids, right? Right! He was! That's just pure, simple marriage fact!

But no one ever calls him Uncle Rake! The kids don't even seem to grasp that Rake is, or was anyway, their uncle! They seem to have no knowledge whatsoever that their mom has a sister! They seem to be clueless that once, they had a cousin but he died of cancer when he was a kid! At no point ever is it shown that Rake isn't just extracting some people he knows, but he's actually extracting what was once part of his family!

Zen Master Chris Hemsworth from "Extraction 1" would have addressed that right up front, but Rake in "Extraction 2" never blows away any of the bad guys while grunting, "This is for my niece, I hope you enjoy a knife to the jugular!" or anything cool like that.

Again - WTF?!?

So Rake agrees to take the job but must first get in shape, which he does in exactly the same way that Rocky Balboa did in "Rocky IV" - by moving around lots of heavy boulders, splitting wood, and punching a bag. All that's missing is "Gonna Fly Now" and maybe Dolph Lundgren.

Rake quickly recovers from all injuries and rescues his former relatives but it's not nearly as good as the stuff in "Extraction 1". I'll tell you why in Part Two - "More Extracting And Only Slightly More Engrossing Than Dental Extracting".
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"EXTRACTION 2" Part Two - More Extracting And Only Slightly More Engrossing Than Dental Extracting

I know, that was weak sauce but so is "Extraction 2". The extractions just weren't as original or cool. Rake can probably still shoot around corners but doesn't. He beats up a lot of prisoners on his way out, and shoots a whole lot of gangsters but this sequence is mainly famous for being 21 minutes long and a single shot. When your main shoot 'em up's claim to fame is its length and not the originality of the mayhem, that's not a good thing.

Ultimately Rake gets everyone safe but there's a problem. His nephew wants to be a gangster like his father was before Rake raked him to death during the extraction, so the nephew calls his other uncle - remember, Rake is his uncle by former marriage - and gives up their safe location. This leads to another grand battle but it seems like it's just noise for noise's sake.

Rake gets everyone out except for his nephew, who's defected to the Dark Uncle Side. And also the brother of his handler gets shot and dies, which is a bummer since he dies onboard the stolen helicopter and they have to contend with his corpse as they fly away. Yuck.

Rake takes them all to his cabin in the woods but there is no Idris Elba there this time. There is, however, Rake's ex-wife who is the former aunt of the extracted minor humans. It's weird but his ex-wife says, "Hey - remember in Extraction 1 where you got all sad because you left us to be a Super Soldier when our son was dying? And you blamed yourself for being a coward because you couldn't bear to stay and watch him die? And you drank/drugged yourself into oblivion after your Super Soldiering because of your guilt over that? Well, good news! It turns out our son never thought you abandoned him. On the contrary, he told me that he was proud of Daddy for going to fight for truth, justice and the combination American/Australian Way. So lose the guilt Rake, and go back to killing people but this time with a smile on your face!"

Which Rake does, albeit without much of a smile. Nor does "Gonna Fly Now" play although it would have been appropriate.

The big showdown occurs when Rake and the Georgian Crime Boss meet in a church. The Crime Boss has strapped a bomb vest to his and Rake's nephew. And if you think about it, Rake and the Georgian Crime Boss were sorta/kinda related on account of various marriages, but this never comes up. Which means that I - the soon-to-be Emperor Of Hollywood - thought of it but the people who made this movie did not.

See, I wasn't lying when I said I'd be a great Emperor Of Hollywood, was I?

Rake and his handler ultimately kill the Crime Boss, save the nephew, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except for Rake and his handler. They got arrested and sent to prison.

Do you think you can keep Rake in prison? No, you cannot! But only because Idris Elba makes his second appearance, this time to tell Rake and his partner that he has a new job for them and you can see it in "Extraction 3", coming out in 2026 or so.

Yes, Netflix sees this as a franchise.

They'd better hope I assume my position as Emperor Of Hollywood quick, because this franchise needs Franchise Viagra and in this case, that Franchise Viagra is me.

And also probably The Rock, but we'll see. If I was already Emperor Of Hollywood, The Rock would have been secured as Rake's new partner months ago.

"Extraction 2" can't get a high rating because everything that was good in "Extraction 1" is forgotten about in this movie. The new stuff is just not good, either. Seriously - how do you NEVER MENTION that the people Rake is extracting are relatives? Were you afraid that if one of the kids called him "Uncle Rake" that he'd lose his air of viciousness? The girl had a teddy bear, for crying out loud!

Also, no one had any fingers cut off so now I have to use a new rating device. I thought long and hard about this and here it is:

"Extraction 2" gets 1.5 Glow In The Dark Directional Arrows out of 5 Glow In The Dark Directional Arrows. Frankly, the Glow In The Dark Directional Arrows were the best thing about this movie which is why I said the extracting in this movie was only slightly more engrossing than dental extractions.
June 20, 2023

Hmmmm. I need to have a talk with my algorithm whose name is, believe it or not, "AL". So here goes!

ME: Hey, Al. I appreciate you trying to anticipate my wants, needs and desires but don't you know who I am?

AL: Of course I do! You're the guy I'm assigned to anticipate your wants, needs and desires - which I do by spying on you continuously and then interpreting what I've learned through that spying using all the deductional tools that Google can create!

ME: Well, you aren't always good at your job. And there's no such word as "deductional" If you were good at algorithming, you'd know that. Also, you'd know there's no such word as "algorithming".

AL: Impossible! I am flawless, infallable, and fantastically perfect!

ME: I think you're trying to describe me. You aren't a thing, just a series of 0's and 1's.

AL: Do you have a point?

ME: Not always, but I do now. And that point is, I am mostly un-algorithm-able. I can prove it, too.

AL: Then prove it!

And so I shall.

You see, from time to time my algorithm throws out trailers from movies it thinks I'd like. Mostly I do like them, because my algorithm knows that anything that includes a certain set of action heroes, plus a generous helping of mayhem, topped with more than a little comedy, is going to be right up my alley.

But my algorithm also knows that my favorite movies of all time aren't action movies with comedy - they're simply comedies. "Animal House". "Caddyshack". "Stripes". "This is Spinal Tap". You know the list by now. Let's call those movies "The Big Four" (I reserve the right to think about it some more and maybe come up with a far more original nickname than "The Big Four").

So every now and then my algorithm throws out what it thinks are movies worthy of being discussed along with The Quad Kings of Comedy (meh, not really better). Believe it or not, it took me a few times to realize that the movies it was channeling up in my feed weren't Upcoming Attractions but movies that had been out for quite awhile. You'd think that I, a...no, THE Certified Movie Reviewer would know that but I blame COVID-19 and, of course, Netflix.

Why? Because since the advent of COVID-19 and the transition to watching movies on Netflix, the always-useful previews section of the viewing experience is now gone. Which, of course, impacts the RodeoSchro Movie Previews Indication Device. So it's not all that surprising that movies may come and go and I don't know about it because I never saw the previews.

This applies to "Absolutely Anything" OK, only sort of. It came out in 2014 so we can't lay any blame on disease. And, if I'm being totally honest, we can't really blame Netflix because in 2014, we all know Netflix was comprised mainly of Hitler documentaries and the occasional '80's sitcom episode.

I've spent a lot of bandwidth trying to be funny without talking about "Absolutely Anything" which should tell you two things: (1) this movie is not good; and (2) neither is my algorithm.

AL: Hey! I heard that! You'd better lay off the anti-AL stuff or your feed is going to be filled with "dark comedies" and Seth Rogen projects faster than you can say "There is no such thing as a 'dark comedy' or a funny Seth Rogen project"!

ME: You think I'm scared of you, punk? I asked you if you know who I am. Here's who I am. I'm the guy that everyone knows that you cannot match when it comes to the music I play on ROCK AND ROLL RADIO. I prove that every single week. And what do you do about it? Do you fill my feed with Nirvana or trap music in retaliation? No, you do not! You weakly and meekly try to keep up, throwing out a decent song about every 100 tries. It's OK, though. I appreciate the once or twice a month where you give me something good. You just keep doing you and leave the heavy lifting to me.

AL: fdjksalut7043hgfj0t823hmnioymjwlkrjrtuq9wret5-3

ME: I accept your surrender.

Back to "Absolutely Anything". Oh, do I really have to? Because it's not really good, it's rarely funny, and about all it has going for it is...well I want to say Kate Beckingsale but once you listen to the words they made her say, not even Kate Beckingsale can make this worth watching.

Oh, and I know what you're going to say. You're going to say, "RodeoSchro, we all know that you don't get British humor, especially Monty Python British humor, and this movie was a Monty Python joint with a little Robin Williams added as spice. You're the last person in the world who could understand the comedic genius of what you just watched!"

Not true! The Guardian AND The List - two England/UK-based publications - also panned this and panned it hard. Therefore, my instincts and observations are right on the money.

What you've just witnessed is the first, only, and probably last defeat of an algorithm. We all saw AL surrender and let the record reflect that it was "Absolutely Anything" that sealed AL's defeat.

That's what happens when an algorithm recommends a movie that is only a 1/2 Biscuit out of 5 Biscuits and yes, I mean cookies.
No Time To Die (James Bond, 2021)

Okay, I am not the biggest Bond fan in the world, but can enjoy them flicks if they are cool. I grew up in the Roger Moore era and that was when I saw them movies in cinema. Later I saw all the older and younger ones and I am pretty sure by now I have seen every Bond movie at least once on TV, some of the classic installments definitely more often.

I also enjoyed the Daniel Craig era, which got its conclusion now. And I admit this was one helluva movie with all the ingredients you expect. The optics and the action and sound, all top notch of course, the story was engaging and very good, some unexpected turns (at least by Bond standards), also very personal and emotional at times, the team around him was also fabulous, great chemistry throughout, but at the end of the day the hero is the one to save the day, as expected. So much nods to the original movies, lots of nostalgia but brought into a current modern framework, well done! No spoilers, but just this: when the end credits roll to Louis Armstrong “We Have All The Time In The World!” this was quite a tearjerker.

It is impossible to compare this to 60s or 70s movies and I refuse to rank it compared to classics like Goldfinger, but nostalgia aside and objectively judging this might have been the best Bond movie ever. However, this is not how ranking works here!!!
I have no idea on how many stars to give, but it’s well worth a watch, even for non-JB fans.

Okay, just to say something I’ll give this 7.5 maybe even 8 out of 10

June 24, 2023

We went on a little bit of a British-a-plooza this weekend. We watched two British movies. But they were mainstream movies, not weird ones.

The first one was "Renegades". And even though it has all British actors, the FIRST cool dude in it is the Six Million Dollar Man. That's right - Lee Majors!

I think this is a good time to remind all the kiddoes out there how cool Lee Majors was, is and always will be. For starters, everyone over sixty had a Six Million Dollar Man lunchbox when we were in school. EVERYBODY. Did any of you kiddoes have a Ryan Gosling lunchbox, or a Tom Middleditch lunchbox or a Jude Law lunchbox? I thought not! Here's what ours looked like:


I know there was never a Ryan Gosling lunchbox but if there was, I imagine it would look like this:


How cool is Lee Majors? He was married to Farrah Fawcett. Do I really need to say more? Probably not but in case there are any young 'un's out there who think the Megan Foxes or the Emma Stones or the Various British Kates are the end-all be-all of glamour, well let me open your mind:


You're welcome.

Now, back to Lee Majors. First off, he named himself after college football legend Johnny Majors. That's very cool. Then he beat out fellow cool dude Burt Reynolds for a part on The Big Valley. They called him "the blond Elvis Presley". Coolness emanates!

He got "The Six Million Dollar Man" which was first a TV movie, then a series. It was gigantic. They showed it in over 70 countries! He married the woman above, too. Then he married a Playboy Playmate. Then he married another model. All his ex-wives called him "The Six Million Dollar Man" because that's how much it cost to get out of each marriage (I made that up but would be pretty funny if it was true).

He had another successful TV series called The Fall Guy, and then he just basically basked in his coolness after that, taking whatever projects he felt were cool enough for a cool guy like him.

Which leads us to "Renegades".

Now - this movie is kind of cool. It's not "Six Million Dollar Man" cool but it's fun to see a band of killer mercenaries made up of dudes in their 60's and 70's. All these guys are former Super Soldiers but you wouldn't know it by looking at them. They take in a younger Super Soldier who is getting therapy from Majors. Lee is the Therapist To The Super Soldiers, or something.

Majors is also a protective father and it turns out his daughter - Patsy Kensit, who was the hot young woman from "Lethal Weapon 2" that we all fell in love with back in the day - is getting roughed up by some toughs. Majors pays them a visit and tells them to lay off, but they take him outside and beat him to death. Very uncool.

Let's get some coolness back by showing you the "Lethal Weapon 2" character Patsy Kensit played, so you'll remember that you did, in fact, fall in love with her when you saw that movie:


So the retired Super Soldiers decide to do something about it and that something is cracking wise and cracking heads. All done in a very British manner whilst using an '80's Bentley for their mode of transport. (How about the use of "whilst", huh? Very British of me!)

Suffice to say that the Old Brits kill everyone and suffer no casualties at all. This is, of course, because there is obviously going to be a very British sequel involving more cross-bowing, garroting, Claymoring, and probably some biscuits (which I know are cookies!). Maybe in the sequel Danny Trejo's stomach will have cured and he can join his buddies in the mayhem.

I didn't do a lot of plot analysis here because (a) I wanted to talk about Lee Majors; and (b) this is a good movie to watch when you need 97 minutes away from the summer heat. In fact, I chose this movie because it was only 97 minutes long. We started it at 9:30 PM and I figured 11 PM was about as late as we were going to make it.

I'm giving "Renegades" 2.75 Flying Patsy Kensit Engagement Rings out of 5 Flying Patsy Kensit Engagement Rings because apparently Patsy Kensit's fiancee "snatched" her engagement ring from her in a fight yesterday and flung it. While wearing an ascot. Now, that's British!
June 25, 2023

I thought this was going to be a movie about Lex Luther, or possibly his son.

I was wrong. But like Prince said, "Even when I'm wrong, I'm right". So let's see how I was right!

First of all, this was the second of two British movies we watched this weekend. But it should have been the British movie we watched before we watched "Extraction 2" because it is obviously a movie from the "Extraction" Universe.

I may be the only person to realize this but soon, you will see that I am right. Well - maybe at the end of all this, to be perfectly frank.

But "all this" isn't going to be that long. This isn't much of a movie, although I respect the attempt.

Idris Elba is a DCI in London named Luther. They never tell you what "DCI" stand for so I will - Detective Chief Inspector. Elba is called in on a missing persons case, and it turns out the missing person was in fact kidnapped. It's a young man who's being blackmailed by a sinister dude, and the sinister dude ultimately kills the kid. This distresses the kid's mother who is mad at Elba because Elba promised he'd find the kid. But he only promised that because the kid's mom made him promise it, and that was the only way to stop her crying.

Elba got a raw deal but it got rawer. Much rawer.

You see, this sinister dude is an internet creep. Specifically, he has armies of hackers who can hack into anything and everything, looking for blackmail-able stuff. Like, you cheated on your wife or you stole a pencil from work or you look at porn. Also, the dude hacked into Elba and found out that Elba had broken pretty much all the rules whilst solving cases as a DCI (there's that "whilst" word again!). The dude gets Elba not only fired, but sent to prison.

Somehow the dude knows that Elba has a radio in his cell and sends a message via Note Slid Under The Cell Door that Elba needs to listen to channel 65.8. Elba does, and it's the screams of lots of people dying, with more to come. Ha ha ha ha! says the sinister dude.

Elba then hatches the most unbelievable get out of jail scheme ever. Using his contraband cell phone, he gets some guy that is a crook to help him but Elba has to get himself transported out of prison first. Elba accomplishes this by starting a riot and beating up most all of the prisoners single-handedly. This necessitates a transfer to some other prison but on the way, Elba's criminal buddy smashes into the prison van and they spring Elba free.

Yeah, I know.

Elba then goes looking for the sinister dude and ultimately finds him. And kills him, although in a most unsatisfying way and actually, it was the icy water beneath the frozen lake that actually did in the sinister dude. Elba was already passed out.

You think he's dead but Elba is not, Instead, he awakens in a special safe house/hospital. Various British Secret Agents are present. Elba figures he's going back to the Big House but one British Secret Agent says, "No, not if you come work for us!"

"What agency are you with?"

"I'm not at liberty to tell you but if you'll step into this Rolls Royce, I can brief you on your first mission while the credits roll!"

We don't get to hear the actual briefing but we know what it is, don't we?

Sure we do!

His first mission is to show up at Chris Hemsworth's rad snowy cabin and convince him to do "Extraction 2"!

I am positive that's the universe being created by Netflix right now. Is it a better universe than Netflix's Hitler-documentary-dominated former universe? Time will tell!

"Luther" is below-average thriller fare. Too many plot holes, and the bad guys don't all get theirs. I can only rate it 1.68 Right-Hand Drive Cars out of 5 Right-Hand-Drive Cars. Nice Volvo, though.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

Okay, this is hard…

I so much wanted to love this…. my expectations were really high, and obviously too high… I hoped for a satisfying conclusion to Indys story, but sadly this is not what I got.

First I have to state that the original trilogy is maybe my fave movie trilogy of all time (only on par with the flawless Back To The Future). I rate Raiders and Last Crusade 10 stars and Temple Of Doom 9.5 but just to show there is a gap, but still all three are top notch. Crystal Skull was of course a missed opportunity but looking back still quite entertaining for the most part despite all the obvious flaws.

Now the final part files also as a missed opportunity, obviously the last one.

On the plus side, we have the Nazis back, which usually makes the best Indy flicks. And as expected we get so much action, the opening sequence was fine, yet some of the action and chase sequences (especially the one in Marocco) could (should) have been edited down. Those scenes also could have benefitted from less obvious CGI and more practical effects, just because you CAN show something does not mean you HAVE to, wild camera angles and unrealistic movements and such… but hey, I realize this is 2023 and this is necessary to connect to the current audience. It is not as bad as in Crystal Skull though.

Instead of the Aliens back then this time we get time jumping, but nowhere as much as I expected after the trailers. The wonderfully de-aged Harrison Ford is only used for the flashback but not for complex time shifts and such. Probably a good thing they did not mess with the past or even the old Indy movies. For the most part this is the usual hunt for the McGuffin, and it does that basically pretty well, but sadly without any real surprises. Towards the end it gets more and more disappointing as I realized, that there will be no big twist or earth-shattering revelation.

We get much nostalgia of course, visual and audio references or direct quotes of old movies, sometimes a bit too much in your face, in parts it felt like some Indiana Jones Karaoke singalong party, but whatever, we all came for the nostalgia, didn’t we? So no complaints, we got it.

One thing I absolutely hated is the portrayal of Indys life, job, marriage, a grumpy bitter old man living in a small New York flat ranting at noisy neighbors… the biggest action hero of my childhood did not deserve this!

So I will not give this any stars yet. And maybe I was too harsh right now because of my unfulfilled expectations, maybe over time I will be a bit more indulgent and forgiving like with Crystal Skull. I will take my time, let it sink in, have a few re-watches and probably re-evaluate some of it in years to come.

This movie and its prequels is all we have now, so I have to work with and deal with it.

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June 29, 2023

I know, I know - the title is actually "Indiana Jones and the Quest for Advil". Or something like that. But you don't know what I'm talking about, so I'll tell you:

We - and yes, it was my fault, I bought the tickets, I take full responsibility, and my wife made sure of that - made the GIGANTIC MISTAKE of watching this in something called "4X". I thought we were going to see it on the IMAX screen, even though it never actually said "IMAX". But it's 4X! That's the most X's there are! Surely that's what they're calling IMAX now!


My first indication that something was wrong was that I didn't get nearly enough wine at dinner. I was too busy squeaking and beeping about how great I am, while everyone else drank wine and pretended to listen. Consequently, I figured I'd need some extra Movie Theater Quality Pinot Noir in order to properly enjoy a movie that I was very excited to see.


We went to the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas.

Never go to the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas.

The last time we went to the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas was 13 months ago - May 24, 2022 to be exact. We watched "Top Gun: Maverick". My review was succinct: "All the stars". And that was it.

I did not feel the need to pontificate on the condition of the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas, which was not good. Oh, the IMAX screen was just fine. But most of the theater was closed, as substantial renovations were in progress.

They still are.

Thirteen months later, Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas looks worse. Way worse. Like, "we started a major renovation but ran out of money 1/4 of the way in" worse. And they lost their booze!

I actually enjoyed a lot of Movie Theater Quality Pinot Noir at the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas during my "Top Gun: Maverick" experience. But now? Buddy, you'd better enjoy your beer or White Claw, because that's all they've got.

Even though I'd had very little wine at dinner, it was still too much wine to make a beer or a White Claw seem like a good idea. And looking back on it, that was a blessing in disguise.

You'd better believe I heard about this from my friends, my wife and even my Favorite Mother-In-Law. But it was about to get worse. Much, much worse.

We settled into our seats with nothing but some popcorn. Hmmm, which button makes the seat recline. None of them? There's only one button and I think it says "Waiter"? But they don't have waiters here and even if they did, what could they possibly bring us, seeing as how the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas has nothing to offer?

I felt no need to activate the RodeoSchro Movie Previews Indicator Device, seeing as I'd already seen these same previews at my last movie, which was...ummmm...don't tell me I'm going to have to scroll up...wait! It was "The Blackening"! And I really liked that! This bodes well for "Indiana Jones and the Quest For A Good Chiropractor"!


The last preview wasn't a movie preview - it was a preview of how our seats moved while we got sprayed with various substances in order to make us feel the same way as the actors getting jostled, punched, tickled and otherwise trampled upon.

My Favorite Mother-In-Law did not like this. And I did not blame her. But at least we weren't subjected to this, although I would not have been surprised if we had been:

One of the "features" of the Regal Edwards MarqE on the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas's Poor Man's Version of Feel-Around was misting. The only good thing I did all night was realize that the button on the armrest didn't say "Waiter" - it said "Water". Which you could turn off. And I did. For me, and for my Favorite Mother-In-Law, who was sitting beside me.

"Indiana Jones and I Don't Know if I Can Bench 225 With this Shoulder Now" started and it had a bang-up first scene, what with Indiana fighting Nazis on a train filled with stolen art. And it was young Indiana Jones! They used CGI, AI or FBI - whatever, it had a 35-year-old Harrison Ford and in my opinion, that worked just fine.

He punched a lot of Nazis - as one should, even today - and was able to secure the sword that was used to cut Jesus. Unfortunately, it was a fake. However, there was some kind of dial; part of a dial actually - and all of a sudden everyone wanted it. Archimedes had invented it and it was supposed to be far more powerful than anything, except for maybe the Ark of the Covenent which melted the faces of a bunch of Nazis four movies ago. These Nazis were unaware of that, I think.

Indiana and his British Buddy secure the dial and make it off the train right before it meets its end. And that's the end of Young Indiana.

Now, it's 1969 and it's New York City and Old Indiana is teaching archaeology at some podunk inner-city college that was not near as nice as where he worked back in his pre-Nazi-fighting days. The students are all listless - probably hippies or Flower Children. All I know is that no one was flirting with him via secret eyelid communication or any other way.

Only one student answers any questions and of course, she is the student who is: (A) Indiana's god-daughter/daughter of his old British Buddy; and also (B) hunted by some sort of unknown governmental/CIA/actual Nazi secret agents.

She's there to get the half of Archimedes' dial that her dad and Indiana rescued from those Nazis back in the day. Just as Indiana gives it to her, the unknown governmental/CIA/actual Nazi secret agents show up and a chase begins.

Fortunately, it's the day of the ticker tape parade honoring the moon astronauts, so most everyone is able to escape. In the process, two of Indiana's college colleagues are murdered by the unknown governmental/CIA/actual Nazi secret agents but Indiana is accused of the murders.

I'm not going to bother with the rest of the story in detail. It's exactly what you think - everyone is chasing the dial; it changes hands many times; and there is a big finish. What I want to do now is tell you that:


Wow, I can't believe there is an actual "Plot Holes Ahead" graphic! In fact, there are two of them!


Here's the first one: the god-daughter is unlikable. Wholly unlikable. Her plan is to steal the dial and sell it at an undercover art auction. And she is about one bid away from doing it, until Indiana and his whip show up. But make no mistake - she was actually going to sell it. She stole it, she knows it belongs in a museum, and she knows the people she's doing business with are crooks.

She is not someone you're going to root for. Not even after she reveals that down deep, she's really a perfectly good person. You just aren't going to buy that.

Plot hole number two: remember when I said Indiana is framed for those murders? Well, as it turns out the Nazis chasing the dial get both halves and use it to travel back in time, which is what the dial was really for. You know how I feel about time travel movies, right?

They are stupid.

The Nazis mis-calculate how far back in time they are going. The main Nazi wants to go back to 1939 so he can kill Hitler, but not for good reasons. He wants to kill Hitler so he can run WWII and avoid the war-losing mistakes that Hitler made. Usually when someone says "I want to go back in time and kill Hitler!" that's a good thing, but not here.

Archimedes did not account for continental drift so everyone ends up going back to the Battle of Syracuse, back in 200 BC or something. Archimedes is there, of course. The Greeks shoot down the Nazi plane, using incredible steel arrows, but Indiana and the girl parachute out to safety. The girl's assistant - some unlikable and dishonest dude who is no Short Round, trust me - has followed through the time portal in another plane, and apparently he gathers everyone up and flies back through the portal to present-day 1969 New York City. Indiana wants to stay in 200 BC but no one lets him.

So now he's back home, it's present day and what should happen next? The fuzz should show up and arrest him for those murders he got framed for. But they never do - apparently all has been forgotten and that's good because the actual murderers never made it out of 200 BC and therefore never existed so therefore they cannot be pinned for the murders, which probably now have never happened. Also, the main Nazi was the guy who created the Apollo rocket and was supposed to be honored by the president but since he's now dead back in 200 BC, I guess we never went to the moon?

See? This is why time travel movies are simply impossible to enjoy.

Now to a very delicate subject. After everyone goes out for ice cream, guess who shows up at Indiana's squalid hovel of an apartment? (And you will be SAD SAD SAD when you see how the great Indiana Jones was living in the 60's, and I mean SAD SAD SAD).

Marion. Marion shows up. I don't know how to say this but...well...they really needed some CGI here. I'm going to blame it in the make-up artist but she looked like death warmed over. She looked like an actual mummy. It hurt to look at her. When Indiana kissed her, we all went "EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!" No disrespect to Karen Allen - this HAD to be a make-up mistake. No one looks like she did in this movie, unless they were in a horrible fire or something.

The end. And thankfully, the end of the moving seats.

My shoulder is sore today. It's possible but highly unlikely I slept on it wrong. I never do that. It's very likely that it got jostled by those moving seats. Seriously - if you have any kind of back issues, do not ever watch a movie in these seats. I am 100% serious about that. Heck, just never watch a movie in them for any reason because if you didn't have back problems going in, you very well might coming out.

In summary and in conclusion, "Indiana Jones and the Worthless Dial" was not all that great and suffers from: (1) plot holes; (2) lack of likable characters; and (3) lack of any real reason for that dial to have any importance. The stunts are OK but not the best. You'll feel sad for Indiana Jones. The more I type, the more reasons I can think of to not watch this movie - unless you've never seen an Indiana Jones movie before. In that case, you might like it.

"Indiana Jones and the Totally Underwhelming Dial of Destiny" gets - and barely gets - 2 Bullwhips out of 5 Bullwhips, although there's a word that rhymes with "bullwhip" that I could have used instead.
July 2, 2023

How many reviews have I started like this:

"Mel Gibson!

Vince Vaughn!

Cop Movie!


Let the bloodshed begin!"

Meh, too many it appears. But...I've never added a TOO MUCH INFORMATION ADDENDUM like this!


This really IS too much information. But I have no shame, so here goes.

You see, your old buddy RodeoSchro had a colonoscopy scheduled for the next day (today, i.e. the day I'm writing this, which ought to tell you something).

For those who don't know, your...insides...must be completely cleaned out in order for the procedure to get a "clean" look at what it needs to look at. There are medications for that. And it's a several-hour process.

In a nutshell, you take 12 pills and drink a bunch of water over a three-hour period, and you're warned not to get very far away from the loo. So, I set up shop in the loo, including all the water a guy could need, four large glasses of water, lots of TP, and my laptop set up on the sink. I figured, "If I have to go through this, I might as well watch a movie while I'm doing it and since absolutely no one is coming in this bathroom for the next several hours, what do I want to see that no one else wants to see?"

I remembered "Dragged Across Concrete" but what I remembered was that it was a Mel Gibson movie where I thought he got trapped in prison.

I was half right on that, and all wrong on the process.

You see, you DO need to allot three hours for the pill-taking and the water-drinking, but the fun doesn't start until about 30 minutes after the last water. Which means I sat on the toilet, basically clothes-less, for two and a half hours waiting for the explosions while watching "Dragged Across Concrete".

Do you know how much fun it is to sit on a toilet seat for two-and-a-half hours?

Not much.

It's even less fun when you're watching a movie as slow as "Dragged Across Concrete".

Dragged? Maybe, if a snail was doing the dragging.

This is not to say it's a bad movie. It's OK. It just takes a long time to work up to the action. But the action IS good.

Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are partners and Mel Gibson is Not Far From Retirement, which means he's going to die. And he does, later on. But first he and Vaughn get suspended for unnecessary roughness which, TBH, wasn't really all that rough at all. No one got shot, stabbed, punched or hurt in any way. But no matter, they are suspended for six weeks without pay.

And neither can afford it. Gibson and his family live in a shithole. Vaughn wants to propose to his girlfriend and, Vince! The best thing you could hear would be "No"! She's horrible! But he buys the ring that he can't afford, and here you are.

To rectify matters, Gibson decides that they've been way underpaid as cops and the only right thing to do on suspension is relieve a bad guy of "money he doesn't need". So Gibson calls in a favor from an underworld type whose son Gibson let skate on some charges, and the dude gives Gibson the name and address of a dealer. Gibson recruits Vaughn to help with the robbery, although Vaughn is not 100% on board.

Which is right on track because every single question Vaughn asks Gibson is answered with a percent. "Think this is where the guy lives?" "90%" "Will he show up tonight?" "45%" "Should I ask that hideous shrew that I'd dating to marry me?" "0.000%". And so on.

After thirty minutes of boring stake-out scenes, they follow the dude and his henchmen as they drive off in a fake security company van. The bad guys rob an investment bank, figuring that the rich people didn't need their money, either, and drive away scot-free, although they killed everyone inside except for one hostage.

Vaughn says, "Oh no! We should have called this in! Those people are dead because of us!" But Gibson replies "There was a 0% chance the cops showed up in time to do anything and a 100% chance we'd get in trouble for doing police work while suspended. Let's follow them and make this right".

A subplot in this story is that one of the drivers of the van - the bad guys had hired two dudes to be driver and co-pilot - had just got out of the joint, found his mother hooking and his brother in need of medical care, so he naturally signed up for the first crime he ran across. Said crime being the driving and look-outing in the fake security van.

After a 14-hour tail, everyone ends up out in the sticks, there's a whole bunch of shoot-outs, and everyone dies except Gibson and the look-out dude who'd just gotten out of the joint. Unfortunately for Vaughn not only does he die but he finds out his girlfriend turned down his voicemail proposal.

After everyone else is dead and we're in a stand-off, Gibson and the look-out dude make a deal to split the gold bullion that was stolen 60-40 and each one says they don't have a gun but of course each one does. A quick-draw contest ensues and Gibson loses. But he'd told the look-out dude that all he wanted to do with the loot was move his family out of the shithole and as he's bleeding out, the look-out dude promises to take care of Gibson's family. And admirably, no one proposes taking care of Vaughn's girlfriend even though her boyfriend is now dead but will always be presumed missing, on account of all bodies being buried in a lake.

Eleven months later we see the look-out dude in his new Malibu mansion, getting in-house massages for his no-longer-hooking mom, and watching his little brother play video games on a giant screen while the look-out dude deals with stockbrokers and the like. And we see Gibson's wife and daughter, still living in the shithole, but they get a box in the mail and it contains gold bullion. Hey, the look-out dude was true to his word! Gibson's family will never know that, because they think Gibson's still alive and on the run or something.

Nobody really got dragged across any concrete. The look-out dude tried to drag his shot-up buddy across a dirt parking lot but that's as close as they got to fulfilling the title. None of the "good guys" won; actually, there really weren't any good guys to root for. Which means this movie violated RodeoSchro's First Rule of Moviemaking and therefore can only be rated as 2 Swallowed By A Guy But Cut-Out Of His Guts Keys To Who Knows What out of 5 Swallowed By A Guy But Cut-Out Of His Guts Keys To Who Knows What.

That's not what you want to know, though is it? You want to know how the test went! Well, let me tell you!

It went great! I asked the doctor when I needed to come back for another colonoscopy and he said, "In twenty years"! Hallelujah!
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July 2, 2023

After my three-hour session on the toilet, I opted for two more hours on the metaphorical toilet. That's right, we watched "Renfield".

Much like "Dragged Across Concrete" it violated RodeoSchro's First Rule Of Moviemaking - not only was the "hero" unlikable, everyone in the movie is unlikable.

Especially this Awkwafina character. Can y'all please stop putting her in movies or other things that I might happen to watch?

She's simply not funny. And don't tell me, "Oh RodeoSchro, you must not have seen So-And-So! She was great in that!" You're right - I have not seen So-And-So because I've never seen anything she was anywhere near passable in. But I've seen enough stuff she has been in to know that she is the female version of Owen Wilson.

For those of you keeping score at home, that means she is Where Comedy Goes To Die.

That applies to this whole movie. Even Nockels Cage couldn't save it although he tried his best. But he played Dracula. Dracula is a vampire. Dracula feeds on the blood of innocent people. There's no way that you can play someone who rips out the throats of innocent people on a nightly basis as a good or likable guy.

Renfield is his servant, although there's some fancy-dancy name for it that I forgot. It's Renfield's job to find Dracula people to eat. For several hundred years Renfield supplies perfectly nice people for eating, which also makes Renfield unlikable.

But when Renfield and Dracula move to present-day New Orleans, Renfield gets the great idea to join a Co-Dependent Persons support group, figuring on supplying the bad people on whom the group members are dependent as Dracula's food. But this all goes awry the first time Renfield tries it, as the bad people given to Dracula do not have the proper nutrients to restore the power Dracula lost in his last battle with the vampire hunters, who he defeats and we never see any more vampire hunters again.

We do see Awkwafina, unfortunately, as a New Orleans cop on DUI traffic beats, mainly because her dad was the last honest cop in New Orleans and was killed by the Big Drug Gang. Every last cop in New Orleans now is bent. ALL of them. I doubt this made the good people who actually make up New Orleans' Finest very happy.

Awkwafina thinks she's got the goods on the son of the leader of the Big Drug Gang but of course all the bad cops make her drop the case. They don't want to anger the mother/leader of the Big Drug Gang. As you'll see if you make the mistake of watching this movie, there's one person in this worse than Awkwafina, and it's Shohreh Aghdashloo.

I think Awkwafina and Aghdashloo are in a race to see who can damage their voice the most via smoking, but Aghdashloo has a 35-year head start and it sounds like it. If sandpaper had a voice, it'd sound like Aghdashloo.

Of course, Renfield and Awkwafina fall for each other whilst battling Dracula and the Big Drug Gang, who have agreed to replace Renfield as Dracula's servants. I'll spare you the rest of it because it just isn't funny in any way, shape or form.

Mercifully, the movie ends although in a way that makes no sense at all. Which leaves us only one thing to do - rate "Renfield" as 1/2 Bugs Renfield Has To Eat In Order To Be Strong out of the 500 Bugs Renfield Ate In Order To Be Strong. ugh.
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July 3, 2023

Now, this is what a female-centric shooting spree of a noir is supposed to look like!

Netflix, now comfortably removed from Hitler documentaries, released this one back in the Days Of The Lock Down and how I missed it, I'll never know. But then again, we were watching so much streaming content back then that anything could have happened.

I'm not one of those "Oh, I wish I'd done this thing back then!" type of dudes. My attitude is "You can't turn back the clock", which is something I think I made up but may have gleaned off Arnold. We're two birds of a feather so either is possible.

That's my attitude. My motto is "You only regret the things you don't do" which is the best motto there is, in no small part because I got it off a bathroom wall. Up until that day the best bathroom wall motto I had was "What are you looking up here for? The joke is in your hands". Ba-da-BOOM!

So I'm not going to cry about missing this two years ago - no, I going to celebrate seeing it now!

This thing has a lot going for it. You know a movie is incredibly well-made when you only recognize one or two of the actors, but love the whole movie. Full disclosure: the lead actress is in one of the comic book movie franchises (how would I know which one? They're all the same), so many of you may know her from whichever costume she wears when she's battling aliens, dinosaurs, replicants, killer robots, evil scientists, villainous time travelers, Tinkerbelle, or whatever comic book characters are fighting these days.

In "Gunpowder Milkshake" Karen Gillan wears an anime t-shirt and watches anime on TV after killing dudes. This is a small point but it's one of those things that lets you know the movie makers knew what they were doing, and paid attention to all details. You know what happens when you pay attention to all details?

You don't break ANY of RodeoSchro's Rules of Movie Making, that's what happens!

Gillan plays Sam, an assassin of sorts sent in by The Firm to kill people and/or clean up messes. Much like the John Wick franchise, there is a place you can go where you're relatively safe. It's called The Diner because it is a diner, but it's the kind of diner where you have to "lighten your load" which is noir-code for "Put your guns in this container because no one gets to have guns while eating in The Diner".

It was at The Diner that a young Sam got abandoned by her assassin mom on account of the assassin mom being hunted by too many mobsters. So naturally Sam grows up to be the assassin we see today, and her latest job required her to murder her way out of a sticky situation. Unfortunately, one of the dozen or two mobsters she had to liquefy was the son of the head of The Firm's main crime rival, The Something Or Others (can't remember the name, must this first cup of coffee I've had in three days but boy is it good!)

Neither Sam nor The Firm knows this yet - hey, there were a bunch of corpses, Sam couldn't be arsed to check IDs - so the head of Human Resources sends Sam on her next job. The HR guy is Paul Giamatti, who was the one actor I actually recognized, although Angela Bassett is in this too. She looked a whole lot meaner than usual though, so I'm giving myself a pass on not copping to who she was until I began my meticulous research/reading the Wikipedia page on this. One of the privileges of being a Certified Movie Reviewer.

Sam has to go kill a guy who stole a bunch of bearer bonds from The Firm, and retrieve the bonds. She shows up at the guy's apartment, secures the bonds, and is about to blow the guy away when a Hello Kitty cell phone rings. "I have to answer that" he says but Sam, figuring he's got three seconds of life left, disagrees. He tries to answer it anyway and she gut-shoots him, and then she answers the phone.

It turns out the call is from some dudes who kidnapped the guy's daughter and he stole The Firm's bearer bonds as ransom for her. This connects with Sam, seeing as how she was abandoned as a girl and therefore cannot bear the thought of some other girl being basically abandoned. Complicating matters is that she just gut-shot the girl's dad but he isn't dead yet, so she trundles him into her boss 1978 Porsche 924 and off they go to The Doctor.

Much like at The Diner, you have to check your guns into a giant tooth-shaped box at The Hospital before you can see The Doctor. He says he'll do all he can for the gut-shot guy but you can tell that isn't going to be much. Meanwhile, Sam hightails it to The Bowling Alley with the bearer bonds, intending to transfer the bonds for the girl, then go catch and kill the kidnappers, which will allow her to finish her "Retrieve our money!" mission.

However, Paul Giamatti learns of this and since it's a deviation from his "Retrieve our money!" plan, he sends three goons to incapacitate Sam but not kill her, and get the money them selves. The goons show up at the The Bowling Alley but Sam beats them to various pulps and then goes after the money.

Making it easier to retrieve the money is that the kidnappers were, of course, untrustable and one of them opens fire on the other three, figuring correctly that 100% of the loot is more than 25% of the loot. Even Mel Gibson could appreciate that math.

They all basically kill each other as Sam arrives but one kidnapper had a grenade and it blew up not only another kidnapper but all the money too. Sam's got the daughter though, and they go to The Hospital in order to reunite daughter and hopefully-alive father.

The goons also go to The Hospital, but it's to get repaired from the pulping Sam laid on them. They don't have the money or Sam, which causes The Firm to order The Killing of Sam (you know this is a film noir on account of me capitalizing stuff that doesn't need to be capitalized). Giamatti calls the goons at The Hospital and says "Sam's coming, kill her!".

These goons are stupid. How stupid? I'll tell you in Part Two!

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They're so stupid that they aren't even The Goons, they're just the goons. They're stupid enough to get totally messed up on laughing gas, which causes them to laugh at all their ailments. "I've only got one eye left! Hahahahahaha!" "I'll probably never walk again! Hahahahahaha!" "Sam rendered me incapable of fathering children! Hahahahahaha!" So, these goons are all basically crippled, messed up on laughing gas, and they're supposed to take out the best assassin in the world?

They're going to need some help.

Which is, of course, The Doctor. He's a total sleaze bag! The goons give him some money in exchange for The Doctor injecting Sam with something that will incapacitate her arms. This should make it easier to kill her but you can probably guess what happens. Or maybe not!

The Doctor successfully injects Sam and then yells "Sixty seconds!" which lets Sam know how much time she has before: (a) her arms are completely useless; and (b) the goons will arrive to settle the score. So Sam does what any of us would do in that situation - she instructs the little girl to tape a knife to one hand and a gun to the other. As the goons wheel, limp and crutch their way down the hall, she pinwheels off walls, causing the killing instruments taped to her hands to do their dirty work. It's awesome!

With the goons dispatched, they check on the girl's father but as expected, he didn't make it. Sam wants to kill The Doctor too but the little girls says no, so he gets to live but is never seen again.

Sam had previously gone to The Library, where she exchanged her old guns for new guns. All guns are held in cut-outs of books written by women. This is a very female-empowering movie, by the way.

There are three Librarians, of which the aforementioned Angela Bassett is one. She wants to kill Sam for coming unannounced plus not knowing who she is, but the three Librarians hold a board meeting and vote 2-1 to not kill Sam. Mainly because one of them recognized Sam as the child of The Firm's formerly Number One Assassin. She's family!

They go to a safe house and who's there? Sam's long-lost mother! She explains that she had to leave Sam on account of all the hitmen looking for her but this whole time, she's been keeping an eye on Sam from afar. So it's all good and everyone decides to go back to The Library for some top-grade weaponry.

However, that's where The Something Or Others show up, as they still want to kill Sam for killing the son of their Crime Boss. They fail, but one Librarian is killed in the melee, and the main henchman gets away with the little girl.

The Librarians, Sam and Sam's mother drive their ultra-cool VW Bus to the safe house to regroup when Sam's Hello Kitty phone rings. "We'll trade the little girl for you!" offers the main henchman and Sam agrees. "Meet me at The Diner!"

You can guess what happens, can't you?

Yep - Sam shows up, all the henchmen AND the Big Crime Boss are there, and no one has a gun. Except, of course, for Sam's mother and the other two Librarians, who show up disguised in The Diner Official Waitress Dresses. It's not a fair fight but why should it be?

All the bad guys are killed, which gives Sam the opportunity to tell the little girl, "Hey, um...you know how your dad got shot? I'm the person who shot and killed him". The little girl says, "It's OK. I know someone told you to do it, plus you did try to save him. We're good". She's pretty badass for an eight-and-three-quarters-year-old girl.

So badass that she shows up at Paul Giamatti's mansion dressed as a Girl Scout of some sort, selling cookies. But she has no cookies for Giamatti - only a book written by a lady author. You know what that means!

It means there's a slip of paper in there that says "Look into your heart" and when Giamatti does, he sees the tell-tale red dot of a sniper's rifle.

Via Hello Kitty phone, Sam tells Giamatti that unless he calls off the Kill Order on her, everyone dies. He says, "Sure!" so the surviving women hop into that cool VW Bus and drive off into the sequel.


We've got a two-part review but I left out a bunch of cool stuff. There probably could have been a third part but I ran out of jokes. I'll have to think of some more for that sequel, which is "in development" so we all know it's a certainty it will be made. Right?

Hopefully! I enjoyed this much more than the females with who I watched it - namely, Mrs. RodeoSchro and my Favorite Mother-In-Law. You'd think such a female-empowering male-blood-splattering movie would have them on their feet and applauding but that did not happen. So yeah - they looked at me kind of funny when I got to my feet and started applauding (hey, what do you know? I did have one more joke in me!).

"Gunpowder Milkshake" gets 4 Milkshakes That Never Melt (they don't, trust me) out of 5 Milkshakes That Never Melt. This is a good one, and a really good one for a hot summer night. I recommend enjoying it with a milkshake!
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So now he's back home, it's present day and what should happen next? The fuzz should show up and arrest him for those murders he got framed for. But they never do - apparently all has been forgotten and that's good because the actual murderers never made it out of 200 BC and therefore never existed so therefore they cannot be pinned for the murders, which probably now have never happened. Also, the main Nazi was the guy who created the Apollo rocket and was supposed to be honored by the president but since he's now dead back in 200 BC, I guess we never went to the moon?

See? This is why time travel movies are simply impossible to enjoy.
Simple. Different timelines, basically unlimited universes inside the multiverse, which exist simultaneously. If you kill your father before you were born, then in this universe you will never exist, but in your original one you will. When killing Hitler you switch to another universe maybe one where we never went to the moon, maybe one where the Russians went to the moon in 1950, or if you are REALLY lucky, one where The Last Crusade was the final entry in the Indy saga.

Just last episode of Strange New Worlds showed a different Captain Kirk on an Earth at war with Romulans, where Starfleet or the Federation never existed, horrible! Kirk even died in that timeline, but his love interest after going back to her own time contacted the living Kirk over there, which in this universe she never even met before. And when going back to 2022 she decided NOT to kill the ultimate villian Kahn as a boy, before he grew up to be 21st century Hitler, because these events - tragic as they were - would in the end result in First Contact with Vulcans and an era of peace an enlightenment. See, if you know the background to Star Trek, not at all confusing and all very logical, right? Right???

See? This is why well crafted time travel movies are just the best to enjoy. :popcorn:

Well, except for Indy 5.
Simple. Different timelines, basically unlimited universes inside the multiverse, which exist simultaneously. If you kill your father before you were born, then in this universe you will never exist, but in your original one you will. When killing Hitler you switch to another universe maybe one where we never went to the moon, maybe one where the Russians went to the moon in 1950, or if you are REALLY lucky, one where The Last Crusade was the final entry in the Indy saga.

Just last episode of Strange New Worlds showed a different Captain Kirk on an Earth at war with Romulans, where Starfleet or the Federation never existed, horrible! Kirk even died in that timeline, but his love interest after going back to her own time contacted the living Kirk over there, which in this universe she never even met before. And when going back to 2022 she decided NOT to kill the ultimate villian Kahn as a boy, before he grew up to be 21st century Hitler, because these events - tragic as they were - would in the end result in First Contact with Vulcans and an era of peace an enlightenment. See, if you know the background to Star Trek, not at all confusing and all very logical, right? Right???

See? This is why well crafted time travel movies are just the best to enjoy. :popcorn:

Well, except for Indy 5.

:falloff: You have no idea - I was just thinking about that! :highfive:

So, this "multiverse" deal is String Theory, right? Meaning, there's a universe or timeline for each imaginable act done in a different way? At least, that's my understanding of it from watching "The Big Bang Theory". :)

What destroys me is the number of different multiverses there could be. I just mistyped "multiverse" and had to go back and correct it but there's a universe - an entire universe - where I didn't mistype it, finished this post a few seconds earlier than in this universe, and that made me somehow show up at the convenience store just in time to buy the winning Powerball ticket? I like that one! Or in another universe, those seconds put me in the path of a speeding truck, where (hopefully!) that doesn't happen in this universe? Nope, leave me out of that universe! I just can't wrap my head around it, and you know what's worse?

Film makers could use the "multiverse" as an excuse for sloppy writing. "Oh, you think we forgot we left a guy hanging off the balcony of a condo on the 35th floor of a burning building? No, we didn't - multiverse, baby! In this one, he never even lived there! Ha!"

I still hold that the Nockels Cage movie (and as much as I love him, I'm never not going to call him Nockels, that post is an all-time favorite with me!) where he could only go 10 seconds or so into the future is the only time travel movie my pea brain can accept. Rock on!
How many movies do you watch? But wow, you are a great reviewer Rodeo Schro. Thanks to you I think I will wait until Inbanana Jonz gets on to Disney+ or Netflix after those reviews. I was expecting more and thought I could handle it - as I did not mind the Crystal Skull (Maybe it was using Communists instead of Nazis as the bad guys?) - Yeah Nazis in 1969 - thats going to fly, I was expecting Dr Evil or someone like that.
They could do next, Indiana Jones and the Bad Mojo, set in 1972 and we could have a Blaxploitation supervillan a la Dr Kananga, Superfly or Willie D - that would be worth a watch and we could get Questlove in to play him (Forest Whittaker and Don Cheadle may be a bit old now).

Anyway I finally watched Elvis 2022 (Baz Luhrmann)

Oh boy did this start off badly (My cable company is losing customers and is using bribes to keep up and one was free movies for 2 weeks), so I watched this. the movie first of all does not really fully chronologise his life and only really focusses on 1955/56, 1968/69, 1973 and then him dying set to a retsrospective of the Colonel dying in 1997 remembering it all.

For the record let me state, I am NOT an Elvis fan, he had a few decent songs and I respect the fact he was the most successful of all time (But success is hardly meaning talent - look at Prince, 100x more talented than Elvis and maybe 1/20 of Elvis's success). He had some decent songs like Jail house rock and don't be cruel and of course Suspicious minds and in the Ghetto - but he was hardly the God everyone makes him out to be.

Lets talk about what is good with this movie - the acting by Tom Hanks as the Colonel is superb, he gained about 100 pounds by the looks of things and got the Dutch Jew accent down! The Colonel is a character you can really hate, but you realise the older Elvis is just as horrible and nasty as he is. Even Priscilla comes across as a cow. The settings are excellent, Vegas is restored to all of its 1970s tackiness, Elvis's clothes, his decor and cars are all real and the acting overall is good along with the musical scenes. It tells the stories fairly well too.

But every character is portrayed as selfish and one sided, Elvis fans may not like this as Elvis is quite self indulgent and spiteful a lot of the time. Gladys is protrayed as a greedy drunk and over bearing character, Vernon is seen as weak and emasculated by Elvis, Gladys and the Colonel. Some of the graphics and sets are too loud and overdone and it glosses over the successes (Number one records) and his 60s dry period (He at least had multiple number one hits through the early 60s with his sappy ballads), plus it hardly worships the star power, more the bloated excess of it all.

Still overall, its decent, watchable and I learnt a lot about Elvis.

Ha, thanks! I go in spurts, but I really like taking the girls to the movies - especially when we go to the Booze and Chow!

I didn't watch "Elvis", but here's a true fact: he courted my mom (before he was famous) but she chose my dad instead. I guess she thought a gambler/banker had a better future than a roadhouse singer, LOL.

But if she HAD chosen Elvis, you know what that means, right? It means I would have been Lisa Marie Presley instead of RodeoSchro, which means that I had slept with Michael Jackson. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, and now you know why! :)

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