Purple and Black
Taking Independent and Unofficial Back

Wait - I *haven't* started a 2024 Movies thread? Well, I have now!

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

okay, plenty of Oscars, so this can hardly go wrong... or so I thought...

Well, in the end me and Mrs Dancelot stopped before the 30 minute mark when it shortly turned into a Kung Fu Jackie Chan type mess, this was simply going nowhere

Usually I like me some multi-verse stories, Star Trek has been doing this since the 60s, and I was all in.
But this? An App on your mobile phone showing the multi-verse connections and shit...? No... just no.

Watching on my own I maybe would have given it slightly more time, probably even finished just out of curiosity to see where this is going, but I could not do this to wifey.

Since it would be unfair to give this any number of stars, for the time being my rating is "unfinished"

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The Nice Guys (2016)

with Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling in a typical crime buddy movie, but hell this was fun!!


Placed in Los Angeles in the late 70s with lots of great references and flashbacks, music, newspaper headlines, movie and other billboards in the back, Killer bees from Brazil, smog and pollution protests, car industry and catalysts lawsuits and plenty of other stuff taking you back in time. Basically some neo-noir crime comedy with two private investigators, sometimes even slapstick, very fast paced, hilarious dialogue, decent plot with nice twists, great action, in short, I simply loved this.

Movie has an enormous body count also from innocent bystanders, but the deaths sometimes are so funny and unexpected, this was just awesome. Somtimes I burst into loud unexpected laughter cause it was just too absurd, like…


…so a main plot point is, they try to find and protect a young women from the baddies, who are after her and try to kill her. After maybe two thirds into the movie they finally find her and hide her in their house. One night shortly after that, they are on an outside mission, but as we found out they were just tricked away, so the killer can come for the girl. When they find out they immediately rush back to save her. Now in a usual movie there are tow possible resolutions: 1: they arrive in time and save the girl. 2: they are to late and the baddie kills the girl.
However, in this movie they found a third resolution: they do arrive in time before the girl gets killed, she is hiding in a closet in the house, then they start a big shootout with the killer. During this the girl escapes through a window and runs away, while they are still engaged in shooting for a while, damaging half the house and surroundings. In the end the killer gets away with his car, and the two buddies return to the house, but now they find out that the girl ran away all by herself.
Now cut back to the killer in his car, he’s driving down the road in this rather high-class residential area, when he suddenly sees the girl running towards him on the side waving her arms desperataly trying to get some help. He just says “Wow” and slows down the car. The girl leans through the car window and begs “I need to get out of here!”. Then a shot, and she drops dead while the car drives on again into the night.

LOL okay, why not this way

This movie gets at least 8,5 maybe even 9 Richard Nixons, funniest things I’ve seen in a while.




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Fawlty Towers
(TV series 1975, 1979)


For the longest time I had to put up with some old VHS tapings from TV and later with some downloaded DVD copy, but now I finally pulled the trigger on the BluRay.

All 12 episodes, lots of nice bonus material, splendid. They could not work miracles on the picture of course with the old tape sources from the 70s, but it’s a bit better I think for the later episodes and season 2, or I simply got used to it.

I watched everything twice so far, one time the original, and one time with the formidable audio comment from John Cleese. Many wonderful insights and quite a bit I learned from it, great info. There is also an audio commentary from the directors which I haven’t watched yet, cause it takes really time for 12 episodes. And there is also the German dubbed version, which I probably will never watch, well… maybe out of fun I will check it out sometimes, but so much gets lost with the translation.

Anyway, the original remains of course the best sitcom of all time, and that is not even up for debate.
The pacing, the acting, they are really never missing a beat, it is jam packed with hilarious dialogue and comedy over some very sophisticated and well crafted plots. OUTSTANDING

10/10

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STRAYS
February 22, 2024

I'd been wanting to watch this for awhile - and so the other night, I did.

Decent movie, weak story. This is going to be a recurring theme for the next two posts. Shucks, this year. Of what I've seen so far, only "Maggie Moore(s)" and "The Beekeeper" would rate is satisfactorily written. So - if you want to be a screenwriter, now's your chance! It looks like anyone with 1/3 of an imagination can get some money, and I know you all have better imaginations than that!

"Strays" does have the best line of the year so far, though. I'll tell it in a few paragraphs, so as to save you time and/or money from having to watch this. But on the off chance, you do watch it, I will say that however they did the dogs - real, CGI, stop-motion, I have no idea - that was great. All the dogs move around and talk like people and it really works well.

But be forewarned - this movie is R-rated and it's a HARD R. It's not one of those "we'll throw in two f-bombs so we get an R rating" movie. It's more like "we're gonna go as far as we possibly can with crude language and sex jokes and not get an X rating".

There's really nothing else to tell, so I'll give you that line now. By way of a set-up, keep in mind that this movie is full of f-bombs and depictions of animals having sex. A lot of depictions of animals having sex, and not just dogs. Is your mind filled with images of animals having sex? Good!

In one of the last scenes, one of the dogs finally boinks one of the other dogs he's had a crush on. This is done at the park, in front of all the humans. There are two elderly people sitting on a bench - a man and a woman. They look on at these two dogs boinking and the man laughs and says, "That reminds me of when I was a young man". To which the lady replies:

"You used to #$%^ dogs?!?"

I'm still laughing at that, but that's really the only part of the movie I'm still laughing at. I'm trying to forget the rest of it.

"Strays" is a 1 Human Position out of 5 Human Positions, which is what these dogs call the way humans have sex. That weak joke kind of sums it up.
 
DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS
February 25, 2024

Continuing on the weakly-written script theme, we come to "Drive-Away Dolls". I think I know who to blame for this.

Lena Dunham.

You won't find her name anywhere in the credits, but hear me out. It goes like this:

Margaret Qualley is one of the stars. She's Andi McDowell's daughter, and she just got married to Jack Antonoff, who fronts a band called Bleachers that puts out decent rock but live? WATCH THEM. Antonoff is a Springsteen-esque frontman. I mean, the cat is really, really good. He also produces music and has worked with Taylor Swift a lot, and we all know how highly we think of Ms. Swift (she's awesome, this is not open for debate).

However, his creative juices were poisoned when he became famous because when he became famous, he met Lena Dunham and started dating her. Try as he might, and I bet he's tried, you can't just wash out the depressing goofiness of Lena Dunham very easily.

He obviously wiped some of that depressing goofiness on Ethan Cohen and Tricia Cooke somehow, because that's the only explanation I can think of for a movie that had a great premise and could have been good, turning into basically a two-hour documentary on how awesome it is to be a lesbian.

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C'mon, you were thinking of "Seinfeld" too. I know it.

Anyway, the premise is that Marian is a weepy, sad person who hasn't had a date in a long time. This is because she is a very depressing person. No one would want to hang out with her, trust me.

Her friend Jamie is the opposite. She's got a girlfriend and has lots of sex everywhere she goes. But something happens and her girlfriend kicks Jamie out of the apartment. With nowhere to go, Jamie visits Marian and they decide to do a drive-away to Tallahassee to see Marian's aunt.

A "drive away" is a service. You drive someone's car for them to a different city. It's like a delivery. Apparently there are companies that specialize in this, although a quick Google check for drive-away services in Houston reveals nothing but ads for truck drivers. Oh well.

They go see Curlie, who has just been contacted by some mobsters who've told him they left their car at his lot and someone is going to come and get it and drive it to Tallahassee. What the mobsters don't tell Curlie, or anyone, is that the trunk has two things in it - a silver case (contents to be revealed later), and a container filled with ice and also with Pedro Pascal's severed head. As the movie opens, Pascal is seen with the silver case but mobsters corner him, take the case, and cut off his head. You should know that while Pascal as marketed as a star in this movie, he's only it in the first five minutes, although his severed head does make an appearance at the end of the movie.

As luck would have it, right after Curlie hangs up with the mobsters, in walk Marian and Jamie and they ask if there's any cars that need driven to Tallahassee. Thinking these are the people to whom the mobsters were referring, Curlie gives them the keys, and off go Jamie and Marian.

By the way, Bill Camp plays Curlie and is awesome. Camp is one of those character actors that you think you've seen a million times but maybe you're really only seen him in two things. But his list of credits is so long that it has its own Wikipedia page!

The mobsters come by to pick up the car, whereupon Curlie tells them that it's gone. This does not sit well with the mobsters, of which there are three: The Chief, The Lunk, and Not J. K. Simmons (the dude looks like J. K. Simmons and talks like J. K. Simmons but is actually Joey Slotnick and not J. K. Simmons). They rough up Curlie and set out looking for the girls and the car.

Along the way, some things happen. First and foremost, during the multi-day drive to Tallahassee, Jamie makes sure she has sex with as many women as possible. Then they find the stuff in the trunk and here is what's in the silver case: dildos. Five of them. Jamie is ecstatic! Marian is still uptight and is more distraught at Pedro Pascal's severed head than Jamie is.

The mobsters had visited Jamie's old girlfriend but she's a cop and easily subdues The Lunk, who tried to get physical. Not J. K. Simmons is much more rational and converses with Jamie's ex-girlfriend in a manner that gets the mobsters the information they want.

Everyone eventually arrives in Tallahassee and the mobsters locate Marian and Jamie via credit card transactions. They burst into the girls' hotel room but not before Jamie has partaken of the goods in the silver case. And as it turns out, those goods are replicas of the penises of some famous people (another penis-centric sentence I never thought I'd ever type). Some floozy named The Plaster Queen (played by Miley Cyrus in a flashback) boinks famous people and apparently using drugs, convinces them to let her make plaster casts of their junk. One of the dongs she re-created is that belonging to Senator Matt Damon, who is a potential presidential candidate. Understandably, he would not want a dildo made from a cast of his manhood out there, and he's the guy the mobsters have been working for.

And now for the questions. To this point, the movie has been an excuse to show as many women kissing each other as possible while not really focusing much on the dildos or Pedro Pascal's severed head. But I want to know:

1. What good does getting the case do? You've got to have the molds. Miley Cyrus could make as many Matt Damon Dongs(TM) as she wants!
2. Who were the other four famous dudes whose flesh torpedoes had been dildo-ized, and why weren't they also looking for the casts?
3. The mobsters have captured Marian and Jamie, and have them tied up and ready to be executed. But The Lunk gets tired of being made fun of and The Lunk shoots the Chief and Not J. K. Simmons, and then runs away. This allows Jamie and Marian to escape. OK fine, but The Lunk still works for Matt Damon, right? So what happens to The Lunk? Why didn't he take the silver case when he ran away? For that matter, why didn't he finish the job and shoot Jamie and Marian? What kind of a third-rate assassin is this guy? He doesn't show up at the end to help Matt Damon, who has agreed to pay the girls $1,000,000 in exchange for the Matt Damon Dong(TM). But The Lunk knows the girls' names and where they live, etc. Why did he just disappear? How come neither Marian nor Jamie nor Jamie's ex-girlfriend were worried about him any more?
4. Matt Damon does execute the trade and does take possession of the Matt Damon Dong(TM). So what was the reason for immediately trying to kill the girls? It goes spectacularly awry, as I'm sure you have already guessed
5. Finally, being in possession of not only the Matt Damon Dong(TM) but also the dongs of four other famous/powerful men, why didn't Matt Damon do what any politician would do - blackmail the other four dudes for whose dongs Matt Damon has replica dildos?

Matt Damon gets arrested and is caught with the dongs. This is headline news and the funniest thing in the movie is the newspaper headlines about Matt Damon and the Matt Damon Dong(TM), with his "I Can Explain!" quote right under the picture of him being arrested.

It kind of seems like "Drive-Away Dolls" is a movie meant to shine a light on lesbian love. And that's fine or as Jerry Seinfeld said above, "Not that there's anything wrong with that!". But if that's what you want to do, why wrap it up in a poorly-thought-out heist movie? This movie could have been a good lesbian love story, or it could have been a good heist movie, but it tries to be both and doesn't do justice to either subject.

It's not a total bomb but the best I can give "Drive-Away Dolls" is 2 Matt Damon Dongs(TM) out of five Matt Damon Dongs(TM) and don't kid yourself - you knew the second you saw me write "Matt Damon Dong(TM)" that I'd use Matt Damon Dongs(TM) as the rating device for this movie.
 
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Desperado
March 18, 2024

I'll tell you right up front this isn't that good of a movie. It ain't gonna get half of whatever clever rating device I come up with. But I'm not blaming Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino. Nope, I'm blaming a guy name Al.

Al Gorithim to be exact. Maybe it's because I can't help watching every four-minute snippet of Raylan Givens going nuts on "Justified" and somehow, Mr. Al Gorithim thinks that means I like Westerns? Or maybe Mr. Al Gorithim spied on me a year or two ago when I posted how funny I thought the description of Steve Buscemi was when his picture was used on Peter Griffin's drivers license on "Family Guy"? ("He looks like a human cigarette!" and you have to admit, that's funny)

Who knows? Not me. Who cares? Not me, either. Except to the extent that Mr. Al Gorithim started populating my feed with the opening scene of "Desperado". It's a scene where Steve Buscemi walks into a Mexican bar and tells a story like only he can. Hey, I have an idea - let's watch that scene right now! It truly is one of the best scenes, from any movie, ever:


And now you've seen all the "Desperado" you need to see. But I'll still happily skewer it because happily skewering things is what I do!

This is the second of Robert Rodriguez's "Mexico trilogy". It's supposed to be about a mysterious stranger who travels around with a guitar case full of weaponry, killing everyone he possibly can in hopes that during all that killing, he kills the guy who killed his girlfriend. Or something like that.

Antonio Banderas plays The Mariachi aka The Stranger. Quentin Tarantino plays a Scumbag. Robert Rodriguez plays Quentin Tarantino. Salma Hayek gets her big break.

Back to Rodriguez. He tries too hard to be Quentin Tarantino which is weird seeing as how Tarantino is in this movie. You'd have thought Tarantino would have said, "Hey man - quit trying to be me and just be you". But no and sadly, Robert Rodriguez is no Tarantino. There is only one Tarantino and there's a good reason for that.

We can only take one Quentin Tarantino at a time.

Antonio Banderas has a similar problem but with a twist - he can't decide if he's Antonio Banderas or Sylvester Stallone. In the beginning, God created...no, wait. In the beginning, Banderas is a great Silent Killing Machine but after he gets shot a few times and has to be sewn up by Hayek, he gets very wordy, and a whole bunch of his mystique wears off. Baby, mystique is hard to come by and when you've got it, you keep it!

Banderas shoots a whole bunch of people, including ultimately all the dudes in the bar Buscemi told that great story. But he doesn't know yet who Bucho is. I thought he did though, because I thought it was Bucho who killed Banderas's girlfriend in the first movie? It looked that way in a flashback. And if it was, then the whole premise of this movie crumbles, because it turns out Bucho is Banderas's brother. Banderas would have always known who Bucho was.

If my memory is bad and it wasn't Bucho who killed the girlfriend, then why does Banderas have a grudge with Bucho? See - Quentin Tarantino would have never left me guessing like this.

We stumble to The Big Showdown, in which Banderas has brought two friends who also have guitar cases. Their cases don't open to reveal multiple guns but that's OK. They don't have to. One guy's case is a handle-triggered machine gun and the other guy's case shoot rocket propelled grenades. They have a grand time shooting or blowing up everyone they can, that is until they are shot to smithereens on account of not being smart enough to ever take cover.

Banderas ends up at Bucho's ranch, where they kinda/sorta make up, except that it doesn't take and Bucho dies from a severe case of lead poisoning compliments of Banderas. Then Banderas and Hayek drive off into the sunset, and FIN.

If the whole movie had followed the tone Buscemi set in the beginning, it would have been a whole lot better. And if there'd been more Buscemi, that also would have made the movie better. But those things didn't happen, so the best I can give Desperado is 2 Fake Quentin Tarantinos out of 5 Fake Quentin Tarantinos and as we know, there is only one Quentin Tarantino.
 
GHOSTBUSTERS - Iced Cold Beer!
March 23, 2024

You can tell by my halfway funny title that there's not much going for this thing. Let me put it this way:

If you've seen one Ghostbusters movie, you've pretty much seen them all.

Except for the one before this - which was "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" - they all go like this: (1) the Ghostbusters are down on their luck; (2) a bad ghost that is the embodiment of all evil and is going to destroy Earth appears; then (3) using the same equipment every single movie, the Ghostbusters save the day and are hailed as heroes.

An actor named William Atherton plays the Mayor of New York City. He was in the first "Ghostbusters" - he was the arrogant EPA lawyer that unleashed all the ghosts on New York City. He was also the arrogant TV reporter in "Die Hard" (best Christmas movie ever, fight me on it) and you've seen him in a lot of other stuff, mostly stuff where he's arrogant. In case that doesn't bring him to mind, here's a picture of him, probably being arrogant to someone:

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In real life, I'm sure he's a nice guy but he was so good at being arrogant in the original "Ghostbusters" that he actually got harassed on the street and challenged to fights in bars. Yikes!

But you don't want to hear about William Atherton getting the lead part in "The Day of the Locust" but being so arrogant that he walked out and refused to film the final scene of the movie, do you? Nor do you want to hear that there was a character in that movie who was played by the legendary Donald Sutherland, and that character's name was "Homer Simpson", do you? (True!) No, Dear Reader, you want to hear about THIS movie.

Errrm....maybe you don't. There's nothing original in it. There's nothing funny in it. There's nothing that touches your heart like the end of "Afterlife" did.

Not even Patton Oswalt can save it and if you want to hear the problem with this flick, it's in Oswalt's scene. You see, some dude has sold a sphere to Dan Ayckroyd that contains The Most Evil Thing In History. But no one knew it. They only knew there was weird writing on the sphere that they couldn't decipher.

So they go to Oswalt, who runs some Paranormal Library. After telling them that the language on the sphere is older than Sanskrit and no one has ever seen it before, he immediately goes to a book with a picture of that sphere, and the book relates how The Most Evil Thing In History is trapped inside it.

How did he know what book to go to? In fact, how did he know what page to turn to? And why is it always an Evil Spirit That Wants To Destroy Earth? Plus, why is it that all Evil Spirits That Want To Destroy Earth can be vacuumed up and that somehow that erases them? Not only that, why did the producers burn $10,000,000 on Paul Rudd (more than they paid everyone else combined) and then not use him very much, much less give him anything funny to say?

I'd pass on it if I was you. But I am not you, so make your own choice.

"Ghostbusters - Baby, It's Cold Outside" gets a Pawn out of a Full Chess Set. Yeah, ghosts play chess.
 
RICKY STANICKY
April 7, 2024

Finally - a great movie to watch while enjoying a copious amount of adult beverages!

Which I did!

This is a verrrrrrrrrry funny movie, entirely because of the acting greatness of John Cena. Yes, John Cena. He is HILARIOUS.

Grab your favorite beverage, or watch it stone-cold sober. It won't matter - you will laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. And then you're going to want to watch it again, because there's no way to catch all the great lines the first time!

"Ricky Stanicky" gets 5 Oh Wait Until You See What William H. Macy Does out of 5 Oh Wait Until You See What William H. Macy Does. Come back and tell me I'm not right!
 
A YOUTUBE RABBIT HOLE OR TWO...DOZEN
Yesterday, Today and Probably Tomorrow

It's not what you think. I haven't gotten addicted to fail videos or home repair videos or car review videos or anything like that. No, I have found the REAL REASON for Youtube:

You can watch the best scenes of good TV shows without having to ever watch the whole show!

Case in point: "Justified".

This was a great show. I watched four or five episodes back in the day and really liked it but never got around to following through. This was probably because I'd read all the Raylan Givens books that Elmore Leonard wrote, so I figured I was good.

I was kinda wrong!

A few months ago we started watching the new "Justified: City Primeval". It was good but not good enough to keep watching. However, since all my devices are always spying on me, all of a sudden "Justified" clips started populating my Youtube feed. And mostly clips from the original series. All of them about 3 - 5 minutes long. And all of them the scenes where Raylan either shoots someone, beats someone up, or otherwise outsmarts someone.

Awesome!

I don't know how many clips I've watched but I've watched all the clips that Youtube sees fit to throw my way. I've watched all the best parts of six seasons in short clips that probably total an hour or two? Hey, does that make me a binger?!? Because up til now, I've never watched more than two episodes of anything in one sitting and I'm pretty sure that the hipsters would not call that "binging".

And then someone told me, "Hey RodeoSchro - you need to watch 'Peaky Blinders' because it's even more awesome that 'Banshee' was".

I made it through one episode.

Sure, there was a lot of action but "Peaky Blinders" has three things going against it: (1) I can't understand the accents very well; (2) everyone is always smoking and I swear I can smell it coming through the TV; and (3) all set pieces, clothing and other stuff is dark and brown. Pass.

But guess what? Youtube somehow spied on me AGAIN and now my feed has lots of 3-minute clips where that one dude named Tommy kills various other unintelligible doofuses. Score!

What else does Youtube think I'll like?

"Yellowstone". No, I ditched that after the hippie chick and Kevin Costner's daughter were made to beat the hell out of each other by Rip.

Most Badass Movie Moments, Parts 1 - 8. Now we're talking!

But the big winner is...
 
WISHMASTER 2
April 17, 2024

...this is the big winner!

For reasons unknown, Youtube kept throwing clips of this thing at me. And I watched them all! And then I watched the entire movie!

First things first - the movie is pretty corny. The acting is subpar, the writing is amateurish, the effects are just OK. But what IS five-star rated it this guy:


This guy is Andrew Divoff. He was PERFECT in this movie. Probably also in the first one but I haven't watched that one yet.

"Wishmaster 2" is one of those movies where every scene that Divoff is in is pure perfection, because HE is pure perfection in this role. Unfortunately he isn't in every scene but he's in most of them. More than enough, in fact, to make watching "Wishmaster 2" worth 93 minutes of your time.

I can't give the entire movie five stars but am I going to let that stop me from giving Andrew Divoff five stars? What do you think?!?

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