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We apologize for how slow reviews have been coming out. We had to take a hiatus as several of our staff have been implicated in the Russian Hacking Scandal. Fortunately we are now allowed to continue reviewing.
“So, what should I review?” I asked myself a week ago. I wanted to review Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, but that was in October. Instead I decided to review the entire Air Bud film series! In order, of course. Starting with Air Bud 1: Ball is Life. The story of a boy discovering that his dead father inhabits the body of a tortured dog that can perform tricks. But we will get to that more later…
The movie opens to a clown driving a truck with a dog carrier in the back. Pretty normal stuff if you ask me. He is going to a town called Fernfield, where anything is possible (that is their slogan). The clown sucks at clowning. Once he realizes that he is a failure, he starts doing tricks with the dog. He throws balls at the dog’s face (Air Bud catches the balls) and eventually does a trick where the dog hits an inflatable ball through his arms. Instead, the ball hits him in the face…which causes the clown to go berserk like he is Goofy. The dog runs around, the children are screaming, and the clown slips on a banana and falls into the cake.
The clown blames the dog for his failures and threatens to take him to the pound. However, he left the tailgate down on the back of the truck. The carrier eventually falls out of the truck and is narrowly missed by a semi. However, the carrier is hit by a car (with the dog still inside). The mother in the car is unphased and is instead concerned about her crying daughter. The boy sees a dog come out of the crate wearing a clown suit. He doesn’t say anything, I would also assume that I am hallucinating though. The mom doesn’t notice and would have ran over the dog if it hadn’t been on the other side. The dog follows them to their home, more or less.
We learn that Josh’s (the kid) dad has recently died. This is why I hypothesize that Air Bud is his father, maybe it is because I have recently watched Nine Lives. But I digress, the kid finds an abandoned church which is overgrown. The backyard contains a basketball court, because ball is life. Over the next few scenes he restores the basketball court to its former glory. Air Bud is living in the bushes of the court because Air Bud knows all. Air Bud also loves vanilla pudding, and this is how the kid lures the dog to leave the bushes and later they engage in a basketball playing montage.
Josh wants to play basketball, and shows up at a practice and just sits there. In talking to the team the coach says, “If you can win on the courts you can win at life”. So ball is indeed life, this is the moral of the story and everything else is secondary.
After a few days of hanging out, Josh takes air bud home to wash him, which then leads to this stupid song Splish Splash. A cleaning the dog montage takes place where he dries off the dog with a leaf blower, and even sprayed perfume in the dog’s face to freshen him up. Please don’t do this to your dogs.
His mother arrives at the house and Josh tries to hide the dog. Unfortunately, Ball if Life and the dog wrecks the house by chasing after a basketball. Josh is made to put up “lost dog” signs around the town, which ends Air Bud eating his ice cream cone. This dog has eaten vanilla pudding, spaghettiO’s, and ice cream. Please don’t feed these to your dogs. We are only 1/3rd of the way through the movie….I’ll try to pick up the pace.
Jumping forward a little bit, the janitor shows up like a wise black guy in a Stephen King story. He tells Josh about using cold water to wash the basketball uniforms (he is the team manager), and asks Josh why he puts up with this shit. Josh’s response is “Ball is Life”, in essence. Josh discovers that the janitor is probably former NBA legend Arthur Chaney (played by Clevelander Bill Cobbs). Josh has his basketball card because of course he does and that is not weird at all.
Josh was mistakenly given a tryout invitation, and the coach seemed pissed about it. However, Josh balls out and makes the team. One kid on the team is a major asshole for no good reason. Seriously, these kids look like they’re in 5th grade. That kid’s dad is also a horrible human being.
Meanwhile… during the game Air Bud breaks out of the house and makes his way to the court. Josh is thrown into the game which means Air Bud must chase the ball around. The dog proves himself to be faster and stronger on the ball than everyone else. NO ONE CAN STOP HIM. One ref eventually puts a towel over his head in shame. Somehow Josh grabs the ball and Air Bud knocks it into the hoop. Everyone stops in sheer amazement and cheers uncontrollably as if they saw this Michigan punter blow the game single handedly. The end result is a mom? the principal? trying to set Josh up with a girl.
DRAMA HAPPENS NEXT. Air bud goes back to the court, because ball is life, and we get to witness the coach going full Rutgers on a player. He gets fired and replaced by the dog. PSYCH, they replace him with the ex-NBA playing janitor. Why wasn’t he always the coach? idk. In the first practice the coach performs a magic trick, the kids don’t seem to care.
Larry, the asshole kid, gets benched during the game for not being a team player. I only mention this because the family ends up moving to a new city just so their asshole kid can play elementary school basketball. At the end of the game Josh has the opportunity to make a 3 like Kyrie to win the game, however he misses the shot.
The coach, being a wise black man, knows that ball is life. He also knows that Air Bud understands this, because he just likes to ball and doesn’t care about stats. Unfortunately Air Bud would be an awful teammate, his off the ball work is non-existent and he sucks at defense.
A minor subplot in this movie is the mystery of the disappearing newspapers. However the mom finds them all buried in the backyard. While digging up the mountain of newspapers the Clown guy shows up behind her to claim the dog. The mom is totally okay with a creepy guy showing up on her property and claiming the dog is his. Josh begins to cry because he is a child, he also begins leaving vanilla pudding at the church basketball court.
Josh finds out where the clown lives, which is apparently within walking distance of his house? He breaks in and steals the dog. Which results in a ridiculous scene that would take too much time to detail. Overall the clown is defeated by running water, proceeds to chase the kid and dog in his truck, and almost kills a couple people because he is driving through a park. This ends in what should most certainly be his death since the truck is literally falling apart. The steering wheel even comes off and he crashes into the lake, which means he should be impaled as he wasn’t even wearing a seat belt. Nope, he lives. But let’s count this as the first should-be death in the series.
Josh knows that Air Bud won’t leave him alone so he tries to convince the dog to be free. He tries yelling at Air Bud to “Go on, get!”, which we all know is the hardest thing to say to a dog. To highlight the emotion in the scene, the dog mentions that he wants to tend the rabbits. PSYCH. instead Josh throws the ball and Air Bud chases it. The kid runs away.
BACK AT SCHOOL its the big game. The coach, who was a professional basketball player at one point, mentions that these have been the best months of his life. I call BS on that. The team is down to only 7 players because of the chicken pox. Larry is now on the other team, which is actually good for everyone because its not like he was going to make the championship game with the first team anyway. These kids clearly suck at defense as one team has 50 points at the half!
As stated, the team is shorthanded and need everyone they can to play. Unfortunately one kid fouls out and two more injure each other. How can they win playing 4 on 5? Well, we’ll never know because Air Bud shows up ready to ball. 99.9999% of the time if a dog shows up to a little league basketball game wearing a jersey and shoes, nobody says the dog should play. However, this is no ordinary day…
The coach argues that the dog should be allowed to play because he is a registered member of the team. How do we know this? Because he practices and travels with the team. I guess that is all it takes to be a REGISTERED MEMBER. With whom is this dog registered? I don’t know. He isn’t even a student, which I imagine is a necessary part of being a registered member of the team. If not, then why did Larry have to move to Spokane to join the Warriors?
ANYWAY the coach then challenges the ref on the rules. The ref recites his famous “there ain’t no rule that says a dog can’t play basketball.” line. The other coach is pissed off, rightfully so. Arthur Chaney then challenges the other coach by calling him chicken if he doesn’t want to allow a dog to play in this game, AND IT FUCKING WORKS. This is just Back to the Future rules in a movie about magic and dogs.
Stupid stuff happens, like this line, “Does he dribble? No but he might drool a little bit.” Fuck this. Air bud wins a jump ball by scaring the kid with a bark. Fuck this. This is Air Bud at its worst.
The team is rolling and are now down by 4 with 20 seconds left. Larry, the asshole, gives a hard foul to the dog, which forces the dog to shoot a 1 on 1 because this association has college rules. Larry realizes that he hit a fucking dog in a little league basketball game and finally questions his life, unfortunately for him Air Bud then gives him a nut shot and steals the ball.
Josh is open in an identical situation to the last game, where he can make a 3 to win the game. This time he has the confidence and the spirit to make the shot. THEY WIN THE GAME. The clown shows up to take the dog away, yep this movie isn’t over yet. They go to court because OF COURSE THEY DO. This movie will never end, don’t you see? Also this is a more ridiculous court room than God’s Not Dead 2.
“Holy Toledo what is that dog doing in the courthouse?” Says the judge, I agree. “I will not have my courtroom turned into some kind of a circus!”, says the judge. As the dude shows up wearing his clown getup. Such easy jokes.
The clown claims he has papers to prove that the dog is his, because the fucking dog has fucking papers. The Clown also says that the boy is a criminal, despite this not being the place to make those claims. However, the dog barks every time the judge slams the gavel which leads to a series of jokes about the dog barking that is reminiscent of Abbot and Costello except with a dog.
The family are trying to prove that the guy abuses the dog, and they don’t have any proof. IF ONLY THEY REMEMBERED WHEN THEY FOUND THE DOG CRATE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Josh is so dumb that he can’t remember this? or he thinks its a different dog? I think he believes the dog is magic and didn’t actually come out of the crate.
Arthur Chaney walks in because he is the wise black man with all the answers. His argument? Dog is man’s best friend and therefore the dog should be able to choose what man he is friends with. I would reject this argument outright, but instead the judge who did NOT want his court room to become a circus decides to entertain this. The coach also argues that the dog is 3 or 4 years old, which makes him an adult in our years. I’m not misquoting…I just can’t tell if this was an intentional writing mistake…
So it is the moment of truth as they set up outside of the courthouse with Air Bud in the middle and the two people on either side. Air bud is lured by the clown because he brought a newspaper, which Air Bud then rips off like he is tearing off the chains of slavery and then runs over to Josh. Roll Credits.
This movie is bonkers, but there is also a lot less action than one might expect. They take the relatively basic concept of a dog being able to hit a basketball into a hoop and extrapolate it to playing basketball on a kid’s team. The movie itself, when it comes to children’s dog based movies, isn’t all that bad. I still wouldn’t suggest feeding your dog the Air Bud diet, but at least he is getting a workout.
40/100 is the rating. The dog only plays in one game. I feel the more the dog actually plays the sport competitively the worse the movie gets.
Death count: 1
Josh also appeared in Dawn of the Dead.
The actor who played Air Bud died, a new dog plays Air Bud in the other movies.
What? Other movies? YES there are a total of 14 movies in the Air Bud cinematic universe. If you want to read more about them, stay tuned, I am doing them all!
Last review: God’s Not Dead 2
Next review: Air Bud: Golden Receiver
So who do you think is going to win the election? – Tamara C. from Boise
I really need to start posting more regularly…
What dinosaur is best? – Anonymous
Do birds count? Fried chicken.
What’s a nice beer for the Winter? – Dale from Albany
I really, really need to start posting more regularly. Try the Anchor Porter.
I’m going to college this coming Fall. Do you have any advice for incoming Freshman? – Reese from Culver City
Join a couple student groups, don’t be afraid to be turned down, get as much free food as possible, find a liquor that you enjoy, don’t schedule classes before nine, and be confident. Most of all, have fun.
What are you the worst at? – Anonymous
Answering the reader mail.
“Night Moves” is a song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Seger. It was the lead single from his ninth studio album, Night Moves (1976), released on Capitol Records. Seger wrote the song as a coming of age tale about adolescent love and adult memory of it. It was based on Seger’s own teenaged love affair he experienced in the early 1960s. It took him six months to write and was recorded quickly at Nimbus Nine Studios in Toronto, Ontario, with producer Jack Richardson. As much of Seger’s Silver Bullet Band had returned home by this point, the song was recorded with several local session musicians. – Helen W. from New York City
I don’t understand why someone sent me the Wikipedia article for the song Night Moves, but I’ll try to tackle this question.
Don’t go around digging up dead bodies, wearing them, and stalking prostitutes. They are people too. Just give them a twenty and they’ll probably do whatever. They’re people, but they’re also desperate.
Oh, and use a condom.
Appearance: Very carbonated with a pale straw color, slightly opaque body, and a white head that hangs around for a bit.
Smell: Just malt.
Taste: Very, very watery mouthfeel with an indescribably unpleasant taste. I legitimately can’t figure out how to describe this. It’s like if you mom was on the phone with your dad and asking why the child support check was late again and then she starts crying. Also, the aftertaste is awful and won’t go away.
Overall: This was an all around terrible experience. I can’t believe that the homeless man in front of the gas station didn’t have the discerning palate that he claimed to have. This is the last time I give any panhandlers any money unless they can recommend a fortified wine to pair with a microwave burrito or maybe offers to assassinate one of my enemies or something. I’ll give this a 12/100 and that’s only because it didn’t look entirely awful. I seriously hope that homeless man was frozen over the Winter.
Up Next: Schlitz, because there is no god.
I only gave myself one parameter to measure my status of keeping shit together: making it to the gym. It has been a solid week since I’ve stepped foot in there and I can easily say that I have failed to meet that simple parameter. Going to the gym requires being of sound body and I have not been nurturing myself as I should be. Cooking just hasn’t been something I have been able to bring myself to do so I have just been eating bread and hummus, which has left me feeling drained and weak. That could also be the result of going to the bar every single night and closing the place down each time. The past few days have been the same: napping all day while watching The Simpsons and then going out drinking and talking to strangers all night. I have met more people in the past week than I did in the year that we were together. We’ll see where this goes, but I rate spiraling into self destruction: 93%
As this is my first entry, I feel as though I should let you know what I intend to do with my entries. My therapist said writing would be a great way for me to help boost my sense of self worth and gather together my thoughts on day to day experience. Journaling sucks because I feel like some things just need to be shared. So I decided to talk about the random things I come across in my daily life, whether they be restaurants, new recipes, or life experiences in the hopes that these entries might bring you some additional knowledge of the world around you and maybe every now and then make you laugh.
For example, I recently separated from my partner. I received my invitation to contribute to this website coincidentally on the first day I’ve been sober since things ended. The last two weeks have been a blur of anxiety and depression about what is going to happen to the apartment we share. Sub review: I give living with a partner .316 stars out of 5 and would only recommend it if your only other option is being homeless.
For a few days, I thought I was going to get stuck paying the rent, which I can’t afford on my own. So that lead to thoughts of self harm and disappearing off the face of the Earth. In all fairness, it doesn’t take much for those thoughts to surface rather quickly. Out of desperation, we agreed to continue living together for now and I hope a magical fairy will agree to sublease the place before I throw myself off the balcony. We fight nearly every day and having to look at the face of the person who broke my heart is the gasoline on the fire of my alcoholism.
That being said, I was surprisingly pleased with the powdered peanut butter. I added it to a protein smoothie with frozen bananas, frozen peaches, and almond milk. The couple of bits of peanut butter that didn’t get totally blended up had a surprisingly pleasant peanut butter-like texture and it didn’t leave an impossible-to-clean mess inside my blender. Rating: 74%
When you eat a slice of pizza before it’s cool, you’ll burn the roof of your mouth. You’ll probably want some orange juice to cool it down, so you’ll drink a nice tall glass. The acid will make the pain worse. Your gums will get real torn up and your teeth will fall out.
You’ll gather your teeth and put them in a jar. You’ll walk outside. You’ll ask the first person you see for help. She’s a woman wearing a nylon jacket. She has soft brown hair and she’s holding the hand of a child. She will turn around and look at you, mouth covered in blood, and then at the jar of teeth. She will be so frightened that her teeth will fall out, and her child will be so frightened from the screams that his teeth will fall out too. They will put their teeth in jars and ask other people for help, and those people will become so frightened that their teeth will fall out and they will put them in jars too.
Within three days, most people on the globe will have lost their teeth. The terror will transcend species. Cows, horses and wolves will wear their teeth in jars around their necks like amulets and they won’t know why. They will be unable to graze or hunt or chew and they will begin to starve. Within four days, there will be no creature with even one tooth left in its mouth. Some of the animals will not mind because they never had teeth. Some of the animals will be happy because their predator used to have teeth. Most will not understand the gravity of what happened and will simply experience the effects, because their brains are not predisposed to understanding the cause.
The tooth fairy will have to deal with an unprecedented financial burden. She will withdraw all her assets at once. She will sell her company to elves. The stock market in the Fairy Kingdom will crash. Millions of fairies will be left homeless on the streets and most of them will starve, not unlike the animals of the Earth.
The mass death of the fairies will cause a shortage in supernatural labor, specifically for the gods who are in charge of maintaining the laws of physics but are too lazy to actually do the work. It will have been so long since they did their job that they will no longer remember how to do it. The task of keeping matter together will not be attended to. The fabric of time will get real torn up and the space will fall out.
You’ll gather up the space and put it into a jar. You’ll walk outside. You’ll ask the first person you see for help.
This public service announcement brought to you by Ann’s Pizza on Bethel Road. We book birthday parties–CALL TODAY!
So yeah, everyone’s asking me all the time like, “Why’d you stop writing for BOT?” and I’m just like, “Girl, can you not?” because I literally have SO. MANY. good reasons that I took a break from all this bullshit. That’s right, it was a break. I didn’t even stop writing completely. I just wasn’t writing on this ONE website so y’all can chill now. STOP FREAKING OUT. It’s not like taking a two year break is unheard of. Lots of people take two year breaks from shit, like when I took a two year break from coke in rehab. That doesn’t mean I’m suddenly not a coke-head after I took a two year break. So it’s not like after two years I’m not Ms. Ann Thrope anymore either. Even though that’s what the media would like you to believe.
I KNOW that all the magazines say I joined a cult to try and battle my inner demons but that’s so not true. I don’t even know what a demon is! How could I join a cult to fight something that I don’t even know about? You want to know the real reason I disappeared for two years? I’ll give it to you in a nice buzzfeed-type list without the gifs to make it nice and easy for you.
So I guess the main point of this article would be that you shouldn’t judge me based on what you’ve heard from the media, and should realize that I’m actually a really great person. Maybe even the best person. And if you need any special filters for a special friend, you know who to call.
*25 cents is a REALLY good deal. DON’T PASS THIS UP.
Sorry everyone, it has been about a month since I last wrote a review. Life has gotten in the way. However, just like Hillary Clinton after suffering pneumonia, I am back with a vengeance! Yippee-Ki-Yay mother truckers.
With the current political fervor sweeping the nation, it is only fitting that I watch a movie that has as much of a grasp on reality that Trump does on policy…so welcome to God’s Not Dead 2: School Administration Boogaloo.
Is there a rule that Christian movies must be completely awful? That would be the only way to explain the decisions made when making these movies. Maybe your run of the mill evangelical christian just has bad taste in cinema, and can’t understand the messages of a movie unless it is hammered over their head by a cross. However, this film is better than the first God’s Not Dead. How? The actors are better, there is less domestic abuse, and it seemed like they at least tried a bit.
Anyway, this film stars Melissa Joan Hart as our protagonist Grace Wesley. She is a devout Christian who happens to be a history teacher at a public school. There is Jesse Metcalfe, the inexperienced and rather informal lawyer that is going to defend her. He also happens to be a non-believer. There is Ray Wise from Twin Peaks who is an ACLU lawyer that is fighting to punish Grace for mentioning Jesus in history class, Pat Boone who plays Grace’s grandfather (I think), who is a preachy asshole, Ernie Hudson playing the judge, and more. There are also some returning characters from the first film, most notably the pastor, who is now on the jury, and the Chinese kid, Martin.
The film is about the persecution that Christians face from our legal system, while also trying to make the case for God’s existence. One of Grace’s students Brooke recently lost her brother, and she was struggling to move on. She learned about Jesus by talking to her teacher, Grace, outside of class, and found out that her brother believed in God. Her household is strictly non-religious it seems, as it is her parents that seem to be the most offended at the teacher. Specifically the class is discussing Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi in the context of nonviolent protests. Brooke asks about Jesus talking about nonviolence, and Grace responds by quoting the bible.
One of the students messages their parents about the teacher preaching in class, and shit goes downhill for Grace in a hurry. The principal, union rep, and the other teachers seem to be against her. She is advised by her lawyer, Tom, to just apologize and never mention Jesus in class again. That would be easy, but she is willing to be courageous and face public scrutiny for her faith. So we go to trial, and the ACLU is sending their A-Team to take down the Christians.
On the other side we see the point of view of the pastor from the first movie. He is summoned for jury duty, and makes the erroneous claim that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than make it through the selection process for the jury. His old friend who is a pastor too his back and will be studying for his doctorate. Meanwhile the Martin from the first movie has 140+ questions to ask the pastor. Martin gets disowned by his family for pursuing Christianity. He decides to dedicate his life to the Lord and become a pastor, and return to China to spread the word. God’s Not Dead 3? (PLEASE GOD NO)
So then we have the trial. Its a bit weird, though I am not an expert on the format of a trial. The ACLU guy states that Brooke is a minor and therefore has no rights as far as the court is concerned, which isn’t even remotely true. Over the course of the movie there are several arguments presented to argue for Grace. Now, keep in mind that the intended audience of the movie are people who are already believers. They argue that Jesus was a historical person and therefore referencing Jesus in class is acceptable, that makes sense. They argue that she was just asking a question by a student and that she didn’t ever go out of her way to preach, which is true and makes sense. All I want to know is, is this something that would actually go this far today? Or have they created their own world where they are constantly persecuted? I go with the latter and put this movie into the genre of Persecution Porn.
Back to Brooke! She decides to be a witness, despite how upset it made her parents. Tom, the defense attorney, is hesitant because he hasn’t talked to Brooke yet about her side of the story. Brooke, being unprepared, gets talked into admitting that if Grace hadn’t mentioned God that she wouldn’t be a Christian (she became a Christian earlier), and because of that Grace was preaching in the classroom. How very sly Mr. ACLU! Everything looks lost for Grace, she is about to be metaphorically crucified for her religion. To make things worse, the pastor falls ill and is unable to continue being a juror. Believing that he would be on her side (and he was) they feared their replacement wouldn’t be so kind to religion, she had dyed hair.
Meanwhile the local government is forcing every pastor to submit their sermons for the last 6 months. Why? I don’t know. Has this ever happened? I don’t know. It was really dumb, but reinforced the persecution porn theme of the movie.
Anyway, all looks lost and then Brooke organizes a group of people to sing christian songs outside of Grace’s house. Her grandfather sings along and is happy. He doesn’t die in the movie, I thought he would.
Well, here we are, the final day of the trial. No, not the Kafka book… Tom the lawyer comes into the court room late, however he has a new suit and shoes on which makes him look more professional. He takes a different approach, calls Grace to the stand, and tries to sort of bully her. The point he was trying to drive home is that if she is found guilty then the repercussions would be dire as it would clearly be being persecuted for faith. Meanwhile outside the courtroom there is a growing protest, and we are treated with some great signage.
The jury comes back, of course she is not guilty, and everyone celebrates. The ACLU people scowl a bit, the main ACLU guy admires Tom’s new shoes, and they leave. Afterwards we are treated to a performance by the Newsboys, an Australian Christian pop rock band, featuring their song “Guilty” which has the lyrics “God’s Not Dead, He’s Surely Alive!”. This lyric is also a chant that they do at times in the movie. They were also in the first movie.
Well, that’s the movie. It is persecution porn for a Christian audience. The film itself, outside of the plot or the writing, is actually better than the first. The characters are slightly more realistic than the first movie as well. Unfortunately, overall, it is only twice as good as God’s Not Dead, but I will add +1 point for the sign (shown below). I won’t be texting my friends, however.
I award this film 7/100 points, and may God have mercy on its soul.
At the end of the film they take the time to show you a list of court cases that are somewhat related to religious freedom, most (if not all) defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom. Believe it or not, the Freedom the Alliance is Defending protects bigotry.
The film promotes something called The Human Right, which is the right to know Jesus. As with the last film, it encourages everyone who watches to do social media things. This time tweeting “Silence is the enemy of truth! I will make Jesus known.
#thehumanright” Really, just go to twitter and search it. People watch this movie every day.
Last movie review: The Master
Next: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Well the Chipotle rewards thing is over. I’m almost back to normal, but because my diet largely consisted of nothing but burritos and wheat beer I think I may have caused irreparable damage to my colon. Was it worth it? No. Let’s start where we left off!
Meal 14: There’s been an interesting wrinkle in my Chipotle visiting experience. The young lady preparing my chorizo bowl started flirting with me so I engaged in some banter in return. Upon checkout she told the cashier that this one was on her and I wasn’t charged. This also meant my Chiptopia Rewards card wasn’t scanned. I have to visit this awful place again. I’m complaining about free food.
Meal 15: Once again I was given free food, but this time I managed to get my card swiped. I’m not trying to formulate a non-creepy way of asking this woman out for a dinner on me.
Meal 16: Someone ordered a bowl with everything on the side save for the rice. Beans, meat, salsa, lettuce, cheese, and everything all had to go into individual containers. I put this person on my list.
Meal 17: Another earned free entree. I go with double carnitas and guac in a bowl. The staff very clearly knows me at this point and my order has been streamlined. I’m a the point where I know if I see a certain person working the line that my food will be awful. I try to avoid them. I usually fail.
Meal 18: I get another free meal from this woman that is clearly in to me. She comments that I look oddly professional today and I mention that I had a job downtown that day. She asks what I do for a living and I tell her that I work in numbers. She is confused. I make sure my card is swiped.
I start getting hot sauce on the side. I live almost two miles from this Chipotle and I usually walk the food home cause the cheese is perfectly melted when I get it home. Unfortunately the sauce cup opened and it went everywhere. I curse the gods.
Meal 19: Maybe I don’t like chorizo so much. There is no God.
Meal 20: When I was a young man, I once saw a man fall down an up escalator. I thought to myself at the time that (no pun intended) it was all downhill from here. I’d never have a better experience. I was right.
Meal 21: Last free entree of the month so I double up on barbacoa and guac. I get an actual burrito this time instead of a bowl. I take a demented pleasure in watching the staff struggle to roll it up. I guess I was the bad guy all along. I put myself on the list of undesirables I’ve been maintaining since this experiment began.
Meal 22: I’m mad because this should have been my last meal, but I had that debacle with the woman giving me free food. I get carnitas. An old lady behind me mentions that she’s never been to Chee-Poe-Lee-Tay before and doesn’t understand how to order. I tell her how to pronounce Chipotle. She scowled at me and then asked what the difference was between brown rice and white rice.
Meal 23: They were out of carnitas so I got the chicken. The chicken is awful. This month is over though.
I’m at a friend’s place and he asks if I want to get food. I say we have to go to Chipotle. When he asks why I tell him it’s because I have a problem. He understands.
Meal 25: I had a two week gap between meals cause I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I got another free meal from the woman that’s been flirting with me. I’ve decided that there’s no reasonable way to exchange personal information. Love at Chipotle isn’t meant to be.
Meal 26: At this point it’s impossible for me to actually get the full rewards so all the pressure is off of me. Someone ordered a quesadilla. I didn’t know they had quesadillas.
Meal 27: My final meal. There are four people in line in front of me, but the first person has requested that they make a full sized quesadilla in the tortilla warmer and then use that to make a burrito. It causes everything else to stop because the staff can’t work around that.
Eventually that abomination is finished and one of the people in front of me has two orders, both of which are being read from a phone. This person is reading item requests out of order and confusing the staff. I am about to cry.
Once I finally order, I am sure to make it quick so that the line behind me doesn’t revolt. The cashier refuses to put the lid on my bowl and demands the sole person preparing food stop with the next customer and out the lid on. Someone in line yells “Fucking hell.”
I leave and write Chipotle an angry letter. They send me coupons for two free entrees. Fuck Chipotle.
Appearance: Perfectly clear, effervescent for far longer than it had any business being, and topped with a creamy head that sticks around to really slide down the sides of the glass when you go to take a drink.
Smell: Toasted bread and sugar.
Taste: As soon as this hit my tongue I went to spit it out. This tastes like eating charcoal and the mouthfeel was incredibly unpleasant. The aftertaste is like bad scotch.
Overall: This may very well be the worst beer I’ve tasted, but it looked alright so it gets points for that. 23/100
Up Next: Something nice.
I started doing movie reviews so I could get free access to movies…but also to become an approved critic on Rotten Tomatoes. I have a long way to go.
Online publications must achieve and maintain a minimum 500,000 unique monthly visitors according to comScore, Inc or Nielsen Net Ratings and reviews must have an average length of at least 300 words. Publications must also show a consistent standard of professionalism, writing quality, and editorial integrity across all reviews and articles. Lastly, site design and layout should also reflect a reasonable level of quality and must have a domain name specific to the property.
I also need to have at least 100 reviews under my belt. I am well on my way to 100 reviews, my average length of reviews is above average, and I would say I have the highest quality reviews on this site. However, getting to 500,000 unique monthly visitors will be a task. So, I challenge all of you to do this. Send a message/text/tweet to everyone in your contacts list with “God’s Not Dead” and a link to BoozeAndOtherNonsense.com
Together we can make my dreams come true. Now, to the review.
I was afraid to review a movie by Paul Thomas Anderson. In my opinion he is the best film maker currently working. He always maximizes the potential of the talent he is working with. He also alternates between original stories and film adaptations of novels. After hearing the news that PTA is working on a new movie with Daniel Day Lewis, I knew I had to review a film of his. I could have done There Will Be Blood…but instead I want to review a movie I haven’t seen in a while. So that leads me to 2012’s The Master.
The Master stars the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the L. Ron Hubbard of his culty religion “The Cause”. Joaquin Phoenix makes his return to film after taking a hiatus of sorts. His last movie was 2008’s Two Lovers, though he did make the weird documentary about himself in 2010 titled I’m Still Here. Anyway, he is Freddie Quell, a WW2 veteran with PTSD, alcoholism, and a bit of a temper. Amy Adams is Peggy Dodd, The Master’s life partner. It also features some other notable people, like Laura Dern (Rambling Rose, Wild, Jurassic Park), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, Until Dawn, Night at the Museum), and Jesse Plemmons (Breaking Bad, Fargo, Black Mass)
As an auteur, Paul Thomas Anderson is the director, producer, and writer of this film. However several of the other producers have worked with PTA on prior films. One of the editors of the film, Leslie Jones, also worked with PTA on Punch-Drunk-Love and Inherent Vice. However, much of the staff was working with PTA for the first time, unlike for There Will Be Blood where the editors, cinematographer, and producers all had worked with him on prior projects. However, Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame returns to score another PTA film. I will say that Greenwood’s score is probably the best thing about this movie, and that is not meant to diminish the rest of the film.
This film has several themes within it, but largely revolves around the duality of man as both being civilized and being an animal. With Dodd representing the former, Freddie the latter. This theme is emphasized in almost every scene in the movie. We see Freddie’s life as being tumultuous and lonely, while Dodd’s is far more secure and based around family. We have many scenes where we see the calmness of Dodd contrasted with the wildness of Freddie.
However, we are reminded that these two are closer than they seem. Both are rather nomadic in their lifestyle, and also for similar reasons. Freddie lives his life going from place to place, usually running because he did something bad (someone died from drinking too much of his booze). Dodd goes from place to place, traveling the country and the world, fleeing those who are persecuting him. While Freddie is always running away from his past, he encounters Dodd who has a philosophy of embracing our past and understanding it. These are the major conflicts and driving forces for these characters.
The Master is a film that is made up of many great scenes and great shots, with outstanding performances by its cast. There are many scenes in the film where you just see Freddie and Dodd in a room, and it is pure magic. The above shot where Freddie breaks a toilet with his foot inside of the jail cell is a great example. He was instructed to be his character, an animal, and the result was him thrashing about and burning out. Dodd stands still, composed, trying his best to bring Freddie back to being human.
There is another scene, earlier in the film, where Dodd is auditing Freddie. The instruction is to not blink while answering the questions, or else they start over. Well, PTA places two cameras and films this in one shot because he is a master of his craft (pun intended). The result is perfection, with the unexpected benefit of a vein that begins forming on Phoenix’s forehead as he struggles to keep his eyes open. An image of this is below, but I recommend also just finding this scene on youtube and watching it.
Now, this is also one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last films, which makes me tear up as I write this. He is an actor who was in his peak, and worked on many films with PTA. I can’t help but think of the work he could have done in the future. Hoffman’s last decade of his life saw him win the Academy Award for best actor in Capote, and nominated three times for best supporting actor in Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master. He was able to be funny (Along Came Polly, Twister, Lebowski), he could be a leading man (Capote, Synechdoche, New York, A Most Wanted Man), and he could be a side character (Moneyball, Ides of March, Hunger Games). The man was a pure talent who elevated every movie he was a part of. Don’t do heroin folks, it’s not worth it.
Now while this movie has a lot going for it, its not perfect. The movie has amazing shots and scenes, and the themes are well represented in both the acting and the staging of the film…but at times the film can seem disjointed. While it mostly follows a linear plot line, there are flashbacks which sortof derail the momentum which impacts the pacing of the film. Meanwhile there are some things which make me wonder whether, in the film, the religion is true, and whether magic is real. For example, Freddie dreams that Dodd calls him which brings Freddie to England where they can discuss what they said in the dream. Is that a coincidence? Can Dodd do this in the reality of the movie? This lends itself more to the comparisons of The Cause (the religion in the film) and the origins of Scientology.
If you liked other PTA films, you understand some of the downfalls. Is The Master a movie that runs too long, slows down as you go, and has a weird ending that involves a confrontation of characters and singing? I might agree with that to an extent, but it doesn’t spoil the movie to me due to the strength of the film as a whole.
To re-emphasize something I mentioned earlier, the music is fantastic and compliments the movie perfectly. The opening of the movie is an excellent example, where the music plays off of the natural sounds being produced in the scene. Not only does the original music work beautifully with the film, but the songs included in the film do as well. From “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” by Ella Fitzgerald, to “Changing Partners” by Helen Forrest, its breathtaking. This is definitely a movie that you could watch and just focus on the music.
Overall, this film is another masterpiece by Paul Thomas Anderson, right up there with Magnolia and There Will Be Blood. The performances are spectacular, the staging and cinematography is stellar, and the music is beautiful. However, the film can be a bit slow at times and possibly asserts magic exists. Still, I will watch this movie whenever I get the chance and always notice something new while I do it.
92/100. I would recommend this movie to anyone that appreciates good cinema.
In the film they establish that most of it takes place in 1958 and onward. However they say that the second conference of The Cause will take place in 1950, I think they meant 1960…
Hoffman was sober from alcohol for 23 years before this movie took place, he relapsed at the after party. This probably contributed to his eventual relapse and overdose on heroin….
Phoenix improvised several of his lines and his actions, from his first line in the film to the window scene.
Previously: Left Behind (a 9/11 special)
Next: God’s Not Dead 2