God’s Not Dead 2

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.


A circus car of a moving truck

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.


A gaggle of 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.


He’s Surely Alive

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.


Help! I have fallen and I cannot get up!

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. 


Whoever thought of this sign should get paid more

Fun facts…

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. ” 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

Beer Review #85: Sam Adams Bonfire Blonde


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Adventures In Monotonous Dining Part Deux

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.

2014Meal 24: It’s now September. I’ve hit the max status two months in a row, but I’m certain I can’t do it again.

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.


Sam Adams Bonfire Blonde

Sam Adams Bonfire Blonde

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.

The Master


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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.


Our bodies are ready

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)


Still not crazy

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.


Similar…but different

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.


A scene where Amy Adams gives Hoffman a hand job

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.


Seriously, just watch this scene

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.


RIP, Sweet Prince

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.


The look Tom Cruise made when watching this movie

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.


This also happens


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. 


This is good cinema

Weird notes…

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

Left Behind

Now usually I don’t do this but uh…
I’m going to issue a bit of a content warning. There will be humor that will probably cross a line. If you don’t want to see any 9/11 jokes today, then move along. If you are down to laugh at the expense of the almost 3000 Americans that died on that cold September morning in 2001, then you are a horrible person…but please continue reading.

Welcome back to movie reviews, this time with more Nic Cage

With this being the 15th anniversary of 9/11, or as some call it…11/9, I wanted to watch the 9/11 of movies. Rather than watch a movie about 9/11, such as United 93, Reign Over Me (starring Adam Sandler), World Trade Center (starring Nic Cage), or Loose Change, I decided to watch a movie in the same vein as the September 11 attacks. Left Behind is a story about a plane that makes an unexpected crash landing in New York on a catastrophic day where people question God’s role in the world. Sortof like that movie Sully.


Isn’t this sorta nine-eleveny?

Now, I know that the books for Left Behind were written in the 90s, and that there was already a series of Left Behind movies starting in 2000 starring Kirk Cameron. I also know that the 2014 Left Behind movie is directed by Harrison Ford’s stunt double. Knowledge is power, and knowing is half the battle.

Onward to the movie….

The characters don’t really matter in this movie. It is just a disaster movie with a bit of drama added in. I can hardly remember the people’s names, and I am watching the filmas I write. Captain Rayford Steele (Nic Cage) is a pilot who wants to cheat on his wife with flight attendants. Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) is his daughter who is also a college student. Cameron (Chad Michael Murray) is a journalist who happens to be around disaster. All three of these characters are atheists and think the Christians that believe the rapture is coming are loons. Such as Irene, Chloe’s mother, who recently became bible crazy.


Nic Cage is never home, so they had to photoshop him into a family photo

Chloe is home to surprise her father on his birthday, but instead her father won’t be in town. She happens to meet up with him at the airport before he left. She infers from context clues that he chose to leave and is probably going to bang the flight attendant. However, she meets Cameron the journalist and tells off a crazy Christian lady who is talking about the end times.

Chloe goes home and has an awkward conversation with her mother about Jesus, God, and how her mother is crazy. The son, however, just wants to play catch with his new baseball glove. He mentions that glove maybe 6 times over the course of a minute. He never does get to play catch…that is his punishment for poor acting.


Don’t look at the camera…Don’t look at the camera…

She takes her younger brother to the mall. Meanwhile Nic Cage is about to take off for his trip to London. Cameron has a first class ticket, and we get to meet a lot of interesting characters. There is a little person who gambles, a businessman who is greedy, a mother who is terrified of her football playing husband who is with her daughter, an old couple (one of which suffers from dementia), two Muslim men, and the black gentleman who sits next to Cameron. You can probably guess who does and doesn’t get raptured…

Anyway, back to the mall. Chloe is spending some quality time with her brother, and embraces him because they are so happy…I guess. Then, all of a sudden, the ground shakes a bit and the light dims for just a split second. The rapture happened. Now this is where I get confused. God took their souls, right? Does God take your earthly body to heaven? Because in this movie they took the body, but left the clothes. So….everyone is naked in heaven? Let’s roll with that for a bit.


God took all the children

Just like at Sandy Hook Elementary, in this movie God decided to take all the children to heaven. Which is troubling for three reasons. 1. Children can, and usually are, assholes. 2. Not all children are baptized. 3. God took all of the good Christians AND all of the world’s children AND they are all naked in heaven. Simmer on that for a bit.

The next hour or so of the movie is boring as hell on Earth. I guess that analogy doesn’t quite work…but it is boring. As boring as life was in NYC on 9/10/2001. Everyone on the plane is freaking out because their friends or kids are all of a sudden gone. Nic Cage, who was about to join the Mile High Club, has to run back to the cockpit because his co-pilot was a goody Christian who got himself raptured. What happens next is an incredibly, no, impossibly unlikely near collision between two planes. Nic Cage could have done almost anything else and avoided this.


Only one of these has a pilot

The planes clipped each other, causing the other one to crash into the Atlantic. Nic Cage’s plane has a hole ripped in its fuel tank, which now means they won’t have enough to make it back to the airport. Meanwhile Chloe is experiencing a lot of trauma. She is nearly robbed at gunpoint, avoids a small plane crashing into her car which causes a huge explosion, witnesses a lot of looting and shattering of windows. Oh yeah, there is a lot of shattering of windows in this movie…


Probably the 4th time a window is shattered

Chloe goes to the church and talks to the pastor who, surprisingly, didn’t believe in what he was selling. After a lot of thinking, and believing that everyone she loves is dead, she decides to climb up to a really high place with the intent of killing herself. Fortunately, at this exact same time, Cameron tries to call her with a satellite phone. Cameron and her dad (did I mention they were on the same flight?) tell her to go and find a place to land a plane since the airport is out of reach and not cleared off. Of course she does happen to find a mile of roadway which was under construction, and faced in the correct direction, and wasn’t just full of construction equipment.


I do not know if this is an accurate cockpit for this plane

Nic Cage has to glide the plane in, and find this one road in New York at night. Fortunately there are a lot of tanks of flammable materials around so she can blow it up and point them in the right direction. You can even see the explosion on the above photo.

He lands the plane safely, which we expected since we all have seen CONAIR. Chloe runs to them as another tank explodes for no good reason except to give us this shot…


Jet fuel can’t melt Nic Cage

Then the movie ends with the possibility of more sequels. Fuck this awful movie

This movie is bad. Everything about it is bad. The acting, the writing, the story, the unnecessary elements of action. It borders the “so bad it’s good” line as most of the movie is just pointless or without any sort of direction. However, the first 30 minutes of the movie are entertaining and you get to see Nic Cage. I might make some people watch this movie in the coming week. 

9.11 out of 100 is what I give this movie. Are you surprised?


Only black guy gets raptured

Weird notes…

The one black guy in the movie gets raptured. This troubles me. I’m glad that he lived his life well enough to be raptured, but also I don’t much care for killing off the only black guy.

There probably won’t be sequels because no one is giving them money.

I don’t imagine Gene Wilder was a fan of this movie.

This review is worse than I intended, but still better than this movie.

Happy 9/11 everyone, Never Forget

Last Week: American Beauty

Next Week: The Master

American Beauty


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In my last review, the one about Sleepaway Camp, I stated that Paul was a good guy. After receiving a digital metric tonne of hate mail about this, I have come to the realization that Paul is actually  an awful human being that perpetuates rape culture. He probably deserved his beheading, and is largely the reason Angela reacts how she does at the end. Please forgive me….

Now, onwards and upwards to the review.

American Beauty is a film that I have not seen in a long while. Thanks to the power of Netflix we are able to enjoy this classic American Lolita film (no, not the one with Peter Sellers). My first question going into the film was whether or not it would hold up over time. The movie came out in 1999, competing with such juggernauts as Being John Malkovich, Fight Club, The Matrix, Star Wars Episode I, Toy Story 2, Eyes Wide Shut, The Green Mile, American Pie, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia, Office Space, AND MORE. Jesus Christ, I didn’t realize that 1999 was the best year for movies. I may just review these movies during my good weeks, and create a 16 years later best of 1999 list… (Any good reviewer does end of the year best and worst of lists)

American Beauty, being just one of the great films to come out that year, has definitely aged far more than others. Despite not being very heavy on things like CGI, something about the world of the film just feels ancient compared to the modern society we live in. Maybe its the music, maybe its the cars and technology in the film, maybe its the way society seems to be set up. But it just “feels” 90s, which isn’t bad. It did win the Oscar for best picture. Though I am coming away from 1999 feeling as though some other films were a bit underrated…


Kevin Spacey jacking off in a shower is the epitome of the 90s

The profound statements that left a younger me pausing the film the reflect on what I am watching, now just leave me looking at the film as though it is trying too hard. That is not to say that the film does not touch on some serious issues. I am also not saying that the problems and dilemmas aren’t present still today. It is just that a movie that at the time felt like so much more has become a largely shallow experience that leaves me wanting. I will elaborate on this more later, however.

This was Sam Mendes’ first feature film as director. He went on to make Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Skyfall, and Spectre. I have not seen all of these films, but I would say that I have had similar feelings about them. I would also say that this is the best film I have seen from Mendes, though I will probably see Road to Perdition in the future. He won the Oscar for best director for American Beauty, which is unfortunate since I felt the film could use some….um…direction.


The blue and orange means something other than contrast…right?

The cast of American Beauty is arguably a strength. Lester is played by Kevin Spacey at his peak, following The Usual Suspects and LA Confidential. They needed two girls who looked young to play the parts of the daughter, Jane, and the Lolita, Angela, and I feel they succeeded. The mother, Carolyn, is very well performed in my opinion. The only other role I have seen Annette Benning in is in The Kids Are All Right, which I do recommend (it also stars Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo). The awkward boy next door (no, not that Boy Next Door) Ricky is well performed by the guy who dies on the water planet in Interstellar. However, by the end of the movie I just don’t see the same level of performance as the beginning. Especially in the last act where Ricky convinces Jane to leave with him, and tells Angela that she is a vapid ordinary person. It just seems so…unconvincing.


Oh look, he is staring at Angela creepily, so subtle

It sounds like I am being harsh to American Beauty, and to an extent I am. Call me a fanboy, but I just don’t see how this movie beat out others in 1999 in certain categories. There are good things about the movie, such as the music. While I complain about the piano that is played throughout the film which now just gets on my nerves to hear, I do like the other songs chosen to represent the feeling our characters have. Bali Hai is an excellent piece to use, since it describes a destination in which we can see but never reach. There are other uses of music to describe a character’s mood, but this is the best example.

Now I will discuss probably the best part about this movie, which are those sensual imagination sequences. As with The Big Lebowski which had tremendous trippy scenes to break up the ordinariness of the story, American Beauty follows suit with several scenes that make you uncomfortable to watch. Visually they are still stunning, as the rose petals fly, fall, and float with a stark contrast to the pale white skin of our Lolita. The bath scene specifically stands out as the music and dialogue play off each other, creating a sequence which titillates the senses.


This also may titillate the senses

Unfortunately, I feel as though this scene is the climax of the film, and is about halfway into it. This leaves us with a long and directionless falling action that supposedly builds to the real climax, the shooting, but I’m not buying it. My attention and focus on the film peaked in that bath tub. The fact that the last 30 minutes feels like an eternity is a big problem I have with the film.

To elaborate more on the direction of the film. Directing a film is hard, especially one that is so artful and symbolic as this one. You can run into several problems, such as the symbolism being either too vague or too blunt. There might be too much art and not enough substance. There might be too many themes competing with one another, and at the end you feel as though you missed something. This movie succumbs to some of these problems. Which definitely doesn’t make it a bad movie, but it leaves me wondering if people think American Beauty is deep just because they want it to be…or because it really is.


I can’t tell which one is a rose and which one is Carolyn

There are many themes in the movie. The rose petals symbolize something for Lester, either beauty or the fleeting nature of life, or something. Meanwhile Roses symbolize something else for the wife, Carolyn. They mean normalcy or fulfillment or the life she wants to project to the world, or the outward projection of beauty but inward it is decaying. Now, it is definitely fine that things have different meanings for different characters, but at times the movie makes me question if it is about Lester or about the family. To be honest, I think the movie would be most interesting from the perspective of Ricky. The confusion about who is the focus of the movie is irritating at times, to me, and is why I feel the climax was the bathtub scene. It is not as though Lester is absent for much of the second half of the film, but his role is diminished in favor of developing the romance between Ricky and Jane, as well as between Carolyn and The King.

I can’t nail down one thing that this movie is about, or I suppose its thesis if I am to get academic. I can look at Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, and Office Space as incorporating similar thematic elements as American Beauty…but being far more focused on those themes. Magnolia is a story that ultimately is about abuse, Office Space is about the mundanity of modern society, Malkovich is about the nature of self and personal identity. These are all issues that were at the forefront of the American collective psyche in the late 90s, clearly. American Beauty tries to be all of these and more, and that is where it fails. There are only two scenes in which Lester is in his office, and I feel as though it is trying to take a harsh “stick it to the man” concept, Office Space does this better, as just one example.


Look at this plastic bag, every time I do it makes me laugh

I haven’t even discussed that infamous bag scene which makes me want to puke. The whimsy of a bag floating in the wind sounds deep, maybe it was in 1999, but lets come back to reality. Beauty is subjective, and if that is the point of the movie then it is accomplished in this one home video and we can just go home. Ricky definitely has unique tastes, but that doesn’t make his vaguely philosophical statements any more valid. Other characters feel the need to share their unique philosophical views  at times as well. If we are supposed to think that Angela is “deep” because she says “whatever is meant to be, will happen eventually” when talking about her future as a model, it failed with me. If we were supposed to further understand that she is a person without valuable insight, then it left me confused. I felt as though the scene was meant to try and establish her relative maturity to the other girls her age.

This movie discusses the sensitive subject matter of gay acceptance in upper-middle class american culture in 1999. Perhaps this is what dates this movie so much, as a lot has changed socially between then and now. On the other hand, one could argue that the Orlando massacre is reminiscent of the ideas presented in this movie, and what drove Ricky’s dad to kill Lester after struggling with his own homosexuality while also hating homosexuality. This is a problem which persists in any culture which is homophobic or bigoted towards gay people. The father abuses his son just because he thinks he might be gay, though there is lots of evidence out of context which would point to that conclusion. (see picture below) But he is also hostile, in private, to the gay couple which lives in the neighborhood. You first see him wrestling with this early on, when his son tries to win his father’s approval by expressing bigoted attitudes towards gay people. Later he tries to open up to Lester, unfortunately for him Lester is not gay. Ricky’s dad responds in shame and embarrassment by shooting him in the head at the end of the movie.


Ha! See! It looks like the son is blowing him

Well, I didn’t expect this going in. I feel as though several films and directors were robbed for not being winning or being nominated for several Academy Awards that year. This movie did not age well, aesthetically or conceptually. Once I get past the artistic elements of the film, and start listening to the messages, I find that it is rather shallow. With better direction this film could have been more focused on one or two themes, rather than trying to be a catch-all for middle America in 1999. The saving grace is Kevin Spacey who makes this role his own, and flies above the rest.

73/100. Maybe in 1999 this movie was what the country needed. But in 2016 I can’t help but think it just doesn’t do anything particularly well, outside of having a good focus on cinematography and artistic elements in the lucid sequences. It is definitely not a bad film, but just overrated. Would I like to watch this movie again? No.


Apparently Spacey was told to throw it on the ground, he missed


Weird notes….

This was Kevin Spacey’s last major role until House of Cards in 2013. I’m not counting Recount in 2008, but he was good in that too.

Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps 2014 show was inspired by the ending soliloquy by Kevin Spacey, and their 2015 show was inspired by the end credits song Because.

This movie was indeed inspired by a floating bag in the wind. I can’t say i’m surprised….

Jane was 17 during the shooting of the film, she also was Dani in Hocus Pocus…so yeah…

This makes two reviews in a row where two main characters are Ricky and Angela.

Fuck this movie for making me write a review that surpasses 2000 words. I really want to get these things down to about 1000.

Last Week: Sleepaway Camp

Next Week, a 9/11 special: Left Behind (the one with Nic Cage)

Sleepaway Camp

Welcome to review #3, we have a small announcement to make before getting on with it.

We at Booze and Other Nonsense are looking for a porn reviewer. You need to be comfortable reviewing all varieties of porn, so if you are homophobic do not apply. Other than that we are a “Take On All Comers” organization. Occasionally you may be asked to review an Arsenal match, specifically if Olivier Giroud removes his shirt. Send your resume, cover letter, and 2 references to IWantToReviewPorn@boozeandothernonsense.com

Thank you, and now to this review….

*** If you haven’t seen this movie before, I recommend you do it now unless you want it to be spoiled almost immediately. *** 

Here is the video…

I struggled for a while with how to review this movie. It is one of those “So bad it’s good” movies, and I can probably watch it every day and not get bored. At the end of the day, it is indeed a film and it doesn’t get as much attention as I think it should. The director does a bit of a magic trick by showing you what happens, while at the same time hoping you will be too distracted by what else is going on to really pay enough attention. On first watch you definitely don’t notice, but ever since then I have taken note that it was the girl who died in the water…as they show the boy alive after the accident.


The Boy Who Lived

However the next scene they introduce Angela instead of the boy, as well as the mother who is insane. She happens to be a doctor, she also happens to force the boy to be raised as his sister Angela. This is 500 feet deep of fucked up, but it is all revealed at the end of the movie. Instead we are treated by a mother who can’t speak her lines because she must sing them. Ricky, her son, is tired of her shit. When he asks if she packed any chips, she informs him that she packed a whole bag. Which is, of course, preferable to loose chips in a bag full of other items of food.


A whole baaaaaaag

We then spend far too long watching the mother explain that she has forgotten something, then realizing that she tied a string around her finger to remember, but then forgetting what it was she tied a string for…then remembering what she needed. She needed their physicals for camp, and they cannot tell anyone where they came from (although they do know that she is a doctor). Clearly this scene is supposed to be reminiscent of those times when you try to remember something but then forget it, despite it being important. Unfortunately it adds nothing to the movie, except to reinforce that everyone is insane and to give some cryptic hint that something is weird with one of them. Last thing about the mother (at least for now), she is the only mother depicted in this movie. The movie starts with the “In Fond Memory of Mom, A Doer” tribute. How fucked up must this guy’s mom have been to tribute this movie to her?


Literally how the movie starts

Before going any further I must state that this movie had an original full orchestral score. 1983 was a great time to be alive, as this shitty movie was able to afford this somehow. Edward Bilous is credited on wikipedia for the music, which is probably true. The music stands out at times, especially near the beginning when we are introduced to our next group of characters…

As the buses drop the kids off at the camp, the children have to run down a big hill towards the cabins. This is where we meet Paul, Ricky’s friend, who is a nice guy overall. We are introduced to Judy, one of the villains in the movie. She went steady with Ricky the year before, but now has big tits and doesn’t need Ricky. We also meet the cooking staff which features a pedophile that describes the children as “baldies”, which is a term I have started using to describe the freshmen on campus here. The assistant head chef is James Earl Jones’s father, which you can tell based purely on his voice. Now, I don’t know if JEJ’s father was already an accomplished actor…but the fact that his father had to do this movie despite Star Wars Episode 6 coming out that year as well probably means James Earl Jones wasn’t one for sharing money with his family.


Something something “I am your father”

After meeting the rest of the supporting cast, we see the cafeteria. Everyone is eating, having a good time, except for Angela who doesn’t care to do so. Ronnie, one of the people who helps run the camp, decides to bring Angela into the kitchen to see if the head chef could make something special for her. He decides to give her a cockmeat sandwich, but Ricky fortunately rescues her. Later that day, when making a freakishly large pot of corn, someone gets the chef to drop the pot on himself. It sounds convoluted, and it is. As far as I know, he doesn’t die, but he is in excruciating pain. When asked how his eyes were, the EMT says that it is too early to tell…which is the most important part of a pedophile.


This actually happens in this movie

Immediately afterwards we are treated by a typical camp prank and a game of baseball between the two boys cabins. The baseball scene is probably my favorite, as it exposes two things about this movie. 1. The director believes that all kids are complete assholes. They have great insults, trash talk during underhand pitch baseball, and throw the F Bomb around far more than I think anyone does. When asked what they are going to wager on the game, one kid (Billy) tells Ricky to “Fuck a man, asshole” while Ricky responds with “That sounds a bit steep, make it five”. I assume he means five dollars, but on further review it could mean five men. Lastly, when trash talking Billy tells Ricky to, “Eat shit and Die…” to which Ricky responds, “Eat shit and live, Bill”. I am definitely in favor of using this response more often in our current lexicon.


Supposedly a teenager

2. People in the 80s wore incredibly tight and short clothing. There is nothing wrong with being gay, in fact I encourage it, but I would not be surprised if these kids were getting it on together. There is a lot of evidence of this, I think. Not only do they embrace their bodies a lot, they also skinny dip together (specifically without any girls), they get into a water balloon fight on the roof of a cabin, some wear see-through shirts, and they jump on each other. The early 80s might be more tolerant of homosexuality than the modern day, but I am probably wrong about that.


After failing to get a girl to join them, the boys decide to do this anyway

Angela and Paul get into a budding relationship which makes Judy jealous. I am not quite sure I understand Judy’s hatefulness towards Angela. I think she just really wants the D but she sees Angela getting attention (only from Paul) without actually putting out. Meanwhile we get out second (or really first) death of the camp, when one kid who bullied Angela earlier, drowns in the lake. To describe the events that led to his death would take a lot of time for no payoff, I just recommend watching the movie. Mel, who runs the camp and also smokes cigars like they are going out of style (like his clothing), is rightfully concerned about the future of the camp after a death like this.

We steadily move along through the story. You get to see Judy’s nipples through her shirt, which makes a viewer uncomfortable since I know that the actors for the campers are all under 18. Paul kisses Angela for the first time, which can only be described as stealing a kiss (in fact, two) because she doesn’t even flinch when it happens. The boys do another prank on the nerdy kid with the old “shaving cream and a feather” trick. This character, Mozart, fell asleep reading a nudey mag. I know this because his fly is buttoned  but he has the magazine on his chest. He reacts by pulling out a knife and threatening to kill Ricky with it, and dancing around the room trying to stab him. The knife is taken by a counselor, and the mood flips because Paul got back from kissing Angela and the boys all jump on him. I am really just describing these scenes, watch the movie because it is as ridiculous as I am making it out to be.


You know, water balloon fights on the roof

While the boys are definitely mean, the girls do not hold back. Most of the time we see Meg (M-E-G) she is yelling at Angela for not participating in the activities. Judy says some incredibly mean things at her, in fact one of those things is my favorite insult from this movie. “You’re a real carpenter’s dream. Flat as a board and easy to screw.” She said this believing that Angela refused to shower with everyone else because she hasn’t reached puberty yet. This is now my go to insult when I yell at those darn freshmen on campus.

This movie isn’t even 90 minutes long and I am only half way through the movie as I am reviewing it. Just know that I tried to keep this review as short as possible and omitted many things to keep this review from getting out of hand.


The pot of water I mentioned earlier, hes standing on a chair…

Billy dies next, unfortunate, but he had to go because he threw that darned water balloon at Angela. He had to go take a wicked dump before playing a baseball game, but instead a bee hive is dropped on him in the bathroom.The killer cuts open a hole in the screen with the knife that Mozart had earlier, and Billy gets his face eaten by bees because he cant escape the bathroom. A wicked dump indeed.

Mel suspects that Ricky is the killer, as he has seen the hate in his eyes towards the other campers. Also this is the only scene I can remember that Mel isn’t smoking or about to smoke a cigar. Angela and Paul go to the beach to fool around, which goes well until Paul tries to unbutton Angela’s shirt. She goes catatonic once again, and remembers that time seeing her dad and her dad’s gay lover together in bed. Oh, did I forget to mention this earlier?



In the beginning of the movie Angela (then called Peter) and the real Angela are playing on the lake with their father. They tip over the sailboat by being clever schemers, and a man from the beach tells him that the Doc will be there soon. The man on the beach is the dad’s lover, meanwhile he responds to seeing his lover die in a very strange way. The photo above is his response. Which brings me to another point, people in this movie respond to death in weird ways. Okay, back to the movie…


Short game is on point

So after this weird memory sequence which takes place in a black box, Angela runs away leaving Paul with blue balls. Angela stumbles on Paul and Judy making out in the woods while playing capture the flag…which causes Angela to revert back to her old self whenever Paul tries to talk to her. The girls (Judy and M-E-G Meg) physically carry Angela and throw her into the water, while Mel restrains Ricky from helping her. Ronnie can be seen lifting weights in the background, which really caps off this wonderfully scripted scene.


“Yes I would like to have sex with a teenager”

We have reached the home stretch of this movie, the final night. The counselor who is in charge of the younger campers has them go on a camping trip to the other side of the lake to sleep outdoors. M-E-G Meg has the night off and asks Mel out for dinner at his cabin, which excites Mel since he is about to get his freak on with a 16 or 17 year old. M-E-G Meg goes next door to shower since their shower is full, also the cabins have been consolidated because of the death, so the cabin is empty. The killer stabs meg through the wall of a shower and kills her. She stays against the wall of the shower, standing but dead, until Mel walks by several hours later.


Business or pleasure?

Paul feels bad about making out with Judy and begs Angela for a second chance. Angela tells him to go to the beach later, ooh la la. Meanwhile Judy heads to the cabin to get the D from a boy, but Mel walks in while looking for M-E-G Meg (this is right before he encounters her in the shower). The guy is able to hide, but leaves after because he is worried about getting caught. This is when the killer comes in and shoves Judy’s curling iron up her vagina and, I think, kills her. I am not a doctor though.

People start discovering the bodies. Hell, even the kids that are camping on the other side of the lake get brutally murdered. Everyone starts freaking out. Mel finds Ricky and beats him until he is unconscious, but Ricky is not the killer! Mel dies by being shot through the throat with an arrow.


Could have had a cigar

Ronnie and one other counselor stumble onto the beach and see Angela sitting there, humming a song. As they approach we can see Paul lying there, with his head in her lap, and they are naked. We are then taken on another memory trip where we see the mother talking to Peter, the boy who is now Angela, about how they need a girl because they already have Ricky in the house. This ultimately reveals that Angela is actually a boy who has been forced to grow up as a girl. Angela then stands up and makes a hideous sound with a creepy face, and confirms that Angela has a penis. Also she decapitated Paul.


I kept this SFW

This ends the movie. Really, this is the end. Roll credits over the face. Its done. See for yourself.

This movie is a cult classic for a reason. The writing, sound mixing, dialogue, acting, characters, plot, are all either bad or ridiculous (or both). An original orchestral score accompanying this movie only adds to the surrealness of the experience. However, the twist at the end is where the beauty is. Its very hard to predict unless you have been very aware of a few things and made some assumptions about them. Such as, why did the mom do the physicals? Why doesn’t Angela do anything with anyone? If you answer, “Because Angela has a penis” you would be correct. 

Overall this film is a must-see if you like bad movies. Each scene is special in its own way. It reminds me closely of Troll 2 in how bad it is, but isn’t quite on that level. 25/100 only because I am trying to review how good a movie is. 


I’ve seen things…things that will change a man’s mustache

Weird notes…

This movie spawned 2 sequels starring Bruce Springsteen’s daughter as Angela, and another sequel which released in 2008 which reprises much of the original cast.

The police officer from midway through the movie returns at the end, this time wearing a fake mustache.

The actor who plays Mel died from cancer before the film was released, I am sure the cigars had nothing to do with it.

The cast wore their own clothes, which is a positive and a negative. A positive because some of the shirts, like the Blue Oyster Cult one, were awesome. A negative because you see very clear outlines of penises, and lots of teens wearing short shorts.

Last week: Mad Max: Fury Road

Next week: American Beauty

Beer Review #84: Genesse Ice


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Fresh New Memes 

I recently met a Meme Baron. After seducing him, marrying him, poisoning his gimlet, and raiding his stash of ultra-dank goodness. Here is what I found.






If any of these adequately upset you or you need to let me know how bad I am at this, please like the facebook page or let me know on twitter. Here’s the review.

IMG_20160719_221545633Appearance: There’s a thin, white head resting on an almost amber colored beer that’s bursting with bubbles and kinda cloudy. Something seems off about it, but I can’t say what.

Smell: Pure sugar syrup.

Taste: Medium-bodied and kinda crisp. Not nearly as terrible as I assumed it would be. It’s very sweet and tastes like pennies, but the body somehow makes that tolerable. There’s not really a ton going on with it: No aftertaste, no complexity, no personality.

Overall: You could drink a lot of these on a hot day, but it’s a little creamy so eventually it would lose some of that appeal. It’s not terrible for what it is, but it’s not good. 44/100.

Up Next: Schlitz, I think.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Welcome to review #2, Fury Road Boogaloo, now with slightly more editing.

I am reviewing movies that are available on netflix/hulu/amazon/hbo go, but if you have a movie you want me to review you can send it to me via mail. I will only accept Video Home System tapes, however. If you are a film distributor I would love to receive a blu-ray or digital copy of a film you want me to review, I am specifically looking at you The Weinstein Company. I would love to have an early view of Gold, Wild Oats, or the film adaptation of In The Heights, I am sure we could help each other.

Now, onto this furiously mad movie…

Mad Max 10

My body is ready

Welcome back to the world of Mad Max, its been a while. This is the first Mad Max since 1985 when we went Beyond Thunderdome. Tom Hardy replaces Mel Gibson as Max, Charlize Theron plays the female lead Furiosa, and Hugh Keays-Byrne plays the antagonist Immortan Joe. George Miller returns as the director/writer/producer, which is definitely impressive considering he is now going on 70 years old and spent the last few decades directing Babe: Pig in the City and the Happy Feet movies. Will we see a Happy Feet-Mad Max crossover? Only time will tell.

Mad Max 11

Imagine this, but a penguin head

This is the fourth in a series of films, but you don’t need to see the others to understand most of what is going on. The beginning offers enough background to catch up on the important parts. In short, the world has gone to shit and Max is haunted by his past.

While George Miller himself states that it is better to think of these movies as being individual stories in a world we explore through our character, Max Rockatansky. However it makes most sense if you think of this movie as following Thunderdome (if you have seen it). Max is now alone, with longer hair, and more insane each day. In the beginning of the film he is captured and his hair is shaved, signifying a departure from where we left off in the prior trilogy. This is a new Max, even though his appearance may remind you of Road Warrior.

Mad max 2

An efficient way to distribute water

One of my favorite things about this movie is the language it uses, since there are distinct dialectical differences with the english we use today. The vocabulary is similar, but with either new words, new meanings of old words, or different pronunciation and spelling of old words, is both clever and immersive. Sure, guzzoline is just gasoline… but there is a difference between half-lifes and full-lifes, as half-lifes have cancer and full-lifes do not. These are just a few of the differences, but I think you see the point.

Mad Max 6

Aqua-Cola: The Official Soft Drink of the Olympic Games

This brings us to the religious themes in this movie and the Cult of the V8 which follows Immortan Joe. The religion is similarly a mishmash of older traditions and fittingly is focused on Norse mythologies of Valhalla and a warrior’s death. It also includes things like kamikaze, or in the language in this movie “kamakrazee”, to describe their desire to sacrifice themselves at the end of their life to greater damage an enemy similar to a Japanese strategy in WW2. So not only does he have a city of people who depend on him for basic necessities like water, he also has an army of followers religiously devoted to him and intent on dying for him. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Mad Max 7

I’m not crying, there is just chrome paint in my eye….

The story not only takes place in a rich and interesting culture, but there are also deep and complex characters at play, as well as a geography to navigate. Immortan Joe wants to have healthy children to continue his line. He sees himself as being divine after conquering the aquifer after his supporters thought all hope was lost, and his followers treat him as such. His partners operate the nearby cities of Gas Town and the Bullet Farm which, as you might guess, produce guzzoline and bullets respectively. Throughout the movie his partners grow tired of this chase, both because it is a family affair not a business issue, and because it is a waste of their own resources.Outside of their territory we encounter Buzzards which are russian speaking foes with spikey cars, people who ride bikes in the mountains, even more people lie to the east of the mountains.

It almost feels wrong to not have mentioned the conflict in the movie yet. Furiosa takes Immortan Joe’s breeders, which upsets him because he really likes raping them. One of these breeders is pregnant and showing while another is in the first trimester. Immortan Joe has two other sons, one who is strong but dimwitted, the other is deformed but intelligent, the goal is to have a healthy child which is perfect in every way. Furiosa does not initially want to rescue them, she thinks they are naive because they are spoiled in many way. Over time she has a change of heart (because of the constant rapes and attempts at self inducing an abortion) and decides to free them by hiding them in the War Rig, making a run for her old home. (This is information taken from the comic book on Furiosa)

Mad Max 5

You have nothing to lose but your chains

I do want to mention the feminist themes in the movie because they are very present, but they have also been talked to death by more dedicated feminist blogs like Jezebel or any number of reviews you can read that focus more on the feminist themes by just googling “mad max feminism”. The female lead is Furiosa who definitely transcends the typical female lead, even in action movies. She is strong, shows herself to be better than Max in several areas, has a leadership in Immortan Joe’s society, and so on. Immortan Joe sees his breeders, and their children, as his property, mimicking traditional and even current attitudes towards women and their bodies. Towards the end of the movie, when they encounter what was Furiosa’s old clan, we discover they are all older women. They are each pretty bad-ass in their own way, and help fight in the climax of the movie. These women are all adept with guns and hand to hand combat, meanwhile one of them carries a purse full of seeds with the confidence that in the future there might again be life in the wasteland. Lastly, Max doesn’t do much on his own and is usually aided by a woman. Max defeats Rictus through the help of one of the older women, as Max was clearly outmatched on his own. All of this helps make this one of the most unique action movies, and in my opinion one of the best action movies, ever created.

Mad Max 4

We are all Witnesses

The action sequences are where this movie really shines, as it should. The effects are very practical rather than CGI focused, which is something I think we all can appreciate. It is so well choreographed that it almost seems unfair to other movies of the same genre. It looks so real that it almost looks fake, and as you watch it you contemplate how someone could actually create this movie without having casualties on the set.

The music is really intense, and mostly original to the movie. Miller uses a few other pieces, such as Dies Irae, which  artfully punctuates a specific moment in the story. Most of the music is based off of the traveling band with the war party, led by the Doof Warrior who plays a massive guitar that shoots flames. Make no mistake, he is the 4th most important character in the movie (sorry Nux). He also loves playing his guitar more than you love anything.

Mad Max 12

So Fucking Happy

The editing is the most impressive part of this movie, by far. There are over 2,700 cuts that went into making this finished product. According to this article you can watch the movie sped up 12x and still understand what is going on. At the same time this movie is without much dialogue and the plot isn’t really driving the story, so maybe that has something to do with it. Nevertheless, you can’t come away from this film without being in awe of the editing. Fun Fact: The editor of the movie is George Miller’s wife. I bet you thought a man edited the movie. (Just kidding, i don’t care what you think)

Mad Max 9

This shot seems reminiscent of an earlier one…

In the end there is some amount of justice. The antagonists all die while Furiosa and Max survive (along with some of the wives) to create a new Citadel. What happens next, we may never know. The next Mad Max movie (current working title Mad Max: The Wasteland) may or may not include Furiosa, although Tom Hardy is billed for 3 more Max Max movies.

Overall this movie is an extended car chase with excellent world building, powerful themes, well thought out characters, and not much dialogue. Despite its weaknesses (some would argue the plot), it overcomes them by having some of the most impressive visuals I have seen in my life. When the characters do speak it is powerful. It clearly doesn’t shy from violence, but it refuses to have over-the-top gore. A lot of effort went into this movie, and I am overjoyed that there will be more to come.

95/100 I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes action movies, movies with feminist themes, cars, Tom Hardy, Australia, or just good movies in general. I will be watching the Black and Chrome version when it comes out in September.

Mad Max 8

Everything is blue…except the main character

Weird notes…

The actor who plays Immortan Joe also played Toecutter, the primary antagonist in the first Mad Max.

As real as the action is, the crashes which include primary character surviving are at times too ridiculous. They walk away from some of the most brutal car flips, yet at the end Nux sacrifices himself by causing a car pileup in a canyon.

My favorite changed word in this dialect is “feasting” to “McFeasting”. The legacy of McDonalds will survive nuclear war.

The girl in Max’s dreams/visions haunting him is NOT his daughter.

Previously: The Boy Next Door

Next up: Sleepaway Camp

The Boy Next Door

Welcome to the Booze and Other Nonsense film review section. I am your host, Trevor.

What I hope we get out of this are some laughs, memories, and a definitive rating of each film I watch.

A few groundrules:

  1. I will review good movies as well as bad movies.
  2. I have no formal training in comedy.
  3. Never feed him after midnight.
  4. I will discuss spoilers.

Well, without further hesitation, let’s get to our feature film…The Boy Next Door

The first thing I notice is that this is made by Blumhouse Productions. Remember these people? They also made the Paranormal Activity money grab, the Insidiouses, the Purges, and… Whiplash (and others).

I first remember hearing about this movie because of the “first edition Illiad” that the boy next door gifts Jennifer Lopez’s character. Since then, I’ve always wanted to see it. A movie with writing that bad has to be defective in other area’s right? Yes. That assumption is correct.

The story starts off with Claire (Jennifer Lopez) trying to make things work with her husband Garrett (John Corbett), after he cheated on her 9 months prior. They have separated, but he is over from time to time. He is trying to buy his son Kevin’s affection with gifts, such as a (my guess is) decent desktop computer setup. The gift every teenager wants!

The boy next door, Noah (Ryan Guzman), introduces himself by saving Claire from being crushed by her garage door. Noah is supposed to be a high schooler, yet he looks like he is in his mid 20s. Oh! That’s because Ryan Guzman was 27 during the making of this movie.  The moral of the story is, don’t hang out with people who look 10 years older than they pretend to be. He also has an uncanny understanding of garage door engineering for a high schooler….hm…Must be irrelevant right? (his character is actually 20 years old)

Noah and Kevin go to an ace hardware like store, and get some tools to fix the garage door. Kevin is awkward around hot girls at his high school, but Noah (being 20), is totally fine around teenage girls. She is totally into Noah. Also Noah is going to high school still. He should just become a handy man, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

Some asshole kids come in and start picking on Kevin. We are supposed to believe that high schoolers mock people for having an EpiPen? Do teens do that now? That is just mean, and I won’t tolerate it! Meanwhile Noah looks suspicious. Must be nothing…

Flirt with mom

Flirting with his mom while staring him in the eyes.

Fortunately, Kevin and Garrett take the vacation which they established in the first scene, and now we get a lot of alone time with Noah and Claire. And yes, he gives her a first edition copy of the Illiad which he got at a garage sale. I am calling BS on that. And its only 15 minutes into this film….

As a storm roles in, Claire tries out some 7 inch heels that she was given by her friend. She stares out the window and notices that she can see into Noah’s room, as he is undressing and staring at himself in the mirror. I think Noah’s flirting has been working.

This movie takes a hard turn to stir up a debate about the utility of education in the arts vs STEM. Meanwhile Claire notices, as does the audience, that everyone who is an adult is BORING. She wants to go back and spend more time with the Boy Next Door. You go Claire. Fortunately, Noah doesn’t know how to cook food and invites her over to cook for him.

She has had a bit of wine to drink and tells him no when he advances on her. She continuously says no as he undresses her. That doesn’t stop him, so they have sex. This is rape…right? She regretted it the next morning (and for the rest of her life). Noah punches a wall because he is mad. This is some saucy conflict! His hand, that was pretty badly cut and bleeding that morning, is completely fine a few hours later.

Fucked your wife

I fucked your wife last night.

Well school starts, and Noah walks into Claire’s classroom quoting Achilles because…why the hell not? Then Noah takes Kevin into the woods to shoot oranges with gun because…why the hell not? Then Noah gets Kevin into boxing because… This seems to be a theme of the movie.

Well Claire and Garrett are mending their relationship, which angers The Boy Next Door. Noah declares “Game On!” at Claire as he goes to school, and breaks the skull of a bully who is harassing Kevin. Noah wants to be Kevin’s father, I think. This movie is only getting more intense. Noah calls the vice principal a “Dried up fucking cunt”, and he is expelled. This expulsion does not stop him from coming to the fall fling dance and trying to rape Claire again!

Someone, probably Noah but I have no proof of this, left the printer in Claire’s classroom. There were pictures all throughout the room of them having sex, and Claire magically cleans this up in 5 minutes before the door opens. Meanwhile Garrett is letting his son Kevin drive the new car, and things get out of control. The clutch and brake stops working! Nobody dies, but everything is getting exciting!

Claire breaks into Noah’s house, hacks into his computer, and deletes the video and pictures of her. She also notices that the basement is a shrine dedicated to her, and that Noah has schematics for the brakes for a Dodge Challenger and a 2006 minivan. Its important to now note that Noah’s father was killed because his brakes failed. I can’t say anything to make this more ridiculous, this is ridiculous enough. His mother killed herself, and that is why Noah moved next door to Claire.

Noah ties up the vice principal, who is Claire’s friend, and convinces Claire to come to the house. The vice principal has a cat, we know this because….

Tied up

This cat gets to watch this murder

Claire finds the vice principal dead in the bathroom. We don’t get to see her die. Of all the crazy things this movie shows us, we don’t see her death.

Time for things to go off the rails…It hasn’t yet, trust me.

Noah kidnaps both Garrett and Kevin and tie them up in the barn on the property of the vice principal. This barn was established in the beginning of the movie. A fight ensues between Claire and Noah, Noah believes if Kevin and Garrett are dead then Claire will have no reason to continue living in her old life.

Noah decides to build a funeral pyre by splashing gasoline around the barn and lighting it on fire. Noah whips out the gun from earlier in the movie and shoots Garrett in the chest. Claire stabs Noah in the eye with an EpiPen. Yes, really!


Oops, I meant to stab your leg

Time for Kevin to do something! He joins the fight by hitting Noah with a rake. It was not very effective. Fortunately there is an engine chained inside of the barn. Claire pulls the lever and drops it onto Noah, killing him. Garrett somehow survives. They leave in an ambulance. Roll credits.

True Love Conquers All!

Overall this movie is bad. The dialogue is dreadful, the editing is poorly done, the plot is completely insane. But, at the same time, I liked it. Every scene had something going on which kept this train moving, and they established everything in the film. Few things came out of nowhere, well, apart from the ending.  The ending was rushed, but hey, when you have a final scene that takes place in a burning barn, someone gets shot, someone gets stabbed in the eye, and someone gets killed via car engine, you can rush it. 

33/100. I would recommend this if you are looking to have a good time making fun of a bad movie. Its not scary. Its only mildly funny. On the bright side, it is Noah who is sexualized more than Claire.  

Weird notes…

When Jennifer Lopez’s son has cake frosting on his hand, she says “Look at you, you’ve got schmutz everywhere”. Is this the establishment that her character is German? Or speaks Yiddish?

When the uncle first meets Claire he explains that Noah lost his parents a year ago. They odd thing is how this was shot and edited. He is in a motorized wheelchair, and comes towards the camera as he explains. He stops moving and takes his hand off the control, cut to Claire. Next he is back where he was, scooting closer as he continues to speak. Poorly done.

Noah having sex with Kevin’s crush while Claire watches is not even in the top 5 most ridiculous things in this movie.

The uncle, who is in an automatic wheelchair in the beginning of the film, is perfectly fine to walk around and give everyone a fake scare near the end of the movie.

Next up: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Beer Review #83: Leinenkugel Summer Shandy


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Adventures in Monotonous Dining!

On July 1st, 2016 fast-food restaurant Chipotle began its Summer rewards program “Chiptopia.” This promotion allows customers to earn free food and potentially even get over $200 in free catering.

I’ve never cared for Chipotle. I do crave free things though so I jumped on it. I’ve been thirteen times since the promotion began. Here I will detail my experience with each trip.

Meal #1: I went on July 1st and the place was packed. Fortunately they were moving people through the line pretty quickly. I got a carnitas bowl. It was shockingly good.


Someone. Please. Help.

Meal #2: This was probably only a couple days later. I ordered the same thing because the steak and chicken looked dry and the barbacoa was an extra dollar and I’m cheap. I noticed that most of the people visiting this restaurant are not capable of placing an order in an orderly fashion. I begin to wonder if that’s where the word “orderly: comes from.

Meal #3: Same order: White rice, pinto beans, fajita veggies, carnitas, pico de gallo, salsa verde, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese, lettuce.

I get stuck behind an old woman that has two orders. She can’t remember what belongs to which entree. She doesn’t know what a burrito is. She doesn’t know what guacamole is. She has caused the line to go almost out the door. She is the one person in the world I truly despise.

Meal #4: Same meal. The restaurant was disturbingly empty. I think the woman making my bowl gave me extra meat so I give her a smile and nod in a way that says “thanks.” It may have come off more like “You have something I crave.” I stop smiling that day.

Meal #5: My first free meal. I decide to get the barbacoa. Eating something new was such a relief. The barbacoa tastes mostly like pot roast though; it wasn’t seasoned very aggressively.

A child keeps running around the store while his mother tries to order for him. He will not pay attention as his mother asks what he wants. I add him to my enemies list.

Meal #6: Back to the Carnitas bowl. I think the employees are starting to recognize me. I’ve picked up on the most efficient ways to order. It seems like that’s appreciated.

Meal #7: At this point I pretty much hate the food at Chipotle, but I can get two meals out of seven dollars so I keep going. I decide to mix things up and get steak. I now regret doing that.

When I got this bowl, the man in line in front of me ordered a quesadilla. I didn’t even see quesadillas on the menu. They can’t use that tortilla warming device for anyone else while this is happening. I add him to my enemies list.


Meal #9: My second free entree. I learned that the free entree can effectively be anything so I go for double barbacoa and guac on top of my regular bowl ingredients. It is far too much food, but for the first time in a long time I feel a sense of accomplishment. This bowl would have cost twice as much as my usual order.

Someone in line behind me was asked if they wanted black or pinto beans. They asked which beans were the black beans. I put them on the list.


At least I never have to buy napkins ever again.

Meal #10: I discover that I could have been getting chorizo this whole time. All is right with the world.

Meal #11: My last meal of July.

I think it was Nietzsche that said “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.” Chipotle has taken away most of my humanity. I go through the line like a robot and order a chorizo bowl.

This chorizo might bring me back. God bless you chorizo. Wait, maybe the chorizo is god? I must consume it so that I might become god.

Meal #12: It’s now August. I have another free entree so I go back to the double barbacoa and guac bowl; tortilla on the side. I’ve been making my own burrito with the side tortilla and then eating the rest of the bowl later. I’m pretty much on a Chipotle diet at this point because I typically eat once a day so that bowl is tomorrows dinner.

I held the door open for a family of five. I did this against my better judgement. Fortunately the mother didn’t give her three kids any choice in what they were getting. I wanted to kiss her. She knew my struggle.

Meal #13: Yesterday I got another chorizo bowl. The woman making my burrito was incredibly upbeat. The chorizo has given me it’s power and now I am in complete control of this restaurant. That is the only explanation for this turnaround. I can feel it’s power filling my heart.

I will use this power for good. That means demanding answers from all of the horrible people on my list. They must answer for disrespecting a god.

Remember to like and share everything you see so that I don’t use my new sausage powers on your mom. Like the Facebook page and follow us on twitter. There’s e-mail too, but I honestly just don’t care to link it today. Literally anything will get through as long as you add @boozeandothernonsense.com to it. Here’s the beer review.

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

I drank this in an enchanted forest for peak flavor.

Appearance: Very cloudy with a golden color and decently thick, white head. Fairly bubbly and the head dies down fairly quickly.

Smell: Lemons. Pretty much nothing but sweetness and lemons. It is overpowering.

Taste: It feels shockingly nice on the tongue. The body is on the line between medium and thin and it’s fairly crisp. This all lends for a nice effect on a hot, sunny day.

The actual taste, however, is far too sweet to even begin to try to find any other flavor. It’s just lemons and far too much sugar. It almost hurts my teeth.

Overall: There’s really not a lot going on here, but I can understand why someone would drink a few of these out of a bucket of ice on a nice day. If you have a tolerance for sweet things this would be a dream. I can only give it a 55/100. It should actually be much lower, but the mouthfeel was nice and it didn’t look terrible.

Up Next: Something cheap from the gas station.