Archive for June, 2012

As the country careens it’s way towards yet another celebration of its separation from the colonies, so shall we celebrate our separation from tact, class, sense and sanity this sunday, 9pm CST with Batman: The Movie starring the erstwhile god of the tiny screen Adam West along with a rogue’s gallery of talent-challenged, pathos-lacking, face-paint enthusiasts that make up the movie’s hodgepodge of villainy.

Join the team as we reunite for the epic end of our asshole-ish Trilogy. What jokes will escape our lips, touch my fingers and spread into the grand ocean of nonsense that is Twitter? Who will notice first that Cesar Romero refused to shave off his mustache and just painted over it instead? Will there be herpes jokes? Shark repellant?

Relationships will be tested. Giggles will be had. Wine shall be consumed. Will this be the last installment of the Bat-a-thon? Will this be the last time the gang rides out? (Spoilers: nope)

9pm. Sunday. June 30th. Be there (on the Internet).

Batman Returns (2012) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito

It’s a totem pole of emotional disorders!

The date was set. The players had returned. We converged, a rag-tag bunch of sarcastic assholes ready to ridicule, jeer and jest once more, all the while bleeding our useless opinions across the the Twitter-scape. And, much like any Hollywood sequel, it was surprisingly difficult to coax the original cast members back. Kevin (The Giggle) got stuck on a bus. Ryan (The Dragon) had to very un-dragonly wake up at 6am. Meg (The I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck) didn’t really, well, give a fuck and Huntsberger (Poop in a Vault) was ‘busy’. However, with coaxing, promises of sexual favors (regular roommate stuff), the stage was ready. The double-sided DVD was in the player and two bottles of white were ready for consumption.

Let me preface (as I am like to do): I had only seen Batman Returns once back when I was about 12. It scared the shit out of me. Specifically the part when the Penguin is eating raw fish and bites a dude on the nose. So, like a claustrophobe clambering into an elevator with a bunch of fat people, I charged back into the fray ready to take it on. Firstly, this movie is fucking AMAZING. I was all ready to go with all these goofy jokes about the early nineties, seeing as the first movie was a bunch of steaming 80s-Prince-infused mess. I came up almost entirely short. Apparently, between the two films, Burton descended back into his cave to gestate, emerging a fully grown goth-butterfly. This movie is a Burton film to the extreme. Soap-Operatic Danny Elfman score? Check. Insane art direction that makes no logical sense but is pretty as that girl who always serves you coffee and you’re pretty sure you’re in love but she probably isn’t into it? Double check. Dreariness that makes its way into your very soul? Triple check. Paul Reubens? Um…well, a little bit. Just enough, I feel.

PLOT SUMMARY! So, there’s this guy. He looks like Albert Einstein and he talks like he is constantly having a stroke. Turns out, it’s Chris Walken, settings up to UBER-WALKEN (a notch above Super-Walken and a notch below SUPREME-BEING-WALKEN. I’m still waiting for that last one to occur. I believe it’s the third sign of Ragnorok). He’s a douchebag business man? I guess? Doesn’t matter. Well, he decides to adopt crime king, orphan and Humpty-Dumpty impersonator Oswald Cobblepot and help him become mayor of Gotham. In doing so, he pushes Michelle Pfeiffer out a window. By the magical power of cats having sex on her, Pfeiffer comes back from the dead, shifting her sexy settings from Vespa (fun to ride but you don’t want your friends to see you on one) up to “Um, I have to change my pants”. Stuff blows up. Pfeiffer whips things (whips them good). Circus performers murder people. Danny DeVito BITES SOMEONE IN THE FUCKING NOSE. Oh. And Batman is in it too. A little bit.

“Just the pussy I’ve been looking for” ~ The Penguin making everyone feel uncomfortable.

So…this movie is hilarious. Every single line that escapes Pfeiffer’s amazing and man-making lips after she goes from World’s-Greatest-Twilight-Fan to Please-Murder-Me-With-Sex is a one-liner. And she delivers every single one perfectly. This movie is made of goof. Macabre, well-designed goof. But seriously, when have you ever seen a giant present explode and homicidal stilt-walkers attack a city? Or when the Penguin murders the fat clown? This thing as more goof than a fucking Disney-Dog convention. However, in no way is it a bad thing. While the first was confused with it’s cutaways to Nicholson doing unspeakable acts all the while looking like he wants to urinate on your face for sexual purposes while listening to Prince, this had a beautifully aligned aesthetic. It’s fucking crazy. But it’s ALL fucking crazy. Nothing in it dares take a walk on the wild side into ‘sanity’. Nope, pure, uncut, Columbian bat-shitness all the way through. You think, this can’t be as insane as it seems all the way through, and yet, frame after frame, its coated in a thick layer of delicious bat guano. Do not get me wrong. It’s AMAZING. I genuinely laughed out loud multiple times at actual jokes. Burton made funnies! Like when a random woman says of the Penguin, “He’s like a frog who grew into a prince!” and another dude says, “No, he’s more like a Penguin.” That amused me.

Time for the bad. Throughout the film, with Walken declaring that he’ll push Pfeiffer out of a higher window and Devito looking like he fellated Papa Smurf, I figured out what the issue with Burton’s two movies is: Batman. He doesn’t do anything. Ever. He’s barely in either movie. And, when he is, either he’s entirely nonchalant or he’s MERCILESSLY MURDERING PEOPLE. There is a scene near the beginning of the film where he incinerates a human being. And later, he comes up against a big dude who he can’t hope to take down because, let’s be honest, my 110 lb sister could give Keaton a run for his money. Batman forces a bomb into the guy’s pants and kicks him into a hole where he explodes. Correct me if I’m wrong…but isn’t the point of Batman that he doesn’t kill people? Yet, scene after scene he’s throwing acid at women, running baddies down, kicking them off of buildings and all the rest of it. After a while I just closed my eyes and hoped it would stop. Mommy, make it stop.

I think Devito should try the ‘Flattering Onesie’ look more often. It really brings out his munchkin-ness.

Also, at the beginning of the film, we see Wayne sitting around staring off into space (brooding…I guess? Or just really lonely and sad that the other multi-billionaires didn’t invite him out to play?) and the bat signal comes up. Three, not just one, but THREE fucking bat signal reflectors shift the symbol into his sitting room. Firstly…how does it know where he is in the house? Secondly, isn’t it a ‘secret’ identity? Who comes to Wayne manor, sees the massive Bat-Encrusted signal reflectors and thinks “Hmm. Totally not Batman. It’s just TOO obvious.”

Honestly, though, this has got to be my favorite movie in the Batman canon after The Dark Knight. I won’t call it a Batman movie because the guy isn’t even fucking in it. And he wears an ascot. That alone took my rage sparked by his foray into turtleneck apparel in the first movie and shifted it into the realm of Russell-Crowe-With-A-Phone-In-Hand. However, Devito as a human bowling ball, Walken being a tasty helping of terrifyingly unhinged and Michelle Pfeiffer doing anything at all (those cheekbones could cut diamond. Or my heart… NO Andrew! Don’t fall for Catwoman. She’ll only urinate on you, demand things that you can’t give and hate you for no other reason than the fact that she thinks she’s a cat. Also, there’s no knowing if during sex she won’t suddenly decide that she wants to bite your face off. Fucking cats.) they all come together to make one hell of an entertaining movie. Logic be damned. This was Burton at his best, crafting beauty from his dark-as-dirt imagination, transmuting the horrifying aspects of fringe geek culture into something palatable for the masses. What do we have? A tasty morsel of nightmare, coated in delectable sugar.

Oh Burton. What happened to you? You were so good. Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood are modern-day classics, unparalleled in their use of costume and set design, perfectly crafted to both undercut and stimulate our imaginations. But…sometimes you just need to lay your flowers at the base of the artistic grave of a great, let him go, allow him to rest, even as his reanimated corpse stumbles around Hollywood sinking his teeth into long-dead franchises, hoping to bring them back into life. Yet, as these cinematic abominations lumber across the silver screen summer after summer, we see they are all pale, pallid forms of their former selves, brainless and hungry for yours. The Burton we love is dead. We should just cock our sawn-off shotgun and blow his brains out before he can infect more. It’s what’s best.

*Wipe away tear. Apologize. Pull the trigger.*

The one and only time in Walken’s life where he seems not-insane by comparison.

And now…more tweets!

Oh my god! Pee Wee! Seeing him makes me want to touch myself in public places. #batathon

And so Tim Burton has found his creative penis and he will wave it in your faces, whether you like it or not. #batathon

Who let Alfred out of the house? And who the fuck is he buying presents for? He has no friends. #batathon

Why is Michelle Pfeiffer calling herself a corn dog? Is this going to turn into a porno? #batathon

Walken is the only man who can make unconditional love sound like a watch that’s been up his ass for years. #batathon

“What’s in these presents?” “Oh no it’s herpes!” ~ Huntsberger #batathon

Do you think the penguin put an ad in craigslist for murderous circus performers? #batathon

“I knew those stilt-trippers were a worthy addition to the bat mobile.” ~ Batman, proud of himself. #batathon

Who the fuck is the Penguin’s tailor? Jeffrey Dahmer? #batathon

I think Danny Devito ate the Ninja Turtles. #batathon

Michelle Pfeiffer said ‘bone’. Giggle. #batathon

“How industrious.” ~ Walken. “Baubles.” ~ Walken. No joke. Just truth. #batathon


There’s one thing cats love, that’s a fresh corpse. #batathon

“Helena Bonham Carter as ALL THE CATS” ~ Huntsberger.

Milk was a bad choice. I mean a great choice. Fuck you all. ~ Catwoman. #batathon

“Rediscover your roots. Lavar Burton. Good friend. Black people. What was I talking about?” ~ Walken. Adlibbing. #batathon

‘Walken adlibbing’ is redundant. #batathon

“When you abandon your child you don’t want to leave a tag with your name on it. It might come back. That kinda misses the point.”#batathon

“Michael Keaton is a small dude. I don’t think he’s a poon dragon at all!” ~ Ryan. #batathon

“I’ll drop her out a higher window” *bow tie fix* YEEEEEAAAAAHHHH. Chris Walken invented David Caruso.#batathon

“Here comes the dirty onesie! Look for the stains!” ~ Kevin.#batathon

That raw fish made me nauseous for the entirety of the 90s.#batathon

NOSE BITE! Rahm Emmanuel does that like twice a day. Get over it.#batathon

Catwoman, backflips aren’t the only way to travel. #batathon

“I brought my pussy, Miss Kitty. Also, my cat, Englebert.”  ~ Catwoman #choices‪ #batathon

“He looks like a fucking Gringott’s goblin. And we KNOW they’re jews.” #batathon

“That bitch knows why the caged bird sings.” Catwoman played by Maya Angelou. #batathon

“He knocked me off a building right when I was feeling good about myself.” #deargodcatwoman #batathon

ANOTHER ASCOT? AND EATING A CARROT???? Batman what have you become? #batathon

Selena looks like she came out the wrong end of Busey Coke Party.#batathon

“That’s not true!” We’re apparently watching Batman Retorts.#batathon

Apparently if your rewire a dildo to an RC control, you can take down the bat mobile defenses. ~ Kevin. #batathon

“Literally, people throw fruit at him. It’s that kinda movie.”~Huntsberger #batathon

Instrumental Superfreak? Did Donald Trump plan this fucking dance? #batathon

“That is the laugh of cocaine.” ~ Meg #batathon

Kids, this is what happens when you eat black licorice. You become Danny Devito. But fatter. #batathon

Dead fat clown. The gift that keeps on giving. #batathon

Now Batman is wearing a RUBBER TURTLENECK. I’m done. I’m just done. #batathon

Only Walken’s third most awkward kiss, after Sleepy Hollow and his the one he gives your mother every night. #batathon

Well, that’s all for now folks. Like a schoolboy who has just discovered that having an older girlfriend means unlimited sex, we’ll be back for round 3 on Sunday. Next time we’ll be playing the Adam West Batman: The Movie drinking game. One rule: Drink every time it’s the 60s. Watch me document my death from alcohol poisoning on Twitter! 9pm CST.

And so, like someone at a southern buffet, we’re back for round 2 of 7. As the giggling face of Jack Nicholson fades into the past, we are presented with the kooky eyes of Christopher Walken welcoming us to the present. Please join the crew: Huntsberger “I’d Poop in A Vault Every Day if I Could”, Kevin “Gigglicious”, Ryan “The Dragon”, Meg “Still Doesn’t Really Give a Shit” and Mooney “Who has two thumbs and is constantly typing? This…wait I have to tweet.” We’ll be beginning the live tweeting of Batman Returns at 9:30pm CST…don’t forget the time difference (if you live anywhere not in the midwest).

Get ready for round 2, bitches.

Batman (1989) – Tim Burton (Dir.), Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

Did every poster in the 80s look like someone crapped on a VHS jacket?

And so it begins. The Bat-a-thon is here, it’s slew of mismatched, hodge-podged insanity bleeding across my television, through my brain and then out onto my keyboard. We began, just five intrepid explorers of Gotham city, only to emerge changed. Granted, this is only the first and decidedly tame encounter, but it’s only downhill from here. Well, until Nolan enters the fray. The watching crew was set: Huntsberger “The Wit”, Kevin “The Giggle”, Meg “The I-Don’t-Really-Give-Much-of-a-Shit”, Ryan “The Dragon” and Mooney “The Me”. Armed to the teeth with a DVD player, one and a half bottles of terrible Trader Joe’s wine and a jug of craft beer that remained unopened, we took the plunge together. And oh what a plunge it was (said the plumber to the toilet). To those of you who followed, I live tweeted as fast as my fingers could move.

What do we have here? I’m sure the world was ecstatic when they discovered that Tim “Goth White Kid Wet Dream” Burton was taking on the dreariest of DC super heroes. And I will say this, for all of its weirdness and Burton-esque crap (not that much, surprisingly), it’s a pretty decent movie. There are certainly caveats to that statement, but when placed next to the shit-buckets we’ll be watching down the line, this is conspicuously not-egregious. We’ve got Batman’s best villain played with gusto by Jack Nicholson. Did I say ‘gusto’? I meant “Bat-shit whiskey-fuelled insanity that ends up with a weekend inside of your mom”. We have Kim “The Legs” Bassinger. We have Danny Elfman’s absolutely iconic score. We even have Billy Dee “Not Just an Initial But His Actual Fucking Middle Name” Williams being smoother than a silk martini. On the other hand, it’s the 80s. Dear god it’s the 80s. I was agonizingly reminded of this fact when the name ‘Prince’ appeared as a musical collaborator. *facepalm*. I was amazed by the fact that the art direction didn’t commit suicide until the Joker showed up around the forty minute mark. Burton really kept his shit in line. Well done there.

I imagine that this is what St. Peter looks like. Afraid of clowns? Too fucking bad, wimp. No heaven for you!

So…what is hilariously wrong with this movie? Well, first we have the Bat himself. Michael Keaton is a man known for usually extremely subtle, ironic performances, usually on stage. He’s a respected actor. And, other than haunting my every childhood second with his ‘What the fuck was that?’ performance in Beetlejuice, he seems like a totally reasonable guy. You know what isn’t intimidating? Reason. When he first says “I’m Batman” you think he’s about to follow it up with “And I’m an alcoholic.” And then the dude he’s about to beat the crap out of welcomes him to the support group, they sit down and discuss his movement on his fearless moral inventory. SERIOUSLY. Keaton is just sort of nonchalant. Also, every time he shows up extremely awkwardly, he lifts his pleather wings high, usually with a campy little flick, looking more as though he’s presenting himself for mating rather than about to kick some Joker ass. Even with his final one-liner before he mercilessly murders the Joker (um…okay…) he just sort of mumbles. Like it’s something he needs to add to his Whole Foods shopping list later.

But this movie ain’t about the Bat. Nope. In fact, he’s missing for about half the run time. No, this movie is about making Jack Nicholson look like he’s trying to swallow three penises at once after emerging from the wrong side of a five-year-old face-painting death-match. Honestly, I don’t think they even gave the man a script. They just let the cameras roll and good old Johnny just went for it. He hoots like an owl…for no reason. He flounces about, giggling to himself. Perhaps he was having a stroke and nobody realized. Anything is possible. One thing is for certain, however, this is the best performance of a dude high on something just meandering about a film after David Carradine’s genre-defining role in The Serpent’s EggAs Huntsberger reminded us, people did a lot of cocaine in the 80s.

This displeases the Bat Man.

As a whole, Burton did an amazing thing. Say what you will about Prince appearing out of nowhere and Nicholson vibrating violently (I think this is what the natives call… “Dance” or “The Nicholson Shuffle”). He resurrected the Dark Knight from the clammy, hammy paws of the sixties, reinvigorating the franchise with some much needed macabre. Is it there yet? Fuck no. I mean…where the hell did the Joker suddenly find all of this carnival-themed murder weaponry? Did he pull it out of his ass? Now, I’m sure far weirder things have taken the amazing journey to the center of Johnny Boy’s rectum, but it was stretching the realm of belief a little bit. Also, we had far too many random back-flippy dudes who are easily overcome by the their severe weakness “A Bat-Foot in the Face”. But you know what? Before Batman Begins entered our fanboy lives and showed us the light, this was the fucking pinnacle of Bat-cinema. It also inspired the 90s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. You should all watch all of it immediately. You’ll want to rub the DVDs all over your private parts. It isn’t sexual. It’s about marking territory. You’ll understand this if you have roommates. That’s why I urinate on all of their beds once a day. It’s all part of my plan for total-house domination.

A goofy movie, yes. Also, Lando Calrissian is conspicuously not drinking Colt 45. But a bad movie? I don’t think so. We had to do something to offer an outlet to Nicholson’s insatiable id before he exploded into a Dante’s Inferno of pure masochistic apocalypse. It’s like a pressure valve or human sacrifice. If you don’t give him something insane to do once every decade, like playing with a dildo in The Departed or chasing Olive Oyl with an axe, the whole of existence will collapse into Nine Levels of Nicholson, each one based on a different drug. Don’t get stuck on the Viagra level. Come to think of it…we haven’t had him do anything nutballs in a while. Perhaps the pressure is building… MY GOD. 2012. The Mayans were right!

“Hey guys…I’m a billionaire. I have a fucking cell phone. Can’t we just use that?”

Well, in lieu of the oncoming Nicholocalypse, here are some of the highlights from the Twitter-fest last night:

“Starring Helena Bonham Carter as commissioner Gordon” ~ Kevin #batathon

“Billy Dee Williams is not allowed to not wear a cape.” ~ Huntsberger #batathon

Do you think Nicholson takes viagra before acting? I imagine his entire body is a massive boner.

“Where is Bruce Wayne?” “I could tell you but I turn into a snowman at midnight.”

Batman doesn’t wear fucking glasses. Why? BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN. #batathon

Sorry, those are his ‘TV watching glasses’. #batathon

“I can’t think of a good pun to go with this hanging situation. Oh! Wait!…nope, still drawing a blank.” ~ Batman before Schumacher.

The Joker, making children terrified of split pea soup for the entirety of the 90s. #batathon

“Dude, if I could poop in a vault, I’d poop in a vault every day of my life.” ~ Huntsberger. #batathon

“Hey Mr. Elfman, we need more significant music. Yeah, just slap the accordion with a ham. That should work.” #batathon

Burton: “I want a mime. but make sure he’s fat. NO QUESTIONS.”#batathon

“I feel a lot of the Joker’s danger is lost when you realize he’s really into collage.” #batathon

The bat mobile…ribbed for her pleasure. #batathon

Batman, like dogs, can’t look up apparently. #batathon

Nicholson is mugging so hard you could drink some fucking hot chocolate out of that mutherfucker. #batathon

Wait…why does Batman have listerine? In the bat cave? WHAT?#batathon

“I have something to tell you. I’m Beetlejuice. Wait. The other one. Let me try that again.” ~Keaton and Burton never collaborated again.

Do all villains come equipped with a boom box in the late 80s?#batathon

I didn’t know Batman was a scrapbooker. I’m really sad the new movies haven’t focused on this as much. #batathon


“This is when it poops the bomb. Watch. It’ll do it.” ~ Ryan.#batathon

And then Ferris Bueller shows up and ruins the ENTIRE parade.#batathon

How do we call the Bat? By this incredibly inefficient method.#batathon

So, until next time kiddies, when we tackle deformed Danny Devito, cat-lady Michelle Pfeiffer and crazy Chris Walken. I mean, regular Chris Walken. Same fucking thing. Tune in later this week for the next installment of the Bat-a-thon with Batman Returns. 

Brave (2012) – Mark Andrews (Dir.), Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly

I want to go to there.

There is a film company, out there, lost in the darkness of the cinematic hellscape we call Hollywood. A beacon of impeachable light, a bastion of true talent and imagination. As the demons of bullshittery infect every commercial frame of celluloid time and again, they persevere, a teflon giant, kicking ass and taking names in the realm of childish glee and unfettered creativity. I am, of course, describing Pixar. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that if I were to run into Pixar in a gas station, it would take about two minutes before my panties are on the floor and I’m doing unspeakable acts. I mean, come on, for all of its family values and sensibility, you know Pixar is freaky in the sack. And then, after that momentary tryst, I’d keep calling, show up at Pixar’s place at 3 am, weeping my eyes out and searching for comfort. Disney would demand, “Pixar, who is this crazy asshole?” and Pixar would just say its someone who needs their help. And then, as we begin drinking the wine, I make a move. And…BOOM. Fake pregnancy, break up the marriage and I have a ring on the finger. Let’s just say, I’ll lock that shit down. And if it does take some boiling pets Glenn Close-style, so be it. I am determined.

Alrighty then, to Brave. No juggernaut of such skill and amazingness is perfect. Nor is this movie. But I’ll tell you this, for all those naysayers sneering at the shortened running time, the neat little bow placed on its top at the end, and the general lack of the complexity we have come to expect from the studio as a whole, they can shut up. When was the last time you saw something this beautiful and heartfelt? Shut up. Just shut it. That’s my future spouse you’re shitting on there. Anyway, Brave is great. Not the greatest, nor will it be remembered. But it’s well worth seeing and soon. So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we? This is the story of Merida (voiced by the infinitely cute Kelly MacDonald) rebelling against her straight-laced, tradition-bound mother (Emma Fucking Thompson. I told you in MIB3 her actual middle name is ‘Fucking’. Deal with it) who is trying to pawn her off to one of the three major clans to help ensure Scottish peace. Well, Merida gets a spell from a random surprisingly tech-savvy witch that ‘changes her mother’.

I’d marry her. Barring the fact that she’s sixteen. But I’d wait. In a totally not-creepy way.

I won’t give away spoilers…but you can kind of figure out what she turns into. Okay, fine. I will give spoilers. She turns into a bear. Genius. Let’s move along.

So, the rest of the movie is Merida trying to stop her hilariously goofy, yet incredibly adept killer of a father (comedian and renowned star of Boondock Saints II: Boondockier Saints, Billy Connolly) from murdering her mother and stuffing her while at the same time transforming her back to herself before the second dawn. Why the second dawn? Shut the fuck, that’s why. We’ve got some side plots with a demon bear and the absurdly impish firecrotch redheaded triplet brothers. People learn lessons, the scots are ridiculed and everyone lives happily ever after. Again, it ain’t deep. But, damn, it be pretty. I remember when the movie Final Fantasy: Spirits Within came out, bravely not being at all like the video game it was ‘based on’ and employing Alex Baldwin as the main love interest. It really was a brave film. Did I say ‘brave’? I meant ‘piece of baboon feces’. Anyway, all of Geekdom was creaming themselves over the main character’s hair and how ‘lifelike’ it was. Well, it could be called ‘lifelike’ if the bitch had never heard of conditioner. Maybe some styling products. I know this is post-apocalypse with a bunch of…ghosts? I guess? But you could find SOMETHING to use. Sidenote: That movie is an enigma, a blip on the radar of collective insanity. Try watching it. I dare you. It also answers the age old question of “Is Steve Buscemi as terrifying in CG as he is in real life?” I won’t tell you now. You have to watch and find out (cue: evil laugh). Anyway, the belabored point is this: that lady who had all of Japan’s technology up Square’s butthole trying to simulate real hair was a woman with straight black hair. That’s like paying thousands of dollars getting every paint in the world together, only to do something in black and white. A brunette? Really? I love me some brunettes, but that shit ain’t exactly challenging. Come on, people, have some balls. Brave on the other hand creates the most gorgeous mass of curly red locks that I have ever seen. I got a major salon boner that almost lasted long enough to warrant a doctor visit.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to be Merida. Well, less ‘making me turn into a bear’ and more, I dunno, science enthusiasm.

This is an important movie though for subtler reasons than you’d expect. First of all, it’s one of the few Pixar movies to pass the Bechdel test. And with flying colors too. The main two characters are ladygirls and extremely competent ladygirls at that. Both are charismatic. Both are intelligent. In fact, rarely in a major motion picture is the central relationship between a mother and a daughter. You might get one of the side plots concerning them or it’s an utter chick flick. But here…it’s compelling as all hell, at least to me. You have this girl throwing her independence in the face of age-old tradition, believing that its solely her mother’s fault that they are in this mess, when really her mother is simply a slave to the same traditions. She isn’t forcing the girl into line, she’s offering ways of coping with what can’t be changed. But then…they change it… and that all goes to the wind. So…I guess…fuck tradition? Sure. Why not. Not only that, but there is no love interest. There is no disarming male presence that comes to the rescue in the end. They’re all too busy fighting like idiots. How refreshing is that? Seriously. But, for all the well-devised exploration of full female characters, the movie is decidedly short-sighted on the Scots. I’m not sure if any of the Scotch actors involved minded being portrayed as backwater nincompoops. I mean…it was funny, though an utter fetishization of Scottish culture, a minstrel show for modern day anglophiles. But…pick your battles. I did laugh pretty hard when they all walked back into the castle bare-assed. So. Yeah. That’s cool.

One thing that did endlessly amuse me throughout the film is the fact that I know very adult things about each of the actors involved. That’s like watching Sesame Street knowing that everyone behind the scenes is doing blow (not true! I promise! I know some of those guys and it’s not true!… To my knowledge…DUN DUN DUUUUH). We have Kelly MacDonald, perpetually stuck as that schoolgirl in Danny Boyle’s trippy-as-fuck morally-questionable Trainspotting. You know, that movie where Ewen Bremner shits himself and then accidentally throws it over a couple of parents eating dinner. Also, on the amazingly delicious and entirely white-as-fuck British quiz show QI, Emma Thompson recounted the fact that when she was living with Stephen “Oh lord, He’s Queerer Than Oscar Wilde With a Pineapple Up his Arse” Fry, she used to terrify him by stripping naked and shaking her titties in his general direction. True story. And hilarious. And…arousing? Sorry, I have a crush on Ms. Thompson that will never die. Finally, we have Billy Connolly. I have seen his penis. Not in real life…just on British television. Seriously, you should switch on some of the smut on the BBC. Those saucy minxes. I couldn’t get that out of my head. Especially Connolly’s free-balling haggis flopping about Trafalgar Square (he actually did that. Wikipedia it if you don’t believe me).

From left to right: Merida gets murdered in ‘No Country For Old Men’, Fergus was a boobie guzzling zombie in ‘Fido’ and Queen Elinor is that lady who told Arnie he was pregnant in the oft forgotten ‘Junior’. Fucking pedigree.

In the end, you should see Brave. Support Pixar. They have more talent in their fucking nighttime janitorial staff than Brett Ratner has in the entirety of his nobbish existence. Support a movie with a couple of strong female leads and set outside of America’s comfort zone. It’s funny, it’s cute, it’s pretty and it has a tiny bear diving into a woman’s cleavage. What’s not to love?

Tonight…it begins…

Posted: June 24, 2012 in BATATHON

Guys and Dolls. Tonight, we begin with Tim Burton’s Batman. It will be live tweeted, so follow me on twitter! That’s an order, bitches. Also, the email follow is a good way to get updates as soon as I post. So…do that.

See you tonight, on the Internet, at 8pm.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) – Timur Bekmambetov (Dir.), Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie

Taken 3: Back to the Future

I stand here a humbled man. It’s incredible. I went into this film with so many pre-conceived notions, so many half-formed opinions, divinely offered truths from gods on high etc. I assumed that this movie would be a disgusting amalgam of historic phlegm hacked up from Anne Rice’s asshole, given life by a humorless, penis-swinging director more concerned with visually masturbating in the most confusing manner possible than understanding even the first thing about historical/emotional context and human interaction. Well, I can tell you all that I, Andrew Mooney, of sound mind and sober disposition, was bowled-over by this film. It had the complexity and intelligence of a Doris Kearns-Goodwin book, the lyrical beauty of a Joyce novel, the…the… the…


I think I just had a stroke. Wait. What the fuck just happened? Was I channeling god? Or Armond White? Woah. Sorry about that. What were we talking about? Oh yes, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Well, let’s get started the right way, shall we?

This movie is fucking terrible.

Like, eight levels of complete nonsensical presidential turd. Wow. The most succinct way of describing this movie would be to say it is the cinematic equivalent of waking up in a bathtub full of ice and you’re missing a kidney. You thought the evening was going to be awesome when that pretty/trashy lady batted her eyes at you across the bar. The next morning, all you’re left with is a sense of violation, bewilderment and a great reduction in your ability to process biological waste. Alright, let’s get to it, boys and girls.

Lincoln’s ballet recital was regrettably cut short when interrupted by the Civil War.

This movie is from a book from Seth Grahame-Smith, the comic genius behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. What could have been a hilarious romp into a tongue-in-cheek send up of the post-Twilight generation’s understanding of vampire lore as well as a parody of America’s inability to retain any historical knowledge turned into something else…something dark…and confusing. Perhaps in the hands of another director, we might have been offered some hipster-level irony, winks at the audience, and a meta understanding of the latent absurdity of the material at hand. ‘No!’ says Timur Bekmam-I-have-no-idea-how-to-say-his-name-betov. “No laughs for you!” This is serious movie. Like…super, super serious. It takes itself so seriously, you’d think it was fucking Bono. It’s not Bono. It’s more like that drag queen who sings U2 cover songs after twelve cosmopolitans while her friends are pleading for her to just get off the stage and grab a taxi, you’re embarrassing us all, LaTwanda.

There will be spoilers. Deal with it. This movie ain’t about plot or twists or emotional engagement. It’s about…well, I have no fucking clue. Let’s start at the beginning. It’s about Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires. Okay, plot summary over. You think you have some acting pedigree enter the mix when the heavily-quaffed Dominic Cooper shaves off that unfortunate pedo-stache he had in Captain America: I Won’t Write What’s After This Colon Because It’s Dumb and applies alabaster foundation like a 13-year-old girl after her first outing to Hot Topic. But you’re wrong. He’s a great actor, just not in this. I even hear Benjamin Walker is pretty good on stage. Not here, boys and girls. They both wander from scene to scene hoping that their utter misunderstanding of whatever BekmamseriouslyIcan’twriteitanymorebetov will come off as amiable ‘charm’. It kinda works.

Well, Cooper teaches Abraham to kill vampires to get vengeance on the one who murdered his mom. Sure. Why not? What doesn’t make a goddamned lick of fucking sense is that Abe is suddenly able to make trees explode because of ‘truth’. WHAT!? I literally yelled at the screen. Does that mean if someone asks, “Did you eat the last cookie in the cookie jar?” And I say, “Yes.” Do I suddenly become Blade? What fucking logic is that? Also, what kind of vampires are these that are entirely flippant about sunlight, don’t seem susceptible to wooden stakes and whose only ‘power’ is to turn invisible? Um…alrighty then. The only addition to the vampire canon that seemed mildly intriguing was the concept that vampires can’t kill other vampires. Huh. Cool. Anyway, back to the nonsense.

The record scratch was heard for miles when Abe asked if he could join their super-awkward cos-play sex party.

We get a menagerie of famous historical figures wandering across the screen. We have Stephen Douglas (played by a woefully underused Alan Tudyk), Mary Todd (resident hottie and Ramona of my dreams Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Harriet Tubman (*facepalm*) and Abe Lincoln’s black friend. You know. The one who was like his second in command through his entire presidential career. You’d know him if you saw him. He used to defuse bombs in Baghdad in the amazingly cool The Hurt Locker. What he’s doing here is anyone’s guess (paycheck?). But all of that crap is fine. It’s what we all expect from a ridiculous treat such as this. It’s the rest of it that makes my head want to implode on itself.

The action scenes. Like if Rachel Weisz were high on Meth, they’re ridiculously pretty but you’re fairly sure they’re channeling the dark lord. I didn’t understand a fucking thing whenever anything action-related occurred. Especially with 3D (lord have mercy), things seemed to come in and out of focus willy-nilly. Bekmammakeitstopbetov never seems content to let the camera sit still. Almost every scene begins with a hilariously hammy zoom from the skies above down to the action. The screen is constantly kinetic, like a 2 year old forced to sit through Lawrence of Arabia. The truest moments of brain-fuckery that occurred were the major set pieces. I’m used to people like Joss Whedon, whose main mantra is ‘Make sure people can see what is happening.’ Bekmam…I give up. I’m going to call him Beck from now on (if this movie were made by Beck it would have been…well…probably pretty boring, let’s be honest). Ok, Beck doesn’t give a fuck. Not a single solitary fuck. People ask him, “Do you care about the historical context of slavery and how it has been branded upon the social memory for all time as one of the greatest human atrocities this nation has ever known?” His response: “Go fuck yourself.” What’s his next movie, Oskar Schindler: Leprechaun Catcher? He’s about a subtle as a colonoscopy.

So, the most egregious moments: There is a fight scene, in which, if I understand it correctly (and that’s anyone’s guess) a vampire throws a horse at Abraham Lincoln, who then catches it and RIDES IT. WHAT. THE. BLUE-ASSED. FUCK. WAS. THAT? The slew of profanity that spewed from my lips would have made Bob Sagat blush. Also, when Abe goes to save his special black friend from the vampires and all shit goes crazy, Abe comes in swinging like Neo on a good day. Okay, fine. He’s trained. They had a montage. I will accept your terms, Beck. However, when about to be bitten, his special black friend does a back-flip (or black-flip, technically – sorry, I had to) and grabs the vampire by the head with his fucking heels. WHAT? Where the goddamned hell did he learn to do that? I know ‘Magical Negro’ is an accepted cinematic term, but I don’t believe this is an appropriate application… Also, when Abe ages from looking like if Liam Neeson dipped his face in Botox to the ugly-assed prez we all know and love, none of the other characters age. They literally just sprinkled some white powder into Anthony Mackie’s hair and declared, “Yep, that looks good.” Also, Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks like she just got out of a high school production of Steel Magnolias. And nobody changes the way they act. They’re just as young and virile, their faces just look more vagina-esque.

Abraham Lincoln and his Special Black Friend. It doesn’t matter that the train is on fire. They’re in love.

And Rufus Sewell. What happened? You were so awesome and cool in Dark City. You have a brooding talent that is scarcely seen by the light of day. Why are you rotting away in whore-buckets such as this? You were probably the best part of the movie…other than that guy sitting behind me who said the word ‘Wow’ at all the right times. Mainly during pensive silences in terribly-acted scenes. He was awesome. At the end of the movie, while the rest of the Northwestern students complained that people were laughing at the movie, I turned around and shook the man’s hand, thanking him for enhancing my movie going experience. That guy is my hero. So, in conclusion, see this movie if you want your brain-space violated by Bekmamketasaurus Rex’s film penis. After getting home, I crawled into my shower and turned on the cold water. I sat there all night, knowing I shall never be clean again.

So…if that’s your thing. Go for it. You have my full support.