The 2018 Razzie Nominations

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Well, it's that time of year again, folks! The list of 2018 Razzie nominations has been released. Transformers: The Last Knight leads the pack with 9 nominations and Fifty Shades Darker is not far behind with 8 nominations. While most of the movies make sense, we're looking at you Emoji Movie, there are a couple of head-scratchers on the list. Mother!, for examplereceived multiple nominations and even one for Worst Director?!? I understand that the film provided strong reactions on either side of the spectrum, but I'm not quite sure if a polarizing film necessarily deserves to join the ranks of I Know Who Killed Me. Overall it appears as though it was a pretty light year in terms of bad movies. There are certainly no heavy-hitters like Jack & Jill, which still holds the title of most Razzies at 10. 

The "winners" will be announced March 3rd, just before the Oscars.

The toy equivalent of Transformers: The Last Knight. Image from Battlegrip.com

The toy equivalent of Transformers: The Last Knight. Image from Battlegrip.com

WORST PICTURE

Baywatch
The Emoji Movie
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST ACTRESS

Katherine Heigl (Unforgettable)
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker)
Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!)
Tyler Perry (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)
Emma Watson (The Circle)

WORST ACTOR

Tom Cruise (The Mummy)
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Darker)
Zac Efron (Baywatch)
Mark Wahlberg (Daddy’s Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Javier Bardem (Mother! and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
Russell Crowe (The Mummy)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers: The Last Knight)
Mel Gibson (Daddy’s Home 2)
Anthony Hopkins (Collide and Transformers: The Last Knight)

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Kim Basinger (Fifty Shades Darker)
Sofia Boutella (The Mummy)
Laura Haddock (Transformers: The Last Knight)
Goldie Hawn (Snatched)
Susan Sarandon (A Bad Moms Christmas)

WORST SCREEN COMBO  

“Any combination of two characters, two sex toys or two sexual positions” (Fifty Shades Darker)
“Any combination of two humans, two robots or two explosions” (Transformers: The Last Knight)
“Any two obnoxious emojis” (The Emoji Movie)
“Johnny Depp & his worn-out drunk routine” (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales)
“Tyler Perry & either the ratty old dress or worn-out wig” (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween)

WORST REMAKE, RIPOFF OR SEQUEL  

Baywatch
Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

WORST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky (Mother!)
Michael Bay (Transformers: The Last Knight)
James Foley (Fifty Shades Darker)
Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy)
Tony Leonidis (The Emoji Movie)

WORST SCREENPLAY    

Baywatch
The Emoji Movie
Fifty Shades Darker
The Mummy
Transformers: The Last Knight

What do you think? When I look at this list I see a lot of meh movies, but nothing as brilliantly bad as The Room, Birdemic, or anything Neil Breen. I get it though, the Razzies are more of a way of poking fun at the entertainment industry, but I can't help but want a little more bad movie in my list of bad movies. As a lover of truly bad movies, I'd like to know, what was the worst movie you saw this year?

Neil Breen, you'll always be the King.

Neil Breen, you'll always be the King.

Posted on January 22, 2018 .

THE 2017 RESERVOIRIES - FINAL NOMINEES

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You voted and the results are here! The top three movies from every category have been selected by you and here they are!

Winners will be announced on March 3rd!

Happy Voting!

 
Posted on January 22, 2018 and filed under Reservoiries.

Great Poster. Terrible Movie.

Drew Struzan is not only the best movie poster artist ever but also one of the finest artist living today. His work has been used on some of the most amazing movies of our time and also some of the absolute worst. Some movies are so abysmal they hardly even deserve a freshman graphic designers first attempt at photoshop but instead they get the wonderful work of a modern day Norman Rockwell. Here are some of the worst movies with some of the best art.

Ratings from Rotten Tomatoes' current standing as of January 20, 2017.

That's just twenty of the worst movies the wonderful Drew Struzan made masterpieces for and there are a few more but for the most part the films match the wonderfulness of the poster. You can check out more of Struzan's amazing work by clicking the signature below.

 
Posted on January 20, 2018 .

Happy 10th Birthday Cloverfield!

Though Cloverfield came out ten year ago today, the build up to it's release spread all the way back well into 2007. The first footage showed no monster, no plot and, in fact, no title. Only the release date of January 18, 2008. My 28th Birthday. 

Now I was a huge fan of LOST and with JJ Abrams' name attached so were the abundant amount of theories about what this could be. A popular one, and what I was hoping it was, that whatever this was it was linked to LOST in someway. In a way I suppose it was since everything in the Abrasiverse was at the time. To the point the opening sequence of the film there is a very obvious Dharma logo on the screen.

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There were theories about the monster having some connection to Slusho! the drink featured in Abrams' Alias and also having cameo appearances in Fringe, Heroes and the film Super 8. This is due largely in part to the working title of the film being Slusho! and a viral marketing commercial for Cloverfield under the guise of the fictional Slurpee spoof. A commercial that seems bizarre at first sight but knowing the Abramsiverse, held tons of secrets.

So we are still a ways out from January 18, 2008 and I, like many, was checking fansites for clues and leaked info for some kind of clue as to what anything related to this movie was.

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Every Thursday morning I would go to a website that focused on LOST easter eggs from episodes the night before to see what I might have missed and it was no stranger to Cloverfield theories and lies. Weekly we were being treated to leaked concept art and stories from the set, all of which I was more than willing to believe. 

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Then it happens. The movie comes out and on my birthday a group of friends and I ventured to the theater to finally see if any of what we expected was true... It was not. I remember being disappointed that the monster looked like some kind of giant sperm and we never got a clear shot of the thing until the end. We were all at a loss. Like our time had somehow been wasted.

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Typical of JJ Abrams, we were left with even more questions now that the movie was over and based on how it ended, it seemed as though we would never get any explanation as to what it was, where it came from and what would happen next. This, of course, is now a theme that no longer bothers movie goers as we can turn to the internet and friends to discuss what we think a movie or series meant. Cloverfield was a victim of setting up that unique kind of movie going experience. Cut to 2016 and the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane...

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I decided to revisit the original Cloverfield to see if it was aged well with time and much to my delight, it absolutely 100% does. I saw it with fresh eyes and wish I could go back to my younger self, grab young me by the shoulders and tell him what greatness he just witnessed. Then I'd point at my red headed-friend and my wife and tell young me "Watch out for that shit right there..." and then vanish into the time-warp or however that works. 
So here we are, ten years after Cloverfield and a couple of months from third film in the bloodline, God Particle (name as of 01-18-18) which is due out in April 2018 but was due out originally in February 2017 and then February 2018. Now we wait. Maybe we will see the return of the Cloverfield monster in all it's gigantic sperm-like glory.

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So in closing, if it's been a while, I'd recommend a revisit and I want to wish Cloverfield a very Happy 10th Birthday and a Happy 38th to myself.

 

 

Posted on January 18, 2018 .

The Post REVIEW

STREEP
HANKS

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This is the first film to star acting gods Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks together, and as evidenced by the movie poster (where their names are literally larger than the movie title), it was kind of a big deal.
The perennial Oscar nominees shine and the great ensemble of character actors use their screen time perfectly, but the story is the star of the film. Honestly, after getting home from watching this movie I realized exactly how boring it should be, but it wasn’t. Katherine Graham (played by Streep) is the first female publisher for the Washington Post. Graham spends the majority of the film wrestling with sexism, her dedication to the family business, and her own insecurities about being a leader. Meanwhile her editor, Ben Bradlee (Hanks) is known for  being a journalistic “pirate” and thinks he has a shot to break the biggest story of his career; The Pentagon Paper.

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More often than not nowadays I find myself rewinding a movie because I must have missed some important moment only to find that I did not miss anything at all. Usually this happens because the writer or director forgets to add important connecting tissue somewhere in an expositional scene. This film does not have that problem. Spielberg does a masterful job at emphasizing the importance of what could seem trivial then finding a way to call back to it later on. He also does a wonderful job at getting the most out of his actors that have very little screen time. It’s true that the majority of the film is centered around Tom and Meryl (we’re on a first name basis now) but wowza does Spielberg get some great performances out of actors that are on screen for 10 minutes or less.

::Spoilers but not Spoilers::

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There are moments at the end of this movie that I thought to myself “Who the hell is that?” or “Where has that person been?” only to immediately stop caring because the performances were so well delivered. Carrie Coon from HBO’s The Leftover’s and FX’s Fargo is in this movie and I’m pretty sure I didn’t know that until 3 minutes before the credits began rolling.

::No More Spoilers not Spoilers:::

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I’ve often thought that this type of film is the hardest to do well. Essentially this is a movie about obtaining, organizing, and distributing documents to the American people. Oh and by the way, if you know anything about American history you already know the ending. Would Fight Club or The Usual Suspects have been as entertaining had you known the ending before the film was even written? Making this kind of movie engaging and exciting is very difficult. It’s also a film about a profession which can sometimes be a cinematic pitfall. Frequently movies that are based on journalism romanticize the job to an almost nauseating degree, I didn’t get that feeling from The Post. Nothing seemed overly contrived or self-aggrandizing. In this heated political climate we live in The Post could have very well shoved the merits of trusting journalism down our throats. Spielberg could have asked Tom Hanks to stare directly into the camera and talk about how a president should never actively try to delegitimize the press simply because it does not portray them as wonderful; which is what Nixon did. Instead, The Post just tells the story and a very good story at that.

⅘ Geeks

 

Did you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted on January 17, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

"Revolver Rodent Trap" WARNING: Kinda Disturbing

When you randomly type the word "crazy" into the search bar on YouTube you never know what you'll find. Take this gem for instance: 

In 1882 a man from Texas (go figure) named J.A.Williams patented a rodent trap that utilized a REVOLVER! as the method for dispatching poor little Ratatouille. It's like something you'd see in a Saw prequel where we find out Jigsaw's grandpappy also had an affinity for tinkering/teaching living things to appreciate living by making them unliving

Fievel Goes West by Quentin Tarantino

Fievel Goes West by Quentin Tarantino

Crazy, right!?! Williams even notes in the patent that the device would also be useful in deterring unwanted intruders from entering the home...

But wait!

It gets crazier! In the video below a guy actually builds and tests the trap! Thankfully without live ammunition. I will warn you though that he does show footage of another trap that uses blanks and even though the *bang* is censored you still get the idea :( I'm not a huge fan of mice in the home either but I'm pretty sure we would all file this under "OVERKILL".

WARNING: While not overtly graphic, we've all got imaginations and sometimes that's even scarier.

The most disturbing thing is that the guy's whole channel is devoted to rat traps! Keep your eyes away from the related videos to the right because there are definitely dead animals over there. 

Congrats, YouTube, you never cease to amaze me!

Posted on January 17, 2018 .

The Apple Newton- A Retrospective

Sometimes product ideas are so ahead of their time, they are doomed to failure. Case in point, the Apple Newton.

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In the early 90’s, Apple was on the upswing, but in a bit of a technological rut. It was Michael Tchao that pitched the idea to Apple’s then CEO, John Sculley. While rudimentary by today’s standard, they set out to not just create another peripheral to use with computers. What they sought out to do was create an entirely new class of computers. The PDA (a term coined by Apple) or Personal Digital Assistant was to be a pocket sized device for storing contacts, managing your calendar, and sending faxes among other things. However, the real game changer was to be the handwriting to text translator. In theory, you could sit in your meeting and with the use of a stylus, write down any and all info and have it converted to text.

This was a monumental undertaking to say the least. In the early 90’s, miniaturization was a far cry from what is possible today. Plus, all off the shelf parts were made to fit into a square case. The ambitious  Newton was anything but square. Sculley was adamant that for it to succeed, it had to fit in the pocket. There was no backing down from that. It is said, the design team had such a hard time, and they joked of sneaking into his house and replacing all his pockets with larger ones. Eventually, they were put a working prototype together. In 1992, the Newton was debuted at CES to a roar of applause.

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The problem was, while it worked, if was highly flawed. The handwriting translator was a problem from the get go. Character recognition was fair at best and more time was spent fixing errors than actually writing the notes.

They kept at it though and version 2.0 of the software was released. It had become a well functioning handwriting translator but, the damage was done, the public lost faith and interest.

While it was a technology that could have been salvaged, the death blow came quick. Jobs was able to regain control of the company from Sculley and one of the first things he did was kill the Newton. He absolutely hated it.

“God gave us ten styluses,” he would say, waving his fingers. “Let’s not invent another.”

In the biography titled Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, he is quoted saying,

"If Apple had been in a less precarious situation, I would have drilled down myself to figure out how to make it work. I didn’t trust the people running it. My gut was that there was some really good technology, but it was fucked up by mismanagement. By shutting it down, I freed up some good engineers who could work on new mobile devices. And eventually we got it right when we moved on to iPhones and the iPad."

That was it. The Newton was discontinued on February 27, 1998

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While gone, it has not been forgotten. A vast amount of technological knowhow went into creating the Newton. While Apple did go on to create world changing technology in the iPhone and iPad, the Newton is undoubtedly the grandfather of them all.

 

Posted on January 16, 2018 .

My Favorite Place

Surf City, NC

Surf City, NC

Most people can be categorized as beach people or mountain people. Sure, there are other categories, but let’s face it, those are the big 2.

I am, without a doubt, a beach person. The beach is my favorite place. The hot sun, silky sand and cool water are transcendent. Most of my fondest memories involve a beach of some sort. Living in DFW, I don’t have the luxury of visiting a beach all that often, so when I do, its extra special.

When I was young, my family’s yearly vacation was to Padre Island, TX. Most people that have been to Florida, California or the Caribbean know as far as beaches go, it’s not a very impressive one. There is often tar on the sand and the water is murky, but to my six year old eyes and mind, it was magical. Much has been done to improve it in recent years so don’t hold back if you are thinking of visiting. To this day, I have no reservations of swimming the Gulf of Mexico.

Hotel Del  Coronado

Hotel Del  Coronado

When I was around 10, my Dad won an award at work and we got to spend a week at the Hotel Del Coronado in southern California. I can still remember walking out and seeing what looked like endless white sand. For the first time, I saw what a beach could be. It was breathtaking. I don’t remember much about that trip, but I will always remember that.

Trunk Bay, St John, USVI

Trunk Bay, St John, USVI

At around 16, something happened that forever solidified my love of the beach. My family and I went to the US Virgin Islands. The island of St John is pure paradise. The lush rainforest, winding with cliff side roads seemed like another planet to me. We would spend our days finding a secluded cove and snorkel the beautiful coral reefs for hours on end. From free diving for starfish to chasing sea turtles, to coming nose to nose with a 6 foot barracuda, it was all magical. The reef, covered with everything from purple fan coral to red antler coral was the perfect backdrop to the countless blue tang, angel fish and a multitude of other varieties. The most memorable though was to see something shimmering in the distance, only to be overtaken by 10 of thousands of schooling sardines. I was completely surrounded. They moved when I moved. It was like one giant being with me in the center. Absolutely incredible. Sadly, the magnitude of the USVI experience was somewhat lost to adolescent me. I didn’t realize what a luxury I was experiencing.

Spring Break, South Padre Island, TX

Spring Break, South Padre Island, TX

My first beach adventure as an “adult” was spring break in South Padre in 1996. You know how they portray the beach in any standard Spring Break movie? It was EXACTLY like that. Fraternity flag with kegs at their base as far as you could see. Beach balls, beer bongs and bikinis. Truthfully, this didn’t really grow my love of the beach, but it is a good story so there you go.

This is where my beach drought starts. I did manage to make it to the glorious sandy saltwater a few times in my 20s, but I never really got to enjoy it.

In my early 30s, I was fortunate to have some dear friends of mine, Tom and Desiree, move to the Wilmington area of North Carolina. I try to take a yearly pilgrimage to see them and it is something I most look forward to.

We have had some fun adventures. One of my favorite memories is one I know they see a little different. The weather forecast wasn’t looking great, but we decided to risk it and take the boat out in the Intracoastal Waterway. Being that it was late summer, they were prone to pop up thunderstorms and one quickly found us. It was a torrential, driving rain and there was lightning all around us. No cover for miles so we had to ride it out. I could see the nerves on their face, but I loved it! For whatever reason, I just knew we would be fine. We were cold and soaked, but it sure was fun!

I can tell you the exact instance I realized the curative effect a good beach has on me. About 5 years ago, I had somewhat of a personal, mental crisis and needed to get away to clear my head. I called Tom to see if they could have me for a few days. Ever the friend he is, he was happy to have me and I was on a plane the next week. On this trip, I had to fly into Raleigh, which is about 3 hours from Wilmington. I landed, picked up my rental and drove straight to Surf City. Just the smell of the salt air as I was getting close started putting me at ease. Once I crossed the bridge to the island, I could feel the weight lifting. I parked at the beach access by the pier, put on my flip-flops and grabbed a book of Kurt Vonnegut shorts. I proceeded to start the short walk over the dunes.

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The breeze was whistling, the sun was shining and the waves were crashing. I bounded the stairs and once at the top, I saw it. The beach, my nirvana. I walked down to the surf and let the waves kiss my travel weary feet and I knew I would be ok. After an hour or so I walked over to Buddy’s Crab house and had a few beers all the while watching the waves lap the sand and the gulls hover in the breeze. It was a good day.

Buddy’s Crab House

Buddy’s Crab House

So there you go. My favorite place. I hope you enjoyed my stroll down memory lane. I encourage you to do the same. It can be very therapeutic. If you would like, please comment and let us know your favorite place. Even if you are a mountain person, I won’t judge you. I would love to read your story.

 

Posted on January 14, 2018 .

The Six Worst People To Take To The Movies

The Auteur

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The artist of the group, this person considers themselves to be the most well-rounded moviegoer of all your friends. They have seen every movie that was nominated for every award, even the that strange french silent film that’s nominated for best sound production somehow. They prefer to watch movies in the original format that the director intended and scoff at the thought of watching a film such as Metropolis on their phone. If movies came on vinyl, they would own some antique wooden crates to store their collection of Godard and Renoir Films. Quentin hasn’t made anything good since Reservoir Dogs and Scorsese hasn’t been able to find himself since Taxi Driver. They’ve never picked up a camera but they swear they could win the Palme D’Or if the right story presented itself.

 

The Toilet Bowl

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Plot and acting be damned, a movie isn’t good unless something is blown to smithereens and someone makes a shit joke. Voted most likely to pull out their cell phone and have a conversation in a theater if the movie has too much exposition and not enough explosion. This person will definitely repeat lines from this months most popular shoot ‘em up movie as the punchline at the end of their most likely ill-conceived and sometimes awkwardly racist jokes. When you ask them to do something for you they always use it as a chance to herald their “particular set of skills.” Meryl Streep is a boner killer and Colin Firth is that guy from The Kingsman. Only saw The Martian because they thought there would be aliens.

 

The Hyperbole

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Never-not the most excited person after leaving the theater. Every movie this person watches is THE. BEST. MOVIE. EVER! Paddington? Life-altering. Maze-Runner? Changed cinema forever. Garfield: Tail of Two Kitties? A tour de force. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Literally syfy perfection, second only to The Phantom Menace. You start to think this person is just excited to sit in the dark with loud noises for more than an hour. If you actually see good movie with together and talk about it afterwards you start to pick out things you didn’t like about it just to counterbalance the sugary sweet positivity. For some reason they have one classic movie that they just “don’t care for” and the reasoning is almost always baffling. “Silence of the Lambs just wasn’t realistic enough for me…”

 

The Contrarian

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Maybe the most infuriating of all the stereotypes this person can’t bring themselves to like a movie if it’s universally loved and regularly praises films that are recognized as failures. They knew the twist was going to happen from a mile away and you’re an idiot if you didn’t see it coming. The Oscar for best film goes to the most over-hyped drivel of the year. They use words like “sheeple” and try to convince their social media followers that they only liked that movie because they fell for a good marketing campaign. The accents were off in The Shawshank Redemption. That Pulp Fiction overdose scene was medically inaccurate. The American remake of Oldboy was far superior to the original. Battlefield Earth was actually a really poignant and underrated syfy classic. Pretends their favorite comedy of all-time is Norbit. Stop it.

 

The Fact-Checker

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Full of useless information this friend sits next to you whispering “fun facts” about every trailer before the movie starts. They won’t talk during a movie in a theater but it’s nearly impossible to watch movie with them on the couch at home. You always invite them to your local bar for trivia night but they can’t handle small talk outside the questions. Almost all of their humor is pop culture based and seems like inside jokes that only 4 other people from an internet forum would understand. Was the first person to tell you The Rock’s real name was Dwayne and the contract details that made him use his wrestling persona for his first few movies. Most likely to start a sentence with “Um, actually…” This person will tend to like movies with their favorite actors even if the movie is bad because they know what’s going on in their personal life right now and they could really use some support. Could come across as creepy if you didn’t know them better.

 

The Bermuda Triangle

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This person can be frustrating if you like to talk about your favorite parts of a movie after seeing it. They love to go to the theater and can tell you if the movie was good or bad but that’s about it. With the film memory of a goldfish this person can’t tell you what happened in the final scene of the movie once the credits start to roll. Do you like to quote movies? Too damn bad, your references will be lost on this person. They can’t provide a list of reasons they liked or disliked a movie, their opinion is solely based off the feeling that they have when they leave the theater. Although most of the details will be lost on this person they will somehow remember in great detail how long the movie was to the second and years later will be able to tell you which seats you were sitting in when you saw “that movie with the lady from Saturday Night Live”. Voted most likely to pay for popcorn and fall asleep during the title sequence.

That’s my list of the 6 Worst People to take to the movies, which one are you? Did I miss a few? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted on January 13, 2018 .

Proud Mary REVIEW

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This past summer I saw the first trailer for Proud Mary and, I am am not ashamed to tell you, was excited. I'm a sucker for a good trailer and this one gave me plenty to be excited about. A barrage of gun shots to the beat of Proud Mary with car chases and explosions... Who wouldn't be excited? Plus from the look of it, a story about a strong woman kicking ass which, as the father of a girl, I am always on board for.

A strange thing happened in the lead up to the film's release, though. It seems that Sony lost its confidence in the film and screened it for reviewers through a very difficult fashion of picking out of the way theaters and, from what I saw, did not begin regular screenings until Friday. This had me intrigued, so I put off seeing The Post so I could see what was up this Proud Mary.
I went in wanting to like the movie and expecting a good old fashioned shoot-em-up with a throwback to the Blaxploitation movies of the 1970's but this was not that. It wasn't even a good kick ass woman movie. The character of Mary, played by Taraji P. Henson, is not a flawed character because of her choices but flawed because of the writing of her character. The screenwriters and directors think that if you give a woman a gun, it makes her strong but this film proves them absolutely 100% wrong. 
Here it is; a hit-woman assassinates a man, only to discover she a young boy at the scene. Now, guilt-ridden, she has to protect him. Great on paper. The story is simple and could have been executed well had it been given to someone who could write for a strong black woman. Instead it was given to the complete opposite, a white man. Oh... but wait... there were three writers? Oh, all white men. One of those men being a soap-opera writer of Days of Our Lives. Well, maybe the director could have had some influen... oh... another man... the director of London Has Fallen, Iranian-born Babak Najafi. Damn.
Here's how you know this was written by a man; Mary makes mistake after mistake and never learns from them. All the mistakes slowly but eventually leads to the downfall of every single person around her except for the child she protects, though at the beginning of the film she orphans by killing his father and then abandons him for a year. A year in which he becomes a drug runner of the Russian mafia (that's a hell of a year). So even then, she is the reason the boy needs protecting and even while under he protection his life is put into even greater peril. The basis of this film has to be Pandora's Box. All the hero of Proud Mary does is cause problems for herself. It's so bizarre for the main protagonist of a movie to also be one of the main antagonists. 
One of the most distracting issues in Proud Mary is the sound. I was overjoyed to see Danny Glover on screen and in the first scene noticed his voice seemed to be completely ADR-ed in. His voice was flat and slightly louder than every other character, so I figured it was just that one scene but no. Throughout the entire film his voice was layered over not only other dialog but also all the Foley work. An intimate scene where Glover and Henson were slow dancing was supposed to done in whispers but Glover's voice carried like a high school stage actor projecting to the back of the house. 
As for the action. Well, what you see in the trailer is the bulk of it and it might seem like a lot but it really isn't. The majority of that action is in the last 10 minuets of the film while the song Proud Mary is playing. That part was enjoyable but mainly because you had to sit through the 77 minuets in the lead up to it. It's like an alright kiss at the end of a terrible date.
Proud Mary might one day be something that is on TV during a weekend afternoon and that would be the best way to see it. Not requiring a ton of attention and definitely not deserving of it.

Posted on January 13, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

Black Widow's Time Has Come... Finally.

News broke yesterday that after 5 appearances on the big screen since 2010, Marvel Studios is finally planning to give Black Widow her own solo movie. This of course will mean far more screen-time for the lovely Scarlett Johansson, which is something that, for the record, we here at Reservoir Geeks have always been in favor of.

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After holding her own for the better part of a decade next to a giant green guy, a talking goatee, my wife’s free pass ([shaking fist at the sky] “Damn you, Chris Evans!!”), and everyone else’s wife’s free pass (Australian Fabio), Widow’s turn is well deserved. Of the movie’s original six Avengers, Hawkeye (who you probably didn’t even realize I omitted above) has been the only other hero who hasn’t had their own movie.

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Not only is the first lady of the Marvel Cinematic Universe past due for getting her time in the spotlight, the current cultural climate is unquestionably primed for it. Female empowerment is experiencing a groundswell in the wake of exploitation scandals in Hollywood, Politics, and pretty much everything else ever. I know I’m not alone in wanting to see more superheroines kicking the asses of scumbags on the big screen.
I think they should go as far as to use Mole-Man as a villain in this movie just so we can see Harvey Weinstein’s Identical Twin get what’s coming to him. (Sure, Mole-Man is usually a foe of the Fantastic Four, but I really wanted to photoshop this into existence->)

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The formula is proven, last Year’s Wonder Woman movie was both universally praised and also a box office hit; a singular accomplishment in DC’s sloppy movieverse. Given the established strength of the Marvel’s Film Universe, Black Widow could do the same for them without the name recognition. Seeing as they so recently hired screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to pen the film, there’s plenty of time to speculate on the details. Like where will the picture fit into Marvel’s carefully planned movie timeline? What new characters will show up? And most importantly, since Fox and Disney are merging, will Deadpool pop-in and break the fourth wall to try and collect an alimony check from real life his Ex-Wife?! 

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Sign me up!!

Posted on January 12, 2018 .

Life On A Bun: #1 An Introduction

Dale's Revenge at Pints & Quarts in Dallas. Photo: Chris Durbin

Dale's Revenge at Pints & Quarts in Dallas. Photo: Chris Durbin

If there's one thing I love: it's hamburgers. I could eat them everyday. I'm sure my life expectancy would take a hit, but if the burgers are good I might make the sacrifice.

I own multiple burger related shirts.

Born to Grill by Tony Riff. Buy it HERE.

Born to Grill by Tony Riff. Buy it HERE.

I even follow a few "burger-porn" accounts on Instagram. I'm not ashamed.

Follow BURGER DUDES on Instagram.

Follow BURGER DUDES on Instagram.

As you can see, I take my burgers very seriously. I've decided to chronicle my beef (or maybe something exotic) odyssey here. This is my Life On A Bun! Don't you just love movies and TV shows where they say the title? We're trying that with blogs.

I figure the best place to start is with my latest obsession: Dale's Revenge at Pints and Quarts in Dallas.

Just look at that thing... Photo: Chris Durbin

Just look at that thing... Photo: Chris Durbin

Here's what Dale is packing:

  • Quarter Pound Patty
  • Crispy Onion Strings
  • Habanero Cheese
  • Chunky Guac
  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Dale's Secret Sauce
  • all on a Toasted Potato Bun

This burger took me by surprise. I'm normally not a guacamole person AT ALL. I wouldn't eat it on chips let alone on a burger. If a sandwich comes topped with avocado it's probably going on the ground, that's how much I dislike avocado. On any normal day I would have chosen something different on the menu, but the rest of the toppings just sounded sooo good I couldn't pass it up. Worse case scenario my wife would just scrape it off an viola! - dinner for two (kidding). Willing to try most things once, I dove in. That guac that I so often avoid paired perfectly with the thick peppered bacon and wonderfully seasoned patty. The guac itself, which to my taste is so often a flavorless void of mush, was so chock full of garlic and onion-y goodness and a healthy sprinkle of salt that I might even consider eating it alone. And that bacon?!? None of that thin, over cooked crispy business here. These are thick, tender slices of bacon. The kind of bacon you wished they'd fashion snap bracelets out of so you could snack on the go. The onion strings, always a favorite on a burger, added a nice change in texture to balance out the soft, creamy aforementioned guac (I feel like I'm saying guac a lot). The cheese was melty and just kind of melded with the secret sauce adding a nice little layer of heat. That tower of power was capped with a nicely toasted potato bun with just the right amount of crunch and chew.

I'm obsessed! Dale's Revenge serves as a turning point in my burger journey. I'll definitely be more apt to try guacamole on a burger, although it might be hard to live up to that first, and second, impression (I went back for another one the following week.) 

Pints & Quarts can be found at 5434 Ross Ave. Dallas Texas 75206

For those of you closer to downtown Dallas, P&Q will be coming to the Oak Lawn area soon!

Posted on January 12, 2018 and filed under Life On A Bun.

Masters Of The Box Art

Growing up many of us may have been fans of the art by Rudy Obrero, William Garland, and William George and never knew their names. These three were the men responsible for the amazing box art on the Masters Of The Universe toys. Mainly the larger items such as vehicles, creatures, and playsets.

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In a time when there was no internet and exposure to new figures and items was limited to the commercials played during Saturday Morning cartoons, getting your toy noticed was an uphill battle. Mattel had the amazing idea of making the box art for MOTU pop out and grab young faces by the cheeks and scream "THIS IS WHAT YOU'LL BE DOING!" and when we got home, that is what we did. Through mounds of potting soil and rocks in the back yard He-Man would ride Battle Cat and defend Castle Greyskull from Skeletor and his evil minions.

Below is a slideshow of some of my absolute favorite pieces of art. 

In the off chance that you don't already know, Netflix has an amazing series called The Toys The Made Us. The docu-series covers the history of some of the most influential, inspirational toy lines from years past including Masters Of The Universe. If you haven't already, watch it NOW. 
For more awesomness like these amazing box art pictures hit the link below: 

Just for a little more nostalgia goodness, checkout this amazing 1986 MOTU Toy Tour that visited malls across the country. Man, the 1980's were an amazing time.

Now, lift above your mighty sword and say... You know the rest...
 

 

I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!

Posted on January 11, 2018 .

New Diet Coke (Not New Coke)

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As you may have heard Coca-Cola is attempting to breath new life into it's stale old formula. Unlike their relaunch with Coca-Cola Zero to Coca-Cola ZERO SUGAR, the formula for Diet Coke will remain unchanged. Instead they have a spattering of new flavors for the sodas. Confusingly, three of the flavors are given adjectives that describe the flavor, while Cherry is described as "Feisty", making cherry the Blanche Devereaux of the new line up. 

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In addition to slutting up Diet Cherry Coke, the cans get a Virginia Slim design in shape and new color scheme to make it appear skinnier. No matter what the contents do to your body at least they'll slim the can down. That's for sure.

I can't imagine this will help all that much and as the world continues to search for healthy food with good taste, Diet Coke will continue to fizzle out. My question is why can't Coca-Cola just make Diet Coca-Cola?  

Posted on January 10, 2018 .

The Music of Ross Dress For Less

A few years ago my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I were driving through downtown Dallas when a very familiar song came through the radio. The Song was I Melt With You by Modern English.

Without thinking I said to her “ Oh, this is one of my favorite Ross Dress for Less Playlist Songs”.

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I then had to explain to her that I spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out in Ross stores when I was young. My dad traveled for work a lot which meant I spent most of my time being the third wheel for my mother and sister’s weekend shopping excursions. This almost always included trips to Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s. From the outside…..hell even from the inside, all of these stores were basically the same. If you wanted a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans for cheap in the 90’s you went to one of these 3 stores. The zipper might be sewn in backwards, you may have a non functioning pocket or maybe they were just few seasons too old to be cool  but “who cares?” they were $10-$15 cheaper! Woo! Even though these 3 stores were all so similar in so many ways there was 1 BIG difference to me and I noticed it almost immediately even as a little kid.

Ross had a bomb-ass playlist of catchy as hell songs.

One-hit wonders, musical geniuses, and even some downright sexy tunes for little Josh to enjoy while his Mom and big sis tried on all of the most fashionable and sometimes slightly irregular clothes they wanted.

Josh’s Top 10 Ross Dress for Less Playlist:

  1. Ace of Base “All That She Wants”

  2. The Police “Roxanne”

  3. Modern English “I Melt With You”

  4. Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me”

  5. INXS “Need You Tonight”

  6. Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”

  7. Tears for Fears “Head Over Heels”

  8. Dead or Alive “You Spin Me Round”

  9. Lou Bega “Mambo No. 5”

  10. Baltimora ”Tarzan Boy”

Of course, my list does not even scrape the surface of the awesome songs that Ross drilled into my brain. What are you favorite Ross songs? Do you have any songs that remind you of a specific retail store? Let us know.

Posted on January 8, 2018 .

I, Tonya REVIEW

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Here's what I remember from the January 6, 1994 attack of Nancy Kerrigan and keep in mind I was 14 at the time. Kerrigan was attacked at a skating rink by Shawn Eckhardt, the fat bodyguard of Tonya Harding, so that she couldn't beat Harding at the Olympics. That was pretty much it. Everyone thought it. Also, Tonya and her husband Jeff Gillooly set it all up. 
Again I was only 14 so I didn't pay that close attention to the news. Turns out, we were all mostly wrong.

I, Tonya works to set the story right and walks the fine line of defending it's titular character while still not completely defending her. This is a hard mark to hit and has been targeted and missed in many biopics, notably the 2001 film Blow. 
The film's story is so well executed and laid out with tons of details not commonly known, that I will stay away from the actual details of the film so you may enjoy it on the same level as I. Instead I would like to express how much I loved the architecture of the film.

Writer Steven Rogers had a great real-life story on his side and pulled the most intriguing elements out of what was provided. Not only the actual assault but the harrowing story of Tonya Harding's personal life from childhood to present. It's quite a feat since the majority of people who know the story already have preconceived notions about Harding herself cemented in their minds. Notions that will crack as the end credits roll.
The format of the story is laid out as a documentary film told in retrospect while sometimes narrating directly from the flashback. A trick that when done wrong can be disastrous and take you out of the moment but never is in this movie. Now, director Craig Gillispie has had a real hit-or-miss career including Mr. Woodcock and Lars and the Real Girl, luckily for everyone I, Tonya is an absolute hit. 
The film raises Tonya Harding from the level of villain to hero by the time the film concludes. She had many people in her life who tore her down and about three quarters of the way through the film another villain is revealed and, not to give too much away... You leave feeling much different about her.

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Whenever a biopic comes out I always turn to the internet judge how well the film was cast. That wasn't necessary in this instance since I was already familiar with most the player, except for Tonya Harding's mom. Most times Hollywood tends to cast far better looking people than the actual humans involved and this movie is no different. The true stand out was Allison Janney's LaVona Golden in both appearance and performance but that's usually how it goes with Janney. She always delivers. Margo Robbie is incredible as usual and dives so deep into character that at points you forget she isn't Tonya Harding. The same can be said for Sebastian Stan, who is not my favorite actor by any means but made me reevaluate my feelings toward him after this movie. Everyone does a truly stellar job and we can expect to hear their names announced as nominees at the end of this month. 

In closing, I'd like to point out that this movie stars Harley Quinn and the Winter Soldier and is written by Captain America. Can't we get away from super hero movies?!?!?
In all seriousness, go see I, Tonya. You will not be sorry. 

Posted on January 7, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.

Brimhall's Words of Wisdom

After turning thirty this last December I’ve come to realize that I’ve actually acquired some useful, yet maaaaybe not practical, pearls of wisdom. I am now going to bestow one of those pearls on you. Free of charge.

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“ If someone ever lets you have unprotected sex with them outdoors , instead of renting a room, you shouldn't marry them. ”

Every self respecting person deserves a roof over their head, and a piece of furniture under them while they're having sex. (This doesn't apply to camping) A recent sleazy and inappropriate conversation with someone made me realize this. In my case I had an ex that followed me behind a garage at a party and after relieving myself we proceeded to hook up. I remember her saying how romantic it was being under the stars and us having sex but I couldn’t help but think how this was far from romantic. We were both grown ass adults at the time. This wasn’t that teenage love. The kind that had to be expressed but there were siblings around so you had to find a tree with no one around and park your $500 first car under. This was two adults at a public gathering going to pound town behind a garage. I had my own place at the time so we could of easily went back there. After a few more years our relationship ended on horrible terms and this valuable lesson was learned. Have respect for yourself, people. Do it indoors and avoid carpets.

Posted on January 6, 2018 .

Crossing Streams

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My job is funny. I'm either running around, camera in hand, shooting for hours on end, or I'm glued to my computer editing. When doing computer work most people might listen to music or podcasts to pass the time. Unfortunately, that's not me. I get too distracted looking for the next great podcast or plumbing the depths of Spotify for a new album that no one's heard of. Instead I watch TV, or stream TV to be exact (can we really call it TV anymore? Anyway, save that for another day).  It started with rewatching shows I had already seen like The Office, Southpark, Family Guy, etc. In 2017 I managed to pilfer an extra monitor from around the office and my streaming game soared to new heights. I started watching more and more new shows as well as catching up on some shows I might have missed. It was GREAT!

In no particular order, here's a short list of just a few of the things I saw:

  • Mindhunter
  • Line of Duty
  • Top of the Lake: China Girl
  • Bosch
  • The Knick
  • The Keepers
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • American Gods
  • Punisher
  • Psycho Pass
  • Taboo
  • Future Man
  • Fargo Season 2
  • Ozark
  • Twin Peaks (New & Old)
  • Orphan Black
I'll look back fondly and remember all the gifts you gave me, 2017.

I'll look back fondly and remember all the gifts you gave me, 2017.

Now, these are just the shows I watched while working. Of course, I watched waaaaayyy more than that. There are also probably a ton of other shows that I either didn't finish or just plain couldn't remember.

In short, it was a pretty great year of TV for me, but now that the new year is upon us I'm looking for some new shows to sink my teeth into. I've already started Travelers on Netflix, but with only 2 seasons I know I'll burn through that pretty quick. That's where you come in.

I need some recommendations.

You can probably get a pretty good idea of my taste in programming from this list. It doesn't have to be a new show, I know I've missed a lot. It doesn't even have to be the best show on TV. It's just gotta keep me interested and go light on the hardcore sex scenes since I am at work.

So, Internet, what you got?

Posted on January 6, 2018 and filed under Crossing Streams.

The 2017 Reservoiries - FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

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We love film. It's undeniable. Good or bad, we love it!
It seems only fitting that we comprise a list of the best films of 2017 and it seems even more fitting that we turn to you to help us decide!
Split up into six categories below, we have the top grossing films via IMDb and they are all arranged in that order. It should be noted that subcategories such as thrillers and action have been split into the respective categories. Super Hero is it's own category because there are so many and this is Reservoir GEEKS.
Please vote and help us narrow down the choices!

Voting ends January 20, 2017 at noon. The short list will be released on January 22, 2017 and you'll get to cast your votes for the best films of 2017! 
HAPPY VOTING! 

Posted on January 5, 2018 and filed under Reservoiries.

The Evolution of Goon

If you haven't 2011's Goon then you are missing out. Sure, you may think that a movie starring Seann William Scott that came out post 2001 isn't worth your time but you'd be wrong*. Both films follow the story of a hockey enforcer named Doug "The Thug" Glatt and interestingly enough is based on real life minor league hockey player Doug Smith.

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Besides being a well executed sports flick, Goon has some truly beautiful shots that look more like an art film than a popcorn flick. That is because it was directed by Michael Dowes, a vision that was revisited in his follow up film What If and Take Me Home Tonight, a film that was released the same year as Goon. A bit of a sidetrack... Take Me Home Tonight is not everyone's favorite movie but it does pay great respect to the style and sensibility of the 1980's, but I digress. Dowes does an amazing job capturing the action on the ice, providing one of the most realistic depictions of a hockey game since Slap Shots. You'd think he would fall short when it comes to all the in between shots that normally make you want to get back to the action but he does not. For example, the diner scene between Scott's Doug "The Thug" Glatt and Liev Schreiber's Ross Rhea wherein they meet face to face for the first time is beautifully shot. It is a love child of Michael Mann and Paul Thomas Anderson. 

The film also takes it's time and despite having a budget of only $12 million it never feels cheap. The writing by Jay Baruchel and Even Goldberg provides a story that surpasses most other underdog sports films. You care for the characters and even see compassion toward the bad guy who battles his own villain in the form of Scott's younger enforcer self.

For 2017's Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers, Jay Baruchel takes the helm as director and is joined by co-writer Jesse Chabot replacing Goldberg. Visually, it is obvious there has been a change in director, then again it is not Baruchel's responsibility to mirror the vision of Dowes' original either.

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The way I go into sequels (reboots and remakes) is I pretend the former never existed and see how it goes. With that in mind; Goon 2 is directed well, especially when you know this is Jay Baruchel's freshman feature, and the story is as enjoyable as the first. Lucky for Baruchel, this sequel was awarded a much larger budget and it shows. Whereas the first film used angles and cinema magic to fill in the empty seats at the arena, this film used extras and filled a much larger arena. Due largely to the success of the original, many players on the opposing teams were not just day players but actual NHL players. 

As far as sequels go, it does a lot right. instead of rehashing a lot of the same jokes and stories from the original they make slight references to little things and refreshingly they didn't feel forced or pandering. Unlike a lot of sequels almost the entire cast returned for the second outing and weren't just cameos or, even worse, caricatures of their earlier selves. Goon 2 doesn't make it's heroes godlike superhumans who are impervious to the effect of time, it does the opposite. It allows the characters to age and adapt to the wear and tear their bodies take. The main returning theme in this film is the villain of time, life and change. 

Despite receiving a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, it is a solid outting and though it doesn't quite reach the bar set by the first film, it is one I will revisit.

Now, I have great news (as of January 2018) both Goon and Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers are available on Netflix streaming. Whether you've seen them or not, I'd recommend giving them a watch. You won't be disappointed.

 

*I love Seann William Scott. Role Models... I mean, Come on.

Posted on January 4, 2018 and filed under Movie Reviews.