Here’s What I Know, Volume #13: Stanton arousal, “lit” issues, Mel Gibson comeback, and the need for cold weather

All the fucks that are fit to print.

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Hello there, folks. While the regular writing gigs allow me to distribute opinions far and wide, I do feel the slight urge of restriction when I type. The trigger finger denial. As in, being unable to say certain things in a certain manner. So I come here, and release some hot air.

Shall we dance? Hit the fucking button. Let this bullet round of H.W.I.K. Volume #13 commence! 1,000 words or less, here we go.

  • People say “lit” too much. Like way too much. I know Tony X, the late to the party Blues fan, started this a couple years ago, but can we please kill it? During a conversation that took place in my backseat, a couple women said it ten times in an eight minute ride. TEN! It’s lazy. Get a better word. I’ll file this in the “bruh” category of nonsense.
  • What isn’t lazy? The well-timed usage of the word “fuck”. It can’t be printed on certain news websites or said on AM radio air, but damn it, the word isn’t useless or indicative of a lesser mind. Some of the wisest minds I’ve been around slung this word like it was released from the jaws of Poe, Hemingway, and Franklin. You can’t overuse it, but please feel free to unleash it when needed. Anybody who thinks it’s lazy or inappropriate needs to lighten the fuck up.
  • Uber Driver update: Four months in and I like my job, but there’s one sad confession. St. Louis city is dead as a fucking (see what I mean) door nail when there’s no sporting event downtown. I mean nothing. When the Cardinals were playing, I averaged up to 500 dollars a week. Now, it dips down to 300 dollars. Maybe it is due to the fact that our city is the second most dangerous city in the country. A few of my riders have taken four dollar Uber rides right across downtown because of a fear of getting mugged. I can’t blame them.
  • In case you didn’t notice or couldn’t care less, I’m back on the air. Every Friday WGNU from 6-8 in the evening and every Tuesday at four in the afternoon on 590 The Fan. Slowly, but surely, I am doing what I want to do and getting paid for it. I don’t crack the bank in half with my earnings, but I’m pecking away. It feels good. I worked in hot ass warehouses for close to eight years. Have you worked in a warehouse? It’s far from glamorous and a rough way to make a living. I don’t miss it at all, and every time work without dirt covering my face and soreness in my knees, I smile.
  • This is the first year that the NFL is losing relevance. I don’t hear as much about it as usual and fans are walking away. The recklessness of the league, danger of the game, or the straight outta assholeville workings of Roger Goodell are all fine reasons, but I think it’s just losing excitement. How about those Rams? You can’t tell me Stan Kroenke told Jeff Fisher to tank those games. That team didn’t change that much from last year or the years before. They went from average to pretty good in a short period. Crooked bullshit. No thanks. I haven’t watched a single quarter this year, and I used to watch from noon to sundown.
  • Giancarlo Stanton is a once in a lifetime talent. Marketable superstar and mayor of studville. Do what you have to do in order to get him. If it costs Alex Reyes, so be it. I’ve crossed that bridge. You are giving yourself at least 5-8 extra wins for one player over the next three years. Reward comes with risk. The Cardinals and John Mozeliak must be bold this winter. 

  • The Blues are playing good hockey, but there are some cracks in their facade. Back to back losses have made them a less than white hot shit 13-5-1. However, they are still first in the Western Conference and set up well to finish the month. Their special teams are shit and Jake Allen isn’t an elite goaltender. If they don’t fix these areas, you can kiss the second round of playoffs goodbye.
  • It’s Hot Stove season in the MLB, folks. Remember, don’t believe a fucking thing you hear before it’s a reality. Rumors, sources, and reported statements are like itchy assholes in dry cold weather. If you scratch it, the area will only inflame and get worse.
  • Frank Grillo and Mel Gibson are making a movie together next year, and I have no problem with it. Is Gibson a good person? Probably not. Did he say some demonic shit once upon a time (or back in 2013)? Yes. But he didn’t molest or sexually abuse a 14 year old kid, so let’s keep him out of Spacey-ville. He’s said a lot in his life, paid for it with years of his career lost, but he’s making a comeback. I am all for it. He’s a valuable player in Hollywood, proven by his Hacksaw Ridge Oscar showing. He’s not perfect, but compared to the new shit in Hollywood, he’s far from the worst.
  • How far and fast can one person fall? Look at Louis C.K. A week ago, he had a film set for distribution, HBO deal, FX deal, and a publicist. Today, he has none of those. All for beating off in front of five women, which I am not condoning at all. He had a cup of coffee with the heat and paid the price. BUT…he will work again. He took the hit, fell down, but unlike Spacey and Weinstein, will be back.
  • I interviewed Wheelman director Jeremy Rush today, and among the juicy things discussed over the 30 minute chat, was about the need for original films in today’s cinema landscape. No superheroes, reboots, or remakes. Just proudly made original stories like Wheelman and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Writer/director jobs that feel personal, different, and say something. We need more of those. Stop going for the easy cash, make-believe bastards. Be better.
  • For fucks sake, can we please get COLD weather in the Midwest? The temperatures go down, sneak back up, and then trickle down. This makes the human body feel like absolute dogshit. Make up your mind, mother nature. Give me the cold weather. I like it. I love it. I want some more of it…now. Thanks.

1,100 words. Close enough.

I appreciate the time. Be good.

-DLB

‘All I See Is You’ is one of the worst movies of 2017

You’ll never get these minutes back

What if you had the chance to restore something in that life that had been unfairly taken away at a young age?

Marc Forster’s latest film, All I See Is You, explores these questions with meandering and rather unpleasing results. Imagine an empty bottle floating down a lake endlessly, and that’s this movie.

All I saw here was absolute incoherent shit.

Gina (Blake Lively) is a gorgeous and young blind woman who is suddenly granted sight in her right eye by her doctor (Danny Huston) due to a cutting edge procedure. Her husband, James (Jason Clarke), is initially supportive of her new ability and life, but becomes skeptical when Gina’s behavior begins to change, and her freedom blooms.

As her sight gives way to certain paranoia and trepidation in their home in Bangkok, Thailand, Gina and Clarke are stricken with the idea of change and control. What if the person closest to you only preferred you a certain way? James’ problem with Gina runs deeper than pure sight, as Forster’s movie messes up a bed that is made up of jealousy and betrayal.

The problem is you don’t care much about Gina or James, so their future prospects become more dim as Forster’s two hour film climbs towards its climax and resolution. Clarke and Lively don’t build an ounce of chemistry, so the audience is grasping at straws in the end.

At first, you will sympathize with Lively’s Gina, who is encountering a brand new world full of color and opportunity. Then, you’ll wonder about James’ position for a scene or two. The two try to put suture after suture on their union, but it doesn’t work.

All I Can See Is You can’t decide what it wants to be, melodramatic obsessive drama or slow moving thriller, and that lack of focus cripples your investment in the characters. The trailer and plot description make it out to be some mad moving thriller, but it’s painfully slow. It’s half drama with a squeeze of thrills that all fall flat to the screenplay’s (written by Forster and Sean Conway) lack of direction and identity.

Forster could have turned James into something sinister or presented something fresh, but instead he just made an unlikable guy more invisible. A major plot twist is seen from a mile away 45 minutes before the rest of the film catches up, and the end of the film just stops abruptly without resolution.

The acting isn’t bad, but doesn’t contain much flavor to elevate the material. Lively is gorgeous and willing to dig in, but she’s working on hollowed ground here-and she doesn’t have the chops to hold this film up. Clarke is very talented, but he’s stuck playing a well-known stereotype that moviegoers will frown at. The supporting cast contains a bunch of stray faces that seem recognizable from more interesting movies.

The pacing resembles a snail sprinting, which only pushes the viewer further away, while the imagery and cinematography belongs in a traveler’s guide. The music is hopeful, but doesn’t push the story much.

When I left this film, I told the Allied rep waiting for feedback, “what was that?!”

If I were you, I’d skip All I See Is You altogether, because all I saw was nothing.

‘Suburbicon’ review: An absolute waste of time

George Clooney’s latest misses the mark

George Clooney, I’ve had better.

One would think that when an Oscar nominated director gets together with Oscar nominated writers along with Oscar nominated actors, the result would be a touchdown. Instead, Suburbicon is like the Beatles getting back together and playing a few songs from The Wiggles catalog.

The movie star’s latest directorial effort outfitted its cinematic engine with a script from the Coen Brothers and Matt Damon as the star-and the result is an absolute turd of a film. Think about a movie that is empty inside and offers you nothing, and this movie sits on that part of the movie map.

Suburbicon is about a peaceful small town in the 1960’s where everything is perfect and neighbors are like family, but something simply isn’t right. Damon’s Gardner is a businessman living with his wife and sister in law (both played by Julianne Moore) whose home gets invaded by burglars one night, and together with the arrival of an African American family, flips the peaceful town on its head.

Betrayal, deceit, and sudden violence follow. That’s it. This movie has nothing to say, because it wastes time on the wrong story. If Clooney had focused on the race war that overwhelmed so many cities back then, this movie could have been a timely bolt of energy. Instead, it’s another odd and erratic, and incomplete, mess from the Coen Brothers factory.

I hated this movie with a passion. When I left the theater, I felt like I was betrayed by good filmmakers with honest intentions. With a lineup this strong, wasting it on insurance fraud and poisoned milk feels like a bad audible.

To be honest, I’ve never loved Clooney in the director’s chair. While Good Night, and Good Luck was a triumph, The Ides of March and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind came off as disappointments. Suburbicon is just bad.

When Damon and Moore’s characters get into trouble in this movie, you don’t care what happens to them, because the story spent zero time building them up as legit dual-sided characters. You simply don’t care. Oscar Isaacs plays an insurance agent with about three scenes in the film and I cared more about his doomed character. I wanted to know more about every character in the film except the two leads. Isn’t that a bad thing?

I took my dad to see this film, and we’ve watched a lot of good movies together. Before we left, a preview of the film flashed a review that read, “perfectly twisted.” I wonder if that critic and I saw the same film, because Suburbicon was anything but perfect.

If the intentions were to make a dark thriller with some comedy, this missed the mark.

If there was a dialogue about trouble in the 50’s and 60’s and racial tension, this missed the mark, because not enough time was dedicated to it.

If the idea was create a film about how human beings can be monsters, go watch Mother! or Detroit instead.

Suburbicon says very little, doesn’t entertain, and is a waste of time. Skip it all together. Go to the park, watch paint dry, or play checkers all by yourself in a quiet room.

The dream team got together for a movie and in the end, the end result was a wreck.

‘Thank You for Your Service’: A powerful character study on war

For the first time in cinema, Jason Hall has provided a glimpse into that process.

The general perception is that when soldiers come home from Iraq, their problems instantly vanish-but that’s simply not the case. The enemy may no longer be planting IEDs for them to drive over or firing bullets at their heads, but the memories of war never truly leave the psyche.

Jason Hall’s directorial debut, Thank You for Your Service, is a powerful character study on the long-term effects of war on a human mind. This is the first honest portrayal of a soldier’s life at home after the war. With only two scenes taking place in Iraq, Hall’s film centers on the return to civilian life, and the result is an experience that should help real life veterans. Continue reading “‘Thank You for Your Service’: A powerful character study on war”