Tag Archives: Movie Reviews
Post by Josh Zinn.
With the exception of famine, genocide, and people who willingly use the phrase “it’s my time to indulge!” as an excuse for treating themselves to things like sugar free vanilla lattes, Sun Chips, or a Wendy’s Frosty™ frozen dairy desserts, there are few things that I will not stand for more than the rancid sight of a struggling student crumbling under the weight of societal expectations. With so much pestilence, poverty, and permissiveness paralyzing our great land already, it is beyond heartbreaking to witness people—just like you and me!—ostracized and obliterated just because they can’t ace an algebra test, go out for the equestrian team, or sell as many school-fundraising magazine subscriptions as that weird overweight kid who breathes through his mouth and whose family owns the cutlery store in the mall (y’know, the one with the suit of armor standing in front of it) that no one you know has ever stepped foot in.
Perhaps this is why, dear readers, I have chosen to present to you today not just a review, but, rather, a public service announcement that tells the sad yet uplifting tale of just such an unfortunate soul, “Strangers With Candy’s” Jerri Blank.
Like so many unique flowers before her, Jerri has struggled all her life to understand just why it is that she doesn’t fit in. Born into a family that would sooner feed her to the wolves than feed her mind with the great works of Dostoyevsky, Dickens, and Danielle Steele, Jerri’s home life led her astray at an early age to the horrors of the street. Whilst school chums were learning to tie their shoes and tap dance, our fair lass was learning to tie one off just so she could make it through another lap dance. And for what? Another hit of smack instead of her favorite Easy Mac snack? For shame, America. For shame.
Now, in her forties and not-so-lovin’-it, Jerri has made the courageous decision to gather up the pieces of her life, go back to school, and start anew. Though other women her age may be learning to embrace the goddess The View says is within, our Jerri is learning to accept the fact that she must open a window to a new view on life—one that lets her be a heroine without heroin.
This, dear readers, is where you come in.
Though I know many of you must already be reaching for your wallets, wondering how you can help contribute to the renewal of one of our most valuable resources, I am here to tell you that you needn’t shove any more bills down Jerri’s pants to help strip her of her shame. Instead, what you can do is watch all three seasons of the riveting television documentary, “Strangers With Candy,” which details Jerri’s difficult transition back to high school as a not-so-traditional (and how!) student.
As each episode unfolds, you’ll gain a greater and deeper respect and understanding for all the dilemmas faced by women of the night whom have chosen to return to the day. Does being a drug runner make you good at track? How can I choose to walk away from an argument rather than stab a girl’s eye with my six-inch heels? If I sell my body today, does it mean I’ll get an A tomorrow? These are the questions Jerri must ponder every day and the cameras are right there with her, capturing every hesitation and quiet conversation with God.
Of course, amidst all the nervous breakdowns and drug withdrawals, fun with a capital F (Fun!) is also to be had as Jerri engages in wacky adventures with all of her new underage buddies! Watch as she tutors a blind student on human anatomy! Marvel as she challenges the inequalities wrought from our country’s race war by claiming a role in Raisin in the Sun! Cheer her on as she takes back her virginity from the hundreds of liver-spotted hands that have run their bony fingers across her! It’s time to feel good again America and Jerri’s here to massage all that mirth into you for only $75 an hour!
There are so many problems we face, both on our own and as a nation. Wouldn’t it make the world a better place then if, even for thirty minutes, we all took the time to watch a degenerate woman with clearly no hope for the future try to carve out her own little piece of heaven?
Now that’s something I can stand for. That’s the America I want to live in.
Post by Josh Zinn.
Hello, dear readers! Rather than attempting to encapsulate the elaborate political and artistic machinations at play in any one episode of Lifetime Television’s “Dance Moms,” I thought it might be best to present you with a brief fictionalized dramatization of a recent scene that was broadcast. Some of the names have been changed, however it is nigh impossible to disguise the mistress of the dance herself. Ah, the perils of fame…
Two women, Joanne and Stephanie, appear in the doorway of a studio at the Abby Lee Dance Academy. Recent divorcees, they exude an aura of ripe independence, its power mingling with the fragrant aroma of a fajita combo platter they recently split at their neighborhood Chili’s. Untamed and uninhibited in the way only those that drive Dodge Caravans can experience, these women no longer feel a need to please those around them. You might think they’re living life in a “devil may care fashion”, but honestly, these ladies don’t give a damn whether the devil cares or not!
Joanne - Oh dear, would you look at this spot? Some salsa must have gotten lost on the way to my mouth!
Stephanie - Oh no! Didn’t you just get that blouse? It’s so fab!
Joanne - Yep. Look what happens when SOMEONE twists my arm to order a second margarita!
Stephanie - Don’t point the finger at me. I’m not the one who said it was my birthday just so I could get a free brownie sundae. Naughty, naughty!
As the two friends giggle over their Mexican mishaps, a rotund woman, Abby Lee Miller, marches over to them. The owner of her namesake Academy, Abby has been working all morning with the women’s daughters in an attempt to prepare them for a national dance competition that is uniquely different from the national dance competition they attended the week prior as well as the week prior to that.
Things are NOT going well.
Abby - So, tell me this. Your daughters can be here. I can be here. But there’s some reason why neither of you could be here even though we’re going to nationals day after tomorrow and—at this point—neither of your daughters could dance their way out of a paper bag?
Joanne - Don’t you think that’s a little harsh, Abby? They’re little girls!
Abby - Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.
Stephanie - Don’t you dare say that you, b…
Abby - You’re really going to speak like that to me in front of your little girls? Don’t call me names, mommy. I have a whole wall of trophies. What do you have besides alimony and a bitter taste in your mouth? You’re not even a trophy wife anymore!
Joanne - That’s it, Abby! I don’t care what you have. None of us do! These are children! They’re supposed to be having fun and going to the mall with their friends. NOT spending their days listening to some angry cow tell them how untalented they are. I just don’t know how much longer I can be here. I am done here!
Abby - There’s the door. See ya!! If you don’t want to be here, then leave! Just remember that we’ll be winning competitions while you and your kids are crying in your spinach dip.
And, thus, the eternal struggle continues unabated. As always, these questions remain: How does a woman reclaim her life when the life she lost to a man so long ago now exists primarily to foster the dreams of her child? How does a daughter remain untouched by age when the cruel realities of this earthbound plane (boys, slumber parties, One Direction) keep her from learning the steps to the latest jazz number? And how, pray tell, does a lonely, leather-faced dance instructor who looks like she hasn’t done a grande jeté in a coon’s age maintain an ego as boundless as the variety of Stouffer’s microwave meals she must surely adore? Perhaps the answer is…. there is no answer.
Life, dear readers, is a mystery. Dance Moms is a really terrible show filled with terrible people doing terrible things that, somehow, is terribly addictive. Their similarities are uncanny.
Post by Josh Zinn.
Hello folks!! Now, truth be told, normally I don’t care much for pryin’ eyes having a gander at my personal business. But, seeing as Christmas is the time when you tell the truth (I learned that little morsel by watching “Love Actually”) I’ve decided to make y’all privy to a heated conversation that happened in my home recently while I was trying to do SERIOUS RESEARCH for your next movie review, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”
Dan: Why are you watching “Home Alone 2” the day after Christmas? Isn’t the season over?
Josh: Tisk, tisk Mr. Scrooge. The season is never over if you keep it in your heart.
J: Sure. Plus, we never got around to watching this one.
D: That’s because we didn’t need to. It’s the exact same movie as the first one.
J: But he’s lost… in NEW YORK! Besides, I like this one better. Not only does Kevin have a myriad of wacky adventures in the big city, but he also gives the scary, homeless pigeon woman turtledoves at the end. Isn’t that wonderful? I mean, yeah, he doesn’t invite her in from the cold for a hot meal or anything, but by giving her an ornament that symbolizes their meaningful yet ultimately temporary friendship we all get to understand what the true meaning of Christmas is!
D: That’s a pretty awful message to send. An ornament?
J: Yeah, what’s wrong with that?
D: Well, it seems to me the true meaning of Christmas has something in its fine print about doing more for the homeless woman who saves your life than just giving her a chintzy ornament before you run back to the palatial, gift-filled, pastry-scented room your family is staying in at the Plaza Hotel. Hey Kevin, she doesn’t have a home and she’s alone! Try fixing that problem with your bag of jacks and firecrackers!
J: He doesn’t use jacks in this one.
D: Oh excuse me, I’m so sorry to have mistaken which pain-inducing toys are at play here.
J: Um, yeah… Anyhow, can we talk about the good parts of the movie now?
D: Catherine O’Hara.
J: Yeah, she’s great. It isn’t “Waiting For Guffman,” but…
D: Why aren’t you reviewing that instead?
J: Cause it’s not Christmas-related. Duh.
D: Was there some sort of unbreakable rule established by your best friend/editor that you had to write about Christmas movies? Need I remind you—AGAIN—that Christmas is over?
J: So, you liked Catherine O’Hara. Cool. Yeah, she’s always great as Kevin’s Mom. What else?
D: That’s it. God, I hate Joe Pesci.
J: That’s it? I mean, I totally understand the Pesci pessimism, but you seriously didn’t like anything else? Not even when Kevin magically transports himself to disparate regions of Manhattan in the time it takes for Darlene Love’s “All Alone on Christmas” to finish? Battery Park to The Cloisters in two minutes? Whodathunk!?
D: I think you’re grasping at things to write about here because A: you need to write a review since it’s due in a couple of hours and B: you may like “Home Alone 2” in some sort of “sentimental trip down nostalgia lane” kind of way, but you recognize deep down that it’s a pretty terrible movie and not worth writing a review about.
J: Hey now…
D: Am I right?
J: Well, sort of, but…
D: But what?
J: But the only things I’ve watched this week are marathons of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Django Unchained” and I don’t think either one of those are what the bed blog wants. “Home Alone 2” is pretty much the only family-friendly thing I could think of when I realized what day it was and that I needed to write my review really, really quick.
D: Desperate times call for desperate measures?
J: Yeah. But I really do like this one better than the first. It has Tim Curry in it!
D: God, you sound sad. Mark would be ashamed.
J: This coming from the person who wanted to watch “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” starring Vanessa Williams as Ebony Scrooge?
D: Well, at least Ebony learns by the end of her magical journey that the generosity of Christmas means more than just handing a homeless woman a stupid turtledove ornament then ditching her for hot chocolate and croissants.
J: Bah Humbug.
D: God bless us, everyone!
Post by Josh Zinn.
Way over yonder
Deep down in little Frogtown Hollow
Amidst the whisper of crickets
Tucked in-between marshes that lack mallow
There lived a little family of otters
A petite mammalian menagerie!
Anthropomorphic by design
Destined for broadcast on your tv
We’ll call the young one Emmet
And, of course, can’t forget his Ma!
See, it’s just now the two of them
Been that way since they said goodbye to Pa.
Life sure ain’t been easy
It’s dang tough to be an otter
Trying to make sense of a muppet-y world
When sense won’t bring back your fotter.
Emmet’s got him some talent, though
Can play the bass real nice.
And Ma’s got a lovely singin’ voice
But she’s always busy makin’ pies.
Wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t have to worry?
And could let those cares just drift away?
Find some peace within their simple songs
Strummed on a guitar that has mother-of-pearl inlay?
Yes, an otter has dreams
And otter dreams deserve a chance
So Emmet and his Ma sign up for a talent show
Entering into a folksy battle of the bands.
The young otter with his jugband
Alongside ma and her sweet voice.
Against a cloud of dancing squirrels
And “The Nightmare”, Riverbottom’s rowdiest boys.
Who, pray tell, will win?
What lessons will be learned?
Will “The Nightmare” become a reality?
Thus causing a young Otter’s dreams to be spurned…
I cannot divulge what happens
It’s far too much to make into rhyme
But it’s safe to say that I believe in my heart
You should give Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas a little bit of your holiday time.
Post by Josh Zinn.
Hi folks! We’ve got a special treat for you all today. Direct from some vague Midwestern town where children frequently suffer from bouts of depression and apathy, child star Charlie Brown is here to tell us all about his timeless and beloved holiday special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas!” Let’s take it away!
Josh Zinn: Hi there, Chuck. Can I call you Chuck?
Charlie Brown: I guess. I mean, it’s kind of overplayed and all, but do what you like.
JZ: Wow. I never knew you were so, what’s the word?
JZ: No, I was going to say sarcastic. Huh. I guess I just never suspected someone with such a big head and such a dour look on life would dare be prickly. It’s not like you have a lot of friends to begin with.
CB: What’s your point? Why does this even matter? Aren’t we here to talk about my “timeless” special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”
JZ: Sure, but I…
CB: But what? Oh, let me guess, you must just LOVE the song “Christmastime is Here,” huh?
JZ: Yeah, it’s very nice. Sure, they play it too many times at Starbucks, but it is pretty.
CB: Yeah, ooooh: “Christmastime is here/happiness and cheer.” Wow, what a lyrical powerhouse! You and every other hipster that’s out there have such unique taste. Let me guess, it sounds better on vinyl, right?
JZ: I think we’re getting off on the wrong foot here.
CB: Sorry. Look, I just… This special brings up some really bad memories for me, okay?
JZ: Why? Because you spend most of the special pondering your worth via the existential ennui that often sets in for people around the holidays?
JZ: And it becomes evident early in that all of your chums from school have zero respect for you, both as a peer and as a human being.
JZ: Heck, even your dog boos you at one point when you’re trying to direct the Christmas pageant.
CB: Yeah, that stung a bit. Stupid dog.
JZ: Oh, and let’s not forget the tree. I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be touching because you basically rescue this imperfect thing that’s dying in a sea of plastic artificiality, but couldn’t you tell when you saw it that everyone was going to hate you for buying it?
CB: I guess you could look at it…
JZ: Or did you just not care cause everyone hates you already? In that case, was this some fit of rebellion on your part? Did you think that by purchasing the crummy invalid tree you’d be making a bold statement about your own perceived lack of worth? Isn’t that basically just making the entire tree-buying scenario into something self-serving rather than something that is meant to serve the play? Has anyone ever called you a narcissist?
CB: Jeez, you are reading far too much into this! I just bought it because I felt bad for it, okay? Wouldn’t you feel bad if you saw something that you knew no one would probably ever want, but you knew had some kind of worth to it? Wouldn’t you want to give it a home?
JZ: Sure, but I don’t think you’re understanding what I’m trying to say here Chuck…
JZ: Okay, Charlie. What I’m trying to convey here is that, yes, I get why you bought the tree on a very surface “Christmas is a time of redemption” level, but I want to know if you have given much thought as to how the tree’s journey mirrors your own desire to be seen as someone who is worthwhile? I mean, all the kids do come to love it and don’t you want to be loved too?
CB: Yeah, they come to love it, but that’s only after Linus makes another one of his grandiose sermonizing speeches that are meant to be heartfelt, but make him come across as some kind of creepy and weird know-it-all. And yeah, I want to be loved. Doesn’t everybody? Hey, why aren’t you asking me any questions about what’s wrong with all the other kids in the special? It’s not as if Lucy comes across as all that put-together either. Plus, her ego is ten times the size of mine.
JZ: Sure, but the show isn’t called “A Lucy Christmas,” is it?
CB: Not my fault.
JZ: Regardless of whether it’s your fault or not, the onus is on you Chu… Charlie.
CB: Yeah, I get that. That’s why I told you that this whole thing brings up bad memories for me. Fine. Yes, I wanted to be loved just like the tree. Yes, I bought it because it reminded me of me. Yes, I am lonely. Yes, my dog hates me. Yes, I seek out emotional gratification by attempting to please others but oftentimes I shoot myself in the foot because I get angry that I have to resort to such pathetic maneuvering. The tree is me. THE TREE IS ME Are you happy?
JZ: I think that’s a question you should probably be asking yourself, Chuck. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
CB: Good grief.