Film reviews: “Arrival”, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”, and “Jason Bourne”

The main 2 rules of gambling are: 1) Go with your gut and 2) Don’t be a hero, just win money. 

arrivalposterToday’s reviews are going to focus on rule 1.  When I saw the preview for “Arrival,” I said aloud, “Who gives a shit?  This is Jodie Foster’s Contact 2.0.”  And the reviews started to come in: Rotten Tomatoes loved it, some of my friends loved it, Amy Adams is going to win the Academy Award….you get the idea.  I figured since I was wrong about “Dr. Strange,” I decided to give it a go.  

So I did give it a shot.  I even saw it in the theater as other reviewers said you MUST see it in its purest form.  Amy Adams plays a master linguist who is called to service and communicate when alien spaceships land in many different countries.  Forest Whittaker and his lazy eye play an Army officer who recruits her for the position.  Tiny Jeremy Renner plays a scientist that goes with Adams to facilitate the communication betweens the aliens and Adams. And director Denis Villeneuve (did Sicario and LOVED it) is at the helm.

This film is better than Contact was but I have to admit, I was underwhelmed.  The ending was different than expected but not enough for me to pull a 180 on this film.  Just like Seinfeld, a lot of people found this to be fantastic and I’m just not with it.  You’ve seen the same plot before: aliens land on Earth, humans attempt to make contact, humans make headway, another nation wants to attack the aliens because they don’t want to wait for first strike, conflict arises, will the aliens destroy humanity or do we take them out first?

This film is alright, save your 15 bucks and watch at home.  6/10

mike_and_dave_need_wedding_dates

 

Trivia question: What do you a comedy that isn’t funny?  Answer: a Wes Anderson film.  BOOM!  Taking no prisoners, that’s for goddamn sure!  “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is loosely based on the true story of 2 brothers who were told by their parents to bring wedding dates to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii after countless family gathering were ruined by the boys.  Zac Efron stars as one of the brothers who needs to make sure his shirt is off in at least 73% of the scene.  Anna Kendrick co-stars as a scorned bride who was left at the alter who makes it her life’s work to get on that free trip to Hawaii.  I did notice Stephanie Faracy (the mom in Great Outdoors) plays the boys’ mom and between plastic surgery and aging, Father Time has given her a vicious right uppercut to her work calendar.

When this preview came out, I said, “This COULD be that summer R-rated comedy of the year.”  And I wasn’t enamored by the preview and the reviews were as kind as a 24″ inch waist is to Rebel Wilson.  So, I watched it for free with the free (cable company which doesn’t sponsor me) points I’ve accrued.  You know a film is bad when you turn it off after 45 minutes AND YOU GOT IT FOR FREE.  I think I semi-chuckled twice, which is double the times I laughed at “Napoleon Dynamite” or any other Jack Black comedy.  Nothing gets me like a solid R-rated comedy but when the punchlines are softer than any Drake song, you lost me.  This film is dogshit and I was SHOCKED that it actually turned a profit. Anna Kendrick has a weird face and it’s funny to see her attempting to be sexy.  She’s perfect as Clooney’s protege in, “Up in the Air” and from what I saw while changing the channel, good in those, “Pitch Perfect” films.  Raunchy comedy, not her bag.  

I’d rather watch teens play in a video game tournament that finish watching this film.  2/10

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The first Jason Bourne film, solid.  The second, not so much.  The third, fantastic rebound and my favorite of the trilogy.  So when I read that Paul Greengrass (director of the 1st and 3rd films) was coming back to do the 4th Bourne and this time, I penciled this in to see in the theater.  Matt Damon reprises his title role, and we can wipe our memory banks clean of Jeremy Renner?  Cool, I’m in.  What scenes do you see over and over in the preview?  Damon dropping a dude with one punch and then yet another insane chase scene, this time on the Vegas strip.  Again, I’m in.

And then the reviews came in: nothing positive and pretty much all of them saying this was a hybrid of all 3 Damon films with no real original aspects of it.  So I didn’t see this in the theater as most of my friends confirmed these reviews.  I was going to see this and Suicide Squad in the same day and I’m glad I laid this hand down.  It’s the same recipe as all of the other films.  Hell, I think I can direct the next Bourne film.  Have an older white guy in a communications room, barking out orders to SWAT teams who are trying to locate Bourne for about 60% of the film.  The next 30% would be chase scenes mixed with a few hand-hand combat scenes.  The last 10% would be him trying yet again, to unearth even more backstory about how and why he was recruited to be an assassin. Give me 5 million bucks and the catalog rights to Moby’s, “Extreme Ways” so I can do the 234235th remix of that song and I’ll see you next summer with a 2 hour film that hopefully makes its money back.  

I again, used points from (cable company not paying to advertise with me) and didn’t pay a dollar for this film.  I wasn’t thrilled at all but hey, at least I made it all the way, unlike “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” The Vegas chase scene does carry on a little too long.  The plot is murky and we’re again trying to figure out his character’s as well as his dad’s history with the Treadstone.  You end up not caring about this story about 20 minutes it.  “Bourne Ultimatum” did a fantastic job of wrapping up loose ends and answering all questions.  Greengrass should’ve ended on that high note cause this note cracks and falls flat. 

I’d rather watch all of the trailers for Rogue 1 (review next week) on an endless loop than watch this again.  4.5/10

Ten Commandments of Wearing Jerseys to Sporting Events

fat-packer-fan

My father was NOT into sports AT ALL.  He could give 2 shits about who wins the World Series, Superbowl, but he always had a financial rooting interest in the Bud Bowls.  My brother and I got into sports and once a year, my father would take us to a Yanks or Mets game.  We would alternate years where we would go to the scary Bronx or Chop Shop Central Queens.  I’m the ardent Yanks fan and my brother was a closeted homosexual Mets Fan.  We would have a “man day” where my dad would get some solid field level seats and then we would eat garbage food that was 5 times the value of the tickets.  Thankfully, our metabolisms could’ve been bottled and sold to aspiring models/singers and we would’ve been multimillionaires.  Instead, I’m writing a dopey blog on a Saturday afternoon while my 1 year old daughter takes a nap.  I’m hoping I finish this article AND can squeeze in a trip to the gym before she wakes.  Hello time management, goodbye reckless boozing and womanizing.  Unless you have a shitload of money and pay off your wife with gaudy shopping trips to look the other way while you philander; welcome to married life, boys!

 

I still enjoy going to games for the camaraderie, catching up with buddies over a few cocktails, and watching the games from different angles.  But after going to many games over the years, I’m mystified that some people just don’t have any proper jersey decorum.  Like I said before, my dad doesn’t give a shit about sports but somehow, I learned through life what is the proper attire and how to wear it at the games.  So don’t blame this on being having a single mother in your household.  And if you are “that guy,” pay for your buddy to get an uber so he can come over and slap you repeatedly in the face.  Yes, I get it.  This is a first world problem and people who aren’t into sports could give 2 shits.  But god forbid if you don’t remember what Rachel from Friends favorite color is.

  1. Thou shall not be the douchebag who insists on wearing a full uniform of a team that isn’t even playing at the game you’re attending.  You want to wear your team’s hat so you can rep your team, fine.  But to wear head to toe apparel like you think you’re playing left field and batting 5th?  I was at a Yankees/A’s game and 4 dildos from Philly are wearing head to toe Philthies gear.  I asked them why are they wearing Salvation Army clothing to a Yankees game.  They said, “We have to represent our team.”  I told them that their awful Philly accents represents them just fine.  You’re a clown and just there to stir up a shit storm.  You fully deserve it when you get pelted with synthetic nacho cheese, leftover garlic fries, and a lukewarm $12 Budweiser.  
  2. Thou shall not be the cheap fuck who wears an obvious sponsored giveaway jersey to multiple games.  If you’re coming from the office and want to throw on a shirt they give you which has Stop N Shop logos plastered all over it like it was a NASCAR race, fine.  But to wear that to every game?  Pony up the $100 bucks for a decent replica and fit in with everyone.  Otherwise, you’ll be subjected to people like me yelling, “Hey Stop n Shop, cleanup in aisle 8!”
  3. Thou shall not be the relatively cheap fuck who wears a player’s jersey who turned out to be an absolute abortion.  The turnaround time to get rid of that jersey is 3 years.  I have a buddy who still wore his Kevin Boss (mediocre TE for the NY Giants) for YEARS after he retired/forced out/blows his brains out under an overpass in 15 years from CTE.  Look, I had a Jason Sehorn jersey (white CB for the Giants that A) was awesome till he blew his knee out returning a kickoff in a fucking preseason game and B) married that piece of ass, Angie Harmon) but I got rid of it when he was chasing wide receivers and his pants were falling to his ankles.  I smartly jumped on the Eli Manning bandwagon the second he got drafted.  Figured I’d go all in on the eventual franchise QB.  And if you have guys who obviously were hall of famers or solid contributors, by all means keep wearing them.   But if you buy someone that’s a rookie that didn’t pan out or a free agent that did his best work on another team and came to your team as a last resort (Jerry Rice on the Raiders, Ray Borque on the Avalanche), cut that shit out.
  4. Thou shall not be the, “My wife/kids bought this jersey for me” guy.  I’m talking about people who put #1 Dad or your last name on the back of their jerseys.  No, you’re not the number 1 dad in the world.  That’s because that title is held by Ferris Bueller’s dad.  Checked on his kid while he was sick, bought him a computer and his sister a car, and came home at 6 sharp as promised.  And if your wife or kids really knew and loved you, they would know that makes you look stupid and they would put your favorite player on the back of the jersey.  If my daughter wanted to get me a second Yankees jersey, my wife would tell her that it’s going to be a Jeter or Mariano, Not #1 Daddy.  Or putting your own name on the back of that jersey.  This isn’t t-ball, you child.  You didn’t play a down or throw a single pitch in the majors.  What you’ve done is given everyone within a 3 section radius to fuck with you for the ENTIRE game. Do you really want to hear, “Hey Sanderson, your sister had corn last night for dinner!  Just thought you should know!” Cut that shit out.
  5. Thou shall not be a Yankee fan that wears a jersey with a players name on the back.  We’re the only one that doesn’t do names on the back in the name of tradition.  Again, spend the extra bucks and get a real jersey.  You look dopey, cut that shit out.
  6. Thou shall stop it with the gimmick jerseys.  These teams milk the shit out of us as it is.  You’re going to get a camouflage home jersey because it’s the newest and you have to get it? You look like a child soldier in Sierra Leone with that jersey and those jean shorts.  Those awful neon colored jersey?  This isn’t Miami circa 1984, cut that shit out. 
  7. Thall shall stop it with the film character names on the back of jerseys.  I’m talking to you Costanza on the back of a Yankees jersey, Hansen on a Chiefs jersey, or Griswold on the back of a Blackhawks jersey.  We get it, you’re a Seinfeld, Slap Shot,  or a Vacation fan.  That’s not even a deep cut reference that can really be appreciated.  willie beamen. Now that’s at least a little off the beaten path.
  8. Thou shall not be the dickbag that wears a hat or jersey and when asked about said clothing, “Oh, I’m not a fan of the team, I just like the colors.”  Aww, how cute Ralph Lauren.  You’re making sure you’re avoiding the fashion police at a ball game.  This is the one place no one is judging people’s style.  Hell, the Eagles fans made Zubazz pants popular in that city inhabited by mouth breathers.  You don’t need to be on the cover of GQ while you eat a dirty water hot dog and suck down a $12 bud light.  Both of which I don’t consume because they’re gross. I eat before I go to the game because I refuse to pay top dollar for bottom feeding food.
  9. Thou shall not be a cheap bastard that takes masking tape and writes a current players name on the jersey of a shitty player with the same number.  
  10. And finally, thou shall not be that guy that tucks his jersey into his pants.  Hey Steve Urkel, let loose.  You’re at a game, not a board meeting, so relax.

When Kevin isn’t belittling someone for breaking one of these social mores, he’s playing with his daughter, telling jokes in NYC (Book him at Kgootee23@gmail.com), or working on his show: Comics Watching Comics (www.comicswatchingcomics.com)

Superbowl Picks against the Spread

The day all eyes (except communists) are turned to the TV, Superbowl Sunday!  Denver! Carolina!  Cam and the race baiters vs Peyton and the feel good karma.  What say you?  Before we get to the picks, I wanted to say that I created a damn good video (with my daughter) that refuses to upload so you get the article instead.  Thanks Obama.

Carolina -5.5 over/under 44

A little breakdown, why not?  Carolina has the MVP Cam Newton, Greg (the leg, look it up ladies and alternative lifestyle living men) Olsen, and Jonathan Olsen on offense.  Luke Keuchly and Josh Norman head up a ball hawk defense that pull in more sixes than my buddies do during a night out at the bar.  Denver has old man Manning (great name for a Scooby Doo villain), Denaryius Thomas and his jailbird mother, Aqib Talib, and Danny Trevathan head up the #1 defense in the NFL.  

The early money was on Carolina, driving it from an opening line of -3.5 up to 6.  The public drove that line up faster than Hillary Clinton polarizes an audience.  The whales that fly into Vegas the night before started to dump money on the Broncos, dropping it to down to 5, and now it went back up to 5.5  The over/under opened at 45.5 and now it’s dropped down to 44.  Translation: everyone thinks this will be a low scoring event.  Now, if you think Carolina is going to win, it will be in a blowout fashion with the over easily achieved.  If you think Denver is going to win, you probably think it will be a 21-17 type game.  What’s my pick???

Denver +5.5

I know, I was huge on Carolina after they dismantled my Super Bowl pick, the Cardinals.  Here’s why I’m going with Denver.

A) EVERYONE will want Denver to win; it’s the quintessential feel good story.  Peyton’s done, let him go out on the highest note…unless you’re watching the games at home and you’re sick of those goddamn Nationwide/Papa John’s commercials and hoping Peyton gets runs over by a driver with no insurance while eating that awful pizza.

B) The weather is currently 63 degrees which helps Peyton immensely.  But Kevin, he played in 50 degree weather against the Seahawks 2 years ago in the Superbowl.  Yeah but the Carolina D is not the Seahawks team from 2 years ago.

C) The Broncos are looking to grind out the clock and that’s what they did against the Pats.  They can’t keep up in a shootout so look for a lot of running and quick passes.

D) Carolina is notorious for putting up big leads but then giving up the late back door cover.  If Denver does go down by a lot quickly, Carolina will go into soft coverage and probably let some points score.  And remember, Denver doesn’t have to win, just cover.

E) And I saved my best point for last: Carolina has ALREADY planned their victory parade. The kiss of death…only bad things can happen when you do that.

I’m still scratching my head with the over/under and I haven’t put a wager down yet or may not even do so.  I’m waiting for the line to move BUT if I had to pick one now, I’m taking…

The over 44

Superbowls are primarily overs and I think more points will be scored, more like 24-21.  There is LITTLE room for the under and I haven’t seen many recent superbowls, sans my NY Giants vs the Pats, where the under hits.

Prop bets

Number of times Kevin refills his beverage when Coldplay is playing

3.5

OVER

Number of times Kevin yells at the TV, “HOW THE FUCK IS COLDPLAY DOING THE HALFTIME SHOW!  I DON’T KNOW ANYONE WHO OWNS ONE OF THEIR ALBUMS?”

19

OVER

Number of times Kevin wonders aloud why Beyonce married Jay Z when she has plenty of her own money yet her husband looks like a sad catfish.

3

Under, I’m just restating the obvious

Number of minutes Kevin watches the halftime show

5

Under.  I’d rather spend time openly mocking my friend who is a Cowboys fan.