NFL Week 12 picks against the spread

What’s this?? Gutting the Sacred Cow #38 on iTunes top 100 for films

3-3 last week and I took the Dallas under on Thanksgiving night. Well, that turned into a loss because Mike McCarthy is a fuckhead, dumb dildo coach who goes for it on 4th down deep in his own zone TWICE and of course, Washington gets touchdowns both times. Bringing my yearly total to 35-31-2, 53%. God, I’m even ready to fade my as we’re JUST above break even for the year. Let’s get some winners here:

The easiest bet has been the Chargers over. The second easiest bet will be Anthony Lynn getting fired. The third easiest bet will how awesome our Gutting the Sacred Cow live show be. And if you haven’t gotten tickets yet, I just happen to have the link right here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gutting-the-sacred-cow-live-show-tickets-128202821089?fbclid=IwAR2CxY-xi0y7UHXGH3OiPr8VouVYx90SuinF0Q8pcXpOMvrrjMTBsMqYpm8

Chargers have went over 7 straight over. The Chargers’ totals during that seven-game stretch have been 69, 57, 68, 61, 57, 50, 62. Chargers defense allowed 28 points in 4 straight. Chargers 8/9 on road. Bills over 8/10 and 4/5 over at home. Bills over 8/11 against AFC west. Bills bottom half ranked defense.

Teased Chargers over down to 45.5

Did I ever get the Falcons wrong last week. The Saints defense was more fired up than a sheikh in a roomful of drugged up runaways. Now they play Drew Lock? Broncos 17/21 under vs teams with a winning record. Last 3 games, Saints allowed 8.3 ppg and 6 total second half points. Saints #2 in rushing defense. Denver 70% under at home. Taysom Hills first time in altitude? Not many points going to happen there…especially now that Denver had ALL FOUR QBs GO ON THE COVID LIST. Yeah, they have a guy named Hinton at QB today. The new line is Saints -15.5 and o/u 36.5. I could see teasing the Saints -9.5 and over 30.5. This game could easily be 24-7 and that’s a winner. Thank Christ I locked in Saturday afternoon before this news broke. Closing line value, baby!

2nd half of teaser is Saints under 49.5

Pittsburgh/Baltimore may not even happen as more covid cases are popping up. James Connor just got put on the covid list but so is Lamar Jackson. Now, Lamar may play if he passes a few more tests. Both teams haven’t practiced all week so this may be a bit of a shitshow. Bal 1-4 in last 5. 4-0-2 in Pitt. Covid everywhere. 7-1 ATS last 8, 10-0 SU, 5-0 at home SU, 6-0 ATS against AFCI HAD to jump on it when the number was 4. It’s now 7 so I’d recommend teasing Pitt down if I were you; no way in hell would I lay more than 4 in a division game.

Pitt -4

I’m breaking cardinal rule number 1 as a Giants fan (NEVER bet on the NY Giants unless it’s the under) but guess what, it’s been working of late. Giants 8-0 ATS on the road. Now, I’ll preface that last fact by saying damn near all of those games were as underdogs. This is the first time we’re laying points. They’re off the bye, fired up, and even fired their offensive line coach. The gang is playing for Joe Judge and that’s what I want to see. Giants have scored on 70% of RZ trips in the last 3 games. Brandon Allen QB for the Bengals, under 50% completion. Giants 6-1 ATS of late, 4-2 SU against Cincy. Cincy 6-3 ATS of late, 1-4 against NFC

Giants -5.5

The Niners are getting healthier and I could care less. You think the Niners are coming to LA and hanging tight? Maybe. Rams 6-0 at home, 4-2 ATS of late. 8-1 SU against NFC, 7-2-1 against NFC west. SF 2-5 of late ATS and SU but 7-3 ATS and SU against Rams. 5-12-1 against the NFC west. So all that said, we’re going to make our lives easier.

First half of the teaser Rams -1

I’ll be goddamned if I ever have to trust the Bears again after they couldn’t do shit on a monday night 2 weeks ago. And now they’re starting Mitch Trubisky? Jesus Christ, lock and load. Bears are 7-13 ATS of late. 5-14 ATS against GB, 1-7 SU against GB and 2-10 SU in GB. Bears 3-7 ATS on road. 4/5 Bears losses by 8 points or fewer. GB 2-4 ATS of late. 13-4 SU of late, 9-1 SU at home. You think after a loss on the road they don’t rebound against a divisional foe?

and Packers -2.5 make up the 2nd leg of the teaser.

Titans looked great last week against the downward spiraling Ravens, one of the teaser halves I gave you. Tennessee 3-1 on the road. Titans and Colts, whomever wins the first meeting (Colts) is 7-17-1 in rematch. Titans 10-4 SU but 1-4 ATS. Colts 6-3 ATS, 4-1 SU, 5-1 SU at home. Tennessee plays tight on the road so let’s get us more than a TD cushion. No better time than to get some free points so why not

Make the first half of a teaser Titans +9

Tua sprained his thumb on a teammates helmet in practice and is doubtful for tomorrow. Which means everyone’s favorite bearded genius, Ryan Fitzpatrick, gets to come in and through all over the Jets putrid defense. Yes, I know the Jets have covered against the Pats and Chargers but which of these 2 teams are going to the playoffs? Bingo. Miami defense is going eat alive Sam Darnold who returns after a 2 game absence. Miles Gaskin (not Miles Dyson, the creator of Skynet) just may return tomorrow to. Dolphins 5-1 ATS and SU of late, 5-0 ATS and 5-1 SU against the Jets.

But since we need a team to pair with the Titans, the Dolphins down to -1 is more appetizing than your moms’ whorish mouth making kissy faces at me.

Second half of the teaser, Dolphins -1

Week 11 NFL picks against the spread

Did you get your Gutting the Sacred Cow live show tickets yet? Don’t worry, we still have SOME left, here’s the link to do so: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gutting-the-sacred-cow-live-show-tickets-128202821089?fbclid=IwAR2CxY-xi0y7UHXGH3OiPr8VouVYx90SuinF0Q8pcXpOMvrrjMTBsMqYpm8

3-2-1 last week so back in the W column. Pushed the Chargers teaser (wish I got 8.5 instead of 8), lost the Ravens teaser (they’re not as good as we thought they were) and also lost the Bears on MNF (Cousins snaps his 0-9 skid against an anemic Bears offense). Won the other 2 teasers and the Rams so bravo for me. Which puts me at 32-27-2 for the year, 54% overall. Still making money

Detroit Lions are lot like me in my early 20’s. I would be chatting up a lady at a bar and have her on the line. And a good chunk of the time, I would say something that would inevitably fuck up the situation and keep me from getting laid. And that’s the Lions, they’ll have 1st half leads and blow them late as their defense is worse than living in Detroit. Today, they are facing PJ Walker and they’re still likely down two OL (both doubtful). I’m gambling that Stafford plays (thumb) and all signs point to yes. No Golladay and no Swift, I know. But I think Stafford guides them to a first half lead and even if it’s tied, I’ll push.

Det 1H Pick em. It jumped to -1.5 but I locked in yesterday however I would still lay the 1.5

I don’t count player props in my W/L record (although I did hit Russ Wilson over rushing yds monday night!) but here’s one for you that jumped out me. GB defense allows 7 yds per target to RB. Nyheim Hines had a great game last week against a porous Tenn D so why not expect the same this week? Low number but higher vig (-120)

Hines over 27.5 yds

Titans are 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS when getting 4 or more. What did the Ravens show me in that monsoon monday night? They’re not as good as we think? And the Titans got their doors blown off Thursday night against the Colts. The worst secret is that the Ravens can’t come from behind at all. Titans have 3 extra days to prep; plus the Ravens play Thanksgiving night. You don’t think they aren’t looking ahead to facing Pittsburgh that night? I do. Tenn 3-7 ATS of late but 9-4 SU. They are 1-4 ATS on the road. But just like boobs, more is better. So let’s go from 6.5 to 12.5 and watch the Titans keep this REALLY close, maybe even catch the Ravens in a trap game.

First half of the teaser, Tenn +12.5

As much as I loathe the Eagles (had the Giants in a teaser last week, didn’t need the points!), they’ve got to win today to stay competitive in the bargain bin of mediocrity known as the NFC east. Good news is that Philly is 5-0 SU against Cle. Bad news is Philly is 3-7 ATS of late and 1-4 ATS. Good news is Browns are 1-4 ATS of late and 3-6 ATS for the season. Also, 2-10 SU against NFC east. Bad news is Browns are 6-2 SU and 8-2 SU at home. A perfect world for me would be Philly losing but covering. Most importantly, Miles Garrett is out for the Browns which gives the 25 million dollar bust known as Carson Wentz some time to let receivers run their routes. Plus, Philly does have a pass rush and Mayfield averaging 5.8 yds per attempt. Give me a 20-16 Browns W…

Second half of teaser Philly +8.5

Ravens under 7/10, 10/13 under vs Tenn, 4/5 at home, 7/7 home against Tenn. Again, the Ravens have a game in 3 days, they’re not going to go crazy expending all of their energy. Titans bread and butter is Derrick Henry so expect a lot of running.

Tenn under 50.5

It’s the Taysom Hill spectacular! You know, the guy that is now eligible in some of your fantasy leagues as a TE that sent fantasy owners screaming to their commissioner? Who know how long this experiment lasts but I only care for 1 game. Falcons off a bye and believe it or not; they’re playing hard for Raheem Morris. Falcons 7-2 ATS of late, 7-3 SU in last 10 against NFC south. 1-4 ATS against NO but that’s against Brees. I have no idea what to expect but I sure as shit expect Matt Ryan to air out it and keep it close against a QB who spends his off season knocking on your doors at 7am on a Saturday; asking if you’d like have a copy of the Watchtower. So let’s REALLY give ourselves a cushion in case that Falcons defense makes like Eugene Robinson in the superbowl and gets busted for soliciting prostitutes that turn out to be a cop.

1st half of teaser is Falcons +10.5

We all know Andy Reid is as much of a lock after a bye as much as your moms are after 3 appletini’s at a TGI Friday’s happy hour. Now add how the Raiders did a victory lap on them after they won in KC the first go around. Finally, a pinch of Maholmes telling the media that they’re more than ready (paraphrase). The Chiefs are going to decimate them: Chiefs are 15-3 ATS and 17-1 SU of late. 10-5 ATS against Vegas and 5-1 SU. 6-0 on the road and 4-1 SU in Vegas. Please. And Vegas a much better road team than home, 2-5 ATS at home. But I need another team to tease so I’ll make this game less than a FG.

2nd half of teaser is KC -1 but I’d tease ANY number down to below a TD. It’s going to be a romp, 1995 Florida State Bobby Bowden style.

Already hit a the first half of my next teaser, AZ +9, on Thursday night. I will say that the Seattle safety sent shivers up my butthole which cut it to 4. Thank Christ Seattle just kicked a FG to win by 7.

I have no idea how GB is getting points. Yes, they didn’t cover against Jax and it was close for awhile. GB 6-3 ATS of late, 13-3 SU. GB also 4-1 ATS on the road and I get Rodgers in a dome? I don’t see Rivers able to throw the ball that well; even against a weak GB defense but they are getting Jaire Alexander back in the secondary. Yes, Indy is 4-0-1 SU home against GB but those are mostly if not all of Andrew Luck’s years. Now let’s make things even more interesting because I have to fill another teaser and give me 6 points? HIGHLY doubt GB loses, let alone by more than a TD

Second half of the teaser GB +7.5

If there’s one team that can fuck up a cup of coffee (Name that film…Casino!), it’s the Chargers. They’ve been snakebitten left and right and Justin Herbert has 1 win this year? Christ. They got hosed against the Raiders. But holy hell, if they can’t take down the worst team in the last 10-15 years, Anthony Lynn should be forced to watch Napoleon Dynamite and 2001 Space Odyssey (2 films we did on Gutting the Sacred Cow podcast!) back to back for eternity. Joe Flacco is starting and if you recall, he gave the Pats a scare but of course, the Jets give up 10 points in the final 5 minutes and lose. But the Jets also are without the INT leader Pierre Desir and Brian Poole. I just see the Chargers kicking their dicks in despite being 1-7 SU of late, 1-5 SU at home, and 2-4 ATS at home against the Jets (Phil Rivers years) Don’t worry, the Jets don’t have much going for them, 2-7 ATS of late and 1-6 ATS on the road. But again, why not make it under a TD so you can’t get backdoored.

First half of the teaser: Chargers -3.5

I think this last pick is the easiest of them all. Remember gambling rule #2: always bet against Mark Sanchez and Andy Dalton. Yes, Dallas just came off a bye but remember, they’re playing on Thanksgiving against their hated rival, the Redskins. Would you be surprised if they just get to Minnesota and went through the motions to prep against a team they are in the middle of a division race for? Let’s also acknowledge Kirk Cousins BEST spot is when he’s at home for a 1pm start, he’s ~65% ATS. Dallas is on their THIRD center this week; I don’t care if it’s Dalton, Aikman, Quincy Carter behind center, that’s gonna screw them up. And if you haven’t been paying attention; Minnesota has quietly been a covering machine, 6-1 ATS of late and 4-2 SU. They’re 7-0 ATS home against Dallas (Dak’s years to boot!). Dallas 1-8 ATS of late, 1-6 SU, 0-6 ATS on the road. These numbers inspire less confidence than me sitting down to watch a Jack Black/Seth Rogen/Ben Stiller movie. I have to finish up a teaser so let’s make this virtually foolproof.

Second half of teaser: Vikings -1

Movie review: Borat 2

Well, the big day is here for yours truly as Borat 2 dropped on Amazon Prime. I fired that thing up this morning and it does NOT disappoint. What’s new? Borat as a daughter he’s trying to gift to Mike Pence and other high ranking American officials as a form of penance for making Kazakstan the laughing stock after his first film. The first 20-30 minutes are wall-wall great jokes. I haven’t laughed this hard since I watched the Jets play football last Sunday. I’ve said before, Borat is the funniest film is in the last 15 years without questions. And the sequel does it justice, no doubt. But like the first one, the third act does run out of steam. And SBC definitely pulls punches a little when it comes to some of his material in the first film, i.e. the Jews and retarded people. BTW, I was sad there was no mention of his brother Bilo or his prostitute sister. I had hopes she would’ve moved to #3 or even #2 prostitute in K-stan by now but alas, no word.

He does open up both barrels for those on the (far) right as you might have suspected. And I guarantee the far right people are going to piss and moan but fuck ’em, funny is funny. His daughter has comedy chops and she’s fucking hysterical when she’s getting made over. And goddamn, the abortion clinic scene is hysterical. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, just watch the scene and you’ll see what I mean. I just wished I didn’t have to wait 14 years for a sequel. Let’s hope the 3rd comes in less time, if there is one.

Not as good as the first but still, pretty funny. 7 out of 10 and I’ll be rewatching this soon.

Film review: Tenet

Hey everyone, it’s been a minute or 5 months since we had more than a handful of new films to talk about. I sure as hell wasn’t paying $25 for Bill and Ted 3, King of Staten Island, or the Mulan reboot. But thankfully, on 9/4, theaters in NJ reopened and I made sure I was at the earliest possible showing of Tenet so as to avoid large crowds of people that talk amongst themselves or spread contagion.

This was one of the films I had circled as Nolan ALWAYS gets my $15 but as we’ve said on http://www.guttingthesacredcow.com podcast (And for god sakes, go to the website to buy a shirt, bag, hat, etc as well as follow our articles every M-F. Shame on you if you’re missing out on the best movie podcast out there. And Kevin Israel and I have guested on enough to know we’re better than all of them.) that we were both worried about Tenet from the trailer.  Hell, even the actors in the film didn’t understand the story.  https://screenrant.com/tenet-movie-plot-time-travel-inversion-confused-actors/

I mean, that can’t be good but hell, that’s not stopping me.  And even Nolan’s last 3 films (we’ve done Interstellar and Inception on the podcast, make sure you give them a listen!) were beautifully shot but man, those story lines missed the mark.  So even with all the odds stacked against it, I anxiously awaited this along with the opportunities to eat overpriced pretzel bites with synthetic nacho cheese in a semi-reclining chair.  So what did I think?

So what is Tenet?  It’s a combination of time-reversal and inversion.  It’s kinda sorta like the Matrix where you can manipulate physics.  But unlike the Matrix, I can’t fully explain how Tenet works.  John David Washington (Denzel’s kid and boy, does he have the same voice as his old man) plays, “The Protagnosist” who passes a test to be recruited for the Tenet organization.  He needs to meet up with an arms dealer and is escorted by Robert Pattinson, without diamonds in his face for a change, to Mumbai.  Then they need to break into a holding area for an artwork at the Oslo airport but hell, let’s use an airplane crashing into said area as a diversion.  Huh?  Why?  

And then, this story becomes even more convoluted than Interstellar and Inception combined.  Then the Protagonist and Edward the vampire goes after Russian arms dealer because he found as a teenager in Russia a missing plutonium case placed back in time by the Tenet organization to create an algorithm to destroy the world? Yeah, that was a run on sentence as this whole plot is a complex, run-on MESS.  You know what else they don’t have in this film?  Character development.  Insanely little backstory regarding their arcs so you feel nothing for them or care about them in the least.  

 I’ve never walked out of a theater with more questions in my history as a film fan.  I must’ve said to myself, “huh, what, why” in that order at least 10 times throughout this film.  Nolan went ABOVE and BEYOND testing my patience with all of these subplots, backstory, and choices he made.  I’m not going to list all the questions I had because if you see this, you’ll have the same ones I did.  I think I’m a reasonably smart guy but I was lost from the end of the first act onward.  I picked up a few things here and there but the majority of this film, I spent trying to piece together the answers.  I suppose if I see this again, I’ll have a better understanding.  But EVEN with all of the answers, I highly doubt the payoff is worth it.  I looked at my watch at least 5 times through this 2.5 hour affair.  At least Inception and Interstellar had some very cool effects/scenes whereas this one doesn’t.  We’ve seen time reversal in Dr. Strange.  And notably absent from this film is Hans Zimmer as Zimmer chose to score the Dune reboot instead of this.  Not saying that Zimmer’s score would’ve saved this debacle by any stretch.  I promise you that the people who say they love this didn’t understand the process but want to seem intelligent to others by liking it.

I absolutely hated this film and wish my return to the theater would’ve been more enjoyable but hey, even Babe Ruth didn’t bath 1.000.  Let’s cross our fingers that the new Bond meets expectations.

I give this a 3/10, major disappointment and easily Nolan’s worst film to date.   Here’s hoping he breaks his 4 game losing streak with his next project.

Film Review: Star Wars Episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker SPOILER FREE

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Here we are, the “Avengers Endgame” to the series that formed the childhood of billions of kids from the 70’s and 80’s.  But here’s something to ponder on as you read this review on the toilet at work (that’s right, your companies should pay YOU to poop):  After starting my new podcast, “Gutting the Sacred Cow” (If you like my reviews and standup comedy, enjoy other comedians coming onto the show and arguing why some of the most beloved, successful, or acclaimed films stink or are overrated.  Shameless plug over.   GTSC link on iTunes )  I’ve had to re-watch the latest Star Wars films and boy, this latest trilogy thus far is failing in the rewatchability department. The Force Awakens is like a watery lobster bisque with 4 big chunks of lobster but no real substance or base.  And the Last Jedi, wow.  Was I wrong when I wrote my initial review.  Man, that film has tons of faults compounded with a bunch of hard choices that had better pay off in 9.  Do they pay off? Well, see below and of course, no spoilers.  But before you do, go google Adam Driver as a Marine.  Kevin Pollak said his face looks like a cab with the doors open.  Hilarious.

JJ Abrams back at the director’s helm after Rian Johnson sent Last Jedi to the bottom of the discount DVD bin.  BTW, hearing the opening music and seeing the opening scroll really hit me as this is (for now) the END of the Skywalker story.  Also, it’s the last time we’ll hear anything new from John Williams as this was his final film.  And this man is without question the GREATEST film composer to have ever lived.  He’s on Mt Rushmore in the George Washington slot, zero debate allowed.

Kylo Ren finds his way to the Emperor; yes, that Emperor we loved from Return of the Jedi, and is told he has to kill Rey.  Now, let’s stop here.  Do we learn how in the living fuck he survived being thrown down a reactor AND THEN EXPLODING IN THE DEATH STAR?  We do not.  Which is problem number one for me, a BIG ONE.  How are we going to skate over one of the BEST villains in film history just magically reappears on a Sith planet that reminds me of the final battle in the last Matrix film?  BTW, a hidden planet of Sith?  Remember the rule of Sith?  There are only 2 at all times; no more, no less.  So less than 10 minutes, we’re pissing all over rules and skating past premises that need REAL explanation.  BTW, there are 2 sentences that mention the recently departed, Snoke.  Just two.  I’ll let that simmer with you for a few minutes.  How about some good news? Adam Driver thankfully puts his Kylo Ren back together so we don’t see his face as much in this film.

Rey has been training and became insanely strong in the Force, almost Jedi Knight status.  The Rebels are still a small band lead by CGI’ed Princess Leia.  Apparently, they had some unused footage of Carrie Fisher from Last Jedi and why not squeeze in a few scenes with her in the final chapter.  Rey and Kylo Ren continue to FaceTime via the Force as he taunts her with the knowledge of her parents and her lineage.  Their interactions are always good as he’s continuing to enlist her to join him and become part of the Dark Side.

My next complaint is when the both find their way to the Death Star ruins where Rey seeks out a tracker to find the planet of the Sith.  They battle it out (relax, you see them doing this in trailer where they’re soaking wet) and at the end of the battle, there’s a REAL problem with the result.  Not spoiling it but I completely disagreed with it.  I even leaned over to my buddy and said, “Nope.  But we know how this will play out later.”

There are a couple of surprises and appearances that are enjoyable but this film is mostly disjointed.  Too many new characters are introduced but I wish they spent the screen time interacting more with the established ones AND giving a modicum of backstory.  And DEFNINTELY not enough of Lando Calrissian!  We dig BDW and his Colt 45 million dollar smile out of retirement to have him in 3 or 4 scenes?  No thank you, I demand more of him; especially when original characters like Han Solo and Luke are dead.  Instead, we’re dealing with Poe and Finn who we never get to REALLY embrace and form a bond with.  We learn a LITTLE more about Poe as the crew goes to a planet to get a droid to hack 3PO’s memory and Poe runs into a former smuggler/lover.  But not enough where he or Finn makes anyone’s favorite character list.  Again, this recent trilogy did a watered down version from all aspects while trying to replicate the original.  With the exception of Rey and Ren, no characters have any layers.

Lastly and without getting into gory details, I hated the ending.  INSANELY anti-climactic.  The final battle had ZERO pathos like Return of the Jedi did.  You FELT for Luke as he learned Vader wanted to turn his sister.  You FELT for Vader as he weighed his decision to either serve the Emperor or save his son.  And that lightsaber battle in Jedi was just simply amazing.  This was much shorter than I felt was deserved.  And of course, the question still burns, what happened with Rey and her parents on Jakku?  After the reveal, I again turned to my buddy after the reveal and said, “Insanely fucking lazy.”  I was floored it came down to this decision because there is/was ZERO groundwork laid for this choice.  Sorry, here’s one spoiler, the Rebels win.  Like you didn’t think that was going to happen.  The final celebration scene felt muted.  I’ve seen more emotion from a night manager at Burger King closing up at 3 AM.  No one was REALLY stoked that the Empire was finally gone.  You see TWO Ewoks celebrating at the end of this one!  The ENTIRE VILLAGE ON ENDOR was hooping and hollering.  Statues fell when the Empire did.  Ships shooting off fireworks.  People dancing in the street.  Pure jubilation.  This felt like the last day of school instead of winning a massive battle.  Tons of unanswered questions or poor answers litter this film and that just doesn’t sit well with me.  But I’ll end this review with some good news: MUCH LESS ROSE than the Last Jedi.  She’s the 2nd worst character in the Star Wars Universe next to Jar Jar.

I definitely to rewatch this to fully digest everything but in short, I was very disappointed.  The critics were wrong, the people are right.

4.5 out of 10

Current order of Star Wars films (subject to change after I rewatch TROS)

  1. Star Wars
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Empire Strikes Back
  4. Rogue 1
  5. Revenge of the Sith-Severely underrated, people lump it in with the first 2 sequels when it should be separated from them.
  6. Attack of the Clones- the 2nd half is solid.  Whiny Anakin first half, awful.
  7. Force Awakens
  8. Rise of Skywalker
  9. Solo
  10. Last Jedi
  11. Phantom Menace-You take out Darth Maul and the final lightsaber scene, this film is a 2/10.

3 Film reviews: Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Knives Out, and the Irishman

Oh, hi there you tickle monsters.  It’s been awhile since I had a film to review but let’s be honest, it’s been a collection of student films, garbage passion projects, and blatant cash grabs.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I saw 3 films that bear worth reviewing.  But before you read my critiques, why not download our new podcast, “Gutting the Sacred Cow.”  If you love movies and want to see other comedians try and trash well loved or successful films, you’ll love this.  We’re on iTunes, Iheartradio, Google play, Stitcher, Spreaker, and Spotify.

beautiful day

Bottom line: if you hate Mr. Rogers, you’re a communist that needs to be immediately deported and then set afire in a cage while in transit to Burma.  He TRULY is the closest human to being faultless.  And if that theme music doesn’t bring an immediate tear to your eye, you’re more robotic than the T-1000 from T2 or the guy who played Oz from American Pie.  Tom Hanks, who can honestly do no wrong, plays a fantastic Fred Rogers.  If you don’t know his story, I’m not going over it now.  However, this film doesn’t make Mr. Rogers the focal point of this story.  It’s about the journalist assigned to do a small piece on him, Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys).  Lloyd is dealing with his father (Chris Cooper who looks like Sebulba from Star Wars Episode 1.  Don’t believe me, google it) and Mr Rogers somehow gets Lloyd to open up about his tarnished relationship and of course, tries to help him.

If you didn’t see the outstanding documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, you better get off your ass and watch it.  Because you’re not going to get as much insight about Mr. Rogers in this film.  Although, I had a great laugh when Mr Rogers comes over to visit Lloyd’s ailing father and his sister’s new husband blurts out, “Are you a Navy Seal?”  That was one of the urban legends that was going around for years.  There are great Mr. Rogers moments: the opening show segment with Hanks walking in, singing the song, and flipping the shoes.  My eyes watered up and had the nostalgic smile a mile wide on my face.  You also see several show re-enactments with Hanks CGI’ed in that you may remember from the show or have seen in WYBMN.

This film is good but again, I’m not as interested in the journalist’s story as much as I am seeing Tom Hanks chew up scenery and seeing kids with disabilities have breakthroughs.  Who knows if the documentary didn’t alter the script for BDITN as they didn’t want two biographical stories in 2 years.  I wouldn’t have liked BDITN as much if there wasn’t the doc to get into the nitty gritty material.  This film is good, the doc is better.

I give it a 6.5/10

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How many “whodunits” have there been in recent memory?  Memento?  Pretty good.  Clue?  That was such a campy yet fun ride?  Too bad they’re remaking it.  LA Confidential? FANTASTIC.  Murder on the Orient Express (original and reboot SUCKED)?  So I was quite glad to see “Knives Out” invigorate the genre.  Great cast but you know what scared me?  Seeing Rian Johnson wrote and directed this.  Cause last we saw of ol RJ, he went out and gave us a C- Star Wars film in the Last Jedi.  He also did Looper which gives him some credibility back.  Was this worse than dinner theater murder mysteries?  Let’s find out.

Christopher Plummer plays Harlan Thrombey, who looks like he could’ve been one of the brothers from Trading Places.  Don’t worry, he doesn’t uses racial slurs.  Harlan is an uber successful mystery writer who after celebrating his 85th birthday, falls victim to murder.  His children and daughter in law all have had reason to off him as they’ve been cut out of his will.  But his caregiver/nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), suddenly finds herself as the sole benefactor of the will.  Daniel Craig is the detective hired by an unknown source to find out who did it. Zod from Superman, the mom from 6th sense, Laurie Strode, Captain America, and Sonny Crockett play the kids/in laws who are in question.

Obviously, I’m not getting into details to not spoil it but the cast perfectly hums along.  Daniel Craig was fantastic as the smarmy, know it all (most of the time detective) who really has a ball with this role.  You may figure out who did it (I did) but you’ll NEVER figure out the how or why.  I changed my logic at least 4 times and was still wrong.  And that’s why this film is amazing.  Anytime you get a layered story and can’t figure out AND buy the process/conclusion, it’s a fantastic investment of time.  Run, don’t walk, to see this film.  And then when you get out of the theater, download our latest episode of Gutting the Sacred Cow.

This film is fantastic, 8.5/10

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And now for one of the most anticipated films of 2019.  The last time we saw Scorsese, he got Margot Robbie topless several times in a film.  And we owe him a debt of gratitude for that.  But now he returns to the genre in which he created and inspired tons of knockoffs and a few winners.  The man who gave us Casino, Goodfellas, Mean Streets brings back several of the actors who shot to the stratosphere.  DeNiro, Pacino, AND he got Pesci out of retirement.  Can’t go wrong, right?  Well, let’s see.

First off, prepare yourself.  This is a 3.5 hour film.  But thankfully, you’re watching it at home now so you can pause to pee, get some food, or complain on social media about how long it is.  And for all of those who complain about the length, no one seemed to have a problem with Godfather 2 and that was 4 minutes shorter than this.  This is the story of Frank Sheeran (Robert Deniro, the man who hasn’t turned any film down since 2003), the guy who painted more houses than Dutch Boy.  Ba-dum, ching!  First things first: Scorsese CGIs all of the older actors and it’s sometimes quite amusing.  My FAVORITE part was when a “younger” DeNiro sloowwwwwly beats up a grocery store own.  I mean, it looks like he was in quicksand while giving the guy a beating.  DeNiro finds himself working for Russel Buffalino (Welcome back, Joe Pesci!),

DeNiro earns his stripes doing errands for Buffalino and eventually finds himself working with the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).  Shoutout to my buddy Jeff Paul who has few scenes with Pacino as a one of his crew.  Hoffa climbs to power while bringing Sheeran along for the ride.  Blah, blah, blah, mob stuff happens.  But without question, my favorite scene is Pesci explaining to DeNiro why Hoffa has to go.  It’s quite reminiscent of the Goodfellas scene is when DeNiro gets the phone call that Tommy is dead.  And there’s nothing he can do about it.

Again, people are shitting on this for the length.  Does this lag at times?  You betcha.  Could they have cut some down?  Without question.  But this is almost a mini series in a film as it tells the entire tale of Sheeran.  This is a great switcharoo of roles; a more mellowed Pesci leads the pack and should be nominated for supporting actor.  I’ll never compare this to Goodfellas because that’s as close to a perfect film as you can get.  Is this better than Casino?  No.  Departed? Not really.  And is this a film you immediately stop changing channels when you see it on?  For me, not yet.  But this is good and if you like seeing a lot of the old gang together again, this is for you.  It’s solid and enjoyable.

I give it a 7/10.