Perks Of Being A Wallflower Quickie

Don’t worry, Bro. I thought she was riding on a broom too.

High school movies suck. They’re filled with hyper-cynical assholes who only care about getting laid. (Wait, that sounds like me. Holy shit, maybe I do love high school movies!)

It’s always a treat when a film comes along and just goes against the norms. The Perks of Being A Wallflower is the antidote to the poison that is teen movies. It’s sweet, sincere and captures the confusion of being so young and stupid at the same time.

I have to admit though, at first I was confused at what film I walked into. Hermione Granger was there guiding a blacked haired little moppet. I kept expecting them to hop on a broom and fly off into the sunset.

That didn’t happen. But this film is not without magic.

Grade: A

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The Master

Don’t worry, he’s not having another fake mental breakdown. He’s just in a Paul Thomas Anderson movie.

Ever gone out on a date and, while everything is pleasant and fine, you just don’t end up clicking? There’s no drama, no sparks. It’s not your fault. It’s not your dates fault. There’s just something missing that will prevent you from going any further with this person.

That’s me and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, you just fucking hate a certain director. It’s not to say they make shitty films. There’s just something you end up hating because, frankly, their style doesn’t jibe with yours. Terry Gilliam, for example, annoys the shit out of me. Paul Thomas Anderson is, however, my prime example of directors I hate for virtually no reason.

I say that right off the bat so you understand there’s an inherent bias to this review. I guess every review has an inherent bias but this time it’s really true. I hate almost everything Paul Thomas Anderson has directed. Boogie Nights is about the only one you can force me to watch. Like, have you seen There Will Be Blood? It’s a bloated pretentious mess that made me want to rip my eyeballs out.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I didn’t want to rip my eyes out during The Master. Yet, it’s filled with the typical Anderson touches: the booming obnoxious score that’s more random tones than actual melody, the stark framing devices that make each shot haunting, and the weird dialogue patterns that almost makes every character seem like their speaking another language.

It’s all there. But Anderson doesn’t dive too deep into Pretentious Springs. Outside of Boogie Nights, or possibly Punch Drunk Love, this is Anderson’s most accessible work. He even does a better job establishing his characters, which has always been sort of beside the point in his previous films.

The Master is all about Young Johnny Cash meeting up with a cult leader Truman Capote. The two men then begin a strange and warped relationship that ends up defining both men. That’s about it. Not much else happens. There’s some shit about religion and a lot of fucking, which is always welcome. But mostly it’s just a strange chess match of a movie that highlights both men’s acting abilities.

Because, fuck, do they act their asses off. This movie made me sad Young Johnny Cash had his fake mental breakdown, imagine the films he would have made.

The acting in the film made me forget a lot of what Paul Thomas Anderson was doing on screen. It was almost like a bait and switch. I walked in ready to punch some Paul Thomas Anderson face. I walked out happy I didn’t.

I see that as progress for my contentious relationship with him.

Grade: B+

End Of Watch

Just cruising around, looking for bitches, ain’t no thang.

Sometimes the best intentions go awry. For instance: I own a computer. Big fucking deal. I know. You own a computer. Your fucking Grandma owns a computer. That Fucktard standing in front of you in the supermarket owns a computer. We own them because they’re great. I can get work done, send DudeMomBro a belated birthday e-card, and even keep tabs on all the chicks I’ve banged. (Debbie, I see you dropped some pounds. I like it but don’t lose too much. My cock loves a little jiggle.)

Cause, like I said, best intentions and all that but, fuck it, it’s a porn box. It is used to bring me porn of any type at any time while I’m wearing anything. But, I mean, the DudeNerdBros that created the computer didn’t expect that to happen. Fuck No! They wanted to cure cancer or some shit and things just veered wildly off course. You gotta be careful with something so specialized, or else you could end up with the wasted potential of End Of Line.

To wit: the film is a slice of life cop film that wants to highlight the bravery and dedication of our boys in blue. It does this through the use of, love it or hate it, found footage. Now, I know, “Bleh, I fucking hate the shaky cam and why the fuck does every character have to be carrying around a video camera. It’s fucking fake.”

Yes, the entire genre is sketchy at best but I would argue it works best exactly in films like these: typical genre pieces you already know the beats to. That way it can offer a rather fresh perspective on something that might otherwise be stale. Take Cloverfield: there was nothing special about that film until you added found footage. Suddenly Godzilla attacking the city was radical again.

And this technique could work in this film if they stuck to it. At the beginning Donnie Darko is all excited to film his police work and he installs cameras everywhere he goes. Great! Problem solved, let’s just sit back and watch the found footage. But then they decide to pull out of that style at random intervals.

Instead of wobbly Darko cams we’re treated to familiar pans of the L.A. city scape. Yawn. Then a quick establishing shot outside a drug dealers house. THEN back to found footage.

Look, I don’t give a shit how anyone wants to film their movie. The world’s worst director still knows more about film making than my stupid ass. But, for fuck sake, pick a style and stick with it.

Cause, dude, when this film sticks to found footage, it’s fucking rad. There’s a palpable tension in every crime scene because we’re basically just tagging along. It’s a shame they decided that wouldn’t be entertaining enough. They really could’ve had something special.

Anyway, I’ve love to stay and chat but, you know, porn exists and all.

Grade: B

Trouble With The Curve Quickie

“Just so you guys know, I’m gonna be a dick for no reason until the third act. Then I’ll be a sweet elderly gentleman that talks to empty chairs, for no reason too.”- Dirty Harry

Let’s just skip to the end because this film has trouble with the third act. The entire through-line of this film is all, “Dirty Harry can’t change and he’ll always be a shitty father.” That’s, from start until the third act, what the film presents.

And I fucking get it. This movie is basically one of those feel good light hearted comedies that you can take your mom to without being too bored. There has to be a happy ending. It’s just how things fucking work in Hollywood.

But you can’t just magically have Dirty Harry turn on a dime and be all, “You know what? I’m gonna be a better father.” Without an actual catalyst, it just looks like he’s taking crazy pills. It’s not an earned happy ending. It’s cheap and requires virtually no thought from the writers to get there.

Hollywood does this a lot and it makes me want to take a dump in the middle of the theater.

Grade: C+

Arbitrage Quickie

Sadly, these two don’t bang.

The Gentleman (Or was He The Officer?) rises from a decade of relatively shitty films to play a Wall Street Scammer that steals your tax dollars. He also gets into an accident that causes all sorts of legal problems and, unlike Jay Z, bitches happens to be quite a bit of his problems.

Anyway, the film juggles some balls and keeps tension nice and tight. So it’s all nerve wracking and shit. You’ll be like, “Fuck!!! I am filled with tension and intrigue.”

But it’s not like, “I’m gonna blow shit up tension.” It’s adult tension. Tension you don’t really see much in films anymore because we’ve confused video game computer graphics with suspense. Oh well, go see the Gentleman (Or Was He The Officer?) do some of his best acting.

Grade: B