“Logan” Movie Review

I grew up on a steady diet of Marvel comic books, toys, video games and Saturday morning cartoons.  It should come as no surprise then, I’ve always been a fan of Wolverine.

Today I caught a matinee showing of “Logan” and was blown away.

To me, the hallmark of a great performance is not being able to imagine anyone else playing the part, and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the titular character is nothing short of perfection.  I can neither imagine nor would I have any interest in seeing anyone else in the role.

I don’t go to the theater as often as I used to, but I’ve seen almost every X-Men movie on the big screen:  The good (“X-Men,” “X2: X-Men United,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), the bad (“X-Men: First Class,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) and the ugly (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).

Speaking of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” when I first discovered they were making a Wolverine spinoff film I was excited, but less so once I found out it was an origin story.  In my view, they’d already done a stellar job of detailing enough of his backstory in “X2: X-Men United” to further develop the character, but omitted enough to preserve his enigmatic past.

In seeing that film, I thought it started off great, but it was clear too much executive meddling ruined it.  Fox seemed more interested in setting up unnecessary characters for spinoff films than in doing Wolverine’s story justice.

The second solo film, “The Wolverine” was a marked improvement over the first and found Logan battling his foes in Japan.

“Logan” was a completely different animal, no pun intended.  It was dark.  Depressing.  The film was incredibly well done, with equal parts action and heartbreak.  As the credits rolled, I felt a piece of my childhood had died, in the form of an old friend, a character I’ve known and loved since I was a kid.  I left the theater feeling sad and a little empty.

I’ll miss seeing Jackman’s Wolverine on the big screen, but respect his decision to walk away from the franchise and always leave us wanting more.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend watching it, although I’ll admit I don’t know if I could watch it again.

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Joe Bob Briggs & “MonsterVision”

Who else besides me remembers “MonsterVision”?

For those of you not in the know, “MonsterVision” was a TV show on the TNT network that ran from early 1991 to late 2000.  It primarily featured horror, sci-fi and fantasy films although occasionally other genres would slip in as well.  During its run, it was originally hosted by a Claymation-style moon character, and later by magicians Penn and Teller before finally receiving its permanent host, the legendary Joe Bob Briggs.

Joe Bob Briggs is the pseudonym of syndicated film critic, writer and comic performer John Irving Bloom.  Bloom was born in Dallas, Texas but was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He attended Vanderbuilt University on a sports-writing scholarship and later began his writing career at Texas Monthly and the Dallas Times Herald.  While at the Herald, Bloom created the comedic persona of “Joe Bob Briggs” to review b-movies and other cult films.

The Briggs character is, essentially, a humorous, unapologetic Texas redneck with an undying love for drive-in theaters.  Originally, his reviews were reserved only for movies showing at the local drive-in, but later he began reviewing films available on VHS and DVD.

In the early 80s, Bloom lived in New York City where he encouraged film fans to engage in a “Postcard Fu” campaign in opposition to the city’s plans to renovate and redevelop 42nd Street, which would inevitably lead to the closure of many of the Big Apple’s ’round the clock grindhouse theaters.

In 1985, Bloom debuted his one-man show, “An Evening with Joe Bob Briggs” (later retitled “Joe Bob Dead in Concert”) in Cleveland.  After its success, Bloom took the show on the road and performed in more than fifty venues over the next two years.

It was the stage show that led to Bloom being invited to guest host “Drive-In Theater,” a late night show featuring b-movies on The Movie Channel (TMC).  Briggs was such a hit, he was later signed to a long-term contract.  The show (now retitled “Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater”) became the highest rated show on the network and ran for nearly a decade.

“Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater” ended after TMC decided to change its format in early 1996.  Bloom wasn’t without a gig for long, however, as he joined TNT as the new host of “MonsterVision” just four months later.

“MonsterVision” typically aired two movies a night, with the better known title usually receiving top billing.  The second movie was billed as “Joe Bob’s Last Call.”  Briggs host segments typically took place both in and outside his trailer and featured his usual comedic commentary including his trademark “Drive-In Totals,” a humorous list of a movie’s highlights, as well as other trivia about the film.

Unfortunately, “MonsterVision” was canceled in July 2000 with its final episode airing in September of that same year.  Gone but certainly not forgotten, “MonsterVision” will always hold a special place in my heart.  I still hold out hope we haven’t seen the last of Joe Bob hosting all-night monster movie marathons.

As the man himself has said, “The drive-in will never die.”

 

 

 

The Prince or President?

It seems a lot of people in the media (and elsewhere) have been surprised by the quickness of President Donald J. Trump’s actions recently, even going so far as to call his maneuvers “chaotic.”  They really shouldn’t be surprised by what he’s doing, though.  Allow me to explain…

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, “The Prince”

If the above quote doesn’t accurately describe what Donald Trump has been up against since first announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, I don’t know what does.

“One can reach the position of ruler through the favor of either the common citizens or the nobles, because the two classes are found in every city. The nobles want only to oppress the people, and the people want only to avoid oppression…When the nobles feel pressure from the people, they try to make one of their own the prince in order to protect their privileges. When the people feel they cannot resist the nobles, they try to make a fellow citizen prince in order to protect their rights. You can never satisfy the nobles by acting honorably, but you can satisfy the people.”

The People’s Champion

Donald J. Trump ascended to power on the promise of returning power of the U.S. government to its citizens. Trump is loathed by the elite, our modern day nobles, which is why they oppose him so viciously.

One of Their Own

Crooked Hillary Clinton was not chosen by the people. If the libtards had their way, Crazy Bernie would’ve been the democratic nominee. Clearly, the elite was unsure of how cooperative and/or capable Sanders would be in such a role and decided instead to confer that position upon Clinton, an unscrupulous puppet, ready and willing to do their bidding, to protect their interests not ours.

“Regardless of how a prince comes to power, he should make every effort to win the good will of the people, or in times of trouble, he will have no hope. A prince must not delude himself about the reliability of the people, but nonetheless, a prince who makes good preparations and knows how to command will never be betrayed by them. A wise ruler will contrive to keep all his citizens dependent on him and on the state, and then he will be able to trust them.”

At any point, Trump could’ve chosen to pander to any number of the Left’s bread and butter groups: racial minorities, the LGBT community, Muslims, etc. But he didn’t. Instead, he chose his constituents masterfully — aligning himself with law and order by association with the military/police and 2nd Amendment supporters, morality by association with Christians and Pro Life advocates, the hardworking everyman by association with those who lost their jobs through outsourcing or illegal immigration, etc.

Which begs the question, which constituents did the Left choose to court?  The worst our society has to offer — criminals, illegal aliens, domestic terror groups like Black Lives Matter and their sympathizers, Welfare cases, sexually irresponsible Pro-Choice advocates, feminists, etc.

The contrast couldn’t have been more stark.

If the lamestream media is truly “surprised” by Trump’s actions, it’s only because they’ve been used to dealing with all talk, no action politicians, and Trump’s a completely different animal.

Personally, I don’t think the media is surprised by what Trump’s doing, or at least not to the degree they’re letting on.  They know just enough to try and put their own #FakeNews spin on everything he does, in an effort to undermine what he seeks to achieve.

You want to know the real reason Trump’s been so busy since taking office, and why he’s getting so much done so quickly?

“Cruel acts may be justified when they are done all at once to establish a prince’s power (but not repeated) and turned to the benefit of his subjects. Cruel acts are done badly when they increase over time. A conqueror should decide how many injuries he must inflict up front and do them all at once to keep his subjects from constantly resenting them. But benefits should be handed out gradually, so that people savor them. Above all, a prince should live with his subjects in such a way that no good or bad situation can force him to change his conduct.”

If you’re going to rip off a Band-Aid, what’s the better way to do it?  Doing it quickly and all-at-once, or dragging it out so you can feel every little hair get pulled out by its root?

Exactly.

Trump is following the advice laid out in “The Prince” to the letter.  You may have seen this same sort of Machiavellian stratagem of “settling all business at once” at the end of a little movie called “The Godfather”:

*SPOILER ALERT*

 

#FakeNews can try and claim President Trump’s actions are “chaotic” all it wants, but make no mistake, no actions taken by Trump are willy-nilly.  They’re all part of an elaborate strategy, his master plan to make America great again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Jon Stewart is a Chicken Shit

Here’s something that’s always pissed me off about Jon Stewart — and why I consider him to be a chicken shit.  When he was host of “The Daily Show,” he’d frequently call out others’ actions, but if anyone tried calling him out, he’d hide behind the fact his show was a “comedy.”

To see him “in action” doing this, I’ve provided the following clip:

Essentially, the political-comedy genre allows a comedian to:

  • Use their celebrity as a platform to get public attention
  • Dip their toe in political waters by calling out actions of politicians/pundits, etc.
  • If ever they find themselves on the receiving end of criticism, cop out behind “it’s just a joke.”

If a comedian makes a statement, is it their real opinion or part of their “shtick”?  This provides them a certain amount of cover —  If a comment is well received, they can own it as their own belief.  If not, they can claim it merely a “comedic misfire.”

Politicians clearly aren’t afforded this same luxury.  Before Trump (B.T.), if a politician made an off-color remark or a joke that fell flat, it very likely could have cost them their political race, or possibly even their career.

The problem is, a comedian can “hit” a politician, but a politician can’t hit them back.  Why?  Because “it’s just a joke” when a comedian does it, but it’s considered “mean-spirited” if a politician responds in kind.  Comedians clearly have no problem with such hypocrisy, as Bill Maher frequently pulls this same kind of dodgy bullshit.

Comics are instigators who use a defense mechanism similar to “You wouldn’t hit a guy in glasses, would you?” when challenged.  This is what needs to happen to them when they try and pull that shit:

It’s interesting to note that when the shoe’s on the other foot, Stewart isn’t so good at taking a joke at his own expense.  Here’s a clip of Seth MacFarlane on Piers Morgan’s show talking about an experience he had after parodying Stewart on “Family Guy.”:

Hey Stewart, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, pal.