Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rickey's Wednesday Wallop

In the off chance that you hadn’t already noticed, Rickey likes alliteration (particularly that of the consonance variety) just a little too much. Look for Rickey to further alienate and bewilder his readers by employing kennings and referring to the sea as “the whale path” sometime in the not too distant future. Anyhow, here are a few midweek housekeeping items Rickey’s been meaning to bring to the forefront ’round here.

Rickey hadn’t gotten a chance to mention it earlier, but belated kudos to the New York Giants for overcoming the Packers to earn themselves a Superbowl berth. It’s a crowning achievement. If you actually proceed here, and scroll down to the bottom, you can read the following brilliant forecast from Rickey made in August of this past year:

“No way in hell will the Giants be playing in Winter, '08”

So, yeah, about that... But in all fairness, unlike all the other sports bobble heads, at least we’re owning up to being completely mistaken in our prediction. This was well before anyone knew who Sam Madison was or suspected that Jarrod Lorenzen’s efforts wouldn’t be required before season’s end. And we look forward to watching a humiliated Bret Favre return next season to firmly cement his legacy of greatness by throwing into triple coverage all year long. Rickey’s not entirely sure how the Giants made it this far, but we get the feeling that no matter what, they’re just happy to be where they are right now. And so are we all. Rickey is pretty damned excited to see what Big Blue is capable of doing against a ridiculously overrated Patriots defense and an allegedly injured Tom Brady. And Rickey takes back what he previously said about a New York/New England Superbowl matchup alienating football fans. After pondering on it, Rickey doesn’t really care what fat cheese munching fucks from the Midwest landlocked red state residents think about an all-northeast Superbowl—it’s a welcome reminder of precisely where the corridors of power reside in this great country of ours.

What, too bitter? Ok, we’ll dial it down a bit with something more universal: movies! Recently, Rickey spent some time living the sedentary life and catching up on some lesser known films that he (and possibly you) have missed in 2007.

First up was “Waitress,” which has earned Rickey’s highly distinguished pick of “least annoying chick flick of 2007.” That’s right guys, if you need a decent date movie, try this one on for size—it’s shockingly bearable and viewing it will leave one's testicles remarkably intact. In fact, we’ll go a step further and tell you that it’s sweet, simple, and downright charming and funny. Rickey and Ms. Henderson both dug it and given the opportunity, we feel confident that you will too. For the ladies, it starts the dreamy Nathan Fillon. And for the gents, the always fetching Cheryl Hines (the hell with Keri Russel).

Next up is “3:10 to Yuma.” Why don’t movie studios make Westerns anymore? Has there been a cinematic genre as completely ignored as the Western in the past ten years? But producers have no problems flooding the market with Keira Knightley’s latest bland period piece? (Rickey swears, she made that “Bend it Like Beckham movie, then donned a wig and corset and never looked back). Argh, things like this frustrate Rickey to no end. Anyway check this Yuma film out: it stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale jawing and shooting at each other over notions of family, duty and honor in the Wild West. Granted, it’s certainly not on the same level as “Rio Bravo” or “Unforgiven,” but this is a solid addition to the genre nonetheless. Check it out.

Rickey also got a chance to look at David Cronenberg’s latest offering, "Eastern Promises." Alright, look, this is a terrific little flick about the Russian mafia operating in London starring Vigo Mortensen. But we feel obligated to warm you: right smack in the middle of the film is the most horrific display of male nudity you will ever witness in a movie. Here’s the scenario: two goons ambush Viggo in a bathhouse with knives. Viggo is cut and wounded badly but counters by wresting his attackers. Viggo’s towel falls off in the scuffle. The towel stays off for a good 4 minutes of film while brutal and bloody naked man-wrestling continues. Total calamity ensues in the Henderson household:

Rickey: Oh no, oh please no no no no no… I do not like where this is headed…

Rickey: Yep, shit, there it is: it’s out and flopping about. Man-cock on my freaking HD television, lovely. Why in fuck would an actor agree to something like this? Why couldn’t the movie just give me a normal fight scene?

Rickey: What in the name of sweet Christ is that anyway? It looks like a falcon’s nest with a salt shaker in the middle. Where’s wardrobe in all this?

Rickey: Shit, why can’t he just turn his back to the camera?! Argh, no, even when he does it’s still hiding nothing. Jesus, there’s blood everywhere, how is he still fighting?

Rickey: Fuck you David Cronenberg, fuck you for making me sit through this, you sick sadistic prick.

Rickey: The horror, the horror…

Ms. Henderson: Ok, I think it’s over now.

Rickey: Really, it’s safe? Are you sure? I can come out now? Oh fuck no, that one’s still alive! Now Viggo’s on top of him! Why is he on top of him? Why god, why?!

Rickey’s recommendation: if you do see this movie (which you should because it’s otherwise a terrific film) fast forward through the aforementioned terror. It’s pure nightmare fuel. Meanwhile, Ms. Henderson was cackling the whole damned time.

And while we’re on the subject of monstrous horror, Rickey wrapped up the weekend with a viewing of Cloverfield.” You know the premise already: a mammoth beastie shows up in NYC and the whole thing is filmed in hand-held camera style. The film is scary, loud, and intense as all hell—pretty much what that U.S. version of Godzilla should have been—and it effectively captures the ground level feeling of “what the hell is that?” that’s missing from so many monster movies. Furthermore, this is one pissed off 40 story tall whale/crab/bat/lizard thing. We’re talking some serious “I’m mad at my hideous sea monster mother and am taking it out by going apeshit on New Yorkers” kind of stuff. You really haven’t seen havoc of this manner in a movie, not like this.

But here’s where it gets a little messy: like the 1950’s Godzilla, this movie is very much the product of an era of deep rooted social anxieties. And if all the explosions and dust clouds weren’t enough, there’s a chilling 9-11 visual cue towards the end of the flick in the form of two destroyed Columbus Circle towers. Just once, we’d love to a monster stomping through the Midwest, War of the Worlds style, rather than NYC. But you know what? It is pretty darned nifty to see an M1 Abrams rolling down a midtown street, unleashing hellfire missiles at a marauding monster. So what the hell, turn off your brain and pony up the $20—"Cloverfield" makes for an entertaining night out at the movies.

We'll admit it, Rickey feels a little dirty now having recommended that. So let’s transition from low art to high culture to wrap things up and hopefully redeem ourselves just a bit. Rickey knows that your Wednesdays are tough. It’s hump day: Friday is so near and yet so far at the same time. Therefore, we like to post a little hand picked YouTubery from time to time to brighten up your day. Today, we’re veering toward the highly motivational with the following clip below--so shut up, click play, and take your culture like a man goddammit.

We don’t care who you are or what kind of music you’re into, Leonard Bernstein conducting Brahms’ “Violin Concerto in D” with Gidon Kremert flailing a violin about will pump you up (especially all you aspiring serial killers out there). Call us nuts, but we kind of dig the passion and intensity on display here. Happy Wednesday, you inglorious bastards. And remember, a click on Humor-Blogs is a click for victory.

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Smitty said...

Rickey doesn’t really care what the fat cheese munching fucks from the Midwest

From the gang of "fat cheese munching (and beer drinking) fucks from the Midwest" over at Around the Keg, please kindly go and fuck yourself.


As for Cloverfield...I saw it last night with another group of fat cheese munching fucks from the Midwest. That movie is some serious shit. Best monster movie I've seen in years...and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that it captured the on-the-street-levell "what the shit IS that" feeling.

It was funny, I leaned over to one of my buddies (also a fat cheese munching fuck from the Midwest)part way through the beginning when the main character is all mopey about losing his potential girlfriend to another guy, and said "something better blow the fuck up pretty soon here or I'm gonna want my money back."

Please accept my apologies, J.J. Abrams. Wow. Everything blew up.

Rickey Henderson said...

Alright, alright, in the interests of assured mutual respect, Rickey changed it...

(Rickey can be quite the smarmy Yankee from time to time).

Smitty said...

You are kind and charitable, Mr. Henderson.

Cloverfield. Incredible.

AmyV said...

we just saw Eastern Promises, too. And despite the fact that I didn't mind seeing Viggo nekkid, I do have to admit that it all went on a little long in that manner. And I love violent fight scenes. At the very least, that scene was bizarre.

Rickey Henderson said...

It was 100% pure Cronenberg--fixated on the relationship of sex & violence. By filming that scene he's pretty much saying: "hey, you want a brutal fight scene? fine, I'll give you the most brutal fight scene you've ever seen. Something that '300' wishes it had the stomach to attempt."

Toasty Joe said...

Much to Mrs. Toasty's chagrin, most of my knowledge of classical music is derived from Bugs Bunny cartoons. Hence, because that particular piece was not in "What's Opera, Doc?" or "The Rabbit of Seville," I don't know it.

mr. met said...

JJ Abrams did Lost. For that, I am forever indebted to his genius.

However, that naked fighting scene sounds like a non-starter for me. There are plenty of movies out there that I have not seen and I have to ask myself, "will watching that movie make my life better in any way?" I might be entertained for a night, but it ultimately does not seem worth it.

If you want a good supposed chick flick that is much better than expected, I say watch Home Fries. I know what you are thinking, but I would highly suggest it as it is a bit twisted and I can assure you there are no naked men fighting.

Toasty Joe said...

Mr. Met's comment raises an interesting point. What is the best (non-porno) movie that happens to feautre full frontal male nudity? I'm going with "Life of Brian," in which Graham Chapman's little soldier makes a brief appearance.

MCConfrontation said...

The Crying Game is probably the WORST non-porno to feature full frontal male nudity, but I'd have to go with Boogie Nights as the best non-porno (even if it's about pornos) flick showing someones wedding tackle.

Rickey Henderson said...

Rickey leaves you bastards alone of a few minutes and look what happens... The best film to feature male full frontal?!

Alright, well if Rickey had to pick, he probably go with "Pulp Fiction."

Toasty Joe said...

Pulp Fiction? Whose weiner was in that? I know Bruce Willis's hind quarters got a fair amount of screen time.

Rickey Henderson said...

Presumably it's Bruce's. Rickey doesn't remember it either (he tends to erase that sort of thing from his memory) but the movie is listed with the "Male Frontal Nudity" tag on IMDB.

Or maybe Rickey's just thinking about that other movie, "Pulp Friction."

Mark said...

Rickey, I sympathize with your "oh noes!" moments, both with I Am Legend and Eastern Promises -- as soon as you see the dog in I Am Legend, you think, "uh oh, I know where this is going." Same with the steam-bath scene.

Cronenberg is a freak. Have you seen Crash? I mean, the guy makes up sexual fetishes, and then bases movies about them. That said, Eastern Promises is an awesome movie, and that scene does prove that Viggo's character is a serious badass.

I always enjoy watching New York get trashed, incinerated, frozen, covered with sand, etc. It would be nice to see it happen to LA a bit more often too.

Rickey Henderson said...

Mark: yeah, Rickey's seen Crash--not one of Cronenberg's better films, but yes, it has that sex/death theme that Cronenberg loves to hit on. Rickey's a big fan of vintage Cronenberg flicks like "Scanners," "Naked Lunch," and "Videodrome". His more recent stuff such as "Spider" isn't too bad either.

MCConfrontation said...

I believe the full frontal male nudity tag for Pulp Fiction was from the scene when Marcellus Wallace is getting ass blasted by Zed before Bruce comes through and lets him loose. Ving Rhames then proceeds to blow a shotgun blast right into Zed's junk.

"You alright?"
"Nah man, I'm pretty fuckin far from alright."

Toasty Joe said...

"You lost all your L.A. privileges, dig?"

Diesel said...

3:10 to Yuma kicked ass, despite having an even worse title than Michael Clayton.