Thursday, August 29, 2019

Righteous Gemstones

Coach and I started watching The Righteous Gemstones on HBO this week.  This (dark) American comedy television series follows "the world famous Gemstone televangelist family, which has a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."  The series, created by Danny McBride, premiered August 18, 2019 on HBO and stars McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson and Adam DeVine.

Shot and set in South Carolina, The Righteous Gemstones focuses on a family of evangelists:  The Patriarch Eli Gemstone (Goodman) is part preacher and part spiritual bully, mostly still reeling from the death of wife and empire cornerstone Aimee-Leigh (played by Jennifer Nettles in flashbacks). Eldest son Jesse (McBride) revels in the excess of his lifestyle, supported by smokeshow wife Amber (Cassidy Freeman).  Youngest son Kelvin (Devine) is a youth ministry hot-shot with an ambiguous private life that includes the ubiquitous presence of former satanist Keefe (Tony Cavalero). Finally, there's middle child Judy (Patterson).  Judy's neglected and rarely allowed to be part of the male-dominated, faith-based circus that has given the family a vast compound with an amusement park and a character-specifically designed house for each kid and his/her individual dysfunctional family.
The family has a string of megachurches throughout the South, a ministry that spreads the word of Jesus Christ around the world and an evangelically solid reputation built on a successful television show that Eli and Aimee-Leigh hosted in the 1980s. What they don’t have, or at least their three children don’t have, is a moral code of any kind. They’re all bullies with a very high-profile pulpit.   Jesse is the most ethically compromised of the bunch. He lies to his wife, insults his siblings and kids at every opportunity and indulges private habits that involve cocaine and prostitutes.  
Jesse, Kelvin, and Judy spend most of their time tearing each other down and doing their best to earn the favor of their father. That’s apparent in the very first, funny scene, where Kelvin and Jesse have joined their dad in Chengdu, China, to assist with a mass 24-hour baptism. While standing in the middle of a pool and ushering believers into a bonded relationship with God, Jesse and Kelvin start arguing over who’s doing a better job of dunking followers’ heads under the water. Eventually, their disagreement devolves into a splash fight and then somehow the wave-pool function gets activated. What was supposed to be a sacred experience turns into total shit show. 
Danny McBride has an affinity for frustrated and unsuccessful men.  Danny McBride makes shows that broadcast at a very specific and targeted frequency, or maybe a very specific volume. On Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals, characters rarely spoke when they could shout, never hung up a phone when they could throw that phone to the ground and smash it into a million pieces.  It's been a McBride trademark that as his men are pitted against one another in mutually assured destruction, the women sneak in and, by design, steal the story.

With his central role in The Righteous Gemstones, the actor and writer-director has pulled off a frustrated, unsuccessful man hat trick.  Like the other characters McBride has played on HBO, he’s basically an asshole. But unlike Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down's disgraced major league pitcher determined to get another at-bat in the sun) and Neal Gamby (a high-school administrator who gets passed over for the principal gig and — with help in season one from a fellow irked white man — makes the life of the woman who wins the position a living hell in Vice Principals), who engendered empathy given how much they have fallen and failed in life, Jesse hasn’t done any of that. He has a beautiful, loyal wife, three healthy children, a laughably huge home, and an enormous amount of inherited wealth. He’s been given everything and has seemingly done little to deserve it. There is no good reason for him to be such an ass.   

      The Gemstone cast is incredibly strong. Anchored by John Goodman, Adam Devine, Edi Patterson and McBride, they lampoon megachurches with enthusiastically performed coarse language.  The Gemstones are devout, but you'll spend much of the time questioning which members of the family believe the message they're selling — denominationally nonspecific — and which are driven solely by opulence that their professed creed has yielded. No matter their sincerity, they're all dedicated in some way and The Righteous Gemstones critiques them and their family unit far more than it critiques either religion in general or the commodified piety the Gemstones provide for the largely unseen masses, who definitively are not treated with contempt.  The characters belittle, emasculate and eviscerate each other.  
The show itself loves these characters and illustrating every aspect of their world, from the meticulous detailing of each Gemstone home to their never-arbitrarily-chosen wardrobes or hairstyles, including McBride's curly pompadour (with graying mutton chops for gravity) and Devine's youth-group-friendly spikiness. McBride is fascinated with the ugly side of masculine competitiveness — peacocking stripped to its subtext-free essence via male full-frontal nudity — and much of the show's humor comes from the unfiltered and uncouth bantering and from a cartoonish escalation of tension.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Real Deal

Jessi Combs—vehicle builder, racer, fabricator, TV personality, and all-around automotive legend—was killed on Tuesday in a crash while attempting to break her own land-speed record in southeast Oregon. She was 36. The crash occurred as Combs was piloting her jet-powered land-speed car on the Alvord Desert, a dry lake bed where several land-speed records have been set. According to local reports, the crash happened shortly after 4pm local time.

Combs held the title of "fastest woman on four wheels" after setting a record of 398 mph in her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in 2013. More recently, she had piloted that same car to 483.227 mph in a single shakedown run in October 2018, though that run ended prematurely with mechanical troubles. (Governing bodies require two back-to-back runs in opposite directions to set an official speed record.) Combs was a legend in the automotive world. Trained in fabrication and hot-rod building at WyoTech, she soon made her way to automotive television. Combs was a host, builder, and technical expert on shows like Xtreme 4x4, Overhaulin', Truck U, and Two Guys Garage. She brought about Velocity channel's All Girls Garage, and was a host and builder on a season of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters.  When not on camera, Combs competed in a wide variety of racing venues. She was the first woman to place at Ultra4's King of the Hammers; she took home a Class 10 podium finish at the Baja 1000; and she ran in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, an all-women rally race. She was even the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen, racing a twin-engine 1913 Ford Model T.

Combs joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team as driver in 2013. Her goal was to pilot the car (built from a decommissioned fighter jet) beyond 512 mph, the record for Fastest Woman on Earth, set in 1976 by Kitty O'Neil.

Combs' team member Terry Madden confirmed her death in an Instagram post this morning:
So I don’t know how to say any of this but it all needs said. I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her. She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know. Unfortunately we lost her yesterday in a horrific accident, I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her!! I’m not ok, but she is right here keeping my going-I made her a promise that if this didn’t go well that I would make sure and do good with it, please help me with that, you are all going to see things on news please believe non of them.. we the family have drafted a release and it will come out today with more proper info, but I was just woke up by the media tracking me down and I need everyone of her true friends to do what she would want “take a deep breath, relax” and do good things with this. Please donate to nothing, I know there will be people try, we are finishing the documentary as she wished and the world will know the truth and her foundation will use those funds to do amazing things in this world and make her legacy live on properly. In the coming days her family and I will get the proper channels put together that you can then donate to that foundation but until you hear it from me wait please-I don’t want some asshole profiting off this (all ready had one try to sell us a video)... . . Love you all and thank you all for being such amazing friends to her, she dedicated her life to helping support others dreams and I promise I will continue that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I hope y'all are happy now

This was a very, very heavy John Paul Jones episode and I'm here for it!  Finally!  I’m still processing the weirdness of it all, but his adorkability helps.

Who would have thought that the romantic hero we all needed was blond, baffling, and bilious? Who knew the man we were all looking for was someone who would laugh at his own jokes like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas while talking like Ralph Lauren Spicoli. Me!  That's who!  I've been saying it all along people!  Pay attention!  There’s only one man shaving his own nipples and cartwheeling into our hearts, and his name is JOHN PAUL JONES — and, yes, you have to say all three.  Finally, we got what we (I) needed: two ROCK-SOLID HOURS of JOHN PAUL JONES madness.
We start off with Derek being sad about Demi breaking things off with him.  Kristina and Tayshia are looking for someone else to date. Kristina recommends Derek for Tayshia and she loves the idea so much, she heads off to end things with John Paul Jones right away.  Wait.  What?  I mean What.  The.  Actual.  Hell??  Look, none of us (other than JPJ.  "She's really the only woman I can envision a long-term relationship with" he says) really thought that the Tayshia and John Paul Jones “relationship” was going to stick, right? But Tayshia says she can’t see JPJ being her “future husband,” so she gently encourages him to go on a date with one of the new women scheduled to be arriving this week. This made me so sad.  JPJ is into her and tells her she's a pretty looking Beyoncé with really big eyes.  Wow.  That's romantic.  “I just want to make sure you’re happy,” she says. In other words, I’m gonna play the field, bro, and you should too.  Instead of Tayshia framing the conversation as her wanting to explore other connections, she asks John Paul Jones, "Is there anyone else you want to see come down the stairs?" When he says that he wouldn't really want to go on dates with anyone other than her, she insists that he should go on dates if he wants. Really, JPJ. Like, you should totally go on dates if you want to. 
So how does this manifest? Tayshia has just decided that she’s ready to settle down with a Serious Man, so she’s no longer interested in an untroubled boy like JOHN PAUL JONES. It’s this odd combination of “He’s Older So He’s a Man” and “I Need a HUSBAND” that leads to Tayshia unleashing the Chaotic Wholesome that is JOHN PAUL JONES into the world. She tells him that he should take advantage of everything Paradise has to offer.
And Paradise has to offer Tahzjuan.  You rememeber Tahjuan, don't you?  Tazjuan "I was there for two seconds."  From Colton's season?  Well, Tahzjuan just walked down the stairs, and she has her hard, little heart set on JPJ. Tahzjuan is really hot.  For real.  She's sweaty and overheating.  I don't know if she's pre-menapausal or if this is poor planning on  her part.  She didn’t clearly didn't pack well before heading into Paradise. This bitch did not buy sunscreen. This bitch did not pick out a setting spray or matte foundation. She also did not familiarize herself with the temperature in Mexico. She’s too warm and she’s not having fun. Also, Tahzjuan is saying everything a bad bitch would say but she does not have the actual attitude of a bad bitch. She’s talking smack but she’s also about to cry. “I’m here to take everyone’s man … [sniffle].”  Also, as Blake confirms, "She wasn't at Stagecoach."  I see what you did there Blake.  Very funny. 
Tahzjuan asks JPJ on her date and he agrees. After taking a shower and doing some manscaping, he says, "Well, Tayshia, I know what I'm looking for. I'm looking for you. But if you really want me to go on this fucking date, I'll do it."  JPJ escorts Tahzjuan to dinner, though he’s still very much hung up on Tayshia. It also seems like he might have arrived at dinner already drunk, or high, or maybe he’s just insane?
The date is one of the oddest ones in BiP history. For some reason, both Tahzjuan and JPJ are extremely giggly to where they can barely talk. He asks her the "epitimology" of her name. They talk about whether you're supposed to eat the "date food." Tahzjuan seems to simultaneously think it's fake and will give her salmonella, and she might have a point because JPJ seems to get sick after eating the congealed date food. (It may have something to do with why he barely function the whole next day. Just saying.) After JPJ defies the laws of Bachelor date food, they go swimming and make out. Tahzjuan says, "John Paul Jones might be the strangest man I've ever met, but I love strange." She really does, as you'll see. "I'm having the best time!" she says. 
Meanwhile, Haley and JPJ are getting along famously on their date.  This is a match made in blonde hair heaven.  He agrees to her date offer. They ride horses. When they come across a beach, JPJ says, “I should have brought my goggles.” That’s a man who lives to get wet.They drink champagne. He rubs sunblock all over her butt. Things go well.

When they get back from their date, Tahzjuan declares that horseback riding is “lame” and demands to know whether Haley and JPJ kissed (they did). It’s very awkward.  Tahz’s “jokes” that she considered spitting in Haley’s wine. She also keeps going on about how she and JPJ are seagulls while Haley is a pigeon.  The Twin steps away so JPJ can sort things out with Tahz, which he does by making a rambling toast that ends with, “I’m physically and emotionally drained right now.”

Now that Derek has had 12 whole hours to get over his breakup with Demi, Tayshia thinks he’s ready to start dating again. “Derek is someone that stood out to me since day one,” she says.
Unfortunately, Derek still can’t even talk about Demi without crying, and he’s not even sure he should stay in Paradise. “I don’t know how to take a next step while I’m here,” he says sadly. Tayshia tells him to take some time and reflect before he makes any decisions.
Meanwhile, back at the resort, Caelynn is talking to Demi and bartender Wells about Dean.  While she doesn't seem to have asked for advice, they have a lot of it. “I’ve never felt more comfortable and more myself with anyone,” gushes Caelynn. She wants to push aside her worries about Dean’s “reputation,” but Demi warns Caelynn to keep her guard up. “He has a way of making people feel really special,” she says. “You need to lay down the law.” Wells agrees: “No one’s been able to, like, wrangle him.”
They think she needs to make her feelings very clear to him, so if he leaves her for someone else, he won't be able to claim he didn't know where she stood. Bachelor in Paradise is weird in that you don't necessarily want to define the relationship after only a few days together, but if you don't, the person will keep going on dates. (And sometimes even if you do make yourself clear, they make out with someone else in a pool right in front of you.)
Caelynn says in her confessional, "I guess it's my mistake for thinking everyone comes here with the intention of having a relationship." Um, it's not your fault. That's the point of the show. Sure, not everyone ends up being there for the right reasons, but they are at least operating under the general idea that they'd be cool with dating someone. As we'll talk about further down, Kristina seems to be cruising by just so she can hangout at a resort, but even that is different than starting to date someone and then telling them you don't really want to date anyone on a dating show.

 We also see Blake telling Caitlin that she’s “100 percent” getting his rose.  Oh hey, there’s Kristina! She wants to make sure that Blake is making “good use” of his rose: “If you’re not sure about Caitlin, you shouldn’t lead her on.” Then she pulls out her big guns: “I kept your ass around.” The reverse pep talk seems to work because Blake then turns around and tells Caitlin that he’s “not 100 percent sure” what he’s going to do with his rose. Comedy! And also, as Caitlin puts it, a pretty “s—-y” move.
JPJ, meanwhile, goes from doing cartwheels on the beach with Tahzjuan to play-fighting with Haley on the daybed about whether it’s rude to say “yo” to your girlfriend. But in his heart of hearts, he still wants Tayshia. She, however, wants something else.

It’s time for the cocktail party. The unoccupied women all head in with an agenda. Tayshia is going to lock down Derek.  After a crazy couple of days in Paradise, JPJ is still into Tayshia. We find out more about his feelings when Tayshia and Derek hit it off at the party before the rose ceremony. Derek tells Tayshia, "We have this friendship weird thing and I would like to break that barrier and see where this takes us."
JPJ pulls Demi aside to hang out with her and Kristian is upset to see Demi maybe flirting with someone. She says, “This is not what I signed up for.” That's funny.  I didn't realize she actually signed up for this.  She also makes the really great point that there’s no one there for Kristian to be tempted by. So they’re just not even pretending to be part of the show anymore. We’re just watching two people go on a couple’s trip.
It’s time for the rose ceremony and Chris says they’re going to be doing things a little differently. Demi is going to give Kristian a rose first and — oh, that’s it? Okay. “Paradise is all about finding love, no matter what that looks like,” says Harrison, adding that he’s going to “change the rules” by letting Demi hand out the first rose of the evening.   Obviously Demi and the producers discussed the possibility of her bringing Kristian to Paradise before she even arrived. 

The episode ends with Dean taking Caelynn down to the beach to talk. No one knows if it's going to be positive or not, including Caelynn. She's even more into him at this point, because he gave her a birthday cake at the cocktail party. Maybe he had a change of heart on the whole going to dinner parties and talking about emotions thing.  We all can see the breakup (ON HER BIRTHDAY) coming a mile away.
To be continued …

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Rico Bye!

Paradise giveth, and Paradise taketh away.  Last night Paradise  took Jordan and Christian away from the show but not before giving Bachelor Nation a look at their piñata throwdown in its full, ridiculous glory.

The last episode of ABC's Bachelor in Paradise left us literally in the middle of a physical fight. A physical fight that started because of a piñata. The Mayor (Jordan Kimball) decided to knock down the piñata Rico Suave (Christian Estrada) had set up for Numnuts Nicole which then led to them pushing each other back and forth...

And this is where last night's episode picks up.  After the pushing escalates, The Mayor of Paradise body slams Rico Suave off of one of those daybed platform things and they continue trying to fight each other on the beach. At this point, security rushes in to pull them off each other. Jordan moves away from the situation with no problem, but Rico Suave breaks free and tries to run back to The Mayor.  Jordan. Twice. Of course, the, like, eight security guards catch him easily. Rico also takes off his shirt while security is walking him away.  Because.  Ya' know.  He's Rico Suave.   

This goes on for a few minutes, even after producers and security get involved. Christian keeps trying to break free to pummel Jordan, who keeps calling him a “bitch.” “I would be pissed if I was Christian, too,” mumbles Blake, while Mike faults “both parties” for being stupid. As for Nicole, her reign as Queen of Paradise has come to an abrupt and sobering end. “It’s one thing to be, like, this fiery guy, but it’s another thing to put someone in danger and, like, physically hurt someone.”
The production team agrees. “Anybody who touches anybody else, we can’t have it,” a producer tells Rico.  Though the rest of the contestants are worried that production is going to be shut down completely (again), Troop Leader Chris Harrison arrives to tell them that The Mayor and Rico have been sent home… and it’s back to business as usual in Paradise.  "We had to send two men home," Nicole says, dramatically. Well, they served their time.
Speaking of NumNuts, with Rico Suave on the next flight back to Miami, she conveniently finds comfort in Clay Harbor once again. She wanted a man who would be more aggressive in pursuing her, she says of the fight, "but not like this." Nicole and Clay kiss on a daybed next to what appears to be an unacknowledged plate of petit fours. All is well.
Also with Jordan and Christian gone, now only two men are set to leave at the rose ceremony. Two men gone means two more men get to stay this week. But who will give Paradise’s current floaters — Cam, Kevin, Wills, and JPJ — a rose? One possible source: Onyeka. “I have the power!” she says. “Like, woo me.” Anyone? Anyone? But no one seems interesting in forming a “connection” with her.  The rose that is most up in the air is Hannah Godwin's.  Poor Hannah's debating between Vitamin B and Vitamin D.  I see what you did there Hannah! 
Dylan takes his shot by setting up a picnic spread complete with a cheese plate and Hannah’s favorite candy, gummy worms.   Blake tries to top that by commissioning a mariachi quartet by saying, "Tonight I want to remind you why you have a little bit of a crush on me" and they swing dance (Blake's signature move).  Nobody swing dances to Cielito Lindo! Even so, Hannah LOVES it.   Blake and Hannah start making out, right where Dylan can see them. "Everyone’s like, 'Don't watch,'" says Dylan. "I'm like, 'I need to see it.'" He cries.  Man, can this guy cry!  Again with the smooching Blake right in front of Dylan! “Hannah, come on, baby,” says Mike The Man. “Don’t do my boy Dylan like that… You know better.” “She’s putting me through so much s—,” says Dylan through tears. “It’s not fair.” Again with the crying.  
On to the Rose Ceremony! 
Before the ceremony even begins, Onyeka Ehie announces that she'll be leaving. As she says in her confessional, "I just feel like I've been passed by by every person here ... The same girls are going on the same dates." That really sucks. It also sucks that this is hard for her to the point where she feels she can't just chill on the beach and drink margaritas with Wells Adams. You can tell the pressure really got to her.

Chris Harrison is mid-preamble when Onyeka interrupts. “Can I say something really quick?”
“I can’t give out a rose to anyone tonight,” she says tearfully. “I’ve met amazing friends, so I’m not leaving here with nothing.”  With this revelation, now three guys are going home.

The next day, a new lady enters Paradise. I vaguely remember this woman from Colton’s season of The Bachelor, but nothing really jumps out.  After getting the polite brush-off from Dean, Derek, and JPJ, Caitlin decides to ask her old Stagecoach buddy Blake on the date.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  In what has to be the greatest moment of the night, Blake confirms, "We met at Stagecoach.  Nothing happened!” Are you shitting me right now??  Good lord, was there some kind of Bachelor Nation tent at the festival or something? In case anyone was wondering about Stagecoach:  here's the link to the 2019 line-up:  Some pretty big names.  2020 dates for the Indo, CA festival have been announced:  April  24-26. 
Either way, Blake is just happy that someone is into him. Their date activity is Tantric yoga.  Let’s get those sexual chakras flowing.  
After the intense stretching, Blake fills Caitlin in on his Paradise (and pre-Paradise) history with the women on the beach. It is a long monologue punctuated only by Caitlin’s confused “Uh-huhs.” When Blake’s finished, Caitlin assures him that it’s all “fine,” and they make out in the pool. 
Producers are all, Don’t get too happy too quick, Blake! As soon as he and Caitlin return from their date, Sydney finds a date card addressed to Dylan. Of course, he asks Hannah to come, much to Blake’s chagrin. “It sucks that they’re, like, dating right in front of me,” he complains.
Moving away from that mess, Dylan and Hannah finally get some alone time that isn't full of tears and the threat of Hannah and Blake breaking into dance. At dinner, Dylan can’t help but be a little too eager. First, he tells Hannah that the reason he fought so hard for her is because he was inspired by his mom, who fiercely held the family together when his dad was diagnosed with cancer. Then, he drops a partial l-bomb: “I’m starting to fall in love with you.” She doesn’t reciprocate exactly, but Hannah assures Dylan that she is “all in” with him.  Um.  Congratulations??  “I know that she’ll get there,” says creepy Dylan. And cue the Aztec warrior-dancers!
Back at the beach, Katie and Chris are being all flirty and cute. He thinks his sixth Bachelor show might really be the charm. Back in 2015, Chris hit “rock bottom” when he exited Paradise by walking through a beach bonfire. Today, though, he’s “in a better place” and “excited about Katie.”
And Tayshia and John Paul Jones are also all flirty and cute. JPJ admits that he feels "like a nervous schoolboy," "completely incapacitated," and "foolish even going after her." But he also calls Tayshia "the most incredible woman [he's] ever met in [his] life." He can't believe a woman as beautiful as her is giving him the time of day, and even says he's starting to fall in love with her.
JPJ reveals to Tayshia that he was in a serious relationship after college and was close to getting engaged, but he decided she wasn’t the one. “I’ve known for a long time that I’m ready to settle down,” he says. “I’m looking forward to spending more time with you.” Indeed, JPJ is a little sad that he didn’t get to see much of Tayshia until night fell, but she has a perfect excuse: “It’s not my fault that you take 12 naps a day, JPJ!” Wow, this man may be my spirit animal.
“I think it’s bizarre that JPJ and I are hitting it off like we are,” she admits. “He’s extremely intelligent and very good to look at.” And she seems to be into it, going in for a kiss and admitting in confessional interviews that there's a lot more to JPJ than meets the eye. Although what meets the eye is, as she puts it, "a really hot version of Heath Ledger," which is nothing to sneeze at either.  My prediction for season's end is that JPJ and Tayshia won't necessarily walk away engaged, but they will have a cute time in the fantasy suite and leave with each other's final roses.
The final act of this episode however, is all about Demi. Derek, The John Krasinski lookalike, says Demi is helping to heal his “wounded heart.” Unfortunately, Demi is still thinking about Kristian, the woman she was dating back home. “One of them deserves to have all of me.” It’s hard for her to make a choice, Demi continues, when one of her options isn’t there with her in Paradise. Hmmm… something tells me that’s going to change. But first…
Yes, former Bachelorette Hannah Brown has flown all the way to Mexico to give Demi a pep talk about being her true self, etc. As soon as she’s done catching up with Hannah, Demi pulls Derek aside for an “open and honest” and, one would think, share some news with him about how she feels. But instead, it's just the same thing she's been saying all along about liking him and liking the the girl back home.  “I really, really think about [Kristian] a lot, and I have so many feelings for her,” she says. “And I have so many feelings for you, too, and I’m so confused.”   And as he has been all along, Derek is chill and says he just wants to spend whatever time with her he can.  Derek is understandably disappointed, but he believes that they have a “special connection” and he doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship yet. “It’s okay to not know how you feel,” he adds. “I’m not giving up now… I want you in my life.” Awww, is this guy a gem or what?
And the episode ends on a cliffhanger (of course!) with Demi requesting to speak with Chris Harrison. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

November New Releases

Looks like there's a little something for everyone on November 22.  Here's a quick look at the new movies coming out in November: 

November 1

An orphan raised within the Ku Klux Klan attempts to rehabilitate into a better life. The Andrew Heckler-directed film won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

The biography of Harriet Tubman: a real-life hero who led hundreds of slaves to freedom. Cynthia Erivo stars in the Kasi Lemmons-directed drama.

Motherless Brooklyn
A private investigator looks into his mentor's murder in 1950s New York. Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and William Defeo star. Norton also directs the film based on a novel of the same name.

Paradise Hills
Uma (Emma Roberts) awakens on a fairytale island retreat for young women. But sinister intentions and deep-rooted secrets threaten the island paradise as they know it.

Terminator: Dark Fate
Sarah Connor and the original Terminator come to the aid of a new hybrid cyborg-human (Mackenzie Davis), who is eyed as a target by a new Terminator. Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong reprise their roles in the follow-up to Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).  Linda still looks like a bad-ass. 

November 8

Doctor Sleep
The world will shine again in the sequel adaptation to Stephen King's terrifying story, The Shining. Danny (Ewan McGregor), the little boy from the 1980 horror classic, is all grown up now and is battling the personal demons from his terrifying experience at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago.

Honey Boy
Shia LaBeouf writes and stars in the autobiographical story of his childhood and the relationship he shared with his father. Lucas Hedges stars as a young LaBeouf.

Last Christmas
Kate (Emilia Clarke of GOT fame) meets Tom (Henry Golding) at her new job as Santa's elf at a department store. Her life of lousy decision-making then takes a quick turn. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) directs.

US Navy sailors and aviators (Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, and Aaron Eckhart) partake in a major turning point of World War II: the Battle of Midway. Roland Emmerich directs.

Playing with Fire
After rescuing a group of siblings from a fire, a trio of firefighters (John Cena Keegan-Michael Key, and John Leguizamo) must take on their biggest challenge yet: babysitting.  I love John Cena.  He's such a blockhead and plays the buttoned-up / up-tight perfectly. 

November 15

All Rise
Based on the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers, the film follows a 17-year-old honors student who is charged with felony murder. Jennifer Hudson and Jharrel Jerome star.  I hope Jennifer Hudson looks better in this than she does in the new Cats movie. 

Charlie's Angels
A new set of Angels (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska) go global to complete a dire mission. Elizabeth Banks helms the latest reboot of the classic crime-fighting squad.

Ford V. Ferrari
Automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) join together to create a Ford model car that can beat a speedy Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.  Caitrona Balfe co-stars. 

The Good Liar
A wealthy widow (Helen Mirren) finds herself growing fond of a conman (Ian McKellen).  I wish there was a little more info on this film.  Helen Mirron and Ian McKellen are absolute legends. 

The Lodge
Mysterious secrets haunt a young family who find themselves isolated in a remote winter cabin. Riley Keough (Elvis's granddaughter) and Alicia Silverstone star in the chilling psychological thriller.

The Report
Senate staffer Daniel Jones played by Adam Driver (fun fact:  Adam Driver was also in Logan Lucky with Riley Keough) uncovers 'enhanced interrogation techniques' adopted by the government after 9/11. His investigation leads him to discover that the CIA and White House are covering up far more information than originally thought.

November 22

21 Bridges
In an effort to catch a duo of cop killers, an NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman) puts New York City in lockdown.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
A journalist for Esquire (Matthew Rhys) is assigned to a write a profile on the children's television personality, Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks).

Frozen II
Elsa, Anna, and Olaf embark on a new journey to save the kingdom. The animated follow-up finds Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown voicing new characters.

November  27

Knives Out
A dysfunctional family gathering goes terribly wrong after the patriarch is found dead. Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Michael Shannon star in the darkly comedic whodunit murder mystery.

Queen and Slim
During his first date with Queen, Slim has an unfortunate run-in with a cop which leads the couple on a cross-country journey.

Friday, August 16, 2019

October Must-See Movies

Thursday, August 15, 2019

September Sneak Peek

Here's a quick run-down of some of the movies coming out this Fall: 

September 6

Stephen King's "It / Part 2" 
No thanks.  The book scared the ever-loving mess out of me when I read it back in the 80's.  I remember watching the mini-series with Richard Thomas (John Boy from the Waltons) but this sequel to the 2017 release looks terrifying. 

Night Hunter
An online predator, captured with the help of a local vigilante, is connected to crimes far more heinous than anyone expected. Henry Cavill and Alexandra Daddario star.  Henry Cavill is dreamy but I'm not sure if he plays the predator or the vigilante in this one.   

Satanic Panic
A pizza delivery girl makes a trip she'll never forget when she delivers food to a group of Satanists. Chelsea Stardust directs the Rebecca Romijn horror/comedy.  

A young cinema buff makes a trip to Hollywood in 1969–during the era of hippies and Manson. James Franco directs and stars, with Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, and Megan Fox also starring.  Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell?  Take my money please. 

September 13

A field surgeon who has PTSD creates a man out of body parts. B-movie icon Larry Fessenden writes and directs the modern Frankenstein tale.  Yeah.  I don't think so. 

A young girl remains trapped in her boarded-up house at the demand of her father (Emile Hirsch). This film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018 to positive reviews.

Jennifer Lopez leads a group of strippers who decide to hustle wealthy clientele during the early-2000s financial crisis. Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Lizzo, and Constance Wu round out the pack. Cardi B also makes her feature film debut.  JLo looks amazeballs in the photos released by the studio.  However, her last couple of movies haven't done very well and I don't  expect this one to be a blockbuster either. 

The Goldfinch
A young man (Ansel Elgort) must navigate through adulthood as he deals with the trauma caused by the sudden death of his mother when he was only 13 years old. Nicole Kidman and Sarah Paulson also star in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel.  I read the book after everyone raved about it.  I positively HATED it.  I hated everything about it but mostly the characters.  They were some of the most unlikeable characters I've ever read.  I honestly didn't care what happened to any of them.  I don't think the great Nicole Kidman can save them either. 

September 20

Ad Astra
An astronaut travels to the edge of the solar system to solve a mystery that threatens the existence of the human race. Brad Pitt stars alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Liv Tyler.

A man (Seann William Scott) who values family over anything else learns that his violent tendencies might be contagious.  We haven't seen anything from Stiffler in a while.  And I was A-OK with it. 

Downton Abbey
Quite the stir arises when the King and Queen come to visit Downton Abbey. The critically acclaimed television series makes the jump to the big screen at the helm of director Michael Engler.  I've never seen a single episode of the BBC hit series.  My parents are big fans so I'm guessing they will be seeing this in the theater. 

Rambo: Last Blood
After the Mexican cartel kidnaps a friend's daughter, John Rambo heads below the border to seek vengeance. Sylvester Stallone returns in the fifth installment of the Rambo franchise.  Please refer to my comments regarding Stiffler. 

Where's My Roy Cohn?
The acclaimed Sundance documentary dives into the controversial figure who had a hand in shaping the current political nightmare.

September 27

A teenage girl and her friends befriend a Yeti. Together they all embark on a journey to reconnect the creature with his family.  This looks really cute and I'd like to see this with Coach. 

Renée Zellweger stars as Judy Garland in the biopic chronicling the American actress/singer's life while performing in London in 1969.  Renee Zellweger has the same sour face in everyone of her movies.  It's the weirdest thing. 


The Day Shall Come
An FBI agent (Anna Kendrick) with ulterior motives sponsors a young preacher (Marchant Davis) in Miami.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Heartbreak Hacienda

Lots of heartbreak last night on BIP.  Poor Hannah.  Poor Derek.  Poor Dylan.  Poor Cam.  Poor Clay. 

According to Demi, everyone thinks she and Derek are the strongest couple in Paradise.  And why wouldn’t they? The guy is willing to smell her stinky armpit.  That's true love right there.  Like when my husband asks me to smell the container of sour cream because he thinks it's bad.  It's called "sour" cream for a reason honey. 

But Demi is feeling “conflicted” about their relationship because she’s still thinking about the woman she was dating before she came to Paradise. Though she’s not yet ready to tell Derek what’s bothering her, she does confide in Katie. “I’ve been dating a woman back home,” she says. “I do miss her and I think about her all the time.” Being on Paradise, Demi adds, was a way for her to “figure out stuff” about herself. “I’m always afraid of how people are going to take it,” says Demi, tearing up. “There’s layers to me… This is about me embracing that side of me.”
Demi recently told her parents that she “likes boys and girls,” and they supported her. That’s nice to hear, especially since Demi says she’s been surrounded by people who made her feel “really bad” and “unworthy” her whole life.

Having failed to talk to Hannah during her dance lesson with Blake, Dylan manages to pull her aside the next day for a WTF chat. “I just don’t see why you’re so open to other things right now if we’re doing so well,” he says.  Honestly, he's got to go.  Just go already.  Hannah insists that she owes it to herself to stay “open-minded.”  "I feel like I don't know something," he says. And there it is folks.  Hannah G casually mentions that there is one other thing: Before Paradise, Blake flew to see Hannah in Birmingham.  Uninvited but apparently not unwelcome. Apparently, Blake told her, "In order to show you who I am, I booked a flight to Birmingham." “Like, we kissed there,” says Hannah.  At this news, Dylan just walks away. Poor Dylan!  Keep walking buddy.  Keep walking. 
“This is just like the ultimate slap in the face,” he moans. And Tayshia is having none of it.  She's pissed that Hannah didn’t mention Blake’s little visit before her date with him last week. She said she and Hannah bonded over being blindsided by Colton Underwood on The Bachelor. This being the case, Tayshia thinks Hannah should have told her about her previous connection to Blake before Tayshia went on a date with him on the first night.

When confronted though, Hannah claims that Blake’s trip to Birmingham was a “private thing” and she didn’t tell anyone “out of respect for him.” On top of that, she feels “attacked” by Tayshia. “I feel like she Mean Girled me,” she whispers.  And she is 100% right.  Tayshia was being a salty bitch.  Stay in your lane Tayshia.
Some guy named Dean’s here.  He homeless and unemployed.  He sometimes showers in lakes and rivers.  “You are a catch!” jokes Harrison. “What woman wouldn’t want to lock you down?” And he's sporting a ridiculous porn-stache.  “It’s a little ‘70s,” says the Chris Harrison.  “Like you might be shooting videos in the Valley somewhere.” (That’s where they used to shoot porn, kids). 
After chatting with Katie, Onyeka, and his Paradise ex Kristina, Dean sits down with Caelyn, who is, in his words, “an absolute mess right now.” You see, earlier that afternoon, Kristina rather cluelessly had a conversation with Wells about Caelyn, even though Caelyn was sitting right next to her. The beauty queen is understandably annoyed at Kristina for “spreading my business to every guy on this beach.” And she also mentions something about being slut shamed.  Still, she pulls it together long enough to say yes when Dean asks her on a date.  Though Caelyn says she’s “very guarded” going into her date with Dean (“he has a reputation”), that guard comes down pretty quick and she still manages to kick back a margarita or two. 

On their date, Dean said he was ashamed of how he acted on Paradise before, and that he would never do it again. But Caelyn said she was very intrigued by Dean and his lifestyle, which is aimless traveling. He openly has no ambitions and no foresight. Caelyn loves it. Caelyn is 23. She loves how honest he is about who he is. "He's enigmatic and mysterious," she said. Oh, Caelyn. Ah, youth. This new development between Caelyn and Dean leaves Mike The Man and Cam out in the cold, at least for now. "I think the Caelyn ship has sailed,” sighs Cam sadly. “It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll be fine.”  The poor guy is suicidal. 
And then some guy named Christian showed up.  I will call him Rico Suave from now on.  Who's Christian, you ask? “He was a night-one guy on Becca’s season,” explains Jordan, the self proclaimed Mayor of Paradise.  “Stood by the meatballs the whole night and was just the guy with the mustache.” And apparently Jordan doesn't approve of Rico Suave's choice of footwear either.  “He wore athletic shoes to Paradise,” says Jordan, appalled. “Like, on entrance.”  "Go buy a pair of espadrilles you fucking asshole," says Jordan when Christian shows up to the beach in running shoes. For the record, espadrilles are a great beach look.  And kudos to Jordan for knowing what espadrilles are.  That modeling gig is really paying off. 

Now Rico Suave is hoping to secure another 15 minutes by romancing Nicole. And she LOVES it. “I was kind of expecting her to maybe say no because she already had a good connection she already had a good connection here,” says Clay. “But she didn’t, and she agreed to go on a date with him.”
And it’s going to be hard for Clay to compete with Rico Suave because the new guy is totally Nicole’s type. “He reminds me of a man I would have dated in Miami… I just met him and he’s already making me feel like he’s my boyfriend.” Well if that's the case, maybe you should have just stayed in Miami???  Nicole has now been on three dates, which leads her to declare, "I feel like the Bachelorette!" It's very cute, even though the shit is about to hit the fan.
Poor Clay. Might be time to start packing. “I worry that he’s a little too passive,” says Nicole. “What I like about Christian is he’s totally unafraid to just go for it.” She wants a man who’s going to be (respectfully) assertive about getting her attention, and she tells Clay as much. “You definitely have the opportunity to pull me aside,” she says. “I had a good time on today’s date mostly just because Christian was really assertive, and that’s kind of a quality I do like.”
Clay quickly gets a chance to prove how assertive he can really be. Rico Suave strolls up to the day bed, drink in hand, and announces that he wants to finish his date with Nicole. “She’s all yours tomorrow, if that’s what she wants,” he says. Clay begs to differ. “Your date’s over when you come back to Paradise,” he says calmly. “You had a date, and your date’s over.”
Nicole looks like she can’t decide if she loves it that two grown men are fighting over her, or if she’s mortified that two grown men are fighting over her. But she for sure doesn’t like it when Rico Suave puts her on the spot by asking her to settle the dispute. “I’m just catching up with [Clay] now,” she says. Finally, Rico Suave walks back to the bar, where he and the lizard crawling up his shirt have some much-needed quiet time.
Over on another daybed, the battle for Nicole rages on. Rico Suave sets up a little beachside rendezvous complete with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and… a piñata? Okay. Clay watches from afar and decides that he needs to interrupt Rico Suave's romantic tableau. If Nicole wants him to be more assertive, he’ll be more assertive dammit!  But when he tries to “steal” Nicole for a minute, Rico Suave puffs his chest up and barks, “I’m not gonna let you take her!” Nicole looks so uncomfortable, Clay backs down, much to the chagrin of the other guys — especially Jordan. In an effort to avenge his friend, the pot-stirring model jogs over to where Rico Suave and Nicole are sitting and tries to yank the piñata down. It does not go over well.  Rico Suave tries to stop him and that's how the big fight happens. It moves very quickly from a little shove over the piñata to a full on wrestling match. The episode ends before the fight is even over.

This episode leaves us with several few questions:
  • Who are you rooting for in the Clay-Nicole-Christian triangle?
  • Why aren't more of the ladies into Mike Johnson?  They all seem to like him, but he's not really dating anyone. Are they all part of a plan to make him Bachelor? ~Conspiracy!~
  • Is it possible that Tayshia is truly into John Paul Jones?
  • Would you date an unemployed van-dweller with a porn-star mustache? 
  • Why is everyone so upset with my girl Hannah G when Nicole and Caelyn have each gone on several dates?  And Caelyn clearly only kissed ABCam just to get a rose and keep the free vacay going. 
  • Why was JPJ sleeping in the pool and why isn't he getting more airtime dammit?????!!!!!

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