Archive for November, 2014

Western Watchins #106

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I’ve trimmed down my waistline (fuck that fat!), my Facebook friends list (fuck those traitors!), how much crap is in my house (fuck that shit I don’t need) and even how many shows I watch on a weekly basis (fuck it all!) As for the latter, my time is precious (and all our time is fleeting) so if I’m going to give you any of it in the name of televised entertainment you’re gonna have to convince me it’ll be worth it.

Putting on a mask and hitting me with a clothesline certainly helps.

I’ve watched wrestling for a long time but mostly it’s been WWE and lately, as in the last decade lately, Old Mr. McMahon’s promotion has grown worn out and stale. They’re shoving last week’s breakroom bagels up their asses and telling you it’s going to be a delicious and meaningful treat. My wife struggles to stay awake for the main events of pay-per-views and when she passes out I consider reading a dictionary cover to cover because at least that would be more interesting than sitting through any match with John Cena in it. Most of the time he’s pummeling my will to live and sadly he’s booked to win. Now, in all fairness, WWE’s developmental territory NXT is outstanding. I attend tapings regularly and have seen some of the best sports entertainers ever step into the ring at those events. Electrifying almost all of them, which means as soon as they get called up to the main roster they’ll be squashed, misused and then forgotten. All in all then, the WWE landscape as it now stands is one of current or soon to be disappointment.

Enter Lucha Underground.

Enter so spectacularly that I’ll be jumping off my couch clapping and screaming to cheer every face and jeer at every heel. Yes, I know they’re called “téchnicos” and “rudos” but what you don’t know is that my dick is still hard from watching the first episode. Lucha Underground made me feel like a kid again. A kid who wanted to fuck and fight everyone and everything in the world! It probably doesn’t hurt that one of my favorite comic book characters of all time was Marshal Law. This Marshal Law!

 

 

By combining my love for this leather clad law bringer with a curious addiction to Jarritos and nearly incessant need for tacos it’s clear to see that Robert Rodriguez has, with his El Rey network, presented to me just about the most perfect pageant of athleticism, excitement and south of the border badassery I could ever ask for. I now know it’s possible to be fully erect and fully spent at precisely the same fucking time because that’s what happens to me during this show. This gringo can tell you, it’s that good.

There’s not too much talking but when anyone opens their mouth it’s fresh, fun, often curse word laden and un-PC sensitive. The play by play and commentary mix well with the produced segments and all of it flows along with, not against, the story the luchadores are telling in the ring. The spoken word slathered over brutality, technicality and sex! Attitude era, tits in your face and hands and mouth kinda sex:

 

 

That’s Catrina. She licks you and then her beau, Mil Muertes, tears you a new asshole. And face hole. And all holes.

 

 

He’s kind of a tank, slow and punishing, beating you near to death with his sluggish intensity in lieu of acrobatic aplomb. He’s one warrior however in a temple full of combatants and there is guaranteed to be someone that suits your personal style. High flyers, grapplers, old school brawlers, heavyweight, lightweight and every weight in between. Whether it’s on the mat or off the ropes Lucha Underground is off the charts. And don’t let Catrina fool you, sure she puts the “T and A” into the “Jesus, those are some nice tits” but the ladies aren’t just set dressing around here. Female luchas get down and dirty (yes, against the men!) and fuck so many kinds of shit up that new shit has to be invented just so it can be fucked! Take Sexy Star for instance:

 

 

Don’t let her looks, or the previously ample use of Catrina’s bewbs, fool you into thinking that the feminine is relegated to the realm of eye candy only. Hell no, this is Lucha Underground, the bitches and the bastards both compete on equal terms here. No pandering to feminist whining, no glorification of domestic abuse, no excuses. The men and women here prove that age old idiom “where there’s a will there’s a way” by sacrificing body and blood against whoever, wherever in the name of their personal whatevers. Here’s Sexy after taking an almost unprotected chair shot to the head…from a dude.

 

 

Is that brutal? Yes, undeniably. Is life? You goddamn know it is. Whether you have a sack or a slit between your legs, Lucha Underground doesn’t pull any punches because outside of your flatscreen and your cubicle and your somewhat safe Wal-Mart shopping experience the world out there can be terrible. There’s no excuse not to accept that and prepare yourself accordingly. This show is completely fake, and 100% real. The effort and expenditure of it’s production staff (including Mark Burnett of Survivor fame) and all of its stars (including WWE castoff John Morrison, Luchador legend Blue Demon Jr. and holy-shit-how- have-I-never-heard-of-this-guy-until-now guy Prince Puma) is immediately evident and immediately appreciated.

5 rounds in the cylinder for Lucha Underground. If you love slobberknockers with a Southwestern flavor, this show is right up your alley. No lube and hard up your alley, but you’re still gonna love it. I haven’t enjoyed wrestling this much in years. The talent and creative sides of this upstart engine are both running full throttle and looking for a stranglehold on any other promotion that chooses to stagnate instead of innovate. It’s not purely Mexican but not completely Americanized either, it’s a masochistic melting pot with all the ingredients needed to make a tremendously entertaining and devastating dish.

 

Whamo!

 

 

Bammo!

 

 

And 1…2…3, thank you ‘mano! 

 

 

Behind every mask is a story and, with an open door policy at Lucha Underground, I’ve been giving some thought to telling my own tale. I’m no spring chicken but I know I’ve got lots of bumps and bruises left to give and take before I ever tap out of this life. And whether you follow me into the ring or not amigo I pray you’ll find your own squared circle sooner rather than later, filling it with every adventure and right up to the last.

 

Western Watchins #105

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I mentioned Danny Trejo last week and now, as the star of Dead in Tombstone, he earns another nod. If I bring his name up just one more time, like a south of the border Beetlejuice, he’ll appear and drink tequila with me. That’s going to be awesome. I was thinking the same thing heading into this movie and it did not disappoint. Direct to video productions work best when the producers embrace two vital decisions. Don’t take yourselves too seriously, do cast Danny Trejo.

Hold on, there’s a knock at my door. It was Danny. I told him I needed to write for about another hour so he should get to gardening until I’m done.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with at least some of Danny’s body of work I probably hate you as much as you obviously hate great cinema and my fake national origins. To bring you up to speed, Trejo plays Machete in Machete, Bullet in Bullet and a bad ass in Bad Ass. That’s sort of misleading, he’s a bad ass in everything but you see my point. Dead in Tombstone is just another hundred minutes for you to enjoy voices filled with gravel, guts filled with fire and balls filled with vengeance. See, Anthony Michael Hall makes the mistake early on of betraying Danny and calls down all the balls. He’s looking rough, but in that “if I saw him having sex with a hooker in the gutter I would still watch” kind of way. He’s a right nasty bastard who backstabs his half bro before deciding to keep their gang in a town they just looted to continue looting it and change it’s name from “Edenville” to “Tombstone”. That’s right, Dead in Tombstone doesn’t even take place in the Tombstone. You don’t have time to care or be confused though because before you can care to be confused Rusty Griswold takes his rusty Griswold and sends Danny down to Hell and right into the Devil’s meaty hands.

 

 

Fuck yeah Mickey Rourke is the Devil and he’s about to get his devil dick burnin’ balls deep in a bunch of assholes’ assholes! He sort of looks like Al Bundy and Prince Adam had a kid and that kid grew up, slept with Kim Basinger, and then become homeless. He sure is generic but carries the clichés with a casual intensity that silently screams “why yes I am an accomplished actor” and “they paid me for this in cases of Twinkies” all in the same breath. Like a Twinkie he too needs to be filled with a mysterious and disturbing substance, the souls of the sinful, and wants to wager with Señor Trejo in order to make sure he stays bubbling up to the brim with salacious spirits. Machete don’t text or play the golden fiddle but he does know his way around weaponry.

Especially made up and/or anachronistic weaponry:

 

 

His custom revolvers, that supposedly no one knew how to assemble except for him despite the fact they appeared to break down like any similar revolver, were all Dragoon up front and totes LeMat out back. Huge, powerful and rather unwieldy they reminded me of the way my penis appears in dreams. Both mine and others let me clarify. I could have said “ridiculous” too but they got the job done. Again, like my dream penis. Now, if this silver plated and three barreled son of a bitch bothers you that much just wait till the camera angle changes. When the action jumps around from person to person so do the firearms. The first thing the director did on set was to have a window constructed so that he could immediately throw continuity right the fuck out of it. Dead in Tombstone features a half dozen prominent hand guns that all the principal actors share across different scenes (and also the same scenes) even going as far as to shoot at one another simultaneously with the same ordnance. Not the same model, the same actual gun. Trejo goes from handling his fantasy favorites to something that looked period appropriate to something Smith and Wesson made in the past ten years. I’m no expert but even I was noticing pieces that had no business being in this late 19th century movie.

Of course dynamite has no business being shoved inside of a kerosene lamp to make an impromptu napalm bomb unless your business is making my dick hard and let me tell you, many times during this movie, business was booming. What do you expect when you get a former Mexican jailbird, Marv from Sin City, the dorky kid from The Breakfast Club and that chick who banged Johnny Rico during Starship Troopers together in one show? I did tell you that chick who banged Johnny Rico was in this right?

 

 

Oh Dizzy, you screwed Johnny boy good and thorough but then a big old bug screwed you likewise. Tough scene to watch and I learned right then never to sleep with Caspar Van Dien. But if you learned anything tonight, besides what my dick will look like once you fall asleep and not to, under any circumstance, put it inside dream Van Dien, it’s that if you have Netflix or feel like stealing this from Wal-Mart, you should watch Dead in Tombstone.

4 rounds in the cylinder for one of the better non-theatrically released Westerns I’ve seen. Judicious but thoughtful use of slow-motion and more than a few tricks up its sleeves to make you smile. The story wasn’t anything relevatory but the way this standard revenge with the supernatural help and sometimes interference from a demonic Mickey “Have you seen The Wrestler ‘cuz goddamn that’s great” Rourke, the way it was presented, made for a fun dinner time dalliance. Plus you got to see what Anthony Michael Hall looks like all puffy and haggard now presumably due to being stung by a posse of rough and tumble cowboy bees:

 

 

“Don’t you…forget about me” he said with a lecherous lilt in his voice.  I’m giving him a hard time here, we all fill out with age, but he had the Dead Zone and has fared better overall than Judd Nelson. Jesus, that guy’s career went to shit as soon as he got Optimus Prime killed. Wait a minute, fuck China, the next Transformers movie should be set entirely in and around the Sonoran Desert! I’m serious, fuck China! And serious about the movie too…Autobots battling to stop the Decepticons from converting the vast silver deposits still under Tombstone into energon while concurrently discovering the secrets of the Arizona Spark. I can tell you from experience, once you feel that spark, you’ll fight for it. Down in the dust or dirt or the where or fucking however. Man I love that place and I finally feel like I’ve figured out how to get there: become a world famous luchador hero.

More on that next week.

Till then, give Danny and his crew a shot if you can spare the time. More importantly, give yourself one. The bullseye of that dream life you wish you were living is just waiting for you, begging for you, to pull the trigger.

So aim true amigos, and squeeze.

Western Watchins #104

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Any night in old Mexico should be one to remember. This movie makes that a challenge. Not for lack of trying so much as a lack of actually getting it done. Ornery grandfather and estranged grandson slip south of the border to blow off some steam with a misplaced backpack full of drug money in the back of their Cadillac. Those two, a lounge singer, some street punks, one hitman and a crime boss all cross paths exacting payback from one another against the beautiful and brutal backdrop of a nondescript Mexican town. It’s Dia de Muertos no less so fantastically ominous should be an atmosphere easy to achieve but I’ll tell you, I’ve wiped my ass with more apprehension than I ever felt at any point in this film. What went wrong then?

The cast? Robert Duvall, Jeremy Irvine and Angie Cepeda are your trio of protagonistas.

 

 

Robert Duvall you know and of course he’s pretty great even when his lines aren’t particularly so. Who you might not be familiar with are Jeremy (you’ll remember him from War Horse) and Angie (you’ll remember her from the next time you masturbate!)

Jerry’s the weak link here. He hails from the UK and does a tremendous job of hiding both his accent and any talent he supposedly has. “Made for TV” kept popping into my head every time he opened his mouth and also all the other times. He must have narrowly beat out a bump on a log and some paint drying on some wall for the role. He’s a college kid searching for a family with a good deal of baggage already packed for the trip, he’s coming of age in a meat grinder of shootouts and shady dealings and he’s almost completely unbelievable in the role. Everyone is written as tip-of-the-iceberg style characters but never do we get to peek below the surface. It’s weak writing and the writer is responsible but I’ve seen Danny Trejo say goddamn next to nothing comprehensible yet still manage to excite and entertain me. He really is a Mexican criminal so it’s not a reach for him to grab on to authenticity in his roles which is where Jeremy failed. They were going for fish out of water with his “big city kid thrown into the Wild West” performance but got lame duck instead with his “I’m not really coming across as a big city kid thrown into the Wild West am I” performance.

Miss Cepeda on the other hand (the one you’re not touching yourself with) was immediately and continually arresting. Her character’s look, line of work and lengths she’d go to for success reminded me of Jennifer Connelly from Dark City with a hint of Jennifer Connelly from Requiem for a Dream thrown in for grimy good measure. Playing Patty Wafers, a slumming showgirl with dreams of making it big, she’s basically a Latin American version of Satine. The bright lights of a promising tomorrow all but blocked by the ample bosom she’s forced to show off for the chance to sing at one club or another. He family thinks she’s a star but she’s fallen and hard, with nothing to her name and nowhere to go. Angie carries Patty’s pathos without exertion, her bright demeanor and carefree outlook disarming when you realize what she’s really going through. And then she runs into two gringos. And then trouble runs into all three of them.

Duvall’s devil-may-care-to-suck-my-dick-cuz-he’s-a-bitch-and-I-hate-everything attitude only carries them so far before they start to figure out what a mess they’re in and the bullets start to fly all around that same mess. Pursued by two dirt level dumbasses (one who might know Vampire Bill), an amiably amoral assassin (who looks like a Mexican Gimli) and this guy (who looks like his eyebrows could kill you), they are unavoidably drawn into a cat and mouse game with no pussies allowed.

“Unavoidable” is a strong word too. There were several junctions when further danger, or any danger at all, could have been avoided or quickly snuffed out or ignored but these 3 WTFusketeers are quite the mystery to behold and while some motivations are convincing, many strategic choices are on par with those latter decisions made by George A. Custer. One in particular is irreparably illogical and derails the remainder of the film’s efforts from that moment onward right up through the expectantly predictable finale. There was promise here (a good framework, a great setting, a strong enough ensemble) but, like a marshmallow man’s erection, it was promise made entirely of fluff. Tasty, tasty promise that just disappeared in your mouth before you could enjoy it, coating your gums with a filmy confusion. Five minutes in and A Night in Old Mexico was headed into No Country for Old Men, another five and it was it was Gran Torino by way of Thelma and Louise. Then it’s Scarface serious just before Shoot Em Up ridiculous. It was Reservoir Dogs without the clever dialogue, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels sans Brits. It’s empty where awesome should have been.

2 rounds in the cylinder. 3 is my minimum for “at least I got something, one thing, out of this ergo I’m glad I watched it.” Nothing to see here that you haven’t seen before and better. A Night in Old Mexico was the cinematic equivalent of one of those “I Went to Tijuana And All I Got Was This AIDS” t-shirt. Do they even make those? Maybe. But if they do, it makes for a more compelling piece of art than this film. That poster. That premise. That Duvall! Old Bob will probably explain it to you better than I ever could.

 

The experience I expected going in…  

 

 

The experience I came out with one hour and forty eight minutes later…

 

 

But come out I did. Life’s experiences won’t always be what your expecting and can many times leave you the worse for wear. But also better for the wisdom. Even the shittiest of days can teach us some truth amigos. At great personal expense I’ve learned never to watch this movie again and now, so have you.

Not too shabby for a night’s work.

Haikuesday

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So many have died

While others bravely still risk

And we all stay free

 

Bully Pulpit: Why don’t you go slip into something…ridiculous

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Andrew Walls is going through some tough times. Lost wages, mental anguish and, according to certain documents, “severe emotional stress”. Is he a former first responder traumatized by an accident? Maybe a veteran returned home after witnessing unspeakable horrors on the battlefield? No food on his table or roof over his head even? Nope on all counts. The startling truth is this: Andy had surgery and when he woke up afterwards he was wearing women’s underwear!

Seems after a colonoscopy the “victim” was fitted with some pink lady’s sundries as a prank by his co-workers, the medical staff of a surgical center. He awoke but only to find his nightmare just beginning. A nightmare that would lead him to litigate presumably after said business failed to settle for the bazillions he was seeking. You know, to cope with the abject terror of being garbed in silk undies. I have no doubt that for some men this would be annoying or slightly disquieting but let’s save any diagnosis preceded by “severe” for kids who get beaten or a woman who got raped or a grunt who saw his buddies blown up right in front of him.

While the option of filing suit to right actual wrongs is one sign of an mature if not enlightened society, preposterous litigation in the name of “I’m a huge sleeze gimme a comparably sized pile of cash” has become too commonplace. Cases like this are despicable and detrimental to the legal system, despoiling the good deeds of those David like attorneys slinging stones at corporate Goliaths and muting the cries of actual people in need. Walls’ own lawyer, Gary Nitsche, would I’m sure disagree. The complaint he filed read in part, “the defendant’s extreme and outrageous conduct went beyond all possible bounds of decency.” His name reminds me of an old quote, something about “when you stare into an asshole, the asshole stares back until you become an asshole you fucking asshole!” I’m paraphrasing but you know that’s just how Gary and Andy got on with each other.

Now perhaps this dress code violation was simply the final straw in an ongoing pattern of harassment but if Mr. Walls had been the target of systemically inappropriate verbal and/or physical molestation up to this point, based on race, creed or color, neither the complaint nor any reporting news agency has made mention of what would surely be a shitstorm creating circumstance. So I’m left to conclude that Andrew Walls is but a schmuck. Maybe he’s a prankster and ended up on the wrong end of a jest for once. Or worse, he’s a bully and the set-upon staff finally gave him a taste of his own medicine.

Either way, it’s not the end of the world.

Unless he’s a closeted crossdresser whose privacy and suffering self-worth were assaulted by the conspiratorial acts of bigoted bastards he needs to go find a good, short pier and take a long, hard go fuck himself. Starving is troubling. Losing a loved one, unsettling. Getting beheaded has to be rather horrible. Wearing panties?

Other than saying I find them rather comfortable, I won’t even dignify that with a response.

Case closed.

 

 

 

 

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