Saturday, April 14, 2012

Boring books, good movies. The 25/50 Saga Continues

YO YO YO YO YO everybody. This is your boy, Perpicacious P aka the Vanilla Thrilla aka the Philosoraptor aka The White Falcon. It’s been awhile since I last spit hot fiyah, and I apologize, but I got stuck on a super shitty book and hadn’t been to the movies for a minute because I am god damn cheap. But that was the old me. Now I’m back and ready to go. Let’s move on to our first review:


The Moviegoer – (Book 8 of 25)

My review: Fucking sucked.

That is all, next item!

Just kidding! You know I’m hella long-winded.

The review is particularly verbose so feel free to skip. I will say that if you enjoy cuss words and mailed-in writing, you will enjoy the review:

Thank Based God that is over with. Based God damn that book was tough. I had to fight like a motherfucker to get through it. It reminded me of all those shitty novels I had to read in high school but never did. This book did not hold my interest in any way. One of my biggest character flaws is sticking with things too long, not knowing when to let go. I think most people, when presented with a book this boring, would simply stop reading it. But not me dear reader. I suffer so you don’t have to. Despite the book only being 200 pages, it felt like 1000 and took two weeks to finish. I resented it. When I got home after work, I wouldn’t watch movies or play video games because I knew those would distract me from finishing this Based God-damned book.

I will say that the author, Walker Percy, had a great command of the English language. Some of his writing was beautiful, but the story itself is interminable. There are tons of references to pop culture from the late-50s and early 60s, mostly involving movie stars (obviously). Since I have never seen a movie made before 1980, these references were completely lost on me. The novel is set in New Orleans and is very Southern, so I missed a lot of the cultural context, since I’m a Yankee and all.

A lot of the book is dialogue between characters, but the tone is so detached and cool and ironic that they often didn’t seem like conversations, but rather two people responding to each other apropos of nothing. Something like:

Me: Oh hey Matty, how about those Mets, LOL?

Matty: Never never will I understand men who throw over everything for some woman. The trick, the joy of it, is to prosper on all fronts, enlist money in the service of love and love in the service of money. As long as I am getting rich I feel that all is well. It is my Presbyterian blood.


The nice writing interspersed with laborious fluff is kind of how I look at jazz music. Every once in awhile you come across a great solo or piece of transcendent music, but you have to sit through a lot of self-indulgent playing to get to it.

Kind of like my writing on this blog?!??!

The Golden Compass (Book 9 of 10)

I must say I did not enjoy reading this much at all. A fellow blogger said he dug these and that it has a Hunger Games-vibe. I see the comparison to some extent, in that it’s a young person fighting what seems like insurmountable odds in a hostile world. But overall there was too much about magic talking animals and shit. I liked The Hunger Games trilogy because it was so raw, there was no fairy dust or magic or any of that shit. Just Katniss Everdeen, stone cold killer, holding down the block. As soon as this book got into talking bears I was out. Fuck talking bears, fuck magic animals and fuck instruments made of gold. I want that real gangsta shit.


John Carter (Movie 13 of 50)

Here’s my review on John Carter:

The guy from Friday Night Lights fights on Mars alongside a hot chick and some aliens and it was amazingly mediocre.  

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (Movie 14 of 50)

This is from the Duplass brothers, who are associated with ‘mumblecore’, which are movies with hella naturalistic dialogue, meandering plots and miniscule budgets. I actually saw what is considered the first mumblecore movie, Funny Ha Ha when it was released in 2005, which makes me WAY MORE FRESHER THAN YOU. I AM ON TOP OF TRENDS!!!11!!

Obviously this movie had a bit more money with Jason Siegel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon starring, but the mumblecore elements were still in effect. The movie meandered and was largely absurd in a subtle way. Ed Helms annoys the hell out of me and there’s no way a douche like his character would have gotten with my homegirl Judy Greer. But hey, they’re movies, not documentaries.

I still liked it, although I am in no hurry to see it again. The message is something about family and love and blah blah blah. It probably made more than John Carter even though it had a budget that was equal to a day’s work for a busker on the Barcelona Metro.

You like my worldly reference? SEE HOW WELL-TRAVELED I AM?!?

21 Jump Street (Movie 15 of 50)

I have to be honest, I freaking loved this movie. I hadn’t laughed this hard in a movie theater since Superbad. Now, it’s not as good as Superbad, but what both experiences had in common was that the audience was really into it, and that created a group mob mentality of laughter. I saw Superbad in a theater filled with a bunch of southern frat boys and their over-the-top reactions heightened my own, making the movie 20 percent funnier than if I saw it alone.

Yes, I go to the movies alone. Because I have no friends.  

ANYWAY, this was a similar experience. There were moments I was laughing so much that my head was in a lot of pain and it actually hurt to continue laughing and made it hard to breathe. It was awesome. There is one particularly ill sequence where Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are tripping on drugs and it made it seem like drugs were the most awesomest thing ever. I was LOLing like a motherfucker.

I love Jonah Hill, and he killed it as always, but Tatum was surprisingly funny. The guy has some comedy chops and could be a good straight man in the funny pictures. The door was open for a sequel and I sincerely hope they walk through that door.

Count me as one of the many who would like to see 22 Jump Street.

The Hunger Games (Movie 16 of 50)

I thought the trailer was so ill that I went out and bought the books immediately, something I have never done. The books were great and I just hoped that the movie could live up to the hype I had set for it in my head.

It did.

Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect Katniss Everdeen. She exuded the strength and cold-blooded nature of the character in the book, although I will say movie Katniss was slightly less badass than book Katniss. Overall, the movie took the edge off a lot of what happened in the book, and some of the relationships in the movie lacked the depth of those in the book, but there’s only so much you can fit into a film, and this was almost two and a half hours.

Although it didn’t follow the book’s plot completely (and really, people who complain about movies not slavishly following books are fucking assholes), the changes they made worked.

The most touching scene in the movie was when the kids in her home city gave her the silent salute after she volunteered to enter the arena for her sister. It gave me goosebumps, real talk.

I don’t have much else to add to what you’ve probably already read.

Dope movie totally worth seeing. And it didn’t have talking bears and magic animals and shit. Just Lord of the Flies-esque killing. What’s not to like?

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