Category Archives: Comedy Review

Burn in Hell: A Ghostbusters Movie Review


Movies! I like them! I spend a lot of time thinking about them! Sometimes I talk to friends about them without recording it for a podcast and it seems like a WASTE. So I’m going to make an effort to post more reviews like this one of Captain America Civil War. The reviews will be broken down into SEVEN categories: My Twitter Review, Why I Saw This Movie, Big Theme, Favorite Things, Questionable Things, Favorite Lines, and What This Film Inspires Me To Do. SPOILER LEVEL: There are only mild spoilers! Let’s do this!



Like a lot of people, I’m a fan of the original Ghostbusters. I remember next to nothing about the sequel, and I really like the episode of the cartoon where they just straight-up fight CTHULHU. Or as they call the unspeakable monster, Cathulhu.

I’m also a big fan of horror comedy in general. Both horror and comedy function on tension and sudden surprise–but with the different goals of screaming or laughing. It’s fun to see them mashed-up in an attempt to create the perfect audience noise of a laugh-scream. I’m also delighted by the contrast of truly terrifying malevolent creatures going up against nature’s idiots: comedians.

The original Ghostbusters took the old “monsters plus idiots” formula of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and pushed it in a new direction by making the comedy idiots pro-actively chase the monsters.

The new Ghostbusters movie felt like another step in the evolution of the genre: horrible monsters versus comedian idiots who are (gasp) LADIES!

Sadly, the monsters they faced were not just in the movie, but lurking on YouTube and Twitter and the subbiest of sub-reddits across the internet.

I was (and am) thrilled with the casting of the new movie. I think equality is important for the sake of equality, but I also think new voices and perspectives make our art and entertainment fresher and more interesting. I think breaking down gender barriers is good for everyone. I personally don’t want to be defined solely by a stereotypical masculine archetype any more than I think women should be confined to specific, outdated feminine stereotypes. I don’t think anyone anywhere on the gender spectrum should be limited in what roles they can play in the story of our culture. More on that below.

I genuinely enjoyed the movie as a movie. (Even though I thought there were a lot of plot issues and missed opportunities, I laughed the entire time and walked out of the theater very happy.) But I also think Ghostbusters is an important step forward culturally, artistically, and I hope, financially. If this review can sway even one person to go see the movie, it will be worth my time. Ghostbusters had a great opening weekend, but since it got locked out of China, its ultimate undebatable financial success still depends on its second and third weekends in theaters. There’s a lot of distraction between Star Trek and San Diego Comic-Con and whatever the hell is happening at the Republican National Convention, but if you want to see a variety of people and voices in the theater I hope you go bust some sexists’ predictions and see the movie in theaters.


I thought the movie had two strangely complimentary themes: Friendship and F**k the haters.

I enjoyed that the movie built its foundation on the bonds of friendship between the Ghostbusters. Initially, between Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates but building between all of the central characters–Jillian Holtzmann, Patty Tolan, and even big, dumb, beautiful, and beloved (by me) Kevin. The emphasis on friendship and shared experience made you care about the characters instead of just making them puzzle pieces to act out a plot or what passes for a plot in a lot of modern comedies i.e. getting diarrhea. Mostly importantly to me, it allowed a lot more of the comedy to come from character moments.

A lot of that friendship was forged by facing down haters. The haters took many forms: Bosses, the government, ghosts, pale guys, YouTube commenters, etc. Outside of a few specific and pointed lines (“ain’t no bitches gonna bust no ghosts” was a great line), it felt very universal. I think the best storytelling is reaching the universal through the very specific. Most of us are not brilliant, well educated, hilarious women who fight ghosts professionally, but life is challenging for all of us. We all have days where we feel like the forward movement in our lives is blocked by a different asshole with each step. For every step, a new asshole. (It’s not a saying, but it should be.) For me, the movie was an incredibly cathartic experience of seeing four very specific characters overcoming that very universal feeling.


Actual jokes:
I feel like a lot of modern comedies just point the camera at a funny person and let them make faces, weird noises, and generally improvise. It’s very broad comedy because it’s not grounded in the character or the moment. It’s just throwing potential trailer moments at a demographic and hoping they stick. I think a huge part of Deadpool‘s surprise success was that it was full of specific, structured, well delivered JOKES. From the initial trailers, I was terrified that Ghostbusters would just point the camera at Melissa McCarthy and make her do “bits.” Instead, there were a ton of specific thoughtful combinations of words and ideas that formed actual humor jokes based on the characters and the situations. I’m sad that that feels novel, but thrilled about how much I laughed because this comedy movie had actual jokes.

Kristen Wiig:
Kate McKinnon and her character Holtzmann deserve every syllable of praise typed or spoken and a million more. Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy were both great, but for my personal comedy taste, I thought Kristen Wiig was amazing. I’m a big fan of what I’ll call “leading person comedy.” The kind of character who is not intrinsically the zany one, but a character who does the heavy lifting on holding up the plot and the heart of the thing but still manages to be super funny. Wiig’s performance might not be as memorable when you first walk out of the theater, but she walked a fine line of being vulnerable, relatable, tough, and consistently hilarious.

Chris Hemsworth:
Nowhere near as important as four women in lead comedy roles in a reboot of a beloved previously all-male man all the time men film BUT it was great to see Chris Hemsworth who is normally a great, big stud play a great, big idiot. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s great to see stereotypes of all kinds played with and I want to live in a world where our biggest action heroes can also be beloved comedy idiots.

Everything at the metal concert:
I have always loved the inherent weirdness of heavy metal and this scene mocked and celebrated the weirdness of worshipping demons and being super precious about your chord progression at the same time. Also, for me, one of the most successful mash-ups of horror and comedy in the movie.

It wasn’t just a movie, it was an EVENT.
I was lucky to see the movie on Friday the 15th, opening night, 8 pm in the Dome at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood with several hundred people. Granted, this is an ideal time and place to see a movie if you want to get a super excited, communal experience. There were many lines I didn’t hear because there was too much laughter, there were cheers for the main characters and all the cameos of the classic actors, screams of delight in moments of the heroes’ victory, there were other noises that might have been moans of sexual awakening, there were honest quiet moments where a few jokes didn’t land. I think I moaned in comedy joy at Kevin’s glasses. But it was more than just an audience enjoying a movie. It felt like an explosion of joy at experiencing something truly DIFFERENT. I’m thrilled that I got to have that experience and I think it makes seeing the movie in theaters rather than waiting for Blu Ray or streaming worth it.


Bill Murray’s role:
I was bummed by Bill Murray’s role in the movie. Not really the role, but the execution. I like the idea of Bill Murray playing the pompous, establishment character who exists to shake his head disapprovingly and doubt the “inferiors” around him. It’s the kind of character Bill Murray usually attacked with comedy in his younger days. So it’s a neat idea that Bill Murray basically plays his own anti-archetype. But unlike most of the movie, he didn’t have many jokes to work with. The character wasn’t fun to hate. He just bummed me out. Which might have worked if he was used as a foil to get some great comedy out of our new heroes, but the whole scene felt flat. I think it would’ve been an amazing feat to use Bill Murray as the ultimate asshole and even make the audience FURIOUS but he was just a truly unlikeable character and then he was gone. All the other cameos felt like celebrations and this was literally and figuratively throwing Bill Murray out the window.

Villain’s Scheme and Ghost Rules
I’m glad that the plot was new and not the very Lovecraftian summoning of a great old one from the 1984 Ghostbusters. I liked the idea that the villain was a “pale, sad one” who wanted to get power for himself but I thought that idea was underdeveloped. The movie had great moments celebrating how much our heroes value knowledge. I would’ve loved a scene where the heroes laid out the rules of the ghostly realm and its interaction with the mortal plane a little bit more clearly. I think that would have upped our investment in the story even more. The fact that his plan stopped and started a bit too much in the second act also undermined the huge amount of forward energy the audience seemed to feel every time our heroes had a victory.

Mysterious Editing
Without going into too many details, I felt like there were some weird choices in the editing. It felt like bits of logic were maybe left on the cutting room floor. And one big scene that seemed to have moved from the movie itself into the credits for time. It’s rare that I look forward to the extended version of a movie on Blu Ray, but I think and hope there’s a longer cut of the movie which flows better in the second half and doesn’t skip any beats in the relationship of the awesome characters.

So those are some fairly major critiques, but they didn’t really impact my enjoyment of the movie. To me, it’s so successful as a comedy and as a vehicle for new voices that those thrills far outweigh some of the typical big budget summer movie and reboot problems.


“Face bidet”- Garret

Why: This was the first joke-joke in the movie and I was thrilled to hear an actual joke (and a funny one) right off the bat. Also, my wife and I have both worked in historic mansions and museums over the years and this joke nailed that vibe. Talk to me about Humphrey Man-Lifts someday.

“One? Two? Is it one?” – Holtzmann

Why: I love the subversion of escalation. It’s also the kind of almost Marx Brothers-esque word play you don’t hear in comedies as often.

“Okay, room full of nightmares” -Patty

Why: This line is the perfect mash-up of horror and comedy. It comes from that character’s voice but represents a relatable human reaction to confronting something horrific.

“Burn in hell.” -Erin

Why: I loved Kristen Wiig’s delivery. It felt like these weren’t the words she meant to say in reaction to being quoted a monthly rent, but she couldn’t stop herself from letting the sub-text become text.

“Mike Hat.” -Kevin

Why: I loved Kevin’s whole interview scene. All of his absurd jokes were delivered dead pan and made even funnier by the Ghostbusters reaction. It was particularly fun to see Melissa McCarthy stare at big, dumb Kevin like he’s an idiot.

Holtzmann licking the weapon she designed – Holtzmann

Why: It’s not a line, but it sums up a lot of her weirdness, her energy, her forward momentum. It’s strange and specific and makes sense for her character. It also feels iconic. Twenty or thirty years from now when there’s a reboot of this Ghostbusters movie, it’s going to be the thing the new heroes do to nod to the classic 2016 Ghostbusters.


Write more comedy and horror mash-ups myself, keep supporting different voices in art and entertainment to the best of my ability, and look into purchasing a face bidet.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoy this article, feel free to share it on the social medias. If you want to help make more articles like this possible, you can support me on Patreon.


Filed under Comedy Review, Uncategorized

I Can Do This All Day (A Captain America: Civil War Review)


Movies! I like them! I spend a lot of time thinking about them! Sometimes I talk to friends about them without recording it for a podcast and it seems like a WASTE. So I’m going to make an effort to post more reviews. The reviews will be broken down into SEVEN categories: My Twitter Review, Why I Saw This Movie, Big Theme, Favorite Things, Questionable Things, Favorite Lines, and What This Film Inspires Me To Do. SPOILER WARNING:This is full of spoilers. Let’s do this!



I’ll see just about any superhero movie. I will definitely see all Marvel movies. I WOULD RUN SEVEN MARATHONS AND FIGHT A BEAR TO SEE A CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE.

I’m #TeamCap. I’ve always been a big fan of the character in the comics and I think Chris Evans’ portrayal and the team’s take on Cap is one of the best superhero characters ever committed to celluloid digital film stuff.

If anyone ever tells you characters can’t be interesting if they’re fundamentally good, shake your head, hold up a copy of your Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-Ray, stand up tall, and say, “No. You’re wrong.”

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve Rogers has retained his consistent motivation: he just wants to do what he believes is right. He doesn’t feel comfortable unless he’s actively working toward a greater good. But he’s never been boring because he’s always had conflicts both external and internal. He’s struggled to know who to trust. He’s struggled to keep his individuality within organizations. He’s struggled to translate his values to different time periods and different conflicts. He’s questioned the morality of not wanting a family life, but instead wanting to be a soldier.

The movies have told that story extremely well through the exterior conflicts of the plots and through Chris Evans’ amazing performance. There’s always something going on in his eyes. There’s always a weight on his shoulders. Cap doesn’t blindly believe he’s right. He gives every decision a lot of thought. Not a lot of BROODING. A lot of thought. He’s not perfect. He just truly wants to be his best and is always striving for it. He’s a great role model.

Also, his shield is awesome and I cheer when he hits people with it in cool ways. I’m not a good person, but I’m STRIVING.

Also, there’s this:


There are a lot of ideas floating around in Captain America: Civil War about vengeance, leadership, hidden agendas, loyalty, fear, guilt, sarcasm as a viable tool of self-expression, but the big idea that wove everything together for me was borrowed from young Spider-Man himself:

With great power, comes great responsibility.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie was Tony Stark (who is also great and Robert Downey, Jr. deserves a lifetime achievement award for kickstarting the MCU) recruiting young, impressionable Spider-Man. When Tony asks Peter Parker why he does it, he gives a little speech that is a concerted rephrasing of his catchphrase. I think we probably would have just heard that phrase if it hadn’t been pummeled into the ground by the previous 872 Spider-Man films released in the last decade or so.

I’m paraphrasing because I can’t find the quote online, but young Spidey basically says it seems irresponsible to have these powers and not try to use them for the good of others. There’s a great response from Tony Stark. A little flinch. As if it pains him to hear this young, relatively innocent person basically reiterate Cap’s fundamental argument even as Tony is recruiting him away from Cap’s side.

The other reason “with great power comes great responsibility” stood out to me as the central theme is that every character in the movie would vehemently agree with the statement. They just disagree about how best to take responsibility. The film might ultimately be weighted toward Cap’s perspective, but everyone, even down to the “bad guy”, Zemo, is trying to take responsibility.


There are plenty of other reviews that do a great job of marching straight through the plot and (so far) I’ve only seen the film once so I’m just going to share the big things that popped for me on the first viewing.

Layers of motivation:
The movie built on everything the MCU has done so far. Every character was well motivated AND they were motivated based on who they fundamentally are, the events we as an audience have witnessed them going through, and their devotion to more ephemeral ideologies. Cap has consistently been let down by organizations he trusts. Those organizations have often told him specifically NOT TO ACT. Going back to his first film, when the government and the army wanted him to just dress up and sell war bonds. He never would have become the Cap we know and love if he hadn’t disobeyed the institution, rescued Bucky, and exposed the full threat of the Red Skull.

Tony is driven mostly by guilt. But just as Cap has the personal motivation of protecting Bucky, Tony has not only Rhodey’s injuries, but the elegantly constructed simmering jealousy and sense of competition with Steve Rogers spurred on by his late father.

Black Widow’s loyalties are divided. She’s also fundamentally motivated by guilt, but she’s also a spy who adapts to the situation. When it becomes clear that the fight is no longer about the Sokovia Accords specifically she helps Cap get away and continue on his mission.

Ant-Man hero worships Cap and we’re even reminded that he’s got no problem working on the wrong side of the law.

I could go on and on. I’m a little bummed that characters being well-motivated is so rare that it’s this exciting to me, but there you go.

Plot scale:
Even though this was one of the biggest, punchiest superhero movies ever made, the world was only at stake on a rhetorical level. I loved that there was a traditional antagonist in Zemo, but I loved that no one was trying to blow up the world or even Cleveland. It created variety and was a good reminder that HIGH STAKES can just be something that’s very, very important to the characters personally.

So few misunderstandings:
I also really liked that while Zemo manipulated events he never really “tricked” our heroes. Apologies to people who loved Batman v Superman, but one of the reasons I didn’t like the movie is that–even though the characters did have some ideological differences–by the time they were punching each other it was a misunderstanding. As soon as Batman knew the Martha-truth everything changed.

Zemo manipulated events, he stoked the fire, but the fundamental personal and ideological differences between Cap and Iron Man were already boiling under the surface.

I also like that Zemo didn’t just lure our heroes to fight in a cool bunker without any logic behind it. Part of his plot was to get to Siberia and MURDER THE OTHER SUPER SOLDIERS. (Which made for a great subversion of normal superhero movie third acts: They have to fight FIVE SUPER SOLDIERS–Whoops, no. There’s an upsetting home video.) Like everyone in the movie, Zemo’s trying to take responsibility and use his power to make sure there aren’t more Winter Soldiers running around. Yes, it’s an awfully MURDERY, VENGEANCE-TINGED responsibility, but he believes he’s making the world safer.

Big-ass location titles:
I loved the big location titles. It was a great stylistic break from the location typing out in the bottom corner of the screen like a spy dossier. It also reinforced that this was a global story. It stretches the superhero genre to be like James Bond or Indiana Jones. Superhero movies can be about zipping across earth. Not everyone needs to be locked in their one visually appropriate city they need to save.

Iron Man 3 clean-up:
I enjoyed Iron Man 3 but I’ve always been bothered by the disconnect between Tony blowing it all up (literally and figuratively) and then being right back in the mix and even wanting to create more weapons in Age of Ultron. Tony’s simple elegant line about not being able to give up the superhero game clarified his ideology and made a connecting point between Tony and Steve Rogers: They want to do good, but it’s not just altruistic, it’s a little selfish. At this point, they don’t know how to not be superheroes.

Secret identities are back, baby!
I loved Peter Parker’s intense concern about Aunt May not finding out about his Spider-Shenanigans. Also, the concern about his mask riding up at the end of the airport fight. The MCU has handled the lack of secret identities well, from the kick-ass ending of the very first Iron Man movie all the way to Black Widow emailing everyone all the secrets in The Winter Soldier. But as a comic book fan I’ve missed some of the nuance and conflicts of secret identities. The fact that Spidey really cares makes me feel like this is going to be reintroduced and maybe become a norm for heroes going forward in reaction to the Sokovia Accords.

And finally, fuck it, let’s go crazy:
It felt like this was the movie where the MCU felt truly comfortable in the reality they’ve built within their universe that they can take the risk of truly being COMIC BOOK MOVIES. Specifically, Black Panther and Spider-Man’s costumes being much closer to their comic book origins and not worrying about BUT IT HAS TO BE CHUNKY ARMOR OR SUPER-TEXTURED OR WE’LL LOSE OUR GRITTY, REAL WORLD CRED. Also, Giant-Man.


Young Tony:
I loved seeing the technology–both in the world of the movie and our real, human world–that made Robert Downey, Jr. young. But there was still a little bit of the uncanny valley to it. It’s cool to see the technology, but it weirds me out a little in a “with great power, comes great responsibility” way.

What are you doing, Vision?
I’m going to push my geek glasses way up my nose and say I was distracted by Vision not having more of an impact in the big fight at the airport. He’s definitely one of the most powerful members of #TeamIronMan so he could have turned the tide of the battle more. I appreciate that he took a few specific actions at the end of the fight, but I think a few shots of him just hanging back and observing during the early part of the fight would have gone a long way.


“Tell me, Captain, do you know where Thor and Banner are right now? ‘Cause you can bet if I misplaced a couple of 30 megaton warheads, there’d be consequences.” – General Thaddeus Thunderbolt Ross

Why: I love that it sounds like a strong argument until you realize he’s taking all humanity and agency away from Thor and the Hulk by comparing them to non-sentient weapons.

“Protection? Is that how you see this? This is protection? It’s internment, Tony. Come on, she’s A KID!” – Captain America

Why: With the one word “internment” we’re reminded that Cap has the perspective of multiple generations and that his reasons to distrust humans within organizations goes way back. Tony was playing on old patriotism with those FDR pens. The word “internment” was a nice f you to that tact.

“I don’t know how many fights you’ve been in, but there’s not usually this much talking.” – The Falcon

Why: I want Spider-Man to never stop talking during fights so I took this as a great promise of things to come.

“Manchurian Candidate, you’re killing me. We’re on a truce. Put the gun down.” -Iron Man

Why: I love the movie Manchurian Candidate and I love the snark of Stark.

“I can do this all day.” -Captain America

Why: See the #TeamCap paragraph above.

“Uggghhhhaaa.” -Captain America preventing a fucking HELICOPTER from taking off.

Why: Come on.


I try to do a few exercises every day. Just a few push-ups. I don’t expect to ever be ripped, I just want to be healthy enough to live a long time and see every Captain America movie.

It’s hard to stay motivated. But Cap does a great job of cutting through the noise and the BS to what is right.

“Come on, son,” I hear Cap say. “Just do your push-ups.”

Thanks, Cap.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoy this article, feel free to share it on the social medias. If you want to help make more articles like this possible, you can support me on Patreon.

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How To Talk To Your Family About The Force Awakens



In these tense holiday times, many sensitive subjects come up when we gather with our families. For example, someone you know–a loved family member even–might say something stupid about Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Here’s a list of 7 common complaints and how to handle them using your choice of the dark side or the light.

1) “I don’t even get the whole Star Wars thing.”

The Dark Side:
I’m sorry you hate joy. I bet you also dislike music and laughter. Those are both totally overrated, too. Why don’t you write a think piece about how much ice cream doesn’t even really taste that good, jump on your hoverboard, and roll the fuck out?

The Light Side:
I understand Star Wars isn’t for everyone and everyone’s entitled to their subjective opinion. That said, there are reasons it’s hugely popular with millions of people and has been for multiple decades. On its surface, it’s fun. It’s an epic saga about space wizards who cut each other’s arms off with laser swords. That’s just fun. But it’s constructed on deep themes of isolation, longing, free will versus destiny, individual agency in the face of institutionalized oppression, and lots of bad parenting. It speaks to essential challenges of humanity but also the aliens look cool. Go ahead and critique it or dislike it, but, at this point, what is there to not get?

2) “There were too many action scenes in it.”

The Dark Side:
It’s called Star Wars, you dumb moof-milker, not Star Talk About Our Feelings.

The Light Side:
Star Wars was inspired by old Saturday Morning Serials. The movies are designed to be thrilling by having lots of different action scenes. That said, they usually do a great job of not only advancing the plot through the action scenes, but also advancing individual characters’ journeys and relationships. For example, in The Force Awakens, when the rathtars are released, the action serves to strengthen the bond between Finn and Rey. During the First Order’s attack on Maz Kanata’s castle, Finn isn’t just using Luke’s old lightsaber to fight a cool Riot Stormtrooper; he’s making the choice not to run away from his fears. Also, saying there were too many action scenes in a Star Wars movie is like saying there are too many repressed emotions in a Jane Austen movie.

3) “It seemed like a reboot of that first Star Wars movie.”

The Dark Side:
*push glasses up the bridge of your nose with the power of the force*
The first movie is called A New Hope, asshole.

The Light Side:
Yes, it uses similar thematic elements, but it should. The goal of this film was to honor the old characters and stories while introducing us to new ones. The idea of mashing-up the very old and the very new is at the core of the franchise. It’s ancient hero myths but now there are aliens who look like big stressed-out fish. That’s Star Wars in a nutshell. While The Force Awakens played with our familiarity, it also introduced plenty of new things to the Star Wars galaxy. We’ve never had characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, and BB-8. They are not carbon copies of Luke, Han, Leia, and R2-D2. They are unique, new creations. Besides, Star Wars has always had a deep sense of nostalgia. From the very beginning, Luke wants to be a Jedi to follow in the steps of his father. There’s always been a generational theme. The movies have always been about adventures that happened “a long time ago.” And at this point, that deep connection to the past that was introduced in A New Hope is now an actual connection to our shared cultural experience in real life. We share Finn and Rey’s amazement because Han Solo is a legend we met a long time ago both in the story AND in reality. There’s no way to tell this story that isn’t deeply, deeply nostalgic.

4) “Okay, but why did there have to be another Death Star thing?”

The Dark Side:
It’s called Starkiller Base. Also, come up with a better plot device under the same amount of pressure, then make it the bestselling movie ever. I’ll wait.

The Light Side:
The movie is a big tentpole blockbuster with multiple plates to spin. By all means, say you don’t like those kind of movies, but get used to saying that a lot because those are the movies that exist now and their storytelling needs are different than It’s A Wonderful Life. The Force Awakens is trying to tell a big story about the state of the galaxy, but they couldn’t have too many political scenes or everyone would have yelled at them for doing “that prequel shit.” They also wanted to keep the focus on the interpersonal relationships. The Starkiller Base served a bunch of narrative functions: it wiped out the Senate and the Republic’s fleet by destroying the Hosnian System, created a ticking clock, a specific point of rivalry between Hux and Kylo Ren, and the opportunity for multiple characters to have heroic moments. When you’re already spinning that many plates, why not use something the audience is familiar with and makes sense in universe?

5) “Kylo Ren was too whiny.”

The Dark Side:
Your brain is very small. It’s worth one quarter portion.

The Light Side:
Kylo Ren is a great new Star Wars character–he’s petulant, insecure, and desperate. This is so much more interesting than a confident, monologuing mad man. And yet, we know by how much maintenance his hair must take, that deep inside there is still patience. He still cares. There is still a possibility for redemption.

6) “Han died for no reason.”

The Dark Side:
You didn’t actually watch the movie, did you?

The Light Side:
The movie resets Han’s hero’s journey. We meet him as a washed-up smuggler who is running away from his responsibilities. By the end of the movie, he makes the choice to go back and plant the explosives on the thermal oscillator because, as he says, “the galaxy is depending on us.” That decision opens the hole that Poe Dameron flies through. On top of that, Han has no desire to face his son. He’d rather write him off as gone, having too much Vader in him. But Han makes the brave choice of facing his fears and trying to get through to his son. He could have walked away–instead, Han talks first.

7) “Rey learns to use the Force too fast. She’s kind of a Mary Sue.”

The Dark Side:
If someone says this at dinner, just force throw a plate of ham into this guy’s face. Because it’s probably a guy who said this.

The Light Side:
First, google Mary Sue because you’re probably using it incorrectly. Then, take a good hard look in the mirror and make sure you’re not just upset about a female protagonist. If you haven’t rage quit this blog then we can move on to super nerdy force power discussion. Strap yourselves in.

Yes, Rey develops her abilities in a different way than we’ve seen other Jedi–which is cool–because see above about the mix of the old and the new.

Rey discovers her power step-by-step. Her abilities first “awaken” when she’s piloting the Falcon off of Jakku. She explicitly says to Finn she’s flown before, but she didn’t know how she did it so well.

Next, she fires a blaster. She has a slight look of surprise like she’s aware of her own increased accuracy.

Next, she’s captured by Kylo Ren and his beautiful hair. She discovers she can not only resist his attempts to use the force to read/invade her mind, she can do it back to him. At this point, we know Rey has heard tales of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi. It’s not surprising that she would’ve heard of the old Jedi Mind Trick. Also, Kylo Ren just tried to invade her mind. Then she does what we’ve seen many Jedi do, she concentrates, believes in her ability, and successfully mind tricks Daniel Craig dressed as a stormtrooper thus fulfilling someone’s slash fic bingo card somewhere.

Finally, the big lightsaber battle. It’s not a shock that Rey would be able to call the lightsaber to her, since the lightsaber itself was calling to her at Maz Kanata’s castle. She has a connection to it that Ren apparently doesn’t. Even with that, for the first half of her battle with Ren, Rey is just keeping alive. She’s slashing and running. We know she’s good at that because we’ve seen her do it with her staff back on Jakku. But then Kylo Ren mentions the force and she does exactly what Maz Kanata had told her to do: Close her eyes, let the light in, and it will guide you.

We were told way back in A New Hope by Obi-Wan Kenobi that the force obeys your commands, but it can also guide your actions.

What Rey lacks in training, she makes up in her connection with the force. Also, Kylo Ren is massively wounded, tormented about killing his father, insecure about this new force user, and probably still worried about his hair.

From a certain point of view

So those are a few thoughts you can share with your grumpy aunt, sexist uncle, or hipster cousin over the dinner table about the true power of The Force Awakens.

Just memorize all of this and repeat it verbatim to your family. They will ask you where you read that and then they’ll worry for my sanity.

Because, as Qui-Gon Jinn taught us, our focus determines our reality. So maybe this is a light, funny blog about a space movie. Or a thoughtful analysis of a film with deep themes and emotional resonance. Or the ravings of a crazy guy who saw the same movie four times opening weekend and can’t wait for a Rey action figure that comes with a lightsaber to be released.

All of those things are true from a certain point of view.

Happy holidays and may the force be with you.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy you can help make more blog posts possible by supporting me on Patreon. You can also check out Ken Napzok and I discussing some of these same issues on our podcast Force Center. Finally, I made a whole album of Star Wars comedy called Rebel Scum that you can listen to with your ears should you choose.


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Indiana Jones and The Death of Mystery


It is November 2015. As I write this sentence, Disney has released 18 more sneak peek shots of The Force Awakens. The Captain America: Civil War trailer is being analyzed frame by frame. Obsessive editors are busily scrubbing the Wikipedia entry for John Stamos to be deadly accurate. We live in a culture where KNOWING everything is the goal. I found myself thinking about how that affects us as a culture. And, specifically, how it affects something that leans toward the mysterious. How would it affect the rumored Indiana Jones reboot? I didn’t want to wonder. I WANTED TO KNOW. So I wrote this trailer for a new Indiana Jones movie, a movie called Indiana Jones and The Curse of the Reboot! Enjoy!

This summer, a legend is reborn. A beloved hero from the past returns. A hero who previously said cool lines like–

Nazis. I hate those guys.


It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

And of course—

Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?

And since we own the rights to this one, why not throw it in, too?

Never tell me the odds!

Yes, Indiana Jones is back to say all the same cool things for a new generation in a brand new adventure set in our crazy modern times. You’ll hear him says things like–

YouTube Commenters. I hate those guys.


It’s not the years, honey, it’s my Klout score.

And of course–

Emojis of snakes. Why’d it have to be emojis of snakes?

And let’s not forget–

Never tell me the full text of the iTunes User Agreement!

Yes, it’s Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Reboot! Thrill to the exploits of this daring hero as he easily looks up the location of mysterious artifacts on Google Maps!

You want me to go after the Rod of Methuselah? You mean the ancient staff that gives the holder eternal life and a four hour erection? Well, according to my Samsung Galaxy, it’s in Canada.

Yes, it’s a globe-trotting thrill ride of exotic locations recreated with CGI and greenscreen! All of which have been filmed in Canada!

Vancouver. Why’d it have to be Vancouver?

But Indy isn’t on this Canadian rollercoaster ride alone! He’s got a young sidekick who’s going to scream his name throughout the entire film!







Why haven’t you accepted my invitation to connect on LinkedIn?

BAM! Right in the four quadrant demographics! But that’s not all! Indiana Jones also has a love interest. She’s smart, tough, and at the very least a decade younger than Indiana Jones. And yes, that is despicable gender and age politics, but you keep coming to these movies so why should we stop making them like this? Anyway, she says–

So, Mr. Jones, is this all you ever do? Run around attacking people with a whip? Don’t you ever relax? Just sit back and watch Scandal on Netflix?

The only thing I got time to binge is adventure.

Ohhhh! Did you hear that last thing Indiana Jones said? It’s the best line in the movie. We know because we’ve screen tested the shit out of it. That line is the one projected to become iconic to males with an emotional age of 12 to 16. Here it is again:

The only thing I got time to binge is adventure.

But it’s not all fun and games! Indiana Jones must also have a lot of cool fistfights with a big henchman played by Dave Bautista whose character is also named Dave Bautista.

I’m Dave Bautista! Time to die, Indiana Jones!

This looks like a job for punching!

Wow! What a fight that will be! But don’t worry! Indiana Jones will win. Here’s a slight spoiler. He drives over Dave Bautista’s legs with a Prius, then throws him off the Golden Gate Bridge! And, yes, when that happens, there is a Wilhelm Scream:


But Indiana Jones’ troubles aren’t over yet! Because he still needs to face the big villain: Baron Cruel Von Ambiguously European!

You know, Mr. Jones, we’re not so different, you and I.


Observant as ever, Mr. Jones! Release the angry birds!

Yes, Indy and his friends are attacked by a literal pack of angry birds! Like actual pissed off animals with wings! But our heroes escape in a ludicrous, scientifically impossible way!

Quickly! Everyone use the pressurized oxygen inside your vape pens to propel your segways faster! It’s the only way to escape the angry birds!

Yes, that’s sure to piss off Neil DeGrasse Tyson! Hopefully, he’ll write a blog about it and give us a bunch of free publicity. But of course, the beating heart of any good Indiana Jones movie is the thing he’s after.

Baron! Don’t touch the Rod of Methuselah with your bare hands, you fool!

But of course he totally does! And then this happens–

Everyone! Close your eyes! A thousand vengeful bible ghosts just shot out of the tip of the staff and now they’re biting the nazis’ dicks off and lecturing them about family values!

It’s social commentary but funny and irreverent because he said dicks! What more could you want? HOW ABOUT A BIG THIRD ACT TWIST? Turns out, the Nazi wasn’t the real villain after all. It was a giant, sentient boulder. It goes rolling after Indiana Jones while he yells this cool line–

It’s not a repetition, honey, it’s an homage!

And then off course, Indiana Jones outsmarts the boulder by, well, just jumping out of its way. But there are STILL more surprises, like in the final shot of the movie, where you see a close-up of the Rod of Methuselah and a spider crawls out of it and you realize, holy crap, this whole thing was a set-up for the next Spider-Man movie!

My god…it’s all one big shared universe.

That’s right, we just showed you the actual very last shot and line of the movie. I bet you think there’s nothing else to reveal? WRONG AGAIN, DUMB AUDIENCE! Here’s the surprise post-credits scene where Indiana Jones loses his shit, turns directly to the camera, and goes on an angry, post-modern rant about the quality of his own movie.

This is horrible! It’s all horrible! Not only is the movie awful, but you saw every beat of it in the goddamn trailer!

Look, I love knowledge. I’m an archeologist who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the unknown. But that’s the point–the pursuit!

I used to go spelunking in volcanoes to discover hidden societies! Now the most exciting thing I do is try to drive to Santa Monica without using Waze!

Look, every waking moment is mapped, planned, previewed, reviewed, and post-mortemed. Well, here’s a hot take for you, sweetheart: if you buy a new iPhone, you don’t need to watch an unboxing video first. Thrill to the adventure of opening the damn box yourself!

You know that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where I have to close my eyes to avoid the horrific power of the Ark? That’s the way you should treat the fucking internet sometimes!

Yes, pursue knowledge and truth, but every once in a while, for God’s sake, just close your eyes and revel in the beautiful mystery of the UNKNOWN.

It’s like nothing you’ve ever gone after before.

OH YEAH! Classic line said by a different character! Yes, it’s Indiana Jones and the Death of Mystery. That’s right, we just changed the title based on some polls conducted during this trailer. So get out your phones and plan your EXACT route, because Indiana Jones and the Death of Mystery is coming soon to a theater near you whether you like it or not.

The 21st Century. Why’d it have to be the 21st Century?

*whip crack*
*massive explosion*

Thanks for reading. If you enjoy these comedy posts, you can make more happen by supporting me on Patreon!

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The Vicar of Murder Village

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of online reviews of TV shows. I like reviews. There are many awesome reviewers out there, but I’ve also read a lot of reviews that are very consternated because the show is not what they want it to be. I decided to take this a step further by forcing myself to review a show that never even existed. Enjoy!


Today I’ll be reviewing that classic BBC mystery show, The Vicar of Murder Village. As fans of the show know, it ran on the BBC from 1969 to 2002. It was broadcast in America on PBS for most of the 1980s and became a fan favorite for the kind of people who watch British murder mysteries at 3 pm on a Sunday afternoon.

This groundbreaking show about a nice lady investigating an endless serious of brutal yet quaint deaths just made its debut on Netflix so a whole new generation is learning that great catchphrase: “Tsk, tsk, don’t kill people.”

If you’re one of those weirdos who are so culturally challenged you’ve never even heard of The Vicar of Murder Village, the premise is pretty simple. The star of the show is Dame Margaret Heatherstone. She played the character of Heather Margaretstone; a feisty female Vicar who is appointed to a sleepy Yorkshire town called Murder Village.

It’s called Murder Village because a minimum of six people are murdered there every week and, of course, it’s up to our kind yet irreverent Vicar to figure out whodunit and still make it home in time to have a nice cup of tea and some mild sexual tension with her gardener, John Trowel. This is a very literal show.

I’ve been reviewing every single episode and today I’m tackling an episode called “Death Leaves A Stain Because It Doesn’t Put A Doily Under Its Tea Cup.”

That is the actual title.

It is the third episode of the twenty-seventh season and let me tell you it is a fucking stinker. This won’t even be a review, it’s going to be an execution so strap on your hate pants and buckle up, fuckos, because you are in for a kill ride.

I don’t even know what those words mean. Did I mention I’ve reviewed every single episode of this show up to this point?

Anyway, this episode was written by an absolute hack named Lawrence Thortonberry. Lawrence was a prolific BBC writer. He died just a few months after writing this episode, probably out of shame.

The characterization of the Vicar is inconsistent at best. He has her eating a chocolate biscuit BEFORE she solves the murder when every knows she ONLY eats a chocolate biscuit AFTER she solves the murder OR if she’s working extra hard to deny her desire to knock boots with John Trowel who isn’t even in this episode until Act Three and then he doesn’t even take his shirt off.

What bullshit! Screw you and every single one of your descendants, Lawrence Thortonberry!

To make matters worse, you have the Vicar’s friend, Constable Jenkins, remark on the fact that there’s been a lot of death lately in Murder Village.

That’s insane. INSANE!

The whole premise of the show is that no one in the town acknowledges the massive death rate of a place called Murder Village. The charm of this show is that it’s basically a village full of people who wouldn’t understand the concept of irony if you beat them over the head with a manual typewriter and then during the beating the typewriter spells out “mUrdEr!” (This actually did happen in Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Two AND NO ONE FUCKING COMMENTED ON IT!)

The point is: the good citizens of Murder Village have never even heard the word “meta” and yet you have Inspector Constable Dumb-ass practically bashing his giant forehead against the fourth wall!

If you’re not rolling in your grave, Lawrence Thortonberry, you should be. I’m tempted to have you exhumed so I can personally install your skeleton on a spit and make sure you are rolling over throughout eternity.

This episode is also jaw-droppingly derivative.

Here’s the plot: A jealous sheep farmer discovers his wife is cheating on him with the local cheesemaker and suffocates him by sticking a block of Wensleydale down his throat. The sheep farmer then goes insane and claims the sheep told him to do it.


This is the EXACT same plot as Season Fifteen’s masterful classic “Death Takes A Riding Lesson And Gets A Little Chafed” in which the jealous cheesemaker discovers his wife is cheating on him with the sheep farmer and chokes him to death with recently sheared wool. The cheesemaker then goes insane and claims the goats told him to do it.

I mean, what the actual ever living fuck, Lawrence Thortonberry? How could you do this to me? How could you not foresee that this quaint British murder mystery would eventually be streaming on Netflix? That your putrid shit fondue of an episode would be beamed through space to my laptop where I would write a review of it?

And to what end? I mean, why am I even writing this? What is the point of this critique? The episode can’t be changed. The show can’t be improved–it’s been off the air for over a decade. Everyone involved in its production is dead or trying to wipe the show from their IMDb page.

This was not a show that was meant to be reviewed. It’s like reviewing a light wind. It just passes by you. It’s a pleasant half hour of murder based treacle you were supposed to use to fill the time until your bladder could withstand another cup of tea.

It wasn’t meant for me. It wasn’t meant for some angry thirtysomething steeped in irony, student loans, and complex opinions about the shot composition of Reservoir Dogs. I’m offended by this show’s very existence!

And yet there are episodes that make me feel good. It takes me away from my problems and transports me to a lovely little village where all is right with the world because no death goes unpunished and even if it did it wouldn’t matter because all the characters are so emotionally repressed they can only express themselves through their biscuit choices.

And I like the show that way! But you had to fuck up even that small bit of bliss, didn’t you, Lawrence Thortonberry, you hack bastard? I hope you rot in hell with a constantly full bladder and never, ever have access to your preferred style of biscuit.



In conclusion, I give this episode a B+.

Not the greatest episode, but it could be worse.

That’s it for this review. Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing another episode written by Lawrence Thortonberry. The review will be LONG so if you have kids get a fucking sitter before your start reading. I’ll see you tomorrow for a thoughtful analysis of “Death Fertilizes The Field Behind Mrs. Witherton’s Hydrangea Bush.”

Until then: “Tsk, tsk, don’t kill people.”

If you enjoyed this post FEEL FREE TO LEAVE AN EMOTIONALLY CONFLICTED REVIEW but more importantly, consider supporting me on Patreon. Sincere thanks for your time!

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An Inaccurate Guide To Game of Thrones

There are a lot of posts about Game of Thrones. Some of them are by people who’ve read the book. Some of them are by people watching the HBO show. Regardless, they’re all very dangerous to read depending on how much you know. It’s like that one Game of Thrones lady always says, “The internet is dark and full of spoilers.” So if you can’t decide whether or not you want to know what’s happening, here’s a post you can read with ZERO RISK OF SPOILERS because it is utterly full of shit.


Game of Thrones is a series of novels and a TV show by world-renowned fantasy author Gerald J.J. Martian. One day someone asked Gerald J.J. Martian to play a game of “Fuck, Marry, or Kill” with the characters of Lord of the Rings and he went absolutely crazy with it.

The story is about about a bunch of people who all want to be the leader and sit on the Idiot Throne. It’s called the Idiot Throne because they all know they’re going to get killed because of it, but they’re still optimistic that things will work out.

Who are these idiots?

Well, there are a lot of characters, but these are the MAIN characters.

Thaddeus Grumblebutts
Jameson Ladyhands
Shandy Diggerydug
Gregory Picklefiddle
Lady One-Name
Sir Tiberion Teedlewood Taddlewonker
Susan of Nachos
Ampersand Shuttlefuk
Lord Gaggleberry Bighat
Quinton Littleprick
Kayla, Kyla, and Kaylee MacJeggings
Wagglechops Studlybrook
Lady Vowels Consonants
Peon Shithead
Anderson Cooper

These characters all have titles that let you know how they relate to one another and places and stuff. Here are their titles:

King of the Upper Middle Northwest
Regent of the Southparts
Teaser of the Corn District
Master Plumber of Seaworld
The Queen’s Fanny Pack
Grand Maester Coachella
Mother of Discounts
The Guy Who Holds The Swords
Friend of the Diresquirrels
The Spleen of the King
The Broslayer
Lord of Crapplethorn Rock
Vice President of Social Media Integration
Keeper of the Hentai
Chancellor of Edible Floral Arrangements
Shambling Mass of Fear and Regret
Admin of the Webring

Even if you haven’t read or watched Game of Thrones you’ve probably picked up on some of the phrases and family mottos that get used a lot. Here are some of the famous ones.

Foreshadowing is coming.
All Men Must Chill the Fuck Out.
The King is Dead! So is this one! Son of a bitch! What are we going to do?
A Ladyhands always pays with credit.
You know nothing, Mister Asshole!
I am the one who knocks.
Valuable Savings, Margolis.
Say “verily” one more time, motherfucker!
Please don’t cut off my penis.
I am the guardian of the shield of the wall of the connecting words
Keep Calm and Die Quietly
Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
When you play the Game of Thrones, could you please wait until I’m done talking to stab me?

As you’ve probably heard, a lot of the characters die. Actually, at this point in the story all the characters have died. The rest of the TV shows are just really long IN MEMORIAM videos. Here are all the different ways the characters die.

Disemboweled with a rake
Ate a poisoned Hot Pocket
Literally hoisted on an actual petard
Accidentally cut their own head off
Throat ripped out by Diresquirrels
Strangled with their own intestines
Shot through the head with seventeen arrows
Trampled by turtles
Burnt alive by exotic bath salts
Strangled with their best friend’s intestines
Legs eaten by a horse, arms by dragon, head by a goat
Mixed 7-Up with Pop Rocks
Pushed off a very tall bed
Said “verily” one more time
Torn apart by a shaky cam
Strangled by another character whose name is Intestines

And that’s it! Now you know LITERALLY EVERYTHING about Gerald J.J. Martian’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones! So the next time someone walks up to you and says “You know nothing, Mister Asshole!” you can laugh and wink and say, “I also have cultural knowledge, you insufferable prick!”

Or just murder them with a Hot Pocket!

Whatever happens, go with the flow, because if there’s one central idea to Game of Thrones, it’s this:

Actions never have consequences!

Thanks and enjoy Game of Thrones!

If you enjoyed this comedy blog post, you can help make more comedy posts, albums, podcasts, and more happen by supporting Joseph on Patreon!

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The Anti-Commercial

When I was about fourteen, my mother took me to visit my grandfather.

He suffered from depression. He was scarred from his service in World War II. The only thing he ever said about the war was this: “I should have married that nice girl I met in France instead of your grandmother.”

My grandmother once popped my balloon with a cigarette while she was gesticulating wildly to complain about how people shouldn’t get welfare, so, fair enough, Grandpa.

I hadn’t seen my grandfather in a few years. I was an incredibly thin teen. My mother had put on a few pounds. When we arrived at his small apartment, he stared at us. Then he said:

“I guess she’s eating all the food.”

I was, of course, hurt and offended, but also IMPRESSED by the skill with which he so succinctly mocked us BOTH.

This memory popped into my head when I saw the horrible GoDaddy commercial during the Super Bowl.

Here’s a space where I’m not linking to the commercial:

I don’t want them to get any more hits, so let me describe it. A stereotypically attractive female model sits next to a stereotypically unattractive male geek. The voice over says something crappy about web hosting.

Then the model and the geek kiss. This is supposed to be CRAZY in ALL-CAPS. This is supposed to be as outlandish as every other commercial premise. This is as WEIRD as A PLANET FULL OF BABIES or OLD PEOPLE EATING AT TACO BELL or GOTHS DRINKING BUDWEISER.

There are horrible unnatural kissing smacking sound effects most likely created by slapping a seal with a wet noodle. Like that, but more disgusting. It was like they couldn’t decide whether the kiss itself should be funny or sexy so they went with the third option of REVOLTING.

Then, just like my grandfather, the commercial delivers the perfect double punch. The voice says something along the lines of you should use GoDaddy because it does this brilliant thing of combining SEXY and SMART.

After the average American Super Bowl viewer managed to hold down their Doritos and Bud Light through the endless kissing scene, they were treated to this moral at the end of the commercial:

Sexy women aren’t smart.
Smart men aren’t sexy.

I had to fight the urge to leap off the couch and go cancel my GoDaddy account. The only reason I didn’t is because I do not have a GoDaddy account. I’m tempted to sign up for one so I can have the satisfaction of canceling it. If you have a GoDaddy account, I politely encourage you to consider canceling it.

The Super Bowl commercials were extra horrifying this year as though they were actually striving to meet a bullshit stereotype reinforcement quota. Old people shouldn’t have fun, violence is cool, women are objects, Stevie Wonder is a voodoo priest, babies can’t be astronauts, etc.

I had a more visceral reaction to the GoDaddy commercial because it seemed to go out of its way to be as offensive as possible and then wink about it. Like it was cute and clever. Those fools! Don’t they realize ONE entity can’t be both CUTE and CLEVER! That’s as outrageous as an attractive woman kissing an intelligent man!

I expect this sort of absurdity from Budweiser. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Christopher Walken, Shia LaBeouf, and a team of Playboy Bunnies do a 60 second spot to advertise the new Bud Light Beer Enema. I would have had problems with that, too, but all the societal issues would be more difficult to analyze and address.

I think we need to start breaking down the cheap, easy stereotypes. It’s not easy, but the GoDaddy commercial gives us a nice place to start. I hope a lot of people who are both smart and sexy tell GoDaddy that they really aren’t interested in being negatively stereotyped. I hope they remind GoDaddy that what they want out of a web hosting company is web hosting, not insulting commercials with horrific kissing noises.

There are plenty of web hosting options out there.

We all make choices.

My grandfather could have married that nice girl in France.

We could tell GoDaddy where to go.


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The Avengers’ Guide To Girls

Moviefone kicked up some controversy with its alleged satire article “A Girl’s Guide To The Avengers.” I thought the article was sort of masterful in the way it was tone deaf to both comic book fans and people whose perceptions of gender have evolved since 1972. I posted on twitter that I would be more interested in reading “The Avengers’ Guide To Girls.” So I wrote that.


“Look, uh, I like ladies. Kind of a lot. I’ve got this sort of casual, humorous, slightly alcoholic thing going and ladies seem to really like that. I mean, it’s hard to be casual when you wear a giant suit of metal, but I manage to pull it off. I’m a bad boy with a heart of gold that is kept beating by the power of a small arc reactor. So, if you want to have good luck with the ladies, you should follow that age old wisdom: just pretend to be yourself. And pretend yourself is me, Tony Stark. I mean, Iron Man. Whatever. And if anything goes wrong just make a joke. If that doesn’t work, suddenly put on a suit of armor and fly away.”


“Um, my last date was during Word War II. I don’t have a lot of really good advice for dating in modern times. I guess, if you have a lady you’re sweet on and your parents are okay with it, take her down to Walgreen’s and buy her a malted at the soda fountain. Also, you should probably purchase a condom. Tony tells me they sell those in Walgreen’s now. Right out in the open. And if you don’t know what a condom is, well, you know how I use my shield to reflect bullets? I’m uncomfortable now. I guess the point is I would rather have Nazis shooting at me than continue this conversation. Do you still have War Bonds? Go buy those and leave me alone please.”


“I don’t even know why I’m in this article.”


“In my time on the mortal plane, I have learned that it is quite normal for young men to declare, ‘I’m a god.’ I understand these men are part of a sub-species of human males called ‘douche bags’ and sometimes even ‘douche canoes.’ I do not know if there is a difference between the bags and the canoes. Well, I am not one of these douche things. I am a Norse God. Here are a few things that are important to the ladies both in Asgard and here on Earth: Respect. Honor. Large Mystical Hammers. The ability to summon romantic storms and stuff. They also like clear direct communication. I, Thor, son of Odin, master of Mjolnir, have no problem with clearly and repeatedly saying exactly what I mean in a very loud voice. I really mean that. Thank you for your time. My name is Thor and I am a God. Not a Douche God. An actual God.”


“I am a woman. I can’t speak for all women. As a woman, I like to kick people in needlessly complex ways then land in a cool pose. I have to go try to be a spy while hanging out with incredibly loud men who wear bright costumes now.”


“It’s all about the foot rub. I got my technique down and everything.”







There. I hope that helps people in their relationships. If nothing else, I’m super glad to get it out of my system. Thanks for reading.








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JOHN CARTER of MEH-ARS: An Ignorant Review

There’s a lot of controversy swirling around the internet about the quality of the recently released film, JOHN CARTER.

Personally, I feel like I’m in a great place to help solve this dispute, because I haven’t seen the film.

I’m like that unemployed friend you run into at the bar when you’re in the middle of a complex and sensitive debate with a close friend. I’m going to plop myself down uninvited (probably sitting on the seat backwards in an annoyingly casual manner) and spew my easy solutions. Brace yourself for an unpleasant barrage that reeks of Leinenkugel’s HoneyWeiss, clove cigarettes, and well-intentioned ignorance.

JOHN CARTER is a movie about a guy named John Carter. He’s played by that guy who played Tim Riggins in FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. So this film is basically TIM RIGGINS IN SPACE WITHOUT HIS SHIRT ON. I’m pretty sure he also wears one of those skirts you see Romans wear in gladiator, chariot race, or Easter movies.

A lot of people are mad that they dropped “OF MARS” from the title of the film which leads me to believe most of this movie happens on MARS.

Here’s the thing about MARS: You gotta handle that shit carefully. People make so many associations with MARS. The candy bar, the God of War, not to mention the planet itself. You put MARS in the title and people would be like, “is this just going to be a movie about a War God eating candy bars that is narrated by Carl Sagan?”

No one wants that.

So I bet this movie is grounded in something we can all relate to–like working retail. I bet JOHN CARTER works at Trader Joe’s. There’s a lady cashier he likes but he doesn’t date her because he’s got a little brother to take care of after their parents died. I also heard he’s maybe from Civil War time. So maybe his parents died in the Civil War, but right before they sacrificed themselves to end injustice, they put TIM RIGGINS and his cute orphan brother in this passageway that looked like the underground railroad but was actually a time corridor. Tap that sweet Doctor Who demographic.

So after we spend about 20 minutes setting up all the human emotion stuff, something computer generated happens at Trader Joe’s. There’s probably like a close up of a big rack of Three Buck Chuck shaking, then it explodes and the bottles come flying at you (because I know the movie’s got a lot of 3D showings) and a monster probably comes out of a space portal.

Odds are the monster is a SPIDER FROM MARS. Like David Bowie’s band except they don’t play glam rock, they’re less bi-sexual, and they’re actual spiders. So, Spiders are killing people on MARS and it’s like the CIVIL WAR all over again. TIM RIGGINS’ orphan brother and almost girlfriend were probably killed by the exploding wine racks, so he’s like, “Screw it. I have to go to MARS to fight injustice.”

BIG FIGHT when he first gets to MARS. Really slows down the plot, but there are a lot of cool shots where a half-naked TIM RIGGINS is jumping through the air swinging sharp things. Then–BAM–jump cut to an extreme close up of his sensitive yet steely eyes.

We can tell he is resolved:


I’ve also heard that the book the movie is based on had PRINCESS in the title. So, either it’s like a funny thing where MARS culture is different and they name their new hero PRINCESS or he meets a new girl who is the actual mf’ing PRINCESS of MARS.

(You would think that MARS would have a president or an emperor or something because MARS is a planet in SPACE, and most movies that happen in SPACE are futuristic. But for some reason, the people on MARS are still rocking a monarch based government system. So it’s like someone stripped the plot and drama from GAME of THRONES and put it in space. Which is bold, but dangerous. Because you could end up with like an army of geeks pushing their glasses up and fighting about whether it’s “SCI FI” or “FANTASY.” Two genres they like, but sometimes when you put them together, geeks get really mad and say hurtful things to each other on the internet.)

Anyway, the PRINCESS is probably like, “it has been foretold only you, TIM RIGGINS of THE CIVIL WAR and TRADER JOE’S, can protect us from the SPIDERS of MARS and lead our savage race.” (I’m assuming there’s an insulting thing about their pre-industrial culture because people keep comparing this movie to AVATAR. And AVATAR was just DANCES WITH WOLVES in SPACE. So, on a political level, this movie should be called TIM RIGGINS DANCES WITH DAMAGING SOCIO-CULTURAL STEREOTYPES ON MARS.)

Now admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the actual character of this new MARTIAN PRINCESS love interest, but to be fair, I bet the screenwriters and director don’t either. I can tell you one important thing: she’s not played by Lindsay Lohan. Because everybody would be making a big deal out of that. I can also tell you she’s attractive, scantily clad, and odds are she’s written pretty poorly but does some cool fighting to try to cover up the blatant sexism.

Any-hoo, then we have at least 20 minutes of TIM RIGGINS getting used to MARS. This is a mixture of humor, weight training montages, and a scene where he is taught to use an exotic new weapon. Perhaps a whip with a knife and/or electricity on the tip. He’ll also fall in love with the PRINCESS and maybe find another young orphan boy to mentor. Also, the evil people will be plotting to basically cause a MARTIAN CIVIL WAR so we can build the stakes to the BIG FIGHT AT THE END.

But before the end, I understand we have like a dream team of HBO TV stars. We’ve got McNulty from THE WIRE. We’ve got Walter White from BREAKING BAD. We’ve probably got the SISTER FROM DEXTER. Hell, maybe she’s even the PRINCESS. That would blow my mind.

Now, if you have McNulty, Walter White, and Tim Riggins in a movie and they don’t do a drug deal, that’s just a waste of American culture. That’s an insult to high quality drama. Like you just walked up to the podium on OSCARS night and slapped the greek drama mask right in the face.

So, I’m going to say McNulty is a war-torn savage who wants to change the monarchy system, but can’t. And I’m going to say Walter White is the main villain. Maybe the PRINCESS’ dad who turned evil, and used the RED METH ROCKS FROM THE CRYSTAL CAVE to become THE SPIDER KING.

Anyway, there’s a bunch of plot convolutions, but then there’s a BIG FIGHT. Walter White gets his stupid hat whipped off his head by TIM RIGGINS and all the audience can think about is COACH ERIC TAYLOR BEAMING WITH PRIDE and mumbling, “Good job, son, good job.”

Here are some of the things that come flying at the screen in 3D during the fight: SPIDER PARTS, MARS ROCKS, ARMOR, BRAS, EXPLOSIONS, RED METH.

Walter White is killed. This happens on like a hill or a castle. So a bloodied but victorious TIM RIGGINS can be higher than everybody else just like Hitler in every single shot in Leni Riefenstahl’s THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL.

The war torn savages, even bitter drunk McNulty, scream and applaud like they just saw a really great stand-up act. TIM RIGGINS makes eye contact with NOT LINDSAY LOHAN and allows himself one brief smirk. Camera zooms into his eye and exciting, modern music that doesn’t make you think of science fiction in any way blasts over the credits.

Then, there’s a post credits sequence where TIM RIGGINS is training his new orphan brother to use the lazer-knife whip, and we see something in the distance–what is it?


This means war, this means sequel, this means the next movie will be called JOHN CARTER 2, but everybody will call it JOHN CARTER, ALSO just to be smart-asses.

Okay, so that’s probably what happens, but is the movie any good?

Well, beyond certain objective structural and technical elements, movies are SUBJECTIVE.

Personally, I enjoyed imagining parts of this film and other things I pulled out of my ass really pissed me off and made me glad I haven’t seen it yet.

Bottom line–if you like fantasy, if you like space, if you have a high threshold for stereotypes, and/or you just want to see a topless TIM RIGGINS wearing a Roman Skirt, then this is a great way to spend two hours of your life that you will never get back.

All in all, I give JOHN CARTER, ASS KICKER OF MARS two thumbs. Thumbs don’t always need to be up or down. Sometimes they can just be. Hanging out, chill and cool, like TIM RIGGINS.

Tim Riggins forever, man, Tim Riggins forever.

Thanks for reading or whatever.








Filed under Comedy Review