OSCAR Time thoughts

This Sunday is one of the most anticipated days of the year for me as always, it’s Oscar time. It is on my bucket list to one year attend the Oscars. We actually have a friend who is married to a Hollywood agent and have found a possible in roads to attend the Oscars one academy awards one year. You have to be put in a lottery though so it’s a shot in the dark, so maybe one year we will go.

Anyhow, I have given a lot of thoughts about the movie year recently. Some critics suggest that it was a weak year for movies last year. I disagree, I probably went to about 90 movies last year and thought the overall quality of movies was quite satisfying. I do think however that there were very few great movies, but a lot of good and almost great movies and very few absolute stinkers.

I have created a few categories of my own for your enjoyment. We will begin with Sleeper hits. Here is my off the top of my head list of some under the radar gems or underappreciated movies from last year. In no particular order they are

It comes at Night-Critically acclaimed yes, but it generated little buzz amongst movie goers. Starring the under appreciated Joel Edgerton of Warrior fame.

Life- another sci fi movie which in my opinion like It comes at night was just shy of great. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhall.

Patty Cakes$- A bunch of rag tag underdogs strive for success in the hip hop game. Had my absolute favorite scene of the year. Starring Danielle Macdonald in a star making role as the titular character.

and the award goes to Patty Cakes- Not the best movie of the year but certainly some great moments and a cast of characters you absolutely root for and love because of they are so far from mainstream and very diverse. a stereotypical cast this is not. Both wacky and heartfelt touching and humorous. A great underdog story.

Movies that lived up to the Hype

Guardians of the Galaxy 2-Never saw the first one and didn’t need to to enjoy this movie. A give it a B plus. Not quite great but almost.

Planet of the Apes- Great closure to an intriguing trilogy around Caesar. If it wasn’t for the annoying comic relief “Bad ape” character this would have been an Oscar contender in my book. I give it an A-.

3 Billboard outside of Ebbings,Mo- Billed as an Oscar contender and it lived up to the hype. In my opinion the best movie of the year.

The shape of Water- To be honest Sally Hawkins is what drew me in because of her performance in Maudie alongside Ethan Hawke earlier in the year.  Fantasy is not my forte which is why for me it was the 2nd best movie of the year.

And the Winner is-Planet of the Apes. A near Oscar caliber movie and a very satisfying conclusion to this series. It wins because it is very rare that a blockbuster reaches this level of excellence.  It was hyped for a huge audience not an indie loving audience like Shape of water or 3 billboards so this gets the win.

Over rated Movie of the year. This will have a loser and not a winner.

The nominees are

Lady Bird- Starring Soarise Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe- Movie critics loved this movie but I thought it was strictly mediocre. Not the Oscar caliber movie it is purported to be.

Wonder Woman- To be honest you are better of watching Professor Marsten and the Wonder women. People loved the idea of this movie. Next time don’t worry about getting a literal beauty queen worry about a strong actress in the lead.

Dunkirk- This is actually a good movie. And it had great elements- Like the score and the cinematography.  However the director missed with the story telling. There should have been less focus on the beach and more focus on the citizens who come to the rescue. Not Oscar caliber more like a 7 on a scale of a 1-10. An Oscar caliber movie should be a 10.

Call me by your name. Yet again a good movie. Very slowing movie however. Probably a 7 on a scale of 1-10. It ended great however. The last 15 minutes were oscar worthy but this movie was way to slow and was way too long.

And the Loser is Wonder woman- watched by way too many for a movie that was mediocre at best. The lead actress is not strong. Fight scenes dragged on way too long. It was not enjoyable. Way too long and I don’t find the actual portrayal of the character interesting. Wonder woman can be an interesting character. I thought she came across as sweet and altruistic in Justice league and she was a great addition to that movie but a full length movie devoted to her was not necessary, it was just a money grab playing off the novelty of having a woman in the lead. Women clamored to be represented so they flocked to the theater and men are just pervy weirdos who want to see a woman fight in a skirt.

Comedy of the year

Girls night out- Breakout movie for Tiffany Haddish. Well acted and very fun movie to watch.

Jumanji- The concept of having the adult actors paly characters that are exactly opposite of what they look like was very clever and perfectly executed by Jack Black especially.

The Big Sick- First great movie I saw last year and it should be nominated for movie of the year. Much deeper than your typical rom com. Hilarious and meaningful with a veteran cast of comic actors including Holly Hunter and Ray Romano in supporting roles.

Thor- It is an action hero movie but it is also very comedic. I never expected this to play as a comedy and it really worked. Honestly it may have been rather formulaic if played as a straight action superhero movie.

And the Winner is…

The Big Sick. While the rest of the movies ranged from good to very good this is the only movie in this category that I wo0uld give an actual A letter grade to. Much deeper and moving than the other movies. And I loved watching the actual stand up routines throughout the movie. This was based on an actual story which is why it is believable and moving. Very charming, very funny and who doesn’t relate to the angst of love and meeting your loves parents.

Actor of the Year-

Chris Pratt- Loved him in Passengers which was a hard movie to carry and scored well with Guardians of the Galaxy as well.

Woody Harrelson-Who chose two better movies to star in this year than Woody Harrelson. Touching in 3 billboards and a great baddy in Planet of the apes.

Sally Hawkins-Actually gave two Oscar worthy performances. One is Maudie and the other for Shape of Water. Also starred in Paddington 2.

Idris Elba- Call him Tapatio because he was in everything. Starred in the mountain between us and gave a nice performance there. Made the Dark tower a watchable movie. Was in Molly game and also Thor. Don’t forget 100 streets as well. Just a very talented versatile actor. Always a pleasure to watch.

And the Winner is…

Sally Hawkins- Absolutely adorable in Maudie and I immediately thought Oscar worthy when I watched it and then she does shape of water and makes this weird romance with a sci fi sea creature moving and watchable and actually seem forgivable although it is beastiality. A well deserved nomination for her and I wish she would have got two nomionations because her performance in Maudie needs to be watched. She just clicked well with eevrybody this year from Ethan hawkes to Octavia spencer to some weird fishy bastard and Richard Jenkins.


AA thoughts for the day

Got up in a good mood which is great because they say that the first 17 seconds of your day can determine your attitude for the rest of the day. So immediately I decided I was in a good mood and would be grateful. This decision to be positive led me in the direction of feeling like a bad ass. Having Apserger’s syndrome can be quite challenging during the holidays. There is so much break from our routine and so much interaction with people and sensory overload with parties. So I’ve been dealing with a lot of that lately and I must admit I am doing pretty well. When I have gotten a bit flustered I didn’t make a big stink of things, I just kind of let them simmer and stay a small deal rather than making them a bigger deal.

So on my way out the door I kind of felt like bragging today. I wanted to be like “hey people” I am a certified bad ass because I am handling all kinds of things I am not naturally good at handling. But then the internal struggle came.

Everybody deserves to have a voice and has their place and time to be heard. I have decided that this blog is my place and time. I have decided that my AA meetings have another purpose. So I was at the meeting today and yet again not a lot of people are there so it’s easy for me to speak up and say “I need to speak, to do my part.” It gets tricky. Because the “I need to do my part thing” is real to me. If there are 3 or 4 people then I feel like I am being an asshole by intentionally not speaking. When the numbers get a bit bigger then if everybody else shares the meeting is full and it doesn’t drag. Today was one of those days where it was just big enough that I could hold my tongue and let others speak. I am really sensitive about this. I really believe that everybody needs to have their voice be heard. Everybody needs to feel that what they have to say is important and it’s really helpful if other people give you respect and value what you have to say. I try to give that to other people at my meetings. It is something I want in my life. I just typically don’t use AA for that. I need validation, yes, I need to be heard yes, but I go elsewhere for that. Learning the right place and the right people for that purpose is vital. There are some people who just can not defer to others. They just can not think of other people or think of the idea that the other person in the room would like to speak would like to be heard and would like to be valued. It is a tightrope learning who those people are. Then there are those who are great at involving others in a conversation. My favorite People-people who ask my opinion on shit. What do you think Danny? Well, thanks for asking. Here’s what I think… There are some people who are comfortable not speaking at all in a social situation but it’s really hard to identify them. If you can great, but I don’t know how to distinguish those people from the people who would like to get involved in the conversation but either just don’t know how to or get trapped in the feeling that nobody wants to listen to them. I feel that way alot. If I get in a situation where somebody is dominating a conversation, their sentences go on for 3 minutes straight, you speak 4 words and then they go on for 2 minutes you speak 5 words and then they go on for 5 minutes, I will just mentally check out if it is a larger group. I will just stop looking at you, I will drift off and think about other things. I figure if you aren’t interested in me and won’t engage me then I am not interested in you. This has happened many a time, where I will just stop paying attention and somebody else will be like what do you think and I will just be like “I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.” I like people who are good at back and forth. They speak a bit, I speak a bit, they speak a bit and so on. I like having conversations with people but I feel like if I want to hear a sermon I can go to church for that or if I want a one sided conversation I can read a blog posts. That is what it is there for. And there are some great ones out there that aren’t even 1 sided. I like the ones that encourage you to ponder a topic. I like the ones that ask questions that welcome feedback. But if not that is fine as well. It is your space. It is your time to shine. So out in the rest of the world I may be a mild mannered Clark Kent this is my time to be Superman. This is where I get the spotlight.

There’s no way in Hell you will see this when the new version of A Christmas story airs live on Fox on the 17th

I admit it, cranky old me actually woke up in a good mood today. Watch out it usually gets wacky when that happens. I decided it would be a good day but now it’s really going to be a good day. I just found out that the old classic movie “A Christmas story” is going to be done live on Fox on the 17th. I must must see this version of it. There are some years where we turn on TBS and just leave this movie on all day so we can catch glimpses of it throughout the day. It is so classic. It seems like every 10 minutes there is a classic scene where you go “hey, this is the part where..” I particularly like the part where the bowling ball gets dropped on his lap and in a high pitch voice he says “thanks.” And who can forget when the neighbors dogs eat all of the Christmas turkey and he yells “sons of bitches, bumpasses!!! My friend used to always randomly say that when we were growing up. And of course the son of a bitchin dogs eating the turkey leads to the ultimate classic of all classic scenes, dinner at the chineese restaurant!

I know, I know, it’s politically incorrect I am not supposed to laugh anymore. But God that is so classic when the Chineese men start singing Christmas songs. “deck the harrs with bows of Hawrie, Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra ra, tis the season to be JAwrie…. Oh the shit we used to get away with in society. I can guarantee you with no knowledge of the script today that there is no way in Hell that they are going to re-enact that scene. I’m wondering if they will catch shit for giving that kid a B.B gun. “You can’t have a gun, you’ll shoot up an entire schoolyard of kids. You’ll shoot 40 eyes out.” Too much? Is it still okay for him to beat the shit out of the big bully? Or does he have to rat him out to the principal instead? I don’t know so much has changed in the last 35 years. Is the bully going to be a ginger? Or is that ginger bias? Very interested to see what happens. I can probably deal with anything they throw at us but do not absolutely do not make those poor kids eat Kale. Oh yes and “FUUUUUUUUUUDGE” they have to work that in there somewhere.

So what’s your favorite scene from “A Christmas story”? Will you watch this on Sunday? Any other classics you would like to see remade?

The one where I became an apprentice

So I’ve been meaning to tell more stories of my past as I think they bring some insight into who I am today. My past has shaped me greatly and I believe the biggest lesson I have learned from my past is that you grown when you get over it. When you move past the hardships and let go of the bitterness and frustration then the past becomes a valuable tool. A tool we use to grow and move forward with our lives.

But that being said I would like to share about the time I became an apprentice. Usually I like to be sly about my references but I am going to spell this one out for you as it may be a bit too obscure but when the show friends was airing not that it is an obscure show but all of the titles to the episodes start with the phrase “The one with…” Occasionally I like to do that on my posts but I’m not sure if anybody is getting the reference. Sometimes I do that kind of shit, like hiding an easter egg and hoping somebody finds it.

Anyhow, when I was growing up our family used to like to go to Pismo beach. You may know it from a very old bugs bunny cartoon but if not anyway it is a southern california beach town with a nice long pier and quite possibly the greatest cinnamon roll in the entire country. You take one bite of that thing with the gooey frosting and it can turn an atheist into a believer. They are that good. Lot’s of good memories there, great food, the beach long walks with the daschund,boogie boarding, video games even a barbecue place that John Madden use to frequent, so yeah it is very cool. Not to mention great burgers and fries at a roadside Dairy queen type place.

Okay let’s move on. The point it when I was 21 I was stumbling through life. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life so on a whim I took all of my money out of my savings account all $5340 and something like 53cents not quite sure about the change and decided I would move to pismo beach which was about a 5 hour drive from where I was living.  Anyhow not having a trade I started thinking about how to find my niche so I got this crazy idea that I would work at the bait shop on the pier.

Now low and behold they hired me and put me through this rigorous 6 month training program. I thought this would be easy shit but there was actually this long apprenticeship that you had to go through.

So first, I have to take like this 5 week course on all the different kinds of fish so I could be familiar with what people may catch in the ocean. Then after that I had to learn how to clean the little shack that sold the bait. I had to learn all the best bleaches, what was the best gloves to use, the best broom and so on. After that I had to learnhow to dissamble various fishing poles and know the varying strenghts of fishing lines so I could recommendations to the fisherpeople,men,women,children fuck it let’s be real it was 90% men about which pole they should rent from us, what kind of line to use and what kind of weights to use,

Suprisingly enough I was kind of enjoying the tediousness of the whole situation. I was very proud. I was a young man really learning his craft. Finally after 4 months of training they taught me about bait. Yes all this was working up to me being able to identify what would be the best bait to sell to our fisherpeople,fuck it, fishermen. If I knew my stuff I could upsell them the best bait to use to catch whatever particular fish they were hoping to catch that day. After two months of learning about all the different baits there are to learn about whether it be minnows,crawdads,cod,squid,nightcrawlers or green glow in the dark rubber worms I finally finished my program and earned my degree.

So after 6 months I can proudly say that I went from an apprentice baiter to a Master Baiter.