John Wick Chapter 2 Comedy of Year

DATELINE:  Androgynous Villains Ruby Rose & Riccardo Scamarcio

Ruby Rose & Riccardo Scamarcio

Keanu Reeves is hilarious as the hitman in John Wick 2.  If you don’t believe this movie is a comedy, you have no sense of the ridiculous.

We lost track of how many people Wick kills at the Caracalla Baths, among other notable settings. It becomes utterly preposterous amid the stunning scenery. We also enjoyed a shootout in the subway with silencers so that the bustling crowds have no idea the hitmen are trying to do each other in.

Of course, one of the great set pieces is the homage, or parody, of Orson Welles’s mirror shootout in Lady from Shanghai, done here in super-exaggeration.

We are also bemused by the various androgynous killers after Keanu, especially the so-called woman (Ruby Rose) posing as a boyish killer. We laughed at Reeves buying guns at a secret shoppe like he was ordering bottles of wine for a big party.

The film is a flamboyant hoot, populated by a bunch of cameo star roles, from John Leguizamo to Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane.

When Keanu walks down those streets of New York City, he discovers nearly every other person on the street is a professional hitman. It defies anything but laughter.

Wick is a sentimental guy who goes bananas when his dog is killed, or his car is stolen with a birthday card in the glovebox from his deceased girlfriend.

This is a big, glossy picture, filled with set pieces set around the globe with Keanu as some kind of mobster version of Jason Bourne.

We generally don’t like killings, car chases, and explosions. Yes, the film does seem to go too far with a nightclub massacre, reminiscent of the Pulse club down in Florida last year.

Other than that, the violence becomes so mindless that you figure it is like watching the latest news reports about mass shootings in (you name the location). No one blames these kind of movies nowadays for glorifying violence, or inspiring a view that life is cheap and easy to throw away.

John Wick Chapter 2 is merely a symptom of the world we live in today. Laugh it off.

Advertisements

Twin Peaks Returns from the Dead

 DATELINE:  Will the Real Harry Truman Ever Show Up?

twin peaks

In the immortal words of James Cagney, “what have we got he-yah?”

Yes, Twin Peaks has returned after 25 years. For a story that hinged on a murder of a lead character who is dead from the first moment, we find the new show starting with long-dead Laura Palmer in flashback telling Agent D.B. Cooper that she will see him again in 25 years.

That marvelous opening music is back.

Well, he-yah we are.

It doesn’t take long for the Lunacy to set in.  Director David Lynch clearly is ready for his old series to begin afresh. Dead actors are as apparent has dead characters. All you can do is hold on for as long as possible, until vertigo sets in or a bad case of dyspepsia forces you to give up.

Lynch has made very few films over the past 10 years but now in one season, he’s going to do the equivalent of nine feature films. However, he clearly is enjoying himself.

You will see A glass box under observation by three cameras controlled by a mysterious billionaire not named Trump. You will find two dead bodies mismatched in a bed. You will find the magnificent Douglas firs of Twin Peaks echoing like the towers of New York City with wind between them. Lynch can do things like that.

The series Twin Peaks has now reached cult status in mythical terms. It was always a cult show from its opening moments 25 years ago. Now it is off the charts. For 18 hours.

If you’ve never seen the show, you will be as confused as anyone who has seen all of the early episodes from the original two-year run 25 years ago by the end of the first hour.

The best we can do is monitor the situation and present you with updates. You can’t spoil anything that’s based on rot setting in. Fear not.

Babe in Toyland: Julian Edelman

DATELINE: Paternity Duds

 Bill Edelman:Julian Belichick

This week’s doomsday-sayers were not pontificating about Gronk’s terrible fate, but about Edelman.

Julie E has been somewhat of an absentee receiver this season. His pinned foot allegedly has made him into a slewfoot for gossip.

So, when he was not seen at practice this week one day, the murmurs and whispers reached a cacophony of snickers—and we don’t mean candy bars.

Of course, leave it to Chris Hogan, the wide-eyed long-bomb target of Tommy B this season, to let us in on the scoop. He almost appears to have taken the place of Julie in Tom’s playbook heart

Now, however, if Chris Hogan is to be believed, Edelman was in California on family business. How well has he kept us in the dark about the family way? For a greater part of this season, surely. It appears Edelman is now a proud papa of a baby girl named Lily.

No word on the mother. We can only speculate that nuptials are not in Edelman’s near future, as he is a dog star. Nor will changing diapers be high on his nightly workload. With a baby on the West Coast, and Edelman snowed in on the East Coast, he will be sending Pampers strictly by mail order.

It’s close enough to the big doo-doo for him. With his pal Gronk now under the knife and in traction and backing out of future wild and crazy antics, it would appear that Danny Amendola has moved to the front burner.

We saw Danny sitting next to Julian, sitting next to Tom on the heated bench, this past week during the Jets game.

As those two were exchanging recipes for finding loopholes in paternity suits, we noticed Chris Hogan slip into the mix and monopolize Tom over on the other side of the bench.

You never know what plots are afoot on the Patriots. It’s like monitoring the court of Henry VIII. You know a beheading is right around the corner where the hatchet man is named Belichick.

Babes in the woods are not withstanding.

Literary Howl from the Rock-a-Billy Old Folk, Blues Singers

DATELINE: Mr. Nobel, Send Cashdylan.jpg

We are feeling bad for Klaus Nomi, Johnny Cash, Don McLean, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. They are today’s song-writing losers. We aren’t even thinking Irving Berlin.

Long time poetic roaming troubadour Bob Dylan has now won the Nobel prize for literature. Don’t think twice about it.

We suspect he’s been knock knock knocking on Nobel’s Door for quite some time. We believe his nomination was blowing in the wind and how many roads can a man walk down before he wins?

The answer is no longer blowing in the wind.

Dylan has been on the road to the Nobel prize like a Rolling Stone for decades—since the folk era of the 1950s, which probably means Mick Jagger is next in line.

Dylan is probably ready to leave Desolation Row, wearing his newly designed leopard-skin pillbox hat for the Swedish occasion. We suspect that Dylan’s nomination likely means everybody must get stoned. As for us, we have stayed on Highway 61 of life for decades. We probably need to dust off those old LPs.

We refuse to lay, lady, lay on the highway.

When Dylan wins the Nobel, you know the times are a changing; it may have been his 115th dream. We suspect he never thought twice about it.

When he received the news, he was positively on Fourth Street looking for a rainy day women, numbers 12 and 35.

When told he was the winner, Mr. Dylan said: “It ain’t me, babe; it ain’t me.”

Don’t think twice, Bob. Yes, it’s you,  and you’re alright now.

 

Angels with Angles: God-awful Entertainment

DATELINE:  Last Stop for the Desperate

angels

Never give a sucker an even break, said W.C. Fields. He’s a character in Angels with Angles. So are Elvis Presley, the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Jack Benny, and others played by imitators.

The central character is a dead George Burns. Yes, that George Burns.

He is an angel trying to reunite with long-gone Gracie, but God (Rodney Dangerfield) is giving him a hard time.

What? How did we miss this 2005 fiasco of a film that was the last for Dangerfield and the last onscreen performance of Frank Gorshin as Burns. His butler Alfred is played by Adam West. Also showing up: Jerry Mathers and Dwayne Hickman, with Soupy Sales thrown into the mix.

So, whether this trivial piece of weird is worth it or not as a film hardly applies. It is utter drivel. Yet, to see these old stars of yesteryear in one last glorious supernova forces old movie/TV fans to give up on quality. It’s enough to make you cry.

This atrocity was written and directed by the late Scott Edmund Lane, long-time bit actor. He ought to be commended for roping in these aging celebrities for one last glorious appearance on the silver screen. He probably worked with them years ago.

The film proves that the lure of being in a movie transcends good taste. Money may be the carrot, but fame is the stick. Jack Benny once did a TV show episode in which he was prepared to do anything to be cast again on the big screen. Indeed.

Gorshin’s George Burns is perfect. Some of the other imitators are not so blessed by the hand of talent. Most of the name performers show up for nothing more than a cameo.

We don’t usually review, let alone recommend, bad movies. In this case, we feel compelled to warn viewers with one hand—and wave them on with the other. This train wreck defies you to turn away.