The Price Is WRONG, B*tch!

Has anyone watched "The Price Is Right" since Bob Barker quit and Drew Carey took over? Well, I hadn't yet.

Until today.

I forgot how awesome capitalism is! ESPECIALLY DURING THIS GREAT RECESSION! The poor folks who made it onto the show looked more crazy with envy than ever, and the rich folks, who won and clearly didn't need the prizes, looked more smug and punchable than ever, too! :)

I saw this lady shaking while she tried to win a bed, a trailer, and something else I forgot already (a $60 toaster, maybe?). Guess what? She lost. HOWEVER, she got $0.95 when she went to go spin the wheel. Then? Some younger (and obviously richer) girl spun the wheel and landed on the 100 (that's $1.00). Of course, if you do that, you win $1000 and get to spin the wheel again to win EVEN MORE MONEY!!! And then advance to the Showcase Showdown Round where you win EVEN MORE PRIZES!!!


I bet the girl who spun $0.95 and lost probably disagrees... And to that I say: The Price Is WRONG, BITCH! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Here's lookin' at you, Adam Sandler ;)


Young @ Heart - May The Old Folks Teach Us How To Live!

I've decided to let go of "Greeple" just long enough to laud this little documentary, Young @ Heart. I watched it in 3 separate sittings, which is why I have so little to write, but this film spoke for itself anyway. A group of elderly folks come together and build a community - that would not exist otherwise - around rock and roll music. Guess what? Life didn't stop. Mistakes were made. People died. But the music always lived on! For some reason, these folks - not one of them under the age of 80 - found a way to live life better than they ever had before: through each other and their new community.

Watch it, love it, laugh at it, and don't be afraid to cry. This receives my stamp of one of the most touching films I've ever seen. Enjoy!


Lars And The Real Girl: What Bologna.

Part of me felt compelled to take this movie seriously, but I can't. When you make a film with such a bizarre concept like Lars and the Real Girl, why would you play by the rules set forth by average Hollywood drivel?

Check it out: socially inept sweetheart (Lars, played by Ryan Gosling, the motivational crackhead teacher from Half Nelson - still a less ridiculous premise than Lars and the Real Girl) buys a plastic sex doll named Bianca to become his real life girlfriend so he can exit his brother's garage and rediscover what it's like to have a life. Suffering from a delusion (or, more accurately, post-traumatic stress disorder from his mother's death that he displaces onto Bianca, the 'girlfriend'), Lars wheels his plastic sex doll girlfriend around in a wheelchair to family dinners, church, a party with coworkers, childhood memory sites, the doctor, and even calls 911 when he thinks Bianca is unconscious and dying.

(Yes, paramedics arrived and took her away without a hint of irony.)

The alarmingly naive (read: unrealistically desperate) real girl, Margo, (Kelli Garner), who falls for Lars, creates a fake relationship with a real person to get Lars's attention. Meanwhile, the community at large is aware of Lars's delusion - so what does the community do? Act like there isn't a problem - like the plastic sex doll Bianca is a beautiful, talking breath of fresh air (who willingly fucks the craziest of guys (Lars)).

...That is, a plastic sex doll who also happens to do volunteer work, like read to little children in a classroom.

I'm not kidding. That's actually a scene in this movie.

...So is the scene where Lars's brother and his brother's wife give the sex doll a bath and debate whether or not it's funny. We'll say it's "meta-funny." It's also the most sexual scene in the entire movie. The filmmakers must have thought that sexualizing the guy who bought a SEX DOLL would make him too creepy to be a sympathetic character, but I dunno. I'm naturally inclined to sympathize with creepy dudes who buy sex dolls off the internet. Aren't you???

And did I mention that Lars and the Real Girl played out like a family friendly Christmas movie - minus the tree - and not like a John Waters comedy? But all along, the other characters say shit like "Is she flexible?" and look up her skirt to find (what I imagined to be) a big scary anatomically correct plastic vagina.

Anyway, you've seen this movie before: it's ET and There's Something About Mary with a splash of Weekend at Bernie's rolled into a (failed) attempt at making the Next Great American Movie. So, it wasn't a bad movie, but now that I'm writing about it, I almost feel like I'd better serve my time ordering a plastic sex doll from the internet and then having lots of sex with it.

Or ya know. Washing dishes. I think I'll go wash some dishes now.


Tyson and Gonzo: Two Documentaries, Two Wild And Crazy Guys!

When I told friends I wanted to watch the Mike Tyson documentary, Tyson, they were all like, "Why??" Not so when I watched Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. They were like, "You haven't seen it yet?" In retrospect, I don't know why. If I hear a doc is good, then I want to see it and don't care much what it's about. Someone was passionate enough about his/her subject to create new art examining it. Pending who you talked to, both Tyson and Thompson were monsters, but more folks would go to bat for Thompson because of his written word. In other words, Thompson became famous for his intellect (respectable), and Tyson gained fame for knocking people unconscious (barbarism).

I wanted to know what drove this Tyson dude to knock so many other dudes unconscious. And luckily, the man told me himself. James Toback's entire 90 minute documentary is an interview with Mike Tyson, cut with clips from his life and career. Tyson's voice? Still hilarious, but less high-pitched and shrill, and he's 40 yrs old now. With a tattoo on his face. Which...

You know that tat wrapped around his eye? Kinda bad ass and tribal and what not? Appropriate for a dude known for knocking dudes unconscious? Guess what he originally wanted tattooed on his face. If you guessed hearts, you are correct. Swear to god, straight from the man's mouth. Best part of the documentary.

(His tattoo artist talked him out of it.)

Anyhow, the man turned 40. According to Tyson, he never thought he'd live this long, and he'd lived his life accordingly. Trained by a man named Cus D'Amato, who saw excellence coming from Tyson, he learned discipline and controlled himself and had a stand-in father figure that loved him. In an interview with the two in the 80s, D'Amato said that Mike was the reason he was still alive, training him and watching him grow into the best fighter in the world. Mike was a son to him, and he left his son and the world behind before he trained Mike how to be a man without him. A 40 yr old Tyson, no longer a child, cried, reminiscing on the only good influence his life ever had.

We know the rest of Mike's story: fights, more fights, arrests, rape charges, Evander Holyfield's ear... He denied the rape charges for which he was imprisoned but admitted to forcing sex in circumstances for which he'd never been charged. And I didn't know he bit Holyfield's ear twice, the bout continuing after bite #1!

Tyson, now humbled by four decades of life, admitted his fear and distrust of everyone who was not Cus D'Amato. Every last motivation of Tyson's was inspired by fear. I'm sure Tyson lied about plenty of things in this doc, afraid of what image could be portrayed of him this time, but he did not lie about his fear. He can't hide it anymore, and his drive to beat people up has left him. He said he'd never box again after losing to Kevin McBride in 2005.

I never got into boxing, but I knew Mike Tyson ruled enough to get his own bad ass video game, Mike Tyson's Punch Out for Nintendo, but that was it. Watching Mike fight in these clips really was inspiring. I've seen lots of dudes slug it out since Mike's heyday (big MMA fan), but I've never seen anyone punch like Mike during his prime. He was fast. I understood why the man had ever been considered special, and why his life of tragedy shouldn't be forgotten, but mourned. I'm not saying I like the guy, and I don't care to defend his crazy actions, but what if he continued to channel his rage into sport? How long before he would've been stopped?

Without Cus D'Amato, he couldn't help himself. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before Mike Tyson went insane. Perhaps the same could be said for Hunter S. Thompson, the inventor of gonzo-journalism.

In director Alex Gibney's Gonzo, Hunter's funeral montage was, dare I say, perfect. We've all got a friend who wanted Tenacious D playing live at his funeral, or fireworks, or a coffin shot out of a canon, or something asinine. (Maybe I should contract Rivers Cuomo to have tomatoes thrown at him while playing a solo set of Weezer's Make Believe album at my funeral, and then end the set, covered with and bruised by tomatoes, with "Butterfly" from Pinkerton.) Anyway, sure enough, Hunter dreamed up a fantastical funeral of his own, explaining it all on camera as a younger man, and we watched it unfold - for real - as he explained it. No one less than Hunter Thompson would go to these lengths to have such an asinine funeral actually feel poignant, like nothing less could have possibly sufficed. Nothing would have.

Never brushing over Hunter's lunacy, Gibney's Gonzo reminded us the importance of that which we often care to ignore or discount. If a man's crazy, then he's crazy and who cares if anything brilliant resulted from his 'crazy' mind? Hunter's wives, past and final, knew about his suicidal fantasies. He took his life in his home in the comforting presence of his family having dinner in another room. Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his last book, A Man Without A Country, that too often, we don't stop and appreciate how nice things are sometimes. When things are nice, he challenged his readers to step back and say, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is." After watching Gonzo, I blamed Hunter less for his suicide. Why not leave this Earth feeling nice, at peace (which he was)? Unfortunately, that's not to say it wasn't selfish. And that's to say that America needs the insight of his 'craziness,' filtered through his written word, more today than ever.


Watchmen vs. Synecdoche, New York: Guess Which Won... Also, Bond Franchise Fizzled. Again.

I saw Watchmen many weeks ago and thought it pretty dumb. Still do. This week, I watched Charlie Kaufman's latest foray into the psyche of an artist, Synecdoche, New York. I dunno. I suppose it's possible you thought since Watchmen is all about ass-kicking, it kicked Synecdoche's ass. But there's a problem. A movie about ass kicking - in my estimation - should also kick ass. I think Synecdoche, New York kicked Watchmen's silly ass even as a film based on a graphic novel (note: I did not say Synecdoche, New York was based on a graphic novel, because it wasn't. Burn!).

Whenever someone asked me what I thought of Watchmen, and they saw my brow furrow as my mouth prepared a stream of vitriol, they'd ask, "Did you read the graphic novel?" And I'd reply, "Get FUCKED, buddy!" Actually, I said, "No." They'd cite this as the reason I didn't like Watchmen. That's fine.

But here's my problem. If you're going to recreate a work of art, it needs to stand on its own, and Watchmen did not. As with other adaptations, film is not the same medium as the graphic novel, and too often in "strict" adaptations of other works, the adapter fails to consider this.

The movie started. They killed one of the... ugh, superheroes? Anti-heroes? Crime fighters dressed like idiots? We’ll go with vigilantes... The vigilante called The Comedian was murdered at the beginning - and God did director Zack Snyder wish he had Robert Downey Jr. to play him (found a lookalike in Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but not a comparable actor by any means) - Snyder told The Comedian's back story (he's a giant asshole!), and I never had reason to care about his character again, assuming he'd been compelling enough to care about, which he was not. So...whatever. Instead of nailing each character this way, let's say none of these vigilantes were compelling, with the exceptions of Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), Nite-Owl (the one that looked like Batman, played by Patrick Wilson), and the elder Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino).

If any character was a protagonist, it was Rorschach. Delightfully mysterious, voice gruff as hell but not comically so (take notes, Christian Bale), highly motivated and highly misunderstood, strange, a shape-shifting mask... I couldn't ask for much else from a compelling comic book character, and Haley brought this one home. Nite-Owl and neither generation of Silk Spectre were characters I particularly cared about, but Wilson and Gugino didn't bore me to tears. Silk Spectre's daughter, Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman) did, however, bore me to tears (I'll get to her only worth while scene in a moment). Wilson's got acting chops, proven in Angels in America, and Gugino's got'em, too, but I'm gonna go ahead, be an honest pig and say I could stare at Gugino in her oh so skimpy Silk Spectre costume all day long. Goddamn! I can't believe she played an old, haggard has-been for most of the movie. Gugino gave the haggard has-been what depth she could, but I would've rather watched her purr at the camera instead of Akerman. Akerman's hot enough, I guess, but no Carla fucking Gugino. Goddamn.

Oh, there was one performance that never failed to steal the show, and that would be the dangling of Dr. Manhattan’s electric-blue penis. Just when I was ready to take Dr. Manhattan (an underutilized Billy Crudup) seriously, the camera zoomed out, and whoop! ELECTRIC-BLUE PENIS. DANGLING. My buddy wanted to congratulate the special effects team on giving the blue penis its... swagger. It was believable! Someone spent time on that! They had to! Hahaha, oh dear. Dicks. Seriously though, I’m sure that blue cock was less distracting in the graphic novel, because no one created a program to make it jiggle around correctly. He was just naked and anyone could accept that, if they’re willing to accept that he’s blue. But adding a CGI jiggle made this guy giggle.

Okay, now the stuff I couldn't wait to start bashing... the soundtrack and Zack Snyder, the "visionary" director. So ZACK, I guess it'd be brilliant to play a song called "The Times They Are A-Changing" during your opening montage that spanned many, many years, yeah? Some might even say "visionary," right?! By God, you're a genius! I was intrigued to hear Bob Dylan's jam at first, honestly. Perhaps I'd underestimated Mr. Snyder and his capabilities, and what his Watchmen would have to offer... Then I heard "99 Luftballons" by Nena as Silk Spectre II met Nite-Owl for dinner (both not 'costumed'). The song faded to the background, and then the scene ended. That's it. Now, let's think about this... First, here's the song. Listen for about 45 seconds to get to the bass line that permeated this scene:

I wish I could tell you what they discussed over dinner, but I can't, because that fucking bass line is distracting as all hell and belongs only in an 80's night club scene or some ironic action sequence or something - anything! - aside from a casual dinner. Not very "visionary," brother. Also, "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel during a funeral scene? Whoo-eee, never saw that one coming! There were other soundtrack doozies, I promise, but the one I'll leave you with is Silk Spectre II's only worth while scene ('cause she's naked, breathing heavy, moaning, and not reciting dialogue that made my head hurt). She's nailing Nite Owl on some ship to somegoddamnwhere while "visionary" director played Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" over the scene in order to get a laugh, I guess. Sex = hallelujah. Hilarious! Look out Judd Apatow, you've got competition. No - you know what really could've been hilarious? A reprisal of "99 Luftballons," and it also might have actually MADE SENSE, thrusting in time or some shit.

When you recreate something, especially in a new medium, you want to bring a new audience or a new perspective to something that is already great. If lovers of the graphic novel have to defend the movie by saying you need to read the graphic novel, then Snyder failed. If he did such a strict adaptation that it didn't translate to film well, Snyder failed. Visionary my ass. Go make 300 again. Oh wait. You are. Visionary goon...

No, you want visionary? I give you Charlie Kaufman. I give you his directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. I give you his main character, theatre director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Let's take a look at all of them together, because they fit cohesively (see antithesis of Watchmen).

I'm not going to pretend like I understood everything that happened, or what it all meant: Cotard's wife Adele (Catherine Keener) left him for Berlin with their daughter in tow. Cotard won the MacArthur fellowship, funding his most ambitious project to date: the city of Manhattan, staged. Literally, buildings and all. Working tirelessly on his show, mapping it against the background of his own curious life, he learned frightening things of his daughter, 4 yrs old last he saw her: she'd become tattooed, started modeling, discovered her sexuality through his ex-wife's friend Maria (Jennifer Jason Leigh, a pleasure to watch here, so bizarre)... Caden accused Maria of raping a 4 year old child, but she corrected him. She's 11 now. Doesn't make Maria any less of a sexual predator, but it shocks Caden enough to step back.

Here's a good opportunity to explain what I didn't understand. Time is very ambiguous in Kaufman's movie (perhaps more specifically Cotard's world?) and there's an awfully weird thing going on with gender, too. In his 'real' life, Cotard pretended to be "Ellen" for a while, Adele's cleaning lady, and later he recast his "Ellen" for his play as himself. Role reversals galore ensued with the real life/play versions of people. I'm not even sure Kaufman knew what to do with all the role reversals and gender confusion and time ambiguity in his film, but... actually, I'm sure he knew what he was doing. But as a viewer, not understanding all this did not stop me from enjoying the film, as there's plenty else to grab at aside from confusion.

Cotard continued his life with failed romances and a play that had gone into two decades of pre-production with no end in sight. Scenes he’d written about his life for the play started messing with his life. After all, he’d married his lead actress (Michelle Williams) and loved his assistant Hazel (Samantha Morton) most of his adult life. So Hazel had to become a character in the play! And where’s the line between reality and the play?! And, and...?!

See, it all got very confusing. But Kaufman’s movies do not rely on plot to tell a story, or else he really would be the craziest son of a bitch writer in Hollywood. Even as I found myself lost in details, I’d find a theme to latch onto, a concept, a moment, a feeling... Kaufman’s films are cohesive but never traditionally so, making him one of the most creative artists in Hollywood today. Synecdoche, New York could be a very difficult film to digest if you get lost in the bizarre plot. Hopefully cues like Hazel’s house remaining perpetually on fire (literally), and the same people addressing Caden as Caden, Ellen, and as a homosexual with little to no concrete plot explanation will discourage that attention to plot detail.

Anyhow, Charlie Kaufman fans have another must-see on their hands, and Bond fans have at least a couple more years of grief ahead due to their beloved franchise getting fucked up. Again. Quantum of Solace bored the piss out of me. And it’s not even bad. It’s just nowhere near as good as Casino Royale, which excited me for Bond for the first time since the GoldenEye video game for N64.

For a spy movie, I expect a little intrigue. Don’t you? I expect to fear the characters’ potential futures, like something important is at stake. I want to care about my characters and see them find what they’re looking for in the nick of time. And, a lot of things happened in the nick of time in Quantum of Solace. Too many, perhaps. Why? What for? I dunno. I couldn’t care less.

Daniel Craig silenced many naysayers in 2006 debuting as Bond in Casino Royale. He was cold, hard, intriguing, mysterious, charming, not without the occasional one-liner. He was the best Bond since Connery, perhaps better in some ways, with only a fledgling Timothy Dalton fan here or there to disagree. And I just saw... none of that. It felt like a Pierce Brosnan Bond movie with less kitsch, but extra kitsch would have been a relief from this crap. It’s just... totally mediocre, and a totally unacceptable follow-up to a film that brought Bond back to life.

At least Quantum of Solace had a running time like, half of Watchmen’s, so I wasn’t bored as long. Oh, and a good movie to precede it, too, a great one. Watchmen, on the other hand, had nothing but a screenwriter begging fans to see his crap again and a wiggling electric blue penis.


Ashes Of The American Flag and Me And You And Everyone We Know

Last night as part of CIMM Fest 09, Chicago's Music Box Theatre premiered the new Wilco touring documentary, Ashes Of The American Flag, to a packed house with a only handful of empty seats. Two evening screenings were fans' only opportunity to see the doc on a big screen, and directors Brendan Canty (also the drummer of Fugazi) and Cristoph Green fielded a playful Q & A afterward.

Here's the film's trailer:

Simply put, no one's going to watch this who isn't already a fan of Wilco, I presume (I couldn't find Ashes on an IMDB search). The documentary was awesome when the band played awesome songs, and boring during less awesome songs. Once it's on DVD on April 18th, fans will skip to their favorite songs (uber fans may watch it in its entirety the first time through) and probably skip the often quirky interviews. I know I woulda skipped around a bit, because I hate the material on A Ghost Is Born, am indifferent toward A.M. and Being There, but die for anything from Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Sky Blue Sky. Although I categorized this as a Wilco fan only movie, some candid moments with the band could be enjoyed by any. Guitarist Nels Cline could be found backstage lying on a couch with ice on the back of his neck due to whiplash from live shows. A few vertebrae were dislocating (or something), he explained, because he never thought about his body while playing, let alone hurting it. Drummer Glenn Kotche soaked his hands in ice water backstage as his bandmates explained how he destroyed his hands every night playing drums with such vigor. These little details humanized this alt-country-folk-rock band (or however you care to categorize Wilco) while exposing the bandmates' passion, sometimes sacrificing themselves physically to perform music they love.

That said, if you want a Wilco documentary, check out I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, director Sam Jones's film about the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, arguably the band's most renowned and lauded album to date. Chronicling singer Jeff Tweedy and Co. from the songwriting process through recording and record label problems to its much-delayed release, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart is a must see for any supporter of the arts.

Next up, I watched Me and You and Everyone We Know, Miranda July's indie dramedy from 2005. July is Christine Jesperson, an artist who supported herself through a cab service for the elderly. Buying new shoes from a clerk named Richard (John Hawkes) caused her to track him down and get to know him. Richard, divorced, lived life bug-eyed with fear for whatever frightfulness might strike his life next. His two boys had cyber sex chats online at home while Dad's at work selling shoes. The neighbor left notes in his window for two teenage girls explaining what he would do to them if it weren't illegal after they hit on him one day. The girls considered losing their virginity to this guy.

My point is... how could you not be interested in the outcomes of these people's stories? They're all slightly insane, but July takes them all very seriously and all their stories give you warm fuzzies like when you pinch a baby's cute chubby lil cheek. Totally worth 90 minutes of your time on a rainy day.

Oh, and if you wanna know why the mentioning of 'pooping back and forth' will send me into hysterical laughter for months to come, watch this movie. Or, you could probably find it on youtube... but watch the movie instead.


Let The Right One In, and may The Comedians of Comedy Deliver Us From Evil.

Over a month ago I saw Let The Right One In, a Swedish film that would've been seen by many more people if the mass populace in America weren't enamored with the schmaltz of Twilight, the stupid one of two 2008 movies involving youngins and vampires. But it's not really a fair comparison. Twilight is schmaltz, and Let the Right One In is actually worth a shit.

I got people interested in seeing this with me by running around all like "Who wants to see the Swedish vampire movie!? Have you heard about the Norwegian nazi-zombie movie [Dead Snow]?!" In retrospect, I wish I advertised it differently, because it stopped a friend of mine who can't take scary movies from seeing it. It's not a scary movie. No moments intended to make you jump. But if you pull out the vampire element it sounds like a stupid movie: alienated kid meets alienated kid and they develop a weird friendship and haven't I seen this crap before? No, you haven't. It's not a vampire movie, but the vampirism defines the uniqueness of it... man, just fucking see this, alright? John Ajvide Lindqvist's script managed to make a bizarre situation subtle and acceptable to logic (somehow). Tomas Alfredson's dark direction caused me to assume it's a scary movie, but really, it set a beautiful mood for a dark film. And god, these kids could fucking act, too, Kåre Hedebrant as Oskar and Lina Leandersson as Eli the not-a-girl. And I saw it too long ago to talk it up well enough, but it killed my face and will yours, too, so see it and read on, folks...

Next, my roommate asked me yesterday, "Are you familiar with Zack Galifianakis?" When I said, "Heard of but not familiar with," he turned to our handy Xbox360 (where we can watch Netflix flims instantly and that is awesome) and put on The Comedians of Comedy, a documentary about four comedians touring the U.S. independently at cheap rock clubs to lower the cost of admission. Our comics are Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, and Zack Galifianakis. Like a rock and roll documentary, we get all the backstage and tour bus antics, but instead of loads of drugs and boobs, they just make fun of each other all the time and it's really funny. Patton has his "Am I crazy or is the world crazy?" shtick, Posehn his "Can you believe how big a dork I am? 'Cause I can't," thing, Bamford her "I'm definitely crazy but do really good impressions" deal, and the Galifianakis wild card. All made me laugh multiple times, but Galifianakis's playing heart felt piano while saying ludicrous things into a microphone bit killed me every time. That alone is worth watching this movie.

So after my roommate and I laughed for an hour and 45 or so, I said, "Hey, wanna watch the most depressing documentary ever made?" I'm sure he would have said no if he didn't have a laptop in his paws to distract him. Regardless, we watched Deliver Us From Evil, Amy Berg's brilliant documentary about sexual abuse in the Catholic church. My friends who were raised Catholic refuse to watch it, and I can't say I blame them. We meet a free Father Oliver O'Grady, deported to Ireland after serving seven of fourteen years in prison in the U.S. for sexually abusing children as young as 9 months. As one victim's father corrected, it's not pedophilia or touching or molesting - it's rape. Not simply raping children, but raping entire families' trust in the Catholic Church, to which they've devoted their souls as long as they've lived. Heartbreaking could not aptly describe the pain one victim's father communicates to the camera, having allowed Father O'Grady to stay with his family to get away from the parish and stress of being a priest. O'Grady read the Bible and said his morning prayers in the living room hours after raping his hosts' five year old daughter all night long. Seeing O'Grady roam free in Ireland, resultant of the Catholic Church cutting a deal with him to keep his mouth shut about who knew what during his trial, and walk past children on the sidewalk might be the most frightening, infuriating image one could ever see. Berg's documentary used O'Grady as one example - one man, one priest - who conceivably raped hundreds of children, and concisely showed how the conspiracy to hide such things went as high in the church as Pope Benedict XVI, who was granted immunity of prosecution by George W. Bush at the request of the Vatican.

Deliver Us From Evil will make your head hurt for sure. My roommate and I beat the shit outta some Rock Band drums until 1am afterwards, 'cause we had to. I also couldn't watch this sober, dear God no. When something this emotionally devastating presents itself to you, is it better to indulge and learn the full extent of it, or acknowledge its rottenness and accept that it will be unbearable and move on to something else?

Gah. I don't know. In other news, Bill O'Reilly flips out - DANCE REMIX.


Beer For My Horses: Why Toby Keith Is A Moron.

(In all fairness, some may feel I am also a moron.)

So Toby Keith wrote a movie, y'all. It's called Beer For My Horses. It's about America. Perhaps not directly, but it sure had everything that makes me cringe about America...

Fan of Ted Nugent, aka "The Nuge"? Look no further than Ted's Cat Scratch Feverin' shoot out at the beginning of this movie (which followed his stupid bow and arrow shtick where he shoots an arrow into a bad guy's butt). He never said anything. The Nuge didn't have to say anything. He's The Nuge. But, he did force two words at the end: "Circus jolly." Yeah, I'd like to uhh... tell you what that meant, but I have no idea. You think I actually finished watching this pile of garbage? Otherwise, The Nuge just sharpened hunting knives and made faces. Fuck you, Ted Nugent.

Yer woman pissed atcha? Buy her somethin' nice (nahce). Hmm. That didn't work? Really? Well... fuck. Ya see, Toby 'n' I here thought that's all ya needed ta make yer pair a tits that'cha come home to perky and happy! Well doggone... I guess... Well, I don't guess nothin'. Toby's guess was just... to find a new pair a tits to come home to. HA! And all he needed to do to impress the new pair a tits was bring her some corn dogs and ketchup, even though she liked mustard ("Aww, you haven't changed a bit, Toby!"). After all, he needed some respite from fighting off minority drug lords who threatened his life on a regular basis.

Which reminds me... need someone to make fun of? How 'bout minorities? Or, even better, a Mexican drug lord (who actually looked more Cuban than anything, but... yeah. Why bother pointing that out...)! Who uhh... Hmm... Mexicans. Now, they usually deal in like, weed and cocaine and destroyingAmerica, right? Well, it wouldn't be a stretch to just assume they run a meth business, too, right? I mean, I say so 'cause crystal meth is tearing up the poor rural white communities in America, and I just... I can't... *sheds a tear*... I just can't picture a beautiful white American doing such a thing to his white brethren! *bawls uncontrollably* SO LET'S BLAME A MEXICAN!!! Right, Toby?! I mean, just in case anyone wants to think that's racist or anything, ya needed a bad guy anyway. I mean, we know there are some bad apple white folk (the meth head who told Toby to watch out for his life and the city boy lawyer (who played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds) who defended the Mexican drug lord), but we all know they're not bad guys, so. It all worked out! And, in case y'all think Toby's playin', Wikipedia proved he's not being racist.


Speaking of America... Need a scary dude to be the owner of a big dumb looking truck that gets smashed to pieces by a redneck who actually thinks it's someone else's truck? Look no further than scary-looking UFC fighter "The Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine! All Jardine had to do was swing a bat at some redneck's face in one scene and sweat and glisten in a blacksmith shop in another. I hope he made some good bank off that Toby guy, too.

Look at that hottie. Sex Machine Keith Jardine.

At this point, I'll acknowledge that yes, I understand Mr. Keith was just trying to make a funny movie. I shouldn't really take any of this seriously. Just a joke, man! Of course! So on that note...

Need something to break the silence of a scene? Make the dog fart. As a matter of fact, right after the dog farts and the 'fart joke' has been established, say something really asinine like, "[Name of dog] farts right before something important happens. Strangest thing-" and have it transition right into an action sequence! God! How or... why are you so smart, Toby? Comedic. Genius. So, what really would have been impressive - and my head hurt too much to see whether or not it eventually happened - would have been using this farting dog as a foreshadowing device. That line set it up, so I assumed the dog-farting-before-important-events thing recurred. I'm not lauding this idea. I'm just saying Toby & Co. would be even bigger imbeciles if they didn't do this.

At any rate, I know I didn't save you any time by writing this review. I know you did not plan to ever watch Beer For My Horses. Everything about this movie was a waste. So on that note...

Need to add extra footage that's funny but serves no purpose? Got it! Film the dog licking his balls instead of sniffing out drugs. OH MY GOD THAT'S HYSTERICAL.

Sometimes, I cry for America.

Toby Keith? You are a moron. (BOOM. Roasted.)


Why Drinking As Much As I Did The Past Several Days Is A Bad Idea.

For starters, it gives one too many options on how to title such a blog. Or begin it, for that matter. I just axed the title: "Birthday. Beer. Boobs. ..Err, No Boobs, Actually. Uhmm... Blas...Uhh. Oh! Barfights." It was misleading. I didn't see any boo...oh wait! I did! On some machine at the Tap Room that guys suddenly took interest in. My guess would be that interest was inspired by the boobs.

Neither here nor there, though. I also considered starting this blog like:

Dear Diary,

I thought about writing what I'm about to tell you on my blog. Then I realized I'd have to be fucking insane to do that. Then I realized I'm fucking insane

And the storytelling would have continued, etc.

But then I decided the best way to preamble this tale of drunkenness was to start and stop and make very little sense (see above).

So here goes.

Friday was my last "real work day" before my layoff took effect. I spent the day filling over 20 cardboard boxes with files from our file cabinets. I finished so I could go drink at Elephant & Castle stress free with my soon-to-be-former coworkers. The first drop of alcohol hit my lips around 5:45 or 6pm. Everyone was happy, laughing. I shared my birthday plans with everyone, and a surprising number of girls knew about the UFC fights on Saturday. Why? A surprising number of guys had already frustrated them with their UFC obsession and no-longer-free Saturday evenings. I received my first birthday shot from Christine (thank you kindly, Christine), which was a tasty lemon drop. Then, back to Carlsburg. Then I broke the seal. Then... *sigh*, I kept drinking, and should've taken the instance of whispering to someone that I wanted to fuck them when I first met them as a sign of a wild and crazy weekend to come.

Note: I don't make a habit of whispering to friends that I want to fuck them, whether or not I want to fuck them. (Err... not entirely true. I whisper that to my guy friends all the time to make them uncomfortable. It works.)

Point is, that was my last memory of Elephant & Castle before I got out of a cab at my friend's house party, where I drank - I found out later, from pictures, stories - jungle juice. Lots of it.

Time to fill in some blanks...

After I unceremoniously disclosed my carnal desires to an unsuspecting fellow drunk, I left Elephant & Castle around 1030 or 11pm with a number of people and hopped on the Blue Line. At the Western stop, I got up and said, "I'm going to take a cab from here, grumble grumble." History proved: that's exactly what I did. If I had a dollar for every L ride I couldn't remember the next day...

And... *sigh* alright. I remember being at the party. Seeing people I recognized. Getting a few 'Happy Birthdays' and what not. And they cooked up some delicious ass burgers for our drunk asses. Ate about... 4 of those. I remember that much. And looks like I was having a pretty great time, too! Dancing with Richie and the aforementioned jungle juice:

What I don't remember...

Drinking jungle juice. I assumed I kept drinking at my friend's house party. It was, after all, a house party, with $5 per cup admission. I didn't remember giving anyone $5, but I figured I must have, but then I couldn't remember ever going to the bathroom. So I thought, "Huh. Maybe I didn't drink at the party. I have to piss every 5 minutes after I break the seal." So apparently, I don't remember going to the bathroom a million times either. And I thought I rested my eyes for a while - not so. I passed the fuck out for a good half hour before we left. It started like this:

That would be Henry holding my head up while I slept so that I didn't crash into him. Note my unconscious determination to do something fruitful with that jungle juice. Like, drink it, or something.

Alright, alright. I was told the jungle juice had been planted in my hand for comedic effect. But all jokes must die:

Not the jungle juice joke. Not yet, anyway. But.. oh wait, here we go:

So this is what I had looked like when... well. Henry recounted to me that he was talking to some girl who had been petting me, claiming how charming I was being passed out the way I was. I guess Henry had a really wonderful conversation with this girl, and agreed that I was awfully charming passed out as I was. Henry may have even pet me, too - I'll never know! Charming or not, my friends had work to do...

Some friends draw dicks on your forehead with permanent markers. My friends cover you head to toe in an abundance of beer coasters. No passing out shall go unpunished.

Punished I was.

Then we went home. I passed out in my bed. I woke up with the worst headache ever.

And got right back to drinking hours later at Honey 1 BBQ. I decided a nice bday dinner was in order, and what better way to kick off a night of fights and birthday drinking than with greasy, manly BBQ and micro-brewed beer (Wolaver's Pale Ale. Delicious.). I had a pulled-pork sammich and rib tips. That Wolaver's must've been highly alcoholic, 'cause Henry and I buzzed our way over to the Tap Room to watch UFC 94. En route, we noticed a neon sign in the liquor store next door to the Tap Room that said "Certified Purveyors of the Miller High Life." For the record, I will love you forever if you get me a neon sign that says both 'purveyor' and 'Miller High Life.'

Fights started. I was excited. I'd been looking forward to GSP vs BJ Penn since August, and especially since November when UFC announced it would happen on my birthday.

So ya know, I'm drankin' my face off a lot harder than I realized, because when BJ's corner threw in the towel, I started yelling. A lot. Just joyful, gleeful yelling (or so I thought, anyway). One of the bar's patrons took mild exception with my celebrating (BJ's a fucking PUSSY!), and he pointed out that BJ had taken quite a beating. It was true. He had. And I wasn't mad at the guy for pointing this out. All I could think about was how BJ called GSP a bitch for tapping out to strikes (read: repeated punches to the face) during their first fight (only after the bell rang ending the first round, so GSP didn't lose, and GSP wound up winning a split decision victory after two more rounds). So, I was wasted, ya know. All I heard was BJ quit. And all I thought was 'hypocrite.' So all I yelled to this unsuspecting Tap Room patron something along the lines of: "You're a fucking idiot and anyone who agrees with you is a fucking idiot!" The actual words have been hotly contested since the incident. I certainly don't remember what I said. Remember? I was just yelling aimlessly. But I realized I was being an asshole when I felt the arms of friends holding me back, while one whispered, "Whatever. We got numbers. It's all good." And I guess this guy understood pretty quickly that I was just being a waste face and not really looking to hold a halfway serious conversation about the well-being of one BJ Penn. I guess he was by himself, too, and wearing a wedding ring. I don't think he was very large, either. All told, I chose the right person to be an asshole toward. And I learned my lesson that uhh... adrenaline + testosterone + beer = cocktailforJontheAsshole. So I can keep that in mind the next time I'm full of adrenaline, testosterone and beer and yelling for the sake of yelling. In other words, I'll probably stop myself from yelling, and just smile widely.

Karma's a bitch, though. Minutes later, while waiting for a bus to take my drunk, testosterone-filled self home, I uhh... Hmm. How shall I put this...

Well, alright.

I fell backwards like an unconscious log because I'd fallen asleep on my feet waiting for the bus. Henry, talking on the phone behind me, saw my dead-logged body at an approximately 65 degree angle in relation to the ground and shoulder-blocked me to the side so that I landed on my elbow instead of cracking my head open on the sidewalk. Had I cracked the back of my head open on the sidewalk, I'm sure I'd have some commentary on it involving the words 'brutal' and 'awesome.' Instead, I'll say I stood back up and denied knowledge of such a thing ever happening. So one friend held me up with my arm around his shoulder and his arm around mine, until it was clear that that was not enough to hold up a sleeping 25 year old man. I may have crashed to the sidewalk again. Not really sure. But I was two-manned for a while in the 'Hold Up My Drunken Friend' department. Shortly after that, I walked unassisted for two blocks to catch a cab.

Then, memory fails me. I woke up shirtless on my couch and retreated to my bedroom. There I found Jake passed out, 'cause I'd stolen his bed (my couch). I woke up the next day without a single symptom of a hangover.

Luckily, I have friends to fill in blanks.

When we got to my apartment, we played Rock Band for a while. Shirtless. I participated, apparently. Then, there was a long enough break in the action for me to start leaning/rolling against the wall, causing my roommate to declare 'Oh my god, that guy is not okay,' at which point I guess I fell onto a chair and almost broke something. Jake said he slapped my face, told me to pull it together and walk over to the couch (a 3-4 step journey). I complied and didn't move again until morning. ..Err, unless someone started talking to me about drugs. I guess that got me to move from time to time.

Oh, my favorite part... Henry's girlfriend Gosia cabbed to our apartment shortly after we arrived from the Tap Room. She told us her cab driver picked her up and she gave the cabbie her address of destination. He gave her some interesting news: "[That address]? I just dropped 4 guys off there. One was really tall and had a nose ring [Henry]. Ya know, most guys I pick up - all they talk about is gettin' pussy. These guys? All they talked about was tacos and burritos."

That's Gosia and the cabbie. Reports indicate he was amused by our banter. I certainly don't remember. My friends said I was interacting with others coherently in the cab ride. I assume they were speaking relatively.

So I took a day off from drinking. Visited my parents. Told them a more selective version of the story you just read. And, I say 'took off,' but I meant I only had 3 beers instead of enough beers to kill a yak. I considered Super Bowl parties, but some sound piece of judgment managed to reach my thick skull that day and I did not SuperBowlParty it up.

But Monday, Feb 2nd, my last day of employment, I threw sense out the window and drank and drank and drank, starting around noon at the Billy Goat Tavern. I had a great time, too. Not one bad moment, really. Everyone was happy, drinking with me, laughing, forgetting that we'd all just lost our jobs. It was quite great! Nothing bad that I remember. Probably because... I don't remember passing out at the bar we'd been drinking at, Cal's. And I don't remember getting thrown in a cab with Sam V., whose boots I puked on (for what it's worth, Sam, I puked a little on my peacoat, too) during said cab ride. My delightful coworkers tried desperately to contact my roommate Jon to make sure I didn't die when I got home. My roommate Jon's recounting of events:

"I received phone calls and text messages from numbers I didn't have stored in my phone. They said things along the lines of 'Jon - your roommate Jon is beyond wasted and we're sending him home in a cab. Please make sure he does not die.' I got home and was happy to see you not passed out in the hallway. The door to your room was open. No lights were on. I looked inside and turned on the light. You were wearing your coat, hat and scarf, kneeling in front of your bed with your upper torso and face flush with the mattress. I thought, 'He didn't quite make it...'"
I still don't have a time frame for any of Monday's events. All I can say with certainty was my last memory of Sam V. was at the Billy Goat, when she went back to the office (she has her job until April). Not Cal's, where I passed out and got thrown in a cab. At some point during my unconsciousness, Sam V. returned to her more merry former coworkers and dragged one of them into a cab home where he proceeded to puke on her boots as a means of saying "Thank you."

I can think of many reasons to drink yourself into oblivion. I'm not saying my reasons were bad at all, but... there comes a point for all of us where enough is enough. I just needed to come to that point... 5 or 6 times in 3 days for it to have any sort of meaningful effect.

So this is how I've entered my new, bohemian lifestyle. Puking on boots and writing about it.

I think I can dig that. Wish me luck.


Zack And Miri Made a Porno. Kevin Smith Made Me Angry (Again).

I hate Kevin Smith with a passion. The guy makes male fantasy movies that are dumb (Chasing Amy), have potential (I'll give him Zack And Miri Make a Porno) but suck anyway, pointless (Clerks II), or just... head scratchers, as in "How the hell could anyone fund, let alone agree to make, let alone be a part of, this fucking pile of stank ass garbage?" kinda head scratching (Jersey Girl). I do not admit my familiarity with Smith's catalog with pride. Unlike most I know, I was never a fan of the guy. At one point I did like Chasing Amy (fine, some parts of Mallrats too), but that was before I became more mature than Kevin Smith (dayyyumn!).

I gave Zack and Miri a shot solely due to Seth Rogen, who along with Judd Apatow, revamped the guys-with-feelings genre (a.k.a. the bromantic comedy) into something slightly less naive than Smith's schlock. Where Apatow's guys are just dumb (and stoned) lovable losers, Smith's guys are socially inept and pugnacious when it comes to Star Wars or anything nerdy. Zack and Miri Make a Porno sounded like something Judd Apatow made, especially once I saw Rogen's bearded mug on the poster. I was intrigued, but Kevin Smith likes to shit on good ideas (remember Dogma? Come on, it was a good idea...).

So anyhow, meet Zack and Miri: heterosexual "platonic" roommates who walk in on each other taking shits (commencing bad dialogue before anyone thinks or mentions to close the door). Some foul-mouthed perverts - err, scratch foul-mouthed. Everyone in Smith's movies have unnecessarily foul mouths... Some perverts shoot a video on their phone of Miri changing clothes, exposing her granny panties (FUCKING HYSTERICAL, RIGHT???!!!) before Rogen interrupts the video with his bare (and presumably shaved) ass. Said video goes on the internet, and Ms. Granny Panties is famous. Famous enough, at least, for Zack to suggest making a porno on the heels of her Granny Panty fame so they can pay their rent and utilities (they thought of other solutions, but the porno turned out to be the most logical.). "Hilarity" ensues. Oh, then they fall in love after they already had known each other for 20 years, 'cause this is the dumbest movie ever.

It woulda taken me all day to watch this movie, take notes, and assail it as hard as it deserves. And ya know, fuck that. So let's test my dubious memory here, and I'm sure one of my millions of readers can do the proper fact-checking, so here goes...

Now, I like women, actually, as they are. Make no mistake - I like their hair, smell, boobs, butts and va-jay-jays and I like talking about those things, too. But aside from that, I like women as human beings who have helped me grow as a person more than a lot of my guy friends have over the years, just by taking the time to impart their wisdom onto me. Ya know, to name one thing. Kevin Smith and Co. made it clear that the boobs, butts and va-jay-jays outweigh the importance of treating women like human beings in his movies. To illustrate this (skip this part, fact-checkers - I just reviewed this monologue to quote perfectly), when Zack professed his love to Miri, it went a little something like this:

"Ya know what? If you were any other bitch I didn't give a rat's ass about I would tell you to go FUCK yourself right now because I, fuckin, HATE, this game-playing SHIT, but you mean more to me than that...We tried to fuck, and instead, we wound up making love. So if this is what you need to hear in order to keep you from fucking Lester, if this is what you need, then fine. Here it is. I'm gonna say it. [Pause] I love you, Miri. [Pause] Happy?"
How sweet. But why was he so upset? Oh, right. After they had sex and they both 'felt' love and not just fucking, Miri 'tested' Zack by allowing him the opportunity to sleep with one of their porn star costars. Prolly to see if Zack had 'felt' it, too. No matter though. According to Smith, who thinks his men are like every man, it's all a fucking bullshit game chicks play to fuck with us and they're fucking bitches for it. Well, at the very least, they're evil women for the sake of being evil. No real motive or anything. Just evil. And in Kevin Smith's world, resolving such evil requires the woman to stop being such a fucking bitch, then see how sensitive and hurt the guy really is (in spite of his bitch-hating exterior), and finally laud the embarrassment of a man that he is.

Now, compare this Rogen with Apatow's Rogen in, say, Knocked-Up. For starters, he was likable. Also, he acknowledged how ridiculously out of his league Katherine Heigl was (Miri? Elizabeth Banks? Also ridiculously out of his league, but you'd never guess it in Zack and Miri if you were blind.). In Knocked Up, he was still a loser, but he tried to stop being a loser.

Loser-hood was a-okay for both Zack and Miri. And I'd like to tell you Miri could do better, but Smith really didn't tell me enough about Miri to judge. Just: her flashing smiles, saying the word fuck, acting in a porno, not really having an option to fuck anyone but Zack despite being single and in a fucking porno (she pines for him!), and making earth-shaking love atop a bag of coffee beans in front of a camera crew. Ya know. Just like real a woman would. (Bitch? Ugh. I'm confusing myself with all this casual misogyny...)

Aside from my issues with how Smith depicted genders, his movie plain sucked my balls. He fought with the MPAA to get an R-rating instead of NC-17 for Zack and Miri, and a movie called Zack and Miri Make a Porno had controversy written all over it. In fact, the poster with Rogen's bearded mug was banned in the U.S. (look at the head at the bottom facing the crotch implying *gasp* ORAL SEX!), replaced by a stick-figure-drawing-poster claiming the movie was too 'titillating' to show any other image. But this movie was tame - might have raised an eyebrow ten years ago (when people still gave a fuck about Kevin Smith). Let's see... saw some silicone boobs, a quick flash of some chick's beav, uhh... granny panties, fuckin.... dudes' asses and Jason Mewes's (Jay as in Jay & Silent Bob ) dong. Uhh... handful of pelvic thrusts, ya know... nothing I haven't seen in R-rated movies many times before (save Jay's dong). Oh! There was the one gross part where a dude had diarrhea sprayed all over his face...

Now that was gross, but little else. It didn't make any sense. This siliconed Stacey gal told Zack she'd been really constipated, but anal sex opened her right up, as it were. So - where does diarrhea enter this equation? Oh, right. It doesn't. And it prolly woulda been funnier if the dude filming the anal scene from the floor up toward the gyrating crotches had a giant turd just bounce off his face after the guy pulled out from the anal...love-ma...fucking? Sex?

You mean, coitus?

So like the rest of Zack and Miri, this scene was adolescent, pointless, not well conceived, and not rooted in reality. Kevin Smith: washed up shock jockey who offends others - or tries to, anyway - for the sake of offending others. Like I said - I'm way more mature than Kevin Smith. Fuck that guy.


Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler: Not As Stupid As It Sounds

When I first heard that Mickey Rourke's "comeback movie" was called The Wrestler, in which he played a ridiculous pro-wrestler down on his luck, I giggled. Pro-wrestling evokes a strong reaction from lots of people, and it's usually negative. Even though I figured I'd dig this movie (I did, for the record), I didn't expect it to be like, all deeper than that and shit.

Pro-wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) looked like a truck had run over his face. Several times. For someone in a "fake" profession, Randy had enough facial craters to frighten a puppy. His fake persona as The Ram preceded him, but his grunts and moans and coughs reminded us, as the camera followed him and obscured his face, that his pain was actually quite real.

Like a comic book movie montage, The Wrestler opened with loud 80s hair metal and an abundance of promo posters from Randy's wrestling matches back when he was a star. Twenty years later, the hair metal still roared - his cheesy, long, bleached blond mane to match - but time had left him behind. Instead, VFW halls and high school gymnasiums, holding a handful of fans who remembered him, became his wrestling arenas. Half of those fans had become fellow wrestlers who fawned in his presence, or at the opportunity to "lose" a match against him. As a fan favorite, The Ram didn't "lose," and only "heels," or bad guy wrestlers, wrestled him.

The matches got pretty brutal. Aronofsky took a close look at what we accept as fake and exposed how real it can feel. We felt the pain of the fork scraped against The Ram's forehead and the glass shards and thumb tacks pulled from his back. Did our squirming and cringing in response make it real, or just impressive showmanship?

As is The Wrestler's point, it's hard to tell. Randy's heart attack forced his retirement, rendering The Ram meaningless, rendering Randy's life meaningless. He went from the stage to behind a deli counter with a name tag that said "Robin," and he couldn't get it changed to Randy (Randy The Ram Robinson, aka Robin Ramzinksi, his real name that he always corrected by saying "Just call me Randy"). Turning to his one companion, Cassidy the stripper (Marisa Tomei), Randy sought real comfort. Unfortunately, Cassidy's profession left her battling the line between reality and her job as well. Though she could let Randy say her real name, Pam, and tell him she's a mother, she could not hold the hand of a 'customer.' Regardless, Pam encouraged Randy to visit his estranged daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood) and helped him buy a gift for her. He temporarily won Stephanie's affection, confessing his paternal faults were his own and unrelated to her. Maintaining this new reality with real relationships and real emotions proved more difficult.

The only indisputable realness in the film was Rourke himself. Rourke never asked for our sympathy, and he often refused it. His rugged face often sat still like stone unless he exited reality for the ring, where pain left him and a smirk emerged. Nonetheless, he embodied a harsh reality that most care to laugh at, and Rourke allowed the audience to laugh too. Randy was drunk and unreliable and infuriating as a father, but Rourke somehow gave him some charm. After this performance, Rourke has a better shot than Randy ever did at making his comeback.

Pro-wrestling seems really stupid. Yes, the matches are fixed and a winner predetermined. But they fly all over the fucking place, off ring posts, off ladders, through tables (on fire), through announcer booths, onto metal steps, into metal poles, onto the thin mat atop the concrete floor outside the ring. There are tricks to making such moves less devastating to the body, but in the long run, this kind of shit is devastating to the body. Some wrestlers sustain year-long injury, others paralysis. Some have died. The fake spectacle in professional wrestling undercuts the passion of these performers and the life they might eventually sacrifice to do it. All wrestlers who appeared in this film are amateur pro-wrestlers in real life, trying to make a name for themselves and barely making money. Perhaps it seems stupid, but that shit is real, yo.