We are 6 months into 2017 and so far the films presented to us have been excellent, with the best ones having been sci-fi and thriller films. The comedies and dramas have been underwhelming, whereas the Guardians have guarded, the X-men have been more human, and the monsters have been sentimental. With a lot of more fantastical films still to come, here's my list of the best films so far...in no particular order.
This brilliant social satire is both a dark comedy and a sci-fy thriller. Jordan Peele's script has to be nominated for Best Orginal Screenplay, and the supporting cast is off the hook fantastic.
Samuel L. Jackson is so underrated because he's consistently great in everything he does. Kong is no exception. Here, the filmmakers are able to take the political energy of Apocalypse Now and shift it into this fantasy adventure film with some of the best sunsets in movie history.
I promised to write about this before and got lazy. Colossal is a hard hitting look and the man v. woman relationship dance with Anne Hathaway giving an award worthy performance as an alcoholic who realizes her actions effect more than just her. But Jason Sudeikis' "nice guy" old friend is the real find. Nacho Vigalondo's screenplay is after the idea that "nice guys" are monsters too when they try to win love through giving instead of loving.
This is not a mistake. This is M. Night Shyamalan's best work in decades. Here he begins to tie his world's together, creating his own Marvel-esque universe. James McAvoy should get some love come oscar season if there's justice.
Edgar Wright's indie Fast & Furious-lite is the perfect summer get-a-way film. The writing, the music, the cast...all of them are brilliant. Here's a film that everyone involved seems proud to be involved.
Gaurdians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is another rip roaring, heart tugging, excitingly funny film from Marvel. The first five minutes of Baby Groot dancing was worth the ticket.
OJ: Made In America was the winner of Best Documentary for 2016, but Hulu put it up in January. If you haven't seen this 10 part series, you missed the best documentary since Hoop Dreams. This should be required viewing in every senior government class.
Im pretty sure Hugh Jackman has become one of our finest actors. He's created an iconic Wolverine while also doing great theater, musical, and dramatic work in other films and plays. Logan is everything Christopher Nolan's Batman series hoped to inspire, which are great comic book films drenched in blood AND humanity.
Another strong documentary about the painful life of stand up comedians. I related a lot to this film, and if you want to understand where Hobbies end and obsessions begin, watch this on iTunes.
What's left for 2017?
So far I haven't seen all the trailers, but there here are five trailers that I think make 2017 look still very promising.
I'm on the job hunt again. Ironically, there's no jobs. There's $12/hr jobs that require a college degree and 10 years experience. There's multi level marketing schemes. They're called pyramid schemes. College kids love them. There's commission based door to door sales and cold calling. Because strangers love learning about things they've lived their whole life without, right?
That is about it. Oh. There are classic jobs like waiter, bar tender and Verizon Wireless sales rep. But they pay little and the customers suck. Not you. You're awesome. I'm talking about your uncle who voted for Trump and thinks Hindus caused 9/11.
My search has been going on for a month. Most resumes just go to the internet abyss. I don't know if anyone got them because when I call the establishment there's no one to talk to. Either the business has extensions to every department but HR or HR doesn't pick up. I feel like I'm on Tinder. I'm swiping like crazy. Just no one else is on or swiping back.
I did get a few polite rejection emails. Those were sweet. One place wrote back "we have no work for you at this time." Oh they still have a job for someone. Just no work for me.
I feel I'm a solid candidate. I'm personable. I'm highly educated. I have vast amount of work experience. But alas, just like with women, no one is biting. Oh god how I'd give for a biter.
I'm not even applying for big time jobs. Just regular writing and consultant jobs in the mid $40k a year. I'm not greedy. I don't want all the Universe's money. Just enough so my rabbit doesn't starve.
Why don't we have Living wage jobs anymore? Because greedy capitalists decided we didn't need to pay for time. Just results. So if you make some shmuck money, he'll give you a cut. But if you don't, your effort means nothing to him.
We also have greedy 22 year old college grads filled with hubris willing to live at home and try commission based jobs. Why hire an established person whose past employer can't afford to run the business when there's a go getter with no experience willing to potentially never cut a check.
In many ways our lack of jobs reflects our society's lack of desiring experience and wisdom. As a teacher, marketer, writer, coach, etc. I can bring a lot of value, but in a market place that thinks instant gratification, a ship full of cocky minnows is better than an experienced seaman. I hope you enjoyed my double entendre. It was very self gratifying.
Sadly, I'm an overqualified, under skilled, too old to start, too young to manage millennial. If the 1940's were the greatest generation than today's 30 year olds are a lost generation; a group of lost souls caught up in a social media blitz that proves they're tech savvy but not skill savvy.
One of my favorite films of all time is Up In the Air. George Clooney plays a guy who fires people for a living. Then he almost loses his job. Then he loses the girl of his dreams. He feels the loss that all those people felt by him. It's a carthetic film. A film that makes you feel.
I just want to feel again. Feel useful.
Bill Maher is in trouble again. This time for saying the N word. I'm not going to defend him. At all. But I will say, I once called myself the N word too. For a joke.
Let me explain.
When I was in 5th grade I said the N word. In class. During a discussion on what we wanted to be when we grew up.
Teacher: "Class, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Most kids said basic things: Firefighter, Superhero, Astronaut. Yep. They were more popular in 1991.
At at that time in my life I was listening to comedy albums. When my parents took me to the mall, I'd run into the book stores to buy books and cassette tapes. Yep. They were more popular in 1991.
I grew up on Steve Martin, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. And Richard Pryor liked saying the N word a lot in earlier albums. He changed his mind after going to Africa.
I didn't know what it meant. All I knew is that he'd talk about "n***ers" and the people would laugh. I still remember the drunk story. Everyone was laughing. I was 10 or 11 and didn't realize the context.
So when it was my turn to answer what I wanted to be, I told Mrs. McMahon "I wanna be a n***er because they're funny!"
Luckily for me none of the other white classmates in my private school knew what in the hell I said. But there was a black girl named Camielle. She knew. And she cried. And she ran out of the room.
I was sent to the office to see the principal. My mother was the school secretary. She asked me why I was sent. I told her I didn't know. Then she got a call.
Mom: "Hello? [...] He said what?!" She looked maaaaad.
I still didn't know what I had done.
Then I saw the principal. He told me that it was a bad word used to make fun and mistreat black people.
I said, "Like how kids call me fat?"
He said yes. "That hurts your feelings when kids say that, right?"
I said, "Sometimes. But I am fat."
He looked flustered. Looking back, I realized that having this conversation because of my ignorance was not on his agenda for the day.
Eventually, my little marshmallow body was sent back to class. Camielle was better. Mrs. McMahon was back to teaching. I just went on with the rest of my day.
The truth is, it's hard for some people to understand the historical context on how and why the N word gets used. I didn't really understand what I said until years later. It just wasn't a word I heard in my daily life. Just comedy. But later when I heard Richard Pryor talk about how he'd never use it again, I understood that what I did, though in humor, was still wrong because I hurt people.
So so with all the talk of Bill Maher this weekend, I think I understand that Maher didn't realize what he said. The difference is that he's a grown man. I was a kid. He should have known better by now.
It's been too long!
I haven't blogged in 3 months.
I feel like like a dad who walked away from his family. So I feel like my actual dad then. Wow. I became my dad. I suck.
In all reality, I've been so busy. Since The Oscars I've had some amazing and weird things happen.
- Earned my first TV Credit (Laughs TV)
- filmed a comedy special (streaming soon!)
- lost my job due to budget cuts
- helped a buddy film his comedy special
- performed over 75 comedy shows
- switched from vodka and tonic to vodka and soda
- got stood up 3 different times
- found out Bumble isn't for me
- moved to the San Fernando Valley
- saw a bunch of movies
- And my step dad gave me this cool jacket that got me two phone numbers.
The TV credit and comedy special were the coolest. And losing my job stunk. But new roads are paved over old paths. So the journey continues and I'll keep moving on. Just like the Billy Joel songs says.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.