Sneaking in the movies: As Above, So Below

570x350-AsAboveWhat’s good O’Nawlins, it’s ya boy Phenom the Backseat Screener aka Always Bet on Blak, aka CineBlak Attack, Jack! aka who this fat nigga with his hand in your popcorn, extra butter brother. Let’s review As Above, So Below.

Warning: No Couths Ahead.

This gone be a short one. F—k this movie. They go to hell. Iono why white people want to go to hell, but heyyyyyyyyyellllllll nawl. Ya’ll can keep this upside down Jesus on the Cross ass film. Folk can take this found footage of blasphemy and go find yaself some God. I would like to one day ascend the earth to that big Trump Towers in the sky and this film ain’t helping. Scuse my grammar!

Oh, you need a synopsis. White girl uses her privileged pretty ass to coerce a group of people and one random black fool named Benji, like the dog, to go and “stumble” upon the devil’s doorstep entering the gates of hell to find the Philosopher’s Stone from Full Metal Alchemist, the anime (This is not a lie!!!). It’s a found footage version of The Descent, but not even remotely as good. Its 93 minutes of NeegaFaWhy.

None of it makes any damn sense. Most of the scares and weird stuff is unintentionally chuckle-some. And of course, being that it’s one of these new live footage (that is when they do found footage that hasn’t been found yet) shot films, when hell is happening you’re just left going “What the hell is happening?” It’s like National Treasure meets the Da Vinci Code meets The Descent meets Devil.

If you go see this, may the Lord be with you. I’m going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to purchase some Holy Bath Salts from the Beyond section; a proper cleansing be needing be done.

Final Rating: 1 out of 5 Kill It with Fire and Pray over the Ashes

And for the first time in my life, I hated white people….

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From guest writer: Zuly

On Friday, for the first time in my life, I experienced how it was possible for Black people to truly despise White people and all that they stand for.

The conversation started the day before, when someone brought up to me the horrors that were happening in Ferguson and a third-party says, “I don’t know why Black people always resist arrest.”

tumblr_m722mdWnVh1ql141xo1_500Record scratch. WHAT?

Then he says, “Cops need to defend themselves. Maybe if that kid didn’t resist arrest he wouldn’t have been shot.”

I should’ve just written the person off right there and stepped away from a conversation that would inevitably get me angry. I should’ve known it was a dead-end. But, you see, I’m a white Hispanic woman who has grown up around Black people and White people who either kept their racist views to themselves or were just not racist. I had no experience with this type of conversation. I was in for a treat.

I made my usual responses that day,

“White people resist arrest all the time and don’t end up dead.”

“You don’t need to shoot someone multiple times in order to protect yourself from them.”

“Cops shouldn’t just have carte blanche to shoot unarmed people just because they see them as threatening.”

Eventually the conversation died down for the day.

On Friday, I was looking at Twitter and saw that the Ferguson PD were making fools of themselves by releasing information and then backtracking. I made the mistake of talking to myself out loud and inadvertently restarting the conversation from the day before.

I don’t remember the beginning of the conversation. Probably because it snowballed and went downhill very quickly. All of a sudden I was hearing things like, “Maybe if so many Black people weren’t criminals they wouldn’t get profiled and killed by cops.” and “Black people are more likely to commit crimes.” and “You don’t find as much crime in poor White neighborhoods.”

What amazed me about these comments is that they were so disconnected from the reality of cops killing young, unarmed Black boys and Black people in general. Since when does committing a crime justify being murdered without a charge or a trial? Why is it that White people talk out of their asses about Black people committing crime when an innocent Black person gets murdered but there’s no victim blaming when a White person gets murdered? And why is that so easily ignorable when you point it out?

I responded to these baseless, ignorant comments with facts:

“Black people get stopped, arrested and charged at higher rates than White people committing the same crimes.”

“Black people have suffered through extreme poverty and systematic racism that makes it impossible to just “be a good citizen” and thereby be left alone.”

“White people enjoy less severe sentences for crimes that are often WORSE than crimes committed by Black people.”

“Respectability doesn’t stop you from being shot and killed if cops and others see the color of your skin and automatically think that they need to eliminate the threat.”

I gave examples. I gave statistics.

I was met with, “Well that’s just the media race baiting and showing Black people as the victims. Racism doesn’t exist anymore. We have a Black president.”

blackwhiteI was already angry before this, but this is when I started to raise my voice. The media shows Black people as victims? Really? REALLY? I opened up and read out loud the HuffPo article that shows the headlines describing white suspects and black victims. I pointed out that people threaten to kill our President every fucking week and nobody gets arrested for it. Nobody even says anything.

We got interrupted in the conversation, and it was a good thing too because the conversation was clearly not going anywhere.

That conversation haunted me. I couldn’t sleep that night because I kept thinking, “Maybe I didn’t present my argument well enough.” I was haunted because this person was someone I considered a friend and I couldn’t reconcile that he was so blind and so unwilling to open his mind. A part of me blamed myself for not seeing the deeply rooted, ignorant racism before, and for not doing a good enough job to change his mind.

But the fact is, nothing I said, no facts I gave, no realities I pointed out were going to make him open his ignorant fucking eyes to the truth. No matter how logical or factual I was, Black people were still “pulling the race card.”

And for the first time in my life, I hated white people. I hated them with the force of a thousand suns. And I understood that my Black friends face this EVERY SINGLE DAY and I don’t understand how they stay sane.

Sneaking in the movies: Expendables 3

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We are fam-muh-lee… Wesley, Stallone, Arnold, Harrison, Lundgren, Randy, Kelsey, Terry, Jet Li, Jason, Rhonda, Glen P, Ortiz, Kellan, Mel G, and me!

What’s good Ohnawlins, it’s your complicatedly complexioned backseat screener Phenonymous Blak with another sneak treat review. And this time, we’re putting on some muscle.

The Expendables franchise was something I’m about 3 years too young to realize everyone wanted. These films have cost Lionsgate a total of about $300M to bring to the big screen and have earned every penny of it back with more than half a billion dollars grossed at the box office. The whole concept is one big joke that everyone is happily in on. Take all the washed up, acting challenged, action stars from the 80s and stick them in a film for one last Hoorah. Then do it again, and then again, but make sure you add a few new old dogs every time.

Funky Fact: The person who does the cinematography for these films actually worked on “Old Dogs”

The first film saw Arnold, Sylvester, Dolph, Jet Li, Statham and Micky Rourke. Fans were foaming at the mouth right up until its release date. Generally, critics bashed it because it’s not really a good film by their standards, just mindless eye crack candy. The second film got the formula right:

1. Drop the plot
2. Add Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Willis
3. Add more One Liners and Old Jokes
4. Make sure they never run out of ammo, knives, explosions and small evil villages to massacre.
5. Make it funny.

So clearly, the third film would completely capitalize on this formula and make the most amazing action hero packed Expendables film of all time. Just look at the names!

We are fam-muh-lee… Wesley, Stallone, Arnold, Harrison, Lundgren, Randy, Kelsey, Terry, Jet Li, Jason, Rhonda, Glen P, Ortiz, Kellan, Mel G, and me!

Just give these people someone to fight, something to shoot, something to blow up, and you’ve got the perfect action film. But sadly, that’s just not what happened. It was just too much going on with the story. They tried to make The Expendables turn into The Suspendables so they could be replaced by The Pretendables ,so even I started to feel like “I’m getting too old for this shit.”

The Expendables 3 is way too confident in its actors and that’s the biggest problem with this film. Instead of giving them things to kill, they give them more time to torture the audience with dialogue and endless plot development that goes absolutely nowhere. And there is just constant ball dropping. Two hours too often the film sets up these pretty basic, but pretty genius plots for the film to capitalize on and then, they don’t. The biggest one comes from a conversation between Statham and Stallone (who is the got-dayum director for mumbling out loud) about a “possible” scenario and what one would do for the other if it happened. That conversation happens in the very beginning of the film, and was perfect foreshadowing. Too bad it was unintentional.

The nerve of this film to ask me to turn my brain on; you don’t want that. Neither do I. Just riddle me with ridiculous violence and I’ll consider it an even exchange. Which brings up another point, why the hell is the film rated PG-13? And why does making a film PG-13 mean you can’t show the actual violence in a film that is about nothing but expendable bodies? Their rating is actually trying to cater to an audience who hadn’t even fertilized an egg before most of these dudes were semi-retired or governors. I need answers.

The production work here is the worst. There are countless well shot action scenes –you can see where the $90M went—that are just poorly chopped and edited. Every camera cuts away either right before or cuts to right after someone is punched, stabbed, body slammed, blown up, kicked, judo chopped, bazookaed, tanked, missiled, train crashed, car crashed, plain crashed, etc. I call it “Fill in the Blanks” shooting and it’s the new wave of terrible and close-up-meaning-too-close action shots in PG-13 films like Taken 2, and this mess. I watched Shredder slam a turtle into a wall like he was trying to knock the dust off him, but I can’t see Rhonda Rousey punch someone in the face? I need answers!

But! BUT! This film is not at all a total lost. For this one they added Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Antonio Banderas. Welsey Snipes won me over, because initially I found it extremely corny that they added him. But he was so dayum bad ass that I couldn’t even front on him. And he was funny. Mel Gibson went full Mel Gibson and was perfect as the villain. Antonio Banderas was the Jar Jar Binks of the Expendables, but in a good way, amazingly funny scenes. Harrison Ford showed up doing his best Clint Eastwood grizzly voice, looking like he’s losing his battle with petrification and it was some iced green tea greatness.

If you liked the first two films, you’re going to see this. You’ll probably like it for what it is. Just know it could be better. Just know I think they should do a 4th film, but with less plot and more action. Just know Rhonda Rousey is sexy as hell in Red but can’t act for shit and she made Gina Carano look like Meryl Streep.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5 “Get Tewduh Shoppers!

Sneaking in the movies: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenage_mutant_ninja_turtles_ver15_xxlg-720x1066What’s good Nawlians. It’s your backseat screener Blaketh Phenometh with another review and this is going to be short, like the attention span you’ll need to enjoy this movie.

This week, nostalgia will be filling up the seats in IMAX and 3D theaters all around the country in the name of “Turtle Power”. Our 4 favorite “Heroes in a Half shell” – what the hell does this even MEAN – finally got their live action return to the screen, after their shell-shockingly awful departure in 1993 with TMNT III; it’s the one where they go back in time to ancient China or whatever. TMNT was going to happen, and after seeing a talking Raccoon be successful, there was hope for this reboot of a franchise that’s touched every medium of entertainment, from comic books to films to music concerts to cartoons to CGI right into the explosive hands of Michael Bay.

God hates these Turtles. It’s the only answer I got for what the hell went down in my theater. It’s one of those films where you don’t ask questions about what’s happening you just ask “Is it over yet?” Heroes in a half shell? More like Heroes in a Half-Assed Movie.

The film opens up with April O’Neal (Megan Fox) trying to get the scoop on a story about some foot-soldiers robbing container shipments at the docks, with no luck. Her camera man (Will Arnett) follows demtitties around like a sad puppy dog looking to score some bed and breakfast, with even less luck. April decides to bike it to the docks where she sees a vigilante thwart the attempts of some foot soldiers. She continues to put her pretty white ass in danger because privilege and stuff of white folk, and ends up meeting our green heroes. She realizes she has a past connection to them, and that connection leads to them all having to stop Shredder from destroying New York City, because everybody wants to destroy New York damn City, like it’s not destroying itself. Oh, and Splinter is there too.

First off, what the hell happened to Whoopi Goldberg yall? She’s in this film walking around looking like one of Precious’s thighs in a Nigdonesian wig piece. I couldn’t tell if that was a wig or a crab net and she was just caught in it. Geezus, is this what the View does to women?

The story doesn’t matter because it didn’t matter to the Director at all. They just throw you into the movie. I felt like Jazzy Jeff meets Uncle Phil while watching this film, just kept getting tossed into stuff from scene to scene. The editing is horrendous. The film is clearly for kids but it doesn’t have to feel like a kid made it. People love a good story, and this is NOT a good story. It’s a culmination of all the trailers put together in 101 minutes with little to no effort. A whole lot of blind stitching going down here and they didn’t even try to make it seamless.

What really hurts the most about this debauchery of movie sadness is that the turtles look amazing. They are big. They are lethal. They can fight their asses off. And, they are entertaining. Their relationship with one another is what the film SHOULD have focused on more. Less April, more shell-bonding and this film could have been a winner. You get the feel that they’re teenagers, through their constant immaturity. Even Leonardo has some captain of the football team immature moments. And as much as Michaelangelo is the goofy star, with Donatello being the wizkid, it’s really Raphael who steals the movie with his intimidation and not-to-be-messed-with-I’m-having-a-bad-day-ereday persona. The turtles work! The film surrounding them doesn’t, and that hurts.

Splinter on the other hand looks terrible. That’s the ugliest big ass rat design I’ve ever seen. Jim Henson could have designed or more believable creature to raise and train these mutagenic ninja reptiles. How could the turtles look so damn good but Master Splinter look so damn bad? It’s because God hates these Turtles.
Another positive was the fighting. Nickelodeon, the company that found $125M lying around in between its couch cushions to give this movie, is the same studio behind the cartoon series Avatar, which is amazing. So, the fighting in this film is really good when you can actually see it. The battles between Shredder and the turtles were entertaining. Even Splinter gets some fight on.
So, because some of you have kids and will end up seeing this whether you wanted to or not, here are some recommendations.

1. Don’t see this in 3D, the production work is shotty.

2. Don’t go in with any expectations, remember part of being a parent is doing stuff you hate for your kids.

3. Remember this day. You can use it against your kids to guilt them when they’re older.

4. Don’t try and convince your kids that the older movies were better because they weren’t.

5. This is not Michael Bay’s fault.

6. Just go with the ending because if you start asking questions that’ll just lead to cancer.

Final Rating: 1.5 out 5 Teenage Mutant NinjaFaWhys

Guest writer BSmuv: What the fugg really???

Guest posts do not always reflect the ideas or stances of the OHN staff yet we all agree that it’s great to get other perspectives.

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So I was drifting through my news reader (RSSOwl) today and in one of my feeds (Lifehacker) I came across an article/ blog post/ whatever in the fugg you want to call it that gave me a moment of pause. The title of it was “l6v9kgitp6pwkw15flykLearn How to Eat Well on Just $35 a Week” and the first thought that popped into my mind was “my cell phone bill is $99 and change, my Xfinity bill is $136 and change and my Electric bill is on average $150 and change. Why in THEE Holy High Fugg would I consider skimping on the very thing I put in my mouth to sustain me over cutting these other bills out completely. Cause your a fat ass, that why. Fat, not phat, not big boned, huskey or pleasingly plump, just a fat ass fuggah. Now shut up and finish your Krispy Kreme doughnut and pass that bottle of Hersey’s chocolate sauce over here.”

Nah but seriously, it got me to thinking. Why is it ok to pay these high prices for the services we use on a day to day bases that on the surface seem like they are as great a necessity as food? Even at $35 a week in an average four week month that is $140 a month in groceries. My cable bill is $136 and change. I could trim it lower by removing the cable portion of my services. The remaining home alarm and internet connectivity are two things I can not live without. [Read that as: Peace of mind in security and the means to do my job to pay for this shit in the first place.] That would take my bill down to about $116 and change, a savings of just $20. How do I know this? The four and a half hours I spent on the phone with XFinity and them explaining how I’d be breaking some magical tripleunnamed (1) play bundle horse shit pricing I was getting and because I was cutting one of the services they were going to increase the prices of the other services to make up the difference for me not letting them fugg me. Or something there of like that, don’t quote me.

These are the things that float through my mind when in between bouts of ain’t shytness and general shenanigans. Why should I be denying myself good tasting and calorie laden foods for the sake of saving money? Why not write some letters to congress and complain about how the oligopoly system of telecommunications and my choices for an ISP has me bent over worse than that scene in Pulp Fiction? Cause it’s all one big scam. They will tell me if I get better pricing on my Internet, the price of my doughnuts is gonna reset to offset them not getting their campaign contributions from the Telecomms.

Or some happy horse shit like that…. mane what the fuck really.

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