Tag Archives: shenanigans

Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels

I gotta tell ya, if you didn’t already know this about me, I love British films. I’ve watched the casts in British T.V., films, and American movies alike, starring alongside other big name actors. They crush their lines with timing and precision, they hold an air of Shakespearean flair, and

The Lock and Stock gang (not actual name).

they got the whole suave, posh thing goin’ on. I gotta hand it to Jason Statham, he’s a godawful muscle man stunt actor in American films, but he fits right in when the rest of the cast is from the U.K. And Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is this perfect case when it comes to that. A flavorful British cast with a renowned British director in one of his first film debuts, Guy Ritchie. Let the guns fly and the villains die.

Always out for a pint.

That’s basically what this movie is. Although there’s not really any big hero vs. villain gun fights or anything (you can’t tell the heroes from the villains anyway. Why would you want to?) you love the situation and the feel of the movie. It seems like everyone in the film has got a mouth on them, and they all speak the crime lingo. Everyone’s out for themselves with the big payday, and this movie has a big payday indeed.

The movie starts out with Bacon (Jason Statham) a two-bit swindler who speaks easy and cons you out of your money. Selling less than par jewelry, he and Eddy the Card Shark (Nick Moran) run through the streets of London after they’ve been had. Meanwhile, Tom (Jason

Talk about your smoking barrels…

Flemyng) is finishing his last deal with Nick “The Greek” (Stephen Marcus). He’s the brash leader of the group. Then there’s Soap (Dexter Fletcher), the straight walking saucier chef of the bunch. They all bring together 100,000 pounds for Eddy to play with versus Harry “The Hatchet” (P.H. Moriarty). After being forced into a loan and some shady dealings with some cameras and Morse code, Eddy loses and all four of the guys have to pay back 500,000 pounds. Oh no.

Cage match. For keeps.

With no means of being able to pay Harry back, the gang decides to drop in on a fellow gang’s robbery idea, stealing from the thieves. With a domino effect of a plot ensuing, you’ll never see the ending coming (or will you?). I personally was very satisfied with this film. Considered one of those “classic films” you should probably see before you die, I do agree. It is. It has a witty cast and a great vibe to it that just reeks of British gangster (as it should. They’re pretty ballin’.)

I want to spend a bit more time on that ballin’ cast I was talkin’ about. I already said Jason Statham, familiar with his feet set on the other side of the pond (not in America, obviously). There’s Nick Moran, who is someone I’ve seen occasionally in small roles, but after seeing this, I think he is destined for bigger and better things.

You bald buffoon.

Jason Flemyng is one of those actors I love seeing (besides his classic role and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentelmen), and I can’t get enough of his versatility. It was nice to see Dexter Fletcher without gray hair (he plays Nathan’s dad in the British T.V. show, Misfits) and his character is worth a few laughs. And I have to admit that I found P.H. Moriarty to be a pretty nefarious gang boss in this one. He played Gurney Halleck in the Dune series movies for cryin’ out loud! And there’s Vinnie Jones, the former club soccer player in England. Ever since he did this movie, he’s been poppin’ up all over the place. More power to him.

I’m the Juggernaut, female dog.

I loved the plot of this film. I don’t know if I can speak highly enough of it. It has at least 6 moving parties in the film (even some bumbling idiots you wouldn’t expect to do much), and everyone gets in a whole lotta shenanigans by the end. It’s not very often you see such complicated plots like this with such a great amount of dialogue that is pulled off so well. Leave it to the British to do that.

Combine all this with a solid soundtrack, colorful references and

Let’s get it poppin’.

language and a dialect all its own, and you have a crime film that defines the late 1990’s (even into the 2000’s). I’m just sorry I hadn’t seen this earlier. It kicked my ass, and left me wanting to see some other crime flicks. Looks like Revolver and RocknRolla are up now on my list of things to watch. 8.8 out of 10.

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It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia

Okay, this review is a big deal to me. I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A few years ago, out of the blue, I was watching FX and came across this man standing in front of a hot dog bar. This girl comes up from behind up and pinched him. His reaction? Turn around and punch a wench. Full fist, to the face. Needless to say, I rolled around on my floor and peed myself continuously for a full hour. Then, the show ended and it left my mind for a while. It’s Always Sunny left my radar for a few years. Then, just last year (as I’m finding most college students are discovering) it came back. My friend reminded my of that very scene and I had a repeat of 3 years ago. Again, needless to say, I went online and bought seasons 1-4.

And let me tell you, this show is good. Every episode is good. I wish I could forget this show over and over so every time I watch it is just as funny as the first time I witnessed it. I love showing this show to my friends, and that’s just what I did for my lucky friend Ian right before I decided to review it. We spent many a night watching 3 or 4 episodes at a time, laughing until our beds ran wet with urine. That’s how funny this show is.

Basic plot/premise: Dennis and Sweet Dee, Mac, and Charlie run this terrible bar in south Philly. They get little to no foot traffic in there, leaving lots of time for shenanigans and terrible screw ups. This guys are offensive in every way possible. The first episode of the show deals with just how ignorantly racist “The Gang” truly is. It’s fantastic. These guys are not afraid to go there.

Now, usually everybody picks a favorite character. (Let me know who yours is and why. Classic.) My favorite is Mac. Muscles and yet intelligent, Rob

"The Gang"

McElhenney creates and writes this show, giving the meat and potatoes for which everyone else works with. He is quite the genius in my opinion. Then there’s Dennis. The conceited, egotistical, narcissist who brings looks and carelessness to the table. His lines are great and his witticisms supreme. There are not many characters on modern T.V. or otherwise who compare to either Mac or Dennis. Glenn Howerton is quite the man.

That’s not to say that Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Charlie (Charlie Day) are not great character.

Charlie before the inspiration of Day Man

Charlie is consistently hilarious as the wild card who is basically a retard. His illiteracy and horrible way of living always spice up life. And yes, even Sweet Dee brings her own ridiculed “useless girl” identity into play for some of the best burns ever laid on a human being.

Interesting note. Shortly after the first season aired, Danny Devito’s children (grandchildren) approached him about Always Sunny. They told him they loved the show and that they really think he should get involved with it. And get involved with it he did. As Dennis and Dee’s father, Frank Reynolds is quite the angry, business-oriented character. His obsession with Vietnam and Rambo is just to good to be true. (Also the Cuckoo’s Nest reference episode can’t be beat.)

But yeah, these guys get into all kinds of a hootinanny. They get racist, patriotic, Invincible (New Kids on the Block guy), America, extreme, you name it, as long as it’s offensive, they’ve done it. The cast works so well

Yeah, it's that good.

together (watch the Gas Crisis episode) and their chemistry is unstoppable. I really hope this show never quits. It’s quite excellent. I plan on buying the fifth season and reviewing it as well, but you know, being a college student, I’m hard up on funds. (Someone buy it for me?) I haven’t really caught any of the sixth season, but it’s on my to do. I don’t really have a lot else to say, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself. 10 out of 10.

Oh, and here’s that scene I was talking about. Let me know if you pee your pants.


Ouran High School Host Club (Not as strange as I thought)

So recently, as I’ve been constantly doing, I watched another anime. It’s one of my girlfriend’s favorite, and I thought, hey, sure, why not? Yes, it was Ouran High School Host Club, and I was a bit confused at first. But if she hadn’t prepared me already for what was going to happen with School Rumble, I would’ve been lost beyond belief. And I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did.

So here’s the story. I feel it only holds constant for a few episodes and then the rest of the show is left to its own devices. But, I digress. Haruhi Fujioka, (Caitlin Glass) is a “commoner” student, allowed to attend Ouran Academy, a very well to do school full of the social and economic elite. Through her merit, Haruhi is allowed to attend, finds the Host Club, and embarks on an endless list of shenanigans that left me laughing with confusion. (The initial plot is that Haruhi breaks a vase that is quite expensive that the Host Club owns.)

First impressions. This show is quite homoerotic. The Hitachiin twins, (Voiced by Todd Haberkorn and Greg Ayres) Hikaru and Kaoru, give off the distinct impression of homosexual taboo incest. Played up to attract more girls, granted, but still rather hard to swallow. The comedy in this show is quite ridiculous, typical of anime, I find. (i.e. weird comic faces, strange noises, etc.) But over time, I find it to be quite funny. I always laugh when Tamaki (Vic Mignogna) mopes in a corner after facing some sort of ridicule. The comedy when it comes to Haruhi’s commoner status is hilarious, especially when the Host Club visits her at home and at the trading expo.

OH, AND DID I FORGET ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING?!?!? Haruhi, to pay back her debt to the Host Club, must dress as a boy. And although nobody else can apparently tell, she has short hair as some girls do, and is voiced by Caitlin Glass. Oh well, it’s a nice comment on the role of gender. There are a few episodes concerned with Tamaki’s and the twins’ feelings towards Haruhi,  and the discovery of Haruhi’s gender by others, but it all works out in the end. Trust me.

One thing that stands out to me about this show is the all-star American cast that voices the members of the Host Club. As I already mentioned, Caitlin Glass does a great job as Haruhi, the gender bender. Vic Mignogna, who I had the pleasure of meeting a week ago, is incredible as always as the flamboyant Tamaki. Along with the twins to round out these powerhouses, we have J. Michael Tatum as the money-crunching Kyoya, who in the end, becomes my favorite character. Honey is done fantastically by Luci Christian, a voice she also uses for Tenma from School Rumble. And last, but not least, Travis Willingham creates an amazing dynamic character with his “Hmm’s” and “Ahhh’s” and “Ahem’s” as Mori, Honey’s “protector.”

And if it wasn’t good enough, the guest appearances by voice actors like Aaron Dismuke, Christopher Sabat, (AMAZING) and Brina Palencia, it makes for an episode by episode guest star that is hard to top for any show. Yes, I quite enjoy voice actors and love following their bodies of work.

The humor’s great, the voice acting is superb, and the guys are metrosexual. What more could you ask for from an anime? Definitely 8 out of 10.