Player One : Are You Ready?

Recently I picked up the novel “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline because the Steven Spielberg film comes out March 29. The ad didn’t look that promising but I wanted to see if the book was any good. So how is it? It’s interesting. It’s a mixture of the teen dystopian science fiction that’s so popular right now and a far more interesting postmodernism which I haven’t seen in literature recently. It’s about a future where Earth is a shithole so everyone spends all their time on the OASIS, a high-speed virtual reality internet wonderland where you can lose yourself in gaming and movies. and chat rooms. The founder of the OASIS, a reclusive billionaire, dies and leaves his fortune to whoever is smart enough and a good enough gamer to win. In order to win, you have to be a pop-culture genius and retro video-game expert. A group of five teen gamers and film buffs must get to the Golden Egg before the villainous Sixers do, or virtual reality will be forever doomed.

This book’s greatest attributes are its armada of pop-culture references and pop culture jokes. From Delorians to Johnny Five, Max Headroom to “Blade Runner,” 80’s pop culture is constantly referenced and joked about. This could lead to some very interesting filmmaking if Spielberg has the satirical chops. What’s not so good are the geeky characters, the predictable plot, and the unnecessary infusion of politically correct messages. For example, we are supposed to believe that a 168-pound girl is hot. Sorry, Homey don’t play that… also, another girl has gender issues. Not to be mean, but I don’t care about that. Eventually, the paper-thin characters and annoying “positive” messages wore me out and the book took too long to finish.

Will the movie be any good? Spielberg’s a genius but he may not be good enough at comedy to pull this off, as evidenced by his super-mediocre flick “1941.” Also, audiences may be tired of the whole teem dystopia thing. However, the film has buzz of perhaps being a real special FX breakthrough. If it’s better than “The Matrix” FX and imaginative enough, maybe it’ll be a surprise success. We here at GROIN are planning to post a review of this film on opening weekend, and here’s hoping it’s amazing!

Mueller Indicts 13 Ham Sandwiches

There is an old saying that anyone can indict a ham sandwich. This week Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 “Russians” for trolling the internet against Hilary, starting in 2014. Unfortunately, the people he wishes to bring to justice mostly live in Russia. This includes Putin’s so-called ‘Pool Man’, a political buddy who does his dirty work. Mueller knows Russia does not extradite to the US. Therefor this indictment is a joke. It also takes a shit on the first Amendment right to free speech. And it attempts to deprive internationals from being able to post about US affairs, through Facebook. Meanwhile, the US actively overthrows governments constantly, and meddles in elections – such as the previous Israeli election. Another fact, is that scores of Mexican, as well as dual-Israeli citizens were very active during the campaign in organizing labor and student movements to effect the election results. However, such groups favor the left, not the right. Therefor they are given a total pass.

This two tiered system of justice shall not stand! The right pays taxes too. We are tired of having the deck stacked against us in the government, and will continue to win the elections every two years, in order to flush the leftist corruption from the system.

Dark Age Rules

Did you ever worry about getting eaten by giant crocodiles? I remember one time as a youngin’ in Florida, we rented a paddleboat. Immediately we were surrounded by alligators. Still don’t know why they rented those paddleboats there. Too dangerous…

This movie really appealed to me when I saw the box. It’s my life story:


Ready for an excellent crocodile movie with the star of “Wolf Creek”? Sink your teeth into “Dark Age,” the best crocodile-on-a-rampage movie that I’ve ever seen!  This 1987 movie is about a crocodile hunter (played by John Jarratt of “Wolf Creek”) who has a daunting assignment: capture and neutralize a 25-foot saltwater  crocodile who’s been wreaking havoc in Australia.  There’s an added kink: he must not offend the local Aborigine population, who believes that the crocodile is a reflection of their spirit.

Why is this direct-to-video film so good?  At Groin, we always give Australian B movies (from back in the day) the highest marks! First of all, it has great atmosphere: you really feel like you’re in the outback,  Secondly, the crocodile seems both real and like a real threat.  Thirdly, John Jarratt makes for a great hero, tough and resourceful.  Finally, the ending, which I won’t give away, is pretty surprising.  This film is so much better than the crap we see in theatres today!  We need a good Blu-ray release of it soon!  And, for what it’s worth, apparently Quentin Tarantino loves this film.  Look for “Dark Age” on VHS on Amazon and EBay. It’ll scare you silly!

Steel Dawn is the Future

You know, after watching that crappy new western “Hostiles” with Christian Bale, it got me thinking how much better the average movie was circa 1987-1988. And it got me thinking even more about how awesome Patrick Swayze’s too-little seen sci-fi western “Steel Dawn” is. A direct, complete rip-off of “Shane” and a precursor to 1998’s “Soldier” with Kurt Russell, “Steel Dawn” takes place in a post-apocalypse future where life isn’t worth squat, at least until Swayze materializes as a Mad Max type who (with his buddy Brion James) must protect young widow Lisa Niemi (who became his wife) and her young son (who resembles Annakin Skywalker in “The Phantom Menace”) from evil Anthony Zerbe (always great in movies like this). Swayze’s path to salvation involves many one-on-one battles, souped-up futuristic vehicles and props, and an unconsummated (at least on-screen) romance. Besides Swayze, James, and Zerbe, the film is notable for music by Brian May (“The Road Warrior”) and direction by Lance Hool (“Missing in Action 2: The Beginning.”)


Let’s face it. The world is heading downhill. Many countries are failing. Whether it is North Korea, Syria, or Venezuela people are starving and fighting over food, and other scarce resources. Greece and other countries are next. Someday it will be the USA where people fight in the streets for scraps. Even countries that are rich in natural resources, such as Venezuela cannot get their oil industry up and running, due to leftist hubris. Libya, South Africa, and many African nations are nothing short of anarchy. Welcome to the new dawn of mankind.

Why do I like “Steel Dawn” so much more than the critically acclaimed flop “Hostiles”? Because it knows what kind of movie it wants to be. And it warns us about our abysmal future. Unlike Bale, Swayze never has to think or do any actual acting; he just kicks ass and takes names! “Steel Dawn” doesn’t have a thought in its head, but it’s a terrific low-budget action spectacular sorely in need of a Blu-ray release. If you can find a copy of this on VHS (or DVD if you’re a snob), so it, and thank me later! And by the way, for his roles in this film, “Uncommon Valor,” “Red Dawn,” “Next of Kin,” “Road House,” and “Point Break,” we are inducting the late and sorely missed Swayze into the Hall of Fame! Hopefully this bad-ass mofo is laughing his ass off in heaven! Until next time…

Bra Banditas

What a crime against humanity There is an outbreak of bra-stealing in Salinas and possibly Monterey, according to the Salinas Californian. Three women stole 300 bras from Victoria’s Secret at Northridge Mall. The bras are worth more than $17,000. That’s over $50 a bra! We here at want to inform women that they don’t need to wear bras. In fact, as far as we’re concerned, women don’t need to wear clothes at all! There was similar bra-stealing recently in Monterey, probably by the same women. If you know anything, don’t call us!

Anyhow, what hubris! Women wasting hundreds of bucks on these over-priced undergarments, because they are being sold a consumer image. Then these lazy thieves come along and fight back, by stealing from their corporate masters. Oh the irony! You would never see a guy caught dead trying to steal 10k worth of tighty whiteys. We have the decency to pay for our drawls. Maybe women should start paying for their underwear before they start complaining about how society doesn’t treat them fairly.

Bring them to justice!

Bad Ronald is Good

One of the greatest TV horror films is called “Bad Ronald,” and it’s so good it reminds me of “Psycho.” It’s about a nerdy, creepy teen (played by Scott Jacoby) who, after accidentally killing a little girl, is instructed by his mother (Kim Hunter) to live in a secret room in their Victorian house. She dies and Dabney Coleman (then a brunette with a full head of hair) and his family move in. Ronald (the creepy teen murderer) must avoid detection by this new family by sneaking around for munchies while they’re asleep. He eventually causes a few more people to die and becomes fixated on the family’s young hot daughters,. He has an unhealthy obsession with fantasy, you see, and when life fails to live up to his fantasies, he gets mad. And deadly.

Why is this such a good TV horror film? Ronald is a genuinely interesting character. He’s nerdy and initially somewhat likeable, and we can see he didn’t have to turn out so badly. His mother’s well-meaning plan of hiding him ends up driving him mad. What’s interesting is how this 1974 film is able to imply so much while showing virtually nothing. We know Ronald’s a perv, for example, even though we never see it. By the extremely abrupt ending, we feel we have genuinely watched the descent of a young man into violence and psychosis. “Bad Ronald” is available on DVD through Warner Brothers Archive for about $15. Don’t miss it!

End The Sour Grapes: Fire Mueller

So here we are, over a year after the election, being subjected to ‘Russia this, Russia that,” after a year of worthless investgations by Democrat sore losers. The country is stuck simultaneously investigating the minusha of Dem. corruption, which was so pervasive and immense. At the same time Mueller is out like a rabid dog to get Trump, though its obvious Trump got no help from Russia in the election, nor did he need Russia’s help.

Rather than get bogged down in arguments over which party was more corrupt during the election (we all know the Dems were), it is time to paint the Dems as sore losers, while at the same time firing Mueller. Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian interference in the election. The fact that there was no actual Russian interference to help GOP/Trump means that Mueller is way out of bounds in his current investigation’s scope.

People are afraid that firing Mueller will result in impeachment proceedings against Trump. However, they are ignorant of the fact that this is exactly already where Mueller is headed with this. Mueller is a rabid dog, out to get Trump by any means necessary. Comey and the Bureau were his protoge’ and he old pals. That conflict of interest by Mueller (having to investigate his friends) provides solid ground for firing him.  If Mueller was a legit investigator he would be investigating Hilary for taking Russian disinformation in the Steele Dossier, which she funded.

A couple of fringe Dems already have already filed bogus impeachment proceedings against Trump. Allowing Mueller to wrap up his biased corrupt leftist investigation against Trump will only give the left’s case for impeachment proceedings more credence. Mueller should be fired immediately- for conflict of interest (investigating his own pals and cronies), abuse of power (the Manafort Raid and the Mattis background check were not Russia related), as well as for being well beyond the scope of the investigation. Finally, Mueller should be fired for for ignoring all evidence that it was the left (Hilary) who dealt with Russian intelligence (not Trump), and it was Obama who was using KGB eves dropping techniques.

Firing Mueller will piss off the left, but the left is pissed off already anyway. The left and CNN will want to impeach, but that is the narrative anyways. The time has come to say enough talking about the last election. We won. The Dems lost and are sore losers. Mueller’s probe is just sour grapes and a get even scheme by the corrupt left, in order to save their own asses politically. If the Dems want to try and impeach Trump for firing Mueller, then fine, let them try! They do not have the 60 Senate seats, and have proven to be a bunch of losers.

Fire Mueller. The president has the right to move on past the election sour grapes of the left. If the left and the media doesn’t like Mueller getting fired, they are free to try and win 60 Senate seats total when the next election comes. Trump is a winner though. And the Dems are pure failures, in denial. So this strategy will put the Dems in their place, while ensuring that Trump can move forward with the business of the country. After all, he won the election.


Ice Climber As a Life Metaphor

So there I was, at the local Gamers in Control, and what do I see? A cartridge for the Game Boy Advance of the classic 1984 Nintendo game “Ice Climber”! I had to grab it and the game’s still cool! In it, you play some little guy with a pickax who must climb 32 mountains in order to win the game. Obstructing your climb are a number of video game creatures that you must evade or kill. At the top of each mountain is a bonus stage where you have 40 seconds to prove your climbing skills so you can score bonus points and be a winner!

This game is still fun because of the simplicity of the concept and the ease of the gameplay. Its like life, you climb and slip, but get back up again and keep climbing some more! Climbing is fun, for example because the retro graphics of the mountains invoke serious gaming nostalgia. The bonus round is also enjoyable because it poses a real but necessary challenge for the gamer. I just got this game but I am planning to play it regularly until I win. If you have a Game Boy Advance or a Nintendo DS that plays Game Boy Advance games, don’t miss “Ice Climber.” It still holds up after all these years!

Oscar Handicapping

OK, so I’ve seen all but one of the 2018 Best Picture nominees and what do I think? I haven’t seen “Call Me by Your Name” yet because I don’t particularly like the subject matter. I think it has a small chance to be a dark-horse winner but I haven’t heard that much buzz on its chances of actually winning Oscars. I’d say it has a one in ten chance. As far as “Phantom Thread” goes, Daniel Day-Lewis is a great actor but the film ix boring and not particularly relevant to our current cultural and political climate. I don’t think it has any chance.

“Get Out” is a terrific movie that made a lot of money but does a low-budget horror satire have any chance at Best Picture? I would say no; a better chance is in the original screenplay category. “Dunkirk” is real good for a big-budget studio war movie, successfully employing unusual techniques to emphasize the experience of war rather than the historical details of it. It will probably win a lot of technical Oscars but not so much in the big categories.

“The Post” is Spielberg’s best film since “Munich” but it only got 2 nominations for Best Picture and for Meryl Streep. The newspaper-themed film “Spotlight” won two years ago and I think that’s why “The Post,” a very good and timely movie, will be shut win.

“Lady Bird” is an excellent coming-of-age comedy but I don’t think it’s going to win because not enough people saw it. Also, comedies almost never win Oscars. It scored a lot of nominations, though, so it has a 15 percent chance.

“The Darkest Hour” is the third-most likely movie to win. Audiences love the Gary Oldman performance and the way the movie dramatizes history. The problem is that the screenplay and directing are not considered to be as good as Oldman’s performance. Nevertheless, I think it has a 20 percent chance of winning.

“The Shape of Water” has really resonated with critics with its mixture of fantasy, horror, romance, and social commentary about the 1950’s. The acting and the monster are great, but the movie may be somewhat overrated. I think it has Best Director for Guillermo del Toro all sewn up, with only Greta Gerwig of “Lady Bird” providing real competition. However, I don’t think it will win because it’s a kinky monster movie, and not something that voters traditionally go for. I’d give it a 25 percent chance of winning, or second best.

That leaves “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” as the most likely winner, and a highly deserving one too. It has the best acting and writing of any film this year and it’s highly socially relevant. It is controversial for how it deals with race relations, but it’s a great, nearly flawless and very entertaining film. With a 30 percent chance of winning, it is the Oscar Frontrunner! Yay!

So, again, here are the films that have a chance of winning, in order: 5. “Cal Me by Your Name”-10 percent 4. “Lady Bird”-15 percent. 3.”The Darkest Hour” 20 % 2. “The Shape of Water”-25 % and 1. “Three Billboards”-30 % Happy Oscar handicapping!