Jason Bourne, I mean Matt Damon is Jason Bourne in a movie about Jason Bourne in the most original title for a film this decade: JASON BOURNE. All caps means it’s special.

And special it is – a great cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, and Vincent Cassell can’t save this movie from at-best mediocrity at times and sheer stupidity in the rest of the film. There’s absolutely nothing in the movie that hasn’t been done four times before and the shaky cam is still annoying as fuck. Not only is it used for things when it shouldn’t (like looking at a phone screen), it’s used in place of real editing in this film too and the laziness shows. There’s a very half-hearted attempt at weaving privacy concerns into the storyline, but it’s just there to setup the final action sequences.

Matt Damon is JASON BOURNE. But you already know his name.

During one of these sequences, the guy hired to fail to kill Bourne, named the “Asset” of course, plows through about two dozen cars in a SWAT van in a traffic jam blowing them to the sides in dramatic fashion as bumpers, front ends and crumpled cars go flying, but the van doesn’t receive a scratch. Bourne follows in an unmarked black Dodge Charger – the movie makes sure I know this because the movie was sure to tell me this via police radio as he gets in the shiny black Charger for his commercial, I mean action sequence featuring the Charger.

The script is lazy, the direction is lazy, the characters are poor and Matt Damon phones it in. Easily the worst of the Bourne films.

SPOILER – the character played by Julia Stiles, a fan favorite in the first three films, gets killed rather early in the movie, her body simply left unceremoniously in a Greek alley somewhere. Will she miraculously come back in a future film titled The Bourne Lobotomy? Who cares?

Grade: D

This image appeared in my twitter feed a couple of times yesterday. I skipped over it not knowing the context since it was obviously a fake:

Turns out it’s real. CNN actually put this on TV. This is very scary for a number of reasons, the most of which is that we’re now beyond Poe’s Law.

Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture that states that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.

The original statement of the adage, by Nathan Poe, was:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.

It was bad enough not knowing what was real vs. what was basic satire for the past 20+ years in America, but now that what should be exceptionally obvious and stupid satire may actually be real means we’ve passed into a new phase of American stupidity. We live in disturbing times.

Further Reading: http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/11/one-screenshot-captures-everything-wrong-media-coverage-trump/

Exactly a month after the flu, I got a stomach virus that I’m currently recovering from. Vomit was coming out of both ends, with the front end being a little worse. During a couple of the 6 or 7 rounds of vomiting every 20 minutes out of the front end, it got pretty violent and I burst the small blood vessels around my eyes, only the second time that’s ever happened to me I think. In between all the activity, I started watching The Leftovers again. Funny thing is, the dog shooter, played by Michael Gaston, disappeared from the show immediately after I wrote that post about him. He was out the entire season 2 and reappeared briefly at the beginning of season 3. The show is still only OK to me, just good enough to continue watching, but the characters make some frustratingly stupid choices and it’s obvious the show is going to be open-ended.

***

Speaking of Michael Gaston and the left going low, nothing’s changed in the past month. Probably the highest profile incident of going low was Stephen Colbert saying Trump’s mouth is a cockholster for Putin:

Certainly a homophobic remark if you subscribe to the left’s definition of homophobic and it makes you wonder what would have happened to someone saying Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s mouth is a cockholster. Colbert was obviously doing it for ratings and it worked according to the latest news reports.

Another example is Martha Stewart giving the bird to Trump:

Like with Gaston, this is nothing new, and social media has been littered with people giving the finger to all things Trump since well before the election. Convicted felon Stewart is just getting her name in the news again.

And here’s intellectual Bill Maher joking of incest between Donald and Ivanka Trump:

Meanwhile, NewsDay claims that Americans are tired of fighting and believes a return to some semblance of normalcy is coming soon. Fat chance and the article even references Bill Maher (who envisions Ivanka giving Donald a handjob) as an example of this peaceful tranquility in our lives.

***

While off-topic, I found this article amusing. Apparently Politico believes Chris Murphy is presidential material because he retweeted the photo of that dead Syrian boy on the beach. They have a rather lengthy article about it. I got some news for you, Politico. Your header image of the article shows why he will not even be a presidential candidate for the Democratic party – not only is he male (GASP), or at least appears that he is self-identifying as male, but he’s also…oh my God, Lord have mercy…white. They better change his wiki photo quick, because it’s even whiter and maler:

The only realistic names I’ve heard for presidential candidates for 2020 on the Democratic side are Oprah Winfrey and Maxine Waters.

***

As for Trump firing Comey, which happened about an hour ago and has rattled everyone’s cages, I don’t know what took him this long.

I found Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to be very good and better than the original, unlike most others. There was a lot more plot and it was all about family. The action was great, the humor was funny, and there were a couple of unexpected cameos. The CGI of a young Kurt Russel in the beginning overtop of another actor worked well too.

My chief complaint with the film was that it seemed like I was watching an extended cut. I felt strongly that about 20 minutes could have been cut and coincidentally, that would have shortened the running time to just under two hours rather than 2 hours and 16 minutes. This prevents it from getting a full A.

Grade A-

And by retarded, I mean MLB is retarded in the classic sense of the word – slow, delayed or hindered in progress. With Boston fans, I mean retarded in the offensive form of the word and if you have issues with me calling people who use the n-word on a regular basis retarded, then fuck off.

In case you missed it, there was a long drawn out fight between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles while they played at Fenway for four games from Monday through Thursday of this week. It started when Manny Machado slid past second base and into Dustin Pedroia back on April 22. While it was a hard slide and it injured Pedroia, anyone who knows baseball could immediately tell this was not an intentional act on Machado’s part. Shit happens. The problem is, Machado has acted like an assclown in the past and this apparently gave the Red Sox free reign in their minds (and the umpires too) to intentionally throw at Machado in the batter’s box at will. Machado was thrown at no less than five times over the course of the most recent four game series.

While I’m biased in favor of the Orioles living in the Baltimore area and the Orioles did some more tit for tat throwing at Boston, I still have to come to the conclusion that the Orioles were wronged. The umpires didn’t seem to mind the headhunting throws at Machado, which could have killed him, for no reason. Things came to a boiling point between the two teams with both managers being called to a conference call with the commissioner of baseball (as one writer put it – they got called to the principal’s office) to hopefully put a fucking stop to it. At which point during the final game of the series, an Orioles pitcher got thrown out of the game for a pitch that obviously got away from him – a 77mph curve ball that hit a Boston batter in the legs. Everyone in the entire fucking world knew it wasn’t intentional, except for the home plate umpire, apparently.

Shit umpiring (or incoherent umpiring) is the reason I’ve hardly watched baseball over the past 20 years. Now, 20 years later, nothing has changed. MLB appears to be even more retarded than it was and the umpires are just as retarded. Even the Fenway Park fans are yelling the n-word at Adam Jones for no reason at all (except for the fact that he’s black, presumably, and the fans are racists fucks), and this shit has been going on for the entire lifetime of Fenway. Fuck you, Boston. And MLB, you need to get your shit together at some point because the sports bubble that has started to burst with the ESPN debacle could heavily damage baseball when it fully bursts.

***

I would have thought that people would have understood not to jump to conclusions about a rape story given that every rape story since the dawn of the millennium seemingly has had a 50/50 chance of being true. There was the supposed rape by Kobe Bryant, the supposed rape by Duke Lacrosse players, and the supposed rape by a UVA fraternity to name three off the top of my head from the past couple of decades. Recently, there was the alleged rape at Rockville high. Some conservatives jumped all over it because the alleged crime was done by illegal immigrants. Now, the charges have been dropped. Except for child pornography charges against the boys because the girl sent them a lewd video of herself.

Now that these developments have taken place, the picture is much clearer – the girl wanted attention and got some at the expense of these two men’s lives (technically one man at 18 and one boy at 17). But since the story has been out there for months and men are treated as guilty until proven innocent, actually, never mind, treated as permanently guilty regardless of any facts that come to light, people still readily believe they’re violent rapists:

The war on men continues. As for the child pornography charges, this is continuing proof positive that all an underage girl has to do to ruin a man’s life is send him a nude photo (why doesn’t SHE get charged with child pornography?). Again, the war on men continues with no abatement in sight.

Midnight Special, a science fiction film about a boy with special powers, could have and should have been a better film. But, it’s decent in its own right. The positives to this movie are the cast, the acting, and the shots (even though there was a noticeable smudge on the camera lens in one scene where they were driving). The negatives are that it gets relatively boring after an interesting setup in the first act to first half of the movie.
Grade: B-

Spoilers below

Many people online seemed dissatisfied with the ending. I thought it tied things up fairly nicely, so I’m not sure what the issue is. What I find odd, though, is the filmmaker’s commentary on it.
https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/midnight-special-ending?utm_term=.rmokL5XQG#.ocAYWO8nG
It seemed fairly straightforward to me with the bright light emanating from the boy and the beings of light revealed to be living in a world on top of ours watching us that the boy and these beings are angels. But Jeff Nichols, the writer and director, calls that a “red herring”.
Regardless, it’s clear the filmmaker was shooting for a “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” level of film, but falls short of that. Still worth watching for science fiction buffs, though.

(WordPress if fucking up the line breaks and I don’t feel like trying to figure out why)

I’ve been watching “The Leftovers” on HBONow. I originally avoided it because it looked too religious to me, but I started watching it to check it out and while some episodes seemed mediocre, others were very good (especially S1E6). By episode 8, I was looking up a couple of the people on the show on IMDB who I liked. One of those people turned out to be Michael Gaston, who plays Dean, a rather mysterious character who shoots the stray leftover dogs in the neighborhood. I found his IMDB profile picture to be odd:

Is he flipping the bird to the camera? It’s a very grainy image and while Trump appears to be giving a thumbs up, Gaston certainly appears to be using another digit.

Zooming in on the image, although making it grainier, pretty much confirms it’s the middle finger. So the question is why would this be the profile picture? I would like to give Gaston the benefit of the doubt and say that IMDB chooses one at random, but I find that highly unlikely to be the case. The odds are clearly in favor of Gaston making a political statement right there on his IMDB page.

Examining Gaston’s twitter profile shows that he is very anti-Trump. In fact, not too long after his profile states “I’m that bald guy from that thing you saw currently” comes a #FUCKTRUMP hashtag.

Doing a brief spot check on his twitter feed shows it is littered with anti-Trump tweets. In fact, this photo of him giving the finger appears about a million times in his media feed. He’s particularly proud of it. Oddly, the original post of it appears to be in June, 2013 and this one is the title image of the post:

The hatred of Trump runs deep with Gaston. Here he is stating IMDB “suppressed” his image, followed by a tweet stating he had gotten it back up:

Anyway, the day after the 2016 presidential election, I chatted with a good friend and stated I was 100% sure Trump would be a one term president because the Democrats would learn their lesson, do a proper primary, and come up with a more qualified candidate. Now I’m not so sure. The left still fails to understand that this type of behavior (always going low) is part of what got Trump elected. Other items with the Democrats that led to his win, beyond the scope of this post, are still in play today too. Going low is somewhat ironic, too, given the “when they go low, we go high” statement from Michelle Obama, but again, most everyone understands at this point that statements from politicians are the exact opposite of reality meaning that everyone knows that this statement from Obama is admitting the Democrats go low, not high.

They go low because they can get away with it. Compare this to an average person who may have had a “FUCKOBAMA” hashtag and a photo giving the middle finger with Obama. That person’s career, wherever he worked, in whatever industry he worked, would likely be ruined because the cries of racism would rain down on him. The difference in extremes in shit like this is part of the reason large amounts of independents broke Trump in the swing states.

There’s always the possibility I may be wrong and Gaston is not a rank and file Democrat, just simply someone who dislikes Trump. Monkeys may fly out of my butt too. An earlier tweet seems to confirm he’s a Clinton supporter, though:

I haven’t given his tweets that much time and don’t intend to any more. As for my thoughts on the 2016 election – I firmly believed Trump was a horrible candidate and would probably be an incompetent president. And I believed the other primary candidate in the election was even worse. That’s the problem with our current two party system. Indeed, I agree with Trump when he said Clinton is a nasty woman, but it’s the pot calling the kettle black, just different genders. Oh wait, am I allowed to use the word gender? Another reason Trump won.

As for The Leftovers, I think I will stop watching it for now, as Gaston’s shit stinks and has turned me off of it. The other person I was looking up, the actress of the character I liked named Aimee, left me wanting to see more of what she’s in. Why?

BECAUSE SHE’S NOT FORCING POLITICS DOWN MY FUCKING THROAT VIA IMDB.

Funny how that works. Also, I inadvertently saw that Meade was only in the first ten episodes, meaning she either gets killed or exits the show somehow after season 1. Lame. (Am I allowed to use the word she? Am I allowed to use the word actress? Serious questions.)

Suicide Squad came on HBONow last Saturday and I figured I needed to watch it, especially since I had just seen Batman V. Superman. I guess I should review it too. Unfortunately, I found Suicide Squad to be inferior to Batman V. Superman, even though everyone was in love with the Suicide Squad trailer, as compared to their hatred for the Batman V. Superman trailer.

The positives of the film are Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn. Interestingly, this is the first time I’ve seen Cara Delevinge on the screen, who plays an archaeologist who gets possessed by a witch named the Enchantress. Delevigne is in an upcoming film of interest, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and I have seen the trailer for that. She was hardly in the movie as the archaeologist and that performance was fine. The Enchantress performance seemed mediocre at best, but I think the primary problem was the dubbing of audio over top of her lip syncing, or something. Something wasn’t right about it at all and it took away from her performance and the scenes with the Enchantress.

The visual effects weren’t bad, but in spots weren’t necessarily good either. As for the true negatives – the story, the direction, the Joker hardly being in it. Perhaps the biggest problem with this movie is the attempt at making unlikable people likable, some of whom do unlikable things throughout the entire movie. While it generally works for Deadshot and Quinn, it fails miserably on everyone else. The other characters are completely useless too; Jai Courtney sucks as usual as an Australian named Boomerang, a guy who uses a…you guessed it…boomerang to kill people. There’s also a crocodile guy or something, a Japanese woman who uses a…you guessed it…sword to kill people and then there’s the guy that can turn his body into a flamethrower, Diablo, but then sits around most of the movie brooding while refusing to use his powers. Lame. But even lamer, there’s one guy who can climb buildings real fast and then gets killed immediately. Not even in battle. LAME.

Grade: D

I brought back my subscription to HBONow a day into the flu to get some new things to watch when I wasn’t dead in bed. Here’s some brief reviews, none of them of brand new movies or shows:

Westworld: The best series I’ve seen. Better than Game of Thrones, which jumped the shark at the very, very end of season 5. The blonde woman with the snake tattoo, played brilliantly by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, is absolutely lovable in her badassery, even though it’s a pretty small part. Everyone else does well too. I also liked seeing Tessa Thompson again, who I first really saw in Creed. I ended up binge watching the entire season over two days thanks to it being so good. Grade: A+

Batman V Superman: I finally saw it thanks to the subscription and while it wasn’t a great film it wasn’t terrible either. My issues with it were the length and the odd tonal shifts where they tried to shoehorn in items for the next Justice League movie. While a lot of people were harping on Affleck being Batman when it was first announced, my issue at the time was with Eisenberg being Lex Luthor. I’m happy to say his performance as Luthor wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Grade: B-

Independence Day: Resurgence: Not good. There was mediocre CGI, bad green screen, lame plot. And that was in the first 30 minutes because I fell asleep after that. So, I can’t really say I saw the movie. Another noteworthy item – “Madam President” is introduced within the first few minutes of the film, instantly dating itself to the dark times of the mid-teens where Hollywood was simply assuming the next President would be Hillary Clinton and was helping pave the way. Grade: D (from what I saw of it)

X-Men Apocalypse: While it was nothing that hasn’t been seen before, it was a decent movie and it being set in the 80s was fun. Sansa Stark, I mean Sophie Turner, played a young Jean well and I liked seeing how Charles Xavier lost his hair. Truthfully, there’s been so many X-Men movies, I have no idea if this is supposed to be in an alternate timeline or not compared to others from the 2000s as well as others from this decade. Regardless, it was a fun movie. Grade: B

Given the news of United Airlines grabbing a paying customer already seated, knocking him bloody and unconscious, and dragging him off the plane because the plane was “overbooked” calls for me to revisit the reason United Airlines is on my “permanent blacklist without the possibility of parole.”

(And yes, technically it probably wasn’t UA that grabbed him, it was likely the police department, but I can’t say that for sure because the guy who knocked him unconscious and dragged him out was wearing regular jeans, regular shirt, regular jacket and a simple baseball hat. It was uniformed police behind him.)

Back towards 2005, I traveled a fair amount by plane for my job and I knew United Airlines to be a general shit show at that point. At one point, I had a cross-country flight from California (probably Orange County John Wayne Airport) back to BWI. I got stuck with a seat all the way in the back of the plane. After I walked the length of the plane past moron after moron, I got to the back and a guy was in the aisle seat whereas I was in the middle. He flat told me he couldn’t move. I flat interpreted this as him being an asshole (who isn’t on flights?), so I simply climbed over his legs into my seat without saying anything, all with a poker face because I wasn’t sure what was going on and I wanted to make sure I was seated so the flight could go.

Then when I sat down, I realized he actually couldn’t move and that there was something wrong with him. I also re-examined in my head his telling me that he couldn’t move and realized he was embarrassed for the situation. Very shortly after that, a woman (obviously, a business traveler like me) showed up to take the window seat. I politely explained to her he couldn’t move and that I would have to climb out over him and she would have to climb over him to get to her seat, then I would climb back over him into mine. And that’s what we did.

The guy then opened up to me and said he had some disease that I can’t remember the name of. It effectively made him quadriplegic. He had very limited use of his hands and feet and I guess arms and legs, but they were effectively immobile and he had to have someone wheel him around in a wheelchair all the time. United Airlines had brought him onto the flight via wheelchair and dumped him in the very back away from other passengers. At this point I was rather irritated – not at the guy, but at both United Airlines and society in general. Several questions were in my head:

  • Why is someone not traveling with this guy?
  • Why did UA dump him in the back?
  • Does it not represent a safety concern of both the woman and I to have to climb over this person to exit our seat?
  • Why didn’t UA give the woman and I warning that this would have to be done?
  • Does it not represent a safety concern for the guy that the guy can’t move at all?

And really, I wasn’t that concerned about the safety of the situation because if a plane has a problem and is going to crash, you’re up shit creek without a paddle anyway. So I let my Colin-tude die down. I didn’t ask too many questions of the guy because I didn’t want to be prying, so I never got any answers as to where his people were. I do remember that at one point he said he was from Nanjemoy in Charles County, MD.

At some point during the long flight, UA flight attendants announced they were selling boxed meals for $5, exact change only. And these weren’t “meals” per se, but a box of a few shit-snacks. Totally not worth $5 and something that the airline should have been giving out for free prior to an even larger meal that should have been free as well. I immediately decided I wasn’t going to get one and forgot about it.

As the flight attendants started at the front of the plane collecting money from people, the effectively quadriplegic guy started moving a bit and continued to move, and continued to move, and continued to move. I didn’t know what he was doing and didn’t want to inadvertently be a dick by asking. Over the course of about 10 minutes as the flight attendants moved from the front to the back of the plane, he continued to move and fidget. Then as the flight attendant neared the back, I realized what he was doing – he was getting his wallet out of his front pants pocket to pay for the shit-snack “meal” box.

I then pulled it the rest of the way out of his pocket for him and it took another couple minutes for him to unfasten the Velcro (seriously). Just in time too – the flight attendant arrived, a guy, and asked if any of us would be getting a box. The quadriplegic guy was delighted to be getting one, had a 20 in his hand, and the flight attendant rudely told him exact change only. In fact, the flight attendant seriously may as well have said “fuck off.” I immediately pulled a ten out of my wallet and told the flight attendant both him and I would be getting one. The flight attendant then brought back a couple of boxes and handed them to us.

At this point, United Airlines was on my “blacklist watch” list. While it may not seem like much had happened, a significant event, in my mind, had taken place. The flight attendant was basically treating the guy, a paying customer, as sub-human. And yes,

  • The flight attendants had said exact change only at the beginning.
  • I could have misinterpreted the flight attendant’s attitude.
  • Even if the flight attendant had a ‘tude, it could have been an isolated incident.

Except we all know airlines, and United Airlines had a history of having attitude problems on the flights I was on. It wasn’t an isolated incident and that’s the reason they went on my blacklist watch list. Plus, people along the entire length of the plane had just ordered boxes – could UA not have pulled back out three fives to give a crippled person change, or am I missing something?

The quadriplegic man was really grateful that I had bought him some food. He immediately went for the apple sauce in the box and was having a difficult time grabbing the foil lip to peel off the top of the container. Not wanting to watch him struggle again like with the velcro on the wallet (or the 10 minutes to get the wallet out for that matter), I went ahead and told him I would do it for him. Again, he was very grateful. We then chatted a bit more and that’s when I learned this was the second leg of his journey, as he had been on a connector flight from Arizona or something and hadn’t moved at all. He said he was treated that way on that flight too. (And no wonder he was hungry.)

That’s when I saw the same flight attendant as before get stopped by another passenger up towards the middle of the plane. Apparently the passenger had decided she wanted a box after all. That’s when the flight attendant turned around and asked everyone in the vicinity on the plane very nicely if they had change for a 20 while waving the 20 around that the woman had just given him.

While it may not seem like much, UA then got put on my permanent blacklist without the possibility of parole for inhuman treatment of a crippled person because that’s exactly what had happened. I’ve never flown them again and the incident being reported in the mainstream and social media hardly surprises me. What makes it even more egregious in today’s incident is the fact that it appears the flight wasn’t “overbooked”, but rather UA wanted to put four of its employees on the flight at the last minute.

United Airlines is a shit show operation and you travel at your own risk with them – I’ve known that for 12 years. Unfortunately, they will no doubt continue to be in business because whatever boycott occurs will be weak and I’m sure more subsidization from the federal government (taxpayers money) will be given to them if they start to stumble.