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Monday, December 29, 2014

THE INTERVIEW (2014)

Rated: R                      withrealtoads.blogspot.com

STARS: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan

DIRECTOR: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
GENRE: Action-Comedy


It's ten minutes past the scheduled show time, and the screen is still dark. A theater employee walks down the aisle to make an announcement. Sorry, folks...we're having a little problem...we have to restart the projector...I DON'T THINK IT'S A HACK...thanks for your patience.  Such is the movie going experience in the days of free speech in America under attack from piss-ant dictatorships across the sea. (Just when we had our hands full with home-grown assaults under the guise of political correctness.) 


The film started shortly thereafter, with Seth Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg--in a tacked on segment at the beginning--saying "If you are watching this, then you're a g-damned phucking American hero!" 


I can't remember when I've felt so patriotic.


I'd heard that The Interview had opened to mixed reviews on Christmas day, but I gotta tell ya I was pleasantly surprised at how good and wickedly funny this movie is! 


Dave Skylark (Franco) and Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) host a cable TV show called Skylark Tonight . It happens that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, whose job title is Supreme Leader Who Doesn't Pee Or Poo, is a fan of the show. (We know that the real Kim is an avid film buff and consumer of American movies, so thus far the plot isn't too far-fetched).  Dave and Aaron get invited to Pyongyang to conduct and interview with Kim, which is supposed to be a soft ball affair where he gets a chance to plead his case to the west. (Dennis Rodman set the precedent here, so again, not terribly far-fetched.) Kim's not a bad guy at all (despite the labor camps, malnourished citizenry, and total suppression of human rights.) 


When a sexy CiA agent (Lizzy Caplan) learns of the upcoming trip, she sees an opportunity to get rid of one of the world's most ruthless strongmen. She convinces the boys that it's their duty to take him out, which is to be accomplished by way of a poison to be administered through a handshake.  


From here on, everything in The Interview IS far-fetched, and so raunchy and over-the-top hilarious that I suddenly envisioned the president and Michelle viewing it (which they're bound to do, just so they really know what all the fuss is about), and hoping they didn't make the mistake of allowing the girls to see it!


Randall Park can't quite nail down the physical presence of Kim--he doesn't have that baby-faced manchild look of the real guy--but beyond that he gives a winning performance as a Jekyll and Hyde manipulator who charms the pants off our heroes initially, then reveals his true nature when crunch time arrives.


And there's this hot Korean army chick whose real name is Diana Bang. How perfect is that?


Grade:  B +




JILL'S TAKE
I went, grousing and grumbling, to see The Inteview – assuming it would be utter fluff and one dumb movie per year is my quota. I was wrong. As silly as the premise is, it made me giggle from start to finish. As Tim was imagining the Obama Family watching this fart-friendly film, I kept imagining the real Kim Jong Un watching it. Not known for his self-deprecating sense of humor, North Korea's Chief of State would be highly insulted. (He might even nuke us for such insolence.) 
Be that as it may, I must say I was seriously impressed by James Franco's portrayal of Dave Skylark, a seemingly superficial TV talk show host. Having seen Franco in 127 Hours (for which he received a Best Actor nomination in 2011), I knew he had acting chops. What I didn't know was how funny he could be. And believably funny, too. Not all leading men types can make that switch. So Bravo, Signor Franco! 
As for Seth Rogen? He directed, wrote and produced this opus. And that's nothing to sneeze at. Of course, I have a special affinity for the lad since he grew up in a city that I lived in (and loved) for over 17 years: Vancouver, BC. The Interview is not going to appeal to everyone but I heard on the news that on its first weekend playing in theaters, it was the highest grossing film in China's history. 
Grade: B





  


           

Monday, December 8, 2014

EMINENTLY CLEAR



Passel of powder blue
dressed to kill
I'll be right up in your grill
like a George Foreman punch
now you're out to lunch
don't worry
it was preordained
without your express
written consent

Tooling around
we took a wrong turn
and BINGO
there's Johnny Sideline!
OH...can we get your autograph, puleeeze?

He says, Why? I'm Johnny Sideline after all.

But we are proud athletic supporters
and we never forget our jocks.
And winning isn't everything
unless you're a loser
boozer
midnight cruiser...

Now we're off  to name a star
hang out in a bar
and Father Time
that two-headed douche bag
I recalled him from Salisbury
now look what he's done.
All he knows
is to go with the flow
on a warm Summer's Eve
but you're a little too January
for me now 
so get stuffed, man
cuz I've made it my mission
to help all those
with chronic constipation
across the Raider Nation

Oh, silly, silly boy
it's eminently clear 
that you're trying to write your way to Love
but ah...
it looks to be working now

Pain recedes into the distance

And all I need from you
at the moment
is to borrow that smile






Saturday, November 15, 2014

SOMEWHERE STILL RINGING



He believed
with unswerving conviction
that in a world teeming with souls
surely there'd  be one
just tailor made for him
and that when he found her
the one to share it with
his life would begin for real

And yes there were some
who lingered for a time
but they came and went
like blips on a radar screen
another case of mistaken identity

And all he could do
when each ship of love
crashed and burned
was look away from the carnage
(for he was good at looking away)
and turn to face the bright sun of tomorrow
that surely loomed just around the bend

He did this in the spring
He did this in the summer
He did this in the autumn
With the last leaf still clinging
and somewhere still ringing
was the sound of her voice
calling from the hill

And they would rush
to each other
and his life would begin for real
no more holding back
for lack of inspiration
and he would do all the things
he had no penchant for doing
alone

For only with a sense of purpose
does life begin in earnest
and with each passing day
he knows now for sure
that purpose is her
the one who will stay

Come down in time
he whispers
come down in time
for he knows that time
is slipping away...

And he read the other day
nearly seven billion souls
on this bright blue ball of confusion
whirling in space
and he figures some wires
must have got crossed
and some bridges didn't
and he can't help but wonder
why it's still such a lonely lonely world


Monday, October 27, 2014

FAR AFIELD



The rain swept through here this morning
cleaning everything but the film clouding your eyes

She was all smoke and mirrors

from the beginning
and on some level you knew that
but sometimes you have to do
the wrong thing
just to know you're still alive

so once again you've gone far afield

just to learn your lesson
traipsing through a meadow
dotted with toadstools
beside the Houston police station

Don Knotts' twin brother gloms onto you

at the hotel in New Orleans
breaking into an old barbershop song
and muttering inappropriate comments about
the young girl behind the front desk
as you stand there
trying to check out of your life
he was a tennis champion long ago
before the personality disorder set in

 And you feel you need to wake up

from something
but you don't know what it is
and you know that nothing will ever be
the same again
but it will be the same again
after it's been different
for a long enough time

hey just try to find one

who isn't a little wacko
in some way
as crazy serves as the new norm
all fueled by drugs and booze and war
tumult and upheaval
the daily pressures of survival
as the TV screams
be afraid
be very afraid
and high school kids
serve as daily target practice
for the irreversibly deranged

our one slim hope to turn it around 
being to make Jackie Blue the new national anthem
sung at the start of every ballgame
the fans mouthing the words
with their hands over their hearts
so deadpan serious

and you 
console yourself 
with the epiphany that you see things
too clearly
with a grasp on the nuts 
of the problem
not commonly held
but once again you've squeezed them 
too tightly
as slippery sluts
slide through your fingers 
and you vow that next time
by freaking god
you will raise your standards
and use a little less olive oil 







Thursday, October 2, 2014

STRUT



It isn't arrogance
exactly
just a bit of a strut
in the walk
reflecting that I've taken
every shot that peppered
my butt
and came popping back up
like some leering whack-a-mole
daring you to pay your money
and go for it again

So many thought
they had me
down for the count
and some even took pity
(how condescendingly shitty)

You shoot me down

but I won't fall
fire away
fire away

Maybe it's the quiet swagger
of a life spent
stumbling into the wrong holes
and climbing back out again
and if you saw me then
you would surely hold your nose
but I've learn't how it comes and goes
in that it comes for the moment
and when it goes it goes for good

Turns out though
 I'm always gonna be a prick
in somebody's side
just when they thought it was
all cut and dried
just to wake up one day
and say

EEEEOOOOW...

that's the REAL you???

People don't change
they just keep showing you
a little bit more
of who you hoped they'd never be
and that's themselves

And the blame game
well that's incredibly lame
but we all play it
cuz we're afflicted with this condition
that allows us to see quite clearly outward
but only murkily inward
at the one person
who's the true source
of all that horse puckey
that keeps hittin' the fan



Monday, September 29, 2014



One day Bryan woke
To the realization
That everything around him--
All the scenery
And the scenes
He previously thought 
He was moving through
Were actually in motion themselves
And he was standing still.

Walking in place.

Bryan said to his imaginary friend 
Hazel
"Sometimes the most obvious things
we never take notice of."

Hazel said, well, it's all a show
Bryan
Designed specifically for you.
Enjoy the show, she said--
Enjoy the show.

And then she began to remove her clothes. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

                                                                          Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Monday, May 19, 2014

THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY


















How now
brown cow
I want to live
in the NOW.

Yes
I'll live for the moment
that's what I'll do
and blind myself
to all the rest
like Mister Magoo.

Hey, that was a good one...
it just went by so fast
it eluded my grasp.

WHOOSH--there's another!

and another
and another
and another

Now I'm spinning round
snatching wildly at nothing.

HEY-- c'mere ya li'l sumbitches!

How can I know
what living in the moment is like
when the moment is passing me by
in the blink of an eye?


That's an enigma
wrapped in a riddle
topped with a sigh.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow
all vying for space inside my brain
it's driving me insane
and that is truly a pain

in

the

ASS.

Don't mean to be crass...

but it's making me crazy
think I'll just have to pass
and not think about it anymore.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

I just won't THINK
about it anymore.

I'll just stay quiet
and close my eyes
and get into the lotus position...

Damn!

Gonna have to master
that lotus position
one day...

Well
no time
like the PRESENT...
heh heh

OHM...OHM...

Monday, May 5, 2014

IN PRAISE OF SUNSHINE



The day
dawns grey
like all the older women
you see at the market
who have cut their hair
so short and ugly
for the sake of convenience
having tossed in the towel
on the notion of ever attracting a man again

it doesn't need to be
that cut and dried
someone told you
this is how you have to act
to act your age
sold you a bill of goods
and you bought it 
without looking at the price
all prim and proper
and by the book
so many people 
here
there
and everywhere
just trying to do the right thing
and fit into someone else's plan
for a world 
that's as bland
as an old grey day
but hey
it's no coincidence that back in the day
when people freed their minds
their hair got longer...

LET THE SUNSHINE IN!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GOLDEN



On a sun-splashed day
in a desert 
where The Horse With No Name
made his claim to fame

With spring making overtures

like a punch-drunk lover

I saw her

in my mind's eye
I heard her
in my mind's ear
I contemplated her
in my mind's belly button

Behold The Vagabond Princess

electric rays sparking 
from the tips of her golden hair
she's been there
and back
on a beach with some name
And all because sunshine came
softly through her window that day

Swaying to the beat
of a distant drummer
her gaze is locked on summer

A painted man
walks down the street
blowing bubbles out his ears

How does he do that?

The world is a wondrous
and magical place to be...

The answer blowing
in the tail winds
that are bringing her to me 




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HATS



d'Verse Poets Pub


When I wear a baseball cap,
I'm not wearing it seriously--
like someone who wears a baseball cap.

When I wear a cowboy hat,
I'm not wearing it seriously--
like someone who wears a cowboy hat

I'm masquerading as you
for a little while
while I'm in the neighborhood.

And
you
know
I can talk the talk
and walk the walk
if I want to. 

Funny
how a hat
can change everything.

In the 30s and 40s
everyone wore them
and it told you nothing.
A sea of conformity
hiding the deformity
that was your head. 

Now
for those who do
it's like slapping a bumper sticker
across your forehead
displaying to the world
what you're made of.
I can see what's in your heart
by what's on your head--
and I can pinpoint it all
from the kind of wheels you drive
to the radio station you listen to.

I can even tell 
if you're The Queen.

But tipping my hand, well
that's not my style...

I'd rather you not see me comin'
(like a stealth bomber)
and just keep all of that
under my hat. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

MY FUNKY VALENTINE (with apologies to Rodgers & Hart!)




My funky valentine
Reading the comics valentine
Oh, where oh where do I start?

Your looks are laughable
Yet, I'm so affable
I'm just gonna call you abstract art

Oh, your figure's less than chic
And your nose looks like a beak
When you speak
You're speaking Greek
To me-eee

You don't comb your hair for me
There's a pubic hair in my tea
What does it matter to me?

Each day is Valentine's Day

Of your figure I can't speak
A less than noteworthy physique
And there's an odor from your feet
That sets you apar-arrrt.

But don't wash your hair for me
Or change your underwear for me
Stay funky, valentine, stay...

Each day is Valentine's--
unless it's Groundhog,
President's, Saint Patrick's,
April Fool's, Mother's,
Father's, Columbus, or Labor...
Da-eeeyyy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SPEED SKATER




















Woman with thighs
the size
of tree trunks
slicing up big chunks
of ice

Gliding light as a feather

But who will prize
those thunder thighs
when it's bikini weather?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

REINCARNATION


Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads--d'Verse Poets Pub




Don't want to be no baby again

Don't want to be a cranky little
poop factory
lettin' poor ol' mom & dad
hear about it at all times
of the day and night
what a healthy set of lungs!




Keepin' the diaper makers
rollin' in dough while I'm
rollin' in my own...

OH
don't want to think about it 
I will have none of this
do you hear me?

HEY
quit scrubbin' my little thingy
all the time
ain't  a person got any privacy
in this joint? 

Then later in my high chair
picking up my bowl of oatmeal
and dumping it over my head

And going back to school
OH PLEASE 
not SCHOOL again
I already know how to read and write
damn you
just can't seem to remember how that works now
but can't you see I'm a poet
by that wild and desperate look in my eye?
just give me the benefit of the doubt
"Teach"

OH NO
get those math problems away from me!

I can put two and two
together
and I know what you're up to
gonna make me a productive
member of society
observing all the rules
 fitting in 
and going with the flow
just to be like all the rest
who don't want to know

OH 
Jesus
don't want to be no baby
again 
baby
but the wheel turns 
round and round
so probably gonna be
yeah
probably gonna be

Shit