There was a guy who used to play basketball in the campus gym while I was running laps. Whenever he made a basket, he would yell "Give me my money! Give me my money!" at the top of his lungs. I assumed that he was quoting a rap song.
Where's the Money (2017) is not all about the Benjamins. South Central kid Del (Andrew Bachelor, right) needs money to keep his father's gym open. Calling from prison, Dad reveals that years ago he and Uncle Leon (Terry Crews flexing his biceps) stole $1 million and hid it in the basement of a flop house. So Del goes to retrieve it.
Del tries to get into the basement by posing as a safety inspector. When that doesn't work, he consults with his buds Alicia (Kat Graham) and Juice (Allen Maldonado, left), and comes up with the plan of pledging the fraternity.
Wait -- don't you actually have to be admitted to the college first?
1. Brock (Devon Werkheiser, unrecognizable from his turn on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide)
2. Eddie (Logan Paul).
3. Clarke (Josh Brenner)
They are all paralyzed by white guilt, constantly policing each other for racist microaggressions:
"How dare you say that that our new pledge looks like that fake inspector! Implying that all black people look alike -- that's racist, man!" So Del can easily play them.
The interactions are very funny. I rarely laugh out loud at a movie, but I was laughing constantly.
By the way, Logan Paul's muscles are ubiquitous in the trailer and posters, and he is indeed shirtless in nearly every scene,but he's not a major character. He has maybe three lines.
Another problem: The sociopathic Uncle Leon and a gang banger named Trap (Method Man of the Wu Tang Clan) also want the money. If Del can't get it through his sneakiness, they'll go in with guns blazing.
Not to worry: this is a comedy, so everything is revealed and forgiven in the end. Uncle Leon gets clobbered. Trap gives up gang-banging and takes a job at the gym. The frat boys start to volunteer at the gym, and Del enrolls at the college for real.
Heterosexism: Suprisingly little. The frat boys give lip service to "getting pussy," but their heterosexual shenanigans are limited to one scene, where Alicia distracts Brock while Juice tries to retrieve the money in the same room.
Del has a fade-out kiss with The Girl (Alicia), but before that they have such a laid-back, nonsexual relationship that at first I thought she was his sister, and then a platonic gal pal.
Gay Characters: None, or all of them. There is a decided lack of heterosexual interest in this movie. But no specific same-sex pairs.
At a bachelor auction, where sorority girls bid on the new pledges, there's a brief shot of frat boy Eddie (Logan Paul) with a bidding paddle.I'm not sure what that means.
Beefcake: The black actors are rather circumspect -- Terry Crews flexes to be menacing, not to be hot. But the white actors are usually shirtless, sometimes pantsless.
So black people can't be objects of desire? That's racist, man!
I give it a B+.
See also: Jake and Logan Paul; Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
May 3, 2019
May 1, 2019
Thirty years pass. We are older but not wiser. The world has grown cold and dark, evil that we thought long-banished alive and vigorous. Every day we think "It can't happen here -- can it?" Then we realize that it already has. We need a new hero, a new baby-faced warrior in a white robe who can definitively defeat the Darkness.
May 2, 2018: The youtube series Cobra Kai reunites Danny and Johnny.
Except Danny is no longer a bastian of purity, and Johnny is no longer pure evil. Both do despicable things while the younger generation tries to find its way.
Johnny also starts dating Miguel's mom until she starts dating someone else, and they fight.
When he discovers that Cobra Kai is opening again, Danny is livid with rage, and tries all sorts of dirty tricks to shut it down or otherwise bedevil his old nemesis.
Eventually he starts giving Robby karate lessons, and is inspired to open his own Miyagi-Do, based on the principles of his deceased sensei, Mr. Miyagi.
It's the eternal triangle: respectable but boring, or wild and dangerous.
Well, actually, alliances change so fast, among the adults and teens alike, that you can't really tell who's good and who's evil without a score card. Maybe that's the point.
There are no gay characters. Early fan buzz suggested that Robbie would be gay, but he turns out to be more obsessed with girls than with karate.
And, surprisingly, beefcake is limited. No one works out shirtless, like in the original, and besides, most of the kids at the dojo are actual kids, not 20-something hunkoids pretending to be high school students.
I only watched the free episode. A convoluted plot with no gay characters, limited beefcake, and a cast of scoundrels? I have the original Karate Kid on DVD.
See also:The Karate Kid
A 2007 graduate of Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, he was a comedian who performed with the Groundlings and Second City.
Danny's acting credits include such lighthearted fare as All I Want for Christmas, Correcting Christmas, and a Christmas Reunion.
Rather ironic, given that his most memorable creation was Crack-Duck.
Danny was always drawing weird, surreal, disturbing pictures of monstrous creatures. Some appeared in a 2017 book he co-wrote with Mike Levine, At Least You're Not These Monsters ("So you hate your body? At least your body makes sense.") Crack-Duck was one of his creations, a grotesque wide-eyed duck with a crack in his skull.
Now Crack-Duck is living a life of not-so-quiet desperation, alone, self-hating, and miserable, manager of a down-and-out apartment building, Grungetown Towers.
An ongoing subplot has Skiitch realizing that he's in love with Crack-Duck. But they're both boys. How is that possible?
After that, Crack-Duck and Skiitch are presented as romantic partners, fighting their demons together. Although they're closeted to their friends.
Reviewers, of course, are quick to yell that Crack-Duck isn't gay, just lonely enough to try out a gay relationship.
Hint: that's not how sexual orientation works. If you're a straight duck, it's women or nothing. A gay duck, men or nothing. Crack-Duck is probably pansexual.
All episodes are on Youtube.
Apr 30, 2019
But Noah Centineo is cute,so why not? I've got 90 minutes to kill before dinner, and maybe he takes off his shirt.
Yep, this is definitely a 1980s teen-operator movie, with a money-making scheme, an "it" girl that he has a crush on, and a plain-but-nice girl who is rooting for him.
The premise: in order to make money for Yale, Brooks Rattigan (how's that for an entitled name?) hires himself out as a non-sexual gigolo. Teenage girl clients only. He provides last-minute service when your date cancelled, or when you need someone to make your crush jealous, or when you just want a perfect evening.
Pleasant surprise #1: No sex, only one kiss, the standard fade-out with the plain-but-nice girl.
Pleasant surprise #2: His goal is to pay for college, not get a girl. This is probably the first time that a movie teen has ever worried about tuition.
And he actually gets a boyfriend (Alexander Biglane, below). No kissing, but bf does appear on screen.
That's a huge improvement over the nonstop homophobia of 1980s teen nerd/operator comedies.
Criticism #2: Have you ever seen such a self-centered, elitist, entitled jerk? He blows off his sidekick, freezes out the plain-but-nice girl, and treats his Dad, struggling writer Charles, as a lackey.
Dad suggests that, given the state of their finances, the University of Connecticut might be a better choice. In-state tuition is only $13,000, there are scholarships available, and besides, Murf is going there. But Brooks will have none of it. He's not going to spend the rest of his life embarrassed because he went to...ugh...a state university!
Criticism #3: Brooks learns What's Really Important in the end, and surprisingly, Dad, plain-but-nice-girl, and sidekick are all eager to forgive him. Sorry, his redemption is too little, too late, and the gang rallying around him is too unbelievable. I'd be throwing him some major shade.
But the gay sidekick is revolutionary, and Noah Centineo is cute, so I'll rate The Perfect Date a B.
Apr 29, 2019
"You like quirky comedies with gay characters, right? Then watch On My Block."
"You watched Special, right? Then you'll love On My Block!"
"All of the cool kids are watching it. You want to fit in, don't you?"
"If you don't watch it, we'll raise your rates."
Surely there must be some gay characters for Netflix to be pushing it so aggressively. But, I recall, Netflix also pushes endless dramas with descriptions beginning "After the death of his wife....", so I'm wary.
I watched one episode, entitled "Chapter Fourteen," about the Valentine's Dance. If there are any gay characters, they'll certainly be out here.
No gay subtext here, but at least the two aren't homophobic.
Later Cesar is trying to make out with his girlfriend, but they have problems meeting all of Jamal's rules, like "you can't wear outside clothes on the bed, too many germs."
Slicked-back hair, fashion-plate ensemble, girl's name -- this guy is definitely gay!
Oh boy, a whole roomful of cute guys for Ruby to choose from.
Except it's a roomful of girls.
Ok, is Big Girl unaware that Ruby is gay, or are same-sex dates not allowed?
Ruby rejects all of them. He would like to have sex with the girls, he explains, but in order to win the dance contest, he wants to go with Big Girl
Foul! Ruby is straight! Big Girl might still be a lesbian, though.
4. Jamal is watching football practice, when the Coach appears and says "I need you tomorrow night."
"Are you asking me to the dance?" Jamal asks.
No, the Coach wants him to work off his debt by chaperoning. Jamal doesn't have a date, so why not?
No date, awareness of same-sex relationships, no outrage over the possibility that a guy might be asking him out -- .Jamal must be gay!
5. Monse's Mom, who is white, shows up and wants to take her away to Brentwood because South Central L.A. is too dangerous.
6. Monse and her boyfriend, who looks like Cesar, discuss what to wear to the dance.
7. The Coach and Jamal bond.
8. Cesar and Jamal's Dad bond.
Lots of male bonding on this show,but does it always have to be adult-teen, thus precluding gay subtexts?
10. Jamal accidentally breaks the Coach's cell phone. Then he runs into Tyrone in the hallway and hugs him.
Wait -- he's hugging a guy? Definitely gay. Even if the hug is just an excuse to plant the phone on Tyrone, so he'll be blamed for stealing and breaking it.
11. Ruby has a flashback to when he was shot at another party. Everyone is upset. Monse says "One day the world's a dream, the next day it's a nightmare. I can't believe she's gone." Cesar is crying. Jamal hugs him.
Wow, bummer. This is definitely not a comedy, it's a drama with jokes.
So, is Jamal gay for real? According to fan wiki, he's never been in a relationship. In an interview, Brett Gray states that he hopes Jamal finds a special someone this season.
"Special someone"! Definitely.....
He continues "A sexy lady..."