Monday Morning Critic – 6.22

Reviews, Top Story

On tap this week:
— Strip club etiquette
— Sean Penn: Family guy?
— Fast and furious crap
And slightly much more!

When you have female friends, it can get a little interesting at times. One of my closer friends is Genevieve and she gets married in a couple weeks. Her best friend is her old college buddy Shelly (also her maid of honor). So she arranges a “Co-Ed Bachelorette Party” because a lot of Gen’s buddies happen to be guys. Being one of them, I was invited along and we came up with a great idea. Gen had been very good with most of her male friends in the Bachelor Party department, and the only plan we had ‘til that point was playing Whirly Ball (think Lacrosse in bumper cars) and then drinking en masse somewhere. It came complete with the “Suck for a buck” t-shirt loaded with candy as well as a mock veil that had glow in the dark male genitalia on it. I fell down laughing so hard at that, and she was not amused at all.

But something kept coming up between the lot of us during the pre-game drinking and the actual Whirly Ball experience. Gen has been there for most of our best times and is the type of friend who always has your back. We couldn’t let her have her “last night of freedom” go by without some sort of cheeky shenanigans, and thus a plan was born amongst bottles of Corona and Golden Tee. On the fly, we used GPS navigators and Google on the half a dozen cell phones assembled to find a place of modestly ill-repute. She deserved to have reciprocated unto her the volume of lap dances she had paid various exotic ladies of the pole to provide to several of her male married friends at their respective parties. It was only fair, of course.

We end up going to this little shanty in Wisconsin that has the distinction of having both genders of erotic dancer and give Gen’s gal pals an objective: get her drunk and get her danced upon. It was then that us guys, none of whom wanted to see male dancers, to sit and suffer through ladies of erotic dancing downstairs. There was me, of course as well as Rob and Jose who are Gen’s college buddies and still tight with her. Her former roommate Mark came out with us as well as Shelly’s fiancé Yuri. So we’re kind of an odd grouping but they’re great guys so it was going to be a good time.

So we sit down and order up, as we had three hours to kill, and one of the gals there offers to dance on the table. The problem was twofold: she made a bad offer and had a clichéd song on while asking. She had asked if we’d like to see a “naked woman dance” and I kindly pointed out that there were three of them so it’s not like we couldn’t already. Apparently she found that insulting but someone in the group took pity on her and gave her the $20. She then said she’d wait for the song on the loudspeaker to change, apparently because she needed time to stretch or something, and I merely pointed out that dancing to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard would be a bit trendy and/or cliché and thus would be a good choice. Apparently she didn’t like that either, so I started off by insulting a stripper. Not as bad as my buddy Nick telling the “Aristocrats” joke to one (he’s a stand up comedian and she asked him to tell a joke) but still somewhat derogatory.

But the guys understood, as they’ve come to understood that in the hierarchy of things I’m the guy who gets to say all the insulting things that have been beaten out of them by their wives, and at the end of the night we had a moment of Zen. We had spent some more cash on shenanigans there and as we were watching, I just had to say something. The atmosphere was fun and colloquial, drinks were a plenty an there was a great time to be had as we engaged in bromantic behavior, if one can call it that. It’s just one of the bro’s wasn’t there to enjoy it. Gen is usually there with us in whatever time is a happening and it was odd that she wasn’t. And thus the jaw-dropper of the night came out. Mind you the shot girl, a dancer and the drink girl were all behind me without my knowledge at this point in the night.

“Its times like these that make me wish Gen was a lesbian.”

I’m sure the gay community appreciates my sentiments, and its thoughts like these that kept me out of the good colleges.

Random Thoughts of the Week

The big news this week, if you can call it that in an otherwise slow week involving the art form that is cinema, is Sean Penn pulling out of his regularly scheduled projects and delving head first into family business for at least the next year. So no Stooges film, which is a shame because it would’ve been an interesting turn for the actor, as Penn and multiple-times estranged wife Robin Wright Penn try and patch things up (amongst other things) as the actor takes a break from it all. And at this point, especially coming after an Oscar for Milk, what else does he have to prove?

He’s a two time Oscar winner and for all purposes his legacy is secured. He’s perhaps the best actor of his generation and it’s hard to argue against based on his career up to this point.

What else would he have to gain by continuing? I doubt he’ll ever have to worry about money, considering he’s well paid for what he does, and the only real way to go from here is down. Jack Nicholson still does enough work to keep himself as Hollywood’s last real top star from a generation ago, as he hasn’t lost the credibility others in his generation have, and Nicholson at this point is probably the best comparison to make. Nicholson was still at the top of his game at the same age Penn is now, except he still kept taking roles, et al.

I keep thinking the same question. What else does he have to prove? The answer is nothing. He’s done everything an actor can do and has the respect of his peers. If he walked away now there’s no shame in it. Quitting while you’re ahead is not the same as quitting. If and when he comes back, there’ll be plenty of roles for him to be excellent at. Until then, I hope he finds the peace in his life that he deserves.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s Film – The Fast and the Furious


Ahh. . . to be younger and think that Vin Diesel and/or Paul Walker might actually have a career as an action star. In 2001, the duo starred in a film that would become an unexpected hit and launched both into stardom that neither has been able to match since.

Following the tale of Brian O’Conner (Walker), a cop infiltrating a gang of illegal street racers led by Dominic Toretto (Diesel) who are stealing goods via complicated schemes involving suicidal stunts with cars. After coming to respect Dom, and borking his sister, the two become friends only to find that Brian is a cop.

This is perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious film in the action genre I have seen and I have seen a lot of ‘em. What is amazing is that this would be the career highlight of everyone involved and end up becoming something all involved would come back to resuscitate it again.

Recommended if you need a good laugh.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and Northwestern University Co-Eds with low standards at The Keg

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Toys come to life as Shia Lebouf saves the world. And Megan Fox looks hot yet manages to keep all of her clothes on.

Skip It – The first one was retarded and there’s no doubt that this will be just a dumber version of it.

My Sister’s Keeper – Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz star in a film that should be called “Tearjerker” and shown on Lifetime.

Skip It – Unless you’re the sort that needs a good cry, this looks like bad melodrama.

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