Monday Morning Critic – 5.3 – Forcible Sodomy and the Kentucky Derby, Up in the Air, the Wit and Wisdom of Robert De Niro and slightly much more!

On tap this week: Forcible Sodomy and the Kentucky Derby, Up in the Air, the Wit and Wisdom of Robert De Niro and slightly much more!

You know what I kept thinking during the Kentucky Derby? Why hasn’t some eccentric billionaire bought a racing horse and named it something really foul and/or obnoxious and then entered it into the Derby? The results would be hilarious.

Think about it. You could name a horse “Forcible Sodomy” and if it’s good enough it would totally be hilarious to hear Tom Durkin have to keep repeating the phrase “Forcible Sodomy” in a race. Or, even better, get a whole bunch of them that are just completely inappropriate like “Tea-Bagger,” “White Trash Hillbilly,” “Welfare Queen,” “Show me your genitals,” “Smack my bitch up,” “My President The Communist,” “Nicholas Sparks Novel,” “Beyonce’s got a dick” and/or “Penis Van Lesbian” during a race. It would be AWESOME and we all know it. Horse-racing would be way more popular if owners would stop being polite and not talk about the “sanctity” of the sport and the “dignity” of the animal.

Really, think about it for a moment. We jack up these horses with enough steroids to turn a small African family into professional bodybuilders, put a midget on a saddle on top of them and then make them run around a circle as fast as they can for the sheer purpose of betting money on them. As soon as they’re no longer useful, they get shot and made into glue. If you eliminated the gambling aspect of most sports, they shrink considerably. If you eliminate it from horse racing no one cares anymore; you really can’t claim any sort of dignity at that point.

It’s what would make horse-racing so much more amusing, at least to me. I mean there’s a seriousness about hearing an announcer call a race, and have to say “Forcible Sodomy is in the lead followed by Tea-Bagger, Beyonce’s got a dick and then Show me your genitals. Everyone else is the pack” would be so awesome that the world would stand still for a moment and we’d all remember what we were doing at that magical moment.

We totally need a billionaire with some crazy in him like Mark Cuban to totally pull this off, too, but I think Cuban would be totally wrong for this. A wacky Russian billionaire who made his money off of dubious connections and now wants to show everyone that he can do great things with his wealth would be perfect. He could own some professional sports team here in America to show how global he is, like Major League Soccer’s DC United, and have an ownership stake be known for banging third rate movie stars like Amanda Peet.

Why all this? Because in some grand vision of mine, hearing Durkin have to try and keep a straight face either through the sheer hilarity of it all or the sheer embarrassment for the sport would be high comedy. Plus wacky Russian billionaires need to totally start trying to sleep their way through Hollywood, if only to make it that much more amusing for the TMZ’s of the world. That and Amanda Peet always has this expression on her face like she just needs a good thumping and she’ll be all good. But then again, with thoughts like these are probably some of the reasons why I didn’t get into the good colleges.

Random Thoughts of the Week

Two months ago I decided to start a draft whenever I ran out of goofy things to write about. So it’s about time to revisit it because I have nothing right now.

And no one seems to know who this guy is:

Since he’s the commissioner of this draft, he needs a name. Time to go the podium with WAW Commisioner Slappy McGee.

“The Atlanta Roethlisberger Rape Babies have dealt the second overall pick to Janesville (WI) in exchange for the 8th overall draft pick, a second round pick, a swap of fourth round picks and Tracy McGrady’s expiring contract. Janesville is now on the board.

And with the 2nd pick of the first round, the Janesville (WI) Tea-Baggers select: Robert De Niro.”

Great pick and probably my favorite actor, De Niro has done a lot of great films but this was really hard because he never has anything that’s really quotable. It’s the damndest thing. He gets picked up high because of how many great films he’s made, and great characters he’s portrayed, but in terms of great lines he doesn’t have as many as you’d think.

“Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun.” — Turk, Righteous Kill

The film was such a downer in terms of quality, but a real money line. In life we all mainly respect people in power for their title, but it’s the power that it carries is what we really respect. We respect the badge but it’s the gun that keeps us in line. If a cop wasn’t armed we’d probably respect and obey, but with the gun we will because that will end you.

“Vanity Fair named me as one of the 30 most powerful producers in the business. Power is an elusive term, but in Hollywood it’s everything, I don’t care what they say, you either have it, want it, or you’re afraid of losing it. Where you stand at these things, or who you may be standing next to, may not seem like the most important thing, but it *really* matters.“ – Ben, What Just Happened

Power is addicting; it’s why people want to be President. It’s what drives us and makes us want to be the absolute best because of the power it gives. If you understand that rule then you understand the basic way life revolves; it’s about a bunch of people trying to grab as much power as they can before they die. It’s why people hang on to ANYTHING that resembles a position of power and will let go when they die; why do you think there are so many politicos still in office well after the age of 75. And why athletes, entertainers, et al, refuse to let go even though they have long since had their

“Sometimes in the heat of passion, the little head tells the big head what to do, and the big head should think twice about what you are doing. “ –Lorenzo, A Bronx Tale

We’ve all been there. Sometimes the little guy takes over for our actions. It explains 99.9999% of all male screw ups: We are in the process of trying to get laid. All but two of the bad decisions I’ve made in my life are for this very reason. It’s the reason for most divorces caused by male infidelity and nearly took down a sitting President; Pussy Galore may be a Bond villain but she’s undefeated against the likes of Tiger Woods and allegedly the President.

“You’re great in the locker room, pal, and your reflexes might die hard, but you’re weak when you put your spikes on.” – Sam, Ronin

We all know that guy: he talks a big name, looks like a killer in the gym but when it’s time to lace your boots they’re useless. It happens way more often than we ever want to acknowledge, but some people are never meant to be in the heat of battle. Sam is a battle tested CIA spook who can tell who is good and who just looks like it. And it’s one of those you learn in life; how to spot the fakers from those with actual talent.

“I’m not mad, I’m proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. “ – Jimmy Conway, Goodfellas

The eternal two rules of the guy code have long been ignored, but it’s the sign of any good friend. And we all know the guy you keep your mouth shut in front of because they blab to everyone. It’s my key rule of friendship; if it won’t put in me jail or the morgue, it will go to the grave with me. And it’s one of the great things about Goodfellas that shows how far Henry Hill and the gang have fallen in the end. Throughout the film none of them are willing to rat or open their mouths; at the end, when they know the end is near, they all rat each other out to save their own skin.

“He knew the risks, he didn’t have to be there. It rains… you get wet.” – Neil McCauley, Heat

HEAT is one of my favorite films of all time and insanely quotable, and this is one of the better ones. Life is a series of risks and we have to be willing to take the consequences.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s DVD – Up in the Air

Jason Reitman is slowly on his path to becoming the preeminent director in Hollywood. Any idiot can seemingly make one brilliant film. Justin Lin had Better Luck Tomorrow before becoming a studio hack. Kevin Smith had Clerks before becoming a self parody. Simon West had Con Air and never could find a good project after. Curtis Hanson did L.A Confidential, John Singleton had Boyz n the Hood, Mark Lester had Commando and the list goes on and on. Making two great films is a bit harder but it’s possible to have two great films and then have nothing left but awful films. Once you hit three? Then you’ve got serious directing chops.

Reitman scored his first hit with Thank you for smoking:, a subversively hilarious film about a tobacco lobbyist (Aaron Eckhart) coming to grips with his life. For his follow up he got a career-defining performance from Ellen Page in Juno about a teen with an unexpected pregnancy. Then he manages to make a film as good as the other two by getting a performance out of George Clooney that was unexpected with Up in the Air.

Clooney is an actor who has a narrow window of characters he can play because he’s a handsome, charming guy. He can’t really play a loser who never gets the girl because let’s face it; Clooney probably has nailed half the women in Hollywood. He can’t play a guy who’s not really successful and down on his luck because I’d have a hard time believing that if Clooney wasn’t a successful actor he wouldn’t have been successful in something else. So despite his truckload of talent, Clooney has a small set of characters he can play because of who he is. In this he’s Ryan Bingham, a man who makes his living firing people. He goes across country and is the guy you meet with because your boss is such a massive coward that he can’t bring himself to do a layoff himself; he brings in Bingham to knock it out of the park.

The film follows Bingham as his world begins to unravel. A new young talent on the horizon (Anna Kendrick) threatens to take him off the road and put him in a cubicle, firing people via webcam. And after years of banging stewardesses, waitresses and other types in a series of one night stands, he meets someone (Vera Farmiga) with whom he makes a connection. She’s him, just “with a vagina” as she so eloquently puts it. As the film progresses, all the things Ryan has put off for years come crashing to a head.

I genuinely enjoyed the film when I first saw it, putting it in my Top 10 of 2009, but the one thing I was surprised about was just how much better the film is the second time around. There are lots of great moments you miss the first time around, especially the first scene of dialogue between Clooney, Farmiga and Kendrick when they discuss dating as you get older. It’s the most spot on look at dating when you get older; when you’re young you want everything and the kitchen, to boot. As you get older, you’re more willing to compromise on what you want because happiness is fleeting.

At this point, Reitman is the guy you have the best shot at calling the best director of his generation. At this point, he’s crafted three of the best 25 films of the last 10 years (I had Thank you for Smoking at #11 and Up in the Air at #22 on my top 25 of the 2000s list) and he’s shown an ability to pick great projects that he can really sink his teeth into. Highest recommendation possible.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club

Iron Man 2 – Fun loving billionaire/superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back!

See it – The summer has officially begun. This has “awesome” written all over it.

Babies – Four whiny babies get followed.

Skip It – Who cares?

Casino Jack and the United States of Money – Behind Jack Abramoff and the swindling of American taxpayers.

See it – Should be interesting, and the director has a real pedigree as well. Me, I can’t wait ‘til they have Goldman-Sachs and their current swindling of taxpayers. But that’s just me.

Letters to Juliet – A Sneak Peek on Saturday for another Nick Sparks film.

Skip it – A better waste of your time would be to search for “Show me your genitals” on YouTube. Or bet $20 on who’ll get cancer in this film.

Do you have questions about movies, life, love, or Branigan’s Law? Shoot me an e-mail at and you could be featured in the next “Monday Morning Critic.” Include your name and hometown to improve your odds.

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