Friday, July 28, 2017

DOUBLE REVIEW: 'Dunkirk' / 'Pool Party Massacre'

Both movies feature lots of people getting their innards splayed open, but I'm guessing only one of them will pick up any Academy Awards nods come Oscar season...


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@JimboX

You know, way too many men out there don't know how to grill out. This is something we have to remedy pronto

Grilling food with charcoal is practically a survival skill. The day may come when the government stops supplying us gas and an EMP blast could render all our microwaves and toasters totally useless. Then what? That's right, the only way any of us will be able to enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs is by stockpiling Kingsford Match Light Instant Charcoal Briquettes and finding some way to make the shit catch on fire. So in short, those who know how to grill will continue to thrive after the total and complete breakdown of society, while everybody who doesn't will probably get eaten by feral poodles or something. 

We here at The Internet Is In America are all about making you laugh, but we're also about importing vital life lessons through said guffaws. If for some silly reason you can't figure out how to seer a T-bone on a sheet of aluminum foil roasting over charred lumps of coal by now, then the onus is on us to teach you how ... especially you kids without fathers, whom undeniable government science tells us are probably going to be black.

So take heed, young 'uns - this is absolutely everything you could possibly ever want to know (or need to know) about the art of cooking out ...

001. Some people like to cook using propane grills, but since I reside in a part of the country where the meth usage rate is something like 7 out of every ten people, having one of those tanks sitting in your driveway is just screaming for a home invasion at some point. Thus, we'd strongly recommend sticking with the classic charcoal cooker, which is usually too clunky for the average speed freak to carry off on his back. 

002. You've got two types of charcoal. There's the kind that lights instantly and then there's the kind you have to spray with lighter fluid before you can set 'em ablaze. I'll just save you the time and effort and tell you you might as well just stick to the instant light kind, since they burn up quicker and you don't have to spend as much time shellacking them with flammable juices. And don't even think about tossing away the bag when you're done, as you'll see in just a bit ...

003. There's no exact mathematical formula for how much charcoal you need to use. If you don't lay enough briquettes down the fire won't get hot enough to cook a bologna sandwich but if you layer 'em on too thick, you'll have to wait half the damn afternoon for the flames to die down before you can even think about putting your Earl Campbell's Hot Links on it. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if the charcoal briquettes aren't touching the metal of the grill above 'em, you don't have enough, and if the sheer volume of briquettes is making the metal grilling plate jut out sideways or at a weird angle, you've prolly got too many. It may take a couple of incinerated burgers before you get the formula down, but eventually, you'll figger out exactly how much your unit needs just by eyeing the sumbitch.

004. So, lighting the charcoal bricks on fire. This part is actually really easy. All you have to do is tear off a couple of slivers of paper from the bag, roll 'em up like birthday candles and space them across the bricks so that all eight cardinal directions are covered. From there, all you got's to do is get a lighter of some kind and torch 'em, and within a minute or two you'll have a raging (albeit controlled) inferno on your hands. Two things to note, though: for fuck's sake, take the metal grilling plates off before you light the shit on fire, and if you're doing this in your carport or underneath a tarpaulin, do not leave the unit unattended, unless, of course, you don't mind coming back to half your fucking house on fire. 

005.  No, you DON'T put the meat directly on the grill. Are you fucking retarded or something? If you do that, the briquettes will totally fuck up the flavor and get dust all over your meat so it's like you're trying to have a barbecue at Auschwitz. What you do is go get you some flame-retardant aluminum foil, curve all four corners up so none of the juices go swishing nowhere and BEFORE you slap down your meat, you cover the whole goddamn thing in no-stick butter spray. THEN you put in your meat and gently lay it atop the burning coals. But wait until the coals have reached a glowing orange ember - anything before that and it will literally set your beef and pork on fire and anything after that the heat will be too low to cook anything. And be careful with the oils and grease ... as soon as that shit hits the fire, your unit practically becomes a flamethrower with a mind of its own.

006. You can pretty much cook anything on the grill. Beef, fish, chicken, turkey, what the hell ever. You can even wad up some veggies in fire-safe aluminum foil, toss 'em in an unused corner and grill 'em nice and slow while you're fixing the main course. Just leave the center of the grill open for your biggest chunk of meat, since that's typically the part of the unit that stays warmest the longest.

007. For fuck's sake, be careful with the utensils. All it takes is one errant poke from a two-pronged metal meat flipper and next thing you know you've got a five alarm grease fire on your hands. Just to be on the safe side, always have a jug of water nearby, in case you unexpectedly have to play amateur fire department. And though this should probably go with saying, don't try to pick up the aluminum foil off the grill with your bare hands - I mean, goddamn, just how ignorant are you people, anyway?

008. You'll probably have to marinate the beef in something while it's cooking (you know, to keep it from burning to a crisp or becoming Brundleflied with the aluminum foil.) From my experiences, Worcestershire sauce is a great way to keep your meat flavorful and doughy, although olive oil and liquid mesquite dressings theoretically work just as well.

009. There's no scientific equation for how long it'll take to cook your shit. Depending on the heat of the grill and the quality of your meat, your hamburger patties could be over and done with in five minutes or they could take 20 minutes to get just right. For whatever reason, hot dogs take goddamn forever on the grill, and I've never had my brats and sausages ready before half an hour had expired. Some people like to cut into their beef to see how pink it is, but you can probably determine just how "well" the meat is by looking at it. If it's pink, it'll probably kill you. If it's grey, it might be done but even if it isn't it probably won't kill you. If it's brown all over, it's definitely done. And if it's black, well, fuck, you need more practice. Interestingly enough, though, hot dogs, brats and sausages usually taste WAY better when they're burnt to a crisp, so you may have to let those suckers roast for an extra hour or two. Take it from an expert grillsman like me, though - its usually well worth the wait.

010. And lastly, we come to the dressings. If you're REALLY cooking out, all you need are three things: buns, condiments and paper plates. You don't even need paper towels or utensils, and extra fix-ins like baked beans, chili and grilled onions are merely optional. Besides, you can eat that shit anytime, what you're here for is that delicious, straight off the grill taste, and all that store-bought stuff only serves to emasculate your manly ass meal. Here's a quick and dirty mini-guide-inside-a-guide to tell you alls you needs to know about the shit you put on or around the spoils of your grill:

  • Bacon, mushrooms and sauteed onions are all acceptable toppings, as are lettuce and tomato. Pickles are permitted, but only if they aren't that sweet dill shit, which we can all agree are fucking terrible
  • Although I'm a fan of putting unorthodox stuff on restaurant-purchased burgers, (fried eggs, jalapeno rings, guacamole, fried onion rings, humus, etc.) out there shit like that is VERBOTEN on home-grilled burgers. Again, the star attraction should be the meat itself, not the kooky crap you're piling atop it like a retard at Cici's Pizza.
  • You don't need to do nothing fancy with the buns. The regular store-brand shit at Ingles or Piggly Wiggly is good enough. The whole wheat, enriched shit isn't worth the extra cost and to be frank, nobody gives a fuck whether a hamburger has sesame seeds on it or not, so don't even waste the time mulling such inconsequential matters.
  • The following condiments are acceptable: mustard (regular, honey or spicy brown), ketchup, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, chipotle sauce and mayo. If you put anything else on your burger or hot dog, do understand you're citizenship will be terminated on the spot
  • Of course you're allowed to put cheese on your burger. Where the fuck do you think we are, Nazi Germany or something?
  • A simple rule for other people's cookouts: if they have potato salad, coleslaw or macaroni salad on the table, get the hell on out of there as soon as you can, because I guarantee you people who think that stuff's edible will have no idea how to make a hot dog or hamburger taste good.

And lastly, even if you're a vegetarian you can still go out there and put some veggie dogs, tofu burgers and fat-assed portabello mushrooms on the grill and - perhaps for the first time in your life - experience what it feels like to be a real man. Successfully grilling out for the first time is a rite of passage, like finally getting poontang or taking your first car for a spin while blasting Motley Crue on the tape deck. It's one of those key firsts in life that represents your passage into adulthood and, thusly, self-sufficiency and independence. The sooner you figure out how to work a grill, the quicker, I assure you, you'll turn into a well-rounded man in all categories. That's because grilling out isn't just about feeding the stomach, it's also about nourishing the alpha male locked inside each and every one of us that's just champing at the bit to run wild like his noble, unyoked ancestors - naturally, one flame-broiled cheeseburger and charcoal-kissed kielbasa at a time.

But it' not just a bunch of white people looking sad while sitting in sea foam, though, in case you were wondering.

Speaking of things that'll put some hair on your chest, Dunkirk is easily the manliest major studio movie since The Revenant and if you haven't seen it yet for whatever stupid ass reason, you need to haul your keister down to the local multiplex pronto. Hell, this thing is so good it might even be worth the exorbitant IMAX surcharge, for once. 

This is prolly the only time I've ever ended up spending $50 damn dollars for me and my girl to catch a movie and I wasn't immediately assailed by buyer's remorse once the credits stopped unfurling. Dunkirk is undoubtedly the crowning achievement of Chris Nolan's career and the complete antithesis of the contemporary mainstream Hollywood cultural Marxism indoctrination-fest; it's a glorious throwback to the war epics of yore, a film that neither sanitizes the horrors of World War II with melodramatic romance subplots nor labors over its overwrought anti-war ideology. Long story short, if La-La-Land was dedicated to making great, humanistic war movies like this and Hacksaw Ridge instead of the regressive-progressive identity-politicking drivel of Wonder Woman and Get Out, I'd have NO problems forking over $43.47 for a greasy tub of popcorn and a ticket stub (an aside, I know, but why doesn't one of these mega-chain theaters start offering big ass tubs of other snack foods instead, like fried mozzarella sticks or chicken nuggets? Give me a 64-ounce box of pizza rolls and a never-ending, refillable bucket for cherry-vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper and I'd pretty much watch anything without complaining.) 

After being bombarded by so much superhero/social justice warrior masturbatory fodder all summer long, Dunkirk comes along and reminds us what real human drama looks like. This is a movie where pretty much everybody in the cast is no more than three inches away from certain death at all times, and even the most innocuous things quickly turn into instruments of destruction and dismemberment. For example? There's a part early on where a bunch of British troops are trying to scurry their way up a destroyer on a cargo net, and the tides wind up pushing the vessels together and you watch a whole bunch of Limeys get their pelvises crunched into a fine paste. Nobody in this movie "Hulks up" and defies the odds, they're all just running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to avoid the five million things going on in the background that'll kill them fucking dead in a heartbeat. In that, there's absolutely nothing political about Dunkirk;- in fact, you don't even hear the word "Nazi" uttered once. This is merely a movie about people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, doing whatever it takes to stay alive. And if that means hopping inside an overturned dinghy and plugging up the bullet holes with your bare hands to prevent a watery grave - while the Jerries are STILL firing a thousand rounds per second at the coastline - then so god-damn be it. 
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Dunkirk is one of those old-school ensemble cast movies that Hollywood apparently forgot how to make around 1982. You've got Tom Hardy up in the air targeting Krauts and having to scrawl how much gas he thinks he has left in his spitfire underneath the smashed up fuel gauge with chalk (and you would be amazed just how much high drama Nolan is able to get out of such small, simple plot dynamics, too.) Then you've got Fionn Whitehead and one of them kids from One Direction as two British soldiers running around the beachhead avoiding carpet bombs and having to play "jump the creek" over half-destroyed docks, probably saying about ten lines of decipherable dialogue the whole movie. And then you've got the guy who voiced The BFG steering his leisure yacht to rescue some English troops in France, and along the way he picks up The Scarecrow from Batman Begins and in a bout of PTSD-addled rage, he grabs one of his nerdy sons and pretty much gives them the old Kevin Nash Jackknife Powerbomb down the stairs and then you start wondering if he's going to kill everybody on board before they even get halfway across the British Channel. And if that wasn't enough, you've also got Jack Lowden stuck in a slowly sinking fighter plane trying to get his seatbelt off for half an hour and Kenneth goddamn Branagh playing a commander who literally walks back and forth on a pier telling people where to put their stretchers for the whole movie, but you're still fucking mesmerized by everything he says and does. 

This whole movie feels like it comes from an alternate timeline, where the prevailing social and demographical mores of the U.S. in the 1950s never changed. There's only one woman in the entire movie (and she only has about three lines, tops) and there's literally just five seconds of screen-time featuring black people (who don't have any lines at all.) The rest of the movie is wholeheartedly dedicated to grizzled, rugged white people getting shot, exploded and incinerated in a desperate struggle to survive, with nothing even remotely close to a contemporary sociopolitical message for the audience (although at my showing, half the crowd did boo like motherfuckers during the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth 2, which is probably the funniest thing I've witnessed at the local cineplex since that one time a dude yelled "Get Django, motherfucker!" after the first lashing scene in 12 Years a Slave.)

Needless to say, this is far and away the best movie I've seen this year and the first I'd consider a truly great motion picture. This thing is an absolute lock for next year's best sound editing and cinematography Oscars, and if Chris Nolan doesn't at least get nominated for best director, Hollywood might as well pack up their shit, sell all their cameras to the Chinese and call it a day. This is a perfect example of what Hollywood can accomplish when they're NOT hell-bent on promoting their "hooray for globalization and multiculturalism, and also fuck all white men" pagan religion - and you need to see it, even if it means actually paying to watch a movie for a change. 

We've got 450 dead bodies. No breasts. Multiple air raids. 15 downed fighter planes. Six sunken ships. Mass drownings. Mass bullet riddled corpses. Gratuitous Francophobia. Gratuitous tea with toast and jelly. Gratuitous pocket watch ticking, for literally the duration of the movie. Torpedo fu. Flaming oil slick fu. Blunt force head trauma fu. Shellshock fu. And, of course, the thing more or less responsible for the movie existing in the first place ... premature evacuation fu

Starring Tom Hardy as the battle-scarred Royal Air Force pilot who plays 1942 in real-life and sacrifices himself to the Huns to save scores of his countrymen's lives; Aneurin Barnard as the Froth who almost gets his guts blown out, ED-209 style, because he don't speak a lick of English; Fionn Whitehead as the low-ranking soldier hopping from boat to boat who knows better than to go below deck when half of Hitler's U-boats are within a one-mile radius; Tom Glynn-Carney as a 17-year-old kid who's not really sure what to do when a possibly homicidally-deranged soldier tosses his brother down a stairwell head-first like a lawn dart; and Cillian Murphy as the battle fatigue-ravaged troop who might just have to commit a triple murder to avoid getting sent back to the French shoreline.

Written and directed by Chris Nolan, who produced it alongside his wife (thankfully, she does a much better job here than she did in Batman v. Superman), with Hans Zimmer and Hoyte van Hoytema turning in Oscar-worthy contributions as composer and cinematographer, respectively, that are so good it's worth watching the movie for their work alone

I easily give this one four stars out of four. Not only is it the best movie of 2017 so far, it might just be the best war movie of the 21st century - and as a bonus for parents, if you want your kids to know what real heroism and real sacrifice and real adversity is like, Dunkirk ought to easily erase a lifetime of hippie-dippie, liberal public-school indoctrination on what allegedly constitutes "bravery" and "valor" in just two hours.

Stop ... hammer time. Get it? Because it's a reference to an old rap song or something.

Changing gears considerably for this week's second feature, it's certainly been a while since we put the spotlight on a low-budget degenerate cinema horror movie, and if you're on the prowl for a quasi-decent, titties-strewn bloodbath, Pool Party Massacre might be just the thing you're looking for.

From the get-go, I'm not sure if the people who made the movie meant for it to be a semi-parody or if they were just that incompetent at crafting a horror film. The digital cinematography is downright excellent, but by golly, the acting in this movie is all shades of terrible. This is one of those movies where EVERYBODY either overacts or underacts - nothing seems believable, nothing seems sincere and nothing seems even remotely professional. Seemingly every line is played for comedic effect, but - as you will soon see - there's pretty much nothing even remotely funny about the flick. 

It's also one of those movies where pretty much everybody in the cast is at least in their early 30s, but they're trying to pass 'em off as people in their early 20s. Also, whoever wrote the script has no idea what the youth lexicon nowadays resembles - thus, the probable explanation for the deluge of such passe neologisms as "dadbod," "ratchet" and, of course "totes" littering the script like crunched up beer cans dotting the sides of U.S. 41. 

What we're working with here is basically a mishmash of Mean Girls and The Toolbox Murders. We start off promising enough, with this one horny broad getting her throat torn open with a giant landscaping knife, but before long we're knee-deep in a friendship drama revolving around this one stuck-up, super-rich and especially snotty white girl whose parents utterly adore her presumably Hispanic dark-skinned gal pal. Naturally, the parents skip town for the weekend and the two decide to invite over their equally vain and stupid girlfriends over for a dip in th pool, but dabnabit, there's some psycho killer on the loose who just can't stop himself from driving screwdrivers through the eye sockets of heavy metal enthusiasts or ripping trust fund babies' mandibles off with the crooked end of a tack hammer. 

Then one of the gals' boyfriends shows up and he brings along his pervy brother who keeps making raunchy sex jokes to the disgust and dismay of the rest of the cast. There's even a TEN MINUTE long sequence in which he tries to explain the fan theory that Cameron just imagined Ferris in Ferris Bueller's Day Off ... which, of course, is right before he steals a picture of the party host's mom, takes it to the bathroom and begins masturbating to it up until our psycho murderer decides to shove a power drill through his sternum for being all gross and whatnot. 

Naturally, there ain't much of a story here. Eventually, everybody in the cast sans our two leading ladies wind up getting maimed, disemboweled or butchered, and this being a modern slasher movie, you just know there's going to be a "twist ending" in there somewhere, and this one packs perhaps the most telegraphed "surprise" in the history of the genre. Still, if you're just here for the flying plasma and bare flesh, all that tertiary stuff about "plot" and "editing" and "camerawork" prolly won't turn you off too much.  It ain't a classic by any stretch, but as long as you can turn off the part of your brain responsible for critical thought for an hour and 19 minutes, you might actually enjoy it. 

We've got 10 dead bodies. Four breasts. Throat slitting. Eyeball gouging. Reckless dog tossing. Hammer through the jaw. Multiple pickaxes to the skull. Knife through the chest. Used condom flinging. Intestines rolls. Gratuitous death metal soundtrack. Gratuitous S&M subplot. Gratuitous slo-mo ensemble cast walking shots. Gratuitous Dirty Sanchez jokes. Power drill fu. Electric tree trimmer fu. Rubber mallet fu. And, of course, the thing more or less responsible for the movie existing in the first place ... underemployed baristas in Las Vegas REALLY needing the supplemental income fu

Starring Kristin Noel McKusick as Blaire, the bitchy party host who says "You keep your sperm away from my house"; Margaux Neme as Nancy, the dark-skinned (but not that dark-skinned) best bud who says "You killed everybody to become famous? Couldn't you have just made a sex tape like everybody else?"; Crystal Stoney as Britney, the obligatory super slut who gets her trachea sliced open with a ball-gag in her mouth muffling he screams; actual Internet sex-celebrity Alexis Adams as the equally obligatory dumb blonde who doesn't get anybody's ejaculation jokes; Destiny Faith Nelson as the token black girl, who gets her innards scrambled in the shower; and Nick Byer as Clay, the scene-stealing, ultra-pervert who has the movie's best line - "you girls are a disgrace to hot chicks everywhere."

Written and directed by Drew Marvick, who'll probably have a long and prosperous career in low-budget, exploitation filmmaking ... if nothing else, for the fact he's selling headless action figures to finance the flick's marketing budget.

I give it two stars out of four. Of course there's much better stuff out there, but you could certainly do far worse with contemporary horror fare. Hey, at least it ain't that pretentious female lib bullcrap like XX ...

2 comments:

  1. Hey Jimbo, thanks for taking the time to watch and review Pool Party Massacre. Not only are there a couple rad pull quotes in your review but I am super excited about the fact we scored better than The Witch. (an probably The XX based on your last comment) Seriously, thanks for checking out, maybe we'll win you over with the sequel. Not because it will be any better than this, but because we will work in a scene showcasing your charcoal grilling tips.

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    1. As long as there's a scene where some big-breasted co-ed gets killed while reading this site, I can guarantee Pool Party Massacre 2 nothing short of a three and a half star rating.

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