Sad-urday: Fried-ay, Millennials, and Movie Etiquette…

Okay, so it’s Saturday, which means it’s Sad-urday, which means I’m about to unveil my new weekly blog installment that I most likely will give up on by next week. For those who normally read Couch Guy, you may or may not (probably not) be familiar with my Fried-ay blogs, which are just a bunch of disconnected ideas I spew into a WordPress document.

This week, however, is a tad different. I did not have time to type one up yesterday so allow me to introduce Sad-urday: a blog where I just write a bunch of sad stuff. The inspiration for this idea manifested from the fact I’m a genius, as well as a remarkably miserable person who loves company. Let’s get into it…

Back in 2001, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Quada took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans; however, the worst terrorist attack to take place on US soil prior to that day was the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19th, 1995, a truck packed with explosives—

You know what? I may just go back to Fried-ay. Conceptually, this just doesn’t make a lot of sense. I mean, who in their right mind would willingly read something like this?

Anyway, one of the things I talked about is how I see a SHITLOAD of movies at my local theater and every time I go, the place is EMPTY. Just an absolute ghost town and it bothers me because, back in the day, going to the movies was an awesome experience. Nowadays, kids in their twenties would rather sulk on their couch and scroll through regurgitated memes than expose themself to the general public on a Thursday night.

Side Note (on this note): I saw a meme the other day that read “Going out two nights in a row past the age of 23 is an extreme sport” and, for some reason, it drove me up a God damn wall. All the comments under the post was like “23? Try 20 lol” or “omg [laugh emoji] sooo relatable.”

For the record, I’m not that old. Sure, I could be younger but is pretending to be tired and boring all the time an actual thing now? Like, when I was in college, if you hit bars 5 times a week, you were clipping the Mendoza Line. Now I guess it’s cool to live the life of a 40-year-old divorcee and I’ll never understand it. What is so tiring about these kids’ life? Fucking SnapChat? I don’t know dude, it just pissed me off to no end. Grow up…

Anyway (X2), I saw Avengers Endgame on its opening night (AWESOME BTW) and the theater was PACKED. It was the first time I’d seen a theater so full in roughly a decade. Normally I can kick my feet up, rub one out, and throw the candy of my choice at the screen for two hours without anyone batting an eyelash, but this time, I was rubbing elbows my my common man. Long story short, it was everything I thought I wanted… until I got it.

For some reason or another, our population continues to assert itself as monumental swath of mouth-breathing hacks who perpetually operate as if they’re alone in their living room on a Sunday morning. Simply put, there’s just no shame anymore. I’m all for people having high self esteem and shit, but not when it neglects common courtesy.

For starters, once the movie starts, shut the fuck up. In this particular case, people were cheering and hollering at points of the movie—which I was more than fine with because it was a unique component of the whole Avengers “experience”—but that’s different because it was a genuine reaction to what’s happening on-screen.

There were these two older women in front of me periodically chatting about one of their bathroom remodeling projects, as well as their pre-movie meal at Panera Bread and I had to fight every urge in my body not to stand up and just repeatedly slam their skulls together for the remainder of the film.

Also, if you’re going to the movies, be on time. I couldn’t tell you how many people showed up during the previews, exclusively so they could moronically stand in the aisle with gaping mouths as they scanned across the seating landscape. Like yeah dude, you’re not getting a prime seat. The ticket says 7:00 PM and you showed up at 7:04 with a $12 bag of Swedish Fish like a dirtbag. Just walk in, find an open section, and hit the hole like a fullback trying to make the 52-man roster. Either that, or wait until it crashes Netflix…

Avengers Endgame: Just Wow…

Okay guys, it’s officially Friday and I’m doing my best to bust this out before tomorrow hits and everyone within Branded’s target demo is spending their day nursing pedialyte, shamelessly pounding one off to that Instagram chick you went to college with, and wasting away in front of playoff hockey/basketball.

Anyway, since I’m Branded’s self asserted, resident movie critic, I decided to pounce on the premiere of that Avengers movie. Now, for the record, I see a TON of movies at my local theater; however, I always go alone (if you don’t, you’re either a self-conscious loser or someone who has friends) and every theater I enter is nearly empty. It’s kind of sad, actually. Long gone are the days where the movies is a hot destination for communal affairs. Now it’s just a ghost town because millennial cucks can’t bother to venture off their couch anymore unless there’s a prospect of a 100+ like Instagram post opportunity on the table.

That said, last night was an outlier. For those keeping score at home, Endgame is a wagon that’s poised to break Avatar’s box office revenue record—a feat that, in this climate, is utterly remarkable—and with good reason. Since 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel has been developing a 22-film story arc that culminated in what I watched yesterday and, damn, did it deliver…

SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE ZERO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

I hate to do this, but I feel it’s necessary: Whenever I review these super hero movies, I always feel the need to clarify that I’m not much of a “Marvel movie” guy. To be honest, up until Infinity War, the only MCU movies I had seen were The Guardians films, Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War, and parts of Black Panther—all of which were really good and considered amongst the best that Marvel had to offer. When I finally saw Infinity War, I was floored…

What the Russo brothers were able to do was unprecedented. There have been hundreds of tentpole movie franchises—Rocky, Harry Potter, Rambo, James Bond, etc.—but no anthology of films have built up to a finale in the way the MCU did. I mean, we’re talking TWENTY-TWO MOVIES here, and the Russo brothers managed to reference every one of them in a seamless, 2.5 hour spectacle. In other words, to do that once is unprecedented; to do that AGAIN is downright unimaginable

But guess what, boys… it happened

As I mentioned, I won’t be going much into the plot so I’ll just stick to the ambience because, well, this was HANDS DOWN the best experience I’ve ever had in a movie theater. Given the buzz over the past couple years surrounding this film, the parking lot of the cinema was juiced and the actual theater followed suit. People were wearing Marvel gear left and right and the passion/elation was palpable. Strictly speaking, it was the closest to a “Game 7” environment you’ll ever get. People were literally standing and roaring at certain parts of the movie and I couldn’t blame them.

To clarify, I think Marvel really hit their stride when they decided to divert from the run-of-the-mill, gun-wielding, two-dimensional protagonist that we’ve become used to. When Iron Man first premiered, it was first time they introduced us to a character with substantial depth. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark was a billionaire playboy with a brain Einstein would’ve licked his chops at. In other words, he had everything; however, fans gravitated towards him because, well, he was also the most human/flawed individual throughout the MCU. He was the perfect tentpole protagonist, and that depth reverberated throughout the films that followed.

That said, although the emotional standard Marvel set was incredible for a 2-hour film, it made the Russo borthers’ job SOOO much more difficult. They were given the task of closing the character arc of 22+ individual characters in a 3-hour span.

But guess what, boys… it happened

Unbelievably, there is very little to be unsatisfied with in regard to how things turned out. People have echoed this sentiment throughout the Internet over the last couple days and I have to agree: they ended it perfectly.

Disclaimer: I’m just incoherently rambling right now…

I often judge action movies like this based on how many “Let’s fucking go0o0o0o” moments there are and Endgame rattled that quota like a cheap speed bag. Do you remember that moment in Infinity War when Thor touched back down during the battle in Wakanda? Yeah, there were like 20 of those moments, and all of them sent the audience into a frenzy.

The last thing I’ll say is this: The reason we love movies is because they make us “feel.” I mentioned earlier that it was the best experience I’ve ever had in a theater and I can’t stress that enough. During the pivotal scene, I had one of those “What do I do with my hands?” moments. It was an absolute RUSH of emotion. Just a decade’s worth of sweat poured into 30-second pan shot. I genuinely had no idea whether to laugh, cry, erupt in cheer, or do all three. I didn’t think achieving such a sensation through cinema was possible.

But guess what, boys… it happened.

What an achievement. What a triumph. Cue the curtain drop…

Final Score: 9.6 out of 10 Boats

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

2019-2020 Scores

Fighting With My Family: 8.0
Captain Marvel: 6.4
How To Train Your Dragon 3: 8.8
US: 8.4
Dumbo: 4.3
Shazam!: 8.3

Fried-Ay: Norah Jones, Boston Marathons, and Easter Food…

Guys, guys, GUYS! It’s officially Friday, which means it’s Fried-ay, which means I’m blasting Norah Jones’ 2002 Come Away With Me album as a part of something I’ve called Norah Jones Fridays, or more appropriately, Norah Jones Fried-ays.

For those of you familiar with Fried-ay, dismiss the next few sentences; for those of you unfamiliar with Fried-ay, you’re probably a well rounded contributing cog of society but I still need to explain myself a bit. Fried-ay is a blog I write every Friday because my brain is fried from a week of unsubscribing from promotional emails and ignoring Pornhub friend requests. It’s where I dump a laundry list of ideas/concepts deemed unfit for an individual blog post and refuse to string them together with any sense of continuity. In others words, it’s just a onslaught of run-on sentences.

I don’t have much today, however, the Boston Marathon took place on Monday and I have some thoughts…

For the record, everyone knows I’m a world class athlete. I don’t like to publicize it or talk about myself but I most likely would be in 2-3 separate professional sports’ Hall of Fames if it weren’t for the fact I sprained my ankle during 5th grade football. That said, don’t cry for me Saigon. There are a lot of things that I have done in my spare time since the injury to fill that void. I’m a competitor, which is why I treat my body like a temple, filling it with only the finest cheap vodka and frozen pizza. I hit the gym twice a day and Planet Fitness literally shuts down. People come long and far to catch a glimpse of me chewing up and spitting out 7-minute miles on the treadmill.

In other words, I was born for a days like Monday. The Boston Marathon is known for two things: the resiliency of the human spirit and fucking dope track jackets. For the record, I’m the breathing embodiment of both. I have viciously fought through the adversity of my sprained ankle with the intensity of a ravenous cobra; as for the dope track jacket aspect of all this, I actually have one. I didn’t get one for running the marathon though because I’m not some soft serve, candy coated, participation trophy-earning cuck. I won it in a closest-to-the-pin challenge at a golf tournament. 140-yard Par 3 that I parked within a couple centimeters of the cup.

So yeah, I wanted to run. I wanted to win, but I had work that day and life is about sacrifice. Would it have been great to assert myself as “The Great White Hope” and win one for Boston/Ben Affleck? Of course, however, I harbor an allegiance to occupational integrity. As much as Boston deserves this win, they aren’t signing my paycheck so I have adhere to priority on this one.

Easter is this Sunday for all of you Jews, Muslims, [insert whatever religion doesn’t celebrate Easter] out there, you’re missing out. For the record, Christmas is and always will be king, however, I’d be hardpressed to suggest Easter isn’t my second favorite holiday.

For starters, I dominate Easter Egg hunts, but since I’ve already wrote my annual blog on that, I’ll stick to what’s most important: the food. Outside of ham (which is dope), there really isn’t any traditional meal that all families are bullied into making. For the record, Thanksgiving food SUCKS. Stuffing is repulsive and if you eat it you’re a pedophile. In fact, the only good thing on Thanksgiving is turkey, which inevitably puts me in a coma before I can even strikeout my little cousins in wiffleball (they’re hacks). Long story short, what I eat on Easter is essentially dealer’s choice, which is a great thing…

Italians have their pros and cons but Italian food is widely regarded as pretty awesome. Just a shitload of carbs on top of carbs and the Italian side of my family is pretty good at it. I plan on euthanizing 4-5 bowls of cavetellis and dying during the Celtics’ eventual sweep of the Pacers, only to wake up around 5 PM to catch the Sox blow yet another divisional game against the Rays. Can’t beat that.

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

I Will Dominate Yet ANOTHER Egg Hunt This Sunday…

For those who have been following my blogs over the years, you know that there are two annual holiday blogs I write every year: One is about the annual Yankee Swap while the other concerns the annual Easter Egg hunt. Long story short, I dominate both of them because I’m a God damn athlete with a propensity for greatness.

For the record, I grew up in the 90s, or in other words, the pre-participation generation. Nowadays, kids get a medal or ribbon simply for blowing their nose correctly at practice, but let me tell you something: things weren’t always like that.

Back in my day, recreational activity was a run and gun business. Either you had a fastball or you didn’t. It was Darwinism at it’s finest. If you couldn’t hang, they didn’t put you in a less talented league to make you feel special; if you couldn’t hang, you just couldn’t hang, and that’s the mindset/culture I like to instill in the minds of our youth.

This Sunday will mark my 27th Easter, as well as my 27th consecutive Easter Egg Hunt win. Every year, I show up and crack skulls. Back when I was collecting Pokémon Cards and Hit Clips, local scouts would come far and wide to catch a glimpse of the kid experts would claim had “a nose for the egg.”

It didn’t matter what was in the eggs either; it was about the thrill of the hunt. The hunt is ultimately what drove me to greatness. I didn’t care if it was Reese’s, dollar bills, dog shit, or even Almond Joy in those ovals of plastic—I was going to spike that shit to the bottom of my basket with 2000 Vince Carter Dunk Contest-like authority.

Which brings me to the past few years. I have about 4-5 cousins (I think) and they’re all under the age of 10 (I think) and they all collectively SUCK at hunting eggs. They’re slow, they’re dumb, and come Sunday, they’re going to pay for it in spades.

My family always chastises me with stuff like “Joe, you’re on the latter end of your 20s, why not just let your cousins have fun for once and sit this Easter Egg hunt out?”

Well, let me ask you something: Do you think the troops just sat out World War II? You think they just said let Germany have their fun? No! They fucking sacked up, dug their cleats in, and fought. That’s EXACTLY what I’m doing. Same exact thing. No difference at all.

Simply put, if you put a lion in a cage with a gazelle, the lion kills the gazelle and no one bats an eye; contrarily, if you put me in an Easter egg hunt with a bunch of cucks, I dominate and EVERYONE has a problem with it. Point blank: If you don’t want me to curb stomp your son/daughter, don’t invite me to the party in the first place…

So yeah, this year, I plan to do the same. And for those wondering what makes me so great, it’s impossible to describe. It’s one of those “I’m just better than you” type of things but if I could lend any advice, I’d suggest you work on your quick twitch muscles. With Easter egg hunts, it’s all about the opening jump. Once the elder member of the family releases the hounds, you need to BURST out that gate and don’t be afraid to flare out the elbows a bit. If someone dies, they die…

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

Top 10 Movie Villains of All Time (10-7)

Okay, so this is going to be the biggest stretch of all time but I’m reaching for things to blog about today and I have nothing. Normally, pressure makes diamonds; however, sometimes you need to force a segue in order for content to manifest. That said, the “Notorious” Conor McGregor retired on Monday and it got me thinking: People LOVE McGregor, but approval ratings don’t necessarily insinuate someone’s the hero in a particular narrative. In fact, in some circumstances, it’s the exact opposite.

Ever since Tony Soprano broke the mold of what we as audiences view as a protagonist, we’ve thirsted for characters we could chastise, but also love. People love drama, and nothing builds drama like a solid villain. Say what you want, but guys like Paul Heyman, Alex Rodriguez, Bill Laimbeer, Roger Goodell, Barry Bonds, Toya Harding, and Don King are what gave their respective sports the boost it needed to transcend the cultural landscape.

Here at Branded, I kind of bull rushed my way into the “movie guy” role. In other words, I just started posting movie reviews before anyone else in an attempt to make myself seem less disposable. So far, I’m not sure if it’s worked but bullshitting your way through life is half the battle; the other half is pretending you like avocado.

So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Movie Villains of all time…

10.) Kurt Bozwell, Good Burger

For those who grew up in the 90s, your days were probably spent collecting Pokémon cards, exchanging Smash Mouth/Backstreet Boys Hit Clips, and bulldozing trans fat-infused garbage at the fast food chain of your parents’ choice. Good Burger’s narrative concerned the latter of those three things in your typical David vs. Goliath story that pinned the gritty, long-standing Good Burger against the new-age Mondo Burger. At the helm of Mondo Burger was Kurt Bozwell. Not only did Kurt look like the guy at every day drink who throws Sugar Ray on the speakers, he also enlisted the help of Carmen Electra to make an appearance in a Nickelodeon movie. That cameo led to a surplus of diabolical Google image searches appearing in my search history during the early 2000s.

Best Quote: “You mess with Kurt, you go in the grinder…”

9.) Global Warming/Climate Change, An Inconvenient Truth

There are very few movies I’ve seen where the villain ultimately prevails but in Al Gore’s 2006 cinematic masterpiece, An Inconvenient Truth, that’s exactly what happens. Since getting his ass kicked by the Supreme Court over the 2000 presidential recount in Florida, Al Gore has dedicated his existence to preventing global warming and he’s losing that battle too. Not only has Al Gore failed to stop the polar ice caps from melting, but he’s blaming the good people of Earth for it too. Listen Al, perhaps we’re the ones blowing holes through the ozone layer, but we’re also not the ones claiming to have all the answers. Either put up or shut up. This polar bear blood is on your hands pal.

Best Quote: *Seals crying*

8.) Hans Landa, Inglorious Bastards

First and foremost, I’m a HUGE Tarantino guy. He’s just one of those dudes with enough clout where he can just bulldoze through every rule you’re taught not to break in screenwriting class. People often tell you to keep it short and concise; however, with Tarantino, the longer the monologue the better, which was never more true than in Inglorious Bastards. To clarify: I told myself I would choose only one Tarantino villain. Therefore, it was between this and Calvin Candie from Django Unchained but I went with Landa almost exclusively because of the opening scene. In my opinion, it stands as one of the best written scenes I’ve ever seen, as well as the perfect way to introduce number 8 on this list…

Best Quote: “I love rumors. Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.”

7.) Logic, Every Horror Movie Ever

The one main constant in every horror movie ever made is that conventional logic is always the antagonist. While other movies at least attempt to implement rationale, horror movies avoid it like the plague. Throughout these movies, the protagonists refuse to reasonably address situations, thereby making logic a villain.

Disclaimer: This is an absolute stretch but I’m exhausted today and instead of fighting through my sluggishness with new material, I’m just going to recycle a rant from my personal blog. Sorry…

That said, here is why logic qualifies as a villain I guess (Idk, I’m dead tired dude…):

  1. The family has to inexplicably move to the shittiest looking house of all time. Normally this is because the father got a new job or something. At first, the family loves the antiquitous nature of the structure; however, the first time the mother/father sees a grey-looking children with blood flowing from its ears in the backyard, it’s NEVER enough evidence to say “Alright, let’s talk to the realtor about this shit.” For some reason, the family can NEVER just leave. In a stroke of rationale, the fact that every member of the family has experienced some supernatural occurrence is chalked up to a bad dream. Like nooo, grandma was watching me sleep last night and she’s been dead for 12 years. Dad, get your money back…
  2. There’s ALWAYS a scene where the mother or father uncovers a strange, unexplainable drawing that their kid has made. He or she will walk into the room, scan the sheets of paper scribbled with a Burnt Sienna crayon and finally stumble upon one that looks like a girl with hair covering her face or something. Then the parent will hastily ask “who’s this?” and the kid will say something ridiculous like “That’s the girl. She talks to me.” Dad, get your money back…
  3. Lastly, there’s ALWAYS someone—most often an old guy who lives in the neighborhood—that knows about EVERYTHING, but for some reason won’t inform the family. This dude just speaks in riddles and metaphors until the very end, where he finally clarifies what’s going on. Like, what does this guy have to win by not telling the family? Is he working for the real estate agency or something? Dad, GET YOUR FUCKING MONEY BACK.

Best Quote: N/A

I’ll update six through one at a later time. Peace…

Disclaimer (X2): This blog sucked…

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

Are We Really Not Rooting For Thanos In Endgame…?

So it’s Tuesday, which is a great thing because, as I always point out, Tuesday means that movies are only $5 at my local theater. In other words, I can cruise down to the cinema to see some film I’d never entertain seeing unless it was Tuesday AND I can get popcorn all for under $45.

With that said, Missing Link is on the slate for later tonight; however, I’ve been thinking a lot about the new Avengers movie that premiers on April 26th and I have to get something off my chest: I’m a Thanos guy.

For the record, super hero movies were never my thing. Captain America and those other four clowns he operates business with are boring as hell, I fell asleep during Black Panther, Doctor Strange is okay I guess, and the Hulk is ehhh at best. In fact, the only reason I even streamed Infinity War was because of Spiderman, Robert Downey Jr., and the Guardians but you know what? I’m happy I did. Why? Because Thanos is the fucking man and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone in their right mind would think otherwise.

Whether it be sports or entertainment or religion, our society has always taught us to root for the little guy. The underdog narrative is why cinematic masterpieces like Rudy and Rocky and Welcome to Mooseport have stood the test of time and remained so popular. People love to root for the unfathomable, which is why people still reference the tale of David vs. Goliath.

Furthermore, we’ve been conditioned to admonish and criticize those who have everything and manage to lose it all. We call the ’04 Yankees and the ’17 Falcons choke artists, we view Drago and the 1980 Soviet Union Olympic hockey team as weak-minded communists, and we minimize the careers of guys like Dan Marino and Charles Barkley because they could never win the big one.

So with that said, what’s the difference here? Are we just gonna pretend like Thanos didn’t grind out that win? Are we just gonna pretend like Vegas had him favored or something?

Strictly speaking, when you REALLY break it down, the Avengers fucking BLEW IT. I mean, last time I checked, there were roughly 50 super heroes in that movie and Thanos still took home hardware. And it’s not like he showed up with the Monstars or anything—he was playing with a bunch of absolute scrubs. Thanos was like LeBron during his first stint with the Cavs where he’d pour in 40/10/6 in a loss to the Pacers or Celtics in the opening round.

And everyone I bring this up to is like “But Joe, Thanos had the Infinity Gauntlet. Obviously, he was going to win.” Ummm yeah bro, but not at the start of the movie. From what I remember, I don’t think he had a single stone when the opening credits ran; the Avengers were the ones who had the stones, and they coughed up ALL of them.

Talk about blowing a lead. I mean, outside of Thor and Iron Man (with a decent performance from teen Groot and Rocket off the bench), the Avengers got their shit kicked in. Just didn’t show up to play whatsoever. That red robot guy who died at the end had a plus minus of like -50 by the end. Just got ragdolled the ENTIRE movie.

Honestly, you’re telling me not ONE of them could’ve taken the Than Man out? He had no head gear or armor or anything. He was just waltzing onto different planets in street clothes and kicking people’s teeth in. Even at the end, there was that scene where he gets stabbed in the chest and goes “You should’ve went for the head.” Like what? How did NOBODY try that?

Long story short, I’m rooting for Thanos in Endgame. Not only is he the clear overachiever here, but his justification for everything was pretty fucking reasonable. All the dude wanted was population control. I’m fine with that. If it happened in real life, there’s a 50/50 shot I’d die, but if I don’t, my commute to work is cut in half. Not to mention, I’ll never have to buy another amusement park fast pass in my life. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Last thing: I guess Captain Marvel is supposed to be the one who puts the Avengers over the top. I guess she’s the ringer here which, given everything I mentioned above, is absolutely preposterous. Everyone on the planet CRUSHED Kevin Durant when he went to Golden State; I’d expect the same reaction here…

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)