Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Accountant (2016), Bye Adam West

Seems like we're losing a lot of celebrities so far this year, but trust me, it's nothing like 2016.  You'd hear about a celebrity death, and then before you could finish tweeting out your sympathies, there was another one on top of it.  While your mouth was still hanging open, someone else died.  Crazy shit last year.  But before I get to the obit, let me do the review.

The Accountant (2016) is a story about an accountant.  Yep, pretty much your basic, everyday, ordinary accountant, who launders money for drug cartels, third-world dictators and mafia families.  He also kills people on weekends, or any day ending in "Y."  Yep, it seems the accountant is also an assassin, but he doesn't do it for money.  Nope, this assassin has a moral code, and if you break his code, well, then, this accountant is going to balance your books, by any means necessary.

What, no?  You saw the "balance your books" comment coming, huh?  Yea, I can only make an accountant sound so exciting.  He's an accountant, fer chrissakes.  It's not like they do exciting work.  Or maybe they find it exciting, who knows.  It's alotta numbers.  My eyes glazed over after 2+2=yawn.

So, the Accountant stars Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, the afore-mentioned "Accountant."  Anna Kendrick is Dana Cummings, another... uh...  accountant...  and J.K Simmons is a...  forensic....  ok, he's basically just another accountant.  There's an amazing supporting cast, though, with John Lithgow, and Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a very interesting...  ok, he's an accountant too.  Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick.  Okay, look.  There's a little bit of eye candy, at least.  Cynthia Addai-Robinson is an...  Analyst!  Hah!  You thought I was going to say Accountant, didn't you?  FOOLED YOU!  BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!  Okay, yea, you're right.  Analyst still sounds pretty boring.

So Christian Wollf is basically a high-functioning Autistic kid with Aspergers Syndrome, or something, who grew up and became, you guessed it, an accountant.  I will say this much.  I think Ben Affleck has found his, uh, "acting strengths," or lack of a better phrase.  He should play abnormal guys who show absolutely no emotion from now on.  He totally nailed it!  At no point during this movie did I say to myself "That's Ben Affleck!  He's playing an emotionless dork!"  Well, maybe once or twice, I...  Okay, it was every minute.  You caught me.

I don't want to give anything away, but if you didn't already guess John Lithgow was the villain, you're an idiot.  John Lithgow has been playing psychotic villains since I was in my teens, and he's a master at his craft.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out John Lithgow actually is a psychotic villain.  Actually, that would explain a lot.  Hmmmm.

So, The Accountant was an action movie, with a lot of action in it.  Between accountants.  Yeah.  It wasn't bad, I guess.  The supporting cast was pretty good.  I love J.K. Simmons, and Anna Kendrick is...  uh.  Accountant...  ish...  and there's John Lithgow!  How can you go wrong here?  Well, I saw most of the "plot twists" coming a mile away, but I guess the movie wasn't going for surprises.  Just lots of action, and some fights, and hey, no explosions, but that's okay.  You don't expect explosions in a movie called "The Accountant," right?  Right!  Would I watch it again?  No.  Did I like it the first time?  Yeah, I guess.  Would I watch a sequel?  Maybe.  That's all I got.  The Accountant is on HBO, if you want to check it out for yourselves.  Moving on.

In other news, Adam "Batman" West died yesterday, at the ripe old age of 88.  Most of you younger folks probably know him from his voice acting on Family Guy (I think he played Mayor Adam West, in case you missed him there), but I never watched Family Guy, so I'll always remember him from Batman, the TV series.  And no, I don't mean Gotham.  I mean Batman, 1966 and 1967.  It may have gone on for more years, but not even I, as old as I am, was alive back then, so I have no idea.

I remember one episode of Batman, where Batman (Adam West), Robin and Batgirl were all captured by a bunch of costumed villains, like the Penguin and Catwoman and probably the Riddler.  So, of course the bad guys don't just kill the three of them, no, that would ruin the series.  No, they tie Batman, Robin and Batgirl into a "Human Pretzel" or a "three-way knot" or something that sounded obscene, but actually wasn't.  So, of course Batman has studied these things, and there is absolutely no way out of the human knot, and the more they struggle, the righter it gets, until all their bones crack and they die, EXCEPT...  in their inexperience tying humans into knots, the villains have done it incorrectly!  Batman can still wiggle his left earlobe!  :-o

Okay, let's just take this a piece at a time.  One, how DO you get experience tying humans into knots?  I mean, just how many people do you have to tie up before you get it just right?  Two, batman and Robin and Batgirl are all sitting there tied into a knot, talking to each other about the knot, and moving their jaws, and tongues, and mouths.  Three, how the shit do you wiggle your left earlobe, and how, by the sweet blood of Jesus, do you untie yourself that way?

Of course, a few seconds after Batman is supposedly wiggling his left earlobe, they all fall out of the "Human Knot," and go after the bad guys.  I never actually saw his earlobe move.  But seriously, it takes an actor of enormous talent not to freaking crack up laughing while trying to act that "human knot" scene.  I swear I saw smiles on Robin AND Batgirl, but Adam West was straight-faced the whole damn time.  That's skill, right there.  Consummate skill.  Okay, he may have been grinning too, I honestly can't remember, but come on!  Ridiculous!  So, Bye Adam West, you awesome, awesome actor, you!  You will be missed.

In other other news, Bill Maher said the "N-word" on his show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and everyone's shit hit the fan.  I guess he apologized, and some non-caucasian person (I don't know who, because I don't always watch Bill Maher) came on his show and said it was a "teachable moment" for Bill Maher.  I guess the guy said something about it feeling like a knife twisting inside of him when a white guy said the N-word, but not when a non-white person said it, and that black people were "taking back" the N-word.

Okay, I have a few problems with this, from a purely logical standpoint.  Now, I'm going to fess up and admit that I am white, but I am not racist, so that shouldn't matter, at least insofar as I am making my points out of pure logic, here.  I will also point out, before I begin, that I have never, and would never, use the N-word myself.  It's like using the C-word to describe a woman.  Yes, technically, they are just words, but it's a bit too crude for my taste.  I feel all slimy inside when I even think about them, just because of the negative connotations, and also because I am a bit of a wuss.

So, my points.  Okay, first, Bill Maher is an entertainer, and as far as I am aware, he's not racist, either.  He didn't call anyone else the N-word, but used it in reference to himself, calling himself a "House n---a."  Yes, definitely a joke in poor taste.  Yes, a socially embarrassing faux-pas.  But, he's a comedian.  This is what they do.  They dig deep for jokes, and some of those attempts at humor are shockingly brutal attempts at making you laugh.  So maybe some of them aren't as funny as others, and maybe some are even offensive.  They can't all be gems.  Remember Don Rickles, who also just died?  He made his living insulting people, and was widely loved.  Yes, he was also a comedian.

Point two.  Three words.  Freedom of Speech.  The First Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteed to every American Citizen by the oldest laws of our nation.  It's a basic right.  I don't recall who said it, because I am getting old, but the saying goes "I do not agree with a thing you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  Telling Bill Maher he can't say the N-word is a form of censorship, and we shouldn't be agreeing with that.  Censorship kills the spread of ideas, even if those ideas aren't necessarily good ones, like the N-word.  I know freedom of speech gets a bad rap in this politically correct 21st-century world, but we shouldn't walk all over it, just because we can.

Point three, Bill Maher's "teachable moment."  Do you really think Bill Maher doesn't know it's wrong to use the N-word?  I'm pretty sure everyone knows that by now, even the people who still use it, which brings me to my next point.

Point four.  I saw Luke Cage, on Netflix.  I don't know who wrote the dialogue for that series, but they say the N-word every 3 and a half minutes or so (and no, I didn't time it).  Seriously, non-whites, if you want people to stop using the N-word, don't you think, I don't know, maybe you should stop using it so much, too?  Because at this point, non-whites are using it a hell of a lot more often than white folks, and keeping it in the common vocabulary.  But hey, what do I know?  I'm just making a suggestion.

Point five.  How do non-caucasians "take back the N-word," exactly?  By using it constantly, and getting mad when white folks say it?  By telling them that it's a "teachable moment" when a white person uses it, but saying that it doesn't hurt when non-white-folks say it?  So, it's totally okay for non-whites to say the N-word, but not whites?  Let me recap the logic of this position, to see if they've thought this one all the way through.  Non-whites are saying that, because of the color of their skin, they get special privileges?  Gee, doesn't that sound a bit, I don't know, racist?  Isn't that why non-whites were so mad at white people for so long, because of that very attitude?  Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

So, to sum up, yes, Bill Maher screwed up, and no, Bill Maher is not a racist prick (as far as I know) who needs to apologize for the rest of his life because he said a naughty word.  If there's any defensible logic to anyone saying that they have special privileges because of the color of their skin, then I'd like to hear it, because that shit just doesn't make a lick of sense, and it never has.

Some of you may be wondering why I even brought this up, because I don't like to get involved in current events, but this isn't politics, and it's not religion.  Bill Maher's an entertainer and a comedian, and I like to consider myself an entertainer and a comedian, on my better days, so I thought I'd open my big yap and speak up.  It was probably a mistake, but I'm not exactly known for my better judgement.  :-)

That's all for tonight.  Tune in next time, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

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