Capone

★1/2

Writer/director/editor Josh Trank has had a rough go of it the past few years. He was poised to set the cinematic scene ablaze after his found footage superhero flick “Chronicle” dropped in 2012. The movie was low budget while simultaneously being commercially and critically successful. Trank followed this up with 2015’s “Fantastic Four,” which was meddled with by 20th Century Fox. Gossip emerged from the “F4” set that Trank was acting erratically and trashed the rental house he stayed in during filming. The box office and critical reception of “F4” in conjunction with rumor mill grist got Trank jettisoned from a Boba Fett “Star Wars” flick he was signed to do with Lucasfilm. Trank has recently come forward to say he quit the Boba project as opposed to being fired. Over this same period of time Trank was also married and divorced. Trank has emerged on the other side with “Capone,” which released on VOD on Tuesday, May 12. He has said he had complete control over the project and that this is his director’s cut. I take no joy in saying this as I don’t wanna kick someone while they’re down, but if “Capone” is evidence of Trank’s unchecked artistic id I now better understand Fox’s intervention. “Capone” is a movie that both literally and figuratively shits the bed.

Tom Hardy stars as the titular infamous gangster in the last year of his life. Capone’s body and brain have been ravaged by the effects of syphilis. He’s living in retirement down in Florida with his wife, Mae (Linda Cardellini), and son, Junior (Noel Fisher, who played Michelangelo in the Michael Bay-produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies). Capone is looked after by his doctor, Karlock (Kyle MacLachlan), as well as the men in his employ, Ralphie (Al Sapienza, Mikey Palmice from “The Sopranos”) and Gino (Gino Cafarelli). They’re not the only ones checking in on Capone – he’s being surveilled by the FBI in the form of Crawford (promising young British actor Jack Lowden from “Fighting with My Family” and “Dunkirk”), who suspects that Fonzo has stashed $10 million in illicit cash somewhere on his estate.

Hardy alternates between inspired and insipid as Capone. He’s far too good of an actor to be boring, but it’s arguable he should’ve been reigned in a bit. Incessantly decked out in silk pajamas that he often pisses or shits, Hardy’s Capone comes across like Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison during a bender on more than one occasion. Hardy is fond of funky accents as evidenced by his turns in “Bronson” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” His Capone kinda sounds like Yoda with a serious cigar addiction. The rest of the cast is fine, but aren’t given much to do. This is essentially a one man show, but audiences aren’t given any real insight into Capone’s psyche … only his suffering. It’s a portrait of mania chockablock with toilet humor – we often don’t know what’s real or fake because our unreliable narrator doesn’t either. 

The whole enterprise feels a bit like the last half hour of “The Irishman” stretched out to 1hr 45min, void of context and guest directed by the Farrelly brothers. Rapper El-P’s minimalist score is cool when you actually hear it (namely over the closing credits). The movie’s also not bad-looking as it was lensed by David Lynch’s frequent cinematographer, Peter Deming. In spite of these positive attributes, you can only polish a turd so much. “Capone” is misery porn that’s at its best when it’s at its most ridiculous – watching Fonzo blast an alligator in the back with a rifle or unload on his own crew with a gold-plated Tommy gun whilst wearing a diaper snapped my attention back into focus. It’s gangster bling that don’t say a thing. Maybe Trank and Hardy will be more substantive with their Razzie acceptance speeches?

Arkansas

★★★★1/2

I was actually pretty stoked for comedic actor-turned-filmmaker Clark Duke’s feature debut, “Arkansas,” available on VOD as well as Blu-ray and DVD as of Tuesday, May 5. Yeah, I was the guy who was all fired up to check out the directorial chops of the fourth lead from “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Turns out the hype was warranted – Duke, a native of Glenwood, Ark., appears to have taken inspiration from the Coen brothers, Quentin Tarantino and fellow Arkansawyer Charles Portis (the late “True Grit” author is quoted at the beginning of the picture) in adapting John Brandon’s novel to make a real crackerjack of a comedic crime caper.

“Arkansas” is told in chapters as a series of vignettes that are tied together at the end. Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and Swin (Clark Duke) are drug traffickers posing as Junior Park Rangers under the watchful eye of Ranger Bright (John Malkovich). Kyle, Swin and Bright all work for a kingpin by the name of Frog (Vince Vaughn), who learned the trade under the tutelage of Almond (Michael Kenneth Williams). The Junior Rangers pick up packages from a middlewoman known simply as Her (Vivica A. Fox). Frog and by extension Bright have a few rules for the boys, “You can’t quit. If you run we’ll hunt you down and kill you. No fraternizing with locals. Don’t bring women around.” Swin isn’t much for rules and begins romancing a young nurse by the name of Johnna (Eden Brolin, Josh’s daughter). Things go swimmingly until they don’t. 

This may be the best Hemsworth has ever been on screen. He doesn’t get a knife jump kicked into his heart by Jean-Claude Van Damme or anything, but he’s pretty damned good. Hemsworth’s Kyle is stolid, the strong silent type. He’s curt and all about the business at hand. None of it’s fancy, but Hemsworth does a decent enough job selling it all. He even affects and maintains a Southern accent with aplomb. Duke pulls a “Seinfeld” and casts a woman way out of his league as his love interest. In spite of this, he’s a charming motherfucker here. Incessantly talking and decked out in Jams and old WWF t-shirts, Swin looks cool and more importantly is cool. Duke might be the only dude who looks better in a man bun. Between the hipster hairdo and a wispy mustache Duke manages not to look like Velma from “Scooby-Doo” for a change. 

Brolin acquits herself nicely. She looks like a combination of her Daddy and Leah Thompson’s kid, Zoey Deutch. Johnna asks too many questions, but is always likable and often funny. It’s nice to see Fox escape Sharknadoes and other assorted TV movie hell. Duke and co-screenwriter Andrew Boonkrong give her some zingers to chew into and she makes a meal outta ‘em. Williams is one of my favorite character actors having played Omar on HBO’s “The Wire.” (IMHO the best character in any piece of media ever created on the best television show of all-time.) He isn’t given a ton to do, but Almond is an integral character and Williams is reliably solid playing him. Malkovich ain’t in the movie a whole lot either, but is a blast when he is. Bright has the same blue Corvette my buddy Evil does and dotes on it like he’s Cameron Frye’s Dad from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Malkovich sports a fun accent in the flick – the dude does wonders making bad accents sing (see “Rounders” and “Deepwater Horizon”) – he does more of the same here.

While the cast is uniformly very good, there’s a clear standout. Vaughn straight up murders it. When Vaughn takes a break from scowling at Meryl Streep at awards shows and kissing Donald Trump’s ass in suites at football games, he’s proven himself to be an extremely adept actor while playing heavies and morally grey characters. Much like he did in Season 2 of HBO’s “True Detective” and the S. Craig Zahler one-two punch of “Brawl in Cell Block 99” and “Dragged Across Concrete” (two wonderfully-titled movies I enjoy very much in spite of strongly disagreeing with their politics), Vaughn makes for a charmingly menacing presence in “Arkansas.” His Frog is almost always garbed in country western gear and a St. Louis Cardinals cap. Vaughn, an avowed Chicago Cubs fan (much like me), shows true dedication to his craft by willingly wearing this abomination. David Fincher asked Beantown boy Ben Affleck to wear a Yankees cap in “Gone Girl.” Affleck opted for a Mets cap. (I’d be in the Affleck camp.) Perhaps Vaughn was paying tribute to his buddy Billy Bob Thornton, an Arkansan and a die-hard Cards backer?

While “Arkansas” does so much right, it does have a few stumbling blocks. Vaughn doesn’t age much over the 35 years we see his character – the aging is more apparent when he removes the Cards crap … I mean cap … late in the picture revealing a head of gray hair. The way Vaughn pushes a broom also proves telling. Additionally, the photography of the picture is sorta dark and muddied at times – this adds atmosphere, but also makes things hard to see. Admittedly, I watched the movie in the morning. Perhaps I owe it an evening watch and that’d clear things up? I’m kinda annoyed I rented this on VOD and wish I’d just blind bought the Blu-ray in the first place. 

There’s a ton to recommend here whether it be the acting or the awesome music … psychedelic folk artist Devendra Banhart penned an Ennio Morricone-esque score and the Flaming Lips not only cameo but also provide originals and covers to the film’s soundtrack – their rendition of George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is especially memorable. 

Duke has announced himself as an exciting new voice in cinema. I can’t wait to see what he does next. “Arkansas” is good enough that I almost watched it a second time during the 48-hour rental period and did ultimately order a Blu-ray copy despite having just seen it. It’s the second best movie I’ve seen in quarantine (the first would be “The Platform,” currently available for streaming on Netflix) and it’s in my Top 5 of 2020 thus far (I’ve seen 31 2020 titles at present.). Highly recommended!

Best Picture Catchup: Patton, Lawrence of Arabia, Braveheart and Unforgiven

Everyone has movies they’ve never watched that makes other people exclaim, “How can you have possibly never seen that movie?!!”

And one obvious category is the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards.

Although the Oscars are very flawed and the winner is usually not everyone’s favorite movie that year, it’s a snapshot on what some people thought what the best movie at the time. We look at lists of Oscar winners on Wikipedia pages and we tend to think that gold statue means something. If it won Best Picture, it must be worth checking out at some point.

Unfortunately some Best Picture winners sit in our Netflix queue for years and you keep meaning to watch it one day but instead you rewatch a few episodes of “The Office.” It’s late, you’ve been working all day and you don’t feel like investing in the 3.5 hour runtimes of “Ben-Hur” or “Lawrence of Arabia.”

“The Godfather Part II” is nearly three and half hours as well.

Clocking in around three hours are “Titanic,” “Braveheart,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Dances With Wolves,” “Schindler’s List,” “The Godfather” and “Patton.”

Obviously, I’ve seen some of these classics but admittedly a few are on my “I can’t believe you haven’t seen it” list.

If you go back to 1950, I’ve seen 44 out of the 70 Best Picture winners. So I’ve decided to catch up on a few that I’ve missed. Here’s what’s on my list:

The English Patient (1997)

Braveheart (1996)

Unforgiven (1993)

Dances With Wolves (1991)

The Last Emperor  (1988)

Out of Africa (1986)

Terms of Endearment (1984)

Chariots of Fire (1982)

Ordinary People (1981)

The Sting (1974)

The French Connection (1972)

Patton (1971)

Oliver! (1969)

In the Heat of the Night (1968)

A Man for All Seasons (1967)

My Fair Lady (1965)

Tom Jones (1964)

Lawrence of Arabia (1963)

Ben-Hur (1960)

Gigi (1959)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1958)

Around the World in 80 Days (1957)

Marty (1956)

From Here to Eternity (1954)

The Greatest Show on Earth (1953)

All the King’s Men (1950)

During the COVID-19 crisis, I had some time to tackle a few of these longer offerings and I crossed four Best Picture winners off my list.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

The long run time had scared me for years but I’m glad I tackled this one. I ended up buying a copy and I know I’m going to rewatch it (even though I know I might fall asleep before finishing it). Peter O”Toole gives an amazing performance in a film that defines the word “epic.” The cinematography is gorgeous and the music is perfection. Yes, it’s a long movie and there are some moments that get slow (one person commented on my Facebook post that they were tired of seeing him lost in the desert) but it’s masterful filmmaking and I’m sorry I had not watched this one sooner. Definitely ranks in the greatest films ever made.

UNFORGIVEN

I’m not a big western person. Or at least I don’t think I am. Maybe I just haven’t watched the right ones. I had not seen “Tombstone” and I watched it for the first time and thought it was a lot of fun. I still haven’t watched many of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is on my to-watch list (I know it’s a huge oversight on my part). I do really like Clint Eastwood’s recent work and I’d argue his string of films he directed between 2003 and 2008 (“Mystic River,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Changeling,” and “Gran Torino”) is a five-year stretch that can’t be beat. Part of the reason I really liked “Unforgiven” is I can see where Eastwood developed his more mature style of filmmaking, breaking from the “Dirty Harry” and “Any Which Way But Loose” films (which are fun though). “Unforgiven” isn’t a flawless movie. Some scenes aren’t needed and I wish Richard Harris was in it more. But the acting is fantastic and the tone is on point. It’s one I’d revisit.

BRAVEHEART

I’m not a huge Mel Gibson fan. I was never into the “Lethal Weapon” or “Mad Max” movies and I always got a weird vibe from him. I wasn’t all that surprised when he turned out to be a lunatic. Despite being a crazy person, the man knows how to direct a film and “Braveheart” is one I wish I would have watched earlier. It’s chock full of action and if you’re a fan of “Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones” you can see how the massive fight scenes were inspired by Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart.” Literally every two seconds something crazy is happening on the screen and it’s hard to not look away. A horse falls through a window! So many great moments and a sweeping James Horner score. What more could you ask for? I don’t care if it’s historically inaccurate. It kept my attention for nearly three hours. That’s a lot. Back in 2005, one Web site voted it the worst movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars. That’s ridiculous. I know “Crash” didn’t come out until 2006, but “Shakespeare in Love,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “A Beautiful Mind” are much worse. 

PATTON

Of the four I watched, this was my least favorite. George C. Scott was fantastic, although I liked him better in Dr. Strangelove. The film is directed by Franklin J. Schnaffer, who also did “The Planet of the Apes” and “The Boys from Brazil,” both visually interesting movies with creative premises. So it’s disappointing to see such a straight-forward biopic. The best visual flair comes in the memorable opening monologue by General Patton in front of a bright American flag. It’s an often-quoted scene and it’s probably why Scott won the Oscar for Best Actor. Unfortunately the rest of the movie isn’t nearly as interesting. It has some good lines and moments but often falls into hero worship, choosing to make Patton out to be a flawless heroic figure, which is quite boring. Perhaps “M*A*S*H*” or “Love Story” should have won Best Picture that year. 

Which Best Picture winners should I watch next? Comment below or message me at adamaasen@gmail.com.

All Day and a Night

★★★1/2

Writer/director Joe Robert Cole’s “All Day and a Night,” which dropped on Netflix Friday, May 1, feels like a throwback to the urban crime pictures that proliferated the early-to-mid ‘90s. It most reminded me of Edward James Olmos’ “American Me” and the Hughes brothers’ “Menace II Society.” Cole made his bones writing and producing FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” and co-writing “Black Panther” alongside Ryan Coogler. He used the cache accrued on these projects to tell what appears to be a very personal story for him. Cole is a young African American man chronicling the way in which the deck is often stacked against people of color in this country. “All Day and a Night” takes place in Oakland, Calif. Cole is from San Francisco – right across the Bay.

“All Day and a Night” concerns Jakhor (Ashton Sanders of “Moonlight” and “The Equalizer II”), a young man who’s doing what he can to avoid the gang life. He has a girlfriend, Shantaye (Shakira Ja’nai Paye), a job at a shoe store and aspirations of becoming a rapper making his own beats and incessantly spitting rhymes. The movie also flashes back and forth to Young Jakhor (Jayln Emil Hall) and we see the effects his father, JD (Jeffrey Wright, one of our finest character actors), has upon him. JD is a cokehead, a hustler – Young Jakhor even witnesses him gun down another man in an open lot. Jakhor’s mother, Delanda (Kelly Jenrette), often asserts that her son will grow up to be nothing like his father. Unfortunately, the lure of the streets proves too much and Jakhor begins working as the right-hand man to Big Stunna (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II of “Aquaman” and HBO’s “Watchmen”). Jakhor also has two buddies that kinda serve as the angel and devil on his shoulder – there’s TQ (Isiah John from FX’s “Snowfall”), a pusher who’s living the life, and Lamark (Christopher Meyer), who is confined to a wheelchair after having served in the Army abroad and yet remains on the straight and narrow.

Sanders is a young actor I’ve grown to like a lot. He was probably my least favorite Chiron of the three featured in “Moonlight,” but still did a commendable job. He has a real presence here feeling less like a boy and more like a man. You feel for Jakhor. You understand what he does and why he does it even if you don’t agree with the action itself – a lot of this is attributable to Sanders’ performance as well as the fragmented narrative. Sanders’ voice is also super-cool – deep and gravelly – it gives him a presence that separates himself from his contemporaries. Wright is dependably good as ever playing a role that’s eerily reminiscent to one he played just last year in HBO’s “O.G.” JD fluctuates between being utterly terrifying and absolutely sympathetic, which is an affirmation of Wright’s chameleon-like abilities as an actor. Mateen is a performer I’ve gained a lot of respect for in a limited amount of time. He was a fun villain as Black Manta in “Aquaman,” brought considerable heart to “Watchmen” and I look forward to seeing what he does in the upcoming rebootquel “Candyman.” His Big Stunna is a completely different animal. It’s chilling to see Stunna cooking for and feeding Jakhor while simultaneously talking to the young man about a hit he wants him to perpetrate.

“All Day and a Night” treads well-worn territory. It lacks the heart of “Boyz n the Hood” and doesn’t quite have the edge of “Menace II Society.” It also sports some absolutely abysmal CG bullet hits, which is a pet peeve of mine. (Squibs for life, son!) That said it gives white audiences an opportunity to check their privilege and black audiences food for thought in avoiding the pitfalls that befall our protagonists and far too many promising young men in communities throughout America in actuality.

Blood Quantum

★★1/2

“Blood Quantum” is a fairly fresh take on the well-worn zombie subgenre. It premiered on Shudder on Tuesday, Apr. 28 after placing as second runner-up for the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival behind “The Platform” (currently streaming on Netflix and reviewed by me here a coupla months back) and “The Vast of Night” (premiering on Amazon Friday, May 29).

It’s 1981 on the First Nation Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow in northern Quebec. Fish are still flopping after being gutted. A sick dog that was put down comes howling back to life. Sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes from Season 3 of “True Detective”) is trying to make heads or tails of the situation alongside his father, former Sheriff Gisigu (first-time actor Stonehorse Lone Goeman). Complicating matters is Traylor’s ex, Joss (filmmaking multihyphenate Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), who is riding his ass to get their son, Joseph (Forrest Goodluck of “The Revenant” and “Indian Horse,” which my folks keep recommending to me), outta the clink after the youngster was arrested for getting drunk, climbing atop a bridge and crapping on some pale face’s windshield as they drove past. Further complicating matters is the fact that Traylor’s other son from a previous relationship, Alan AKA Lysol (Kiowa Gordon, part of the “Twilight” wolf pack), is also jailed. Furthest complicating matters … the boys’ celly is a pale face who begins barfing blood before fully transitioning into a zombie. A skirmish ensues in which our indigenous protagonists are bitten. It’s during this scuffle that our characters and the audience discover that native peoples are immune from becoming zombies in this narrative. The movie flashes forward six months, the aforementioned characters now reside behind a wall alongside other members of the tribe (embodied most clearly by the cast’s most famous member, Gary Farmer, of “Dead Man” and “Smoke Signals”), Joseph’s pregnant, pale face girlfriend, Charlie (“Degrassi” vet Olivia Scriven), and other uninfected white folks.

Filmmaker Jeff Barnaby had his fingers in a lot of different pies while making “Blood Quantum.” He wrote, directed, edited and co-composed the score. This is personal for Barnaby, who grew up on the Mi’gmaq reserve in Listuguj, Quebec. It’s no mistake that the movie takes place in 1981 as that’s when the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation saw their home raided by Quebec Provincial Police, who aimed to impose fishing restrictions on the Mi’gmaq people. It’s also no mistake that a white character is given a ration of shit after trying to bring a blanket into the reservation following the outbreak. It’s in this social commentary that Barnaby truly excels … well, that and the bloodletting (a zombie lady graphically takes a chainsaw to the face, a dude gets his dick bit off and a zombie lad falls backwards out a window resulting in his torso dangling from its innards). Where Barnaby falls short is structurally (anime is employed for seemingly no reason) and occasionally in his stilted dialogue, miscasting and direction of actors. Greyeyes made quite the impression on “True Detective,” but is a void here. Tailfeathers plays Goodluck’s mother, but appears to be about 10 minutes older than him. Farmer has proven himself to be an immensely talented performer, but is given nothing to sink his teeth into here. Scriven is the token whitey and is blander than white bread. Standouts are first-timer Goeman, who comes across like a badass Indian samurai dispatching zombies with a katana, and Gordon as black sheep, Lysol. (Just think if the movie were made now, Lysol would undoubtedly be the most popular cat on the res!) I suspect if Barnaby had fewer responsibilities he could’ve focused in on lacking elements and tightened them up. As is “Blood Quantum” has HIGH highs and LOW lows, but it makes me excited to see what Barnaby has up his sleeve next. I just hope he has a bigger budget, more resources and more assistance.

SXSW Prime Video Selections

I’m a little late to the party with this, but I figured better late than never. Last week I perused Amazon Prime’s SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection, selected four titles that appealed to me (one feature, two documentaries and a short), took an afternoon and had a mini-fest in my family room. I’d previously watched episodic selection “Cursed Films” via Shudder. The titles I’m reviewing and many more will be available until 11:59 pm EST on May 6. With no further ado:

“My Darling Vivian”

This documentary concerning Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian Liberto, was easily my favorite selection. Director Matt Riddlehoover employs plenty of archival footage as well as modern interviews with Cash and Liberto’s four daughters Roseanne Cash, Kathy Cash Tittle, Cindy Cash and Tara Cash Schwoebel to tell Liberto’s tale. I’m a HUGE Johnny Cash fan and have immense respect for the man as an artist, but this film doesn’t paint the Country legend in the most flattering of lights. He was an absentee husband and father and a drug addict. The failings in Cash and Liberto’s marriage fall almost solely at his feet. It’s sad that Cash’s second marriage to June Carter-Cash seemingly buried Liberto’s story. There is archival footage of Carter-Cash claiming Liberto’s daughters, which most assuredly had to be hurtful. It also doesn’t seem as though Liberto got a fair shake in James Mangold’s “Walk the Line” (a movie I admittedly very much like), which was released shortly after her death in 2005. The chronicling of controversy concerning whether Liberto was African American or not (she wasn’t) adds a fascinating wrinkle to the documentary and gives viewers a glimpse into a time we disappointingly haven’t distanced ourselves from enough yet. “My Darling Vivian” is the tale of a woman who never recovered from losing her first love – it’s sad, but worth telling.

4/5 stars

“Gunpowder Heart”

This is the feature debut of Guatemalan writer/director Camila Urrutia. It concerns a lesbian couple comprised of Claudia (Andrea Henry) and María (Vanessa Hernández). These young ladies enjoy riding around on Claudia’s motorbike and drinking beer. Their lives are fairly carefree … until the fateful night they’re attacked by three men. Both actresses do a nice job … especially considering this is the first filmic acting either has done. Unfortunately, I never felt I got to know the characters beyond their sexuality. “Gunpowder Heart” runs a scant 1h 28min, but it often seemed longer than this or like a short padded out to feature length. The conclusion totally runs off the rails and is unearned by what preceded it. My favorite element of the movie was the original music by Paloma Peñarrubia and José Tomé. The bass shook the shit outta my house.

2.5/5 stars

“TFW No GF”

For those playing at home, incel is a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate.” This subculture is primarily exemplified by disaffected young white men whiling their days away online on 4chan and Twitter and represented in meme form by the cartoon dichotomies of Wojak (sensitive) and Pepe the Frog (abrasive). Many of these guys don’t graduate high school, are jobless, live with their parents and have no romantic prospects. Documentary “TFW No GF” takes its title from a meme featuring Wojak. The acronym stands for, “that feeling when no girlfriend.”

It’s kinda surprising to see a documentary about the incel movement directed by a woman. That woman is editor-turned-documentarian Alex Lee Moyer and she would probably take exception with me referring to her subjects as incels. There are no talking heads, cultural critics or celebrities chiming in here nor are friends, family or coworkers interviewed. These young men speak for themselves and Moyer at no point judges them. There’s Kyle, a Texan who admittedly has anger issues and is seemingly always slugging back beers. There’s Kantbot, a New York City-based pseudo-intellectual who comes across like what would happen if Jonah Hill and Jesse Eisenberg were synthesized in a laboratory. There’s Charels, a 23-year-old Washingtonian who got in trouble for posting a picture of himself with his robust arsenal of guns along with the caption, “One ticket to ‘Joker.’” Charels has also tweeted jokes about punching women in the stomach so hard they can’t breathe.

I feel for a lot of these guys, but I wouldn’t want to hang out with any of them. I get that it’s hard to grow up in a dysfunctional home, but at some point exceeding humble beginnings falls on an individual’s own shoulders. You want to be in a relationship or simply get laid? Get educated. Get a job. Go work out (one of these dudes does this, but I don’t remember his name as he’s the most milquetoast of the bunch). Maybe don’t wear a Confederate flag ring? Maybe don’t make jokes about assaulting females? Moyer didn’t lead me to these takeaways. Common sense did.

3/5 stars

“Daddio”

This autobiographical short co-written and directed by comedic actress Casey Wilson (“Saturday Night Live,” the cult ABC sitcom “Happy Endings”) concerns her relationship with her father, Paul (played by Michael McKean famed for “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Clue” and “Better Call Saul”), in the wake of her mother passing. For such serious subject matter there’s actually an abundance of humor … no surprise given Wilson’s history. McKean kills in an instance where Paul finds a $20 bill, realizes he kinda looks like Andrew Jackson and proceeds to get a man perm. A selfie taken by Paul also had me howling with uncomfortable laughter. Wilson’s comedy pals June Diane Raphael (a fixture of the “How Did This Get Made?” podcast) and Adam Pally (another “Happy Endings” alum) turn up but aren’t given much to do. The 18-min short doesn’t tell a story so much as it’s a series of vignettes. The production has a sitcom-y look and feel, but its heart is most assuredly in the right place.

3/5 stars