Beauty and the Beast (2017 Film)

Last night I saw Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of their classic cartoon masterpieces. It’s good. You would already know that if you’ve seen the cartoon. And if you’ve seen the cartoon, you’ve seen this movie. You know what happens. There aren’t any M. Night Shyamalan twists. They added some backstory and more character details, there are a few new songs, but it’s the same fucking movie.

That’s not a bad thing. The cartoon was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I’m sure this version will be nominated for a few awards as well. It’s already a blockbuster success and nobody should be surprised about that. It stars Emma Watson as Belle. Motherfucking Hermione Granger! You know how many Harry Potter fans were already invested once they heard about the casting?!? A lot. Like more than twelve. There are lots of Harry Potter fans. Dozens.

The only bad thing I can say about the movie is that the new songs are terrible. Terrible. Especially the Beast’s solo right before the climax. It totally ruined the mood. And you don’t want to ruin the mood right before you climax. I know that characters express themselves through song in musicals, but geez, enough is enough.

The special effects are top notch. Ewan McGregor’s accent is not. The story takes place in France, yet everyone speaks with a British accent except for one ridiculous French accent. But he can sing so he gets a pass. 

It’s a good movie. It’s worth paying money to see in the theatres. You might even splurge to see it in 3D. Not many movies are worth paying money for these days. This one is.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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He Pooped.

My girlfriend has a dog. That means I have a dog. Dogs are awesome but they are a lot of responsibility. You have to feed them, give them water, take them for walks, and pick up their shit when they poop in public. And you have to do all that every single day. That dog has become a big part of my life. I realized this when I was texting my girlfriend and my phone auto filled He pooped along with the poop emoji. Every third or fourth text seems to be about if he did or didn’t poop. And sometimes there’s a follow up report if he pooped like He pooped twice! Or He pooped but it was runny. I don’t mind. I love the little bastard. But I talk about his poop way more than I should. 

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Automatic Toilets

A lot of public restrooms are using automatic toilets these days. Those are toilets that uses sensors to flush automatically. They are supposedly more hygienic because you don’t have to use your hands, but it’s still a public toilet. It’s going to be disgusting no matter what. I don’t like automatic toilets. I don’t trust them. Sometimes they flush too early before I throw in my used toilet paper. Sometimes they don’t flush at all and my shit is on display for the lucky next person who ventures into the stall. They let me down each time I’m forced to use one. I can flush just fine by myself. I don’t need technology to do it for me. 

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cutting Six-Pack Holders

I drink beer but I care about the environment. That means I take the time to cut plastic six-pack holders. I don’t want any fishes or small animals to get caught in one. They shouldn’t suffer because I had a cold one. Cutting six-pack holders is a quick and easy way to make Captain Planet proud. It’s up to all of us to save the world. And it’s a lot easier to cut plastic six-pack holders than it is to stop drinking. I did my part. Hope you did the same.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Logan (Film)

Logan is the tenth instalment of the X-Men film franchise and marks Hugh Jackman’s final portrayal of Wolverine. He’s played the iconic character for seventeen years. That’s a long fucking time. I saw X-Men in the theaters when I was fifteen, just after my freshman year of high school. I went to college, I moved around a bit, worked a few jobs, and now I’m thirty-one with a couple of kids and a mortgage. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was there for all of that. Ok, I don’t have kids or a mortgage, but I could if I didn’t live in San Francisco.

Hollywood has gone crazy with remakes and sequels and reboots and prequels. On the big screen alone I have seen three Spider-Mans, three Supermans, three Punishers, five Batmans, but there has only been one Wolverine. Logan is the perfect way to say goodbye to him. 

I realize that I haven’t actually talked about the movie yet. By now I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s good. It is good. I hear lots of comparisons to Deadpool because they are both R-rated and do justice to their comic book counterparts. I think it’s a better film than that Deadpool. It has more heart, more weight, more to say. It’s a more complex movie for a more complex character. Deadpool is great. Logan is better. X2 was easily my favorite X-Men movie… now it just might be Logan. That’s a bold statement. 

Props to Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, and especially to Dafne Keen as Laura/X-23. I’m not a fan of child actors, but Keen’s performance was on par with Jackman and Stewart. Anything less would have derailed the film. James Mangold directed one hell of a film. I wouldn’t be surprised if it won a couple of Oscars. It’s a legitimate film. Check it out, it’s the end of an era and it deserves to be recognized.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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My Neighbor Bruno

I have a neighbor named Bruno. He’s an interesting guy. He’s in his seventies and lives with his brother and sister in the same house they grew up in. He plays bass in a band. He hosts a radio show. He smokes weed and has for decades. He is old school San Francisco and embodies what makes this city great. 

Bruno is a great neighbor and that is a hard thing to find these days. When I moved in, he came over and introduced himself and welcomed me to the nieghborhood. We always say hello when we see each other and speak when we can. He asks how my roommates are doing, shoots the shit about sports, and updates me on his latest escapades. He talks your ear off but he always has something interesting to say. He sends holiday cards to all the people on the block and reminds them that it’s street cleaning tomorrow and they need to move their car. I’m going to Bruno if I ever need to borrow a cup of sugar. 

Good neighbors are a dying breed, especially in the city. Most people are too buried in their smart phones to engage with the world around them. Bruno takes me back to a different time, when life was more real. He’s the quirky neighbor and wise mentor in the sitcom that is my life. I hope everyone has a Bruno in theirs too.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Machete

A machete is a handheld blade that can be used as a tool or as a weapon. It’s versatile. It cuts through enemy skulls, watermelons, and dense jungle shrubbery with ease. They are fondly depicted in American cinema and television. There’s even a Machete film franchise.You see them in war scenes, zombie apocalypses, and carried by intrepid explorers. I have a machete. My girlfriend gave it to me for Christmas. That means she trusts me. I haven’t used it yet, but camping season is approaching and I’m sure I’ll find something to chop. 

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Tactile Dome

I went to San Francisco’s Exploratorium with my girlfriend and some friends the other day. It’s a big museum with a bunch of interactive science exhibits. You learn about magnets, optics, human behavior, electricity, you name it. But the best thing to do there is the Tactile Dome, hands down. 

The Tactile Dome costs extra but it’s worth it. It’s basically an obstacle course/maze with a twist: it’s pitch black. You have to stumble through it blindly. You feel around trying to find your way out. Some rooms force you to crawl. You climb up a rope ladder. There are slides. It’s exhilarating and exciting and a unique experience. I particularly enjoyed staying still in one spot and then scaring the shit out of my girlfriend when she came close.

The Tactile Dome was created by Nicholas Cage’s father. Seriously. I’ll end my post with that fun fact.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Selfie inside the Tactile Dome

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Broken Escalator

I was going into the subway the other day when I saw a woman approaching the escalator. It wasn’t moving. She saw that it wasn’t working and  then she went out of her way to take the stairs instead. I couldn’t help but laugh at her. She recognized that the escalator was broken but opted to take the stairs, completely unaware that broken escalators are stairs. I don’t get it. Broken escalators look exactly like stairs. Yet I could see her entire thought process unfold in front of me: Damn, the escalator is out of commission. Better take the stairs! That’s the only way out of this mess. I know that I’m an asshole because it doesn’t matter what she’s accomplished in her life, she will always be a failure to me. 

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Playing Poker

I played poker the other night for the first time in a few years. It was a house game with some friends. I took that shit seriously. I downloaded some poker apps and started playing, studying as many flops as I could. I watched YouTube videos. I developed a strategy. And I dominated. I destroyed. I won the game and made my presence known. I made a hundred dollars. Yeah, a motherfucking Benjamin.

Poker was huge a decade ago. It was the game that kept you home on a Saturday night. You could get laid or you could make money. A lot of dudes chose to make money. For twenty bucks (plus maybe a couple of buy-backs) you can play cards with friends for hours on end and potentially make a profit. That sounds like a fun night. It was. It still is. Playing poker is a tradition for reason. Getting laid is always fun, but so is taking money out of your friend’s pocket. 

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Broken Umbrella 

The past few days in San Francisco have been rainy and windy, which means there are a lot of broken umbrellas abandoned in garbage cans across the city. I counted five in a two block radius when I walked my dog earlier. That’s a lot of wet angry people that wish they bought a poncho instead. 

I hate when my umbrella breaks. I’m usually huddled under it when a gust of wind flips it inside out, breaking one of the spoke hinge things. I don’t know what you call those things, but they are crucial for proper umbrella functioning. You’re fucked once one of them breaks. You can either cling to your broken umbrella or throw it away and get soaked. You’re going to look stupid and be miserable no matter what. 

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cannabis Card

Well, I finally did it. I got my cannabis card. I know that I’m a few years late to the party, but it’s good to finally be part of the club. I just never wanted to be on a list, to have documented proof that I smoke weed. Then I realized that it wasn’t a secret and nobody cares. And if they do care, fuck them. It was time to get it so I got it.

There are a few ways to get a cannabis card. I used an app called eaze. And it was really easy. I downloaded the app, answered a few questions, verified my identity, had a quick FaceTime session with a doctor, got approved, and started shopping for a home delivery. The whole thing took ten minutes and cost forty bucks.

I browsed a few strains before deciding on an eighth of NYC Diesel. It was in my hand fifteen minutes later. If only filing taxes was that easy. Oh well, priorities.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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Don’t Touch My Chicken Wing

I was starving at work the other day and brought some buffalo wings into the breakroom to scarf down. I sat down and one of my coworkers had the audacity to take one of my wings without asking me first. She just reached her grubby little hand out and snatched one. Well, that really pissed me off and I let her know it. I grabbed the wing back from her and threw it away. I asked her who the fuck she thought she was. I told her that we weren’t homies. She doesn’t get to eat my food. She doesn’t get to touch my food. I let her know that she would have gotten one if she had simply asked. I said none of this nicely, mind you. I was fucking livid. I walked out of the breakroom and handed out a couple of wings to coworkers that I actually am friends with, knowing that they would take the wings back to the breakroom and she would see them eating the same wings that I had fiercely defended. They can have my wings. Her entitled self is forbidden. 

Looking back on it, I know that I overreacted but justice comes at a price. The moral of the story is don’t touch my chicken wing. Don’t assume you can just take one without asking. It’s my food. It’s my property. But if you ask, I’ll be more than happy to let you have one. I might even offer you some ranch to dip it in.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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I’m Not Watching Porn, I Swear

It was a gloomy, rainy afternoon today and I spent it watching Netflix. I was watching Hell on Wheels, a show about building the railroad in the Old West and suddenly there was a gratuitous sex scene. That part was pretty awesome. What wasn’t awesome was that my roommates were both home and sound carries down the hall. My TV was loud and they for sure heard the moans and grunts and cheesy music blasting from the speakers. My door was closed but that made it look even worse. To top it off I had to blow my nose earlier so there’s a couple wads of crumpled tissues clearly visible in my garbage can. It’s like the universe is trying to frame me. I’m not watching porn, I swear. I’m just trying to catch up on my shows. Don’t do me like that. 

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bye Obama

Today is the last full day of Barack Obama’s presidency. Tomorrow Donald Trump will be sworn in. It’s a time of great change and even greater uncertainty. I don’t know what the next four years will have in store, but I know the last eight years have been pretty rad. Affordable health care? I’ll take it. Gay marriage legalized? About damn time. Obama is cool. He’s the kind of guy you want to get a beer with. He plays golf with Steph Curry. He gets coffee with Jerry Seinfeld. Trump is the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on. He’s pretentious and proud of it. He grabs pussies and takes golden showers and talks about his own children sexually. And somehow he will be sworn in as our president tomorrow. Nobody seems thrilled about it.

Obama was change. He was progress. He was a president for the people. Trump is a president for rich white men. I’m not rich, I’m not white, and I’m not proud to call him my president. I can’t respect a cartoon character. I don’t vote. I think it’s a hollow privilege. That doesn’t mean I can’t be political. Not voting is how I choose to use my voice. I’ve now seen two candidates win the popular vote yet still lose the presidency via the electoral college. I can’t support a corrupt process like that. 

Here is what I’ve learned from the election. Racism is real. Bigotry is back. And the two party system is beyond flawed. I would change it if I could, but I’m too lazy and disillusioned to make an effort. 

Obama is leaving. I’ll miss him. Trump is coming. I’ll fear him. We have a Twitter troll in charge of nuclear weapons. God help us all.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Aunt Sally (Beer, Not the Relative)

Today is my day off and I decided to celebrate with a little day drinking. I went to the corner store and surveyed their beer selection for a few minutes before deciding on a six pack of Aunt Sally from Petaluma, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company. It’s described on the label as A Unique Dry-Hopped Sweet Tart Sour Mash Ale, and that’s precisely what it is. It’s a good introduction to the world of sour beers. 

It pours a pale goldish amber color with a moderately foamy head. The aroma is of citrus fruits, green apple, and floral hops. It tastes sweet at first but turns tart and sour on the tongue. I get bursts of lemons, limes, maybe some pineapple, and hops. It’s crisp and seductive, the type of beer that cider lovers and wine aficionados can enjoy. 

Aunt Sally is a great beer for day drinking. It has an alcohol percentage of 5.7. It’s stronger than a Budweiser but lighter than most IPAs. It’s very drinkable and reminds me of sipping lemonade on the front porch at grandma’s house in the country. And my grandma didn’t have a porch or live in the country. Drink this beer if you’re lucky enough to get it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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National Geographic Boobs

I remember one glorious fall day in second grade when I inadvertently opened up a classroom copy of National Geographic and saw boobs for the first time. There was a topless woman fetching water from a well in a third world country that might no longer exist. I’m sure the photographer was trying to depict her daily struggle. All I saw was boobies. Big, drooping, slightly uneven boobies in all their glory. I showed my friend and the magazine was snatched out of my hand and passed around faster than a blunt at a reggae show. Real boobs! With nipples to boot! Our lives were forever changed, all thanks to National Geographic. It was a soft innocent introduction to pornography at a time when we were too young to make the pages stick together. And yeah, we were too young to know what we were seeing, but it sure was exciting.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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