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Bro, No Know Ho: Sex and Death 101

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Bro, No Know Ho: Sex and Death 101

There’s a sort of unwritten rule in comedy: don’t be longer than 90-minutes. Sex and Death 101, at 116 minutes by itself and a little over two hours with previews, is clearly no comedy by that rule of thumb, but it still desperately wants you to chuckle at the problems of Roderick Blank (Simon Baker), a successful corporate type who is tan, pretty and blonde. His life is so great, he tells us, as he struts along a back-lot sidewalk, since he’s days away from marrying Another Young, Pretty Blonde (Julie Bowen), thus completing the Middle Class circle of life. But wait, his older, sassy—and gay!—secretary (Mindy Cohn) says: he has a strange email waiting for him. When she opens it, a list of 101 names appears, each being one among the many tramps stamped by Blank. And yet, Another Young, Pretty Blonde is only #29.

Daniel Waters confirms a minor fear the second he sets this rickety “Romantic Comedy” whirligig in motion: he’s trying way too hard. Consider the opening: a white room, camera slowly inching ’round in a 360-degree shot while poppy jazz plays—then stops. A new song starts, camera still crawling—then stops. A third song plays and now we see something in the wall shooting out envelopes—scene still acting like a slug going ’round the rosey—while Patton Oswalt (“Fred”) and Tanc Sade (“Beta”) comically fumble over each other.

It’s hard to imagine the same guy who once wrote what to do gently with a chainsaw can’t do much better than “I’m certain that some very interesting things will occur this evening. Your penis going into her vagina will not be one of them.” So says Alpha (Robert Wisdom), one of three “agents” for the deus ex machina device that randomly emails Roderick. It only goes further downhill when Oswalt, the official ambassador of edgy, counter-culture Onion cool (he even name-checks Gymkata), proclaims that if he were Roderick, he’d have sex. How? In a montage.

Four minutes later, cue the first of three montages. Each features Roderick sleepfucking his way through women of all ages (and one man), cursed by his infernal list of sure-fire sexings. His feminine foil, “Death Nell” (Winona Rider), stands for the stereotypical womyn who views all men as sex-crazed fiends that masturbate in the bushes while watching little girls. She hunts down these deviants—white rappers (“Master Bitchslap” is an awesome name though), pervy newsstand men, college frat boys—and puts them into a chemical coma while scrawling the walls with her poetry (i.e. “What men call breathing, I call suffocation.” Edgy!) She eventually spills her guts and relates a traumatic, rather disturbing past that seems infinitely more interesting than Roderick’s list.

The conflict eventually boils down to poor Roderick wanting a relationship, trying life without his magic sex list, and then realizing that that is much harder than being given a cheat sheet. Oh—and he’ll eventually have to meet up with “Nell.” But this concept of a Bro Romantic Comedy, or “Brom-Com,” is impossible to take seriously, even as Waters tries so hard to make Sex and Death commercially viable. There is nothing redeeming behind this juvenile plot concept beyond “having sex is hard, ya know.” Waters is more confused about his audience; both he and Ryder appear desperate to shake out an entertaining art-house hit, but none of the original Heathers gang seem capable of being culturally cool these days.

While Waters does shine at points—Bambi and Thumper, the lesbian sci-fi reality show doctors; an injured Roderick being essentially raped by 30 Catholic School girls who become chain-smoking hussies as they proceed conveyor belt style through a bus—he manages to opt out of relevant social satire, or even making something as kitsch-palpable as Demolition Man. Sex and Death is, instead, Waters’ desperate attempt to make Heathers 2: Winona Forever!

John Lichman is a freelance writer who contributes to The Reeler, Primetime A&E [print only] and anyone with cash. He works odd jobs to afford his vices, sleeps on couches and can drink Vadim Rizov under a table.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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