RYAN DUNN’S DEATH: THE INEVITABLE GOAL OF JACKASS

(PLEASE NOTE: THE ACTUAL INTERESTING PART OF THIS ARTICLE ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH. THE BEGINNING MORE SUMMARY SO BEAR WITH IT)

“RYAN DUNN, THE GUY FROM JACKASS, HE DIED IN CAR CRASH.”

THIS HOW HULK FIRST HEARD.

AND AT FIRST, EVERYONE SAD. HULK UNDERSTAND WHY. FOR ALL THEIR HOOLIGANISM, THE JACKASS CREW MAINTAINED ODD SENSE OF GENUINE LIKABILITY AS WELL AS STRIKING PENCHANT FOR TAPPING INTO THE UN-SANCTIMONIOUS TEEN ID. WHILE THEIR ENTERPRISE NOT SOMETHING HULK OUTRIGHT LOVE OR EVEN REALLY IDENTIFY WITH, HULK CERTAINLY FOUND ENJOYMENT IN THEIR OUT-OF-CONTROL THEATRICS. AND FOR WHAT LITTLE IT WORTH, HULK ACTUALLY MET DUNN ONE TIME AND HE SEEM LIKE GENUINELY NICE GUY.

FINE.

IT LATER CONFIRMED, AFTER SOME PREVIOUS SUSPICION, THAT RYAN DUNN DRIVING AT 140 MPH AND HAD WELL OVER TWICE THE LEGAL BLOOD ALCOHOL LIMIT. NATURALLY, THERE VARIOUS LEVELS OF MORAL INDIGNATION THAT FOLLOWED, INCLUDING ROGER EBERT’S NOW INFAMOUS TWEET: “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”

IF HULK BE HONEST, THE MORAL INDIGNATION AT DRUNK DRIVING = BOTH TOTALLY OBVIOUS AND YET STILL COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED. DRINKING AND DRIVING ONE OF THE MOST-BULLSHIT SOCIAL ALLOWANCES IN EXISTENCE. SURE, HULK RECOGNIZE THAT IT HAPPEN ALL TIME AND THAT BECAUSE IT VERY NATURAL RESULT OF HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY. HULK KNOW THAT DRUNK DRIVING WILL HAPPEN AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND HULK KNOW IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AND IT NOT INDICATIVE OF SOMEONE BEING “BAD PERSON. IT JUST TOO EASY TO BE ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

BUT JUST BECAUSE IT FAIRLY COMMON INCLINATION, THAT NO MEAN IT SOMETHING THAT DESERVE THE DIGNITY OF BEING CALLED TRAGEDY.

NOPE. DRUNK DRIVING JUST GOOD OLD FASHIONED INSANELY-STUPID BEHAVIOR. IT DESERVE BE REGARDED AS NOTHING MORE THAN SHAMEFUL, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

ASK ANYONE WHO EVER LOST SOMEONE IMPORTANT TO THEM TO A DRUNK DRIVER… ASK HULK.

AND YET, EVEN UNDER THE SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, EVEN WITH VAST AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE SHOWCASING THAT THIS NOT ONE-TIME BEHAVIOR FOR DUNN AS HE BEEN RECKLESS/DRUNK DRIVER BEFORE, A SURPRISING AMOUNT OF MODERN MEDIA OUTLETS (TMZ, GOSSIP SITES, MOVIE SITES, ETC) STILL SEEM WEIRDLY INCLINED TO MEMORIALIZE AND CANONIZE THIS SOMEONE WHO, QUITE FRANKLY, NOT DESERVE IT WHATSOEVER.

IT STRANGE REALLY.

THE MEDIA USUALLY CAN NO WAIT TEAR DOWN CELEBRITIES FOR DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. SO WHY TMZ CAMERA MEN SUDDENLY SHOWING RESPECT TO JACKASS GANG AND RYAN DUNN? HECK, DUNN NOT EVEN REALLY ONE OF PROMINENT MEMBERS. HULK KNOW THE INESCAPABLE TRUTH THAT OTHERS TEND BE MORE FORGIVING WHEN SOMEONE ACTUALLY DIE, BUT THERE SOMETHING MORE TO THIS. HULK WAGER IT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH JACKASSES A-TRADITIONAL CELEBRITY ROLE. UNLIKE SELF-SERIOUS MOVIE STARS, THE JACKASS GANG = OUTSIDERS. THEY SORT OF INDICATIVE OF WHERE PUNK ROCK ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT ATTITUDE WENT ONCE IT LEFT THE ACTUAL MUSIC. AND HULK GUESS THERE SOME SORT OF STRANGE KINSHIP CREATED WITH THESE A-TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOLKS. BOTH SEEM TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR NON-SELF-SERIOUS ATTITUDES TOWARD LIFE AND THEIR ABHORRENCE OF TRADITIONAL CELEBRITY CULTURE. MAYBE IT MORE ETHEREAL THAN THAT… A PAPARAZZI WALKING UP TO GEORGE CLOONEY TO BE APOLOGETIC OVER A FRIEND’S DEATH SEEMS INVASIVE AND INAPPROPRIATE. THE SAME PAPARAZZI GOING UP TO JOHNNY KNOXVILLE SOMEHOW SEEMS “RIGHT.”

BUT THIS UNDESERVING CANONIZING OF RYAN DUNN MAKE HULK RATHER ANGRY + SMASHY… AT ONE POINT, HULK EVEN DEBATED PUTTING UP THE FOLLOWING MEAN-AS-HELL JOKE ON TWITTER:

GUESS WHAT? RYAN DUNN DIED AS HE LIVED: WITH A CAR SHOVED UP HIS ASS #FORANYONEWHOLOSTSOMEONETODRUNKDRIVINGASSHOLE

… HULK REALLY DEBATED IT. HULK WOULD PROBABLY GET PASS DUE TO PERSONAL NATURE OF TOPIC. BUT THAT NOT REASON DO SOMETHING. BETTER YET, IT ULTIMATELY JUST NOT SOMETHING HULK WANT SAY.  IT BANAL. IT MEAN. IT NOT MEASURED.  PLUS IT SORT OF HAVE THIS WEIRD GAY PANIC ELEMENT TO IT THAT SO NOT HULK.

BASICALLY, IT JUST NOT SOMETHING AN ADULT SAY.

HULK ALREADY MENTIONED THAT IT JUST SO FUCKING EASY TO DO DRINK AND DRIVE, BUT THE TRUTH THAT IT JUST AS EASY BE PATRONIZING ABOUT SOMETHING SO OBVIOUSLY WRONG. SO HULK NOT GOING TO PRETEND THAT BECAUSE HULK SO TERRIFIED OF DRUNK DRIVING THAT THIS BEHAVIOR MAKE HULK ANY BETTER.(1) BASICALLY, THERE NOTHING INTERESTING ABOUT THE ARGUMENT SO WHY WRITE ABOUT IT OTHER THAN TO SING THE PRAISES OF AN UNDESERVING DRUNK DRIVER, OR TO BASICALLY GO OTHER WAY AND PROVIDE NOTHING OTHER THAN A PSA?(2)

NO, THE REASON TO WRITE ABOUT RYAN DUNN BECAUSE THERE FAR MORE INTERESTING THING GOING ON:

AS TMZ SWARMED ALL OVER THE JACKASS CREW, THEIR REACTIONS WERE FASCINATING TO HULK. ONLY THE BODY LANGUAGE OF JOHNNY KNOXVILLE (WHO 40 YEARS OLD BY THE WAY) SEEMED HAVE APPROXIMATE SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE WHOLE ISSUE AND THIS BASED ON LITTLE EVIDENCE, QUITE FRANKLY. AS FOR THE REST OF THE GANG?

WELL, THEY EXTREMELY DISTRAUGHT TO SAY LEAST. WEE MAN MEMORIALIZED DUNN WITH A “RANDOM HERO!” TATTOO. AND BAM SEEM BE TAKING THE POSITION OF FOCAL POINT AFTER HAVING COUPLE OF ON-CAMERA BREAKDOWNS. AND THEN THERE HIS TWO TWITTER RESPONSES TO EBERT’S COMMENT ABOUT DRUNK DRIVING:

“I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents”

“About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, fuck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat fucking mouth!”

NOT EXACTLY A DIGNIFIED RESPONSE. HECK, THE FIRST THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT EBERT CAN NO SHUT HIS FAT FUCKING MOUTH BECAUSE HE NO LONGER HAS A JAW BONE. IT WAS TAKEN FROM HIM BY CANCER AND HE CAN NO EVEN TALK. THE SECOND THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT EBERT JUST SPEAKING OUT ON DANGERS OF DRUNK DRIVING AND NOT CALLING FOR MOCKERY OF DUNN. THE THIRD THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT IT DOUBTFUL THAT “MILLIONS” PEOPLE CRIED. NOT BE A DICK, BUT COME ON, HAVE SOME SENSE OF AWARENESS.

THE FOURTH AND MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT BAM MAY REALIZE THAT THESE ALL THE EMOTIONAL REACTION OF A POORLY-ADJUSTED HIGH SCHOOL KID. SURE, HULK NOT REALLY SURE ANYONE PRETENDING THAT BAM’S REACTION THE PINNACLE OF REASON OR ANYTHING, BUT IT WEIRD TO HULK THAT HE SEEM BE GETTING PASS AS JUST BEING “EMOTIONAL.” IT NOT JUST EMOTIONAL, IT ALSO IRRESPONSIBLE. THE SAME KIND OF IRRESPONSIBLE THAT LEAD TO PEOPLE THINKING THAT THEY CAN BEHAVE LIKE THIS, READ: CONSEQUENCE-FREE, IN THE FIRST PLACE.(3)

WHICH IN TURN SPEAK TO SOMETHING VERY, VERY INTERESTING…

WHY THE JACKASS CREW SO DISTRAUGHT AND SURPRISED BY DEATH, WHEN IT WHAT THEY BEEN CHASING FOR WELL OVER A DECADE?

MAKE NO MISTAKE. THAT WHAT JACKASS ABOUT. CHASING AND CHEATING DEATH.

YES, IT A VIOLENT + ENTERTAINING MIX OF BRAVADO, FRATTY ANTICS, AMPLIFIED JUVENILE TENDENCIES, AND SCATOLOGICAL NIGHTMARES. BUT DURING VAST MAJORITY OF ALL THEIR CRAZY/STUPID STUNTS, ANY OF THEM COULD HAVE BROKEN THEIR NECK AT ANY POINT. AND, YOU KNOW, DIED.

HOW COULD THEY SERIOUSLY DO ANY OF THEIR WORK AND LIVE THAT LIFESTYLE WITHOUT EMBRACING THIS VERY SIMPLE REALITY? NOT DOING SO SEEM VERY, VERY STRANGE TO HULK. REALLY, HOW COULD THEY DO THAT?

TURNS OUT RATHER EASILY.

THAT BECAUSE JACKASS PERFECTLY ENCAPSULATE THE “I’M INVINCIBLE!” PSYCHOLOGICAL DYNAMIC OF THE HIGH-SCHOOLER/YOUNG ADULT. HECK ALL THE SCATOLOGICAL STUFF AND PRANKS GO JUST AS MUCH ALONG WITH IT TOO. THE HIGH-SCHOOLER LOOKS AT THEIR OWN MORTALITY AS INCONCEIVABLE NOTION. THE ONLY WAY TO PROCESS IT, IS TO ACT AS IF IT NOT A REALITY. IN OTHER WORDS, TO BE RECKLESS.

MAYBE JACKASS NEEDED THAT AIR OF INVINCIBILITY TO BE HONEST. MAYBE IT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE WHAT THEY DOING “OKAY” FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. MAYBE THE WHOLE “FUN AND GAMES” TREATMENT AND LAUGH RIOT ASPECT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SEEM NOT LIKE WHAT IT WAS: DOWNRIGHT SCARY.

BUT AS THE JACKASS CREW GOT OLDER, AND THE STUNTS GOT MORE INSANE, THE RETARDED(4) NATURE OF THEIR ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT BECAME EVEN MORE PROMINENT:

THEY CHALLENGED DEATH BECAUSE IT WHAT KEPT THEM YOUNG.

IT THE ONLY WAY TO MAINTAIN THE AIR OF INVINCIBILITY. THEY DEFINED THEMSELVES BY THE HIGH SCHOOL AESTHETIC. BUT AS REALITY OF THEIR AGES SET IN… THEY HAD TO CHALLENGE DEATH AS FREQUENTLY AS THEY COULD. IT PURE INSTINCT TO THEM AT THIS POINT.

PUT IT THIS WAY: THERE NO OTHER REASON TO GET TRASHED AND DRIVE 140 MPH ON THE HIGHWAY, KILLING YOUR FRIEND IN PROCESS… ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NONE.

DEATH = WHAT THE JACKASS CREW WANTED WHETHER THEY EVEN KNEW IT OR NOT. FOR ONE, HULK WOULD ARGUE THEY CERTAINLY NOT AWARE OF IT. THEY ALL SEEM INCREDIBLY BROKEN UP ABOUT DUNN’S DEATH FOR ONE.(5) WHICH AGAIN SURPRISING GIVEN THEIR LIFESTYLE, BUT MORE TELLING = HOW QUICK THEY ARE TO MEMORIALIZE HIS BEHAVIOR.  WHY SO QUICK?

CAUSE NOW DUNN GET TO BE YOUNG FOREVER AND THEY GET TO CELEBRATE/REVEL IN IT.

TMZ CAPTURING THE MOMENT OF ENSHRINEMENT

CHEATING DEATH AND BECOMING FAMOUS REALLY THE SAME GOAL WITH THE SAME MOTIVATION. OH TO MAINTAIN THAT YOUTHFUL, EVERLASTING GLOW! TO LIVE IN THAT REALITY WHERE NOTHING CAN EVER TOUCH YOU. AND THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT BY DYING YOUNG. SUBCONSCIOUSLY THEY ALL KNEW IT.

THE GREATEST JACKASS STUNT OF ALL WOULD BE THE ONE WHERE ONE OF THEM DIED. RIGHT? THAT THE SUBCONSCIOUS LOGIC TO THE WHOLE THING. WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, NO ONE THERE TO FILM RYAN DUNN’S DEADLY PRANK OF DRINKING A SHITLOAD THEN DRIVING HIS PORSCHE AT 140 MPH.

HULK NOT FEELING LIKE HULK GOING OUT ON LIMB WITH ANY OF THIS CRAP EITHER. IT FAIRLY STANDARD STUFF. IT THE SAME REASON EVERY CELEBRITY WHO OBSESSES WITH THEIR “OUTSIDER-NESS” COME TO THE SAME INEVITABLE END OF DYING YOUNG: KURT COBAIN, MORRISON, HENDRIX, JOPLIN, ALL OF THEM. THEY SO DEFINED BY THEIR YOUTHFULNESS THAT HULK BELIEVE IN SOME PART THEY JUST NO CONTAINED THE ABILITY TO GET OLD.(6)

AND IT SEEMS THAT NEITHER CAN SOME MEMBERS OF THE JACKASS CREW…

THERE PART OF HULK THAT HAVE APOLOGIZE FOR THIS ESSAY.. PERHAPS THIS CHEATING DEATH THEORY AND YOUTH CULTURE’S EMBRACING OF THE “TRAGEDY” NARRATIVE GETTING TO HULK…

YOU SEE, WHILE WRITING THIS PIECE, HULK’S STEPMOTHER DIED SUDDENLY TODAY OF HEALTH COMPLICATION. HULK KNEW HER WHOLE LIFE AND SHE VERY CLOSE WITH HULK. HULK STILL SORT OF IN SHOCK AND DEALING WITH IT. HULK FEEL INCREDIBLY CHEAP EVEN BRINGING IT UP, BUT IT JUST BRING UP IMPORTANT MATTER THAT STRIKING CHORD WITH WHAT HULK WAS ALREADY TALKING ABOUT.

THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE HARD TO COME GRIPS WITH BECAUSE BY EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING IT POSSIBLE, THAT WE ALL HUMAN, IT INSTANTANEOUSLY MAKE YOU “OLD.”  THAT CAUSE THE SECOND YOU TRULY ACCEPT THE REALITY THAT AT ANY MOMENT YOU CAN DIE, THAT IT ALSO MEAN YOU COULD HAVE ALREADY LIVED YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

MOST PEOPLE RUN FROM THIS ASPECT OF ACCEPTANCE.

IT WHY JACKASS CREW SHOCKED BY DUNN’S DEATH. IT WHY MANY YOUNGISH PEOPLE ONLINE RALLYING BEHIND THEM . IT WHY SO MANY THRILL-SEEKER JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS BY SAYING “LIFE IS TOO SHORT.” THIS SAYING ALWAYS IRONIC TO HULK BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY JUST RUNNING FROM LIFE. THERE NO RATIONAL WAY TO PROCESS THE “LIFE IS TOO SHORT” REALIZATION OTHER THAN NOT JUMPING OFF A CLIFF AND GOING TO HUG YOUR LOVED ONES. IF LIFE SO PRECIOUS, IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS PRECIOUS.(7) THE JACKASS GANG AND THRILL-SEEKERS ONLY WAY OF DEALING WITH “LIFE TOO SHORT” TO TRY AND WALK UP TO REALITY AND PROVE IT NOT TRUE.

AGAIN, THIS NOT TO BE MORALLY SUPERIOR. HULK NOT TRYING SAY THRILL-SEEKERS AND JACKASS GANG = IDIOTS OR ANYTHING. NOTHING OF SORT. THEIR BEHAVIOR FAIRLY TYPICAL OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

IT JUST THAT HULK STILL FIND THE MANTRA OF THESE GROUPS TO BE DISHONEST.

IT NOT LIFE AFFIRMING. THEY TRYING TO CHEAT DEATH.

AND IT JUST MAKE HULK SAD.

BECAUSE RIGHT NOW HALF OUR CULTURE NOW FAWNING OVER AN EMOTIONALLY STUNTED PRACTITIONER OF RECKLESS ABANDON, WHILE THE OTHER HALF BEHAVES MORALLY SUPERIOR TO HIM.

MEANWHILE, THE DEATH OF AN ACTUAL BRILLIANT, FORWARD-THINKING, KIND, CONSCIENTIOUS, AND COMMUNITY-DRIVEN, ADULT WILL GO LARGELY UNNOTICED.

AND SHE THE ONE WHO SAW DEATH AS A FACT OF LIFE…

… NOT A SUBCONSCIOUS GOAL.

ENDNOTES:
(1) BESIDES, THE BEST WAY NOT TO SUCCUMB TO DRUNK DRIVING TO SIMPLY REALIZE JUST HOW EASY IT IS TO DO IT. IT NOT EXACTLY HEROISM, BUT SIMPLY MAINTAINING AWARENESS.

(2) THOUGH IF IT BETWEEN THE TWO, HULK OPT FOR THE CHEESY PSA EVERY TIME

(3) HULK THINK OF COURSE THEY CAN BEHAVE LIKE THIS. IT WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS AND THEY MAKE LIVING AT IT. BUT IT THE CONSEQUENCE FREE PART THAT SEEM OBVIOUS.

(4) PROPER USE OF WORD, SLOWED/STUNTED.

(5) AGAIN, SAVE FOR KNOXVILLE, WHO ALWAYS THE MORE INTERESTED IN NORMAL HOLLYWOOD STUFF, SEEMED THE MOST MATURE, MELLOWED OUT WHEN HE HAD KIDS, AND GENERALLY JUST SEEMS TIRED OF THE WHOLE THING AT THIS POINT. MOST OF HIS STUNTS SEEM BORN FROM SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GROUP.

(6) IT NOT SIMPLY A ROCK/ROLL LIFESTYLE THING, BUT VERY PARTICULAR PERSONALITY TRAIT. THE ROLLING STONES NEVER REALLY CHASED. MICK JAGGER WAS PURE VANITY AND OBSESSED WITH FAME, BUT IT THE KIND OF NARCISSISM THAT CAN’T LET GO OF LIFE. THE YOUTHFUL DEAD MEANWHILE, HAD NO SUCH VALUE ON LIFE, JUST THE ATTITUDE.

(7) THIS NOT MEAN ONE SHOULD LIVE IN PERPETUAL FEAR OR ANYTHING. NOTHING OF THE SORT. JUST THAT THE END NOT SOMETHING TO BE “SOUGHT OUT” PREMATURELY.

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3 CRITICS HULK THINK YOU SHOULD BE READING

SOMETIMES PEOPLE ASK, “HULK, WHICH FILM CRITICS YOU LIKE?”

NATURALLY, THERE MANY.  LIKE JUST ABOUT EVERYONE WHO LIKE MOVIE FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO IDOLIZE PAULINE KAEL. IN FACT, LITTLE HULK REMEMBER WHEN FIRST SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT WANTING BE INVOLVED IN MOVIES FOR REAL, MAMA HULK DUG OUT HER OLD COPIES OF NEW YORKER FROM ATTIC, SAT LITTLE HULK DOWN AND SAY “THEN READ THESE.” LIKEWISE, IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR LITTLE HULK TO IGNORE THE OMNIPRESENT SISKEL & EBERT, WHO BASICALLY DIAGRAM THE CONVERSATION OF FILM FOR MANY YOUNG CINEPHILES. ALSO, NOW-RETIRED BOSTON GLOBE CRITIC UNDOUBTEDLY SHAPE HULK’S EARLY SENSIBILITY (THIS PRE-INTERWEBS FOLKS. LOCAL NEWSPAPER CRITICS WERE DOMINANT VOICES). THEN THERE THE FILM SCHOOL YEARS WHERE HULK FINALLY GET THE GOOD STUFF: RAY CARNEY, THE OLD CAHIERS DU CINEMA STUFF, TARKOVSKY’S SCULPTING IN TIME, STOK’S KIESLOWSKI ON KIESLOWSKI, A WHOLE BUNCH AMAZING PROFESSORS, AND LOADS OTHERS ANALYSIS THAT GO FAR AND BEYOND WHAT HULK IMAGINE POSSIBLE.

TODAY, HULK WOULD TO POINT TO THE MUCH SOUGHT-AFTER ACCLAIMED MAINSTREAM VOICE, BUT THERE REALLY NOT SINGLE ONE. MAYBE EBERT, WHO UNDERWENT REMARKABLE LIFE + WRITING CHANGE POST-SURGERY. HE DOING SOME REALLY WONDERFUL THINGS, BUT THERE EQUALLY SOME WAYS HE OUT OF TOUCH WITH LOT OF GENRE STUFF SO IT MAKE HARD FOR HULK. AND ANTHONY LANE SEEMS GIVEN UP ON MOVIES IN FAVOR OF BEING BAD COMEDIAN (REALLY, HE READ LIKE PARODY OF THE NEW YORKER NOW). AS SUCH, THE CRITICAL SHIFT SEEM TURN TO THOSE WHO “BUILT” THE INTERNET (LIKE PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING ELSE). BUT IT STILL DIFFICULT SIFT THROUGH AND FIND VOICES THAT MATTER. SO IT LOGICAL THAT HULK WANT SHARE THE 3 STRONGEST CRITICS THAT HULK BEEN READING FOR YEARS.

ENJOY

(OH AND THIS NUMBERED AND EVERYTHING, BUT THEY IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

#1 – DREW MCWEENEY – HITFIX.COM

THE INTERNET AGE = THE AGE OF “THIS THING SUCKS.”(1)

YET, THERE PERHAPS NO ONE MORE REFRESHING IN TERMS OF GENUINE, DIGNIFIED OPTIMISM THAN DREW MCWEENEY. SOME MAY RECALL HOW HE SPENT FIRST INTERNET LIFE AS “MORIARTY” OVER AT AINT IT COOL NEWS. AND IN DOING SO, HE HELP SHAPE THE INTERNET’S MOVIE CRITICISM LANDSCAPE AS WE KNOW IT. WHERE AICN’S POSTERBOY/FOUNDER HARRY KNOWLES DISPLAYS FREQUENT HYPERBOLE-LADEN ENTHUSIASM THAT BORDER ON COMICAL (THOUGH TO BE FAIR, PRETTY EARNEST), DREW MCWEENEY ALWAYS = THE MORE CAREFUL, DISCURSIVE, AND HIGHER-MINDED COUNTERPART. THE BYPRODUCT WAS WONDERFUL INFLUENCE ON THE READERSHIP; A SEEMING “HOW TO” GUIDE FOR THE FANBOY AUDIENCE TO GROW UP AND HAVE MORE ADULT VOICE. AND IT EVEN MORE FUN SEEING TRANSITION INTO FULL-FLEDGED WRITER.

NOW OVER AT HITFIX, DREW CARVE OUT ON OWN PLACE FOR HIS OPEN-MINDED, YET STUNNINGLY WIDE-RANGING COVERAGE.  YES, HULK KEEP USING THIS “OPEN-MINDED” LANGUAGE IN DESCRIBING DREW, BUT IT JUST SO IMPORTANT. THE INTERNET CRITICS BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT THEY EITHER JUST WANT GUSH OVER SOMETHING THAT CONFIRM THEIR PRE-SET STANCE OR JUST WANTING TO SHIT ON PROPERTY THEY INCLINED NOT TO LIKE. AAAAAND SOME JUST RANT ON TOPICS THAT UPSET THEM IN BRUTAL FASHION.

BUT DREW SEEMINGLY NOT GO INTO ANY FILM SAYING “WHY SHOULD I DISMISS THIS?” BUT INSTEAD “WHAT CAN I TAKE AWAY FROM THIS?” HULK ARGUE IT HUGE DISTINCTION. IN AGE WHERE PEOPLE GO TO MOVIES LOOKING FOR RECONFIRMATION OF OWN VALUES/INTERESTS/DRUTHERS, DREW INSTEAD LOOK FOR THE VALUE IN EVERYTHING. AGAIN: OPEN-MINDED. THOUGHTFUL. CONSIDERATE. PATIENT.

HONESTLY, HULK NEVER READ AND “UNFAIR” REVIEW BY THE MAN. AND ABOVE ALL ELSE, HE PASSIONATELY DEFEND A FILMMAKER’S RIGHT TO PURSUE THEIR ART, OR MAKE SOMETHING UNCOMPROMISING. HE DO SO LIKE MOST WOULD DEFEND A FRIEND.

AND FROM SOME BRIEF DEALINGS, HULK CAN ASSURE YOU THAT DREW THAT MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL… KIND.

HIGHLIGHTS: AT HITFIX DREW RUN GREAT PODCAST CALLED MOTION CAPTURED, WHERE HE OFTEN PLAY HIS GREAT “MOVIE GOD” GAME; WHICH FEATURE HIS ASKING GUEST WHICH OF TWO MOVIES THE GUEST WOULD EFFECTIVELY “KILL,” MEANING WIPE OUT FROM EXISTENCE (AND AS RESULT ALL OF THE MOVIE’S INFLUENCE TOO). HE SO GOOD ABOUT PICKING TWO FILMS THAT MAKE IT A SOPHIE’S CHOICE. FOR SUCH NICE GUY IT WONDERFULLY CRUEL GAME (AND TO BE FAIR, IT REALLY JUST BRILLIANT OF ASKING “WHAT KIND OF FILM DO YOU TRULY VALUE?”)

ALSO, ONE OF THINGS HULK LOVE = THE DEEPLY PERSONAL WITH WHICH HE VISIT FILM (THOUGH NEVER IN OVERBEARING WAY). WITH FILM NERD 2.0 DREW REVISIT CINEMA FAVORITES THROUGH THE EYES OF HIS TWO YOUNG SONS. IT REALLY WONDERFUL READ ESPECIALLY FOR FOLKS WITH KIDS TRYING TO NAVIGATE DIFFICULTIES OF WHAT CONTENT TO EXPOSE (AND WHEN). IT ESPECIALLY WONDERFUL TO SEE IN AGE WHERE EVERY ADULT-MINDED CRITIC SEEM BE DEMANDING CONTENT TO BE DARKER/MORE ADULT.

(1) OKAY THE “IT SUCKS” BEEN AROUND FOREVER, BUT NOW THE CRETINS SEEMINGLY EVERYWHERE AND CAN’T EVEN TYPE.

FOLLOW http://twitter.com/#!/DREWATHITFIX

#2 – DEVIN FARACI – BADASSDIGEST.COM

BEING CRITIC ABOUT HAVING A VOICE… AND IN THIS WORLD, DEVIN FARACI HAVE A TRULY DISTINCT, EXPANSIVE VOICE. NO, THAT NOT MEAN HE SOME LOUD-MOUTHED CRETIN WHO JUST OUT-SHOUTING EVERYONE. NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. IT MEAN HE WONDERFULLY ENGAGING, THOUGHTFUL, UNCOMPROMISING, AND OFTEN HILARIOUS.

SINCE THIS THE INTERNET AND SOME FOLKS GET LITTLE TOUCHY/DEFENSIVE ABOUT THEY STUFF, DEVIN INFAMOUSLY CHARACTERIZED AS THE SORT OF REACTIONARY LOUD-MOUTH HULK JUST ALLUDE TO. HE PRESUMED TO CARRY ALL THESE NONSENSICAL VENDETTAS WITH CERTAIN FILMMAKERS (COUGH* JAMES CAMERON * COUGH). BUT NOTHING FURTHER FROM TRUTH. HE SIMPLY DOES NOT RALLY BEHIND GEEK PROPERTIES JUST FOR THE SAKE OF IT. WHEN CHALLENGED, HE CHALLENGE RIGHT BACK. HE NEVER AFRAID TO ANTAGONIZE, BUT HE NOT ANTAGONISTIC (MEANING IT NOT HIS INTENTION. A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE).  HE SIMPLY HAVE OPINIONS AND EXPRESS THEM WITH ABJECT CLARITY. SADLY, CLARITY ONE OF THOSE SEVERELY UNDER-REPRESENTED QUALITIES IN WRITING TODAY.

DEVIN SPENT MANY WONDERFUL YEARS AT CHUD, AND NOW HE THE VOICE OF BADASS DIGEST, WHICH THE ASSOCIATED SITE OF THE CINE-MECCA-LIKE ALAMO DRAFT HOUSE IN TEXAS. BADASS DIGEST SITE ESPECIALLY FUN BECAUSE THERE SO MUCH ODDBALL, SUPER-POSITIVE CONTENT.

HIGHLIGHTS:  DEVIN’S BEST QUALITY OFTEN THE ABILITY TO BE LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY. HE CAN DIVE INTO INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED + CEREBRAL SUBJECT MATTER THEN UNDERCUT THE SERIOUSNESS WITH A WELL-TIMED JOKE. THIS BRIEF NEWS ARTICLE FROM BACK IN THE DAY HULK’S FAVORITE EXAMPLE: http://www.chud.com/7723/lars-von-tries-horror/

ANOTHER THING HULK LIKE THAT DEVIN HAVE GREAT ABILITY TO CONVEY WHAT MAKE CERTAIN “BASE” MOVIES REALLY ENJOYABLE. HE NEVER INVOKE THE NONSENSICAL LOGIC OF “IT SO BAD IT GOOD!” BUT INSTEAD OPT FOR THAT PERFECT BALANCE CLARITY AND HUMOR. HULK’S FAVORITE EXAMPLE THIS TORQUE “GUILTY PLEASURE” REMEMBRANCE (#27 HALFWAY DOWN).

UNLIKE MANY, HE NOT AFRAID TO GET POLITICAL IN HIS TANGENTS (HERE’S A GREAT 300 REVIEW FROM FEW YEARS BACK).

(NOTE: YOU MAY FIND IT REALLY WEIRD THAT HULK REMEMBERING ALL THESE MOMENTS AND LINES FROM ARTICLES WRITTEN YEARS AND YEARS AGO. HULK JUST HAVE ONE OF THOSE INSANE WRITTEN MEMORY THINGS… IT A BLESSING/CURSE… HULK COULD PROBABLY STILL PASS TESTS FROM HIGH SCHOOL AP CLASSES BUT SUBSEQUENTLY CANT EVER REMEMBER TO TAKE LAUNDRY OUT OF MACHINE. ANYCRAP… )

A GOOD CRITIC EXPANDS YOUR TASTE AND RATIONALE… OFTEN FURTHER THAN YOU THOUGHT POSSIBLE. DEVIN CAN REALLY DO THIS. HE HAVE GREAT SERIES BACK AT CHUD CALLED “CHUDSPLOITATION” WHICH EXAMINE THE MOST INSANE EXPLOITATION FILMS ALL TIME (WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH) AND VERY CALMY EXPLAIN AND DELVE LEGITIMATELY INTO “WHAT COMPELLED THE FILMMAKER TO MAKE THIS?” AND EVEN WITH MOST DESPICABLE STUFF, DON’T TELL HULK IT NOT WORTH ASKING THAT QUESTION. BECAUSE ULTIMATELY THE FILM WAS MADE AND PEOPLE SAW IT. SO NOT HAVING SOMEONE DELVE INTO IT AND ADDRESS WHAT “IT” WAS ABOUT HULK THINK A MUCH LARGER SIN OF OMISSION.

RECENTLY HE HAVE GREAT ENTRY IN THE HILARIOUS “MAKE IT STOP” SERIES AT BADASSDIGEST IN WHICH HE EXAMINE THE WORST FILM IN SPIELBERG’S OEUVRE.

AND LASTLY, PLEASE ENJOY THIS GREAT EXCERPT FROM RECENT FAST FIVE REVIEW:

He’s certainly more than a match for Diesel, who continues to turn into some kind of Gnome King or something. His head seems to be shrinking while his nose blossoms out and the thin layer of flesh holding in the hamburger helper with which he is stuffed seems tired and about to give up the ghost. All of Diesel’s lines sound like they’re coming through some kind of bass-heavy fuzzbox and the choices he makes in delivering them are baffling. I don’t know what kind of a movie he thinks he’s making. Still, as awful as he is on paper he’s arresting on screen, a sentient pork chop that occasionally drives cars. This is the ultimate niche for him, and hopefully he understands it. He is Dom, and Dom is he.

PERFECT.

FOLLOW DEVIN ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/devincf

#3 – MR. BEAKS  – AKA JEREMY SMITH ON AINTITCOOL.COM

IT DELIGHT HULK TO READ MR. BEAKS ON AICN. THE SITE CERTAINLY RUN THE GAMUT IN TERMS OF READERSHIP (AND IT A FREAKING HUGE READERSHIP) BUT THERE JUST A WAY IN WHICH MR. BEAKS SO DISTINCTLY AGAINST THE GRAIN OF WHAT ONE IMAGINE TO BE THE TYPICAL AICN READER.

FOR ONE,  YOU WILL NEVER HEAR BEAKS DESCRIBE A FILM AS A “BARREL FULL OF BLOWJOBS” (AT LEAST HULK THINK?) BUT INSTEAD YOU FIND PERHAPS ONE THE MOST CEREBRAL, WORLD-CINEMA-LOVING, LOQUACIOUS CRITICS ON INTERNET. FOR EVERY ASININE DISCUSSION OF TRANSFORMERS ON THAT SITE, YOU WILL ALSO FIND JEREMY POSTING YET ANOTHER LOVELY, THOUGHTFUL ARTICLE ABOUT [INSERT FOREIGN FILM YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD OF].

INDEED, MR. BEAKS TRULY ONE OF THOSE FILM SCHOLARS WITH AN INCREDIBLE BREADTH OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE MEDIUM. HE CONDUCTED COUNTLESS EXCELLENT INTERVIEWS IN WHICH HE CLEARLY IMPRESS INTERVIEWEE WITH SAID DEEP KNOWLEDGE. IN SIMPLE TERMS OF PURE CONTENT, BEAKS APPEAR TO BE SOME KIND STALWART DEFENDER OF THE HIGHER-MINDED POSSIBILITIES OF CINEMA AGAINST THE POPULIST INCLINATIONS OF THE MASSES. BEST YET, HIS INTEREST IN THOSE TOPICS NEVER FORCED, BUT FEEL PERFECTLY NATURAL.

AND THEN THERE HIS ACTUAL USE OF LANGUAGE. HULK CONSIDER MR. BEAKS ONE THOSE REAL CRITIC-POETS ONE SEE FROM TIME TO TIME. HE CONSTANTLY STRIVE FOR THE PERFECT SHORT-BURSTED DENSE BITS OF ELOQUENCE. AS NATURAL RESULT, AT TIMES HIS WRITING CAN COME OFF WEE-BIT PEDANTIC OR ESOTERIC… AND HONESTLY AT THE RARE + VERY WORST HULK HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT JEREMY TRYING SAY (AND NOT BE DICK OR ANYTHING, BUT AT THIS POINT IN HULK’S LIFE, IF HULK NO CAN UNDERSTAND INTENDED MEANING OF AUTHOR, THEN THAT NOT KNOCK ON HULK BUT KNOCK ON AUTHOR).  BUT THOSE ABSURDLY SMALL PRICES TO PAY FOR THE FREQUENT GEMS. THERE JUST SOMETHING SO ADMIRABLE ABOUT SWINGING FOR THE FENCES WITH EVERY STATEMENT AND THOUGHT. AGAIN, IF BEAKS THE POET-CRITIC, THEN PERHAPS IT MAKE SENSE NO GET UBER-LITERAL ANYWAY. TO POSSIBLY CHARACTERIZE A CINEMATIC IDEAL IN THOSE ETHEREAL, UN-CONCRETE TERMS.  IT ALLOW FOR THOSE IMPECCABLE TIMES WHEN JEREMY ABLE TO CLARIFY AN IDEA WITH LYRICAL, CRYSTALLINE WIT THAT JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE OUTRAGEOUSLY CAPITAL-T TRUE.

TO THE EXAMPLES!

ON TREME (VIA TWITTER): “First Episode of Treme feature everything I love and hate about the show. Great environment. Ham fisted drama. This is the show.”

ON “I AM LOVE”: “Shot and designed like a Sirk-ian melodrama, Wong effortlessly captures the longing and regret of a love affair briefly indulged and forever mourned.” AND, “This is a return to the type of pure cinema that’s anathema in this age of pure calculation; it’s about getting drunk on the potential of the medium, not betraying it for awards or box office. This is where Swinton lives.”

ON “IRREVERSIBLE”: “And if you think Noe is trying to impart some saintly Stanley Kramer bullshit about the futility of revenge, forget it: in IRREVERSIBLE, the whole shebang is predetermined because “time destroys everything”.”

OR CONSIDER THE CONCISE ENTIRETY OF HIS SUCKER PUNCH REVIEW. MANY REVIEWS SLOGGED THROUGH THE LOGICAL STEPS TO DISMISS THE COUNTLESS MISCALCULATIONS OF FILM, BUT ONLY BEAKS SEEMED TO DELICIOUSLY CUT THROUGH THE BULLSHIT (WITHOUT OUTRIGHT DISMISSING IT).

IF IT SEEM LIKE HULK SIMPLY PREDISPOSED TO LIKE BEAKS OR SOMETHING AND FOLLOW BLINDLY, YOU MISTAKEN. QUITE FRANKLY, HULK NEVER READ A CRITIC HULK DISAGREE WITH SO FREQUENTLY. BUT AGREEMENT UNGODLY-OVERRATED IN THIS BUSINESS. THOSE MYSTIFYING-TO-HULK OPINIONS (THERE VERY INTERESTING RIDLEY SCOTT CONVERSATION BE HAD ONE DAY) NOT = LACKING WORTH. HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHY THAT BELIEVE SO COMMON IN CRITICAL ADORATION.

THAT THE REAL POINT, RIGHT? TO ENGAGE AND BE CHALLENGED? TO EXPERIENCE SOMEONE’S WONDERFULLY INTERESTING POINT OF VIEW? AND ULTIMATELY BEAKS WONDERFULLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE PROVIDE JUST AS MANY CASES WHERE IT BENEFIT BOTH, LIKE ACKNOWLEDGING THE  THE SECRET GENIUS OF PEYTON REED’S “BRING IT ON.” (HULK LOVE THAT FILM FOR ALL REASONS EXPRESSED).

AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANT, JEREMY SEEMS BE ONE OF FEW REMAINING FILM FANATIC/NBA DIE HARDS IN THE WORLD… MAYBE HULK JUST THINK WE NEED MORE THOSE.

IT BASICALLY THIS AND SPIKE LEE

FOLLOW MR. BEAKS ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/mrbeaks

AND SO…

HULK JUST THOUGHT THIS BE FUN FEATURE. HULK GONNA WRITE ABOUT OTHERS SOON TOO. LIKE M. MORSE’S STUNNING DEEP-TISSUE ANALYSIS WITH THE LOST + FOUND SERIES OR HIS INCREDIBLE EPISODIC TREATISE ON LOST, NOT TO MENTION THE LIKES DAMON HOUX, JEN YAMATO, BRIAN COLLINS’S HORROR MOVIE A DAY AND TERROR TUESDAYS, ERIC SNIDER’S BAD MOVIES SERIES. PLUS MANY, MANY MORE. HULK ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO PROMISE OF OUTPUT OF APRIL SWARTZ AND MEREDITH BORDERS OVER AT BADASSDIGEST.

HULK THINK “COMMUNITY” MUCH MORE THAN GREAT SHOW YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING, IT A CONCEPT THAT NEED MORE CREDENCE IN GENERAL. THE MORE ANY PLACE ACT LIKE A REAL COMMUNITY, THE BETTER FOR ALL… ESPECIALLY IN REGARDS TO THE INTERNET. READERS FORGET, WRITERS FORGET, AND EVEN HULK FORGET, BUT THE ONLINE FILM WORLD AT ITS CORE = A TRULY WONDERFUL PLACE.

HULK JUST HAPPY TO BE READING THESE FOLKS.

COMMUNITY!