The Commuter Review

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I’m completely and utterly speechless.

Rating: 🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅🚅

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Last Night’s Golden Globes Made Me Realize There’s One Movie I Need to See Before the Oscars

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The Golden Globes were on last night, and naturally I was on the edge of my seat for the whole event. I’m a huge movie/TV award show guy. Love the pageantry, love the red carpet, love the awkward presenters and too-long speeches by sound mixers I’ve never heard of before. But last night made me realize I was seriously slacking on my viewership this year. I typically try and catch all the prestige dramas so I can sound smarter than everyone come Oscars SZN, but I’m woefully behind. There are so many movies I need to watch, but one stuck out more than others. It looks like it has everything: a star studded cast, a superstar director, a dynamite plot. I’m assuming it’s a heavy favorite to win numerous Oscars and redefine how we think about current cinema. I just can’t wait to see it.

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I’m not using hyperbole when I say The Commuter looks like the greatest movie ever made. Try watching the trailer and not getting super hyped. It’s impossible. Liam Neeson is in my Top 5 actors all time, so I’m automatically in. But when you take the plot and director of Non-Stop, the most underrated movie of the 21st century, and put it on a train? My excitement is through the roof. I’m assuming this is a sign from Hollywood that they appreciate me, because it comes out this Friday and my birthday is Wednesday. Come to think of it, Taken 3 came out around my birthday, too. This is the greatest gift I could ask for. If someone wanted to get me to an early screening, I certainly wouldn’t say no. I’ll be stunned if this doesn’t win Best Picture.

Countdown to 2018

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Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Welcome to the second annual Countdown of Countdowns, where we go through a bunch of random power rankings to celebrate the changing of the calendar. Makes sense, right? If you’re old enough to remember, last year there were sixteen countdowns to commemorate 2016. Well, stay with me here, this year there’s going to be seventeen as we say goodbye to 2017. Before we begin, it would feel disingenuous if I didn’t mention that, despite how great the Countdown of Countdowns and random New Year’s Eve concerts are, New Year’s Eve stinks and I’m glad I’ve reached the point in my life where there’s starting to be less pressure to go out someplace way too crowded, spend way too much money, and have no fun. Anyway, now that you know I’m a New Year’s Scrooge, let’s dive right in to the CoC.

Top Five Movies from 2017 Based on Brian’s Den Scoring

  1. John Wick 2– A true cinematic masterpiece
  2. Dunkirk– Best war drama since Fern Gully
  3. Fast 8– I still can’t get over the Rock pushing a moving torpedo with his non-dominant hand
  4. Logan– That Wolverine/Professor X sex scene was wild
  5. Captain Underpants– Only sophisticated senses of humor will understand

Top Five Movies I Didn’t See but Will Say I Saw Come Awards Season to Sound Smarter

  1. Call Me By Your Name– Classic “look up the plot on Wikipedia so I can always act like I know the plot” kind of movie
  2. Darkest Hour– I’m a big Gary Oldman guy so I’ll probably get to it eventually
  3. Lady Bird– Literally have no interest whatsoever
  4. Mudbound– Sitting here wondering if it’s problematic or not that I haven’t heard of this
  5. Phantom Thread– Heard Daniel Day-Lewis plays a spool of thread. Impressive

Top Five Video Games I Played in 2017

  1. Persona 5– Played through this game two times in a row so that tells you how cool I am
  2. Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon– Pokemon games are always top five. Sorry
  3. Nioh– Finally made me believe that, no matter where you are, a white guy can be the hero
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn– Bashes you over the head with its social message, but the gameplay and visuals are top notch
  5. Assassin’s Creed Origins– After playing this I was surprised to learn that Moses did, in fact, look just like Christian Bale

Top Five Songs of 2017

  1. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  2. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  3. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  4. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  5. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber

Top Five TV Shows I Watched in 2017

  1. Stranger Things– I’ve been #teamSteve since season 1
  2. Game of Thrones– Even a disappointing season is better than most things on TV
  3. Black Mirror– If you love introspection and hate technology, this is the show for you!
  4. Wallykazam!– Most complex depiction of a troll in recent memory
  5. Super Bowl 51- I didn’t really watch much TV this year so I’ll just throw this here

Top Five Athletes of 2017

  1. Tom Brady- Not much explanation necessary
  2. Kevin Durant- He’s got a whole army of fans on social media that will go to bat for him
  3. Pablo Sandoval- Was somehow the worst player in both leagues
  4. Quavo- The new Jim Thorpe?
  5. Maya Moore- She went to UConn, you know. As did I, if I haven’t mentioned

Top Five New Fast Food Items of 2017

  1. Taco Bell Potatorito
  2. Taco Bell Dollar Stacker
  3. Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips
  4. Taco Bell Naked Egg Taco
  5. Burger King Farmhouse King

Top Five New Year’s Eve Concerts

  1. Kid Rock- Spirit Center, Kansas City, MO
  2. Migos- Red Rocks, CO
  3. Diarrhea Planet- Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn
  4. Sting- Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
  5. Celine Dion- Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Top Five Villains in Movie History

  1. Gothmog, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King– Best voice of all time
  2. Hopper, Bug’s Life– The Charles Manson of the bug world
  3. Palpatine, Star Wars– PPPPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ULTIMITED PPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
  4. Darth Vader, Star Wars– The OG
  5. The Night Slasher, Cobra– The greatest acting performance in history

Top Five Things I Love When Other People Do

  1. Shovel snow
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Taxes
  5. Pick something to watch on any streaming service

Top Five Fast Casual Tex-Mex Chains

  1. Chipotle- Sorry I’m not mentally weak enough to let a little food poisoning scare me away
  2. Moe’s- Best chips going
  3. Pancheros- Most underrated by far
  4. Qdoba- Can’t believe they got rid of their old cactus logo
  5. Del Taco- It’s no Taco Bell

Top Five Colors

  1. Fuschia- Violet or lavender could also substitute
  2. Sky Blue- Compliments my eye color nicely
  3. Turqoise- Just feels like a tropical breeze
  4. Burgundy- Maybe the classiest color along with mahogany
  5. Magenta- Sorry if you don’t like feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Top Five Fictional Animals to Have as a Pet (Before you say anything, Pokemon are partners, not pets)

  1. Pegasus- Riding a horse typically looks cool, but then the horse unfurls its wings and takes flight? Yes, please
  2. Direwolf- Only if you lived in isolation. Which is my dream
  3. Owl- This means Harry Potter owl. I know owls exist in real life
  4. Dragon- From any story. Pick any dragon in recorded history and I’m down with having it as a pet
  5. Jackalope- A good conversation starter

Top Five Condiments

  1. Maple Syrup- I’d have to turn in my “Vermont native” card if I went with anything else. Yes, I have drank maple syrup, and yes, it was amazing
  2. Chick-fil-a Sauce- Arguably the greatest innovation in fast food history
  3. Mustard- All mustard, but specifically deli mustard and spicy brown
  4. Sweet chili sauce- Underrated and pairs with any meat
  5. Ketchup- Can’t ignore it altogether, but if ketchup is your favorite you have plebeian taste

Top Five Gemstones

  1. Garnet- My birthstone, so you know it’s the best
  2. Red Diamond- Most expensive gem in the world
  3. Emerald- I’m a sucker for green
  4. Alexandrite- Love stuff that changes color
  5. Opal- Just looks cool

Top Five Kinds of Bread

  1. Semolina- If cookies weren’t a thing I’d say the Italians had this whole cooking thing figured out
  2. Sourdough- Regular sourdough, not (I repeat: NOT) vaginal yeast sourdough
  3. Wheat- Lets me pretend I’m eating healthy
  4. Cinnamon Raisin- Using cinnamon raisin bread for french toast >>>
  5. White- Old reliable

Top Five Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

  1. Avengers– Gonna be the greatest movie since the last greatest movie ever
  2. Taco Bell’s newest specialties- Who knows what they’ll come up with next?
  3. Getting one step closer to the end of the world- About time the planet hit the reset button
  4. Kingdom Hearts 3– Just kidding. It’s never coming out
  5. Another year of The Brian’s Den- 2018 is gonna be BIG. I can feel it

If You Say Die Hard is Your Favorite Christmas Movie I Hate You

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Imagine this scenario, if you will. You’re at a Christmas party. Or any party, or any kind of social gathering. Somehow, the topic of Christmas movies comes up and everyone is saying their favorites. The old guy says It’s a Wonderful Life, the token millennial says Elf, there’s plenty of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Feeling anxious, you think about what you’re about to say. Tired of living in the shadows, you decide to be zany to get a few laughs and stand out. “Actually, Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie.” The guy who never goes online gives a chortle, but everyone else, including me, hyper-aware-of-everything-that-goes-on-online-and-is-thus-never-impressed-with-anything guy, rolls their eyes. “Here we go again,” everyone says. “What’s next? He gonna ask if a hot dog is a sandwich?”

The “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” argument has been around for a while, now. I’m pretty sure it was around online when I was in high school. But it’s pretty inescapable, these days. Everyone thinks they’re the most clever, funniest person to ever walk the planet when they proclaim that Die Hard, not whatever your preferred version of A Christmas Carol, is the best Christmas movie. Dish even has Santa saying it in their new commercial. It’s absolutely everywhere. And it’s just so goddamn lame. It’s just another thing that people latch onto to seem cool online. Everyone wants to be part of the in-crowd, and the fastest way to join the smarmy, elitist culture that is the Die Hard Christmas gang is to say things like “Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie,” “Nickleback sucks,” and “Ben Affleck as Batman is terrible.” And it’s tiring, too. Ever met a Die Hard Christmas Guy? No one has ever felt stronger about anything than they feel about the fact that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. If you say one thing to challenge them, they’ll go to the ends of the earth to show how wrong you are. People who call Die Hard their favorite Christmas movie almost singlehandedly take all the joy out of Christmas.

Before we go any further, I think I need to clarify something: I’m a huge Die Hard fan. I named John McClain as my number one action movie character of all time. Die Hard is the greatest action movie of all time and one of the five most influential movies of all time. 75% of action movies made after Die Hard was just Die Hard with a different skin. It’s one of the most important movies ever made. That’s why I get pissy when people call Die Hard a Christmas movie. It cheapens it. When’s the last time you thought about (forget watched) Christmas Vacation in July? What about The Santa ClauseJingle All the Way? Christmas movies are so specific to Christmas that they don’t resonate whatsoever if watch them at any other time of year. Christmas is literally the central plot point to every Christmas movie. If it wasn’t Christmas, all the movies you know and love wouldn’t happen. What happens to Die Hard if it doesn’t happen on Christmas? Anything? There would be some hoops to jump through narratively, sure. But the central plot doesn’t change at all. Nakatomi Plaza could have been held up any day that all the top executives were all there. The fact that it was Christmas was only window dressing.

Listen, if you really think calling Die Hard is a great Christmas movie is the highlight of your year, I won’t fight you. If you truly believe Die Hard belongs in the Christmas movie genre, go for it. I’ll judge you and I’ll hate you, but I won’t stop you. Just know that by doing so, you’re ruining the very movie you claim to love. Die Hard is timeless. It shouldn’t be shackled by the Christmas movie label. It’s great no matter what time of year you watch it. It’s great in March. It’s great in September. And yes, it’s great in December. Don’t insult the greatest action movie ever by insinuating that you can only enjoy it during Christmas or that some Christmas message is the main point of the movie. That’s just asinine. Die Hard is about one man waging a guerrilla war against a small group of terrorists and killing a dozen men singlehandedly. That doesn’t sound like Christmas to me.

Disney Officially Buys 21st Century Fox

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source– The Walt Disney Company said on Thursday that it had reached a deal to buy most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, the conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, in an all-stock transaction valued at roughly $52.4 billion.

While the agreement is subject to the approval of antitrust regulators — and the Justice Department recently moved to block a big media company from becoming even bigger — the once unthinkable acquisition promises to reshape Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It is the biggest counterattack from a traditional media company against the tech giants that have aggressively moved into the entertainment business.

Disney now has enough muscle to become a true competitor to Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video.

Big time news entertainment news today: Disney (don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them) reached an agreement to buy 21st Century Fox for the low, low price of $52.4 billion. Love finding a good bargain during the holiday season. But now that the Mouse has bought out one of its ostensible rivals in the big budget/comic book movie game, that can only mean one thing: we might finally get that Big Momma’s House/Howard the Duck crossover we’ve been waiting for.

The most immediate impact will most likely be the inclusion of the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Universe, meaning they’ll have to re-establish a new X-Men continuity for the millionth time and reboot Fantastic Four for the third time. Good stuff. Disney also gets Fox’s share of streaming service Hulu, which they now essentially have full control of. Presumably, Hulu will now just become Disney’s personal streaming service, exorbitant monthly fee and all. Banner day for the free market in general. Disney, Amazon, and Netflix now have almost a complete monopoly on both the production and distribution of every movie that’s going to be made for at least 20 years. And you thought the Yankees were violating antitrust laws.

Personally, I’m fine with it. People will always complain when stuff like this happens- fair trade and all that. But I’m lazy. I like doing as little work as possible. And if all the Disney and Fox content is in one place, I’m happy. I’ll be fine when either Amazon or Disney buys out the other, because then literally every movie and show ever will be made by the same people. I’m all for monopolies. Fewer options are almost always better. Takes the stressful decision making process out of life. I’ll gladly be spoon-fed my nutrients and entertainment by the government if it means I never have to endlessly scroll through menus ever again.

This move also means that the only remaining independent entity in the entertainment industry is now http://www.briansden69.com. Honestly, it’s a lot of pressure. I have to speak not only for myself, but for all the mavericks out there who want to stand up to Big Mouse and its various constituents. I imagine I’ll some new viewers as the underground resistance grows. And to all the brave souls looking for a new, non-affiliated place to get their blazing hot takes, I promise you one thing: I vow to sell out the first chance I get. You can hold me to that. I will never put a sense of pride and a desire to accomplish something on my own get in the way of cold, hard cash. So, Disney, if you’re reading this, call me. I’m open for business.