Jones BBQ and Foot Massage

Back from the Los Angeles Film Festival. Good selection this year.

Don't Think Twice
Writer/Director: Mike Birbiglia
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher

When a member of a New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group – all best friends – start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.

Unexpected Appearances: Pete Holmes, Adam Pally, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Josh Rabinowitz

After the screening, I overheard an Asian fella say that he wasn't old enough to relate to the characters in this film. Never mind that he looked forty-something, what adult can't relate to experiencing failure?

Writer/Director: Ryon Baxter
Cast: Ryon Baxter, Jimmy Baxter

A 13-year-old boy is forced to live with his estranged brother after their father is sent to prison. Their relationship is soon tested when the older brother's occupation as a marijuana dealer infringes on his ability not only to raise his kid brother, but even to take care of himself. However, through constant tribulations, they discover the only way to get through the difficulties of life is to work together and try to beat the odds.

This film plays much better than its makeshift trailer.

The brothers are played by actual brothers.

Won the Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film.

They Call Us Monsters
Director: Ben Lear [Norman's son]

In California, juveniles between the ages of 14 and 17 can be tried as adults for violent crimes. Behind the walls of The Compound, they await their trials—and the accompanying adult sentencing. Juan, Jarad, and Antonio are three such inmates. To their advocates, they're kids. To the system, they're adults. To their victims, they're monsters. Who are they to you?

With unprecedented access to the juvenile facility, this documentary allows audiences to get to know these young men through a screenwriting workshop in which they collectively fictionalize their lives and dreams.

Features a spectacularly cringeworthy performance by Jarad's attorney.

Unexpected Appearance: Nate Corddry, who visits The Compound to perform scenes from Juan, Jarad, and Antonio's screenplay under their direction.

Officer Downe
Director: [Slipknot percussionist] M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan
Producer: Mark Neveldine [half of the duo behind the Crank films]
Cast: Kim Coates, Tyler Ross, Lauren Luna Velez, Alison Lohman, [Slipknot frontman] Corey Taylor

An adaptation of the cult graphic novel about an LAPD officer who is repeatedly brought back to life using telekinetics.

A young rookie cop is tasked with shadowing Officer Downe, whose foes include the criminal syndicate of humanoid beasts dubbed the Fortune 500, Mother Supreme and her gun-toting nuns, and kung fu overlord Zen Master Flash.

The violence in this film is difficult to follow.

Unexpected Appearance: Glenn Howerton, whose only film work seems to be in films produced by his mate Mark Neveldine.

Who is this actor playing the rookie cop? I like him.

During the end credits, I realized that the actor who plays the rookie cop is the lead in American Milkshake, a terrible film in which he is terrible. Quite a turnaround.

Director: Justin Tipping
Cast: Jahking Guillory, CJ Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Mahershala Ali

15-year-old Brandon is ignored by girls and is always getting picked on for his tired sneakers. Sinking all of his money in a coveted pair of Air Jordans, Brandon gets a renewed sense of confidence and hope—until the shoes are snatched away. Brandon and his friends go on an epic journey to Oakland to get back what's his.

It's divided into chapters and its chapter titles are rap songs.

Unexpected "Appearance": Mac Dre

Before the screening, I saw a dude in khaki overall shorts and pink sneakers hanging out outside the cineplex.

Turns out that dude was The Notorious B.I.G.'s son, who, along with Christopher Meyer, are wonderful in Kicks as the lead's besties.

Little Biggie

20 minutes of action

"Santa" – of course!

My best idea was "Danza."

I got broads in Connecticut… [Who's the boss in Atlanta ?]


Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

23. Jeff Hardy/Matt Hardy Contract Signing (TNA Impact Wrestling, 05-31-16)


Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

  • The Carmichael Show Season Grade: C-
  • "No one from D.C. goes to fuckin' Annandale." (Veep, S05E06)
  • "I was just getting some B-roll of the fax machine." (Veep, S05E06)
  • "Korean barbecue is a travesty." (Veep, S05E06)
  • "Go out there and turn this thing around, all right? The widow is beating you by 30 points. She's a retired second grade teacher, for Christ's sake."
    "Yeah, who sucks and gives too much homework…"
    "She's your second grade teacher?" (Veep, S05E06)
  • "And I'm not even gonna mention fromunda." (WWE Raw, 05-30-16)
  • RT: When Paige and Elizabeth tune in to General Hospital, they're watching a scene between lovebirds Grant Putnam and Celia Quartermaine. But there's a twist: Grant isn't Grant at all! He's Grant Andrews, a.k.a. Andrei Chernin, a Russian spy working for the shadowy organization known as DVX. (The Americans, S04E12)
  • Archer Season Grade: D-

Still the AR™TV World Drama Champion: Game of Thrones
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: Baskets


All the things that I've done

Ron Perlman, Ian McShane, and Michael Shannon in the same film!

Rory: Is Tom Hardy the biggest film star who also does television?

Jon: Hmm…
Jon: Benedict Cumberbatch?
Jon: No, Benedict Cumberbatch is a bigger television star than Tom Hardy, but not a bigger film star. At least, not yet.

Jon: Melissa McCarthy?

Jon: Oh! Bradley Cooper.
Jon: According to Box Office Mojo, Bradley Cooper's filmography has outgrossed Tom Hardy's by over one-and-a-half billion dollars.
Rory: How much of that is Guardians of the Galaxy, though – a film in which he does not appear?

Adam Robot: Daniel Craig is doing a 20-episode limited series for Showtime. There's your answer.
Adam Robot: No one else named has been a top five iconic film character.

Deja Entendu

Previously on Adam Riff™:
On May 1, Adam Robot and I each drafted 10 films set for release between May 1 and August 31. Whoever's slate earns the most money domestically by Labour Day wins. I won a pre-draft game of rock-paper-scissors to select first, after which we alternated selections.

Let's check the board:

1. Captain America: Civil War $377,193,948
2. Finding Dory
3. Suicide Squad
4. Independence Day: Resurgence
5. Star Trek Beyond
6. Jason Bourne
7. Now You See Me 2
8. The Purge: Election Year
9. The Conjuring 2
10. The Secret Life of Pets


Adam Robot
1. The BFG
2. Alice Through the Looking Glass $34,174,000
3. X-Men: Apocalypse $80,000,000
4. Ghostbusters
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
6. Warcraft
7. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising $40,680,180
8. Pete's Dragon
9. Central Intelligence
10. Ice Age: Collision Course

I was gonna draft Alice Through the Looking Glass with my third pick. Dodged a bullet.

Seven releases in June – four for me, three for Adam Robot. I smell blood in the water.

The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

My mobile's alarm sounds at 3:00 AM.

—Guh. Am I really doing this?

I climb out of bed, throw on a hoodie, and depart for the restaurant.

I had seen celebrity chef David Chang post about Sun Nong Dan on Instagram and wanted to try it whilst in Los Angeles. The restaurant is a short walk from the hotel I was staying at.

Because Sun Nong Dan doesn't take reservations, I planned to eat dinner there on a Wednesday, figuring it would be least busy mid-workweek, and arrived at 8:30 PM to 12-15 people standing outside and a waiting list beside its entrance.


—Welp, I leave Los Angeles tomorrow, so it's tonight or bust.

I would have arrived earlier, but a co-worker roped me into eating Korean waffle pizzas with him after work.

Fortunately, Sun Nong Dan is open 24 hours.

I returned to my hotel room debating when better to return to the restaurant.

—Midnight? No, too early. Remember, Asians are more nocturnal than others.

—6:00 AM? No, too risky. According to Yelp, its beef ribs can sell out. I don't want to have to settle for a soup, as delicious as they may be.

I settled on 3:00 AM, as it is the hour of day when the largest percentage of Americans is asleep. Also, who eats beef ribs at 3:00 AM on a weekday?

On approach to Sun Nong Dan, I see someone standing outside.

—Are you having a fucking laugh?

It is 3:12 AM on a weekday and the restaurant is still full, still buzzing.

I write my name on the waiting list and wait approximately 15 minutes to be seated.

It is 3:45 AM on a weekday and I am at a strip mall eating $46 spicy braised beef ribs.

Back to 3:12 AM.

The someone I see standing outside Sun Nong Dan is an Asian dude, whom the night manager of the restaurant welcomes inside in Korean before speaking to me, also an Asian dude, in English.

I mean… I don't speak Korean – but what if I did??? Shibal…

He just assumed! Correctly, yes, but… Don't judge a gook by its cover.

To try when I am in Los Angeles next:

"Koreatown's Pleasure Palace of Duck"

The Korean J-Shaped Ice Cream Cone

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

22. Hold the door (Game of Thrones, S06E05)

Honourable Mention

Stray Observations

  • "Mom! Don't eat the shoulder cheese!" (Bob's Burgers, S06E18)
  • Smash cut to a penis (Game of Thrones, S06E05)

(Game of Thrones, S06E05)

RT: This is the first thing said to Hodor when Hodor first appears on GAME OF THRONES. (Game of Thrones, S06E05)

  • "Ain't nobody want to live in a world without girl-on-girl action and ground beef." (The Carmichael Show, S02E12)
  • "Just to be clear, if I turn on the parental control setting, I can block the lesbians and still stream Ellen?" (The Carmichael Show, S02E12)
  • "I hate this stupid toilet that Felix put in here. It doesn't even have a seat!"
    "It's Swiss."
    "It's like a really nice prison toilet." (Bob's Burgers, S06E19)
  • "I'm not dying. I'm just getting my butt skin ripped off so I can be in a magazine." (Bob's Burgers, S06E19)
  • "Bob got stuck on a toilet and all I got was a great slice of pizza from Jimmy Pesto's" shirt (Bob's Burgers, S06E19)
  • Bob's Burgers Season Grade: C
  • The Burp King of Westchester! (Preacher, S01E01)
  • The sales employees playing lacrosse (Silicon Valley, S03E05)
  • "It really hurts to roll my eyes." (Veep, S05E05)
  • "Ain't no challenge been invited Jonah Ryan can't do."
    "Ice bucket challenge. You backed out of that."
    "Ice bucket challenge can suck my dick."
    "Well, it did raise a lot of awareness for whatever ALS is." (Veep, S05E05)
  • Square One Television (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "Eddie, here's the thing: We all want Alison to say the punchline to the crack joke. Alison wants to say the punchline to the crack joke." (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "It's a Chinese polite fight. You're never supposed to give in." (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "We recorded a more age-appropriate program for you to watch."
    [Mama's Family opening credits]
    "Ah-ha! Those hayseeds!" (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "You said 'yes'?"
    "In the middle of a Chinese polite fight?!" (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "Who knows what my life could have become? Maybe we would have sat next to my mullet at the restaurant." (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "I'm just glad he [Chris Rock] doesn't do lame Asian jokes." (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • "The Browns are leaving Cleveland." – well-played slow play (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • RT: "Much wobbling in the '95-'97 zone in this one…Cleveland Browns '95, Bring the Pain '96, Backstreet Boys got famous… (Fresh Off the Boat, S02E24)
  • Fresh Off the Boat Season Grade: B-
  • The Night Manager Season Grade: C

(Lady Dynamite, S01E06)

  • "You know what deflation is? Ambition just leaving your body." (Lady Dynamite, S01E06)
  • "It's chapter two in my book – Keepin' It Carol, Carol Simples."
    "Oh, that's fun that you didn't go with the obvious pun."
    "What do you mean?"
    "Keepin' It Simples."
    "Oh, my God! I left it on the table. Shit! Fuck! What am I gonna do with all those fucking mugs?"
    "It is a calendar for ladies called a 'palendar.'"
    "You didn't go for 'galendar'?"
    "[straining] What in the shiiiiiiiit, Carrrooolll!" (Lady Dynamite, S01E08)

Adrian Zmed (Lady Dynamite, S01E08)

  • Apple's "1984" ad? Apple's "1984" ad (Lady Dynamite, S01E10)
  • Lady Dynamite Season Grade: C-

The New AR™TV World Drama Champion: Game of Thrones
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: Baskets



Well, this is unexpected.

Rory: The whole album?
Jon: The whole album.

Pitbull's next album is titled Climate Change.

Pitbull's Discography
Planet Pit (2011)
Global Warming (2012)
Meltdown (2013)
Globalization (2014)
Climate Change (2016)
Heat Wave (2017)
World Hunger (2018)
Forced Migration (2019)
Universal Healthcare (2020)