Author Archives: frankmayo

FRANK MAYO: Stuck in China

Yeah, I’m stuck in China.

Some of you may wonder where the hell I have been for the past year or so, most of you don’t give a shit. Needless to say, this is the first time I have access to a VPN, so this may be my only chance to communicate to the outside world for awhile.

Real fucking romantic

Real fucking romantic

I don’t care if you already took a BuzzFeed break for Rebecca Martinson.  “The 35 cutest (insert animal) wearing (insert clothing/accessory) on (insert social media channel)” article can wait for you to read my tale of tragedy and triumph. Yes, instead of whining about another Hollywood back-alley abortion, I am going to fill you in on what has happened in my life since my last review.

In an attempt to patch things up with my bitch devil wife, I bought two plane tickets for us to go to Beijing. Far from a sun soaked beach in Puerto Rico, My wife insisted that Beijing was the “spiritual epicenter” to continue her lukewarm attempts at meditation and veganism.  Honestly it would take a lifetime supply of Prozac to swallow her logical fallacies, but I needed that for the overnight flight.

trash pileFrom the minute we stepped off the plane, we were trudging through dense smog which smelt like cigarettes, sewage water and “Chou Doufu,” the stinky tofu whose stench could only be understood by someone living in China, peddlers with knockoff bags, and half an inch of condensed mucus. Every hostel had bugs, at least every one that I was willing to pay for. And the restaurants didn’t seem interested in clearing their food of bones or bullets before serving it.

As we pushed and shoved through the mindless herds to witness China’s “natural beauty”, I couldn’t help but describe my spiritual awakening to little miss religious studies 101.  But she acted like I was belittling and condescending to everyone.  What a tribal hippie cunt.  You know who else is a tribal hippie cunt? Anyone who ever posts Instagram photos of their Cherokee Hair Tampons. They need to be punted.

Not Sabrina

Not Sabrina

After 72 hours of the harsh realities of China living, my wife and I grabbed the next flight home. But when I say “she and I” I mean she and my passport, wallet and cell phone.

Yes, my wife stranded me in China.

Two hours of screaming and a fifth of Jack later, I was able to calm down and grab a local prostitute to reenact a beloved American Psycho scene. I can’t quite explain what I did to her because I think even China would have laws against it. However, I will tell you that she responded to Sabrina, and only to Sabrina, the entire evening.

Strapped for cash, I kicked Sabrina out of the hostel and quickly found the job that every single foreigner has in China: English teacher. It’s a fairly easy job and pays well enough to support my newfound bootleg DVD and Baijiu addictions. Through the course of this new experience, I feel I have began to understand Chinese culture better.

In one of my private tutoring sessions, I backhanded a child for coughing without covering his mouth. Some may think my tactics are extreme, but those people don’t realize only the extreme survive. I spent the rest of the hour teaching him how to say, “My teacher bitch-slapped me.”

peskin heartWhen his father came to pick him up, the boy recited to him in perfect English, “Hello father, my teacher bitch-slapped me!” The father’s face lit up and displayed a tremendous smile. As he walked away with his child, he continued to thank me and even tipped me extra.  Waiters and waitresses aren’t even tipped in China. I still tutor the child, and to this day I still find myself wondering if the father was proud for his child’s improved pronunciation or happy because I smacked his kid.

United for English

They say travelling makes us better citizens, because we learn better and more efficient ways of doing things. And since coming to China, I’ve learned we Americans are allowing the mutilation of our language. We give too much leniency towards half-assed English pronunciation.

In China, there is no room for error.

Obviously tones and vowels can change the meaning of a word, however, is that an excuse to forego common sense? If I, a foreigner, am asking for a bottle of scotch, and I am saying the correct words, but with the wrong pronunciation, shouldn’t it be a little obvious of my intent? Is it such a quantum leap?

It is in China, too great even for them to figure out. They will not acknowledge me if my pronunciation isn’t perfect. And it’s time for US citizens to form a united front against broken English.

peskin mountains

Photos by Frank Mayo

So, this is what I propose: If we hear incorrect pronunciation, we shall not acknowledge the existence of the word. Let’s see how outsiders feel when “herro” just won’t cut it anymore.

And before you readers comment about how ignorant, racist and obnoxious I am, this unified front includes all the stupid accents we have within the US as well. Car is spelt C-A-R. Notice how the correct spelling has an R. I don’t care where you grew up or what part of life you are compensating for.  We all learned the alphabet, we all took part in the great American education system, now it’s time to embrace it and take the goddamn marbles out of your mouth.

I would continue, but I’d rather catch up on China’s version of “The Big Bang Theory” while I still have a working VPN. I will reach out when I can and continue to piss and moan about life in China. It will be shameless, grotesque and unfiltered. So if you’d rather continue your BuzzFeed article, fuck you. And an especially big fuck you to my bitch devil wife. Cheers.

Frank Mayo is a 2005 graduate of Syrit College. He can be reached at sniffthismuffdiver@yahoo.com or on Twitter @TheFrankMayo

The O’Doul’s Diary: Diluted Debauchery

Have you ever listened to someone describe a night of heavy drinking to you? The story usually starts off sensibly: your friend describes his day, the time, the occasion, and so on. He’ll go on to describe the type of beverage that was consumed, the people that were there, maybe even an incident or two.

However, halfway through his rendition, the storyteller becomes a little hazy, struggling to piece together the story. As it transitions towards the end, you find yourself not only puzzled about the logical progression of the story, but also incensed that you spend the past several minutes listening to the person repeating to you, “You should have been there brah” because he doesn’t even know what the fuck happened. As you wait impatiently for the story to conclude, your friend starts apologizing for the lack detail, continually repeating “I was so drunk” like it’s a good excuse for telling a shitty story. Finally the soap opera ends with a generic conclusion like “somehow I made it home” or “I totally passed out.”

Yeah…that can pretty much summarize The Rum Diary.

GK Films The Rum Diary is based off of the Hunter S. Thompson novel which follows the life of journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp), during his stay in 1950s Puerto Rico. While in Puerto Rico, Kemp receives a job writing for a rundown local newspaper – remember, this is 60 years ago. Kemp quickly finds a cliché ensemble of quirky but loyal drunkard columnists and they begin to introduce Kemp to the “rum-soaked” life of San Juan.

During Kemp’s stay in Puerto Rico, he becomes taken with total smokeshow Chenault (Amber Heard), the fiancé of an entrepreneur named Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). In an attempt to open more hotels in Puerto Rico, Sanderson offers a lucrative deal to Kemp in exchange for Kemp to write a favorable article towards Sanderson’s property development scheme.

Afterwards the plot continues like any respectable movie shou-… wait…

Oh yeah! There’s a chicken fight and a hallucination with a freakishly long human tongue. And… hmm…what else… oh, something involving Chenault in a night club. And… uhhh… does any of this make sense to you? No, because if you’re one of the 99% of this movie’s audience that didn’t read the book, you’ll have absolutely no idea what actually happened.

Long story short, Kemp suddenly grows a sack and decides to ruin Sanderson’s development plan. However, Sanderson shuts down Kemp’s newspaper, so Kemp “takes the bastard down” by anti-climatically stealing Sanderson’s boat and sailing it off into the sunset.

The End

Believe it or not, the cohesion in my synopsis perfectly reflects the cohesion in the film. Between the dry dialogue and the unclear direction, the film falls short of really connecting to the audience. Bruce Robinson (writer of this tragedy) focused too much on forcing gonzo-like catch phrases into the story rather than implementing exciting and sinister drug-laced situations. To make matters worse, Robinson attempts to give Kemp a transformed view of morals and principles as the movie wraps up. If you look closely, even Depp rolls his eyes as he regurgitates his brain-freezing lines.

Many people went to see this movie in hopes it’ll be a revamped version of the 1998 cult favorite, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The MPAA Rating alone should have been a red flag for all of us. The film’s rating was R for language, brief drug use and sexuality.

BRIEF?!?!?

Who goes to a Hunter Thompson movie for brief drug use? I want to see ominously dark characters indulging in absolute depravity. If you market a film to the Hunter S. Thompson niche, fifty percent of the movie should be of the main characters going through outrage-induced drug binges. I want – nay, I need to see the protagonist find himself in a satanic animal sacrifice while his deranged sidekick is shooting up a narcotic Neapolitan. I need to see an underage Vietnamese crack whore going down on our inebriated hero in exchange for an ounce of opium he lied about smoking. But we didn’t get that. Instead we got the hangover and blue balls.

This film fell tragically short from its implication. Thanks for letting me down. Fuck you.

Frank Mayo is a 2005 graduate of Syrit College. He can be reached at sniffthismuffdiver@yahoo.com

Rise of the Planet of the Cinematically Challenged: How the fuck did this pull in $167 Million?

So I was driving the other day when I was caught behind a rusty Saab with spinning rims.  Despite how hilariously disgusting it was, I wasn’t laughing at this Saab, as the driver believed cruising at a steady 10mph on 30mph road was somehow appropriate.  I attempted to pass the car several times, but, miraculously, I could not get ahead of the driver.  I laid on my horn, screamed myself hoarse, I even threw my Anthony Robbins cassette tapes at the vehicle, yet nothing could move the car along.  After driving the entire length of the street, the car finally turned into a garage.  I slammed on the accelerator to get a good look at the driver, however the only distinguishable features of the person were bristled white hair, a wrinkled forehead and thick framed glasses.  I continued to yell long after leaving the driver behind.

So what does this have to do with Twentieth Century Fox’s Rise of the Plant of the Apes?

Both scenarios involved poorly refurbished versions of the original product, went unnecessarily long, had repeating moments of sheer frustration, predictable endings, and should have laws created to stop this type of situation from reoccurring.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the prequel to the 1968 film (or the god-awful 2001 film) Planet of the Apes.  Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist who has developed an intelligence enhancement drug called “ALZ-112.” After a testing mishap leads to the death of a pregnant chimpanzee, Franco finds himself taking care of the chimp’s surviving offspring, named Caesar.  Franco quickly realizes that the drug has transferred to the offspring as well, resulting in a chimpanzee that displays an extremely high level of intelligence.  Noticing the success of the drug, Franco uses it to help his Alzheimer’s-riddled father Charles Rodman (John Lithgow).  Everything is honkey-fucking dorey for a while until the father begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s again.  On top of the father’s diminishing condition, Caesar decides to inflict a lukewarm assault on a neighbor, resulting in Caesar’s placement in Monkey Guantanamo Bay.  While Caesar endures torture from none other than Draco Malfoy (Draco Malfoy), Caesar manages to gain the respect of the apes, break out of the shelter, go to his home, steal more of the ALZ112, and expose the other captive apes to the drug.

Before I continue the review, I want you to realize I was able to summarize the film up to this point in one paragraph.  For some reason, director Rupert Wyatt (Who the fuck is named Rupert anymore?) (editor’s note: And who names their kid Rupert if his last name is Wyatt?) managed to stretch this part of the film for over a god damn hour.  Back to the review:

Caesar organizes the other apes and takes over the shelter.  The mass of monkeys quickly breaks free and descends upon the city.  Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the chimps are actually battling! But wait…where is the gore? Where is the slaughter? The apes refuse to kill humans? Charla Nash certainly didn’t receive this privilege; why should a police force firing automatic weapons on unarmed primates be given this pleasure? The battle quickly drops from epic to comical as kamikaze gorillas and English-speaking chimpanzees non-lethally fight their way to the Redwood Forest.  The movie dully concludes as the once promising ALZ112 drug turns into a deadly virus, which presumably begins to wipe out the human race.

Nothing remotely this awesome appears in the film

Now Rupert, I want you to take a notebook and write this one down.  When you advertise a film as including apes beating the shit out of humans, we expect apes beating the shit out of humans.  We do not care for your morals.  We do not care about some shallow love relationship involving Freida Pinto.  We do not care about your beliefs of greedy corporations.  And we don’t need all these unnecessary sub-plots.

I know some of you believe I watched this film simply to fill my blood thirst.  Well, allow me to make myself crystal clear: I did.  I may be old fashioned, but when I purchase a product, I usually assume the advertisement reflects the application of the product.  Just as we watched Saw, Hostel and Passion of the Christ for our blood-spattered satisfaction, I assumed Rise of the Planet of the Apes would satisfy mine.

There is one successful message Mr. Rupert conveyed in the film: Apes will soon be smarter than man. Unlike the humans in this film, the apes refused to be shown on screen.  They insisted on CGI as a replacement.  James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, and Draco Malfoy (that’s his name) all jumped at the opportunity to be in this over-glorified C+ film One step forward, two steps back. Cheers.

Frank Mayo is a 2005 graduate of Syrit College. He can be reached at sniffthismuffdiver@yahoo.com

Burnt Out Lantern: Another Pathetic Attempt at Revamping Comic Book Superheroes

Yes, I understand that Warner Brother’s Green Lantern was released over a month ago. Yes, I understand that the movie has been established as grade A Hollywood dog shit. However, put yourself in my shoes for three fucking seconds. Do you really expect me to shell out ten dollars just to review a movie that had its pitiful destiny revealed within the first ten seconds of the teaser trailer? I would prefer to deal with the consequences of pirating this abomination than to ever allow a Green Lantern movie ticket to touch my fingertips. So that is exactly what I did. Manhola Dargis, Wesley Morris, and Peter Travers had their fun insulting this movie; now it’s my turn.

The film is based off of Bill Finger’s 1940s comic book super hero Green Lantern, giving Hollywood enough reason to try and squeeze a few more dollars from these lifeless DC Comic fans. Green Lantern starts predictably enough with a ridiculous back story involving an orgy of sci-fi scenarios and a reluctant protagonist played by the over-appreciated Ryan Reynolds.The movie revolves around the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force. After losing a fight with something named Parallax, a Green Lantern named Abin Sur crashes into earth and appoints Hal Jordan (Reynolds) to become their first human member. Jordan shortly finds himself on the Planet of Oa (yes, they actually named a planet with a two-vowel word), where he meets the leader of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro, and the rest of the crew. Jordan is met with some hostility by the leader, mainly because any creature that would come up with such ideas as The Tuxedo and The Adventure of Pluto Nash should be met with some suspicion, causing Jordan to quit. Meanwhile, scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) recovers Abin Sur’s body and becomes possessed by Parallax, causing the scientist to transform into an evil and somehow uglier version of Ron Jeremy. After Jordon engages in a CGI-infused battle with the evil Ron Jeremy scientist and Parallax, Jordon gains the respect of the Green Lantern Corp. Due to the over budgeting of this film and the condition of our economy, the writers were required to leave the audience with the possibility of a sequel.

Green Lantern is like a child’s macaroni picture: bland, talentless, and leaves me worried about a future generation of dunces that could perceive the product as art. Some of the viewers may be shocked that this film has such a banal plot and tacky dialogue, but when the credited writers have minimal experience writing for film, it’s actually quite believable. Ryan Reynolds’ performance is, yet again, over-rated. Outside of a few minutes of attempting to act serious and diligent, he is dependent on halfhearted comedic narcissism to get through the film. Simply watch Reynolds in X-Men’s Origins: Wolverine as Wade Wilson to see Reynolds’ breadth of totally-different-than-Green-Lantern character. Finally, as much as I appreciate Martin Campbell’s James Bond films, (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) Green Lantern is about as inspiring as the remaining scraps found in the merky waters of R.J. Bentley’s toilet bowl on a Saturday night.

20110727-024409.jpg

As much as I would enjoy this era of remaking superhero films to come to an immediate stop, there are too many geeky fucks and comatose hordes for this to become a reality. So, if you happen to be fall into one of these categories, I have some worthwhile advice. Next time you’re in the mood for superheroes, a lukewarm climax and a predictable outcome, I suggest wrapping a comic around your personal hero and rubbing one out. This way, not only will you save me the trouble of watching these god-awful films, but you’ll also save a few bucks. Cheers.

Frank Mayo is a 2005 graduate of Syrit College. He can be reached at sniffthismuffdiver@yahoo.com