A True Film Lover’s Alternative to Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie

Essay

In the eleven years from 2008’s Iron Man (directed by Harold Joseph Hogan), through Avenger’s Endgame (directed by Russo Brothers) in 2019, the 27 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have grossed $25 billion dollars in theaters and dominated box officii across the world.

Unfortunately, as we true cinèphiles know, Marvel fans are mostly low intelligence manchildren who lack the attention span to appreciate any movie that isn’t crammed full of CGI splooges and snarky quips. Let’s face it, the average Marvel fan is the type of person to stick their finger way down their butt hole when it itches, then sniff their finger, then lick their finger. To get away from their idiocy, I have assembled one high-brow alternative of true cinema for each Marvel movie.

PHASE I

Instead of IRON MAN (2008)

watch ROBOCOP (1987)

Before Tony Stark put on the Iron Man suit to fight the Not Taliban, Detroit police officer Alex Murphy was forced into the RoboCop suit after his life is ended by the white thugs who terrorize Detroit. While Tony finds a new purpose in life as Iron Man, Murphy finds his humanity stripped away as RoboCop. But what really makes RoboCop superior is that it is directed by a European, Lars Von Trier.


Instead of THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)

watch SHREK (2001)

Never have two films paralleled each other more than Louis Letter’s The Incredible Hulk and Steven Speilberg’s Shrek. Both Dr. Banner and Shrek are, at heart, simple men who inside them in a world that provokes them to violence. Both men have to rescue a dame (the princess for Shrek/Liv Tyler for Hulk) while facing off against a ruthless authority figure (John Lithgow for Shrek/some military guy for Hulk), with the help of a donkey friend.

One film from the beginning of the George W. Bush presidency, one film from the end, these films are bookends to a particular era of American violence. Hulk and Shrek are honestly so alike that it’s surprising Dreamworks and Marvel haven’t sued each other.


Instead of IRON MAN 2 (2010)

watch ROCKY II (1979)

In Iron Man, Tony Stark thought he proved himself as the Iron Man, but in the sequel, must prove himself again, while suffering the injuries from his Ironing. In Rocky II, a battered Rocky Balboa has to prove himself again in a rematch against Apollo Creed.

There are some differences. Tony Stark fights with his Iron Man suit, whereas Rocky Balboa fights with boxing gloves. Tony is a genius, whereas Rocky is Italian.


Instead of THOR (2011)

watch HÄGAR THE HORRIBLE: HÄGAR KNOWS BEST (1989)

Many Marvel fans are too ignorant to understand that the character of Thor is not an original creation of Marvel Comics. In fact, Thor is based on a much earlier work, a comic strip called Hägar the Horrible, which has ran in newspapers since 1973! Marvel fans would do themselves well to cure their stupid, stupid ways by immersing themselves in this 1989 made-for-television animated adventure.


Instead of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011)

watch JFK (1991)

Captain America was a World War II veteran who became an American icon and leader, only to be struck down by a conspiracy that had tentacles everywhere. Likewise, was John F. Kennedy. The movie JFK laid it all out.

I mean, I think it did. I never saw it. It’s three hours and sounds boring. I like to imagine the entire film is the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files leaving nonsense clues for Kevin Costner’s character to investigate, then going home to laugh. I like to think the CSM had fun in his off hours. He also made origami. “I have a life outside of you, Agent Mulder. But you never ask about that, do you? Here’s a paper frog, jerk.”

I never cared about the Kennedy conspiracy. Kennedy tried to have Fidel Castro assassinated, and had Marilyn Monroe killed for using her feminine wiles to tempt him away from his beloved wife. As far as I am concerned, if you conspire to kill other people, you can’t very well complain if people conspire to kill you. What goes around comes around!


Instead of MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012)

watch GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1992)

Twenty years before Josh Whedon assembled the Avengers to fight an alien invasion led by the Viking Loki, Dutch filmmaker Lars Von Trier assembled a group of gay black alien heroes to invade Earth and liberate oppressed men from the tyranny of women. What a brilliant way to subvert expectations!


PHASE II

Instead of IRON MAN 3 (2013)

watch ROCKY V (1990)

In IM3, Tony Stark was traumatized from the years in the Ironing Suit and looks to retire. In RV, Rocky Balboa likewise is at the end of his boxing career. Both heroes had slugged it out over several movies — fighting colorful enemies, friends, and powerful opponents in Russia. Now each man has to fight when the chips are down, his home is gone, and his only friend is a little boy. Time to fight a new enemy in the streets!


Instead of THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013)

watch MY DINNER WITH ANDRE (1981)

My Dinner with Andre is the perfect substitute for the excitement of Thor: The Dark World.


Instead of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014)

watch LOOSE CHANGE (2005)

The world is full of seemingly random coincidences. In The Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson (Falcon) meets Captain America while jogging along the National Mall early one morning. This leads to the Falcon joining with Captain America and training to become an Avenger. If either man had chosen a different location for a morning jog, or slept in, Sam would have never met Captain America. He would be home, watching the events of the later movies on TV.

Man, all the Avengers are fighting that robot monster in that Russian country. That is so cool. I wish I could be there. If only there was some way to join the Avengers. But who would I even talk to?”

“I got that flying backpack just gathering dust in my garage. I should probably return it to the Army. It’s their property. But they never asked for it back. Maybe they don’t know it’s missing. We’d lose machine guns and grenades all the time.”

Oh shit, the news says Captain America is a terrorist. That’s a lie. I know Cap would never go bad. I never met him, but I just know it. If only I could help him somehow.”

Then, there are questions. How did Hydra so effectively infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.? How did the US government get subverted by a shadowy group of elites who sought to cause a mass casualty event to further their own ends?

The real world is full of unanswered questions and strange coincidences even more baffling than the movies. Why were an unusual amount of put options placed on the stocks of various airlines in the days before 9/11? Why did the alleged flight path of the alleged Flight 77 into the alleged Pentagon not match the destruction a Boeing 757 should have caused? How could the World Trade Center have collapsed from an airplane impact when fire can’t melt steel? Why did Building 7 collapse when it wasn’t touched by a plane? Why was George W. Bush seen giggling to himself on September 9th, 2001, then when a reporter asked what was so funny, did the president stop and say “Nothing” but then went right back to giggling and said, “You’ll see!” The documentary Loose Change examines these questions and more.


Instead of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 1 (2014)

watch 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2001)

They are both in space.


Instead of AVENGER’S AGE OF ULTRON (2015)

watch THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)

In Josh Whedon’s Age of the Ulton, the Avengers battle Ultron, a super powerful robot that can defeat any army and seeks to destroy. In HG Well’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, Earth is visited by a super powerful robot than can defeat any army, but claims to want peace. I wouldn’t believe that tin can!


Instead of ANT-MAN (2015)

watch A BUG’S LIFE (1998)

No explanation needed here.

But you know what bugged me (LOL!) about Ant-Man? When Ant-Man was working at a Baskin-Robbins, and gets called into the manager’s office to be fired because felons aren’t allowed to handle ice cream. That manager’s office was huge! It has a window. He wasn’t an executive at Baskin-Robbins corporate; he was a manager for one franchise. Does anyone in Hollywood know how small a retail manager’s office is? In real life, Ant-Man’s boss would have a windowless office a quarter of the size, full of boxes of plastic spoons and paper napkins. Ant-Man would have had to sit on a box. Totally made the rest of the movie impossible to buy into.

I once had an interview at a K-Mart. The manager had an office that was basically a concrete prison cell. No windows, and if you locked someone inside, they’d run out of air in an hour. Another time, I went in for a job at Family Video (Midwest Blockbuster). The manager didn’t even have an office. She talked to me in a corner of the store and kept having to interrupt the interview to check out videos for customers. I didn’t get hired at either place, but both K-Mart and Family Video are out of business, so I got my revenge in the end. Wahahaha!


PHASE III

Instead of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

watch ADOLF HITLER, THE GREATEST STORY NEVER TOLD (2013)

In Civil War, Bucky Barnes is a hero of the Second World War who history had deemed a madman and a mass murderer. When Steve Rogers tries to tell the truth about his old friend, the powers-that-be turn him from a hero to a pariah, and put anyone who helped him in prison.

Why do the elites hold so tightly to the lie about Bucky Barnes that they will persecute anyone who questions it? Likewise, the documentary series Adolf Hiter, the Greatest Story…well, you know.


Instead of DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)

watch RASHOMON (1950)

What is truth? What is reality? Dr. Strange would grapple with these questions when he gets a hold of that sorcerer thing and buildings flip upside down. Audiences are forced to grapple with these questions in the story of conflicting testimony over a murder trial, from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.


Instead of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

watch THE GODFATHER (1972)

Both films are about a man facing the pressure to live up to his father. See, they fit! Do yourself a favor and find the rare seven hour long special edition laser disc copy of The Godfather. It’s truly the definitive edition. There’s a scene in no other version where Francis Ford Coppola yells at Marlon Brando, enters the frame, and hits him repeatedly with the business end of a boom mic.


Instead of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017)

watch JACK FROST (1998)

Marvel and Sony shook up the Spider-Man world by re-imagining Peter Parker as a teenager under the tutelage of Tony Stark. Baby Spider-Man was a hit with audiences. But the standout actor in Homecoming wasn’t Tom Hiddleston as Peter Parker, but Michael Keaton as Vulture – a father forced to turn to crime to provide for his family.

The big twist in the movie occurs when Peter meets the father of his new girlfriend. Egad! It’s Vulture! It doesn’t take long for Mr. Vulture to figure out Peter is Baby Spider-Man. In probably the most chilling scene in all of MarvelCinematicUniversdom, Mr. Vulture gets Peter alone and tells him:

Listen to me Peter Parker. I know you are Spider-Man. I swear to God, I will kill you if you get in the way of my evil scheme, or get my daughter pregnant. I will kill you and your whole family if I can’t sell alien weapons, or end up with an eight-legged grandson.”

In Jack Frost, Keaton plays a father who dies on Christmas from a snow accident, only to be brought back next Christmas in the form of his son’s snowman. You would think this would be horrifying, but he adjusts really quickly to being a snowman. He is making quips and having fun throwing snowballs within minutes. I think he enjoyed being a snowman more than being human. He was a 47-year-old man still trying to start a rock band, so it’s not like he had a whole lot going for him as a human.

As a snowman, he reconnects with his son. He doesn’t reconnect with his wife, who doesn’t seem to miss him all that much, either. She was still able to afford the house. Makes me think she was always the breadwinner of that family, and probably a bit relieved when he died. She’s no longer attached to the dead weight of a middle-aged wannabe rock star.


Instead of THOR: RAGNOROK (2017)

watch MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)

Just watch Mulholland Drive, you simpletons.


Instead of BLACK PANTHER (2018)

watch BUCK BREAKING (2021)

Black Panther took us inside the African kingdom of Wakanda, led by the strong black king The Challah, who held the power of the Black Panther. Both blacks and insufferable liberal whites were enthralled by Afro-Utopian vision of the movie, and its masculine lead. But it left us to ask: why is there no Wakanda in real life, why are there so few strong black men like the Black Panther? The recent documentary Buck Breaking from Tariq Nasheed (who is totally not gay) explains why.


Instead of AVENGER’S INFINITY WAR (2018)

watch CITIZEN KANE (1941)

Many dumb Marvel fans (redundant) claim Infinity War to be the greatest film of all time. We true cinèphiles know the greatest film of all time is in fact HG Well’s masterpiece Citizen Kane. Why is Citizen Kane the greatest film ever? Because all the smart people say it is, and you must agree to be considered a genuine film lover.

If you go to Barnes & Noble to buy Criterion blu-rays, the clerk will ask what is the greatest film of all time, and you absolutely must reply, “Citizen Kane.” If you give any other answer, the clerk will refuse to sell you the blu-rays, and you’ll be added to a nationwide blacklist that will prevent you from every being able to buy a Criterion Collection film anywhere. Then, when you go home, you’ll find TCM blocked out on your cable. Instead of classic films, you’ll only see video of Ben Mankiewicz scowling at you in disgust (it’s live video – Ben Mankiewicz can do this all day).

Don’t be a pariah cinèphile. Just accept Citizen Kane is the best thing ever and shut your mouth.

Besides, both movies are similar enough. They are about men on a quest they are willing to sacrifice everything for. Thanos will stop at nothing to collect the Infinity Stones. Citizen Kane will stop at nothing to buy every newspaper in the country to find his sled. I saw Citizen Kane, I totally appreciate it. Please think I’m smart.


Instead of ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018)

watch THE EVIL DEAD (1981)

Make sure you watch the original 1981 version from Sam Rainny, not the remake from 2013. The remake was awful. The original was a horror masterpiece crafted on a meager budget. The remake had scenes that were supposed to be shocking, but were in fact stupid and unnecessary. For instance, in the original, audiences became aware that one girl is possessed by a demon because she can predict playing cards from across the room. It’s a chilling scene that very quickly takes the audience from uncertainty to horror. In the remake, we first see the possessed girl when she bursts into the room with a shotgun.

Who cares if a demon has a shotgun? A person possessed by a demon is scary enough, so is a crazy woman with a gun; combining the two doesn’t make it DOUBLE SCARY, no matter what the director thought. Hey, he should have told the director of The Exorcist to give the girl a gun. Would have been a much shorter movie.


Instead of CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019)

watch EMPIRE RECORDS (1995)

Captain Marvel took audiences back to the ‘90s and peppered the action with cool ‘90s tunes. Not very well, though. Guardians of the Galaxy used pop music to enhance scenes. Captain Marvel just threw in twenty seconds of No Doubt or Nirvana here and there to remind us it’s the ‘90s. Also, they digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson, put him in a suit, but didn’t make him look like Jules from Pulp Fiction, which pissed me off.

For another take on the ‘90s and music, watch Empire Records. I don’t really remember what happens in Empire Records; saw it once twenty years ago and didn’t like it. Don’t tell any Gen-Xer I said that. I’ll die if a bunch of 50-year-olds don’t think I am cool.

On the subject, I’ll occasionally see a middle-aged man wearing an Alice in Chains or Guns N’ Roses t-shirt, and think why is that old guy in that shirt? Then I’ll remember no, he’d have been the right age to listen to those bands back in the day. Generation X is just old now. Dave Grohl is 52, Lisa Loeb is 53, and Slash is almost 400. It’s hard to remember because Gen X men decided that they way they dressed as high school juniors would be the way they’d dress for the rest of their lives. Graphic tees, backward baseball caps, and denim shorts go with gray hair now. I am relived I don’t have to deal with Generation X much. My father is a Baby Boomer, so dresses appropriate for his age (Hawaiian shirts).


Instead of AVENGER’S ENDGAME (2019)

watch CARTOON ALL-STARS TO THE RESCUE (1990)

29 years before Disney and Marvel Studios assembled the greatest collection of superheroes ever to teach Thanos the dangers of the Infinity Stones, Roy E. Disney and McDonald’s assembled the greatest collection of Saturday morning cartoon heroes ever to teach young Michael the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


Instead of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019)

watch CHARLOTTE’S WEB (1973)

Growing up, finding love, finding your purpose, finding a way to not get killed, elaborate spider-webbing – Skip Far From Home. Charlotte’s Web did it better 46 years earlier.


PHASE IV

Okay, now I haven’t seen any Phase 4 movie except S-MNWH, but I think these next recommendations will be as helpful as the rest.

Instead of BLACK WIDOW (2021)

watch THE DAY OF THE JACKAL (1973)

Pretty sure it’s the same, but without special effects.


Instead of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021)

watch BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)

They look basically the same, from what I can tell.


Instead of ETERNALS (2021)

watch LEAN ON ME (1989)

Just kidding. Don’t watch Lean on Me. It’s terrible. But I saw it earlier this month and have to vent. Morgan Freeman stars in this tru-ish story of a principal who turns around a failing inner city high school. He does this by yelling at everyone with a bullhorn. Unless you’re a drill sargent at boot camp, that’s no way to be a leader.

There’s one scene where he goes to the choir room to chew out the music teacher for changing the school song. He yells at her, but then he turns around and smiles and is all, “Congratulations on our new school song.” All the kids in the choir room cheer. They don’t like the principal, they are really just overjoyed he didn’t fire the music teacher. “Finally the principal isn’t angry!” “I’m so scared to come to school every day because of him.” “I have nightmares he breaks into my bedroom and yells at me through a bullhorn.”

Morgan Freeman’s characters meets his angry match in the superintendent, played by Robert Guillaume, who challenges him to a shouting match over who is blacker.

Listen to me bub, I’m black and these kids are black, and they are going to see a black world unless we have their backs like blacks!”

Let me tell you one thing, mister. You say you’re black, well I’m blacker than you and we have black kids who are going to fall into a black hole if we don’t back their blacks!”

Black black black-ity black black!”

*Dances like a chicken* “Black black black!”

Turns out the real life principal did a horrible job. Do you know how he got test scores up? He kicked out a bunch of students. The dropout rate rose ten points under him Jerk. If that’s what it takes to be a high school principal, I could be an amazing principal. I’d expel kids left and right. “You like The Weeknd? He makes Drake look like DMX. Clean out your locker, you’re done here.”

No movie about a teacher or principal in an inner city school is any good. Dangerous Minds was so bad that Michele Pfffffer should have been shot out of a cannon, but at least it got us “Amish Paradise”.


Instead of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME (2021)

watch SPIDER-MAN (2002)

Spider-Man’s spider-world spider-collides in this tangled web of a movie. So many Spider-men! Rather than watch it, though, instead watch Sam Rainny’s take on Peter Parker from nineteen years earlier. It has the same Peter Parker and Green Goblin.

Just between you and me, I’ll admit the MCU Spider-Man has been fun. My only issue isn’t with the movies, but when critics praised them for “finally getting Spider-Man right”. Fuck that, Spider-Man was done right two decades ago. “Teens really relate to this Spider-Man” they say. Teens back in the day related to Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man, believe me. All the hair gel and people yelling, that’s what being a teen in the early ‘00s was all about.

On the subject, I often smugly ask people who Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis is, and, being stupider than me, they answer incorrectly. No, it’s not Green Goblin, nor Mysterio. Spider-Man’s greatest adversary is in fact J. Jonah Jameson, editor-in-chief of The Daily Bugle. He hates Spider-Man more than anyone. Most of Spidey’s nemesii only show up once in a while to fight him. Not JJJ. He comes to work every day ready to take down Spider-Man. He hates Spider-Man more than anyone. “He’s a MENACE!”

No Way Home showed us that no matter what version of Peter Parker there is, the great multi-verse will have a version of JJJ there to harass him. Worse, Peter usually works for Jameson. You think you have a lousy boss!

By the way, how many MCU villains have been people Tony Stark pissed off? I’m counting seven movies:

  • Iron Man 1: Tony’s business partner, Jebediah Stone.
  • Iron Man 2: Tony’s business rival, Justin Hammer.
  • Avenger’s Age of Ultron: Tony created Ultron, of course, but then Wanda and her not an X-Men brother sought to kill Tony because Stark weapons killed their parents. Fair enough reason, I’d say.
  • Iron Man 3: That geek Tony blew off to sleep with a whore. It’s a really bad idea in a comic book world to ignore a geek; they are all geniuses who will become a fearsome super villains at the smallest slight (look at Batman Forever). Now I get why geeks love comic books so much! It all makes sense now.
  • Civil War: Helmet Zero, who blamed the Avengers, and Tony most of all, for his family being killed in Avenger’s Age of Ultron. Zero crafted a dastardly plan to divide the Avengers. I never understood how his plan was supposed to work, and it seemed too far fetched. But it totally did work. The Avengers broke up. Give it up for Helmet Zero.
  • Homecoming: Mr. Vulture, who he lost his government contract because Stark Industries is basically the US government.
  • Far From Home: A crew of pissed off Stark Industries employees. Seems like it wold have been easier for them to quit and go work for Apple. Maybe tech workers are just temperamental. Maybe there are a bunch of angry engineers at Telsa secretly building a killer robot to get back at Elon Musk. “I work 18 hour days designing car batteries to save the world from Climate Change. I was promised it would be worth it with the stock options. Then my asshole boss smokes pot on Joe Rogan’s podcast to crash the stock for his buyback scheme. I will have vengeance! VENGEANCE!”

But seriously folks, Tony Stark was such an asshole that the people he is an asshole to go so mad they turn into super villains. That’s why I could not sympathize with Tony in Civil War when he flipped out like Bruce Wayne after learning his parents were murdered. Tony, your father was a weapons manufacturer for the US government. Lots of people would have wanted your parents dead for, frankly, good reason. There must have been entire villages in Vietnam wiped out from Stark Technologies brand Agent Apricot®.


Bonus for Television: Instead of WANDAVISION (2021)

watch CHRIS CHAN: A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY (2019)

In the Disney Channel Original Series WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff copes with the loss of her love, Vision, by taking a New Jersey town hostage to create a happy suburban family life through 20th century American sitcoms. It’s the story of madness that goes on for hours.

A real world story of madness is the multi-part documentary series about the internet’s greatest victim, Chris Chan. Just when you think it couldn’t get any weirder…he goes and rapes his demented mother! 🤣🤣🤣🤣


Also on Warm Fuzzy Glow:

To ween the ignorant masses off their Marvel addiction, acclaimed autèur Martin Scorsese provided us with his list of the Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time.

10. Metropolis (1927)

9. Mean Streets (1973)

8. On the Waterfront (1954)

7. Cape Fear (1991)

6. Gangs of New York (2002)

5. Raging Bull (1980)

4. Casino (1995)

3. Goodfellas (1990)

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

1. The Irishman (2019)

I Love You, Daddy & Louis CK’s Love of Himself

Essay, Film Review

I Love You, Daddy is a 2017 film written, directed, and starring comedian Louis CK. It was pulled from distribution one week before it was to debut, after the New York Times revealed that Louie had masturbated in front of several women. Not all at the same time; he wasn’t putting on kinky shows at bachelorette parties. He committed lewd acts several times over the years he worked as a stand up comic. He would bring young female comics to his hotel room, take off all his clothes, and go to town on his ugly Mexican churro.

Louis CK published an apology, but that did not hold back the consequences. HBO, FX, TBS and Netflix pulled his material from their networks and cut ties. Louie stayed out of the public eye for almost a year. He dipped his toe back into comedy in August of 2018, with performances at least two New York clubs, and then embarked on a tour of the US and Europe—but I’ll write about that at the end. It looks like Louis CK is back, so I want to recap I Love You, Daddy, the movie that was exiled with him.


The Movie

The first thing you will notice about I Love You, Daddy is that it is in black-and-white, which no movie since Young Frankenstein should be—without good reason, at least. There was a movie from last year called The Lighthouse, which was not only filmed in black-and-white, but also in a square TV aspect ratio. The movie was really good (I didn’t get it, but will say I did to sound smart), and being filmed that way worked for that particular movie because it made it appear as claustrophobic as its story. And then there was Kevin Smith, who filmed Clerks in black-and-white because he was young and could not afford color film.

But Louie CK is rich, and made I Love You, Daddy in black-and-white because he is pretentious. Also, Woody Allen’s Manhattan is black-and-white, and Louie’s idea of creativity is to ripoff Woody Allen. Many episodes of Louie had an esoteric Woody Allen tone, particularly in the later seasons. I can see why Louis CK looks up to Woody Allen. As a pervert himself, Louis CK must admire famous perverts.

The next thing you will notice about I Love You, Daddy is that Louie’s character gets berated by every woman in his life in the first 15 minutes. It begins with an argument between him and his ex-wife, played by Helen Hunt, because he has more money than her, which means their daughter wants to live with him. This makes Louie a bad person, somehow.

Then, Louie’s 17-year-old daughter, China, (Chloë Grace Moretz) is mad because he won’t allow her to use his private airplane to fly off to Florida so she can enjoy a second spring break. Yes, she’s going for Spring Break #2. Louie tells her she is spoiled, but then calls to make his plane available to her.

By the way, the first time we see China, she is in a white bikini, reminiscent of the iconic introduction of the titular character in Lolita. I bet Louis CK meant to do that. He probably edged for hours comparing himself to Kubrick.

This is followed by his ex-girlfriend, Maggie (Pamela Aldon) telling him he is a bad father. Louie tells her that she has no business getting involved. Maggie says, “You suck” and swears at him. Then, she kicks him in the balls until he apologizes. Not all of that happened exactly, but I captured the spirit of the scene.

Finally, Louie’s production partner, played by Edie Falco, chews him out because the new TV series he sold to a network will mean more work for her, and Louie didn’t think about that, did he? I don’t understand why she is upset over having to work on a TV series when she is a TV producer. She should congratulate Louie for making them more money. Also, she cries about a horse (must be menopause).

That’s how the movie begins. There were scenes like that in Louie and Horace & Pete, other Louis CK projects. Maybe Louis CK gets pleasure from women castigating him. Perhaps it tickles the same fetish for humiliation that led him to jerk off in front of women. Oh God, Louie was probably wanking while writing the script! Eew.

I should mention that Louis CK plays a television producer who had his second series picked up by a network. One of the guys from Always Sunny in Philadelphia is in the movie. I like Always Sunny but can’t tell any of the men apart because they all have dark hair and sometimes a beard. I couldn’t even say how many men are in the cast. I know there is Danny Devito, and two to five other guys. I watch Always Sunny like a lion watching a zebra herd who can’t tell how many zebra are huddled together. Whoever this actor is, his character is named Ralph and he is Louie’s famous writing partner.

Anyway, the network has Louie meet an an actress, Grace, to see if she would be a good fit for his new show. Grace is from Australian, where they call what Louis CK does to himself “hunting the crocodile”, “polishing the boomerang”, or “waltzing without Matilda”. Louie finds himself smitten with Grace. However, he owes another actress the role after he pulled out his penis in front of her. Grace sees a photo of China and asks if she is Louie’s girlfriend. Louie informs her it’s his daughter. That’s probably some dumb foreshadowing.

Later, at home, Louie and China watch a movie Grace was in. In it, she kills a man after showing him her breasts, which I think would be rude. Louie is disturbed and thinks this movie is even worse than Horace & Pete. China explains that it’s a feminist message. Louie disagrees, saying that is a terrible way to express feminism, and China should not even identify as a feminist when she is a rich kid who had everything handed to her by her father. If that were the case, the population of feminists in America would have to shrink by 70%. All that would be left would be homeless lesbians and men who pretend to be feminists to get away with rape.

Louie then goes to his balcony to phone Grace. He wants to jack off during the conversation, but stops himself. Grace is a special lady, so he decides to wait for the right moment to masturbate in front of her in person. Grace invites Louie and his daughter to a fancy party where all sorts of show business people will attend. Shit, Alex Jones warned me about these! This is a horror movie and China is going to be eaten!

It’s not that bad, really. They attend, and one of the first famous people they spot is the infamous director, Leslie Goodwin, played by John Malkovich. China tells her dad that Leslie is a child molester, but Louie says that’s just a rumor and Leslie is “probably the greatest writer and filmmaker in the last 30 years”. Ah I see! Leslie is a stand-in for Woody Allen!

You know what Louis CK should have done? Instead of John Malkovich, he should have gotten Jason Alexander and had him behave like George Constanza in the early years of Seinfeld, when he would copy Woody Allen’s mannerisms. It would have made the movie funny.

Anyway, Grace introduces Louie and China to Leslie. Louie is nervous to be in the presence of his hero. The two have a private conversation. Leslie doesn’t think much that Louie works in TV, and Louie stumbles over his words and can’t decide whether to take out his penis. Leslie asks about China (not the country, the girl he wants to bone).

Later on, Leslie talks to Chin and impresses her with his basic knowledge of feminism. China says this encounter is weird because her dad is in love with Leslie, and tells him, “I don’t like you.” But Leslie totally charms his way out of those molestation allegations.

The next day at his office, Louie gets his hair cut. Which is a waste of time because he is bald. You made a hair dresser come all the way to where you work when you have nothing to maintain. Stop acting like you need the services of barber like the rest of us. Just grab some scissors, and maybe a mirror, and cut your own hair…what’s left. Don’t worry about how it will look. No one is going to care how neat or messy the back of your head is. Stay in your lane.

Anyway, Louie is excited because he will have lunch with Leslie Goodwin today. Ralph tells Louie to ask if Leslie really did touch that kid. But then Louie gets a phone call and is told the lunch is canceled. Right then, a happy China enters the office. China tells them she was out with Leslie, which shocks Louie. She was shopping at Barney’s (a high end department store that doesn’t like to serve black people) and found Leslie watching girls who were shopping for clothes. Leslie explained that there is a difference between perverts and himself, which China found intellectual. She tried on swimsuits for him, and they had a super pretentious date at the park. Louie is appalled. Ralph laughs.

Later, Louie is livid when informed that China will travel to Paris with Leslie. China tells her dad it will be fine because other concubines will be with them. Louie forbids her from going, but China says he can’t stop her and is only mad he wasn’t invited. Which is probably true. I think in real life, Louie CK would totally offer up his daughter to befriend Woody Allen.

So China travels with Leslie, where they have a merry time indeed. There is a group with Leslie, people who would probably be in the Manson Family were this the ‘60s. On a yacht, China canoodles with a young man while Leslie types on a typewriter. Back in New York, Louie also took out his typewriter. Louis CK was way too proud of himself for coming up with this dumb connection between his character and Leslie.

Later, Louie is in bed with Grace and worried about his daughter. Grace assures him that this “is a positive thing for China”. She then says that 17 is just as good as 18, and China is better off in the care of an old man than a teen boy. Of course, none of this makes Louie feel better. “You don’t know Leslie,” says Grace, “and you don’t really know her.” Grace informs Louie that she dated a 50-year-old man when she was 15, but won’t tell him if it was Leslie. Louie is so upset he leaves without taking his penis out of his boxer shorts.

Leslie and China return to New York and arrive at Louie’s home in the middle of an argument. Leslie and Ralph hit it off when Ralph asks point blank if he fucked a kid. They make plans to play tennis. After Ralph and China leave, Louie tries to ask Leslie about her, but Leslie plays coy (or maybe he has the early stages of Alzheimer’s). Finally, Louie says, “I need to know that you’re not fucking my daughter.” At that moment, China enters the room and is mad at her dad. Then Leslie leaves, and Louie still doesn’t know if her daughter and Leslie had sex. Maybe they did in France where it wouldn’t be illegal since he is an artist. [see: Polanski, Roman]

We next go to China’s 18th birthday party, which is outside and attended by many rich people. Louie is on a stage with Ralph and a band. China arrives in a horse-drawn carriage. This is why I don’t care about China and why she’s a nothing character. She’s a spoiled rich kid whose social circle is the rich and famous. Nothing that bad could ever really happen to her. And no matter what, her life will be fantastic. It doesn’t matter if Leslie had sex with her. It doesn’t matter if he tied her to a bed and shoved a baseball bat up her vagina while she screamed for help, and then let a dozen other guys do the same. She’ll be fine. Drew Barrymore went through all sorts of terrible things by the time she was 12, and she’s still in the top 0.0001% of most fortunate human beings who have ever lived. She’s a big movie star even though every movie she has been in is terrible.

Anyway, with Maggie’s help, Louie understands he needs to work up the courage to order China to stop seeing Leslie. But the party suddenly ends when it rains, because Louis CK thought that was a whimsical way to end the scene.

China goes to Leslie to announce that she is now 18 and looking forward to continuing their relationship. For some reason, she tells Leslie about a game she played as a child called “Mother, May I?” I know of that game, but the version China describes is disturbingly sexual. Like, the boys would take out their dicks and slap the girls in the face. Leslie doesn’t appear interested in China anymore. Maybe he was as alarmed by that game as I.

China returns home, where Louie finally acts like a man and tells her to end it with Leslie. He tells her she has to follow his orders because he pays her bills. This leads to both of them crying; China because she has no talent or skills, Louie because he coddled her all her life.

“What am I going to do?” cries China. Bitch, anything. So what you don’t know what you’re good at? You’re 18, of course you wouldn’t. You have years to figure it out. It’s called being a teenager. Plus, you have it better than most, way better, because you have money and connections. Harvard would let you in with an SAT score of 3. Use Leslie as a reference on your application. This is the climax of the movie, but it’s such a pointless dilemma. An 18-year-old who doesn’t know what to do after high school is a story for an episode of a family sitcom, not the most dramatic moment of a movie.

Anyway, Louie finally asks China if she had sex with Leslie. “That’s none of your fucking business Glen!” she yells. Louie’s character is named Glen. I called him Louie because Louis CK acts like he does in every other thing he’s written: a sad man who women yell at.

Later, China’s black friend talks to Louie Glen after she spoke to China, and tells Louie Glen some things that make him feel better. Louis CK is lazy enough and liberal enough to make the one black person in his movie the wise and comforting character, even though she’s only a teenager.

That’s so racist. Being black doesn’t automatically mean someone has more wisdom than a white person. If anything, a black person often has less, and what he or she does know wouldn’t apply to anyone who is not black. Oh hey, you can tell me which colors not to wear in which neighborhood. Well, I would never ever go into those neighborhoods, and even if I did, no one would think I was in a gang. Oh, you have advice for how to talk to the police? Why? Just talk to them like normal, silly. Why do you need a whole procedure for to deal with cops? What are you so afraid of?

Anyway, China’s black friend says, “Everyone is a pervert” and admits she had a crush on Louie Glen as a kid, so Louie Glen tries to have sex with her. No, he really does. This movie is so bad I can’t even joke about something dumb happening, because it actually happens.

Some months have passed and we are shown a party after the Emmy Awards. We learn that Ralph has left Louie Glen to make a show with Leslie that won awards that night, Louie’s Glen’s project with Grace was never made, Leslie has not seen China for some time, and neither has Louie Glen.

Finally, Louie Glen reconnects with China, who is now making it on her own by working at the perfume counter in a store, which is not a real job. I think they just stand people there to prevent someone from shoplifting the perfume. Though I admire China for getting a job. Most young women in her situation would just hook up with another old guy. Anyway, the movie ends with music that doesn’t at all fit the movie.


Review

“I Love You, Daddy” is a technically impressive film […] And all rendered meaningless by the unmistakable stench of creepiness, narcissism and hypocrisy permeating the story.


– Richard Roeper, Sun Times

The film’s visuals are its only asset. Shot on 35mm, the production design is quite striking, evoking classic glossy Hollywood films. But the rudderless story drags. It’s hard to say which is worse: the cringe-inducing moments or its meandering, plotless story.


– Claudia Puig, The Wrap

There’s not much I can say about I Love You, Daddy that wasn’t already said by critics three years ago. The reviews were mostly negative, which is fair, because I Love You, Daddy is a bad movie.

As a tribute or dissection or whatever to Woody Allen’s Manhattan, it fails because Manhattan was so much better. For instance, there is a scene in Manhattan where Woody Allen’s character attends a black tie event for a liberal cause and tells the effete set he’s with that they should use bats and bricks to attack an upcoming Nazi march. But the others reply, no a satirical article in the paper was enough to make our point. That brief moment was funnier and smarter than all two hours of I Love You, Daddy.

There’s also the fact that Louis CK was in a Woody Allen film in 2013, Blue Jasmine. I thought I should watch it in case it offered something that put I Love You, Daddy in context. But I don’t want to. It’s on Netflix, so I could put in on now…but I’d rather not. I wouldn’t even have to pay for Netflix; it’s on a hard drive full of movies my brother gave me. It got really good reviews and is only 98 minutes long…but I’m just not a Woody Allen fan.

The point is, Louis not only met his hero, but worked with him, a few years before making this movie. Which leads me to wonder about the characters Ralph and Leslie. In the movie, it seemed that Glen and Ralph represented two facts of Louis CK, the serious writer, and the man who makes dick jokes. Even though Glen tried, it was Ralph who befriended Leslie. So, did Louis CK expect to bond with Allen over arsty bullshit, to find that Allen liked him more for his humor? Probably. I mean, Louis CK is a terrible actor, so why else hire him? But I don’t want to examine this, because I don’t care. I will not analyze I Love You, Daddy. I’m not Roger Ebert (I still have my original jaw).

What I’d rather comment on is that while watching I Love You, Daddy, I was reminded of a time Louis CK was on The Opie & Anthony Show (a defunct morning zoo radio show hosted by a boring dad and a racist pedophile). He told a story about showing his very young daughter a Charlie Chaplin film, which made her sad because Chaplin’s character was arrested, so Louis tried to use it to teach her about life. Noted pervert, Jim Norton, piped in that she was actually upset because her dad made her watch his indulgent film choice instead of cartoons. Louis laughed.

That’s who Louis CK is: a man with particular tastes in media he wants to share. Before he made I Love You, Daddy he was turning into Artsy Louis. Artsy Louis is the Louis who wants to be known as profound rather than just a standup who jokes about his dick. You saw Artsy Louis grow when every season of Louie was less interested in being a comedy. Artsy Louis promoted Tig Notaro. Artsy Louis wanted to do what Woody Allen did: go from being the biggest stand up comic to a director of critically acclaimed, esoteric dramas.

It’s not that I dislike all of Louis CK’s scripted work. Most of Louie was fantastic. I became of fan Louis because of Lucky Louie, a one season sitcom he made on HBO in 2005. Just as I Love You, Daddy was a tribute to Woody Allen, Lucky Louie was a tribute to The Honeymooners: it was filmed in front of an audience, the main set was a bare apartment, and Louis played a member of the working poor. It was hilarious and clever, and portrayed marriage, parenthood, and financial constraint in an honest way (not that I would know as I am unmarried, childless, and a Rothschild).

That’s Louis CK’s strength as a comedian; he can turn observations about life into something hilarious and cathartic for the audience. But he doesn’t have the same talent for creating fictional, dramatic stories. Few comics could, and Louis CK is one of the smartest, funniest comedians there has ever been. There were times in Louie where Louis showed he could successfully accomplish what he failed to with I Love You, Daddy, but Louie had some flops too. And the best episodes of Louie, like his standup, came from his experiences as a comedian and father.

If Louis CK is ever allowed back into making TV and film, I would want to tell him not to chase his heroes, don’t copy Woody Allen, just be Louis CK…but with more sexual discretion this time. Not that he would care what I have to say about his career. He’d think I was just some nut on the street yelling at him.


On the Subject of Louie and His Fondness For His Penis

I was surprised as anyone when the Times story broke. By that I mean I wasn’t surprised at all. Come on, half of his stand up was about masturbation. He never hid his fondness for it. He pretty much admitted to what the Times reported, years earlier on Opie & Anthony (a defunct morning zoo radio show hosted by a dim-witted frat boy and an alcoholic with a domestic violence conviction). I just assumed we all knew and were fine with it.

On one hand, I agree that what Louis CK did was abhorrent. It was good of the Times to bring it to light and shame him. I don’t agree the Louis fans who say he didn’t do anything wrong. No, he very clearly did. I mean, come on, it was bad. He shouldn’t get a pass because he makes you laugh. If Louis was a manager at Target doing that to the cashiers, you wouldn’t excuse it because he keeps the store clean. No, he’d be fired and sent to Kmart. Hell, zoos would never be able to have primate exhibits if monkeys and apes had as little discipline as Louis CK.

I don’t agree with the Louis defenders who argue he is the victim. Because he’s not. He’s not. Doing something wrong, then having that exposed, does not make him a victim. It makes him someone who got caught. He’s not being persecuted by social justice mobs or cancel culture or whatever. Have some perspective. People in prison for crimes they didn’t commit are persecuted. There are just people who don’t like Louis because of something he did, and they have ever right to express their anger. What happened to Louis—the loss of his reputation, work, and money—is on him alone. Ultimately, Louis CK an adult who did something wrong and is bearing the consequences.

On the other hand, come on, what Louis did wasn’t that bad. Don’t place him with Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Bill Cosby; those men are sexual predators who should be in prison. Louis CK didn’t commit a crime (can you really lock up Louis CK for loving himself too much?). It’s not as if the criminal justice system can even provide genuine justice in many of these cases. Cosby is in prison, but his prime raping years were long behind him. He didn’t have to give up the best years of his life to pay for his crimes, he got to spend those years raping. Harvey Weinstein was recently found guilty of rape, and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Still, he still got to bang Scarlet Johansson, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Lawrence when they were 16. They’ll take away his freedom, but can never take that from him. There won’t be a day during his time in Attica where he won’t think, “Eh, it was worth it.”

To be honest, I don’t care if Louis CK works his way back into show business, or has to flee to one of those villages in Alaska where men go to escape the sex offender registry. I’m just glad the scandal put an end to Artsy Louis. He has gotten far too pretentious in the years before he was taken down. He became serious and thought what he had to say mattered, like with his pandering speech that the next Steve Jobs will be a woman. He used to go on Conan with brilliantly funny monologues. Then, in 2016, he told us to vote for Hillary because she is a mother. It was oh sosatisfying when the exact kind of liberals he had been kissing up turned on him.

I took particular delight that his downfall came right before I Love You, Daddy was to premier. Louis anticipated a new life as an auteur filmmaker. And then, it was taken away. I laughed when I learned that. I really did! I am happy that Artsy Louis was killed. It meant the return of Comedy Louis.

After only nine months out of the public eye, Louis CK returned to a few small clubs in New York City, and has been on tour ever since. People around the world have gone to see him, despite the scandal. I have not, but heard his leaked set and loved it. I don’t care that comics consider recording their sets to be unethical (it’s not like it’s as bad a jacking off in front of woman). It was funny and showed that old Louis—Comedy Louis—was back, and that people are laughing (especially that one guy), instead of shunning him. Louis even received a standing ovation at Skankfest and the Patrice O’Neal benefit. He even filmed a new special in mid-March.

Several of Louis CK’s colleagues have spoken up for him; not always to defend what he did, of course, but rather to advocate for his right to perform. Norm Macdonald took a lot of criticism for it, and it may have cost him his Netflix show, but Bill Burr, Michael Che, Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock, Joe Rogan, Sarah Silverman, Doug Stanhope, and others have supported Louis and still have jobs. Dave Chappelle backed Louis on his recent (Grammy award wininng) Netflix special. Even Janeane Garofalo spoke up for Louis, which was pretty brave, actually, because her fanbase is the kind that want Louis’s head. After Garofalo made it okay, human worm, Jim Norton, changed his stance and began defending his old friend.

There are still comics critical of Louis, among them Paul F Tompkins, which I think is probably because Louis was a dick to him in the ‘90s. I bet a lot of comics who are against Louis’s comeback are that way because Louis was rude to them. One of the wiggers who dated Ariana Grande said as much. Then there’s Jim Carrey, who likely never encountered Louis’s attitude—and rich enough to have Louis killed if he did—but posted an odd drawing criticizing CK for a joke about the Parkland shooting. I don’t know what the deal is with Jim Carrey, other than he’s a bipolar man who won’t get treatment because he thinks the pharmaceutical industry invented autism. Andy Ritcher called Louis’s Parkland jokes “lazy”. As a man whose job is to sit on a couch while others talk, Andy would know lazy.

I’m eager to see where Louis takes his comedy goes as he rebuilds his career. But, look, I don’t have a problem if someone is anti-Louis. It’s a legitimate way to feel. What’s been frustrating is how so much of the media has focused on the outrage that Luis is back to work and making controversies out of his jokes, but ignoring the fact that people are paying to see him and having a good time. There have been exceptions to the terrible media. The best thing I’ve read in defense of Louis CK’s was from The National Review. I also really liked this New Yorker piece, because it was a fair and honest critique. And there was a Daily Beast story with this section that made me laugh:

Ann Horner, 62, was the first protester to show up. “Keep it in your pants,” her sign said. Horner said she has experienced both harassment and sexual assault in her life, and that she was here because of C.K.’s harassment of women. “It’s not OK with me,” she said.

A young man named Shane, who passed by on his way inside, asked Horner what C.K.’s harassment had to do with his standup.

“Do you think it’s funny when people jerk off in front of women?” she asked him.

“No, I think his standup is funny,” he said. “Who do you think is funny?” he asked her.

“Hannah Gadsby” she said. “Do you know who that is?”

“Yes, she’s the one with the least funny special on Netflix,” he said.

Oh Shane, I wish I could marry you. We’re soul mates.

Maybe journalists are jealous because the public doesn’t miss a newsman who is fired due to a sex scandal. Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose won’t get standing ovations at Skankfest.


What to Do with Lou

Still, I totally get that there are women and beta orbiters who are legitimately upset at Louis CK and want some kind of justice, or him to pay a penance, whatever that may be. Since you don’t have the authority to punish him, are not going to be able to stop him from performing, or shame people away from his shows, you will have to try something else.

And I want to help. Here is what I propose. Lay off Louis CK, just for a few years at least. Let him get comfortable out in public, and maybe make another bad movie or two. In the meantime, we’ll all sign up for classes at The Actors Studio in New York City. I don’t know what it takes to get into The Actors Studio. Someone else can figure that out. I can’t do all the work here. Then, we wait—we learn method acting and theater and all that sissy bullshit—until the day Louis CK is invited to be interviewed by James Lipton for Inside The Actors Studio.

Then we strike.

We’ll sit in the audience and listen and laugh. Then Lipton will open the floor to audience questions. Since we’ll be the whole audience, every question we are going to ask Louis CK will be about his masturbating. Some of us will ask what it was like to jerk off in front of women, others advice about hand techniques. The first person will be kicked out right away, as will the second and third, but we’ll keep at it.

Lipton will get angry and demand someone with a valid question. One man will raise his hand and start off, “So, Mr. CK when you blah blah blah in your latest movie it invoked Woody Allen in Midnight in Paris, so what was it like when you took out your penis-” Then everyone should just yell about jerking off. The point will be to make Louis CK realize he can’t escape the scandal. It will always be with him. That will be our justice.

[Edit: I have been informed that The Actors Studio is no longer a school and also James Lipton passed away recently. OK…uh…let me think of something else…

Ah! Here’s what we do: kidnap Louis CK, tie him down, and make him the center of a bukkake session. Give him a taste of his own medicine.

How about that? What? You don’t like it? What is the matter with you? It’s a great plan! You know, what fuck it, I’m all out of ideas. I’m done. You deal with Louis CK however you see fit.]