The Movie Diary
May 26, 2016

The Movie Diary: A one-two punch

By Dom Cioffi

I went to the driving range this past weekend to hit some golf balls in an attempt to freshen up my game. I’ve been consumed with baseball as of late and haven’t spent much time grooving my swing – and it shows. The last time I played golf was two weeks ago and the experience was far from satisfying, so I was due for some practice.

I wandered up to the range and purchased a couple buckets of balls and then scanned the area for an available spot. It seemed that everyone else was in the same boat because the tee boxes were flush with golfers.

I made my way over and squeezed in between an elderly gentleman and a twenty-something young man who was busy talking to another guy next to him.

I set up my clubs and placed the buckets of balls in my spot and then went through my normal stretching routine to prepare. However, as I was loosening up, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between the two young men next to me.

What I could gather was that one of the guys was describing to the other how he had been involved in a bar fight the night prior. He briefly described a situation where his friend had become inebriated and in the process of coming on to a girl who was already spoken for.

Like a good wingman, when things got heated, he jumped in to defend his drunken friend. And apparently, that’s when the punches started to fly.

By this guy’s description, he hit the offended individual numerous times in the face, overwhelming him with a flurry of punches that rendered the guy nearly unconscious.

Throughout the conversation, I pretended to be puttering with my clubs, but I was acutely tuned in to what he was saying. For whatever reason, I was transfixed by his story.

And I wasn’t the only one. The guy he was talking to seemed equally enamored, consistently interjected phrases like, “No way, dude!” and “That’s awesome!”

He went on to talk about how, after pummeling the first guy, he tried to go after another patron, but his buddies held him back. “I was a man possessed!” he boasted. “I would have crushed anyone in the bar if they crossed me. I was so fired up.”

At this point I started to become suspicious of the story. It’s one thing to defend your friend, but it’s another thing to go Mike Tyson on an entire nightclub and not end up physically injured. Not to mention that this guy wasn’t that big, and certainly not so big that he should have been intimidating to a bar full of grown men.

The more this guy talked, the more I started to think he was full of B.S. He just seemed over-the-top in his description of the events. The longer the story went on the more Rocky-esque he sounded.

Finally, he made one statement that, for me, threw the whole fight scenario into the realm of fiction. As he was finishing up, he stated, “I was so raged that, when I was leaving, I punched a hole in the wall of the bar.”

Now, first of all, if I own a bar and you’re fighting in it, I’m definitely tossing your butt out as quickly as possible. And if you punched a hole in the wall of my establishment, I’m going to make sure my bouncers send you a very clear message, or I’m having the police issue you a citation.

According to this guy’s story, the crowds simply parted as he was leaving and cheered him on like he was some kind of hero.

Soon after the end of his story, I watched the guy walk up to his bucket of balls and start hammering drives, noticing that he seemed to have no issue gripping the club. That’s when I snickered to myself – because anyone who has every punched a wall or another person’s head knows that there’s going to be enough swelling to make gripping a golf club next to impossible. If not, you’re not packing much of a punch (or not packing any punches at all).

In this week’s feature, “The Nice Guy,” there’s a slew of face punching going on and, as expected, no one blinks an eye at the pain (which is to be expected – BECAUSE IT’S FICTION).

Starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, “The Nice Guys” is a 70s era buddy flick that tried really hard to be a cross between “Pulp Fiction” and “Boogie Nights.” Unfortunately, it didn’t come close to either.

While this film did have plenty of humorous moments due to the electric chemistry between Crowe and Gosling, overall it failed to pace itself and ultimately delivered a ridiculous conclusion that all but destroyed the movie.

Check this one out if you’re in the mood for a violent period piece that maintains an effective edginess. You’ll be entertained and initially smitten, but will inevitably tire of the shtick.

A “B-” for “The Nice Guys.”

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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